|Mahdi is the Proof (Hujjat) of Allah|
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates (on page 448) from the book "Fara'ed-us-Semtain" of Hassan-ibn-Khalid and he, from Ali-ibn-Musa ar- Ridha (A.S.) who said: "The one who is not pious, has no religion. Verily the most honorable amongst you before Allah is the one who is the most pious."
Thereafter be said: "The fourth from my offspring is the son of the chief of slave-girls. Through him, Allah shall clean the earth of every cruelty and oppression. He is the same one in whom people will doubt his birth and for him there will be an occultation. Whenever he shall emerge, the earth will be illuminated by the Divine Light and the scale of Justice will be established amongst the people such that no one will oppress the other. Verily, he is the one for whom the earth will roll and there is no shadow for him. He is the one with regards to whom a caller from the heavens will call out and all the inhabitants of the earth will hear: Be aware that the Proof (Hujjat) of Allah has emerged near the House of Allah. Therefore follow him as truth is in him and with him."
Mahdi and Completion of Religion
Ibn-Hajar in his "Sawa'eq" (page 97) narrates from Abul-Qasim Tabarani that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "Mahdi is from us. Religion shall find its completion through him just as it found its expansion through us." The author of "Esaaf-ur-Rhagebeen" too has narrated the same tradition on page 148 of his afore-said book.
Sayyid Mu'min-ibn-Hassan Shablanji in "Nur-ul-Absar" narrates (on page 231) from Ali-ibn -Abi Talib (Peace be upon him) who said: I asked the Messenger of Allah whether Mahdi is from us, the family of Muhammad or from some other family. He replied: "No. Rather he shall be from us. Through him, Allah shall bring the religion to its completion just as He had expanded it through us."83
82-The author of Seera Halabi in vol 1 Pg 18 says: As per research, some of the exegetists have mentioned that People of the cave are all non-Arabs and they shall Dot speak but in Arabic and they ate the ministers of Mahdi.
83-The author of Arful-wardi has narrated (on page 61) the same tradition from Na'eem-ibn-Hemad and Abu This matter is further strengthened by numerous 'Mustafiza' traditions which give indication to this fact that religion shall not come to its stage of completion until twelve Caliphs come and pass over it. As research shows, you already know as to what Ibn-Abil Hadeed has narrated about the consensus of the Muslims on this fact and that is the duties shall not cease but with Mahdi. Thus he is the last of the legatees and the religion of Islam shall terminate in him just as his great grand father was the last of the Prophets and religion commenced from him.
Mahdi is the Twelfth Caliph
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates (on page 447) from the book "Fara'ed-us-Semtain" which in turn narrates from Saeed-ibn-Jubair who narrates from Ibn-Abbass that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "Verily my Caliphs and successors after me are the Hujjats (Proofs) of Allah upon the people and they are twelve in number. The first of them is Ali and the last of them is my son Mahdi."
The author says: All those reasons and arguments which give indication to this fact that the Caliphs after the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) are twelve in number and are all from Quraish or Bani-Hashim, give indication to the afore- mentioned matter too. All those reasons have been collected by Ahmad Hanbal in his book 'Musnad'. Besides him, other Sunni scholars and experts of traditions too have collected those reasoning. The reasons which they have collected cannot be conformed but to what we, the Shia Ithna Ashar, say: The successors to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) are twelve in number where the first of them is Ali-ibn-Abi Talib, Amir-ul-Mumineen and the last of them is Muhammad-ibn-Hassan Mahdi (A.S.). May Allah place us amongst his followers and helpers?
Mahdi is the Twelfth 'Wasi' (Legatee)
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates (on page 486) from 'Manaqib' of Khawrazmi who narrates from Ali-ibn-Musa ar-Ridha who narrates from his father and he from his father that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.), while mentioning about his own virtue and his household and also something about his ascension (to heaven) said: "O my Lord, who are my legatees." Then a voice was heard, saying: 'Your legatees are those whose names have been written over the enclosure of My 'Arsh' (Throne).
