The Strangers of Islam

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An article from Sister Hadil:

THE STRANGERS OF ISLAM by AHMAD MAHDI

A while ago I came across this hadith that I found very interesting:
"Islam began as something strange and will return to being strange, so give glad tidings (bless) the strangers." Sahîh Muslim (1/130)
This hadith which is classified as sahih and is narrated extensively in both Sunni and Shia traditions, raises many deep and intriguing questions.

What is commonly understood from the word "strange" is that it is not common or widely known and accepted amongst the masses. Rather it might even be frowned upon, ridiculed, sidelined and fought.
The first thought that comes to mind when reading this hadith, is that in a world where Islam is the 2nd largest religion practiced by over 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, how can it return "strange" as in not widely known and accepted?

What is more interesting about this hadith is that there is a positive connotation to the ones who follow this "strange" unknown Islam so much so that the Prophet (pbuhahf) blessed these "strangers" and gave them glad tidings.

So we can conclude that this Islam that returns strange, is not the Islam that is practiced and known today all over the world, rather it is an Islam whose followers are a small number of people, strangers whom are not accepted by the masses. They are frowned upon, rejected, ridiculed and maybe even live on the sidelines out of fear of being prosecuted and fought by the masses.

But, who exactly is this small number of blessed strangers who live in fear of prosecution by the masses?
The mainstream or widespread understanding of Islam today is certainly alienating for many of us.

Many of us do not find their voice in an Islam that is monopolized by a few so called religious scholars, who teach people that a Muslim is defined by the length of his beard and the length of his prayer rather than the purity of his heart and care for his fellow human beings.
An Islam whose leaders scream so loud when it comes to applying Shariaa and Hudud , but turn so quiet when it comes to applying the principles of Sharia: justice, equality, mercy and freedom.
Religious scholars of so called Muslim nations who fear the whip of the tyrant ruler more than the anger of Allah for the oppression of His children on the earth.
Rather they find no qualms in putting their hands in the hands of tyrannical governments who crush their people and make sure they never feel the taste of freedom and dignity.

The Islam that is perpetuated today is one that protects the strong and not the weak that cares for the appearance and not the core.
Many of those misguided and misguiding scholars would interpret the hadith of the strangers above, which is obviously in the context of the end times, to mean that they themselves and their followers are those blessed strangers because they adhered to the traditions and "Sunnah" while the rest are the lost souls who abandoned Islam because they do not adhere to their teachings.

But the following hadith gives us a different answer:
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said: There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Quran except its words. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their scholars will be the worst people under the Heaven; strife (fitna) will come from them and avert to them.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 1/91 Hadith 276)

Did you notice that the Prophet (pbuhahf) said the mosques are destitute of "guidance" not empty of "people"? Did you notice that those who have lost the religion and went astray, "the worst people" are not the sinners nor drunkards or non hijabis nor nor nor, as is commonly perpetuated by mainstream religious scholars when speaking about the end times?
… its them!
It is the majority of deviant scholars of the end times who have misguided people and distorted Islam, not just Islam but all divine religions.

If you look back and ponder over the stories of prophets and messengers, you will come to the same conclusion. The ones to fight Prophets and messengers and distort the divine message were not really the common people or idol worshipers, rather it was the grand scribes, clerics and chiefs, the religious figures of the time.

Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (pbuh) in the sermon of Hajj says:
"Have you asked the Quran about the Clerics that when a prophet or successor is sent, what is their attitude/position that never changes? Have you asked the Quran who kindled the fire for Abraham and who wanted to kill Jesus and who fought Noah, Hud, Saleh, Shuaib, Moses, Jonah and all the prophets and successors?
If you are not fair to yourselves and do not answer this question now, then surely you will answer it in hellfire by the answer,
{And they say, “Our Lord verily we obeyed our masters and great men and they misled us from the Way.”}"

And Jesus (pbuh) tells us as quoted by Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan in the book" the Calf"
and I tell you what Jesus (pbuh) said to the arrogant and inactive Jewish scholars, {Woe to You! You are closing the Kingdom of Heaven in the faces of people, and neither have you entered, nor do you let the entrants to enter.

So if the blessed strangers are then obviously not the scholars of the end times, then who are they? Is there another mention of them or clue in the narrations of the Prophet (pbuh) or his holy progeny? Fortunately there are a number of ahadith:
From Abi Baseer, Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: "Islam started strange and will return strange as it started, so give glad tidings to the strangers, so I said: please explain this to me, may Allah give you goodness, so he (pbuh) said: A caller from us resumes the call anew, like the messenger of Allah pbuh called." Ghaybat Al-No’mani P337, Bihar Al Anwar V52 P366

So who is this caller from the holy progeny of the Prophet (pbuhahf)?
Imam Al Baqir (pbuh) said:" When our Riser (Imam Mahdi) rises, he calls people to a new matter as the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) did, and Islam started strange and will return strange so give glad tidings to the strangers." Ghaybat Al-No’mani P336, Bihar Al-Anwar V52 P366
And From Imam Al-Sadqiq (pbuh): The Riser (pbuh) does what the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) did, he demolishes what was before him from jahiliya (ignorance) and resumes Islam anew. – Ghaybat Al-Nomani p336, Bihar AlAnwar v52 p352
And he (pbuh) said: "When the Qaim rises he comes with a matter which is different than what was." – Ghaybat AlToosi 307

Proceed bitterness truth .jpg

Do you see now why Islam will become strange? Because it is a new Islam that is brought forth by the son and messenger of Prophet Muhammad and his holy progeny: Imam Mahdi who will resume the true Muhammadan Islam. It is an Islam that is unknown, new, and revolutionary and bursting with new knowledge that humanity has not known yet.
The Prophet (S) said: "Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left (before the day of judgment), Allah will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahlul-Bayt who will be called by my name. He will fill out the earth with peace and justice as it will have been full of injustice and tyranny (by then)." Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v2, p86, v9, pp 74-75, Sunan Abu Dawud, v2, p7, Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,376; V3, p63
And from Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh): "There are 27 letters of knowledge. The knowledge that is revealed till to date through all the Prophets (as) is the interpretation of only 2 of those letters. When our Qaem (as) will rise, then Allah will reveal the remaining 25 letters, and will add to these the two letters already present. In this way knowledge with all 27 letters will become complete."

So who are the blessed strangers in this day and age other than the few oppressed who believed wholeheartedly in the promise of Allah and all the prophets and messengers and gathered around Imam Mahdi (pbuh) to support him for his rise against the worst tyrants this earth has ever seen?
The ones whom never doubted once in Imam Mahdis (pbuh) advent, and lived therefore in fear of being harmed for their faith while the rest doubted, forgot, ridiculed or mocked.
They recognized the truth and submitted to it with an unshakeable faith that there is no power nor might except with Allah.

And today the Riser of Ale Muhammad is amongst us, Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (pbuh) who testifies for those few people and says:
"I am not alone but I have with me a small faithful group that I have the honor, all the honor, to serve. They bore the Truth in their hearts and walked to Allah, to the Light, and will not be satisfied except with light which has no darkness." Sermon of Hajj, Ahmad Al-Hassan

May the eternal peace and blessings be upon the Riser of Ale Muhammad, Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan.
And may Allah bless the strangers…