A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

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Publisher: Naba Organization
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Ayatullah Lutfullah Safi Gulpaygani
Publisher: Naba Organization
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

Author:
Publisher: Naba Organization
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

A Reply to the Belief of Mahdism in Shia Imamate

Author(s): Ayatullah Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani

Translator(s): Dr. Hasan Najafi

Publisher(s): Naba Organization

www.alhassanain.org/english

Notice:

This work is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The typing errors are n’t corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Foreword 8

1. The Prophet, A paragon of perfection and high above an ordinary man, The Prophet is above an ordinary man 11

2. One Universal Government Islamic Justice, and the Imamate of Mahdi 12

3. Shia’sm and the meaning of Imam, the Redeemer 15

History of Leadership and Caliphate 16

Sunnism and its sectarian term against Shia’sm after the lifetime of the Prophet 19

The Factor of Religious difference by dividing Islam (Muslims) into two sects Shia and Sunni 20

Not a correct analysis 23

To support the Leadership of Ahlul Bait (Members of the Prophet’s house) A religious Fundamental 25

Many Mistakes 26

Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq and Religion 27

4. The Shia and the meaning of Mahdism 29

Note 30

5. Mahdi, a term and a sense, and the false claimers 31

6. Belief of the Mahdism of Imams 33

7. The Sons of Imam Husayn; the Reason for their coming to front 34

8. The title of Mahdi is applied on all the Imams 35

9. The Shia Doctrine and Ideology 36

10. Support to the Imams 37

11. Knowledge of the Imams about the unseen 38

12. Various phases of the Deeds of the Imams 39

13. Division of the Dominion of Leadership 40

14. The Practical Ideology of Shia’sm 42

15. The salubrity and Islamic tendency in the behavior of Shia towards Sunni 45

16. Extraordinary Qualities of Imams and the Knowledge of Secret 46

17. Division of religious principle - Shia and the religion of Etezaal 47

18. Doctrine of Imamate and super exaggeration 48

19. Discrepancy in the date of birth of Mahdi 50

20. The Issue of absence or occultation is a reality and not a theory or a fancy 51

21. Belief in a redeemer 52

22. Imamate of Imam Musa bin Ja’far 53

23. The appearance of the Imam and his administration of Justice worldwide 54

24. The House of Ali and Motawakkil 55

25. ‘Taqia’ a strong command from the Divine in the Holy Quran: 56

26. The first writer who wrote the book about the occultation 57

Imamate of two brothers 57

27. Division of Groups 58

28. Books about the Sects 60

Traditions that are told about the Imamate of thirteen ones 60

29. Saleem relates a news 61

30. Titles of the Twelfth Imam 62

31. The title “Al Qayem” 64

32. Mahdi the twelfth Imam 68

33. Miraculous birth and the date 69

34. The creation of the Prophets and the Imams 71

35. Mahdism after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn 72

36. Absence of Imam al-Mahdi 73

37. The absence from the view of narrators 78

38. The view of Narrators about the issue of the Imam’s disappearance 79

39. The Ghaybat of the 12th Imam- Two kinds 80

40. The writer regarding the 2nd Ambassador says that it was a period of chaos and tumult in the history of the Shia 82

41. The Way the 3rd Ambassador selected 84

42. The 4th ambassador and the end of the period of his embassy 85

43. The total Ghaybat (Occultation): 86

44. Rise of a Question 87

45. In spite of the congruity conditions what is the philosophy in Imam Mahdi still remaining absent? 89

Hesitation among the followers of the school 89

46. Immunity from sins is it a new thing? 90

47. Proofs of total absence 91

48. Primary sources and the extend of the Ghaybat (Absence) 92

49. Evidence of reason 93

50. Reality of reason or audience 95

51. Standard of mercy “Lutf” 97

52. ‘Ismat (infallibility) of 12th Imam 99

53. A collective rejection to the Caliphate of Abu Bakr 100

54. About “Ijma” again Mistakes 101

Important Point 101

55. The Return of Al-Mahdi 103

56. The Rise (Qiyam) of Al-Mahdi 104

57. Near future, the Rise (Qiyam) of Al-Mahdi 105

Introduction

These are my comments I sent to the reverend scholar Dr. Abdul Aziz Sachedina for his perusal. My intention was to solicit his clarification whatever he might deem necessary in case of my being erroneous in understanding any of the themes on the contents of his book. I even rather went too far to request him to translate himself his comments into English. He favored me with answer:

“I have read your comments about my book. I see it befitting, it is what you have explained and commented in a way of your own view of the universe, should be published either along with the book or into a separate edition. As for its translation into English is concerned I consider it a labor of unbearable endeavor. Hence, I may be excused and my apology be accepted. In the cases at the close of my lecture when your letter and comments reached, we debated there on and indeed benefited from. I pray to Allah, the Merciful, the Just, and the Knower of the intentions hidden in the bosoms to prowling the shadow of your existence and presence on our heads that is a paternal one to me. Please don’t forget me in your prayers.”

