Ninth Sign: It is about miracles of the Prophet (pbuh) related to trees. It narrates the miracles about trees obeying the Prophet’s orders like human beings, and moving from their places to go to him.
One of the various kinds of miracles of Allah’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) is that like human beings, trees obeyed his orders, and moving from their places, came to him. There is also ‘consensus in meaning’ in the reports of these miracles, like those of water flowing from his fingers. They have been narrated in numerous forms and through numerous channels. Indeed, the consensus concerning trees leaving their places and coming to him may be considered as ‘explicit,’1 because the best-known of the Companions such as ‘Ali, Ibn ‘Abbas, Ibn Mas‘ud, Ibn ‘Umar, Ya‘la b. Murra, Jabir, Anas b. Malik, Burayda, Usama b. Zayd, and Ghaylan b. Salama, each reported the same miracle with certainty. Hundreds of scholars of the succeeding generation narrated the miracle from one of the above-mentioned Companions through a different line of transmission, as though transmitting it to us in the form of multiple ‘consensus.’ Thus, this miracle of the trees has decisively and indisputably the certainty of ‘consensus in meaning.’ We will now cite only a few examples of this great miracle, although it was repeated many times.
F i r s t E x a m p l e : Foremost, Imam Maja, and al-Darimi narrate from Anas b. Malik and ‘Ali, and Imam Bayhaqi from ‘Umar, that the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) was saddened at the denial of the unbelievers. He prayed: “O my Sustainer! Give me a sign that I shall no longer see anyone who contradicts me!”2 According to Anas, Gabriel was also present, upon whose instruction Allah’s Messenger called to a tree at the side of the valley. It came near him. He then told the tree to go back; it returned and settled itself in its place.
S e c o n d E x a m p l e : In Shifa’ al-Sharif, Qadi Iyad, the leading scholar of the Maghrib, relates from ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar through an exalted and sound chain of narrators: “On one expedition, a beduin approached the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). Allah’s Messenger asked him: ‘Where are you going?’ He replied: ‘To my family.’ Allah’s Messenger asked him: ‘Don’t you want something better than that?’ The beduin asked: ‘What is that?’ The Messenger said: ‘That you bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is One, He has no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.’ The beduin asked: ‘What is witness to this testimony?’ Allah’s Messenger said: ‘The tree beside the valley shall bear witness.’” Ibn ‘Umar said: “Shaking, the tree cleft the earth and came to Allah’s Messenger. He asked the tree three times to testify; each time it testified to his truthfulness. When he ordered, it went back and settled in its place.”3
According to the authentic narration of Ibn Sahib al-Aslami, Burayda reports: “When we were with the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) on an expedition, a beduin came and asked for a sign, that is, a miracle. The Messenger said: ‘Tell that tree that Allah’s Messenger summons it!’ Then he pointed to a tree; it swayed to right and left, brought itself out of the ground with its roots, and came to the presence of the Messenger, saying: ‘Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah!’ The beduin said: ‘Now let it go to its place again!’ He commanded, and it went. Then the beduin said: ‘Allow me to prostrate before you.’ The Messenger replied: ‘No one is permitted to do that.’ The beduin said: ‘Then I will kiss your hands and feet,’ and he permitted him.”4
T h i r d E x a m p l e : Foremost the Sahih of Muslim, and the authentic books of Hadith relate that Jabir said: “We were together with Allah’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) on an expedition when he searched for a place to answer the call of nature. There was no secluded place. So he went towards two trees, caught hold of the branches of one of them, and pulled. Obeying him, the tree went together with him to the second tree. It was like an obedient camel being led by its reins. Having in this way brought the two trees together, he said: ‘Join together over me, with Allah’s permission!’ The two trees joined together and formed a screen. After relieving himself behind them, he ordered them to go back, and they returned to their places.”5
According to another narration, Jabir said: “Allah’s Messenger commanded me: ‘Tell those trees to join together for the relief of Allah’s Messenger!’ I told them to do so, and they joined together. Then, while I was waiting, Allah’s Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) emerged, and indicated to left and right with his head. The two trees returned to their places.”6
F o u r t h E x a m p l e : Usama b. Zayd, one the brave commanders and servants of the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), reports in an authentic narration: “We were together with Allah’s Messenger on an expedition. There was no secluded, private place in which to answer the call of nature. He asked: ‘Can you see any trees or rocks?’ I replied: ‘Yes, I can.’ He ordered: ‘Speak to them and tell them to join together for the relief of Allah’s Messenger; also tell the rocks to gather together as a wall.’ I went and said as he commanded. I swear that the trees joined together and the rocks formed a wall. Allah’s Messenger after relieving himself, again commanded: ‘Tell them to separate!’ I swear by the Glorious One in the grasp of Whose power I am that the trees and rocks separated, and returned to their places.”7
