(266) أَيَوَدُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَن تَكُونَ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَأَعْنَابٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَارُ لَهُ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَأَصَابَهُ الْكِبَرُ وَلَهُ ذُرِّيَّةٌ ضُعَفَاء فَأَصَابَهَا إِعْصَارٌ فِيهِ نَارٌ فَاحْتَرَقَتْ كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ
266. "Would any of you like that there should be for him a garden of date palms and vines beneath which rivers flow with all kinds of fruit for him therein, while he is striken with old age, and he has feeble offspring, then a whirlwind with fire in it strikes and it gets burnt up? Thus Allah makes the signs clear to you, so that you may ponder."
In this verse, the Qur'an expresses another interesting similitude to make manifest that how seriously man is in need of righteous deeds on the Judgement Day, and how hypocrisy, reproach and injury ruin the charities and good deeds of man.
This similitude illustrates the view of an old man who possesses a green, fresh and delightful garden with various trees such as date-palms, vines, etc. which are watered continuously and do not need to be irrigated. There are some lazy, careless and weak children around him whose means of earning life is the very garden. If this garden vanishes neither the old father nor the feeble children are able to reestablish it.
It happens that suddenly a fiery hurricane blows upon it and burns it totally dry. How does this old man feel when he has lost the strength of his youth, and who cannot earn his living from any other ways, while his children are feable, too ? And, what a deadly regret and grief may rush over him ?
The condition of a person who does a righteous work and then ruins it by hypocrisy, reproach, and injury is similar to such an old man who has tolerated many tasks, but when he is in dire need of the fruit of his efforts, all of them as a whole vanishes and leaves him alone with his grieves and regrets.
In view of the fact that the source of all misfortunes, especially the foolish act of reproach, whose benefit is a little but the loss of it is soon and great, originates from the application of no wisdom, then, at the end of the verse, Allah invites people to contemplation and pondering. It says: