There was a country long time ago where the people would change their king every year.
The person who would become the king had to agree to a contract whereby he will be sent to an island after his one year of being a king. So, each year the king would finish his term and it was time for him to go to the island and live there.
The people dressed him up in expensive clothes and put him on an elephant and took him around the cities to say goodbye to all the people.
This was the moment of sadness for all the kings who have ruled there for one year. After saying goodbye, the guards took the king with a boat to the remote island and left him there.
One year, on their way back, the guards discovered a ship that had sunk just recently. They saw a young man who survived by holding on to a floating piece of wood. As they needed a new king, they picked up the young man and took him to their country. They requested him to be their king for a year.
At first he refused but later he agreed to be their king. The country’s ministers then told him about all the rules and regulations and that how he will be sent to an island after one year.
After three days of being a king, he asked the ministers if they could show him the island where all the other kings were sent. They agreed and took him to the island. The island was covered with a thick jungle and sounds of vicious animals were heard coming out of it. The new king ventured a little to see how it was and discovered the dead bodies of all the past kings. He understood that as soon as they were left on the island, the animals came and killed them.
The young new king then went back to the country and requested the people to provide him with one hundred strong workers.
When he was provided with the hundred workers, he took them to the island and told them to remove all the deadly animals and to cut down all the trees. He would visit the island every month to see how the work is progressing.
In the first month, all the animals were removed and many trees were cut down. In the second month, the whole island was cleaned out. The king then told the workers to plant gardens in various parts of the island. He also took with himself useful animals like chickens, ducks, birds, goats, cows etc.
In the third month, he ordered the workers to build big houses and docking stations for ships. Over the months, the island turned into a beautiful place.
The young king would wear simple clothes and spend very little from his earnings. He sent all the earnings to the island for storage.
Nine months have passed like this. The king gathered all the people and told them that “I know that I have to go the island after one year, but I would like to go there right now.” But the people didn’t agree to this and said that he has to wait for another 3 months to complete the year.
Three months passed and now it was a full year. The people dressed up the young king and put him on an elephant to take him around the country to say goodbye to others. However, this king is unusually happy to leave the kingdom. Many people asked him, “All the other kings would cry at this moment and why are you laughing and smiling?”
He replied, “Don’t you know what the wise people would say? They say that when you came into this world as a baby, you were crying and everyone was smiling. Live such a life that when you are dying, you will be smiling and everyone around you will be crying. I have lived that life. While all the other kings were lost into the luxuries of the kingdom, I have always thought about the future and planned for it. I turned the deadly island into a beautiful abode for me where I can stay peacefullly.”
” (I have shared) with you a story which shows the clever decision of a youth on how to live this life. This story is only an example.
We should take a lesson from this story about how we should also live our life. The life of this world is to prepare for the life hereafter. In this life, we shouldn’t get lost into the beautiful things of this world and forget about what is to come in the afterlife. Rather, even if we are kings, we should live a simple life like our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW*) and save all our enjoyments for the hereafter. May Allah make it easy for us all.”
[Sheikh Reda Bedeir]