All praise is for Allaah and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be on His Final Messenger, his family and those who follow him in goodness until the Day of Recompense. To Proceed.
This book is a translation of a short treatise entitled Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah, or Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers, written by the great Imaam, Al-Haafidh Zayn-ud-Deen Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbalee, (رحمه الله).
In this treatise, Ibn Rajab deals with the topic of the Strangers, or Al-Ghurabaa. He begins by listing the many ahaadeeth reported about them, in which the Messenger of Allaah describes their attributes and explains their position. They are given this name because they will be strange during the Last Days, due to their adherence to the Sunnah and to the Way of the First Muslims, the Salaf As-Saalih. So just as those who first accepted Islaam at the hands of Muhammad (صلى الله علیه وسلم) were considered strangers with 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 amidst their families and close ones, not to mention the disbelievers.
The Imaam then goes on to explain these ahaadeeth based on various statements from the Salaf. And he categorizes this Strangeness into several types – both inner and outer. It must be noted that Ibn Rajab uses several weak ahaadeeth in this treatise, which have been pointed out. And towards the end of his treatise, he begins to divert from the topic by going deep into the issue of inner strangeness, sometimes focusing on aspects that have no basis in Islaam, such as talk about the ‘Aarif, wajd, khulwah, etc. These were Sufi ideas that were prevalent during his time. In his introduction to his abridgement and checking of Ibn Rajab’s monumental book “Jaami’-ul-‘Uloom wal-Hikam”, Shaykh Saleem Al-Hilaalee said:
“Ibn Rajab (رحمه الله) treaded the Manhaj of the Salaf with regard to the issues of Eemaan and acquiring knowledge. And he supported it and defended it from the false arguments of the opponents. His books are loaded with that. And he wrote some treatises specifically on this topic such as his book ‘Bayaan Fadlu ‘Ilm-is-Salaf ‘alaal-Khalaf.’ However, there can be found traces of Sufism in his books, may Allaah protect him from inclining towards it’s dangerous paths, due to what Allaah has given him from vast knowledge of the Narrations and a clear Salafee Methodology.” [Iqaadh-ul-Himam: pg. 9]
So based on this, we have left out the last pages of the treatise, which included several quotes and lines of poetry. However, the omission of this last part of the book does not detract from the overall meaning and intended theme of the treatise and Allaah knows best. For the most part, the treatise is of great importance and is often referenced by the scholars, and that is what we hope to convey to the readers. All footnotes were added by the translator based on research and the use of several sources. We ask Allaah to accept this work as a sincere act and that He place it in our scale of good deeds on the Day of Judgement. And we ask that He benefit all the Muslims generally with it.
Abu Maryam Isma'eel Alarcon
For The Salafi Society of North America
On November 8, 2001