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The Hadith of Najd is a hadith with several chains of narration about three geographical locations, one of which is prophesied to be the source of calamities. While all Sunni Muslims accept the group of hadith as authentic, the exact location of the area referred to as "Najd" is disputed.[according to whom?] Possible locations listed are the areas around Yemen, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.[1]

Contents

Text of the hadithEdit

According to two narrations in Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad asks Allah to bless the areas of Bilad al-Sham (Syria) and Yemen. When his companions said "Our Najd as well," he replied: "There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there will come out the side of the head (e.g. horns) of Satan."[2][3] In a similar narration, Muhammad again asked Allah to bless the areas Medina, Mecca, Sham, and Yemen and, when asked specifically to bless Najd, repeated similar comments about there being earthquakes, trials, tribulations, and the horns of Satan.[4][5]

"O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Shaam. O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Messenger of Allaah, and our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "There (in Najd) will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations, and from there appears the Horn of Satan."

It has been asserted that this hadith is relating the coming events that shook the Muslim nation, these known as fitnah or 'trials'. Amongst the trials that arose in Iraq and the east was the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, as well as the first battle between the Muslims that also occurred in Iraq. This as well as the tribulations that came along with the multitude of sects that formed in the east, specifically Iraq and Baghdad, being the Qadariyyah, the Jahmiyyah (from Jahm bin Safwan), the spread of the Mu'tazila, and the advent of the emergence of the Shia in opposition to the Sunni Muslims.[citation needed] It has also been identified as where the Dajjal or Antichrist is said to emerge from (according to a narration through Imam Nawawi). There have also been various theories instigated against the people of the modern day region of Saudi Arabia known as 'Najd',[6] however, linguistical and geographically this argument is disputed.[7]

Location of NajdEdit

The apparent meaning of 'najd' indicates a raised area, it is regarded that there are up to 13 various locations in the region regarded as 'najd'.[citation needed] Historically the location has been accounted as being between the borders of Iraq and modern day Saudi Arabia. This is in accordance to "Najd Qarnu ash-Shaytaan" the definition of Najd depends on one's own location, and from Madina, Najd would be Iraq. The area is indicated by various scholars of hadith as to be in accordance with this.

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said after quoting the words of al-Khattaabee explaining the meaning of Qarn (horn) ;

  • "and others have said that the People of the East were disbelievers at that time and the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, informed us that the trials and tribulations would arise from that direction and it was as he said. And the first of the trials that arose, arose from the direction of the east and they were the reason for the splitting of the Muslim ranks, and this is what Satan loves and delights in. Likewise, the innovations appeared from that direction." [8]

Ibn Hajr quoted al-Khattabi as saying:

  • "The najd is in the direction of the east, and for the one who is in Madeenah then his Najd would be the desert of Iraaq and its regions for this is to the east of the People of Madeenah. The basic meaning of Najd is that which is raised/elevated from the earth in contravention to al-Gawr for that is what is lower than it. Tihaamah [the coastal plain along the south-western and southern shores of the Arabian Peninsula] is entirely al-Gawr and Mecca is in Tihaamah.'[...] by this [saying of al-Khattaabee] the weakness of the saying of ad-Daawodee is understood that 'Najd is in the direction of Iraq' [min Nahiya al-Iraq] for he suggests that Najd is a specific place. This is not the case, rather everything that is elevated with respect to what adjoins it is called Najd and the lower area called Gawr."[9]

The celebrated 12th-century historian Ali ibn al-Athir, who had frequently traveled to Iraq during the era of Saladin and had written his monumental work al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh (The Complete History), writes in his work 'al-Nihâyah' ;

  • “Najd is the highland region. This name is given to area beyond the Hijâz towards Iraq.”[10]

It is also related that Imam Nawawi in his Sharh Saheeh Muslim 2/29 stated that this hadith had to with the Dajjal or Antichrist coming from the East.[11]

Possible locationsEdit

Scholars have elucidated that there are perhaps up to thirteen various regions known as Najd. The geographer and Islamic scholar, of Greek origin, Imam Yaqut al-Hamawi in his encyclopedic work Mu'jam al-Buldan explained the various regions of najd as;[1] 1. Najd Yemen. 2. Najd Iraq. 3. Najd Hejaz. 4. Najd Khal. 5. Najd Al-Shari. 6. Najd Azaar. 7. Najd Al-Aqaab. 8. Najd Kabkab. 9. Najd Mari. 10. Najd Alwaz. 11. Najd-e-Aja.

