Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: While we were with Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) he said: “Tell me of a tree which resembles a Muslim man. Its leaves do not fall and it does not, and does not, and does not, and it gives its fruits every now and then.” It came to my mind that such a tree must be the date palm, but seeing Abu Bakr and ‘Umar saying nothing, I disliked to speak. So when they did not say anything, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “It is the date-palm tree.” When we got up (from that place), I said to ‘Umar: “O my father! By Allah, it came to my mind that it must be the date palm tree.” `Umar said: “What prevented you from speaking “I replied:” I did not see you speaking, so I disliked to speak or say anything.” ‘Umar then said: “If you had said it, it would have been dearer to me than so-and-so.”(1)
Its leaves will not fall.(2)
He mentioned negation three times only as an indication that its fruit will not cease, its product will not vanish, and its benefit will never end.(3)
The point of resemblance between a palm tree and a believer is:
Al Hafizh (Ibn Hajr) said in Fath Al Bary: “The benefit of a palm tree is present in all its parts at all conditions. Since it grows until it dries, it is eaten differently then all its parts are used, even its seeds are given to animals, its fiber in making ropes, besides other benefits. Likewise is the benefit of a Muslim is general in all conditions and his benefit is endless to himself and to others even after his death.”(4)
Benefits taken from the Hadith(5):
1- Exhortation to understanding knowledge.
2- Desirability of shyness as long as it does not waste a benefit, therefore `Umar wished that his son would not have kept silent.
3- It bears a proof of the benefits of a palm tree and its fruits.
4- It gives examples for the people to increase their understanding, embody meanings to be well-established in minds, and to draw attention of thoughts to consider in the rulings of the incident.
5- Likening something to another does not entail full resemblance because no inanimate resembles or equals a believer.
6- Revering old people: a young man should wait until his father finishes his talk and a young man should not say what comes on his mind even if he thinks this is the right thing.
7- A great scholar may miss something that is known for others because knowledge is a talent that Allah gives to whomever He wills.
1) Sahih Al Bukhari, No. (4698)
2) Commentary of Sahih Muslim of An-Nawawy 17\155
3) Fath Al Bary Sharh Sahih Al Bukhari 1\146
4) Fath Al Bary Sharh Sahih Al Bukhari of Al `Asqalany 1\145
5) Fath Al Bary Sharh Sahih Al Bukhari of Al `Asqalany 1\146-147