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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quran and Mehdi as the Imams




Quran and Mehdi as the Imams
By: Hazrath Syed Ali Bartar


The last part of the Mahdaviya Tasbeeh runs like this:
                                               AL-QURAN WAL MEHDI IMAMUNA
                                                       AMANNA WA SADDAQNA


The meanings of the above are:
                                                         The Quran and Mehdi are our Imams
                                                              We believe this and we affirm it.

Thus Quran and Mehdi are said to be the Imams of the Muslims (believers).
Let us first understand the meaning of the word “IMAM”

In Muslim theology Imam is a leader of the people and Guide. An Imam leads the people in religious matters. There are different categories of Imams. A person who leads the people in prayer in a mosque is said to be Imam. This is perhaps the lowest rung of Imamat. Then there are great and consummate scholars and learned men in different sections of the muslim religious knowledge. They are also called Imams. Thus we have Imam-ul-fiqh, Imam-ul hadith(prophet’s tradition) and Imam-ul-tafseer(commentraries of Quran). The four famous Imams of fiqh are: 1.Imam Azam Abu-Hanifa(rh) 2. Imam Malik(rh)., 3. Imam Shafai(rh). And 4. Imam Ahmed bin Hambal(rh) Among Imams of Hadith Bukari(rh). Muslim(rh) Tirmizi(rh)and others became famous. There are many Imams of tafseer such as Mohiuddun Ibn Arabi(rh) Razi(rh) abn Kaseer(rh).etc.
Some time the word “Imam” is also used for Caliph (or Khalifa) as he is the leader of the people and wields great authority over them and commands their respect (however it is to be noted that the four Caliphs of Prophet Muhammad(SAS) did not use the word “Imam” for themselves.
All the above categories of Imams may be thought to be man-made in the sense that persons of great knowledge and understanding are called Imam by the people.
  








Besides these there is another category of “Imams” which may be considered as, the real category. Men belonging to this category are appointed by Allah, the Omnipotent to lead and guide the people. These men are the prophets of Allah appointed by Him to reform the earth and propagate His orders and ordinances among the people. Thus a verse in Al-Ambia (the prophets) in Quran runs like this.
“Wa ja'alna_hum a im matay yahdu_na bi amrina_ wa auhaina_ ilaihim filal haira_ti wa iqa_mas sala_ti wa ita_ az zaka_h wa ka_nu_ lana_ a_bidin
(Sur Ambiya Ruku 5 ver.73)

Translation: And we made them leaders (Imams) guiding (men) by our command, and we sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers and to practice regular charity, and they constantly served us (and us only).
The Imams of this category are different from the Imams of other categories mentioned above, in various respects. These Imams are Prophets( or KhalifatullAHS) where as the other Imams are not. They work on the commands of Allah where as the other Imams use their intellect and knowledge in giving their opinions. These Imams are Masum (free from sins), they donot err guiding and leading the people as they strictly work under the guidance of Allah, where as the other Imams are not Masum and they may err sometimes as they work on their wisdom and knowledge in interpreting the Quranic verses and understanding the traditions of the Prophet (AHS) . They do not get the guidance of Allah directly. It seems the Caliphs of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) knew this difference and therefore did not assume the title of Imams for their own selves. This was because they were Caliphs of the Prophet (SAS) and not the Caliphs of Allah. They were not themselves Prophets.


 THE QURAN AS THE IMAM







The Quran is the book of Allah. It is one of the four books of Allah revealed to Prophets. Thus Taurah was revealed to Prophet Moosa(AHS), Zaboor was revealed to Prophet Dawood (AHS) , Injeel was revealed to Prophet Isa(AHS) and Quran was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (SAS). There have been many changes and alterations in the first three books (i.e.Taurah,zaboor and Injeel). The Quran remains intact and unaltered and is authentically in its original form. Allah Himself has taken the responsibility of keeping it safe from any alteration. Thus Allah says in sura Al-Hijr (in Quran):

“ Inna_ nahnu nazzalnaz zikra wa inna_ lahu_ laha_fizu_n(a).”
(We have without doubt sent down the message; and We will assuredly guard it from
corruption) (Al-Hijr – ver. 9)

