“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)
The Good Plant
Generally speaking, when a plant is not being looked after, it will eventually dry up and die, which explains why the salves (of Allah) are in great need of acts of worship that He Commanded them to perform in the day and at night. It is from His Mercy, His Benignity and Grace upon His slaves and He Legislated such acts of worship, which are the water that irrigates the plants of Tawhid that He placed within our hearts. It is also common for alien and harmful plants to mix within the beneficial crop. Thus, when the one in charge of these crops tends to look after them regularly and purifies them of these intruders, they will grow healthy and yield large and beneficial harvest. However, when the person in charge of these crops becomes neglectful, they will be overtaken by weeds and harmful plants and as a result, the crops will be impared, and the fruits will be damaged. Those who lack clear understanding and knowledge of these matters will miss many profitable gains without even realising it. That said, the believer is always pruning and watering this plant so that it is everlasting, and he uproots all other harmful plants and weeds from its surroundings to assure its healthy growth. And in Allah we place our trust.
These are just some of the secrets and wisdom contained within this magnificent example, which may be just a drop in the ocean as we comprehend but a little from the secrets of Allah due to our state of mind, weak hearts, deficient knowledge and deeds that necessitate the seeking of forgiveness. For indeed, if our hearts were purified, our minds were clear, our souls were in order and our deeds were performed with sincerity and devotion, we would have derived many remarkable meanings and wisdom from the Words of Allah; wisdom that overshadows all other intellects. This comparison illustrates for us the elevated and blessed level of knowledge and understanding of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, because the difference between their knowledge and understanding and that of the people who came after them is as vast as the difference between their virtue and that of the people who came after – and Allah knows best, the places to which He allocates His Grace and to whom He favours with His Mercy.
Paragons of the Qur’an by Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah Pages 79-80