“There is a tree amongst trees, the leaves of which do not wither and that is like a Muslim; tell me which [tree] that can be?’ The Prophet then said: ‘It is the date-palm tree.”
[Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
An-Nakhlah Institute is an educational initiative with an aim to revive Islamic culture, character, and identity by educating men and women of all ages. An-Nakhlah strives to provide individuals with opportunities for traditional Islamic learning through a wide range of courses designed with modern contexts and lifestyles in mind.
The name of our institute – an-nakhlah meaning a date-palm tree – was inspired from the beautiful descriptions of the pious righteous believer in several passages of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
((إِنَّ مِنْ الشَّجَرِ شَجَرَةً لَا يَسْقُطُ وَرَقُهَا وَإِنَّهَا مَثَلُ الْمُسْلِمِ فَحَدِّثُونِي مَا هِيَ ؟ )) فَوَقَعَ النَّاسُ فِي شَجَرِ الْبَوَادِي قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ : وَوَقَعَ فِي نَفْسِي أَنَّهَا النَّخْلَةُ فَاسْتَحْيَيْتُ . ثُمَّ قَالُوا حَدِّثْنَا مَا هِيَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ؟ قَالَ : (( هِيَ النَّخْلَةُ ))
“There is a tree amongst trees, the leaves of which do not wither and that is like a Muslim; tell me which [tree] that can be?’ The Prophet then said: ‘It is the date-palm tree.” [Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This narration is of immense benefit to us Muslims today, and serves as our ultimate goal and ethos in every project and program we run at An-Nakhlah Institute. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) likened the the date-palm tree to a believer due to the profound benefits the date-palm tree possesses. The date-palm tree for example, is extremely strong and steadfast in the face of strong winds and hurricanes due to its firm and strong roots. Likewise the believer, whose deep rooted faith based upon firm understanding and excellent cultivation also enables him/her to be steadfast during trials and tribulations, or during moments of doubt and desire.
Moreover, the date-palm tree is beneficial to all whether the tree is alive or dead. When it is alive it provides fruit and sustenance to the people, and when it no longer bears any fruit, its wood, leaves and branches are used for a variety of purposes. The believer likewise is beneficial to others. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The most beloved people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to people and the most beloved deed to Allāh is to make another believer happy or to relieve him from distress or to pay back a loan on his behalf or to remove his hunger. Indeed, for me to walk with a brother and see to his needs is more beloved to me than to perform the spiritual seclusion in this mosque for an entire month…” [Reported by al-Tabarani]
The believer is also beneficial to others after his death. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: On-going charity (Ṣadaqah Jāriyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.”[Reported by Muslim]
Finally, the believer and the date palm share similarities in their nature and outward appearance. The date-palm tree is pleasing to look at and produces succulent dates. The believer should also exhibit a charming appearance both physically and through his conduct and speech. When stones are thrown at the date-palm tree, it sends down its finest part: its fruit. Likewise, when abuse is hurled against a believer, he responds in the best of ways.
This is why Allah also likens the believer to the date-palm tree. He, the Most High says:
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
Have you not seen how God has set forth a parable? A good saying is like a good tree [i.e., a nakhlah, a palm tree] whose roots are set firm in the ground, and whose branches are in heaven. It gives its fruits every season by the leave of its Lord. And God sets forth parables for mankind so that they might remember, be admonished, and therefore believe. [Surah Ibrahim, verses 24-25].
We at An-Nakhlah Institute strive to embody these descriptions of our namesake in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and intend to raise a generation as firm and as beautiful as the date-palm tree. We ask Allah, the Exalted for His acceptance and assistance.
Sheikh Abu Khalid Imran
Head of Islamic Studies
Graduate of the Islamic University of Madeenah, Faculty of Shariah
Sheikh Abu Muhammad Saleh
Head of Islamic Studies
Graduate of the Islamic University of Madeenah, Faculty of Shariah.