End times prophecies surrounding Arabia, Shaam, and the East

Here, we shall take a look at events to take place in Shaam (greater Syria), Arabia, and the East surrounding the arrival of the Mahdi i.e. the return of the Caliphate.

Let us start with the following Hadiths of the Prophet (ﷺ):

أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ عَبِثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي مَنَامِهِ فَقُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَنَعْتَ شَيْئًا فِي مَنَامِكَ لَمْ تَكُنْ تَفْعَلُهُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ الْعَجَبُ إِنَّ نَاسًا مِنْ أُمَّتِي يَؤُمُّونَ بِالْبَيْتِ بِرَجُلٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ قَدْ لَجَأَ بِالْبَيْتِ حَتَّى إِذَا كَانُوا بِالْبَيْدَاءِ خُسِفَ بِهِمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الطَّرِيقَ قَدْ يَجْمَعُ النَّاسَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ نَعَمْ فِيهِمُ الْمُسْتَبْصِرُ وَالْمَجْبُورُ وَابْنُ السَّبِيلِ يَهْلِكُونَ مَهْلَكًا وَاحِدًا وَيَصْدُرُونَ مَصَادِرَ شَتَّى يَبْعَثُهُمُ اللَّهُ عَلَى نِيَّاتِهِمْ ‏”

Strange it is that some, people of my Ummah would attack the House (Ka’ba) (for killing) a person who would belong to the tribe of the Quraish and he would try to seek protection in the House. And when they would reach the plain ground they would be sunk. We said: Allah’s Messenger, all sorts of people throng the path. Thereupon he said: Yes, there would be amongst them people who would come with definite designs and those who would come under duress and there would be travelers also, but they would all be destroyed through one (stroke) of destruction. though they would be raised in different states (on the Day of Resurrection). Allah would, however, raise them according to their intention [Saheeh Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 10].

يَكُونُ اخْتِلاَفٌ عِنْدَ مَوْتِ خَلِيفَةٍ فَيَخْرُجُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ هَارِبًا إِلَى مَكَّةَ فَيَأْتِيهِ نَاسٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ مَكَّةَ فَيُخْرِجُونَهُ وَهُوَ كَارِهٌ فَيُبَايِعُونَهُ بَيْنَ الرُّكْنِ وَالْمَقَامِ وَيُبْعَثُ إِلَيْهِ بَعْثٌ مِنَ الشَّامِ فَيُخْسَفُ بِهِمْ بِالْبَيْدَاءِ بَيْنَ مَكَّةَ وَالْمَدِينَةِ فَإِذَا رَأَى النَّاسُ ذَلِكَ أَتَاهُ أَبْدَالُ الشَّامِ وَعَصَائِبُ أَهْلِ الْعِرَاقِ فَيُبَايِعُونَهُ بَيْنَ الرُّكْنِ وَالْمَقَامِ ثُمَّ يَنْشَأُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ أَخْوَالُهُ كَلْبٌ فَيَبْعَثُ إِلَيْهِمْ بَعْثًا فَيَظْهَرُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَذَلِكَ بَعْثُ كَلْبٍ وَالْخَيْبَةُ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَشْهَدْ غَنِيمَةَ كَلْبٍ فَيَقْسِمُ الْمَالَ وَيَعْمَلُ فِي النَّاسِ بِسُنَّةِ نَبِيِّهِمْ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَيُلْقِي الإِسْلاَمُ بِجِرَانِهِ إِلَى الأَرْضِ فَيَلْبَثُ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ ثُمَّ يُتَوَفَّى وَيُصَلِّي عَلَيْهِ الْمُسْلِمُونَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ قَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَنْ هِشَامٍ ‏”‏ تِسْعَ سِنِينَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ بَعْضُهُمْ ‏”‏ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ

Disagreement will occur at the death of a ruler and a man of the people of Madina will come flying forth to Makkah. Some of the people of Makkah will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madina. When the people see that, the eminent saints of Syria and the best people of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam. Then there will arise a man of Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to Kalb and send against them an expeditionary force which will be overcome by them, and that is the expedition of Kalb. Disappointed will be the one who does not receive the booty of Kalb. He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet (ﷺ) and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. Abu Dawud said: Some transmitted from Hisham “nine years” and some “seven years”. [Sunan Abu Da’ood, Book 38, Hadith 8, also reported by at-Tabarani in al-Awsat, by and Imam Ahmad in his Musnad]

The Hadiths speak about the Mahdi escaping from Madina to Makkah after the death of the ruler of these cities and the area around them i.e. the Arabian Peninsula. He would be found by some people and forced to take leadership.

