Auspices of the Ultimate Victory of Islam


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  • Auspices of the Ultimate Victory of Islam


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    Light Shed on Misconceived Hadiths

     

     

    1.The Hadith:

    “Islam Started a Stranger”

     

    Q.: From amongst the hadiths that are frequently narrated and quoted is the hadith saying:       

    ) ÈÏà ÇáÅÓáÇã ÛÑíÈÇð¡ æÓíÚæÏ ÛÑíÈÇ¡ð ßãÇ ÈÏá ÝØæÈí ááÛÑÈÇÁ (

     

    “Islam started a stranger (gharîb) and it will return a stranger as it has started, so Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the (likewise) strangers.”

     

    How far is that hadith true on the one hand? And what does it signify on the other hand? Is the word ‘gharîb’ derived from estrangement or from strangeness? I once heard some speakers on the radio affirm that it is derived from (strangeness and wonder) and negated its being derived from (estrangement).

     

    And if it is truly derived from estrangement, as widely believed and perceived, does it signify the decline of Islam and its fade-out?

     

    Are there proofs that Islam will enjoy victory once more as it did during the first centuries of the Hijrah?

     

    A.: The hadith’s chain of transmission is unquestionably authentic according to the specialists in that domain and it is narrated by a number of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all).

     

    It is reported by Muslim and Ibn Mâjah on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him); At-Tirmidthy and Ibn Mâjah on the authority of Ibn Mas‘ûd (may Allah be pleased with him); Ibn Mâjah on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him); At-Tabarâny on the authority of Sulaimân, Sahl bin Sa‘d and Ibn ‘Abbâs (may Allah be pleased with them all) as well as in Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ As-Saghîr (The Small Authentic Compilation). Muslim also reported it without the phrase saying, “So Tûbâ is to the (likewise) strangers.”

     

    Thus, we learn that the authenticity of the hadith is indisputable and it now remains for us to discuss its meaning.

     

    Regretfully, all the hadiths that are related to (the End of Time) or what is known as (the hadiths of Turmoil and the Last Hour) are conceived by some people in a way that suggests despair of any deed that may help in reformation and improvement.

     

    It is inconceivable that our honorable Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would inspire in the nation despair and despondency, and abandonment of corruption to permeate among people and abominations to gnaw the bones of the society, while people do nothing to straighten what is distorted and reform what is corrupted.

     

    Impossible to imagine such a thing for he (the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is the one who commands us to work hard in order to make life fruitful on the earth to the last breath as indicated by the noble hadith that says, If the Last Hour befalls while any of you has a (palm) seedling in his hand, and he can plant it before it is yet established, let him plant it.[1]

     

    It is clear that he will never eat from the fruits of that seedling nor any after him will, since the Last Hour has already been established or about to be.

     

    If that is what is enjoined in worldly life, then religious matters are far superior and solemn and we have to earnestly strive to the last breath for their sake.

     

    As for the word ‘gharîb’, its meaning is initially derived from (estrangement) not from (strangeness), as proven by the last statement in the hadith ‘So Tûbâ is to the (likewise) strangers’, where ‘ghurabâ’’ (strangers) is the plural of ‘gharîb’ (stranger) and the intended meaning here is the state of being lonesome not strange.

     

    For their estrangement emanates from the loneliness of Islam itself in which they believe and invite others to join. That is the understood meaning of the word ‘gharîb’ (stranger) in more than one hadith, as the one saying: (Be in this world as if you were a stranger), reported by Al-Bukhâry.

     

    A group of hadiths and narrations with additional parts related to the stated hadith has been also mentioned, which describe the ‘ghurabâ’’ (the strangers). They all stress the fact that the intended meaning is estrangement not strangeness.

     

    Furthermore, current times and bygone ages show the estrangement of Islam in its very homeland and among its very kinsfolk, to the extent that those calling to true Islam suffer persecution and torture or beheading or assassination!

     

    But is this estrangement general, comprehensive and perpetual or is it partial and temporary? For it could be in one place and not in another, at a time and not at another, amongst some people and not there amongst others as stated by the seeker of the truth, Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be pleased with him).

     

    Personally, I see that the hadith speaks about turns or (ebb and flow) that come and go. Islam, same as other calls and messages, is subjected to periods of strength and weakness, prevalence and abatement, thriving and withering away according to the Laws of Allah that never alter. Same as others, it is liable to these Divine Laws that know no two-faced justice or double standards. What has been imposed on other religions and creeds is imposed on Islam, and what applies to other nations applies to the Islamic nation.

     

    The hadith foretells the decline of Islam during one of the periods and one of the rounds but soon it will stand on its feet once again, regain its balance after stumbling, and overcome its state of solitariness just as it did at its beginning.

     

    Islam started a stranger but it did not remain one; it was weak then it grew strong, it started in secrecy then it was revealed to all, it was limited than it became widespread and it was persecuted then it triumphed.

     

    Yet, it will return a stranger as it has started; weak to get stronger and stronger, persecuted to be all the more superior over all other religions, chased and oppressed in order to spread throughout the world and achieve one victory after another.

     

    The hadith conveys no signs that denote despair of the future if understood correctly.

     

    The stated description of those strangers in some narrations: of their being the ones who will set aright what people have distorted in Sunnah and revive what people have deadened proves that the hadith denotes no submission or despair and does not call for them in the least

     

    Those strangers are active, constructive and reforming people. They do not appertain to passive people or isolationists, or dependents that helplessly stand and watch the befalling of adversities and never caution a negligent person.

     

    It is noteworthy in this regard to quote what Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim has written down concerning this hadith, when explaining the words of his sheikh Al-Harawy in the chapter on (Estrangement) from Manâzil Al-Sâ’irîn (Ranks of the Worshippers) to the transcendent standings of (Surat Al-Fâtihah; the noble Qur’anic verse saying what means): {You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)} (Al-Fâtihah, 1: 5). In the book entitled Madârij Al-Sâlikîn (The Paths of the Seekers), Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be merciful to him) said: The sheikh of Islam quoted in (the Chapter of Estrangement) the Qur’anic verse in which Allah, The Most Exalted, says:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    ÝóáóæúáÇó ßóÇäó ãöäó ÇáúÞõÑõæäö ãöä ÞóÈúáößõãú ÃõæúáõæÇú ÈóÞöíøóÉò íóäúåóæúäó Úóäö ÇáúÝóÓóÇÏö Ýöí ÇáÃóÑúÖö ÅöáÇøó ÞóáöíáÇð ãøöãøóäú ÃóäÌóíúäóÇ ãöäúåõãú    (åæÏ: 116)

     

    "If only there had been among the generations before you, persons having wisdom, prohibiting (others) from Al-Fasâd (disbelief, polytheism, and all kinds of crimes and sins) in the earth, except a few of those whom We saved from among them." (Hûd, 11: 116)

     

    Explaining and commenting, Ibn Al-Qayyim, said: Quoting this noble Qur’anic verse in this chapter indicates his deep, extensive knowledge and erudition as well as his comprehension of the Noble Qur’an. For strangers in this world are the people endowed with the attribute stated in the noble Qur’anic verse. They are those whom the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) indicated by his hadith saying, “‘Islam started a stranger and it will return a stranger as it has started, so Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the (likewise) strangers.’ It was said, ‘And who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘They are those who correct when people become corrupt.’”[2] Imam Ahmad reported on the authority of the following chain of transmission: ‘Abdul-Rahmân bin Mahdy, Zuhair, ‘Amr bin Abu ‘Amr – the freed slave of Al-Muttalib bin Hantab – and Al-Muttalib bin Hantab that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “’Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the strangers.’ So the Companions asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, and who are the strangers?’ He replied, ‘They are those who grow more (in faith) when people grow less.’”[3] They are those who grow more righteous, more believing and more pious when people degenerate in this regard and surely Allah is the Best-Knower.

