An Islamic scholar from Syria claimed in a show that Jews planted trees in Israel and Palestine to impede Muslims and protect them on Judgement Day.
Abdul Nafee Al-Rifai made these statements in a show aired on Qanat TV/Channel 9, an Arabic-language channel in Turkey connected to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The show aired on April 8th.
Al-Rifai argued that in a “decisive battle” on the Day of Judgement, the rocks and trees in Israel and Palestine would tell Muslims that Jews were hiding behind them and to come and kill them. However, he mentioned that one tree, the gharqad tree, would protect them.
The gharqad tree refers to the Nitre bush or Nitraria retusa, a salt-tolerant and drought-resistant shrub native to parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East. The plant is recognized as the “tree of the Jews” among many Muslims, and it is known for its many uses, such as food for livestock and even a source of salt for many living in the desert.
"Is it possible that the angels participate in the battles of the Muslims? Yes! They do, and, God willing, they will participate in the decisive battle when the fighting will be between the Jews and us.” Al-Rifai said in the show.
“The Prophet Muhammad informed us about a decisive battle, which will be fought between the Jews and us. The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘You, the Muslims, will be east of the Jordan River, and they will be west of the Jordan River.’ Picture the map — it’s just like that.”
The scholar also cited a hadith, stating that the rocks and trees will tell Muslims where the Jews are hiding to kill them, except for the gharqad, calling it “one of the trees of the Jews.”
"Allah will make the rocks and the trees speak, and they will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,” Al-Rifai said, mentioning the hadith. “The rocks and the trees will speak, with the exception of the gharqad, which is one of the trees of the Jews.”
The scholar continued his claims that the Jews planted the gharqad in their occupied territories, gardens, and homes, even if they were thorny and useless, to “prepare for that decisive battle.”
He also said that the Jerusalem municipality, back in the 1970s, ordered Jews to plant gharqad in their home or garden, or their electricity and water supply would be cut off.
It wouldn’t be the first time the hadith was recited when discussing the situation between Israel and Palestine. While addressing a crowd for an anniversary event of the founding of the Palestinian political party Fatah, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, quoted the hadith.
His statements were broadcast on Palestinian television, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Hussein, describing his comments as "morally heinous.”