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
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

Publisher: Naba Organization

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

50. Reality of reason or audience

Reality of reason, as the writer says, is it preferable over the reality of hearing? This is a question well drawn and it can be well answered. The subject of Imamate is like that of prophet hood and the conditions surrounding a prophet. To prove a general Imam-hood, that is, the need for an Imam and the conditions of Imam; reason is enough to prove it.

Had the issue of Imamate been one of those that remained out of the premises conception and reason, not independent enough to have say in it, the hearing of the proof would suffice like that of the Prophet’s (S) teachings. What the Prophet (S) has advocated or instructed is in itself a ground for the reason to be taken in account.

The condition that an Imam should have immunity from any wrong doings, that is, ‘Ismat, and for his appointment people have no part; it is reasonable. On the other hand, what is heard form the Prophet (S) in this regard is also a proof - a ground to establish the truth. What the Prophet (S) said and what we heard from him is alike with reason sufficient to establish the truth.

Reason cannot accept what one accepts by hearing. For some items only hearing of the proof is essential. For example, the existence of an Imam, the benefits, the blessings that ensue there from cannot be proved by reason; they can be established only by audible evidence. This is also applied to the prophet hood.

With regards to a particular Imam, the previous one introduces the coming one, that is his successor - exactly the same as the prophets did. Jesus (as) foretold the prophet hood of Mohammed (S). The predecessor informs the people as to whom his successor is. The testament of one prophet or Imam to the prophet-hood or the Imam-hood of the coming one is a proof to establish the truth of that prophet or the Imam. To explain here we should say that a miracle is a proof for the prophet.

Almost all the prophets were blest with this power to perform miracles by the Greatness of God. The first Prophet cannot establish the truth unless he should show or comply with the demands to show a miracle. God has sent His Prophet with the power to perform miracles because a miracle cannot be denied, and it establishes the truth of his being a prophet. A miracle is a proof that of reason and that of hearing.

The miracle can be seen by those who are there and cannot be witnessed by those who are somewhere else. Here to them only the narration, the hearing is proof authentic enough to establish the truth. The Quran is the only miracle, which does not demand any hearing proof because of its eternality. It is the perfection of Islam and its rules and its morals.

The Imamate of the first Imam. A text that of Divine establishes its truth. It is the Prophet (S) who should establish the Imamate of the Imam he is appointing. The Prophet’s word here is authority because it is God’s command through the Prophet’s word.

Imam too performs miracle. The proof of Imamate is his miracle or the Prophet’s appointment or word. Since the Imam is appointed by the Prophet (S) by the command of God is the proof of his truth.

In other words it is upon the Prophet (S) to establish the Imamate whom he has introduced under God’s order. Supposing the proofs, which are forwarded by the Prophet, were not available to us or they become doubtful or various interpretations had made it dubious, then the one man to turn to would have been Ali Bin Abi Talib.

As there being no one other than him referred to or mentioned by the Prophet. Since the man in guardian is one, the benefit of doubt cannot be availed by anyone else. It was one man, as told by the Prophet (S), instructed and specified by him. Here the truth goes to the favor of Ali Bin Abi Talib because there was no one second to him.

An Imam appointed by God through His Prophet is infallible and immune from sin. He should act as a leader, guide, and guardian of the people in all their religious, social, political and social spheres. Ali Bin Abi Talib was a Divine Imam immune from sin, infallible and impeccable.

The earth should have God’s representative, ‘Hujjat’, that is, the authority, the witness. In no age can the earth remain without one. The claim of Imamate is made to him alone. So he stands as the Imam whether present or absent. The others who made the claim proved themselves liars. In the denial of Imamate we deny justice to God. It is the demand of justice, as reason dictates that God should keep His Authority in the world. If evil grows and is not checked then it could be attributed to God and that is absolutely unreasonable.

51. Standard of mercy “Lutf”

The writer has discussed this subject in length. The main theme is the dispute which has argued both Asha’ria and Motazila. We have repeatedly said that Shi’ism is an independent school, its originality is that of Islam, it is not influenced by any extraneous thoughts or any exotic ideas, it is strictly in line coherent, congruous, and concurring with the teachings of the Impeccable and Infallible Imams.

In logical issues, arguments have included the standard of Lutf (mercy or grace). The Shia has followed and benefited from the Holy Quran. The gist of belief, the theme of faith, the kernel of trust lies with the holy persons of the Imams in the Shia school of thought. This is very close to reason that the Itezal sect might have extracted many things from Shia’sm, and depended on Shia thought. Their leaders could have been the pupils of our Imams.