Who would send the expeditionary force to Makkah against the Mahdi? It would come from Shaam and so one would assume it would be a Muslim army. We find some Hadiths in Sahih al-Muslim as follows:

عَنْ أَبِي نَضْرَةَ، قَالَ كُنَّا عِنْدَ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ فَقَالَ يُوشِكُ أَهْلُ الْعِرَاقِ أَنْ لاَ يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِمْ قَفِيزٌ وَلاَ دِرْهَمٌ ‏.‏ قُلْنَا مِنْ أَيْنَ ذَاكَ قَالَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْعَجَمِ يَمْنَعُونَ ذَاكَ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ يُوشِكَ أَهْلُ الشَّأْمِ أَنْ لاَ يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِمْ دِينَارٌ وَلاَ مُدْىٌ ‏.‏ قُلْنَا مِنْ أَيْنَ ذَاكَ قَالَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الرُّومِ ‏.‏ ثُمَّ سَكَتَ هُنَيَّةً ثُمَّ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ يَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ أُمَّتِي خَلِيفَةٌ يَحْثِي الْمَالَ حَثْيًا لاَ يَعُدُّهُ عَدَدًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْتُ لأَبِي نَضْرَةَ وَأَبِي الْعَلاَءِ أَتَرَيَانِ أَنَّهُ عُمَرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ فَقَالاَ لاَ

Abu Nadra reported: “We were in the company of Jabir b. ‘Abdullah that he said it may happen that the people of Iraq may not send their qafiz and dirhams (their measures of food stuff and their money). We said: Who would be responsible for it? He said: The non-Arabs would prevent them. He again said: There is the possibility that the people of Syria may not send their dinars and mudds. We said: Who would be responsible for it? He said this prevention would be made by the Romans. He (Jabir b. Abdullah) kept quiet for a while and then reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) having said there would be a caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give handfuls of wealth to the people without counting it. I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-‘Ala: Do you mean ‘Umar b. ‘Abd al-Aziz? They said: No (he would be the Mahdi). [Sahih Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 81]

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنَعَتِ الْعِرَاقُ دِرْهَمَهَا وَقَفِيزَهَا وَمَنَعَتِ الشَّأْمُ مُدْيَهَا وَدِينَارَهَا وَمَنَعَتْ مِصْرُ إِرْدَبَّهَا وَدِينَارَهَا وَعُدْتُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ بَدَأْتُمْ وَعُدْتُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ بَدَأْتُمْ وَعُدْتُمْ مِنْ حَيْثُ بَدَأْتُمْ ‏”

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Iraq would withhold its dirhams and qafiz; Syria would withhold its mudd and dinar and Egypt would withhold its irdab and dinar and you would recoil to that position from where you started and you would recoil to that position from where you started and you would recoil to that position from where you started. [Sahih Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 43]

The army sent out against the Mahdi from Shaam could either be from a ‘Muslim’ ruler there or it could be a puppet Muslim army under the command of the Romans who would have occupied Shaam at that point in time. They had already done it to Iraq but not Syria and Egypt, if the events are to be looked at from today’s perspective. The army has to have Muslims because the Sahih al-Muslim Hadith above explicitly states so and wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) asked him “فَكَيْفَ بِمَنْ كَانَ كَارِهًا” i.e. “what about him who would be made to accompany this army willy nilly (i.e. against their will)” and the response of the Prophet (ﷺ) was “يُخْسَفُ بِهِ مَعَهُمْ وَلَكِنَّهُ يُبْعَثُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَى نِيَّتِهِ” i.e. “He would be made to sink along with them but he would be raised on the Day of Resurrection on the basis of his intention”.

