Islam will Return as Something Strange Just as it Began: The Excellence of the Strangers who Enjoin the Good, Forbid the Evil and Rectify what the people Corrupt of the Sunnah: Fadlul-Islām of Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb ―comments from Imām Ibn Bāz

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In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.

The following covers pages 47 to 51 from Fadlul-Islām.

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

فَلَوْلَا كَانَ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ أُولُو بَقِيَّةٍ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْفَسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِّمَّنْ أَنجَيْنَا مِنْهُمْ ۗ وَاتَّبَعَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مَا أُتْرِفُوا فِيهِ وَكَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ – 11:116

“If only there had been among the generations before you, persons having wisdom, prohibiting others from corruption and sins in the earth ―except there were only a few of them, those whom We saved from among them. Those who did wrong pursued the enjoyment of this worldly life and they were the sinners, criminals and disbelievers in Allah.

It is reported from Abu Hurairah from Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam):

بَدَأَ الإِسْلاَمُ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ كَمَا بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ

“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being strange just at it began so glad-tidings (of Paradise) is for the Strangers.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 145)

Notes

(By Abu Khadeejah)

The wording used in the hadeeth is, “so Toobā is for the Strangers.” And Toobā is a name for Jannah, and it is said that it is a tree in Paradise. Anas bin Mālik narrated that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “There is a tree in Paradise so big that if a rider travels in its shade for one hundred years, he would not cross it.” (Bukhāri, no. 3251)

Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) narrated that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

إِنَّ الإِسْلاَمَ بَدَأَ غَرِيبًا وَسَيَعُودُ غَرِيبًا كَمَا بَدَأَ وَهُوَ يَأْرِزُ بَيْنَ الْمَسْجِدَيْنِ كَمَا تَأْرِزُ الْحَيَّةُ فِي جُحْرِهَا

“Indeed Islam began as something strange and it shall return to being strange just as it began, and it shall eventually recede between the two mosques just as a snake recedes back into its hole.” (Muslim, no. 156)

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

Ahmad reported from the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) wherein it is stated: The Messenger was asked, “Who are the Strangers (Ghurabā)?” So he responded: “They are individuals pulled out (an-Nuzzā’) from the tribes.” (Al-Musnad, 1/398, At-Tirmidhi no. 2630, Ibn Mājah no. 3988)

In a narration it states that the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

الذين يَصلحون إذا فسد الناس

“The Strangers (Al-Ghurabā) are those who rectify themselves when people are corrupted.”

Notes

This wording is narrated from Abdur-Rahmān Al-Ashja’ee (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) in Al-Musnad (4/73). And from Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), reported by Abu ‘Amr Ad-Dāni in As-Sunan in the chapter of Fitan, 3/633, no. 288. And this wording is narrated by a number of Sahābah such as Sahl bin Sa’ad as-Sā’idi (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) as reported by At-Tabarāni in Al-Kabeer (6/164, no. 5867), Al-Awsat (3/250, no. 3056) As-Sagheer (1/183, no. 290).

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

Ahmad narrated from the hadeeth of Sa’ad bin Abi Waqās (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Toobā (Paradise) on that day is for the Strangers while the [rest of the] people had caused corruption.” (1/184)

And Tirmidhi (no. 2630) reported from the hadeeth of Katheer bin Abdillāh from his father from his grandfather that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

فَطُوبَى لِلْغُرَبَاءِ الَّذِينَ يُصْلِحُونَ مَا أَفْسَدَ النَّاسُ مِنْ بَعْدِي مِنْ سُنَّتِي

“Toobā (glad-tidings of Paradise) is for the Strangers (Al-Ghurabā) ―those who rectify what the people have corrupted of my Sunnah.”

It is narrated from Abu Umayyah who stated: I came to Abu Tha’labah Al-Khushani (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) and said to him: “What do you say about this Ayah?” He said: “Which Ayah?” I said: “Wherein Allah stated:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ – 5:105

‘O you who have believed, upon you is the responsibility for yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided aright.‘ (Al-Mā’idah: 105)” Abu Tha’labah said: “By Allah, you have asked the one who knows about it! I asked the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) regarding this Ayah and he said:

‘No! Rather, you must enjoin one another to do what is good and forbid one another from what is evil.

