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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 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.


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)
“ 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.

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

Allah Loveth Them And They Love Allah

Allah Loveth Them And They Love Allah
By Hazrath Syed Ali Bartar Esq.

A famous saint of Islam Hazrath Imam Fakhruddin Razi (RA) in his commentary ‘Tafseer-e-Kabeer’ quotes a Hadith which runs like this:

"Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) said, "I know a "Qaum" (people) who are in my "Manzil" (status or position)". His companions "sahaba" said "How will this be possible because you are last of the Prophets and there is no Prophet after you." The Prophet replied, "Those people are not the Prophets but their position, nearness to Allah (Qurbat) is such that the Prophets will envy them. All of them will have love for Allah."

In this Hadith the Prophet is foretelling about a Qaum who have a position of nearness to Allah and who love Allah.

This Hadith is in fact an explanation of a verse of Quran in Surah "Maidah", which is as follows:

"O ye who believe! Whosoever of you become a renegade from his religion (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom He loveth and who love Him, humble towards believers, stern towards disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah and fearing not the blame of a blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which he giveth unto whom He will. Allah is all embracing, all knowing."

(Quran-AL Maidah 54)—translation from Pickthall.

In this verse Allah has mentioned about a Qaum and speaks about some of the qualities of the people. They are:
  • Allah loveth them and they love Allah
  •  Humble towards believers (Momineen)
  •  Stern towards disbelievers (Kafireen)
  •  Striving in the way of Allah (Jehad-e-Asghar and Jehad-e-Akbar (Dikr))
  •  Not afraid of the blame of a blamer
This is a great gift to the Qaum from the grace of Allah.

The Hadith of Rasoolallah (S.A.S) mentioned earlier and this verse of Quran speaks about the same Qaum. Now the question is which this Qaum is.

Some of the commentators (Mufassireen) say that the ayat is about Hazrath Abu Bakr (RZ) and Sahaba-e-Rasool (who in whose time some Muslims (the so called Muslims) refused to pay zakat and the sahaba fought them against and were successful against them.

This proposition is however not correct for the following reasons:

Those who refused to pay zakat were not renegades. They were false Muslims (Hypocrites,"munafiqueen"). They did not accept Islam in their hearts but expressed themselves Muslims to save themselves as they feared bloodshed and torture in a society which had accepted Islam in a good number. This was the time after the conquest of Mecca. But when Hazrath Rasoolallah (S.A.S) passed away they became bold and refused to pay zakat. Hazrath Abu Bakr (RZ) sent armies of sahaba who defeated the Munafiqueen. So they were not real Muslims at all. A clear proof of their snot being real muslims is here itself that they refused to pay zakat which Quran has made obligatory. They cannot be called renegades ("Murtid") because a renegade accepts Islam with true heart and then rejects it afterwards. Some Muslim commentators used the word renegades for them which is not appropriate and correct.

Hazrath Abu Bakr (RZ) and sahaba comprised the Qaum that was of Hazrath Rasoolallah (S.A.S). This cannot be the Qaum which is promised in the ayat. The ayat speaks of a Qaum which Allah will bring (in future). So the Qaum which is to be brought by Allah is different from the Qaum that existed in the times of Hazrath Rasoolallah (S.A.S) and sahaba.

The Qaum in the future is to be brought by Allah [ie by a Caliph (Khalifa) of Allah]. This is because when a Rasool or a Khalifa acts on the commands of Allah, Allah says the act is done by Allah. A clear example of this is the verse of Quran which says when the Prophet (SAS) threw some mud over the infidels in the Battle of Badr, the mud was not thrown by the prophet but it was thrown by Allah. Here the Qaum whose head was the khalifa of Allah (Hazrath Mahdi AHS) was brought in fact by Allah.

The Hadith and the verse of Quran clearly point out that the Qaum that is to come after the Qaum of Hazrath Rasoolallah (S.A.S) is no other than the Qaum of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS). Hence not only Hazrath Mahdi (AHS).is the promised Khalifa (Maud) but also his Qaum is promised one by Allah and Hazrath Rasoolallah (S.A.S). Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) has declared on the commands of Allah that the verse of Quran is about his Qaum and so there is no doubt about the meanings of the verse of Quran.

The attributes mentioned about the Qaum of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) are present in the Qaum especially in the Sahaba of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS). With all short comings due to lapse of time even today we who belong to the Qaum of Hazrath Mahdi (AHS) love Allah with our inner most hearts. We follow the teachings of Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) and Hazrath Mahdi (AHS in our daily life. We do not get involved in the world and remember Allah (Dikr) always. We adopt the obligation with our true hearts and rely on Allah for all our tasks.

A word about the word "Manzil" used in the Hadith. It does not mean equality as some people may think. It points out a muquam or status due to some similarity. Our ancestors have used such words as Muquam manzil, shan, Bardil, Bar Qalb etc. It means that the beneficence (Faiz) of a particular prophet or wali is found in the person. Hazrath Rasoolallah (SAS) has said:

My ummah’s ulema are like the Prophets of Bani Israel. This does not mean that the ulema are said to be Prophets. It means the ulema have the beneficience of the Prophets.

The Quran
Tauzihat by Hazrath Abu Sayeed Syed Mahmood RA on Naqliyat B.M Abdur Rasheed RZ.


The Debate on Mahdaviat between Hazrat Miyan Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH)
and Qadi Abu Said ordered by the Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir at Ahmadnagar

Compiled in Persian by:
Hazrat Miyan Abu aI-Qasim

Translated into English by:
Scott A. Kugle
Research Scholar
Graduate Programme in Religious Duke University, Durham. USA.

