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The Easterly Wind (Hadith No. 844)

The awesome feeling when you finally understand something. :)


As some of you might know, I was stuck on this Hadith, due to lack of knowledge. Then I asked around for help and got a LOT of info, Alhamdulillah.

Volume 2, Book 17, Number 844:

Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet said, “I was granted victory with As-Saba and the nation of ‘Ad was destroyed by Ad-Dabur (westerly wind).

According to Ibn Battal (commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari), As-Saba is the easterly wind, and Ad-Dabur is the westerly wind.

الصَّبا : هى الريح الشرقية ، وهى القبول أيضًا ، والريح الدبور : هى الغربية . وفيه : تفضيل المخلوقات بعضها على بعض . وفيه : إخبار المرء عن نفسه بما خصه الله به على جهة التحدث بنعمة الله ، والاعترافات بها والشكر له لا على الفخر . وفيه : الإخبار عن الأمم الماضية وإهلاكها .

Can’t do justice to translation, but I’ll try to explain some points from it:

  • As-Saba is the easterly wind
  • Ad-Dabur is the westerly wind.
  • This Hadith shows that some creatures have preference over the others.
  • Also, one can mention his special characteristics which Allah has bestowed on him. The intention would only be to proclaim Allah’s Grace (fadhl) and to show gratefulness to Him, not taking pride in it.
  • And in this Hadith is news from the past nations and their destruction etc.
    [Narrating such stories is allowed, as there are lessons for us in them.]


From Surah Al Haaqqa, Ayaat 6-8:

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُواْ بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ

And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a wind, Sarsar `Atiyah!

سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ

Which Allah imposed on them for seven nights and eight days Husum, so that you could see men lying toppled, as if they were trunks of date palms, Khawiyah!

فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ

Do you see any remnants of them


(And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a wind Sarsar) meaning, a cold wind. Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Ath-Thawri all said about,

(`Atiyah) “This means severe blowing of the wind.” Qatadah said, “It blew fiercely upon them until it pierced their hearts.” Ad-Dahhak said,

(Sarsar) “This means cold, and (`Atiyah) means, it blew fiercely upon them without any mercy or blessing.” `Ali and others said, “It blew fiercely upon their stored harvest until it was brought out worthless.

(Which Allah imposed on them) meaning, He made it overpower them.

(for seven nights and eight days Husum,) Husum means, complete, successive and unfortunately evil. Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ath-Thawri and others all said, “Husum means in succession.” It has been reported that `Ikrimah and Ar-Rabi` bin Khuthaym both said, “It means it was unfortunately evil upon them.” This is similar to Allah’s statement,

(in days of calamity) (41: 16) It has been said that it is that which people now call A`jaz (apparently used to mean evil devastation). It seems as though the people took this term from Allah’s statement,

(so that you could see the people lying toppled, as if they were A`jaz (trunks) of date palms, Khawiyah!) Ibn `Abbas said about,

(Khawiyah) “It means ruined.” Others besides him said, “It means dilapidated.” This means that the wind would cause one of them (palm tree) to hit the ground, and it will fall down dead on his head. Then his head would shatter and it would remain a lifeless corpse as if it were without branches, motionless. It has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,

I was helped by an easterly wind and the people of `Ad were destroyed by a westerly wind.”

HOW WAS THE PROPHET (S.A.W.) HELPED? [From Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The Campaign of the Confederates (Al-Ahzab)

Allah tells us of the blessings and favors He bestowed upon His believing servants when He diverted their enemies and defeated them in the year when they gathered together and plotted.

That was the year of Al-Khandaq, in Shawwal of the year 5 AH according to the well-known correct view. Musa bin `Uqbah and others said that it was in the year 4 AH. The reason why the Confederates came was that a group of the leaders of the Jews of Banu Nadir, whom the Messenger of Allah had expelled from Al-Madinah to Khaybar, including Sallam bin Abu Al-Huqayq, Sallam bin Mishkam and Kinanah bin Ar-Rabi`, went to Makkah where they met with the leaders of Quraysh and incited them to make war against the Prophet . They promised that they would give them help and support, and Quraysh agreed to that. Then they went to the Ghatafan tribe with the same call, and they responded too.

The Quraysh came out with their company of men from various tribes and their followers, under the leadership of Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb. The Ghatafan were led by `Uyaynah bin Hisn bin Badr. In all they numbered nearly ten thousand. When the Messenger of Allah heard that they had set out, he commanded the Muslims to dig a ditch (Khandaq) around Al-Madinah from the east. This was on the advice of Salman Al-Farisi, may Allah be pleased with him. So the Muslims did this, working hard, and the Messenger of Allah worked with them, carrying earth away and digging, in the process of which there occurred many miracles and clear signs. The idolators came and made camp to the north of Al-Madinah, near Uhud, and some of them camped on the high ground overlooking Al-Madinah, as Allah says:

﴿إِذْ جَآءُوكُمْ مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ وَمِنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ﴾

(When they came upon you from above you and from below you,) The Messenger of Allah came out with the believers, who numbered nearly three thousand, or it was said that they numbered seven hundred. They had their backs towards (the mountain of) Sal` and were facing the enemy, and the ditch, in which there was no water, was between the two groups, preventing the cavalry and infantry from reaching them. The women and children were in the strongholds of Al-Madinah. Banu Qurayzah, who were a group among the Jews, had a fortress in the south-east of Al-Madinah, and they had made a treaty with the Prophet and were under his protection.

