The Column of Islam is in Sham

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In this time of dissension, we pray for the people of Sham.  Sham is Syria and Iraq.  Looking at the situation, we cannot imagine it sometimes, but it is a Blessed place.  Sham is the place, where when the rest of the ummah forgot the world is a trial, they were tested.  It is the place when the rest of the ummah strove for dunya, they strove for Islam.  They will be amongst the people who oppose Dajjal, just as they oppose Dajjal's followers now, in groups like ISIS and others.  And this is the land of awliya’ where the Horn of Shaythan will never be victorious.

During the Mi’raj, the Prophet (s.a.w.) saw a pearl-like white column which the angels were carrying.  He asked, “What is this, you are carrying?”

They replied, “The Column of Islam.  We have been Ordered to place it in Sham.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) called Sham the purest of Allah’s (s.w.t.) lands, the place where religion, belief and safety are found in the time of dissension, and the home of the saints for whose sake Allah (s.w.t.) Sends Sustenance to the people and victory to Muslims over their enemies.

Imam ibn ‘Asakir (r.a.), in Tahdzib Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir, related from ibn Mas’ud (r.a.), that the Prophet (s.a.w.) compared the world to a little rain water on a mountain plateau of which the swaf had already been drunk and from which only the kadar or dregs remained.  Imam al-Huwjiri (q.s.) and Imam al-Qushayri (q.s.) mentioned it in their chapters on taswawwuf, respectively in Kashf al-Mahjub and ar-Risalah al-Qushayriyyah.  Shaykh ibn al-Atsir (r.a.) defined swafa and swafwat in his dictionary, an-Nihayah, as “the best of any matter, its quintessence, and purest part.”  The quintessence spoken of by the Prophet (s.a.w.) is Sham, because he called Sham “the quintessence of Allah’s lands”, swafwat Allah min biladih.  Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) related it from ‘Irbad ibn Sariyah (r.a.) and Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) authenticated the chain of transmission in his Majma’ az-Zawa’id, the chapter entitled Bab Fadha’il ash-Sham.

Abu al-Darda’ (r.a.) narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “As I was sleeping, I saw the Column of the Book being carried away from under my head.  I feared lest it would be taken away, so I followed it with my eyes and saw that it was being planted in Sham.  Verily, belief, in the time of dissensions, will be in Sham.”

Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) said that Imam Ahmad (r.a.) narrated it with a chain whose narrators are all the men of swahih narrations and that Imam al-Bazzar (r.a.) narrated it with a chain whose narrators are swahih except for Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Amir al-Antaki (r.a.), and he is tsiqah, trustworthy.

In the version Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) narrated from Shaykh ibn ‘Amr (r.a.), in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir and al-Mu`jam al-Awsath, the Prophet (s.a.w.) repeated three times, “When the dissensions take place, belief will be in Sham.”  One manuscript bears the saying, “Safety will be in Sham.”  Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) said the men in its chain are those of sound hadits except for Shaykh ibn Lahi’a (r.a.), and he is hasan.

Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.) related from ‘Abdullah ibn Hawalah (r.a.) that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I saw on the night that I was enraptured a white column resembling a pearl, which the angels were carrying.  I asked them, ‘What are you carrying?’

They replied. ‘The Column of the Book.  We have been Ordered to place it in Sham.  Later, in my sleep, I saw that the Column of the Book was snatched away from under my headrest.  I began to fear lest Allah Almighty had abandoned the people of the earth.  My eyes followed where it went.  It was a brilliant light in front of me.  Then I saw it was placed in Sham.”

‘Abdullah ibn Hawalah (r.a.) said, “O Messenger of Allah, choose for me,” meaning to choose for him where he should go.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “You must go to Sham.”

Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) said, in Majma’ az-Zawa’id, “The narrators in its chain of transmission are all those of sound hadits, except Swalih ibn Rustum, and he is tsiqah.”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) related in his Musnad, “The people of Sham were mentioned in front of ‘Ali ibn Abi Thalib while he was in Iraq, and they said to him, ‘Curse them, O Commander of the Believers.’

He replied, ‘No, I heard the Messenger of Allah say, ‘al-Abdal are in Sham and they are forty men.  Every time one of them dies, Allah Substitutes another in his place.  By means of them, Allah Brings down the rain, Gives victory over their enemies, and Averts punishment from the people of Sham.’”

Imam al-Haytsami (r.a.) said, in Majma’ az-Zawa’id, “The men in its chains are all those of sound hadits except for Sharih ibn ‘Ubayd, and he is trustworthy.”  There are more ahadits on the abdal which we cite elsewhere.


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