Saturday 3 December 2016
Has any Muslim ever denied the notion of Mahdavism?
ID: 172 Publish Date: 23 January 2016 - 17:32 Count Views: 182
Question & Answer » Mahdism
Has any Muslim ever denied the notion of Mahdavism?

Doubt raised by Ibn Khaldun

Response, Criticism and Evaluation

A. Ibn Khaldun’s acknowledgment of the authenticity of a number of narratives about Mahdavism

B. Mutawatir (widely transmitted) narratives on Mahdavism, from the Sunni perspective

Anyone who denies such kinds of narratives is an infidel.

C. The rule of priority of Jarh (disparagement) over Ta’dil (crediting) of narrators

Ibn Khaldun is not qualified enough to undermine narratives.

 

 Doubts raised by Rashid Reza

The first doubt: The contradiction of narratives about Mahdavism 

Nasir al-Din al-Bani’s response

The second doubt: Shias are the only reporters of narratives about Mahdavism

Nasir al-Din al-Bani’s response to the doubt

The third doubt: No narrative has been cited in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim about Mahdavism

The first response: Nonexistence of a narrative does not prove its weakness.

The second response: One narrative can be found in Sahihayn (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) referring to Hazrat Mahdi (AS)

The third response: There had been one narrative in Sahih Muslim which was distorted later.

The fourth response: Can the authentic narratives be only found in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim?

The fourth doubt: Belief in Mahdavism has dire consequences.

Response

The fifth doubt: The heretic nature of the belief in Mahdavism

Response

 Doubts raised by Ahmad Amin Misri

‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Ibad to Ahmad Amin’s doubt

Negative effects of believing in Mahdavism

 

Doubts raised by Mohammad Farid Wajdi

Response

 Categorization of narratives on Mahdavism

The first category: The narratives in which Hazrat Mahdi (AS) is introduced as being named after the Prophet (PBUH).

The second category: The narratives which foretell the reappearance of Hazrat Jesus (AS) following Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) arrival.

The third category: The narratives which describe the signs of Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) advent.

The fourth category: The narratives which consider Hazrat Mahdi (AS) as a member of the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) household and one of Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) descendants.

The analysis of the narratives’ chains of transmission

The fifth category: The narratives which enumerates Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) specifications much similar to those of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)

 

Has any Muslim ever denied the notion of Mahdavism?

The inquirer: Ahmad Wali

The elaboration of the question:

Although believing in Mahdavism is one of the strongest basic beliefs of all Muslims as they await someone who will appear some day to fill the world with peace and justice, it is deemed as one of the fundamental beliefs in all religions with its roots deep in Quranic verses and Mutawatir Sunni and Shia narratives. Meanwhile, there are a handful of Sunni authors who have denied this principle and have raised doubts about it. Ibn Khaldun, Muhammad ‘Abdo, Rashid Reza, Ahmad Amin Misri, Mohammad Farid Wajdi and Mohammad Muhyi al-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid are among them. These individuals have tried to throw into question the belief in Mahdavism and make people skeptical about the whole principle.

In the present article, we intend to address the claims of these individuals and respond to them.

Ibn Khaldun’s doubt:

While discussing the issue of Mahdavism, Ibn Khaldun initially considered the whole notion as well as the fact that Hazrat Jesus (AS) will perform a prayer behind Hazrat Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance) following his arrival as a well-known topic addressed among Muslims of all times. He even agreed that a number of prominent narrators have reported the narratives about Mahdavism straight from the Sahaba or the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions. But later, he preferred the opinions of the deniers of Mahdavism by resort to the rule of الجرح مقدم على التعديل (priority of disparagement over crediting of narrators) and tried to cast doubt on the belief. Here is what he has said,

اعلم أن في المشهور بين الكافة من أهل الإسلام على ممر الأعصار أنه لا بد في آخر الزمان من ظهور رجل من أهل البيت يؤيد الدين ويظهر العدل ويتبعه المسلمون ويستولي على الممالك الإسلامية ويسمى بالمهدي...

و أن عيسى ينزل من بعده فيقتل الدجال أو ينزل معه فيساعده على قتله ويأتم بالمهدي في صلاته... إن جماعة من الأئمة خرجوا أحاديث المهدي منهم الترمذي وأبو داود والبزار ابن ماجة والحاكم والطبراني وأبو يعلى الموصلي وأسندوها إلى جماعة من الصحابة مثل علي وابن عباس وابن عمر وطلحة وابن مسعود وأبي هريرة وأنس وأبي سعيد الخدري وأم حبيبة وأم سلمة... ربما يعرض لها المنكرون كما نذكره إلا أن المعروف عند أهل الحديث أن الجرح مقدم على التعديل فإذا وجدنا طعنا في بعض رجال الأسانيد بغفلة أو بسوء حفظ أو ضعف أو سوء رأي تطرق ذلك إلى صحة الحديث وأوهن منها.

Remember that the matter which has been well-known among Muslims of all times was the fact that someone from Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet’s household) would appear at the end of world. He would approve the religion and spread justice. Muslims would follow him as he would rule all Muslim countries. His name is Mahdi… And Jesus would do a prayer behind him….

And a number of Hadith narrators such as Tarmathi, Abu Davud, Ibn Maja, Hakim Neishaburi, Tabarani and Abu Ya’li Musili have quoted narratives about Mahdavism from a number of Sahaba such as Amir al-Momenin Ali (AS), Ibn Abbas, Ibn ‘Umar, Talha, Ibn Mas’ud, Abu Hasrira, Anas, Abu Sa’eed Khidiri, Umm Habiba, Umm Salama and so on. But some people have denied it. And according to the principle of ‘priority of disparagement over crediting of the narrators, when ill-intention, negligence or poor memory of a narrator of a narrative is detected, the strength of the narrative comes into question, dealing a blow to its authenticity as a consequence.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, pp. 311-312; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

 

Response, Criticism and Evaluation:

Some important points need to be taken into consideration while criticizing and evaluating Ibn Khaldun’s view.

A. Ibn Khaldun’s acknowledgment of the authenticity of some narratives about Mahdavism:

From among few narratives that he has cited about Mahdavismm, at least four of them enjoy sound and acceptable chain of transmission based on his own expression or quotation from others.

1.

اما الترمذى فخرج هو و ابوداود بسنديهما الى ابن عباس من طريق عاصم بن ابى النجود احدالقراء السبعه الى زرّ بن حبيش عن عبدالله بن مسعود عن النبى(ص(

لو لم يبق من الدنيا الايوم لطول الله ذلك اليوم، حتى يبعث الله فيه رجلاً منى أو من أهل بيتي يواطئ اسمه اسمي واسم أبيه اسم أبي

Tarmathi and Abu Dawud have both quoted it from Ibn Abbas who had quoted it from ‘Asim Ibn Abi al-Nujud who had been one of the great seven reciters of the Qur’an. The latter had quoted it from Zarr Ibn Habish who had, for his part, quoted it from ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, quoting from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “Even if only one day is left from the world, Allah will prolong that day until a man from my household who is named after me and whose father is named after my father’s will rise up.”

In order to approve the authenticity of Abu Dawud’s narrative, Ibn Khaldun has added,

هذا لفظ أبي داود وسكت عليه وقال في رسالته المشهورة إن ما سكت عليه في كتابه فهو صالح

This is Abi Dawud’s expression about which he has kept silent. He has said in his famous book, Risala, that when he keeps silent about a matter, it shows the authenticity and reliability of that matter (the narrative is reliable).

Then Ibn Khaldun added,

و كلاهما حديث حسن صحيح

Both narratives are sound and authentic.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 312; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

2.

ما رواه الحاكم من طريق سليمان بن عبيد، عن ابى الصديق الناجى عن رسول‏الله قال: يخرج اخر امتى المهدى يسقيه الله الغيث، و تخرج الارض نباتها، و يعطى المال صحاحاً وتكثر الماشية وتعظم الأمة يعيش سبعا أو ثمانية يعنى حججا.

Hakim Neishaburi has quoted Sulayman Ibn’Abid quoting from Abu al-Sidiq al-Naji quoting from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “Mahdi will rise up at the end of the world. God will send rain to him. Plants will grow as a result. He will divide riches evenly and generously. And animals will multiply. The Islamic Umma will go broader and more decent. And Hazrat Mahdi will live as long as seven or eight years.”

In follow-up to the narrative, Ibn Khaldun has quoted Hakim Neishaburi as describing the narrative as a reliable one.

وقال فيه حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه مع أن سليمان بن عبيد لم يخرج له أحد من الستة لكن ذكره ابن حبان في الثقات ولم يرد أن أحدا تكلم فيه حديث.

Hakim Neishaburi has called this narrative authentic despite the fact that it is not cited in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Although none of the six editors of hadiths has cited a narrative from Sulayman Ibn ‘Ubayd, Ibn Haban has quoted it in his book, al-Thuqat without inciting any criticism.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 316; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

 

3.

و رواه الحاكم ايضاً من طريق عوف الاعرابى عن ابى الصديق الناجى عن ابى سعيد الخدرى قال: قال رسول الله: لا تقوم الساعة حتى تملأ الارض جوراً و ظلماً و عدواناً، ثم يخرج من اهل بيتى رجلٌ يملأها قسطاً و عدلاً كما ملئت ظلماً و عدواناً.

Hakim Neishaburi has also quoted from ‘Uf  al-A’rabi quoting Abi al-Sidiq al-Naji quoting from Abi Sa’eed al-Khidiri who had originally quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “The Day of Judgment will not arrive as long as the world is not filled with oppression and injustice. A man from my Ahl al-Bayt will finally rise up to fill the world with peace and justice as it was full of oppression and injustice.

In follow-up to the narrative, he added,

وقال فيه الحاكم: هذا صحيح على شرط الشيخين و لم يخرجاه.

According to Hakim Neishaburi, this narrative is authentic although it is not cited in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 316; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

4.

ثم رواه ابوداود من رواية ابى خليل عن ابى عبدالله بن الحارث عن ام سلمه... و رجاله رجال الصحيحين لا مطعن فيهم و لا مغمز.

In addition, Abu Dawud quoting from Abu Khalil quoting Abu ‘Abdullah Ibn al-Harith quoting Umm Salama… And those who have substantiated this narrative’s chain of transmission are the ones who did so in Sahihayn.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 316; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

From among few narratives that he has cited about Mahdavismm, at least four of them enjoy sound and acceptable chain of transmission based on his own expression or quotation from others. The issue of Mahdavism, however, can be proved through these few authentic narratives which have been obviously approved with the help of weak narratives. Many other similar ideological subjects can be proved through such limited number of narratives.

A point that merits consideration is that singling out a handful of narratives, analyzing and bringing them into question from among thousands of narratives cited in different Shia and Sunni sources seem irrational.

B. Mutawatir (widely transmitted) narratives on Mahdavism, from the Sunni perspective

A large number of Sunni scholars and theoreticians have admitted the Tawatur (wide transmission) of narratives on Mahdavism. By the same token, there is no need for the inspection of the origins of the narratives. One single Mutiwatir narrative is enough to prove its authenticity. In this regard, Ibn Taymiyya has said,

وأيضا فالخبر الذى رواه الواحد من الصحابة والإثنان إذا تلقته الأمة بالقبول والتصديق أفاد العلم عند جماهير العلماء ومن الناس من يسمى هذا المستفيض.

An event which has been reported by one or two individuals from Sahaba so that people could believe it, it would be informative in all scholars’ opinions. Some people call such a report Mustafid (extensive).

Ibn Taymiyya al-Harani al-Hanbali, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd al-Halim (died in 728 AH), Kutub wa Rasail wa Fatawa Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya, vol. 18, p. 70; researched by ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Qasim al-‘Asimi al-Najadi; published by Maktabat Ibn Taymiyya, the second edition.

 It is seen how Ibn Taymiyya whom Sunnis consider as trustworthy in hadith-related sciences has said that a narrative which is reported by one or two persons from Sahaba and accepted by people is informative. Now the question that comes to mind is that how come the narratives which have been reported by at least thirty people from Sahaba about Mahdavism are not informative!

And even Ibn Khaldun himself has affirmed at the beginning of his discussion about the matter that the Islamic Umma at all times had faith in Mahdavism.

اعلم أن في المشهور بين الكافة من أهل الإسلام على ممر الأعصار أنه لا بد في آخر الزمان من ظهور رجل من أهل البيت يؤيد الدين ويظهر العدل ويتبعه المسلمون ويستولي على الممالك الإسلامية ويسمى بالمهدي...

Remember that the matter which has been well-known among Muslims of all times was the fact that someone from Ahl al-Bayt would appear at the end of world. He would approve the religion and spread justice. Muslims would follow him as he would rule all Muslim countries. His name is Mahdi…

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 311; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

Before wrapping up the present discussion, we refer to the quotations of a number of notable Sunni figures who have all given their seals of approval to the wide transmission of the narratives on Mahdavism.

