Fabricated Traditions about Imam Mahdi (as)
As regards the tradition mentioned below, we can say that those who took Mohammed b. Abdullah b. Hasan to be the Mahdi added the following phrase to the tradition that
‘His father’s name is my father’s name’.
Mohammed b. Yusuf after quoting the above tradition in his book ‘Al-Bayan’ writes that Tirmizi has narrated this tradition in Jaam’e, but has omitted this part
Abu Dawood has also reported the tradition without this phrase. Under these circumstances it is apparent that this part was added subsequently to the original tradition. There is also a possibility of a misinterpretation of the tradition.
It is quite possible that the original tradition was
‘his father’s name will be on my son’s name’.
And later is possible that the word ª ‚ ´ ª ¤ was changed to ” ‚ ª ¤ ´.
Abu Huraira narrates from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
‘Surely the Mahdi whose name is Mohammed b. Abdullah, stammers.’
(Maqatilut Talebeen pg. 164)
This tradition is also fabricated by the supporters of Mohammed b. Abdullah Hasan, as the latter used to stammer, so much so that he had difficulty in speaking. His followers then invented the tradition mentioned above to justify this defect.
(Zakhairul Uqba pg. 206)
‘It is narrated by Ibne Abbas that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed him: There will be a Mahdi from amongst you in the last era. Through him guidance will reach the people. The fire of deviation will be extinguished through us. It is through us that the government will spread far and wide. And the end will be your progeny (Bani Abbas)’.
‘It is narrated from Ibne Abbas who heard the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say:
There are four from amongst us the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Saffah is from us, Munzar is from us, Mansoor is from us and Mahdi is from us. Mahdi will be from the progeny of my uncle Abbas.’
(Al-Sawaiqul Mohreqa pg. 235, Zakhairul Uqba pg. 206)
Both these traditions were fabricated by Bani Abbas.
It has been narrated from Qasim Hazrami, from Abu Saeede Khurasani, who said: I asked Abu Abdillah, whether Mahdi and Qaim are one and the same. He replied: Yes. I asked: Why is he named Mahdi? Abu Abdillah replied:
Because he will guide towards everything. He is named Qaim because he will be resurrected after death – meaning when his remembrance dies down he will be raised with a great affair.
(Isbaatul Hodaat vol. 7, pg. 38)
The two traditions outlined above have been noted by the scholars. In the second tradition death of Imam (a.t.f.s.) means obliteration of his name and his native place, as is narrated in the exegesis (Tafseer).
It is narrated by Ali (a.s.)
“When you see black flags coming forth from Khorasan, then welcome it because amongst them will be the Mahdi – Allah’s caliph.”
(Yanabiul Mawaddah vol.1 pg. 157)
This tradition is either fabricated by Bani Abbas or by the followers of Abu Muslim Khorasani. This is because the Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will not rise from Khorasan and the black flag was the symbol of the Bani Abbas.
There is a high probability that the tradition mentioned below was fabricated to justify the revolt of Abu Muslim Khorasani.
Abdullah narrated from Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that the latter (s.a.w.a.) revealed:
Very soon my Ahle Bait will have to face intense difficulties and hardships till such a time that a party rises from the East with black flags. They will seek the truth but it will not be provided to them. So they will fight and will end victorious and will acquire what they were seeking. They will not accept it till it is given to one of my Ahle Bait (a.s.). Then he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with injustice and inequity. Then whoever finds that era should accept him.
(Isbatul Hodaat vol. 7 pg.189)
We believe that the above tradition has been invented by the supporters of Abu Muslim Khorasani. Our readers who are aware of the historical background behind Abu Muslim’s revolt and the Bani Abbas government will agree with us.
There was yet another group that took Umar b. Abdil Aziz as the Mahdi and fabricated traditions in this regard to suit their objectives.
Hadhrami narrates from Muhammad b. Ali (a.s.):
‘The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is from us and the Mahdi (a.s.) is from Bani Abdush Shams and we don’t consider anyone more worthy of it than Umar b. Abdul Aziz.’
Abu Yaqoob reports from Muhammad b. Ali (a.s.):
The people are of the opinion that the Mahdi is from your progeny.’ He (a.s.) replied: That is the truth. However the Mahdi is from Bani Abdush Shams. He is Umar b. Abdil Aziz.’
(Tabaqaat vol. 5 pg. 333)
Abdul Aala from Aale Saam narrates – I was walking with Abu Abdillah (a.s.) when we reached Rawhad (name of a place). There he (a.s.) indicated towards a green mountain and said:
Do you look at this mountain, it is Razwa. It was originally from the mountains of Salsaloon in Iran, but as we liked it very much, Allah transferred it here. The trees on this mountain are laden with fruits. This mountain shall be the refuge of the fearful on two occasions. But there will be two occultations for the Master of the affair. One of them will be shorter than the other.
(Isbatul Hodaat vol.7 pg. 5)
We believe that the tradition mentioned above is fabricated by those who were of the opinion that Mohammed b. Hanafiyyah is alive and resides in the mountain – Razwa and is the ‘Promised Mahdi’.
Fazl b. Shazaan narrates from Moosa b. Sa’daan and the latter from Abdullah b. Al-Qasim Hadhrami and he from Abu Saeed Khorasani, who says: I told Abu Abdillah (a.s.) why is he named Qaim? He (a.s.) replied:
On Allah’s will, he will be establishing a great task.
(Isbatul Hodaat vol.7 pg. 27)
It should not come as a surprise that the tradition quoted above is fabricated by the Waqifiyyah sect or by those who believed that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) would rise once again for the reformation of the world. It is a weak tradition as Mamaqaani writes that traditions of Moosa b. Sa’daan are weak and he was from the exaggerators.
He writes about Abdullah b. Qasim that he was a liar, an exaggerator and belonged to the Waqefiyyah and therefore his narrations cannot be accepted. Even if we accept the tradition as true then we should take it as an interpretation, as the same tradition has also been narrated from a similar chain of narrators in another manner which can be taken as an exegesis and interpretation of the tradition mentioned above.
Dr. Zafar: What was the belief of the family of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the Imams (a.s.) regarding the Promised Mahdi?
Prof. Nasir Mahdi: Even after the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) the topic of Mahdaviyat was widely discussed amongst the Muslims and the companions of the Imams (a.s.). Debates and discussions on this topic were very common. The progeny of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – the carriers of knowledge and hidden secrets were well aware of the Prophetic traditions regarding Mahdi. They used to answer the queries posed by the people concerning the Promised Mahdi and held frequent discussions with them on this topic. Like for example, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) informed the people about the Mahdi (a.s.):
‘Mahdi will be born from amongst us and will reappear in the last era. There will be no other Mahdi except him in any nation whose reappearance will be awaited.’
(Isbatul Hodaat vol.7 pg.278)
In addition to this, there are fifty more traditions that have been narrated by Hazrat Ali (a.s.) regarding the Mahdi.