By: Samsul Nizar
Professor and Head of STAIN Bengkalis
Every organism has roots. The existence of roots is essential for their survival. Typically, the roots are the lowest part of a plant and penetrate the soil. There are, however, plant species whose roots appear only above ground. In plant science, roots are essential organs for erecting plants and absorbing water and nutrients. The presence of roots permits growth and development. Because of this, the quality of the roots determines the character of all tree parts.
Although roots are common knowledge, only some have the leisure to learn from tree roots. Allah entrusts His verses to the roots of trees so that humans may contemplate them. Among the principles to be learned from the roots are:
First, the downward orientation of the roots teaches us to always “bow down” and not lose sight of ourselves. Even though trees grow tall and “break the clouds,” they know that they originated from seeds “stored” in the soil, require nutrients from the soil, and eventually decompose into the soil when they expire. This is by His words: “From her, We created you, and to her, We will return you, and from there, We will bring you out later” (QS Thaha: 55).
The soil is like a mother’s womb for vegetation. Plants live from the nutrients fed and die in their bosom (the soil) one day. The same will occur to humanity and all other living things on earth. If the plant’s roots never leave the soil, it will flourish with the necessary nutrients. The tree will perish, however, if its roots are obstructed by hard stones that prevent them from reaching the soil, notably “roots that forget themselves.” This is the case with humans; if they forsake their origin and beginning, they will be “dead” before death catches up.
If humans neglect their ancestry, they become “disobedient” to nature, which has provided them with sustenance. Universe-wide disobedience that causes devastation and injustice. Only humans who can maintain their roots so that they are always healthy and firmly rooted with sincerity (not restricted to the style of hypocrisy) will have the end of their lives protected by the land in the embrace of His the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Second, although Roots give vitality, they never boast about or emphasize it. It is never mentioned to exist. He generously compensates for what has been done. The effect of the root is reflected in the words of the Prophet Muhammad: “Indeed, Allah accepts no deeds unless they are performed with sincerity and in anticipation of His pleasure” (HR. Abu Daud and Nasa’i).
Roots and soil teach us the value of “quiet” They are not envious of the towering trees. As trees grow and produce fruit, the soil and roots are never neglected. Trees are “the embodiment of virtue.” The roots and soil are shielded from the sun by trees. It sheds foliage for fertilization. It drops produce to provide sustenance to the creatures below. Even if the fruit decays, it will be a nutrient booster for itself and the surrounding plants. The relationship between roots, soil, and trees is complementary and harmonious, producing high-quality fruit. In the meantime, many humans are fighting and neglecting themselves. Contemptuous criticism without a remedy. Constructive criticism must originate from those who have constructed (completed). Those who have never accomplished anything are the only ones to initiate scathing critiques. Thus, Allah reveals each of His verses. However, humans frequently neglect and are ignorant.
Third, the origin teaches tawadhu’ and humility. This is because a robust root always penetrates the soil. It is “grounded” rather than arrogantly gazing upward. in this case. In the meantime, feeble roots expose themselves to the surface, and the tree eventually falls. Such is the essence of the root that must serve as a human i’tibar. Allah reminds us of this in His words: “And do not turn your faces away from people (out of conceit) and do not swagger upon the earth. Allah dislikes those who are arrogant and boastful” (QS. Luqman 18).
In principle, Satan boasted of his possessions. He is proud of his fire-based creation. Because of the excellence of his exploits, he was pleased with his fame. Practically, a few humans are proud of what they have (degree, rank, glory, charity, fortune, and other variants), whereas others are proud of what they do not have. Being proud of what one lacks leads to envy, betrayal, slander, finding fault with others, and other similar behaviours. He will never agree with the truth, even if it comes from Allah and His Messenger, the very “people” he despises. Because the roots of his heart have rotted, no amount of assistance or compassion can restore his heart. Apatahlagi when no assistance or goodwill is received. Only this sort of person possesses goodness and truth. In contrast, there is no virtue and truth for humans who are “opposite” or “outside” themselves.
Fourth, the root is the primary source of life support. It resembles trust in a servant. The foundation of faith is essential and must be nourished. The strength and viability of the plant’s roots is the most important factor for all plant components. Farmers, aware of this fact, always take care of the roots by providing excellent soil, fertilizer, and sufficient water. When the tree’s roots are harmed and no longer robust and brittle, it will be unhealthy and perish. Be wary of initiatives that eliminate trees by cutting and poisoning their roots. The destruction of human character causes the devastation of civilization through the destruction of faith. If you wish to eliminate a civilization, destroy its scientists’ idealism. In the meantime, if you wish to destroy a nation, you must harm its future generation through systemic devastation exemplified by previous generations’ mental damage and behavior. Allah SWT admonishes, “Remember, it is they who cause harm, but they are unaware” (QS. al-Baqarah 12).