     

    Al-‘Amash reported, on the authority of Abu Al-Ahwas, the hadith narrated by ‘Abdullâh bin Mas‘ûd (may Allah be pleased with him), who said, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Verily, Islam started a stranger and it will return a stranger as it has started, so Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the (likewise) strangers.’ So it was said, ‘And who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘The forsakers of kindred (for the Sake of Allah).’”[4]

     

    Moreover, ‘Abdullâh bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘Âs (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the hadith saying, “One day while we were at the place of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) he said, ‘Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the strangers.’ So it was said, ‘And who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘A few righteous people among many people; those who oppose them are more than those who follow them.’”[5]

     

    Imam Ahmad reported on the authority of the following chain of transmission: Al-Haitham bin Jabal, Muhammad bin Muslim, ‘Uthmân bin ‘Abdullâh, Sulaimân bin Hurmuz and ‘Abdullâh bin ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “’Verily, the most beloved thing to Allah are the strangers.’ So it was said, ‘And who are the strangers?’ He (the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) replied, ‘The runaways with their religion, who will be gathered with ‘Îsâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), peace be upon him, on the Day of Resurrection.’”[6]

     

    Another hadith says, ‘“Islam started a stranger and it will return a stranger as it has started, so Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the (likewise) strangers.’ So it was said, ‘And who are the strangers, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘They are those who revive my Sunnah and teach it to people.’”[7]

     

    ‘Abdullâh bin Nâfi‘ reported on the authority of Mâlik the hadith that says, “’Umar bin Al-khattâb (may Allah be pleased with him) entered the Masjid wherein he found Mu’âdh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him)setting beside the abode (grave) of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) while crying, so ’Umar said to him, ‘What makes you cry, O father of ‘Abdul-Rahmân? Did your brother die?’ He said, ‘No, but owing to a Hadith that my beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told me while I was in the Masjid.’ ’Umar said, ‘And what was it?’ Mu’âdh bin Jabal said, ‘Verily, Allah loves the recluse, pious and innocent people, who when absent are not sought and when present are not known. Their hearts are the lamps of guidance; they come out (safely) from every blind darksome affliction.’”[8]

     

    Those are the real praiseworthy coveted strangers. Due to their extreme rarity amongst people are called strangers. If the majority of people share qualities other than theirs, then Muslims are strangers amongst people, and true believers are strangers amongst Muslims, and religious scholars are strangers amongst believers, and adherents to the Sunnah – who guard it from vain desires and heresies – are also strangers. Above all, the callers to the Sunnah, who tolerate any injury they suffer at the hands of the dissidents, are those most estranged. But those people are the true servants of Allah and they will never be alone. Rather their estrangement is when they are amongst the majorities, in whose regard Allah, The Most Exalted and Ever-Majestic, says:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóÅöä ÊõØöÚú ÃóßúËóÑó ãóä Ýöí ÇáÃóÑúÖö íõÖöáøõæßó Úóä ÓóÈöíáö Çááøåö (ÇáÃäÚÇã: 116)

     

    The noble Qur’anic verse says what means:

     

    “And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path.” (Al-An'âm, 6: 116)

     

    Those misleading people (mentioned in the noble Qur’anic verse) are the ones truly estranged from Allah, His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and His Religion. Theirs is a dreary estrangement even if they enjoy fame and celebrity.

     

    When the Prophet Mûsâ (Moses, peace be upon him) escaped from the people of Fir‘awn (Pharaoh) he reached (the land of) Madyan (Midian). Looking about in a state of fear, lonely and hungry, he said, “’O Allah a lonesome, a sick, a stranger.’ Thereon Allah said to him, ‘O Mûsâ! The lonesome is he who has not a Companion like Me, and the sick is he who has not a Healer like Me and the stranger is he who has no rapport between Me and him.’”

     

    Estrangement is of three kinds: first is the estrangement of the servants of Allah and the adherents to the Sunnah of His Messenger, Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), among the creation, which is the kind of estrangement whose patrons are extolled by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). He (the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) foretold that the religion with which he had been sent (Islam): started a stranger and that it would return a stranger as it has started and its people would become strangers.

     

    But that estrangement may happen in one place and not in another, at a time and not at another, amongst some people and not there amongst others, yet those who experience that estrangement are the true servants of Allah, for they resorted to none but Allah and ascribed themselves to none besides His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Furthermore, they called for nothing else apart from what the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had been sent with; they are the ones who have forsaken the company of people at the time they needed them most, so on the Day of Resurrection when people hasten to the idols they used to worship, they will remain in their places, thereon it will be said to them, ‘Will not you hasten to where people have gone?’ And they will reply, ‘We parted with people at a time we needed them more than we do today and we are waiting our Lord Whom we used to worship.’

     

    That estrangement causes no feelings of loneliness or desolation, rather such a stranger enjoys utmost warmth and friendliness when people suffer desolateness and he feels most desolate when people enjoy the company of one another. His Patron is Allah, His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the believers, whether most people accompanied or deserted him.

     

    Al-Qâsim reported on the authority of Abu Umâmah (may Allah pleased with him) the hadith in which the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “The devotee most coveted in my sight, is a believer who has few children, greatly blessed in offering prayers (for offering them with due solemnity and full submissiveness where he finds rest in whispering his cares to Allah), has sincerely worshipped his Lord and his sustenance is the minimum needed to support life. In spite of that, he was unknown among people, not to be pointed at with fingers, and he endured that until he met Allah. Then came the time of his death, his legacy (that he left behind) was small, and his mourners were few.”[9]

     

    Among the strangers are those referred to by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) in the hadith in which the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Many a disheveled person, who is dust-covered and has (only) two rags and is totally unheeded, were he to adjure Allah, He (Allah) would surely fulfill his oath.”[10]

     

    Adu Adrîs Al-Khawalâny, on the authority of Mu’âdh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him), narrated the hadith, “The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Shall I tell you about the kings of the inhabitants of Paradise?’ They (the Companions) said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah.’ He said, ‘Every weak dust-covered person, with (only) two rags and is totally unheeded, if he adjures Allah, He (Allah) will surely fulfill his oath.’”[11]

     

    Al-Hassan (may Allah be merciful to him) said, “A believer in this world is like a stranger, never grieved by its adversities nor rivals for its gains. People are in a world and he in a world of his own. He is a relief to people and an anguish to his soul.”