Therefore, I looked and witnessed twelve lights on which was written the name of each of my legatees in green. The first of them was Ali and the last of Na'eem and on the afore-said page, narrated a tradition with similar contents from Tabarani. The author of Muruj-uz-Zahab in vol. 1 page 15 while narrating a lengthy tradition from Amir-ul-Mumineen (A.S.) writes: Hazrat said- The Proofs (Hujjats) of Allah shall terminate in our Mahdi, the one is the last Imam and the savior of the Ummah…
them the 'Qaem'. In the afore-mentioned book, its author narrates (on page 486) from 'Manaqib' of Khawrazmi and he from Abu Sulaiman Chupaan that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: 'The night when I was being taken towards the heaven... (And he narrated the same tradition so far as Allah says): 'O Muhammad, do you wish to meet them? I replied: "Yes my Lord." Then Allah said: "Look towards the right of 'Arsh' (Throne)." As I looked I suddenly saw Ali, Hassan, Hussein, Ali-ibn-Hussein, Muhammad-ibn-Ali, Jafar-ibn- Muhammad, Musa-ibn-Jafar, Ali-ibn-Musa, Muhammad-ibn-Ali, Ali-ibn- Muhammad; Hassan-ibn-Ali and Muhammad-ibn-Hassan Mahdi. Amongst them, perhaps Mahdi appeared like a sparkling star. Thereafter He said: "O Muhammad, they are My Hujjats (Proofs) upon My servants and they are your legatees."
In the same book, the author narrates (on page 487) from the author of "Faraed-us-Semtain" and he from Sa'eed-ibn-Jubair and he from Ibn-Abbass that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) said: "Verily, my legatees and the Hujjats (Proof) of Allah upon the people after me are twelve in number. The first of them is my brother and the last of them is my son."
People asked Hazrat: Who is your brother? He replied: "Ali." Again he was asked: Who is your son? He replied: "Mahdi."
Again, in the same book, the author narrates (on page 487) from Ibn-Abbass that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "I am the Chief of the Prophets and All the Chief of Legatees. Verily the legatees after me are twelve in number. The first of them is Ali and the last is Mahdi."
Mahdi is the Twelfth Imam
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates (on page 492) from "Manaqib" of Khawrazmi that Abu Abdullah Hussein-ibn-Ali said: - "Once when I visited my grandfather, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) he made me sit on his lap and then said: Allah shall select from your rear, nine Imams (leaders) the ninth of whom shall be the 'Qa'em'. All of them are the same in rank and position before Allah."
In the same book, the author narrates (on page 493) from the afore -said book of Khawrazmi who narrates from Ali (A.S.) that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "Imams after me are twelve in number. The first is you ('O Ali) and the last of them shall be the 'Qaem' through whom Allah shall liberate the East and West.
Mahdi is the Imam of the Age
Ali (A.S.) in "Nahjul-Balagha" says: - The earth shall not remain vacant of God's 'Hujjat' and 'Qaem'. He is either manifest and well-known or concealed and fearful (from his enemies). Taftazani has narrated from Ali (A.S.) the same as above.
In this regard, there is another tradition, which is famous amongst Shias and Sunnis and as far as the authenticity of this tradition is concerned, there exists no controversy between the two sects. In this tradition, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) says: "The one who dies and does not recognize the Imam of his age has died the death of ignorance."
We ask: "Who is the one who is the Imam of this time?" This is a question with the inevitable and the correct reply that in accordance with reason and the traditions whose authenticity is certified, he is none other than that the Shiite say which is Mahdi the Awaited one. The following are the evidences, which prove our claim as correct. The first evidence is that traditions clearly stipulate this fact that he is the Caliph (vicegerent) of Allah and the Divine Hujjat (Proof) and what can be understood from these two attributes, is that its possessor must be an Imam i.e. the one owning status on behalf of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) because Imamate according to us (i.e. the Shias) is having not much meaning other than guardianship of religious and worldly affairs on behalf of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.).
As per the traditions which we have mentioned before, it became apparent that Mahdi, the Awaited one is the same Abul-Qasim Muhammad-ibn-Hassan Askari. And when it is proved that Mahdi will be the Caliph and Hujjat of Allah on the day of his emergence, it will be proven that at present too, he is the Caliph and Hujjat of Allah and Imamate too. According to us he would not be anything other than this because amongst the Muslims, there is no one who reckons Imam to be separate from Caliph and Hujjat.
In other words, if someone says that the Imam of the Age is not Mahdi, he is bound to reject one of the Following two matters: Firstly that Mahdi, the Awaited one is not Muhammad-ibn-Hassan Askari and secondly that Mahdi shall neither be Allah's Caliph nor Hujjat at the time of his emergence. In this regard, we say: Since both of these points have been proved as per the appropriate traditions, there remains no way to reject any one of them let alone both.
Secondly, in many of the traditions (previously mentioned for our readers) we have been enjoined to obey and follow him and forboden from disobeying and recalcitrating against him. Rather in some of the traditions it has come that anyone who obeys him has obeyed Allah and anyone who disobeys him has disobeyed Allah. Now, the essential condition for enjoinment of obedience and forbiddance from disobedience is (without any condition) his very existence - an Imam impeccable from every error and oblivion.
