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Reference of Hadith on two armies fighting each other

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

please may you provide me the hadith and background on the hadith where it is stated that towards end of times there will be much fighting and there will be 2 major groups who will fight each other…are these two groups from muslims and will they be fighting for the same goal but they have difference of opinion on aqidah issues?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The Hadīth you refer to is as follows:

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ رَافِعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، حَدَّثَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنْ هَمَّامِ بْنِ مُنَبِّهٍ، قَالَ: هَذَا مَا حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، فَذَكَرَ أَحَادِيثَ مِنْهَا: وَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَقْتَتِلَ فِئَتَانِ عَظِيمَتَانِ، وَتَكُونُ بَيْنَهُمَا مَقْتَلَةٌ عَظِيمَةٌ وَدَعْوَاهُمَا وَاحِدَةٌ»[1] 

Hadrat Abu Hurairah Radiyallhu ‘Anhu narrated from Rasulullah Sallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam a number of things (from amongst the signs of Qiyaamah). From amongst them was,

“Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam mentioned: ‘The final day shall not come until too huge armies fight one another. There shall be a great war fought between them, yet their claim will be one and the same.’” (Saheeh Muslim, Book on Trials and Signs of Qiyaamah; Chapter Regarding When Muslims Will Face off Against Each Other with Their Swords)

Commentators of Hadith, in particular ‘Allāmah Shams al-Deen al-Kirmānī, Mullā ‘Alī al-Qārī, ‘Allāmah Ibn al-Malak and Hāfiz Ibn Hajar Rahimahumullah have stated that this Hadīth refers to the battle fought between the army of Hadrat ‘Alī Radiyallahu ‘Anhu and the army of Hadrat mu’āwiyah Radiyalluhu ‘Anhu.[2] Both armies were true and faithful Muslims. They fought due disagreements on internal issues regarding Islamic governance. Both armies claimed of being on the right track.

Being a war fought between two illustrious Sahabah of Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam, we respect, honour and revere both personalities equally. Shari’ah advocates that we desist from commenting on the wars fought between different groups of the Sahabah. Hence, we advise that such matters be left alone rather than one digging into their history and emerging with negative views regarding either of the parties. We should rather focus towards matters that shall be of benefit to us in the hereafter.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Nabeel Valli

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1]  صحيح مسلم (4/ 170) [دار المنهاج] 

[2]   الكواكب الدراري (24/184) [دار إحياء التراث العربي]

(الفِئَتَانِ العَظِيمَتَانِ) طائفتا علي ومعاوية وكان دعوى كل واحدة منهما أنها على الحق.

فتح الباري – ابن حجر (13/ 85) [دار المعرفة]

قوله حتى تقتتل فئتان الحديث تقدم في كتاب الرقاق ان المراد بالفئتين علي ومن معه ومعاوية ومن معه ويؤخذ من تسميتهم مسلمين ومن قوله دعوتهما واحدة الرد على الخوارج ومن تبعهم في تكفيرهم كلا من الطائفتين

مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (8/ 3405) [دار الفكر]

 (” حَتَّى تَقْتَتِلَ فِئَتَانِ عَظِيمَتَانِ “) أَيْ: كَثِيرَتَانِ أَوْ كَمِّيَّةٌ وَكَيْفِيَّةٌ ; لِمَا كَانَ فِي كُلٍّ مِنْهُمَا جَمَاعَةٌ مِنَ الصَّحَابَةِ، وَيُمْكِنُ حَمْلُهُ عَلَى التَّغْلِيبِ، إِذِ الْجَمَاعَةُ الْعَظِيمَةُ فِي الْحَقِيقَةِ إِنَّمَا كَانَتْ جَمَاعَةَ عَلِيٍّ – كَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَجْهَهُ – قَالَ الْأَكْمَلُ: وَهَذَا مِنَ الْمُعْجِزَاتِ ; لِأَنَّهُ وَقَعَ بَعْدَهُ فِي الصَّدْرِ الْأَوَّلِ، (” تَكُونُ بَيْنَهُمَا مَقْتَلَةٌ عَظِيمَةٌ “) أَيْ: حَرْبٌ عَظِيمَةٌ وَقِتَالٌ قَوِيٌّ، (” دَعَوَاهُمَا وَاحِدَةٌ “) أَيْ: كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنَ الْفِئَتَيْنِ تَدَّعِي الْإِسْلَامَ، قَالَ ابْنُ الْمَلَكِ: الْمُرَادُ عَلِيٌّ وَمُعَاوِيَةُ وَمَنْ مَعَهُمَا، وَيُؤْخَذُ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ: دَعْوَاهُمَا وَاحِدَةٌ الرَّدُّ عَلَى الْخَوَارِجِ فِي تَكْفِيرِهِمْ كِلْتَا الطَّائِفَتَيْنِ، اهـ.

عمدة القاري شرح صحيح البخاري (24/ 214) [دار إحياء التراث العربي]

قَوْله: فئتان عظيمتان قَالَ الْكرْمَانِي: طَائِفَتَانِ: عَليّ وَمُعَاوِيَة،

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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