What are the main differences between the appearance (Ad-dhuhour) and the Shi'ah belief in the short-time resurrection (Ar-rajja'ah)?
All people will rise from the dead when the Mahdi comes. The punished people will carry coffins on their backs whereas they go. Allah will talk to each one alone about their sins. I think it will be soon because I hear about it too much from my family.260
That is how a traditionally religious woman, raised in America with a high school education described the coming of Al-Mahdi (as). It is also how the American anthropologist L. S. Walbridge expressed her understanding of the period after Al-Mahdi's (as) appearance. It is obvious that she could not distinguish between two things which are totally different. Perhaps other academic writers would make the same mistake.
It is clear that belief in (Ar-rajja'ah) "short resurgence" is not a requirement for the Shi'ah belief. The Shi'ah scholars distinguished between Al-Mahdi's (as) appearance and the phenomenon called Ar-rajja'ah. Al-Muzzaffar writes about Shi'ah belief concerning this point as follows:
The belief in "Ar-rajja'ah" the return of the dead to life again in this world is not one of the fundamental principles of Islam, so as to make it incumbent upon everyone to have belief in it.261
On the other hand, we know that Al-Mahdi (as) and his reappearance is one of the crucial point of Islamic belief.262
We have also met some Christian groups (Jahovah's Witnesses) who have replaced their belief in a heaven with their belief in a happy end for humanity on this earth. They deny any form of life after death as well as Paradise and Hell.
Muslims reject these invented idea absolutely. The fact is that this belief in a happy end has no connection with the life in the hereafter. This concept is very common and is shared by all ideologies -which we have mentioned earlier in this book- including those, who do not have a belief in a resurrection and a life in the hereafter.
260. Walbridge, Linda, Without forgetting the Imam, p.165
261. Muzaffar, Muhammed Ridha, The Faith of Shi'a Islam. p.80, Islamic Seminary Publications, 1985
262. Muzaffar, Muhammed Ridha, The Faith of Shi'a Islam. p.80, Islamic Seminary Publications, 1985
Adapted from the book: "The Awaited Saviour; Questions and Answers"
Share this article