Mahdaviyat in Hadith
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Mahdaviyat in Hadith
It is an indisputable fact of Islam that a noble man of the highest caliber, from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and offspring of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (S.A.) will appear in the last era of the world, defunct religion, establish justice and equity and purge the world from all evils. All the sects of Islam unanimously agree that this major upheaval will be known as 'the Revolution of Mahdi. Verily the Sunni traditionalists have adorned and embellished their books with the detailed narration of this glorious revolution. Of course there is a difference of opinion in their view point regarding his pedigree like some say that he is the immediate son and successor of Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.),
while others opine that he is from the offspring of Imam Hasan al- Mujtaba (A.S.), still others think that he is from the generation of Imam Husain (A.S.). There are a few who falter that he will belong to Abbasid lineage. Some of them believe that he was born in 255 A.H. and others are adamant that he is yet to take birth.
Some predict that he will reappear from Holy Mecca, while some forecast that he will arrive from Khurasan there are also some who assert that he will rise from 'the far west'. There are some pedantic scholars who out of their shallow and scant knowledge arbitrated that Mahdi and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) are one and the same person. Precisely speaking according to them, Mahdi is none else but Hazrat Isa (A.S.).
Such different and discordant narrations have stemmed from those contradictory traditions which are recorded in various books. It is deplorable, indeed such fabricated and concocted traditions have slowly and gradually penetrated into the books of Ahle-Sunnat traditionalists. From the historical view point it is evident that such traditions were fabricated by those imposters who claimed to be 'Mahdi' and have attracted hordes of naive followers. Some of the renowned Sunni scholars and traditionalists have admitted to the rampant fabrication of traditions in their books viz Ibn Jauzi in 'Al-Mauzoo'aat', Zahabi in 'Meezanul Etedaal', Ibn Araq in 'Al-Ahadithuz-Zaeefa wal-Mauzoo'ah'.
In this brief article, such concocted and fabricated traditions will be discussed, their authenticity scrutinized and their truth exposed.
1. Ibn Majah Qazveeni in his 'Sahih' narrates from Anas bin Malik who relates from the. Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:
"Mahdi is none else but Jesus, the son of Mary."
Which purports that the Mahdi of Islam is Hazrat Isa (A.S.). None of the scholars of Ahle-Sunnat have accepted this concept (that Isa is Mahdi) because this tradition contradicts various other traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) which are authentic and continuous. Particularly those traditions in which the Holy Prophet (S.A.) has said that 'He will be from my progeny and from the offspring of Fatema (S.A.)'. The noted celebrity of Ahle-Sunnat, Imam Qurtubbi (exp. 671 A.H.) in his famous exegesis of Quran i.e. 'At-Tazkera fi Umuril Akhera' has declared that it is a weak tradition because in the reliable traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) it is clearly mentioned that he will be from his own lineage, from the children of Fatema (S.A.). These traditions are much more authentic and reliable than the one in question. Hence the verdict will be based on the most authentic traditions rather than the weaker ones. Such objections are raised by other
Sunni stalwarts too. Like Ibn Qayyim in fiftieth chapter of Al-MunarAl-MunifFil-HadithAs-Sahih waz-Zaeef. And according to Baihaqi, the narrators of this tradition are unknown or unreliable.Also the sequence of tradition is not consistent but is lost from some where in between. This tradition is one of the single reports of Mohammad bin Khalid Junaidi. Zahabi in his Meezanul-Etedaal in third volume, Pg. No. 535 has decisively stated that Mohammad bin Khalid is an unknown narrator and the traditions related by him are not acceptable. More or less similar thing is indicted by another great scholar Abul HasanAaburi in 'Manaqibush-Shafei'.
However the unreliability of narrators and incorrect contents of the traditions prove that it is a spurious tradition. But despite all such inherent weaknesses some of the Sunni scholars like Ibn Kathir and Qurtubbi have made efforts to prove it a correct tradition by whimsical interpretations and fragile justifications.
They have asserted that the Mahdi does not imply a particular person but it is used in its literal sense which means 'guided'. Thus Hazrat Isa (A.S.) is the best guided person though this meaning is not correct in itself. Those things which are pertinent to this tradition like the events and conditions of last era, commotion and distraught which will be ubiquitous refute this justification were given in order to maintain the credibility of the book i.e. Sunane-Ibn Majah because it is claimed that all the traditions in the book are correct and authentic.
2. Ibn Asakir from the third Caliph Usman bin Affaan and he had related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :
"The Mahdi is from the progeny of my uncle Abbas",
means 'Mahdi will be from Bani Abbas. In this context Hafiz Mohibuddeen Tabari in his 'Zak-haerul-Uqba' Pg. 206 has quoted on the authority of Hafiz Sahmi, who quoted from Ibn Abbas who related from Holy Prophet (S.A.) that: 'Once the Holy Prophet (S.A.) addressed him thus :
"Mahdi will be from your offspring who will disseminate guidance and quell deviations. Allah the Almighty commenced His religion from me and will culminate it on your progeny."
Muhibuddeen Tabari has quoted two more traditions from Abu Huraira and from Abdus-Samad of similar contents. Besides this, Abul Faraj Isfahan! has quoted from a courtier scholar of Bani Abbas namely Qati bin Abbas in his book 'Al-Aghani'(Vol. 12, Pg. 81), a tradition ascribed to Holy Prophet (S.A.) without mentioning the chain of narrators.
All these traditions are supporting the notion that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will be from the lineage of Abbas, the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S.A.). In other terms he will be from Bani Abbas. But if a person is scantily aware of the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) in this regard then he can infer on his own that it is a concocted and an unscrupulously fabricated tradition. Such few traditions are starkly contradictory to those authentic and continuous traditions which abound the books of traditions. Such as :
"Mahdi will descend from my lineage from the offspring of Fatema."
It was this reason that such a great Sunni scholar like Dar Qutni has objected to the former tradition and thus commented :
"This is a weird and queer tradition related only by the slave of Bani Hashim namely Mohammad bin Walid."
As it was hinted earlier that historically these were the product of claimants to attract the laymen towards themselves and gain their sympathies. As a further step they entitled Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Ali as 'Mahdi'. They distorted the religion of Holy Prophet (S.A.) for their greed of rule for few days in this transient world. Qazi Luqman bin Mohammad has hinted towards such heinous vices of Bani Abbas in his eulogy.
"The time when gems were compared to their like. Similarly Mohammad bin Abdullah was entitled as "Mahdi'.This Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Ali Abbasi is a wretched transgressor. If mere similarity in names was sufficient then every man named as 'Ahmed'would have been a Prophet. Alas! every name is not like its named ones. And ignorance made them dumb and blind ."
This is not the only attempt to dupe and deceive the common populace but there are numerous such instances which are cited over here.