     

    Among the attributes of those strangers – coveted by the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) - is their abidance by the Sunnah when people have forsaken it, and their abstention from all the innovations that their people invent, even if such innovations are common among them, as well as their absolute belief in the Oneness of Allah even if most people have denied it. They ascribe themselves to none save Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), not to a certain Sheikh, doctrine, school or sect. Those strangers ascribe themselves to Allah by virtue of worshipping Him Alone, and to His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) by following his teachings alone. They are the ones who truly are grasping live coals, yet most of the people – rather all of them – condemn them. For their estrangement among people, they regard them as abnormal heretics who have dissented from the greatest majority!

     

    The significance of his saying, The forsakers of kindred (for the Sake of Allah),’ in the Prophetic hadith, is that Allah, all praise be to Him, sent His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) when people on the earth were professing different religions; some worshipped idols and fire, and others worshipped pictures and crosses, apart from the Jews, the Sabians and the philosophers. At the beginning of its emergence, Islam was a stranger, and those who embraced Islam among people and responded to Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) became strangers as well, whether in their own districts, their tribes or among their families and kindred.

     

    The respondents to the call of Islam became immigrants from their own kindred (for the Sake of Allah), even loners who left their tribes and clans and embraced Islam, so they were true strangers until Islam came to light, its message spread out and large influxes of people entered Islam, whereupon such estrangement ended. Then Islam started to ebb away until it became a stranger once again, as it had started. Moreover, today, true Islam – like the Islam of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and his Companions – is more of a stranger than at the time it first started, though its outward signs and external relics are well known and widespread. True Islam is an extreme stranger and its people are the most estranged among people.

     

    Of course, that extremely lone small group has to be a stranger amongst seventy-two other groups [the Prophet (may Allah be bless him and grant him peace) said in an authentic hadith that this Ummah would divide into seventy-three groups, all of which would go to Hell except the one Saved Group] with followers and headships, posts and states, and it shall not be admitted, save by violating what the Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been sent with. For his message contradicts their vain desires and pleasures; contradicts the dubious matters and heresies they are clinging to, which stand as their utmost moral excellence and attained knowledge, and contradicts the lusts that embody their highest aims and desires.

     

    How could a believer treading the path towards Allah, by following in the footsteps of his righteous forefathers, be not a stranger among those who followed their vain desires, obeyed their masters and each was charmed with his own opinion? The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. But when you see niggardliness obeyed, desires followed, worldly interests preferred, everyone charmed with his opinion, and you saw matters you are helpless about, then care for yourself, and beware what people in general are doing; for ahead of you are days of (which will need) patience; the patient therein will be like he who is grasping live coals.” Therefore, Allah allotted to the sincere Muslim at that time – if he firmly adheres to his religion - the reward of fifty of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all).[12]

     

    Abu Dâwûd and At-Tirmidhy also recorded in their anthology of hadiths, that Abu Tha‘labah Al-Khushany (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) about the following Qur’anic verse:

     

    ÈÓã Çááå ÇáÑÍãä ÇáÑÍíã:

     

    {íóÇ ÃóíøõåóÇ ÇáøóÐöíäó ÂãóäõæÇú Úóáóíúßõãú ÃóäÝõÓóßõãú áÇó íóÖõÑøõßõã ãøóä Öóáøó ÅöÐóÇ ÇåúÊóÏóíúÊõã}ú  (ÇáãÇÆÏÉ¡ 105)

     

    (Which means: O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves, [do righteous deeds, fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)]. If you follow the right guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error). (Al-Mâ'idah, 5: 105), and he (the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Yet, enjoin one another to do what is good and forbid one another to do what is evil. But when you see niggardliness obeyed, desires followed, worldly interests preferred, everyone charmed with his opinion, then care for yourself, and leave alone what people in general are doing; for ahead of you are days of (which will need) patience; showing patience therein will be like grasping live coals. The one who acts rightly during that period will have the reward of fifty men who act as he does.’ I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! The reward of fifty of them? He replied, ‘The reward of fifty of you.’”[13] This great reward owes to his estrangement among people, and his adherence to the Sunnah amidst the glooms of people’s vain desires and opinions.

     

    If a believer whom Allah has blessed with insight into His Religion (Islam), deep extensive knowledge of the Sunnah of His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), comprehension of His Noble Book (the Qur’an) and has revealed to him the true state of the people: the vain desires, the heresies and the perversities they suffer from, and their straying from the straight way which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Companions have strictly adhered to, if such a believer wishes to pursue that straight way, he has to cope with the slander of ignorant people and heretics; their defamation, their contempt, their attempts to make people shun him, and forewarn them against him[14] just as their disbelieving forefathers used to do with his master and Imam the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). On the other hand, if he bid them to follow his path and condemned their behavior, they would doom him to destruction, oppress him with calamities, spin webs and weave pots against him and war against him with the cavalry and the infantry of their leader (Satan).

     

    Verily, he is a stranger in his espoused religion against the corruption of people’s religion; a stranger in his fast adherence to the Sunnah against their adherence to heresies; a stranger in his beliefs against the decadence of their own beliefs; a stranger in his offered prayers against the hollowness of their own; a stranger in the way he follows against the perversity and rottenness of their adopted ways; a stranger in his relations against theirs and a stranger in his associations with them because conducted in a way that does not agree with their vain desires.

     

    In short, he is a stranger whether in his worldly or otherworldly affairs, finding no helper or supporter from people. He is a knower among ignorant people, an adherent to the Sunnah among heretics, a caller to Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) among tempters to vain desires and heresies. An enjoiner to do righteous deeds and to forbear from evil ones among people who deny righteous deeds and approve of evil ones.[15]

     

    Auspices from the Noble Qur’an about the Emergence of Islam Anew

     

    Concerning my brother’s question about the auspices and signs indicating the victory of Islam in the future, they are many and plentifully exist in both the Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah, even though many sermonizers and preachers ignore them and concentrate only on what outwardly reflects despondency. We have already aforementioned a number of these auspices so he may refer to them.

     

    Among these auspices

     

    1. The emergence of the Islamic arousal that has restored to the nation its strong faith in Islam and hope in its morrow, and has perturbed the enemies of Islaminternally and externally. It is truly capable of leading the nation to the fields of victory when Allah wills that those who take over the reigns of its nation are the rightly-guided leaders; those endowed with power and religious understanding, to whom Allah has imparted a profound knowledge of His Laws as well as His Religion, wisdom in judgment and prudence in action.

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    íõÄÊöí ÇáúÍößúãóÉó ãóä íóÔóÇÁ æóãóä íõÄúÊó ÇáúÍößúãóÉó ÝóÞóÏú ÃõæÊöíó ÎóíúÑðÇ ßóËöíÑðÇ (ÇáÈÞÑÉ: 269)

     

    Almighty Allah says in His Noble Qur’an what means:

     

    “He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and he, to whom wisdom is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 269)

     

    1. The collapse of the totalitarian regimes, especially communism which claimed one day that it would invade the world, inherit (succeed) all religions and defeat all philosophies. Its first lost battle was suffered at the hands of our striving brothers in Afghanistan who achieved victory over the most powerful atheist state in the entire history by their timeworn weapons.

