Today's hadith is narrated in Sunan Abi Dawud, in Book 37. It is hadith 2 .
It is narrated that Abdullah Ibn Umar said: "We were sitting with the Prophet (PBUH) when he mentioned trials, mentioning many of them. When he mentioned fitnatul ahlas, someone said: "O Messenger of Allah, what is fitnatul ahlas?"
The Prophet (PBUH) replied: 'It will be flight and plunder. Then will come fitnatus sarra'. It's darkness and destruction will rise from under the feet of a person from among the people of my household who will claim that he belongs to me but he will not be from me, for my friends are only those who are God-fearing. Then the people will agree to pledge allegiance to a man who will be like a hip-bone on a rib.
Then fitnatul duyahma' will arise. It will spare no one of this ummah without giving him a slap. When people say that it is finished, it will be extended. During it, a man will arise in the morning as a believer but by the evening, he will become a disbeliever such that people will be split into two camps. One camp will have faith and no hypocrisy and the other will have hypocrisy but no faith. When that happens, await the Dajjal (the Antichrist) on that day or the next.'" (The hadith in Arabic is mentioned at the bottom of this blog, if you would like to read it.)
Fitnatul ahlas is a trial which will last for a long time and its effects will be felt for a long time after. There will be different trials, troubles, and worries. The word 'ahlas' (احلاس) is defined as an underlay of carpet that remains in its place for a long time. If the word comes from 'hils' (حلس), then it would mean the saddle on a camel's back.
Fitnatus sarra' will be concealed and it will hurt Islam (unseen from the outside). Some people will claim to be Muslims but will work privately to harm the Muslims and destroy them. They will conspire and involve the Muslims in trials (fitnah). Sarra' can mean a pebbled plain and therefore, may perhaps refer to the event of Harra' that occurred in the time of Yazid. There was a killing spree of the people of Madinah in which hundreds of the sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) and the tab'iun were martyred and the Haram was severely damaged. This meaning will apply if it is taken to mean 'concealed.'
If it is taken to mean 'happiness' (suroor), then it will cause a life of ease and luxury. People will be extravagant and will have no fear of Allah and the hereafter. It could also mean that the loss this trial will cause the Muslims will delight their enemies and please them.
The words: 'a man who will be like a hip-bone on a rib,' imply that the person is one with an unsteady mind. The man who people will pledge allegiance to will not be worthy of it because he will lack knowledge, intelligence, and the ability to decide and advise. Therefore, the affairs under him will become confusing and lead to dissension.
The hadith mentions that the people will be divided into two groups:
1) Faith and no hypocrisy (believers)
2) Hypocrisy and no faith (disbelievers)
The word used (fustaat) literally means a tent. However, it is also used for a city. Therefore, scholars say that the people will be divided into two cities or countries.
The last part of the hadith mentions that they should await the Antichrist (Dajjal). At that time, Mahdi, will be in Damascus. The Dajjal will lay a siege on Damascus. Then, the Prophet E'sa (may Allah be pleased with them both) will descend from the heavens and the Dajjal will dissolve against him as salt dissolves in water (i.e. that he will be killed).
What is meant by the fitnatul duhayma'?
This word in its root form, refers to blackness and darkness. In this case, it implies a condemnation and an evil. Due to the widespread killing, it is described as a dark night causing everyone to be in darkness which will have a painful influence on everyone's mind, blunting their faculties of mind and forbearance.
What did the Prophet (PBUH) say with regards to people who claim to belong to him?
The Prophet (PBUH) said of such a person, that he will not belong to him. If he really was, then he would not have caused harm to the Prophet's ummah by indulging in mischief on this Earth. This is also in line with the verse: 'Surely he is not of your family' [11:46].
Advice or inspiration from this hadith:
- Trials will come (or have come) and this indicates the closeness of the Day of Judgement (because the Dajjal is mentioned and he is one of the big signs of the coming of the Day of Reckoning).
- We need to seek protection with Allah from these trials and hope that we are of the believers if these trials are to ever befall us.
That is all for today, alhamdulillah. Insha'Allah, we have all benefited from it. May Allah allow us to have complete faith in Him and allow us to fully act upon the sayings and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). May Allah bless us with knowledge and understanding so that we may contemplate upon His words. May Allah save us from these trials and protect us. May Allah allow us to be prepared for the Day of Judgement when our souls are taken away by the Angel of Death. May Allah forgive us all and enter us into paradise. Ameen.
If you have any opinions or corrections to make, please mention them in the comments. Jazakumullah khair.