Sufiyani tribe

Question:

Assalamualaikum Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad and eshaykh staffs,

Has MSH talk about Sufiyani tribe ? Who are they and have they already appeared before the coming of Imam Mehdi (a.s).

Many thanks pls pray for us.

Answer:

`Alaykum as-Salam,

The best-chained Prophetic hadith about the Sufyani is from Abu Hurayra (r) and is translated thus:

<<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 (referring to 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.>> (Mustadrak Al-Hakim 4:520, Kitab al-Fitan wal-Malahim)

No one else narrates it. Its chain is as follows:

al-Hakim said:
Abu Muhammad Ahmad b. `Abd Allah al-Muzani (trustworthy) narrated to us:
Zakariyya b. Yahya al-Saji narrated to us:
Muhammad b. Isma`il b. Abi Samina narrated to us:
al-Walid b. Muslim narrated to us:
al-Awza`i narrated to us:
From Yahya b. Abi Kathir:
From Abu Salama:
From Abu Hurayra.

Al-Hakim said this chain met the criteria of al-Bukhari and Muslim but this is incorrect: although its five upper-end narrators are all in the two Sahihs (except for Ibn Abi Samina who is only in Muslim) and are all trustworthy, nevertheless there are two mortal defects, namely, uncommitted transmission terminology “from” (`an) at two points, once from al-Walid b. Muslim when he mentions the link between his shaykh and his grandshaykh; and once between Yahya b. Abi Kathir and Abu Salama. These two, al-Walid and Yahya, are known to sometimes suppress untrustworthy narrators from their transmission chains in order to make them more attractive, at which time they say “from” instead of “narrated to us”. Yahya’s authentic narrations from Abu Salama are well-known in the two Sahihs and Sunan, and this is not one of them; likewise al-Walid’s authentic narrations from al-Awza`i and those above him. Al-Walid is notorious and was actually scolded for dropping off what he considered bad links from al-Awza`i’s reports.

So the chain could actually be containing weak, unknown, or discarded narrators including forgers, and does not, contrary to al-Hakim’s claim, meet the criteria of al-Bukhari or Muslim’s Sahihs.

For further reading on hadith sources on this issue see:

Do believe in the Sufyani who will allegedly come before the Dajjal?

I have not heard Shaykh Hisham mention the Sufyani by name, but Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi quotes in his Muhadarat al-Abrar the astrological prediction by a certain Abu `Isma that al-Sufyani, that one by one all the countries of the earth would be ruined “until the arrival of a king from the Orient in AH 561, at the beginning of the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the third decanate of Capricorn. This king seizes Egypt and Sudan. He prevails three times over the Banu al-Asfar [Westerners]. Then comes the master of the West, at which news the Byzantines send a large fleet. The three armies of the master of the West make their way with great difficulty to Egypt. The Banu al-Asfar seize Alexandria, but are finally expelled from the Levant. Another man comes from the East, this time supported by Turkish armies, and he takes possession of Jerusalem and then all of Syria. Then various struggles, the coming of the Sufyanid, of the Mahdi who takes Constantinople, the arrival of the Antichrist and the descent of Jesus.” (See “The Enigma of the Shajara al-nu’māniyya fī’l-dawla al-’Uthmāniyya, attributed to Ibn ‘Arabī“)

Ibn `Arabi in the same passage of Muhadarat al-Abrar (Dar al-Yaqazhat al-`Arabiyya ed. 1:341-343) mentions that the Sufyani would be in command of two large armies that would be routed in Kufa and Mecca after wreaking havoc on Madina for three days, and that al-Mahdi would slaughter him outside Damascus.

And Allah knows best.

Hajj Gibril Haddad

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One Response to Sufiyani tribe

  1. Staff says:

    Another hadith, which does not mention as-Sufyani explicitly but fits the above description, “a man of the Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to the tribe of Kalb” which fits the Umayyads and the common understanding of the “Sufyani”, as mentioned in Shaykh Hisham’s Approach of Armageddon:

    Umm Salama (r) related that the Prophet (s) said:
    Strife shall take place after the death of a Caliph. A man of the people of Madīna will come forth flying to Makka. Some of the people of Makka will come to him, bring him out against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner (of the Ka`ba) and the Maqām (Station of Abrāham, next to the Ka`ba). An army will then be sent against him from Shām but will be swallowed up in the desert between Makka and Madīna. When the people see that, the Abdāl (Substitutes) of Shām and the best people of Iraq will come to him and swear allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqām. Then there will arise a man of the Quraysh whose maternal uncles belong to the tribe of Kalb. He will send an army against them. They (the Mahdī and the believers) will destroy them and they will be victorious, and he will divide the rewards among the people. He will establish and practice the Sunnah of the Prophet (s) among them. Islam will spread all over the earth. He will stay seven years with them. Then he will pass away and the Muslims will pray [the funeral prayer] over him. (Sahīh Ibn Hibbān #6757).

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