Hannana Pillar

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This article is about a pillar in al-Masjid al-Nabawi. For a mosque in Najaf, see Hannana Mosque.

Al-Ḥannāna Pillar (Arabic: أسطوانة الحنانة, literally: the moaning pillar) is a pillar in al-Masjid al-Nabawi. There used to be a palm tree in the place where the pillar is located today. According to historical accounts, the tree moaned from parting with the Prophet Muhammad (s).

It is said that after this event, Ibn Abi Ka'b took the trunk of the tree to his house, and according to some hadiths, its trunk was buried under the minbar (pulpit) of the Prophet (s).

The Story

In his book, Muntaha l-amal, Shaykh 'Abbas Qummi narrated the story as a miracle of the Prophet (s) as follows:

Shiite and Sunni scholars have reported with many chains of transmissions that when the Prophet (s) migrated to Medina and constructed his mosque, there was an old, dry palm tree in a corner of the mosque. Whenever the Prophet (s) gave a sermon, he relied on that tree. One day, a man went to him and said: "O the Messenger of God! Let me make a minbar for you so that you can sit on it when you give sermons". He made a three-step minbar for the Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) sat on its third step. The first time when he went on the minbar to give a sermon, the palm tree moaned like a camel which loses her baby. The Prophet (s) went down the minbar and held the tree until it calmed down. He then said: "it would moan until Dooms Day had I not held it in my arms".[1]

Because of this, the tree came to be known as "Hannana" (moaning).[2]

The story is narrated in other sources with slight differences in some details.[3] Some exegetes of the Qur'an have referred to the story under the verse 74 of Sura al-Baqara concerning the consciousness of solid objects.[4]

Throughout the History

The tree no longer exists in al-Masjid al-Nabawi. There are different accounts with regard to its fate.

On one view, the tree was cut and destroyed by Banu Umayya after the reconstruction of the mosque,[5] and what exists after the reconstruction as the Hannana Pillar is the place of that tree, although it is mustahab to say prayers near this pillar.[6] According to one account, after the destruction of the mosque, Ubayy b. Ka'b took the trunk of the tree to his house and kept it there.[7] According to a hadith, the Prophet (s) had the tree cut and be buried under his minbar.[8]

As a Miracle

Some people have referred to the moaning of the tree as a miracle of the Prophet (s). Al-Shafi'i considered this miracle to be superior to the revival of the dead by prophet 'Isa (a).[9] Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar[10] treated the story in two different ways. On one occasion, he said that some people do not take the moaning of the pillar, tasbih of stones in the hand of the Prophet (s) and similar stories to be miracles, because they are not impossible to be done by other people. But on another occasion,[11] he reported the story as a miracle of the Prophet (s) and took it to be a case of Mutawatir Hadith.[12]

In Poems

In some Persian poems, the moaning of the tree is taken to be a miracle of the Prophet (s) and evidence for the consciousness of solid objects. Many poets have pointed to this story in their praises of the Prophet (s).[13]

Notes

  1. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, under the topic miracles of Prophet (s).
  2. Rāwandī, al-Kharāʾij wa l-jarāʾiḥ, vol. 1, p. 165.
  3. Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, vol. 3, p. 185-186; Dārmī, Sunan Dārmī, vol. 1, p. 16; Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, vol. 4, p. 173-174; Abū Nuʿaym al-Iṣfahānī, Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa, p. 340-345.
  4. Maybudī, Kashf al-asrār; Qurṭubī, al-Jamiʿ li-aḥkām al-Qurʾān; Ṭabarī, Jāmiʾ al-bayān, under the verse.
  5. Rāwandī, al-Kharāʾij wa l-jarāʾiḥ, vol. 1, p. 166; Ibn Ḥajar, Fatḥ al-bārī, vol. 6, p. 444.
  6. Nūrī, Mustadrak al-wasāʾil, vol. 3, p. 426; vol. 10, p. 195.
  7. Ibn Māja, Sunan Ibn Māja, vol. 1, p. 454.
  8. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, under the topic miracles of Prophet (s).
  9. Bayhaqī, al-Iʿtiqād wa al-hidāya, p. 271-272.
  10. Qāḍī ʿAbd al-Jabbār, al-Mughnī, vol. 15, p. 204.
  11. Qāḍī ʿAbd al-Jabbār, al-Mughnī fī abwāb, vol. 16, p. 416-417.
  12. Qāḍī ʿAyyāḍ, al-Shifā, vol. 1, p. 303.
  13. Būṣīrī, Dīwān, p. 176; Ṣafī al-Dīn Ḥillī, Dīwān, vol. 1, p. 148; Maqdisī, al-Bidaʾ wa tārīkh, vol. 5, p. 37; Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 1, p. 80; Maqarrī, Azhār al-riyāḍ, vol. 3, p. 251.

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