Who are the Ghurabaa (Strangers)?

In the name of Allah, all praise is due to He, The One. I send peace and blessings upon his final messenger (Al-Mustafa), and upon his family, companions, and those that followed him in righteousness until The Day of Resurrection (Youm Al-Qiyaamah). To proceed:

Question: On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu ‘anhu — may Allah be pleased with him) said Al-Habib (the loved one) [i.e., The Prophet ﷺ] said, “Islam started as something strange and it will return to how it started, strange. So, glad tidings to the stingers.” We wish you could explain this Hadith and clarify its authenticity.

Shaykh Abdul-Aziz bin Baaz (may Allah have mercy upon him) answered: This Hadith is authentic and was recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih (i.e., Sahih Muslim) on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (radiallahu ‘anhu) on the Prophet ﷺ that verily he said, “Islam started as something strange and it will return to how it started, strange. So, glad tidings to the strangers.” This is a authentic Hadith that is confidently from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Some group from the scholars of Hadith added in a different narration:

It was said, Oh Messenger of Allah, who are the strangers?” He said, “They are the ones that correct the people if they become corrupt.”

And in a different wording, “They are the ones who correct that which has corrupted the people from my Sunnah.”

And in a different wording, “They are the ones that leave their tribes.”

And in a different wording, “They are a small (number of) righteous people surrounded by many evil people.”

So what is intended by “the strangers” is they are the people of Istiqaamah (uprightness and forbearing) and verily Jannah and happiness is for the strangers. Those that correct  the corruption of people if their (the people’s) condition changes and things have been made lax. And say the people goodness are firm upon the truth and forbearing upon Allah’s religion. They single out Allah alone and are sincere in their worship of him. They are forbearing upon Salah, Zakat, Siyaam (fasting), Hajj, and all of the affairs of the religion. They are the strangers. The ones that Allah said about them and those like them:

Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they Istaqaamu , on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised! “We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for. “An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” — Surah Al-Fusilat 41 : 30-32

“… which you ask for” meaning what they request.

So Islam started small and strange in Makkah and no one believed in it except for a little. The majority of creation were enemies, apposed, and harmed the Prophet ﷺ. [Also] they harmed the companions that had accepted [Islam]. Then he ﷺ moved to Madinah as immigrants and along with him a group of the companions. They were strange as well until they increased their families in Madinah and in the rest of the Ansar [the tribe of people from Madinah that accepted Islam and welcomed the Prophet ﷺ]. Then, the people entered Allah’s religion in groups after Allah allowed his Prophet to conquest Makkah ﷺ. So the first of them were strange amongst the people. The majority of creation were upon disbelief of Allah and associated partners with Him, worship idols, prophets, the righteous, trees, rocks, and the likes.

Then Allah guided who he guided with the hand of his messenger Muhammad ﷺ and with the hand of the companions. So they [the people] entered the religion of Allah and made their worship sincere for him. Leaving off worshiping idols, charms, prophets, and the righteous. They made their actions sincere for Allah and it became that they didn’t worship anything but Allah alone.

And they don’t make Salah except for Him, meaning they don’t prostrate except except for Him. And they don’t direct in supplication, seeking help, and asking for health except from him, glory be to He (The Most High). They don’t ask the people in graves,  for life or rain. They don’t ask from idols or rain, trees, rocks, cups, Jinn, or angels. Rather, they do not worship other than Allah — alone glory be to He The Most High. Those people are the strangers.

And like this in the end of time, they are the people that are forbearing upon Allah’s religion. While the people are furthering themselves from Allah’s religion, associating partners [with Him], increasing in sin and the corrupt are forbearing [in corruption]. They are the strangers upon obedience to Allah and his religion. So for them is Jannah, happiness, and a praiseworthy end in this live and the next.

This was recorded from Shaykh Bin Baaz from his Fatwa that were given on the Saudi Arabian radio program “Noor ‘Ala Al-Darb“. It can be found in it’s original Arabic form (the audio as well as a transcription): http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/12102

And all praise due to Allah the lord of the worlds, and the peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and his companions.


About Abdul-Malik Merchant
Muslim. Husband. Father. Associate Imam @ISBCC. UQU grad. Boston resident. DC native. Biker. Goofy. Straight up.

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