The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Shaam. O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Yemen." The people said, "O Messenger of Allaah, and our Najd." I think the third time the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "There (in Najd) will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations, and from their appears the Horn of Satan."
Reported in al-Bukhaaree [Book of Trials, Chpt. ‘The afflictions will come from the East’ 9/166 no. 214 Eng. Trans]
A hadeeth which has some controversy surrounding it due to obvious sectarian reasons. A hadeeth which has been (deliberately) misunderstood by certain groups of people in order that they may spread their misguidance and deceive ignorant Muslims.
This because upon research and investigation and looking to the words of our early scholars we find that this hadeeth does not refer to the Najd that is famously known in Saudi today, but rather it refers to Iraaq.
About two years ago I read a book entirely devoted to this hadeeth entitled, "an-Najd Qarnu ash-Shaytaan" [I cannot remember the author as I do not have the book on me anymore.] I will quote in general from what I remember from this book, and refrain from mentioning precise quotes except from those references that I have on me.
Amongst the scholars that are mentioned who referred this hadeeth to Iraaq were: al-Khattaabee, al-Kirmaanee, al-Aynee, an-Nawawee, ibn Hajr and others. The reasons behind this are numerous and clear:
1) The generality of the hadeeth pertaining to the fitna coming from the east.
Al-Bukhaaree includes this hadeeth in the chapter: "The affliction will appear from the East"
212) From the father of Saalim: The Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, stood up besides the pulpit (and pointed towards the east) and said: "Afflictions are there! Afflictions are there! From where appears the horn of Satan" or he said, "the horn of the Sun"
213) From ibn Umar that he said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alyahi wa sallam, saying while facing the east: "Indeed Afflictions are there, from where appears the Horn of Satan."
214) The hadeeth of Najd under discussion.
Similar ahaadeeth can be found in Saheeh Muslim (volume 4 no’s 6938+). Ahaadeeth that give the same meaning can be found in Saheeh Muslim (volume 1 no’s 83+)
2) That the generality of the early trials and tribulations arose from the east, many of them actually in Iraaq itself.
Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee said after quoting the words of al-Khattaabee explaining the meaning of Qarn (horn), "and others have said that the People of the East were disbelievers at that time and the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, informed us that the trials and tribulations would arise from that direction and it was as he said. And the first of the trials that arose, arose from the direction of the east and they were the reason for the splitting of the Muslim ranks, and this is what Satan loves and delights in. Likewise the innovations appeared from that direction." [Fath al-Baaree 13/58 in commentary to the hadeeth of Najd]
Amongst the trials that arose in Iraaq and the east was the martyrdom of Alee, the martyrdom of the grandson of the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, the first battle between the Muslims occurred in Iraaq, and many more.
Imaam Nawawee mentions that one of the greatest trials to appear from the East will be the appearance of the Dajjaal. [Sharh Saheeh Muslim 2/29]
From the innovations that appeared in the east and specifically Iraaq, were many of the early deviant sects amongst them the Qadariyyah (as the first hadeeth in Muslim shows), the Jahmiyyah and their offshoots etc…
3. That at the time of the Prophet, sallaahu alayhis wa sallaam, there were 13 places known as Najd [according to ‘Najd Qarnu ash-Shaytaan’] depending on where one was. This because Najd linguistically means a raised/elevated land. Therefore the Arabs referred to lands that were elevated with respect to them as Najd. One of the most commonly referred to areas as Najd at that time was Iraaq.
4. The Najd for those people living in Madeenah in the direction of the East would be Iraaq.
Ibn Hajr said: "al-Khattaabee said: ‘the najd in the direction of the east, and for the one who is in Madeenah then his Najd would be the desert of Iraaq and it’s regions [baadiya al-Iraaq wa Nawaaheehaa] for this is to the east of the People of Madeenah. The basic meaning of Najd is that which is raised/elevated from the earth in contravention to al-Gawr for that is what is lower than it. Tihaamah [the coastal plain along the south-western and southern shores of the Arabian Peninsula] is entirely al-Gawr and Mecca is in Tihaamah.’"