1. Qurtabi has written in his interpretation

تواترت على أن المهدي من عترة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فلا يجوز حمله على عيسى والحديث الذي ورد في أنه لا مهدي إلا عيسى غير صحيح قال البيهقي في كتاب البعث والنشور: لأن راويه محمد بن خالد الجندي وهو مجهول يروى عن أبان بن أبي عياش وهو متروك عن الحسن عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو منقطع والأحاديث التي قبله في التنصيص على خروج المهدي وفيها بيان كون المهدي من عترة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أصح إسنادا.

There are Mutawatir narratives that Mahdi is a member of the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) household. It is not acceptable to liken him to Jesus and regard as authentic the narrative that Mahdi is indeed Jesus. In his book, Bi’th wa Nushur, Beihaqi has pointed out, “Mohammad Ibn Khalid Jundi’s narrative is Majhul (One of the narrators in the chain is unknown). He has quoted this narrative from Aban Ibn Abi ‘Ayyash whose narrative is detached from the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

But the narratives which have certified the arrival of Mahdi, insisting that Mahdi is from the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) household, are more reliable.

Al-Ansari al-Qurtabi, Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ahmad (died in 671 AH), al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an, vol. 8, p. 122; published by Dar al-Sha’b, Chiro.

2. Mazi has said in Tahthib al-Kamal,

قال أبو الحسن الابري: قد تواترت الاخبار استفاضت بكثرة رواتها عن المصطفى صلى الله عليه وسلم، يعني في المهدي، وأنه من أهل بيته، وأنه يملك سبع سنين ويملا الأرض عدلا، وأنه يخرج عيسى بن مريم فيساعده على قتل الدجال

According to Abu al-Hassan Abri, the narratives are Mutawatir with many narrators quoting them from Hazrat Mustafa (Peace Be Upon Him). The followings are selected from among these narratives. “Mahdi is from among the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him). He will rule the world as long as seven years. He will fill the earth with peace and justice. Hazrat Jesus will reappear and give help to Hazrat Mahdi to kill Dajjal.”

Al-Mazi, Yusuf Ibn al-Zaki ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Hujjaj (died in 742 AH), vol. 25, p. 149; researched by D. Bashar ‘Uwad Ma’ruf; published by Muassissat al-Rissalat,Beirut, the first edition, 1400 AH-1980 AD.

3. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has repeated what Abu al-Hassan has said without dismissing his comments.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Tahthib al-Tahthib, vol. 9, p. 126; published by Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, the first edition, 1404 AH-1984 AD.

4. Bin Baz, former grand Saudi Mufti, has also made a comment on Mahdavism.

أمر المهدي معلوم و الأحاديث فيه مستفيضة، بل متواترة و قد حكي غير واحد من أهل العلم تواترها و هي متواترة تواترا معنويا، لكثرة طرقها و اختلاف مخارجها و صحابتها و رواتها و ألفاظها، فهي ـ بحق ـ تدل علي أن هذا الشخص الموعود به أمره ثابت و خروجه حق.

The issue of Mahdavism is an undeniable issue. The narratives surrounding it are Mustafid and Mutawatir. Many experts in the field believe in the fact that the narratives are Mutawatir. These narratives are spiritual Mutiwatir, indeed, since the ways of their transmission as well as their narrators have been various. As a matter of fact these narratives prove that a man will definitely rise up and establish a government.

Majjalat al-Jami’a al-Islamiyya bil Medina al-Munawwira, No. 3, the year 1388, Fi Theil Muhadira ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Ibad

5. Muslim World League which is the cultural center of Wahhabism announced in May, 1976

فإنّ الاعتقاد بظهور المهدي يعتبر واجباً علي كل مسلم و هو جز من عقائد أهل السنة و الجماعة و لا ينكر ذلك إلاّ كلّ جاهل أو مبتدع.

Believing in Mahdi’s advent is a required principle for all Muslims. This belief is considered one of the Sunni beliefs. No one can deny this fact except a heretic or an ignorant person.

Al-Risalat, May 21, 1976, Allati Jata Bi Towqi’ Mudir al-Majma’ al-Fiqhi al-Islami Muhammad Muntazir al-Kanani.

Anyone who denies such kinds of narratives is an infidel.

Up to here the readers have become acquainted with the views of a number of Sunni scholars about the Mahdavism narratives being Mutawatir. Now it is worth putting down two the views of some other Sunni scholars about the denial of such narratives.

1. In his Risala, Mohamamd Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab has issued a decree calling an infidel the person who denies a Mutawatir narrative.

...ومن أنكر ذلك فقد أنكر المتواتر وحال منكره معلوم أقل مراتبه أن يكون فاسقاً

...anyone who denies it has in fact denied the Mutawatir narrative. And it is quite clear what the one who denies such a narrative would be called. He is actually miscreant.

Mohammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (died in 1206 AH), Risalat fi al-Rad Ala al-Rafida, vol.1, p. 41; researched by Dr. Nasir Ibn Sa’d al-Rashid; published by Matabi’ al-Riyad, Riyad, the first edition.

2. The following is what has been quoted in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya,

وَمَنْ أَنْكَرَ الْمُتَوَاتِرَ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ.

The person who denies a Mutawatir hadiths is an infidel indeed.

Nizam wa Jama’at min ‘Ulama al-Hind, al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya fi Mathhab al-Imam al-A’zam Abi Hanifa al-Nu’man, vol. 2, p. 265; researched by Dar al-Fikr, 1411 AH- 1991 AD.

Surprisingly, a number of Sunni scholars have stressed that anyone who denies the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) advent is an infidel.

عن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من أنكر خروج المهدي فقد كفر بما أنزل على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ومن أنكر نزول عيسى ابن مريم عليه السلام فقد كفر ومن أنكر خروج الدجال فقد كفر.

Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah has quoted the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as stating, that anyone who denies Mahdi’s arrival has in fact denied whatever has had been revealed to Mohammad. Anyone who denies the appearance of Jesus son of Mary as well as Dajjal’s revolt is an infidel.

Al-Kashmiri al-Hindi, Mohammad Anwar Shah (died in 1352 AH), al-Tasrih Bima Tawatir fi Nuzul al-Masih, vol. 1, p. 242; researched by ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda; published by Maktab al-Matbu’at al-Islamiyya, Aleppo, the fourth edition, 1402 AH-1982 AD.

Now with regard to some Sunni scholars’ views about Tawatur and some others’ ideas about the deniers of such narratives being infidel and miscreant, how could doubts be ever thrown on narratives about Mahdavism?

C. The rule of priority of Jarh (disparagement) over Ta’dil (crediting) of narrators:

In an attempt to further weaken narratives about Imam Mahdi (AS), Ibn Khaldun has pointed to the principle below.

والجرح مقدم على التعديل.

The disparaging and weakening the narrative has priority over its approval.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 312; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

In order to elaborate the matter, a question is being posed here. In the hadiths-related science, what should be done in case a narrator is disparaged by one group and credited by another, in other words, when there is a contradiction between Jarh and Ta’dil?

Siyuti has provided a number of answers to this question. Ibn Khaldun has cited one of them.

وإذا اجتمع فيه) أي الراوي (جرح) مفسر (وتعديل فالجرح مقدم) ولو زاد عدد المعدل هذا هو الأصح عند الفقهاء والأصوليين.

When a narrator is being disparaged and credited at the same time, Jarh has priority over Ta’dil. Even if the number of those who had credited him was more, this principle is applied by jurists.

Al-Siyuti, Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abibakr (died in 911 AH), Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi, vol. 1, p. 309; researched by ‘Abd al-Wahhab ‘Abd al-Latif; published by Maktabat al-Riyadh al-Haditha, Riyadh.

On the contrary to the view mentioned above, there is another kind of look at the matter. Siyuti has, however, pointed out that if the number of those who have approved the narrator is more than those rejecting him, the way the former ones think is preferable.

وقيل إن زاد المعدلون قدم التعديل

It is said that if the number of those crediting is more, their view will be the choice.

Al-Siyuti, Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abibakr (died in 911 AH), Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi, vol. 1, p. 310; researched by ‘Abd al-Wahhab ‘Abd al-Latif, publishded by Maktabat al-Riyadh al-Haditha, Riyadh.

Moreover, some of the individuals who have accepted the former view; namely, the priority of disparagement of the narrator over crediting him have not admitted it as a general and absolute principle. Siyuti has quoted Ibn Ibn Daqiq al-‘Abid as confirming it.

وقيده ابن دقيق العيد بأن يبنى على أمر مجزوم به لا بطريق اجتهادي كما اصطلح عليه أهل الحديث في الاعتماد في الجرح على اعتبار حديث الراوي بحديث غيره والنظر إلى كثرة الموافقة والمخالفة

Ibn Daqiq has emphasized that there should be a clear reason for the disparagement of a narrator. No one should censure him only based on personal reasons. There is an agreement between hadiths-related experts that a narrative reported by someone should not be credited or disparaged for the sake of the existence of another narrative.

Al-Siyuti, Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abibakr (died in 911 AH), Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi, vol. 1, p. 309; researched by ‘Abd al-Wahhab ‘Abd al-Latif, published by Maktabat al-Riyadh al-Haditha, Riyadh.

Sabki Shafi’i’s view in this regard is worth being mentioned here. It shows how he had warned about the possible danger of the judgment of a narrator.

فإنك إذا سمعت أن الجرح مقدم على التعديل ورأيت الجرح والتعديل وكنت غرا بالأمور أو فدما مقتصرا على منقول الأصول حسبت أن العمل على جرحه فإياك ثم إياك والحذر كل الحذر من هذا الحسبان بل الصواب عندنا أن من ثبتت إمامته وعدالته وكثر مادحوه ومزكوه وندر جارحه وكانت هناك قرينة دالة على سبب جرحه من تعصب مذهبى أو غيره فإنا لا نلتفت إلى الجرح فيه ونعمل فيه بالعدالة وإلا فلو فتحنا هذا الباب أو أخذنا تقديم الجرح على إطلاقه لما سلم لنا أحد من الأئمة إذ ما من إمام إلا وقد طعن فيه طاعنون وهلك فيه هالكون

Whenever you heard that Jarh (disparagement) is preferred to Ta’dil (crediting), and when you saw Jarh and Ta’dil both at the same time and got deceived by the rule and assumed that you should decide according to Jarh, watch out not to act based on your own personal interest. Instead, the right decision should be in favor of the one who is more impartial and whose admirers are more than his critics. And if it were figured out that the disparagement was the result of a religious partiality, a blind eye should be turned to Jarh. If Jarh is preferred to Ta’dil all the time as a definite rule, then neither of the great narrators would be immune because there would naturally be someone to be at loggerheads with him over his view anyway.

He has, furthermore, quoted Ibn ‘Abd al-Birr, as saying,

ثم قال أبو عمر... أن من ثبتت عدالته وصحت فى العلم إمامته وبالعلم عنايته لم يلتفت فيه إلى قول أحد إلا أن يأتى في جرحته ببينة عادلة تصح بها جرحته على طريق الشهادات

According to Ib ‘Abd al-Birr, no attention should be paid to the criticism surrounding a narrator whose impartiality and knowledge are confirmed. It can influence the opinions only if an unbiased person can prove his negative view against the narrator.

Al-Sabki al-Shafi’i, Abu Nasr Taj al-Din ‘Abd al-Wahhab Ibn Ali Ibn ‘Abd al-Kafi (died in 771 AH).Tabaqat al-SHafi’at al-Kubra, vol. 2, pp. 9-10; researched by D. Mahmoud Mohammad al-Tanahi D. ‘Abd al-Fattah Mohammad al-Halu; published by Hajar Lil Taba’a wa al-Nashr wa al-Towzi’, the second edition, 1413 AH.

With multi-faceted explanations provided so far, it can be clearly realized that الجرح مقدم على العديل (the priority of disparagement over crediting a narrator) is not an inclusive rule that can be applied anywhere and any time. By the same token, Ibn Khaldun’s justification is not acceptable at all especially concerning narratives about Imam Mahdi (AS). That is because playing down narratives from some certain narrators is the result of sectarian prejudice which was referred to earlier. By no means does such disparagement look credible.

Regrettably, Ibn Khaldun has judged about at least five narrators only because they were Shias. These narrators are as follows,

1. Concerning Qutan Ibn Khalifa, Ibn Khaldun has said,

وقطن بن خليفة وإن وثقه أحمد ويحيى ابن القطان وابن معين والنسائي وغيرهم إلا أن العجلي قال حسن الحديث وفيه تشيع قليل وقال ابن معين مرة ثقة شيعي.

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Yahya Ibn Qatan, Ibn Mu’in, Nisai and others have called Qutan Ibn Khalifa trustworthy but ‘Ijli has asserted that he has a Shia tendency and his narratives are sound. Ibn Mu’in has once named him a reliable Shia.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 313; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

2. ‘Ammar al-Duhni to whom he has referred to as ‘Ammar al-Thahabi, saying,

مع ما ينضم إلى ذلك من تشيع عمار الذهبي وهو وإن وثقه أحمد وابن معين وأبو حاتم النسائي وغيرهم فقد قال علي بن المدني عن سفيان أن بشر بن مروان قطع عرقوبيه قلت في أي شيء قال في التشيع

Bukhari has made no mention of his narratives. And his being Shia further undermines ‘Ammar al-Thahabi although Ahmad, Ibn Mu’in, Abu Hatam Nisai along with some others have described him trustworthy. Ali Ibn Madani ‘An Sufyan has said, “Bashar Ibn Marwan cut off his two legs, I asked the why. He answered, ‘because of being a Shia’.”