3. Tirmizi in his 'Sahih' has quoted from 'Zaeda', he narrated from 'Aasem' and in turn he quoted from 'Zar', who narrated it from Abdullah bin Masud who related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :
"If a solitary day is left from the eve of doomsday then Allah will prolong that day to such an extent that a man from my progeny will rise. Whose name will be my name and his father's name will be my father's name. He will fill the world with justice and equity as it would be filled with injustice and oppression."
The contents of this tradition are continuous and reliable according to Shia and Sunni scholars. It has been narrated in various ways.
The thing which has made this narration of Tirmizi skeptical are those words which are not quoted in other authentic hooks. In other books the phrase of 'his father's name is the same as my father's, is not recorded they all have recorded only 'his name will be same as mine'.
This doubt holds ground when we notice the name of 'Zaeda' in the chain of narrators, which according to Sunni scholars of 'Rejal' is not reliable and adds more words in the concept of traditions. Because that chain of narrators where Zaeda's name is not there and only namesof Aasem, Zar, Abdullah bin Masud are mentioned then addition of 'his father's name is same as that of my father' is not seen. But all have sufficed upto 'his name will be same as mine.This point requires special attention that Tirmizi whose book is enumerated among Sehah Sittah has narrated the same tradition elsewhere but has not narrated this addition (i.e. his father's name will be my father's name) over there . Similarly in the ranks of traditionalists Ahmed bin Hanbal is accorded precedence over Ibn Majah. Ahmed ibn Hanbal in his 'Musnad' has recorded the same tradition at four places but even for once he has not mentioned this addition'. (Vol. 1, Pg. 377, 430, 448)
The renowned scholar of Ahle-Sunnah and reliable traditionalists of fifth century HafizAbu Noaim Isfahan! has recorded the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) from very reliable sources in his book 'Manaqibul-Mahdi'. He has narrated this tradition from 31 different channels with the exception of 'Zaeda's' narration. Not a single tradition included the added phrase. This phrase is narrated only by 'Zaeda'. (Ref. Al-Bayan Fi-Akhbare-Sa.hibiz Zaman, at the end of first chapter Pg. 94-96). It is undoubtedly proved that Zaeda, as his name implies has added the so-called phrase. But it is deplorable to note that Abu Daud has ignored other reliable channels of narration and has opted to choose only the narration of Zaeda. Some other scholars of Ahle-Sunnah too have benefited from this fabricated tradition. Albeit, the author of 'Iqdud-Durar has quoted this tradition from Sunane-Abi-Daud but did not record this addition. On this basis it can be concluded that the versions of Sunane-Abi- Daud must have been tampered with (particularly after the seventh century) or correctors must have added the phrase on their own accord while verifying. Apart from this the acclaimed traditionalists ofAhle-Sun-nah, who have a deep dexterity and expertise in sitting and sorting out the traditions have objected to this tradition vociferously. Some of them are Hafiz Ganji Shafei in 'Al-Bayan Fi-Akhbare-Sahibiz Zaman', Khwaja Mohammad Parsa Hanafi (exp.866)
in the footnotes of 'Faslul-Khitab' and Ihn Talha Shafei in Ghayatus-Sol. They all have unanimously regarded it as weak, unreliable, discontinuous and contradictory to correct traditions.
The reason for this tradition of Zaeda being fabricated are those authentic and continuous traditions in which the name of Hazrat Mahdi's (A.S.) father is mentioned as 'Hasan'. The below given tradition is quoted as an example.
The accredited traditionalist of Ahle-Sunnah Abu Noaim Isfahan! narrates from a veteran interpreter Ibn Khashaah wlio relates from Imam Alt Reza (A.S.) that:
"The Mahdi is the pious son of Hasan Askari." Such traditions are also found in 'Faraedus-Simtain' (Chap. 35, 73)
4. The Doyen ofTraditionalists of Ahle-Sunnah Abu Daud, whose book is among the much respected 'Sehah-e-Sittah' narrates one tradition from Abu Ishaq who quoted Hazrat Ali (A.S.) and who related that Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.) said while looking at Imam Hasan (A.S.) :
"This son of mine is the chief - one of his descendants will bear the name of your Prophet."
Some of the great Sunni scholars like the ideological guide and Leader of Wahabis, Ibn Qayyim Jauzi in AI-Munar-Al-Munif, Sehudi (exp. 911),Ibn Kathir in 'Al-Fitan wal-Malahim and Ihn Hajar in Sawaeq have quoted this tradition profusely in their respective books and have regarded Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the lineage of Imam Hasan (A.S.) on the ground.sthat since a person from his lineage will avenge this humiliation hence he had signed the truce.
But even this tradition is fabricated and distorted as the earlier ones. As can be seen from the following facts :
(a) Same tradition is quoted by the author of 'Iqdud-Dunir' from the same chain of narrators from Sunane Abi Daud but instead of phrase 'he looked towards his son Hasan* the author has indicated 'he looked towards his son Husain'. Perhaps the scribe must have written 'Hasan' instead of 'Husain'. Those who are experienced in this field will realise that this possibility does exist.
(b) There are innumerable traditions which have continuously stated that Imam Mahdi (A.S.) will be the descendant of Imam Husain(A.S.). Hence according to the science of traditions if one lone tradition is contradictory to numerous continuous (Mutawatir) traditions then this tradition will not be taken into consideration. Ibn Hajar has related from Hazrat Ali (A.S.) in his book 'As-Sawaequl-Muharreqa' on Pg. No. 165 that :
"The world will not perish unless a man, from the progeny of my son Husain, will not rise who will fill the earth with justice as it was fraught with injustice."
Muhibuddeen-e-Tahari in 'Zakhaerul-Uqha'on Pg. 136 has narratedfrom Huzaifa Yamani who related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:
"If a single day remains from the age of this world then Almighty will prolong that day to such an extent that one of my sons will appear, whose name will be as mine."
Hazrat Salman inquired : "From the progeny of which son"? The Holy Prophet (S.A.) placed his hand on Imam Husain (A.S.) and said :
"From the progeny of this son."
(c) If despite these two narrations we accept the tradition of Abu Daud even then the point is not against us. Because Imam Baqir (A.S.) is the first grandson of Imam Husain (A.S.) and the second grandson of Imam Hasan (A.S.). His mother was Fatema, the daughter of Imam Hasan (A.S.). Hence Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is the son of Imam Hasan (A.S.) as well as Imam Husain (A.S.). Hilali relates that once the Holy Prophet (S.A.) consoled his daughter Hazrat Fatema (S.A.) in these words :
The two sons of this nation are your sons Hasan and Husain, who descend from me. They are the chiefs of the youth of Paradise. By
Allah, their parents are superior to them. 0 'Fatema ! by Allah the Mahdi of this nation will be the descendant of both of them."