     

    The strongholds of communism have collapsed one after the other, starting with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and ending with Albania.

     

     

     

     

    2.The Hadith:

     

    “No time will come upon you but the one following it is eviler than it”

     

     

    Q.: I was reading a religious book when I chanced upon a hadith that made my flesh creep. At first sight I could not believe it, for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said in the hadith:

    ) áÇ íÃÊí Úáíßã ÒãÇä ÅáÇ æÇáÐí ÈÚÏå ÔÑ ãäå (

     

    “No time will come upon you but the one following it is eviler than it”

     

    When I questioned some religious scholars who knew the hadith, they told me that it is authentic and is reported by Al-Bukâhry, so I became confused; for what else can be said when the hadith is stated in Sahîh Al-Bukhâry (The Authenticated Reference of Imam Al-Bukhâry), the most authentic book in Islam after the Book of Allah (the Noble Qur’an), glory be to Him?

     

    So, does the hadith signify that we are in an incessant state of decline and continuous deterioration? That we are proceeding from bad to worse, and from worse to the worst, till the Last Hour is established? 

     

    Although many people believe the absolute opposite: that life is progressing, the world is developing, and man is gaining more knowledge about the world surrounding him, from beneath and above till he reached the moon in the heavens!

     

    Furthermore, the hadith casts in our souls a loss of hope for anything, or possibility of deliverance from the predicament we are deep in as long as we are falling down into the abyss one day after the other. That it represents a strict, inherent and constant Divine Law to which we must submit till the Last Hour comes upon a villain, descendant of a villain, in other words, upon an unbeliever, descendant of an unbeliever, as we have heard from the respectable scholars. 

     

    I learned from some of the brethren who follow your writings that you have an interpretation for that hadith which you have penned in your books. I beg you to guide me to it; perhaps it would relieve the anxiety that perturbs my soul and the bewilderment and uneasiness in my heart.

     

    May Allah reward you the best of compensation for imparting knowledge and serving Islam.

    1.             K. A, Rabat-Morocco

     

     

    A.: The mentioned hadith is reported by Imam Al-Bukhâry in his Authentic Compilation, on the authority of Anas bin Mâlik (may Allah be pleased with him). The hadith’s chain of transmission is authentic, but the fault here originates from its misconception in a way that contradicts the Laws of Allah, scientific facts, or constant realties. Religion can never suggest the opposite, because religion is truth, and the stated matters are truthful, and verities can never contradict each other. Either these matters have an interpretation other than what seems to us, or the religious text has an interpretation other than the apparent one that first comes to mind.

     

    The hadiths of the (Turmoil) and those concerned with the (End of Time) or (the Portents of the Last Hour) are often misunderstood, therefore we have to deliberate on their meanings so that people will not adopt them as means to kill every bud of hope and to bury alive every newborn endeavor of reformation and improvement.

     

    The mentioned hadith is an instance of that type of hadiths, and I have tackled the clarification of its meaning and the rejection of the misconceptions that besieged it in my book entitled (How should we handle the Prophetic Sunnah). Among what I have said concerning that issue is the following:

     

    Is Each Time Eviler that the One Preceding It?

     

    Imam Al-Bukhâry reported the hadith based on the same chain of transmission of the narrator, Az-Zubair bin ‘Ady, who said, “We came to Anas bin Mâlik (may Allah be pleased with him) and we complained to him of the hardship we suffer at the hands of Al-Hajjâj, whereupon he said, ‘Be patient, for no time will come upon you but the one following it is eviler than it, till you meet your Lord. I heard it (that hadith) from your Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).’”

     

    Some people take that hadith as a crutch to lean on and an excuse to fall behind in action and in attempts at reformation and redemption, claiming that the hadith indicates that matters are in an a state of incessant deterioration, continuous declension and successive sinking, from one low depth to a lower. It does not shift except from bad to worse, and from worse to the worst till the Last Hour comes to pass on the evilest people and people finally meet their Lord.

     

    Others have stopped accepting the hadith and some may have even hastened and rejected it, assuming that it calls to the following:

     

    First: despair and despondency.

     

    Second: passivity in confronting the tyrants among the depraved rulers.

     

    Third: its contradiction with the idea of (development) on which the system of the universe and that of life is founded.

     

    Fourth: its inconsistency with the actual history of Muslims.

     

    Fifth: its contradiction with the hadiths stated regarding the appearance of a caliph [known by Al-Mahdy (the rightly-guided one)] who will fill the earth with justice and the descent of ‘Îsâ (Jesus, peace be upon him), son of Maryam (Mary, may Allah be pleased with her) and his foundation of an Islamic state and the exaltation of the word of Islam on the whole earth.

     

    We must admit that past religious scholars were reluctant to make an absolute generalization of the hadith. An absolute generalization would imply that each time is eviler than the one preceding it, even though some times are less evil than those preceding them. It may have occurred only during the era of ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-‘Azîz, the Umayyad Caliph, which started shortly after the era of Al-Hajjâj, during which grievance had prevailed. Prosperity spread so widely under Caliph ‘Umar, and if it were said that evil truly vanished during his time it would not be an exaggeration, so it is hard to imagine that it was eviler than the age preceding it.

     

    They accounted for that with several answers:

     

    (a) Imam Hassan Al-Basry interpreted the hadith in accordance with the most general and prevalent. When he was asked about ‘Umar bin Abdul-‘Azîz who followed Al-Hajâj, he replied, ‘People must have a (sort of) catharsis!’

     

    (b) It was quoted that Ibn Mas‘ûd (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “No time will come upon you but will be eviler than the one preceding it. Not that I mean a ruler better than another ruler, or a year better than another year, but your religious scholars and jurisprudences will disappear, and you will not find successors to them and there will come people who will issue Fatwas [legal opinion issued by a mufti (Muslim scholar) in response to a layman's question on a point of Islamic law] based on their own opinion.” And in another narration, “Who will blunt Islam and destroy it.” Al-Hâfizh favored in Al-Fath the interpretation of Ibn Mas‘ûd to the meaning of goodness and evilness intended herein, saying, “It is more deserving to adopt.”

     

    But in fact that does not radically solve the problem, for texts indicate that in the unseen future Islam will play roles wherein its banner will tower high and its word will reign topmost, even if that will not happen except during the time of Al-Mahdy (the rightly-guided one) and the Messiah (Jesus, peace be upon him) at the end of time, still it would suffice.

     

    History affirms that periods of stagnation and recession in the world were usually followed by times of action and renaissance. It is enough to mention by way of example the religious scholars and revivers who appeared after the downfall of the Islamic Caliphate in Baghdad and the deterioration of situations during the seventh century; Imams like Sheikh of Islam, Ibn Taimayah, his student, Ibn Al-Qayyim, and the rest of his students in Shâm [The countries of the Levant, they include: Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan]. As well as Ash-Shatby in Andalusia, Ibn Khaldûn in Morocco and others whose works were translated by Ibn Hajar in his book entitled Ad-Durr Al-Kâminah fy A‘yân Al-Mi’ah Al-Thâminah (Pearls Treasured in the History of Outstanding Figures of the Eighth Century After Hijrah).

