Islam began as something strange…

إنَّ الإِسْلَامَ بَدَأَ غَرِيْباً ، و سَيَعُوْدُ غريبا كَمَا بدأ ، فَطُوْبَى لِلْغُرُبَاء قِيْلَ : من هم يا رسول الله ؟

 قال : الذين يصلحون إذا فَسَدَ الناس

The Prophet صلّى الله عليه و سلّم said:

Indeed Islam began as something strange and it will return to being something strange so Tooba (a tree in Paradise ) is for the strangers.” It was said: “Who are they O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Those who are righteous (by following the Sunnah) when the people are corrupt”

Authenticated by Shaikh Albanee in as Silsilah as Saheehah

Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said (in explanation of who are the strangers):

فأهل الإسلام في الناس غرباء ، والمؤمنون في أهل الإسلام غرباء ، وأهل العلم في المؤمنين غرباء .

وأهل السنة الذين يميزونها من الأهواء والبدع فهم غرباء ، والداعون إليها الصابرون على أذى المخالفين هم أشد هؤلاء غربة ولكن هؤلاء هم أهل الله حقا ، فلا غربة عليهم ، وإنما غربتهم بين الأكثرين ، الذين قال الله عز وجل فيهم : وإن تطع أكثر من في الأرض يضلوك عن سبيل الله ، فأولئك هم الغرباء من الله ورسوله ودينه

“So Ahlus Sunnah amongst mankind are the strangers,  and the Believers from Ahlus Sunnah are the strangers,  And the people of knowledge from amongst the Believers are the strangers.  And those from Ahlus Sunnah who (have knowledge and) make distinct the Sunnah from desires and bid’ah are the strangers, and those who call to the Sunnah while being patient with the harms of those who oppose it – they are the most strange of the strangers.  But these (strangers) are in reality Allah’s people.  And they are not strange.  They are only strange compared to the majority of people – those whom Allah The Exalted and Mighty, said about them (translated): 

‘And if you were to obey the majority of those on the earth, they would lead you astray from Allah’s path’ (6:116)

So those (the majority) are the strangers  to Allah and His Messenger, and His religion”

مصدر: مدارج السالكين لابن القيم الجوزية

From: Madaarij as- Saalikeen by Imam Ibnul Qayyim

Find a hadeeth and its grading: http://dorar.net/enc/hadith

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