Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Vision (Dream) of Isra and Mi'raj


In a previous entry I mentioned many of the proofs for the correct belief that the Isra and Mi’raj of the Prophet Muhammad was a vision and a spiritual ascension, and not a physical bodily ascension contrary to the popular myth prevalent among Muslims. Now I shall present another proof from an authentic Hadith narrated by Samura b. JundabRA that whenever the Prophet finished (morning) prayer he would face us and ask: “Who among you had a dream [Ru’ya] last night?”
Samura goes on to narrate that one day he asked this question but we replied in the negative. So the Prophet said:
لَكِنِّي رَأَيْتُ اللَّيْلَةَ رَجُلَيْنِ أَتَيَانِي فَأَخَذَا بِيَدِي، فَأَخْرَجَانِي إِلَى الأَرْضِ الْمُقَدَّسَةِ
“But I had seen (a vision) last night that two men came to me, took me by the hand, then took me to the Holy Land.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 1386)
The Holy Land is where Aqsa Mosque (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem is located, and is a reference to the first Verse of Surat al-Isra, where the night journey of the Prophet from the Sacred Mosque to the Aqsa Mosque is mentioned.
The ‘two men’ mentioned in this Hadith were in fact the two Angels Gabriel and Michael as is made clear toward the end of the Hadith, who came to the Prophet while he was sleeping, and took him, meaning his soul out of his body, to the Holy Land, from where he ascended into the Heavens and also was shown Hellfire and the punishment of its inmates, etc.
 
The Hadith describes the Prophet as being taken to the Holy Land, but in another version of it, it is described as:
أَتَانِي اللَّيْلَةَ آتِيَانِ فَابْتَعَثَانِي، فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى مَدِينَةٍ مَبْنِيَّةٍ بِلَبِنِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَبِنِ فِضَّةٍ
“Last night two (Angels) came to me and took me to a town built with gold bricks and silver bricks.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 196)
 
As I have written in my blog, the Holy Land of Jerusalem will be the place of Paradise in the Hereafter, it shall be transformed into the capital city of Janna, a city built with gold and silver bricks.
 
In yet another version of the Hadith:
فَارْتَقَيْنَا فِيهَا فَانْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى مَدِينَةٍ مَبْنِيَّةٍ بِلَبِنِ ذَهَبٍ وَلَبِنِ فِضَّةٍ، فَأَتَيْنَا باب الْمَدِينَةِ فَاسْتَفْتَحْنَا فَفُتِحَ لَنَا
“So we ascended till we reached a city built of gold and silver bricks and we went to its gate and asked (the gatekeeper) to open the gate” (Sahih al-Bukhari: H. 7047)
 
Angel Gabriel told the Prophet :
فَارْفَعْ رَأْسَكَ، فَرَفَعْتُ رَأْسِي فَإِذَا فَوْقِي مِثْلُ السَّحَابِ‏.‏ قَالاَ ذَاكَ مَنْزِلُكَ‏.‏ قُلْتُ دَعَانِي أَدْخُلْ مَنْزِلِي‏.‏ قَالاَ إِنَّهُ بَقِيَ لَكَ عُمْرٌ لَمْ تَسْتَكْمِلْهُ، فَلَوِ اسْتَكْمَلْتَ أَتَيْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ
‘Raise your head’ I raised my head and there was something like a cloud. They (Gabriel and Michael) said: “That is your place”. I said: Let me enter my place. They said: “There is still remaining from your life (age) which you haven’t completed. So when you complete it you shall attain your place.”
 
Incidentally, this Hadith proves that the Prophet is residing in his place in Janna, and is not alive in his earthen grave in Medina.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Corpse Feels Pain After Death?


Relation between Soul and Corpse After Death?

