was narrated by Imam Ahmad (2139) and by al-Tirmidhi (2180), who said it is
hasan saheeh. It was also narrated by Ibn Abi Aasim in al-Sunnah.
Al-Manaawi said: its isnaad is saheeh. And it was classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Riyaadh al-Sunnah, no. 76.
These words were
narrated in the hadeeth of Abu Waaqid al-Laythi (may Allaah be pleased with
him): They went out from Makkah with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) to Hunayn. The kuffaar had a tree to which
they would go and spend time (to seek blessings) and they used to hang their
weapons on it, and it was called Dhaat Anwaat. We passed by a large green
tree and we said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, make for us a dhaat anwaat.’ The
Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you have said the same as the people
of Moosa said: make for us a god as they have gods. Verily you are a people
who know not. These are ways that you will certainly follow as did those who
came before you, step by step.’
a report narrated by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in Kitaab al-Sunnah: And we were
new in Islam (at that time).
to the words Dhaat Anwaat: Anwaat is the plural of the word nawt,
which refers to anything that is hung up. Dhaat Anwaat is the tree on which
these things were hung. Ibn al-Atheer said in al-Nihaayah: This is
the name of a specific tree that belonged to the mushrikeen, on which they
used to hang their weapons and to which they would go and spend time (to
seek blessings). They asked him to make something like that for them, and he
forbade them to do that.
to the phrase, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you have said the same
as the people of Moosa said: make for us a god as they have gods. Verily you
are a people who know not”: Here the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) likened what they had said to the words of the Children
of Israel when they passed by some people who were worshipping their idols.
They asked Moosa (peace be upon him) to make for them a god that they could
worship as those people had a god.
to the phrase “These are ways that you will certainly follow as did those
who came before you”: i.e., this is the way of the nations who came before
you. What is meant here is the way of the people who follow whims and
desires and innovations that they introduced based on their own ideas after
their Prophets were gone, and they changed their religion.
the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed that was narrated by al-Bukhaari: “You will follow
the ways of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit,
until even if they entered the hole of a lizard you will follow them.” We
said: “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He
said: “Who else?”
said: This is a manifest miracle of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), for what he foretold indeed came to pass.
hadeeth we learn the following:
To beware of shirk (associating
others with Allaah) and that a person may think that something is good and
will bring him closer to Allaah, when it is as far removed as it can be from
the mercy of his Lord and will bring him closer to His wrath.
Seeking blessings from trees
and rocks and being attached to them are all acts of shirk which have
happened in this ummah. Whoever falls into these things is following the
path of the Jews and Christians and forsaking the path of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
What counts is meanings, not
words. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) likened
what they said to what the Children of Israel said, even though they were
not blatantly asking for a god instead of Allaah.
It is forbidden to imitate the
people of the Jaahiliyyah and the people of the Book in things that are
unique to them and in their acts of worship.
It shows that when a person has
moved away from falsehood to which he was accustomed, there is no guarantee
that something of those old traditions will not be left in his heart,
because the Sahaabah who asked him for that had only been Muslims for a few
days, as they became Muslim on the day of the conquest of Makkah, then the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took them out on
the campaign of Hunayn. This incident took place on the way to Hunayn.
al-Majeed bi Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed, 139-147; and al-Qawl al-Mufeed
by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen.
remind the questioner that Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah
have mercy on him) quoted this hadeeth in his blessed book Kitaab
al-Tawheed, in the chapter on Seeking blessings from trees, rocks,
etc. We advise him to read this, along with the commentary, especially
the two commentaries referred to above, as he will learn a great deal from
it. And Allaah is the Source of strength.