     

    Furthermore, during the preceding centuries we find, for instance, Ibn Hajar and As-Sayûty in Egypt, Ibn Al-Wazîr in Yemen, Ad-Dahlawy in India, Ash-Shawkâny and As-San‘âny in Yemen, Ibn ‘Abdul-Wahâb in Najd besides other lofty and diligent religious scholars and rejuvenating Imams.

     

    That is what prompted Imam Ibn Habân in his Sahîh (Authentic Reference) to maintain that the hadith narrated by Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) is not an absolute generalization, as proof, he quoted the hadiths on Al-Mahdy (the rightly-guided one), who will fill the earth with justice after being filled with inequity.[16]

     

    (c) Therefore, I believe that the most probable interpretation of that hadith is what Al-Hâfizh has mentioned in Al-Fath in which he stated, “Perhaps the intended times are those of the Companions, based on the belief that they are the addressees so it appertains to them, but those succeeding them are not intended in the stated tidings. Nevertheless, (Anas) the Companion of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) understood generalization – therefore he answered thus the complainers of Al-Hajjâj and instructed them to be patient. They were – or most of them – from the Successors [the term is attributed to a person who was in the company of a Companion of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace].”[17]

     

    Moreover, this interpretation also explains the statement of Ibn Mas‘ûd (may Allah be pleased with him), because it belongs to the time of the Companions and Successors he addressed; he also died during the lifetime of ‘Uthmân (may Allah be pleased with them both).

     

    As for those who claim that the hadith embraces a summon to be silent in the face of injustice, to tolerate dictatorship and tyranny, to accept vices and corruption and to advocate passivity in confronting the despotic tyrants on the earth…

     

    The vouchsafed answer is submitted from different aspects:

     

    First: The one who said (Be patient) is Anas (may Allah be pleased with him). These words are not quoted from the Traceable (Marfu‘) hadith [whatever word, deed, approval or attribute directly traced back to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with a connected or a disconnected chain of transmission]; rather he inferred them from it. In addition, not everything a man says is to be taken for granted, save the words of the Impeccable, the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

     

    Second: Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) did not command them to accept injustice and corruption, but he commanded them to show patience. Certainly, there is a big difference between the two, for acceptance of disbelief is disbelief itself, and acceptance of vices is a commission of vice. Whereas, patience is something hardly anyone can do without. Man can forbear something while abhorring it and striving hard to change it.

     

    Third: those incapable of challenging injustice and tyranny have no other recourse but to hold fast to patience and forbearance, to strive hard to become strong, to resort to the Ways and Means of Allah, to make use of their entire mental capacities and to seize the favorable opportunities to confront the forces of falsehood with those of truth and the abettors of injustice with the champions of justice and the tyrants with the Forces of Allah.

     

    The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) suffered in patience the idols and their worshippers in Mecca for thirteen years. He used to offer prayers in the Sacred Mosque and circumambulate the ka‘bah while three hundred and sixty idols were within and around it. Moreover, in the seventh year of Hijrah he circumambulated the ka‘bah along with his Companions during the Compensatory ‘Umrah [the lesser pilgrimage made by the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in compensation for a previous ‘Umrah that was cancelled after negotiations with the pagans of Mecca upon which Al-Hudaibiah Peace Treaty was concluded] while unable to see or touch it until the moment came on the Day of the Conquest of Mecca and he demolished the idols.

     

    Therefore, our religious scholars have decided that if the elimination of vice results in a graver vice, then one is obliged to observe silent endurance regarding it till the state of affairs changes.

     

    Consequently, the piece of advice and the intended forbearance therein should not be understood as submission to injustice and oppression, but to watch and wait till Allah judges and indeed He is the Best Judge.

     

    Fourth: Patience should not keep anyone from uttering truth, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil in the face of the tyrants who deified themselves, although such a duty is not incumbent on he who fears for his safety or that of his family and his neighbors. The Prophetic hadith says, “The best striving (jihad) in the path of Allah is a word of justice (uttered) at an oppressive ruler.” Another Prophetic hadith says, “The Master of Martyrs is Hamzah bin ‘Abdul-Muttalib, and a man who stood up to an unjust ruler and enjoined him (with righteousness) and forbade him (to do evil) so he killed him.”

     

     

    1. The Hadith:

     

     “The best of generations is my generation then those following them”

     

    Some of the contemporary researchers educed from the hadith saying, “The best of generations is my generation (the Companions), then those following them (the Successors), and then those following them (followers of the Successors)”, a very strange statement, which signifies that the humanity Islam shelters is moving towards a worse rather than a better state, and this movement towards the worse is inevitable and irrevocable according to this hadith and its analogues.

     

    That is why some believe that these hadiths are fabricated and forged, either to serve as a pretext to what is really taking place, if we assumed that those fabricators are truly Muslims; or to direct the path of Islam to the way of despair, if we assumed that the fabricators are hypocrites.[18]

     

    The truth is that the hadith is authentic and the scholars of Islam have unanimously agreed upon its authenticity, for no Sunni scholar or even an adherent to Mutazilites (those who keep themselves apart) [a deviant sect founded by Wâsil bun ‘Atâ’; its adherents believe that the Noble Qur’an is a created object and believe in the doctrine of Anti-fatalism] – as far as I know - has impugned the hadith’s chain of transmission or its text, rather Ibn Hajar, As-Suyûty and other Imams specialized in transmitting hadiths have stated that it is amongst the Continuously Recurrent (Mutawâtir) hadiths [a hadith reported by a large number of narrators whose agreement upon telling a lie is inconceivable (this condition must be met in the entire chain from the beginning to the end)].[19]  

     

    Considering that hadith fabricated is an accusation to the entire nation of ignorance, stupidity, propagation of falsehood and of being led astray one and all throughout those eras, which is an inlet to destroy the religion entirely.

     

    However, the respectable inquirer’s understanding of the hadith and the conclusions he draws from it cannot be taken for granted.

     

    For the hadith points to the merit of the generation tutored by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and nursed in the arms of prophecy; who certainly witnessed what others have not seen from the Âyât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Destiny had assigned to them missions it assigned to none others. It is the generation that conveyed the Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah to the whole nation. Through that generation Allah conquered the lands and people were guided aright. Then came after them a generation that was apprenticed at the hands of those Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), they borrowed from their light and followed in their footsteps. Then came the third generation who adopted their course and followed them exactly in Faith, so Allah became well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him.

     

    No fair scholar can doubt that the spiritual beam of these generations that lived close to the era of the final prophecy possessed a certain strength, depth and sweep that no other generation can ever attain; and that in a general and not a specific sense, when discussing the matters of religion and piety not the matters of life, science and civilization. For the successive generations may excel in such matters over the first generations that are superior in espoused religious commitment.

