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Environment planting tree

Published on April 4th, 2014 | by Abu Umayza | Views: 4803

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Eaalim

Going Green

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله، وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه إلى يوم الدين

The slogan to “go green” has gotten louder in the last decade or so. Many people are involved in successful community projects in planting more tree, and some governments have launched, and successfully campaigned for, reforestation programmes. Therefore, it is only natural for Muslims to raise awareness and be part of this noble cause; however there remains ignorance and scepticism among many who think that such ‘green’ efforts are pointless and have no value in Islam, or that they are not rewarded by Allah. This leads to apathy and Muslims not being seen as supportive as they should be.

To dispel false understandings and allegations, allow me to review some of the important aspects of “going green” as taught by the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم. I begin with a well-known hadeeth the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إذا مات الإنسان انقطع عنه عمله إلا من ثلاثة إلا من صدقة جارية أو علم ينتفع به أو ولد صالح يدعو له

“When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three, sadaqah jariyah (recurring charity), or knowledge that continues to benefit, or a righteous son who makes du’a for him.” [1]

The only deed from the three that is not interrupted and is recurring, is sadaqah jariyah because it continually brings reward for the deceased. Scholars have identified many types of deeds that are placed in this category, amongst which are; building a masjid or a school, building water wells, roads or bridges, planting trees and other crops from which people and animals benefit. And there are many more.

Thus “going green” by greening the environment with plants and trees that we plant is a perpetual charity and alms for us. Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ما من مسلم يغرس غرسا أو يزرع زرعا فيأكل منه طير أو إنسان أو بهيمة إلا كان له به صدقة

“There is no Muslim who plants a tree or sows a crop and a bird, human being or beast eats from it except he earns the reward of charity.” [2]

Imam Ibn Battal said commenting on this hadeeth, “This shows that charity for all types of animals and by inanimate objects is rewarded”. [See Sharh Ibn Battal (11/473)]

A Muslim who plants crops will never lose because they will grow and benefit humans and animals, it will even benefit the environment we inhabit. Plants that are utilised lawfully or even unlawfully will still render reward for its planter. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

ما من مسلم يغرس غرسا إلا كان ما أكل منه له صدقة وما سرق منه له صدقة وما أكل السبع منه فهو له صدقة وما أكلت الطير فهو له صدقة ولا يرزؤه أحد إلا كان له صدقة

“There is no Muslim who plants a tree, except what is edible from it will be a charity for him, and that is stolen will be charity. What is eaten by wild animals from it will be a charity for him. Whatever is eaten by birds from it will be a charity for him. Nothing that is reduced (from it), except it will be a charity for him (and in another version: ‘until the Day of Qiyamah’).” [3]

Al Imam an-Nawawi said in his commentary on Saheeh Muslim (1552) that, “In these hadeeth there is the virtue of planting trees and plants, which will continue to bring reward for its planter until the Day of Judgement….” [See Al-Minhaaj (10/457)]

The rewards reward promised by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in this hadeeth will be achieved by the planter/grower, even if there was no intention to make it a means of charity. Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said, “This hadeeth visibly indicates that all of the matters (related to growing) is a charity that will be rewarded to the person who planted it, without the need for purpose and intent”. [4]

Planting trees in one’s garden, or partaking in community green projects, or supporting government reforestation programmes – whatever level one supports the planting of trees and plants – should rest assured of the value and reward and benefit attached to these deeds. They not only benefit humans and animals in this life, they carry continuous reward after the person has passed away. The benefits provided by plants and trees are not just in edible form, but also in many other way; like rendering shade to living beings; using its material to make different types of products; the roots help prevent ground erosion and flooding; they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye; it is an environmental sanitation that helps reduce air pollution, and there are many more benefits that can be enumerated.

There are so many benefits to sowing seeds and planting that we will not be surprised to learn how our Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم encouraged his ummah to plant a seed even if the Last Day is upon us. He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

إن قامت الساعة وبيد أحدكم فسيلة فإن استطاع ألا تقوم حتى يغرسها فليفعل

If the Hour (of the Last Day) is about to be established and one of you has a palm seedling in his hand, and he is able, then let him not delay except and plant it.” [5]

Al-Albani commented that this hadeeth is a powerful reminder about the recommendation of planting… because in it there targheeb (boost) in utilising the final moments of opportunity of one’s life to plant something that will be made use of after its grower dies. The reward will keep flowing, and be written as a reward for until the Last Day (see ‘Al-Saheehah’, 01/38).

