Abdul Samad Sheikh was one of a true environmentalist who dedicated his whole life to the nature and made planting trees his life mission. When his mission completed and his soul left for heavenly abode, he had successfully planted 17,500 trees which is a miracle in itself.
Samad had been planting trees every day since he was 12 years old. He barely skipped any day in planting a tree.
Samad died two years ago due to post-surgery complications but created a legacy and example for fellow people to learn and do something for nature. He is a true example for not only Muslims but everyone who believes in protecting trees and nature.
Abdul Samad Sheikh belonged to Faridpur, a place in central Bangladesh where he drove rickshaw all his life. He used to earn 100 Bangladeshi Taka ($1.25) every day out of which he would buy a plant sapling from Faridpur Horticulture Center daily without any leave. He would then spend the left money on his family which was too meager for them.
He had no house of his own and used to live on governmental land in the same town. Almost everyone knew him in his locality and used to call him as ‘Tree Samad’, a title which he gained from people who loved & respected him and his noble work for the nature.
Samad used to say that the responsibility of planting a tree each day was given to him by Allah and he cannot ignore the command of his Lord.
He had been doing it for 48 years and when it is multiplied with 365 days adding 12 days for leap year it comes 17,532 days which is almost equal to the trees he planted that is 17,500.
His dedication for the plantation of trees is evident through his actions. He considered it his duty to the world and claimed he never slept any day without planting a tree.
When he was invited to receive an award by the leading Bangladeshi newspaper for his service to nature, he complained them that due to this award ceremony he wouldn’t be able to plant tree that day. The award management team immediately called for a coconut sapling which he planted during the ceremony.
He was awarded 100,000 Bnagladeshi Taka ($1250) for his service towards mankind which he used for building a house for his family.
A major question arises in our mind after reading his story that how did he manage to plant so many trees when he hadn’t land for himself to build his home? The answer turns out to be the governmental land, he used government’s land to plant all these trees so that no one can cut it down later or claim it as their own tree.
The trees belongs to the common people and is a part of environment not anybody in particular. He always scolded anyone who stopped him or tried to destroy his plants.
He loved the trees more than his children and always watered them whenever it was possible for him to do. Most of his life was spent planting trees without taking anybody’s help, he didn’t take any money from anyone rather spending from his own little money.
But he asked everyone to plant tree urging them that it is everyone’s responsibility.
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The one man army died two years ago in 2017 after a surgery which proved to be unsuccessful. He left inspiration for many who really wants to do something for the nature.
Samad had been more than an environmentalist, he was a humanitarian who always cared for neighbors, and commoners. He loved all creatures but he was little more inclined towards trees.
Truly, his name ‘Tree Samad’ is a humble tribute to this great person who was not rich, not educated but was something more than that.
Samad had no formal education of Islam but yet he was true Muslim through his actions because affection for humans and plants are major trait of a pious Muslim. May Allah bless his soul.
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