     

    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) gave glad tidings to his nation that they would inherit the kingdoms of khosrau and Caesar and would spend their treasures in the Cause of Allah; that one day they would possess the eastern and western parts of the entire earth; that luxury would reach the extent that the rich would hardly find someone to accept charity during that time; that security would prevail until women would set off alone from Hîrah (a kingdom) in Iraq to circumambulate the Sacred House (the Ka‘bah), fearing none but Allah; that one day the land of Arabia would return meadows and rivers. Does all that sound as heading towards the worse?!

     

    Any reader unprejudiced or unbiased against history knows well that after the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the Rightly-Guided Caliphs enhanced many conditions of life, bringing about lots of improvements and expansions that did not exist during the era of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). We are ordered to follow their course and cling tight to it, for it is a continuation of the sanctified Prophetic Sunnah.

     

    After the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras, Muslims started to create and introduce things that did not exist during the Prophetic era or the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, which the religious scholars of the nation ratified and consensually agreed upon their legitimacy.

     

    Enough to mention from among the noteworthy achievements during these eras theology and linguistics that were thoroughly studied, recorded and consolidated. Scientific and intellectual schools emerged in different branches of sciences and arts. The knowledge of other nations was acquired through translation; forthwith studied, perfected and refined. In addition, modifications, improvements and alterations were carried out through deletion, inclusion or change, as well as giving priority to certain things over others. In order to make them concordant with the general temperament of the nation, finely attuned to its religion, morals and culture and settle them in the fabric of its intellectual, emotional and social life. Later, came the discovery of complete new branches of knowledge, quite unknown to the predecessors.

     

    Within that frame the magnificent and sublime Islamic civilization flourished; with its deep-seated roots, high branches, verdant shades and blessed fruits.

     

    Muslims never stopped enriching that civilization in its different domains and branches, under the pretext that there are hadiths that handcuff them or fetter their movement or paralyze their brains, compelling them to head towards the worse!!

     

    It is true that the Islamic generations that built that majestic civilization were not as transparent in faith (spirituality) as the generation of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) and their disciples, a truth we all admit, but that did not hinder them from excelling in knowledge, achieving cultural progress and moral excellence. They set the morals and ethics of that ideal generation before their eyes, as the highest humane paradigm. They hoped, even tried their best, to combine the two virtues: the virtue of achieving tangible cultural excellence and the virtue of attaining spiritual sublimity as well as exalted beliefs and moralities.

     

    Nevertheless, there are other hadiths that show the merit of the succeeding generations and praise their patience and steadfastness during the eras of turmoil and distress where the people of faith and the conveyors of the message of Islam are to be tried. A time when He who holds fast to his religion becomes like the one tightly grasping live coals, to the extent that the one who acts rightly during that period will receive the reward of fifty men, as the hadith promises! Whereupon it was asked, ‘(Fifty men) of us or them, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, ‘No, (the reward of fifty men) of you.’[20]

     

    There are also many authentic hadiths that give glad tidings of a bright morrow and a beaming future for the Islamic call as well as a vast kingdom to its state.

     

    Moreover, there is also the authentic hadith informing that Allah sends every century someone who rejuvenates the nation’s religion, whereby hope is certainly revived and faith is strengthened in reforming the state of affairs if corrupted, strength of belief if weakened, and uprightness of behavior if perverted.

     

     

     

    Continuance of Goodness in the Rest of the Generations of the Nation

     

    The Muslims’ belief in the merit of the first generation or early generations of Islam does not mean that the Gates of Allah are shut before the rest of generations till the Day of Resurrection. Nor should the coming generations feel excluded from the competition for good deeds, believing them to be already won by those earlier generations and there only remained the little crumbs, if there is any. 

     

    The truth, of which there is no doubt, is that the Gates of Allah, The Most Exalted, are wide-open to all till the Last Hour is established. Rivalry in performing good deeds is something enjoined upon all nations in all eras:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    ÝóÇÓúÊóÈöÞõæÇ ÇáÎóíúÑóÇÊö Åöáóì Çááå ãóÑúÌöÚõßõãú ÌóãöíÚðÇ (ÇáãÇÆÏÉ: 48)

     

    Almighty Allah says in His Noble Book what means:

     

    “So strive as in a race in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allah.” (Al-Mâ'idah, 5: 48)

     

    Truly, how endless good deeds the first have left to the last, and how still possible for us to surpass the excellence of the past. The noble hadith says, “The parable of my nation is that of rain, knowing not whether its beginning is better or its end.”[21]

     

    Here the expounders affirm that just as we cannot judge whether prosperity resides in some rainfalls and not in others, we cannot judge whether goodness resides in some generations or individuals of the nation and not in others. Thus, it intimates that the Gates of Allah, The Most Exalted, are wide-open and appeals can easily be made to His Majesty for endless boons. Hence, every category of the nation enjoys a certain attribute and a certain merit that entail the blessings bestowed on it, just as every torrent of rain undeniably serves in growth and bloom. The foremost generations believed by virtue of the miracles they had witnessed and they received the call of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) with compliance and faith, whereas the later believed in the Unseen through the Âyât (Proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that recurred to them and they followed those who preceded them exactly in Faith. Furthermore, just as the foremost generations earnestly strove in laying the foundation and paving the way, the later generations did their best in consolidation and substantiation, so by the Will of Allah all their sins shall be forgiven, their endeavors shall be accepted and their recompense shall be an ample one.

     

    It is said that the intended meaning of this hadith is the description of the nation all together – the first and the last – by goodness; adhering firmly together, closely packed as an edifice and hollowed as a circle knowing not where its end lie.[22]

     

    Muslims any place, any time repeat the following statement: “Goodness dwells in me (the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and my nation till the Day of Resurrection,” believing it to be a Prophetic hadith. But though its meaning is authentic no Prophetic hadith has this exact wording.

     

    Also, there is a group of authentic hadiths narrated by several Companions affirming that, “A group of that nation will continue to maintain the truth till the Command of Allah comes to pass”, which agrees with the noble Qur’anic verse saying:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóãöãøóäú ÎóáóÞúäóÇ ÃõãøóÉñ íóåúÏõæäó ÈöÇáúÍóÞøö æóÈöåö íóÚúÏöáõæäó {181} (ÇáÃÚÑÇÝ: 181)

     

    Almighty Allah says in His Noble Book what means:

     

    “And of those whom We have created, there is a community who guides (others) with the truth, and establishes justice therewith.” (Al-A'râf, 7: 181)

     

    Many other authentic hadiths give the glad tidings of a glorious future for Islam, during which its word will reign supreme, its call will spread worldwide and its state will extend far.23

     

    Constant Laws and Rules

     

    Over the centuries it has become evident to the Muslim generations that there exist fixed principles, constant rules and invariable laws derived from the bases or fundamentals of the Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah, to which all appeal, amongst them are the following:

     

    1. To every deed is born fruits and to every effort is a reward in the life of this world before the Hereafter. The Almighty King says:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    ÅöäøóÇ áóÇ äõÖöíÚõ ÃóÌúÑó ãóäú ÃóÍúÓóäó ÚóãóáðÇ {30} (ÇáßåÝ: 30)

     

    The noble Qur’anic verse says what means:

     

