Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gharqad: A Tree of the Jews

Warning: I am a scholar of nothing, yet, much less a linguist or Arabist. The following should be read purely for your early morning or lunch-break amusement, and possibly for an afternoon snicker or two. All information and opinions presented should be considered uninformed, until proven otherwise. I enjoy the metaphysical implications of analyses like these, but I don't use them in guiding my day-to-day interactions with other individuals and communities. If you can't handle some light, faith-based jostling and intend to leave comments like, "We need to kill all...", please know they will be deleted, mercilessly.

Here's something you might find amusing. Many of us know that the Muslim faith does not hold Jews in particularly high regard. Sure, we're People of the Book, and all that jazz, but really, when it comes down to it, guess which sons of apes and pigs get their heads chopped off for refusing to submit to Islam. No, really, guess. Hint: it's not the Quakers. From Wikipedia:
In the Muslim text Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6985[3], the boxthorn, or gharqad (in arabic), is described as 'the tree of the Jews':
The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, oh the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
If you thought this post was about exposing Islam's genocidal wet dreams, you're wrong. We're going to focus on this tree that Muslims claim will protect the Jews - the Gharqad tree. Prior to seeing this Wiki, I thought the Gharqad tree was some mythical tree, but no, it translates directly to a Boxthorn tree. Actually, the Boxthorn are a number of tree species (more like shrubs?), about 90 in all. There's more about the Boxthorn, from the same Wikipedia entry:
Boxthorn is mentioned in the biblical Book of Proverbs as besetting the paths of the wicked (Proverbs 22:5).
Besetting? Like assailing, attacking? Let's go to the source. The "Book of Proverbs" - in Hebrew, Mishlei - was written by King Solomon, a ruler of Ancient Israel and son of King David, who needs no introductions, I hope.

Here's the English (unfortunately, I don't have the Hebrew handy) from, Mishlei 22:5:
5. Troops [and] snares are in the way of the perverse; he who preserves his soul will distance himself from them.
And now the Rashi commentary, which comes out a bit fractious in this translation, I think.
Troops [and] snares: Heb. צנים, as in (Num. 33: 55) “troops (לצנינים) in your sides” ; (Ezek. 23:24) “And they will come upon you, a band (הצן),” an expression of bands and brigands.
Troops and snares: are hidden on the ways of the one who perverts his ways; i.e., torments are prepared for him.
he who preserves his soul will distance himself from them: He who is upright in his deeds will be saved from them.
Obviously, from the English, it's not clear what all this has to do with the Boxthorn tree. I'll venture that the connection probably lies in the Hebrew, meaning that thorns and snares (which this tree is apparently known for) torment the wicked. Basically, people who make bad (spiritually wicked) decisions will face obstacles and negative consequences, symbolized by the thorns and snares of this tree, the Boxthorn.

So, the Muslims decided that this particular tree, the Gharqad, which is used synonymously in Mishlei by Solomon to refer to thorns and snares that torment wicked people, is the tree of the Jews. It is this tree, Islam says, which will protect the Jews against the Muslims on the Day of Judgment. A tree whose essence is to stumble and harass the wicked will protect the Jews from the Muslims. An interesting choice for "the tree of the Jews".


  1. I think you may like this one on "settlers"

  2. Shalom, I think the Gharqad tree is an allegorical thing, and the said hadith no way indicates hatred against Jews. We Muslims don't hate Jews, they are the closest people of the book who's lifestyle matches with us. Also it's a sin for a Muslim to call a Jew infidel, however we Muslims DO HATE "Zionists" (they can be Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim or from any other religion). Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) envisioned the oppression and torture of Muslims in their own land by Zionists, so a freedom war with the oppressors and captors is inevitable in the future. Thus this hadith came in light. It's not about killing Jews or genocide, it's all about a full fledge future war against the Zionists. I personally believe, when this war will happen brave Zionists will die in Israel and coward Zionists will flee from Israel and take refuge in Lebanon (the multi cultured country in the middle east, look at the flag of Lebanon which resemble a tree, yes I think Lebanon Cedar is the said Gharqad).


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