Some Major Clarifications
Will the First appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) be in Saudi Arabia ???
There are basically some hadiths that indicate that Mahdi (A.S.) might come in Mecca. Those are as follows:-
- Sahih Muslim
- Abu Dawood
If one follows the rule of hadith then 1st preference is given to sahih hadith. Hakim’s hadith is a weak narration and hence Muslim’s and Abu dawood’s narration is given priority. Now as discussed earlier, if there are similar narrations mentioned in Sahah Sittah, then the order of priority is as follows- Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu dawood, Nisai and finally Ibne majah. Hence, here Muslim's narration is preferred over Abu Dawood’s narration.
In Muslim, there is mention of “in this house a community (Mahdi’s companions) will take refuge. there is no mention of the word ‘kabah’ or ‘baitullah’. Hence, it is no harm to assume that the house might be kabah but if one guarantees that it is kabah only, then he is doing a grave mistake. Because prophecies are knowledge of unseen & before its happening, one can only assume what it could be but one can never say it by full confidence that it will happen in this way only. and if he does so, then he is confirming that he knows the unseen (refer knowledge of prophecies).
Further, as we know that the place of coming of Prophets are kept secret like Huzoor's (S.A.W.) migrative place was kept secret and since here only the word ‘bait’ is used, hence, it could be any house and moreover it is connected to ‘Allah’s vicegerent’ (Allah's Khalifah), then it could be a house type mosque where he (Mahdi) and his companions will take refuge and then the opponent would come to attack which will be humiliated (refer battle of kulb) in baidah (plain ground) as the hadith follows:
There is one more hadith which might be connected to the above hadith, which is:
Here we come across that after the death of a caliph, Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will migrate from that city to Makkah. As it is already discussed in ‘knowledge of prophecies’ that name doesn’t match in prophecies however, geographical condition matches. Also, sacred places are prophecised with the names of sacred places in Islam. There are five sacred places in Islam, namely; Makkah, Jerusalem, Madina, Egypt and Sham (these are the places where a number of Prophets and all revealed books have been sent). Hence, it may be possible that he may migrate to a place resembling Makkah geographically where he will form a society resembling to that of Madina. Thus making it a sacred place by establishing Hazrat Muhammad's (S.A.W.) sunnah in its original form.
So when we relate the above two hadiths then one can realize that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will be from that city where death of a caliph occurs and then migrate to another city resembling Makkah geographically where he will form a society resembling to that of Madina.
Hence, one thing becomes clear it is not necessary that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will first appear in Makkah.
So, it inferred that the common belief, “Mahdi (A.S.) will be from Makkah and people will take pledge at kabatullah” is not correct.
Is it compulsory that Mahdi (A.S.) becomes the commander of Arabs ???
Above hadiths tell us that Mahdi (A.S.) will take command over the arabs but one must know certain facts about “aasmani rahbar” (Allah's Prophet).
Allah always make promises with respect to a Rahbar in a general sense applied to the whole world like Allah says in the Quran that Prophet (S.A.W.) has been sent as a blessing to entire mankind. This verse tells that he is a blessing for each and every person on earth but it was in actual for those people only who accepted islam and not for those who rejected it. One can also say that Prophet (S.A.W.) will be blessing for all only if they would embrace Islam.
Therefore, this hadith about Imam Mahdi (A.S.) can be taken in this sense also, i.e., Allah would make him the commander of arabs if they would accept him or else it would get fulfilled over a certain group of people who would make him as their commander and which is indicated by one hadith which is as follows:-
Huzoor (S.A.W.) said: " Mahdi (A.S.) will fill a community with equity and justice after the community makes him his leader." (Ibn-Majah).
Hence one must understand that Allah always make promise in general applied to all with respect to His Prophet but when people don’t accept him, then the same promise is fulfilled over a certain group of people who accepts him.
So it is a good assumption that Mahdi (A.S.) will become commander of Arabs but it is not necessary that he must take command over the Arabs.
Isa(A.S.) & Mahdi(A.S.)–same or different person ???
This is also one of the major doubts among the muslims that Mahdi (A.S.) and Isa (A.S.) are two different personalities and that Mahdi (A.S.) will come 1st and then Isa (A.S.). But there is not even a single sahih hadith that tells us that Isa (A.S.) and Mahdi (A.S.) are two different persons. Infact, there is a sahih hadith in Ibne Majah that says that Mahdi (A.S.) and Isa (A.S.) are same. The hadith is as follows :-
Huzoor (S.A.W.) said: " and there is no Mahdi (A.S.) except Isa bin maryam." (Ibn-Majah)
The above hadith clearly tells us that Mahdi (A.S.) and Isa(A.S.) are one and the same person. but some people who have this false belief that both are different reject this hadith itself and say it is weak or some even consider it fabricated.
