By Qadi Bohlool Bahjat Âfandi
Imam Reza (a.s)
After Imam Moosa Kazim (a s) his elder son Imam Reza (a s) was the Imam by the way of the will. His rank and greatness is so high that it cannot be explained in this small book. He was born in Madinah in 153 A.H.
His mother, Umme Valad, was the most brilliant and wise among the women of her time and she was a non-Arab. Since Imam Reza (a s) had inherited the knowledge of Holy Prophet (saw), calamities and troubles also descended on him. As you can see every Imam had faced such serious trials. Imam Reza (a s) too, when his term came, bore all such hardships and difficulties facing them squarely. Yes, when the turn of his Imamat arrived, in the beginning, Mamoon was very respectful and generous to Imam Reza (a s)to an unbelievable extent.
But Imam Reza (a s) was aware of the hidden secrets and he was aware of the intent behind these apparent courtesies. Finally, Mamoon sent somebody to Madinah to bring the Imam to Khurasan. The Imam rejected his demand. On Mamoon’s insistence, Imam was forced to proceed to Khorasan. When he faced Mamoon, the ruler offered caliphate to the Imam, but as he was aware of the secret behind the offer, he rejected the proposal.
Ultimately, he made an official offer to Imam (a.s.). Thereafter, Mamoon married his daughter Umm abibah to the Imam. In spite of all this, Mamoon could not tolerate the spreading of the radiant knowledge of the Imam in public. So finally he poisoned him to death. Through this treachery Mamoon demonstrated that oppression and justice, truth and falsehood, knowledge and ignorance cannot live together in one place! Abu Sult bin Saleh says, “When the Imam made up his mind for Khorasan, I was with him.
He moved from Nishapur riding a white mule. Among the scholars of Khorasan, Ishaq bin Rabuya, Ahmad bin Harb, Yahya bin Yahya attended respectfully the Imam and said, ‘O son of the Prophet! Please favour us by narrating to us anything you heard from your pious predecessors.’
In response the Imam raised his head and said, “My father Moosa bin Ja’far (a s)has related to me from his father Ja’far bin Muhammad (a s)from his fatherMuhammad bin Ali (a s)from his father Ali bin Husain (a s)from his father Husain bin Ali (a s)from Amirul Momineen Ali bin Abi Talib (a s)from his brother and the son of his uncle Muhammad the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) from Jibraeel from the Almighty that He said, “The Kalimah (phrase) there is no god except Allah is my fort, whoever enters My fort is safe from my wrath.”
Then he (a s) added, “(But) there are conditions attached to it and I am one of those conditions.” Imam Reza (a s)was martyred by mixing poison with pomegranate or grapes at the age of 49 in the year 203 A.H. (Certainly we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return). The exalted tomb of Imam Reza (a s)is in the holy city of Mashhad. It is one of the great places for pilgrimage of the world of Islam. Its dome is golden with no parallel in the world – May God enhance its grace. After him the Imamat went to his son and heir, Muhammad Taqi (a.s.).
Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.)
Muhammad Taqi (a s)was born in the year 195 A.H. Abbasi caliph Motasim was his contemporary. He called the Imam from Madinah to Baghdad. Since he was, like all Imams, a picture of Imamate and prophethood, it was impossible that he could continue his life in the circle of oppression and injustice.
His wife, who poisoned him and went to the harem of the caliph, martyred him through vicious infidelity. “So Allah’s curse is on the unjust people.”
His holy grave is in the graveyard of his great grandfather Imam Moosa Kazim (a s)in Baghdad. After him Imamat passed on to his great son Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.).
Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.)
Imam Ali Naqi (a s)was born in Madinah in the year 214 A.H. and his mother was a slave girl named Samaanah.Contemporary Abbasi caliph Mutawakkil was very cruel and unjust. He was more evil than all other Abbasi caliphs were and his ill will towards the progeny of the Holy Prophet (saw) was greater than that of others. His envy and enmity can be imagined from the fact that he razed to ground the great tomb built on the holy grave of Imam Husain in Karbala. Imam Ali Naqi (a s)was forcibly brought from Madinah to Samarrah and was kept under arrest for 21 years, during which he faced the worst forms of oppression.
In one year Mutawakkil arranged a party of joy and pleasure and brought the Imam there bound in chains and handcuffs and obliged him to sit in that assembly of vice, brought a glass of wine to him and put pressure on him to drink it. The Imam replied, “God Almighty has purified our family of all uncleanness and filth.” Then in his intoxication Mutawakkil forced Imam (a s)to sing some song. But the memorial of the Household of the Prophet also rejected that demand. Imam Ali Naqi (a s) passed away in 256 A.H. in Samarra at the age of forty bearing all kinds of pains and trouble. He left two sons, Abu Muhammad Hasan and Ja’far who is called Ja’far the liar for making a false claim to Imamate because the true legatee of Imam Naqi (a s)was Abu Muhammad Hasan.
Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)
Imam Hasan was given the title ‘Askari’ due to constant oppression meted out to him by the caliphs of the Abbasi dynasty. He was forced to remain in Saamarra, which was a military cantonment (askar). He was born in 231 A.H. About the greatness of this holy Imam, it is enough to state that Allah the Almighty granted to him a son who is awaited by all the jinns and human beings in the earth and the heavens. Yes, Imam Hasan Askari (a s)is the father of that personality whose reappearance will fill the entire world with justice and equity, as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression. This is what the Prophet of Allah (saw) said about him, “His name is my name and his agnomen is my agnomen.” Imam Hasan Askari (a s)expired in 260 A.H. and he is buried in Saamarra near his noble father. His only son is Wali-e-Asr-o- Zaman Al Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
Imam Abul Qasim Muhammad al-Mahdi was born in 255 A.H. on the fifteenth of Sha’ban. The name of his mother was Umm Walad Narjis Khatoon. When he was five years old, his father passed away. He had two occultations, the first called Ghaibat-e-Sughra (Lesser occultation) and another Ghaibat-e- Kubra (Greater occultation). The Imam (a s)is still living and shall reappear to fill the earth with justice and equity, as and when Allah so desires.
