The Effect of Honesty

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There was once a slave named Mubaarak (rahimahullah) who lived in the orchard of his master and worked there as well for many years.

One day, his master came to him and requested, “Bring me a sweet pomegranate.” Mubaarak (rahimahullah) went to one of the trees in the orchard and returned with a pomegranate. However, when the master split it open and tasted it, he found it to be sour. He thus became angry and rebuked Mubaarak (rahimahullah) saying, “I asked you for a sweet pomegranate, yet you brought me one that is sour? Bring me a sweet one!”

Mubaarak (rahimahullah) thus went to a second tree and cut a pomegranate. On this occasion too, however, the fruit was sour, and his master’s anger now increased. He thus sent him to bring a third pomegranate, but even the third was sour!

The master scolded Mubaarak (rahimahullah) and said, “Do you not even know how to tell a sweet pomegranate from a sour one?” Mubaarak (rahimahullah) responded, “No.” His master (was utterly surprised and) asked, “How is it that you cannot tell them apart?” Mubaarak (rahimahullah) answered, “The reason is that I have never eaten a pomegranate before so that I will know what a sweet pomegranate looks like.” The master asked, “Why have you never eaten a pomegranate before?” Mubaarak (rahimahullah) replied, “I never ate a pomegranate because you did not give me permission to eat from your orchard.”

The master (was astonished and) investigated the claim of Mubaarak (rahimahullah), finding that it was true! Throughout his years in the orchard, he had never once eaten a pomegranate! Seeing the honesty of Mubaarak (rahimahullah), the master immediately developed great respect for him, even marrying his daughter to him. It was through this union that the eminent Imaam, Faqeeh and Muhaddith, ‘Abdullah bin Mubaarak (rahimahullah), was born. Apparently, he was the culmination of his father’s honesty and piety.

(Wafayaatul Aa’yaan vol. 3, pg. 32)

Lessons:

1. Throughout the lengthy period that Mubaarak (rahimahullah) had worked in the orchard, he had countless opportunities to taste the fruit without his master knowing. However, he possessed the qualities of honesty and truthfulness due to which he never once tasted a single pomegranate. The result of this taqwa and piety was that apart from receiving great rewards from Allah Ta‘ala, he also benefited in this world through marrying the daughter of his master.

2. When a person leads a life of piety, then the effects of his piety are sometimes enjoyed by his progeny as well. At times, it may in the form of pious offspring, or it may be in the form of barakah, etc.

3. When selecting a marriage partner, although it is permissible to take the factors of beauty, wealth, reputation, etc. into consideration, these aspects should not be the main basis for the decision. In other words, we should never compromise on the aspect of Deen and piety. When a person is blessed with the quality of piety, then they possess good character which makes living with such a person and making a home with them a happy, pleasant experience. Furthermore, they will assist in the preparations for Jannah. 

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