Belief in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
Some people harbor the misconception that the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is restricted to Shias, who fabricated such beliefs after facing several setbacks in history. However, on studying the books of Ahle Tasannun, we find that their extremely reliable books are replete with the mention of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). These books not only talk about Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)’s reappearance in the last era but also outline his characteristics in great detail. Also several reliable scholars have written series of books on this topic and this continues till date.
(Interested readers may refer ‘Imam Mahdi (a.s.) in Traditions of Ahle Sunnah’ for details.)
The book Yanaabi’ al-Mawaddah Fi Shamaael al-Rasool (s.a.w.a.) wa Ahl al-Bait (a.s.) too is one such book written by a Hanafi scholar from Ahle Tasannun. His name was Hafiz Sulaymaan Ibn Ibrahim al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi al Balkhi. He was born in 1220 A.H. and expired in 1270 A.H. in Constantinople. In this book Shaikh Sulaymaan Qundoozi has collected traditions which mention the excellences of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Moreover, he has devoted several chapters to Imamate of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) which we shall discuss in this brief article.
In the second volume of his book Shaikh Sulaymaan Qundoozi has devoted several chapters to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Here, we will mention one tradition from each of them.
Chapter 71: Kitab al-Muhajjah contains conditions at the time of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) citing verses of the Holy Quran.
Tradition: Imam Sadiq (a.s.) while explaining the verse of Holy Quran (Surah Aale Imran (3): Verse 38), “And everything that in the heavens and the earth shall submit to Him willingly or unwillingly” says:
“When our Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) reappears, all places on the earth shall resound with the testimony of “There is no God except Allah and certainly Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!”
Chapter 72: Traditions that have been narrated by the author of the book ‘Mishkaat al-Anwaar’ about the signs of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
Umm Salmah (s.a) narrates that she heard the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) saying that Mahdi is from my progeny and from the children of Fatima (s.a.).
Chapter 73: Traditions narrated by the author of the book, Jawaahir al-Uqdain
Tradition: It is narrated in a tradition attributed to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) that he (a.s.) has said:
“Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is from the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Allah shall reform his affairs in a single night.”
Chapter 74: Sayings of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) about Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) from Nahj al-Balaagha.
Tradition: Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) informs:
“Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) shall turn desires into guidance when people will have turned guidance into desires. He will subject the opinion of people to the obedience of the Holy Quran while people will have taken the Holy Quran as per their views.”
Chapter 75: The calamities which shall befall Ahle Bait (a.s.) till the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
Tradition: Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.):
“O Ali! Beware of the jealousy and enmity present in the hearts of the people against you which they shall exhibit after my martyrdom. These are those upon whom is the curse of Allah and the curse of those who curse.”
Then he (s.a.w.a.) wept and said:
“Jibraeel has informed me that they shall oppress them (my Ahle Bait) after me till the reappearance of our Qaem (a.t.f.s.).”
Chapter 76: Names of the 12 Imams from Faraid al-Simtayn
From a lengthy tradition wherein a Jew called Na’sal put forth several questions before Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), we shall mention one portion in which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has mentioned about the occultation of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.):
“Surely the twelfth son from my progeny shall have a long occultation so much so that people shall not see him. A time will befall my nation when nothing will be left of Islam except its name and of the Holy Quran except its script. At that time, Allah shall grant permission to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) to reappear. Through his reappearance Allah shall grant victory to Islam and renew it.”
Chapter 77: “There shall be 12 Caliphs after me” and what has been narrated in the book Jam’ al-Fawaaid with respect to this tradition.
Tradition: It is narrated from Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said,
“This world shall not end till a person from the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.) shall lead my nation. He shall fill the earth with justice and equity just like it would be filled with injustice and inequity.”
Chapter 78: What has been narrated about him (a.s.) in the book Faraaid al-Simtayn and other books.
Tradition: Ibn Abbas narrates that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) prophesied:
“Surely my Caliphs, my Successors and the proofs of Allah upon the people after me are the twelve Imams of whom Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) is the first and the last is my grandson Mahdi (a.s.). ‘Ruhullah’ Isa Ibn Maryam (shall descend from the heavens after his reappearance) shall pray behind him…”
Chapter 79: The proofs of the blessed birth of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Tradition: A slave girl by the name of Naseem narrates that after the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) when I sneezed before him he (a.s.) said:
“May Allah have mercy upon you, sneeze is a safety from death for three days.”