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 319; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

3. Harun was another narrator, about whom he has voiced his view as follows,

سكت أبو داود عليه وقال في موضع آخر في هارون هو من ولد الشعية

Abu Dawud has kept silent about him without expressing any opinion, but elsewhere in his book, he has affirmed that he is a Shia.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 314; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

4. ‘Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Humam

فيه عبد الرزاق بن همام وكان مشهورا بالتشيع

‘Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Humam has reported this narrative. He is known to be a Shia.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 320; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

5. He has introduced Yazid Ibn Abi Ziyad as a Shia scholar by saying,

ويزيد بن أبي زياد... وقال محمد بن الفضيل من كبار أئمة الشيعة

Yazid Ibn Abi Ziyad … is a man whom Mohammad Ibn Fadil has considered as a Shia leader, expert in narratives.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 317; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

Therefore, it is impossible to bring into question a narrative only because its narrator has been undermined for sectarian-motivated reasons. Its authenticity can not be doubted about when there are other individuals crediting the same narrator.

If it were an inclusive rule, would anyone of the Sunni narrators be immune from it? Only a few Sunni narrators can be found who had not been the target of criticism of experts in field. In case the rule of الجرح مقدم على التعديل is supposed to be generalized about all Sunni narrators, no narrative will remain for an Islamic law to be derived from it.

At the end of this section one point merits attention. Ibn Khaldun has, from the very first page of his book, lauded Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim as well as Sahhah and Sunan as the most determining hadith books. In his opinion, the yardstick for acceptability of a narrator especially in Sahihayn is that he should be credited by all Sunni scholars.

لأن الشروط التي اعتمدها البخاري ومسلم في كتابيهما مجمع عليها بين الأمة كما قالوه وشروط الطحطاوي غير متفق عليها... فلهذا قدم الصحيحان بل وكتب السنن المعروفة عليه لتأخر شرطه عن شروطهم ومن أجل هذا قيل في الصحيحين بالإجماع على قبولهما من جهة الإجماع على صحة ما فيهما من الشروط المتفق عليها.

The necessary condition for the acceptability of a narrator who has been quoted in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim as a reliable reporter is that all Sunni scholars should unanimously approve him. However, Tahtawi does not agree with the unanimity of ideas of all scholars as an essential condition. That is why Sahihayn and other similar books are preferred to Tahtawi’s. Tahtawi’s condition for the acceptability of a narrative is weaker than that of Bukhari and Muslim. It is for this reason that there has been a general consensus about the authenticity of the contents of Sahihayn.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 445; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

Ibn Khaldun should be informed that a number of narrators of the narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS) which were played down and rejected by him have been from among those mentioned in Sahihayn. Here are some examples,

1. ‘Akarrama Ibn ‘Ammar al-‘Ijli:

In his book, Tahthib al-Tahthib, Ibn Hajar has called him as one of the men mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

خت م 4 البخاري في التعاليق ومسلم والأربعة عكرمة بن عمار العجلي أبو عمار اليمامي بصري الأصل.

Bukhari, Muslim and four other editors have quoted narratives from ‘Akarrama Ibn ‘Ammar al-‘Ijli Abu ‘Ammar Yamani who was from Basra.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Tahthib al-Tahthib, vol. 7, p. 232; published by Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, the first edition, 1404 AH-1984 AD.

In Rijal Sahih Bukhari, he is also mentioned as a narrator whom Bukhari has quoted from.

1276 عكرمة بن عمار العجلي اليمامي كنيته أبو عمار

‘Akarrama Ibn ‘Ammar al-‘Ijli is from Yamama and his nickname is Abu ‘Ammar.

Al-Isbahani, Rijal Sahih Muslim, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Munjawiya Abubakr (died in 428 AH), Rijal Muslim, vol. 2, p. 110; researched by ‘Abdullah al-Leithi; published by Dar al-Ma’rifa, Beirut, the first edition, 14-7 AH.

2. Yazid Ibn Abi Ziyad al-Hashimi:

In his book, Taqrib al-Tahthib, Ibn Hajar has mentioned him as one of the narrators quoted by Bukhari and Muslim.

7717 يزيد بن أبي زياد الهاشمي... ختم

Bukhari and Muslim have cited narratives from Yazid Ibn Abi Ziyad al-Hashimi.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 601; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

3. ‘Amr Ibn Abi Qay

According to Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, he is a narrator from whom Bukhari has quoted narratives.

5101 عمرو بن أبي قيس الرازي الأزرق كوفي نزل الري... خت

‘Amr Ibn Abi Qays al-Razi al-Azraq is from Kufa but living in Rei. Bukhari has cited him.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 601; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

Alike Mazi has written in his Tahthib al-Kamal, adding that he has been one of the narrators cited in Sahih Bukhari.

خت 4: عَمْرو بن أَبي قيس الرازي الازرق... إستشهد به البخاري وروى له الاربعة.

Bukhari has quoted narratives from ‘Amr Ibn Abi Qays al-Razi al-Azraq. The four great editors have also cited him.

Al-Mazi, Yusuf Ibn al-Zaki ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Hujjaj (died in 742 AH), vol. 22, p. 203; researched by D. Bashar ‘Uwad Ma’ruf; published by Muassissat al-Rissalat,Beirut, the first edition, 1400 AH-1980 AD.

4. According to Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, Asad Ibn Mousa has been a narrator from whom Bukhari has quoted narratives.

399 أسد بن موسى بن إبراهيم بن الوليد بن عبد الملك بن مروان الأموي أسد السنة صدوق... خت د س.

 Asad Ibn Mousa Ibn Ibrahim Bin al-Walid Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan Amwa, Asad al-Sunna, is an honest and reliable person.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 396; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

A point that needs to be taken into account is that Ibn Khaldun has declared as weak a number of narratives on Mahdavism only due to the existence of one or so of these narrators in their chains of transmission. Despite this, these very individuals have been quoted in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim as well as other reliable Sunni books.

Meanwhile, Ibn Khaldun has acted shrewdly making the following statements in order to flee from criticism.

ولا تقولن مثل ذلك ربما يتطرق إلى رجال الصحيحين فإن الإجماع قد اتصل في الأمة على تلقيهما بالقبول والعمل بما فيهما وفي الإجماع أعظم حماية وأحسن دفعا

Such shortcomings can also be seen in narrators of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. These two books are approved and used as sources based on a general consensus. And a consensus is by itself the sign of the biggest support for the truths.

Ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami, ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad (died in 808 AH), Muqaddama Ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, pp. 312; published by Dar al-Qalam, Beirut, 1984, the fifth edition.

However, this judge should be aware that the scholars of the two sects do also have a general consensus on the issue of Mahdavism. As shown earlier, they consider narratives over the belief as Mutawatir (widely transmitted).

How come you regard the consensus as the biggest support for the truths when it comes to Sahihayn but this very consensus is ineffective when it comes to the belief of Mahdavism! Concerning the two books of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Sunni scholars are the only people having consensus on them but on the contrary, all Islamic sects have general agreement on the belief in Mahdi. How could such a judgment be justifiable?

 

Ibn Khaldun is not qualified enough to undermine narratives:

In response to Ibn Khaldun, ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Ibad, who has been a contemporary Sunni scholar, has pointed out that he lacks qualification of playing down the narratives.

وإنما حكم على أكثرها بالضعف وهو ليس أهلا للحكم لكونه ليس من أهل الاختصاص.

Ibn Khaldun is determined to undermine narratives about Mahdi. But in fact he is not qualified enough to do so because he is not an expert in the hadiths-related sciences.

Al-‘Ibad, ‘Abd al-Muhsin Ibn Hamad, al-Rudda Ala Min Kathaba bil Ahadith al-Sahihat al-Warida fi al-Mahdi, the journal of al-Jami’at al-Islamiyya, Medina, No. 45, section 17, 1400 AH.

 

Conclusion:

Firstly, Ibn Khaldun himself has certified that some of the narratives on Mahdavism enjoy reliable chains of transmission.

Secondly, Sunni figures have clarified that the narratives on Mahdavism are Mutawatir and that such kinds of narratives do not require to be examined from the perspective of their chains of transmission. On the other hand, according to a number of Sunni scholars, anyone who denies such narratives will go infidel.

Thirdly, the rule of الجرح مقدم على التعديل (the priority of disparagement of a narrator over crediting him) based on which Ibn Khaldun has thrown narratives on Mahdavism into question is by no means a general binding principle. This rule can not be applied for Mutawatir narratives of Mahdavism.

Other deniers after Ibn Khaldun:

Doubts raised by Rashid Reza:

Yet another individual denying the belief of Mahdavism is the contemporary Sunni author, Mohammad Ibn Rashid known as Rashid Reza. He has been long struggling to cast doubts on Mahdavism in a bid to deal a blow to the notion.

The first doubt: The contradiction of narratives about Mahdavism

He has claimed in his Tafsir,

وأما التعارض في أحاديث المهدي فهو أقوى وأظهر والجمع بين الروايات فيه أعسر والمنكرون لها أكثر والشبهة فيها أظهر

There is an evident contradiction in narratives about Mahdi. No unity and coherence can be seen in them. Their deniers are many with many doubts hovering over the whole notion.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tanfsir al-Minar), vol. 9, p. 416; published by al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-‘Amma lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

Elsewhere he has added,

أَنَّ أَحَادِيثَ الْمَهْدِيِّ لَا يَصِحُّ مِنْهَا شَيْءٌ يُحْتَجُّ بِهِ، وَأَنَّهَا مَعَ ذَلِكَ مُتَعَارِضَةٌ مُتَدَافِعَةٌ

Neither of narratives about Mahdi is authentic enough to depend on. They are all contradictory and incoherent.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tanfsir al-Minar), vol. 10, p. 342; published by al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-‘Amma lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

 

Rasir al-Din al-Bani’s response:

Prior to giving response to the doubts raised by Rashid Reza, note that the response Mohammad Nasir al-Din al-Bani, known as contemporary Bukhari, has given to Rashid Reza makes the problem much simpler to us. Especially, he has pointed his finger of blame to his erroneous statements. In an answer to an inquirer who asked him to read for the second time the books written by Rashid Reza and Mohammad ‘Abdullah al-Saman, Mohammad Nasir al-Din al-Bani had said,

نعم لقد كنت على علم بما كتبه الشيخ رشيد -رحمه الله- وكذا بما كتبه الأستاذ السمان في كتابه الذي أسماه " الإسلام المصفى " ! وأنا أجزم بخطأ ما كتباه في هذه المسألة.

Yes, I am well aware of what Rashid Reza and, in al-Islam al-Musfi, Saman have written. I have no doubt about the mistakes the two figures have made about this issue.

Nasir al-Din al-Bani, Mohammad, the journal of al-Tamaddun al-Islami, No. 22, the article “Howl al-Mahdi (AS)”, published in Damascus, 1371 AH.

Then in reaction to the man’s claim about the contradiction in narratives on Mahdavism, Nasir al-Din al-Bani has said,

وقد أعلها السيد بعلة أخرى وهي التعارض ! وهذه علة مدفوعة لأن التعارض شرطه التساوي في قوة الثبوت، وأما نصب التعارض بين قوي وضعيف فمما لا يسوغه عاقل منصف، والتعارض المزعوم من هذا القبيل.

Sayyid Mohammd Rashid Reza has undermined narratives on Mahdavism because of what he calls the contradiction among them. But such areasoning is adamantly rejected because the necessary condition for a contradiction is the equality of strength. The contradiction between a weak and a strong element is not accepted by any sane and unbiased person. The contradiction he claims is of this type.

Nasir al-Din al-Bani, Mohammad, the journal of al-Tamaddun al-Islami, No. 22, the article “Howl al-Mahdi (AS)”, published in Damascus, 1371 AH.

Rashid Reza has referred to the details and features of Hazrat Mahdi (AS) as an example of contradiction in the existing narratives about him.

ولاجل ذلك كثر الاختلاف في اسم المهدي ونسبه وصفاته وأعماله وكان لكعب الأحبار جولة واسعة في تلفيق تلك الأخبار. مِنْهَا: أَنَّ أَشْهَرَ الرِّوَايَاتِ فِي اسْمِهِ وَاسْمِ أَبِيهِ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ السُّنَّةِ أَنَّهُ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ، وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ: أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللهِ، وَالشِّيعَةُ الْإِمَامِيَّةُ مُتَّفِقُونَ عَلَى أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ الْحَسَنِ الْعَسْكَرِيَّ وَهُمَا الْحَادِي عَشَرَ وَالثَّانِي عَشَرَ مِنْ أَئِمَّتِهِمُ الْمَعْصُومِينَ، وَيُلَقِّبُونَهُ بِالْحُجَّةِ وَالْقَائِمِ وَالْمُنْتَظَرِ.

