As roommates with the planet, perhaps the next time we find ourselves in nature, we can consider our active role in responsible use, protection via conservation and sustainable practices. Through composting, using reusable cups, making conscious food choices or planting trees, let’s take another step in safeguarding the place we all call home. After all, how many of our days can we pass living only in a concrete maze?
At the end of my visit to the Aga Khan Garden in Edmonton, the granite ground beneath my feet becomes dull as a curtain of clouds covers the sun. “If you look now, the view of the geometric pattern disappears,” says the volunteer guide, drawing my attention downward. I’m astonished! I can’t help but think of the esoteric, that which may not necessarily be in view, but like the silver-lined stars, definitely exists.
By inspiring us to think of the existential and eternal, gardens grace us with value, variety and vision. Hopefully, this gift is not only for the here, but also for the hereafter, as the Qur’an 9:72 says: “Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.”
Dr. Ashnoor Nagji is a family physician who focuses on youth, vulnerable populations, delivering babies and teaching. Born in Tanzania, she has consulted, volunteered and traveled to 116 countries, including service with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in refugee camps. She has also rendered Time and Knowledge Nazrana in Pakistan, Dubai, Tanzania and Afghanistan.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of The Ismaili Canada.