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HAZRAT IMAM MAHDI
(A.S.) -THE QURANIC VIEW



One of the
principles of faith that the Quran postulates and testifies is the principle
of the belief in Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and his characteristics. The Holy Quran
says: "We have not neglected anything in the
Book" (Anam: 38)


On another
occasion the book of Allah states:


"...and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly
everything (Nahl: 89)


It is naturally
incumbent upon the Quran not to remain silent upon such an important basic
principle; as the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has also called a person who does not
believe in Imam Mahdi (A.S.) an infidel. To explain the Quranic stand
regarding the belief in Mahdaviyat, numerous traditions have exegesised these
verses through both Shia as' ' well as Sunni chains of transmitters. These
traditions, clearly state that these verses are about Imam Mahdi (A.S.). The
book which has the best collection of Quranic verses that speak of Imam Mahdi
(A.S.) in the light of Sunni traditions and report, is 'Al Mahdi Fil Quran' written by
respected scholar Syed Sadiq Shirazi in 1978.


This book records
86 Quranic verses that are related to or concerning Hazrat Imam Mahdi (A.S.).
Hence the books of Able Sunnat are replete with such traditions along with the
chains of transmitters.


As far as the
Shia scholars are concerned, they have compiled numerous books on this
subject. The foremost and the oldest book is 'Al
Muhajja Feema Nazala-fil-Qaaemil Hujjah.' This book is written
by the great Shia scholar Allama Syed Hashim Behrani (1174 A.H.). In this
invaluable work of research, the author has recorded one hundred and twenty
Quranic verses that refer to Imam Mahdi (A.S.). He has relied upon the Shia
traditional reports making use of narration from Ahlul-Bait (A.S.). Certain
reliable scholars have carried out researches and concluded that the Book of
Allah contains 217 verses that speak explicitly about Hazrat Imam Mahdi
(A.S.) [Ref: Al-AyaatuI Baahira Fi Baqiyatil
ltratiut Taahira: written by Syed Dawood Meer
Sabiri]


In the present
discussion, we shall mention some of such verses about whom the exegesis and
the commentary states that they have been revealed concerning Hazrat Mahdi
(A.S.) (May Allah hasten his reappearance). We shall quote from both Shia as
well as Sunni books of hadith.


A. Quranic verses revealed about Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) as
recorded by the Sunni scholars


(1) Huzaifa bin
Yamani says : "One day I entered in the presence of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
and asked regarding the following verse,


" these are those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours from
among the prophets and the truthful and the witnesses and the good) and what a
good company are they!" (Nisa :
69)


I, (HazaifaYamani) asked as to who
are the people referred to in this verse?


The Holy Prophet
(S.A.W.) replied : "0 Huzaifa, the word 'prophets' upon
whom Allah has bestowed favours refers to me. I am the first of the prophets
who was selected for prophethood (before the creation of the world) and I am
the last of them to be sent to the world. The word 'truthful' refers to Ali
lbn Abi Talib (AS).


"When the Almighty Allah sent me as a Prophet, the first one to
testify for my Prophethood was Ali (A,S.) The word 'witnesses' implies Hamza
and Jafar at Tayyar (A.SJ. The word 'good' stands for the two chiefs of the
youths of Paradise, Hasan and Husain (AS.). The 'goodly company' refers to
Mahdi in his time. " (Shawahid utTanzeel by Haakim Haskani
1/135)


The last portion
of the hadith infers that these people in the time of Mahdi (A.S.) will be
associates of each other and will remain united. This report also indicates
the 'Rajat' (resurrection of the Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) in the era of the
reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (may Allah hasten his
reappearance).