Such is the vitality of roots for trees, faith for people, scientists (scholars) for civilization, and generations for the state. Allah reminds us of this in His words: “Remember when (Allah) made you His successors after ‘Ad and gave you a place on earth, and you built vast structures in its lowlands and carved its mountains into dwellings. Therefore, recollect Allah’s favors and refrain from causing corruption on earth” (QS. al-A’raf: 74).
Fifth, the root thrives on giving. It provides water and nutrients to every single tree. It serves to protect and adore equally. It nourishes the tree on all sides. Roots do not have a “favoritism” nature; they especially build “sects” that destroy harmony. This is the majesty and harmony of a tree for all to share. Indeed, the nature of the roots and soil towards the tree demonstrates His words: “Whatever you give in charity or vow, Allah is aware of it. Those who commit wrongdoing have no defender. It is commendable if you reveal your charitable contributions. And if you conceal it and give it to people experiencing poverty, you should conceal it. And Allah will expiate from you some of your wrongs; and Allah knows what you do” (QS. al-Baqarah: 270-271).
When a “parasite” consumes a tree’s core, the root chooses to die so that the “parasite” does not harm other trees. He “retreats” from life to preserve the other tree civilizations’ existence.
Sixth, robust roots bolster the soil without negatively impacting the environment. The greater the growth and support of the tree’s roots, the greater the soil preservation. Indeed, when the root can “hide” itself, it becomes more humbling due to the assistance it has received. While the “arrogant” root will grow to the surface, wreak havoc on the soil, and even obliterate it and everything in its vicinity. Exposed roots are capable of bringing down towering and magnificent structures. Such is the devastation wrought by the emergence of roots. Allah has issued this warning through His words: “Do not defile the earth after it has been well-ordered. Pray to Him with awe and confidence. Indeed, Allah’s mercy is very close to those who do good” (QS. al-A’raf: 56).
Even though the root is rooted in the soil, it filters the contaminated groundwater into pure, healthy nutrients. It purifies all of the impure elements before giving them to the stem. This demonstrates how noble and refined the root is. Even though it is in a filthy hole, it channels something pure to the stem, resulting in clean and fresh fruit. In the meantime, some individuals hold the opposite viewpoint as the source. When they obtain something magnificent, they desire it for themselves. It is only a useless remnant if you wish to give it away. Moreover, if he experiences distress, he attempts to find a “scapegoat” to blame for his errors or, at the very least, to spread the “poison” (dirt) to all areas outside of himself. If happiness desires to be owned by himself, but if misery does, he attempts to entice others to partake in the harm.
The root resembles a mother’s affection for her offspring. It never expects praise, and its presence contributes to the pleasure of all tree components. She is pleased when the tree flourishes and produces abundant tasty fruit for all creatures. In contrast, the roots will weep if they cannot provide optimal nutrition and cause the tree’s demise.
God’s reminders of His written and unfolded messages are unmistakable and frequent. Roots and soil have “spoken” to man. So genuine is Allah’s affection for humanity. Despite Allah’s repeated reminders, humans frequently deny it until their demise. Some of them actually “challenge” Allah with such blatant injustice. Allah forewarned of the punishment that had befallen the preceding peoples, but every warning was rejected. Allah said, “Remember when Allah made you successors after ‘Ad and gave you a place on earth, and you built vast structures in its lowlands and carved houses into its mountains. Therefore, recollect Allah’s favours and refrain from causing corruption on earth” (QS. Al A’raf: 74).
Evidently, the inhabitants of ‘Ad, Fir’aun, Namrudz, Qorun, and Abu Jahal would perish. They established their “roots” in the earth. As a consequence of their arrogance, they fell. This is also evident in Allah’s blessings on the youth of Ashabul Kahfi and His virtuous servants, whose faith has “roots” that penetrate the earth. These two kinds are evident throughout human history.
Indeed, the roots lead to an always sincere and generous existence. Roots and soil never seek compensation for their efforts. Although frequently neglected, he displays kindness through a fruitful, fertile tree. Roots and soil teach that “man will never be good if he constantly recalls the errors of his fellow man.” Man will never be right if he never does what is right in his lifetime. Allah reminds us of this through His words: “And He has granted you all that you have requested. And if you were to tally Allah’s blessings, you would be unable to do so. “Indeed, man is unjust and eager to recall (His favours)” (QS. Ibrahim: 34).
Although all of Allah’s verses are plain, which one a person chooses depends on the depth of their roots (faith). The appearance of hypocrisy can mesmerize and deceive others, but Allah, the All-Knowing, cannot be deceived. Any effort to conceal it will fail as long as virtue is present because the inhabitants of the sky will always record and remember what is imparted. When considering only tree roots, it becomes apparent how little humans have contributed to this world. What’s more, they are infinite when contemplating the vastness of Allah’s verses. Only intelligent decisions and sincerity will lead me to His affection.
Wa Allahua’lam bi al-Shawwab.
Translated by Riska Saputra
Alumni STAIN Bengkalis