(d) Keeping these facts in mind that it is a lone tradition which is contradictory to other several continuous traditions, also there may he a possibility of error in script. This becomes crystal clear that it is not an authentic tradition particularly when the historical facts are contrary to the tradition. The reason is that those who are attributed as Mahdi, among them is the grandson ofImam Hasan (A.S.), Moham-mad bin Abdullah known as 'Nafse-Zakiyya. Bani Abhas's campaign attributed him to be Mahdi so as to earn the sympathy of masses and take undue advantage of this belief which is deep-rooted in their hearts and thus topple the reign of Bani Umayya. They publicized and promoted his name and first thing they did was that they added 'his father's name is same as that of my father (as it was hinted in the discussion on third tradition), since the name of this 'Mahdi's' father was Abdullah. Then for dispelling further doubts they falsely claimed that Mahdi is (lie descendant of Imam Hasan (A.S.), because Moham-mad bin Abdullah descended from the lineage of Imam Hasan (A.S.).
Then for consolidating their position they fabricated another tradition from the mouth of Abu Huraira that there was a stammering in the speech of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) (Ref. Maqatilut-Talebin) because Mohammad bin Ahdullah had stammering in his tongue. Finally Bani Abbas succeeded in grabbing power, by deriving undue advantage from this belief and intimidating their masses. When they got absolute control then they killed the same Mahdi and his father and again spread the news that Nafse-Zakiyyah who would be killed before the Mahdi is slained and the reappearance of Mahdi has drawn nigh. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) had predicted about each and every event long back. (Maqatilut-Talebeen, Pg. 141-142, Al-Adabus-Sul-taniyyah Fakhri Pg. 16 has mentioned everything in detail.)The embezzlement and meddling of Bani Abbas are not limited to politics or ethics. But they have not even spared the interpretations of Quranic verses and traditions. The details of which shall be given later in another article.
But those who commit such despicable embezzlement, distort the religion of Allah, make additions in the tradition of Holy Prophet (S.A.) or ascribe false things to him and record such baseless things in their books, which misguide the simpletons and ordinary believers; are they not among those who are condemned in this verse :
"Surely those who conceal such clear evidences and guidance which we have revealed and clarified in the book for the people, they are cursed by Allah and the curse of cursors be upon them."
All the hopes are reposed in the day when Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will reappear and reform the distortions and misguided men.
THE BELIEF IN MAHDAVIYAT AND SUNNI SCHOLARS
In the present times, the worldwide condition of Islam is such that, despite of its being divine and veracious (truthful) religion, it is despised by many upto the extent of enmity. The reason being false propaganda and baseless misconceptions. Same is the conditions of belief in 'Mahdaviyat' in Islamic world. And inspite of it being one of the cardinal beliefs, majority of Muslims consider it as fictitious and fabricated one. There is a group among them who either willingly or unwillingly accept this belief due to chain of narrations. But they reject those traditions which is related with the attributes and personality of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.).
Whatsoever misunderstandings regarding the belief in 'Mahdaviyat are there, two groups of scholars are responsible for that. Firstly, if we cast a cursory glance on the history of Muslim rulers and their times we will see there were always be a group of people, who apparently by their attires and traits were scholars but in reality their beliefs and ideologies were that of an ignorant man, their behavior were sufficiently convincing of their sycophancy. They were those who at times in order to conceal falsehood and at other times to prove the government as a divine government committed every vicious and villainous deed. Let us call them as "Imitative Scholars", (Since they always imitated the shadow of falsehood). These scholars went on a spree to propagate against the belief in Mahdaviyat in several ways. Sometimes the traditions related to Mahdaviyat were regarded weak. Sometimes, they added such a phrase to be relevant and suited the Imposter Mahdi' and in this way, they shatter the very foundation of this belief. And following in the foot-steps of the same scholars, some recent scholars have rejected the fundamentals of this belief and considered it an absolutely un-Islamic belief, fabricated by Shias.
"The second group of those who reject this belief are those whose thinking have been influenced by materialistic outlook and they breath in the environment of materialism. Thus materialism had penetrated even into their beliefs. Consequently, either they reject transcendental and hidden aspects from their base, or they try to mould them into materialistic frame-work. Leave aside the aspect of Mahdaviyat, they have not even spared the belief in Revelation, Prophethood and above all : Monotheism.........................The only reason being that after accepting the materialistic ideas, it is impossible to believe in transcendental ideas. Since the belief in Mahdaviyat is also a belief in hidden concept and more over to believe that Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) is a mortal like us and though he passes his life amongst us, he is far from our vision. Hence this belief for materialists is like adding insult to injury. Thus to relieve themselves from this belief they reject this idea outrightly and refuse to accept the existence of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). Subsequently, the refusal of first group increases the haughtiness of the second group.
There are innumerable replies to the doubts and baseless notions of both the aforementioned groups. And these doubts themselves are self-contradictory and inherently weak. But it is not possible for us to quote those replies over here. Interested readers may refer to the books compiled redundantly to refute the ideas of skeptics and disbeliever, only through those parameters which are accepted by consensus of Muslims Viz. 'Quran and Traditions.........And in this regard, we will also furnish proofs from some very reliable and trustworthy Ouranic exponents.............and traditionalists......... of 'Ahle-Sunnat from their very authentic books. And for the understanding of a layman we will also produce some historical evidences from history and view points of ancient Sunni scholars. So that the truth becomes manifest and explicit and righteous may be notified from them.
I) The Interpreters of Quran
have mentioned countless ayats regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) from Quran. And moreover many books have been complied by the name of "MAHDI IN QURAN". But over here we will confine our discussion to those ayats which, interpreters have related it to Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) by some source or reference.
1) Imam Abu Ishaq Thalabi who is a renown exponent of Quran writes in his exegeses in "The ayat of Quran.........Means.
indicates means the war between Quraish and Almawali in which Quraish will emerge victorious.........relates to......which means the Rulers of Bai Abbas and ....... is letter to Hazrat Mahdi which means! .......chapter...7 related from Naeem Ibne Hammad)
2) Imam Abu Ishaq Thalabi writes in the ... of 9th ayat of Surah-kahf which is particular to Ashabe Kahf that Holy Prophet (as) said that : Mahdi (a.s.) will say Salam to Ashabe-Kahf and Ashabe-Kahf will reply to it and by the order of God will again revert to their condition, and will not rise before Quiyamat (2-Iqdud-Dorar-chapter 7).
3) Muqatil Ibn Sulaiman and his followers regarding the ayat......opined that it is concerning the re-appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.).....Over here refers to.....(i.e. the hour of re-appearance) of H. Mahdi (a.s.)
4) The author of Nurul-Absaar, Shablanji writes in his book on page no. 188. In the book so tafsir the details of ayat ....... (Surah Zukhruf Ayat) is mentioned as it is pertaining to H. Mahdi (a.s.) who is in the offspring of Janabe-Fatema (a.s.). Reference : As-Sawaaequl Mohreqapage. 96, Is aafur-Raghebin page. 156, Surah Zukhruf ayat-61).
