Wednesday, May 27, 2009
SOME SUPERFICIAL ULEMA INTERPRET THE HADITH IN SUPERSTITIOUS WAY
In his Kastamonu Addendum, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi states that some ignorant men of religion will interpret the hadith by looking only at their surface meaning, making statements that do away with the free use of reason, for which reason they will fall into doubt over matters that can very easily be understood by the use of reason and good conscience, and that they can also in this way harm Muslims whose knowledge is weak. Said Nursi sets out with complete clarity this matter that Muslims of the End Times frequently encounter:
... SOME SUPERFICIAL SCHOLARS (who have judged on the basis of the external meanings of the hadith) HAVE FALLEN INTO DOUBT LOOKING AT THE EXTERNAL MEANING OF THOSE ACCOUNTS AND HADITH. OR, THEY HAVE EITHER DENIED THEIR ACCURACY OR ELSE HAVE ATTRIBUTED A SUPERSTITIOUS MEANING (a wrong one as if something fanciful in tales) TO THEM (describing them) AS IF EXPECTING AN IMPOSSIBLE APPEARANCE (of a literally impossible person who has characteristics that abolish one’s faculty of reason to decide conscientiously) and THUS INFLICT HARM on COMMON PEOPLE OF MUSLIMS (for people will have difficulty in believing such metaphysical accounts, so they inflict harm on those common Muslims who do not have knowledge).
(Kastamonu Addendum, p. 80).
In our day, too, some ignorant religious scholars emerge and interpret the hadith of our Prophet (saas) in the same superficial manner as described by Said Nursi, and thus try to cover up the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), at least in their own eyes. The religious scholars Said Nursi refers to in this passage are today trying to deceive people in exactly the same way and this, by the will of Allah, is a marvel and a prophecy, of Bediuzzaman’s.
For example, some ignorant and bigoted men of religion today CLAIM, IN A MANNER THAT TOTALLY CONFLICTS WITH THE HADITH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS) AND WITH THE LAW OF ALLAH, that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be a most extraordinary person and will be recognized by the public as soon as he appears, that not even tanks, shells, guns or atom bombs will have any effect on him, that when people look above Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) head they will see angels on a cloud, and that these angels will constantly identify Hazrat Mahdi (as) to people.
It is revealed in the hadith of our Prophet (saas) that there will be angels alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as) and that these will help him:
HAZRAT JIBRIL (AS) AND HAZRAT MIKHAIL (AS) AND FORTY-SIX THOUSAND (46,000) ANGELS WILL BE IMAM MAHDI’S [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] HELPERS AND COMPANIONS
Sheikh Sadooq’un(a.r.) Al-Amaali, Session 92, p. 504; No’mani, Al-Ghaibah p. 56; Tafseer al-Ayyaashi, Vol. 1, p. 197; Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 19, p. 284; p. 52, p. 326 from Kaamil al-Ziyaaraat; Vol. 52, p. 356; Vol. 53, p. 14, 87; Tafseer al-Burhaan, Vol. 1, p. 313; Al -Burhan Fi Alamatal-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman (a.s.), p. 77; Mikyaal al-Makaarem, Vol. 1, p. 29, 73-74
However, THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANGELS THAT WILL BE ALONGSIDE HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IS SOMETHING THAT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD ALONE, AND WILL THEREFORE BE VISIBLE ONLY TO THE ANGELS.
Allah reveals in the Qur’an that some members of the tribe of our Prophet (saas) claimed that angels needed to come down as evidence of Rasulullah’s (saas) prophethood, following which He revealed that our Prophet (saas) was a human sent only as a warner, as a messenger:
Perhaps you are leaving aside part of what has been revealed to you and your breast is constricted by this because they say, “Why has treasure not been sent down to him OR AN ANGEL NOT ACCOMPANIED HIM?” You are only a warner and Allah is Guardian over all things. (Surah Hud, 12)
In other verses it is revealed that people who denied the prophets generally demand to see angels as a condition of belief:
Why do you not BRING ANGELS TO US if you are telling the truth?’ The angels only descend with the truth and then they would be granted no reprieve. (Surat al-Hijr, 7-8)
They say, “WHY HAS AN ANGEL NOT BEEN SENT DOWN TO HIM?” If We were to send down an angel, that would be the end of the affair and they would have no reprieve. (Surat al-An‘am, 8)
EVEN IF WE SENT DOWN ANGELS TO THEM, and the dead spoke to them, and We gathered together everything in front of them right before their eyes, THEY STILL WOULD NOT HAVE FAITH UNLESS ALLAH WILLED. The truth is that most of them are ignorant. (Surat al-An‘am, 111)
What are they waiting for but FOR THE ANGELS TO COME TO THEM or for your Lord Himself to come, or for one of your Lord’s signs to come? On the day that one of your Lord’s signs does come, no faith which a self professes will be of any use to it if it did not believe before and earn good in its faith. Say: “Wait, then; We too are waiting.” (Surat al-An‘am, 158)
What are they waiting for but THE ANGELS TO COME TO THEM or your Lord's command to come? That is like what those before them did. Allah did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves. (Surat an-Nahl, 33)
The ruling circle of those of his people who did not believe said, “This is nothing but a human being like yourselves who simply wants to gain ascendancy over you. IF ALLAH HAD WANTED HE WOULD HAVE SENT ANGELS DOWN. We never heard of anything like this among our ancestors, the earlier peoples.” (Surat al-Muminun, 24)
They say, “What is the matter with this messenger that he eats food and walks in the market-place? WHY HAS AN ANGEL NOT BEENS ENT DOWN TO HIM SO THAT IT CAN BE A WARNER ALONG WITH HIM?” (Surat al-Furqan, 7)