Published by:
Chanchalguda, Hyderabad - 500 024. Phone 4568432
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of both worlds, the only goal for those who keep constantly aware of Allah for their whole lives. Praise and blessing be upon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and upon his family and companions, each and every one.

You discriminating reader, who can judge between right and wrong Know that the events recorded here took place in the reign of the Emperor Aurangzeb, when he came from Delhi to stay in the region of Ahmadnagar. The religious scholars of this region, along with the judges, the deliverer of the Friday sermons, and other religious leaders who have harbored enmity against the religion of the Mahdi (may peace be upon him) took counsel with the Emperor. They informed him that the community of the followers of the Mahdi (AHS) were verty numerous in this region. They told him that these Mahdawis claim that the Promised Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time has come and gone, and that their doctrine is different from our Sunni doctrine.
The emperor Aurangzeb ordered the Judge, Qadi Abu Sa'id, .to summon some of the leaders of the Mahdawi community and apprehend from them what their actual doctrinal beliefs might be. The Judge therefore summoned the descendents of Shah Sharif (RAH) who lived at the tomb complex [raudah] of their ancestor. He asked them, "Are you followers of the Mahdi?" And they answered that they were indeed. The Judge then asked, "Do you have in your religious community any scholars or learned leaders with whom I could have a discussion?" They answered him, We ourselves do not have the required knowledge and learning of our own tradition that we might dispute with one such as you, but you should consider another descendents of our leader, his name is Miyan Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), and he lives at Chichaund. The Judge then requested that they send for this learned man. After meeting Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) and informing him of the Judge's intentions they brought the Shaykh and some of his companions to Ahmadnagar. So from Chichaund came Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), Ilyas Miran (RAH), Shaykh A'zam (RAH) (the son of Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH)) and Abu al-Qasim (the writer of this narrative), along with others from their community who had renounced worldly ambitions. They arrived at the tomb-complex of Shah Sharif in Ahmadnagar, and gave notice to the Judge of their arrival.
The Judge summoned them into his presence, and they all sat down in the official court building. In accordance with the summons, Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) and his son, Shaykh A'zam (RAH), entered into the Judge's private chambers and greeted him by saying 'as-Salamu' alaykum.' The Judge answered, 'Wa'alaykum as-Salam.' He then asked them about their doctrinal beliefs. They pronounced the ritual words of witness [shahadah] that there is no divinity but Allah, and that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Prophet of Allah (PBUH). They then explained that their belief is based on the singularity and uniqueness of Allah, who sent the messenger (PBUH), Muhammad (praise and peace be upon him). Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) said, We cherish the memory of all four of the Prophet's (PBUH) closest companions [meaning the four rightly-guided Khulafa'] and acknowledge that all four schools of law are based on the divine truth and are worthy of being followed. We are of the people of the Prophet's (PBUH) example and community [Ahl-i Sunnat o Jama'at] and we say that the Promised Mahdi (AHS) has already come and gone.
Upon hearing this, the Judge challenged him, 'By what proof do you claim that the Mahdi of the end of time has come and gone?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) replied, 'We make this claim by the proof that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said, "It is true that Allah sends to this community [ummah] at the start of each century someone who will renew its religion". And reliable commentators on this report have further clarified that the religious renewer [mujaddid] of the tenth century will be none other than the Mahdi (AHS). This commentary is mentioned in many books, including Tambih al-Taharruz and lrnam al-Nawwawi's commentary on Sahih Muslim. Not only that, but the great and pious saint, Hazrat Gesu Daraz (may Allah's mercy be upon him), who is trustworthy and followed the shari'ah scrupulously, has said in the malfuzat text that records his words. "The Prophet (PBUH) has said that Allah will send one from within his community to be a Mahdi at the start of each century, and at the tenth and last century, that one will be none other than the [promised] Mahdi (AHS)". Likewise al-Tabari has written in his book of hi story that the Mahdi (AHS) will appear in the year 905 after the Hijra. "The Mahdi (AHS) that we affirm, Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH) Jaunpuri, made his appearance in this very year, and if anyone doubts this they can look up the historical facts. So it is clearly established without any doubt that this very man, Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH) Jaunpuri, is the [promised] Mahdi (AHS). We affirm his status as the Mahdi (AHS) with all of these proofs; so tell us, with what proofs do you challenge his status?'
The Judge said, In this matter, there is a saying of the Prophet (PBUH) that the Mahdi (AHS) "will fill the earth with fairness and justice, just as it has been filled with tyranny and injustice". It is clear from this saying that, with the appearance of the promised Mahdi (AHS), all the tyranny and injustice in the world will be eradicated and that the whole world will be filled with justice and honesty. Therefore, all the people will become Muslims and not a single infidel would be left on the face of the earth. Up until this very day, such an extraordinary event has not happened! So how can you claim that the promised Mahdi (AHS) has already come and gone?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) answered him, In this matter, Allah has informed the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), that all people will not be united into one religious community, but would rather stay divided into different religions and sects; injustice and tyranny between them would never be absent, and they would continue to differ amongst each other and commit injustice against each other until the very Day of Judgment (Qiyamat).
The Judge challenged him to read out the verse from the Qur'an that proves this point.
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) recited, 'Allah has spoken in the Qur'an that "If your Lord had willed, He would make all people into one single community, yet they remain differing amongst themselves and quarreling, except those upon whom your Lord has shown mercy. For this Allah has created them and the word of your Lord was made complete, that surely I will fill up Hell with Jinn and Humans all together" (Qur'an, Surat Hud, 11:118-119). And Allah has also spoken in another verse "We have cast among them enmity and anger until the Day of Judgement" (Qur'an, Surat al-Ma'idah, 5:67). Commentators have written on this verse (in the Tafsir al-Madarik) that all people will remain divided and in disagreement and the commitment of their hearts will never be in accord; they will never achieve mutual understanding or cooperation. Those who have been infidels will remain in their own stubborn opinions until the Hour of Judgement overtakes them all of a sudden or until they are given their due punishment. The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, "One group from my community will remain fighting with the others to uphold the truth, and will be clearly evident until the Day of Judgement.