    “Certainly! We shall not suffer to be lost the reward of anyone who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner.” (Al-Kahf, 18: 30)

     

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóÇáøóÐöíäó íõãóÓøóßõæäó ÈöÇáúßöÊóÇÈö æóÃóÞóÇãõæÇú ÇáÕøóáÇóÉó ÅöäøóÇ áÇó äõÖöíÚõ ÃóÌúÑó ÇáúãõÕúáöÍöíäó {170}  (ÇáÃÚÑÇÝ: 170)

     

    The noble Qur’anic verse says what means:

     

    “And as to those who hold fast to the Book (i.e. act on its teachings) and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), certainly, We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.” (Al-A'râf, 7: 170)

     

    1. Allah will never waste the struggle fought for His Sake, be it a spiritual or a physical one:

     

     íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóÇáøóÐöíäó ÌóÇåóÏõæÇ ÝöíäóÇ áóäóåúÏöíóäøóåõãú ÓõÈõáóäóÇ æóÅöäøó Çááøóåó áóãóÚó ÇáúãõÍúÓöäöíäó {69} (ÇáÚäßÈæÊ: 69)

     

    Almighty Allah says in His Noble Book what means:

     

    “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s Religion - Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinûn (good doers)." (Al-‘Ankabût, 29: 69)

     

    1. Whoever champions the Cause of Allah, Allah will grant him victory and endow him with power on land. Verily, Allah grants victory by virtue of faith and performance of good deeds, and good deeds are whatever leads to a correct life both spiritually and physically, andmakes mankind more uprightboth individually and collectively. Almighty Allah says:

     

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóáóíóäÕõÑóäøó Çááøóåõ ãóä íóäÕõÑõåõ Åöäøó Çááøóåó áóÞóæöíøñ ÚóÒöíÒñ {40} ÇáøóÐöíäó Åöä ãøóßøóäøóÇåõãú Ýöí ÇáúÃóÑúÖö ÃóÞóÇãõæÇ ÇáÕøóáóÇÉó æóÂÊóæõÇ ÇáÒøóßóÇÉó æóÃóãóÑõæÇ ÈöÇáúãóÚúÑõæÝö æóäóåóæúÇ Úóäö ÇáúãõäßóÑö æóáöáøóåö ÚóÇÞöÈóÉõ ÇáúÃõãõæÑö {41} (ÇáÍÌ: 40-41)

     

    The noble Qur’anic verses say what means:

     

    “Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. Those (Muslim rulers) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamat-as-Salât. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salât (prayers) (the males in mosques)], to pay the Zakât and they enjoin Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism and all that Islam has forbidden) [i.e. they make the Qur'ân as the law of their country in all the spheres of life]. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).” (Al-Hajj, 22: 40-41)

    íÞæá Çááå ÊÚÇáì Ýí ßÊÇÈå ÇáÚÒíÒ:

     

    æóÚóÏó Çááøóåõ ÇáøóÐöíäó ÂãóäõæÇ ãöäßõãú æóÚóãöáõæÇ ÇáÕøóÇáöÍóÇÊö áóíóÓúÊóÎúáöÝóäøóåõã Ýöí ÇáúÃóÑúÖö ßóãóÇ ÇÓúÊóÎúáóÝó ÇáøóÐöíäó ãöä ÞóÈúáöåöãú æóáóíõãóßøöäóäøó áóåõãú Ïöíäóåõãõ ÇáøóÐöí ÇÑúÊóÖóì áóåõãú æóáóíõÈóÏøöáóäøóåõã ãøöä ÈóÚúÏö ÎóæúÝöåöãú ÃóãúäðÇ íóÚúÈõÏõæäóäöí áóÇ íõÔúÑößõæäó Èöí ÔóíúÆðÇ (ÇáäæÑ: 55)

     

    The noble Qur’anic verse says what means:

     

    “Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me.” (An-Nûr, 24: 55)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    [1] Reported by Imam Ahmad in his Al-Musnad; Imam Al-Bukhâry in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (Superior Manners) on the authority of Anas; At-Tayâlisay and Al-Bâzzâr reported it as well. Al-Haithamy said that its narrators are strongly reliable and trustworthy.

    [2] Recorded by Al-Haithmay in Mujma‘ Al-Zawâi’d from the hadith of Sahl bin Sa‘d Al-Sâ‘idy, with a similar chain of transmission; and said that it is reported by At-Tabarany in his three compilations of hadiths; and its narrators are the same mentioned by Imam Al-Bukhâry and Muslim, other than Bakr bin Salîm who is trustworthy: (7278). It is also recorded based on the hadith narrated by Jâbir and said that At-Tabarâny reported it in Al-Awsat and among its narrators is ‘Abdullâh bin Sâlih, the writer of Al-Laith, a weak narrator, yet judged as reliable: (7278).

     

    [3] I have searched for the hadith in its potential locations in Al-Musand but I could not find it. I also failed to find it in Mujma‘ Al-Zawâi’d by Al-Haithmay, nor did he allude to it in the indexed lexicon of the nine reference books. Moreover, I did not find Al-Mutlab bin Huntub among the narrating Companions in Al-Musnad, based on the bibliography of Sheikh Al-Albâny. Either it has been omitted in the printed material as has been the case with ‘Uqbah bin Murah Al-Juhany, who actually has three hadiths in Al-Musnad but only one of them is found in the printed material, or perhaps Imam Ahmad has reported it in a book other than Al-Musand, and Allah is the Best-Knower.

     

    [4] The hadith is recorded in Ad-Dârimy no. (2757), Ibn Mâjah no. (3988), At-Tirmidhy no. (2631) without reporting the question and said that it is hadith Hassan Gharîb ((Good Unfamiliar hadith). Al-Baihaqy also recorded it in the chapter of Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) no. (208); and Al-Baghawy in Sharh As-Sunnah (The Interpretation of The Sunnah) and has authenticated it: (1118), hadith (64) – published by the Islamic Library.

     

    [5] The hadith is recorded in Al-Musand and Sheikh Shâkir authenticated it. It is also recorded by Al-Haithmay: (7278), who said that Imam Ahmad reported it and At-Tabarâny recorded it in Al-Awsat. He noted that Ibn Luhai‘ah is one of the narrators therein but said to be weak in narration. He also stated it as a part of a hadith in another location and ascribed it to At-Tabarâny in Al-Jâmi‘ Al-Kabîr; and said that it is reported through different chains of transmissions and one of the narrators therein is the same mentioned by Imam Al-Bukhâry and Muslim: (10256).

     

    [6] Reported by Imam Ahmad in Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) p. no. 77, but not in Al-Musnad; Al- Baihaqy also reported it in Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) no (206).

