(excerpt from The Beginning of The End)

The Blessed Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ indicated that the area of ‘Najd’ would be a place from which devilish things will arise. The books of hadīth are pregnant with information supporting the view that ‘Najd’ is indeed a mysteriously mischievous place, to such an extent that the Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refused to supplicate for its blessing. Furthermore, there are narrations wherein the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ rebuked and considered one person a liar for affiliating the area of Najd with the type of virtue he would normally ascribe to other places. He also refused to include Najd in his supplication for blessing. This is apparent from the following narration,

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ ذَكَرَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا‏‏.‏ قَالُوا وَفِي نَجْدِنَا‏.‏ قَالَ‏ اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي شَأْمِنَا، اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِي يَمَنِنَا  قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَفِي نَجْدِنَا فَأَظُنُّهُ قَالَ فِي الثَّالِثَةَ ‏‏ هُنَاكَ الزَّلاَزِلُ وَالْفِتَنُ، وَبِهَا يَطْلُعُ قَرْنُ الشَّيْطَانِ

Narrated by Sayyidunā Abdullāh ibn Umar رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ,”The Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ said, ‘O Allāh! Bestow Your blessings on our Shām! O Allāh! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The people said, “And also on our Najd?” He صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ said, “O Allāh! Bestow Your blessings on our Shām! O Allāh! Bestow Your blessings on our Yemen.” The people said, “O Allāh’s Apostle! And also on our Najd?” I (narrator) think the third time the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ said, “There (in Najd) is the place of earthquakes and afflictions and from there comes out the side qarn of Satan.”[1]

For anyone with common sense, the hadīth is clear. The Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refused to include the area of Najd in his prayer for blessing even after repeated requests from his companions. Upon his refusal to include Najd in his supplication, explaining that from it (Najd) would appear the ‘Qarn of the devil’. Prior to any analysis of the location of Najd, we must first understand what is meant by ‘qarn’.

Najd and the Qarn of the Devil

Insofar as the word ‘qarn’ is concerned, there are two possible views from which this aspect may be better understood.

Viewpoint 1, The word Qarn refers to ‘a horn’. Since horned animals usually possess two horns, according to the literalist view, it would imply that just as two horns usually create an empty space between them, similarly, the ‘horns of the devil’ will form around the area of Najd. This view basically indicates that the area of Najd would become ‘devil central’, and by this definition, there would be two incidents in the ever-unfolding historical process from which we will be able to witness two devilish systems emerge from the area of Najd.

Viewpoint 2, The word ‘qarn’ according to the Qur’ānic usage has never been utilized to denote a ‘horn’. Rather, it was utilized to refer to an epoch or age. This will be clarified under the subject of Gog & Magog. By this angle of interpretation, the Messenger’s صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refusal to pray for the blessing of Najd may be indicative of the emergence of a satanic era.

Regardless of the choice of interpretation, what is clear from the narration is that this area (Najd) will be one of strategic importance for the devil.

The proponents of viewpoint 1 believe that only one such ‘horn’ has come to pass, and that was the emergence of the false Prophet, Musaylimah Al-Kazzhāb. They opine that the second ‘horn’ has not come to pass. This view is held in general by the Najdīs of today.

The proponents of viewpoint 2 however, believe that the Prophesized era pertaining to Najd come to pass. In fact, it may have been fulfilled on more than one occasion. The first being the era of Musaylimah the liar, and the second being the era of the infamous leader, Abdul Wahhāb Najīi. This view however, does not sit well with the Wahhābī followers who argue that the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refusal to pray for Najd, was not the ‘Najd’ of Abdul Wahhāb Najdī in Saudi Arabia, rather it was in reference to another Najd in Iraq. By that claim, they have liberated their leader from any such accusation which may defame his legacy.

In our limited capacity, we opine that viewpoint 2 has greater grounds of fulfillment than the view held by their counterparts. This problem can only be solved by a study of the hadīth corpus on the subject.

Is Najd in Iraq, or in Saudi Arabia?

Preliminary readings of the subject from basic sources reveal the following information about Najd and its link to Saudi Arabia and Abdul Wahāb Najdī.

“Najd, also spelled Nejd, is a region, central Saudi Arabia, comprising a mainly rocky plateau sloping eastward from the mountains of the Hejaz. On the northern, eastern, and southern sides, it is bounded by the sand deserts of Al-Nafūd, Al-Dahnā, and the Rub’al-Khali. It is sparsely settled, except for the fertile oases strung along the escarpment of Jabal (mountains) Ṭuwayq and the Al-‘Aramah plateau. The arid region remained politically divided among rival peoples until the mid-18th century, when it became the Centre of the Wahhābī, a fundamentalist Islāmic movement. Led by the Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhāb…”[2]

This has been confirmed by medieval geographers such as Ibn Khordadbeh who opined that the area of Najd is located in current Saudi Arabia. The Wahhābī apologists on the other hand insist that the Najd in the hadīth is located in Iraq. Hence in order to unravel the mystery of this area, which came under fire from the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ in more than one occasion, we must search the hadīth corpus on the subject.

