Q&A: Imam Mahdi in 2004

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Question:

 

Many people are eagerly awaiting the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.). It is well known that when he appears, tyranny and oppression will be wiped out from the face of this earth and the Muslims will gain domination. Due to the current situation of the Muslim Ummah, the yearning for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) has greatly increased. Some people have identified 2004 as the year of his appearance. Is this correct?

 

 

Answer:
 

The appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) prior to the day of Qiyamah is an authentically established fact. Numerous Ahadith explain the personal details of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.), the battles he will wage against the forces of baatil, the peace and tranquillity that will prevail in his time, the duration of his life, etc. In fact, Imaam Mahdi (R.A.)’s appearance will be the first major sign of Qiyamah.

 

While there are many indications mentioned in the Ahadith pertaining to the conditions that will prevail at the time of the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.), there is no specification of time. As for the prediction that Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) will appear in 2004, it is based on two ‘proofs.’ However, a cursory investigation of these ‘proofs’ will make it evidently clear that they cannot in any way conclusively establish 2004 as the year for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.).

UNAUTHENTIC NARRATION

The first ‘proof’ is a narration of Muhammad bin Ali who says: “Verily for (the appearance of) our Mahdi are two signs which never occurred ever since the creation of the skies and the earth. The moon will eclipse on the first of Ramadhaan and the sun will eclipse in the fifteenth of Ramadhaan. These signs never occurred ever since Allah Ta’ala created the skies and the earth” (Dar Qutni - Vol. 2, Pg. 45). This narration cannot be used as proof due to the following reasons:

 

1. This is not a Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Rather, it is the statement of “Muhammad bin Ali.”

2. There are numerous narrators by the name of Muhammad bin Ali. Hence it cannot be established with certainty who this particular narrator is. Thus the narrator is unknown.

3. The person narrating from Muhammad bin Ali is Jaabir. The identity of this Jaabir is also not known.

4. The person narrating from Jaabir is Amr bin Shimr who has been severely criticised by the scholars of Hadith. He is accused of fabricating Hadith and was declared a liar. He was a well-known Rafidhi Shia (those who reject the first three Khulafa) and subscribe to many other heretical beliefs).

 

The above makes it abundantly clear that the alleged narration cannot be used as ‘proof’ to establish anything.

 

Furthermore, it is recorded that the lunar and solar eclipse has occurred in the month of Ramadhaan. From 1801 to 1900 this occurred at least five times. This has been conclusively established with extensive statistical records by Moulana Sayed Muhammad Ali Mongeri (R.A.) in his book “Doosri Shahadate Aasmani” (Pg. 26)

NOT CORRESPONDING

The aforementioned narration claims that the lunar eclipse will occur on the first of Ramadhaan and the solar eclipse on the fifteenth of Ramadhaan. According to the astronomers, the lunar and solar eclipse will occur this year on the 9th and 23rd of November 2003 which does not correspond with the first and fifteenth of Ramadhaan.

          The second ‘proof’ is the prediction of various great Ulama of the recent past. Firstly, non of them specified any date. Secondly, even if any specific time had been mentioned, such inspired predictions are not a Shar’i basis to prove anything. Many senior Ulama of the past, such as Allama Suyuti (R.A.), Moulana Ya’koob Nanotwi (R.A.) and many others also made similar predictions which proved to be incorrect.*

 

The crux of the matter is that there is no basis to specify 2004 for the appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.). Allah Ta’ala has withheld this knowledge from the creation. The principle to adhere to in this instance is: “Abhimu ma Abhamallah” (i.e. do not delve in things that Allah Ta’ala has not revealed). In fact, according to a narration of Ibne Majah and Musnad Ahmad, it appears that the person who will be the Mahdi himself will not know that this responsibility will be placed upon him until just before he is appointed the Madhi. Hazrath Ali (R.A.) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “The Mahdi will be from our household (progeny). Allah Ta’ala will endow him with the qualities of the Mahdi in one night.”

FUTILE

The appearance of Imaam Mahdi (R.A.) will occur at its appointed time, whether that time is imminent or centuries away. It will occur without any effort of anyone. Hence to spend valuable time trying to determine when it will occur is futile. Our energies should rather be channelled towards uplifting ourselves and the Ummah at large.

 

(Adapted from an article by Moulana Umar Farooq Lohari of London — Al-Balaagh, April 2003)

 

 

 
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