(2) In a lengthy
tradition, Hazrat Imam Muhammad al Baqir (A.S.) describes the events of the
days of reappearance: "When Mahdi (A.S.) reappears his
back will rest on the wall of Kaaba. The scene would be such that he would be
surrounded completely by 313 of his most obedient and loyal supporters. The
first words that he shall utter would be the Quranic verse, "What
remains with Allah (Baqiyatullah) is better for you if you are
believers.. (Hud : 86)


"After this he shall declare, I am the Baqiyatullah, the divine vicegerent and
His proof upon you,' Later, whoever shall approach him, will salute him and
say, 'As Salamo Alaika Ya BaqiyatallaheFil Arz' (Salutations upon you, 0 the
Baqiyatullah upon the earth)." (Nurul Absar by
Syed Momin Shablanjee Shafaee exp. 172 A.H.)


(3) Hasan bin Khalid enquired about the following
verse from Hazrat Ali lbn Musa as Raza (A.S.):


"He (Iblis) said: My Lord! Then respite me till the time
when they are raised.


He (Allah)
said: So surely you are of the respited ones, till the
period of the time made known." (Hijr :
36-38)


The reporter
asked Imam (A.S.), "Does Shaitan request Allah for respite till the day of
Judgement and did Allah respite him till the appointed hour?" Imam Reza (A.S.)
replied, "The period of the time made known
refers to the day of the reappearance of our Qaem (A,S.)"
The Imam (A.S.) was further asked, "0 Son of the Prophet of Allah, which one
of you Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) is Qaem?"


He (A.S.)
replied, "He shall he from my fourth
generation. He would he the son of the chief of the maids of Allah. He will
cleanse the face of the earth of all types of injustice and tyranny and purify
it of all kinds of evils. "
(Faraaedus Simtain by Shaykhul Islam Hammui, Vol.
2)


In this exquisite
tradition the eighth Imam, Imam Reza (A.S.) has introduced Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
as his fourth descendant i.e. the twelfth Imam. He has also indicated that the
respected mother of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will be Narjis Khatoon. She is stated
to be the daughter of honorable parents but was sold as a slave
maid.


(4) It is
recorded from the great Sunni exegesist, Saeed bin Jubayr that he says
regarding the following verse:


"He it is who sent His Apostle with the guidance and the true
religion that He may make it prevail overall the religions; and Allah is
enough for a Witness." Path :
28


The phrase
'that He may make it prevail over all the religions' refers to the same
Mahdi (A.S.) who is from the progeny of Fatima az-Zahra (S.A.).


(Al Bayan Fi Akhbare Sahibizamaan Hafiz Ganji Shafaee, p. 73)


Hence the divine
promise that Islam shall prevail over all religions will be fulfilled only in
the period of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.).


(3) One of the
stalwarts among the writers of Able Sunnat, Hafiz Abu Jafar atTabari narates
from Zaid bin Arqam the companion of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) that he
said,


'When the Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.) was returning from the last Hajj, he halted at
Ghadeer-e-Khumm at the time of Zohr braving the extremely hot and scorching
sun. He led the Muslims in prayers and later delivered an eloquent and
meaningful sermon. In it, he recited the Quranic verse, "Therefore believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Light which
we have revealed..." (Surah Taghabun 64:
8). Then the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "0
People.! The Light that Allah has revealed is in me. After me in Ali (A.S.)
and after him in his progeny. Till this sequence reaches al-Qaem al'Mahdi
(A.S.)". (Maza ' Fi
at-Taarikh - Allama Qubaisi, 3/145-147)


Hence, this Light
is the light of divine guidance and that of the leadership of the Ummat. First
this light was present in the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) followed by Ameerul
Momineen Ali (A.S.) and after him it will continue to exist in his infallible
descendents till it reaches Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). All these lofty personalities
shall be the Divine Proofs.


(B) The Qaranic verses revealed about Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.)


According to the traditions recorded by Shia
authorities


(1) It is
reported from Yahya bin Abil Qasim: I asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) regarding
the divine statement - "Alif Lam, Mim. This Book,
there is no doubt in it) is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those
who believe in the unseen." Baqarah :
1,2.