The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would never order his ummah with something unless the matter was of huge importance and benefit. Thus the primacy to “Go Green” via many planting campaigns and greening programs promoted by various organisations and government bodies should receive our support. The magnitude of the environmental benefits is simply too much to ignore or not to care. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم once prophesied one of the signs before the Last Day and said:

لا تقوم الساعة حتى تعود أرض العرب مروجا وأنهارا

“The Hour will not be established until the lands of Arabs return to being fertile soil, and rivers.” [6]

Reforestation of parched land and turning infertile soil to fertile soil; seeing rivers flow in a land that was once arid – listening to these ahadeeth should make us compete and push each other to change the misfortunes of our environment and do our part in the reversing the adverse effects of global warming as much as is within our capability.

As we open up most of the books of hadeeth containing instructions on how to live a good life as Muslim (and upon the way of our righteous predecessors), we will find plenty of details on commanding the good and forbidding the evil is mentioned. And there is a passionate sense of responsibility towards our environment and ensuring it remains clean and green and healthy for all humans who share the planet.

A tabi’ by the name of Umarah Khuzaymah bin Thabit rahimahullah said:

سمعت عمر بن الخطاب يقول لأبي: ما يمنعك أن تغرس أرضك? فقال له أبي: أنا شيخ كبير أموت غدا, فقال له عمر: أعزم عليك لتغرسنها, فلقد رأيت عمر بن الخطاب يغرسها بيده مع أبي

“I heard ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab say my father. ‘What prevented you in cultivating your land?’. My father said to him, ‘I am a very old man, and I will die tomorrow’. ‘Umar said to him, ‘I request of you to plant (and cultivate it)’. So I saw ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab plant with his hand alongside my father.” [7]

Imam Al-Bukhari rahimahullah narrated a report from Naafi’ bin Aasim that he heard Abdullah bin ‘Umar say to his nephew, who had come out of his garden, “‘Are your workers still working?’ His nephew said, ‘I do not know’. he said, “Remember, you are a trustee and you will be asked about (what is done) by your workers’. Then he turned to us while saying, ‘Surely anyone who is working in his village or his property, then he is a worker among workers of Allah Aza wa Jal’.” [8]

‘Umar bin Dinar rahimahullah said:

دخل عمرو بن العاص في حائط له بالطائف يقال له الوهط, فيه ألف ألف خشبة اشترى كل خشبة بدرهم – يعني: يقيم به الأعناب

“Amr bin Al-Aas entered into his walled garden in al-Taa’if named ‘Al-Waht’. Inside were a million timber (logs), each one purchased at the price of one dirham – meaning he was evaluating its grape (produce).” [9]

Can we imagine and consider the sacrifice of Amr bin Al-Aas in maintaining the trees and plants contained in his garden? So many of such reports reveal the determination and the spirit of the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in carrying out his orders and recommendations to look after the environment and even the “greening process” of it. We too must imitate them in such examples for surely it is a great virtue with great rewards. The greening efforts and programmes are commendable and we must ensure not to neglect our obligations towards our environment just as we do not neglect our prayer, fasting and charity and looking after our families; for neglecting any of our duties is a disgrace and a sin.

.

References:

[1] Saheeh Muslim, 4199
[2] Saheeh Bukhari, 2320; Muslim, 1553
[3] Saheeh Muslim, 2908 (3945)
[4] See ‘Al-Jaami ‘al-Uloom wal-Hikam (p. 360)
[5] Musnad Ahmad, 3/183; Musnad Tayalisi, 2068; Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 479 and others. Graded as saheeh by Al-Waadi’ in ‘Saheeh al-Musnad’ (34), and al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, (1424)
[6] Musnad Ahmad, 2/370 (417). See also Saheeh Muslim, 157
[7] Tabarani, ‘Jaami’ al-Kabeer as replicated in ‘Al-Saheehah’, 1/8
[8] Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (448) – graded as saheeh by al-Albani in his ‘Saheeh al-Adab’, p. 154
[9] Ibn Asakir, ‘Tareekh al-Dimashq’, 46/182

 

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Abu Umayza


The more the people are guided to follow the goodness, the greater the opportunity for him to get the reward.



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