Indeed, enjoinment of his obedience and forbiddance from his disobedience guides us in all cases to two things:
Firstly that Mahdi is immaculate. Otherwise enjoinment of his obedience would necessitate obedience in all cases, even in sins. Similarly forbiddance from disobedience would lead sometimes to forbiddance from obedience of Allah. For clarifying this matter we further say: If he is not infallible, it is possible that he may command us to disobedience of Allah and forbid us from His obedience. Consequently what will necessarily follow is that enjoinment of his obedience will amount to enjoinment of disobedience of Allah and forbiddance from his disobedience will amount to forbiddance from obedience of Allah. Rather what is incidental to the statement of Imam (A.S.) (which has partly come in this tradition) that anyone who obeys him has obeyed Allah and anyone who disobeys him has disobeyed Allah is this that in case of Mahdi not being infallible, disobedience of Allah will be obedience of Allah and obedience of Allah will be equal to His disobedience and as per reason, such a thing is far from the truth.
Secondly, enjoinment of obedience and forbiddance from disobedience generally envelops all the people unconditionally. Thus his obedience becomes obligatory and his disobedience forbidden upon every one (other than him) and if there was another Imam this decree would not generally be correct because, in some of the instances it would amount to enjoinment of disobedience of Imam and forbiddance from his obedience (as if the view of one of those two Imams would be contrary to the view of the other).
Thirdly, there are many traditions which prove that Mahdi is the twelfth Caliph of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) or his twelfth legatee or the twelfth Imam or the twelfth 'Hujjat' from the Hujjats (Proofs) of Allah. Then surely traditions distinctly approve Hazrat in the matter of successorship, executorship, Imamate and being the Proof (Hujjat) of Allah upon the people. Verily, by decree of this tradition, Mahdi possesses these virtues and qualities right from the time of his birth until his departure from this world. However, it must be said that he was silent during the time of his father, Hassan Askari and it was obligatory for him to obey his father. But after his father's demise he has been, (till the end of his life) the caliph of Allah, legatee of His Messenger, leader and Hujjat and the essential condition for this matter is that he should be an Imam in this period.
Fourthly, there are 'Mustafiza' and rather 'Mutawatir' traditions from Shia and Sunni sources that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "The leaders, successors and legatees after me are twelve." In some of those traditions it is mentioned that they are from Quraish while in some other traditions mention is made that they are from Bani-Hashim. Yet, some of the traditions speak of Ali as the first Imam and Mahdi as the last. Even, the names of each of the Imams have been mentioned one after the other and those wishing to have information about them can refer to the books of tradition especially 'Musnad' of Imam Ahmad and 'Mustadrak' of Abu Abdullah Hakem.
Similarly, they can refer to the books which have been written about their virtues like 'Manaqib' of Khawrazmi, 'Fara'ed-us-Semtain' and 'Yanabi-ul- Muwadda'. Now, in order to substantiate what we have written we shall set forth some of them from the book 'Durarul-Musawiyya-Fi-Shar-ul-Aqa'ed- ul- Jafariya'.
For example, Bukhari in his 'Sahih' narrates from Muslim who narrates from Jabir-ibn-Samara that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "Religion shall continue to exist consistently till the time when the Hour is established and the twelve successors from Quraish who are the guardians over the People have come and gone. Ali-ibn-Muhammad too has referred to this tradition and concludes that nine of them shall be from the rear of Hussein and Mahdi is one of them.
Yet, Abdur-Rahman-ibn-Samara narrates: "I asked the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such- 'Show me the path of salvation." Hazrat replied: 'O son of Samara. Whenever desires diversify and opinions differ, it is upon you to stick to Ali-ibn-Abi Talib. Verily, he is the leader of my 'Ummah' and my successor after me... Surely, from them are the Imams of my 'Ummah' and the two Chiefs of the youths of Paradise (i.e. Hassan and Hussein) and from Hussein is nine descendants where the last of them is the 'Qaem' of my 'Ummah'.
Also, Ibn-Mughazali narrates from Abu Imamah that the Holy Prophet (S.A.WA) said: 'Imams after me are twelve and all of them are from Quraish. Nine of them are from the rear of Hussein and among them is Mahdi. Moreover, it has been narrated from Abu Saleh who has narrated from Zaid- ibn-Thabit that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "The world shall not come to an end until a person from the progeny of Hussein emerges for leading my nation. He shall fill the earth with Justice just as it had been filled with oppression."
