- Category: Mahdism
- Written by Ayatullah al-Uzma Nasir Makarim Shirazi
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Who is the Mahdi?
We saw in the discussion of the effects of waiting that all Islamic sects, without any exception, are waiting for the rise of a great revolutionary man from the dynasty of prophet, called “Mahdi” (a leader who is guided to his expanded revolutionary goal and program and accordingly, he is capable of leading and guiding others).
The acceptance of this issue is in the way that even the most of extremist sects - which means Wahhabis - has also accepted the issue, not even they have accepted but they defend it seriously and consider it as certain and indisputable Islamic beliefs.
Anyway, it is necessary to mention the statement of “Muslim World League” (جامعة العالم الاسلامی) (one of the largest religious centers of Wahhabis in Mecca) as living evidence, before reminding the testimonials of a group of great Sunni scholars about this issue.5
According to our opinion, necessary documents and evidences have been collected in this brief treatise in the way there no one is capable of ignoring that and if rigorous Wahhabis have surrendered to that is because of that.
First, we mention the translation of the important part of this treatise, and then the whole Arabic text for being recorded in history and for those who want to study more.
A Living Evidence
About two years ago6 a person called Abu Muhammad from Kenya asked “Muslim World League”, which is one of the most effective religious centers of Mecca and Hejaz a question about the advent of the promised Mahdi.
Secretary General of the league, Muhammad Salih al-Qazzaz, sent a brief treatise which was written by five presently famous scholars of Hejaz about this matter for him, in answering his question adding to affirming that “Ibn Taymiyyah”, the founder of Wahhabism, has also accepted the ahadith of the advent of Mahdi.
We read in this treatise, after mentioning the name of his holiness Mahdi and the place of his appearance, which is Mecca, that:
… at the time of dominance of corruption in the world and distribution of infidelity and oppression, God fills the world with justice by him (Mahdi) as it is filled with oppression and injustice.
He is the last one of twelve Rashidun Caliphs whom Prophet (S) has informed us about them is authentic (صحیح) books.
Ahadith related to the Mahdi have been quoted by many of companions of Prophet (S), including:
Uthman Ibn Affan, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Talha ibn Ubayd-Allah, Abdur Rahman bin Awf, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, Thawban, Qarat ibn Asas Mazani, Abdullah ibn Harith, Abu Hurairah, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, Jabir ibn Abdullah, Abu Umama, Jabir ibn Majed, Abdullah ibn Umar, Anas ibn Malik, Umar ibn Haseen and Umm Salama.
These are twenty people of those who have quoted the narratives about Mahdi and there are also many others beside them.
Also, companions have said many expressions about the advent of Mahdi which is possible to consider them in the category of narratives of Prophet (S); because this issue is not among the issue which are possible to be discussed in ijtihad (therefore, they have also heard the matter from the prophet).
Then he adds:
Both the above ahadith which are quoted from Prophet (S) and testimonials of companions which are considered here as hadith, have been quoted in many famous Islamic books and main hadith texts of Prophet (S) including traditions (سنن), Ma’ajim (معاجم) (pl. of Mu’jam) and supported books (Musnads), including:
Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, ibn Maja, ibn Amr al-Dani, Musnad Ahmad and ibn Ya’li and Bazzaz. And Sahih al-Hakim and Ma’ajim al-Tabarani (Kabeer and Awsat) and Ruyani and al-Daraqutni and Abu Na’eem in Akhbar al-Mahdi and Khatib in History of Baghdad and ibn Asakir in History of Damascus and other than them.
Then he adds that:
Some of Islamic scholars have written special books in this subject, including:
Abu Na’eem in “Akhbar al- Mahdi”, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami in “Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar”, Shawkani in “al-Tawdhih fi Tawatur ma Ja'a fi al-Muntazar wa al-Dajjal wa al-Masih”, Idris al-Iraqi al-Maghribi in “al-Mahdi”, Abu al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Mu’min al-Maghribi in the book “al-Wahm al-Maknoon fi Radd Ala ibn Khaldun”.
And the latest person who has written an explained discussion in this subject is the dean of Medina Islamic University who has discussed in some issues of the magazine published by the university.
Some of great scholars of Islam including past and present ones have also confirmed in their writings that ahadith about Mahdi are in the limit of Tawatur (and are not deniable) including:
Al-Sakhawi in the book “Fath al-Mugeeth”, Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Safawini in “Sharh al-Aqida”, Suyuti in “al-Hawi”, Idris Iraqi in the book that he has written about “Mahdi”, Shawkani in the book “al-Tawdhih fi Tawatur ma Ja'a fi al-Muntazar …”, Muhammad Ja’far al-Kattani in “Nazm al-Mutanathir”, Abu al-Abbas ibn Abd al-Mu’min in “al-Wahm al-Maknoon …”.
