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Mahdi

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Author Topic: Mahdi  (Read 44 times)
Warris
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« on: September 25, 2023, 08:56:49 pm »
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Assalam Alaykum.   I would like to get some simple and uncomplicated information about 12th Imam Mahdi.  I hear lots about this.  But I donít think his return is stated in the Quran, no?  What does history say about him?  Why is he revered?  Is he supposed to be still alive? What is the concept or purpose behind presuming his return?   I think this is Shia Muslim belief.  Do Sunnis also accept him as imam and his return?
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2023, 11:03:45 pm »
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Walaykom As-Salam.  Story of the return of Mahdi is certainly not in the Noble Quran.   Return of Mahdi has much the same concept as return of Essa (Jesus) son of Virgin Maryam, and this story too is un-Quranic. 

Mahdi was the 12th Imam of the Shiia Muslim sect, born approximately 868 CE probably in Samarra (north-central Iraq).  His full name was Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdi.  He was the son of the 11th imam, Hassan Al-Askari, who was reportedly persecuted by the Abbasids, imprisoned and consequently killed. Apparently some tragic incident did happen which led to Mahdiís disappearance while he was still very young.  The line of imamat apparently ended with his disappearance approximately 1,000 plus years ago.  These are the only historical points we know.  Other than these, the topic is so diffuse and has been so intensely a target of interference by people over the past centuries that it is hard to find any standard or concrete historical information.  But there are lots of narratives and anecdotes on Imam Mahdiís life and the extent of their authenticity is known to Allah Almighty only.  But the fact that the Noble Quran does not mention nor even allude to his return is sufficient reason for us not to accept this concept.
 

Mentioning whatever unconfirmed narratives that are reportedly around on this topic:

It is presumed that after Mahdi was born in 868 CE his birth was kept a secret from the public. He lived under his father's care until 874 when his father died.  Imam Hassan Al-Askari, the 11th Imam and father of Mahdi, was buried in the compound of his house in Samarra next to his father.  After Hassan Al-Askari's death his household was searched by Abbasid loyalists, looking for his successor.  But they did not find him.  This is the unconfirmed story.  It is also just as likely that if or when Imam Askariís house was searched, they did find his young son and successor, and took him away.  Only Allah knows best.


The standard Shiia belief is as follows:

Mahdi did not die but has been concealed by The Almighty from humanity.  Mahdi's life has been miraculously prolonged until the day he manifests himself again by The Almightyís permission to fill the earth with justice.  Making this concept more precise, the Shiias further claim that the Imam is not invisible. He is in occultation, that is, concealed not invisible. This is meant to be a way to protect him from imprisonment, assassination or any form of persecution.  Further, according to the Shiia perspective the presumption is that Divine Wisdom decreed the 12th Imam would not be publicly seen until the people were best prepared to follow his guidance.  Also according to ongoing interpolations, most of Mahdi's predecessors supposedly knew that he would be born and were aware of his occultation.  This is of course quite clearly not true.


Sunni belief:

According to the Sunnis (possibly via Sunni ahadith), Mahdi is not in hiding but when the time comes for him to reappear, Allah will prepare him in a single day when the Muslims will swear allegiance to him as their caliph and will be united behind him.  This is just as un-Quranic as the rest of Mahdi's stories.  And the rest of the Sunni belief on Mahdi is much the same as the Shiia belief, that he will reappear at the end of time, when he will fill the earth with justice and fairness after it has been filled with injustice and wrongdoing.


What we need to remember is, that while the 12th Imamís disappearance was indeed very tragic, it should not be taken as a reason to construct endless tales. 

Following are the excerpts from our MV thread on this topic quoting Sisters Heba and Zainab.




Regarding the Mahdi issue .... briefly and realistically put,  it was clearly a political kidnapping, kidnapped because he was next in line for the imamat.  Every political system in every era had (and has) adversaries.   When Imam Mahdi disappeared he was reportedly 6 or 7 years old, just a little child.  He definitely must have been kidnapped and either given away to an orphanage or sold to a foster home or at worst harmed.  In those days with no means of effective co-ordination between law enforcement institutions, majority of such crimes would go unsolved.   Only Allah knows the real truth, but this is my opinion.  And I can confirm there will be no return of Mahdi because the Quran does not confirm it, does not even broadly hint on it.  The Quran does not even hint nor say about the return of Essa son of Virgin Maryam   



..

Such stories are basically constructed by clerics as a means to sooth and comfort the masses during times of distress and helplessness.  These tales are further spiced up to heighten inspiration with exaggerations in the forms of songs, poems and theatrical rhetorics.  Its only purpose is to help the frustrated masses of a community to feel somewhat vindicated.  Furthermore, such unfounded stories can also be very detrimental for the society because their broader goal is to make pacifists out of people and add to their lethargy.  For example, if the people of a country or community are unhappy with their corrupt leader or government, the false and mythical ideas of return of Mahdi or return of Jesus teaches them to simply wait, to be sedentary and do nothing practical to resolve their problem.  In other words, these myths often snatch away the desire to strive for the eradication of corruption and self-improvement.  In difficult times an adherent of such stories will merely say "O! be patient, these are signs of Mahdi.  He will come and all will be fine."  As a result, nothing constructive ever gets done and these naive faithfuls keep waiting till it's time for their souls to return to Allah.



Related links:


-  That talk about the return of Mahdi
  (This post is completely with reference to the Quran).
-  The topic on the return of Jesus, son of Virgin Mary.
-  Christian belief of Jesus son of Virgin Maryam rising from his grave.
-  A Dialogue between ALLAH ALMIGHTY and Prophet Essa (Jesus) son of Virgin Maryam.
-  When Jesus (son of Virgin Maryam) ascended to the heavens, was he alive or dead?
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Warris
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2023, 11:15:43 pm »
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Lots of thanks.  A rare piece on Mahdi which is straight, to the point and not confusing.  Thanks also for the additional links.
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2023, 11:16:29 pm »
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You're welcome.
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