Who are the Victorious Group of Al-Gharb (‘the West’)?

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Figure 1A: The Victorious Group’s idea is of interest to many people.

Imam Yahya an-Nawawi (d. 676 AH), narrates the following hadith where the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The People of Al-Gharb will always be manifest upon the truth until the Hour is established upon them.”

The Imam then mentioned in commentary of this text:

“The hadith ‘The People of the Gharb will always be manifest upon the truth until the Hour is established on them’ is mentioned by `Ali ibn al-Madini as making reference to  the Arabs and that the word al-Gharb is a very large pail of water and the Arabs are known for the most part due to their use of it.

Others have remarked that the intent of the word al-Gharb is the western direction of the Earth while others have said that it is referring to Sham as the people of the victorious group in another hadith are mentioned as being in Jerusalem. So for this reason it has been said that the people being referred to are the people of Sham and what lies beyond that.

Al-Qadi `Iyad stated that the people of Al-Gharb is referring to the desert bedouin people living on the fringes as the gharb of everything is its boundary or most severe point.”[1]


[1] Taken from Sahih Muslim bi-Sharh in-Nawawi, Kitab ul-Imarah, under the chapter There Will Always be from My Ummah a Group that is Manifest Upon the Truth, vol. 13, pp. 67-68, edition of Imam as-Sammaluti (Al-Maliki) and printed with the checking of Imam Muhammad `Abdul Latif as-Subki (Hanbali).

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