Friday, 15 September 2017

Imamat, Mahdi (A.S) In The View Of The Ahl e Bait (A.S)

The basic faith in the coming of a redeemer is a general human thought and is not limited to a certain religion or sect.  Based on this we can answer obscurities like Shiism being the only sect believing in this truth, considering it a myth or referring it to the Jews.
Religion is actually the more complete term for human truths and Islam is a more complete term for religious truths and the Ahlul-Bait’s (P.B.) school of thought is the more complete term for Islamic truths.  Therefore, the difference between the Khulafa school of thought and the Ahlul-Bait (P.B.) school of thought on the concept of Mahdi is that the Khulafa school of thought has an incomplete belief in it and the school of thought of the Ahlul-Bait (P.B.) has the most complete form belief in this concept.

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One of the features of the concept of Mahdi in the thought of the Ahlul-Bait (P.B.) is that it is not considered a simple concept, but it is connected to the belief in the twelve Imams that is a continuous movement from the demise of the Holy Prophet (P.B.) until the coming of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) and is interlinked with the true life of man.  In this article we will discuss the concept of Mahdi in the Ahlul-Bait’s view from three angles: belief, its features and advantages in the Ahlul-Bait school of thought, and its effects and results in the individual and social levels.
I. Proving the Concept of Mahdi from the Ahlul-Bait’s Viewpoint
There are hundreds of traditions from the Holy Prophet (P.B.) that specify the Mahdi and declare him to be from the Ahlul-Bait (P.B.), a son of Fatima (P.B.), a progeny of Imam Husain Ibn Ali (P.B.), and one of the twelve successor. Other than the quantity of the traditions (some authors have gathered up to two hundred and seventy traditions from Shiite and Sunni sources), there are other evidences that prove the legitimacy of this belief.

The fact that Bukhari, one of the greatest Sunni narrators, has narrated traditions on this subject is itself a proof.  He lived at the time of Imam Jawad (P.B.) and Imam Hadi (P.B.), which shows that even before all the twelve Imams had came to, it had been known through the traditions from the Holy Prophet (P.B.) that he will be the twelfth Imam. 

It is interesting that in Sahih Muslim alone, this matter has been narrated through seven trends of narration.

Now we must see what the Sunnis have interpreted these twelve predecessors.  There are two possibilities why the Holy Prophet (P.B.) has mentioned his face.  It is either that he wanted to merely foretell the future events (foretelling interpretation), or the Holy Prophet (P.B.) actually meant to specify his predecessors (ideological interpretation).  The Khulafa school of thought legitimatised the system of caliphate and falsified appointment from the start, and interpreted all the evidence differently.  We ask that if the Holy Prophet (P.B.) only wanted to predict the future, why did he only pointed out twelve?

If by these twelve he only meant the legitimate caliphs, they were only four and if he meant all of them they were more than that number.  This is why many Sunni scholars have tried to specify twelve individuals out of all the caliphs, but they haven’t been able to reach an agreement as of now.  In his book Al-Hawi, Soyuti writes: “There has not yet been an agreement among the entire Islamic nation on any twelve figures.”

In addition, it is noted in the traditions that these twelve Imams will cover the time span between time of the Prophet’s (P.B.) demise and the end of the world.  For instance, a narration in one of the Sunni sources says: “This religion will not parish as long as it’s supported by twelve men from Koreish.  Then when they die the earth will ripple its people.”[1]  And of course, such an event did not take place after Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz.
Another of the proofs for the ideological interpretation is the fact that statements like “they are all from Bani Hashim” can be found even in the Sunni sources.  Of course, there are traditions that are stated differently: “they are all from Koreish,” but these statements seem to be alterations.  The reason for this is that at the end of the narration it has been stated that some people started shouting loudly in order to create a diversion so others won’t be able to here the Holy Prophet (P.B.).

BY Ali Islami

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