Contradiction can be found in narratives about Mahdi because there are a lot of differences of opinions about his name, lineage, specifications and plans. It has paved the way for Ka’b al-Ahbar to mix the narratives. From the Sunni point of view, the well-known narratives are about Mahdi’s name as well as his father’s name which is Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah. But in some narratives, he is said to be Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdullah. Shias unanimously believe that he is Imam ‘Askari’s (AS) son. The two are considered as their eleventh and twelfth infallible Imams. According to them, Mahdi is also named as al-Hujja, al-Qaim and al-Muntazar.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tanfsir al-Minar), vol. 9, p. 418; published by al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-‘Amma lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

Response:

In response to this doubt we should say that if we supposedly accept the contradiction between the weakness and strength of narratives on Mahdavism, the contradiction is merely in details and features of Hazrat Mahdi (AS). And none of the narratives convey the contradiction of the basic belief of Mahdavism. We never approve a narrative whish introduces Mahdi other than Imam ‘Askari’s son.

The second doubt: Shias are the only reporters of narratives about Mahdavism.

أَنَّ أَحَادِيثَ الْمَهْدِيِّ لَا يَصِحُّ مِنْهَا شَيْءٌ يُحْتَجُّ بِهِ... وَأَنَّ مَصْدَرَهَا نَزْعَةٌ سِيَاسِيَّةٌ شِيعِيَّةٌ مَعْرُوفَةٌ،وَلِلشِّيعَةِ فِيهَا خُرَافَاتٌ مُخَالِفَةٌ لِأُصُولِ الدِّينِ لَا نَسْتَحْسِنُ نَشْرَهَا فِي هَذَا التَّفْسِير

It is not acceptable to depend on narratives about Mahdavism. They were originally transmitted based on political motivation of Shias. Shias have inserted superstitions in them which are at odds with the religious principles. And it is not good to spread them in this interpretation book.

 Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tanfsir al-Minar), vol. 10, p. 342; published by al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-‘Amma lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

 

Nasir al-Din al-Bani’s response to this doubt:

هذا ثم إن السيد رشيد أو غيره لم يتتبعوا ما ورد في المهدي من الأحاديث حديثاً حديثاً، ولا توسعوا في طلب ما لكل حديث منها من الأسانيد، ولو فعلوا لوجدوا فيها ما تقوم به الحجة حتى في الأمور الغيبية التي يزعم البعض أنها لا تثبت إلا بحديث متواتر!‌ مما يدلك على ذلك أن السيد رشيد -رحمه الله- ادعى أن أسانيدها لا تخلو عن شيعي ! مع أن الأمر ليس كذلك على إطلاقه، فالأحاديث الأربعة التي أوردتها ليس فيها رجل معروف بالتشيع، على أنه لو صحت هذه الدعوى لم يقدح ذلك في صحة الأحاديث لأن العبرة في الصحة إنما هو الصدق والضبط، وأما الخلاف المذهبى فلا يشترط في ذلك كما هو مقرر في مصطلح علم الحديث ولهذا روى الشيخان في صحيحيهما لكثير من الشيعة وغيرهم من الفرق المخالفة واحتجا بأحاديث هذا النوع.

Rashid Reza and others have failed to examine the narratives on Mahdavism one by one. If they had done so, they would have certainly found out what can be depended on. Some individuals assume that the narratives imply hidden affairs. However, a Mutawatir narrative is reliable when it comes to even a hidden affair. Rashid Reza has claimed that the chains of transmission of these narratives are not empty of Shia reporters. But it does not apply to all narratives. As you can see in four narratives that I cited earlier, no Shia narrator has been detected in their chains of transmission. And given that Rashid Reza’s claim about the existence of Shia reporters in the chain of transmission of these authentic narratives is true; it can not harm their authenticity. That is because the main criterion for the authenticity of a narrative is the accuracy of the report recounted by a disciplined narrator. The religious tendency of the narrator has nothing to do with its possible approval or rejection.  This fact has been given much importance in hadiths-related sciences. For the same reason, Bukhari and Muslim have both put forward many narratives reported by opponents of this sect, yet calling them reliable.

Nasir al-Din al-Bani, Mohammad, the journal of al-Tamaddun al-Islami, No. 22, p. 643, the article “Howl al-Mahdi (AS)”, published in Damascus, 1371 AH.

The third doubt: No narrative has been cited in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim about Mahdavism.

Rashid Reza has claimed,

ولذلك لم يعتد الشيخان بشئ من رواياتها في صحيحيهما.

That is why Bukhari and Muslim have ignored narratives on Mahdavism in their Sahihayn.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tanfsir al-Minar), vol. 9, p. 416; published by al-Hayat al-Misriyya al-‘Amma lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

A number of points should be taken into consideration in order to respond Rashid Reza’s claim.

The first response: The absence of a narrative in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim can not be a justifying reason for Bukhari and Muslim to label it weak. They have never been quoted anywhere to have said that all narratives compiled in their books are authentic and that no authentic narrative can be found outside of these books. They had not been after compiling all authentic narratives, though. The two figures have both claimed themselves that all authentic narratives are not present in their books. Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has pointed to this admission in his Muqaddamat Fath al-Bari.

وروى الإسماعيلي عنه قال لم أخرج في هذا الكتاب الا صحيحا وما تركت من الصحيح أكثر... وقال أبو أحمد بن عدي سمعت الحسن بن الحسين البزار يقول سمعت إبراهيم بن معقل النسفي يقول سمعت البخاري يقول ما أدخلت في كتابي الجامع الا ما صح وتركت من الصحيح حتى لا يطول

Isma’ili has quoted Bukhari as saying, “Whatever I have compiled in this book is only authentic narratives. But the number of authentic narratives which I have not cited there is more.” And Ibrahim Ibn Mu’qal has also said, “I have heard from Mohammad Ibn Isma’il (Bukhari) saying, “I have compiled nothing else in this comprehensive book (Sahih Bukhari) except authentic narratives. And I refused to cite a number of other authentic narratives there just in order to avoid making the book too thick.”

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Huda al-Sari Muqaddamat Fath al-Bari Sharh sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 1, p. 7; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi, Muhib al-Din al-Khatib; published by Dar al-Ma’rifat, Beirut, 1379 AH.

This is exactly what Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has quoted in Taghliq al-Ta’liq from Ibrahim Ibn Mu’qal.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taghliq al-Ta’liq, vol. 5, p. 420; researched by Sa’eed ‘Abd al-Rahman Mousa al-Quzuqi; published by al-maktab al-Islami, Dar ‘Ammar, Beirut, Amman-Jordan, the first edition, 1405 AH.

Thahabi has also made a similar comment,

أخبرنا ابن الخلال أخبرنا الهمداني أخبرنا السلفي أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الرازي حدثنا عبدالله بن الوليد أخبرنا أحمد بن الحسن بن بندار أخبرنا أبو أحمد بن عدي سمعت الحسن بن الحسين البزاز سمعت إبراهيم بن معقل سمعت البخاري يقول ما أدخلت في هذا الكتاب إلا ما صح وتركت من الصحاح كي لا يطول الكتاب.

Ibrahim Ibn Mu’qal said, “I have compiled nothing else in this comprehensive book (Sahih Bukhari) except authentic narratives. And I refused to cite a number of authentic narratives there just in order to avoid making the book too thick.”

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, vol. 1, pp. 95-96; vol. 2, p. 402; researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut, Mohammad Na’im al-‘Arqasusi; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the ninth edition, 1413 AH.

In the preface of his commentary of Sahih Muslim, Nuwi has alike pointed it out,

فانهما لم يلتزما استيعاب الصحيح بل صح عنهما تصريحهما بأنهما لم يستوعباه وانما قصدا جمع جمل من الصحيح كما يقصد المصنف في الفقه جمع جملة من مسائله لا أنه يحصر جميع مسائله

The two (Bukhari and Muslim) have not assured that they have compiled all authentic narratives in their books. They have both affirmed that all authentic narratives are not cited there because they did not have the intention of compiling all authentic narratives. It is similar to when the writer of a book on Islamic jurisdiction only intends to accumulate a limited number of issues of this domain not all of them.

Al-Nuwi al-Shafi’I, Muhyi al-Din Abu Zakarya Yahya Ibn Sharaf Ibn Mar Ibn Jumu’at Ibn Hizam (died in 676 AH), Sharh al-Nuwi Ala Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 24; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, the second edition, 1392 AH.

Another statement which clearly reveals that Bukhari had never intended to collect all authentic narratives in his book is what Ibn al-Salah has written in ‘Ulum al-Hadith.

وقد قال البخاري أحفظ مائة ألف حديث صحيح ومائتي ألف حديث غير صحيح

Bukhari has said, “I have memorized one hundred thousand authentic narratives and two hundred thousand unauthentic ones.”

Al-Kurdi al-Shahrziwari, Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 643 AH), Muqaddamat Ibn al-Salah fi ‘Ulum al-Hadith, p. 23; researched, elaborated by Abu ‘Abd al-rahman Salah Ibn Mohamamd Ibn ‘Awida; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut-Lebanon, the first edition, 1416 AH-1995 AD. Details: Wa Bi Sadrihi Marwiyatina ‘An Abi Mohammad Rur al-Din al-Makki.

Ibn Salah went on saying,

وجملة ما في كتابه الصحيح سبعة آلاف ومائتان وخمسة وسبعون حديثا بالأحاديث المتكررة وقد قيل إنها بإسقاط المكررة أربعة آلاف حديث.

Based on repeated counting, whatsoever Bukhari has cited in his Sahih is as many as seven thousand, two hundred and seventy five narratives. And with repeated deletion of narratives, they have now become as many as only four thousand.

Al-Kurdi al-Shahrziwari, Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 643 AH), Muqaddamat Ibn al-Salah fi ‘Ulum al-Hadith, p. 23; researched, elaborated by Abu ‘Abd al-rahman Salah Ibn Mohamamd Ibn ‘Awida; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut-Lebanon, the first edition, 1416 AH-1995 AD. Details: Wa Bi Sadrihi Marwiyatina ‘An Abi Mohammad Rur al-Din al-Makki.

Here is another piece of evidence proving the fact. Hakim Neishaburi who is a prominent Sunni scholar has cited hundreds of narratives in his al-Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihayn. He has asserted that based on conditions enumerated by Bukhari and Muslim all narratives he has accumulated are authentic. He has added that those narratives were not cited in Sahih Mukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Al-Hakim, Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah Abu ‘Abdullah (died in 405 AH), al-Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 1, pp. 57, 59, 61, 62, 65, 68 & 73; researched by Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyat, Beirut, the first edition, 1411 AH-1990 AD.

As a notable Sunni scholar, Thahabi has made the following comment in this regard.

في المستدرك شيء كثير على شرطهما وشيء كثير على شرط أحدهما ولعل مجموع ذلك ثلث الكتاب.

There are many narratives in Mustadrak (of Hakim Neishaburi) which are all based on conditions set by Mukhari and Muslim both. There are many other narratives there which live up to the conditions set by one of the two figures. They, all together, make up to one third of the book though.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, vol. 17, pp. 175 researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut, Mohammad Na’im al-‘Arqasusi; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the ninth edition, 1413 AH.

It is seen how a well-known Sunni expert of narratives have made it clear that a large number of authentic narratives can be found in a book other than Sahihayn. And above all, these narratives are absent from the two books. As a result, given that neither of Bukhari and Muslim has cited narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS) in their books, it can not be a justifying reason that these narratives lack authenticity.

In a response to Ibn Akhram, Ibn Salah has made a similar statement.

ثم إن أبا عبد الله بن الأخرم الحافظ قال قل ما يفوت البخاري ومسلما مما يثبت من الحديث يعني في كتابيهما ولقائل أن يقول ليس ذلك بالقليل فإن المستدرك على الصحيحين للحاكم أبي عبد الله كتاب كبير يشتمل مما فاتهما على شئ كثير.

Abu ‘Abddullah Ibn Akhram has said, “There are only a few authentic narratives which Bukhari and Muslim have not cited in their books. Someone should tell him that meanwhile there are many authentic narratives neglected. Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihayn is a great book which includes many narratives excluded from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Al-Kurdi al-Shahrziwari, Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 643 AH), Muqaddamat Ibn al-Salah fi ‘Ulum al-Hadith, pp. 22-23; researched, elaborated by Abu ‘Abd al-rahman Salah Ibn Mohamamd Ibn ‘Awida; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut-Lebanon, the first edition, 1416 AH-1995 AD. Details: Wa Bi Sadrihi Marwiyatina ‘An Abi Mohammad Nur al-Din al-Makki.

The second response: One narrative can be found in Sahihayn (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) referring to Hazrat Mahdi (AS).

Although no narrative has been cited in Sahihayn which openly mentions Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) name, there is one in Sahih Bukhari and several in Sahih Muslim which based on evidence and proofs imply Hazrat Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance).

In Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Anbiya, section 50 (the section referring to the advent of Jesus, son of Mary, Peace Be Upon Them)

3265 حدثنا بن بُكَيْرٍ حدثنا اللَّيْثُ عن يُونُسَ عن بن شِهَابٍ عن نَافِعٍ مولى أبي قَتَادَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ أَنَّ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ قال قال رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَيْفَ أَنْتُمْ إذا نَزَلَ بن مَرْيَمَ فِيكُمْ وَإِمَامُكُمْ مِنْكُمْ.

