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the Message Continues ... 3/103




Newsletter for March 2010


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Imam Mahdi (a)

In Islamic eschatology,  AL MAHDI  is a messianic deliverer who will bring justice to the earth, restore true religion, and usher in a short golden age before the end of the world. Imam Mahdi (a) is not mentioned in the Quran directly by his name but there are certain verses which lead to this very concept of a messianic. The great theologians of both the major sects of Islam have been giving importance to this doctrine. He has been characterized as a descendant of the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family), whose appearance as the redeemer or messiah presaged the end of the world and all the then prevailing political and religious corruption on earth. Imam Mahdi(a) is the prophesied redeemer of  Islam who will stay on earth before the coming of the doomsday, (literally "Day of the Resurrection" or "Day of the Standing") and will rid the world of error, injustice and tyranny. Among Muslims "the Mahdi” symbol has developed into a powerful and central religious idea.

Muslims believe Imam Mahdi (A.S) is the Twelfth & the last Caliph or Imam.  Shias believe that he was born in 868 AD ( 255 AH) and was hidden by God at the age of five. He is still alive but in cognitive and is living within people a normal life.  According to traditions report that Imam Mahdi (A.S) will announce himself in Mecca between the corner of the  Ka’aba and the station of Abraham and will call on the people to pay allegiance. since been in occultation,awaiting the time that God has decreed for his return, He shall return with "a company of his chosen ones." Also part of the return (or Raj'a) will be his enemies led by the one-eyed  Dajjaal and the  Sufyani, the two forces will fight "one final apocalyptic battle" where Imam Mahdi (A.S) and his forces will prevail over these forces of evil. 

The Following quotations are few among many quoted by certain companions of the holy prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family) to have been made by him and are considered to be authentic.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin Mas'ood (R.A.) quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family; "This world will not come to an end until one person from my progeny does not rule over the Arabs, and his name will be the same as my name." (Tirmidhi)  Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family; "Even if only a day remains for Qiyamah to come, yet Allah will surely send a man from my family who will fill this world with such justice and fairness, just as it initially was filled with oppression." (Abu Dawood) Hadhrat  Abu Sa'id al-Khudari(RA) quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family); Al Mahdi will be from my progeny. His forehead will be broad and his nose will be high. He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression. He will rule for seven years. (Emphasis Added) Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A.) quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family;  "Al Mahdi will be from my progeny. His forehead will be broad and his nose will be high. He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression. He will rule for seven years."  (Emphasis Added) Hadhrat  Abu Hurairah quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family; "The shall not occur until the Euphrates will disclose a mountain of gold, over which people will fight. 99 out of every hundred shall die, and every one of them shall say, 'perchance I shall be the one to succeed" (Source)


There is apparently no consensus among Muslim scholars as to the authenticity of the following quote Hadhrat  Abu al-Hujaf(RA) quoted from the prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family; saying three times: Listen to the good news about the Mahdi! He will rise at the time when people will be faced with severe conflict and the earth will be hit by a violent quake. He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He will fill the hearts of his followers with devotion and will spread justice everywhere.  (Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, P. 74)

The coming of the Imam Mahdi(a)  is found in Sunan Abi Dawud, Ibn Majah, and Tirmidhi.

The mother of  the believers, Hazrat Umme Salamah (R.A) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) say: 'The Mahdi is of my lineage and family…'.(— Sunan Abu Dawud, 11/373; Sunan Ibn Maajah, 2/1368.)

Hazrat Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (R.A) said: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him 7 his family) said: "He is one of us…"(— Reported by Abi Na’eem in Akhbaar al-Mahdi, see al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, 5/219, hadith 5796.)

The NAQSHABANDEE HAQQANI SUFIS strongly believe the coming of Imam Mahdi (A.S) in this 21st Century is imminent.  Their Shaikh Hisham has written a book "The Approach of Armageddon" that touches much on this subject and beliefs.