‘Lutf’, or grace with the Ghaybat (absence) of the twelfth Imam is mostly rejected by the Sunnis. The writer has reiterated the reply from the Shia sources. We suffice on that. The occultation of the twelfth Imam is a thing in itself an independent subject, already foretold by the Holy Prophet (S) himself. Ali Bin Abi Talib too has referred to it. Shia and Sunni traditionists have both mentioned it. Jaber too has said that the absence of the twelfth Imam is a grace (Lutf).

The Prophet (S) said: “By him who has sent me with the Message, they will be illuminated by his light, and they will benefit from his guardianship, as people benefit from the sun from behind the clouds.”

To deny every ‘Lutf’ (Grace or mercy) of the existence of the absent Imam, and to deny its influence, that is, the graceful or merciful one, in the era of his absence (Ghaybat) does not fall in line with reason. The grace, mercy or the ‘Lutf’ exists, as it is contemporary with the existence of the Imam whether he be present or absent from touch or sight. If not so, then for humans what is the usefulness of him - a Divine choice - obliged by Divine will to remain in hiding. God does not do a thing, which is vain and void of sense, or short of benefit, or lame in advantage.

Whatever proceeds from the wish or will of God bears fruit to mankind. Fecundity is His intention; prolific to His design; grace and mercy his degree; and Lutf His Imam the hidden Imam is an absolute personification of His mercy. It is through ‘Lutf’ that the Imam should be appointed by God and designated through the Prophet (S).

Imam is in Ghaybat, that is, he is absent; but the mercy is current - the snows of the Himalayas are far from sight, but the Ganges flows down to the Bay of Bengal. In Bengal, the Himalaya peaks are not visible nor are they in other regions; but the Ganges flows, irrigating vast patches of land throughout the Northern Belt to the East.

Since we do not see the snows of the Himalayas should we deny the existence of the Ganges river as well? If it is not a mercy, then Mahdi is not an Imam. It is his Imamate that makes him graceful to man. It is the scent of a flower that gives it worth. Flowers made of paper could be more elegant; but they have no grace of odor and no Lutf of fragrance. Tosi says: “The Imam’s existence is Lutf, his action Lutf.”

Ali Bin Abi Talib says: “Else, the proofs of God will be void and vain will be His signs.” An Imam whether present or absent is a ‘grace’, a ‘mercy’, a ‘Lutf’ of God because he is His sign, guardian of His religion, holds His office and was chosen by Him.

The Imam who can carry out or execute the office of Imam-hood also imparts the Grace of God. To deny him the Grace is to deny the Imamate. It is not possible that, a Prophet cannot guide or influence the people. The mercy of his prophet hood cannot be denied, because of its essentiality with prophet hood, and its being in consistence with the office of prophet hood. To appoint an Imam is God’s mercy, and mercy from God is His obligation towards His servants and creatures.

God has appointed the son of Imam Hasan Askari as the Imam. If we deny it, it tantamount to say that God has abstained from bestowing mercy upon us in the period of Ghaybat. To say so is to deny God. It is by His Mercy that we have an Imam. His Ghaybat (absence) does not reject the reality whatever hails from God - is Lutf; the 12th Imam is Lutf and his Ghaybat is Lutf because it is God’s order.

52. ‘Ismat (infallibility) of 12th Imam

The writer has claimed that due to his research, he has come to the following conclusions; that the theory of “‘Ismat” or immunity from sin has come about and even grown deeper as time has passed, because of the distance between the people and the Imams. He uses Ibn Babway and Mufeed as his witnesses.

A belief remains stable throughout the passage of time. Everything else along with time diminishes, changes and even vanishes. A true religion does not undergo this element. A true religion remains original. The present day belief of the Shia is consistent with the past. The flow of ages has not decreased nor increased it. That the Shia in the earlier ages did not believe in the ‘‘Ismat’; is a statement groundless and unfounded. As they grew distant from the Imams they believed in their ‘‘Ismat’. In the words, the factor of this belief is the distance. This way of thinking is utterly ignorant.

The Shias have always held the same belief. He has preserved what the school of Imamate or in particular, the school of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) has given to him. His belongings are of a known origin and of a trustworthy brand. Likewise the belief of Shaikh Mufeed was not a new one. The narration, traditions, and interpretations of the Quranic verses have been used as his base. What Sadooq says in ‘Ayun’, is not of his invention.

