Shaykh Maseehullah rahmatullahi alayh relates,
‘Once a king had a dream wherein he observed a very large tray containing many varieties, shapes and sizes of flowers. Suddenly a knife appeared from above and cut these flowers; it would cut both large and small flowers.
At this point the king awoke and began to ponder upon the meaning of this strange dream. He related it to his Court Mu’abbirs (interpreters) but they all dismissed it as a product of the mind’s imagination. Unconvinced and worried, the king ordered that no cooking would take place in the kingdom until this dream is interpreted!
Coincidentally, a soldier returned home on leave... and asked for food. His mother replied,
‘Dear, there has been no food cooked for three days, it is the king’s command. Police patrols are going around, any sign of cooking smoke and instant arrest!’
Her son replied,
‘Well I do not care what great dream the king is supposed to have seen, I am famished, please cook a meal for me, if the smoke gets noticed and the king summons me we shall take it from there.’
Accordingly, the mother lit her stove and began cooking. Noticing smoke arising from chimney, the Royal spies arrived and arrested the soldier and took him into the kings presence who asked, ‘Why this disobedience?’ The soldier replied, ‘I am starving... anyway please relate your dream.’ The king described his dream. ‘Allow me to eat and three days grace...if by then I do not bring an interpretation you may kill me,’ commented the soldier. The king agreed.
After having eaten, the soldier mounted his horse and roamed from city to city, town to town in trying to find an interpretation...but to no avail.
Fatigued, he stopped at a small hamlet to request a drink of water from a young maiden spinning cloth in her porch way. The pious purdah nasheen lady brought a pitcher of water and left it by the gateway. Puzzled, the soldier dismounted and drank the water. Then he asked, ‘Madam you appear to be alone, where is your mother?’ The young lady answered from inside her porch way,
‘My mother has gone to deliver two from one!’
Dumbfounded, the soldier thought,
‘O heck! As if one dream to interpret wasn't bad enough...what does she mean by delivering two from one?’
Thereafter he asked, ‘Well, where is your father?’
The young lady replied, ‘My father has gone to enjoin clay with clay.’
Just then the father appeared and the soldier commented,
‘Your daughter is amazing, I asked her two simple questions and she gave such strange replies!’
Father: ‘What did she say?’
Soldier: ‘Well, first I asked her for a drink of water and she left some at the gateway.’
Father: ‘My daughter is purdah nasheen, shy and very modest. How could she possibly hand something to a non-mahram?’
Soldier: ‘Secondly, I asked her, ‘Where is your mother?’ She replied, ‘she has gone to deliver two from one!’
Father: ‘Yes, my wife is a midwife, she was called to deliver a baby, this is what she meant by delivering two from one!’
At this point, the soldier began to think, ‘Hold on, we appear to have something very special here...’
Soldier: ‘Thereafter, I asked her about you and she replied, ‘My father has gone to enjoin clay with clay.’’
Father: ‘A local has passed-away and I attended his funeral, anyhow, who are you and where have you come from?’
The soldier related his whole predicament of interpreting the king’s dream within 3 days or face the death penalty and the kings command forbidding any cooking in the kingdom. Addressing his daughter, the father asked, ‘Dear, did you hear the dream?’ ‘Yes father I heard.’ ‘Well, what do you say?’ ‘It is the king’s dream, I wish to hear it directly from him before giving the interpretation.’
Accordingly, all three left for the king’s palace...
Soldier: ‘Your Majesty, the girl who is to interpret your dream has arrived, please give a command allowing all your subjects to cook...should you find the meaning not to your liking, your majesty is king and may do as he wishes!’
A Royal Proclamation was given allowing people to cook again. Thereafter, when all had eaten, the young lady arrived and from behind a screen listened to the king’s dream and then commented...
‘The interpretation of this dream is as follows. The tray refers to earth, whilst its covering is the Heavens, the flowers therein are people and the knife represents death...which travels upon earth; ‘cutting’ some people in young age whilst others in later life. Some die in childhood, others in their teens, middle and old age. This knife keeps appearing and taking the souls of creation. Herein Allah Ta’?l? is warning you that it is not wise for Insaan [man] to remain neglectful of death: because it may appear at any time in life. These are the meanings of the tray, flowers and knife!’
The king was overjoyed on hearing this interpretation and showered gifts as a sign of his appreciation.
So dear reader, we too must be ever-careful and conscious of our own death. Nobody knows how long they are to live and the best way of being prepared is to live every minute of our life in complete accordance to the Sunnat of our beloved Nabee sallallahu alayhi wasallam who commented:
‘In whichever way you live your life, in this very state will arrive your death. Moreover, in whatever way your death appears, in this very state will you be resurrected!’
May Allah Ta'ala grant all of us Tawfeeq. Ameen.
Reproduced from Ashraf’s Advice Upon Death of a Muslim.