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What is the meaning of hadith that Islam began as strange and will return to being strange? Also who are the strangers mentioned in hadith?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
There are two issues of clarification here:
The general connotation of the Hadith
And the interpretation of the word “strangers” in Hadith
1. The Hadith mentioned in reference is as follows:
قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: بدأ الإسلام غريبا وسيعود كما بدأ غريبا فطوبى للغرباء
Translation: the Messenger of Allah (peace and salutations be upon him said, “Islam began as something strange and will return as something strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers”.
This narration is authentic and found with slight variations in wording on the authority of Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, Abu Hurairah and Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them all) as recorded in Sahih Muslim (262) ; Sunan at-Tirmidhi (2629) and Musnad al-Imam Ahmad (3814 & 9114).
The narration of Sahih Muslim on the authority of Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) includes:
وهو يأرز بين المسجدين كما تأرز الحية في جحرها
Translation: It (Islam) will recede between the two mosques just as the serpent crawls back into its hole.
The narration of Sahih Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) contains:
إن الإيمان ليأرز إلى المدينة كما تأرز الحية إلى جحرها
Translation: Verily the Iman will recede to Madinah just as the serpent crawls back into its hole...Read More