But when you see niggardliness being obeyed, desires being followed, worldly interests being preferred (over the hereafter), everyone being amazed by his own opinion, then take care of yourself, and leave alone what general people are doing ― for ahead of you are days which will require endurance and patience, in which endurance will be like grasping live coals. The one who acts rightly during in that time will have the reward of fifty men among you who does that deed.’

We asked: ‘The reward of fifty of us or fifty of them?’

He replied: ‘The reward of fifty of you.’

Reported by Abu Dawood (no. 4341) and At-Tirmidhi (no. 3058), (also Ibn Mājah no. 4014).

Al-Imām Abdul-‘Azīz bin Bāz (rahimahullah) said:

The narrations in this chapter are an encouragement to remain steadfast (upon istiqāmah) in times of strangeness when clinging to Islam and the Sunnah is seen as strange ― it is a must that a believer remains steadfast and he is ardent in his firmness upon the truth in a time when the truth is strange among the people. He should not be deceived by the large numbers of people who are ruined. For this reason there occurs in an authentic narration when Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “O people, you recite this Ayah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُم مَّن ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ – 5:105

“O you who have believed, upon you is responsibility for yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided aright.” (Al-Mā’idah: 105) Indeed we heard the Messenger of Allah (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) say:

إِنَّ النَّاسَ إِذَا رَأَوُا الْمُنْكَرَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُونَهُ أَوْشَكَ أَنْ يَعُمَّهُمُ اللَّهُ بِعِقَابِهِ 

“When the people see evil and they do not forbid it, then Allah is close to encompassing them all with His punishment.” (At-Tirmidhi, no. 2168, 3057 and Ibn Majah, no. 4005 and this wording is from Ibn Mājah)

Allah (the Most High) said: “O you who have believed, upon you is responsibility for yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided aright.” So from being guided aright is to enjoin the good and to forbid the evil. And the believers are not harmed by those who go astray as long as they are guided and are steadfast, they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Some people think that so long as he himself is guided because he is obedient in whatever is particular to him (without him enjoining good and forbidding evil), then he is not harmed by those who go astray ― and this understanding is an error. That is because enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil is from being guided ― it is from the causes of guidance. For this reason, Abu Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) addressed the people when he became a leader. He said: “You recite this verse, ‘O you who have believed, upon you is responsibility for yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided aright,’ and you put it in other than its right place. Indeed, I heard the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) say: ‘When the people see evil and do not forbid it, then Allah is close to encompassing them all with His punishment.’

And likewise, when the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked concerning this verse, he said:

“No! Rather, you must enjoin one another to do what is good and forbid one another from what is evil.

But when you see niggardliness being obeyed, desires being followed, worldly interests being preferred (over the hereafter), everyone is amazed by his own opinion, then care of yourself, and leave alone what general people are doing ― for ahead of you are days which will require endurance and patience, in which showing endurance will be like grasping live coals.”

And Allah’s aid is sought.

Al-Imām Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhāb (rahimahullah) said:

And Ibn Waddāh (rahimahullāh) reported (no. 205) similarly from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) with the wording:

“Indeed, after you there will come days wherein the one who endures with patience holding fast to what you (Companions) are upon today will receive the reward of fifty of you.”

Then he said: Muhammad bin Sa’eed informed us that Asad informed us saying: Sufyān bin ‘Uyainah informed us from Aslam Al-Basri from Sa’eed the brother of Al-Hasan (يرفعه): I said to Sufyān: Is it narrated from the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam)? He said, “Yes, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Indeed today you are upon clarity from your Lord, you enjoin the good and you forbid the evil, you strive in the cause of Allah and there has not [yet] appeared among the two intoxications: the intoxication of ignorance and the intoxication of the love of this world.

