Has Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) reappeared?
Qadianism is the name of a sect which came into the existence at the outset of the twentieth century in the northern part of India with the help and connivance of imperialist Britain. The founder of this sect was a descendant of Mogul lineage viz. Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani (exp. 1908). He was an ordinary sunni who took undue advantage of the turmoil and chaotic conditions prevalent in the country and in the year 1891, he claimed that he himself is the promised Mahdi (A.S.) and Hazrat Isa (A.S.). Later in 1900 he also claimed prophethood.
The Muslim scholars and intellectuals have successfully exposed and unearthed the falsehood of Qadianism and particularly the claim of prophethood because since the inception of Islam, all Muslims firmly believe that Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (S.A.) is the last prophet of Islam.
As a result, in 1336 A.H. the great savants and scholars of 25 cities in a reply to a question declared that this sect is infidel and out of the realm of Islam. Similarly in the international conference of Rabita-al-Alam-al-Islami which was held in Rabi-ul-Awwal of 1394 (April 1974) in Mecca and which was attended by the learned scholars of 144 countries, passed an unanimous verdict that Qadianism is not an Islamic sect and undoubtedly termed it as infidel.
Since a lot of books have been written in refutation of the claim of prophethood and which are also easily available hence in this article, we will confine our discussion to the claim of Mahdaviyat, so that these pseudo Mahdis could be unmasked.
The baseless claim of Ghulam Ahmed regarding Mahdaviyat could be briefly summarized in three points.
1) Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) and Hazrat Isa (A. S.) are one and the same person.
2) It has been stated in the traditions that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will reappear in the fourteenth century.
3) Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani himself is Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and he is himself Hazrat Isa (A.S.).
These things are not only against the holy Quran and reliable traditions but are also contrary to the proven beliefs of all the sects and branches of Ahle-Sunnat. These points shall be scrutinized in the following paragraphs and their hollowness will be explained in due course.
1. IS HAZRAT MAHDI HIMSELF HAZRAT ISA (A.S) ?
This belief regarding Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is absolutely against the unanimous consensus of all
the Muslims. If someone will study those traditions pertinent to Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and are
recorded by the great Sunni scholars in their reliable books like Abdur Rehman Suyuti’ s (exp. 911 A.H.) book ‘Arful wardi fi Akhbaril Mahdi’ or Allama Muttaqi Hindi’s (exp. 975 A.H.) book ‘Al Burhaan fi Alamaat Mahdiye Akheri Zaman’ or Hafiz Ganji Shafei’s (exp. 658 A.H.) book ‘Al Bayan fi Akhbaare Saheb Zaman’ or Hafiz Yusuf Salmi Shafei’s (exp. 658 A.H.) book `Eqdud Durar fi Akhbaril-Al-Muntazar’ or Allameh Ahmed ibn Hajar Asqalani’s (exp. 974 A.H.) book ‘Al Qaulul Muktasar fi Alamaatil Mahdi Al Muntazar’ similar such scores of books can be quoted, wherein hundreds of traditions could be found which explicitly mentions that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) are two entirely different persons because:
1) Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) possesses the same name and same epithet as that of the Holy Prophet (S.A.). There are authentic traditions in this regard, for instance, Abdullah ibn Masud narrates this tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:
“The Hour (Qiyamat) will not arrive unless a man from my Ahle Bait wil I not achieve rulership, whose name will be same as mine.”
(Musnad Ahmed, Vol. 1, pg. 386, Sunane Tirmizi, Chap.52, tradition no. 2231).
Hence the name of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is Mohammad and not Isa.
2) Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is an Arab and from the clan of Quraish. He is from the progeny of the
Holy Prophet (S.A.) and a descendant of Hazrat Ali (A.S.) and Janab Fatema Zahra (S.A.). There are numerous authentic traditions even in this context. This narration is so widely known that a great Tabei, Qatada inquired from Janab Saeed ibn Musayyab, the companion of the Holy Prophet, that, “Is belief in Mahdi a factual truth?” When the reply was in affirmative, he further inquired: “From which tribe he will be?” The reply came “from Quraish.” He again asked, “From which branch of Quraish?” The reply was “from Bani Hashim.” Again he asked: “From which branch of Bani Hashim.?” He replied: “From Abdul Muttalib.” Yet again he inquired: “From which branch of Abdul Muttalib?” The inevitable reply was: “From the offspring of Fatema.”
