Hadith of Najd

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The Hadith of Najd is a famous hadith with several chains of narration about three geographical locations. While all Sunni Muslims accept the group of hadith as authentic, the exact location of the area referred to as "Najd" is disputed.

Text of the hadith[edit]

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."[1][2] 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.[3][4]

"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.[5] 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 conspiracy theories instigated against the people of the modern day region of Saudi Arabia known as 'Najd'[6] however historically and geographically there is no substantial proof to support these arguments [7] as well as the suggested argument contrasting with a number of sound hadith when objectively studied.[8]

Location of Najd[edit]

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'.[9] Various misconceptions have arisen with regard to the 'hadith of Najd' due to the modern day named area of Najd in Saudi Arabia. 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." [10]

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 it's 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."[11]

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.”[12]

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.[13]

Contemporary theories[edit]

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,[14] 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 other various sects in Sunni Islam that have disdain for Wahhabism.[15] This is often speculated to be due to the revival of prophetic traditions, strictly clinging to hadith and negating what was seen at the time to be bid‘ah or 'heretical innovations', instigated by Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and later carried on by his followers.[16] as well as Twelver Shi'ism.[17] Contrary to the accusations there are numerical hadith that discredit this argument due to praise of the ethnic tribe of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, being the Bani Tameem tribe, and praise for the region of what is now known as Najd and its peoples. Through anthropological records it is accounted that the Bani Tamim are the majority of people inhabiting the land of modern day 'Najd' in present day Saudi Arabia.

Also related in hadith #2543 and #4366 of Ibn Hajar's Fath:

  • "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."[18]

Also from 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."[19]

See also[edit]

  • List of hadith
  • Each hadith mentioned in the article can be sourced from the codified records through identifying each of the accompanying references listed above.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 2, Book 17, Number 147
  2. ^ Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 214
  3. ^ "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)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ "The Hadith of Najd by Abû Rumaysah". ahya.org. [dead link]
  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. ^ "The Historical Meaning of 'Najd'". en.islamtoday.net. 
  8. ^ "Reply to Najd Hadith: East refers to Iraq and Not Saudi Arabia - proofs from a plethora of hadith". systemoflife.com. 
  9. ^ "Refuting the Hadith of Najd Argument Against Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab". ahlalhdeeth.com. 
  10. ^ Asqalani, Ibn Hajar. Fath al-Bari 13/58 in commentary to the hadith of Najd. 
  11. ^ Ibn Hajar. Fath al-Baaree 13/58-59. 
  12. ^ Ali ibn al-Athir. al-Nihâyah (5/18). 
  13. ^ Nawawi. Sharh Saheeh Muslim 2/29. 
  14. ^ "Imaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab - His Life and Mission by Shaikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Baz". ahya.org. 
  15. ^ "The Bareilawis and Ahmad Ridha a-Bareilawi". ahya.org. 
  16. ^ "Detailed Discussion of Bid’ah and Shirk by Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid". islamhouse.com. 
  17. ^ Subhani, Ayatullah Ja'far (1996). Wahhabism. Naba' Organization. 
  18. ^ al-Fath hadith 2543 and 4366. 
  19. ^ Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 

Further reading[edit]

The Hadith of Najd and Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah

The Location of Najd, according to the Scholars of Hadeeth