|Mahdi and His Long Life|
It was verified from the previous traditions that the Expected Mahdi who shall emerge at the end of time and will fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression is none other than Abul-Qasim Muhammad-ibn-Hassan Askari (A.S.). It was also proved that he was born in the night of 15th Shaban, 256. What is integral to this matter is that he should have lived a long life and right from that time until now, more than one thousand and one hundred years have passed from Mahdi's age and Allah knows best about the time of his emergence and his demise.
Although longevity is something unusual amongst the people yet, as per the nature it is a possible phenomenon. Moreover, there exists proofs and reasons for the long life of Mahdi (A.S.). In other words, the prolongation of Mahdi's life is amongst the possible affairs and reasons too confirm this point. Thus one is helpless in accepting and acknowledging this matter.
The author of "Tazkerat-ul-Um" says: The entire Imamiah sect believe that Khalaf-e-Hujjat is living and receiving his sustenance. For proving Hazrat to be alive they set forth the following reasons:
First reason: A group of people such as Khizr and Ilyas have lived a long life and it is (still) not known for how many years they have been living. Every year they meet each other and catch each other's hair.94 In 'Torah' it has come that Zul-Qarnain lived for 3000 years. However Muslims believe that he lived for 1500 years.
Muhammad-ibn-Ishaq says: - 'Awaj-ibn-Unaq' lived for 3600 years.95 Awaj- ibn-Unaq (whose father's name was Subhan and mother's name was Unaq) was born during Hazrat Adam's time and continued to live until Hazrat Musa killed him.
'Zahhaq' lived for 1000 years.96 'Thamuras' too has lived for 1000 years.
Amongst the Prophets, we may mention such names as Hazrat Adam, Nuh, 94-Author of 'Qarmani' writes (on page 44): Mas'oudi says Khizr is Alexander's cousin and the vanguard of Zul-Qarnain's living during Hazrat Ibrahim's time. He has drank from the well-spring of life that he has remained till - and, will continue to live till the sounding of the trumpets.
95-'Qarmani' page 50
96-'Qarmani' page 348
Shais and others that have lived for 1000 or more years.97 Qainan lived for 900 years.98
Mehla'eel lived for 800 years.99 Nuqail-ibn-Abdullah lived for 700 years. The soothsayer Rabiya-ibn-Omar lived for 600 years. Aamer-ibn-Zureb who was the Judge amongst the Arabs, lived for 500 years. Similary Sulaba and Saam-ibn- Nuh lived for the same number of years. Harb-ibn-Mazaz Jarhami lived for 400 years. It was he who said:
Arfakhshad too lived for 400 years. Qais-ibn Saa'eda lived for a period of 380 years.100 Ka'ab-ibn-Jumha or Jamma Dusi lived for 390 years.
Salman Farsi lived for 250 and according to some other sources for 300 years. The author of Matalib-us-Su'ool writes: Mahdi was born during Mu'tamid- Allah time and has been concealed till now due to fear (from the enemies).
This matter cannot be mentioned because the one who gets concealed and there comes no news from him, (then) his occultation and disconnection of news from him is no reason to believe that his life has come to an end. The Power of Allah is vast. The decree and favors of Allah upon His servants are great and having universality. It is necessary for the eminent scholars to perceive the realities of objects of power (i.e. the creatures) of Allah. However, there exists no way for recognizing the essence of Allah's Power and those trying to do so will be left in bewilderment. One of the verses of the Holy Quran says:
- It is not heresy and it is not improbable to generalize some of the virtuous servants of Allah. His long life till a certain period of time is not something unlikely to occur because; Allah has prolonged the life of many of His Prophets, Legatees expelled ones and enemies. Amongst His pure ones, we may mention the names of Isa and Khizr.
Moreover there were many other Prophets (like Hazrat Nuh) who each lived for a 1000 years. Amongst the expelled ones and enemies we may mention Satan and Dajjal and others like Aad who lived for approximately 1000 years. The same was the case with Luqman. All these examples reveal the extent of Allah's Power by which He has given such long life to some of His servants. So what is wrong in saying that Mahdi's age (too) has been prolonged until his emergence?!
If the hygienic rules and the religious and medical directives are observed it is 97-Author of 'Qarmani' (on page 20) has quoted Wahabas saying that Adam lived for 1000 pears and as per Torah has mentioned his life to have lasted for 600 years. On page 22 he has mentioned Nuh's life to have lasted for 1000 years and that of Shais for 912 years.
98-Torah (Verse 14 - Journey of Genesis) has mentioned 910 years.
99-The author of 'Qamani' (page 20) mentions his age to have lasted for 965 years and Torah (Verse 17 - Journey of Genesis) has mentioned 895 years.
100-Ibn-Hajar in 'Esabah' vol. 5 pg. 255 has written the same not impracticable to live a lengthy life. The reverse is also true (i.e. non- observance of the afore-said rules will result in reduction in ones life-span.
On this basis, the number of deaths in some countries is much less at present than former times and the number of aged people is more than the previous years. Of course it should not be unsaid that since the hygienic rules are better observed today than former years we see such magnificent results. For this reason, some important companies have been established which insures man's health and give guarantee for his limited life under special regulations and fixed limit, which have been enacted according to the principles of hygiene.