There is a possibility as to how and why the Romans may invade Syria. The following Hadiths may be linked to that event:

كُنْتُ وَاقِفًا مَعَ أُبَىِّ بْنِ كَعْبٍ فَقَالَ لاَ يَزَالُ النَّاسُ مُخْتَلِفَةً أَعْنَاقُهُمْ فِي طَلَبِ الدُّنْيَا ‏.‏ قُلْتُ أَجَلْ ‏.‏ قَالَ إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ يُوشِكُ الْفُرَاتُ أَنْ يَحْسِرَ عَنْ جَبَلٍ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ فَإِذَا سَمِعَ بِهِ النَّاسُ سَارُوا إِلَيْهِ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ عِنْدَهُ لَئِنْ تَرَكْنَا النَّاسَ يَأْخُذُونَ مِنْهُ لَيُذْهَبَنَّ بِهِ كُلِّهِ قَالَ فَيَقْتَتِلُونَ عَلَيْهِ فَيُقْتَلُ مِنْ كُلِّ مِائَةٍ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو كَامِلٍ فِي حَدِيثِهِ قَالَ وَقَفْتُ أَنَا وَأُبَىُّ بْنُ كَعْبٍ فِي ظِلِّ أُجُمِ حَسَّانَ

‘Abdullah b. Harith b. Naufal reported: I was standing along with Ubayy ibn Ka’b and he said: The opinions of the people differ in regard to the achievement of worldly ends. I said: Yes, of course. Thereupon he said: I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The Euphrates would soon uncover a mountain of gold and when the people would bear of it they would flock towards it but the people who would possess that (treasure) (would say): If we allow these persons to take out of it they would take away the whole of it. So they would fight and ninety-nine out of one hundred would be killed. Abu Kamil in his narration said: I and Abu Ka’b stood under the shade of the battlement of Hassan. [Saheeh Muslim Book 041, Number 6922]

When the Euphrates uncovers gold for which the people would fight, perhaps the Romans would, as a result, come and occupy part (or all) of Syria. The narration strongly hints that it would be before the Mahdi. Other narrations, in Nu’aym ibn Hammad’s Kitab al-Fitan, with lower levels of authenticity, explicitly state that it would be before the Mahdi (Allah knows best).

There would be a big war before the coming of the Mahdi outside Arabia (other than the Arabian civil war) in or around Shaam and this war would be before the Arabian civil war. The following Hadith is interesting, although very sad:

أَخْبَرَتْنِي أُمُّ شَرِيكٍ، أَنَّهَا سَمِعَتِ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏”‏ لَيَفِرَّنَّ النَّاسُ مِنَ الدَّجَّالِ فِي الْجِبَالِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ أُمُّ شَرِيكٍ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَأَيْنَ الْعَرَبُ يَوْمَئِذٍ قَالَ ‏”‏ هُمْ قَلِيلٌ ‏”

Umm Shariq reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The people would run away from the Dajjal seeking shelter in the mountains. She said: Where would be the Arabs then in that day? He said: They would be small in number. [Saheeh Muslim 41:7035]

Some big war(s) before the arrival of Dajjal would result in massive killing of the Arabs. Since Malhama al-Kubra (the Armageddon) would be fought in the region of Shaam (not affecting all Arabs but an area of Arabs), it appears that perhaps massive killing of Arabs would be due to some other war(s) before that. Perhaps it would be due to the war on Euphrates and others. Allah knows best.

One has to look at the entire corpus of Hadiths on the end times to understand that during the reign of the Mahdi, such events as the occupation of Muslim lands like Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are unlikely to happen and the nature of wars during his reign would be totally different with Muslims being dominant and not suffering setbacks and oppression as before his rule. Having this in mind, it appears very likely that Romans would have occupied Syria (or may be only some parts of it) before the coming of the Mahdi and would send out an army to attack the Mahdi when the news of his arrival reaches out to them. That army would sink into the earth and this way the Roman occupied area of Shaam would become free.

