The story of the fallen tree
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An easy islamic story with a good moral for children to show them that good deeds always have a reward. Also, a nice story to learn some grammar constructions (see explanations below)


The tree.

One day, a big tree fell and blocked the way of the people. They could not move about freely. A woman was on her way to the market to sell milk. She was hoping to make enough money to buy much needed things for her family. She came to the tree, and as she was trying to pass it, she stumbled and spilled the milk. She was very sad, because now she would not be able to buy the things for her family. An old man was on his way to perform the Aysha prayer. On his way to the mosque, he stumbled over the tree and broke his leg.

Travelling on the back of a donkey were a man and his son. They were going to visit his brother in the next town. It was dark when they approached the town so they did not see the fallen tree. The donkey stumbled. The man and his son fell off the donkey. Their clothes were torn and the fruit they were carrying was scattered everywhere.

Then came a man who, upon seeing the tree, became very angry and said, "this tree must have caused hurt to many people", so he decided to move it from the middle of the road, hoping that Allah may forgive him his sins. The tree was very heavy, but he managed to move it.

He was very happy because he was able to help the people move about freely. Allah has rewarded him for that act by forgiving him and letting him enter Paradise.


Notice that this story uses formal English. Actually, it is a written story read, not an oral story spoken, so the language used here is not oral language but written language, and so, they use no contractions and the language is formal.

MOVE ABOUT= Move around, go from one place to another.

FREELY= Without obstacles.

WAS ON HER WAY TO= (formal) Was going to.

MUCH NEEDED THINGS= When MUCH means "a lot" we don't use it in affirmative sentences (except in the phrase "very much"):
- I don't have much money
- Have you got much money?
- I have a lot of money
(not: *I have much money)
But we can say: - I like it very much
But MANY can be used anywhere
- I don't have many friends
- Have you got many friends?
I have many friends
We use MUCH with uncountable nouns and MANY with countable nouns (plurals), but we can use A LOT (OF...) for both kinds of nouns and all kinds of sentences (affirmative, negative and interrogative).
If you see MUCH in an affirmative sentence, like in this story, it's an emphatic form of "very" and it's often used with past participles:
- A much expected visitor = a very expected visitor, a visitor who everybody was expecting to see.
- Much needed things= things that were really necessary; things her family needed a lot.

STUMBLED= If you stumble on something or over something, you hit it with your foot while walking and you lose your balance and maybe fall down.

SPILLED= (also "spilt") If you spill something (a liquid or small things), you let them fall out of their container so they spread or scatter around the place.

MOSQUE= An Islamic temple where people go to pray (to talk to God).

BROTHER= /brʌðə*/

TORN= (tear – tore – torn) If you tear a piece of paper or cloth, you break it.

SCATTERED= If something scatters, it disperses, separates and goes in different directions.

THEN CAME A MAN= In old English, every time we started a sentence with an adverb, an inversion was needed. In modern English that is not usually the case, but with some adverbs we still use an inversion.

UNPON SEEING THE TREE= On seeing the tree = When he saw the tree.
The preposition UPON is old-fashioned or literary, we don't use it when talking and rarely when writing.
ON + ING is a literary alternative to WHEN + Subject + Verb.

ALLAH= A literal transcription of the Arabic word which means "God". In any other religion, when you translate to English you use the word "God", but for Islam, the original word for God is sometimes translated as "God" and sometimes translated as "Allah", which makes many people think that Muslims believe not in God, but in a different kind of divinity.

SIN= A bad act, a moral transgression (usually in a religious context).

HE MANAGED TO MOVE IT= He was able to move it with effort.

REWARDED= If you reward someone, you give them a prize (a present) because they did something good.

BY FORGIVING= We use the construction BY + ING to express the way that something happens. It answers the question "how?":
- You can open this door by pressing this button. (- how can you open this door? – by pressing this button)
- He insulted me by breaking my invitation in front of everyone. (that action was an insult to me).
If we say "he insulted me breaking my invitation..." then we are not talking about how he insulted me (maybe he said "you're stupid"), we simply say what he was doing when he insulted me, but there is no connection between both actions (only a time connection), so this sentence is exactly the same as "he insulted me talking on the phone".

PARADISE= Heaven. The wonderful place where you go after death if you were a good person.