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Contextualising The Hadith Of Abdullah Ibn Umar – Killing Of Flies, Group Of Satan, And Prophet Musa Killing Accidently.

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Introduction:

Often Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is quoted by opponents of Islam to argue that Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) considered the Iraq as East and deemed it to be the place of emergence of tribulation Of Khawarij. It is true that Khawarij emerged from Iraq and there are Ahadith which establish this. But it is distortion of Ahadith when Ahadith stating Najd/East are said to apply to Iraq. Hence effort will be made to explain contexual relevance of various parts of Hadith and establish precise location and direction of from which the group of Satan – Khawarij were to emerge.

Versions Of Hadith Of Abdullah Ibn Umar:


“Narrated Ibn Abi Nu'm: A person asked `Abdullah bin `Umar whether a Muslim could kill flies. I heard him saying (in reply). "The people of Iraq are asking about the killing of flies while they themselves murdered the son of the daughter of Allah's Messenger. The Prophet said, They are my two sweet basils in this world." [Ref: Bukhari, B57, H96] “Narrated Ibn Abi Na'm: I was present when a man asked Ibn Umar about the blood of mosquitoes. Ibn Umar said, "From where are you?" The man replied. "From Iraq." Ibn `Umar said, "Look at that! he is asking me about the blood of Mosquitoes while they (the Iraqis ) have killed the (grand) son of the Prophet. I have heard the Prophet saying, "They (Hasan and Husain) are my two sweet-smelling flowers in this world." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H23] “Ibn Fudail reported on the authority of his father that he heard Salim b. 'Abdullah b. 'Umar as saying: O people of Iraq, how strange it is that you ask about the minor sins but commit major sins? I heard from my father 'Abdullah b. 'Umar, narrating that he heard Allah's Messenger as saying while pointing his hand towards the east: Verily. the turmoil would come from this side, from where appear the group of Satan and you would strike the necks of one another; and Moses killed a person from among the people of Pharaoh unintentionally and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: "You killed a person but We relieved you from the grief and tried you with (many a) trial." (xx. 40). Ahmad b. Umar reported this hadith from Salim, but he did not make a mention of the words: "I heard". [Ref: Muslim, B41, H6943]

Explaining The Ahadith Of Iraqis – Major And Minor Sin:

Hadith records: “…O people of Iraq, how strange it is that you ask about the minor sins but commit major sins?” Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) is displeased with being asked about minor sins by Iraqi/Iraqis. The Hadith of Bukhari reveals the minor sin he was being asked about was with regards to killing of flies/mosquitoes. The major sin toward which Abdullah Ibn Umar (radiallah ta’ala anhu) hinted was deliberate killing of sons of Fatimah (radiallah ta’ala anha) – Imam Hassan (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Imam Hussain (radiallah ta’ala anhu) by Iraqis. And evidence of this is in another Hadith: "The people of Iraq are asking about the killing of flies while they themselves murdered the son of the daughter of Allah's Messenger.The next part which connects to this portion of Hadith is the statement regarding Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam) being tried/tested because he unintentionally killed a person: “… and Moses killed a person from among the people of Pharaoh unintentionally and Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: "You killed a person but We relieved you from the grief and tried you with (many a) trial." What he is implying is that, Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam), a Nabi, killed a random person by mistake yet Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) tried/tested him with many hardships. But you Iraqis – bunch of nobodys in sight of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) - have committed major sin of killing sons of Fatimah (radiallah ta’ala anha), the daughter of Prophet of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) hence you were tried and will continue to be tried more serverly then Prophet Musa (alayhis salaam). Also he has implied, that your are concerned about minor sins but your concern should be the major sin – killing of Imam Hassan (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Imam Hussain (radiallah ta’ala anhu).

Pointing Toward East Of Madinah, In Direction Of Najd:

Hadith states: “… that he heard Allah's Messenger as saying while pointing his hand towards the east: Verily. the turmoil would come from this side, from where appear the group of Satan and …” Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is also reported to have said: “… He said, "O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Sham (north)! O Allah! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Allah's Apostle! And also on our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet said, "There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side of the group of Satan." [Ref: Bukhari,  B88, H214] From these two Ahadith it is deduced, Najd is in direction of East from city of Madinah. Following Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) indicated the direction from which group of Satan would emerge while pointing toward house of Aysha (radialla ta’ala anha): “Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet stood up and delivered a sermon, and pointing to 'Aisha's house, he said thrice, "Affliction (will appear from) here," and, "from the side, where Satan's group will come out." [Ref: Bukhari, B53, H336] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was seated on his pulpit in Masjid Nabvi and if he pointed toward the direction of house of Aysha (radiallah ta’ala anha) he would be pretty precisely pointing toward direction of Saudi capital, Riyadh. In other words, he would be pointing toward East from his pulpit to indicate region of Najd. Following links lead to maps which depict location of Najd, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Please visit the following, link, operated by David Rumsey. He owns a huge collection of historical maps. His website contains four hundered forty-four maps of Arabian Peninsula. It is strongly recommended that readers visit the link given and browse through the maps to find general direction/location of historical Najd. Alhasil based on all the available evidence would be sound to conclude, Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) pointed toward the direction of Najd. And foretold that from this place Qarn (i.e. group, head, horn) of Satan would emerge.

Contextual Relationship Of Entire Hadith:

First he implied the Iraqis would be tested severly for intentionally killing the sons of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu). And in context of his statement regarding Khawarij, it is established that he wished to imply; the trial of Iraqis at the hands of Khawarij who had emerged from East of Madinah and from region of Najd was/is due to intentionally killing innocent sons of Fatimah (radiallah ta’ala anha). And Khawarij are only one of many trials which they have faced and will continue to face many more trials.

