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Ibn Khaldun Vis-a-vis Traditions about Imam Mahdi (as)

Adopted from the book: "Mahdaviyat in Hadith"

Personality and prominence often establish or nullify an idea in the minds of the people. Their opinion, often, is of prime importance in understanding a concept. Their opinion creates an impact as compared to that of a common individual. Ibne Khaldun is an eminent scholar of reputation in the Islamic world. His views rule the hearts of a section of Muslims, thus making him popular with titles like 'Allama'.

Ibne Khaldun's views have not left the present day scholars unaffected. And so we delve to study his consideration towards the traditions concerning Imam Mahdi (as). Some scholars have subscribed to his viewpoint and consequently the common masses have been affected with it. Here, before bringing the traditions collected by Ibne Khaldun regarding Imam Mahdi (as) and his standpoint with regards to them, we present the Muqaddamah where he has mentioned those traditions.

Muqaddamah of Ibne Khaldun

Ibne Khaldun has authored a six-volumed book of history entitled "Kitabul Abar wa Deevanal Mubtada wal Khabar fi Ayyamal Arabe wal Ajam wal Barbar". This book of Ibne Khaldun did not become as popular as the Muqaddamah written on it. The popularity of Ibne Khaldun is more associated with this book. This Muqaddamah is also very popular in Europe, as well. The original Arabic book has been translated into many languages; the English and Urdu translations are easily obtainable in India. Moreover, in some universities this Muqaddamah is a part of the final examination of the Arabic course (Faazil).

It can be said that this Muqaddamah is the seventh part of Ibne Khaldun's book of history. The book was written in a short period of eight to nine months, detailing the principles of history and varied other aspects. It is the collection of all logical and narrative (from traditions) sciences. With all this is also an independent analysis by Ibne Khaldun.

Some people consider the history book of Ibne Khaldun to be the body and the Muqaddamah, the spirit. As, it is this Muqaddamah which has brought him the actual fame.

We have taken this very Muqaddamah to be our subject and review the analysis of Ibne Khaldun. For this treatise we have referred to the Urdu translation of the Muqaddamah by Maulana Raaghib Rehmani Dehlavi and published by Aeteqaad Publishing House, Delhi. It is in 2 volumes. The 52nd part of the second volume is concerning Imam Mahdi (as) and comprises of 18 topics.

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