5) Allama Shahabuddin who is popularly known as Malakul-Ulama Shamsuddin Ibn Umar Al-Hindi, who had compiled a tafsir by the name of 'Al-Bahrul Mawaj' writes in his tafsir on the authority of Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari, he quotes a tradition that : Jabir went to meet Janabe-Zahra (a.s.). He saw she is having tablets over which names of Imams were inscribed. who were from the progeny on H.Fatema (a.s.).........Then name of Zainul-Abedin who is the son of Hussain, who is father of nine Imams, then next Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) and upto the ninth Imam Mohammad (after Hussain) who is Al-Hujjatullah Al-Qaem Imam Mahdi (a.s.) He will disappear, will have long life. Like among believers, Hazrat Isa, Hazrat Ilyas and H.Khizr were having longlife and among disbelievers. 'Dajjal' and Saamri' were having long-lives.
1) Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his 'Musnad' and Tirmizi, Abu Dawood and Ibn Maajah in their 'Sehah' record one tradition verbation as.......Translation. "Even if a single day will remain in the tenure of this world, then Allah will raise a man from my progeny who fill this earth with justice as it will be replete with injustice and oppression". (Is aafur-Raghebin, Nurul-Absar--134, Al-Bayan fi Akhbare - Sahibuz - zaman - 85).
2. Similarly, another oft-repeated tradition has been quoted profusely, the contents of which are. "In the last days a man will appear from my progeny, whose name will be same as as mine and his epithet will be similar to mine. He will fill this earth with equity and justice as it will be fraught with injustice and oppression". (Tazkertul-Khaowas, Sibt Ibn Jauzi-204)
3) Abu Saeed Khudri says that : 'I heard Prophet of Allah saying that : "After me there will be twelve Imams, among them ninth after Hussain will be "Mahdi." (Nurul-Absar-Shablanji page 255).
4) Holy Prophet (s) said : "Mahdi is from my progeny from the offspring of H.Fatema Zahra (S.A.) " (Sunan Abi Dawood-Kitabul-Mahdi, Vol-4-page. 151)
5) Holy Prophet (s) said : "Whosoever denies the uprising of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) had denied each and everything revealed upon me and as a result becomes infidel". (Faraedus-Simtain-Hamuiy).
The aforementioned traditions are authentic and explicitly regarding Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) who will rise in the last days, who is from the progeny of Imam Hussain (a.s.) and H.Fatema (s.a.). Particularly, the last traditions shows the importance of this belief viz. 'the disbelievers in this (H.Mahdi) is like disbeliever in Quran and is an infidel. Although, this much is sufficient for.........i.e. men of understanding, but we for the sake of utmost satisfaction delve into the view points of Scholars.
1) Sayed Ahmed Zaini Dahlan, the Mufti of Makka Opines on the traditions pertaining to 'Mahdi' (a.s.) that : "Such traditions are Mutawatir' (too profusely repeated), among them some are 'Sahih' (Correct), some are 'Hasan. (approved Good) and some are 'Zaif (weak)".
It is crystal clear from the statement of Mufti of Makka, that though some traditions are "weak" but still they are Mutawatir (i.e. profusely quoted). And it is well-known to the learned-men, especially those who are expert in).....Ilme - Rejaal ' (study of narrators of traditions) that if any traditions attains the merit of "Tawatur' (continuously & profusely repeated) then some weak traditions cannot effect its authenticity and we have pointed towards this fact in our various editions sufficiently.
2- In Al-Lumaat, Shaikh Abdul Haq wrote: "The traditions regarding the existence of Hazrat .Mahdi are abundant, from which is is clear that Mahdi (a.s.) will be from the progeny of Fatema Zahra (s.a.) (Footnote of Sahih Tirmizi vol. 2 page 46.)
3- Allama and Faqihatul-Harmain, Abu Abdullah Mohammad Yusuf Al-Quraishi, Al-Ganji-Shafei has devoted one entire chapter to this subject, which is fifteenth chapter of his book, the subject is "The proof for life, existence, seclusion and remaining alive of Mahdi uptil now" and in this chapter he has propounded some in controvertible proofs in support of his claim. (Al-Bayan - fi Akhbare - Sahibuzzaman - page, 102)
4- Aalimul - Allama - Shamsuddin Yusuf Al-Hanafi - Sibt ibn Jauzi ..... that Mahdi (a.s.) is Mohammad bin Hasan ..... bin Abi Talib (a.s.), his epithet is Abu abdullah, Abul - Qasim, he is Khalaful Hujjat, Sahebuzzaman, Qaem-al-Muntazar and last Imam (a.s.)
5- Qazi Behlul Behjat writer. "The birth of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) occurred on 15th Shabaan 255 A.H., his mother was Narjis Khatun, his father expired, when he was only 5 years old". He continues..... 'he had two occultations firstly Ghaibate-Sughra (Minor Occultation) and he will remain alive until Allah permits him to re-appear and fill with tyranny and oppression." (Tarikhe-Aale Mohammad-page, 270.).
6- Shahabuddin Ibn Hajar Al-Hanafi states that "Mahdi's age at the time of his father's demise was 5 years. He was bestowed with wisdom and erudition. He is known by the name of Al-Qaem - Al-Muntazar." (As-Sawaequl-Mohreqa page, 124)
Apart from these scholars many other jurists have also given their verdicts in favour of existence of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.), some of them are as below :-
1) Abu Suroor Ahmed bin Ziyaa Al - Hanfi
2) Mohammad bin Mohammad Al-Maleki
3) Yahya bin Mohammad bin Al-Hanbali
Let us now analyse the viewpoints of ancient and reliable historians regarding Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) in the historical perspective. So that his existence may be proved from all the angles and viewpoints.
1- Qazi Ahmed Ibn Khallakaan writes : "Abul Qasim Mohammad bin Hasan Askari ..... who according to the creed of Imamiyat is twelfth Imam, and is known by the name of Al-Hujjah." And Ibne Arzaq in his history (Mayafareqin) has also recorded the date of birth of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). (Wafayatul-Aajen-vol.3 page, 316.)
2- Abu Mohammad Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Al-Khashaab indites in his book of history; Mawalidul Aaimma wafyatuhum.' "He is the bearer of two names, 'Al-Khalaf and Mohammad' and he will reappear in the last days of era. A part of the cloud will always shadow him on his head. Wherever he may go this cloud will also accompany him while shadowing over-head. And a very eloquent voice will be heard from grand heavens ..... that, this is Mahdi". (Al-Majalisus saniyyah vol. 5 page, 586.)