So it is clear from these verses of the Speech of Allah and from these reports of the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) that the whole world will never become Muslim. Rather, the people of the world will remain in difference and conflict until the very Day of Judgement. From the first creation of Adam (AHS) until today, the pattern of behaviour ordained by Allah with regard to human beings is unchanging in all our circumstances: Allah has said "How little it is they believe!" (Qur'an, Surat al-Baqarah, 2:88) and "No, most of them have gone astray [fasiquna]" (Qur'an, Surat Al Imran 3:110). But despite this, Allah has declared in honour of the Prophet (PBUH) that "We have sent you only that you might be a mercy to both worlds" (Qur'an Surat al-Anbiya', 21:107). Despite the strong speech of the most noble of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who is the clearest proof of all the pure ones, still the world has not accepted to become Muslim in his own time. How, then, could you imagine that all the people of the world would become Muslims in the days of the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time? Our Prophet (PBUH) has said in relation to his community that "My community will split up into seventy-three different sects and all of them are in the fire except for one". This means that all the diverse groups from among the Muslim community will enter the fires of hell, except for one that will enter directly to paradise. Since the Prophet (PBUH) himself has clearly stated that even his community will never be unified and will stay split into all these quarreling groups, how can you claim that in the time of the Mahdi (AHS), all the world will become Muslims? Be just and reasonable, for the Prophet (PBUH) has said that Allah is merciful on whoever deals justily with others!'
The Judge then asked him, 'The Mahdi (AHS) and Jesus ['Issa] will appear in the world during the same time and that one would obey the other and follow his lead in prayer. But up until this very day, Jesus (AHS) has not appeared and has not acknowledged the Mahdi (AHS), so how can you people still insist that the Mahdi (AHS) has already come and gone? With what proof do you make this claim?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) answered him, 'We believe this according to the sayings reported from our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). and also by the research of Mulla Taftazani; we claim what is established as true that the Mahdi (AHS) and Jesus (AHS) will not come at the same time.'
The Judge challenged him, 'Recite those sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) and the claims of the Mulla that prove your point'.
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) obliged him, saying, 'The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said, "How could my community ever come to ruin, with me coming at its beginning, Jesus (AHS) coming at its ending, and the Mahdi (AHS) from among my descendents appearing in its middle. The Prophet (PBUH) has also warned against the appearance of two leaders of the community [khalifah] at the same time, saying "If the people swear allegiance to two leaders at the same time, then kill the one who has appeared second".
The Judge questioned him, 'In which book have you found this saying of the Prophet (PBUH)?'
'It is found in the text Mishkat' (Miskhat al-Masabih) answered Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH). The Judge then began to search around in that book, looking for the quoted sayings. Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) himself extracted both of them from the book and read them aloud.
Then the Judge asked, 'And whose saying did you mention besides these reports of the Prophet (PBUH)?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) recited the passage [from Mulla Taftazani]: 'As for what people say abut the Mahdi (AHS) following in obedience Jesus (AHS), or Jesus (AHS) following in obedience the Mahdi (AHS), this is a matter on which there is no reliable proof either way. So nobody should pronounce the truth to be one way and not the other''
'This passage is found in what book?' the Judge interrogated him, 'and who is the author?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) replied, It is quoted from Sharah al-Maqacid, and the author is Shaykh Sa'd al-Din al-Taftazani.'
Then the Judge changed the topic and asked, 'The Mahdi (AHS) is clearly predicted to be born in Madinah, while this man whom you claim to be the Mahdi (AHS) was born in Hindustan (Al-Hind). So by what logic can you claim that he is proved to be the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) answered him, 'It is clear that the word madinah in the language of the Arabs is used in a general sense to mean any city; to use it in a limited sense is not permissible. Just refer to the verse in the Qur'an when Allah says, "A man came running from the furthest part of the madinah." (Qur'an, Surat Ya-Sin, 36:20)
'To what madinah is that in reference?' the Judge asked, 'and what was the name of that man, and who was the Prophet active during his time?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) answered, 'The madinah referred to is the city of Antioch [Antokiya] at the time of the Prophet Jesus. The name of that man who came running was Habib Najjar. Therefore it is clear according to this Qur'anic verse that the term madinah in Arabic has a general meaning in reference to any city [and not just to our Prophet's city of Madinah in the Hijaz].'
The Judge again objected, The city of Jaunpur is located in Hind, while the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time is clearly stated to be born of the Arabs!'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) answered, A saying of the Prophet (PBUH) has been relayed, indicating that the Mahdi (AHS) will be born in Hind.
The Judge challenged him, 'Recite that saying!'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) recited this saying reported from the Prophet (PBUH), "The Mahdi (AHS) will appear from the descendents of Hussain (RA), the son of Ali (may Allah uphold his dignity), and his birthplace will be Kabul or Hind; then the Mahdi (AHS) will travel to Makkah and stay for some time in Makkah" until the end of the report.
The Judge asked, 'What claims did [the man you claim as the Mahdi (AHS)] make there in Makkah, and who accepted them?'
'The promised Mahdi (AHS) went to the Ka'ba, to the house of Allah, 'answered Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'and there he mounted the pulpit and clearly pronounced his claim to be the Mahdi (AHS). And he recited this saying of the Prophet (PBUH): "Those who follow me are the believers [mu'min]". After this pronouncement, the first man to pledge allegiance to him was Shah Nizam (RA), the king of Ja'is, saying "I have believed and placed my trust in you. After that, Qazi Ala'ul-Din Bidari (RA) pledged allegiance to the Mahdi (AHS), by saying the same thing.