Nafi’ Mowlay Abu Qutada Ansari has quoted Abu Harira as quoting the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “What would you do at a time when Mary’s son (Hazrat Jesus) appeared while an Imam from among you rose up.”

Al-Bukhari al-Ja’fi, Mohammad Ibn Isma’il Abu ‘Abdullah (died in 256 AH), Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 3, p. 1272, Kitab al-Anbiya, section 50 (the section referring to the advent of Jesus, son of Mary, Peace be Upon Them); H. 3265; researched by D. Mustafa Dib al-Bugha; published by Dar Ibn Katgir, al-Yamama-Beirut, the third edition, 1407-1987.

This very narrative has been cited in Sahih Muslim as well. Its narrators, excluding the first two, are exactly those of a narrative quoted by Bukhari.

Muslim Ibn al-Hujjaj Abu al-Hussein al-Qashiri (died in 261 AH), Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 136, Kitab al-Iman, Section 71 (the section referring to the advent of Jesus, son of Mary as stated by our Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him), H. 155; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

There is another narrative which has been only cited in Sahih Muslim.

156 حدثنا الْوَلِيدُ بن شُجَاعٍ وَهَارُونُ بن عبد اللَّهِ وَحَجَّاجُ بن الشَّاعِرِ قالوا حدثنا حَجَّاجٌ وهو بن مُحَمَّدٍ عن بن جُرَيْجٍ قال أخبرني أبو الزُّبَيْرِ أَنَّهُ سمع جَابِرَ بن عبد اللَّهِ يقول سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لَا تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ من أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ على الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ إلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ قال فَيَنْزِلُ عِيسَى بن مَرْيَمَ صلى الله عليه وسلم فيقول أَمِيرُهُمْ تَعَالَ صَلِّ لنا فيقول لَا إِنَّ بَعْضَكُمْ على بَعْضٍ أُمَرَاءُ تَكْرِمَةَ اللَّهِ هذه الْأُمَّةَ.

Abu al-Zubayr has heard Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari quoting from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “A group from my Umma will keep fighting until the Day of Judgment while they are right. Then Jesus, son of Mary will arrive. Their leader will ask him to perform a prayer for them. But Hazrat Jesus (AS) will reject it saying, some of you (Muslims) are the leader of some others because God Almighty has given much respect to this Umma (Muslims).”

Muslim Ibn al-Hujjaj Abu al-Hussein al-Qashiri (died in 261 AH), Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 136, Kitab al-Iman, Section 71 (the section referring to the advent of Jesus, son of Mary as stated by our Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him), H. 156; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

According to both narratives mentioned above, when Hazrat Jesus (AS) reappeared, Muslims’ leader would be one from among them. It implies that Hazrat Jesus (AS) would not be the leader. He would be from among Muslims, instead. Now the question is that who is the Imam whom both of the narratives have referred to without mentioning his name?

The answer to this question can be easily derived from the narratives which have conveyed similar contents with mentioning the name of that leader. Through this way, it can be simply found out who really was meant by Imam in the two narratives quoted in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

A narrative from Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari:

The following has been quoted from Masnad Abu Usama in al-Minar al-Manif,

وقال الحارث بن أبي أسامة في مسنده حدثنا إسماعيل بن عبد الكريم حدثنا إبراهيم بن عقيل عن أبيه عن وهب بن منبه عن جابر قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ينزل عيسى بن مريم فيقول أميرهم المهدي تعال صل بنا فيقول لا إن بعضهم أمير بعض تكرمة الله لهذه الأمة وهذا إسناد جيد.

In his Musnad, Harith Ibn Abi Usama has quoted Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari as saying, “The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) stated, ‘Jesus, son of Mary will reappear. Their leader, Hazrat Mahdi (AS) will ask him to perform a prayer for them. But Hazrat Jesus (AS) will reject it saying, some of you (Muslims) are the leader of some others because God Almighty has given much respect to this Umma (Muslims).”

This narrative’s chain of transmission is considered as جيد (good).

Al-Hanbali al-Damishqi, Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Abi Bakr (died in 751 AH), al-Minar al-Manif fi al-Sahih wa al-Da’if, vol. 1, p. 147; researched by ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda; published by Maktab al-Matbu’at al-Islamiyya, Aleppo, the second edition, 1403.

The inspection of the narrative’s chain of transmission:

1. Al-Harith Ibn Abi Usama:

Thahabi has described him as الحافظ الصدوق (trustworthy).

الحارث بن محمد ابن أبي أسامة واسم أبي أسامة داهر الحافظ الصدوق العالم مسند العراق... صاحب المسند المشهور

Al-Harith Ibn Mohammad Ibn Abi Usama is the memorizer of the Qur’an, honest, Iraqi scholar and the owner of the famous Masnad.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, vol. 13, p. 388; researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut, Mohammad Na’im al-‘Arqasusi; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the ninth edition, 1413 AH.

2. Isma’il al-Shafi’I Ibn ‘Abd al-Karim:

Thahabi has said in his al-Kashif,

392 إسماعيل بن عبد الكريم بن معقل... قال النسائي ليس به بأس

According to Isma’il al-Shafi’I Ibn ‘Abd al-Karim Ibn Mu’qal Nisai, he has no weak point.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-Kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, al-Kashif, vol. 1, p. 385; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has described him as صدوق (honest),

464 إسماعيل بن عبد الكريم بن معقل بن منبه بالموحدة أبو هشام الصنعاني صدوق من التاسعة د فق

Isma’il Ibn ‘Abd al-Karim Ibn Mu’qal Ibn Minba Abu Hisam San’ani is honest from the ninth class.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 452; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

3. Ibrahim Ibn ‘Aqil:

Here is what Thahabi has said in his al-Kashif,

177 إبراهيم بن عقيل اليماني... وثق.

Ibrahim Ibn ‘Aqil al-Yamani’s narratives are authenticated.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-Kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, vol. 1, p. 219; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

He has been described as صدوق by Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani,

218 إبراهيم بن عقيل بن معقل الصنعاني صدوق من الثامنة.

Ibrahim Ibn ‘Aqil Ibn Mu’qal San’ani is an honest man from the eighth class.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 92; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

4. Abih (‘Aqil Ibn Mu’qal)

According to Thahabi, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has called him موثق (reliable).

3859 عقيل بن معقل...وثقه أحمد وقال كان قد قرأ التوراة والإنجيل والقرآن

‘Aqil Ibn Mu’qal is a man whom Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has described as reliable. According to him, he has read the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an.

 Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’i, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-Kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, vol. 1, p. 219; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has admired him as صدوق (honest).

4664 عقيل بن معقل بن منبه اليماني بن أخي وهب صدوق من السابعة

‘Aqil Ibn Mu’qal Ibn Munabih Yamani, Wahab’s nephew is honest from the seventh class.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 396; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

5. Wahab Ibn Munabbih:

In al-Kashif, he is also described as صدوق (honest) by Thahabi.

6116 وهب بن منبه الصنعاني أخو همام... صدوق صاحب كتب

Wahab Ibn Munabbih al-San’ani, Humam’s brother, is honest and the writer of a number of books.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, vol. 2, p. 358; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

 

And Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has praised him as a reliable narrator.

7485 وهب بن منبه بن كامل اليماني أبو عبد الله الأبناوي... ثقة من الثالثة

Wahab Ibn Munabbih Ibn Kamil Yamani Abu ‘Abdullah Abnawi is reliable from the third class.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 585; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

Nasir al-Din al-Bani has edited this narrative.

AL-Bani, Mohammad Nasir al-Din, al-Silsilat al-Sahihat, vol. 5, p. 276, H. 2236; published by Maktabat al-Ma’arif, Riyadh.

With the inspection of the chain of transmission of this narrative, it can be figured out that the ruler or leader that two narratives cited in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim does refer to Hazrat Mahdi (AS). In follow-up to a narrative quoted from Bukhari, Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani has, in his Fath al-Bari, pointed to what Abu al-Hasan Abri has said in Manaqib al-Shafi’I,

تواترت الاخبار بأن المهدي من هذه الامة و ان عيسي يصلي خلفه

There are Mutawatir narratives indicating that Mahdi is from this Umma and that Jesus will perform a prayer behind him.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Huda al-Sari Muqaddamat Fath al-Bari Sharh sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, p. 494; researched by Muhib al-Din al-Khatib; published by Dar al-Ma’rifat, Beirut.

There are three other narratives in Sahih Muslim with the same connotation. All of them do refer to Hazrat Mahdi (AS) without making a mention of his name. Here we quote one of them.

2913 حدثنا زُهَيْرُ بن حَرْبٍ وَعَلِيُّ بن حُجْرٍ واللفظ لِزُهَيْرٍ قالا حدثنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم عن الْجُرَيْرِيِّ عن أبي نَضْرَةَ قال كنا عِنْدَ جَابِرِ بن عبد اللَّهِ... قال قال رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَكُونُ في آخِرِ أُمَّتِي خَلِيفَةٌ يَحْثِي الْمَالَ حَثْيًا لَا يَعُدُّهُ عَدَدًا

Abu Nadra has said that he was with Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari when he quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “At the end of time, there will be a caliph for my Umma who distribute limitless property among people.”

Muslim Ibn al-Hujjaj Abu al-Hussein al-Qashiri (died in 261 AH), Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, pp. 2234-2235, H. 2913 &2214, the book al-Fitan wa Ashrat al-Sa’at, the section of La Taqum al-Sa’at; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

Although there is no mention of Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) name in these narratives, other similar narratives have been attributed to him. It is evident that the three narratives are about the Hazrat. Alike, there is a narrative by Tarmathi with a sound chain of transmission.

2232 حدثنا محمد بن بَشَّارٍ حدثنا محمد بن جَعْفَرٍ حدثنا شُعْبَةُ قَال سمعت زَيْدًا الْعَمِّيَّ قَال سمعت أَبَا الصِّدِّيقِ النَّاجِيَّ يحدث عن أبي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ قال خَشِينَا أَنْ يَكُونَ بَعْدَ نَبِيِّنَا حَدَثٌ فَسَأَلْنَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إِنَّ في أُمَّتِي الْمَهْدِيَّ يَخْرُجُ يَعِيشُ خَمْسًا أو سَبْعًا أو تِسْعًا زَيْدٌ الشَّاكُّ قال قُلْنَا وما ذَاكَ قال سِنِينَ قال فَيَجِيءُ إليه رَجُلٌ فيقول يا مَهْدِيُّ أَعْطِنِي أَعْطِنِي قال فَيَحْثِي له في ثَوْبِهِ ما اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ يَحْمِلَهُ قال أبو عِيسَى هذا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ

Abu Sa’eed said, “We were afraid about what would happen to us after the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). So, we asked him about it. He answered, ‘Mahdi would rise up from among my Umma. He would live as long as five, seven or nine years.’” Abu Sa’eed said, “What is going to happen then?” He replied, “A needy man would come and ask Mahdi for something. Mahdi would fill the bottom part of his dishdasha (traditional Arabic clothing) with what he wanted as much as he could take with him.” According to Tarmathi, this narrative is sound.

Al-Tarmathi al-Sulmi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Isa Abu ‘Isa (died in 279 AH), Sunan al-Tarmathi, vol. 4, p. 506; researched by Ahmad Mohammad Shakir wa Akharun; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

One of the senior contemporary Wahhabi scholar who is the vice-president of Medina University, ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-‘Ibad, has said in the journal of Risalat al-Thaqalayn, No. 25, the seventh year as follows,

فهذا الحديثان الواردان في الصحيحين و إن لم يكن فيها التصريح بلفظ المهدي تدل علي صفات رجل صالح يؤم المسلمين

The two narratives cited in Sahih Mukhari and Sahih Muslim are referring to a righteous man who will be Muslims’ prayer leader although there is no mention of the name of Mahdi.

The explanations provided clarify that based on evidence; the narratives given in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are attributed to Hazrat Mahdi (AS) although his name is not mentioned there. Accordingly, the belief in Mahdavism can easily be proved.

The third response: There had been one narrative in Sahih Muslim which was distorted later.

Some Sunni scholars have, in their books, quoted a narrative from Sahih Muslim which includes the name of Hazrat Mahdi (AS), referring to him as the son of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (AS). But now, there is no trace of that narrative in Sahih Muslim.

In order to support the claim, we put forward the same narrative along with the comments of a number of Sunni scholars, two of whom are quite well-known.

1. Ibn Hajar Heithami has written in his book,

وسيأتي في الفصل الثاني جملة مستكثرة من الأحاديث المبشرة به، ومن ذلك ما أخرجه مسلم وأبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجة والبيهقي وآخرون ( المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة(

In the second chapter, I bring up many narratives which foretell the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (AS). Among them, there is one narrative which has also been quoted by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja, Beihaqi and several others. (Mahdi is from my household and a descendant of Fatima)

Al-Heithami, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar (died in 973 AH), al-Sawa’iq al-Muharriqa Ala Ahl al-Fard wa al-Dalal, vol. 2, p. 472; researched by ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Turki, Kamil Mohammad al-Kharrat; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Lebanon, the first edition, 1417 AH-1997 AD.