3- Historian Abdul Malik Usaami Makki while writing about H. Mahdi (a.s.) states that "Mohammad Mahdi (a.s.) son of Hasan Askari (a.s.) son of Ali Taqi (a.s.) son of.....son of Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with all of them). His birth took place of Friday on 15th Shabaan, 255 A.H. And this is most accurate year of birth. His mother's name was Susan or 'Narjis'. His epithet is Abul Qasim and his agnomen are Al-Hujjah, Al-Khalafe - Saleh Al-Qaem - Al-Muntazar, Sahebuz-zaman and 'Mahdi' And among these 'Mahdi' is the most famous title". He writes further while explaining the matter in detail regarding his personality. ....broad and sturdy shoulders, with handsome and pleasing face, beautiful hairs and broad forehead. His father expired when he was only five year old." (Samatun-Nujum-il-awaali- vol.4 page, 138).
4- Shaikh Akbar Mohyiddin Ibn Arabi in his 'Futuhaat' writes about the uprising of Mahdi (a.s.) that "He will not reappear unless the world is filled with injustice and oppression to such an extent that a single day is left in the tenure of this world. He will be from the offspring of the Prophet(s) and progeny of Fatema (s.a.) His forefather is Imam Hussain (a.s.) and his father is Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) ".
From all the proofs mentioned above it is proved that the Belief in Mahdaviyat' is one of the branches of the tree of Islamic creed. Last Prophet Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (s.a.w.) has explained quite many traditions in this regard, from which it is proved that Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) is from the progeny of Fatema, son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and twelfth Imam, finally Prophet(s) has also mentioned about his two occultations. And Keeping the importance of belief in view, it is also explained that denying the belief is tantamount to accept infidelity. (Kufr.) Especially those traditions of Prophet(s) which expound the concept of occultations and longevity is for the attention of those scholars whose ideology is influenced and affected by materialism and hence they have rejected this belief outrightly.
Hadith-e-Qudsi are those concepts and ideas, which are although revealed to the prophets in the same manner as revelations are made but same are expressed in the words and phrases of the prophets and not of Allah. There is a difference between Hadith-e-Qudsi, Quranic verses and the traditions of Masumeen (A.S.). Often Hadith-e-Qudsi was revealed with different messages for different concepts.
In this brief disquisition, we would like to ascertain about the various dimensions of the personality of Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) but only in the light of Hadith-e-Qudsi ;-
In the luminiscent sky of Imamat the position of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is like a sparkling star. Allah, the Almighty has also remembered Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) with the same agnomen. As said in Hadith-e-Qudsi
"Amongst them Al-Qaem is like a sparkling star"
(Kamaluddm, pg. 252).
As the Holy Quran has also confirmed that:-
"THAT BEACON WAS AS IF A SPARKLING STAR"
The position of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) could also be understood by the fact that Allah, the Exalted, loves him and holds him dear who endears him. He has made the love of Imam (A.S.) obligatory upon the people. As it can be found in Hadith-e-Qudsi that:
"0 Mohammad! Love him (Mahdi) because I love him and whosoever-loves him, I love him too.
Same love is mentioned in the Holy Quran in these words :-
"SOON ALLAH SHALL BRING FORTH A PEOPLE- WHO ARE LOVED BY ALLAH AND THEY ARE LOVED BY HIM."
In this ayat Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and his companions are referred as ' a people'. Though the whole world may perish but certainly one day Allah will bring forth such people
l) Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is the true friend of Allah, veritable representative and a guided proof on His creatures :-
"He would be My true friend and a veritable guided (representative) on My creatures."
2) There are some sentences in Hadith-e-Qudsi which point out at the pedigree of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). For instance, when Hazrat Musa (A.S.) inquired about the chain of guidance after him, then he was replied as:
"0 Musa! Verily he (Mahdi) would be from the lineage of Ahmed (the Holy Prophet (S.A.) ) and his off springs."
(Behar, Vol. 36, pg. 370)
The occultation of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is mentioned in Hadith-e-Qudsi in these words :-
"He will undergo a prolonged occultation."
As it is known to all of us that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is in occultation since last one thousand one hundred and fifty three years, which is a very long period.
3) The Divine Promise would be fulfilled through Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). It includes many important aspects of the aims of creation encompassed by the affairs of guidance. The series of guidance for men is continued through various modes and means. The messages of God were conveyed to man through various sources. There was only one aim behind it that man may be guided so that he may achieve success and prosperity in this world and hereafter.
Some of these aims were achieved by the earlier guides but it will culminate with the reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) because the series of guidance could attain perfection only through the station of Imamat. Whatever promises are made by Allah shall be fulfilled after the reappearance of Imam-e-Zaman (A.S.), e.g. 'the earth will be cleansed from all the evil powers', the establishment of a Divine Order, revival of defunct nations, discovering the hidden treasure troves, dissemination of Divine Knowledge's, nullifying the effects of all the cultures, the halal things will be declared permitted and the haram things will be made haram, the Almighty will aid and assist His religion and wreak vengeance on all the Satanic powers, finally the Divine Kingdom will be established.
In the times of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.), only Allah will be worshipped and none else.
"And whoever is Qaem from amongst you, I will inhabitate My earth through him. Through him only, i will eliminate My enemies from the earth. My friends will be made his successors. "
(Amali-Saduq, pg. 505)
4) The condition of society after the reappearance:
One thing is very clear that all religious commands will be followed up during the rule of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). Apart from this there are also some other special characteristics of his rule which are mentioned in Hadith-e-Qudsi. Like in his rule, the whole universe will eulogize and extol him and each and everything will be engaged in praise and approbation. Only pious, upright and virtuous men will live on earth. The Divine destiny will be manifested and angels will support him. The kingdom and ruler ship will be only of Imam Zaman (A.S.) and the truthful men will they enjoy position, no wrong or injustice will be done to them nor will they be encumbered. The earth will be replete with the bounties of Allah. The flag of justice and equity will flutter on the whole world, whose fruition would be seen in his rule.
" The treasure troves and wealth mines will be discovered by My orders. He is the proof (of God) who will fill this earth with justice and equity."
(Ja waharus Saniya by Shaikh Hurre Ameli, pg. 2 79.)
These were some of the facts which were mentioned in Hadith-e-Qudsi about the excellence of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and it should be remembered that these are the sayings of Allah, which again prove the excellence and meritorious position of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). This goes a long way in enhancing our recognition of Imam (A.S.).
"0 Allah! Hasten his reappearance."
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.
