Planting ashoka tree – a religious view
Fatwa No: 129684

  • Fatwa Date:29-11-2009 - Thul-Hijjah 12, 1430
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Question

Assalam alekum, Dear brother, I have heard alot about the tree that have original from India which now are very farmous in our country.These trees are being called ASHOCK trees.I d'not now whether it is true or not what I have hear about these trees.I want know about the truth of it. As I'm very interesting of these trees and I want to plant these trees around the compond near my house.People says that these trees have bed spiritual once are near your house but how nobody explain how. So please clear my dought so I can reason out and be on a good track weather to plant it or not. Thank you very much.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

People who have knowledge about this tree told us that the tree has connections with the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and that the Hindus and Buddhists hold different beliefs about it. Some Hindus worship the tree, and in Buddhism it is said that the mother of Buddha gave birth to him and rested under this tree and that it hanged down to shade her, among other myths which a Muslim is not allowed to believe in. Indeed, some people in the pre-Islamic era used to believe that some trees bring about benefit and cause harm, but Islam abolished all these beliefs. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Waaqid Al-Laythi  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that when the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, set out to Hunayn, he passed by a tree belonging to the polytheists called ‘Thaat Anwaat’ on which they used to hang their weapons. The Companions said: "O Messenger of Allaah! Let us have ‘Thaat Anwaat’ just like they have ‘Thaat Anwaat’." Thereupon, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Glory be to Allaah! What you said is like what the people of Moosa (Moses) said to him. They said, "Make for us a god just as they have gods.}” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi]

Nonetheless, if a Muslim wants to plant this tree for the purpose of decoration or any lawful benefits, in principle, it will be permissible – Allaah Willing. However, we do not recommend planting it lest people of weak faith will be influenced by seeing it. Thus, it is preferable to avoid planting it in order to block the means to polytheism and myths.

Allaah Knows best.

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