Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in Sihah Sitah
The belief in Imam Mahdi (A.S.) has been a topic of debate since the very inception of Islam. Most of the Islamic scholars are so deeply drowned in the pit of prejudice that they deny the existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in its entirety. They assert that it is an idea fabricated by the Shias which has no origin either in Quran or in Prophetic traditions and is an unfounded belief. As far as Quran is concerned, time and again in several articles of Yamahdi.com we have proved the point. God-willing in this article we shall try to prove the holy existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the Prophetic traditions. We shall also try to establish that not only this belief is not concocted by Shi'te zealots but it is such a foundation of Islam which cannot be rejected. The Holy Prophet (S.A.) and his companions were awaiting such a 'Reformer' who will establish justice and equity in the world and thus fulfill the Divine Promise of "so that it (Islam) may prevail upon all the religions" (Quran).
Why Sihah Sittah?
Often it happens that when Shia Scholars bring some proofs, then immediately the Sunni learned men retort by, "If you prove it from Sehah-e-Sittah we will believe. We believe only in the references of Sehah-e-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 umpteen Sunni beliefs are not to be found in Sehah-e- Sittah. For instance the belief in 'Ashrae Mubashshirah', these are those ten 'fortunate' companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) who were promised paradise in their lifetime. But, this belief Of Ahle-Sunnat is not to be found in any of the Sehah. Nevertheless in order to exhaust the arguments, we will confine our references and citations from Sehah Sittah alone.
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is from the Holy Ahlebait (A.S.)
1- Hafiz Abu Abdullah Mohammad bin Yazid Al Qazvini narrates in his 'Sunane-Ihn Majah' that Hazrat Ali (A.S.) related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :
"The Mahdi is from us Ahlebait, Allah shall organize his affairs within one night."
(Sunane-lbn Majah, Kitabul Fitan, Tradition No. 4085). Bukhari has quoted the same tradition ditto in his 'Tarikh' but only Allah knows who advised him against quoting the tradition in his 'Sahih'.
2- Saeed bin Musayyab relates that once we were sitting in the company ofUmme Salmah (R.A.) when we mentioned about Mahdi, she replied that I have heard the Holy Prophet (S.A.) saying :
"The Mahdi is from the offspring of Fatema."
3- Anas bin Malik related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that
"We, the progeny of Abdul Muttalib viz. I, Hamza, Ali, Jafar, Hasan, Husain and Mahdi are the chiefs of inhabitants of Paradise."
4- Abu Isa Mohammad bin Sauda narrates in his Sahihe-Tirmizi, that the Holy Prophet (S.A.) said :
"The world will not perish unless a man from my progeny will not rule on the land of Arabs—-."
(Sahihe-Tirmizi, Kitabul Fitan, Chapter of The Reports on Mahdi', Tradition No. 2230.)
Abu Isa opined that the tradition is also quoted from Ali (A.S.), 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 (A.S.) itself speaks volumes about the importance of the subject.
There are numerous such traditions from the Holy Prophecy (S.A.) which proclaim that the Mahdi will be only from Ahlebait (A.S.) and none else. Two conclusions can be derived from such traditions. Firstly, Haznit Mahdi (A.S.) is not an ordinary person. He is such an extraordinary and sublime person of whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.) is proud. He (S.A.) heaves a breathe of pride when he announces that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is from his own progeny. Secondly, these traditions exposed and unmasked all those importers and pseudo-Mahdi is who were neither related to the Holy Prophet (S.A.) nor were in any way linked to his Ahlebait (A.S.).
The Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) Is Inevitable
Some persons reject the existence and the reappearance of Imam-e- Zaman (A.S.) because of his concealed birth, occultation and longevity.
Today when the majority of the Islamic sects are scoffing at us because we are convinced of the existence of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) then it should not be in the least surprising because the believers were always made the target of mockery. (For details refer to Holy Quran). The Holy Prophet (S.A.) had spoken a lot about Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and declared emphatically that Qiyamat will never occur unless Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) does not arrive. Thus it has been quoted from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) 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 'Sehah-e-Sittah'. Often a question arises
that why always a similarity is struck between the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) 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 (A.S.) 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." (Araf:81)
Hence if Qiyamat is an irrefutable reality then the advent of Mahdi too is an incontrovertible fact.
Secondly the belief in Mahdaviyat 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 Mahdaviyat is like the abnegation of a basic fundamental of Islam, and denial of any of the fundamentals of Islam is infidelity. All the same, Khwaja Kalan Qunduzi Hanafi narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet that :
"The one who denied the reappearance of Mahdi (A.S.) then it is as if he has disbelieved in all that which was revealed upon the (Prophet) Mohammad (S.A.)."
Is there any further proof required? The conclusion which is derived after keen perusal of logical and traditional reasoning is that any one who denies the existence or the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) will be an infidel and not a Muslim.
Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) 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 Sehah Sittah whenever Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) 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 equity as it would be fraught with injustice and inequity. For instance
"He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be rife with tyranny and oppression". (Sunane-Abi Daud, Tradition Nos. 2283, 4282) It can be inferred from these traditions that the purpose of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) 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 (S.A.) and his epithet will be same as that of the Prophet (S.A.). It will be the era of the fulfillment of Divine promises such as :
"... The last era is for the pious men" (Araf:127) and
"... So that if (Islam) may prevail upon all religions though the polytheists may resent." (Tauba : 33)
and people will realize the truth of the following verse :
"Say ('0 Prophet) truth has come and falsehood vanished, Surely falsehood was bound to vanish." (Bani Israil; 80)
An Emphatic Command For The Believers:
The revolution of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) 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 unparallel revolution Hazrat Mahdi (A.S ) 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 (S.A.) had laid emphasis on the believers to aid and assist Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) when he reappears. He (S.A.) put the same in the following words:-
"So if you will see him then pledge allegiance to him even if you have to crawl on an iceberg because he is the Caliph of Allah, the Mahdi." (Sunane-lbne-Majah, Tradition No. 4084)
It can be inferred from this tradition that it has been stressed to assist Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) in all conditions, either in comfort or calamity. Alas ! the Muslims slaughtered the one whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.) regarded as his son in Karbala and denied the existence of one in whom he reposed all his hopes and expectations. Only Allah knows how this community will face Him and His Prophet (S.A.) on the day of Qiyamat.
Anyhow, all the topics discussed over here are extracted from Sehah-e-Sittah which are unchallengeable and undeniable. For, a majority of Sunni scholars agree that whoever dared to reject or question Sehah-e-Sittah has intact repudiated the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and has consequently disbelieved in Islam. Also it can be noticed that those compilers of Sahih who have not narrated the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) in their books have quoted the same in their other books. If any of the Sehah does not contain a proper and adequate narration about him then it does not cast any serious impact on the veracity of the beliefs in Imam Mahdi (A.S.), because in other Sehah it has been related redundantly. Here it was mentioned only to apprise others that even Sehah-e-Sittah is not devoid of the traditions regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). This much should suffice to those who are skeptical of the veritahility of this pristine belief.