A plea: What can one say? There is an upsurge in the rebellion of the worshippers of carnal desires. Axes are being sharpened to sever the little saplings in the garden. Enclosures and cages of myriad shapes are being prepared to confine and imprison the chirping birds. The incessant progress of the modern man has endowed his desires with wings with which he wants to soar to the skies. Manners and etiquette are thrown to the winds. The nature of everything is becoming chaotic. Women – with absolutely no modesty and which nothing left to the imagination – are visible in all gatherings. Adolescents are interacting with each other everyday – with conflicting views and opinions. Personal gain is their only interest. If we adopt a compromising approach, then we become like everyone else. If we seek refuge in these difficult times by uniting with the shameful masses, then we put our piety at stake. And if we don’t do such a thing, we have no option but remain mute and helpless spectators. We are chucked out from the gatherings of liberated thinkers. If we keep quiet, we feel suffocated and if we protest, we are labelled as orthodox. O Allah! In your vast and colossal universe wherever I turn the same scenes are evident. If I open the newspaper to review the events of the world, I am inundated with such lewd and shocking images that even the humans of the earliest era of civilisation would be embarrassed! This is the plea of the one who complains and moans about today’s progressive society and culture. It is the prayer of the one who believes resolutely in the Oneness, Independence, Power and Sovereignty of Allah. He believes that not only has Allah created the world, – and made humans as the most distinguished and honourable among His creatures – but He has also created them with a purpose and aim. Obviously if the faith of a believer – which is the fortune of his life – is hurt and wounded, he is bound to get agitated. The deeper the assault and attack of the rebellious powers, the more restless and upset will he become. This cry of helplessness is being raised since hundreds of years. It is another thing that the means of destruction and annihilation of the human civilisation are changing with the passage of time.
The question is whether these indecencies and vices are a matter of concern only for those who live in the present era? Is this immorality a threat only for those who were born in the recent past and have illuminated their maturity with the radiance of belief and consider obedience to Allah and a steadfast certainty in Him are the treasures of their life? These problems and obstacles, these obscene and vulgar advertisements and posters – all enticing the viewers; and all other such means of sins and transgressions – are all crises only for the modern generation or even the pious and virtuous people of the past generations had to endure such threats and hazards? Have these vices spared any innocent person in the past? The truth is that such kinds of corruptions and immorality have always existed. Agonizing and dreadful tales of oppression have been recorded from times unknown. Each word is drenched in the blood of innocent and helpless individuals. What gave them the courage and strength to endure those tortures and atrocities, the persecution and sufferings which finally led to their martyrdom? They not only withstood the pain and the agony but they also handed over their inheritance to the next generation of noble people and finally departed to heaven. The oppressed ones of the bygone era no longer exist but their plea and implorations – in every subsequent age – are in quest of an individual who will mete out justice and fill the earth with equity. This imploration itself speaks of the presence of an invincible support who is also the master of the time. Thus hope – like a noble princess -.rides on him in every era, awaiting his reappearance. This optimism is not clad in the coarse attire of gloom and despondency. Rather it appears as a fresh shining robe of honour in every era. This confidence is (the cause of) steadfastness and a pillar of strength. This plea mirrors and illuminates the divine power and manifests the covenant of Allah and thus lights up countless lamps of hope and expectations. This is because it is only this plea whose divine answer echoes through the heart like a harmonious and invigorating melody and takes this earthly man through a voyage of mountains and valleys. In every era and in every nation, the masses have always raised their voices against injustice and oppression and have always demanded their rights. In every era, the powerful and mighty of that nation have tried to quell their cries of justice. The divine books of those era bear testimony, that this small group of people who were victimized and persecuted due to their honesty, piety, truthfulness and integrity always believed – due to their knowledge and certitude – in the coming of a divine reformer who shall grant them salvation from all their tribulations.
Let us have a look and analyse the discussions – found in ancient books – about the one who is the promised one, the representative of divine justice and the fountain-head of life. He is a treasure of deliverance and the soul of the universe. Let us see what has been mentioned about him in those books. We can only review them collectively because the amount of research done by scholars and academicians on this topic is vast and exhaustive and is beyond the scope of this article.
(1) The Vedas
This book is assumed to an ancient divine book. It is written in this book that “when the evils of the world will reach their zenith, a king will appear in the last times who will be the leader of the entire world. His name shall be Mansoor. He will rule over the entire world and will bring his religion. He will recognise the believers and unbelievers very evidently. Allah will grant him whatever he desires.” (Mansoor is one of the titles of Imam Mahdi (a.s.))
(2) The Book of Baasak
The irreligiousness of the people will come to an end. He will be the king of angels, fairies and humans. He will possess the news of the world and the heavens. Nothing will be concealed from him and none will be superior to him.
