How Bitter Fruits Taste Sweet
There was once a famous ruler called Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni & he had a devoted & wise slave called Ayaz. Sultan Mahmud loved Ayaz greatly & promoted him to the highest ranks.
One day Mahmud & Ayaz were sitting together eating lunch. The Sultan shared half of his cucumber with him & Ayaz ate it with relish.
When Ayaz had finished, Mahmud took a bite of his own half. But when Mahmud bit into the cucumber, he immediately spat it out, as it was terribly bitter. Glaring at Ayaz he demanded to know how he could have eaten his piece when it tasted like poison.
Ayaz answered, “My dear King, I have enjoyed so many favours & blessings from u all these years; whatever u give me tastes sweet!”
Ayaz didn’t mind the bitterness of the fruit because his focus was on the one who gave it to him – it was given to him by the king himself. Would he complain after all the favours he had enjoyed?
This is the kind of relationship we need to cultivate with the King of kings, اللَّهُ Subhana Ta’ala). Today we find some commandments of اللَّهُ Subhana Ta’ala bitter & hard to follow. However, we should obey them with love & pleasure because they are all gifts to us from the Most Merciful. While a bitter cucumber might actually do u some harm, nothing from اللَّهُ Subhana Ta’ala is harmful. Every single thing is of benefit & brings immense pleasure when done for the sake of اللّه.
The Messenger of اللَّهُ (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If a man were to be dragged on his face from the day he was born until the day he died in order to gain the Pleasure of اللَّهُ- the Exalted, he would not consider this to be enough on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Jaami as-Sagheer)
On the Day of Judgement the life of this world will seem to have passed away in seconds while the reward for a life well used will be so phenomenal that whatever one suffered to gain the reward from اللَّهُ Subhana Ta’ala will seem insignificant.