roses-with-thornsOne of my uncles is an artist. Amongst his paintings, he had a picture of a rose held in a hand. The thorn from that rose flower had injured the person’s thumb and blood trickled down that thumb.

In 1969, when I returned home, after 7 years in India, he asked me to choose any painting. I chose this particular one, since it conveyed a message with deep meaning. …What is the message?

Don’t think that there is no danger in the rose garden. That garden may be filled with all kinds of charming, colourful and fragrant rose flowers, but don’t go in, thinking that there is no danger.

Beneath the petals of those beautiful, fragrant and sweet smelling flowers are thorns. Safeguard yourself and your garments when you walk through that garden, for those thorns cannot be trusted. They could cause you injury.

This world is like that beautiful garden. Smell the fragrance – i.e. make use of the things of the world. Use and enjoy everything Halaal (Lawful), but beware of sins… the thorns of sins. These cannot be trusted, for these will definitely cause harm and injury. So don’t fall for the temptation to touch, see, hear, speak or walk towards Haraam.

The thorns of sins not only scratch and wound our bodies, they also pierce, damage and mar our delicate Imaan. The detrimental consequence of these thorns can even lead to ruin in the Hereafter. How many have lost their health, to Aids and other such diseases? How many have forsaken their religion for a beautiful or handsome face, or some wealth, power, name – at the great cost of their salvation in the Hereafter ?

The message conveyed by this picture is that we need to take the walk of life, through the garden of this world, with caution and care. This caution and care is what is termed Taqwa (Piety).

It has been mentioned that once Hazrat ‘Umar (RA) asked Hazrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (RA) : ‘What is Taqwa?’

He, in turn, asked : ‘Did you have the experience of walking through thorny shrub?’

Hazrat ‘Umar (RA) replied : ‘Yes.’

Hazrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (RA) asked : ‘How did you walk ?’

Hazrat ‘Umar (RA) replied : ‘I rolled up my garment and walked very carefully and cautiously, so as not to be harmed by the thorns.’

Hazrat Ubayy bin Ka’b (RA) responded : ‘That is Taqwa.’

By Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Raheemahullah)