The Imam (A.S.)
remarked, "those who guard (against evil) are
the Shias of Ali (A.S.) and the unseen infers the unseen proof (Imam)."
Our contention is corroborated by the following verse of the
Holy Quran; "And they say, why is not a sign sent to
hint from his Lord? Say; The unseen is only for Allah, there-fore wait -
surely I too with you am of those who wait."


[Yunus : 20.] (Ref:
Kamaluddin by Shaykh Sadooq, Vol. 2, p. 340)


It is evident
that the belief in the Hidden Proof, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his
reappearance) is one of the characteristic features of the Shias of Ali
(A.S.).


(2) Abu Jafar
Imam Muhammad al Baqir (A.S.) explains the following verse of the Holy
Quran:


"Those who, should we establish them in
the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid
evil; and for Allah is the end of affairs' [Hajj : 41]


He (A.S.) says,
"This verse concerns the progeny of Muhammad
(S.A.W.). The Almighty Allah will present the east and the west of the earth
in the service of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and his companions. He, the Almighty,
will make the Islamic religion universal and through Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and
his companions, ' eradicate innovations (in religion) and evil."
(Taweelul Ayaatiz Zaahirah,
P.343)


This ayat lays
the foundation of the reappearance, rising and the rule of Hazrat Imam Mahdi
(A.S.).


(3) When Abu
Basir asked Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.), the meaning of the following verse
:


"Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that
He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those
before them and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion
which He has chosen for them and that He will most certainly, after their
fear, give them security in exchange, (as) they serve Me (and) do not
associate aught with Me..." [Nur :
33]


Imam (A.S.)
replied, "This verse is revealed in connection
with al'Qaem (A.S.) and his companions".(Al-Ghaybah, p. 126)


This Quranic
verse about the reappearance and uprising of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) ~ the belief
common to Ahle-Sunnat too - mentions four characteristics and aims of the
universal rule of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.)
The
establishment of a Universal Government.
Absolute Power
to the religion of Islam.
The atmosphere
of complete security and peace.


The
annihilation of polytheism (Shirk).


(4) Muhammad bin
Abdullah bin Hasan enquired from Imam Muhammad al Baqir (A.S.) the meaning of
the following verse :


"And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as
for) the land. My righteous servants shall inherit it." (Anbiya : 105)


Imam Baqir (A.S.)
said, "The righteous servants in the last age
shall he the companions of Mahdi (AS.)" (Taaweelul Ayaatiz Zahira)


This verse
indicates that the glad tidings of the universal government of helpers and the
followers of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) has been mentioned in the Torah and the
Zaboor.


(3) Ammar-e-Yasir
(R.A.) has reported a lengthy tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) wherein
he has mentioned the lofty position and merits of Ali lbn Abi Talib (A.S.).
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) has stated in this narration that Hazrat Mahdi
(A.S.) would be a descendant of Ali (A.S.). In reply to the query of
Ammar-e-Yasir as to 'who is Mahdi' , the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said,
"0 Ammar! the Almighty Allah has promised me
that from the loins of Husain (A.S.) will be born nine Imams (a.s). The ninth
one of them shall he hidden from the public eye. For the same reason Allah
says, "Say; Have you considered if your water
should go down in the earth, -who is it then that win bring you spring of
flowing water (Mulk : 30)
For him (i.e. Mahdi (A.S.) the 12th
Imam) it would be such a prolonged occultation that a section of the people
would turn away from their belief. Whereas another section (of the people)
will remain firm steadfast. Then he will reappear and rise during the last
period (or time) and will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it
would be fraught with injustice and oppressions... " (Kifayatul Asar, p.l2)


This verse
compares the existence of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) to the underground spring of
flowing water, gushing forth from the earth. This brief discussion shows that
the Holy Quran contains the various aspects of the reappearance, occultation
as also the characteristics of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). All this is agreed upon by
both the Shia as well as the Sunni scholars who are most authoritative and
reliable.


May the Almighty Allah, by the intercession of his
dear ones, bring to an end the occultation of the last hope of Humanity,
hasten his reappearance and include us among his helpers and followers. Amen.


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