A narration about owning the device of sowing and ploughing
Fatwa No: 99186

Question

Can you please explain this Hadith in Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 39, Number 514: Narrated Abu Umama al-Bahili: I saw some agricultural equipments and said: "I heard the Prophet saying: "There is no house in which these equipment enters except that Allah will cause humiliation to enter it." What we are required to do in light of this Hadith?

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them have different interpretations for this narration. Some interpreted it to mean that the farmers will be humiliated because of the taxes which the rulers ask them to pay, and because of the unjust way rulers treat them. Some other scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them interpreted it to refer to the farmers who live near the enemy borders, and they remain busy ploughing instead of chivalry, so the enemy dominates them and they become humiliated. Some other interpretations were also reported about this narration. There is nothing that confirms what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) exactly meant.

However, this narration does not contradict other narrations about the excellence of sowing and planting. Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated: "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "There is no Muslim who plants a tree or cultivates a crop, then whenever a bird or a man or an animal eats from it, except that it will be considered as an act of charity for him." [Al-Bukhari]

The two narrations could be interpreted as follows: Planting and sowing is in principle something praised because Allaah mentioned it in the Quran as a blessing and a bounty, Allaah Says (what means): {And have you seen that [seed] which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower?}[Quran 56:63-64]. Of course, Allaah does not consider something as a blessing or a bounty except that it is something permissible and allowed, and in which there is good. However, if a person is preoccupied by sowing to the extent that he does not fulfil other obligations and rights on him, or that he exceeds the limits due to being busy sowing, or that he is near the enemy, and instead of preparing for Jihaad (fighting in the path of Allaah), he remains busy with sowing until the enemy overcomes him, then such people deserve the dispraise which is mentioned in the Prophetic narration.

Hence, it becomes clear that the humiliation which is mentioned in the narration is not for solely owning the device of sowing and ploughing, but for other things which are already discussed. 

Allaah Knows best.

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