Thursday, August 19, 2021

Bait-e-Ridwan (Pledge of Tree) History and Its Significance

  Tim       Thursday, August 19, 2021

Bait-e-Ridwan also known as (Arabic: بيعة الشجرة‎ bayʻat ash-shajarah) or  Pledge of Satisfaction (Arabic: بيعة الرضوان bayʻat ar-riḍwān) was a pledge made to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) by his Sahaba (companions) prior to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (6 AH, 628 CE). The pledge, made beneath a tree, was to avenge Uthman bin Affan's alleged death.

Events Leading To Bait-e-Ridwan

Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) travelled to Mecca in March 628 CE (6 AH) to perform the ritual pilgrimage of Umrah. The Quraysh forbade the Muslims from entering the city and stationed themselves outside Mecca, determined to offer resistance despite the Muslims' lack of intention or preparation for combat. Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) camped outside Mecca at Hudaybiyyah and dispatched Uthman ibn Affan as his envoy to meet with the Quraysh leaders and negotiate their admission to the city. 

The Quraysh conspired to keep Uthman in Mecca longer than they intended and refused to inform the Muslims of his whereabouts. This led them to believe Uthman had been assassinated by the Quraysh. 

Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) gathered his nearly 1,400 Sahaba on this occasion and urged them to pledge to fight until death and avenge Uthman's death. Due to the fact that this pledge took place beneath a tree, it was dubbed the Pledge of the Tree. Each Sahaba came before Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him) and pledged, placing his hand on top of Muhammad's.

Aftermath and Its Significance

The pledge was successful in demonstrating the Muslims' resolve to the Quraysh. They quickly released Uthman and dispatched their own ambassador, Suhayl ibn Amr, to negotiate the terms of what became known as the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

READ FULL ARTICLE: TREATY OF HUDAYBIYYAH

The pledgers, also known as the People of the Tree (aṣḥāb ash-shajarah), are revered by Muslims in general and Sunnis in particular. Following the pledge, verses in the Qur'an were revealed commemorating and praising the pledge and those who made it. 

Quran Verse on Bait-e-Ridwan

"Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquillity on them and rewarded them with a near victory." (— Sura Al-Fath, Ayah 18, Quran 48:18)

References: 

Watt, W. Montgomery, “Bayʿat al-Riḍwān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 19 August 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_8412>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007
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