By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
Village residents are not unfamiliar with the existence of the sunshine mimosa (Mimosa pudica). The tree is clearly recognisable because its leaves close (disintegrate) upon contact. Although several members of identical plant species can perform the same action, the sunshine mimosa plant reacts more quickly than others. While it is rare, the sunshine mimosa plant is nonetheless the subject of scientific research. In reality, the sunshine mimosa plant has a profound educational value for people. The teaching that Allah desires to impart to humanity through His servant (QS Ali Imran: 191) is referred to as the shy daughter plant. The following teaching values can be adopted:
First, the sensitive and responsive nature of the sunshine mimosa plant upon being touched. When a portion of a tree is touched, the leaves will close in shame. This is due to its capacity to move seismonastic (tigmonasty).If the tree is touched, the sunshine mimosa plant responds by blossoming to defend itself from herbivorous animals (plant eaters) in the area. He guards himself promptly so that his pride is not even touched, much less crushed, by anyone. Consequently, Allah teaches people to be sensitive when their pride is insulted, disturbed, or even denied. Yet, there are restrictions and proper etiquette when this must be done. Allah reminds us of this through His words: “And (for) those who defend themselves when they are harmed” (QS Ash-Syûra: 39).
Human self-esteem can be divided into at least two poles: internal (personal) and external. The internal pole relates to the aspect of individual self-respect that must be preserved, such as personal and familial self-respect. At the same time, the external pole is concerned with communal self-esteem, such as self-esteem as a religious believer (faith), citizen, tribal community, etc. If there is still sensitivity, then there is still self-respect. Look at the self-respecting, timid princess plant. It never engages in aggressive behaviour but is prepared to protect itself if threatened. It never intends to harm others but is prepared to do so when wronged or trampled. In fact, the princess of shame makes people “ashamed” of their self-respect. Because a small number of people do not defend and defend their self-esteem, and a small number of people sell their self-esteem cheaply to obtain what they desire. Even the internal pole of self-esteem is disregarded, let alone the external pole. Everything has been sold, and nothing remains. Thus, the side left behind is reduced to “begging, sucking, surrendering without the ability to hold your head up, and worshipping others as if they were gods.” Everything is done because there is no remaining human self-respect.
Secondly, the tree is covered in thorns to protect itself from being touched. Its thorns are only used to deter people with the malicious intent to “trample” on it. But its thorns are not utilised to harass, slander, or cause harm to other beings. It never attacks but will defend itself if assaulted. When wounded or mistreated, it never retaliates and instead abstains. It is respectful of other plants and is not a parasite. He only has thorns for “self-defence” if he is injured or wronged.
Thus should a sensible man conduct himself. Never allow vigilance to wane, never wish to expose others’ disgrace, never disseminate slander, and never wish to harm those who exist. If compelled when one is injured, all actions are limited to self-defence and intended to make “those who hurt” aware of the wrongdoing committed. If the stronger the hold on the shy daughter plant, the deeper the thorns are embedded, then the shy daughter plant has a weak grip. The cut is not caused by the timid daughter plant but rather by the firmness of the hand’s grip on the thorn. This is in accordance with Allah’s command: “Whoever attacks you, then attack him in proportion to his attack on you” (QS. al-Baqarah: 194).
According to Wahbah Zuhaili, the preceding verse is a command to defend oneself and preserve one’s honour against the wickedness of creatures. This mentality is required. The scholars of the school of Imam Abu Hanifah, the Malikis, and the Shafi’is all concur that this is the limit of the need to protect oneself. This is the beautiful “realisation process” that the sunshine mimosa plant conveys. He knew he could not cause harm. However, the pain generated by the plant’s thorns must be caused by those who behave poorly when touching it. Comparable thorns to those caused by the “enemy” who touches it.
Thirdly, timid daughter plants are resistant to abiotic and natural hazards. It can be observed that this plant is more resistant to drought. Regardless of the season, its leaves are always green. The water retained in its leaves acts as a “water bank” for this plant, allowing it to survive drought conditions. In fact, the sunshine mimosa plant educates individuals to be resilient and prepared for adversity. When in opulence, it is proper to share with others (leaf symbol). Save some moisture on the stems and branches. When drought comes, the leaves, branches, and stems must provide water to the roots for the plant to live. The harmony between the sharing value and social piety is very real. Sunshine mimosa plants instruct us to live shrewdly while we have abundant food in preparation for times when food is scarce. In spite of the drought, the leaves continue to smile and provide water to the entire stem. It teaches us to share and assist one another. All of its components are unfamiliar with the term greed. All sustenance is distributed based on necessity. When conditions are “dry,” it is the responsibility of neighbouring regions to aid regions in need. Indeed, a symbol of care that results in mutual aid for good. This implements the words of Allah: “And do not bind your wrists over your necks, nor extend them excessively, lest you become shamed and repentant” (QS. Al Isra: 29).