The Judge objected, 'The pledges of just two people do not confirm his claim to be the Mahdi (AHS)'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) responded, 'The followers of the Mahdi (AHS) were very numerous, and each of them took the same pledge of allegiance as these two did. Besides, in the ritual law laid down by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), if two trustworthy witnesses confirm the claim of a man, then his claim is considered established and valid. I mentioned the pledge of these two men because they were both very highly esteemed and respected leaders. One was the king of city of Ja'is, while the other was the Chief Judge of the city of Bidar. In the view of the law, the testimony of these two witnesses confirms an established proof By their testimony the claim of [Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH)] to be the Mahdi (AHS) has been clearly and firmly established.'
The Judge said, 'The saying of the Prophet (PBUH) that you have recited, in what book is it recorded?'
In the book of Prophetic (PBUH) traditions called 'Iqd-al-Durar,' answered Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH). (Iqd-al-Durar fi Akhbar al-Mahdi) Likewise, there is a saying by Ali (my Allah be content with him) from a letter that he wrote. It has been quoted by Shaykh Muhayy al-Din lbn 'Arabi in his text called al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah in the form of this poem:
It is true that the Seal of the Saints bears witness.
The essence of the leader of the Knowers of God is unique.
He is the Mahdi (AHS), rightly guided and descended from Ahmad (PBUH)
His gaze is sharp as an Indian sword as he passes beyond sight
He Is the Sun that blazes away every fog and darkness
He is the seasonal downpour as it rains abundantly
You see, it is clear that both the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) and the sayings of Ali claim that the Mahdi (AHS) will appear in Hind. We accept this very Mahdi (AHS) as the promised one, whose coming at a specified time is clearly established beyond doubt.
Then Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) turned to the Judge and asked. 'Do you have with you that book called Shu'ab al-Iman.'
'Why would you be asking after that book?' the Judge questioned him back.
'In that book,' Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) told him, 'there is the report of a decision from all among the scholars of the Sunni community in which they advise to hesitate and equivocate before specifying the time in which the Mahdi (AHS) will appear. They all agree that the conditions of the appearance of the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time and the exact time of his appearance are frilly dependent on the will of Allah [who will make him appear whenever the Divine wills].
The Judge asked him, 'Which scholars have said this? Read out that passage.'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) recited the following passage. 'Indeed, people have vast disagreements on the topic of the Mahdi (AHS). A whole group of scholars have advised caution on this topic, and have adopted the policy of ceding to each person what he thinks and knows. They have agreed in the belief that the Mahdi (AHS) is one of the descendents of Fatimah (RA), the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH), whom Allah will create at whatever time he wills and whom Allah will send on a mission to secure victory for his religion.'
'Who exactly has stated this?' asked the Judge.
'This is a statement', replied Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'of the scholars of the community of Ahl-iSunnat wa.Jama'at,that lmam Baihaqi has quoted in his text called Shu'ab a/-Iman.'
Finally, the Judge said, 'I do not have this book in my library.'
'Then request it from the library of the Emperor,' insisted Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'and we will see if this passage is quoted in that book--we will see if I am telling the truth. If I am not, then I become like those cesured in the saying of the Prophet (PBUH), that "The liar does not belong to my community.'
The Judge knew within that Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) was telling the truth. He connived to change the subject, saying 'No, it is already evening [we cannot get that book]. Tell me, in the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) there is mention of a fortress by the water's edge called Constantinople [Qunstantaniyyah] which the Mahdi (AHS) will conquer after pronouncing Allahu Akhar. The Mahdi (AHS) you claim to follow never conquered any fortress like this.'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) replied, The Mahdi (AHS) we follow did not conquer any such fortress, because there is a great disagreement about this saying of the Prophet (PBUH).
'What disagreement can there be'?' asked the Judge.
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) said, 'Some scholars hold that the conquest of this fortress by pronouncing Allahu Akbar is the work of some one from the Jewish tribes [Banu Isra'il]. whereas the Mahdi (AHS) is necessarily someone from the Arab tribes [Banu Isma'iI].
In the middle of this discussion, one of the scholars present interjected that, The Mahdi (AHS) is of the descendents of Hussain (RA), so what he's saying about the Arab tribes is correct!'
The Judge contradicted him, 'I have seen it written in one book that the Mahdi (AHS) will be from the descendents of 'Abbas'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) said, The scholars from the whole Sunni community have come to the consensus that the Mahdi (AHS) will be from the descendents of Hussain (RA).'
'First of all, 'said the Judge, let us find out the truth about the Mahdi (AHS) you claim to follow, and only after that will we finish this other discussion.'
'By means of these conflicting views and contradictory opinions,' said Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'one of our greatest leaders became a follower of the Mahdi (AHS). He was Shaykh Ala'i (may Allah be merciful to him) who was the spiritual guide of Sher Shah Suri and the Emperor Salim Shah. He did extensive research from the most prestigious books of respected early scholars of the Sunni community, and found that the appearance of our Mahdi (AHS) was in perfect accord with the verses of the Qur'an, reports of the Prophet's (PBUH) words, and the statements upon which all the Sunni scholars have agreed. Only then did he bear witness to the truth of the claim of our Mahdi (PBUH). We Mahdawis all fully believe that the ethics, values and action of Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH) Jaunpuri follow exactly in every detail the ethics, values and actions of Muhammad (PBUH), the seal of the Prophets (PBUH) and Messengers (PBUH). As they say in Arabic, exactly. measure for measure, and step for step. Those who sincerely believe in the mission the Prophets (AHS) and the sanctity of the saints are in total agreement that any person who shares in the ethical character of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is trustworthy in his claims. Such as ethical person could never spread lies and falsifications or impute to Allah something that Allah has not decreed to him. This is just like a general principle that the jurists have laid down in establishing the truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself. They have written that "Everything which is established by the words of a trustworthy person is therefore completely trustworthy".