Insofar as the word ‘Najd’ is concerned, a perusal into the subject reveals that the Wahhābī apologists have hoodwinked the uneducated masses into believing that the Prophet’s صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refusal to supplicate for Najd was not in reference to the homeland of their great leader, Abdul Abdul Wahāb Najdī, but in reference to a place in Iraq.

Their assiduousness to maintain this stance has led to many books of hadīth etc. having deliberately inserted footnotes with isolated narrations declaring that it (Najd) is in Iraq, and this interpretation (of Najd being Iraq) is the only correct view. We urge them to desist from this extremist approach which maintains that only their insight into Islāmic affairs holds merit. A view of course shared by the illegitimate child of the Wahhābī doctrines viz. ISIS, which claims that it alone has the right to be called Muslim, and that all others are deviant and misguided and disbelievers. Nonetheless, we will progress to use this prophecy on Najd as a place of strategic importance to highlight to the reader that this ‘hijacking’ of established Islāmic tradition only stands to confirm the ‘mischievous’ nature of the Najdī phenomenon.

Najd is in Saudi Arabia and not in Iraq

The following ahādīth will clarify to the reader that the claims of Najd being in Iraq, is in contradiction to numerous narrations.

Hadīth 1

 

أَنَّ ابْنَ عُمَرَ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ قَالَ غَزَوْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قِبَلَ نَجْدٍ، فَوَازَيْنَا الْعَدُوَّ فَصَافَفْنَا لَهُمْ

Narrated by Sayyidunā Abdullāh Ibn Umar رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ, “I took part in a Ghazwah[3] towards Najd along with Allāh’s  Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ and we clashed with the enemy, and we lined up for them.”[4]

It is well known that the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ did not travel to Irāq for any military expedition, yet here, Sayyidunā Abdullāh ibn Umar رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ clarifies that the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ went to ‘Najd’ on such an expedition. Hence Najd cannot be in Irāq!

Hadīth 2

 

بَعَثَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَيْلاً قِبَلَ نَجْدٍ، فَجَاءَتْ بِرَجُلٍ مِنْ بَنِي حَنِيفَةَ يُقَالُ لَهُ ثُمَامَةُ بْنُ أُثَالٍ فَرَبَطُوهُ بِسَارِيَةٍ مِنْ سَوَارِي الْمَسْجِدِ

Narrated by Sayyidunā Abū Hurayrah رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ. “The Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ sent some horsemen to Najd and they arrested and brought a man called Thumāmah bin Athāl from the tribe of Banī Hanīfah, and they fastened him to one of the pillars of the Mosque.”[5]

 

The narration clarifies that Thumāmah bin Athāl was from the tribe of the Hanīfah, which subsequently is the tribe of Musaylimah, who was famous for being the false prophet of the area of Najd located in modern day Saudi Arabia and not from Iraq.

How can a people who claim that their view of Islām is the only correct view when they have tampered with the hadīth literature to suit their agenda? How is the Ummah to trust such a people who would rather present misinformation to the Ummah, than connect the area of Najd to their homeland?

 

Hadīth 3

 

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ وَقَّتَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لأَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ذَا الْحُلَيْفَةِ وَلأَهْلِ الشَّامِ وَمِصْرَ الْجُحْفَةَ وَلأَهْلِ الْعِرَاقِ ذَاتَ عِرْقٍ وَلأَهْلِ نَجْدٍ قَرْنًا وَلأَهْلِ الْيَمَنِ يَلَمْلَمَ

Sayyidah Āishah رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنْہُ said,The Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ of Allāh designated Zhul-Hulayfah as the mīqāt for the people of Al-Madīnah, Al-Juhfah for the people Ah-Shām and Egypt, Zhāt ‘Irq for the people Al-‘Irāq, Qarn for the people of Najd and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen.[6]

 

This is by far the most explicit narration which displays that Iraq and Najd are two separate locations. It also has mad mention of ‘Al-Shām’ and ‘Yemen’. If the Wahhābī apologists were true in their claim, then the above narration creates a mountain of a problem for them as it specifically mentions a separate mīqāt for the people of Iraq, to the mīqāt of the people of Najd. If the Prophetic usage of the word ‘Najd’ was indeed denoting Irāq, then why would the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ utilize it here to mean the Najd in current day Saudi Arabia? Furthermore, their other guru, Ibn Taymiyyah, held the view that Iraq and Najd were two separate locations when he stated,

“They would call the people of Najd and Iraq, ‘the people of the east’ (or Ahlul Mashriq), the people of Ash-Shām are ‘the people of the west’ (Al-Gharb) just as Najd and Iraq are the beginning of the east.”[7]

Furthermore, there remains no other who can claim to possess more eloquence in speech than the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ, and the Prophetic consistency here mentioned ‘Qarn’ as the mīqāt for Najd, yet the initial reason for the Prophet’s صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refusal to pray for Najd, was because from there would emerge the ‘qarn’ of Satan! Hence this prophetic consistency cannot be ignored.