We do not see a thing of non-existence changing its guise to something of existence. What Shi’ism has said is only the echo of what the Prophet (S) had uttered or the Imams had told. The issue of ‘Ismat, the immunity from sin, is no exception to this rule. Sadooq has repudiated the idea. The Prophet’s sayings of Thaqalain (two heavy things), and his words “Ali is with truth and truth is with Ali”, “Ali is with the Quran and Quran is with Ali” all these and several other ones have elucidly expound and enlarged the comprehension and the very gist of ‘Ismat.

The writer asks as to why the Shia paid or pay heed to these words of the Prophet (S). Or why they draw a meaning out of the sayings of the prophet or recite the Quran and try to understand it? Why isn’t the writer prepared to conceive that without ‘Ismat, there can be no Imam or prophet? ‘Ismat is fundamental and it is the condition that qualities the imam for Imam-hood. No one has this except those chosen ones. Then, no one is a prophet or Imam except the chosen ones.

53. A collective rejection to the Caliphate of Abu Bakr

As for ‘Ijma’, or ‘agreement’, the writer says at the end of ‘Ismat. The Shia Imamia regard this method as being void and null because of the pressure on an Imam amidst the people. The writer adds that the Shia have chosen to disregard the consensus (Ijma) of Sunnis who did the same to give a legitimacy to the caliphate of Abu Bakr.

Let us explain here that it had no bearing on the caliphate of Abu Bakr at all. An Imam should enter into consensus (Ijma); else, he has no validity. To give value or credit or authenticity to an ‘Ijma’ in which the Imam might not have participated is wrong and not valid.

Next, Abu Bakr did not carry any consensus. He became caliph on the strength of terror, and tyranny. People were forced to acknowledge his authority. Is it a consensus? So; why wasn’t that consensus present with Ali Bin Abi Talib? Why didn’t the men of importance among the Bani Hashem, not surrender to his authority? But the writer still calls it a consensus ‘Ijma’. If Ijma (consensus) was the way or a salutary ground that gives validity to the caliphates; why didn’t Omar go through it? No ‘Ijma’ (consensus) took place; however Omar became caliph.

The criterion cannot be conceived? They advocate and they act differently. Othman as well came to power through a committee of six men appointed by Omar. Where had the ‘Ijma’ gone? They act as though public opinion means something to them. However what is obvious, is that they did not care at all about the ‘Ijma’ or consensus that is the public opinion.

The obvious and apparent evidence points out that three men came to power in three different ways. One, with a so called ‘Ijma’ (consensus), another, no consensus at all, just by force, the third, by a pre-appointed six men committee. Mawiyah too openly made his resurgence to the caliph of his time, Ali.

He was a dictator, he cared for neither law nor rule, and no power limited him. Where was the ‘Ijma’ consensus now? The writer ignores that the ‘Ijma’ was scalped, and changed to meet their demands. The writer knows well that those rulers and caliphs had no popular backing nor a publish support. The ‘Ijma’ then was a slogan, a protect, and no more. If a real ‘Ijma’, or in our acquainted term, a referendum were to be launched they would see who would succeed and who would lose.

Caliphs such as Abu Bakr, Othman and Mawiyah were put into power by a few people who were motivated by their own interests. They met and agreed; they designed, decided and acted - there always hung a veil and they named this secrecy as a referendum ‘Ijma’. Tyranny stood at hand to come to their aid.

54. About “Ijma” again Mistakes

The writer says that in order to invalidate the authority of Abu Bakr the Shia subjected the ‘Ijma’ to the participation of an infallible Imam. It was a reality that any ‘Ijma’ or referendum could lose authenticity, if the Imam did not participate in it. If ‘Ijma’ is their ground why was Ali absent in that ‘Ijma’? There were many besides Ali who did not know of such an ‘Ijma’ at all. The Imam was not referred to; he was not asked at all; his opinion was never sought; in fact, it was kept an arcanum from him.

Then what referendum or “Ijma” was it !?! This is a trick, misleading the public under the name of ‘Ijma’. The result is always deceiving because the Ijma is deceiving. In truth, in reality, in fact, can the writer tell us that Abu Bakr reached power on the strength of public opinion - Ijma? If so, why was it that in the Ijma many were not present? Ali’s opinion was not important? Was he not one among Muslims; was it not important what he said? His opinion was never sought.

So, this was not an ‘Ijma’. Let them seek for some other name. This ‘Ijma’ with a design preplanned and a malefic motive worked out into long concealed implacability.

Acrimony was from its very foundation, and from the very beginning it was invalid, vague, void, and null nothing beyond a show. But the name still stood ‘Ijma’. The Prophet’s (S) corpse was still fresh in the ground. It was only Ali (as) busy and occupied in his funeral, and they in their plan and feigned ‘Ijma’. It originated, as we said earlier, in order to save face. The Prophet (S) died.

