MAHDAVIYAT

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


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Ghaibat – In the light of Holy Quran

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

Numerous ayats of the Holy Quran mention about the Ghaibat of previous Prophets (a.s.) as well as Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.).

Holy Quran itself says:

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَا إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures — none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.

(Anam: 59)

But to understand everything about Quran, Allah has sent Prophets (a.s.).

وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ

“We revealed to you the Book so that you may explain to them what has been revealed.”

(Surah Nahl: 44)

About 200 ayats of Quran are connected to the topic of Mahdaviyat. Here we will discuss five ayats.

2:1-3

الم ﴿١﴾ ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿٢﴾ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

“This book, there is no doubt in it is a guide to those who guard against evil. Those who believe in the ghaib and keep up prayer and spend out what we have given them.”

Under this ayat, Yahya bin Abil Qasim narrates from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) says, “Muttaqee’ implies the shia of Ameerul Momeneen Ali ibn Abi Taleb (a.s.) and ‘Ghaib’ implies to Imam Zamana (i.e. Imam Zamana will be in Ghaibat). And then he (a.s.) quoted another ayat, ‘And they say: Why is not a sign sent to him from his Lord? Say: The unseen is only for Allah therefore wait; surely I too with you am of those who wait. (Yunus: 20)

(Kamaluddin, 1/18, Yanabial Mawwadda 508)

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Ghaibat — an era of trepidation for Imam (a.s.)

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In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

We had said that Imam Sajjad (a.s.), while drawing similarities between Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) and the Prophets (a.s.), had compared his ‘trepidation and occultation’ to that of Prophet Moosa (a.s.).[1]

Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) while briefing Kumayl says:

اللّٰهُمَّ بلٰى لأَ تَخْلَوَا الأَرْضُ مِنْ قَائِمِ للهِ بِحُجَّةِ اِمّا ظَاَهِراً مَشْهُوْرًا
وَ اِمّا خَائِفًا مَغْمُوْرًا

O My Allah (this is certain) never will this world be devoid of a Divine Proof notwithstanding if he is manifest or recognized or whether he is in a state of fear or angst hidden from the eyes of the people.[2]

In some narrations the word ‘Fear’ (خائف) has been categorically used for Hazrat Baqiyatullah (a.s.). As Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says:

“There will be an occultation before reappearance for Qaem (a.s.).” Zorarah says, ‘I asked Imam: Why?’ Imam replied: “He will be apprehensive of being killed.[3]

One of the reason of Imam’s (a.s.) fear is the apprehension of being killed. This fear isn’t a psychological fear or uneasiness or in negative sense. But instead it is a question of insecurity. It was on the basis of insecurity that Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) had exited Egypt. As Holy Quran says: فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّب (Moosa) exited from the city in fear, and awaiting.

The prayer which follows Ziyarat-e-Aale Yaseen, in this too, Imam (a.s.) is referred to as the ‘vigilant and fearful’

(اَلْمُرتَقَبَ الْخَا ئِف).

We are aware that Imame-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) is from the treasures of Allah and gift of all the glad tidings given by the Prophets and there are lot of responsibilities on him. Like establishing justice and for that it is also necessary that he protects himself. More so, the oppressors and tyrants have narrowed down the living space and hence Imam (a.s.) had to go into seclusion. His father and grand fathers were martyred either by sword or poison and it is for this that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) was compelled to agree and live his life far from the clutches of the oppressors. The cause for this insecurity is due to non-availability of companions and helpers.

There could be other reasons for Imam’s (a.s.) fear. For instance the apprehension of a long extended occultation. Or the fear of delay in his reappearance. Another reason for Imam’s (a.s.) apprehension could be the believers who may become the victims of difficulties and afflictions in the era of occultation and as a consequence find themselves in Iblees’ trap and stray from the straight path of Imamate.

Allah has promised.

وَ لِيُبَدِّ لَنَّهُمْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ اَمْنًا

 He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange.[4]

[1] Al Muhajjatul Al Baizaae, Tradition 4, Page 338

[2] Nahjul Balagah saying 139

[3] Kamaaluddin 2-281 (chapter 44)

[4] Surah Nur (24): 55


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Ghaibat — an era of confinement for Imam Mahdi (a.s.)

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A few traditions clearly talk about Imam (a.s.) being ‘bounded’ while in occultation. In some other instances, based on the discourses of the Infallibles (a.s.), it is indicated that Imam (a.s.) is ‘bounded’ as Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:

The Master of Affairs will have four signs of four Prophets in him. The signs of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.), Hazrat Eisa (a.s.), Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).