Traditions about Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Ibne Khaldun has quoted twenty one traditions from the companions, and brings them on pages 158 to 173 in the second volume. The narrators include Hazrat Ali (a.s.), Jabir (a.r.), Ibne Masud, Umme Salma, Abu Saeed-e-Khudri, Abdullah ibne Masud, Mohammed ibne Haatiyah, Ibne Abbas, Thaubaan, Abdullah ibne Harith ibne Harr, Abu Hurairah, Qurah ibne Ayaas, Ibne Umar, Talha ibne Abdullah, Mujahid, Umme Habibah, amongst others. The narrations are from disparate chains of narrators. Ibne Khaldun himself acknowledges that Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Baraaz, Ibne Majah, Hakim, Tabrani and Abu Yaala Masuli have brought these traditions in their books. And then he writes, "The rejectors of Mahdi doubt the chain of narrators of these traditions, as we shall see. It is an acclaimed rule that "doubt precedes justification". On that account if a narrator is doubted - for instance if he is negligent, or he has a poor memory, or if some weakness is found in him, or his opinion is not good then this will affect the correctness of the tradition. The tradition will now no longer fit the criteria of authenticity. (Muqaddamah, 2/158)
From the above it becomes clear that the respected Allamah rejects all traditions wherein the narrator is doubted (Muqaddamah, 2/158) directed by the principle 'doubt precedes justification'.
The doubted traditions
Ibne Khaldun brings twenty one traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (as) after the above explanation, and casts doubt on the narrators and chains of each one of them with these words, 'Because the scholars of traditions have doubted these traditions (concerning Imam Mahdi (as)). Suhaili Abu Bakr Khaithamah has collected all the traditions about Mahdi (as). We present them here.' (Of the twenty one traditions we consider only two of them).
Jabir (ar) says: "The Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him (and his progeny) said, The denier of Mahdi is an infidel; and the rejector of Dajjal, a liar; and about the denier of the sun rising from the West, I think he said something similar." The narrators of this tradition are Malik ibne Anas from Mohammed ibne Munkadar from Jabir. This series is mentioned by Abu Bakr Asqaaf in his Tavaaedul Akhbaar'.
Doubt: There is a lot of disorder in the chain of narrators reaching Malik ibne Anas. And even Abu Bakr Asqaaf himself is accused by the Ahle Hadith of fabricating traditions.
Ibne Masud narrates from Holy Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him (and his progeny), that even if one day remains for the end of this world, the Almighty will prolong that day such that He will send a person from me or my family, whose name will be my name and his father's name will be my father's name (Tirmizi, Abu Dawood - these are the words of the narrator of Abu Dawood). The chain of narrators is Aasim ibne Abi Najoor from the famous reciter Zareen Habeesh from Abdullah ibne Masood.
Note: Tirmizi and Abu Dawood bring this tradition with their own chain of narrators. Abu Dawood has maintained silence over this tradition. In his famous treatise Abu Dawood writes for whichever tradition I maintain silence, is self-explanatory. (Capable of acceptance as a proof).
Doubt : Imam Ahmad says that he (Aasim) is a pious man, reciter of the Holy Quran, a good and honest person. However, A'amash has a better memory. (Here he is suggesting Aasim has a poor memory). In Ajali's words, opinions about Aasim differ, that is he was considered weak (narrator).
Mohammed ibne Saeed says Aasim was honest, yet he often made mistakes. Abdur Rehman ibne Abi Khatim says, "I told my father, Aasim is called to be reliable. My father commented, 'He (Asim) is not of that calibre (of being reliable).'" Ibne Haaliyah has discredited him and has stated, Aasim is of weak memory. Abu Hatim remarks, "According to me he is on the level of truthfulness (i.e. he is truthful), and is a good traditionalist (i.e. his traditions are acceptable), but is not a memoriser of traditions. Nesai has another opinion about him. Abu Jafar Aquili avers: Only he had poor memory. Darqutni opines, "His (Asim's) memory was weak". Yahya Al Qataan declares, "I have observed the person (the narrators) called Aasim who has poor memory. I have heard Sheba say, that Asim b. Abi Bakhud narrated a tradition for us, although people did not have a good opinion about him." (Muqaddamah, 2/159-160)
Note: After these doubts, Ibne Khaldun makes an attempt to answer an objection, "If someone contends that Bukhari and Muslim too have quoted from Asim, and hence Asim is reliable. The reply is, Bukhari and Muslim have not only brought his traditions, but they have brought them along with other narrators. Thus the actual narrator is someone else and this (quoting by Bukhari and Muslim) is only for further substantiation."
Fearing, doubts will be casted on other narrators of Bukhari and Muslim, Ibne Khaldun writes (in their defence). The scholars without exception adjudge the traditions of Bukhari and Muslim to be correct. This unanimity of the scholars is ie most potent proof and the best evidence for the defence and support of the traditions.
We make the following conclusions om the writings of Ibne Khaldun and the doubts he raises.
1) Those traditions from doubted narrators are not authentic.
2) Doubts have been casted on the traditions of Mahdaviyat and consequently they are unacceptable.
3) If the narrator on whom doubt is casted is a narrator of Bukhari and Muslim, the validity of the tradition will not be affected, since the scholars are uanimous about the correctness of Bukhari and Muslim.
It should be noted that after bringing twenty one traditions about Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and after discarding them, Ibne haldun writes: "These are all the traditions which the scholars bring about Mahdi and his re-appearance at the end of time. You have noticed that all these are doubted, and it is improbable that any has been spared." (Muqaddamah 2/173)
By calling these traditions rare Ibne haldun has not only misled the Muslims, it has actually deviated some.
Now let us make it clear that neither the traditions about Mahdi are rare nor by doubting the narrators the authenticity of the traditions can be shrivelled. Because the truth is:
(1) The chains of reliable traditions are not in need of scrutiny. Thus by terming the traditions of Mahdaviyat unauthentic by doubting the narrators is against the principles of 'science of traditions'.
(2) Ibne Khaldun contradicts himself as on the one hand he brings the traditions from twenty one different narrators and on the other hand declares them rare.
(3) Ibne Khaldun has cited the traditions of Mahdaviyat from a section of prominent scholars like Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, al Baraaz, Ibne Majah, Tabarani and so on. Does this not establish that the doctrine of Mahdaviyat is a fundamental belief and Muslims are unanimous about it. Is it not for this reason that the recent scholars have quoted them?
(4) The rule, 'doubt precedes justification' is framed by the scholars of traditions, and is not based on Quran and traditions. Besides many of the traditionalists have rejected it. So why has the respected scholar Ibne Khaldun employed only this rule to declare the traditions of Mahdaviyat weak?
(5) It is incorrect to label the tradition as weak on account of a narrator with weak memory or negligence, as the traditions of Mahdaviyat are authentic on the basis of narrative language, concept and all other aspects.
(6) Ibne Khaldun has himself confessed, "It is pronounced and famous amongst the Muslims that during the end of time, a person will appear from the Ahle Bait who will consolidate the religion and spread justice..." This determines the unity of the Muslims on the doctrine of Mahdaviyat, and this itself is the best proof for the support of this belief.
The article can continue with the flow of such arguments. However, we have demonstrated the validity of this doctrine from varied aspects in the previous issues. Therefore, the claim of Ibne Khaldun of calling the traditions of Mahdaviyat weak is baseless.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Ibne Khaldun was not a traditionalist but was a historian. Thus seeking his opinion to determine the authenticity of traditions is unfitting. And a traditionalist is always preferred instead.