The Quran is the sacred book for Muslims. It is the word of Allah the Muslims believe in each word of Quran. Quran has been described with many epithets such as Al-Kitab(The Book), Al-Azeem (lofty and great), Al-Hakeem(wise and learned), Almajeed (The glorious and noble), Al-Furqhan ( showing difference between good and evil), Al-Huda( showing the right way), Al-bushra(giving good tidings), Al-Kareem (generous and bountiful) and many others.
Accoring to Jalaluddin Suyuti the Quran has fifty-five different titles. This reveals the fact how sacred is this book of Allah. The word “Imama” is used in Quran for Taurah (in surah-e Hud and Ahqhaf ) giving an indication that all books of Allah are Imams. Thus Quran is also Imam for the believers.
The Quran guides all Muslims. It is a code of life giving all rules of good and pious living. It covers different aspect of living, religious, social, economic and others. It enumerates good tidings of giving rewards to those who follow the orders and instructions in it and warns of punishments to those who go astray.
The Muslims find solutions of their problems, whatever they may be, in the relevant verses of Quran.In this way the Quran guides them as nothing does and so is the greatest Imam for the Muslim.

                                                             
THE MEHDI AS THE IMAM 

Hazrat Syed Muhammad Juanpuri Mehdi-e-Maud (AHS) is an Imam of that category which mentioned in surah Al-Ambia(the prophets) ver.73. He is Khalifatullah and guides people on the direct guidance from Allah just like any Prophet. He is called Maud (The promised) because Allah had promised to send him as a saviour of our Prophet (SAS)’s Ummah.




Allah says in Quran;
“Qul ha_zihi sabili ad'u_ ilalla_h(i), 'ala_ basiratin ana wa man-ittaba'ani, wa subha_nalla_hi wa ma_ ana minal mushyrikin(a).” (Sura. Yousuf Ver. 108)

Translation:- Say thou: this is my way. I do invite you unto Allah on/for clear sight, I and who follows me. Glory to Allah and I am not of the idolators.”
In this verse Prophet Muhammad (SAS) has been asked to call people on his way and to say that his follower will also call people on the same way. The Follower mentioned is no other than Mehdi. As per this verse the way of Mehdi is the way of Prophet Muhammad (SAS). His Daawat (calling) is the Daawat of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) and the nature of Daawat is the same and fault less.
There is no difference between the two as both are appointed by Allah to call on the same way as per this verse of Quran. Prophet Muhammad (SAS) has also informed of Mehdi’s coming. There are many traditions of our Prophet about Mehdi.
Let me quote a part of a sahih Hadith from Ibn Maja , Hakem and Abu Nayeem on the authority of Haz. Soban(A sahabi of Rasoolullah(SAS) that Prophet Muhammad(SAS) said

“Then the Khalifa of Allah Mehdi will come. When you hear about him go to him and do baiyat on his hands though you have to crawl on ice because Mehdi is the Khalifa of Allah.”

From the sahih Ahadiths and from the Ayats of Quran The Mahdavis believe that Hazrat Syed Muhammad Juanpuri is the Promised Mehdi.

Hazrat Syed Muhammad Juanpuri Mehdi-e-Maud (AHS) has been quoted by Haz.Abdul Ghafoor Sajawandi(rh) in Hazda Ayat(Eighteen verses) to have said:

“Allah has ordered me that the Imam-e-Muslim for whom Ibrahim(AHS) had prayed Allah to be in his descendents is thou and no one else.” 

Other writers have given the same information in their books.

Prophet Ibrahim(AHS) prayed to Allah to grant him two things:- 1st To have a Prophet in his descendents, and 2nd to have an Imam in his descendents .






Hazrat Ibrahim’s prayer for the Prophet among his descendents is in the following verse of Quran:-
“Rabbana_ wab'as fihim rasu_lam minhum yatlu_ 'alaihim a_ya_tika wa yu'allimuhumul kita_ba wal hikmata wa yuzakkihim.” (Sur.Al Baqhra ruku 15 ver. 129)
Translation:- Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a Messenger from among them who shall recite unto them Thy revelation and shall instruct them in the Scripture and in wisdom and shall make them grow.
This prayer of Haz. Ibrahim(AHS) was accepted and Prophet (our Prophet Muhammad(SAS)) was sent. A Tradition by Ibn Saad in “Tabqaat” quotes our Prophet saying “I am the Dua (prayer) of Ibrahim (AHS).

