From The Rose Garden by Saadi Shirazi, 13th Century CE, Persia,
“Someone asked a wise person, “Of the many celebrated trees that Allah has created, some are very lofty, some wonderfully shady or fruit-giving. But people call none of them azad or free, except for the cypress, which is none of these. Can you explain this mystery?”
That wise one replied, “Trees produce fruit or shade only during their appointed seasons. Sometimes they are fresh and blooming, other times dry and withered. The cypress isn’t exposed to either condition: it always flourishes. The azads, the spiritually independent ones, share the same quality. They don’t depend on the time or season for their freshness.”
Don’t set your heart on what passes away. The Tigris will continue to flow through Baghdad after the run of the Khalifs is extinct.
If your hand has plenty, be liberal and give freely like the date tree.
But you have nothing to give away, be an azad, a free person, like the cypress.”