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Cutting the tree of al-Hudaybiya

Source: Al-Nass Wal-Ijtihad, Text and Interpretation
By: Allama Abdul Husayn Sharafuddin al-Musawi


It was the tree, under which the Prophet (S) had been paid homage by his companions to die for him. It was called the homage of ar-Radhwan. Among the results of this homage was the great conquest of Mecca. Some of the Muslims often offered prayers under this tree to get blessing and to thank Allah for the great victory they got after the homage under this tree.
When Umar knew that they offered prayers under this tree, he ordered the tree to be cut. He said: “Since this day if any one returns to offer prayer near this tree, I will kill him with the sword as an apostate is killed.” 232
Glory be to Allah! Praise be to Allah! Allah is great!!! How amazing! Yesterday the Prophet (S) ordered him to kill Thul Khuwaisira, the head of the hypocrites, and he refrained from killing him respecting his prayer and today he draws his sword to kill the believers who offer prayers under this tree; the tree of ar-Radhwan!!
Woe! Who has made the bloods of the faithful prayers so cheap to him? This was the seed that grew and fruited in Najd (where the Satan would appear).
How many seeds like this Umar had such as his saying to the Black Rock (of the Kaaba): “You are just a rock; neither benefit nor harm. Unless I have seen the Prophet (S) kissing you, I would have never kissed you.”
This word became as a principle due to which many ignorants prohibited kissing the holy Qur'an and glorifying the shrine of the Prophet (S) and the other sacred shrines. They lost by doing that many virtues as Allah has said: “… and whoever respects the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is better for him with his Lord” (Qur’an 22:30) and “… and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts” (Qur’an 22:32); and they did not love Allah sincerely as one of the poets has said: “It is not the love of the country that has filled my heart, but it is the love of one who has dwelled in the country.”

Umm Hani complains against him to the Prophet (S)
At-Tabarani mentioned in al-Kabeer a tradition narrated by Abdurrahman bin Abu Rafi’ that Umm Hani bint Abu Talib had said to the Prophet (S): “O Messenger of Allah, Umar bin al-Khattab met me and said to me: “Muhammad will not avail you of anything.” The Prophet (S) became angry. He made a speech saying to the people: “Why do some ones pretend that my intercession will not benefit my family? My intercession will avail Ham and Hakam.” 233
The Prophet (S) became angry in another occasion when a son of his aunt Safiyya died and he consoled her. When she went out, a man 234 met her and said to her: “Your kinship with Muhammad will not avail you of anything.” She began crying until the Prophet (S) heard her voice and hurried to her. She told him of what happened. He became angry and asked Bilal to announce the azan.
The Prophet (S) got up to make a speech. He praised Allah and then he said: “Why do some people pretend that my kinship does not avail (my relatives)? Every kinship and means will be severed on the Day of Resurrection except my kinship and means. My kinship is connected in this life and in the afterlife.” 235

The day of consultation (an-Najwa)
On that day all the people had missed goodness save Imam ‘Ali (as). He was the winner of that goodness with no partner; neither Abu Bakr nor Umar nor any of the human beings. Here is the Qur’anic verse of that day and ponder on it and do not be among those whom Allah has meant when saying: “Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Nay, on the hearts there are locks” (Qur’an 47:24)
This is the verse: “O you who believe! When you consult the Messenger, then offer something in charity before your consultation; that is better for you and purer” (Qur’an 58:12).
No one had ever acted according to this verse except Imam ‘Ali (as). This has been confirmed by the consensus of the umma. Az-Zamakhshari in al-Kashshaf, at-Tabari in at-Tafseer al-Kabeer, ath-Tha’labi in at-Tafseer al-Adheem, ar-Razi in Mafateeh al-Ghayb and the other interpreters have said that in their books when interpreting this verse.
Al-Hakim mentioned in his Mustadrak 236 that Imam ‘Ali (as) had said: “There is a verse in the Book of Allah that no one has acted according to before me and no one will act according to after me. It is the verse of (an-Najwa) consultation. I had a dinar and I sold it for ten dirhams. Whenever I consulted the Prophet (S) I offered a dirham before my consultation and then the verse was annulled by this one: “Do you fear that you will not (be able to) give in charity before your consultation? So when you do not do it and Allah has turned to you (mercifully), then keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey Allah and His Messenger; and Allah is Aware of what you do” (Qur’an 58:13). 237
This scolding included Umar and the rest of the companions except Imam ‘Ali (as) because he had never (feared that he would not be able to give alms in charity) nor had he opposed the order so that he would need to repent.
Ar-Razi here arose as one who “..cannot arise except as one, whom the Satan has prostrated by (his) touch, does rise” (Qur’an2:275). He said: “This verse distresses the hearts of the poor and makes them sad because they cannot pay charities, it embarrasses the rich because it imposes on them heavy duty and it causes the Muslims to criticize each other. Acting according to this verse causes separation and gloominess and giving up acting according to it causes cordiality. What causes cordiality is worthier of being followed than what causes separation and gloominess…”
How odd his raving was! It contradicted the saying of Allah: “..that is better for you and purer” and His saying “So when you do not do it and Allah has turned to you (mercifully), then keep up prayer”.
Refer to this raving in his tafseer Mafateeh al-Ghayb, vol.8 p.168.
Would that he had said: “Zakat and hajj distress the hearts of the poor and bring them sorrow because the poor cannot do them and they (zakat and hajj) embarrass the rich because they impose on them heavy duty; therefore carrying them out causes separation and gloominess and giving up carrying them out causes cordiality and friendliness and whatever causes cordiality and friendliness is worthier of being followed than what causes separation and gloominess; therefore according to the analogy of this (imam) giving up the zakat and the hajj is worthier.
In fact his analogy requires giving up all the religions in order not to lead to separation and disagreements. We resort to Allah to save us from the torpor of mind and the raving of tongue. There is no power save in Allah, the Mighty, the High!
Notes:
232. Sharh Nahjul Balagha, vol. 1 p.59.
233. Ham and Hakam were two tribes of Yemen, which had no any kinship with Quraysh, the Prophet’s tribe.
234. He was Umar bin al-Khattab undoubtedly.
235. Thakha’ir al-Uqba by Muhiuddeen at-Tabari.
236. Vol.2, p.842.
237. Al-Hakim after mentioning this tradition in his Mustadrak said: “It is a true tradition according to the conditions of the two sheikhs; al-Bukhari and Muslim but they have not mentioned it.” The same has been said by ath-Thahabi after mentioning it in his Talkhees al-Mustadrak.

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