 

One of the folk beliefs widespread among the Muslims today, but which is ultimately baseless and absurd, is the idea that after death there is still some sort of relation between the soul of the deceased and its corpse, to the extent that if the corpse is harmed in some way the pain will be conveyed to and felt by the soul. This is the official doctrine of misguided sects such as the Deobandis and Barelwis, but also other so-called scholars and religious leaders, for example:
“Imam Jad el-Haq Ali, who also was the Grand Imam of al-Azhar before Imam Tantaawy, argues that the dead body remains sensitive to the outside world and feels pain. The Imam backs his thought by one Hadith which reports the Prophet as saying, ‘breaking the bones of the dead is similar to breaking those of the living’ (al-Wafd 28.1.1996)” (Mohammed Tabishat, The Moral Discourse of Hadith in Modern Cairo: Persons, Bodies, and Organs; p. 151)
 

Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq
(1917-1996)
The Hadith quoted by the ‘Grand Imam’ and other scholars who promote this fallacious doctrine is narrated by the mother of the believers, sayyida A’ishaRA:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ كَسْرُ عَظْمِ الْمَيِّتِ كَكَسْرِهِ حَيًّا
رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم نے فرمایا مردے کی ہڈی توڑنا زندے کی ہڈی توڑنے کی طرح ہے
Allah’s Apostle said: “Breaking the bone of the deceased is like breaking the bone of a living.” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
 
However, it is quite foolish to understand from this Hadith that the deceased person feel the pain of a bone breaking in his corpse just as a living person feels pain if one of his bones were to be broken. Rather, the obvious and apparent meaning of this Hadith is that the gravity and sin of breaking the bone of a deceased person’s corpse is the same as that of breaking a living person’s bone. This is because Islam enjoins respectful treatment and honoring of a dead corpse, and to defile or desecrate a dead corpse is a grave sin.
 
The reality is that after death, a soul is permanently cut off from this world. Death itself is defined as the permanent separation between soul and body. Thus the earthen body after death decays into nothing but bones and dust. It has no life or sensation in it whatsoever.
 
And Allah knows best.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Reciting Amen Silently


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين

وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين

 

Saying Amen Silently

آمين بالسر

 

The Ta’min, or saying ‘Ameen’ after the recitation of Surat-al-Fatiha in the Salat for both the Imam and the Ma’mum is from the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad . Heretical sects such as the Shi’a and the Ibadiya (Kharijites) do not practice this Sunna. The Prophet said:
مَا حَسَدَتْكُمُ الْيَهُودُ عَلَى شَىْءٍ مَا حَسَدَتْكُمْ عَلَى السَّلاَمِ وَالتَّأْمِينِ
“The Jews are not jealous of you of anything more than they are jealous of you of the Salam and (saying) Amin.” (Sunan Ibn Maja #856)
 
Based on this blessed Hadith, those people who do not verbalize the Amin in the Salat are likened to Jews.
 
However, there is a controversy over whether Amin should be recited aloud or silently in the Salat. The Hanafi school of law famously enjoins the latter position – that it should be recited silently.
 
The proof for it being Sunna to recite the Amin silently is the Hadith narrated by Wa’il b. HujrRA:
 
حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنِي سَلَمَةُ بْنُ كُهَيْلٍ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ حُجْرًا أَبَا الْعَنْبَسِ ، قَالَ : سَمِعْتُ عَلْقَمَةَ بْنَ وَائِلٍ يُحَدِّثُ ، عَنْ وَائِلٍ ، وَقَدْ سَمِعْتُهُ مِنْ وَائِلٍ ، أَنَّهُ صَلَّى مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فَلَمَّا قَرَأَ : غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا الضَّالِّينَ سورة الفاتحة آية 7 ، قَالَ : آمِينَ ، خَفَضَ بِهَا صَوْتَهُ ، وَوَضَعَ يَدَهُ الْيُمْنَى عَلَى يَدِهِ الْيُسْرَى ، وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ ، وَعَنْ يَسَارِهِ
 
Wa’ilRA was praying with Allah’s Apostle so when he recited: “Not those upon whom is Your fury nor those who are astray” (Sura 1:7) he said: “Amin” subduing his voice with it. And he placed his right hand upon his left hand, and gave Salam to his right and to his left. (Musnad Abi Daud al-Tayalisi)
 