I have given the above extract from his letter in order to appreciate the greatness of character and the eximious quality of endurance that is in his bosom; and the generosity of Dr. Sachedina. Secondly, once again I have drawn out of it, the striking-sincerity of his strong faith in Islamic principles and in the guardianship of Infallible Imams, (the Members of the Prophet’s House,) particularly that of Hazrat Mahdi (as) (The twelfth of them).

Thirdly I have to remind that his thesis on the bases of explaining the causes of events due to historical factors as occurrence without taking into consideration of divine view of universe to make familiar that category of people who adopted the above method for analysis, enabling them to analyze faith to mastership (Imamate) and Mahdaviat (Mahdism) with the same Idea, limited cognition which they have had from that Religions and Islamic principles.

Of course we reject the root of this assumption and it’s clear from the explanation that this method of study could neither be generalized to all events and occurrence nor answerable.

The misunderstanding which is comprehend from this hook is that (respected author) has not given importance to such a very basic point cleanly, And this may lead the readers of little information to conclude that the Real and Right Islam which Shia’sm is what this analysis says.

Such misunderstanding will be removed by this explanation as well as makes it clear that this type of analysis is not reliable; (because) subjects such as birth of Faith to God, the unseen world, prophet-hood, the mastership (Imamate) and Mahdaviat (Mahdism) cannot be analyzed by this method.

To look into the causes of events whether historical ones or common ones is a different thing and to impose the analysis into the facts and the cause of the events and to trim a cause to run away from facing the real cause and the reason of the facts is quite a different thing.

So it became clear that in such explanation or index according to Dr. Sachadina we do not have any main dispute.

By the power of Allah and His strength we both are in the line of Islam, following the book and progeny (of Holy Prophet), brother of each other.

We have only tried to clear that this type of writing and introducing Shia does not create misunderstanding for some people The comments shows the weakness, unreliability and unreality of such cognition about Shia the real principles of Islam which comes out form such analysis.

We announce our readiness to answer to any type of question around our comments and explanation and welcome to receive any kind of question and objections.

May peace be upon those who follow the guidance.

Lutfullah-Safi

Qum, Iran

****

Thanks to God who bestowed to us the power of thinking and that of distinguishing the right from wrong.

Salutations to the pure soul of the last of the Messengers, Mohammed Bin Abdullah who, through his radiant mission removed the veil of ignorance and darkness from the human eye, and guided his followers to the right path and showed them how to live in the best manner. Blessed be his progeny, the members of his house, Caliphs, and his successors, the twelve Imams, particularly the twelfth one - Imam of the present age, Mahdi, the awaited one, the Redeemer of the Universe, he who will bring the long awaited justice.

This book debates and discusses the contents of the book “Islamic Messiah-ism” written by the respected scholar, Abdul Aziz Sachedina. Although the contents of this book have an immediate bearing on the contents of the previously named book, yet, it stands with an independent entity of its own due to the magnitude of the discussion framed within historical, Islamic and scientific bounds, which is in itself a fascinating factor. Indeed, this book at the same time, helps to complete where that one lurks short, and corrects the image, if obfuscated in the other book.

Matters are so discussed that the reader could grasp the sense without referring to the other book. Whoever walks in the corridors of the edifice of this book will become acquainted with the building of the other one without paying a visit there. Those who adhere to their subject because of their belief, and those who look into this subject because of their curiosity, and those to whom desire of investigation has approximated to this subject would in any case, feel interested in their excursion and their fatigue would be compensated as they relax in its premises.

Indeed, it is my wish from the Almighty to guard the pen either mine or that of others from deviation. May He determine the end, no other than to focus the light upon truth when we comment on other’s writings or express our views about their composition? Not at all is it the desire nor is it ever in design to disparage one’s literary efforts or conceal them or belittle a wit or dig into other’s research in order to point out their mistakes or personal errors. No. Never. May God ward off such malevolence? “There is no success to me except from Allah whom I depend upon and whom I resign to.”

Foreword

The form of research varies and the outlook differs in investigations about the religious matters and those of the faith of those who believe in God and the unseen world.

