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Hadith on black flags

Question

Can you please comment on the gradation of this narration?

Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says:

‘When you see the black flags, remain where you are and do not move your hands or your feet. Thereafter there shall appear a feeble folk to whom no concern is given. Their hearts will be like fragments of iron. They are the representatives of the State. They will fulfill neither covenant nor agreement. They will invite to the truth, though they are not from its people. Their names will be agnomens [i.e., Abu So-and-so], and their ascriptions will be to villages [i.e. al-dimashqi al-baghdadi ]. Their hair will be long like that of women. [They shall remain] till they differ among themselves, and then Allah will bring forth the truth from whomever He wills.’

Answer

Nu’aym ibn Hammad (rahimahullah) has recorded the narration in question in Kitabul Fitan as the statement of Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu ‘anhu), with a chain that is weak but suitable for matters like this.

(Kitabul Fitan, Hadith: 558)

Note 1: Although this is recorded from the Sahabi; Sayyiduna ‘Ali (radiyallahu’anhu), its subject matter is not one that can be derived from intellect. It is therefore understood that he would have heard this from Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam).

Note 2: This Hadith is vague in its purport. The application of Hadiths like these is open to difference of opinion.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar