The Blessed Tree

The Blessed Tree
(Photos: Kimi Bississo/Jordan News)
There’s a tree that sits within a fence about 156km from Amman in the northern desert. It stands on its own, alone, surrounded by vast emptiness, located near the Jordanian-Iraqi border, an extremely remote and usually dry area.اضافة اعلان

The long and narrow road is endless; with the naked eye it seems to touch the horizon. On either side of our vehicle the clouds mirrored themselves off the flooded ground caused by the heavy rain from the previous day, a long, never-ending stretch of land. It was evident that we were literally in the middle of nowhere, with not a trace of anything other than the pavement, the wetland on both sides and the sky. Note: Keep a phone charger with you on this journey, as your phone will serve as your only link to the world.

We continued for another 10km or so and were met with a small concrete arch and a stationed guard who, with a smile, knows why we’re here. He explains that what we’re looking for is only a few minutes away. We jumped out of the truck, which we luckily parked on a dry spot we found, walking across the cracked dry terrain. There, standing in the midst of desolation, peacefully and firmly grounded, sits a tree.

A brief backstory to the significance of the tree: There was once a monk named “Bahira” who had been living in a monastery near the tree. One day the monk noticed a caravan approaching the monastery; it settled near the tree, where a young boy took rest under its shade after his long travels. An older man by the name of “Abu Taleb” sat with the boy under the tree.

After their rest the pair entered the monastery close by, where an excited Bahira, filled with awe, approached the pair with a warm welcome. He was quick to inquire to the elder man as to what is his relation to the boy. Abu Taleb replied, “He is my son.” Confidently the monk responded, “The father of this boy cannot be alive.”

Surprised by the monk’s response, Abu Taleb then explained. “He is my nephew. His father died while his mother was still pregnant with him.” Bahira then told Abu Taleb, “Take care of this boy and protect him from enemies, for he is the prophet that will come at the end of time.” The boy that sought refuge under the tree was Prophet Mohammad, and the tree that sheltered the Prophet while on his journey to Syria became known as “The Blessed Tree”.

Within the confines of a metal fence there is gate which gives access to enter the tree’s enclosure. Unfortunately though, we were unable to get close enough to touch it because the ground surrounding the tree was flooded with rainwater and deep with mud. With no way to enter, though the door was wide open for us, we pondered over the tree from a small distance.

It is remarkable to think that this “Blessed Tree”, still stands since the time of the Prophet Mohammad’s travels as a young boy, and remarkable to know that prior to the fence built as a protection around it, it once stood on its own here in the desert.

I was sincerely disappointed that I was not able to experience sitting under the tree, as the Prophet did, or to even be able to touch its trunk. The water and mud stood as a barrier between us. However, it is comforting to know that I’ll have to return for the pleasure and that hopefully we’ll meet again.

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