{Then there will arise a man of Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to Kalb…} Once the foreign occupation of whole or part of Syria ends after the sinking of the army from Shaam in Arabia, a man would arise who would be half Qureshi (from father’s side) and half Kalbi (from mother’s side). The Kalb tribe today are Alawites.[1] In other words, he would be Sunni from his father’s side and Shia from his mother’s side. This man might already be ruling some parts of Syria at that time and come to prominence when the previous army sinks into the earth or when the Romans invade Shaam, they may install him as the proxy ruler there.[2]

Now the question arises, why would the Mahdi be escaping from Madina to Makkah? The answer is provided in the following Hadith:

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Three people will fight over your treasure. All three will be sons of rulers. This will not come into the hands of any of them. Then black flags will appear in the east. They will fight with you in a way that nobody has fought with you before. “When you see them then give the pledge of allegiance to them even if you have to crawl over snow to reach them. Because he will be Allah’s Khalifah, Mahdi.” [Al-Mustadrak. Hakim and Imam Dhahabi graded this Hadith Sahih on the conditions of Bukhari and Muslim. Imams Tirmidhi, Ahmad and Ibn Majah have also narrated it. The last line “Because he will be Allah’s Khalifah Mahdi” is considered weak by al-Albani but the rest is accepted].

Since the ruler of Arabian Peninsula would have died and disagreement would occur, it appears that the fight among the three princes (or sons of rulers) would be for the leadership which is what the treasure refers to. Therefore, before the Mahdi, the death of a ruler of the Arabian Peninsula would result in a civil war in the Arabian Peninsula. It is during this time that the Mahdi would escape Madina and flee to Makkah; although not explicitly mentioned why, it is implied that he would escape the civil war and some of the participants in the civil war would come for him to kill him. Perhaps one of the three sons of rulers would have taken much power and be on the verge of defeating the other two sons of rulers that he would get to know that there is another person whom the people are rallying behind and upon hearing this news, he would have attempted to get the Mahdi killed.

While this would be happening, an army under black banners from the east would have reached Makkah to the aid of the Mahdi and {they will fight with [the Arabs involved in civil war] in a way that nobody has fought with you before}. The Mahdi would end the Arabian civil war and take hold of power and fight the Qureshi/Kalbi leader of Shaam and defeat him. What we learn here is that the first war of the Mahdi would be against the Arabian rebels followed by the war against Qureshi/Kalbi leader from Shaam – perhaps he would be something like a Khariji type of an individual but given a heroic touch and backed by anti-Sunni forces in the region.

In addition to this Hadith, the following narration is interesting. Nu’aym ibn Hammad reports in Kitab Al Fitan, in the chapter ‘Sinking and destruction of the army from Shaam’, page 202, on the authority of Mujahid, that Tubay said:

“A man will seek refuge in Makkah and will be killed, then after that, a long period of time will pass, then another man (the Mahdi) will seek refuge in Makkah but if you meet him do not fight him for if you do you will be part of the army that will be sunk and destroyed.

This happened when Muhammad bin Abdullah al-Qahtani took refuge (and announced to be the Mahdi) in Masjid al-Haram in 1979. After a long period of time, another man will take refuge and he would be the Mahdi.

Below are some Hadiths pertaining to the black flags:

إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْمَلاَحِمُ بَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَعْثًا مِنَ الْمَوَالِي هُمْ أَكْرَمُ الْعَرَبِ فَرَسًا وَأَجْوَدُهُ سِلاَحًا يُؤَيِّدُ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الدِّينَ

Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: When great wars will occur (إذا وقعت الملاحم), then Allah (ﷻ) will raise an army from those loyal to Arabs. They are the most generous Arabs (Akram al-Arab) in terms of riding and they have the best weaponry. Allah (ﷻ) will support Deen (Islam) by them” [Sunan Ibn Majah Hadith 971 Volume 3].[3]

“… a people from the direction of the East will come with black flags… until they pass it (the matter of ruling) on to a man from the people of my household. He will fill it (i.e. the earth) with justice, just as it had been filled with oppression. Whoever from you reaches that, then go to them, even if you have to crawl on ice.” (Ibn Majah 4082)

  1. Mawali means loyalist and this title also referred non-Arab slaves as well as to those freed slaves who stayed with their ex-masters. However, in modern times, there is neither slavery nor ex-slaves staying with their ex-masters nor non-Arab slaves under control of Arab masters and hence the term describes those non-Arabs loyal to Arabs.
  1. Akram al-Arab is translated as best Arab but this is not correct. Akram is most generous. This army originating from non-Arabs is called the most generous Arab army as well.

One may find this confusing or contradictory; how can a non-Arab army be a generous Arab army? Either you’re an Arab or a non-Arab, how can you be both? What appears is that the non-Arab army would have great riders (or pilots) and great weaponry and they would be supported by generous Arabs. Perhaps the generous Arabs may sponsor it like they have been sponsoring in our times as well [1][2][3].