The above verse implies that in consumption (spending money), one should not be miserly nor lavish (wasteful). When Allah provides you with food, share it with others. When the “dry” period arrives, it will be Allah’s turn to send others to assist. As if the sunshine mimosa plant demonstrates the veracity of the Prophet’s words, “Whoever removes one hardship, Allah will repay him by removing one difficulty from the difficulties that exist on the Day of Resurrection” (HR. Bukhari and Muslim).
While a small number of people forget themselves when food is abundant and live an extravagant lifestyle, while in power, they transform misery into pleasure and acquire wealth via injustice. Yet, when food is scarce and times are severe, people take shortcuts by breaching the law, even if it means selling their honor carelessly.
Fourth, the shy daughter plant’s root nodules function as a fertiliser factory. Bills of microbial colony consortiums live in symbiosis with the roots in these root nodules. It is self-sufficient by producing its own fertiliser and nurturing the surrounding plants. A symbol that is perpetually “fertiliser” for oneself and others. Life-sustaining fertilisers continue to deliver benefits. Avoiding becoming a parasite and poison in life that destroys nature and kills people.
Fifth, the sunshine mimosa plant is a diabetic cure, a hemostatic, an anti-infective, a fever reducer, and a pain reliever. Despite the lack of interest in this plant, it provides health benefits to people. Despite the fact that few people care, it provides medicine for human health. What a blessing is a life that is born with its dignity intact! This is consistent with the words of the Prophet of Allah: “And the best of mankind are those who benefit other men the most” (HR. Ath-Thabrani).
Humans, on the other hand, appear sophisticated and rich. Nonetheless, a small number of them frequently leave the side to cause others agony. Even nature is harmed due to the absence of any remaining self-respect. Allah reminds us of this through His Word: “There is damage on land and in the sea because of men’s conduct, so that Allah may allow them to taste some of the repercussions of their deeds so that they may repent” (QS. ar-Ruum: 41).
Sixth, the blossoms of the sunshine mimosa plant have exquisite hues. As a medium for medication, it gives not only medical benefits but also psychological benefits. Every morning, the beautiful flower bed refreshes the eyes. Despite having a “sharp thorn” aspect, the beauty of flowers with cool colours can calm the heart. Apparently, there are two (two) lessons humans can learn from the blossoms and thorns of the sunshine mimosa plant: (1) Do not be lulled or misled by something (flower) that appears “lovely and gorgeous” to the naked sight since it may contain “thorns” that may give you pain. (2) If the thorn is read as power (variations of position, strength, wisdom, and riches, etc.), then use power with discretion. Use power to cultivate self-virtue that provides others benefit and beauty (social piety). If just the thorns are sharp and there is no room left in the self for goodness, then the self is humiliated, and the virtue vanishes.
A loser is an individual whose life is devoid of any kindness and utility for others. He drags himself to the lowest level of shame and ruin. Although the people of the earth appear to flatter due to the “thorns” attached and owned, in “whispers behind” they reveal themselves to be gossiping, sneering, and parsing hurtful phrases. Respect appears to be restricted to “fear of thorns,” not the content. The fear induced by “thorns” that are no longer meant to protect plants but rather to harm and inflict pain. As a result, the dignity of thorns makes plants more haughty. As a result, plants no longer have the beauty and usefulness that they may bring. If the sole purpose of thorny plants is to cause pain, they will be rejected and exterminated. Fortunate are plants with thorns that do not cause pain. As a bashful princess plant whose thorns solely serve to protect itself, beauty should be displayed without harming other plants. Such is the loss of life amongst the disdain of humanity and the universe, wherein things exist. This can be observed when the thorn is removed, much like the tiger’s stripes fading or its fangs falling out (toothless tiger). It will be discarded, exploited for games and jokes, or subjected to various forms of contempt. Yet if his “thorn” is utilised judiciously to protect while beauty and utility are stressed, then his name will remain fragrant and become a model or reference for everyone.
Thus, Allah continuously urges mankind to be smart as Khalifah fi al-ardh through written verses (the Qur’an) and through the unfolding of events (nature). With all these media, humans are expected to be able to utilise their minds and hearts appropriately. After Allah’s repeated reminders, there is no excuse for mankind to be ignorant of anything. Allah states this constantly (31 times) in QS. ar-Rahman through the verse: “Which of your Lord’s blessings do you deny?” All of Allah’s creations serve as teachings and reminders of His magnificence. Each individual’s decisions determine the outcome. Where the choice will be made after so evident the truth of His verses. No one is aware. Only those whom Qalbun Salim directs are able to respond rightly. For all decisions will be held accountable in the end before Allah.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra, S.Pd
Alumni from the English Education Study Program at STAIN Bengkalis.
Master Student at Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology in National Central University, Taiwan.