The Belief in Awaited Saviour (a.t.f.s.)

Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s) in the Holy Quran — A Sunni perspective

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In His Name and With the Remembrance of His Last Hujjat (a.t.f.s.)

imam_mahdi_by_ISLAMIC_SHIA_artistsAmeerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) prophesised, “The world would bend towards us after having been refractory just as the biting she-camel bends towards its young.”

A metaphoric remark that just as during the time of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) the apparent and esoteric ‘Vilayat’ (Mastership) were both found in his household, similarly at the time of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.)’s reappearance the apparent government and esoteric ‘Vilayat’ will be made ready for that leader.

Thereafter, he recited this verse:

وَنُرِيْدُ اَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِيْنَ اسْتُضْعِفُوْا فِىْ اْلاَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ اَئِمَّةً وَ نَجْعَلَهُمُ  الْوَارِثِيْنَ.

“And We desired to bestow a favour upon those who were rendered weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs.”

Ibne Abil Hadeed Mo’tazali in his commentary on Nahjul-Balagha explains: “Our companions mention that in this verse, Allah has promised the Imam and leader that he would have possession of the land and gain control over all the nations.”

In the seventh chapter of ‘Eqdud-Durar’, Abu Abdullah Noaim ibn Hammad narrates: Imam Abu Ishaaq Tha’labi while interpreting the coded alphabets حـمـعـسـق of the Holy Quran, has quoted Ibn-Abbas as saying: “ح – (the alphabet ‘h’) refers to the battle between Quraish and the slaves in which the Quraish would be the victors; م – (the alphabet ‘m’) refers to the kingdom and government of Bani-Umayyah; ع – (the alphabet ‘aa’) is the sign of exaltation and honour of Bani-Abbas; س – (the alphabet ‘s’) refers to the age of Mahdi and ق – (the alphabet ‘q’) is a symbolic sign of the coming of Isa at the time of Mahdi’s reappearance. The author says that some have interpreted (س) as the brightness of Mahdi and (ق) as the power of Isa-ibn-Maryam, (i.e. Jesus Christ).

Ibn Hajar interprets the Divine saying

“وانه لعلم للساعة” as follows:

‘Among the exegesists, Moqaatel-ibn-Sulaiman and his followers have said that this verse has been revealed concerning Imam Mahdi. As’aaf-ur-Raaghebin too has written the same on page 156.2

Shablanji narrates from Abu Abdullah Ganji thus: “About the interpretation of Allah’s words

لِيُظْهِرَه عَلَى الدِّيْنِ كُلِّه وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُوْنَ..

Saeed-ibn-Jubair says; ‘It refers to Imam Mahdi from the progeny of Fatemah – the one who, by decree of this verse shall dominate all other religions.

Khaja Kelaan Qundoozi relates from Manaqib-Khaarazmi from Jabir-ibn-Abdulla Ansari a lenghty incident wherein a Jew approaches the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and asks him various questions which results in his acceptance of Islam. One of the questions which the convert had asked was about the successors to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The Prophet replied that they were twelve in number. He named each of them till he reached the name of Imam Hasan al-Askari. Thereafter he said, ‘After him shall come his son Mohammad who will be known as Imam Mahdi, Qa’em and Hujjat.

He will go in occultation temporarily only to reappear again. On doing so he shall fill the earth with equity and justice which would be fraught with cruelty and oppression. Blessed are those who are patient during his occultation and blessed are those who are steadfast in their love towards him. They are those whom Allah has praised in His Book with the words:

هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِيْنَ الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَيْبِ.

“Quran is a guide to those who guard (against evil), those who believe in the unseen i.e. Imam Mahdi and his occultation.”

Also, Allah says:

اُوْلئِكَ حِزْبُ اللهِ اَلاَ اِنَّ حِزْبَ اللهِ هُمُ الْغَالِبُوْنَ.

“They are those who belong to the Party of Allah; Know that the Party of Allah are the victorious ones.”

Again, he quotes from the book of Faraaed-us-Simtain a tradition which Hasan-ibn-Khaalid has narrated from Abul Hasan Ali-ibn-Musa al-Reza (a.s.) about Imam Mahdi (a.s.) stating that he would be the fourth from his descendants. When he reappears, the earth would be engulfed with the Divine Light. Thereafter Imam continued: He is the one whose reappearance shall coincide with the voice of an announcer from the sky which shall be heard by all the inhabitants of the earth: ‘Know that the Hujjat (Proof) of Allah has appeared near the House of Allah. So follow him since the truth is in him and with him. The word of Allah too refers to the same.

اِنْ نَّشَأ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِمْ آية مِّنَ السَّمَاء فَظَلَّتْ اَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِيْنَ

“If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heavens so that their necks should stoop to it.”

Hakim Naishapuri in his Tafseer while interpreting the verse of (الَّذِيْنَ يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِالْغَيْبِ) says: “Some of the Shias believe that غيب (i.e. unseen) in this verse refers to Imam Mahdi, the Awaited one; the one abut whom Allah has promised in His Book,

وَعَدَ اللهُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوْا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِىْ اْلاَرْضِ

“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth.”

Moreover, about him the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has said the following:

“If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, Allah the Almighty will prolong the day till He raises, a person from my progeny, He will carry the same name as mine, shall appear and fill the earth with justice as it would be filled with injustice and oppression.”

Naishapuri further says that according to the Ahl-e-Sunnat, the afore-said verse hints at the Caliphate of the “Khulafa-e-Raashedeen” (rightly-guided Caliphs) because the word “منكم” in the holy verse indicates ‘among you which necessitates presence at the time of addressing. Also, it is well-known that those four caliphs (Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali) were men of faith and virtue and were present at that time. Consequently, the matter of caliphate and victory was certain for them. Therefore it becomes necessary to say that this verse refers to them.

Thereafter he says, “A group have gone against them arguing why it is not permissible to say that the word of “من” denotes exposition. They believe that succession over the earth implies possession and domination as in the case of Bani-Isra’il.”

Again he says: “Let’s accept that the term “من” denotes the meaning from you but on what basis is it not permissible to consider that ‘part’ is to denote the caliphate of Ali and say that “من” has been used here in its plural form just to accord honour and status to Ali or refers to Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his eleven successors.


One thought on “Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s) in the Holy Quran — A Sunni perspective

  1. JazakAllah Khair brother.
    No doubt the belief of the arrival of Imam Mahdi (a.s) is an integral part of Islamic Faith.

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