The acceptance of this truth, or in other words, such a view of the universe that the world is created by God, in it is a subject that entails research. With regards to Islam we hold belief in God’s existence and His being omnipotent, All Knowing, Almighty, All Wise and that He sent the Messengers for the guidance of the people.

Obviously in such a way of investigation we connect the Mission of Muhammad to God Himself. Now the validity of this connection is to be explored.

On, the issue of Imamate and Mahdism; we faithfully and unanimously make inquiry into the relation of these two (Imamate and Mahdism) with the reality so that to understand as to whether these two subjects are based on an Islamic Pedestal or only attributed to Islam.

The forms of research differ even in that of belief in God. In order to reach the truth and the correct view of the universe, one seeks to launch an inquiry.

This occasions him to conquest the view of the universe held by those who know God and those who ignore God. Now, such an inquirer or investigator deals with both sides of the coin, negatively and positively, because he has not yet formed a belief. He is still in a search. So, this is a way of research and study. Another way of research about the events and beliefs is, in a historical term, the material view of the universe. Although, he himself might not be materialist, but wants to know the materialistic causes.

This and such a type of study is valid only in the ambit of the material view of the world and could provide causes and effects within the limits of its range, but does not stand authentic to establish the fact or deny it because from the aspect of the Divine view of the universe it is not a standard. Besides, it would not go beyond a concatenation of feeble guess. It would only crawl like a centipede but could not run with the impetus of the gallop of a horse.

Here we are not in the situation of making a comparison between these two aspects of viewing the universe and to prove the Divine view of the universe. Nor can we say that the material view of the universe or historical one, whatever it may be called, if it is to be considered to be the absolute one towards negating God and the unseen world, then they are mistaken because the material view of the universe is short to constitute a consummate scope of all truth and cannot pose itself as a reality to be believed. One may reject the divine view of the universe; but his path terminates at ignorance - absence of knowledge and not the knowledge of absence.

In such a disquisition of the material view despite the severance of the connection between this visible world with the absent one, the invisible causes that give birth to an incident or a belief or a thought, because of the bottom of their question. As such, they are after a material and historical cause for the birth of a thought, a system, a school, a movement and so forth. So, this outlook in the causes that lead a belief or an opinion to appear in a circle of unbelievers is nothing but a series of presumptions which carry, even to themselves only a value not more than the worth of a guess.

It is not a viewpoint believable of its own entity in the subject matter. It is not consummate neither compendious nor far stretching one, even to those who are wandering in the wilderness of conquest and have not yet reached the oasis of any particular view of the universe. It is, indeed, void for those who hold an Islamic and Divine view of the universe.

When such a fundamental difference exists between the two methods of study and disquisition one should avoid the conjugation of these two in discussions and arguments. There are many that are quite inadvertent to this fact, and therefore, become victims of the error that is the consequence of the coition between these two different ways of disquisition. Therefore they fell prey to mistakes when they study the Divine view of the universe, without a belief in it they will classify it as a second or third grade issue.

They make their research in the issue of messengers and apostles and, the belief in its essentiality; in the same fashion, that is, from the historical aspect. They bring forth other issues, those of economical and material ones; and conjugate them although there exist no relation with the invisible world. A Divine view of the universe or the belief in God is, in fact, a cardinal issue. But they treat it on the same basis dwelling on the causes, which are ended by the element of time or succumb to it.

So, such they proceed and such they pay no heed to these points, and, accordingly by fall in the abyss of error which to them appears as a valley of principles, where their imagination which had given link between the historical events takes the shape of facts. Thus they float distant from the shore of the Divine view of the universe because not being in its current they cannot enter into its flow. Great issues such as the prophet hood and Imamate to them are a true history of the events that once occurred.

So, here we can conclude that the respected scholar, Mr. Abdul Aziz Sachedina, has endeavored greatly and toiled much but only to attain the outlook of the second category; what he saw from Shia and Mahdism has been written in this book; The knowledge about him that I have, tells me that he is an ardent Shia and a Staunch believer in “Wilayat” and “Imamate of Mahdi (as).”

That a series of historical effects caused the events, and that Imamate and Mahdism among them which precede the belief in the prophet hood, to presume such and attribute this to the writer it will be unfair. It is not so. He has chosen this method of analysis from the historical aspect because of his own assumption to make the Shia religion and Mahdism comprehensive for those who regard the growth of the schools in line with the material view of the universe and on such a foundation rest their analysis.

