Imam `Abdul Qadir Ibn Badran Ad-Dumi (d. 1346 AH), may Allah be pleased with him, made the following remarks that he felt should be understood about the Awaited Mahdi:
The statement made by the scholar in the second question regarding the statement of Imam As-Saffarini is the following:
Did any of our scholars precede Imam As-Saffarini (d. 1188 AH) in declaring Mahdi to be from the mass transmitted parts of the creed? This is said as the Lum`ah, which was read to him and was a reason for his putting together the book and one of the sources of his commentary, the Awaited Mahdi was not mentioned.
Is it said that the hadith where he is mentioned in necessitate that the one who denies him is an unbeliever? Is the one who denies these Ahadith deserving of the charge of rejecting faith?
I would like to start this statement by saying that in Allah is all success. When mentioning the expression, “Awaited Mahdi” in the book of creed and necessitating people to believe in his appearance, we have not seen anyone from the researcher scholars, our companions and others mention the Mahdi in such a way.
But some authors followed those who authored preaching and warnings, mentioning the Signs of the End of Time and they declared him to be from the mass transmitted texts as a matter of preaching, admonition and warning and this has become convoluted to the common people.
It is in this same vein that Imam As-Saffarini travelled when putting together his text on creed, his commentary and it is a blind spot for some people. So in one moment, when you see him as purely Athari, he then does something that makes someone call him a Sufi initiate. In the next moment, when you see him as a Sufi initiate, he says something that would be classified as Ash`ari and verbose.
One can gather this and other affairs from his methods that he follows which are known by someone looking in his books and what no one falls into simple partisanship reading his books except by taqlid not based on knowledge. So may Allah have mercy upon him in this matter!
Now for a number of years this text and another were due to be written and some of our brothers from the people of Qazan have asked me solely about this issue in respect of a number of things. I thought about a careful and detailed reply along with the Ahadith narrated on the topic of the Mahdi.
I have then made it clear which Ahadith are authentic and what is for and against them. Indeed I am going to give a general statement on the topic that will clarify – in a summarised fashion – the Ahadith that As-Saffarini will be citing as proof with his notes on some of his proofs. Let me start in a deliberate fashion when discussing his notes.
This is about the Last, Pure Imam
The Imam says:
“The seal of the Imams whom there shall be no imam after him shall be just like the office of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in which there is an end to the prophethood and messengership and there is no prophet or messenger after him.”
This statement uses the terminology of the Sufi initiates with some deletion and replacement. The origin of this wording is a popularly known statement narrated by the signposts of knowledge, among them the Hafiz Abu Mansur `Abdullah ibn Muhammad, known as Ibn Al-Walid Al-Baghdadi Al-Hanbali.
His book on the topic is entitled Al-Haraz wal-Mun`ah. Imam Al-Baghdadi mentions within the book that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, gave glad tidings to his uncle Al-`Abbas ibn `Abdul Muttalib and said to him, “So I shall be sealing the prophethood. There shall be a child from you that will seal the khilafah.”
There is another narration in the text, “Do you not know that the Mahdi is from your children.” You now stand informed of that this is a narration from him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in that there shall be the appearance of the `Abbasid Khilafah and that the end of that shall be the end of the `Arab Khilafah and it shall move to trusteeship, monarchy and sultanates.
The matter is just like what the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, made mention of and the end of the `Abbasid Khilafah. The end of this came at the ends of the tyrants, the kings of the Tatar, their leaders being Genghis Khan, Ghazan and others like them.
This is further strengthened by what was collected by Imam Ad-Daraqutni in Al-Ufrad from `Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, that he said, “The Mahdi is from the children of Al-`Abbas, my uncle.”
This was also collected by Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadi who said, “This chain of transmission is authentic and the men in the transmission are all reliable.” This text was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas and he narrates the hadith, “The Mahdi is from my children.” Ibn `Abbas said to `Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair when the latter declared his khilafah, “The Mahdi is from my progeny, no matter how you might dislike it.”
Abu Mansur also narrated from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to him, declared, “When there are treasures of those with black banners, they wear black and their proponents are the people of Khurasan and the affair will always remain like this until the authority is handed to `Isa, peace be upon him.”
You may say that the above contradicts with what was collected by Imam Ahmad and Muslim from Umm Salamah that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The Mahdi is from my progeny, the very children of Fatimah.”
There is another seeming contradiction between the above and what was collected by Imams Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ibn Majah from `Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, in which the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “The Mahdi is the from the People of the Household. Allah shall rectify him in one night.”
There are these and other Ahadith which explicitly mention that the Mahdi shall be from the People of the Household.
The response I would give to these supposed contradictions is that in essence the Mahdi is from the People of the Household and this includes the households of Al-`Abbas, `Ali, `Aqil and Ja`far and all of these are from his Household, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
With regard to the children of Fatimah, then all of those from her children and the children of her children – male and female – and the household of Al-`Abbas have intermarried in numbers. Thus this also makes them from the lineage of Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with him.
So the general response is that the statement is to stand that the narrative of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is true, and that the end of the khilafah of the children of Al-`Abbas is the seal and end of all khilafah. This is opposite to what As-Saffarini opines in that the seal of the khilafah shall be near the Hour.
This statement of his is that which brings trial and test on the Muslims and it is what has come before and been used by people. There is always a man coming out from students of the Shi`ah believing that he is the Mahdi. He carries on in this way until he is killed or dies.
The people from the Shi`ah then wait for his return to them or for him to appear again and take hold of authority and confirm his representative or deputy. What tends to happen is that the deputy of these people claim to be the real Mahdi. This then leads to further tribulations and general trial.
Likewise, in times not long ago up until our time there has not been a time devoid of claimants to the Mahdi and the claimant disputes and divides people, spills blood and convolutes affairs. Much of what happens to be revealed about this is that the claimant is wrong and it is clear that this is also used as an instrument in the hand of the enemies of the Religion and a ladder that can be climbed by them in order to realise their objectives in the lands of the Muslims.
The caller to the truth does not have his voice heard nor is his call heeded. The innovator is given free reign, open gates and is given all manner of power and longstanding availability. The Mahdi of the Sudan has already come about not long ago but this was claimed by some to not be true in order to assist the English in their occupation of Egypt.
There has also occurred in our time the man known as Al-Idrisi in the environs of Yemen. Then he was around for a period of time until it came out that he was a helper and agent for the Italians. This claim of being Mahdi was an expression for the destruction being brought by the unbelievers against the Muslims.
Evil indeed are the claimants to being the Mahdi and wretched are such claims. No one goes in such a misguided path except ignorant preachers and claimants to knowledge. They fill the minds of the laity with these scrap heaps and tid bit speeches to the point that nothing remains except few that are able to differentiate between the truth and falsehood.