We asked: Who is that person?
He replied: "He is the ninth Imam from the descendant of Hussein." Another tradition has been narrated from Hassan-ibn-Ali Raazi where the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) in the end of the same tradition says: "Pious and infallible leaders shall emerge from the descendents of Hussein. Among them will be Mahdi and he is the same one behind whom Isa-ibn- Maryam shall pray and he shall be the ninth one from the offspring of Hussein." Fifthly, some traditions have come regarding the occultation of Mahdi and his concealment from the people. These traditions (which will be mentioned later on) clearly stipulate that Mahdi (A.S.) is a leader whose obedience is obligatory - whether in his absence or presence and whether he is manifest or hidden. As such, the Muslims are bound to recognize him.
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates on page 488 from Saeed-ibn- Jubair who narrates from Ibn Abbass that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: Verily, Ali is the leader of my 'Ummah' after me and from his progeny shall be the 'Qaem' who shall fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression. "I swear by Allah who appointed me by the truth and as the bearer of glad-tidings and as a warner that those whose belief is firm in his Imamate (during Occultation) are scarcer than red matches." The author of afore-said book narrates from 'Manaqib' of Khawrazmi that Abu Jafer Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) said: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "Blessed is he who finds the 'Qaem' from my Ahl-e-Bait in a state when he has followed him during the period of his Occultation and has made friendship with his friends and enmity with his enemies. Such a person is counted to be amongst my companions and friends and he shall be the most honorable person before me on the Day of Judgement.
The same author of the same book quotes on page 494 from 'Manaqib' of Khawrazmi and he from Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: 'O Jabir, Verily my legatees and the leaders of the Muslims after me are firstly Ali followed by Hassan, Hussein, Ali-ibn-Hussein, Muhammad-ibn-Ali famous as 'Baqi'. Very soon you shall meet him and when you do so, send my greetings to him. After him shall come Jafer-ibn- Muhammad, Musa-ibn-Jafar, Ali-ibn-Musa, Muhammad-ibn-Ali, Ali-ibn- Muhammad, Hassan-ibn-Ali and the 'Qaem' successively. His name shall be the same as my name and his agnomen too shall be the same as mine. He is the son of Hassan-ibn-Ali and the one through whom God shall relieve the East and West. He shall remain hidden from his friends such that they will not remain steadfast in his Imamate except those whom God has tested their hearts through faith."84
The author of Durarul-Musawiyah writes: "Muhammad-ibn-Muhammad-ibn- Mahmoud Hafez Bukhari famous as Khawja Parsa, in the margin of his book 'Fasl-ul-Khetab' when referring to the birth of Mahdi says: Traditions which are at hand in this regard are beyond limit and traditions about the virtues of Mahdi (the one who is the Master of the time; the Hidden one from the public eye, and 84-Hamuami Shafa'ee in 'Fara'ed-us-Semtain' (Chapter 32) while narrating from Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari with regards to a Tablet [God's saying about Imams and their number] which he had seen in the possession of Hazrat Zahra (AS.) writes that after mentioning the name of Hassan he said: so he perfected it with his son Muhammad who is the Mercy of this Universe and he is the beauty of Musa, worth of Isa and patience of (Job) Ayub - Nasaheh-ul- Kafiyeh Pg. 22
He further writes: Hazrat Baqir (AS.) told Jabir as such: Narrate from us what you have seen from the 'Sahifa' (scroll). Thereafter Jabir described the incident of 'Sahifa' of Hazrat Zahra (A.S.) and all that it contained such as the name: of each of the Imams in order and the names of their fathers and mothers till the name of Hazrat Askari. Thereafter he said: Abul Qasim Muhammad-ibn-Hassan is someone who is the 'Hujjat' (Proof) of Allah upon His servants and surely he shall be the 'Qaem' and his mother is a lady by the name of Nargis - Nasaheh- ul-Kafiyah Pg. 23.
The same author in the afore-said book narrates on page 24 from Ibn-Abbass that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) mentioned to one Jew the names of each of the Imams in order until he reached to the name of Hazrat Hassan Askari (AS.) and then said: When Hassan shall pass away, his son Hujjat-ibn-Hasan Muhammad Mahdi shall become the Imam and they are twelve in number."
