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The Sufyani (Arabic: السفياني), is an evil, apocryphal character of Islamic eschatology. The Sufyani will emerge before the Mahdi from the depths of Damascus.

The term "Sufyani" is a term referring to his descent from the progeny of Abu Sufyan. He will be one of many Muslim tyrants that the Mahdi will have to face in the Middle East. The Sufyani is not the Dajjal. The Ahadith regarding the Sufyani specify that he is a tyrant who will spread corruption and mischief on the earth before the Mahdi. He will be such a tyrant that he will kill the children and rip out the bellies of women. The Sufyani will murder those from the household of the Prophet and will rule over Syria. When he hears about the Mahdi, he will send an army to seize and kill him. However the earth will swallow this army before it even reaches the Mahdi.

Abu Hurayrah has narrated that the Prophet said:

A man will emerge from the depths of Damascus. He will be called Sufyani. Most of those who follow him will be from the tribe of Kalb. He will kill by ripping the stomachs of women and even kill the children. A man from my family will appear in the Haram, the news of his advent will reach the Sufyani and he will send to him one of his armies. He (referring to the Mahdi) will defeat them. They will then travel with whomever remains until they come to a desert and they will be swallowed. None will be saved except the one who had informed the others about them. (Mustadrak Al-Hakim)

The Sufyani will be followed, for the most part, by the tribe of Kalb, and will have fought with anyone daring to oppose him. Injustice will rule the day and his disregard for life will reach the point where defenseless women will be ripped open and innocent children slain unmercifully. The tribe of Qays will rise up against him, however, they will not succeed, and he will slaughter all of them.

The Sufyani's army will go to Kufa; a city in Iraq, and from there he will launch an attack against the people of Khurasan. At the Gate of Istakhr, Shuayb bin Salih and the Hashimite under the black banners, will join forces and engage the army of the Sufyani. The battle will be extremely fierce with a tremendous loss of life and the army of the Sufyani will suffer a temporary defeat. It is at this time that a yearning for the Mahdi's appearance is on the lips of everyone.

The army of the Sufyani will march from the direction of Iraq to seize the Mahdi, however, when they reach the desert near Dhi Hulayfah the ground will swallow them up. However, two will escape to convey the news but even when he learns of the occurrence he will not be deterred. There will be some people from the Quraysh who manage to escape from him to Istanbul, which will be at that time under the control of the Romans. When the Sufyani asks for their return they will be returned whereupon not only the escapees' throats will be slit but those like them.

Khalid bin Ma'dan said:

The Sufyani will emerge with three staffs in his hand. Anyone whom he strikes with them will die. (Nu'aym bin Hammad)

The Sufyani is a man whose trial involves his person, his power, his speed and his fighting. One of his wonders consists of his staffs, which kill anyone he strikes with them. The hadith about the Sufyani confirms that he is a tyrant who will spread corruption and crime in the Earth immediately before the appearance of the Mahdi.

Contents

Details of the Sufyani

Name and Title

According to Imam Qurtubi, his name will be 'Urwa bin Muhammad and his kunniya is 'Abu Utbah' and is given the title "Sufyani" due to his descent from Abu Sufyan.

Physical characteistics

He will be a man with a large head, a pockmarked face, and white spots in his eyes.

Family Lineage

The Sufyani will be from the progeny of Yazid bin Mu'awiya. His mother will be from the tribe of Kalb, but he is from the progeny of Khalid bin Yazid bin Abu Sufyan.

Character

Outwardly he will appear to be pious, but in reality he will be an apostate.

Details of his emergence and rule

The blacks will come after the Arabs and they will be defeated and thrown into the lowest part of the earth. In revolt, a Sufyani (possibly by the name of 'Urwah ), who descends from Abu Sufyan, and whose mother is from the tribe of Kalb, will come (possibly from Egypt) with 360 riders until he reaches Damascus. Then he will emerge - overrunning and seizing control of Syria. He will have three staffs in his hand, and anyone whom he strikes with them will die. After a month the tribe of Kalb will also follow him. The Sufyani will then send an army to Iraq, killing 100,000 in Al-Zawra', and also will receive the support of the Roman forces. The Sufyani and his forces will go to Kufa and pillage it, killing the descendants of the Prophet and to the point where he kills children and rips open women. In retaliation the tribe of Qays will rise up against him, but they will be defeated, and he will slaughter them in Kurkisa. One of them will escape to Afghanistan, and then the forces of the Sufyani will come, demanding the Afghanis. Then an army carrying black banners will come, and at their front is a youth from the tribe of Tamim named Shu'ayb bin Salih, along with a Hashimite. They will engage the forces of the Sufyani at the Gate of Istakhr (in southern Iran) and will defeat them, however, the riders will escape. The Afghanis, after suffering from the battle, will demand the Mahdi out of necessity. Then an army of the Sufyani will go to Medina, and pillages it for three days, and those who escape will flee to Mecca. Several men from the Quraysh will escape to Istanbul and the Sufyani will send to the leader of the Romans who returns them to the Sufyani and he slits their throats together with their followers.

