In our yard, there is a lotus tree that has grown to the extent that it is crowding us out. We wish to have it cut down. However, our family is upset about it. They say that it is a tree that should not be cut. Is this true? Does the lotus tree have such significance?
It is disliked in Islam to unnecessarily cut down a lotus tree that benefits people by providing shade, leaves, and fruit.
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever cuts down a lotus tree, Allah will cast him headlong into the Fire.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (5239) and Sunan al-Nasâ’î al-Kubrâ (8611) and authenticated by al-Albânî]
If the lotus tree is growing in a place that people need for other purposes like for agriculture or to build a house or to lay a road, then it is permissible to cut it down. Likewise, it is permitted to cut down a lotus tree if its wood is needed – both its trunk and its stems – to build something like a door, a beehive, or a roof. The same can be said if the people of the household are injured by its thorns or similarly inconvenienced.
Abû Dâwûd states after relating this hadîth in his Sunan: “This hadîth is abridged. Its full meaning is that whoever cuts down a lotus tree in open country where a traveler or an animal might seek its shade, and does so for no good reason, oppressively and unjustly, then Allah will cast him headlong into the Fire.”
Source: Islam Today
-- Al Arabiya Digital