This army raised by Allah would have those non-Arabs (black flags) who would be loyal to Arabs and supported by generous Arabs and hence the better or more meaningful translation of the Hadith would be:

When the great wars occur, Allah will raise an army from those non-Arabs loyal to Arabs. They are the most generous Arabic (or Arab sponsored) army in terms of riding and has the best weaponry.

There are reports that as soon as the pledge to the Mahdi would be given, pious people from Shaam and Iraq would come to join him. Other pious ones may have joined this army from the East along the route as well. This understanding is in complete harmony with Hadiths of black banners from the East. Black banners would start from the non-Arab lands of the East and be joined by Arabs along the way and supported by rich and generous Arabs financially. Allahu A’alam.

When the Armageddon is mentioned, Hadiths use the words (الملحمة الكبرى) where Malhama is in singular whereas the above narration uses (الملاحم) in plural indicating it is some other big series of wars (discussed above) when the army of non-Arabs would support Islam. During the (الملحمة الكبرى), this army would be busy with Ghazwatul Hind.[4][5]

There are plenty of narrations in other books that go further in detail of all these things but here, I have covered them only from a broader angle.

Summary and Conclusion

  • The Romans would invade Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. They have already done Iraq, if the events are to be looked at from today’s perspective, and may invade Syria (or some parts of it) when Euphrates uncovers gold. While they’re at it, they may also occupy Egypt and a lot of Muslim countries– Allah knows best. Perhaps they may conduct a massive false flag around the time Euphrates uncovers gold and come with an all scale invasion of Muslim lands – Allah knows best.
  • While they would be occupying Syria, the death of the ruler of Arabian Peninsula would result in a civil war among three princes.
  • During that civil war, the Mahdi would flee from Madina and come to Makkah where, broadly speaking, two groups of people would be following him – one to give pledge of allegiance to him and the other to kill him. The parties involved in the civil war would be looking to get him killed so that he is not made the ruler of Arabia.
  • When the pledge would be made to him, an army would be sent from Shaam after him. This army could be under the Roman command with Muslims from Shaam, and this army would sink in the earth in Arabia. This way, Shaam would be free of Roman occupation.
  • Earlier, we have seen that Romans would not be involved only with the Muslims. A common enemy of the Romans and the Muslims would have attacked the Romans with a massive attack around this time – when, where, and how? Refer here.
  • The onslaught of the common enemy on the Romans would give a breather to the Muslims from Roman oppression. Seeing this, three things would occur; 1) People from Shaam and Iraq would come to make pledge to the Mahdi, 2) an army of black flags from the east would reach Makkah to the aid of the Mahdi, and 3) a Qureshi/Kalbi leader (a Khariji type of an individual portrayed as a heroic savior backed by anti-Sunni forces in the region) would come to prominence and would seek to fight the Mahdi.
  • The Mahdi would end the Arabian civil war and fight the Qureshi/Kalbi leader from Shaam along with the Arabians, Iraqis, Syrians, black flags from the east, and others who may have joined him.
  • The Caliphate would be established with ‘at least’ Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and the East under the Mahdi’s command.

Indeed, Allah knows the best.

References and footnotes:

[1] Khoury, Philip S. (1992). Tribes and State Formation in the Middle East. p. 138 and Commins, David (2004). Historical Dictionary of Syria. p. 28

[2] Some narrations mention that this Qureshi-Kalbi individual would be called ‘Sufyani’. The following is found in Mustadrak of al-Hakim (8586):

حدثنا أبو محمد أحمد بن عبد الله المزني ثنا زكريا بن يحيى الساجي ثنا محمد بن إسماعيل بن أبي سمينة ثنا الوليد بن مسلم ثنا الأوزاعي عن يحيى بن أبي كثير عن أبي سلمة عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم : يخرج رجل يقال له السفياني في عمق دمشق و عامة من يتبعه من كلب فيقتل حتى يبقر بطون النساء و يقتل الصبيان فتجمع لهم قيس فيقتلها حتى لا يمنع ذنب تلعة و يخرج رجل من أهل بيتي في الحرة فيبلغ السفياني فيبعث إليه جندا من جنده فيهزمهم فيسير إليه السفياني بمن معه حتى إذا صار ببيداء من الأرض خسف بهم فلا ينجو منهم إلا المخبر عنهم

Abu Hurayrah has narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: A man will emerge from the depths of Damascus. He will be called Sufyani. Most of those who follow him will be from the tribe of Kalb. He will kill by ripping the stomachs of women and even kill the children. A man from my family will appear in the Haram, the news of his advent will reach the Sufyani and he will send to him one of his armies. He (i.e. the Mahdi) will defeat them. They will then travel with whoever remains until they come to a desert and they will be swallowed. None will be saved except the one who had informed the others about them.

