The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

A time will come when you will be [divided into] armed troops, one in Syria, one in Yemen, and one in Iraq. Ibn Hawalah (رضي الله عنه) said: Choose for me, Oh Messenger of Allah, if I reach that time [which one to join].

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied: Go to Syria, for it is Allah’s chosen land, to which his best servants will be gathered, but if you are unwilling, then go to your Yemen, and drink water from your tanks, for Allah has taken special charge for me of Syria and its people. [1]

Reference:

[1] Sunan Abi Dawud 2483; In-book reference: Book 15, Hadith 7 (English translation: Book 14, Hadith 2477). Translation from: http://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/7

حَدَّثَنَا حَيْوَةُ بْنُ شُرَيْحٍ الْحَضْرَمِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا بَقِيَّةُ، حَدَّثَنِي بَحِيرٌ، عَنْ خَالِدٍ، – يَعْنِي ابْنَ مَعْدَانَ – عَنْ أَبِي قُتَيْلَةَ، عَنِ ابْنِ حَوَالَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏"‏ سَيَصِيرُ الأَمْرُ إِلَى أَنْ تَكُونُوا جُنُودًا مُجَنَّدَةً جُنْدٌ بِالشَّامِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْيَمَنِ وَجُنْدٌ بِالْعِرَاقِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ ابْنُ حَوَالَةَ خِرْ لِي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ عَلَيْكَ بِالشَّامِ فَإِنَّهَا خِيَرَةُ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَرْضِهِ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهَا خِيَرَتَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ فَأَمَّا إِنْ أَبَيْتُمْ فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِيَمَنِكُمْ وَاسْقُوا مِنْ غُدُرِكُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَكَّلَ لِي بِالشَّامِ وَأَهْلِهِ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Al-ShaamAl-Yemen

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