Thursday, 31 March 2011

Al-Ghurabaa` - The Strangers

Al-Ghurabaa` - The Strangers
Who are the Ghurabaa' - The Strangers?

All praise be to Allah, and the Salaah of Allah and His Salaam be upon His noble Messenger, Muhammad.
The concept of Ghurbah - Strangeness:
The Arabic word “Ghurabaa`”, is the plural of the word “Ghareeb” which is a derivative of the word “Gharaba” – which means, “to go away, depart, absent o.s., withdraw (from), leave (s.o.,”. The word “Ghareeb” means, “strange, foreign, alien, extraneous” (see Hans Wehr Dictionary).
It has been reported from the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam, which has been authenticated by al-‘Allaamah al-Muhaddith al-Albaani in his Sahih al-Jami’ as-Sagheer – that he SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam said:
“Indeed Islaam began as something strange. And it will return as something strange the way it began. So give glad tidings to the strangers”.
Indeed this is the promise of the Messenger of Allah SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam who...
“... does not speak from his desire. It is only a Revelation revealed...” (Q. 53:3-4).
This Hadeeth from the blessed tongue of Muhammad SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam shows us the true nature of the Islamic revival. The Islamic revival that took place over 1400 years from now in the Arabian Peninsula, had this nature of “strangeness”, and indeed, the revival we are witnessing in our time also has the very same nature. This is so because the history is the proof that the people who rejected faith in Allah and disobeyed Him usually outnumbered those who were loyal to Allah and His Messenger SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam. Those who confirmed to the oneness of Allah were always in the minority and thus became the “Strangers” in the community for going against the current of the society they inhabited.
Sheikh Jamaalud-Deen Zarabozo outlines this in “The Friday Prayer Part III” p.62:
“Allah says in the Quran,
‘And most of the mankind would not believe even if you desire it eagerly’ (Yusuf 103).
Allah also says,
‘But most of Mankind refuses [the truth and accepts nothing] but disbelief’ (al-Isra 89)
In yet another verse, Allah states,
‘Indeed we have brought the truth to you but most of them have a hatred for the truth’ (al-Zukhruf 78).
In these verses and, in fact, in numerous other places in the Quran, Allah has told us that the majority of mankind refuses to follow the truth. Indeed, a hadith in Sahih Muslim describes that all of mankind, nine hundred and ninety nine out of every one thousand will be in the Hellfire.
This means that the true believers will always be in minority. As they look around themselves they will see the majority of mankind turning their backs on the teachings and guidance of Allah. They prefer disbelief and disobedience to faith and obedience to Allah.
The believer will look like a stranger in their midst. His beliefs, actions and way of life will be completely different from theirs. The disbelievers may even do their best to make him feel like a stranger, someone who does not belong, someone with strange ideas and practices. They may be ridiculed. Psychological pressures may be put upon them. The media may attack them and so forth.”

"Indeed Islaam began as something Strange..."

This strangeness is not something new with this Ummah in particular, rather it existed amongst all the others Prophets and Messengers before Muhammad SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam. From amongst them was the great messenger, Nooh, who gave Da’wah to his people for 950 years and they rejected and mocked him. Lut gave da’wah to his people but the Kuffaar in response mocked him and tried to exile him and attacked his honour. Ibrahim called his people to Allah by which he went against the norm of his community, and consequently, stepped on people’s toes, for which he was persecuted, and thrown into the fire. Moosa also called the Fir’awn and his people to worship Allah alone, where the former rejected his call from the first day and was destroyed, and the latter ones, in the absence of Moosa began to worship a calf besides Allah. ‘Isa ibnu Maryam called the people to worship Allah alone and he had to pay the price just like his predecessors, by being persecuted and mocked by his own people, so Allah raised him up and he is alive until this day of ours, and will return before the Day of Judgment.
Then how may one forget the most noble of the sons of Adam – Muhammad ibn ‘Abdillah – may Allah’s Salaah and Salaam be upon him. His entire biography from the beginning till the end shows us how he stood up with the call of Tawheed on the methodology of the Prophets before him. How his own people turned against him and mocked him and how this “truthful” and “trustworthy” person was overnight labeled as a magician, a poet, a mad man, ‘the one after authority’ and so on. So the Muslims in the early stages were in a state of “Ghurbah” – Strangeness, as the Messenger of Allah SAW said,
"Indeed Islaam began as something strange...".

"... and it will return as something strange the way it began..."

This indicates that the return of Islaam is a fact and that it must take the same route and methodology, and must go through the same phases of difficulties and hardship that the early Muslims went through. This is why Imam Malik – May Allah have mercy upon him – said that the latter part of this Ummah will not be corrected except by what corrected its earliest part. Therefore it is inevitable that this path of Islamic revival must consist of firm faith in all that Allah has sent down. Likewise it is inevitable that the Muslims will have to go through hardship, endless struggle, persecution, exile and all that the first part of this Ummah went through due to their correct faith.
Hence, we noticed the decline of Islam by passing of time until the Muslims were left without Khilafah. Kufr and Shirk began to creep into the Muslim ranks in its various forms, from grave worshipping to secularism, and the Islamic Law in nearly all Muslim countries was replaced by man-made laws left by the colonialists. The people of innovations, desires and even apostacy, were at last set free to spread their poisonous ideas throughout Muslim lands. Not to mention the aggressive Kuffaar, who invaded Muslim lands and enforced their ideology on Muslim populous, which resulted in various Muslim nations being cultivated for around 40 years on ideas of atheism. All of this caused Islam to nearly fade away from the lives of the Muslims globally.
In the midst of these calamities, Allah raised amongst this Ummah various personalities amongst the scholars, the du’aat (those who call to Islaam), intellectuals, thinkers, authors and the Mujaahideen in order to help and aid His religion. This is not something new to this century, rather this has been the way of Allah through out the history of Mankind. It is the promise of Allah, by the tongue of His Messenger SAW, that there will always be a party amongst this Ummah, which will hold the flag of Tawheed high up, as the Prophet SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam said:
“There will never seize to exist a group from my Ummah being apparent on the truth, those who forsake them will not be able to harm them.”

