An account, A miracle
The weeping tree
Maulana Arshad Aslam Attari Madani
Today, Suhayb and Khubayb are in the park with Grandad. As they stroll down the park lane, Grandad Khubayb turns to Grandad: ‘Is there even any benefit in planting flowers and plants?’
Grandad smiles: ‘They have so much benefit that nobody can deny it. And, we have a double benefit in this.’ ‘What double benefit?’ Khubayb immediately asks. Grandad looks at him: ‘It includes acting on the command of our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in this task as well. If we plant flowers with this intention, then اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه we will be rewarded for it because the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘Whichever Muslim plants a tree or crop, and then a bird, human, or animal eats from it, that will be considered a form of charity,’ (Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 85, Hadith 2320).
‘Grandad! Tell us more benefits of planting trees,’ cries out an excited Suhayb. ‘Dear children!’ Grandad answers, ‘you already know that oxygen is vital to life:
1. Trees and plants absorb unclean air (carbon dioxide) and release clean air (oxygen).
2. The weather remains cool and fresh due to an abundance of plants and trees.
3. They shade us from the heat.’
Grandad continues, ‘Okay now tell me, what is paper made from?’ Both brothers looked at each other in confusion. ‘Well,’ Suhayb says, ‘We’re not sure. Please tell us!’ Grandad smiles and replies, ‘Paper is also made from trees.’ ‘Wow! They really do have a lot of benefits,’ bellows Suhayb, ‘Once you said that you will tell us a story about trees.’ Grandad pauses to think. Then, remembers: ‘Oh yes! I did say that!’
‘What is a mimbar?’ he asks. Both brothers are unsure, although they vaguely remember hearing this word before. ‘It’s a raised platform which the Imam stands on when giving a sermon,’ Grandad explains. ‘We see that daily at our madrasah in the masjid!’ Khubayb immediately proclaims.
Grandad begins by explaining that ‘In the beginning, when Masjid Nabawi was first built, its pillars were made of date branches; there was no mimbar or decorations. Our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم used to lean against a palm tree to deliver the sermon. Some days later, a mimbar was erected for the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. When he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم came to the masjid, this time, instead of leaning against the palm tree, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stood on the mimbar. Suddenly, a weeping noise was heard by everyone present.’ Grandad looks at both kids: ‘Do you know where the crying sound was coming from?’ Both of them shook their heads. Grandad said, ‘That crying sound was coming from the palm tree which the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم used to lean against.’
Suddenly, Khubayb cried out in amazement: ‘Really?’ Grandad emphasised: ‘Yes son! From that very same palm tree. Now listen to what happened next. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم descended the pulpit and went and over to the tree, placing his hands on it and placing his blessed chest against it to console it. It was sobbing and crying. After some time, the weeping stopped. The Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘If I didn’t console it, it would continue crying till the Day of Judgment.’ And yes, dear children, after many years, a pillar was erected in the place where the palm tree once stood. It is called the Weeping Pillar (Ustuwana al-Hannanah). He صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked the tree: ‘If you want, I’ll send you back to the garden so that you become a fresh and green tree like before, remaining vibrant forever, or shall I plant you in Jannah.’
Grandad had only taken a slight pause when Suhayb eagerly asked, ‘Grandad! What did it want to become?’ ‘The tree desired to be planted in Jannah,’ Grandad explained, (Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 496, Hadith 3584; Ibn-e-Majah, vol. 2, p. 178, Hadith 1415, slightly amended with amendments, Sunan Daarimi, vol. 1, p. 178, Hadith 32).
Grandad added: ‘Dear children! Remember! This is not the only miracle of our Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم; there are many more. Come on, now let’s go home, it is late, but you have also learnt a lot today.’