Mahdi in Sihah Sitta – Part III

The belief in Imam Mahdi (as) has been a topic of debate since the very inception of Islam. Some of the Islamic scholars deny the existence of Imam Mahdi (as) in its entirety. They assert that it is an idea fabricated by the Shiahs which has no origin either in Quran or in traditions from the Holy Prophet (sawa) and is an unfounded belief. On this site, we have put up several articles which highlight that the belief in Imam Mahdi (as) is death in the Quran through a wide range of topics. In this article we shall try to prove the holy existence of Imam Mahdi (as) from traditions – exclusively from Sihah Sitta.

Why Sihah Sittah?

The Sihah Sittah are considered by Ahle Sunnah as the most reliable books in Islam after the Holy Quran. While discussing any topic with the Ahle Sunnah, it is not uncommon to hear “If you prove it from Sihah Sittah we will believe. We believe only in the references of Sihah Sittah and nothing else.”

How far their reply is correct or incorrect is beyond the limits of this article. But it will not be out of place to mention that many beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah are not found in Sihah Sittah. For instance the belief in ‘Ashrae Mubashshirah’, these are those ten ‘fortunate’ companions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) who were promised paradise in their lifetime. But this belief of Ahle Sunnah is not found in any of the Sihah. Nevertheless in order to exhaust the arguments, we will confine our references and citations from Sihah Sittah alone.

Imam Mahdi (as) is from the Holy Ahle Bayt (as)

Hafiz Abu Abdullah Mohammed bin Yazid al-Qazvini narrates in Sunan Ibne Majah that Hazrat Ali (as) related from the Holy Prophet (sawa) that, “The Mahdi is from us Ahle Bayt, Allah shall organize his affairs within one night.”

(Sunan Ibne Majah, Kitabul Fitan, tradition no. 4085). Bukhari has quoted the same tradition in his ‘Tarikh’ but only Allah knows who advised him against quoting the tradition in his ‘Sahih’.

Saeed bin Musayyab relates that once we were sitting in the company of Umme Salmah (ra) when we mentioned about Mahdi, she replied that I have heard the Holy Prophet (sawa) saying, “The Mahdi is from the offspring of Fatemah.”

Anas bin Malik related from the Holy Prophet (sawa) that, “We, the progeny of Abdul Muttalib – I, Hamza, Ali, Jafar, Hasan, Husayn and Mahdi are the chiefs of inhabitants of Paradise.”

Abu Isa Mohammed bin Sauda narrates in his Sahih Tirmizi, that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “The world will not perish unless a man from my progeny will not rule on the land of Arabs…” (Sahih Tirmizi, Kitabul Fitan, Chapter of The Reports on Mahdi, tradition no. 2230)

Abu Isa opined that the tradition is also quoted from Ali (as), Abu Saeed Umme Salma and Abu Huraira. This is a correct and authentic tradition. Apart from this, classifying a separate chapter in his Sahih about Hazrat Mahdi (as) itself speaks volumes about the importance of the subject.

There are numerous such traditions from the Holy Prophecy (sawa) which proclaim that the Mahdi will be only from Ahle Bayt (as) and none else. Two conclusions can be derived from such traditions.

Firstly, Hazrat Mahdi (as) is not an ordinary person. He is such an extraordinary and sublime person of whom the Holy Prophet (sawa) is proud. Secondly, these traditions expose and unmask all those impostors and pseudo-Mahdis who were neither related to the Holy Prophet (sawa) nor were in any way linked to his Ahle Bayt (as).

The Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) Is Inevitable

Some persons reject the existence and reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) because of his concealed birth, occultation and longevity. However, the Holy Prophet (sawa) spoke a lot about Hazrat Mahdi (as) and emphatically declared that Qiyamat will not occur unless Hazrat Mahdi (as) arrives. Thus it has been quoted from the Holy Prophet (sawa) that, “If a single day remains from the age of this world then Allah will prolong that day to such an extent that, He will raise a man from my progeny on that particular day.”(Sunane-Abi Daud, Kitabul Mahdi, tradition no. 4282)

There are numerous such traditions in the books of Sihah Sittah. Often a question arises that why always a similarity is struck between the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) and the occurrence of Qiyamat ?

The reason is that Qiyamat is one of the promises of Allah, the Almighty, who always fulfills His promises. Similarly, Hazrat Mahdi (as) is also one of the promises of Allah. Hence occasionally, he is also referred as ‘Mahdi-e-Mauood’ (The Promised Mahdi) whose advent is mentioned in the Holy Quran in the following words, “O Prophet say) Then await certainly I am awaiting too.” (Chapter of Araf, verse 81)

Hence if Qiyamat is an irrefutable reality then so is the advent of Mahdi (as).

Secondly the belief in the Mahdi is one of the fundamentals of Islam and as much a basic principle as Qiyamat is. This purports that the denial of the belief in Imam Mahdi is like the denial of a basic fundamental of Islam, and denial of any of the fundamentals of Islam is infidelity. All the same, Khwaja Qunduzi Hanafi narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet that, “The one who denied the reappearance of Mahdi (as) then it is as if he has disbelieved in all that which was revealed upon the (Prophet) Mohammed (sawa).”

Hazrat Mahdi (as) and Justice

Whenever the Holy Quran has mentioned about the aims of Prophets then it has mentioned about the establishment of justice as a chief objective of their mission. As it is said in the Holy Quran that, “So that man may deal with justice.”

In Sihah Sittah whenever Hazrat Mahdi (as) is mentioned, then along with it, his attributes also have been described. One of these descriptions is that when he will come, he will fill the earth with justice and equality as it would be fraught with injustice and inequality. For instance, “He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be rife with tyranny and oppression.” (Sunane Abu Dawood, traditions 2283 and 4282)

It can be inferred from these traditions that the purpose of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) is the dissemination of justice. Secondly, when he will arrive then injustice and oppression would be rampant in the world. The oppressors would be obeyed and the disbelievers would be disgraced. There will he only one person who will turn the tide whose name will be on the name of Holy Prophet (sawa) and his epithet will be same as that of the Prophet (sawa). It will be the era of the fulfillment of Divine promises such as :

“… The last era is for the pious men” (Chapter of Araf, verse 128) and

“… So that it (Islam) may prevail upon all religions though the polytheists may resent.” (Cahper of Tawbah, verse 33)

and people will realize the truth of the following verse :

“Say (O Prophet) truth has come and falsehood vanished, Surely falsehood was bound to vanish.” (Chapter of Bani Israel, verse 80)

An emphatic command for the believers

The revolution of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not be an ordinary one. It will bring a sea change in the cosmic order in its wake. It is evident that for bringing about such an unparalleled revolution Hazrat Mahdi (as) will need a legion of companions who are determined and can endure all sorts of untold calamities in their way. Perhaps for this reason the Holy Prophet (sawa) had laid emphasis on the believers to aid and assist Hazrat Mahdi (as) when he reappears. The Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “So if you will see him then pledge allegiance to him even if you have to crawl on snow because he is the Caliph of Allah, the Mahdi.” (Sunan lbne Majah, tradition no. 4084)

It can be inferred from this tradition that it has been stressed to assist Hazrat Mahdi (as) in all conditions, either in comfort or calamity.

Read more about Imam Mahdi in the Ahle Sunnah

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