(Eqdud-Durar Chapter 1, pg. 23)
Thus due to these characteristics Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) can never be regarded as Hazrat Isa (A.S.) because the later belonged to Bani Israel and preceded the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and Hazrat Fatema Zahra (S.A.) by hundreds of years. Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) descended from Hazrat Zahra (S. A.) while Hazrat Isa (A.S.) was the son of Janabe Maryam.
3) The reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) will be initiated from the Holy Kaabah, in the sacred city of Mecca. There are plenty of traditions in this regard too. While Hazrat Isa (A.S.) will descend from the sky in Eastern Damascus, Syria.
(Sahih-e-Muslim, chapter 20, tradition no. 2138, Sunane-Ibn-Majah, Vol. 33, tradition no.4075)
4) After the descension from the sky Hazrat Isa (A.S.) will pledge allegiance on the hands of
Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) and will pray namaz behind him. They will converse with each other. Even here traditions are in abundance. The Holy Prophet (S. A.) expressed pride over Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) on his being from his progeny in these words:
“The man behind whom Isa, the son of Maryam, will pray is from my progeny.”
(Al Burhan fi Alamaat Mahdi Akheriz Zaman, chap. 9, tradition 1, Al Munar Al Muruf, Sec. 50, tradition 337).
Keeping all these arguments and proofs in view which are accepted by all Muslims it becomes crystal clear that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) are two different personalities and considering them as one is an abjectly illogical conclusion.
The followers of Ghulam Ahmed instead of referring to such firm testimonies and reliable traditions are going after the ambiguous verses and fabricated traditions proving themselves to be among the condemned lot by Quran thus,
“WHOSE HEARTS ARE DEVIATED.”
(Ale Imran: 7)
They quote a tradition from Ibn Majah,
” Mahdi is none but Isa”,
which is regarded as pure fabrication by all the traditionalists of Ahle Sunnah and hence it is ignored by all. The expert in the science of narrators, Hafiz Zahabi has declared it as ‘ dislikeable’.
(Mizanul Etedaal, Vol. 3, pg. 535).
Ibn Khaldun in his Muqaddamah’, pg. 255, has named it ‘weak’ and ‘uncomfortable’.
The famous traditionalist Mohammad Siddiq Qanauji opined about the tradition that:
“The traditionalists have regarded it as a weak tradition because its draft is unclear and the chain of narrators is not reliable.”
(Al-Izaah, pg. 135)
The contemporary Sunni scholar Shafei states that:
“This tradition is not only weak but it is false, fabricated, mendacious and baseless. It is not such a tradition which can be ascribed to the Holy Prophet (S.A.) or to any of his veteran companions.”
Then he discusses this tradition in detail and examines the narrators of this tradition.
(Ihraaz-Al Wahn Al Maknun, pg. 583-589).
II. IS THE HOUR OF REAPPEARANCE APPOINTED?
The Qadiani’s have deceptively tried to prove that the reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) will take place in the fourteenth century. Whereas no such date is stipulated regarding the reappearance in the traditions. Only this much is mentioned that he will reappear in the last era before Qiyamat, when this world would be frought with injustice and oppression. A simile has been struck in the traditions between his advent and the arrival of doomsday referring to the abrupt nature of both. Also all those are declared to be vehement liars who stipulate the hour of his reappearance.
An eminent Shafei traditionalist, Shaikh Al-Islam Hamuiee (exp. 730 A. H.) quotes De’bal Khuzaiee who asked from Imam Ali Reza (A.S.) about the time of reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.); Imam Reza (A. S.) replied:
“This question pertains to the stipulation of a certain hour of his reappearance. While my father
has narrated from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A. S.) is exactly
like Qiyamat which will come at once and all of a sudden.”
(Faraedus Simtain, Vol. 2, pg. 237-338, tradition no. 591).
In another tradition the Holy Prophet (S.A.) stated that:
“The advent of Mahdi (A.S.) is like Qiyamat, no one knows about its time. Its occurrence will be very difficult and calamitous for the heavens and the earth, it will strike suddenly.”
(Faraedus Simtain, Vol. 2, pg. 237-338).
A narrator asked from Imam Baqir (A. S.),
“Is the time of the reappearance ordained?”