Ibn Hajr continues, "by this [saying of al-Khattaabee] the weakness of the saying of ad-Daawodee is understood that ‘Najd is in the direction of Iraaq’ [min Naahiya al-Iraaq] for he suggests that Najd is a specific place. This is not the case, rather everything that is elevated with respect to what adjoins it is called Najd and the lower area called Gawr." [Fath al-Baaree 13/58-59]
Al-Haafidh al-Mubaarakfooree endorses these words in his commentary to Sunan at-Tirmidhee (10/314 no.4212)
5. The hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim [4/1505 no.6943]
Saalim bin Abdullaah bin Umar said: O people of Iraaq, how strange is it that you ask about the minor sins but commit the major sins? [The killing of al-Husayn] I heard my father, Abdullaah bin Umar narrating that he heard the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, saying while pointing his hand to the east: "Indeed the turmoil would come from this side, from where appear the horns of Satan and you would strike the necks of one another…"
6. The variations in wording of the hadeeth of Najd that leave no doubt whatsoever as to what it refers to.
a) The hadeeth of ibn Umar Reported by Abu Nu`aym in al-Hilya (6/133), "O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Madeenah, and bestow your blessings on our Mecca, and bestow your blessings on our Shaam, and bestow your blessings on our Yemen, and bestow your blessings in our measuring (fee saa`inaa wa muddinaa)." A person said, " O Messenger of Allaah and in our Iraaq" and so he turned away from him and said, "there will occur earthquakes, trials and tribulations and there will appear the horn of Satan." Shu`ayb al-Arna`ut declares it’s isnaad to be saheeh as in his footnotes to ‘Sharh as-Sunnah’ (14/206-207 fn. 2) and he too endorses the words of al-Khattaabee quoted above.
b) The hadeeth of ibn Umar reported in at-Tabaraanee in ‘al-Awsat’ that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam prayed Fajr and then faced the people and said, "O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Madeenah, O Allaah bestow your blessings in our measuring, O Allaah bestow your blessings in our Shaam and our Yemen." A person said, "And Iraaq O Messenger of Allaah?" He said, "from there arises the horn of Satan and the trials and tribulations would come like mounting waves."
Ibn Hajr al-Haythamee says in his ‘Mujma az-Zawaa`id’ (3/305 – chapter ‘collection of du`aas made for (Madeenah)’): ‘its narrators are trustworthy and precise.’[This hadeeth could possibly considered to be the same as b) above, but I have included it separately due to the slight difference in wording. Allaah knows best.]
c) The hadeeth of ibn Abbaas reported by at-Tabaraanee in ‘al-Kabeer’ that the Prophet, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, supplicated and said, "O Allaah bestow your blessings on our Shaam and Yemen." A person from amongst the people said, "O Prophet of Allaah and Iraaq?" He said, "indeed there is the Horn of Satan, and the trials and tribulations will come like mounting waves, and indeed harshness/coarseness is in the east." Al-Haythamee says: "it’s narrators are trustworthy and precise." (ibid.)
7. The virtues of Bani Tameem
Bani Tameem constitute the majority of the inhabitants of the Najd that is in Saudi Arabia.
a) The hadeeth of Saheeh Bukhaaree reported by Abu Hurayra (RA): "I have loved the people of the tribe of Bani Tameem, ever since I heard three things the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said about them. I heard him saying, ‘these people (of the tribe of Bani Tameem) would stand firm against the Dajjaal.’ When the Saddaqat from that tribe came, the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "these are the Saddaqat (charitable gifts) of our folk." Aa`ishah had a slave girl from that tribe, and the Prophet , sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, said to Aa`ishah, ‘manumit her as she is a descendant of Ismaa`eel, alayhis salaam.’" [Hadeeth no. 2543, 4366 of al-Fath] Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaanee said, "this hadeeth also contains a clear mention of the excellence and superiority of Bani Tameem." [Fath 5/217]
b) The hadeeth of Ikrimah from one of the Companions reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad and in it occurs, "do not say of Bani Tameem anything but good, for indeed they are the severest of people in attacking the Dajjaal." Al-Haythamee says: "its narrators are those of the Saheeh." [Mujma 10/48 chpt: What is reported concerning Bani Tameem]
It is not strange that Bani Tameem would be the most severe against the Dajjaal, because the tools required to combat him are none but a correct and firm belief and proper beneficial knowledge. Alhumdolillaah many of the scholars of Saudi are from the most noble and skilled scholars on the face of this earth today, firmly upon the way of our noble Messenger, sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam.
This is what Allaah has allowed me to very quickly put together. And our Lord Most High Knows best.