Dr. Abdullah bin Abdul Muhsin al-Turki (b. 1940), General Secretary of the Muslim World League, in his checking of the Musnad of Imam Abu Daud al-Tayalisi, declared this Hadith authentic:


Ministry of Prophecy in Islam


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين

وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين

Ministry of Prophecy in Islam

(الوزارة النبوية)

 

One of the offices to which a believing Muslim may be elevated to is the office of Wazir (minister), meaning a minister of a prophet. The word ‘Wazir’ occurs twice in the Holy Quran, in both instances regarding the Prophet Aaron (peace be upon him):

 

وَاجْعَل لِّي وَزِيرًا مِّنْ أَهْلِي ﴿٢٩﴾ هَارُونَ أَخِي ﴿٣٠﴾

 

“And make for me a Minister from my family – Aaron my brother”

(Sura 20: 29-30)

 

 وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا مَعَهُ أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ وَزِيرًا۝

And We gave Moses the Book and We made along with him his brother Aaron a Minister

(Sura 25: 35)

 

Although AaronAS was a Prophet in his own right, he was made to serve as his younger brother’s, Prophet Moses, Minister.
 
The Prophet  Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned that his own brother in faith, his paternal cousin and son-in-law, Ali b. Abi TalibRA, enjoyed the same status of Aaron with one important caveat:
 
أَلاَ تَرْضَى أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى إِلاَّ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ نَبِيٌّ بَعْدِي
“Are you not pleased that you are to me in the position that Aaron is to Moses, except that there is no Prophet after me.” (Hadith al-Manzila)
 
In other words, though Ali b. Abi TalibRA was not a Prophet, he was nonetheless the Minister of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), identical to how Prophet AaronAS was Prophet Moses’sAS Minister.
 
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the office of Minister of the Prophet has not necessarily ceased. Any believing Muslim who acts as the Prophet’s Vizier, representing him and carrying on his mission of preaching Tawhid and the Quraan, should be considered as having been made by Allah as a Minister of the ProphetSA in the latter’s absence. A Mujaddid (revivalist) for example is essentially a Minister of the ProphetSA. In fact, a Mujaddid is such an office that Allah Himself designates and raises him up, similar to how a Prophet is directly chosen by Allah, based on the Hadith:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْعَثُ لِهَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ عَلَى رَأْسِ كُلِّ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مَنْ يُجَدِّدُ لَهَا دِينَهَا
“Verily, Allah will raise for this Umma at the head of every century one who shall renew for it its Religion” (Sunan Abi Dawud)
 
The office of Mujaddid is the highest office in the Muslim Umma, higher even than that of a Khalifa, Imam, ruler, judge, scholar, etc., because the Mujaddid is directly raised up by Allah like a Prophet is.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Extremely Weak Hadith: "Jesus did not Die; He will Return to You"

Those Muslims who propagate the erroneous view that the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, is alive and did not die, put forward a Hadith to that effect:
قَالَ الْحَسَنُ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِلْيَهُودِ : إِنَّ عِيسَى لَمْ يَمُتْ ، وَإِنَّهُ رَاجِعٌ إِلَيْكُمْ قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ
al-Hasan said: Allah’s Apostle said to the Jews: “Verily, Jesus did not die, and verily, he shall return to you before the Day of Resurrection.”
(Jaami al-Bayan of Imam al-Tabarani 5/448)
However, this Hadith is extremely weak and is therefore rejected. One of the reasons for its weakness is the fact that it is a Mursal report, as al-Hasan al-BasriRA is narrating directly from the Prophet , despite the fact that the two never met, as Hasan al-Basri was from the middle category of the Tabi’un and was not a companion of the Prophet . Therefore, we do not know through whom Hasan al-Basri obtained this alleged saying of the Prophet .
For more information:

Khwaja Mir Dard: "Every Perfect Man is Jesus of His Time"