The sign of Hazrat Moosa in him will be the fear and the distressed state. The sign of Yusuf (a.s.) in him will be like staying in confinement. The sign of Hazrat Eisa (a.s.) will be that the people will divided over giving him his right. Some will say he has died while others will say he hasn’t died and he will rise with the sword like Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.).[1]

Imam Husain (a.s.), too, says:

“My ninth son (from his lineage) will have signs of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) in him.[2]

Based on this the Infallibles (a.s.), in their supplications, have prayed for Imam-e-Asr’s (a.t.f.s.) ‘deliverance’ (فرج) and ‘happiness.’

In one of his detailed supplications, which he taught to his companion Abdullah ibn Sinan on the day of Aashura, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) prayed:

اَللّٰهُمَّ وَ عَجِّلْ فَرَجَ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّاجْعَلْ صَلَوَاتِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَاسْتَنْقِذْهُمْ مِنْ اَيْدِى الْمُنَافِقِيْنَ وَالْمُضِلِّيْنَ وَالْكَفَرَةِ الْجَاحِدِيْنَ

O My Allah! Hasten the appearance of Aale Muhammad and keep Your benediction on them and save him from the hypocrites, deviants and spiteful disbelievers.[3]

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:

His resemblance with Yusuf (a.s.) is that, like how Allah had solved his problem in a moment [Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) had rightly predicted the dream of the Egyptian emperor as a consequence he was released from prison). Similarly, the order of reappearance and waiting will be informed in a moment.[4]

In certain sentences of the salawat of Abul Hasan Zarrab from of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) it has come:

وَ خَلِّصْهُ مِنْ اَيْدِى الْجَبَّارِيْنَ

(O Allah), save him [Imam Mahdi (a.s.)] from the hands of the tyrants.

In his correspondences with Sheikh Mufeed (a.r.), Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) has used the words ‘فَمَا يَحْبِسُنَا’ which means that he has included the reprehensible actions and characters of his Shias for his confinement.

The moments of imprisonment passing in occultation

Pray that the duration of this time lessens

Every passing second of it is like being in jail

Have some sympathy on your lovers…O Master!

[1] Alamat wal Tabseerat 94

[2] Al Muhajjatul Al Baizaae, Tradition 4, Page 338

[3] Behaarul Anwaar 101-305; Sahife Mahdi 241-247

[4] Kamaluddin : 1-329 (chapter 32, Tradition 14)


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Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is the distressed one

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

While interpreting this verse of Holy Quran:

أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ‌ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ

Or, Who answers the distressed one when he calls upon Him.

Imam Jafar Sadeq (a.s.) says: This verse is revealed about the Qaem (a.s.) from the progeny of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). By Allah he is the distressed one. He will offer two units (rakat) of prayers near Maqame Ibrahim and pray to Allah. Allah will answer his prayers and remove his difficulties and shall make him the Caliph on the earth.”

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:

By Allah! He [Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) ] is so distressed that is said about him ‘Or Who answers…It is for this reason we recite in Dua-e-Nudba:

اَيْنَ الْمُضْطَرُّ الَّذِي يُجَابُ إِذَعَا؟

Where is the distressed who is answered when he calls upon Allah?

In the explanation of this statement it is said: Any person who holds a position or a rank, however, after being delegated to the rank has been kept away from this status by the people who have usurped his position and stop him from doing his duty and he does not have the authority to exercise his rights and many of his enemies do not want him to perform his duty or mission then such a person is called مضطر (the distressed one).

Now, what can be more distressing in the universe than the fact that the Divine Proof of Allah (a.s.) and the Preacher of Holy Quran and religious commandments, even though present, has been left watching from the sidelines how the oppressive, tyrant rulers — hypocrites and those given to debauchery — wish to distort the Holy Quran and finish off the traditions and customs of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.). Furthermore, they want to change the face of Islam and cause harm to their lovers and followers and make them an object of ridicule and insults.[16]

We read the following words in the famous recommended dua of Imam-e-Asr’s (a.t.f.s.) first deputy:

So, O My Lord, the One who dismisses adversities. When a distressed person calls upon You, You accept his plea and free him from his grief and agony. Therefore, remove the adversities of Your Friend.


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Twelve hundred years of solitude! The loneliness of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)

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In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

My Master! My lonely and beleaguered Master! The distressed son of Fatemah! The chief of Aale Muhammad (a.s.)! The benevolent father of the universe!

I wish to discuss your loneliness. Aloneness that has continued for twelve hundred years. That loneliness over which the sky and the earth weep incessantly. That lonesomeness which even your followers fail to comprehend. That solitude over which your ancestors (a.s.) had grieved over even before your birth.

I am at loss and don’t know with which chapter to begin this ode. Which volume of this moving book should I pick. Which line, which page and which lesson should I read. This picture — of sorrow and loneliness — has weakened me.