Scholars of the past have differed over the authenticity of narrations of ‘Sufyani’. Saheeh Hadiths mention that the army initially set out to attack the Mahdi would sink and then another army would be sent that would be defeated militarily. This particular narration appears to have switched the order between these two armies and hence, may not be authentic. However, if someone rejects the Hadith simply because it appears insulting to Abu Sufyan or Ameer Mu’awiya, then that would not be correct to do so. This personality of ‘Sufyani’ is going to have Banu Kalb descent as well. Ameer Muawiya had married his son Yazid into Banu Kalb (refer History of Islam vol. 2 by Akbar Shah Najeebabadi pg. 103). Syrian Alawiites are believed to be the Kalb tribe and hence Sufyani (if an actual person) would have to be a Shia (from his mother’s side) and Sunni (from his father’s side) and he would also be popular among the masses. The tribe of the current tyrant Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is Kalb and so Muslims do not need to reject narrations of Sufyani ‘simply’ on the claim that they are insulting to Abu Sufyan and Ameer Mu’awiya.

However, even if they are indeed unauthentic or fabricated, the bottom line does not change. Authentic Hadiths mention this Qureshi-Kalbi individual while the disputed ones give a name to him. We can continue with our study without attributing a name to this individual. The existence of such an individual is not subject to debate.

[3] This Hadeeth is Hasan. It is narrated by Ibn Maajah (4090), Al-Haakim (4/848), and Ya’qoob bin Sufyaan al-Fasawi in al-Ma’rifah wal Taareekh. Al-Haakim has authenticated it to be on the conditions of Shaykhayn and Dhahabi followed him. And al-Busayri said: “This chain is Hasan”.

The word for ‘non-Arab’ can also mean freed slave but since the Hadith later mentions that they ‘will be greater riders and will have better weapons than the ‘Arabs’, the correct translation is ‘Non-Arabs’ as done above.

[4] “Allah has saved two groups of my Ummah from the hell-fire, the group that fights in India and the group that fights along with Eisa ibn Maryam (عليه السلام).” [Musnad Ahmad, Hadith 22449] Sheikh Shuaib Arnaut classified it as Hasan and Sheikh al-Albani classified it as Sahih.

“An army from amongst you will attack India, Allah will grant them victory until they put their leaders in chains. Allah will forgive them (members of that army) their sins and when they will return they will find the Son of Mariam in Syria.” [Nu’aym bin Hammad’s Kitabul Fitan pp.252-253. Also see Musnad Ishaq bin Rahwiya Hadith 477, Kanzul Ummal Hadith 39719. This Hadith is also included in Shaukh Anwar Shah Kashmiri’s Al-Tasrih bima Tawatur fi Nuzul Al-Masih Hadith 46 and Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghuddah who did research on it and mentioned, wherever he could find, the weakness of its narrations did not criticize this narration and thus implicitly authenticated it].

[5] Ibn Kathir in his famous “An-Nihaya fil Fitn wal Malahim says: “The people in the east will support the Mahdi. They will establish his rule and strengthen it. Their flags will be black…. Because the Prophet (ﷺ)’s flag was also black which was called ‘Al-Iqaab’.

In summary, the Mahdi, the awaited of the end times, will appear and emerge first in the east and his pledge will (later) be taken in the house of Allah (Kabah). The text of the Hadith proves this.”

It may be that the Mahdi would be in the East before and leave out with the army under black banners. During the way, he may decide to leave to Madina from where some people may be seeking to kill him and then he would flee to Makkah. In other words, when the black flags go out towards Makkah, he would go with them but when the black flags would be half-way there during the way fighting in Iraq or Syria or any other land, he would leave that army and go to Makkah either for Hajj or any other reason or might leave for Makkah from the East before/when the black flags depart.