     

    [7] Reported by Al-Baihaqy in Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) from the hadith of kathîr bin ‘Abdullâh bin ‘Awf, on the authority of his father, who reported it on the authority of his grandfather but it is very weak no. (207). At-Tirmidhy reported it with the same chain of transmission, no. (2632); and said that it is Hassan (Good) and in other narrations: hadith Hassan Gharîb ((Good Unfamiliar hadith)!! It’s wording is as follows: [So Tûbâ (means all kinds of happiness or is the name of a tree in Paradise) is to the (likewise) strangers who correct what people have distorted after me in my Sunnah]. And that constituted the weak point raised against him by the critics; perhaps he regarded it as hadith Hassan (Good) [a hadith whose chain of transmission is linked to the narration of an authority with weak exactitude and the hadith bears no eccentricity or blemish] or authenticated it for the multiplicity of its other well-known narrations through different chains of transmission.

     

    [8] The hadith is reported with nearly the same wording in Ibn Mâjah no. (3986). It is judged as weak due to the presence of Ibn Luhai‘ah in its chain of transmission; Ibn Al-Hâkim reported it but with another chain of transmission and said that it is authentic and is not to be judged as inaccurate when narrated on the authority of Zaid bin Aslam (14); Adh-Dhahaby agreed on that. Please refer to my book entitled Al-Muntaqâ min At-Targhîb wa At-Tarhîb (The Selected from Encouraging and Arousing Fear) hadith no. (19). Al-Baihaqy also reported it in Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) with another chain of transmission, no. (197) on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar.

     

    [9] Reported by At-Tirmidhy in Az-Zuhd (Asceticism) no. 2348, based on the narration of ‘Ubaidullâh bin Zahr reported on the authority of ‘Aly bin Zaid, who reported it on the authority of Al-Qâsim; its chain of transmission is weak but At-Tirmidthy regarded it as hadith Hassan (Good) [a hadith whose chain of transmission is linked to the narration of an authority with weak exactitude and the hadith bears no eccentricity or blemish]. Ibn Mâjah also reported it with nearly the same wording but with another chain of transmission (4117), it includes two narrators of weak authority; also recorded in Al-Zawâ'id by Al-Busairy.

     

    [10] Nearly the same hadith is recorded by Al-Haithmay in Al-Majam‘: (10264) who said that At-Tabarâny reported it in Al-Awsat, and among its narrators is ‘Abdullâh bin Mûsâ At-Tamîmy whose authority is authenticated, whereas the rest of the narrators therein are the same mentioned by Imam Al-Bukhary and Muslim. Ibn Hibbân authenticated it in spite of its weakness and reported nearly the same from the hadith of Ibn Mas‘ûd, but with a more reliable chain of transmission. Its wording in Sahîh Muslim (The Authenticated Reference of Muslim) from the hadith of Abu Hurairah is as follows: [Many a disheveled person, who is thrust out of doors, were he to adjure Allah, He (Allah) would surely fulfill his oath], hadith no. (2852).

     

    [11] Reported by Ibn Mâjah (4115) and among its narrators is Swaid bin ‘Abdul-‘Azîz and it was judged as weak but some have regarded it as hadith Hassan (Good) [a hadith whose chain of transmission is linked to the narration of an authority with weak exactitude and the hadith bears no eccentricity or blemish] by virtue of others well-known narrations through different chains of transmission. See: Fayid Al-Qadîr (The Endless Blessings of the Almighty): hadith (2852).

     

    [12] That substantiates the statement of Al-Hâfizh bin ‘Abdul-Bar, which maintains that the superiority of the century of the Companions is that of the whole not by virtue of individuals, with the exception of the first to embrace Islam from the Muhâjirûn (those who migrated from Mecca to Medina) and the Ansâr (the citizens of Medina who helped and gave aid to the Muhâjirûn), the Mujahidin of the Battles of Badr and Uhud, the people of Ar-Radwân pledge of allegiance and the Companions who were endowed with special merits. It certainly leaves the way of hope open to the coming generations and is also supported by the hadith reported by At-Tirmidhy: [The parable of my nation is that of rain, knowing not whether its beginning is better or its end].

     

    [13] Reported by Abu Dâwûd in the book of (Battles) no. (4341) and At-Tirmidhy in At-Tafsîr (Interpretation) no. (3060) and said that it is hadith Hassan Gharîb (Good Unfamiliar hadith). Ibn Mâjah also reported it in the book of Al-Fitan (Turmoil) no. (4014).

     

    [14] In our time an extra factor has been forced in that heightens the estrangement of the believers calling to Allah, His Noble Qur’an and the Sunnah of His Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), that is the oppression that the ruling authorities exercise on them, pursuance, and exploitation of all the power they have to wrong and persecute them. Following close are the conspiracies of the forces antagonistic to Islam and indeed how countless, how well armed and how cunning are they!

     

    [15] Madârij As-Sâlikîn (The Paths of the Seekers) explaining Manâzil Al-Sâ’irîn (Ranks of the Worshippers) by Ibn Al-Qayyim (Vol.1, pp.194-200) ed. by the Muhammadan Sunnah.

     

    [16] Fath Al-Bâry: vol. 16, p. 228, ed. by El-Halaby.

    [17] Ibid.

     

    [18] See: Usus At-Taqadum 'inda Mufakiry Al-Islâm fy Al-'Âlam Al-'Araby Al-Hadîth [Bases of Development as Viewed by the Islamic Thinkers in the Modern Arab World] by Dr. Fahmy Jad‘ân p. 21 and the next to it – ed. by the Arab Institution for Studies and Publication, Beirut.

     

    [19] See: Nazhm Al-Mutanâthir fy Al-Hadîth Al-Mutawâtir (Marshalling the Bestrewn among the Continuously Recurrent Hadiths) by Al-Kittâny, published by the house of Scientific Books, Beirut, hadith no (241).

     

    [20] Reported by Abu Dâwûd in his Sunnan, book of (Battles) no. (4341) and At-Tirmidhy in At-Tafsîr (Interpretation) no. (3060) and said that it is hadith Hassan Gharîb (Good Unfamiliar hadith). Ibn Mâjah also reported it in the book of Al-Fitan (Turmoil) no. (4014); all of them reported it on the authority of Abu Tha‘labah Al-Khushany.

     

    [21] Reported by At-Tirmidhy on the authority of Anas, in the chapter of (Parables), no. 2873, and said that it is hadith Hassan Gharîb (Good Unfamiliar hadith); also reported by Imam Ahmad, Al-Bâzzâr and At-Tabarâny on the authority of ‘Ammâr bin Yâsir. Al-Haithmay recorded it in Mujma‘ Al-Zawâi’d: (1068): and the narrators of Al-Bâzzâr are the same mentioned by Imam Al-Bukhâry and Muslim, other than Al-Hasan bin Qaz‘ah and ‘Ubaid bin Sulaimân Al-Aghar, but both are trusted narrators. Al-Bâzzâr and At-Tabarâny recorded it in Al-Awsat on the authority of ‘Umrân bin Hussain; Al-Bâzzâr said: cannot be reported based on a more reliable chain of transmission. Recorded also in Al- Mujma‘: (1068) and Ibn Hibbân also reported it in his Sahîh (Authenticated Reference Book) on the authority of Sulaimân vol. 16, hadith (7226), and the editor thereof judged it as Good hadith by virtue of other narrations through other chains of transmission.

     

    [22] See p. 128, footnote no.1.

    23 See p. 14, footnote no.1.

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