The Mahdī (Ýa) from the Viewpoint of the Ahl al-Sunnah

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The Mahdī (Ýa) from the Viewpoint of the Ahl al-Sunnah

Question: Do the Ahl al-Sunnah believe in the Mahdī (Ýa)?
Concise answer:
Detailed answer: All of the Muslim sects are awaiting the coming of the Mahdī (Ýa) without any exceptions. They also all believe that he will be from the family of the Prophet (ṣ). This consensus in opinion exists to such a degree that even the most extreme of groups (such as the Wahhabis) also believe in this coming revolution. Not only have such groups accepted this belief, but they also defend it and consider it to be one of the foundational ideologies of Islam.

In any case, before showing the acknowledgement of a group of scholars from the Ahl al-Sunnah in this matter, it would first be beneficial to show what the Rābiṭah al-ÝĀlim al-Islāmī has had to say in regards to this matter. This is one of the most important religious centers of thought amongst the Wahhabis in Mecca. One of the reasons behind the importance of this statement is that it shows that on one hand, the most extreme group in opposition to the Shia (namely the Wahhābīs) have also accepted this belief. Not only have they accepted it, but they have also seriously defended it and consider it as being one of the established and definitive beliefs of Islam. In addition, this center is active on a worldwide scale.

In the year 1976, an individual by the name of Abū Muḥammad from Kenya, asked a question in regards to the appearance of the Mahdī Muntadhar (Ýa) from the ‘Rābiṭat al-ÞĀlim al-ÞIslāmī’ organization. The reply ended up coming from the head of the center. In his reply, he mentioned that Ibn Taymīyah (the founder of the Wahhābī sect) accepted the traditions in regards to the Mahdī (Ýa), and also sent the man a short treatise, which five of the famous scholars of the Ḥijāz had prepared. In the treatise, after mentioning the name of Imam Mahdī (Ýa) and the area of his appearance (Mecca), the following was written: …When corruption appears in the world and disbelief and oppression spread, God will fill the earth with justice and equity through means of him (the Mahdī (Ýa)), much like it had been filled with oppression and tyranny.

He is the last of the twelve just rulers, whom the Prophet (ṣ) has given news of (and which has been recorded in the Sihah books). Many of the companions of the Prophet (ṣ) have narrated such traditions from him (ṣ) These include individuals such as: ÝUthmān ibn ÝAffān, ÝAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Ýa), Ṭalḥah ibn ÝUbaydullah, ÝAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ÝAwf, ÝAbdullah ibn ÝAbbās, ÝAmmār ibn Yāsir, ÝAbdullah ibn MasÝūd, Abū SaÝīd Khudrī, Thawbān, Qurah ibn Āyās Mazanī, ÝAbdullah ibn Ḥārith, Abū Hurayrah, Hudhayfah ibn Yamān, Jābir ibn ÝAbdullah, Abū Amamah, Jābir ibn Mājid, ÝAbdullah ibn ÝUmar, Anas ibn Mālik, ÝUmrān ibn Ḥaṣīn, and Umm Salamah.

Then he adds: There are many traditions narrated by the Prophet (ṣ) and also the testimony of the companions (which hold the weight of traditions here) and these are narrated in a great number of famous Islamic books and Islamic texts. These include Sunans like Abī Dāwūd, Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah, Ibn ÝUmar al-Dānī; Masānīds like Aḥmad, Abī YaÝlā, Bazzāz; Ṣaḥīḥ Ḥākim; MaÝājims like Ṭabrānī, Rawayānī, Dār al-Quṭnī, and Abū NaÝīm in the book ÞAkhbār al-Mahdī; Khatīb Baghdādī in his History of Baghdad, Ibn ÝAsākir in his History of Damasacus, as well as other.

Then he adds: Some amongst the Islamic scholars have compiled independent texts on this subject. These include: Abū NaÝīm’s book ÞAkhbār al-Mahdī, Ibn Ḥajar Haytamī’s Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar Fī ÝAlāmāt al-Mahdī al-Muntaẓar, Shawkānī’s al-Tawḍīḥ Fī Tawātur Mā Jā Fī Muntaẓar Wa Dajjāl Wa al-Masīḥ, Idrīs ÝArāqī Maghribī’s al-Mahdī, Abū al-ÝAbbās ibn ÝAbd al-MuÞmīn Maghribī’s al-Wahm al-Maknūn Fī al-Radd ÝAlā ibn Khaldūn.

The last individual who has written a detailed discourse on this matter is the head of the Islamic University of Medina, who published these articles in several volumes of the universities journal.

