Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Conditions of the “Strangers” by Imam Ibn Rajab al Hanbali

In this treatise, Ibn Rajab discusses the topic of the “Strangers,” listing the many ahadeeth of the Prophet (S) reported about them. They are given this name because they will be “Strange” during the Last Days, due to their adherence of the Sunnah and to the way of the first Muslims, the Salaf-As-Saalih. So, just as those who first accepted Islam at the hands of Muhammad (S) were considered “Strangers” by their families and close ones, then indeed, those who adhere to the Sunnah in the Last Days, when innovations and misguidance are rampant and widespread, will also be considered “Strangers” by their families and close ones, not to mention the disbelievers.

Ibn Rajab uses several weak ahadeeth in this treatise, which have been pointed out. Also, towards the end of this treatise, he begins to divert from the topic by going deep into the issue of inner strangeness, sometimes focusing on aspects which have no basis in Islam, such as talk about wajd, khulwa and so on. These were Sufi concepts prevalent during his time. Consequently, the last pages of the treatise, which included several quotes and lines of poetry, were left out of this translation. However, the omission of this last part of the book does not detract from the overall meaning and intended theme of the treatise, and Allah knows best. For the most part, the treatise is of great importance and is often referenced by the scholars, and that is what we wish to convey to the readers. All footnotes were added by the translator based on research and use of several resources.

May Allah the Almighty benefit the Sheikh and all the Muslims with it, Ameen!

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