Prophet Ibrahim (AHS) had also prayed to Allah in the following verse:-

“qa_la inni ja_'iluka linna_si imama_(n), qa_la wa min zurriyyati,”
(Sur.Al Baqhra ruku 15 ver.124)
      
 Translation:- He(Allah) said “I will make thee An Imam to the Nations” He(Prophet Ibrahim AHS) pleaded ,”And also from my offspring!”

This prayer (i.e. And also from my offspring) was accepted by Allah and our Imam Hazrat Syed Muhammad Juanpuri (AHS) was sent to the people as the Promised Mehdi.









Hazrat Mehdi (AHS) has based his Daawat-e-Mehdiyat on the verse 17 of surah “Hud” which runs like this:-
 “Afaman ka_na 'ala_ bayyinatim mir rabbihi wa yatlu_hu sya_hidum minhu wa min qablihi kitabu musa_ imamaw wa rahmah(tan), ula_'ika yu'minu_na bih(i), wa may yakfur bihi minal ahza_bi fan na_ru mau'iduhu_ fala_ taku fi miryatim minhu innahul haqqu mir rabbika wa la_kinna aksaran na_si la_ yu'minu_n(a).” (Sur.Hud ruku.2 ver. 17)

Translation:-“ Is he (counted equal with worldly people) who relieth on a clear proof from his lord and has a witness(Quran) from Him and before it was the Book of Moses(Tawrat), an Imam and a mercy? Such believe therein and who so disbelieveth there in of the clans, the fire is his appointed place. So be nor thou (o! Muhammad in doubt concerning him. LO! It is the truth from Thy lord; but most of the mankind believe not.”
While explaining the above verse of Quran Haz.Mehdi (AHS) has said:” I am hearing directly from Allah (without any medium in between) that this verse is about Thee. The “Man” in this verse means Thy self, “Baiyana” means following the Vilayah of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) in Talk , in deed and in state of living( Qulan , felan and Hallen) and “vilayah of Muhammad” means the vilayah which is specific with the person of Mohammad(SAS), the word Shahid means the Quran and the Taurah.Oula-i-ka means the people that follow (accept Mehdi) the first bihi and the Second “bihi” means the self and person of Mehdi”
(Naqliyat Haz.Bandagi mian Abdur Rashid Rz)

It must be remembered that the words”Baiyana” and “Baiyanat” are used in Quran when some Prophet or Khalifatullah is Mentioned.Mehdi being Sahab-e-Baiyana is Kalifathullah(as told by Prophet Muhammad (SAS) in Ahadiths) and so is an Imam of the Muslims under the category of Prophets.
The author of Muqaddama Sirajul Absar points out on page 958,959 (3rd ed) that the latter prayer was different from the earlier prayer as the earlier was for the Prophet Muhammad(SAS) and the latter was for Khalifatullah Mehdi(AHS). Haz.Mehdi (AHS) himself has said that the latter prayer was for Mehdi. As earlier said Haz Abdul Ghafoor Sajawandi (RH) and other Writers have quoted The Imam Mehdi(AHS) saying this.

Haz.Mehdi (AHS) has been described by Prophet Muhammad (SAS) as Khalifatullah. This has been informed in a tradition by Ibn Maja Quoting Haz Soban (RZ) and by Ibn Abi Shaiba quoting Haz Ibn Umer.Thus Haz.Mehdi(AHS) is an Imam of the Category of Prophets. He is an Imam like Haz. Ibrahim (AHS) and like Prophet Muhammad (SAS).
Haz Mehdi (AHS) is Masum (free from sins) as Prophets and is a follower of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) in toto. He is unique in this respect as no other follower of Prophet Muhammad (SAS) follows him in full. Being Khalifatullah, he follows Prophet Muhammad under the Instructions and direct guidance from Allah. This is the reason why Prophet Muhamad (SAS) had said about him:-
“Mehdi is from me. He follows me in full and does not err.” 
Being Khalifatulla Haz. Mehdi (AHS) is an Imam different from the Imams of Fiqh,Imams of Hadiths and Imams of Tafseer. These Imams are not Masum and they may err some times in giving their decisions. Imam Mehdi (AHS) is Masum and he gets direct guidance from Allah and so does not err any time. His decisions are as much true as the decisions of Prophet Muhammad (SAS). In fact in the Ummah of Haz.Muhammad(SAS) there are only three such Imams.
1. Prophet Muhammad (SAS) himself
2. Hazrat Mehdi-e-Maud (AHS)
3. Hazrat Isa (AHS)
Haz. Bandigi Mian Syed Khundmir a caliph of Haz.Mehdi(AHS) has said