A number of great Islamic scholars, both in past times as well as current, have explained in their writings that the traditions on the Mahdī (Ýa) are Tawātur in authenticity (they cannot be rejected).  Amongst such scholars are: Sakhāwī in his book Fatḥ al-Mughīth, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Safāwīnī in his book Sharḥ al-ÝAqīdah, Abū al-Ḥasan Abrī in his Manāqib al-ShāfiÝī, Ibn Taymīyah in his fatwas, Suyūṭī in his al-Ḥāwī, Idrīs ÝArāqī Maghribī in the book that he wrote about the Mahdī (Ýa), Shawkānī in his book al-Tawḍīḥ Fī Tawātur Mā Jā Fī Muntaẓar…, Muḥammad ibn JaÝfar Kitānī in his book Naẓm al-Mutanāthir Fī Ḥadīth al-Mutawātir, and Abū al-ÝAbbās ibn ÝAbd al-MuÞmīn in his book al-Wahm al-Maknūn…

At the end of the statement, they have added: It is only Ibn Khaldūn who has sought to criticize the traditions regarding the Mahdī (Ýa), through the use of fabricated and foundationless traditions. These traditions say that the Mahdī (Ýa) is no one other than Jesus (Ýa). Established Islamic scholars have refuted his words; in particular amongst these scholars is Ibn ÝAbd al-MuÞmīn, who has written a book refuting him, and this book was published about 30 years ago and can be found sold all over the world.

The Ḥāfiẓ’ of tradition, as well as the narrators of tradition have classified the traditions about the Mahdī (Ýa) as being Ṣaḥīḥ or Ḥasan, and the entirety of the collection is undoubtedly Mutawātir and Ṣaḥīḥ. Therefore, the belief in the appearance of the Mahdī (Ýa) is obligatory upon all Muslims, including the Ahl al-Sunnah; only a very small group of ignorant individuals have rejected this belief. By the head of the Islamic Fiqh Organization, Muḥammad Muntaṣir Kanānī.[1]

In addition to this statement, it is beneficial here to list some of the statements of other scholars from the Ahl al-Sunnah in regards to their belief in the Mahdī (Ýa):

1- The famous scholar Shaykh Manṣūr ÝAlī Nāṣif, who is the author of the text Al-Tāj has written the following: Amongst the past and present scholars, it is famously known with certainty, that at the end of time, a man by the name of Mahdī (Ýa), from the family of the Prophet (ṣ) will appear. He will predominate over all of the Islamic countries. The Muslims will all become his followers; he will act with justice amongst them, and strengthen the religion. Then the Dajjāl shall appear. Jesus (Ýa) will descend from the heavens and kill the Dajjāl, or he will participate in the killing of the Dajjāl with the Mahdī (Ýa)… Many of the great companions and scholars have narrated the traditions of the Mahdī (Ýa)… and Ibn Khaldūn has erred when he considered such traditions to be weak in their authenticity.[2]

2- Even Ibn Khaldūn, who is famous in his opposition to the traditions in regards to the Mahdī (Ýa) has not been able to reject the traditions related to this issue. He has said: During both past and present times, it has been famous amongst the Muslims that at the end of time, a man from the family of the Prophet (ṣ) will appear who will affirm the religion of Islam, he will manifest justice, and the Muslims will follow him.[3]

3- Muḥammad Shablanjī, the famous Egyptian scholar, has written the following in his text: Nūr al-Abṣār: Mutawātir traditions have reached us showing that the Mahdī (Ýa) is from his household, and that he will fill the earth with justice and equity.[4]

4- Shaykh Muḥammad Ṣabbān has written the following in his text: IsÝāf al-Rāghibīn: Mutawātir traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (ṣ) stating that the Mahdī (Ýa) (will in the end) revolt, and that he is from the family of the Prophet (ṣ), and he will fill the earth with justice and equity…[5]

5- Ibn Ḥijr Asqalānī has narrated the following in his book ṢawāÝiq al-Muḥriqah from Abū al-Ḥasan Amrī: Numerous (Mutawātir) traditions have been narrated from the Prophet (ṣ) which state that in the end, the Mahdī (Ýa) will appear and he will be from the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (ṣ)… he will fill the earth with justice.[6]

6- The writer of the book Al-Tāj, after mentioning the book of Shawkānī (the famous scholar of the Ahl al-Sunnah whose book is in regards to the traditions relating to the Mahdī (Ýa), the coming out of the Dajjāl, and the return of Jesus (Ýa)) has said: What has been said should be sufficient for those who have the slightest shreds of faith and fairness.[7]

For more details and information in regards to the traditions from the Ahl al-Sunnah about the great worldwide revolution, refer to the book Al-Mahdī and the book Muntakhab al-Athar Fī Aḥwāl al-Imām al-Thānī ÝAshar.[8]


Peinevesht: [1] The full Arabic text of this statement can be found in the book: Mahdī, The Great Revolutionary, from pages 151 to 155.

[2] Al-Tāj, vol. 5, p. 310.

[3] Ibn Khaldūn, Beirut Print, p. 311.

[4] Nūr al-Absār, Cairo, Maktabah Mashhad al-Ḥusaynī, p. 157: «تواترت الاخبار عن النّبى(صلى الله علیه وآله وسلم) على انّ المهدى من اهل بیته و انّه یملا الارض عدل»

[5] AsÝāf al-Rāghibīn, in the footnotes section of Nūr al-ÞAbṣār, p. 140.

[6] ṢawāÝiq al-muḥriqah, p. 99.

[7] Al-Tāj, vol. 5, p. 327: «هذا یکفى لمن کان عنده ذرّة من الایمان و قلیل من انصاف!»

[8] Taken from the text: Ḥukūmat Jahānī Mahdī, Ayatullah Nāṣir Makārim Shīrāzī, Intishārāt Nasle Javān, Qum, 1390 Hijrī Shamsī, p. 133.
Published on: « 1393/02/22 »
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