They numbered nearly eight hundred fighters. Huyay bin Akhtab An-Nadari went to them and kept trying to persuade them until they broke the treaty and went over to the side of the Confederates against the Messenger of Allah . The crisis deepened and things got worse, as Allah says:

﴿هُنَالِكَ ابْتُلِىَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَزُلْزِلُواْ زِلْزَالاً شَدِيداً ﴾

(There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.) (33: 11) They besieged the Prophet and his Companions for almost a month, but they did not reach them and there was no fighting between them, except for when `Amr bin `Abd Wadd Al-`Amiri, who was one of the most famous and bravest horsemen of the Jahiliyyah, came with some other horsemen, and crossed the ditch to the Muslim side.

The Messenger of Allah called for the Muslim cavalry, and it was said that no one came forward. Then he called `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, who came forward and they fought in single combat until Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, killed him, and this was a sign of imminent victory. Then Allah sent an intensely cold wind with strong gusts against the Confederates, and they were left with no tents or anything else; they could not light any fires or do anything, and so they departed, disappointed and defeated, as Allah says:

﴿يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَآءَتْكُمْ جُنُودٌ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحاً وَجُنُوداً﴾

(O you who believe! Remember Allah’s favor to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces) Mujahid said: “This was the easterly wind.” This view is supported by another Hadith:

«نُصِرْتُ بِالصَّبَا، وَأُهْلِكَتْ عَادٌ بِالدَّبُور»

(I was given victory by the easterly wind, and `Ad were destroyed by the westerly wind.)

﴿وَجُنُوداً لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا﴾

(and forces that you saw not.) This refers to the angels who shook them and cast fear and terror into their hearts. The chief of each tribe said, “O Banu so-and-so, to me!” So they gathered around him, and he said, “Let us save ourselves,” when Allah cast fear and terror into their hearts.

Other places where wind was used to help the Prophet (SAW) – Not sure if these too were in fact easterly winds. Wallahu A’lam.

Battle of Badr

“You killed them not, but Allah killed them. And you (Muhammad SAW) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw, that He might test the believers by a fair trial from Him. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Al Anfal 8:17]

Regarding descent of the verse: ‘ And you (Muhammad SAW) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw’,

Ibn Abbas said: The Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) asked Ali to give him a handful of ‘Hasba’ (=small pebbles), so Ali did give him, then he threw it towards the folk (enemy) none among the folk could remain but that his eyes were filled by those small pebbles, so the aforesaid verse was sent, ‘And you (Muhammad SAW) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw.’ (Al-Tabrani Ibn Mardaviya)

Muhammad bin Kaab Al-Qurzi narrated: when the folk (enemy) came close to each other, the Prophet took handful of dust and he threw it towards the faces of the folk and said: (Your) faces get deformed. The dust entered into the eyes of all of them and the companions of the Allah’s Apostle began to fight and slay them. Their defeat was due to throwing (of dust) by the Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam). Then Allah sent: ‘ And you (Muhammad SAW) threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw’. (Ibn Jarir)

Battle of Hunain

“Truly Allah has given you victory on many battlefields, and on the Day of Hunain (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number but it availed you naught and the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for you, then you turned back in flight. Then Allah did send down His Sakinah (calmness, tranquility and reassurance, etc.) on the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and on the believers, and sent down forces (angels) which you saw not, and punished the disbelievers. Such is the recompense of disbelievers.” [At Tawbah 9:25-26]

Al Abbas narrated: On the day of Hunain I was with the Apostle of Allah (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam-, I and Abu Sufyan bin al Harith never departed Allah’s Apostle (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) who was on the white mule. When the Muslims faced the polytheists, the Muslims fled away. The Apostle of Allah advanced his mule towards the infidels. I was holding its bridle and Abu Sufyan was on the other side. Allah’s Apostle asked me to call the companions of Samra (-Tree). When they heard my voice they returned as a cow returns to his young ones saying ‘Labbyak’. Then call was given to ‘Ansar’ (Medinites), and then call was given to Banu Harith bin Al-Khizraj. The Allah’s Apostle led the attack and said: now the battles front is hot. Allah’s Apostle picked up the small pebbles and he threw them towards the infidels and said: By the Lord of Kaaba they have been defeated. I saw the battle as it was, but everyone (among the enemy) looked exhausted by the throw of Allah’s Apostle, and they took to flight, Allah defeated them. [Ahmad, Muslim, Al Nasai]


[Special “jazakumullah khayr” to: Dr. Farhat Hashmi and Br. Raja Zia-ul-Haq.]

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