When the story of Divine Help being granted to the Mahdi spreads throughout the Muslim world, the Abdaals of Syria will come to pledge allegiance to the Mahdi and join his ranks. Similarly, other Muslim armies from Medina and elsewhere will also come to Mecca and offer their support and allegiance to the Mahdi. The Imam will leave Mecca for Medina, where he will offer salaam at the Rowzha Mubarak (The Grave of Muhammad). Soon after, the forces of the Mahdi will move onward from Medina, and engage the forces of the Sufyani at Syria. The Sufyani’s forces will be defeated in Syria, and this will be known as the "Battle of Kalb". The Muslim fighters under the Mahdi will capture the Sufyani and execute him under a tree and Syria would thus be liberated from the tyrannical rule of the Sufyani.

The autheticity of Hadith about Sufyani


The Prophet supposedly said, upon him blessings and peace: "I warn you against seven kinds of dissension" mentioning, among them, a dissension that hails from the East – that is, Najd – and a dissension that hails from within Sham – and that, the Companion-narrator supposedly said, is al-Sufyani.

Narrated from Ibn Mas`ud by Nu`aym ibn Hammad in Kitab al-Fitan (1:55) and, from him, by al-Hakim in the Mustadrak (4:468-469=1990 ed. 4:515) who declared it sahih, while al-Dhahabi said: "This is one of the marvels of Nu`aym ibn Hammad." The chain also contains al-Walid ibn `Ayyash who is unknown. In his chapter on Nu`aym in the Siyar, al-Dhahabi said: "Nu`aym is among the huge receptacles of knowledge but there is always a nagging suspicion as to his narrations."

<<"When the Ethiopians come after the Arabs they will be defeated and thrown into the lowest part of the earth. While these circumstances exist, As-Sufyani will come with three hundred and sixty riders until he reaches Damascus. After a month, he will be followed by thirty-thousand from Kalb, so he will send an army to Iraq and kill a hundred thousand in Az-Zawra. Then they will go to Kufa and pillage. When this occurs a banner will come from the east led by a man from Tamim called Shuayb, the son of Salih who will restore what is in their hands from the captured people of Kufa and he will kill them. Then, another army from As-Sufyani will go to Al Medina and pillage it for three days and thereafter proceed towards Mecca until they find themselves in a desert. Then, Allah will send Gabriel and say to him, 'Chastise them!' So he will beat them with his leg once and Allah will cause them to be swallowed up. None will remain except two men who will return to As-Sufyani to inform him of the swallowing-up of his army, but this will not scare him. Several men from the Koraysh will escape to Constantinople and As-Sufyani will send to the leader of the Romans who will return them to him and he will slit their throats together with their followers. At that time a voice will come from Heaven saying: 'O people, surely Allah prevents dictatorship, tyrants and their followers for you and gives leadership to the best of the nation of Muhammad. So join him in Mecca -- he is Al Mahdi!" Then, Hudhayfah asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, how shall we know him?' He replied: "He is a man from my children, he looks like the men from the children of Israel, upon him are two white cloaks with frayed edges. His face is like a colorful, glittering star, upon his right cheek there is a black mole and he is forty years old. Al Abdal and those looking like them will come to him from Syria. An-Nujaba will come to him from the dwellers of Egypt and groups of dwellers from the east, and those looking like them until they all gather together in Mecca and so they will pledge their allegiance to him between Al Rukn and Al Makam. Then he will direct himself towards Syria with Gabriel at his front and Michael at his middle and the dwellers of Heaven and Earth will be joyful because of him. Water will be plentiful in his country and the river will be spread and treasures found. When he reaches Syria he will slay As-Sufyani under the tree, the branches of which grow in the direction of Lake Tiberias and he will kill Kalb. So the loser of that Day of Kalb is he who does not gain even a rein." Hudhaybah asked: 'O Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, how is it permitted to kill them when they believe in the Oneness?' The Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, replied: "O Hudhayfah, they are at that time apostates, they claim that wine is permitted and do not pray." The preceding Hadiths were narrated by Hudhayfah and are found in the references of Abu Nuaym, At-Tabarani, and Abu Amru Ad Dani.>>


It would be safer to stick to the similar but unspecific hadiths of Hudhayfa in the Sahihayn or those from Umm Salama, Abu Hurayra, and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri in the Sunan. All of them mention the Mahdi without naming the Sufyani. And Allah knows best.

See also

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