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  • 4/23/2008

The King Who Was Lost In the Jungle


One day, a powerful king of a nation had a dream. In that dream, he was riding a horse and roaming through the countryside. He noticed in his dream that he had strayed farther until he had become lost in a dense jungle. He stopped his horse to make some sense of the direction from which he had come and was trying hard to locate his way back to his palace. Suddenly, he noticed, a ferocious tiger coming towards him. In order to save his life, he leapt from the horse quickly on a branch hanging above his head and decided to take refuge in the shelter of the tree, and sat on the branch.

The tiger had noticed all this and the animal came to the same tree and sat comfortably beneath the tree waiting for his prey to come down. The tiger knew that it had more patience than the human being on the tree and it would only be a matter of time before the king would try to escape from him. At that time, the animal decided that he would kill that man and make a meal out of him. On seeing that the tiger had settled down for a long wait, the king decided to test the branch on which he was sitting to make sure that it was strong enough to bear his weight. But, as he looked along its length, he was filled with fear, for he saw two mice - one white and the other black - were gnawing merrily away at the end of the branch - which he was sitting - where it joined the tree.


Filled with terror the king looked below him to see where he would fall when the branch gave way, and whether the ground below was hard or soft. But here, he was met with another terrifying sight for there was a huge python waiting for him with its jaws wide open, looking at him eagerly waiting for him to fall. The king trembled with fright because he was now in a desperate situation.

As he clung to the branch, his mind raced with different possibilities about what he should do in order to save his life. Suddenly, he not noticed that there was a honeycomb filled with honey above his head and it was dripping drops of honey just in front of him where he sat on the branch of the tree. He stretched out his tongue to catch the falling drops of honey for he was both hungry and thirsty from the long ride, and as he did so, the honey had an amazing effect on him. It was delicious, sweet, and refreshing that he soon became completely unmindful of the dangers that threatened him from every side. The tiger, the mice and the python, were all forgotten as he became more and more enchanted with the taste of the marvelous honey.

In a short time, of course, the mice gnawed through the branch of the tree, and he fell to the ground, and the tiger killed the king, and he died with a happy smile on his face, and the python devoured what was left of him.

The king woke up from his dream, his body drenched in cold sweat. The same day, he narrated his dream in his court and asked the learned men of his kingdom to tell him about the interpretation of his dream. The learned men of his court were as puzzled as the king about his dream and try as they may, they could not come up with a satisfactory explanation to the dream the king had witnessed on the previous night.

At last, a learned man, who was knowledgeable about the Holy Quran and Traditions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stepped forth and sought permission from the king to offer an explanation. The king without wasting a moment granted him the permission, as he was also curious to find a satisfactory explanation to his dream.


The learned man addressed the king and the court: “Know O’ king that the tree which you had climbed for safety symbolizes this world, the dense and the dark material universe.

The tiger represents death, and the python represents the punishment in the hellfire in the Hereafter which comes to every wicked person on this earth. And, the two mice are day and night, which most certainly shorten the span of a man’s life. The honey symbolizes the world with its fleeting pleasures, in which we become so completely absorbed that we forget even death without discovering the true purpose of our life.”

The king was astonished by this reasonable interpretation of his dream, he asked the old man about how he had come to the conclusion that his dream exactly signified what he had interpreted for him. At this, the learned old man told the king that he had dared to attempt the interpretation of the dream on a verse from the Holy Quran, which reads: “Know that the life of the world is but play, and diversion and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in wealth and children: as the likeness of vegetation after rain the growth whereof dumbfounds the sowers; then it dries up and thou sees it yellowing then it will be scattered. And, in the Hereafter is a grievous punishment, and forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of this world is naught but the stuff of illusion.” (Holy Quran 57:7) The explanation convinced the king. He resolved that he would not waste his life in the pursuit of worldly pleasures, but would strive hard to lead a righteous life and govern his kingdom properly, seeking only the pleasure of Allah in all his actions, and devoted the rest of his life to walk on the path of Allah working towards the welfare of his subjects and helping the needy and the poor with his charity.

other links:

The Cage Bird's Escape

Challenges Keeps us Fresh

Noah's Ark

The Little Tree That Longed For Other Leaves

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