Author: Sameera Hijazi

At the heart of Dar-us-Salaam, amidst the daily hustle and bustle of teachers and students, lies the peaceful, quiet courtyard which houses two beautiful fig trees. While their presence there is quite well-known, the story behind how the fig trees came to be a part of Dar-us-Salaam’s history and mission is a mystery to many.

The Seedling

Over a decade ago, Brother Mario Ahmad (May Allah have Mercy on his soul), along with the help of a few community members and their children, decided to plant some fig trees in the courtyard of Al-Huda School as an act of charity. Few people know of the happenings of that day, and even fewer know of the reasons why Brother Mario decided to plant the fig trees there or where he got them from. “He liked to do things without people knowing,” said his wife Sister Aminah Ahmad, speaking highly of his character. “He embodied the Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) about the person who practices charity so secretly that his left-hand does not know what his right hand has given (Sahih Al-Bukhari).”

Whether Brother Mario had intentionally bought the fig trees for Dar-us-Salaam, and chosen them because figs are a blessed fruit mentioned in Surah At-Tin, or if he had some extra fig trees that he wanted to donate is something only Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala would know. What remains for us to see is the fruits of his labor and the barakah that Allah has bestowed upon Dar-us-Salaam as a result.

The Fruits of A Blessed Sadaqah

“Every year, we harvest the figs for the community members to eat,” said Sister Yasmeen Santrisi, a parent of Al-Huda School. “They are the best-tasting figs I’ve ever had!” exclaimed Sister Aminah. “I never liked figs from the store, but the ones from the tree taste so much better.” 

The community has become very attached to the fig trees. “Once we trimmed the fig trees and people thought we were removing them and they became very upset,” recalled Sister Samira Hingoro of iMuslimah, the Dar-us-Salaam sisters’ department in charge of landscaping and beautification. The love for these trees among the Dar-us-Salaam community is undeniable, and is hopefully a sign of the barakah of an accepted charity done for the sake of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala. There is a powerful lesson for all of us in that. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala mentions in the Quran that He “makes charity fruitful,” meaning that Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala will always increase charity made for His sake and make the results of it bountiful (Surah Al-Baqarah, 276).

An Act of Charity- Never Too Small

What started as a small action has, InshaAllah, become a Sadaqah Jariyah for Brother Mario even after his death. We pray that all those who aided in planting and taking care of the trees to this day are rewarded too! The fig trees stand tall as a reminder of all Dar-us-Salaam encompasses: unity as an ummah and the striving for success in this life and the next. We ask Allah to accept Br. Mario’s act of charity, and to reward our community for all the good they do.