Khwaja Mir Dard of Delhi (1720-1785) was a Sufi saint of the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi silsila, and an accomplished poet. He wrote:
اللہ اللہ! ہر انسان بقدرت کاملہ حق تعالیٰ عیسیٴ وقت خویش است و ہر دم او را برائے خود معاملہ نفس عیسوی درپیش است۔
ترجمہ: اللہ اللہ ! ہر انسا ن اللہ تعالیٰ کی قدرت سے اپنے وقت کا عیسیٰ ہوتا ہے اور ہر گھڑی اسے نفس عیسوی کے حالات درپیش رہتے ہیں۔
“Every perfect man is the Jesus of his time due to the all-encompassing power of God. And every moment he faces for his own self the affair of the soul of Jesus”
Reference: Risala Dard; p.211

 

A Pharaoh Named Walid


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد

وعلى آله واصحابه اجمعين

والعاقبة للمتقين

 

A Pharaoh Named Walid

 

It was narrated from Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA that Umar b. al-KhattabRA said: A boy was born to the brother of Umm SalamaRA, the wife of the Prophet , and they called him al-Walid. The Prophet said:
سَمَّيْتُمُوهُ بِأَسْمَاءِ فَرَاعِنَتِكُمْ ، لَيَكُونَنَّ فِي هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ رَجُلٌ يُقَالُ لَهُ : الْوَلِيدُ ، لَهُوَ شَرٌّ عَلَى هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مِنْ فِرْعَوْنَ لِقَوْمِهِ
“You have called him by the name of your Pharaoh, for there will be among this Umma a man who is called al-Walid and he will be worse to them than Pharaoh was to his people.” (Musnad Ahmad)
 
This Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad is a reference to either one of two individuals by the name of Walid, both Umayyad rulers known for their extreme cruelty and wickedness:
 
(1) al-Walid b. Abd-al-Malik b. Marwan
(2) al-Walid b. Yazid b. Abd-al-Malik b. Marwan
 
One of the narrators of this Hadith, namely Imam al-Awza’iRA stated:
فَكَانَ النَّاسُ يَرَوْنَ أَنَّهُ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ ، ثُمَّ رَأَيْنَا أَنَّهُ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ لِفِتْنَةِ النَّاسِ بِهِ حِينَ خَرَجُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَتَلُوهُ ، فَانْفَتَحَتِ الْفِتَنُ عَلَى الأُمَّةِ وَالْهَرْجُ
Likewise, another narrator, Imam al-ZuhriRA has identified the ‘Pharaoh’ as Walid b. Yazid:
إِنِ اسْتُخْلِفَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ فَهُوَهُوَ
And Imam al-HakimRA, in his Mustadrak, has identified this ‘Pharaoh’ as Walid b. Yazid:
هُوَ الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ بِلا شَكٍّ
 
Imam al-DhahabiRA has agreed with the authentication of this Hadith upon the conditions of Imams Bukhari and Muslim by Imam al-Hakim in his Talkhis, where it is narrated through Abu HurairaRA. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and in other books, this Hadith is narrated as a Mursal report through Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA, but the reader should know that senior scholars, such as Imam al-Shafi’iRA accept the Irsal of Sa’id b. al-Musayyab. In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, Sa’id b. al-Musayyab narrates from Umar b. al-KhattabRA, despite the fact that the latter two never met. However, such reports are acceptable because Ibn UmarRA used to ask Sa’id b. al-Musayyab about judgments from his own father. Thus both Imams al-Shafi’iRA and Ahmad bin HanbalRA accepted the Mursalat of Sa’id b. al-MusayyabRA.
 