'Therefore, if any person is just and is a sincere seeker after the truth, then he must necessarily research into the noble character of this Mahdi (AHS) in order to compare him to the nobility of the Prophet (PBUH); then he can see for himselves whether they are of one constitution. Just see how the author, Imam Muhammad Nasfi, has mentioned both of these two Muhammads (PBUH), the Prophet (PBUH) and the Mahdi (AHS), with equal mention in his commentary on the verse "Who have not already joined with them" (Qur'an, Surat aI-Jumu'ah, 62:3) in his book Kashf al-Haqa'iq. He writes that "The Mahdi's (AHS) essence is like the Prophet's essence, his knowledge is like the Prophet's (PBUH) knowledge, his followers are like the Prophet's (PBUH) followers, his patience is like the Prophet's (PBUH) patience, his reliance on Allah is like the Prophet's (PBUH) reliance on Allah. In every state he is the Prophet's (PBUH) equal, inwardly and outwardly". This shows that the essence of the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time follows the inner character and outer conduct of the Prophet (PBUH) in each detail. Look also with what praiseworthy qualities and lofty eithics Shaykh Ibn 'Arabi has described the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time in his book al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, when explaining the details of the special sanctity [wilayat] of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). You must look at this passage, so that you may understand his real intent in writing it and reach the full realization of its importance, If Allah wills.'
Then Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) saw a book before the Judge and asked 'Which book is this?' The Judge answered, 'It's title is Mishkat. Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) said that this book also mentions the Mahdi (AHS) in this passage. "Ali (RA) once asked: Oh Prophet of Allah (PBUH), will the Mahdi (AHS) be from our family lineage, or from another family's lineage? The Prophet (PBUH) answered him: Truly the Mahdi (AHS) will come from our lineage, for Allah will close the Muslim community as Allah had opened it. This report has been transmitted by an entire group of reliable reporters in their books, including Abu al-Qasim al-Tabrani and Abu Nai'im al-Isfahani and Abd al-Rahman ibn Hatim and others.'
'I, too, have seen in this book that same quotation that you have recited,' admitted the Judge. Then he complained, 'You have memorized all these texts and reports about the Prophet (PBUH) that prove you points. But I have not have the chance to memorize the points [to refute you].'
'Well, look here,' said Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'I have memorized just those points which are necessary proofs in any debate. They are indispensable for me, since persuading the whole of humanity to believe in the Mahdi (AHS) is a duty incumbent upon me. The Mahdi's (AHS) essence requires and demands such belief, since his appearance has been promised by Allah. He is called the promised one since Allah has spread the word about his advent in Allah's very own scripture through the tongue of Allah's very own Prophet (PBUH). Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH) himself has said, "I am ordered by Allah to declare that I am the Mahdi (AHS), witnessed by the spirit of the Prophet (PBUH). He followed exactly the example of our Prophet (PBUH); he reached a spiritual level above the level of Ijtihad (thorough familiarity with the Prophet's (PBUH) external teachings). No other person can claim a share in the loftiness of this spiritual attainment. Scholars have proclaimed that a person of such rank must be believed and followed, for he shares all the personal qualities of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): he claims to be the Mahdi (AHS) on the order of Allah and in accord with the scripture of Allah. he is protected for error by Allah like the Prophets and Messengers. his advent is promised by Allah, he is the Seal of the Sainthood (Khatim al-Wilayat il-Muqayyadah Muhammadi SAS) that flows from the archetype of Muhammad (PBUH), he is described by the Qur'an to be equivalent to the Qur'an in guidance and mercy, his reputation is spread by the Qur'an and its text confirms his status as leader of the community [imamat] and [khilafat], he is the indisputable evidence of Allah and the beloved of Allah as described by the Speech of Allah. His community of followers is also described in the Qur'an as those who will be obedient to him inwardly and outwardly. Such a person who is supported by so many clear and decisive proofs from the scripture, and who supports the scripture so clearly, his very person by his very nature demands to be believed and followed by all people, by all created beings. Whoever can understand will understand. Arid what is the denunciation of such a person who rejects his rightful claim if not outright infidelity against Allah and the Prophet [Kufr]? People who believe in him know that his essence and his person require such belief, therefore they pledge allegiance to his mission and confirm his status. After this, they gather together the verses of Quran, the reports of the Prophet (PBUH), the decisions of the pious scholars who belong to the Sunni community, and insist that they confirm the advent of the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of time, who is none other than Sayyid Muhammad (PBUH), the promised Mahdi (AHS). They do this just as the scholars of old had gathered together the proofs of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and declared that beyond a doubt his very person required belief and faith. They reposed their faith in him through these proofs, and declared that all people must believe in the advent of the Mahdi (AHS), that this belief is a ritual obligation [farz] integral to religion itself.
'The Prophet (PBUH) has said about the scholars, that "the scholars of my community are [as honored as] the prophets of the Jewish tribes, "Yet despite all these signs and confirmations of the advent of the Mahdi (AHS), scholars harbored many differences of opinion and conflicts of view about the Mahdi (AHS). Numerous reports of what the Prophet (PBUH) has said about the Mahdi (AHS) contradict each other. There is a basic guideline about controversial topics like this that leading scholars any mystics have advocated, "lf two [reports] contradict each other, let them both fall into disuse, "But you, oh Judge, want to make use to this difference opinion about asserting the leadership of the Mahdi [imamat] and declaring his rightful place of [khilafat], If anybody, through selfishness and pride, gets caught up in these disputes that are impossible to win and topics that are difficult to understand, then they can never possibly reach the goal [of understanding Allah and following the Prophet (PBUH)]. There is a verse of Qur'an which makes this very clear: "Then Allah guided those who truly believed to the truth in whatever they may have disagreed upon, for Allah guides those whom Allah desired to guide to a path straight and clear."25 In the commentary on this verse in Tafsir-i Rahmani, it is written that Allah guides those who believe in the truth directly "without any proof from textual sources and without any human teacher". When such guidance comes down from Allah. what is the use of this dispute between you and me? What is the use of these arguments and counter-arguments? What refutations and retaliations can there by? Wouldn't it be better if we just enact the commandments of Allah [as best we know how]?'
