Continuous Charity – Planting a tree

Feb 14th 2023

Today, with the homeschoolers, I participated in a tree planting activity. First we purchased a variety of saplings from the Mina Plant Nursery. Our teacher, Mr. Mike Metzer suggested picking trees that can survive in the hot, dry climate of Abu Dhabi so we chose: Ghaf, Sidr and Moringa. Then, we drove to a planting plot between some shops in the downtown area. Mr. Metzer explained how to dig, line and plant the saplings. First we had to dig a deep, wide hole. This was tougher than expected. The soil was very hard and there were lots of rocks. At one point I had to start using my hands because there were too many rocks. Once dug, we lined the base of the hole with clay. Clay serves as a nutrient booster for the sapling. Then, we tapped the bottom of the plant casing and gently eased the sapling into the hole. The empty sides were carefully packed with dirt, so the roots don’t get any air. Air bubbles will kill the roots. Finally, we built a boundary wall encircling the sapling and watered the plant. Done!

Planting a tree was a lot harder than I expected. I have planted other things before like watermelon and carrots but planting a tree requires more physical labour. But it’s worth it. Trees are being cut down at a much faster rate than they are being planted. It takes 2 hours to clear an acre of forest but it takes decades for saplings to mature and build up an ecosystem. In Islam, planting a tree is considered a Sadaqah Jariah, a charity that continues to provide blessings beyond your death. Trees shade people and provide food for wildlife. I pray my tree will prosper and nurture both humans and animals.

Zainab Farid age 12

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