In June of 2013, I sowed a couple of Ajwa date seeds. My intention was to watch and observe the miraculous process of how the seeds sprout and grow. So I sowed them in a soaked napkin inside a zip-lock bag, and laid it on the windowsill that gets the most sunlight.
Days passed by and nothing grew. The following week, I checked again, still nothing. With every week that passed by, I lost more hope in it, thinking perhaps, I didn’t sow it correctly, it’ll probably never sprout and that I should just throw it out. A couple of months later, I checked, and something was growing! But it wasn’t the date seed… it was something green on the napkin… mold! With disregard, I made a note to myself to throw it out, but my laziness kept me from disposing of it. “I’ll just discard it later”, I continuously procrastinated.
One Ramadan evening, as I watched the sun set outside the bedroom window, I caught a glimpse of the moldy zip-lock and decided that today was the day to throw it out. “No more procrastinating!”, I thought to myself. I pinched a corner of the zip-lock bag with my index finger and thumb and picked it up cautiously as to not let it contaminate anything else. Walking over to the trash can, I gave one last glance at the bag and did a double take!
I could not believe my eyes! Both date seeds had sprouted carrying long healthy roots and a beautiful green leaf! A surge of emotions overtook me as I stood there amazed, before gliding down the stairs to ecstatically show my mom.
“Indeed, Allah is the Cleaver of the grain and the date seeds. He brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living. That is Allah; so how are you deluded?” (Al An’am, 6:95)
From negligent to vigilant in seconds: The subtle and incredible plans of Al-Lateef
When I didn’t see any signs of life for the first few weeks after sowing, I eventually gave up on the seeds thinking, “They’re all moldy and gross now, they’ll never grow”. But all those months, Allah hadn’t given up on them. He hadn’t forgotten them. In fact, He continued to nourish each seed, making them split miraculously from the center and sprout beautifully, at the perfect time. Truly, Al-Lateef works in the most subtle of ways; my procrastination gave the seeds time to grow, and on the day I decided to discard of them, My Rabb allowed me to do that double-take and realize the miracles He had been nourishing all along. My Rabb’s subtle plan transformed my mentality from negligence towards the seeds to vigilance, love, and care in seconds!
Despite the circumstance: Working with the basics, resulting in success!
Often times, we find ourselves convinced that we can’t do a certain task until we get “this” or because we don’t have “that”, though we may have all the necessities needed to complete the task. Our defensive approach to justify why we aren’t able to complete a certain task is the limiting factor of our success and a catalyst for our failures as we subconsciously envelope ourselves in a myriad of excuses. Instead, we need to refresh ourselves and renew our intentions, motivation, and trust in Allah before putting our efforts in full gear. To put things into perspective, I did not sow the seeds in any fancy climate controlled flower bed nor did I install high-quality sprinklers. Rather the conditions in which the seeds were sown was merely a soggy napkin in a zip-lock placed on the window sill. Yet the primitive conditions were enough for these seeds! They took full advantage of the essentials given to them, and began growing and blossoming with success.
Reflecting on the creation: Miraculous similarities in structure!
I spent a good amount of time observing the date seedlings; I was mind-blown and astonished at the way they sprouted, as they in many ways resembled a mammal embryo:
I’ve had the opportunity to study and observe the process of how various fruit seeds sprout, but the date-seed was by far the most unique and intriguing sprout-ling! With the date-stone attached in the center of the sprout-ling in a cord-like fashion, and a beautiful bright green leaf growing from the center up along with a healthy root growing from the center down, it was masha Allah.
Connecting to the Creator: Only Al-Qadir holds such ability!
The more I reflect on this incident, the more convinced I become that it was never I who caused these seeds to sprout and grow. On the contrary, I had been completely oblivious to the fact that they would even grow! Rather, it was solely Allah alone who nurtured and nourished, and caused these lifeless seeds to burst vibrantly with life and grow.
“And have you seen that [seed] which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower?(Al-Waqiah, 56:63-64)