As a result of following the hygienic rules we see the desired effects out of our conscience. If it was not such, the attention of the wise would not have been focused on those afore-said companies.
When keeping watch over the hygienic formulas and their rules ensures a persons health and prolongation of life it necessarily follows that the more the observance of hygienic rules the longer will be a person's life. What we see out of our conscience (like difference in health and age and difference in the mode of life) is the best proof and evidence to what we have written.
Therefore, whenever the means of hygiene is kept at man's disposal his age shall be prolonged to the extent, which Allah wishes. The principles of these means are of three types:
First: Observance (during the primary stage) when man is merely a matter. That is to say when he is in the rear of his father, the period of his transition to his mother's womb, growth and development in his mother's womb and the period of sucking milk when he is together with his mother. This is because observance of the hygienic principles by parents during this stage is the first step for ensuring a child's health. How often we see a child dying during his infancy or childhood period because of his parents suffering from some disease and or their heedlessness in applying the means of a sound health and non-observance on their part of his (i.e. the child's) hygienic principles. Thus the parents in such cases are the cause of this felony and they are responsible for depriving their child from living a natural and normal life. 'O would that the parents deem it necessary upon themselves to follow such rules and regulations and as a result save themselves from such blame.
Second: Observance of those things which are the basis of man's life like the air that he breathes, the food that he eats, the water that he drinks, the clothes that he wears and the enviournment in which he lives. This is because observance of the means and rules of a sound health in each of these five affairs with respect to quantity, quality, age, strength, weakness, time and place are the most important channels having influence over the health and long life of man.
How many a person has been overtaken by death and has died before dying naturally. The reason for giving away one's life which by nature, is loved by every living creature is the non-observance of one of the afore-mentioned five affairs. A number of physicians and doctors have emphasized that majority of the people who die do not die a natural death. Rather the main cause has been the external factors, which come into existence by not observing the rules of a sound health with regards to the afore-mentioned affairs. Hazrat Farid Wajdi Affandi has narrated the words of some of the physicians and doctors in his book "Da'erat-ul-Ma'aref".
Third: External occurrences and incidents and contact with natural phenomenon like uncustomary heat and cold, pain and maladies, misfortunes and difficulties, grief and sorrow and actions and movements. All these greatly influence a person's health and life-span. How often it has occurred that a person has died of heat or cold or has perished because of pain and illness. How many a person's life 'has been shortened due to misfortunes and difficulties or has turned old due to grief and sorrow. Besides, a great number of people's life do obliterate and break up due to severity of their actions and bodily movements. If these factors do not play any role in man's death then, his life would certainly be long enough.
If man observes the hygienic rules as per the afore-s aid three principles; then nothing can prevent him from living for hundreds and rather thousands of years in this world by the will of Allah!?101 No matter how much we ponder over this point and probe into some of the appropriate books, we cannot find any objection and reason against this matter. Rather, too often a person doing research into this matter has come across some facts forcing him to testify in the subject of longevity.
The mysteries of life and the faculties which have been deposited in man's existence is always hidden and unknown. Today, medical science with all its advancement has not become cognizant with all those mysteries and has not perceived its realities the way it should have done so. Some of our friends who are doctors have confirmed this point. One of them says: Often it occurs that a patient is brought to me and as per the medical rules, I see him close to death. Rather his chance of survival is one percent. I then leave him aside and lose hope in his recovery. When on the same day or the next day I visit him for the time, I see him well and fine and the probability of his dying becomes one 101-About death the Holy Quran (Verse 2 Chapter 6) says:
"He it is who created you from clay, then He decreed (i.e. a certain) term; and there is a term (i.e. a uncertain one) named with Him."
Thus man's term (i.e. death) are of two types. One is certain and cannot be changed or postponed under circumstances. The other is uncertain which by some means or the other like strengthening of blood-kinship, breaking off ties of relationship etc is subject to change. In this regard Hazrat Ali-ibn-Musa Ridha (A.S.): Strengthening blood-kinship prolongs the (decreed) abort-life and breaking off ties of relationship shortens the (decreed) long-life. On this basis, a person can live for hundreds or thousands of years only if his term (of death) is an uncertain one and those who have lived for three thousands years and below are those whose term had been an uncertain one and secondly all the means of a sound health had been prepared for them.
percent. On the other hand, how often it has occurred that I come across another patient whose case is just the opposite of the first patient.
Verily, to live for hundreds of years is something unusual and uncustomary meaning that gathering together and obtaining the means of a sound health from all the aspects (which we previously pointed out) is earnestly a rare and scarce affair - and does not occur for majority of the people in most of the periods and places. However if those means are gathered together, it is possible for man's life - span to prolong habitually and naturally. So, the problem lies in gathering together and making available the means (of a sound health) and not in the means of a lengthy life.
When you become fully conversant with what we have previously mentioned and become aware of the article written in the magazine "Al-Muqtataf" you will realize that God's statement in Sura 'Saffat' with regards to the story of Yunus (A.S.) is something customary:
"But had it not been that he was of those who glorify (Us), He would certainly have carried in its belly to the day when they are raised." Thus it is possible for man to live in the depth of the sea till the Day of Judgement. Why shouldn't it be so when Allah has Power over all things.