These two incidents which were reported by Jabir b. Usama were also reported by Ya‘la b. Murra, Ghaylan b. Salama al-Thaqafi, and Ibn Mas‘ud, referring to the Battle of Hunayn.8
F i f t h E x a m p l e : Reported by Imam b. Fawrak, known as ‘the foremost scholar of his time’ and ‘Shafi‘i the Second’ for his excellence in interpretation: “While travelling on horseback one night during the Ta’if expedition, sleep overcame Allah’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace). While in that state a lote-tree loomed up before him. To make way for him and not to hurt his horse, the tree split in two, and the Noble Messenger, on the horse, passed between the two parts of the tree.” The tree has remained as two trunks, in that honoured position, up to our time.9
S i x t h E x a m p l e : Ya‘la b. Murra relates in an authentic narration: “During an expedition, a tree -called either talha or samura- came, passed around Allah’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) as if circumambulating, and went back to its place. Allah’s Messenger said: ‘The tree requested of Allah that it should salute me.’”10
S e v e n t h E x a m p l e : Scholars of Hadith relate from Ibn Mas‘ud with an authentic narration: “When the jinn of Nusaybin came to the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) in the place called Batn al-Nakhl in order to find guidance, a tree informed him of their coming.” Also, Imam Mujahid relates from Ibn Mas‘ud in the Hadith: “The jinn asked for a proof of his prophethood, so the Noble Prophet commanded the tree, and it left its place, came to him, then returned to its place.”11 That single miracle was sufficient for the race of jinns. So if a human being does not come to believe having heard of a thousand miracles like this one, is he not more of a devil than those described by the jinn as, “Some foolish ones among us”?12
E i g h t h E x a m p l e : Tirmidhi reports in his Sahih from Ibn ‘Abbas through a sound narration: “Allah’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) asked a beduin: ‘Will you testify that I am the Messenger of Allah if a branch of that tree comes to me when I call to it?’ He replied: ‘Yes.’ The Messenger called to the branch. It broke off and jumped over near him, then jumped back when he told it to do so.”13
Like these eight examples, there are many others related through many chains of transmission. Seven or eight strands of rope form a strong cable when they come together. Similarly, these miracles concerning trees, which were reported on the authority of the best-known and most veracious Companions in thus numerous chains of transmission, certainly have the strength of ‘consensus in meaning,’ indeed, ‘true consensus.’ In fact, they take on the form of ‘consensus’ when passed down by the Companions to the following generation. In particular, the accurate books of Hadith such as Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Hibban, and Tirmidhi, made the chains leading back to the time of the Companions so sound, and they kept them thus, that reading a Hadith, say in Bukhari, is like hearing it directly from the Companions.
If, as seen in the above examples, trees recognize Allah’s Messenger(Upon whom be blessings and peace) testify to his prophethood, visit and salute him, and obey his orders, and those lifeless, unreasoning creatures who call themselves human beings do not recognize him or believe in him, will they not be more worthless than a dead tree, and like a piece of wood, fit for the fire?
1. Kattani, Nazm al-Mutanathir 137.
2. Ibn Maja, Fitan 23 no: 4028; Darimi, Muqaddima 3; Musnad i, 223; iii, 113; iv, 177; Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 302; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 620; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id ix, 10; al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal ii, 354.
3. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 298; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 615; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa vi, 14; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id viii, 292; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa’l-Nihaya vi, 125; al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya iv, 16 no: 3836; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak ii, 620; Ibn Hibban, Sahih viii, 150.
4. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 299; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 49.
5. Muslim, Zuhd no: 3012.
6. Darimi, Muqaddima 4; Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 299; ^Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 616; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 51.
7. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 300; ‘Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 617-9; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 51; al-‘Asqalani, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya iv, 8-10 no: 3830.
8. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 301; al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal xii, 403.
9. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 301; ^Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 619; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 57.
10. Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’ i, 301; ^Ali al-Qari, Sharh al-Shifa’ i, 619; al-Khafaji, Sharh al-Shifa’ iii, 53; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id ix, 6-7; Musnad iv, 170, 172; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak ii, 617.
12. Qur’an, 72:4.
13. Tirmidhi, Manaqib 6; al-Mubarakfuri, Tuhfat al-Ahwazi no: 3707; al-Haythami, Majma’ al-Zawa’id ix, 10.