2. Mottaqi Hindi has cited the following narrative in his Kanz al-‘Ummal.

 38662 المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة. (د، م - عن أم سلمة(

Mahdi is from my household and a descendant of Fatima. (Abu Dawud and Muslim have quoted it from Umm Salama)

Al-Hindi, ‘Ala al-Din Ala al-Mottaqi Ibn Hisam al-Din (died in 975 AH), Kanz al-‘Ummal fi Sunan al-Aqwal wa al-Af’al, vol. 14, p. 118; researched by Mahmoud ‘Umar al-Damyati; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition, 1419 AH-1998 AD.

According to what Mottaqi Hindi has written in the preface of his book, (د) stands for Abu Dawud and (م) (M) stands fro Sahih Muslim.

وهذه رموزه ( خ ) للبخاري ( م ) لمسلم ( ق ) لهما ( د ) لأبي داود

Mysteries of this book: (خ) stands fro Bukhari; (م)  stands for Muslim; (ق)   stands for a narrative quoted by Bukhari and Muslim both. (د)  stands for a narrative reported by Abu Dawud.

Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 1, p. 15.

3. Here is what Mohammad Ali Saban has said in As’af al-Raghibin.

اخرج مسلم و ابوداود و النسائي و ابن ماجه والبيهقي و آخرون «المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة

Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nisai, Ibn Maja, Beihaqi and several others have all cited “Mahdi is from me (the Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him) and a descendant of Fatima (AS)”

Al-Saban, Mohammad Ali (died in 1303 AH), As’af al-Raghibin, vol. 2, p. 28.

4. Hamzawi Maliki has written in his Mashariq al-Anwar,

ففي مسلم و ابي داود و النسائي و ابن ماجه والبيهقي و آخرين «المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة

In their books, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Nisai, Ibn Maja, Beihaqi and several others have all cited “Mahdi is from me (the Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him) and a descendant of Fatima (AS)”

Hamzawi Maliki (died 1303), Mashariq al-Anwar, p. 112.

With a quick look at the quotations that we have provided above, it can be easily verified that Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) name has been clearly mentioned in Sahih Muslim. A number of Sunni scholars have quoted it from Muslim. And naturally it seems impossible to consider the action as a mistake because the citation was not only made by one person.

The fourth response: Can the authentic narratives be only found in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim?

Why do you assume that authentic and reliable narratives can only and only be found inside Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari? Which one of the Sunni scholars believe that authentic narratives are only compiled in these two books? If such a claim were acceptable, then what would be the use of tens of comprehensive hadiths books written after those of Bukhari and Muslim? A large number of Sunni scholars are of this belief that authentic narratives can also be seen in other books except those of Bukhari and Muslim. According to Ibn Salah,

ثم إن الزيادة في الصحيح على ما في الكتابين يتلقاها طالبها مما اشتمل عليه أحد المصنفات المعتمدة المشتهرة لائمة الحديث كأبي داود السجستاني وأبي عيسى الترمذي وأبي عبد الرحمن النسائي وأبي بكر بن خزيمة وأبي الحسن الدارقطني وغيرهم منصوصا على صحته فيها ولا يكفي في ذلك مجرد كونه موجودا في كتاب أبي داود وكتاب الترمذي وكتاب النسائي وسائر من جمع في كتابه بين الصحيح وغيره ويكفي مجرد كونه موجودا في كتب من اشترط منهم الصحيح فيما جمعه ككتاب بن خزيمة.

In addition to narratives cited in Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari, more authentic narratives can be found in reliable and well-known books such as those written by Abu Dawud Sijistani, Abu ‘Isa tarmathi, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Nisai, Abu Bakr Ibn Khazima, Abu Hassan Dar Qatani and so on and so forth.

 Al-Kurdi al-Shahr Ziwari, Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 643 AH), Muqaddamat Ibn al-Salah Ibn ‘Awida; published by Dar al-Kutub, Beirut, Lebanon, the first edition, 1416 AH-1995 AD, details: Wa Bisadrehi Marwiyyatina ‘An Abi Mohammad Nur al-Din al-Makki.

No doubt that the narratives which have been mentioned inside Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari are not the only ones which are described as authentic. There are various ways for the classification of a narrative as authentic and reliable. Being found in these two books is only considered as one of those ways. Therefore, this way is not the only way as shown by Nawawi who has quoted a narrative from Siyuti in Tadrib al-Rawi.

قال فما صححه ولم نجد فيه لغيره من المعتمدين تصحيحا ولا تضعيفا حكمنا بأنه حسن.

Nawawi has said, “The narrative which Hakim Neishaburi considers authentic and no other reliable figure has not undermined it, it is classified as authentic.”

Al-Siyuti, Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abibakr (died in 911 AH), Tadrib al-Rawi fi Sharh Taqrib al-Nawawi, vol. 1, p. 107; researched by ‘Abd al-Wahhab ‘Abd al-Latif; published by Maktabat al-Riyadh al-Haditha, Riyadh.

The fourth doubt: Belief in Mahdavism has dire consequences.

Yet another doubt raised by Rashid Reza is that the Mahdavism doctrine has led to many dire consequences in the Islamic world, breaking up disputes and killings.

وَقَدْ كَانَتْ أَكْبَرَ مَثَارَاتِ الْفَسَادِ وَالْفِتَنِ فِي الشُّعُوبِ الْإِسْلَامِيَّةِ؛ إِذْ تَصَدَّى كَثِيرٌ مِنْ مُحِبِّي الْمُلْكِ وَالسُّلْطَانِ، وَمِنْ أَدْعِيَاءِ الْوِلَايَةِ وَأَوْلِيَاءِ الشَّيْطَانِ، لِدَعْوَى الْمَهْدَوِيَّةِ فِي الشَّرْقِ وَالْغَرْبِ، وَتَأْيِيدِ دَعْوَاهُمْ بِالْقِتَالِ وَالْحَرْبِ، وَبِالْبِدَعِ وَالْإِفْسَادِ فِي الْأَرْضِ حَتَّى خَرَجَ أُلُوفُ الْأُلُوفِ عَنْ هِدَايَةِ السُّنَّةِ النَّبَوِيَّةِ، وَمَرَقَ بَعْضُهُمْ مِنَ الْإِسْلَامِ كَمَا يَمْرُقُ السَّهْمُ مِنَ الرَّمِيَّةِ...

The belief of Mahdavism is one of the biggest motivations behind corruption and seditions in the Islamic Umma. That is because many supporters of monarchy and followers of the Satan claim to be Mahdi and they resort to war, murder, heresy and corruption on the earth in order to prove their claim. It derails thousands of thousands of people off the track of the prophetic tradition (Sunna). It might also make some others to deviate from the religion exactly like an arrow thrown out of a bow.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tafsir al-Minar), vol. 9, p. 416; published by al-Hiyat al-Misriyya al-‘Ammat lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

 He has also complained that why Muslims believing in Mahdavism postpone doing their social duties such as spreading justice until the advent of Hazrat Mahdi (AS) instead of doing them. What follows is the statement he has made in this regard.

وَالْمُسْلِمُونَ لَا يَزَالُونَ يَتَّكِلُونَ عَلَى ظُهُورِ الْمَهْدِيِّ، وَيَزْعُمُ دَهْمَاؤُهُمْ أَنَّهُ سَيَنْقُضُ لَهُمْ سُنَنَ اللهِ تَعَالَى أَوْ يُبَدِّلُهَا تَبْدِيلًا، وَهُمْ يَتْلُونَ قَوْلَهُ تَعَالَى: فَهَلْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَّا سُنَّةَ الْأَوَّلِينَ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللهِ تَبْدِيلًا وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللهِ تَحْوِيلًا.  

Muslims rely on Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) appearance and imagine that Mahdi would transform the divine Sunna (tradition) while reciting the following verse,

Then do they await except the way of the former peoples? But you will never find in the way of Allah any change, and you will never find in the way of Allah any alteration. (The Chapter of The Originator: 43)

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tafsir al-Minar), vol. 9, p. 416; published by al-Hiyat al-Misriyya al-‘Ammat lil Kitab, 1990 AD.

Response:

In response to this doubt, we should say that a belief in Mahdavism is a basic Islamic belief about which many Mutawatir narratives can be found. Hence, it is genuine Islamic thought. There have been always a handful of elements to abuse any genuine Islamic thought. However, they have been always encountered by many people. No genuine Islamic belief can be denied or dismissed only due to its abuse by few people. That is why many Shia figures both fight against such abuses as well as wrong beliefs about waiting for the Hazrat’s appearance, and deeply believe in the notion at the same time. Late Shahid Motahhari (God bless him) has classified the concept of “waiting” into two different types; constructive and destructive waiting. He has taken swipe at the destructive type of waiting. Here is what he has said in a nutshell.

“The assumption that an all-encompassing justice would spread its umbrella over the world after it became full of oppression and injustice has made many troubles. With this assumption, some people oppose any kind of reforms; saying ‘let the world get replete with oppression and injustice so that it can pave the way for a revolution that would bring about justice after all’."

Motahhari, Morteza (martyred in 1358 solar year), uprising and Mahdi’s revolution from the perspective of historical philosophy; published by Sadra publications, Tehran, 1379 solar year.

The fifth doubt: The heretic nature of belief in Mahdavism

There is yet another doubt raised by Rashid Reza. He believes that the belief in Mahdavism is a heresy. According to him,

وَلِلشِّيعَةِ فِيهَا خُرَافَاتٌ مُخَالِفَةٌ لِأُصُولِ الدِّينِ لَا نَسْتَحْسِنُ نَشْرَهَا فِي هَذَا التَّفْسِير

The Shia belief of Mahdavism is a heresy which is at odds with religious principles. Thus, it does not seem good to address it in this book.

Mohammad Rashid Ibn Ali Reza Ibn Mohammad (died in 1354 AH), Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Hakim (Tafsir al-Minar), vol. 10, p. 342; published by al-Hiyat al-Misriyya al-‘Ammat lil Kitab, 1990 AD. 

 

Response:

We try to give a general response to this doubt and put off the detailed answer to the next section where we are going to discuss the doubts raised by Ahmad Amin Misri.

As insisted earlier, the belief in Mahdavism is not considered exclusive for only Shias. It is a general belief on which all Muslims have agreement. Widely transmitted (Mutawatir) narratives have also given the seal of approval to this fact. How could such a notion be a heresy?

 

Doubts raised by Ahmad Amin Misri:

Ahmad Amin Misri has echoed Rashid Reza’s doubts such as, 1. Narratives about Mahdavism exclusively belong to Shias. 2. Narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS) are absent from Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. 3. Effects and dire consequences of belief in Mahdavism. All of these doubts were responded before. 4. The heretic nature of belief in Mahdavism.

The answers that can be provided for doubts raised by this person are all like what we gave to those of Rashid Reza earlier in the article. But because Ahmad Amin specifically persisted in what he called the heretic nature of belief in Mahdavism, we try to mainly address this doubt.

First, we bring up his exact words, and then we analyze them separately.

حديث المهدي هذا حديث خرافة وقد ترتب عليه نتائج خطيرة في حياة المسلمين.

The hadiths (narrative) of Mahdi is heretic. They can put Muslims’ lives in danger.

Amin Misri, Ahmad (died in 1954 AD), Duha al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 243. Maktabat al-Usrat, Egypt, 1999 AD.

Elsewhere, Ahmad Amin has branded reports and narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS) as talking about hidden things. Then he has denied the reports all together.

فامتلأت عقول الناس بأحاديث تروى وقصص تقص ونشأ باب كبير في كتب المسلمين اسمه الملاحم فيه أخبار الوقائع من كل لون فأخبار العرب والروم وأخبار في قتال الترك.

People’s minds are getting full of narratives and stories. In Muslims’ books a comprehensive chapter has been opened under the title of “hidden things” in which there are a variety of future events like events related to Arabs, Rome and massacre of Turks.

Amin Misri, Ahmad (died in 1954 AD), Duha al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 244. Maktabat al-Usrat, Egypt, 1999 AD.

 

‘Abd al-Muhsin’s response to Ahmad Amin:

‘Abd al-Muhsin Ibn Hamd al-‘Ibad has responded to Ahmad Amin’s doubt and has published it in a journal the managing director of which was former grand Saudi Mufti, Bin Baz. In fact, his response seems quite enough for any unbiased reader.

هذا القول فيه زيادة في الهلكة لما فيه من استنكار هذا الباب الذي اشتملت عليه دواوين السنة النبوية وهو باب الملاحم وما يندرج تحته من أحاديث عن أخبار بمغيبات وكثير من أحاديث هذا الباب موجودة في الصحيحين وفي غيرها

Extreme annihilation of the speaker can actually be seen in Ahmad Amin’s statement. That is because he has denied an issue which is based on the prophetic tradition. It is related to hidden things about which many narratives can be found in Sahihayn (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).

Al-‘Ibad, ‘Abd al-Muhsin Ibn Hamad, “Al-Rudda Ala Min Kathaba Bil Ahadith al-Sahihat al-Waridat fi al-Mahdi”, the journal of al-Jami’at al-Islamiyya, Medina, No. 45, section 17, 1400 AH.

