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Planting Tree is an Act of Charity


Rabia Salim

On December 11th, ladies of one chapter of the UK’s Ahmadiyya Muslim women’s auxiliary decided to partake in a National tree planing activity. Their destination was Ensfield. It was a surprisingly mild day and spirits in the car were high. A hearty breakfast was a must. One sister packed us fried leavened bread (paratha) with omelet, and a hearty chicken wrap, fruits, water, and rich and sugary cardamom tea (karak chai) for lunch.  The day had a higher purpose for us all.  Society is facing no end to challenges and unrest,  The pandemic has highlighted difficult times for some struggling families.  This day represented a day of hope, and optimism for the community.  

The National Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Auxiliary has pledged to plant 100,000 trees to mark our centenary, as it’s been 100 years since this auxiliary has been established in the United Kingdom. Tree planting is a demonstration of our love of serving humanity, and practising the peaceful teachings of Islam. Islam teaches us that tree planting is a charitable and noble act.  The Holy Prophet  (sa) said,  “anyone who plants a tree and waits patiently for it till it bears fruits, that will be on his behalf an act of a charity whenever anything benefits from this tree.” 

Therefore this led to our involvement in tree planting with local councils.  Guildford chapter has also planned which I was fortunate to be a part of.  I looked forward to each one with anticipation, and not just the tea.  

Our next trip was on 21st January, in Nicholson Park, Bracknell.  8 ladies were present, and the youngest member, a lovely 2 year old, Ayesha also joined us.  It was a cold day, and this was felt by her, as she retreated to the car with her mum after an hour of dedication.  The rest of us who remained kept working, planting trees at the foot of a hill in the park. The result of our labor was around 430 trees.  One of the senior members who had physical issues insisted on doing at least a handful so she could take part in this noble cause. Following the planting, we enjoyed a delicious picnic consisting of sandwiches, fruit, and of course, tea, brought from home by our members.  To add to this was Indian sweets by one local friend of the Bracknell council, and vegan hot chocolate that was provided by a local bespoke cafe owner.  The warmth of friendship and the hot drinks were felt by all.  

Personally, I felt a positive effect on my health from these few hours in nature, and can testify to sound and peaceful sleep that night.  Our next expedition a few weeks later took us in the fringes of a green belt in an area that needed more trees to help prevent rainfall erosion.  A lovely independent volunteer had the saplings and showed us the ropes.  Each event had so far brought us to various terrain and this location was by far the most natural landscape.  One of the members who had an arthritic knee paired up with me and inspired me with her determination. As we worked, cyclists passed us on the scenic path.  The total trees planted by everyone was another few hundred.  

In March, we were at Frimley Park to plant a hedge around the perimeter.  7 ladies were present as well as our youngest recruit, 2 year old Ayesha.  We joined the director of tree planting in Surrey, Councillor of Camberley, some local Frimley people, and the female Mayor, who with all her philanthropic projects, was a delight to meet.  This was speedy work, and in 90 minutes, the group had completed the hedges.  Our ladies did 280, and the total was an amazing 900 native saplings.   We did a lot of steps, and burned up quite a lot of calories!  

In the beginning of the year, it seemed that it would be difficult for our UK Ahmadiyya ladies to reach 100,000 trees, but now it feels that this mark could be achieved and even surpassed. I feel honored that I can visit all of the sites we did tree planting with my family in the future, and see beautiful forests there.  I highly recommend this enjoyable activity to all!

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