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 Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (Al-Mahdi-Sahibuz Zam PART 1

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PostSubject: Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (Al-Mahdi-Sahibuz Zam PART 1   Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:03 pm

“The world will not come to an end,” said the Prophet Muhammad, “ until a man from my family (Ahlulbayt) and of my name shall be master of the world, When you see a green ensign coming from the direction of Khorasan, then join them, for the Imam of God will be with the standards who will be called al-Mahdi.”

“The Mahdi will be descended from me, he will be a man with an open countenance and a face with a high nose. He will fill the earth with equity and with justice, just as it has been filled with tyranny and oppression.” (Biharul Anwar, Majlisi)

Imam Muhammad Abul Qasim (al Mahdi)(AS), the last in the line of the Twelve Ithna Ashari Imams was born on 15th Shaban 255 Hijri in Samarra, Iraq. His father was the Eleventh Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) and his mother was Nargis Khatoon, grand daughter of the Emperor of Rum.

It was 8th Rabiul Awwal 260 Hijri when our Twelfth Imam led the funeral prayer of his father Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS). He was only Five years old, yet the whole crowd of muslims including the Abbasid caliph of that time Al-Mu’tamid followed the young Imam without question. Once the prayers were over and the Imam went inside the house, that the Caliph realised the full implication and significance of the occasion and he immediately ordered his soldiers to enter the house and search for the young Imam. They did not find any one inside the house. The Caliph was very angry at this incompetence of ministers and other officials who were unable to find a boy of five who had just led the prayers and had just disappeared. The caliph had no inkling of the secrets that God did not want to reveal. He went back to his palace and into the luxurious life of a playboy king while the world around him squeezed his empire into oblivion.

The Imam’s period of lesser concealment began immediately after he led the funeral prayers and disappeared inside the house. This was in the year 260 Hijri.

The doctrine of ‘Ghaiba’ or concealment, declares simply that the Imam has been withdrawn by God from the eyes of people, that his life has been miraculously prolonged, that he has been seen from time to time, has been in correspondence with others, and has maintained a control over the guidance of the followers and the believers and the safety of Islam from its enemies.

In the following few pages we shall try to bring some evidence from the Qora’an and the authentic Hadith of the Prophet to prove the point to interested readers.

This is an essential belief that Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (AS) Sahibuz zaman, is alive and guide's his followers whenever such need arises. This is based on the verses of the Holy Qur’an that express the idea of Divine Guidance through the Prophets and Imams. “ And among those whom we have created are a people who guide others with truth, and in accordance therewith act justly” . (Sura vii V 180)

“ We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere (Sura 2, V.155)

A great Hanafi scholar Muhammad ibn Muslim cites Imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq (AS) explaining the meaning of the above Verse. Imam indicated that there would be signs indicating the coming (reappearance) of al-Mahdi(AS) which are the means whereby God tests the faithful. “Something of fear” is a reference to masses perishing by contagious diseases; “hunger” is a reference to high prices of foodstuffs; “Some loss in goods” is a reference to scarcity and famines; “Lives” is a reference to mass destruction of human lives, probably global wars; “Fruits” is a reference to lengthy periods of draughts; so when all that happens, then give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.”

“This is its interpretation,” continued the Imam , quoting Verse 7 of Sura 3, which indicates that “only those who are firmly grounded in knowledge are capable of interpreting the verses of the Holy Qur’an”, adding, “ We the Ahlulbayt are the ones firmly grounded in knowledge”.

In the book “Yanabi al Muaddah”, the Hanafi scholar and Mufti of Istanbul during the Osmani Caliphate in Turkey writes on page 321, quoting Imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq (AS) interpreting Verse 83, Sura III of the Holy Qora’an comments as follows:- “ When the Qa’im al-Mahdi reappears, there will be no land on earth where the Kalima is not said. “This could be a reference to the fact that by the time al-Mahdi reappears, all continents of the world will have muslim populations. They already do now.

After presenting the above proofs from the Qur’an, the following are authentic traditions from the Prophet of God regarding Imam Mahdi (AS).

At the end of Vol.2 of Fara’idh al-simtain and on page 269 Ibn Khaldun’s ‘Mukaddimah’ , it is related from Ibn Abbas, that the Holy Prophet said, “ Ali is Imam of my nation and my successor therein after me, and among his offspring is the awaited Qa’im who shall fill the world with justice and equity as it was filled with injustice and oppression. The Prophet further elaborates, “ beware of doubting, for to doubt the order of God, the Mighty, the Sublime, is apostasy (Kufr). Ibn Khaldun also states that “ When imprisoned with his mother in the house, he entered a sort of well or pit in the house that his family occupies at Samarrah, Iraq, and there he disappeared, but he is to come forth at the end of the age to fill the earth with justice”.

Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti quotes in his book Jalalul- Oyun Vol.6 page 50. “ The Hour shall not come till Al-Mahdi takes charge on earth on my behalf,” said the Messenger of God. Allama Suytu also quotes Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal that famous companion Abu Said Khadhri quoting the Messenger of God saying, “ I bring you glad tidings of al-Mahdi, God shall send him to my nation, in a time different from your own, and after a series of earthquakes, and he shall fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with injustice and oppression. He shall distribute the wealth equitably among the inhabitants of the earth. In the manual in which he sets forth the many duties and privileges of pilgrims, Majlisi has given an accepted form for a short letter in Arabic, which anyone can write, and sent to his Imam of the age. It may be placed on the tomb of any of the Imams, or it may be fastened and sealed, and covered with clean earth and cast into the sea or river or a deep well. In any case it will reach the Hidden Imam andhe will give his personal attention.

There is a famous saying of Imam Hussain (AS) about the twelvth Imam. “ The Ninth of my descendants is the Imam who will rise with the Truth. God will grant life to earth through him after its death. The true faith will supersede all religions through him. His absence shall be lengthy during which many people will go astray. Only a few will remain on the Right Path. They shall suffer pains, people will put pressure on them, saying,” let us know when this promise of the Return of the Mahdi is fulfilled”. Those who will bear the pains and denials patiently will get the same rewards as those who accompanied the Prophet during his expeditions for Jihad.”

Imam Zainul Abedeen (AS) has said, “ Of us one will be born whose birth will remain secret so much so that the people will say that he was not born at all.”

Imam Muhammad al Baqir (AS) is quoted by Kulaini in Al-Kafi, “ Nine Imams after Hussain are destined, the last of them will be al-Qaim.”

Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (AS) is quoted in Ilal al-shaa’i saying, “ The fifth of the descendants of my son Musa will be the Qa’im a descendant of the Prophet (SA).

Imam Musa ibn Ja’afar (AS) was asked once, “ Are the Qa’im with the truth?” The Imam replied, “ I also rise truthfully, but the real Qa’im is he who will remove the enemies of God from earth and will fill it with justice. He shall be my fifth descendant. His absence will be lengthy during which multitudes will turn away from the faith while only a few will uphold it”.

Imam Ali al-Reza (AS) in the above saying of Imam Hussain (AS) that due to the excessive the length of the concealment of the 12th Imam many believers will have doubts about his existence. Many will question the very longevity of his life and the usefulness of his presence as an Imam. Reza said, “ O Da’bil, my son Muhammad (AS) will come when I am gone. After him, his great grand son will be named Muhammad(AS) who will be the Qa’im. He will be awaited during his absence. When he appears, the world shall bow down before him.”

Imam Muhammad Taqi (AS) has said “ The Qa’im will be from amongst us the third of my descendants”.

Imam Ali Naqi (AS) said, “ My successor will be my son Hasan; but what will be your condition during the reign of Hasan’s successor”? Those who were present asked, “Why, what do you mean by that”? Imam replied, “ you will not have the chance to see him, later you will not be allowed to mention his name”. Then the Imam was asked as to how they should mention him. Imam replied, “ You may say that he is the last of Muhammad’s (infallible) descendants. “

Some people asked Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), “ your forefathers have said that the earth would never be without knowing the sign of Allah (Hujjatullah) till Doomsday, and he who dies without knowing the Imam of his time will die the death of ignorance”. Imam replied, “ That was as true as the shining day. They inquired as to who would be the Imam who would be the sign of the Mercy of God after his death, Imam replied, “ He will be my son, the namesake of the Holy Prophet (Muhammad Abul Qasim). He who died without knowing him will die the death of ignorance. His absence will be so lengthy that the ignorant will wander puzzled and would surely stray from the Right Path. But the Righteous shall remain steadfast and pray for their Imam to appear within their life time”.

All these predictions were recorded since the time of the Holy Prophet who himself prophesied the advent of the Mahdi. (Read this Hadith in the story of the 5th Imam).

As in the above saying of Imam Hussain (AS) that due to the excessive length of the concealment of the 12th Imam many believers will have doubts about his existence. Many will question the very longevity of his life and the usefulness of his presence as an Imam.
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