 

Dire consequences of believing in Mahdavism:

Then he pushed ahead with his criticisms by enumerating what he assumed negative effects of narratives on Mahdavism.

وجعلت هذه الأشياء كلها أحاديث بعضها نسبوه إلى النبي صلى اللّه عليه وسلم وبعضها إلى أئمة أهل البيت وبعضها إلى كعب الأحبار ووهب بن منبه وهكذا وكان لكل ذلك أثر سيئ في تضليل عقول الناس وخضوعهم للأوهام... وهذا كله من جراء نظرية خرافية هي نظرية المهدية وهي نظرية لا تتفق وسنة اللّه في خلقه ولا تتفق والعقل الصحيح"انتهى.

Some of these fabricated narratives are attributed to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), some of them to Imams from the Prophet’s household, some of them to Ka’b al-Ahbar and Wahab Ibn Munabbih, who were both non-Muslims and converted to Islam later on. Each of these narratives does have a negative impact on people’s minds. They force people to deviate from the straight path and push them towards illusion. The heretic theory of Mahdavism is a kind of theory which is totally in contrast to both God’s Sunna and wisdom.

Amin Misri, Ahmad (died in 1954 AD), Duha al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 244, Maktabat al-Usrat, Egypt, 1999 AD.

 

‘Abd al-Musin’s response to Ahmad Amin:

يجاب عنه بأن مثل ذلك لا يصلح أن يطلق عليه نظرية لأنه من الأمور الغيبية التي هي ليست محلا للرأي والنظر وإنما يتوقف قبول ذلك على صحة الحديث به عن رسول اللّه صلى اللّه عليه وسلم وقد صاحت الأحاديث بخروج المهدي في آخر الزمان والعقل السليم لا يختلف مع النقل الصحيح بل يتفق معه إذ أن العقل تابع للنقل وهو معه كالعامي المقلد مع العالم المجتهد كما قال ذلك بعض العلماء وخروج المهدي في آخر الزمان متفق مع سنة اللّه في خلقه فإن سنة اللّه تعالى أن الحق في صراع دائما مع الباطل واللّه تعالى يهيئ لهذا الدين في كل زمان من يقوم بنصرته ولا تخلو الأرض في أي وقت من قائم للّه بحجته والمهدي فرد من أمة محمد صلى اللّه عليه وسلم ينصر الله به دينه في الزمن الذي يخرج فيه الدجال وينزل فيه عيسى بن مريم عليه الصلاة والسلام من السماء كما صحت الأخبار بذلك عن الذي لا ينطق عن الهوى صلى اللّه عليه وسلم.

Such a claim is not acceptable at all because this issue is related to hidden things about which no one can express opinions. The belief in Mahdavism is based on authentic narratives directly quoted from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). All of the narratives cry out in the appearance of Mahdi (AS) at the end of the world. Not a sane person can ever oppose an authentic quotation. Instead, all people should embrace it because wisdom always follows quotations. The togetherness of wisdom and quotation looks exactly like ordinary people’s following of a jurist as compared by some of the scholars.

The advent of Mahdi at the end of the time is also in line with God’s Sunna because in God’s Sunna, right is always at war with wrong. And God has always been preparing someone to give assistance for the victory of this religion. And the earth has never been without Hujjat (leader). Mahdi (AS) is a man from the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) Ummah who is expected to fight for His religion when Dajjal rose up against him and at a time when Hazrat Jesus (AS) arrived from the heaven. All narratives have substantiated the authenticity of the event as it was initially foretold by someone who never talked in accordance with his personal desires.

Al-‘Ibad, ‘Abd al-Muhsin Ibn Hamad, “Al-Rudda Ala Min Kathaba Bil Ahadith al-Sahihat al-Waridat fi al-Mahdi”, the journal of al-Jami’at al-Islamiyya, Medina, No. 45, section 17, 1400 AH.

 

Doubt Raised by Farid Wajdi:

After citing narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS), he has said as follows,

والناظرون فيها من أولي البصائر لا يجدون في صدورهم حرجا من تنزيه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من قولها. فإن فيها من الغلو والخبط في التواريخ والاغراق في المبالغة والجهل بأمور الناس والبعد عن سنن الله المعروفة ما يشعر المطالع لأول وهلة أنها أحاديث موضوعة تعمد وضعها رجال من أهل الزيغ أو المتشايعين لبعض أهل الدعوة من طلبة الخلافة في بلاد العرب أو المغرب.

Those who look into these narratives will by no means get skeptical about the fact that they ought to clear the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) away from such reports. That is because these narratives are replete with exaggeration, historical mistakes and stupidity. They are much far away from God’s Sunna. Anyone who studies them can, with the first look, realize that they are fabricated by misleaders and the seekers of power in Arab and Western land.

Farid Wajdi, Mohammad, Dairat Ma’arif al-Qarn al-‘Ashrin, vol. 10, pp. 480-481; published by Tasfir Dar al-Ma’’rifat, the third edition, 1971 AD.

 

Response:

Indeed, this doubt is just a very simple misleading matter which has been resulted from failure to distinguish between similar things. There is no doubt that there might be errors in narratives in respect to Mahdavism especially in those quoted from individuals other than the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (household). But the existence of weak narratives can never be a justifying reason for throwing the basic principle of Mahdavism into question. It is a principle which has been proved through various Mutawatir narratives. It should be borne in mind that many narratives, which are weak and in contradiction to wisdom, can also be found concerning different ideological topics such as Monotheism, Prophethood, and Resurrection and so on. For instance, there are narratives in Sahih Muslim, Sahih Bukhari and books of other Sunni editors which define God as a physical entity. They are trying to prove that God has hands with five fingers, legs, back, face and so forth. According to these narratives God shines like the moon and gets on animals. Can anyone basically deny the existence of God because of such narratives which are in opposition to wisdom, logic and the Qur’an?

As a matter of fact, it is very easy for anyone to claim, “With a look at narratives on Monotheism, many heretic concepts can be seen. As a conclusion, the issue of Monotheism is a heresy”.

Believing in Mahdavism as well as the appearance of a Savior at the end of the world is not only a common belief among all Muslims but also a common belief among all Devine religions. The Quranic verses along with many authentic narratives can prove it. Now in case there is a narrative which lays out ignorance and exaggeration, it is scholars and religious figures who are duty-bound to put aside it and read out a narrative free from mistakes for people, not to deny the basic principle of Mahdavism as soon as seeing it.

 

Categorization of narratives on Mahdavism

Here, it seems appropriate to provide a number of narratives from Sunni books about the subject in discussion. The narratives are classified into several groups.

The first category: The narratives in which Hazrat Mahdi (AS) is introduced as being named after the Prophet (PBUH).

Tarmathi has said in his Sunan,

حدثنا عبد الْجَبَّارِ بن الْعَلَاءِ بن عبد الْجَبَّارِ الْعَطَّارُ حدثنا سُفْيَانُ بن عُيَيْنَةَ عن عَاصِمٍ عن زِرٍّ عن عبد اللَّهِ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال يَلِي رَجُلٌ من أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يُوَاطِئُ اسْمُهُ اسْمِي قال عَاصِمٌ وأنا أبو صَالِحٍ عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ قال لو لم يَبْقَ من الدُّنْيَا إلا يَوْمٌ لَطَوَّلَ الله ذلك الْيَوْمَ حتى يَلِيَ. قال أبو عِيسَى هذا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, has quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “A man from my household who is named after me will rise up to establish a government.” Abu Salih and Abu Harira have both narrated that “Even if only one day is left from the world, Allah will prolong that day until a man from my household will rise up to establish a government.” According to Abu ‘Isa Tarmathi, who is the author of Sunan, this narrative is authentic.

Al-Tarmathi al-Sulmi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Isa Abu ‘Isa (died in 279 AH), Sunan al-Tarmathi, vol. 4, p. 505, H. 2231; researched by Ahmad Mohammad Shakir wa Akharun; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

The second category: The narratives which foretell the reappearance of Hazrat Jesus (AS) following Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) arrival.

The following is what Muslim has put forward in his Sahih,

156 حدثنا الْوَلِيدُ بن شُجَاعٍ وَهَارُونُ بن عبد اللَّهِ وَحَجَّاجُ بن الشَّاعِرِ قالوا حدثنا حَجَّاجٌ وهو بن مُحَمَّدٍ عن بن جُرَيْجٍ قال أخبرني أبو الزُّبَيْرِ أَنَّهُ سمع جَابِرَ بن عبد اللَّهِ يقول سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول لَا تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ من أُمَّتِي يُقَاتِلُونَ على الْحَقِّ ظَاهِرِينَ إلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ قال فَيَنْزِلُ عِيسَى بن مَرْيَمَ صلى الله عليه وسلم فيقول أَمِيرُهُمْ تَعَالَ صَلِّ لنا فيقول لَا إِنَّ بَعْضَكُمْ على بَعْضٍ أُمَرَاءُ تَكْرِمَةَ اللَّهِ هذه الْأُمَّةَ

Abu al-Zubayr has heard Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari quoting from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “A group from my Umma will keep fighting until the Day of Judgment while they are right. Then Jesus, son of Mary will arrive. Their leader will ask him to perform a prayer for them. But Hazrat Jesus (AS) will reject it saying, some of you (Muslims) are the leader of some others because God Almighty has given much respect to this Umma (Muslims).”

Muslim Ibn al-Hujjaj Abu al-Hussein al-Qashiri (died in 261 AH), Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 137, Kitab al-Iman, Section 71 (the section referring to the advent of Jesus, son of Mary as stated by our Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him),; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

The third category: The narratives which describe the signs of Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) advent.

1. Muslim has said in his Sahih,

حدثنا زُهَيْرُ بن حَرْبٍ وَعَلِيُّ بن حُجْرٍ واللفظ لِزُهَيْرٍ قالا حدثنا إسماعيل بن إبراهيم عن الْجُرَيْرِيِّ عن أبي نَضْرَةَ قال كنا عِنْدَ جَابِرِ بن عبد اللَّهِ فقال يُوشِكُ أَهْلُ الْعِرَاقِ أَنْ لَا يُجْبَى إِلَيْهِمْ قَفِيزٌ ولا دِرْهَمٌ... ثُمَّ قال قال رسول اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَكُونُ في آخِرِ أُمَّتِي خَلِيفَةٌ يَحْثِي الْمَالَ حَثْيًا لَا يَعُدُّهُ عَدَدًا قال قلت لِأَبِي نَضْرَةَ وَأَبِي الْعَلَاءِ أَتَرَيَانِ أَنَّهُ عُمَرُ بن عبد الْعَزِيزِ فَقَالَا لَا.

Jariri has quoted Abu Nadra having heard from Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah Ansari saying, “It is soon for the Iraqis to get Dirham and what they need….” He quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “At the end of time, there will be a caliph who will grant properties to people generously.” Jarir said that he asked Abu Nadra and Abu ‘Ala if that caliph were ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. Both of them replied, “No”.

Muslim Ibn al-Hujjaj Abu al-Hussein al-Qashiri (died in 261 AH), Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 2234, Kitab al-Fitan wa Ashrat al-Sa’at, the secition of La Taqum al-Sa’at Hatta Yamurra al-Rajul Biqabr al-Rajul fa Yatamana An Yakun Makan al-Mayyit Min al-Bala; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

2. Tarmathi has cited a narrative which he has called authentic.

حدثنا محمد بن بَشَّارٍ حدثنا محمد بن جَعْفَرٍ حدثنا شُعْبَةُ قَال سمعت زَيْدًا الْعَمِّيَّ قَال سمعت أَبَا الصِّدِّيقِ النَّاجِيَّ يحدث عن أبي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ قال خَشِينَا أَنْ يَكُونَ بَعْدَ نَبِيِّنَا حَدَثٌ فَسَأَلْنَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال إِنَّ في أُمَّتِي الْمَهْدِيَّ يَخْرُجُ يَعِيشُ خَمْسًا أو سَبْعًا أو تِسْعًا زَيْدٌ الشَّاكُّ قال قُلْنَا وما ذَاكَ قال سِنِينَ قال فَيَجِيءُ إليه رَجُلٌ فيقول يا مَهْدِيُّ أَعْطِنِي أَعْطِنِي قال فَيَحْثِي له في ثَوْبِهِ ما اسْتَطَاعَ أَنْ يَحْمِلَهُ قال أبو عِيسَى هذا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ.

Abu Sa’eed Khidiri said, “We were afraid about what would happen to us after the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). So, we asked him about it. He answered, ‘Mahdi would rise up from among my Umma. He would live as long as five, seven or nine years.’” Abu Sa’eed said, “What is going to happen then?” He replied, “A needy man would come and ask Mahdi for something. Mahdi would fill the bottom part of his dishdasha (traditional Arabic clothing) with what he wanted as much as he could take with him.” According to Tarmathi, this narrative is sound.

