Belief in Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and the books of Ahle Tasannun
It is a known reality – and not a hidden fact – that the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is a unanimously accepted belief among Islamic scholars. But some of the enemies of Ahle Bait (a.s.) – through their evil propaganda and satanic insinuations – have recently tried to show that the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is a un-Islamic belief. They have tried to portray that it is a purely Shia belief. Thus, in this brief article we will discuss those books of Ahle Tasannun that have been entirely dedicated to the subject of the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.s.). These books have been compiled by renowned and famous scholars of the Ahle Tasannun and are accessible even today. However, it is appropriate to declare that these books have been referenced from the library of the great scholar Allama Shaikh Abdul Husain Amini (r.a.) the author of the magnum opus Al-Ghadeer. All these books have been compiled in the Arabic language. The honour for the compilation of this list belongs to the great researcher and the blessed scholar Marhoom Sayyed Abdul Aziz Ibn Sayyed Jawad Tabatabai Yazdi Najafi (1348 – 1416 AH). How nice it would have been if from the Indian sub-continent i.e. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, scholars or researchers would compile a similar list of Urdu, Hindi and English books on this topic! Today – more than ever – there is a greater need for such type of work, since the attacks from the enemies on the true religion has increased in magnitude as well as numbers.
Let us now proceed towards a brief review of these books.
1) Ibraaz al-Wahm al-Maknoon min Qalam-e- Ibn Khaldoon
Author: Muhaddis Abu al-Faiz Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Siddiq Ghamari (exp. 1380 AH), a resident of Cairo. Ahmed Mohammad Mursi al-Naqshbandi in the preface of his book “Ali Ibn Abi Talib Imamul Aarefeen” has discussed the author’s detailed biography. The subject of this book i.e. Ibraazul Wahmil Maknoon min Qalam-e-Ibn Khaldoon is about Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and that he will reappear in the last era and there are several Prophetic traditions concerning this topic. This book was printed in the year 1347 A.H. at Turkey for the first time and then got reprinted in the year 1354 A.H. Those esteemed readers who are interested in reading the biography of the author may refer to Al- Mo’jamul Mu’allefeen vol. 11 p. 368 and A’laam of Zarkali vol. 1 p. 253. The author’s revered brother Abdul Aziz Ibn Mohammad Ghamari (exp. 1418 AH) has written the book – Al-Ifaadato be Toroqe Hadith Al-Nazaro ila Aliyin Ibaadah.
2) Al Arbaoona Hadithan fi al-Mahdi
Author: Hafiz Abu Noaim Ahmed Ibn Abdullah Isfahani (exp. 430 AH)
This book contains 40 traditions of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concerning Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Jalaaluddin Suyuti has used this book as a referential source for his book Arful Wardi.
3) Asahhu Maa Warada Fil Mahdi Wa Isa
Author: Shaikh Mohammad Habibullah Shanqiti (1295 – 1363 AH)
For a long period of time, the author lived in the holy city of Makkah, and then migrated to Cairo and used to give lectures for Al-Azhar University on the subject of the principles of religion. Al-Azhar University has published a lot of his works which include this book as well. Apart from this, the author has also compiled two more books: – Hayaato Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Kifaayah al-Taalib fi Manaaqib Ali Ibn Abi Talib.
His biography can be found in Kuttani’s “Al-Fehriso Faharis” p. 55; A’laam of Zarkali vol. 6 p. 79 and Al- Mo’jamul Mu’allefeen vol. 9 p. 176.
4) Al Burhan Fi Alaamat-e-Mahdi Aakher al-Zamaan
Author: Ali Ibn Hesaam al-Deen al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (885 – 975 AH)
The author has also compiled Kanz ul Ummal and various other famous books. A detailed account of his life can be found in Nuz’hah al-Khawaatir, vol. 4 p. 234. Copies of this book are still found in the libraries of Grand Mosque in Makkah, London, Hyderabad (Deccan) and Madinah al-Munawwarah. The last version of this book was printed in Saudi Arabia in the year 1408 AH. It would be appropriate here to mention that Muttaqi Hindi has written a treatise on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in Persian language which is available in the library of Ayatullah Syed Shahaabuddin Mar’ashi (r.a.) in Holy city of Qum (Serial No. 129/2). This treatise contains 60 traditions and comprises of the following four sections:
i) Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) – Characteristics and lineage
ii) His miracles
iii) Signs of reappearance
iv) Events after reappearance
5) Al Bayan Fi Akhbaar-e-Saheb al-Zamaan
Author: Fakhr al-Deen Mohammad Ibn Yusuf Ganji Shaafeii (exp. 658 AH)
The author’s description is found in Hadyah al-Aarefeen vol. 2 p. 127. Respected scholar “Iftekharul Ulama” Sa’adat Husain Khan (r.a.) has done the Urdu translation of this book by the name “Imam al-Muntazar”. Regrettably, this book is presently inaccessible. Through Al-Muntazar, we humbly request his relatives, dutiful followers and faithful friends to bring forth this book to the center stage so that it becomes a source for the increase in the rewards of the deceased.
6) Tehqeeq al-Nazar fi Akhbaar al-Imam al-Muntazar
Author: Mohammed Ibn Abd al-Aziz Ibn Maane Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ibrahim Waheebi (exp. 1300 – 1385 AH)
He was among the renowned scholars of Najd. Zarkali has written that the author had acquired knowledge from Basra, Baghdad and Cairo. In the year 1385, the king of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz Aale Saud invited him to Makkah and requested him to deliver lectures there. In the year 1385 he had to go to Beirut for medical reasons where he expired. (vol. 6 p. 209)
7) Resaalah fi Tehqeeq-e-Zahoor al-Mahdi
Author: Ahmed Ibn Abdil Latif al-Barbari Dimayati (exp. 1228 AH)
8) Talkhees al-Bayaan fi Akhbaar-e-Mahdi-e-Aakher al-Zamaan
Author: Alauddin Ali Ibn Hesaam al-Deen al-Malik Ibn Qazi Khan al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (975 AH)
Manuscripts of this book can be found in the library of Aasefiyah, Hyderabad Deccan. In the year 1380 AH when Allama Amini (r.a.) travelled to India he copied the book from this very Library and has mentioned it in his famous travelogue “Samaraat al-Asfaar” vol. 1 p. 145 – 147. Apart from here the manuscripts of this book can also be found in Madinah al-Munawwarah, the library of King Abdul Aziz and also in the Friday prayer mosques Libraries at Istanbul (Turkey), Manchester (England) and Mumbai (India).
9) Tambeeh al-Wasnaan ilaa Akhbaar-e-Mahdi-e-Aakher al-Zamaan
Author: Ahmed Nawbi (exp. 1037 AH)
A manuscript of this book can be found in the Library of Gauteet (Germany).
10) Al-Durr al-Manzood Fi Zikr al-Mahdi al-Maw’ood
Author: Sayyed Siddiq Hasan Ibn Awlaad Hasan Ibn Awlaad Ali Kannauji
The original manuscript of this book in the author’s handwriting is available in the library of Nadwatul Ulamaa, Lucknow, India under the registration number 311.
(Fehrist Nadwatul Ulamaa p. 97)