He has done this because of his knowledge of them to whom realities are only a historical series of events, interlinked and interwoven, chained in the continuity of time only to become the cause for the effect of the other. In other words, whatever the history it is a fact and a reality; and, which therefore, cannot be denied.

He has adopted such method of analysis although in principle wrong and erroneous to present the gist so that the thought might not be looked improbable and not excite wonder, astonishment nor tempt them the vilification. By such an analysis we infer that the writer has made an attempt to elevate the Shi’ism and the school of Mahdism in their understanding as a consummate, complete, and advanced one with participation in revolutions and changes which cannot be ignored.

Yet, this should be said as we pointed out earlier that this way of study and investigation neither attains truth nor does it reflect the facts. The outlook of the universal Divine view is at difference with it. The Divine view is not mentioned, neither openly nor indirectly, in the book. Reflecting these points and the method of raising the issues and the difference between the outlooks towards these issues are not known to many.

There is every likelihood of a mistake. To divert the attention of such ignorant to the gist of the issue and to divert their sight to the original point and to acquaint them with the Imamate and Mahdism, we will present our readers a few explanations about the issues raised in that book.

We hope our readers will at least acquire some advantages and benefits that he may use latter on. What we have explained, is the need; there is no need to depend upon the matters about which we have explained.

Each chapter that occurs to us we shall explain by the help of God.

1. The Prophet, A paragon of perfection and high above an ordinary man, The Prophet is above an ordinary man

He possesses qualities, which are not common among the ordinary people. This thought and belief which reason attests to. The belief in his being a chosen one in itself evidences his mission as his mission is the evidence of his being a chosen one. As we know one who is vested with the office of prophet hood should have distinct distinction from among others through either those of moral, knowledge, conduct and behavior - each at its zenith.

If he too stands at the same level in the same class with the same grade quite equal with others, then what superiority goes to him or what prominence and preference does he have over others? In such a case why should others obey him and why should he give orders? God does not impose not one upon others if he is not better than them. Of course, the Prophet is not a super human nor is he a being other than human. But, indeed, he is a man superior to other men, a distinguished one, a perfect one and a man in its complete sense.

This factor remained open to all throughout his life - private and public. His generous behavior, exalted moral, a charitable character and the human virtue had already set him at a station higher than that in which lurked everyone else. He was not yet a prophet. We are not going here to compare his moral with that of others.

The writer too Mr. Abdul Aziz, whom we shall refer to hereafter as the writer, holds the same opinion. The terms used by him such as ‘paragon of the desired perfection’, ‘chosen one by Divine’, ‘a real leader’; reflect the same sense. This statement: ‘The consummate perfection which the Prophet left behind gives reason to this thought that he should be above a common man’, brought forward this conjecture after his becoming a prophet and before his death. Appointment to the office of prophet hood is subject to better decency and wider ability. All it shows was that the Prophet was not a common man.

2. One Universal Government Islamic Justice, and the Imamate of Mahdi

That this Divine design in forming a new nation throughout the world should be worldwide and as such, a total justice under the oneness of God should stretch from end to end, was a salient factor in the invitation to Islam. Besides; the Quranic Verses too have given expression to this end in its several chapters. Muslims also have often and always looked forward in anticipating the realization of the goals in line with the promise committed by God and His Prophet.

Furthermore, there are hundreds of predictions foretold by the prophet that Islam will be the absolute and universal religion and that a total justice will rule providing security over the earth; and this will be accomplished by Mahdi (as) whose appearance is awaited as it is promised. He is from the Prophet’s progeny, son of Ali and Fatimah, bearing a patronymic same as that of the Prophet.

One day Mahdi will appear; this belief has been introduced, that is, the specifications too are told. This is a belief that runs in the veins of Islam and is divulged in its preliminary texts. Besides, the traditions that are constant - and in their constancy runs no doubt - support the belief. The Prophet has given the tidings and it is he who has kept his nation in waiting for the day of the appearance of Mahdi. This belief, as other ones, is a principal and cardinal one envigoured by its originality and enlivened by its purity. The belief in the Prophet resigns to the belief in Mahdi.

Extract from the traditions has not constituted this belief. Prognostications that Islam will become worldwide and that the truth will obliterate the wrong, do exist and do provide an umbrella, but this belief stands by its own, supported by the text. Symptoms are foretold and the qualities specified which are to be taken for granted when they occur as the indication of Mahdi’s appearance.

These predictions might have had been efficacious in the growth of this belief but the conditions and circumstances that came into being immediately after the death of the Prophet have not part in this belief, because this belief had already been divulged to the people far in advance. The origin of this belief is the prophet hood and not the time. Likewise, attachment of the faithful ones with the Prophet stands apart from the count to be regarded as one of the causes for Mahdism.