He says at the end of the discussion:
(Only) it is Ibn Khaldun who has tried to oppose ahadith about Mahdi with a baseless fake hadith that says “لا مهدی الا عیسی” (Mahdi in nobody but Jesus!), but great leaders and scholars of Islam has denied his expression; especially “Ibn Abd al-Mu’min” who has written a special book in denying his expression which has been published in the East and the West from 30 years ago.
Memorizers of ahadith and superior scholars have also affirmed that ahadith of Mahdi contain “authentic” (صحیح) and “acceptable” (حسن) ahadith which are totally Mutawatir (reach the source).
Therefore, believing the advent of Mahdi is obligatory to (any Muslim) and it is considered as the beliefs of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah and nobody ignores that except the ignorant persons and the heretics.
According to my opinion, the above discussion is so much clear that it needs no extra explanation; accordingly, aren’t people who say that believing the advent of Mahdi is an imported thought making a big mistake!
Now the Main Text of the Letter….
Here, we mention the main test of the letter which had been sent by a man from Kenya to “Muslim World League” which is an official Islamic center in Mecca about “the promised Mahdi” and the text of the answer which has been sent for him by the Secretary General of the league under supervision of five famous scholars of Hejaz.
And this is the same letter, which we mentioned the translation of its important part without the wane before.
The only point which is necessary to be reminded here is that the “important difference” of this writing which the beliefs of Shiites is that the name of the father of his holiness Mahdi (as) is mentioned “Abdullah”, while in Shiite books the name of his respected father is certainly “Imam Hassan al-Askari” and the source of this disagreement is that in some of the narratives of Ahl Sunnah this sentence has been mentioned that “اسم ابیه اسم ابی” (His father’s name is the name of my father) while evidences show that this sentence was originally “اسم ابیه اسم ابنی” (His father’s name is the name of my son”, and this change has happened because of a mistake in punctuation. (This possibility has been also affirmed by al-Kanji al-Shafei in the book “al-Bayan fi Akhbar Sahib al-Zaman”). And anyhow, that sentence is not reliable because:
Firstly, this sentence is not available in most of Sunni narratives.
Secondly, we read in the famous narrative of Ibn Abi Layli
Thirdly, Mutawatir narratives through Ahl al-Bayt (pbut) testify that his father’s name is “Hassan”.
Fourthly, it is also affirmed in some of Sunni narratives that he is the son of Imam Hassan Askari.
(For more explanation about this matter, refer to the book “Muntakhab al-Athar” pages 231 to 236, chapter 11, and the book “Noor al-Absar”).
Here, it is necessary to add some other expressions of some of famous Sunni scholars about what has been said:
1) Famous scholar, Sheikh Mansour Ali Nasif, the writer of the book “at-Taj”7 writes in his book:
And he continues:
It means, it is famous among all past and present scholars that finally a man from the dynasty of the Prophet (S) appears who dominates over all Islamic countries, and Muslims follow him; and he establishes the justice among them, and strengthens the religion … ahadith of Mahdi have been quoted but many of superiors of companions and hadith tellers … and a person like Ibn Khaldun, who has considered them as weak sources, has made a mistake.8
2) Ibn Khaldun himself, who is famous of opposing ahadith of Mahdi, hasn’t denied the famousness of ahadith of Mahdi among all Islamic scholars, and he says:
It was famous among all Muslims in all centuries and still is that a man from Ahl al-Bayt will appear in End of Days who stresses the religion of Islam and shows the justice and Muslims follow him.9
3) Muhammad Shablanji, famous Egyptian scholar, writes in the book “Noor al-Absar”:
(Mutawatir news has reached from Prophet (S) that Mahdi is from his dynasty; he will fill the earth with justice.10
4) Sheikh Muhammad Sabban3 writes in the book “As’aaf ar-Raghibeen”:
Mutawatir (reaches the source) news has been quoted from holy Prophet (S) that testifies that Mahdi will (finally) rise and he is from prophet’s dynasty and will fill the earth with justice.
5) “Ibn Hajar” quotes from Abul Hassan Amri in the book “Sawa’iq al-Muhragha”:
Mutawatir and several news has been quoted from Prophet (S) that finally Mahdi appears and he is from Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet (S) … and will fill the earth with justice.11
6) Author of the book “at-Taj” says after pointing to the book of “Shawkani”, famous Sunni scholar, which is all about Tawatur of ahadith of Mahdi and appearance of Dajjal and return of messiah and an explained discussion about Tawatur of ahadith Mahdi (as):
(What has been said seems to be enough for those who has a bit of faith and little fairness!)12
For more explanation about ahadith of the rise of this great revolutionary man of the world, which has been quoted through Ahl Sunnah, refer to the book “al-Mahdi” and “Muntakhab al-Athar fi Ahwal al-Imam al-Thani Ashar”.