Al-Tarmathi al-Sulmi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Isa Abu ‘Isa (died in 279 AH), Sunan al-Tarmathi, vol. 4, p. 506; researched by Ahmad Mohammad Shakir wa Akharun; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

Hakim Neishaburi has quoted the following narrative from Abu Sa’eed Khidiri,

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال يخرج في آخر أمتي المهدي يسقيه الله الغيث وتخرج الأرض نباتها ويعطى المال صحاحا وتكثر الماشية وتعظم الأمة يعيش سبعا أو ثمانيا يعني حججا.

هذا حديث صحيح الإسناد ولم يخرجاه.

“Mahdi will rise up at the end of the world. God will send rain to him. Plants will grow as a result. He will divide riches evenly. Animals will multiply. The Islamic Umma will go broader and more decent. And Hazrat Mahdi will live as long as seven or eight years.”

This narrative is authentic but it is not mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

Al-Hakim, Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah Abu ‘Abdullah (died in 405 AH), al-Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 4, p. 8672; researched by Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyat, Beirut, the first edition, 1411 AH-1990 AD.

The fourth category: The narratives which consider Hazrat Mahdi (AS) as a member of the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) household and one of Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) descendants.

Tarmathi has cited a narrative in his Sunan from Abu Harira. He has described it as authentic. According to this narrative, Hazrat Mahdi (AS) is a member of the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) household.

2231 حدثنا عبد الْجَبَّارِ بن الْعَلَاءِ بن عبد الْجَبَّارِ الْعَطَّارُ حدثنا سُفْيَانُ بن عُيَيْنَةَ عن عَاصِمٍ عن زِرٍّ عن عبد اللَّهِ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال يَلِي رَجُلٌ من أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يُوَاطِئُ اسْمُهُ اسْمِي قال عَاصِمٌ وأنا أبو صَالِحٍ عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ قال لو لم يَبْقَ من الدُّنْيَا إلا يَوْمٌ لَطَوَّلَ الله ذلك الْيَوْمَ حتى يَلِيَ قال أبو عِيسَى هذا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ.

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud, has quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “A man from my household who is named after me will rise up to establish a government.” ‘Asim said Abu Salih quoted Abu Harira as saying “Even if only one day is left from the world, Allah will prolong that day until a man from my household will rise up to establish a government.” According to Abu ‘Isa Tarmathi, who is the author of Sunan, this narrative is authentic.

Al-Tarmathi al-Sulmi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Isa Abu ‘Isa (died in 279 AH), Sunan al-Tarmathi, vol. 4, p. 505; researched by Ahmad Mohammad Shakir wa Akharun; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

There is also a separate narrative in Ibn Maja’s Sunan which has introduced Hazrat Mahdi (AS) as a descendant of Hazrat Fatima (AS).

حدثنا أبو بَكْرِ بن أبي شَيْبَةَ ثنا أَحْمَدُ بن عبد الْمَلِكِ ثنا أبو الْمَلِيحِ الرَّقِّيُّ عن زِيَادِ بن بَيَانٍ عن عَلِيِّ بن نُفَيْلٍ عن سَعِيدِ بن الْمُسَيَّبِ قال كنا عِنْدَ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ فَتَذَاكَرْنَا الْمَهْدِيَّ فقالت سمعت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول الْمَهْدِيُّ من وَلَدِ فَاطِمَةَ

Sa’eed Ibn Musayyib said that once he was with Umm Salama, talking about Mahdi together. Umm Salama said that he had heard the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) stating that Mahdi would be one of Fatima’s descendants.

Al-Qazwini, Mohammad Ibn Yazid Abu ‘Abdullah (died in 275 AH), Sunan Ibn Maja, vol. 2, p. 1368; researched by Mohammad Fuad ‘Abd al-Baqi; published by Dar al-Fikr,Beirut.

 The same narrative has also been repeated in Sunan Abi Dawud.

Al-Sijistani al-Azud, Sulayman Ibn al-Ash’ath Abu Dawud (died in 275 AH), Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 4, p. 107; researched by Mohammad Muhyi al-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid; published by Dar al-Fikr.

 

Examination of the chain of transmission of this narrative:

1. Abubakr Ibn Abi Shayba:

It is what Thahabi has said about him.

أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة الحافظ عديم النظير الثبت النحرير... قال أحمد أبو بكر صدوق هو أحب الي من أخيه عثمان وقال العجلي ثقة حافظ وقال الفلاس ما رأيت احفظ من أبي بكر بن أبي شيبة وكذا قال أبو زرعة الرازي... وقال الخطيب كان أبو بكر متقنا حافظا صنف المسند والاحكام والتفسير

Abubakr Ibn Abi Shayba is the memorizer of the Qur’an, extradordinary, reliable, shrewd and wise. Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has said that Abubakr is very honest and more beloved than his brother ‘Uthman Ibn Abi Shayba. ‘Ijli has also said that he is reliable and the memorizer of the Qur’an. Falas said that he had not seen anyone better than Abubakr Ibn Abi Shayba in memorizing narratives. Abu Zar’a has said the same thing about him. According to Khatib, Abubakr was a hardworking memorizer of the Qur’an who has written Masnad, Ahkam and Tafsir.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Tathkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 2, pp. 432-433; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition.

2. Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik:

أحمد بن عبد الملك بن واقد الحافظ الحجة محدث الجزيرة... قال أحمد رايته حافظا لحديثه صاحب سنة... قال أبو حاتم كان نظير النفيلي في الصدق والإتقان

Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn Waqid is the memorizer of the Qur’an, Hujjat and Muhadith (hadith narrator). Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has said that he found him a memorizer of narratives. And Abu Hatam has also described him as an extraordinary person who is very honest with mastery over narratives.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Tathkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 2, p. 463; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition.

Then, Thahabi has cited the same narrative from Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik without undermining it or playing it down.

أخبرنا عبد الحافظ بن بدران انا عبد الله بن أحمد سنة 615 انا أبو الفتح بن البطي انا أبو الفضل بن خيرون انا الحسن بن أحمد البزاز انا أحمد بن محمد القطان انا أبو جعفر محمد بن غالب حدثني أحمد بن عبد الملك الحراني انا أبو المليح الرقي عن زياد بن بيان عن علي بن نفيل عن سعيد بن المسيب عن أم سلمة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال المهدي من ولد فاطمة عليها السلام

Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib has quoted Umm Salama quoting from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating that Mahdi is a descendant of Fatima (AS).

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Tathkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 2, p. 464; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition.

3. Abu al-Malih al-Riqqi:

Ibn Abi Hatam has quoted from Abu Zar’a as praising Abu al-Malih al-Riqqi as ثقه a reliable person.

حدثنا عبد الرحمن قال سئل أبو زرعة عن أبي المليح الرقي فقال اسمه الحسن بن عمر الفزاري وهو ثقة.

According to ‘Abd al-Rahman, Abu Zar’a had been asked about Abu al-Malih al-Riqqi. He had answered that his name was Hassan Ibn ‘Umar Fazari and he was a reliable man.

Al-Razi al-Tamimi, Abu Mohammad ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abi Hatam Mohammad Ibn Idris (died in 327 AH), al-Jarh wa al-Ta’dil, vol. 3, p. 24; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut, the first edition, 1271 AH-1952 AD.

In Tahthib al-Kamal, Mazi has quoted Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, etc. as admiring him as a reliable man.

قال أبو الحسن الميموني، عن أحمد بن حنبل: ثقة، ضابط لحديثه، صدوق، وهو عندي أضبط من جعفر بن برقان... وَقَال أبو زُرْعَة (1): ثقة.

Abu al-hassan Meimuni has quoted Ahmad Ibn Hanbal as saying that Abu Malih Riqqi is reliable and honest and that he memorizes narratives very well. He added that he was able to memorize more narratives than Ja’far Ibn Burqan.

Al-Mazi, Yusuf Ibn al-Zaki ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Hujjaj (died in 742 AH), Tahthib al-Kamal vol. 6, p. 227; researched by D. Bashar ‘Uwad Ma’ruf; published by Muassissat al-Rissalat, Beirut, the first edition, 1400 AH-1980 AD.

4. Ziyad Ibn Bayan:

In his al-Kashif, Thahabi has described Ziyad Ibn Bayan as an honest man.

زياد بن بيان الرقي عن ميمون بن مهران وجماعة وعنه أبو المليح وابن علية صدوق قانت لله الكاشف.

Ziyad Ibn Bayan Riqqi has quoted Meimun Ibn Mihran, Abu Malih, Ibn ‘Alayh and a number of other narrators as saying that he is honest and a real worshiper of God.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-Kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, al-Kashif, vol. 1, p. 408; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

Similarly, Ibn Hajar has admired him as an honest person.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 218; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD. Ali Ibn ‘Abis.

In his Tahthib al-Kamal, Mazi has quoted Nisai and Ibn Habban as describing him as follows,

وَقَال النَّسَائي: ليس به بأس. وذكره ابنُ حِبَّان في كتاب"الثقات"، وَقَال: كان شيخا صالحا

Nisai has admired him, saying that he has not any weak points. And Ibn Habban has said in his al-Thuqat that he is a righteous sheikh.

Al-Mazi, Yusuf Ibn al-Zaki ‘Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Hujjaj (died in 742 AH), Tahthib al-Kamal vol. 9, p. 248; researched by D. Bashar ‘Uwad Ma’ruf; published by Muassissat al-Rissalat, Beirut, the first edition, 1400 AH-1980 AD.

5. Ali Ibn Nufayl:

The narrative below is what Ibn Hajar has brought up in his Taqrib al-Tahthib.

علي بن نفيل بنون وفاء مصغر النهدي بنون الجزري لا بأس به.

No shortcomings can be found in Ali Ibn Nufayl.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’I, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 406; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD

Thahabi has echoed what Abu Hatim had said about him, saying that there is not any problem in following and trusting Ali Ibn Nufayl’s narratives.

علي بن نفيل بن زراعد ق أبو النهدي الحراني جد أبي جعفر النفيلي الحافظ...قال أبو حاتم: لا بأس به.

According to Abu Hatim, Ali Ibn Nufayl has no shortcomings.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’i, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 747 AH), Tarikh al-Islam wa Wafiyyat al-Mashahhir wa al-A’lam, vol. 8, p. 181; researched by ‘Umar ‘Abd al-Salam Tadmuri; published by Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi, Lebanon/Beirut, the first edition, 1407 AH-1987 AD.

6. Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib:

He is from among Tabi’in (followers) and Thahabi has lauded him as a reliable man.

سعيد بن المسيب بن حزن الإمام أبو محمد المخزومي أحد الأعلام وسيد التابعين عن عمر وعثمان وسعد وعنه الزهري وقتادة ويحيى بن سعيد ثقة حجة فقيه رفيع الذكر رأس في العلم والعمل.

Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib Ibn Huzn Imam Abu Mohammad Makhzumi is one of the senior figures. He is from Tabi’in who has quoted from ‘Umar, ‘Uthman as well as Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas. Besides, Zuhri and Yahya Ibn Sa’eed have also described Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib as reliable, jurist and Hujjat. According to them, Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib was well-known and a pioneer of science.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), al-Kashif fi Ma’rifat Min Lahu Riwayat fi al-Kutub al-Sitta, al-Kashif, vol. 1, p. 1953; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Qiblat Lil Thaqafiyya al-Islamiyya, Muassissat ‘Uluww, Jeddah, the first edition, 1413 AH-1992 AD.

In a seprate book entitled Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, Thahabi has described the narratives recounted by Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib’ as Hujjat (evidential).

ومراسيل سعيد محتج بها.

One can trust Sa’eed Ibn al-Musayyib’s narratives.

 Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’I, Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ib ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, vol. 4, p. 221; researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut, Mohammad Na’im al-‘Arqasusi; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the ninth edition, 1413 AH.

7. Umm Salama, mother of believers (God Bless her):

She is the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) wife.

Therefore, not a single problem can be found in the chain of transmission of this narrative.

The fifth category: The narratives which enumerates Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) specifications much similar to those of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)

1. The following narrative is what Ibn Habban has cited in this regard.

 - 6825 أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ أَبِي عَوْنٍ الرَّيَّانِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْمُنْذِرِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ فُضَيْلٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ شُبْرُمَةَ عَنْ عَاصِمِ بْنِ أَبِي النَّجُودِ عَنْ زِرٍّ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَخْرُجُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي يُوَاطِئُ اسْمُهُ اسْمِي وَخُلُقُهُ خُلُقِي فَيَمْلَؤُهَا قِسْطًا وَعَدْلا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ ظُلْمًا وَجَوْرًا.

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud has quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating that a man from among my Umma will rise up. His name is like mine and his behaviours are like mine. He will fill the earth with peace and justice as it has been full of oppression and injustice.

Al-Tamimi al-Basti, Mohammad Ibn Habban Ibn Ahmad Abu Hatim (died in 354, Sahih Ibn Habban Bi tartib Ibn Balban, vol. 15, p. 237; researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the second edition, 1414 AH-1993 AD.

Some other narratives about Hazrat Mahdi (AS) are available in both Sunni and Shia books. But we stop it right here and recommend our dear friends to refer to the book ‘Mu’jam Ahadith al-Mahdi’, etc for more and detailed information in this regard.

 

Good Luck

The Group Responsible for Answers to Doubts

Hazrat Valiasr (AS) Research Institute
 

 

 



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