The Green Leaf and The Juicy Grape
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullah' alayh) has mentioned a story in his Mathnavi Sharif of a worm that was told: “You will find a delicious, juicy grape on the grapevine.”
Hearing this, the worm began its journey up the grapevine. It soon came across a green leaf and thinking it to be the delicious grape; it whiled away its entire life eating off that leaf until it made its ‘Qabr' (grave) on that same green leaf.
Had the worm gone just a little further, it would have come across the delicious grape and enjoyed its sweetness. It would not have spent all its life on a green leaf.
The anecdote illustrates our similarity with that worm.
Like that worm which landed on the green leaf, many have landed in front of some filthy television programmes, or landed in Interest transactions -enriching themselves with Haram; or landed in fraud and theft, illicit relationships, or in some casinos and rave clubs. Some are even engaged in homosexuality, indecent and obscene novels and magazines, some porn websites on the Internet, or Haram video games, and a multitude of other sins and illusions – and they ignorantly think that this is the sweet grape.
These were the leaves before the juicy grape or the thorns before the petals of the fragrant rose flower.
They had set out for the juicy grape of Iman but have been trapped by Shatyan and Nafs in Haram pleasures, which they whiled away and wasted the very precious time of life.
There are just two steps to take to taste this delicious grape. The first step is on the Nafs, and the second step is on Shaytan. With these two steps, we will enjoy such sweetness of Iman, that we would never want to return to the temporary and sinful pleasures of this world.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah ‘alayh) had said that, in reality, the step is just one, and that step is the suppression of the evil desires of the Nafs. Shaytan became Shaytan because of his nafs.
It will not be denied that there is some temporary enjoyment in consenting to the evil demands of the nafs. However, ‘pleasure', which is so short-lived, should be weighed against the anguish and punishment that awaits one in the Hereafter for having earned the displeasure and wrath of Allah Ta'ala.
This punishment is not reserved for only the Hereafter. It descends and pursues a person, even in this world, in the form of restlessness, anxiety, fear, humiliation, disgrace, etc. and sometimes, everlasting regret.
Hazrat Maulana Hakim Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Damat Barakatuhu) states in his poetry:
“Agreed, there is a little stolen pleasure in sin,
But what great rebellion is this against the Sustainer
(Allah Ta'ala, and that you use His bounties to disobey Him)
A little while of pleasure and everlasting regret;
What stupidity it is to bury the Janazah of respect and honour.”
Even though opposing the dictates of our evil Nafs may incur some difficulty in this life, the consequence in the Hereafter is an eternal pleasure. In this world as well, the person enjoys tranquillity and satisfaction.
And when there are so many forms of Halal (lawful) pleasures that one could enjoy, why foolishly go toward Haram?
 Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (rahmatullah' alayh) was a great ‘Aalim, Shaykh and Sufi who compiled a masterpiece on Tasawwuf entitled ‘The Mathnavi'.
 Shaytan: Satan / the Devil
 Nafs: The Soul
 Haram: Unlawful/forbidden according to Shariah