Chapter 80: Traditions narrated by Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) and Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) concerning Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Tradition: Imam Reza (a.s.) has said:
“Surely after me, my son Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) shall be the Imam. After Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) his son Ali Naqi (a.s.) shall be the Imam. After Ali Naqi (a.s.), his son Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) shall be the Imam. After Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) his son al-Hujjat al-Qaem (a.s.) shall be the Imam. He shall be awaited during his occultation and obeyed after his reappearance. He shall fill the earth with justice and equity like it would be filled with injustice and tyranny.”
Chapter 81: The miracles of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
In this chapter some miracles of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) have been recorded which we are not reproducing here for the sake of brevity.
Chapter 82: Introduction by Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) of his son by the title ‘Qaem’
Tradition: In the book Kitab al-Ghaibah it is narrated by Abu Ghanim that a son was born to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) whose names he (a.s.) kept as M H M D. On the third day of his birth, he (a.s.) presented Imam Mahdi (a.s.) before his companions and said to them:
“He is your Imam (a.s.) after me and my Caliph over you. He is the same al-Imam al-Qaem who will be awaited.”
Chapter 83: Those who have met Imam Mahdi (a.s.) during major occultation.
Chapter 84: The views of people of cognition and witness and views of some spiritual personalities from among the religious scholars.
Some spiritual personalities have narrated. The earth shall flourish, be purified and shine through the presence of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Through his (a.s.) presence rivers shall flow and corruption will come to an end. Goodness and blessings shall multiply.
Chapter 85: Things which are mentioned in the book As’aaf al-Raaghebeen
Tradition: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has said:
“I give you glad tidings of Mahdi (a.s.) who shall be from the Quraish and from my progeny. He shall appear at the time of conflicts among people. He shall fill the earth with justice and equity just as it will be filled with injustice and oppression. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth shall be pleased with him (a.s.). He shall distribute wealth with equity. He shall fill the hearts of the nation of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) with needlessness.”
Chapter 86: Views of scholars who opine that the promised Mahdi is the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.).
In this chapter, the views of Ahle Tasannun scholars have been mentioned which narrate the birth, longevity, existence and occultation of Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
Question: Was Sulaymaan bin Ibrahim al-Hanafi al-Qundoozi a Shia?
When Ahle Tasannun are left with no choice they call their own scholars as belonging to the Shia faith. Such is the case with Shaikh Sulaymaan Qundoozi too. When they were unable to prove him to be a Shia then they presented an objection that Aqa Buzurgh Tehrani (one of the great Shia scholars) has said the following about Shaikh Sulaymaan al-Qundoozi in his book al-Zareeah:
The author of this book (Yanaabi’ al-Mawaddah) is not known to be a Shia but rather he was a Sufi and this book is included among the books of the Shia.
[Al-Zareeah, vol. 25, p. 290]
Reply: It should be noted that the Ahle Tasannun purposely shorten the name of Shaikh Sulayman al-Qundoozi which Aqa Buzurgh Tehrani has mentioned in his book i.e. his full name was ‘Sulaymaan bin Ibrahim al-Hanafi al-Qundoozi’. He belonged to the Hanafi school of thought. Aqa Buzurgh (r.a.) has written that Shaikh Sulaymaan Qundoozi was not a Shia. What is established though is that he loved the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and has collected traditions of the ancient scholars of the Ahle Tasannun that mention the excellences of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Hence, we present his book as a testament to the excellence and superiority of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).
Another thing that the Ahle Tasannun try to hide is that Aqa Buzurgh Tehrani (r.a.) in the 21st volume of his book on page 307 writes:
‘The book Yanaabi’ al-Mawaddah which has been written by Hafiz Sulaymaan bin Ibrahim al-Qundoozi al-Balkhi al-Hanafi was a Sufi and belonged to the Naqshbandi school.’
Hence, no matter how much the Ahle Tasannun claim that Shaikh Sulaymaan Qundoozi did not belong to the Ahle Tasannun, it is proven through various chains that he did belong to them as has been established above.
We conclude our brief discussion with the following supplication: O Allah! For the sake of Your Prophet Muhammad al-Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.), hasten the reappearance of the Imam of our age, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and include us among his companions, helpers and servants! Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!