Now coming back to the cursed pharaoh of this Umma, namely, Walid b. YazidLA (709-744 CE): “From the beginning of his adulthood, his conduct was not good. He was notorious for his indulgence in sin, immorality and debauchery…Waleed refused to keep his misdeeds to himself he offended the people with openly drinking and he made public his wrong beliefs and thoughts. He not only drunk wine but he committed adultery.” (History of Islam, Najibabadi; v.2 pp.232-233)
 
Perhaps the greatest oppression and criminal act of the cursed pharaoh, Walid b. YazidLA, was his opposition to the Prophet’s pious descendant, Imam Yahya b. ZaidRA: “Before Nasr [bin Sayyar] had received the orders of his dismissal and when he still recognized the caliphate of Waleed bin Yazid, he received the order that he should arrest and send Yahya bin Zaid bin Ali bin Husain bin Ali bin Abi Talib to Damascus. Yahya bin Zaid was staying in Balkh following his father’s death. Nasr had Yahya bin Zaid imprisoned. Waleed bin Yazid ordered that Nasr should send Yahya to him. Nasr released Yahya and ordered him to go to the Caliph in Damascus. Yahya left but turned back and returned to Khorasan. A large number of his followers rallied round him. Nasr sent an army to fight against them and Yahya was hit by an arrow in the forehead and died from the injury just like his father and all his comrades were slain. This happened in Jurjan in 125 A.H. Yahya’s head was sent to Waleed and his dead body was hung on a cross, which remained there for seven years. It was Abu Muslim Khorasani who later took it down.” (ibid, p.235)
 
In a version reported by Imam al-TabariRA: According to Hisham (b. Muhammad al-Kalbi)-Musa b. Habib: When Yahya b. Zayd was killed and al-Walid b. Yazid received news of it, al-Walid wrote to Yusuf b. Umar as follows: “When this letter of mine reaches you, look for the calf of Iraq, burn him, then scatter his as dust in the river.” Yusuf gave orders to Khirash b. Hawshab and he brought Yahya down from the gibbet, burned his body, then crushed it, put it in a date basket, placed it in a boat, and then scattered Yahya’s remains in the Euphrates. (The History of al-Tabari; v.26 pp.124-125)
 
Consequently, the Prophet disliked the name ‘Walid’ because of its association with the pharaoh of the Umma, who was responsible for the martyrdom of Imam Yahya b. ZaidRA and the subsequent desecration of his noble corpse. Muslims today should therefore avoid the name ‘Walid’, the name of the Pharaoh of this Umma. The historian, al-Mas'udi, narrates that this wretched man, Walid b. Yazid, once read the Ayah of the Holy Quraan "And they requested victory from Allah, and disappointed, therefore, was every obstinate tyrant [Jabbaarin 'Aneed]" (Sura 14:15), and was so enraged that he tore the Mus-Haf of the Quraan to pieces!
Reference: Muruj al-Dhahab; v.3 p.180


 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Island of Dajjal


بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد

وعلى آله واصحابه اجمعين

والعاقبة للمتقين

 

Island of Dajjal

 

Dajjal, or the False Messiah, will emerge from the East. There are several Ahadith established from the Prophet Muhammad to this effect. One of them even explicitly mentions the country of Khorasan, which is a region divided between modern-day Iran and Afghanistan. In a previous entry I quoted that Hadith, and shall cite it again here:
 
عَنْ أَبِي بَكْرٍ الصِّدِّيقِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏الدَّجَّالُ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَرْضٍ بِالْمَشْرِقِ يُقَالُ لَهَا خُرَاسَانُ يَتْبَعُهُ أَقْوَامٌ كَأَنَّ وُجُوهَهُمُ الْمَجَانُّ الْمُطْرَقَةُ ‏‏
Abu Bakr As-SiddiqRA said: The Messenger of Allah narrated to us, saying: “The Dajjal shall emerge from a land in the east called Khurasan. He is followed by a people whom appear as if their faces are shields coated with leather.” (Jami’ al-Tirmidhi: Isnaduhu Hasan)
 
According to another Hadith narrated by Abu HurairaRA, the Prophet said:
 
يَخْرُجُ الدَّجَّالُ مِنْ هَاهُنَا ، وَأَشَارَ نَحْوَ الْمَشْرِقِ
 
“The Dajjal shall emerge from there” and he pointed in the direction of the East
(Sahih Ibn Hibban)
 