Al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ja’far al-Katani said: "The conclusion is that the hadiths narrated concerning the Imam Mahdi(A.S) are  IN CONTINUATION  as are the hadith concerning the Dajjal and the descent of Hazrta Isa (A.S)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar al-Haytami in his fatwa titled The Brief Discourse on the Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, said that denial of the Mahdi is disbelief.

Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti in his book The Rose Fragrance Concerning the Reports on al-Mahdi, wrote, "This is the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah, this is the belief of the Sufis, this is the belief of our Shaykhs, and this is the belief of the true Shadhili Shaykhs, whose path both al-Suyuti and al-Haytami followed. Whoever differs with them is a liar and an innovator.

In the light of traditions and interpretations, the personality of the Promised Mahdi would be as such:  The promised Imam Mahdi  (A.S) would be a Caliph of God and that to make a covenant with him is obligatory. He would belong to the “Ahl ul Bayet”   and would be in the line of  Imam Hussein (A.S). His name would be Muhammad and his family name (kuniyat) would be Abul Qasim, he would appear in Mecca. He would protect the Muslims from destruction and would restore the Islam to its original position.

Shi'as believe that Imam Mahdi(a)  was born in 869 AD ( 255 AH). His mother, Her Greatness   Narjis (A.S) (Melika), was a   Byzantine princess from the family of SHAMOON, the vice fo Hazrat MUSA (A.S) taken captive in  a battle between Muslims and Christians and then brought for sale in Bahdad where she was purchased by Imam Ali  ALNaqi, the 10th Imam, the father of Imam Hasan Askari. It is also narrated that she had seen a dream in which she had been prophesied of meeting the Imam Hasan Askari and bearing a child to the family of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him and his family). Imam Mahdi (A.S) father,

The 11th Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) kept Imam Mahdi (A.S) ‘s birth a secret due to the persecution that they were facing during this time at the hands of  the then ruling dynasty in Baghdad. The eleventh Imam died on  1st January 874 AD (8th  Rabbi ul Awwal 260 AH) and since that day Imam Mahdi (A.S) is the Imam, appointed by God, to lead the believers of the era. It is reported that as the funeral prayer of his father the Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) was about to begin,  Imam Mahdi (A.S) uncle, Jafar ibn Ali approached to lead the prayers but  Imam Mahdi (A.S) approached and commanded, "Move aside, uncle; only an Imam can lead the funeral prayer of an Imam." Jafar moved aside and the five-year-old Imam Mahdi (A.S)  led the funeral prayer for his father. It is reported that it was at this very moment that Imam Mahdi (A.S) disappeared and went into ghaybat, or occultation.

There is a  narration referred to the holy Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him & his family) : "I and `Ali are the fathers of this nation; whoever knows us very well also knows Allah, and whoever denies us also denies Allah, the Unique, the Mighty. And from `Ali's descendants are my grandsons al­-Hasan and al-­Husayn, who are the masters of the youths of Paradise, and from al-­Husayn's descendants shall be nine: whoever obeys them obeys me, and whoever disobeys them also disobeys me; the ninth among them is their Qa'im and Mahdi.

A hadith from the Shi'a text (Kitab Al-Kafi) containing a conversation between the Imam Ali ibn AbiTalib and his companion  named al-Asbagh ibn Nubata, as well as a Hadith in  Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, whereupon The holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him & his family) speaks of Twelve Successors. Narrated Hazrat Jabir bin Samura that I heard holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him & his family) saying, "Islam will continue to be strong to twelve Muslim rulers (who will rule all the Islamic world)." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, "All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish.

In another Hadith widely regarded as authentic, holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him & his family)  said : Even if the entire duration of the world's existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before the Day of Judgment, God will extend that day as to accommodate the kingdom of a person out of   my Ahl ul Bayt  who will be called by my name. He will then fill the Earth with peace and justice as it will have been filled with injustice and tyranny before then.