The famous scholar of the Ahle Sunnah, Ahmad ibne Sadeeq Shafeei, rejecting this opinion of Ibne Khaldun, wrote a book, 'Abraaz al Wahm al Maknoon min Kalaam-e-Ibne Khaldoon' . This educative book comprising of 150 pages was written in Arabic and printed in Damascus in 1437 A.H. The author very proficiently proves the traditions concerning Mahdi authentic and exposes Ibne Khaldun.
O Almighty ! Protect all Muslims from deviation.
The belief in Imam Mahdi (A.S.) has been a topic of debate since the very inception of Islam. Most of the Islamic scholars are so deeply drowned in the pit of prejudice that they deny the existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in its entirety. They assert that it is an idea fabricated by the Shias which has no origin either in Quran or in Prophetic traditions and is an unfounded belief. As far as Quran is concerned, time and again in several articles of Yamahdi.com we have proved the point. God-willing in this article we shall try to prove the holy existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the Prophetic traditions. We shall also try to establish that not only this belief is not concocted by Shi'te zealots but it is such a foundation of Islam which cannot be rejected. The Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his companions were awaiting such a 'Reformer' who will establish justice and equity in the world and thus fulfill the Divine Promise of "so that it (Islam) may prevail upon all the religions" (Quran).
Often it happens that when Shia Scholars bring some proofs, then immediately the Sunni learned men retort by, "If you prove it from Sehah-e-Sittah we will believe. We believe only in the references of Sehah-e-Sittah and nothing else." How far their reply is correct or incorrect is beyond the limits of this article. But it will not be out of place to mention that umpteen Sunni beliefs are not to be found in Sehah-e- Sittah. For instance the belief in 'Ashrae Mubashshirah', these are those ten 'fortunate' companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) who were promised paradise in their lifetime. But, this belief Of Ahle-Sunnat is not to be found in any of the Sehah. Nevertheless in order to exhaust the arguments, we will confine our references and citations from Sehah Sittah alone.
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is from the Holy Ahlebait (A.S.)
1- Hafiz Abu Abdullah Mohammad bin Yazid Al Qazvini narrates in his 'Sunane-Ihn Majah' that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :
"The Mahdi is from us Ahlebait, Allah shall organize his affairs within one night."
(Sunane-lbn Majah, Kitabul Fitan, Tradition No. 4085). Bukhari has quoted the same tradition ditto in his 'Tarikh' but only Allah knows who advised him against quoting the tradition in his 'Sahih'.
2- Saeed bin Musayyab relates that once we were sitting in the company ofUmme Salmah (R.A.) when we mentioned about Mahdi, she replied that I have heard the Holy Prophet (S.A.) saying :
"The Mahdi is from the offspring of Fatema."
3- Anas bin Malik related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that
"We, the progeny of Abdul Muttalib viz. I, Hamza, Ali, Jafar, Hasan, Husain and Mahdi are the chiefs of inhabitants of Paradise."
4- Abu Isa Mohammad bin Sauda narrates in his Sahihe-Tirmizi, that the Holy Prophet (S.A.) said :
"The world will not perish unless a man from my progeny will not rule on the land of Arabs-."
(Sahihe-Tirmizi, Kitabul Fitan, Chapter of The Reports on Mahdi', Tradition No. 2230.)
Abu Isa opined that the tradition is also quoted from Ali (A.S.), Abu Saeed Umme Salma and Abu Huraira. This is a correct and authentic tradition. Apart from this, classifying a separate chapter in his Sahih about Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) itself speaks volumes about the importance of the subject.
There are numerous such traditions from the Holy Prophecy (S.A.) which proclaim that the Mahdi will be only from Ahlebait (A.S.) and none else. Two conclusions can be derived from such traditions. Firstly, Haznit Mahdi (A.S.) is not an ordinary person. He is such an extraordinary and sublime person of whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.) is proud. He (S.A.) heaves a breathe of pride when he announces that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is from his own progeny. Secondly, these traditions exposed and unmasked all those importers and pseudo-Mahdi is who were neither related to the Holy Prophet (S.A.) nor were in any way linked to his Ahlebait (A.S.).
The Reappearance Of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) Is Inevitable
Some persons reject the existence and the reappearance of Imam-e- Zaman (A.S.) because of his concealed birth, occultation and longevity.
Today when the majority of the Islamic sects are scoffing at us because we are convinced of the existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) then it should not be in the least surprising because the believers were always made the target of mockery. (For details refer to Holy Quran). The Holy Prophet (S.A.) had spoken a lot about Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and declared emphatically that Qiyamat will never occur unless Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) does not arrive. Thus it has been quoted from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:
"If a single day remains from the age of this world then Allah will prolong that day to such an extent that, He will raise a man from my progeny on that particular day-."
(Sunane-Abi Daud, Kitabul Mahdi, Tradition No. 4282)
There are numerous such traditions in the books of 'Sehah-e-Sittah'. Often a question arises
that why always a similarity is struck between the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and the occurrence of Qiyamat ?
The reason is that Qiyamat is one of the promises of Allah, the Almighty, Who always fulfills His promises. Similarly, Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is also one of the promises of Allah. Hence occasionally, he is also referred as 'Mahdi-e-Mauood' (The Promised Mahdi) whose advent is mentioned in the Holy Quran in the following words:
"O Prophet say) Then await certainly I am awaiting too." (Araf:81)
Hence if Qiyamat is an irrefutable reality then the advent of Mahdi too is an incontrovertible fact.
Secondly the belief in Mahdaviyat is one of the fundamentals of Islam and as much a basic principle as Qiyamat is. This purports that the denial of the belief in Mahdaviyat is like the abnegation of a basic fundamental of Islam, and denial of any of the fundamentals of Islam is infidelity. All the same, Khwaja Kalan Qunduzi Hanafi narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet that :
"The one who denied the reappearance of Mahdi (A.S.) then it is as if he has disbelieved in all that which was revealed upon the (Prophet) Mohammad (S.A.)."
Is there any further proof required? The conclusion which is derived after keen perusal of logical and traditional reasoning is that any one who denies the existence or the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) will be an infidel and not a Muslim.
Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) And Justice:
Whenever the Holy Quran has mentioned about the aims of Prophets then it has mentioned about the establishment of justice as a chief objective of their mission. As it is said in the Holy Quran that:
"So that man may deal with justice."