In explanation of this narration, Imam Ibn Hibban states:
 
وَأَشَارَ نَحْوَ الْمَشْرِقِ ، أَرَادَ بِهِ الْبَحْرَيْنِ ، لأَنَّ الْبَحْرَيْنِ مَشْرِقُ الْمَدِينَةِ ، وَخُرُوجُ الدَّجَّالِ يَكُونُ مِنْ جَزِيرَةٍ مِنْ جَزَائِرِهَا ، لا مِنْ خُرَاسَانَ ، وَالدَّلِيلُ عَلَى صِحَّةِ هَذَا أَنَّهُ مُوثَقٌ فِي جَزِيرَةٍ مِنْ جَزَائِرِ الْبَحْرِ ، عَلَى مَا أَخْبَرَ تَمِيمٌ الدَّارِيُّ ، وَلَيْسَ بِخُرَاسَانَ بَحْرٌ وَلا جَزِيرَةٌ
 
“And pointing to the East, he intended by that Bahrain, because Bahrain is east of Medina. The Dajjal shall emerge from an island from among its islands, and not from Khorasan. And the evidence for this being correct is the corroboration of him [Dajjal] being in an island from among the islands of the sea in what has been reported from Tamim al-DariRA. And Khorasan is neither (in the) sea nor an island.” (ibid)
 
Abu HurairaRA is referring here to a Hadith narrated by sayyidina Tamim al-Dari, a Christian who converted to Islam at the hands of the Prophet Muhammad that:
 
أَنَّهُ رَكِبَ فِي سَفِينَةٍ بَحْرِيَّةٍ مَعَ ثَلاَثِينَ رَجُلاً مِنْ لَخْمٍ وَجُذَامَ فَلَعِبَ بِهِمُ الْمَوْجُ شَهْرًا فِي الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ أَرْفَئُوا إِلَى جَزِيرَةٍ فِي الْبَحْرِ حَتَّى مَغْرِبِ الشَّمْسِ فَجَلَسُوا فِي أَقْرُبِ السَّفِينَةِ فَدَخَلُوا الْجَزِيرَةَ
 
“He had sailed in a ship along with thirty men of Lakhm and Judham and had been tossed by waves in the ocean for a month. Then these (waves) took them (near) the land within the ocean (island) at the time of sunset. They sat in a small side-boat and entered that island.” (Sahih Muslim)
 
The Hadith goes on to narrate Tamim al-Dari and his companions’ encounter with the Dajjal, shackled in an abandoned monastery on that island.
 
It is clear from this Hadith and from the explanation of Abu HurairaRA that the island upon which Tamim al-DariRA was shipwrecked must have been in the Persian Gulf, in the broader region known as Bahrain. There is a clue to this in the fact that Tamim al-Dari, a former Christian, set out with Lakhmids, an Arab Christian tribe and kingdom in the pre-Islamic period that was established in modern-day southern Iraq, close to the northwestern coast of the Persian Gulf.
 
The Prophet went on to say:
 
إِنَّهُ فِي بَحْرِ الشَّامِ أَوْ بَحْرِ الْيَمَنِ لاَ بَلْ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ ما هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ مَا هُوَ ‏.‏ وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى الْمَشْرِقِ
 
“Behold he (Dajjal) is in the Syrian sea (Mediterranean) or the Yemen sea (Arabian sea). Nay, on the contrary, he is in the east, he is in the east, he is in the east, and he pointed with his hand towards the east.” (ibid)
 
Regarding the island upon which Tamim al-Dari encounted Dajjal, the Dajjal himself informed him:
 
وَهَذِهِ الْجَزِيرَةُ لَمْ يَصِلُ إِلَيْهَا آدَمِيٌّ مُذْ خَرَجْتُ إِلَيْهَا
 
“No man has ever landed on this island since I came out to it.” (Mu’jam al-Kabir)
 
This proves that the island of Dajjal was an isolated one and at the time the Dajjal entered into it, it was uninhabited. This rules out the island being Britain, which is the wild theory of Imran Hosein, an ignorant storyteller.
 