(3) The Upanishads
On page 737 it is mentioned, “He will be the tenth incarnation of Vishnu. He will appear riding on a white horse with a sword gleaming like a shining star. Since he will possess power and authority, he will eradicate all the evils from the face of the earth and a give new life to creation. He will be the cause of Return (Raj’at) of the virtuous people.
(4) The Holy book of Jains
When evil, discord and destruction shall reach its peak, at that time a “perfect man” who will be referred to “Tirthankar” meaning “the one who brings good news” will appear among the people. He will root out all forms of destruction and will establish nobility and chastity in every corner of the world.
According to the Hindu beliefs, Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and possessor of the book were divine. The son of the “chief of creations” whose name will be “Kashn” will be a ruler and the leader of the entire world. (According to the Hindi dictionary “Kashn” means “prophet”)
We will now delve on some extracts of the book of Zaboor. Readers may please pay attention. In “Mazaameer-e-Dawood” which is part of the Old Testament, Allah addresses H. Dawood (a.s.) and says, “(a) Don’t investigate into the wrongs of the evil doers (b) because they will be severed like grass (c) and like green grass they will wither and die (d) have faith in Allah and perform good deeds (e) remain quiet to gain proximity to Allah and await his reappearance.” Further on it is written in the Zaboor, “the people of knowledge and forbearance will inherit the earth. They will peacefully relish and enjoy the abundant divine bounties. On the other hand the followers of evil – with their naked swords and their bow and arrows – will ruthlessly kill the poor, destitute and the good doers. But after reappearance, the swords of the wicked people will be plunged in their own hearts and they will be decimated and overpowered.”
Allah always helps His virtuous servants because He very well knows about the day when His righteous servants will inherit the earth for eternity. It is worth noting the verse of the Holy Quran wherein Allah says,
“Surely We have written in the Zaboor after the “zikr” – surely the righteous servants shall inherit the earth”
(7) Torah (The Old Testament)
We have mentioned about the divine book of Torah in the blessed verse of Surah Anbiya (above). The word ‘zikr’ refers to ‘Torah’. As we have also spoken about it under verse 47 of Surah Anbiya.
(8) Injeel (The New Testament or The Bible)
From the Gospel of Matthews verse 31, Gospel of Mark verse 133 and Gospel of Luke verse 35 we present the summary of their content so that our readers can know how sensitive and important is the discussion of the reappearance of Imam Zamana (a.s.):
(a) Impostors using the name (of Isa) will dupe the people.
(b) Liars and fraudsters will claim Prophethood and deceive the people
(c) The one who remains patient till the last times will find salvation.
(d) A son of a man will descend like lightening from the eastern sky and he will be visible even in the west.
(e) He will be a human and he will move on clouds. He will be a person of power and authority. Angels will be his helpers. The heavens and the earth may perish but my prophecy will actualise.
(9) Jamsab nameh
This is the book of the Zoroastrians (fire worshippers). The following quotation can be found in the book of Zoroastrians concerning Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Imam Mahdi (a.s.), “An Arab will be the last prophet. He will be born in Makkah. He will ride a camel. His nation will be of camel riders. He will dine with humans and live among them. He will not have a shadow. He will be able to see in the front as well as the rear. His religion will be superior to all other religions. His book will abrogate the earlier divine books and neutralise all places of fire worship.
One of the sons of this Prophet – whose name shall be “Shah-e-Zaman” – will be a king. All other rulers will bite the dust in front of him. In his reign the past prophets and other noble individuals shall return (i.e. Raj’at).
Dear readers, the journey towards the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (atfs) is going since time immemorial. On one hand the world is a place of tribulations for the pious people while on the other hand the ray of hope and the optimism of reappearance have been echoing since the ancient times. There is a break of around 600 years between H. Isa (a.s.) and the advent of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). He is the last and the final prophet and messenger (s.a.w.a.). His religion is the final and most perfect religion. The Shariat rests on the solid foundations of his (s.a.w.a.) impeccable character and the Holy Quran in a manner that no amount of tremors can ever dislodge it. The Holy Quran has presented a bouquet of around 252 verses concerning Imam Mahdi (a.s.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) too has mentioned him at numerous occasions while he propagating Islam. Even while returning back from his (s.a.w.a.) final pilgrimage, he (s.a.w.a.) halted at Ghadeer-e-Khumm. Over there he (s.a.w.a.) not only placed the crown of wilaayah (mastership) upon Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.), but he also announced the names of his twelve successors as well as signs of reappearance of his twelfth successor. “His name shall be my name and his agnomen shall be my agnomen. The sunshine of equity will spread to all corners of the world while the darkness of oppression will retreat forever.”
O Allah! Give us a glimpse of the radiance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) – the one towards whom the people of the ancient times and every subsequent era till the present one – are moving for a joyous future. O Allah! Please include us in that golden era. Aameen!