“After Muhammad(SAS) Imamat is possible only for two persons ------Mehdi(AHS) and Isa (AHS) because Imamat is true only for a person who can get salvation (Najat) for Ummah.”           (The book Bazul Ayat)

This explanation must be based on a famous tradition of our Prophet, which reads as follows:
“My Ummah will never perish because I am in the beginning, Isa Ibn. Maryam is at the end, and Mehdi from my Ahl-e-Bait is in the middle”

This hadith mentions Mehdi (AHS) Along with two Prophets and this also is a proof that Mehdi(AHS)’s Imamat is just like the Imamat of Prophets and is different from the Imamat of Non-Masum persons.
To fortify the above discussion about Imamat of Mehdi(AHS) I may give three refrences from famous Ulema of Islam


Sheikh Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi;-
“ Prophet Muhammad (SAS) did not mention about any person that “he is my heir(waris) that he will follow my foot steps, that he will not err” He said specially for Mehdi”
( The book futuhat)
Tahtavi:-
“ Mehdi is not a Mujtahid (Jurist) because the decisions of a Mujtahid are based on guess. For Mehdi guess is forbidden. Mujtahid errs But Mehdi does not err any time because he is Masum in his decisions” (The book Hashia Darul-Muktar) 

Abdul Wahab Sherani:-
“Mehdi(AHS) will give such decisions which will be so much based on shariat-e-Muhammad (SAS) that if Prophet Muhammad were present at that time, he would certify the correctness of those decisions” (The book Al-Mizan) 

(the above three referenses have been taken from The book Kohlul Jawahar)

At times Prophet Muhammad (SAS) has spoken about the importance of Quran and Ahl-e-Bait and he asked the people to follow them. By Ahl-e-Bait he meant the best person from the Ahl-e-Bait and that person is without doubt the Mehdi-e- maud (AHS). A hadith from Zaid Ibn Sabit quoted by Ibn Abi Shaba runs like this:

The Prophet (SAS) said “I am leaving among you two Khalifas after me, Kitabullah (The Quran) and my Itrat (Ahl-e-Bait) They will Appear along with me on the Houz-e-Kausar” 

Thus in Islam the most referred for guidance are:
1) The Quran       2) The Mehdi (AHS) after the Prophet.
The Prophet Muhammad (SAS) has asked the people to refer to them after him and find answers to their puzzling questions.Thus Quran and Mehdi(AHS) are the most important references for guidance after Prophet Muhammad (SAS). Miya Mansoor Khan Burhanpuri(rh) writes under the Hadith-us-saqalain: “know O’ friend that the prophet (AHS) has shown that the status of Quran and Mehdi is equal” The writer of rasala-e-Hujjat has also said under the said Hadith that “This has been certified that Quran and Mehdi are equal” (pl. see Maqaddama Sirajul Absar Page 956 3rd Ed)

Such is the greatness of Imam Mehdi (AHS) and such is the lofty nature of Imamat that Mehdi (AHS) holds.

Hence to say:- “ Al Quran waal-Mehdi Imamuna “
(The Quran and Mehdi are our Imams is one of the truest and most correct believes of Muslims

Lastly I may give a word about our kalima and Tasbeeh. Some people say that the Mahdavis have changed the kalima. There will be perhaps no untruth bigger than this. Our kalima is “la-Ilaha Illallah – Mohammadur rasoolulla “

Our Tasbeeh is :
La Ilaha Illallah, ------------------Muhamadur Rasoolullah
Allahu Ilahuna, -------------------Muhammadun Nabiuna
Al Quran Wal Mehdi Imamuna,---Amanna wa Saddaqna


The Kalima and tasbeeh are two different things and are recited at different occasions. Moreover the tasbeeh States our firm belief in Islam and has nothing which goes against the common believes of Muslim community.

References:
1. Bazul Ayat - Bandagi Mian syed Kundmir (RZ)
2. Naqliyat.Bandagi Mian Abdur Rashid (RZ) compiled by Haz.Abu sayeed Syed  Mahmood (RH)
3. Kohlul Jawahar - Haz. Syed Nusrath (RH)
4. Muqaddama Sirajul Absar - Haz.Syed Mustafa Tashrifullahi (RH)
5. Dictionery of Islam - Thomes Patrick Huges

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