It is quite clear from the above proofs that viewpoint 1 lacks the necessary clout required to corroborate its claims from the words of the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ, that Irāq is indeed the ‘Najd’ wherefrom the mischief of the devil will occur. Their misinformation is based on ‘interpretations’ whilst our view is based on the direct sayings of the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ.

The Wahhābī doctrines preach strict adherence to the Qur’ān and Sunnah on one hand, and on the other hand, does not waiver in renouncing certain Sunnah practices, inasmuch as the prevalence of that known Sunnah threatens to cast a shadow of doubt on their beloved leader. This is not an uncharitable statement at all. Since the Beloved Messenger صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ utilized and acknowledged the word ‘Najd’, it follows that our usage of the word ‘Najd’ may be considered a Sunnah. It is astounding to note that the area of Najd has been removed from the map today.

In fact, that is very strange indeed. Why would a people who drill on the importance of Qur’ān and Sunnah, forsake the prophetic usage of the word ‘Najd’ to denote a specific area of Saudi Arabia, and then further substitute that word with the name Riyadh? Is it also a coincidence that the capital city of Saudi Arabia is in Riyadh, which falls under the area of ‘Najd’? This, I believe, is part of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy to ensure that as time passes by, that the word ‘Najd’ will be removed from being synonymous with Saudi Arabia, thus ensuring that no ‘paper trail’ leads back to their beloved leader, who by the way, has always been connected with the appellation of ‘Najdī’, and he was not from Iraq!

Now that we have established that ‘Najd’ is indeed a location in Saudi Arabia, and not in Iraq, a re-examining of that hadīth wherein the Beloved Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ prayed for Al-Shām and Yemen, but refused to pray for Najd reveals a shockingly harsh truth. The one place that the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ refused to pray for viz. Najd, is the area which has been heavily linked to the war in Syria and Yemen! It seems as though ‘Najd’ is now displaying its true colours, and in retrospect, proving the truth in the words of the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ.

The concept of the satanic link to the area of Najd can be traced from even the latter Makkan stage of the Sīrah[8] regarding the Hijrah (migration). The scholars of sīrah have cited an important piece of information as one the primary reasons leading up to the Hijrah.

We know very well that when the Makkan leaders were deliberating the dilemma of the spread of Islām despite all their efforts to quell its growth, that Satan took the form of an old man and advised them that the best way to deal with this problem was to kill the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ. In order to avoid backlash from his clan, leaders from different clans were to partake in this assassination, making retribution impossible. Describing this devil in disguise, the narrators added that Satan appeared in the form of an old man from Najd![9]

Hence, the consistency of the link between Najd and acts of a satanic nature may be consistently viewed from the hadīth. In the End, Allāh Almighty knows best!

[1]  Sahīh Al-BukhāriBook of Afflictions and the End of the World, Chapter – Al-Fitnah will appear from the East, Hadīth 7094

[2] Encyclopedia Britannica

[3] Ghazwah refers to those military expeditions in which the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ was present.

[4] Sahīh Al-Bukhāri,  Book of Military Expeditions led by the Prophet صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ (Al-Maghāzī), Chapter – The Ghazwah of Zhāt-ur-Riqā, Hadīth 4132

[5]  Sahīh Al-Bukhāri,  Book of Khusūmāt , Chapter – Tying the person liable to do mischievous things, Hadīth 2422

[6] Sunan An-Nasaī, The Book of Hajj, Hadīth 2656

[7] The Excellence of Syro-Palestine, Page 24, Maktabah al-Ahbāb, Damascus with reference to Ibn Taymiyyah’s Majmū’āt Al-Rasā’il.

[8] Sīrah – the Prophetic biography.

[9] Refer to Sīrah Ibn Hishām, Chapter on the Hijrah. After relating the exact narrative from Ibn Is’hāq, Ibn Kathīr mentioned in Al-Bidāyah Wan-Nihāyah that Imām Wāqidī narrated this incident with his chain from Sayyidah Ā’ishah, Sayyidunā Ibn Abbās and Sayyidunā Alī as well.