Contemporary theoriesEdit

A number of authors have claimed that the hadith refers to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the patronym of the Wahhabi movement. It is accounted that the origin of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is from the modern day Najd region of Saudi Arabia[citation needed] which happens to be the only surviving region that carried on the title of 'Najd' after the geographical codification regardless that there were several distinct locations known previously as 'Najd'. This theory is generally supported by adherents to Barelvism[citation needed] as well as Twelver Shi'ism[12] that have disdain for Wahhabism. Further Non-Wahhabi-Sunnis, such as scholars from Al-Azhar University, identified Wahhabism as the predicted "Horn of the Devil", or the Islamic Dajjal.[13][14]

Contrary, advocates of Wahhabism consider the Banu Tamim tribe of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, in the present-day Saudi Arabia, as the only one, who will resist the Dajjal, citing certain scholary works, such as the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: "Do not say of Banu Tamim anything but good, for indeed they are the severest of people in attacking the Dajjaal."[15] Further, the Ibn Hajar praises the Banu Tamim in his Tafsir: "I have loved the people of the tribe of Banu Tamim, ever since I heard three things the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said about them. I heard him saying, 'these people (of the tribe of Banu Tamim) would stand firm against the Dajjaal.' When the Saddaqat from that tribe came, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "these are the Saddaqat (charitable gifts) of our folk." Aa'ishah had a slave girl from that tribe, and the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said to Aa'ishah, 'manumit her as she is a descendant of Ismaa'eel, alayhis salaam."[16]

Otherwise some scholars assert, the 'Hadith of Najd' actually refers to Iraq, supported by the indication of another hadith: Narrated by Yusair bin 'Amr:I asked Sahl bin Hunaif, "Did you hear the Prophet saying anything about Al-Khawarij?" He said, "I heard him saying while pointing his hand towards Iraq. "There will appear in it (i.e, Iraq) some people who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, and they will go out from (leave) Islam as an arrow darts through the game's body.' "[17]

Ibn 'Abd al-Barr (368h-463h) was quoted as saying: "Allah knows best that the reason behind pointing of Prophet peace be upon him towards east regarding fitna is that the biggest fitna which was the key of troubles was the martyrdom of Uthman ibn Affan may Allah be pleased with him, and that was the reason behind the war of Jamal and Siffeen, these troubles started from the east. Then Khawarij emerged from the land of Najd, Iraq and its regions."[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Imam Yaqut al-Hamawi. Mu'jam al-Buldan. p. Vol.19 Pg.265.
  2. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 147
  3. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 214
  4. ^ "O Allah bestow your blessings on our Medina, and bestow your blessings on our Mecca, and bestow your blessings on our Sham, and bestow your blessings on our Yemen, and bestow your blessings in our measuring (fee saa`inaa wa muddinaa)." A person said, "O Messenger of Allah and in our Najd" and so he turned away from him and said, "there will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations and there will appear the horn of Satan." From Shu'ayb al-Arna'ut: Sharh as-Sunnah’ (14/206-207 fn. 2)
  5. ^ O Allah bestow your blessings on our Medina, O Allah bestow your blessings in our measuring, O Allah bestow your blessings in our Sham and our Yemen." A person said, "And Najd O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "from there arises the horn of Satan and the trials and tribulations would come like mounting waves." From al-Awsat by at-Tabaraanee from Hadith of Ibn Umar and authenticated by Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Haythami in Mujma az-Zawaa`id (3/305)
  6. ^ "The Saga of "Hempher," Purported British Spy an extract from "The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy," pp. 211–12". danielpipes.org.
  7. ^ Dr. Turki bin Fahad al-Ghamiz, Imtina' an-Nabi 'alaihi as-Salatu was-Salam 'an ad-Du'a li-Najd. Islam Today, 10 December 2005. Accessed 24 June 2018.
  8. ^ Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. Fath al-Bari 13/58 in commentary to the hadith of Najd.
  9. ^ Ibn Hajar. Fath al-Baaree 13/58-59.
  10. ^ Ali ibn al-Athir. al-Nihâyah (5/18).
  11. ^ Nawawi. Sharh Saheeh Muslim 2/29.
  12. ^ Subhani, Ayatullah Ja'far (1996). Wahhabism. Naba' Organization.
  13. ^ Simon Ross Valentine Force and Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond Oxford University Press 2015 ISBN 978-1-849-04616-9
  14. ^ John Andrew Morrow Restoring the Balance: Using the Qur’an and the Sunnah to Guide a Return to the Prophet’s Islam Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2016 ISBN 978-1-443-89296-4 page 200
  15. ^ Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
  16. ^ al-Fath hadith 2543 and 4366.
  17. ^ Imam Bukhari. Sahih Bukhari Volume 9 Book 84. p. Hadith 68.
  18. ^ Imam Ibn 'Abd al-Barr. Al Istadhkaar. p. 8/519.

Further readingEdit