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Who are al-Ghurabaa’ (the Strangers)?

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) said:

Islam began as something strange; and it will return as something strange. Paradise is for the Strangers.” His companions (ra) then asked: ‘who are the Strangers, oh Rasool-Allah?’ He (saw) replied: ‘Those who forbid the evil when the people become corrupted.’”

Our ultimate aim of pleasing Allah (swt) and entering Paradise (in the form of green birds – as promised for the martyrs) can only be accomplished when we forbid the evil and stand firm on the right path in a time when people become completely corrupted. In regards to the same narration, Imaam Ahmad said: “They (the Strangers) are the ones who increase (their eemaan) when the people decrease (their eemaan).”

In the same hadeeth but narrated by ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ood (ra) the Messenger Muhammad (saw) was asked:

“‘Oh Rasool-Allah who are they (the Strangers)?’ He (saw) replied: ‘an-Nuzzaa’ min al-Qabaa-il (those who withdraw themselves from their people).’”

An-Nuzzaa’ (those who withdraw) has two meanings:

Those who completely withdraw themselves from their own tribes and family customs and traditions

Those who leave their countries or place of residence in order to perform Jihaad (fighting against the enemies of Allah)

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) praised an-Nuzzaa’ as they are the ones who leave all forms of corruption, nationalism, free-mixing, customs and traditions etc. purely for the sake of Allah, never fearing from the blame of the blamers. They are people who will be a minority and seem as strangers due to their uncompromising love to Allah and His Messenger (saw). An-Nuzzaa’ is from the word an-Naza’ (to withdraw) and is used in regards to the moment when the soul is extracted from the body by the Angel of Death. An-Nuzzaa’ are the people of paradise, who give up their own tribes, livelihood, culture, careers and customs. You see them regularly travelling across the Kingdom of Allah (making hijrah), forbidding evil and fighting those who do not believe in Allah and the Hereafter.

In another narration Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin al-‘Aas (ra) said:

“When we were with him (saw) and he said ‘toobaa lil-Ghurabaa’ (Paradise is for the Strangers)’, we asked: ‘who are they?’ He (saw) replied: ‘They are the good people and are very few in number compared to the majority.’” (All the above mentioned ahaadeeth can be found in Saheeh Muslim, Ibn Maajah, Musnad Imaam Ahmad, al-Bukhaari and at-Tirmidhi)

The Messenger Muhammad (saw) also said: “Be in the dunyaa (world) like a stranger or someone passing by.” Whoever lives in this world as a passer-by will be Ghareeb (singular for Ghurabaa’). The Ghurabaa’ have unique beliefs and characteristics; always fulfilling what Allah (swt) and His Messenger has ordered them to do, whilst keeping away from that which has been made forbidden.

It is also reported in at-Tirmidhi and Abu Daawood that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said:

A time will come in the near future when to stand firm in the Deen will be like holding fire in your hands. The one who stands firm will get the reward of fifty men.” His companions then asked: ‘will they get the reward of fifty men from among us or from among them?’ He (saw) replied: ‘the reward of fifty men from among you.’”

The Companions of Rasool-Ullah (saw) did not face the problems we face today, such as verifying ahaadeeth to be saheeh (authentic), as they could just ask him (saw) directly. Neither did they have the problem of very few ‘Ulamaa, as they had the Nabi (saw) to teach them the Deen. Definitely to follow the Messenger Muhammad (saw) without to see him is far more difficult than to have him with you in person, where you have the opportunity to learn from him directly. Therefore we can earn much more reward due to the hardship we face of not having the Messenger (saw) with us.

So who are the Ghurabaa’?

The Ghurabaa’ are those who submit to Allah (swt) exclusively, and follow the Sharee’ah in every aspect of their life. They worship, obey and follow none but Allah, whilst associating no man, woman or object with Him. Their example to follow is the Messenger (saw) and his companions (ra). Tawheed is their attribute as they offer their ritual acts to none but almighty Allah:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say: ‘Verily, my Salaat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).’” (EMQ al-An’aam, 6: 162)

They are far away from the majority, acting upon the divine information Allah has sent to mankind:

وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الأرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلا يَخْرُصُونَ

And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.” (EMQ al-An’aam, 6: 116)

The real Ghurabaa’ do not miss any corruption, culture or tradition (the way many people miss their previous corrupted lifestyles). The Ghurabaa’ hate all of that which they used to do and any jaahiliyyah they come across, hence you never see them voting for man-made law, calling for Freedom, Secularism, Democracy, swearing allegiance to the president and its nation or committing any form of kufr or shirk.

To be from this minority we must always keep rejecting anything that is alien to Islam such as the customs of the people: Easter, Valentines Day, Christmas and New-Years, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Birthdays and any other forms of celebrations or anniversaries that are not from Islam. An-Nuzzaa’ reject all of this corruption and innovation, and the consequence they will face is sever attack by all people, the so-called “Muslims” (Munaafiqeen and Faasiqeen) and non-Muslims.

They engage in the true intellectual & political struggle and are the people of Haq (truth), Tawheed, al-Walaa’ wal-Baraa’ (love for the believers and hatred towards the disbelievers) and people who forbid the munkar (what the Sharee’ah defines to be evil), are blunt about it, and never compromise. Allah (swt) says:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

As for those who strive hard in our cause, we will surely guide them to our paths (i.e. the straight path). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinoon (good doers).” (EMQ al-‘Ankaboot, 29: 69)

May Allah make us be from this minority Saved Sect (Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah) and save us from following the desires of the corrupted majority, Aameen.