Poetry & Fiction

The Story of A Farmer and His Watermelon

By Zabrina A. Bakar


I was reading the newspaper today about a man who was charged for lying in the court. Despite the vow to ‘say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ he still gave wrong information in the court. Of course, it just took a few days before the real truth was revealed and he was charged accordingly.Perhaps he never heard of what Elvis Presley had once said,Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.As I thought about this man’s behaviour- his lies, I began to ponder. Despite making such oath, he had no qualms in violating it. Clearly it was just a lip service.I wondered what was on his mind at that very moment when he made that promise. Why would someone who swear to tell the truth went against his very own words just seconds later? Didn’t that promise mean anything to him? When he verbalized the promise, was he smiling inside, plotting the lie already? Didn’t he think that he will be found out one day? What about the impact of his lies to others? Especially to the victims and the innocents? Didn’t he think about that?Whatever the real reason that made that man told the lie, only Allaah knows. Perhaps he was desperately in need to lie in order to save someone else, perhaps to protect others, to avoid shame, perhaps to run away from punishment. Who knows, right?But you know what? Those excuses are not even valid excuses. Our Prophet SAW had said that we can’t even fib or tell a lie even when we are joking.In fact, telling the truth is so significant in our lives that if we are able to do it, guess what is the reward awaits us?Our beloved Prophet SAW has given us an antidote to help us from telling what are untrue even if it’s a joke! He (SAW) has said that…I guarantee a house in the middle of Paradise for the one who leaves off lying even if it be in jest. (at-Tirmidhî on the authority of Abû Umâmah)Something amazing had struck me in this hadeeth. Do you want to know which one? Well, the word middle. Yup, that word. Prophet SAW said if we leave the habit or act of lying, he would guarantee us a house in the middle of the Paradise? SubhanAllaah.My question is why middle? How significant is that, right? And why is it significant?Well, if we look at today’s property market, any property in the middle of a city is usually the best, and not to mention- usually is the most expensive one!Well, let us reflect on this. Offices in the middle of New York city, apartments in the centre of London, condominiums in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, hotels in the central Paris and land plots in centre of Tokyo – what do they have in common? That’s it. You got it. The most expensive rent slapped on each and every door there!Prophet (peace be upon him) had definitely used a comparison we can understand.So, MashaAllaah, an absolutely magnificent reward by just withholding from telling a lie and come out with the truth. Truly…I remembered a Moroccan proverb that says…

Love truth even if it harms you, and hate lies even if they serve you

SubhanAllaah, isn’t that an excellent suggestion?My dad once told me that if a person lies, he has to remember everything that he has lied about. When a liar is being asked to repeat what he said 3 days ago, there is a possibility that he will contradict or change some of what he had said, unless he could remember exactly what was being said earlier. Changes to his story would become more apparent as time goes by. It seems that when we lie, our brain could easily get confused of what was said or not said before.No wonder our beloved Prophet SAW has advised us this…‘Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt, for truthfulness is certainty and tranquility, whilst lying is doubt and confusion.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 2520; al-Nisaa’i, 8/327; and Ahmad, 1/200)SubhanAllaah. Lying is doubt and confusion… So, my dad was right after all. No wonder that man was caught. He couldn’t make his statements consistent. He got confused!Let me share with you a story of a farmer and his watermelon…There was a farmer who grew watermelons. He was doing pretty well, but he was disturbed by some local kids who would sneak into his watermelon patch at night and eat his watermelons. After some careful thought, he came up with a clever idea that he thought would scare the kids away for sure.He made up a sign and posted it in the field. The next day, the kids showed up and they saw the sign which reads, “Warning! One of the watermelons in this field has been injected with cyanide.”The kids ran off, made up their own sign and posted it next to the farmer’s sign. When the farmer returned, he surveyed the field. He noticed that no watermelons were missing, but the sign next to his reads, “Now there are two!”Yikes! I know…Indeed, our beloved Prophet SAW was right. For truthfulness is certainty and tranquility, whilst lying is doubt and confusion.And confused, will the farmer be…I asked myself- Do I ever want to be the farmer? Wondering which two of my watermelons are contaminated? Goodness, I would definitely have countless of sleepless night crying over all the melons I have to throw away! Not to mention the regrets I would have. Na’udhubillaah.Realizing this, I am determined to get my act together. I shall strive for my Jannah by being truthful. After all, there is a great reward attached to it, don’t you agree?Well, since having a property in the middle of Paris is a far-fetched reality for me at this moment, I would strive for something better, something that I could do now. My own property in the middle of His Paradise! InshaAllaah.What about you my friends? Fancy a property that would last for eternity? Let us do this together. Every single time we feel like telling a fib as our way out of something, remember of the guarantee Prophet (peace be upon him) had given us, a home in the middle of Jannah.And if having property doesn’t excite us, perhaps remembering the farmer and his watermelon would… ☺


Copyright (c) Sis Zabrina 2008Sis Zabrina also known as Zabrina A. Bakar, is a Life Storyteller, motivational writer and speaker; and author of Islamic motivational book Life is an Open Secret which contains 18 inspirational stories from ordinary life experiences. She passionately writes about life daily happenings, viewed and analyzed from unique perspective, blended with the Qur’anic verses and Hadeeth of the Prophet SAW for solutions to illustrate the easiness, simplicity, relevancy and completeness of Islam to today’s world. Her works are published in various countries across the Muslim world. She maintains an active blog at

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  • As Salaam ‘alaikum,

    Jazaakillahu khairan for that excellent post. I must say I never contemplated as to why the Prophet (SAW) mentioned “The middle” of paradise. That was very insightful.

    A well deserved thanks to akhoona Suhaib for sharing.

    Baaraka Allahu feekum

  • Bismillaah

    Wa ‘alaykum salaam Brother Navaid Aziz,

    Wa eyyaki, inshaAllaah. Yes, when i read the hadeeth the first time, i really pondered- why middle?

    I visited your website, and mashaAllaah, it has so much resources. Felt like a little girl in a candy store.

    And yes, JazakAllaah khayran to Imam Suhaib for opening up opportunities for writers to share their thoughts. It is indeed a pleasure to be able to share my stories here..

    Sis Zabrina

  • subhanAllah! jezakiAllahu khayrin! One thing Imam Alaudin Elbakri said in a lecture once was, “Are you ready to live for eternity?” And he made us really think about that: are you really ready to live for ETERNITY?

    and if you are, then wouldn’t you want to live an eternity of joy…versus that of pain? we seek Allah’s protection and refuge!

    and also brothers and sisters i ask you to please make duaa for my distant relative who passed away yesterday, for his ‘afiya and maghfira, and for his daughter [who is in seventh grade] and wife to come so close to Allah ‘Azza wa Jal through this difficulty and stay firm upon the Qur’an and sunnah and die upon it.

  • Bismillaah

    As Salaamu ‘alaykum and peace to all,

    Sister Maryam, my prayers are for your late uncle that He bless his soul with the Mu’mineen and for his family, may Allaah give them strength to face such heavy trial in their life.

    Sis Zabrina
    ~ Life Storyteller~

  • Bismillah

    As Salaamu ‘alaykum and peace to all,

    Sis Sara, Ameeen to your prayers! Yes, i love to do that too, imaging things that i would have in my future, both here and there!

    Sis Zabrina
    ~ Life Storyteller~

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