Since the reappearance of the Imam (a s)is a fact on which the entire Ummah has agreed, we need not explain its arguments in this book. As a token we quote here a part of a long article written by a great Sufi Shaikh Muhiyuddin Arabi about this Imam-e-Hujjat (a.t.f.s.): “Imam Mahdi Qaem Muntazar will appear and he is the Hujjat (proof) and caliph of Allah. He is to appear in Makkah between Rukn and Maqam.
Most lucky are the people of Kufa because of their relation with him. He will distribute wealth judiciously, will decide disputes, and enact justice and fair play among people. He will rebel when religion will be discarded. Whoever will defy him will be killed and whoever will compete with him will be vanquished.
Those who will pay allegiance to him will be those who know Allah. His associates will spread his message and assist him and they will be his ministers who will take up important responsibilities. Their number will in one day reach to 313 and all of them will be non-Arabs yet they will be speaking only Arabic.” He says in some couplets:
“He is the Caliph, who converses with animals.
And men and jinn will see his justice very soon.”
He also said,
Do not equate any creature with Ahle Bayt.
Ahle Bayt are people of testimony.
Hatred against them is a great loss.
And love for them is worship.
Yet another Sufi poet Shaikh Abdul Karim al Yamani has written these Arabic couplets about the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.):
“In the bounty of that peace whose creatures are blessed.
Till the time they see the advent of the light of guidance.
With the M of Majid from the progeny of Haider.
And from the purified and lofty status of Aale Ahmad.
He is that Mahdi with truth manifest.
He would rule on the sunnat of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) for the first time.”
Shaykh Abdur Rahman al-Bustami, in his book Dairatul Maa’rif, writes about Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.):
“And M will emerge of Majd of Aale Ahmad And Justice will be established for men for the first time As we have seen in the time Ali Ar Reza It has become known in the knowledge of the alphabets When he will appear after the Sheen of Shar (mischief?)
From Makkah near Ka’ba and by help he will reach to great heights This is the true Mahdi who has appeared with truth Who will come from the Beneficent for establishing truth,
And fill the whole earth with justice by becoming a mercy for all And destroy the darkness of polytheism and tyranny first of all His authority for this rule is from Allah
He is the Caliph of the best of the Prophets from the high heavens.
Sadruddin Qoonavi in his book Mashaaikhe Sufi writes about the holy Imam thus:
He will rise by the order of Allah openly In spite of the presence of Shaitan he will destroy infidelity. He will support the Shariat of Mustafa at that time. And he would be the last of the person from their family.
He is coming from meem and he knows fully about the Ahkam of Shariat.
If we intend to write in detail about Imam Mahdi (a.s.), many more books will be required besides this but we do not want to narrate all the accounts of the holy family.
Our aim is to put to scrutiny what has been written in history books about this holy family and to call for the judgement of reason and intellect. There is no disagreement among the Muslims regarding the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a s)and hence it requires no explanation. There is a tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.),
“One who dies without recognising the Imam of his age dies the death of ignorance.” All the Shia and Sunni Ulema accept this tradition. Hence there is no Muslim who does not believe in the existence of Mahdi (a s)We believe that Imam Mahdi (a.s.), the Master of the age and time, is alive and that ever since his father’s demise in Saamarra, Imamat has reached him.
And that by divine will, his Imamat will safely continue till the day of judgement because it is essential that after the Holy Prophet (saw), there should be twelve Imams (a s)and that the
number can neither increase nor decrease as authentically recorded in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim, “After me there are twelve caliphs and all of them are from Bani Hashim.”
That is why God has kept Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) secretly safe from the treacheries of enemies. His absence (occultation) is of two kinds: first, short occultation wherein he had contacts with his close dependents and followers and second, the long occultation, which will extend till his re-appearance.
Even in this absence some persons have been able to approach him and will still approach in the future. Currently he has his general viziers and naqeebs. When their number will reach 313 the time of his Zuhoor or reappearance will arrive. He will appear in Mecca at a place between Rukn and Muqaam.
He will fill the world with truth and justice, as it is replete with untruth and injustice. He will invite the entire world to truth and righteousness and will hear the voice of ‘LABBAIK’ (we accept) from all corners of the world. In his finger will be the seal of Suleiman (a s)and he will be holding the staff of Moosa (a s)in his hand.
He will move from Mecca toward Madinah. He will remove all the innovations, which were introduced in Islam after the demise of the Holy Prophet (saw). Then he will arrive in Kufa and build the Masjid of Kufa. Prophet Isa (a s) will come on earth and will pray behind him, and then he will fill the whole world with the light of guidance.
Yes, we suffice with this much explanation and pray to God Almighty that He may raise us along with those about whom the Holy Prophet (saw) had said to Amirul Momineen, “O Ali! From the viewpoint of Faith and trust the highest are those who will arrive in the world in the last period and from whom the arguments and proofs will be hidden. Those very persons will, by the Grace of Allah, will believe only through pen and paper (i.e. by reading the books).”
Yes, we are earnestly waiting the appearance of the Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.t.f.s.). I conclude this book here and submit it as an insignificant and humble presentation at his holy feet. We hope our defective deeds and perfect sincerity will be acceptable to the holy Imam. Zangazuri Qazi Buhlol Bahjat
Translation from Persian: Syed Athar Husain Rizvi