Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Miraculous Weeping of the Tree Trunk

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Here are the final notes of Lesson 113 which I've finally got round to posting - see previous posts of the other hadeeth that were covered in this lesson.


باب: الخُطْبَةُ عَلَى المِنْبَر

حديث سهلِ بن سعدٍ في أَمْرِ المِنْبَرِ تقدّم وذِكْرُ صلاتِهِ عليه ورجوعه القَهْقَرى وزاد في هذه الرّوايةِ: فَلَمّا فَرَغَ أَقْبَلَ عَلَى النّاسِ فَقَالَ: (يا أَيّهَا النّاسُ, إِنّمَا صَنَعْتُ هذَا لِتَأْتَمّوا وَلِتَعَلّمُوا صَلاَتِي).

Chapter 17 (To deliver) the Khutbah on the pulpit

The Hadeeth of Sahl bin Sa’d (رضى الله عنه) regarding the pulpit (Hadith No.249) Sahl (رضى الله عنه) mentioned that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم offered Salaat (prayer) on it, and then stepped back and added in this quotation “After finishing the Salaat he صلى الله عليه و سلم faced the people and said, I have done this so that you may follow me and learn the way I offer Salaat.” [Hadeeth 512, al Tajrid al Sarih]

This hadeeth contains some extra wording to Hadeeth 249 which was commented on by Shaykh previously. The wording at the start is that of Imam az-Zubaidi (رحمة الله عليه) the compiler of this abridgement and not of Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه). Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) wishes to show that a sermon or khutbah can be delivered on a minbar – although the hadeeth is specific to Jumu’ah, Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) does not include the word Jumu’ah in the chapter heading.

عَنْ جابِر بْن عَبْدِ اللهِ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: كانَ جِذْعٌ يَقُومُ إِلَيْهِ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم, فَلَمّا وُضِعَ لَهُ الْمِنْبَرُ, سَمِعْنَا لِلْجِذْعِ مِثْلَ أَصْوَاتِ الْعِشَارِ, حَتّى نَزَلَ النّبِيّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَيْهِ.

Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (رضى الله عنهما): The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم used to stand by a stem of date palm tree (while delivering the Khutba) when the pulpit was placed for him we heard that stem crying like a pregnant she camel till the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم got down from the pulpit and placed his hand over it [Hadeeth 513, al Tajrid al Sarih]

This is a brief narration of an incident which has been narrated by Imam Bukhari (رحمة الله عليه) in more than one place and has also been narrated by many other authors from many different sahabah. They all recall this particular incident with the tree trunk. These different narrations are authentic hadeeth.

To understand this hadeeth it is important to understand the structure of the Masjid of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم). It had pillars at the front and was roofed, with the roof made of leaves, twigs, and beams from palm trunks. The rear part of the Masjid was unroofed. Until the 5th year of Hijra, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would not use a pulpit but would lean against one of the pillars (which were constructed from tree trunks), sometimes placing his hands on the trunk. Then the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said he could stand no longer to deliver the khutbah so some of the sahabah suggested that a minbar should be built. This was built by Maymun (رضى الله عنه) with three steps. In one narration it is stated that the tree trunk began shaking when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) arrived for the first Jumu’ah salah when the pulpit would be used. The tree trunk let out a cry, and then began whimpering and sobbing ‘like a child being put to sleep’. Also, the sahabah narrate many different sounds e.g. bellowing, crying and weeping. In one narration it is also stated that the tree trunk began to splinter. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) stopped the khutbah, descended from the minbar and began to stroke it and then he hugged it. The sahabah gathered round the tree trunk and the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘By that Allah in whose hands rests my soul if I had not hugged it, it would have remained sobbing like this till Yaum-ul-Qiyamah’. Many sahabah also wept along with the tree trunk.

Later when relating this incident Anas (رضى الله عنه) would say this is a piece of wood which was yearning and desirous of its meeting with Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and you oh believers should be more desirous of the meeting of Rasul (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said I have been given a choice of either returning it to what it was or it becoming a tree of Jannah where it will be irrigated with water from the streams of Jannah and the awliya will eat of the fruits of this tree. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said that he preferred it becomes a tree of Jannah. It was then cut down by the sahabah and buried.

Shaykh reiterated that this incident is from authentic narrations and narrated from many sahabah, hence this is not a fable. We read a lie in a tabloid newspaper narrated from a liar from another liar and we attest that we believe it yet we doubt the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh Ul Haq said that if we can’t believe in the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) then whose miracles shall we believe in? Shaykh said that it is the aqeedah of Ahle Sunnah was Jamaat that the karamat-e-awliya are haq i.e. the miracles of the friends of Allah are true. We believe in the miracles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the companions as well as the saints, pious ulema and scholars. However, we cannot go to the other extreme and believe in the ‘miracles’ of charlatans and fraudsters. Our path is one of moderation. There is a hadeeth in Bukhari that there are people with dishevelled hair, unclean clothing and unkempt appearance who are pushed away and rejected and people look down upon them. However, if they swore in the name of Allah, Allah would not allow their oath to go unfulfilled. We should fear the prayers of the awliya. There is a hadeeth in Muslim that Allah does not look at your wealth and appearances but your hearts and deeds.

Shaykh then mentioned a point about kashf. One brother had approached Shaykh and said that he was confused by this concept. Kashf simply means an ‘opening’ or revelation. What is our understanding? The truths of unseen are not always revealed but the barrier between us and the hidden world are removed temporarily for a higher purpose, to the chosen servants of Allah. This is with the wisdom of Allah and the chosen servants are allowed to see what others cannot see. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said ‘Fear the intuition of a believer as he sees with the Light of Allah’.

As the word ‘kashf’ has negative connotations, Shaykh said we can understand the concept using the English words intuition, premonition and insight. These words refer to illogical and inner understanding or gut feelings. Even non-Muslims have dreams which come true of accidents, hurricanes etc that are about to happen. In Surah Yusuf, the story of the two non-Muslim men is narrated who asked Yusuf (عليه السلام) for an interpretation of their dreams. Their dreams turned out to be true. The term ‘premonition’ refers to a fore-warning and is commonly accepted in modern society.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu 'alaikum warahmatullah

SubhanAllah - I have been listening to the Shaykh's lecture since he re-started the lessons alhamdulillah. Your notes are excellent, jazakAllahu khairan for taking the time and effort to compile them so that others may benefit.

Wassalaamu 'alaikum warahmatullah