Such a conjecture, if there be or to form one, is doomed to be rejected and refuted because it is bleak and barren; not an evidence nor a proof, nor a document, nor a logic is there to irrigate it so as to keep it alive. Therefore, if this be said, which, indeed, has been, that a group of Muslims were not happy in the rule of the caliphs whom had ruled after the Prophet’s death, some of the people among them were led to a belief which persuaded them to wait, anticipating the rise of one from the Prophet’s progeny, to take up the guidance of the people; is only an absurdity neither coherent nor congruous with reality.

Resurrection of man in Islam according to the Quran does not indicate to the appearance of a redeemer in the person of Mahdi at the end of time. Therefore, those who were ardently faithful to the personality of the prophet, gratified themselves to look forward to what they had hoped to witness in their own lifetime. The dispatch and constancy with which they held the view became a belief with them to anticipate the appearance of a man from the Prophet’s progeny, guided by God for the redemption of the people. Although such is their argument and thus their reasoning but it is not true.

The appearance of Mahdi, the Redeemer, had been prognosticated long ago and the predictions in this regard abound to the extent that no other prediction in Islam, whatever its object, does not equal in number. It is certitude. Here what astonishes is this: The writer appears to have explored the subject thoroughly, and he says that the traditions, which predict the appearance of Mahdi exceed to more than a thousand. Further, the writer has quoted from the books written by others and he has taken sufficient store from the books of “Hadith” and interpretation.

After having had set out on such a journey, long and tedious, endangering himself of every possible hazard, and having had wandered far and wide he comes back only to tell that he has seen nothing. To believe him reasons rejects.

His toil has gone futile and his fatigue without compensation is his misfortune. This is a pity. Great Sunni scholars have written books on this subject. Twelve centuries have since passed and the books written then have withstood the ransacking by the scholars and researchers of Islamic sciences. From them they have narrated its material, and quoted its essence in their own books availing nothing but to tell that the advent of Mahdi was never been foretold. In the glare of light they have failed to see the object.

They attributed the fact to the personal attachment of a few with the Prophet. Even this argument that the advent of Mahdi is not mentioned in the Quran is lame because the Prophet had on many occasions informed the nation that such a day exists in the womb of time and there is not miscarriage of it.

His companions heard him; and form mouth to mouth circulating of the forecast. But, doubt still swells in the cradle of hesitation! Such is the obduracy and so the stubbornness.

This is a mistake, though not deliberate. Likewise, there are several other mistakes in the book, all because the writer has ignored authorities and references which form a foundation of the belief among all Muslims in the advent of the redeemer, Mahdi. His means of reasoning and way of argument has steered him to blunders. The issue of Mahdism has so disturbed him that he has disturbed all by his wrong discussion, in which instead of explaining has confounded the confusion. The religion of Islam and the belief in Shiaism confronts him either to check or challenge him. He has gained nothing in his exploration but has lost the track to return back.

Consequence? Reason alarms us. Such a way of analysis and conclusion in the subject matter of Imamate if to be tolerated, will lead us to doubt other matters, such as the prophet hood of the prophets. And a step further, the issue of belief in God itself will be put to question. From the start it is a slaught on belief because of its wrong approach.

For instance, the prophet hood of Moses could be put to question. It could be argued that the Israelis were oppressed by the pharaoh, Moses thought to rescue them. In fact, it was the atrocities of the pharaoh who incited Moses to campaign under the title of prophet hood. In other words, it was nationalism that caused Israelis to accept Moses’ invitation. Or, it could be said that, the Prophet too campaigned under the title of prophet hood because of the heartening condition of the poor people of Mecca and the atrocities of moneylenders and the wicked deeds of the populace.

These and such analysis and justifications are close to fiction rather than to reality, as they do not have the remotest bearing on the actuality of causes and effects of things.

In spite of all this it should not be forgotten, as the writer has pointed out, that the atrocities of the people who held the affairs in their hands did not go without influence on the hearts. It made the public more staunch in their belief in Mahdi and his Imamate and more enthusiastic in anticipation of a redeemer because of the need for relief that they deserved. The grounds, historical and social, have always aided in advancing the call of the prophets, as was the case with our Prophet. This conclusion is in agreement with the divine universal view. To link the prophet hood, and Imamate to circumstances and the divine outlook of the universe is not reasonable. The outlook of one who believes in God shall refute it. It is feeble, flaccid, and fake.