Who will the Mahdi fight against?

We have seen above that his initial battles or wars would be against puppet forces and troubles makers who would be the enemies of the Sunnis in the region. If one feels that this analysis is faulty, then they should look at the following Hadith:

Abdullah bin Masud said that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: ” Between the Muslims and the Romans, there will be a Hudna (truce) and reconciliation treaty to the extent that they will fight together against their enemy and they (Muslims & Romans) will split the war acquisitions. Then, the Romans with the Muslims will invade Persia.” [Nu’aym ibn Hammad’s Kitab al-Fitan]

First war of Muslims and Romans together would be against the enemy of Romans and Muslims and then Romans and Muslims would fight together against the enemies of Muslims (clearly mentioned as Persia). After the joint wars of Muslims and Romans against their common enemies, the Malhama al-Kubra (Armageddon) would take place between the Muslims and Romans as stated in the essay above.

Related reading: Who and where are the Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog)? Has their barrier been broken? | Sequence of Dajjal’s arrival: After conquest of Rome or Constantinople?Contentions against Islamic end times prophecies | Are Hadiths Anti-Semitic? There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him! | Will caliphate return before the Mahdi?

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4 thoughts on “End times prophecies surrounding Arabia, Shaam, and the East

  1. Pingback: Will caliphate return before the Mahdi? | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

  2. There are some questions asked:

    1. Where does the hadith say that the Mahdi would “escape”?

    A. Escape as in he would be on the run. The Hadiths mention that disagreement will occur at the death of a ruler and a man of the people of Madina will come flying forth to Makkah and some, people of my Ummah would attack the House (Ka’ba) (for killing) a person who would belong to the tribe of the Quraish and he would try to seek protection in the House.

    2. Once again, on what basis do you make such an assumption? How do you know that it’s not an Alawite+Druze+Christian army for instance?

    A. The Hadith states: An expeditionary force will then be sent against him from Syria but will be swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madina. Moreover, the Prophet (s) also said: Strange it is that some, people of my Ummah would attack the House. He calls them from his Ummah and so Alawite+Druze+Christians cannot be the totality of this army. They may be in it but the army, generally speaking, would be from the Ummah.

    3. They said: No (he would be the Mahdi). [Sahih Muslim, Book 54, Hadith 81] What’s the proof that this hadith applies to the Mahdi?

    A. There are explicit narrations stating so: Indeed, from your rulers will be a ruler who will throw handfuls of wealth without counting it and in the last of my nation there will be a Khaleefah who will throw handfuls of money (for charity) without counting or keeping account. More Hadiths on the Mahdi are also explicit that he would distribute without counting.

    4. He said: They would be small in number. [Saheeh Muslim 41:7035] Your theory is that the reason for this is because most (or a huge number of) Arabs would have been killed off. Any scholar said this?

    A. Ibn Kathir’s Book of the End has all such statements.

    5. The Kalb tribe today are Alawites.[1] In other words, he would be Sunni from his father’s side and Shia from his mother’s side.

    Huh? Explain. You’re equating Alawites with Shias or are you theorizing that those Alawites would have converted to Shism by that time?

    A. Politically speaking, they are indeed Shias even if theologically they aren’t. Since Alawis came out of Shias and are also heavily backed by Iran, I took them the same as Shias. I was just casual about it but if you find it wrong, I can change the wording.

    6. The last line “Because he will be Allah’s Khalifah Mahdi” is considered weak by al-Albani but the rest is accepted. So how do you know that this hadith relates to the Mahdi then?

    A. Sh. Al-Albani has detailed it and he disagrees with the wording Khalifah of Allah only and not that it would be Mahdi. Yasir Qadhi’s lecture ‘Mahdi between fact and fiction’ is a good educational one. Ibn Kathir quotes this Hadith:

    “a people from the direction of the East will come with black flags… until they pass it (the matter of ruling) on to a man from the people of my household. He will fill it (i.e. the earth) with justice, just as it had been filled with oppression. Whoever from you reaches that, then go to them, even if you have to crawl on ice.” (Ibn Majah)”

    Allah knows best.

  3. Pingback: Islamic identity of Rûm (Rome) and Romans | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

  4. Pingback: Is there any prophecy of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad? | Qur'anic misconceptions addressed

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