“Those who ordain a time for his reappearance are liars.”
(Al Kafi, Vol. 1, pg. 368, trad no. 5, Ghaibat e-Nomani, pg. 294, trad no. 13)
Imam Jafar As Sadiq (A.S.) said:
“Whosoever determines a time of Hazrat Mahdi’ s (A.S.) reappearance then belie him and do not be afraid of believing him because we have never determined the time of his reappearance”.
(Ghaihat-e-Nomani, pg. 289, trad no. 3, Ghaibat-e-Tusi, pg. 326, trad no. 414).
Imam Jafar As Sadiq (A.S.) spoke on another occasion that:
“Those who appoint a particular time for his reappearance are nasty liars. Neither did we appoint a time in the past nor shall we do the same in the future.”
(Ghaibat-e-Tusi, pg. 426, trad no. 412).
The conclusion drawn from the above mentioned traditions is that no one is aware of the time of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A. S.). Also Imams (A. S.) never determined a particular time for his reappearance. Moreover whoever fixes a time is but a liar. His reappearance will be abrupt just like the occurrence of Qiyamat.
III. IS GHULAM AHMED, MAHDI AND ISA TOO?
Keeping the foregone discussion in view it becomes clear that Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) and Hazrat
Isa (A. S.) are two separate and different persons. Hazrat Isa (A.S.) will pray namaz in the leader-
ship of Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) and swear allegiance to him Hence it is definitely impossible that
Mahdi and Isa could be one and the same person. At the most, for the sake of supposition, he may
either be Mahdi or Isa and not both. While Ghulam Ahmed is none of them. He is neither the
promised Mahdi of Islam nor the son of Maryam, Isa, which is more evident because he never claimed that like Hazrat Isa he was born without a father. He cannot be Mahdi even because:-
- Mahdi would be an Arab, Quraishi, Muttalibi, Fatemi and his name will be Mohammad. While Ghulam Ahmed is none of these, he was a Moghul and not a Quraishi, an Indian and not an Arab. His name was Ghulam Ahmed and not Mohammad.
- Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) will reappear from Mecca, Masjidul Haram, between Hajar-e-Aswad and Maqam-e-Ibraheem. While Ghulam Ahmed rose from Qadian (presently in Punjab, a province in Pakistan).
- Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) will not be under the sway of anybody, he will combat with all the tyrants and oppressors, eliminating them in the process. He will avenge the blood of the oppressed and the helpless. While Ghulam Ahmed was extremely faithful to the Britishers and prohibited to fight with the tyrants.
- Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will rule over the whole world, will obviate injustice and inequity from
each and every nook and corner of the world, while Ghulam Ahmed did not rule over even the entire Qadian and since his appearance, injustice and tyranny have increased in this world day by day.
- When Hazrat Mahdi (A. S.) will reappear then earth and skies will shower all their blessings, bounties will increase manifold, poverty and want will perish, no one will accept alms. While since the birth of Ghulam Ahmed Qadian blessings have haply reduced and poverty has multiplied to an immeasurable extent.
- When Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will come then whole world will become monotheistic and infidelity and polytheism will be doomed. The false religions will meet their end. The religion of Islam and its laws will reign supreme while with the coming of Ghulam Ahmed nothing as such has happened. Infidelity, polytheism and false religion are ruling the roost as ever and in fact have intensified their onslaughts.
- The era of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will be an era of prestige for the Muslims. Muslims will remove their mutual differences and live like brethren among themselves. Peace and tranquility will prevail everywhere, law and order will be established in the world while since Ghulam Ahmed has appeared Muslims are mercilessly massacred, their differences are scaling new heights. The law and order has declined to cipher.
These firm reasons make it absolutely evident that Ghulam Ahmed could never-never-never-never be the promised Mahdi of Islam.
Now the obvious question is that, “Then what was he?” The answer to this question could be provided by the following tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.):
“Such liars will appear in my nation who will narrate new (fabricated) traditions to you. Such novel traditions which you may not have heard of, even your forefathers would not have heard of those traditions. Beware of such fabricators lest they may mislead you.”
(Tafsir-e-Durrul-Mansur, Vol. 6, pg. 51, Sahib-e-Muslim, Vol. 1, pg. 12, tradition no. 7)