The Judge asked him, 'And how does Allah command us to act?'
Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH) recited this verse from the Qur'an "Whoever performs a good deed gets the reward for it, and whoever acts evilly will get the punishment for it, for Allah does not act tyrannically with humankind". Then he recited another verse to compliment the first, "Every soul will be held accountable only for what it has done, no delegates can bear the responsibility in their place. Your Lord is the place to which you each return, then Allah will inform you about what you had conflicted and edisputed" (Qur'an, Surat al-An'am, 6:164). Then he recited another, "That community which has passed, they will reap the results of what they have done while you will reap the results of what you are doing. You will not be questioned about what they have done, nor can you benefit by it" (Qur'an, Surat al-Baqarah, 2:134 and 141), And he followed this with another verse, "I have been ordered to deal between you with fairness and justice. Allah is our Lord and Allah is also your Lord. We will be judged by our acts and you will be judged by yours. There is no contention and quarrel between us. Allah will gather us together again, and Allah is the inevitable end for each of us"(Qur'an, Surat al-Shurah, 42:15).
'You see, 'said Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'that Allah commands us to act justly and to do good in every moment, in every situation. It is clear that Allah will not ask you about me on Judgement day, and Allah will not ask me about you. Allah plainly gives each one reward for what they do which is good and beneficial, and punishment for what they do which is bad and harmful. You must know that on the Day of Judgement, Allah has no need to ask any question of anyone!'
The Judge protested, But it is my job to test and examine everyone.
'But Judge,' interjected Shaykh A'zam (RAH), the son of Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'there are so many different religious communities and sects who fight side by side in the army of the Emperor! I mean, besides the seventy-three different sub-communities of Muslims, there are Jews, Christians and Parsis [Magian], and even pagans! Which of all these religious communities are you examining and interrogating? Those who are outside the pale of Islam say things that are clearly outside the pale, while those who are trustworthy and true believers say things that are clearly true in accord with the Qur'an. What profit do you hope to make by interrogating every one and examining the beliefs of each? One thing is for certain, that whatever a father does, he will bear the consequences, and what his son does, that son alone will bear the consequences'.
The Judge corrected him, 'Whatever good a father does, the reward for it will not accure to his son, but whatever good a son does will also reward his father.
'I understand what you mean', said Shaykh Ibrahim (RAH), 'but look here. Is it true that if a father does not pray, does not keep the fast, drinks alcohol and chases after other women, his son will be punished? Or if a son should do evil things, is it so that his father will be punished as well?'
'No', insisted the Judge, he will not be liable to punishment.'
Shaykh A'zam (RAH) replied. 'Then just as you say he will not be punished by means of another person's evil actions, by the same logic his good actions cannot benefit another person either. Both of these suppositions go against the explicit teaching of the Divine words.'
'Recite the verse that proves your point,' ordered the Judge.
Shaykh A'zam (RAH) recited this verse, "Oh you people, stay constantly aware of your Lord and feel dread for the Day on which a father will not be rewarded at all for what his son has done nor will children be rewarded for what their parents have done. Whatever Allah promises is irrevocably true, so do not let this worldly life mislead you and do not let the proud deceiver trick you regarding Allah" (Qur'an, Surat Luqman, 31:33).
The Judge finally pronounced, 'You people really do act on the commandments of Allah and the Prophet (PBUH) in accord with the legal norms set down by Muhammad (PBUH)! I judge that your doctrine is correct and acceptable.
'Well, Judge,' said Shaykh A'zam (RAH), 'of course we have a sound and reliable doctrine, since we believe in the oneness of Allah and the Divine mission of the Prophet (PBUH), and act out the commands of Allah and the Prophet (PBUH) in accordance with the limits of the religious law set down by Muhammad (PBUH). Just as Allah has told in the Qur'an, Obey Allah and the Messenger (PBUH), for if you turn astray again, know that Allah does not love those who are unfaithful."
When the Judge heard this verse, he became very happy, and gave the official order that the interrogation was done; they could go back to place where they had been staying. Then the Judge himself went to the Emperor and told him all about the discussion and debate that had passed between them.
The Emperor asked him, 'Have you now become fully informed about the beliefs of these followers of the Mahdi (AHS), and have you closely examined all their doctrines?'
The Judge replied, 'They bear witness to the oneness of Allah who sent the Prophet (PBUH) on a mission. They cherish the memory of all four of the Prophet's (PBUH) close companions, and believe that all four legal methods are validly based on the truth. They are certainly members of our Sunni community. They say that the Mahdi (AHS) of the end of tirne (akhir az-Zaman) is their leader (Imam (AHS)) who has come and gone.'
The Emperor asked 'So did you find that they transgress the limits of the religious law in any aspect that makes them liable to punishment?'
'No', answered the Judge, they are not liable to any Qur'anic punishment, nor to summary execution, nor to imprisonment or exile. I have found no cause for punishing them in any way.
'I have known well', admitted the Emperor, 'that they follow the law (shariah) scrupulously and know the dictates of our religion and enact them, and dispute with others through the proofs of the Qur'an, the words of the Prophet (PBUH), and the teachings of the pious scholars. Their practices are not against the religious law at all, and they only act on that which is in accord with the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet (PBUH). Their doctrines are surely within the bounds of the Sunni community. That they declare the slogan that "the Mahdi (AHS) had already come and gone" does not make them liable to any punishment under the religious law. So you can give the order to let them go freely.'
When the Judge returned to his courtroom, he summoned us all from the tomb-complex of Shah Sharif Majdhub (RAH) to come back to speak with him. He told us about his meeting with the Emperor and what he had commanded. He said, I have gone before the Emperor and explained everything to him and secured for you the permission to live freely in this region. You are now free to go back to your own residences.' All these people took their leave from the Judge, Abu Sa'id, and left the tomb of Shah Sharif (RAH), departing for their homes in Chichaund.

Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab

Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab

The entire structure of humanity rests upon mutual help and collective effort among human beings.  Human rights have been best protected by law in Islam.  There are rights of relatives, neighbors, parents and even our dead people.  It is an Islamic obligation upon the living people to do something for their dead which helps them in their lives in Hereafter. 
How can we forget our dead, particularly our parents, teachers and Shuyooks who have helped us so much during their life times.  What kind of human beings we are if we resort to destroying their graves soon after their deaths in the name of Islam and treat their graves like deities (idols) and associate shirk with them? What kind of Islam the Salafis and their like minded groups preach that treats their dead in a most humiliating and insulting manner?      
Reading of Quran, fasting, charity, feeding people, construction of mosques or schools in the name of our dead relatives etc., are a few ways by which we can donate recompense (Thawaab) for them.  This helps them in increasing their comforts (if they were good Muslims) and in reducing their torment (if they were sinful Muslims).

Eisaal-e-Thawaab is Sunnah proved by so many Ahadith and Fateha is one of the kinds of Eisaal-e-Thawaab. 
It is in Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim), narrated by Ibn Abbas (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) that a person came to the audience of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and submitted that his sister had made a vow (nazr) that she would do Hajj.  But She died without doing it.  On this the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and submitted that his sister had made a vow ( said, "if she had a loan, would you pay it?  He said, yes I would.    The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said, pay the loan due to Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) , He deserves to be paid more than anybody else".
It is in Hadith (Muslim), narrated by Hazrat Buraidah (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ)saying 'when I was sitting with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), a woman came and said, O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم), I had given a slave maid to my mother and now my mother is dead.  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)said, your retribution (Jaza) is a certainty and the inheritance has returned that slave maid back to you.  Then the woman said, O'Prophet(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) my mother had an obligation to keep one month's fasts.  Shall I keep fasts on her behalf?  Again she said, O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) she had never done Hajj.  Shall I do Hajj on her behalf?  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said , do Hajj on her behalf".
It is in Hadith - that a "sweet water well" was dug for the (dead) mother of Hazrat Sa'ad (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ) (in Madina during Prophet Mohammad's -  صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) time and it was announced "Haazihi li Umme Sa'ad" (Meaning - this well is for the mother of Sa'ad - رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ).  Both rich and poor used to drink water from this well. (Abu Dawood and Nasa'i).
It is in hadith (Bukhari and Muslim), narrated by the mother of believers Aisha Siddiqua (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہا) that a person came to the Prophet(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and said O'Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) my mother died all of a sudden.  In my opinion if she had lived, she would have done some charity.  If I do it on her behalf, will she get the recompenses (thawaab)?  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said 'Yes'.
The above Ahadith confirm Eithaal-e-Thawaab to the dead.  If we do any charity or good deeds and donate the recompense to them, they get it in Barzaq (Life after death).  If we read Quran, feed the poor or do any kind of charity and donate the recompense to our dead relatives, it reaches them in Hereafter and is beneficial for them.
It is in Hadith - Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said: " Iqra'u `ala mawtakum ya seen (Meaning - Read Sura Ya Seen over those of you who are dying/deceased."   This Hadith is narrated by Abu Dawud in hisSunan (Jana'iz), al-Nasa'i in his Sunan (`Amal al-yawm wal-layla), Ibn Majah in his Sunan (Jana'iz), and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.
It is in Hadith - Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) said  "three things continue to benefit a (believing) person even after death - charity which he had given (which continues to benefit others), beneficial knowledge which he had left behind (i.e. authored or taught), and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child. (Muslim).
It is in Quran -  Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice). (Hud - 114)
It is in Quran - Whoever brings a good deed  shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed  shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and they will not be wronged. (Al-An-Aam - 160)
It is in Quran - "Except those who repent and believe  and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Furqan - 70)
It is in Hadith -  (Bukhari wo Muslim).  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)said that if a person intends to do a good thing, he gets one recompense in his book of good deeds.  If the person, after the intention does that good deed, 10 recompense are written in his book of good deeds.
It is in Hadith - (Bukhari wo Muslim).  The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)said that Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) increases the recompense of the good deeds up to 700 times in some cases and beyond that to some people.
The above Quranic verses and Ahadith signify the importance of Eisaal-e-Thawaab to our dead relatives.  Who knows, our good deeds done with the intention to benefit them carry unlimited Thawaab to them and help in removal of their bad deeds or converts their bad deeds into good ones.  This way they get significant assistance from the living people to increase their Thawaab even after their deaths.  
What do we do in Fateha.  We cook food and read the verses of Quran and feed the people and send the recompense to our dead relatives.  It is important that we repeat Fateha more often so that our dead relatives get more thawaab. 
