Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Olive Tree

The olive tree is considered a blessed tree by all three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Adherents of these religions have traditionally used its wood to make prayer beads, and there are numerous references to the olive in their sacred texts. In the Torah, in the book of Deuteronomy, the Prophet Moses e describes Palestine as a “good land, a land of olives.” The Book of Genesis says that, after the Flood, a dove brought an olive branch to the Prophet Noah e as a sign that land was near. According to the Psalms, a man’s children are like “the slips of olive trees.” The Prophet Jesus e also made references to the olive tree. The Qur’an says:

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. The likeness of divine light is as of a niche with a lamp inside; the lamp is in a glass; the glass is as if a shining star, lit from a blessed olive tree, neither of the East nor of the West, its oil nearly luminous even without fire touching it. Light upon light: God guides whomever God will to divine light; and God gives people examples. And God is 
cognizant of everything. (24:35)
God swears an oath by the olive, saying, “By the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this secure city, We have made man in the finest order” (Qur’an 95:1-4). The Prophet Muhammad s said, “Anoint yourselves with olive oil because it comes from a blessed tree.” In his book on the qualities of the Prophet s , Imam al-TirmidhÄ« mentions that it was reported that the Prophet s used so much olive oil that his shawl was often saturated with it.
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It's with great pleasure that I announce the commencement ceremony for the first ever Islamically oriented liberal arts college in the US. Zaytuna college has been making strides in producing independent Islamic thinkers. This is a momentous occasion for the American Muslim Community and the greater muslim community, aka the Ummah. We are maturing as a people, producing proteges that can represent our thoughts in different arenas. An invaluable service to a populous gripped in turmoil. But don't take my word for it, hear from the students themselves...

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