“The more we reacting this way, the more we’re encouraging others to assume more hateful speech. We need to learn to respond in mature, silver, and higher discourse the way Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Messenger legacy our Prophet expects from us.” -Nouman Ali Khan.
“Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.”
The Meaning of “Strangeness”
Many times in many situations the people that follow the religion of Allah feel a sense of not belonging, of being out of place, of not fitting in, and, in other words, of being strange. This feeling could occur in a gathering of non-Muslims, but, unfortunately, this feeling sometimes also occurs when one is with his fellow Muslims.
A person sees his brothers and sisters doing acts that are contrary to Islam, or taking part in innovations that sometimes even border on kufr (apostasy), yet he feels that he does not have enough power or courage to stop them in these acts. Some brothers and sisters, especially if they do not have enough taqwa or Islamic knowledge, sometimes buckle under the pressure of their peers and join in these acts, knowing that this is not what Allah wants them to do. However, feeling helpless, since it seems that they are alone in their ideas and without any support to help them do what is right, they succumb to such pressures.
These brothers and sisters, may Allah have mercy on them, should take consolation in the verses of the Qur’an and the many statements of the Prophet (saws) describing this very situation of strangeness that they feel.
Why Have They Been Called “Strangers”?
Allah says in the Qur’an,
“If only there had been, in the generations preceding you, people having wisdom, prohibiting others from evil in the earth; except a few of those whom we have saved from among them.” (Qur’an Hud 116).
This verse speaks of the few people on earth, the “strangers”, who prohibit mankind from evil. These are the same people the Prophet (saws) spoke about when he said, “Islam began as something strange, and it shall return to being something strange, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” It was asked, “Who are those strangers, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Those that correct the people when they become corrupt.” [Reported by Abu Amr al-Dani, from the hadith of ibn Masoud. It is authentic according to al-Albani. Another narration says, “Those that correct my Sunnah which has been corrupted by the people after me.”] In another narration he said in response to the same question, “They are a small group of people among a large evil population. Those who oppose them are more than those who follow them.” [Reported by ibn Asaakir. It is authentic according to al-Albani.]
These praiseworthy people are called strangers since they are a small minority among mankind. Thus, Muslims are strangers among mankind; the true believers are strangers among Muslims; and the scholars are strangers among the true believers. And the followers of the Sunnah, those that clear themselves from all peoples of innovation, are likewise strangers.
In reality, however, their strangeness is only because they are the minority and it is not because their actions and beliefs are strange. This is what Allah says in surah al-Anaam,
“And if you obey most of the people on Earth, they will lead you astray” (Qur’an al-Anaam 116).
Allah also says,
“And most of mankind will not believe, even if you (O Muhammad) desire it eagerly” (Qur’an Yusuf 103);
“And truly, most of mankind are rebellious and disobedient (to Allah).” (Qur’an al-Maidah 49)
“But nay, most of mankind are ungrateful” (Qur’an Yusuf 38).
Therefore, Allah, the All-Knowing Creator, knows the most of mankind will not follow the truth. Instead, only a small group of people will be set apart that truly and correctly believe in Him, the strangers from among mankind.
The Prophet said, “There are two blessings in which most people are in great loss: 1) Good health and 2) Free time.”
The Almighty has not given us this good health to waste, He has given health and time to us for a purpose; that we worship him the way He is meant to be worshipped, to spread His religion and to call people towards Islam; and to help Humanity who are in dire need of help.
|The Prophet said, "Then I saw the Fire - and I have never seen anything more hideous than what I saw today - and I saw that most of its people were women."|
|They said, "Why, Messenger of Allah?"|
|He replied, "Because of their ungratefulness (kufr),"|
|Someone said, "Are they ungrateful to Allah?"|
|He said, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and they are ungrateful for good behaviour towards them. Even if you were to behave well towards one of them for a whole lifetime and then she were to see you do something (that she did not like) she would say that she had never seen anything good from you."|
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “When a Muslim, or a believer, washes his face (in the course of Wudu’), every sin which he committed with his eyes, will be washed away from his face with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin which is committed by his hands will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin his feet committed will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water; until he finally emerges cleansed of all his sins.” [Muslim].
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “When a Muslim, or a believer, washes his face (in the course of Wudu’), every sin which he committed with his eyes, will be washed away from his face with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin which is committed by his hands will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin his feet committed will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water; until he finally emerges cleansed of all his sins.” [Muslim].
Prophet Muhammad [peace & blessings of Allah be upon him] said, “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” [Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 83]
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