Why do we keep the cooked food in front of us while reading Quran on it during Fateha? 
It is for the simple reason that while doing Fateha, we determine our offering for the recompense of our dead relatives. It is in Ahadith that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) asked a small container of food prepared for two or three people,  read some Quranic verses on them which resulted in Barakah and the  food was sufficient to feed hundreds of people.   
It is in Hadith "Kullu amrin zee baalin lam yubda' bihamdillahi fa hua abtar" (meaning - Every important thing which does not start with the praise of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) (Alhamdulillahi) is vitiated (devoid of virtue). 
Thus Fateha is a requirement established by Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) commandment and is in practice since the time of Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم). 
In Fateha, generally people read one time Sura Fateha, three times Sura Iqhlas (it is in Hadith that the recompense of reading 3 times Surah Ikhlas is equal to one full Quran), three times Durood Sharif and in the end Dua for our dead relatives.  We do not understand what is wrong in it and why it is objected? 
Why should we do things in a specific way?  Put the food in front, read Quran on it and feed people.  Can't we feed the people without doing any such thing? 
It is a Prophet(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) practice for barakah in the food.  In addition, how How can you do things in a haphazard way?  When people are invited for Fateha, you should allow them to join you in reciting Quran.  When all the people join in a social gathering, in reading Quran and in eating, the beneficiaries of such are many dead relatives of all the people who have gathered for Fateha.
Why should we do Fateha at a specific time in a year.?  Like at the time of Prophet's (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) birth day, at the time of the birth day of Ghousul Azam (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), on 40th day after the death of a person and on certain other occasions?
Because it is Sunnah.
(1) It is in Ahadith that Prophet Mohammad  (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to keep fast on the 'Day of Arafat', Ashura, 15th Shabaan. 
(2) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) commanded us to perform Child's Aqeeqa on the 7th Day of birth.
(3) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) went to Ghazwa-e-Tabook on Thursday and he preferred to start journey on Thursdays.
(4) Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to keep fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
(5) He (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to go to Masjid-e-Quba on Saturdays.
There are so many Ahadith which tell us that Prophet Mohammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) fixed the days, dates and timings of many things. This is the reason Ahle Sunnah wal Jama'a  fix the dates for doing good deeds like Eisaal-e-Thawaab.
It is important that when we intend to do a good thing, we should  fix the time in advance so that we do not forget to do it or ignore it because of certain preoccupations. 
Some people purchase goats, chicken (birds)  and other halal animals in advance with the intention to use them as food for Fateha (Eisaal-e-Thawaab). 
Is it polytheism to say that "such sacrificial animal(s) is/are for 'conveying recompense (eisaal-e-thawaab) for a dead person"? 
Please explain what is forbidden under the Quranic commandment  وَمَاأُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ " Wama Uhilla lighairillahi bihi " (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah -  سبحانہ و تعا لی is forbidden).  (Al-Maa'ida - 3)?
We refer to so many things ( in our day to day conversation) 'as ours'. Like this goat I have purchased for certain Fateha, this house is mine, this is my wife, this is his / her food or this  bike or car belongs to so and so.  If we take the literal meanings of  وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ   (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah -  سبحانہ و تعا لی  -  is forbidden), then it will become very difficult to talk. 
If someone takes the literal meanings of the above verse and refer his house as 'Allah's (سبحانہ و تعا لی) house, then his house will become an endowment (Waqf property).
The purport of the above verse   وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ   is with reference to what we intend and say at the time of sacrificing the animal.  
The Makkan apostates used to say 'Bismillati wal Uzza' (Meaning - In the name of Laat and Uzza - the deities of Makkans). 
Against this, it was established that Muslims say  "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" [Meaning - In the name of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی), and Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is Supreme]. 
It is in Ahadith - that at the time of sacrificing the animals Prophet Mohammad(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) used to say "Allahumma haaza minka wa laka.  Allahumma inna haaza un Mohammadin wa aalihi.  Bismillahi Allahu Akbar"  [Meaning - O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) this is for you and from you.  O'Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) this is from Mohammad(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) and 'Aal-e-Nabi (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) '.   In the name of Allah(سبحانہ و تعا لی)   and Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) is Supreme]. And"Allahumma inna haaza amman shahidani bil balaag" [Meaning - O'Our Lord this is from the ones who stood witnessed to my conveying your message (to your servants)]. 
Slaughtering of animals for deities is different from sacrificing them in the name of Allah (سبحانہ و تعا لی) for conveying recompense. 
Ibn 'Abdul-Wahhab took Quranic verses revealed for the Mushrikeen of Makka and applied them to Muslim Ulema, Awliya Allah, Sufi Shaikhs and others and said  those who perform Fateha and Eisaal-e-Thawaab are similar to the Mushrikeen  of Makka.  He branded all Muslim Ulema / Awliya and Shaikhs of 1000 years before him as Mushrikeen by misinterpreting Quranic verses.
It is in Quran -  وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ  (Meaning - Whatever is sacrificed in the name of anyone other than Allah -  سبحانہ و تعا لی  -  is forbidden).  (Al-Maa'ida - 3).