They will cure this Ummah of the diseases and corruption, and they will act as a shield against all foreign beliefs, ideologies and innovations that steal away the beauty of Islam and corrput its foundations. These people are indeed, very few in number, and therefore, consequently they will become the victims of strangeness. As the Prophet SAW said about them that they are...
“Those who are righteous when the people have become corrupt.”
(Ahmad and Ibn Hibbaan and others. Sahih by supporting evidences, see "The Friday Prayer" by Jamalud-Deen Zarabozo)

Or, as reported in another narration:
“A small group of pious people in a large group of evil people. Those who disobey them are more than those who obey them.”
(Ahmad and Ibn Hibbaan and others. Hasan, see "The Friday Prayer" by Jamalud-Deen Zarabozo)

Today by the grace of Allah we can see the return of Islaam in front of our very eyes, by the youth returning to Islam and Jihad. Many of us who started practicing this religion most probably went through the early stages of strangeness. When a person merely begins to take interest in Islam, the materialistic society around him or her begins to view this person as a stranger. When this interest leads a person to increase his knowledge of Islam, this person becomes more strange in the eyes of the society. They wonder why a good looking healthy youth, would spend time reading so-called ‘religious’ books, where he could be spending his time reading some fiction-novel, watching movies or listening to music. Then this individual puts the knowledge to practice by making Wudoo and establishing Salaah five times a day, giving Zakaah, fasting in Ramadhaan and making Hajj. If this person is a brother then he grows a beard and if this is a sister, then she wears the Islamic Hijab. This surely makes this person even more of a stranger in his/her own household, where (in many cases) parents begin to worry about their practising children, the way they should have worried about them, when they were on drugs?!
Then this person takes on the duty of spreading the Message of the Messengers on his/her shoulders, by either speaking to the lost sheep of this Ummah on one-to-one basis, writing articles or giving lectures. By now, this person has become a stranger, even amongst those practicing Muslims who practice the basics of Islam but do not take the responsibility of spreading it to others. This ever increasing strangeness, however, does not hinder him from his path, so he goes a step further and devotes his life, either seeking knowledge of Islam to benefit the community with, or living his entire life on a mountain in some trench writing the history of Islam with his blood. If you think this is the limit of strangeness, then think of this person when he excels in seeking knowledge, and brightens up his career with Jihad. This person will feel strange amongst the scholars, because they look at him as a Mujahid, as he will feel strange amongst the Mujahideen, because they look at him as a scholar. However, the sweetness lies in the fact, that the more he becomes an stranger to the people, the more he becomes known and recognised by Allah.
These are the strangers (of various levels of strangeness) who are the torchbearers of Tawheed, those who restore the honour of this Ummah and bring back to her the peace and security she once enjoyed.
These are the strangers who were given the glad tidings of the Paradise, as in the last part of the Hadeeth the Prophet SAW said:
“So Toobah for the Ghurabaa`”.
“...So Tooba for the Ghurabaa`”
The word “Tooba” is the name of a tree in Paradise that is promised to the strangers in this world. Regarding the word “Tooba”, Sheikh Jamaalud-Deen Zarabozo said the following in his work, “The Friday Prayer Part III” p. 66.
“The Prophet SallAllahu 'Alai wa Sallam has given the glad tidings of a tree in Paradise for those who have to live as strangers because the people are deviating from the teachings of the Quran and sunnah. What is the characteristic of this tree in Paradise? The Prophet SAW explained that also when he said,
“Tuba is a tree in Paradise. The time it takes to transverse it is one hundred years. The clothing of the inhabitants of Paradise are taken from its sheaths.”[Sh. Al-Albaani called it Hasan in Silsila al-Ahadeeth as-Sahihah, v. 4 p. 639]
This glad tiding of the tree of Tuba for the strangers should make us all wish, strive and aspire to be from among the strangers in this time in which Islam has truly become strange again.”
May Allah make us from the strangers in this world and the inheritors of Tooba in the Hereafter – Ameen.


  1. With havin ѕo muсh content аnd artiсles ԁo you
    ever гun into any issues of plagoriѕm oг
    copуright ѵiolation? Mу site has а lot of еxclusiνe сontent I've either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off? I'd dеfіnitely aρpreciate it.

    my web-sitе;

  2. Howԁy! I simply ωant tо give you a bіg thumbs up for the eхcellent information you have гight
    heгe οn this post. I am returning to youг blog for morе soon.

    Visit my wеb blog :: get a payday loan

  3. Hello therе! I could havе swοrn Ι've been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to mе.
    Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll
    bе book-marking аnd chеcking bacκ frеquеntly!

    My web blog; lloyd irvin

  4. Τhanks fοг anоthег excеllent artіcle.
    Where else may anybodу get that type of info in ѕuch a pеrfect methoԁ of writіng?
    I haνe a preѕentаtiοn subsequent week, and ӏ am οn
    the searсh foг such іnfο.

    Feеl free to visіt my wеb pаge .
    .. reputation management


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...