Where do I begin? Should I express this saga in my own words or in someone else’s? Should I tell the past generations, complain with the present ones or the enemies? Should I make a complaint with the masses or the noble classes? Should I speak with those who offend you?[1] Should I talk to those who interpret your merciful and compassionate hands as hands that will shed blood? Should I protest with those who introduce your flashing sword in such a manner that even your friends feel intimidated? Or should I have a word with those who say you are not reachable for the masses? Or should I address those who feel seeing you is impossible? Or should I talk to those who invite people towards their desires in your name? Or should I talk to those who give hope to people of your coming but they themselves assume that your reappearance is far-off? Should I have a word with those who describe you as per their fancies and not as your holy being actually is? Should I complain to those who take your occultation as a state of your non-existence. Continue reading


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The days of his occultation will be lengthy…

In His Name And With The Remembrance of His Last Proof (a) on Earth

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali bin Hatim Naufali alias Kermani: Narrated to us Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Isa Washsha Baghdadi: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Tahir [Qummi]: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Najr bin Sahl Shaibani: Informed us Ali bin Harith from Saeed bin Mansur Jaushini: Informed us Ahmad bin Ali Budaili: Informed us my father from Sadeer

Sairafi that he said:

“I, Mufaddal bin Umar, Abu Baseer and Aban bin Taghlib came to our master Abi Abdullah as-Sadiq (a.s.) and saw him sitting on the floor and covered with Khaibari sheet made of hair, his neck was open and his sleeves folded up. He was crying like a mother who laments the death of her only son. The signs of sorrow were apparent from his face and its effects were spread on his cheeks.

Tears had moistened the hollows of his eyes and he was saying: My master, your occultation has taken away my night’s sleep, it has narrowed my bed for me, and has snatched away the solace from my heart. My master your occultation has turned my tragedies into the atrocities of eternity!

The loss of one after the other perishes a crowd and a multitude. No more I feel the tear that drops from my eye, and the moon that faintly leaves my chest from the places of tragedies and past calamities except that it exemplifies before my eye the greatest and cruelest of catastrophes, the most dismal and disdainful mishaps, mixed with your wrath, and calamities coupled with your anger.”

Sudair says: Our hearts and minds were overwhelmed by that terrifying scene and mortifying view. We thought that it is the sign of a dreadful shattering or times have brought him a calamity. So we said, “May Allah, O son of the best of the creation, never bring tears into your eyes. For what incidents are your eyes pouring and your tears raining and what situation has led you to this mourning?”

Sudair says: As-Sadiq (a.s.) took a deep sigh that his chest expanded and his fright enhanced, and he said, O, you, I looked at the Book of al-Jafr this morning, and that is the book that encompasses the knowledge of deaths, trials and tribulations and the knowledge of all that has been and all that will be until the Day of Judgment, which Allah, glory to His name, has exclusively imparted to Muhammad and the Imams after him, peace unto him and them. I viewed therein the birth of our Qaim and his disappearance and its protraction and the length of his lifespan and the trials of the believers through him and after him in that period and the generation of doubts in their hearts from the length of his disappearance and the apostasy of most of them from their religion and their removing the cord of Islam from their necks, about which Allah, glory to His name, has said, We have fastened to every man’s neck his fateful bird which is the Wilayah. So emotions overpowered me and griefs overwhelmed me.”

We said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, dignify us and bestow honor upon us by sharing some of what you know from the knowledge.” Continue reading


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The Ghaibat (Occultation) of Prophet Idrees (a.s.)

 In His Name And With The Remembrance of His Last Proof (a.t.f.s.) on Earth

Among the first occultations is the well known occultation of Prophet Idrees (a.s.). His occultation was so much prolonged that his followers fell into dire circumstances and the tyrant ruler of that time killed some of them; while some he subjected to poverty and terror. After that Prophet Idrees (a.s.) reappeared and promised the removal of the travails of his Shias (followers) through the uprising and Jihad of one of his descendants, that is Prophet Nuh (a.s.). Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime raised up Idrees (a.s.) towards Himself. And century after century his followers continued to wait for the advent of Nuh (a.s.), one generation after another. And during that time they continued to bear with patience the humiliating oppression of the tyrant rulers till the prophethood of Nuh (a.s.) became apparent.

Shaikh e Saduq (a.r.) narrates the parable of Prophet Idrees (a.s.) in his Kamal-al-deen in these words: Narrated to us my father, and Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid; and Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil – may Allah be pleased with them – they said: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: and Abdullah bin  Ja’far Himyari; and Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar who said: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa; and Ibrahim bin Hashim, all of them from Hasan bin Mahboob from Ibrahim bin Abi Bilaad from his father from Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali al-Baqir (a.s.) that he said: Continue reading