As a Source of Food

Planting a Tree in Islam

Today the world is plagued with ecological catastrophes such as pollution, desertification, deforestation, flooding, mass consumption, starvation, and obesity, and a promising and substantial solution has yet to be found in our current world leaders. According to recent studies, living close to trees could improve mental health. It makes a strong impact on psychological and cognitive health by reducing the stress hormone levels in the body. It provides enough vitamin B complex for us. Allah says:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“Has appeared the corruption in the land and the sea for what have earned (the) hands (of) people, so that He may let them taste a part (of) that which they have done so that they may return.” (Surah Ar-Rum 30:41)

About 1,400 years ago in a dry, arid desert in what is now Saudi Arabia, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), introduced a fundamental green guide, divinely gifted, in the form of the Qur’an in hopes to save humanity and Earth, by teaching the middle path of balance. We need oxygen to breathe and let out carbon dioxide. The latter is highly dangerous to be inhaled. But trees absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into healthy oxygen for us to breathe. Allah says:

وَشَجَرَةً تَخْرُجُ مِن طُورِ سَيْنَاءَ تَنبُتُ بِالدُّهْنِ وَصِبْغٍ لِّلْآكِلِينَ

“And a tree (that) springs forth from Mount Sinai (which) produces oil and a relish for those who eat.” (Surah Al-Mu`minun 23:20)

The Islamic tradition is rich in references to our responsibility as Muslims to act as stewards of the environment. The Quran also has numerous passages that describe the lush gardens and trees in heaven, highlighting their value not only in this world but their significance in the hereafter. Planting a tree is similar to doing charity, especially when other living beings take advantage of it. Allah says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ

“Do not you see how Allah sets forth the example, a word good (is) like a tree good, its root (is) firm and its branches (are) in the sky?” (Surah Ibrahim 14:24)

Benefits of Planting a Tree in Islam

Here are all the benefits of planting a tree in Islam that everyone should know:

  1. Controlling the Natural Disaster
  2. Absorbing Harmful Gases
  3. Supporting the Economy
  4. Improving Mental Health
  5. Supporting the Wildlife
  6. As a Source of Food
  7. An Act of Charity
  8. Filtering the Water
  9. Benefiting for Health
  10. Conserving the Energies
  11. Making a Comfortable Home
  12. Making a Healthier Space for Living
  13. The Prophet also had a deep spiritual connection to trees
  14. Trees are to be treated with respect and not to be unnecessarily harmed

There are also plenty of verses that encourage us to conserve and protect water, another essential for living. Allah (SWT) makes mention of how everything is created from water and that he sustains us by providing water through streams, rivers, rain, and the ocean. Allah says:

وَاللَّهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ

“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:65)

Another benefit of planting a tree in Islam is that trees make a healthier living space for anyone. It minimizes the negative effects of environmental changes by men.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

لَآكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ

“Will surely eat from (the) tree of Zaqqum.” (Surah Al-Waqi`ah 56:52)

وَأَنبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِّن يَقْطِينٍ

“And We caused to grow over him a plant of the gourd.” (Surah As-Saffat 37:146)

إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ

“Indeed, it (is) a tree that grows in (the) bottom (of) the Hellfire.” (Surah As-Saffat 37:64)

الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ الشَّجَرِ الْأَخْضَرِ نَارًا فَإِذَا أَنتُم مِّنْهُ تُوقِدُونَ

“The One Who made for you from the tree [the] green – fire, and behold! You from it ignite.” (Surah Ya-Sin 36:80)

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

“And (the) example (of) a word evil (is) like a tree evil, uprooted from the surface (of) the earth, not for it (is) any stability.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:26)

مَا قَطَعْتُم مِّن لِّينَةٍ أَوْ تَرَكْتُمُوهَا قَائِمَةً عَلَىٰ أُصُولِهَا فَبِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ وَلِيُخْزِيَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Whatever you cut down of (the) palm-trees or you left them standing on their roots, it (was) by the permission (of) Allah, and that He may disgrace the defiantly disobedient.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:5)

وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا

“And shake towards you (the) trunk (of) the date-palm, it will drop upon you fresh dates ripe.” (Surah Maryam 19:25)

Trees will conserve the energies. It merges the evaporation and transpiration process to provide cooler and cleaner air. Trees help conserve energy by making a friendlier environment and purifying the air to improve the living quality of all humans. Allah says:

هَٰذَانِ خَصْمَانِ اخْتَصَمُوا فِي رَبِّهِمْ فَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا قُطِّعَتْ لَهُمْ ثِيَابٌ مِّن نَّارٍ يُصَبُّ مِن فَوْقِ رُءُوسِهِمُ الْحَمِيمُ

“These two opponents dispute concerning their Lord. But those who disbelieved will be cut out for them garments of fire. Will be poured over their heads [the] scalding water.” (Surah Al-Haj 22:19)

Muslims are required by Islam to keep the environment around them pure and clean. True Muslims are those who appreciate the beauty surrounding them. This may explain many of the Prophetic hadiths that talk about the merits of planting trees and other acts that benefit people.