"Why have gold bracelets not been put upon his arms and WHY IS THERE NOT A TRAIN OF ANGELS ACCOMPANYING HIM?” In that way he swayed his people and they succumbed to him. They were a people of deviators. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 53-54)
When the messengers came to them from in front and from behind, saying, “Do not worship anyone but Allah.” they said, “IF OUR LORD HAD WILLED, HE COULD HAVE SENT ANGELS DOWN, SO WE REJECT THE MESSAGE YOU HAVE BEEN SENT WITH.” (Surah Fussilat, 14)
"or make the sky, AS YOU CLAIM, fall down on us in lumps; OR BRING ALLAH AND THE ANGELS HERE AS A GUARANTEE; or possess a house built out of gleaming gold; or ascend up into heaven – and even then we will not believe in your ascent unless you bring us down a book to read!” Say: “Glory be to my Lord! Am I anything but a human messenger?” Nothing prevents people from having faith when guidance comes to them but the fact that they say, “Has Allah sent a human being as Messenger?” SAY: ‘IF THERE HAD BEEN ANGELS ON THE EARTH GOING ABOUT IN PEACE, WE WOULD HAVE SENT DOWN TO THEM AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN AS MESSENGER.’” (Surat al-Isra’, 92-95)
As is clear from these verses, deniers have produced the same excuses in all periods of history. In the same way that the deniers demanded the presence of angels in order to believe in our Prophet (saas), so some people today who do not believe are using similar methods in order to reject the coming of such a guide as Hazrat Mahdi (as).
By claiming there will be an angel above Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) head, that everyone will see that angel and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will thereby be identified, they are proposing a situation that can never come about, by Allah’s choosing, under earthly conditions, and imagine, in their own eyes, that they can thus prevent the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
Another method by which some ignorant men of religion imagine, in their own eyes, that they can keep the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) secret, is to claim that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be invulnerable to tanks, shells, guns and even the atom bomb.
The fact is, however, that our Prophet (saas) has stated in the hadith that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will resemble the prophets in various ways and that, like them, he will have to strive against difficulties. Like the prophets, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be slandered, tested by false allegations, various troubles and afflictions, and will overcome all the snares set by the deniers. Hadith transmitted from our Prophet (saas) state:
Imam Zayn al-Abidin stated: "There are some similarities between our Qaim [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] and Allah's messengers. He has similarities to each one of prophets Nuh (as), Ibrahim (as), Musa (as), Isa (as), Ayyub (as) and Muhammad (saas). He has similarity to NUH (as) in having a long life; to IBRAHIM (as) in having his birth being hidden and his staying away from the public; TO MUSA (AS) IN HIS STATE OF FEAR (THE INTENSITY OF DANGERS DIRECTED TO HAZRAT MAHDI (AS); HIS BEING FACE TO FACE TO ALL KINDS OF DANGER LIKE MURDER, PLOTTING, ARREST, TAKING INTO CUSTODY AND EXILE) AND HIS CONSTANTLY SPENDING HIS LIFE HIDING; to Isa (as) in people being in conflict about him (some people will say Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come while others will say he will not); to Ayyub (as) in being delivered to salvation after trouble (Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also suffer many difficulties, diseases and trouble; however just like ProphetAyyub (as) he will be saved by Allah's mercy); to Muhammad (saas) in his standing up with his sword [our Prophet's (saas) holy relics will be with Hazrat Mahdi (as)].
(Qamal al-Din, p. 322, Section 31, Hadith number 3)
Abu Bashir says: I heard Imam Muhammad Baqr (as) say: "HE WHO POSSESSES THIS MYSTERY [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL HAVE THE SUNNA OF FOUR PROPHETS… I SAID, WHAT IS THE SUNNA OF YUSUF (AS)? AND HE SAID: IMPRISONMENT AND DISAPPEARANCE.
(Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 191)
The hadith of our Prophet (saas) say that the great Mahdi of the End Times will be subjected to pressure, duress and oppression from the system of the dajjal, that he will be imprisoned and live with the threat of death, that his hands and feet will be chained, that a copper tablet will be hung around his neck, that he will be abandoned to suffering and trouble and that he will be isolated.
If, as some people maintain, Hazrat Mahdi (as) were an extraordinary entity with angels visible around his head and immune to guns, tanks and shells, then how can he be imprisoned, tortured and persecuted, and live in great difficulty? How can anyone imprison or mistreat someone who is invulnerable to guns and bombs? In addition, our Prophet (saas) says there will be a time when Hazrat Mahdi (as) disappears from sight. If, as they maintain, Hazrat Mahdi (as) were an extraordinary person, why would he feel the need to hide away and live out of sight?
As we have seen, the claims made by certain ignorant men of religion are exactly compatible with the description provided by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. To use such methods to try and deceive Muslims may result in them having a heavy price to pay in this world and in the Hereafter.
In one verse of the Qur’an Allah says:
So on the Day of Resurrection they will carry the full weight of their own burdens and some of the burdens of those they misguided without knowledge. What an evil load they bear! (Surat an-Nahl, 25)