Green thumbs

Manal was so excited! Her dad was getting seedlings from the nursery on the way back home from his work, and they would be planting them in today. She was waiting with her face plastered on the front window, keeping a lookout for her father’s car.

She heard her mother coming down the stairs. ‘Manal!’, her mom called out, ‘Why are there green spots all around the bathroom door and …wait a second, right here on the front window?! Is that paint on your hands? What’s going on?’

‘Mama’, Manal said in her most patient voice, ‘Baba and I are planting our garden today remember? And people who grow things in the garden have green thumbs. So I’m all set with my thumbs painted green for when Baba gets here.’

Mama laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes. Manal didn’t understand what was so funny about her waiting for her dad – ‘Uhh are you okay mama?’, she asked.

‘ I am, yes. But darling, when your dad talked about green thumbs he meant it as an expression – when a person gets really good at gardening, it’s said that he or she might have a green thumb because their plants are growing so beautifully ‘, explained Mama.

‘Oh. I see’, replied Manal as she began to understand. ‘I guess that makes sense. I was wondering how my thumbs would be visible through the gloves anyhow.” She laughed now too looking at her hands, and ran to wash them off.

‘I wonder what’s taking Baba so long!’, Manal sighed impatiently.

‘You know, honey, your grandma has a beautiful garden in her home too. I think thats where you and Baba both get your love for plants from. And I think Baba was probably your age when he planted his first seedling. Grandma told me that one day he had come back from his masjid class and demanded to grow a garden that very instant! Baba had learned a beautiful hadith that Rasullah (sallalahu alayhi wassalam) has taught us. The Prophet (sallalahu aayhi wassalam) said – “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari)

That was the start of his gardening journey, and now look at how far he’s come’, Mama said pointing out at their lovely backyard.

‘Wow’, exclaimed Manal, ‘You mean if I plant something and if it helps any single living creature I get rewarded for it?? Mama that’s pretty cool. Oh here comes Baba!’ Manal squealed excitedly and rushed to greet her dad.

Her dad waved to them both and began unloading the car while Mama went to grab him a bottle of water. She was just about to turn into the kitchen when Manal came to her with an extra pair of gloves and a tiny plant.

‘Come on Mama, she said. Let’s share the sadaqa!’. She handed her mother the gloves and ran off.

‘Be careful with that plant!’, Mama called out while marveling at her daughter’s boundless energy. Mama grabbed the water and put on her gloves. It was time to earn some blessings.