In the same Hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said:
 
بَلْ هُوَ فِي بَحْرِ الْعِرَاقِ إِنْ يَخْرُجُ حِينَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بَلْدَةٍ يُقَالُ لَهَا أَصْبَهَانُ
 
“Rather, he (Dajjal) is in the sea of Iraq (Persian Gulf). If he were to emerge he would emerge from a land that is called Asbahan.” (ibid)
 
This statement of the Prophet is what reconciles the two apparently contradictory narrations that the Dajjal is on an island somewhere in the Persian Gulf and the narration that he shall emerge from the East in the land of Khorasan. In other words, the Dajjal is on an island in the Persian Gulf, but when he makes his appearance before the public, it will be first in the land of Asbahan, a region in Iran, or likewise from Khorasan. Isbahan is mentioned as a metropolis with a sizable Jewish population: “The city of Isbahan is distant seven days journey, it is the metropolis and residence, being twelve miles in extent and containing about fifteen thousand Jews. Sar Shalom, the Rabbi of this city and of all other towns of the Persian Empire, has been promoted to the dignity by the Prince of the captivity.” (The Itinerary of Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela; v.1 p.128)
 
To be continuedان شاء الله

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Twelfth Imam: Fact or Fiction?


نحمده ونصلى ونسلم على رسوله الكريم

والعاقبة للمتّقين

 