One should know that a hadith can be considered as weak only if its narrator is weak or if there is a weak narrator in its chain of narrators or if it is present in weak hadith itself.
Now let us examine the above hadith:
- First of all, this hadith is mentioned in ibne majah which is a sahih hadith.
- Ibne habban is the narrator of this hadith who is considered among strong narrators.
- Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal has also copied this hadith from a series of sound narrators and considered this hadith correct. Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal are the two imams of the four imams and were among the best generation of people on earth considered by this ummah and thus very close to Huzoor's (S.A.W.) time.
So now how can one consider this hadith weak !! people have no answer to this and they simply question its authenticity. They say it weak because they had this false belief that Isa (A.S.) and Mahdi (A.S.) are different. They also say so on the basis of some weak narrations. As discussed earlier, one cannot challenge the weak narrations against that of strong narrations. so here also Ibne Majah’s narration is strong and thus cannot be rejected.
This Hadith directly says both are same. But there are many ways in which Huzoor (S.A.W.) has hinted that both are same. They are as follows:-
- There is a hadith which tells us that Imam Mahdi would come even if only one day of qiyamah remains. That means his arrival is among the greatest signs of qiyamah but when we come across the sahih hadith describing the last ten greatest signs of qayamah, then there is mention of Isa (A.S.) but no mention of Mahdi (A.S.). Now the question arises that if Mahdi’s arrival is a must before qiyamah, then why his name not mentioned in the last ten signs ?? This hints that Mahdi (A.S.) is same as Isa (A.S.) and thus his name is not there since Isa (A.S.) has already been mentioned.
- Nowhere in the sahih hadith, there is mention of Isa (A.S.) and Mahdi (A.S.) in one place saying that Mahdi (A.S.) will do a certain thing while Isa (A.S.) will do another thing.
- Also there is no contradiction in the description of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and Isa's (A.S.) physical appearance. If Mahdi's (A.S.) nose and forehead description is mentioned then Isa's (A.S.) such description is not mentioned instead his height, hairs, face colour is mentioned. thus this also hints that both are same.
So Prophet (S.A.W.) has prophecised Isa (A.S.) by Mahdi (A.S.) in some places and then finally disclosed that both are same as mentioned in Ibne Majah’s collection of sahih hadith.
Will Mahdi(A.S.) fill the entire earth(world) with justice and equity ?? (or) Will Mahdi (A.S.) be the ruler of the entire world ???
People believe that Mahdi (A.S.) will fill the entire world with justice and equity and rule the world for a span of 5, 7 or 9 years.. their belief is due to the misunderstanding of this sahih hadith which is as follows :-
In the above hadith, there is use of an arabic word “ardh” which means “earth” in general. So the people think that he (Mahdi) will fill the entire earth i.e. entire world with justice and thus be the ruler of the entire world. but this thinking only due to lack of knowledge of prophecies. Now let us examine the word “ardh” from Quran and find its true meaning.
In chapter(I) baqrah of holy quran, Allah used “ardh” for referring “mecca”. the verse is as follows :-
- “Verily, they wish to remove your feet from earth, but even if they do it then they would also not remain there for much time.” Here earth means mecca and thus the rebellions of prophet (S.A.W.) wished to remove him from mecca.
- Yusuf (A.S.) says, “make me the owner of the treasure of the earth” Here earth meant Egypt and thus he asked to become the owner of Egypt’s treasure.
- Allah says, “ no one knows on which earth he will die”. Here earth meant the piece of land or the region where a person may die.
- Allah says, “only he is the lord of heavens and the earth”. Here earth means the entire earth.
So from the above examples it is clear that ‘ardh’ can have four different meaning . it can be either a city (makkah), a country (Egypt), a region, apiece of land or the entire earth (world). So, if in the above hadith any one of the meaning gets fulfilled, then the hadith gets fulfilled.
Mahdi (A.S.) can either fill the entire world with justice or it can be a city, country or a region, so it is not appropriate to make judgement that he will fill entire earth with justice, however, if one assumes it then it is no harm.
Further, Huzoor (S.A.W.) said: "Mahdi (A.S.) will fill a community with equity and justice after the community makes him his leader." (Ibn-Majah). So the above hadith clearly tells us that word ‘ardh’ means a peace of land or region where Mahdi (A.S.) establish justice which accept him as their leader.