I have heard a Hadith which states that before Zakariyya (‘alayhis salam) was killed, he went into a tree and part of his upper garment was left sticking out of the tree. His enemies came and cut the tree in half while he was inside, which led to his death.
Is this true?
Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has cited a narration which states that during Mi’raj, Zakariyya (‘alayhis salam) informed Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) regarding his death. This lengthy narration makes mention of the part in question.
However, Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) has dismissed the authenticity of this narration (هذا سياق غريب جدا وحديث عجيب ورفعه منكر وفيه ما ينكر على كل حال). He also states that no other authentic Hadith makes mention of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) meeting Zakariyya (‘alayhis salam) during Mi’raj, except this [unreliable] narration.
Hafiz Ibn Kathir further states that there exists a difference of opinion with regard to the demise of Zakariyya (‘alayhis salam). Some were of the opinion that he passed away/was murdered in Masjidul Aqsa and others say he passed away in Damascus. Hafiz Ibn Kathir seems to prefer this latter view.
(Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 2 pg. 227/228)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
This answer was collected from HadithAnswers.com. The answers were either answered or checked by Moulana Haroon Abasoomar (rahimahullah) who was a Shaykhul Hadith in South Africa, or by his son, Moulana Muhammad Abasoomer (hafizahullah), who is a Hadith specialist.