This tradition has also been narrated by Saduq in Kamaluddin (Chapter 28), Shaikh Tusi in 'Ghaibat', Tabarsi in 'Ehtejaj', Sheikh Mufid in 'Ekhtesas', Muhammad-ibn-Yaqub in 'Kafi' and Numani in his 'Ghaibat'. the one who is existing at all times) are many and in support of each other. Moreover, traditions about his emergence, his illuminating light, his bringing to life the Shariat of Muhammd, his battles in the way of Allah and his purifying the world from its filth are all decisive. His companions are pure from every misgiving and sound from every flaw. They are those who have traversed the path of guidance and gone towards research through the channel of truth. Caliphate and Imamate shall end in him and right from the time his father bid farewell to this world he has been the Imam and will remain so until the Day of Judgement. Isa shall pray behind him and acknowledge him and will invite the people to follow his creed, which is nothing but the creed of the Holy Prophet." Sayyid (Hamed Hussein, the author of Abaqaat-ul-Anwaar) in "Esteqsa-ul- Efham" says:
"A copy of what has been written in this margin has been read out to him (i.e. Khawja Parsa) and corrected."
Messengership in Childhood and His Imamate
So far, whatever we have written about Mahdi and his characteristics, necessarily proves that he has been raised to the position of Imamate and he held this glorious position when he was only five and yet a Junior. Now we wish to see whether it is possible and permissible for one to hold the position of Imamate at the age of five or is it that the Prophets, Messengers and their successors are bound to first reach adolescence and attain physical development or else!
In this regard, we say: Research in this matter is related to theology and here it is out of place to discuss it in length. However, briefly we say: What has been verified is this that the matter of Messengership, Prophethood, Imamate and successorship lie in the Hands of the Exalted Allah and nobody else has any choice or authority in this regard. Therefore, as per the intellect, this implication will be allowed for and with presence of proof, there shall be no objection if an infant becomes a Prophet or a child becomes an Imam because the Glorious Allah can amass together all the qualifications of an Imam or a Prophet in the childhood period itself.
Verily, reason accepts this that the Exalted Allah makes someone as His friend and then appoints him as His Prophet and Messenger or chooses him as a leader and Executor in his very childhood period. This is because there exists no weakness in the Power of Allah and the story of Isa and Yahya's Prophethood bear testimony in the trutliflilness of what we say.
The author of Basa'er-ud-Darejat narrates from Ali-ibn-Esbaat as such: I saw Hazrat Abu Jafar approaching towards me. When he came close to me I quickly cast my glance at him and looked at him from head to toe so that I could describe him to my friends in Egypt. Then he went into prostration and said: Verily Allah has set forth argumentation in the matter of Imamate just as He had done so in the case of Prophethood and has said: "And We granted him wisdom while yet a child." Also, He has said:
"Until when he attains his maturity and reaches the age of forty." The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" after mentioning the matter of Mahdi's birth, narrates on page 452 from the book "Fasl-ul-Khetab" as such: "About him, it has been said that the Exalted Allah granted him wisdom, in his childhood and also made him a 'Hujjat' (Proof) for the people of the world. As, He says with regard to one of His Prophets: "O Yahya! Take hold of the Book with strength, and We granted him wisdom while still a child."
Also, He says:
"They said: How should we speak to one who was a child in the cradle? He said: Surely I am the servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet." Ibn-Hajar in his "Sawa'eq" (on page 114) after mentioning the incident of the demise of Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari writes: - "He did not appoint anyone as his successor but Abul-Qasim Muhammad Hujjat whose age at the time of his father's demise was five years. However Allah granted him wisdom at that time."85
At the time of his father's demise he was five years old and Allah granted him wisdom in his very childhood just as He made Prophet Yahya as an Imam I his infancy and appointed Isa as a Prophet in his childhood. Also, Shabrawi in Al- Ettehaf (on page 79) mentions his successorship to have started at the age of five after his father's demise and reckons his birth to have occurred in the night of 15th Shaban. Ibn-Khallkan too (in Wafiyat-ul-A'ayan vol. 1 pg. 451) has mentioned the birth of Hazrat to be on the 15th Shaban 255. Suyedi in "Saba'ek- uz-Zahab" (page 78) has mentioned his age at the time of his father's demise to be five years.
Also Abul-Fidah vol. 2 pg. 45 mentions the birth of Hazrat to have occurred in the year 255.
85-Tarikh-e-Qamari (page 117): His age at the time of his father's demise was five years and Allah granted him wisdom at that very time just as He granted wisdom to Yahya when he was only a child. Also, Muhamnuad Khawand Shah in 'Raudhat-us-Safa' (page 18) writes: The birth of Imam Mahdi (Peace be upon him) who is similar in name and agnomen the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) secretly took place in the night of l5th Shaban, 255 Hijri.