Then you (i.e. those after you) will turn away from that. You will not enjoin the good, you will not forbid evil and you will not strive in Allah’s cause. And there will appear among you the two intoxications. So, the one who holds fast to the Book and Sunnah in that time, his reward will fifty times that reward.’ It was said: ‘Fifty times their reward?’ He replied: ‘No. Rather fifty times your reward.’” (Al-Bid’ah wan-Nahyu ‘Anhā of Ibn Waddāh, no. 305, Abu Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah from Anas bin Mālik and similarly from Mu’ādh bin Jabal, 8/49)

He also brings his isnād on the authority of Al-Mu’āfiri who said that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Toobā is for the Strangers who cling to the Book of Allah when it is abandoned and they act upon the Sunnah when it is extinguished.” (Al-Bid’ah wan-Nahyu ‘Anhā of Ibn Waddāh, no. 754)

Al-Imām Abdul-‘Azīz bin Bāz (rahimahullah) said:

These are the Ghurabā who rectify and correct themselves when the people become corrupt―and they rectify and correct what the people corrupt―by enjoining the good, forbidding the evil and holding fast to the Qur’ān when it is abandoned by the people, “Islam began as something strange and it shall return to being strange just at it began so glad-tidings are for the Strangers.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 145)

The Ghurabā are the people of rectification and steadfastness (upon the truth), they fulfil the commands, they call to Allah when the time they live in becomes corrupt and the people in their time change (and become misguided).

Notes

(By Abu Khadeejah)

And there occurs in a report from ‘Amr Ibn al-‘Ās (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was asked about the Strangers: “Who are they?” He (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) responded, “They are righteous people amongst many who are evil―and those who obey them are few as compared to those who disobey them.” In another narration: “Those who hate them are numerous.”

In a report transmitted by Imam Ahmad and At-Tabarāni from the hadeeth of ‘Abdullāh Ibn ‘Amr (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Toobā is for the strangers.” It was said: “And who are the strangers?” He (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied: “A righteous people surrounded by an abundance of wrongdoers. Those who disobey them are more numerous than those who obey them.”

Reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad (2/177). Imām Al-Albāni authenticated it in Saheeh al-Jāmi’ as-Sagheer (no. 3291)

Imam Al-Barbahāri (d. 329H), rahimahullāh, mentions regarding Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah“And know, that there shall never cease to be a group from the people who are the people of Truth and Sunnah, and they are guided by Allah, and by way of them Allah guides others, and through them, Allah gives life to the Sunnah.”

These are the Ghurabā, may Allaah bless you, guided by Allah (the Most High) adhering to the Truth and the Sunnah. They are guided by Allah and they guide others. Allah guides through them ― and by way of them, Allah gives life to the Sunnah. 

So this will be a strangeness a second time around, and it will not be due to the absence of Muslims, just as the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said in an authentic narration, “The nations will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish.” The Companions said to the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), “Is it because we will be few in number on that day?” He said, “No, rather you will be great in number on that day, but you will be like the scum on top of the floodwater. Allah will remove the fear from the hearts of your enemies and cast a weakness into your hearts.” (Abu Dawood 4297, al-Albāni declared it saheeh)

This is the reality: when the strangeness comes back it is not because the Muslims will be few in number, this is not what is intended as you can see from the end part of the hadith. Rather, the Muslims will be great in number, but the strangeness is in that which they carry of belief, Sunnah, truth and methodology, that which they call to, and that which they are upon of firmness and steadfastness just as the Prophet Muhammad (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) was, in the face of opposition, hatred, ridicule and boycotting. So, this is not due to the scarcity of Muslims, rather it is due to the small number of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah (the Salafis). They are the Ghurabā. So, Ahlus-Sunnah will be scarce, those who truly follow the way of the Prophet (ssalallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) will be few compared to the opposers. They are upon the correct understanding of Islam, that which the Sahābah were upon – they are righteous people amongst a large body of ignorant, misguided and wicked people. They are Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah, the Salafis. They wish good for others, they are merciful, they enjoin the good, forbid the evil and do not compromise the principles of the Religion.

The Arabic Text


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