“Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches (high) in the sky? Producing its fruit all the time by the permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded.” (Surah Ibrahim:24-25)
Reviving Iman (Faith)
Within this example we find secrets, knowledge and cognition that conform to the Wisdom and Knowledge of Allah. For example, since a tree must have roots, a trunk, sapwood, branches, leaves and fruit – the tree of man and Islam must have similar elements so that the likened is exactly what it is likened to. The sapwood is knowledge, understanding and certainty, its trunk is sincerity, its branches are deeds; and the fruits are guidance, good manners and a good character. Knowing how firm and well established this goodly tree is in the heart, can be noted through these elements.
When a person’s knowledge is sound and based upon the Qur’an, his belief matched what Allah and His Messengers informed us about Him; his heart is sincere and his actions conform to the Commandments of Allah – his manner and characteristics conform to these fundamentals. It becomes evident that the roots of the tree of man in is heart are firmly fixed with its branches reaching up to the sky. On the other hand, in the case that is opposite to the aforementioned example, one will realise that it is an evil tree that has been planted in the heart. A tree that is without stability, uprooted from the earth, and deprived of water and such trees as we know, cannot survive and will eventually dry up and perish.
This is the clear example of the tree of Islam within the heart of a believer. It must regularly be watered with good and beneficial deeds, and it must be protected and strengthened by accustoming it to the remembrance of Allah, and contemplation upon His Book; otherwise it may become dry and lifeless. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said, “Iman in the heart is torn as a garment is torn, so revive your man.”
Paragons of the Qur’an by Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah Pages 78-79