Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) said the year is a tree, the months are its branches, the days are its twigs, the hours are its leaves and every breath man takes is a fruit of the tree. Thus the fruit of the trees of a person who breathes in obedience to Allah (s.w.t.) will be sweet and the fruit of the tree of a person who breathes in disobedience to Allah (s.w.t.) will be bitter. However, the fruit of this tree will only be harvested on the Day of Ma’ad and the sweet fruit will only be differentiated from the bitter fruit when it will be harvested.
Ikhlas and tawhid are a tree in the heart of the mu’min. The branches of this tree are good actions and its fruits are a pleasant life in the world and never-ending comfort in the Hereafter and just as the fruit of Jannah will never come to an end nor will it be held back, the same can be said regarding the fruits of ikhlas and tawhid in the dunya.
Shirk, lies and riya’ are also a tree in the heart. The worldly fruits of the tree are fear, worry, sorrow, narrowness of the heart and darkness of the heart. In the Hereafter the fruits of this tree will be Zaqqum and everlasting punishment.
These two trees have been mentioned by Allah (s.w.t.) in the following ayat of Qur’an:
Seest thou not how Allah Sets Forth a parable? – a goodly Word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens – It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord. So Allah Sets Forth parables for men, in order that they may receive admonition. And the parable of an evil Word is that of an evil tree. It is torn up by the root from the surface of the earth: it has no stability. (Surah Ibrahim:24-26)