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Rufai Oladimeji
, Nigeria.
Question

What is the meaning of the hadeeth
of the Prophet (peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him), “Faith
retreats to Madeenah like a snake
returns to its hole”?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.
In this hadeeth, the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allah be upon him)
said, “Faith retreats to Madeenah
like a snake returns to its hole.”
The word “retreats to” means to
return and settle in Madeenah, just
as a snake, when it goes out from
its hole, returns to it. Here the
Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) was saying that
this religion will retreat to
Madeenah after all other countries
become corrupt, just as a snake
comes out of its hole and wanders
about the land, then it goes back to
its hole.

This hadeeth also indicates that just
as Islam spread from Madeenah, it
will return to it. Islam with its
strength and authority spread from
Madeenah, although its roots
stemmed from Makkah. Makkah was
the place where the first Revelation
came down, but the Muslims did not
have a state and power, and engage
in jihad (battle), until after they
migrated to Madeenah. Hence Islam
with its power and authority, spread
from Madeenah and will retreat to it
at the end of time.

Some of the scholars said: this
hadeeth refers to something that
has already happened, i.e., the
people came in delegations to
Madeenah and went back there
again to learn about sharee’ah
(Islamic law) and the teachings of
Islam from the Messenger of Allah
(peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him). But the first meaning is
the apparent meaning of the
hadeeth and is more correct.

islamqa.info/en/answers/10329/meaning-of-the-hadeeth-faith-retreats-to-madeenah

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