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Read The Story (Find Suitable Word Meanings in The Vocabulary List)

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There was a little boy in Madina who was a good boy, except for one very bad habit. He used to throw stones at trees, and what is more, he enjoyed doing it.

One day, the boy went into an oasis that lay outside Madinah. He found date trees growing in the cool, shady oasis and as soon as he saw them, he picked up some stones and started throwing them. The stones hit the palm trees and the dates fell down into the sand. After a while, the boy stopped throwing stones, and started doing something else he enjoyed very much: that was eating the dates which he had knocked down from the trees.

The dates tasted delicious and the boy ate them all, giving no thought at all to the damage he might have caused the trees. He did not think, either, about the owners of the trees. They became very angry when they found out what the boy had done. The owners of the trees knew that the boy would come back to the oasis to throw more stones and eat more dates as they fell to the ground. So, they lay in wait for him.

Sure enough, the boy arrived, threw stones at the trees and then gathered up the dates that had fallen down. The owners of the trees rushed out and before the boy could get away, they grabbed him. The boy was very frightened and alarmed, but however hard he struggled and however loudly he yelled, he could not escape from the grasp of the men who had caught him.

The men took the boy to the Holy Prophet [s] and told him what the boy had done. The boy stood before the Prophet [s] feeling very frightened. He was certain the Prophet [s] would be angry with him. But the Prophet [s] spoke to him in a quiet, soft voice that had no anger in it.

Why do you throw stones at the trees?” the Prophet [s] wanted to know.

“To get dates to eat,” the boy replied. “If I don’t make dates fall from the trees, how am I going to get them?”

This reply showed that the boy was only a child who did not understand a great deal, and had a lot to learn in life. The Prophet [s] realised this at once. He realised too, that the boy had not been wicked, but just foolish.

So, the Prophet [s] patted the boy on the head to calm his fears and spoke kindly to him.

Don’t throw stones at the trees!” he said to the boy. “For if the trees are damaged, they will not bring forth new fruit. Eat of the dates that have already fallen to the ground.”

Then, the Prophet [s] blessed the boy and prayed that he would soon gain wisdom and be more sensible in the future.

The boy learned a great lesson that day. He learned that in order to get dates, he did not have to damage the trees: the trees would give him their dates by letting them fall to the ground on their own, when they were ripe. So the boy went away much wiser than before. He was also much happier, because he had seen how the Prophet [s] loved him, as he loved and was kind to all children.

Vocabulary

Oasis

Delicious

Damage

Lay-in-Wait

Gather

Alarmed

Struggle

Yell

Escape

Grasp

Realise

Foolish

Pat

Calm

Wisdom

Sensible