Shi'as believe that, for various reasons, God concealed the twelfth and current  Imam Mahdi (a)  from humankind. The period of occultation (ghaybat) is divided into two parts:

During the Minor Occultation (Ghaybat al-Sughra) (874 AD – 941 AD) ( 260 AH to 329 AH), it is believed that Imam Mahdi (a)  maintained contact with his followers via deputies (an-nuwāb al-arbaʕa). They represented him and acted as agents between him and his followers. Whenever a believers faced a problem,he would write the concerns and send it to the deputy Who would meet the Imam (a) and pass it on to him.  Imam (a) would give his  verdict endorsed with his seal and signature to the deputy who would then return it to the questioner. The deputies were also authorized to collect Zakat and Khums on Imam (a) behalf. For the followers the idea of consulting a hidden Imam was not something new because thuis had been a practice of the previous Imams as well who were meeting the followers from behind a curtain.

Tradition hold four deputies of Imam Mahdi (a)   in succession to one another:   1. Uthman ibn Saeed (R.A) ( 260 AH to 280 AH)  2.  Muhammad ibn Uthman (R.A)  280 AH to304 AH) 3.  Hussein bin Rauh Naubakhtee (R.A) (304 AH to 326 AH)  4. Ali bin Muhammad Samree (R.A) (326 AH to 329 AH.) The fourth ‘NAEB” was informed by Imam Mahdi (a)  6 days before his death that he shall die on the sixth day and he shall not appoint any further NAEB  because Allah has decided that major occultation has to start which would end as and when Almighty shall order. The last letter of Imam Mahdi (a) to Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samarri  read :"from the day of your death the period of my major occultation (al ghaybatul kubra) will begin. Hence forth, no one will see me, unless and until Allah makes me appear .The Muslims from then on continue to await the reappearance of the Imam Mahdi (a) The Imam (a) is on earth among the people but "incognito." "Numerous stories" exist of Imam (a) "manifesting himself to different people who fell in great problems and then requested him for relief. Ghaybat al-Kubra or Major Occultation began 941 AD ( 329 AH ) and is believed to continue until a time decided by God, when the Imam Mahdi (a) will reappear to bring absolute justice to the world.

The 12th Imam is known by many titles like:

According to The Narrations Imam Mahdi (a) shall  be from among the family of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family); be among the descendants of Hazrat Ali (a) and Hazrat Fatima(a); have same name as Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family); have a broad forehead, be tall,  fair complexioned,  have  facial features similar to those of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family) ,  have character exactly like that of Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him & his family) , be of the  age forty years  at the time of his emergence  and shall have received Knowledge from Allah. He shall appear before the day of judgment  in Ka’aba where people will make “bayet” to him. He shall fight in battles to eradicate tyranny and oppression and spread justice and equity on earth; Lead a prayer in Ka’aba  which Hazrat Isa (A.S) will follow in and he shall NOT be the same individual as the Promised Messiah (Jesus). 

The Ahl e Snnat do believe that the Imam Mahdi (a)  will come from Prophet Muhammad's (s) family, more specifically  from Hazrat ALI (a) and Hazrat Fatima (a) descendants. They differ to say that he is yet to be born, and therefore his exact identity is only known to Allah. They do accept many of the same hadiths Shias accept about the predictions regarding his emergence, acts, and his universal Khilafat. They also believe that Jesus will return alongside the Imam Mahdi (a), appear in Mecca, would protect the Muslims from destruction and would restore the religion to its original position.

While the people will be pledging their allegiance to Imaam Mahdi (a) a voice from the unseen will call out: "This is the representative of Allah, The Mahdi, listen to him and obey him". This announcement will be heard in every corner of the earth by all those then living on the earth in the language they would be speaking and understanding well. Prior to his emergence an eclipse of the sun and moon will occur in the same month of Ramadhan. Before his coming will come the red death and the white death. The red death is the sword and the white death is plague.  Several figures will appear: the one-eyed Dajjal, the Sufyani and the Yamani.  

In the Turkish built compound of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina the name of Imam (A.S) is Tran scripted on the wall as shown here.







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