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Pledge of the Tree

Pledge of the Tree

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The Pledge of the Tree (Arabic: بيعة الشجرة ) or Pledge of Pleasure (Arabic: بيعة الرضوان ) or Pledge of Ridwan was a pledge that was sworn to the Islamic prophet
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 by his Sahaba
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

(companions) prior to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah
The Treaty of Hudaybiyyah is the treaty that took place between the state of Medina and the Quraishi tribe of Mecca in March 628CE .-Background:...

 (6 AH
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

, 628 CE). The pledge, sworn under a tree, was to avenge the rumoured death of Uthman ibn Affan.

Background


In March of 628 CE (6 AH), Muhammad set for Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 to perform the ritual pilgrimage of Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. The Quraysh denied the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s entry into the city and posted themselves outside Mecca, determined to offer resistance even though the Muslims did not have any intention or preparation for battle. Muhammad camped outside Mecca at Hudaybiyyah and sent Uthman ibn Affan as his envoy to meet with the leaders of Quraysh and negotiate their entry into the city. The Quraysh caused Uthman to stay longer in Mecca than he originally planned and refused to inform the Muslims of his whereabouts. This caused the them to believe that Uthman had been killed by the people of the Quraysh. On this occasion, Muhammad gathered his nearly 1,400 Sahaba and called them to pledge to fight until death and avenge the death of Uthman. This pledge took place under a tree and was thus known as the Pledge of the Tree. During the process of pledging, each Sahaba came before Muhammad and pledged, with his hand on top of Muhammad's, to fight until death and avenge the death of Uthman. It is reported that Muhammad placed one hand on top of the other and pledged on behalf of Uthman as well.

Aftermath


The pledge was successful in demonstrating to the Quraysh the determination of the Muslims. They soon released Uthman and sent down an ambassador of their own, Suhayl ibn Amr
Suhayl ibn Amr
Suhayl ibn Amr was a prominent leader among the Quraysh, being known as the Khatib or orator of the tribe. Clever and articulate, Suhayl's personal opinion carried great weight among his tribe.-Biography:...

 to negotiate the terms of a treaty that later became known as the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

Significance


The people who took the pledge, also known as the People of the Tree (اصحاب الشجرة ) are held in high regard by Muslims in general and Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

s in particular. After the pledge, verses were revealed in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 commemorating and appreciating the pledge and those who made it:
Due to this verse, the pledge is also known as the Pledge of Pleasure as it was said to be a cause for God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

's pleasure.

Tree


The tree under which the pledge was carried out remained at its site until the second Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

, Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

, cut it down during his reign on the grounds that people had started attaching religious significance to it to the point of reverence.