They left his side and hurried to Saqifa. Abu Bakr was declared there as caliph. None knew except some who held contradicting motives adversary intentions and inimical designs. To this the writer has given the name of ‘Ijma’. The course of Islam was changed while the body of the Prophet (S) still on the ground was not yet buried. People were astonished.

Force was used and terror was applied in order to silence them and obtain their acceptance. They conceived of plan in order to give them legitimacy. They decided to brand it with the mark of ‘Ijma’.

A saying from the Prophet (S) too imputed; “My nation does not gather over wrong nor go astray.” If this was the ground of legitimacy, then what was the legitimacy for Omar, Othman, Mawiyah and several others becoming caliphs? Why was the Ijma not practicable there or why did they not resort to it? No answer.

Important Point

The writer goes so far as to say that the Shia belief or Shi’ism took its form gradually on the ladder of events. That it was product of accidents and a manufacture of episodes is completely untrue. We reiterate that the Shia belief or Shi’ism is rooted in Islam. As the Book said so it is; as the Prophet demonstrated so it is. A great scholar, Aban Bin Taqlab, of the Sunni thought, was asked as to what a Shia and Shi’ism is.

He replied: “A Shia is he who follows Ali (as). If for instance all the companions or associates of the Prophet (S) happened to agree over an issue and Ali happened to differ from it, or the whole Nation agreed over a thing and Imam Ja’far Sadiq’s word differed with it, a Shia would obey the Imam’s word.”

The authority is the word of the Imam, although ‘Ijma’ might have preceded it. The Imam is immune from sin and the Shia depends on the Imam and act by his guidance. The oldest Sunni sources have confirmed the truth of Shi’ism.

55. The Return of Al-Mahdi

What was predicted did not produce a result, what was foretold was not applicable; circumstances did not come under the fang of prediction; hence, the appearance of the 12th Imam remained uncertain. The writer says this. The time of appearance of the Imam was and still is unknown. Therefore, there was no prediction in this respect. The Shia knew this. There was no uncertainty about it nor is there today. If the writer says the uncertainty lies in the belief he is wrong.

The matter is clear. Knowledge of time is known to no one except God. That the Shias in hopes of the future, abstain from taking part in politics is wrong. The political activity of Shias is undeniable. Sometimes Shias have remained aloof and at a distance from politics which again in itself is a policy. Religious prudency dictates at interludes for policies to vary.

Many only look at the periphery of the events. The political stand that a Shia take is on the fundamental of a campaign. He opposes a tyrant government and supports anything having to do with belief. His position has always been strong solid in the political field.

56. The Rise (Qiyam) of Al-Mahdi

The writer has tried with obvious efforts to minimize the value of the belief in Mahdi. He constantly repeats his allegations. He goes on saying that the Ummayids, as well as the Abbasids lost ground and power. The Shia became hopeful and encouraged. This did not last long. Despair and disappointment overtook him. The writer says next that a few appeared in the role of Mahdi. Shias again became hopeful. A new dimension was given to Mahdism.

The writer proceeds to say that several faces were given to the belief and to the Redeemer. Also several Hadith (traditions) were told in this respect. The writer says that sometimes various signs were pronounced as to the appearance of the Imam in order to tranquilize the Shia and drown him into intoxication.

The defeat of the Bani Abbas rulers had no part in the bloom of Shi’ism. They were like Halako dictators. The Bani Abbas rulers were more or less believers in Mahdi - the twelfth Imam. One of their caliphs, Nasir, considered himself as a deputy of the twelfth Imam. The story of Ismaeel Harqali indicates that caliph Mostazee had a belief in Mahdi.

Secondly, the Shia never despaired. There was no reason for this nor any cause. The writer’s conclusion is unfounded. As we have said before, the Shia has maintained his own belief. Since the early days of Islam all Muslims inclusive of the Shia believed in the advent of a Redeemer.

The Holy Quran says that good doers will inherit the earth. The believers in Mahdism are charged with vigor in waiting that day. The science books of ancient times, like the Zaboor and Tora also give similar promises. Certain people have always tried with great effort to create chaos and discolor this belief. It was by Divine consent that this belief was revealed to the Prophets David, Moses and Mohammad (S). It was revealed to Prophet Mohammad what the future would hold.

These hidings has circulated from mouth to mouth and traveled on the wings of time, ages have fluttered, and centuries have flustered to carry it to us to remind us of the advent of Mahdi. Whatever the endeavor, whatever the effort, whatever the try; this tower cannot be pulled down by any distraction because reason has stood as a foundation to its erection.