Twelfth Imam: Fact or Fiction?
The largest branch of Shi’ism today is the Ithna Ashariya or ‘Twelver’ sect. This sect calls to belief in the concept of ‘Imamate’. It claims that the Prophet Muhammad was succeeded by a series of twelve Imams from among his kin and progeny. The last of these Imams was supposedly the awaited ‘Mahdi’, prophecised to appear in the latter days and establish a reign of justice in the Earth and put an end to oppression and tyranny. According to the Twelver sect, people are enjoined to believe in these twelve Imams as an article of faith, on par with belief in Angels, Prophets and Scriptures. Hence, this is a very important issue from the Twelver perspective, a question of faith and disbelief and consequently a question of salvation and damnation.
Yet as I have repeatedly shown on this blog, this supposed article of faith in ‘Imamate’ is conspicuously absent from the Holy Qur’an and the authentic traditions of the Prophet Muhammad which is why ordinary and mainstream Muslims of Ahlus Sunnati wal-Jama’a reject it. But another compelling reason to doubt this doctrine of ‘Imamate’ is the indisputable fact that historically and presently the Shi’a themselves have viciously differed over the identity of the true Imams among themselves. Furthermore, the last of the Twelver Imams, the supposed ‘Twelfth Imam’ is a person shrouded in mystery. In this entry, I will attempt to shed some light on the reality of this enigmatic ‘Twelfth Imam’ who is so central to Twelver Shi’ite theology and doctrine, such that it is the most important factor which distinguishes them not only from mainstream Sunni Muslims, but from all other rival Shi’ite sects too.
The Twelver Shi’a claim that their eleventh Imam, Hasan al-AskariRA was succeeded by his son named Muhammad, who became the next Imam, but went into hiding to escape Abbasid persecution in 874 CE. According to them, this Muhammad is the Mahdi, and so in order to safeguard his life, he went into hiding or the ‘minor occultation’ in a cellar in Samarra, Iraq, but remained in contact with the Shi’a through a series of deputies or representatives and their respective agents and emissaries.
However, the critical issue which will be discussed in this entry is the fictitious existence of the so-called ‘Twelfth Imam’. I argue that in reality, the Eleventh Imam, Hasan al-AskariRA, did not have any son. The Twelver sect fabricated and invented the fictional character of the ‘Twelfth Imam’.
From among the proofs for this contention of mine is the fact that after Imam Hasan al-AskariRA passed away, the Shi’a split into dozens of parties and factions and disputed over the question of the succession to the eleventh Imam. His younger brother Ja’far, the son of Imam Ali al-NaqiRA called the Shi’a to accept his Imamate. The Twelvers condemn him and refer to Ja’far with the epithet ‘al-Kadhdhab’ or ‘the grand liar’. Ja’far’s claim to the Imamate was strengthened by the fact that it was well-known that his elder brother Hasan had no offspring, therefore, either Hasan’s claim to Imamate was invalid, or he was to be succeeded by his younger brother Ja’far. In any case, the true Imam was Ja’far b. Ali al-Naqi.
Some others claimed that the rightful Imam was Hasan’s elder brother Muhammad b. Ali al-Naqi, a man of piety, but who passed away during his father’s own lifetime. These Shi’a claimed that the tenth Imam, Ali al-NaqiRA had never appointed Hasan nor Ja’far as his successor, but only Muhammad. Although this Muhammad died within the tenth Imam’s lifetime, they argued that the Imamate was therefore transferred to the progeny of Muhammad b. Ali al-NaqiRA, similar to the argument of the Isma’iliya who claim the Imamate was transferred to the progeny of Isma’il b. Ja’far al-SadiqRA. Another faction within this tendency claimed that Muhammad was in fact alive and was the promised Mahdi.
Still another faction of the Shi’a considered the eleventh Imam Hasan al-Askari as the last and final Imam. From among them were those who claimed that Hasan was the promised Mahdi and denied his death, or that he was resurrected after his death. Others claimed that Hasan has died but that the Imamate ceased after his death and he simply had no immediate successor. Either the Imamate had ceased absolutely, or Allah would raise up a promised Mahdi in the future, but for now the Imamate had ceased.
All of these above described tendencies emerged because of one important factor the fact that the eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari, had no offspring to succeed him.
But as for those Shi’a who attribute a son to the eleventh Imam, and claim he is the twelfth Imam, even they put forward contradictory views on the matter. Some claimed the eleventh Imam had a son named Ali. Others, however, insisted that he had a son named Muhammad. The Twelvers of today also say that the Twelfth Imam’s name is Muhammad. But originally the Shi’a differed extensively regarding this Muhammad. For example, they claimed a boy named Muhammad was born to the eleventh Imam some two years before the latter’s death. But others believed that this Muhammad was born some eight months after the eleventh Imam’s death. Others claim he was five years old or eight years old at the time of his father’s death, and was able to lead the eleventh Imam’s funeral prayers. Another faction claim that when the eleventh Imam died, the twelfth Imam was still a fetus in his mother’s womb, and that she has not yet given birth to him, so he remains concealed in her womb. They believe she will remain pregnant until the time for his appearance as the promised Mahdi. Finally, a faction believe that this Muhammad had died but he would be resurrected in the future and return as the promised Mahdi.
Regarding the mother of the twelfth Imam, it is well known that the eleventh Imam never had a wife in his Nikah. Therefore, those Shi’a who argue that the fictional Muhammad was the twelfth Imam claim that his mother was a concubine of the eleventh Imam. But they differ as to the identity of that concubine, some claiming she was Rayhana, or Sawsan, or Narjis. Supposedly latter was a Roman slave-girl. A large group of Shi’a, however, believed that the twelfth Imam’s mother was a slave-girl named Saqil. Saqil was imprisoned by the Abbasid ruler al-Mu’tadid because of the wild rumors that she was pregnant with the twelfth Imam, or that she had given birth to him. However, the Ithna Ashariya sect of today insist that the real mother of the twelfth Imam was Narjis. But the Ithna Asharis themselves admit that there was no sign of pregnancy in the supposed twelfth Imam’s mother after his supposed conception!
In conclusion, there is simply no evidence to establish the birth of a son to the eleventh Imam. It is well-known that he neither had a wife nor any offspring. This is why the Shi’a differed into numerous factions after his death. It is very likely that the deputies of the eleventh Imam, in order to continue to tradition of collecting Zakat, Khums, and other religious taxes from the Shi’a community, invented the figure of the twelfth Imam, so they could collect that money on his behalf.

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