Striking The Necks Of One Another:

Hadith goes on to state that when group of Satan emerges, you (i.e. the Muslims, Iraqis, Arabs, Syrians) will strike necks of one another: “…Satan and you would strike the necks of one another; …” This indeed happened, the were battle between the army of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Khawarij. And the Iraqis were part of this army and helped to defeat the Khawarij. This is confirmed from another Hadith: “Abu Sa'id added: I testify that I heard this from the Prophet and also testify that 'Ali killed those people while I was with him. The man with the description given by the Prophet was brought to 'Ali. The following Verses were revealed in connection with that very person (i.e., 'Abdullah bin Dhil-Khawaisira At-Tarnimi): 'And among them are men who accuse you (O Muhammad) in the matter of (the distribution of) the alms.'” [Ref: Bukhari, B84, H67] “Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said that the Apostle of Allah made a mention of a sect that would be among his Ummah which would emerge out of the dissension of the people. Their distinctive mark would be shaven heads. They would be the worst creatures or the worst of the creatures. The group who would be nearer to the truth out of the two would kill them. The Apostle of Allah gave an example (to give their description) or he said: A man throws an arrow at the prey (or he said at the target), and sees at its iron head, but finds no sign (of blood there), or he sees at the lowest end, but would not see or find any sign (of blood there). He would then see into the grip but would not find (anything) sticking to it. Abu Sai'd then said: People of Iraq it is you who have killed them.” [Ref: Muslim, B5, H2324] Hence Abu Said (radiallah ta’ala anhu) reffered to the majority to mean whole. This establishes that Iraqis were not the Khawarij but they were the people who killed them.

Who Were The Khawarij And From Where Did They Come:

Khawarij were zealots/extremists, they were from tribe of Banu Tamim, their leader was Dhil Quwaishirah. Following map depicts the area inhabited by tribe of Banu Tamim in the time of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam), here, here, here, here.  Note, location of Banu Tamim corroborate other details mentioned earlier in the article – Najd, East, toward direction of Aysha’s (radiallah ta’ala anha) house, and from direction of sunrise – evidence of which follows: “The Prophet stood up beside the pulpit  and said, "Afflictions are there! Afflictions are there, from the side where ‘group of Satan will come out’, or said, ‘the side of the sun[rise]." [Ref: Bukhari, B88, H212] A article fully explains sunrise detail mentioned in this Hadith, here.  Basic facts established now moving to the main point. Hadith records Dhil Quwaisirah disrespected Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and a companion wished to kill him and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said Dhil Quwaisirah has companions: “Narrated Abu Sa'id:While the Prophet was distributing something, 'Abdullah bin Dhil Khawaisira At-Tamimi came and said, "Be just, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said, "Woe to you ! Who would be just if I were not?" 'Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Allow me to cut off his neck!" The Prophet said, " Leave him, for he has companions, and if you compare your prayers with their prayers and your fasting with theirs, you will look down upon your prayers and fasting, in comparison to theirs.” [Ref: Bukhari, B84, H67] Note, beduins only kept in touch with their tribe. Their daily business was with members of tribes and they seldom ventured outside the territory of their tribe and for most of their life only associated with their own tribe members. Hence there is no doubt that Dhil Quwaisirah’s companions mentioned in the Hadith were none other then his tribal associates. There is also substantial evidence in the books of history and clasical scholars which establishes, most of the Khawarij were from Banu Tamim.

Battle Of Siffin And Emergence Of Khawarij:

The rightly guided (i.e. closer to the truth) Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) the fourth Caliph and leader of pious believers Muawiyah (radiallah ta’ala anhu) met with their respectives armies at Al-Siffin in Syria. After three days battle arbitration was agreed but Khawarij in the army of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) opposed arbitration arguing, judgment is only for Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Arbitration failed due to a group of Khawarij in the army of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) attacking army of Muawiyah (radiallah ta’ala anhu). Khawarij then seperated from the main of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu). Following Hadith points to this discord between to companions and emergence of Khawarij:
“… While the Prophet was distributing (something, 'Abdullah bin Dhil Khawaisira At-Tamimi came and said, "Be just, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said, "Woe to you ! Who would be just if I were not?""Allow me to cut off his neck!" The Prophet said, " Leave him, for he has companions, … These people will appear when there will be differences among the people (Muslims)." Abu Sa'id added: I testify that I heard this from the Prophet and also testify that 'Ali killed those people while I was with him. The man with the description given by the Prophet was brought to 'Ali. The following Verses were revealed in connection with that very person (i.e., 'Abdullah bin Dhil-Khawaisira At-Tarnimi)...'” [Ref: Bukhari, B84, H67] After the failure of arbitration Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and Muawiyah (radiallah ta’ala anhu) returned to their capitals and Khawarij camped in Iraq, in a village called Harura. These Khawarij began to massacre the surrounding population. Eventually forcing Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) to face them in battle at Nehrawan and which resulted in their utter anahilation.

Conclusion:

It has been established, Khawarij were originaly from East of Madinah, from region of Najd, from central Arabia, beloned to the tribe of Banu Tamim. From Najd they went to Iraq, joined army of Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu), and marched to Syria (Al-Siffin). There they rebelled and came back to Iraq and fought against Ali (radiallah ta’ala anhu) and they were anahilated. These Ahadith do not indicate a single country or region rather three different regions, Arabia (Najd), Syria (Al-Siffin), Iraq (Nehrawan). This establishes that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had foretold from the tribe, region, direction, countries they would go to and rebel, and who will they fight, and who will kill the Khawarij.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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