In Sehah Sittah whenever Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is mentioned, then along with it, his attributes also have been described. One of these descriptions is that when he will come, he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be fraught with injustice and inequity. For instance
"He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be rife with tyranny and oppression". (Sunane-Abi Daud, Tradition Nos. 2283, 4282) It can be inferred from these traditions that the purpose of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is the dissemination of justice. Secondly, when he will arrive then injustice and oppression would be rampant in the world. The oppressors would be obeyed and the disbelievers would be disgraced. There will he only one person who will turn the tide whose name will be on the name of Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his epithet will be same as that of the Prophet (S.A.). It will be the era of the fulfillment of Divine promises such as :
"... The last era is for the pious men" (Araf:127) and
"... So that if (Islam) may prevail upon all religions though the polytheists may resent." (Tauba : 33)
and people will realize the truth of the following verse :
"Say ('0 Prophet) truth has come and falsehood vanished, Surely falsehood was bound to vanish." (Bani Israil; 80)
An Emphatic Command For The Believers
The revolution of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will not be an ordinary one. It will bring a sea change in the cosmic order in its wake. It is evident that for bringing about such an unparallel revolution Hazrat Mahdi (A.S ) will need a legion of companions who are determined and can endure all sorts of untold calamities in their way. Perhaps for this reason the Holy Prophet (S.A.) had laid emphasis on the believers to aid and assist Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) when he reappears. He (S.A.) put the same in the following words:-
"So if you will see him then pledge allegiance to him even if you have to crawl on an iceberg because he is the Caliph of Allah, the Mahdi." (Sunane-lbne-Majah, Tradition No. 4084)
It can be inferred from this tradition that it has been stressed to assist Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) in all conditions, either in comfort or calamity. Alas ! the Muslims slaughtered the one whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.) regarded as his son in Karbala and denied the existence of one in whom he reposed all his hopes and expectations. Only Allah knows how this community will face Him and His Prophet (S.A.) on the day of Qiyamat.
Anyhow, all the topics discussed over here are extracted from Sehah-e-Sittah which are unchallengeable and undeniable. For, a majority of Sunni scholars agree that whoever dared to reject or question Sehah-e-Sittah has intact repudiated the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and has consequently disbelieved in Islam. Also it can be noticed that those compilers of Sahih who have not narrated the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) in their books have quoted the same in their other books. If any of the Sehah does not contain a proper and adequate narration about him then it does not cast any serious impact on the veracity of the beliefs in Imam Mahdi (A.S.), because in other Sehah it has been related redundantly. Here it was mentioned only to apprise others that even Sehah-e-Sittah is not devoid of the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). This much should suffice to those who are skeptical of the veritahility of this pristine belief.
After propounding Oura'nic and traditional arguments there remains no doubt amongst any Muslim, irrespective of his being Sunni, Shia, Wahabi or Non-Wahabi, regarding the belief in Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and it is proved beyond doubt that it is a genuine Islamic belief. But since the Wahabi sect is having a very narrow-minded belief about some of the concepts of Islam hence from its very inception, it has been a butt of rebuke from the Muslim scholars. In this brief article we will analyze the viewpoint of Wahabis regarding Imam Mahdi (A.S.).
Intact the following proofs will clarify that like other Muslim scholars even Wahabi Scholars believe in Mahdaviyat and they regard this belief as the culmination of the Islamic creed.
1- The Wahabi sect is an offshoot of the Ahle-Sunnah and like other Muslims, believe in Qur'an and traditions. They also have faith in the traditions of Sehah-e-Sittah and other authentic books. Since the traditions pertaining to Imam Mahdi (A.S.) are quoted from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and are found in abundance in the books of traditions, hence they do believe in Imam Mahdi (A.S.).
2- Ibn Taimiyyah (exp. 728 A.H.) was a Hanbali scholar of 7th- 8th century who is also known as the ideological leader of Wahabis. In his book 'Minhaajus-Sunnah' (which was a vehement assault on Shias), he considers the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) as authentic and says about him in the following words :
"Those traditions by which the advent of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is expostulated are correct which are recorded by Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, Ahmed Hanbal, and other traditionalists. For instance, the tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) related by Ibn Mas'ud that:
"Even if a single day will remain from the eve of doomsday, Allah the Almighty will prolong that day to such an extent till He raises a man from my Ahle Bait (A.S.)."
3- Shamsuddin Mohammad bin Abi Bakr, popularly known as Ibn Qayyum-e-Jauzi (exp. 751 A.H.), a noted celebrity of the Hanbali sect and an ardent follower and preacher of Ibn Taimiyah's ideas, has compiled an entire book on the topic of Imam Mahdi (A.S.). He has adorned his book with the title of 'Al-Mahdi'.
The same scholar has written another book by the name of 'Al- Munaar Al Munif Fis-Sahih Waz Zaeef which is infact an explanation of Ibn Jauzi's book 'Al-Mauzoo'aat'. In this book in the 15th Chapter from Pg. 326 to 344, he has quoted some traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (A.S.) along with the discussion on the authenticity of the traditions. He has concluded that traditions pertaining to Imam Mahdi (A.S.) are genuine and a part of the Islamic tradition. In the same book, he has written, while quoting from the book of 'Abdul Husain Aberi ' that: "The traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (A.S.) are plenty (Mutawatir) and abundantly prove that he will be from the progenyofthe Holy Prophet (S.A.) ."
4- Allama Mohammad bin Ali Shaukani (exp. 1250 A.H.) was formerly a Zaidi who later on converted to Wahabism to become its prolific preacher in Yemen. He was such a staunch believer in Mahdaviyat that he wrote one whole book on the subject by the name of 'Al-Tauzeeh Fi Tawatir Ma Ja'aa Fil-Mahdi wal-Dajjal wal Maseeh
This book has been a major source of reference of most scholars. The following sentence from this book deserves attention :"Those traditions which are narrated regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) are plenty. It is sufficient for him who possesses little faith and justice."
5- Shaikh Abdul Mohsin bin Ahmad Abbad, an erudite professor of the Wahabi university of Medina, has written a book by the name of 'Aqidato Ahle-Sunnat wal-Asar Fil Mahdi Al-Muntazar' in which he has debated that the belief in Mahdaviyat is not confined only to Shias but is a pure Islamic belief. The traditions regarding Mahdaviyat are continuous and believing in Hazrat Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is essential. Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is from the progeny of Fatema Zahra (S.A.) and will reappear in the last era of the world. Moreover, he has enlisted the names of one twenty six companions who have quoted the traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (A.S.), thirty eight names of celebrated scholars and traditionalists who have related the traditions, of which four are compiler of the Sehahs. Then he has mentioned the names often great Sunni scholars who have written books on this subject.
Shaikh Abbad has written another book as a refutation to the book of his contemporary scholar from Kuwait whose name was Shaikh Abdullah bin Zaid who made some very strident objections on the belief. This book is called :" Ar-Raddo Ala Man Kazeba bil Ahadith As Sahiha fil Mahdi."
In this article, first the vitriol objections of the Kuwaiti writer are quoted verbatim then he has them and later and later given fittings replies.
Keeping these facts in mind, is there any Muslim
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