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Chapter 1. Introduction to the Book

This book is a translation of a short treatise entitled “Kashf-ul-Kurbah fee wasfi Haali Ahlil-Ghurbah[Alleviating Grievances in Describing the Condition of the Strangers] written by the great Imam, Al-Hafidh Zain-ud-Deen Ibn Rajab Al- Hanbali, may Allah have mercy on him.

In this treatise, Ibn Rajab discusses the topic of the “Strangers”, listing the many ahadith of the Prophet r reported about them. 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 Islam at the hands of Muhammad were considered strangers to 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 to their families and close ones, not to mention the disbelievers.

It must be noted that Ibn Rajab uses several weak ahadith in this treatise, which have been pointed out. Also, 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 Islam, such as talk about wajd, khulwah and so on. These were Sufi concepts that were prevalent during his time. Consequently, the last pages of the treatise, which included several quotes and lines of poetry, were left out from 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 hope to convey to the readers. All footnotes were added by the translator based on research and the use of several sources. We ask Allah 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