13 Apr Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in Meraj (The Heavenly Ascension)
HAZRAT MAHDI (A.T.F.S.) IN MERAJ (THE HEAVENLY ASCENSION)
Allah invited the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to Meraj a number of times. According to some traditions, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) made 120 excursions to the celestial world. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) gave detailed descriptions to the Muslims of what he (s.a.w.a.) witnessed in Meraj and also whatever Allah conveyed to him (s.a.w.a.) that was relevant to the nation. Following are some of the points pertaining to Imam-e- Zamana (a.t.f.s.) that
the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) elaborated for the Muslims.
A Radiant Star
Saalim b. Abdullah b. Umar b. Al Khattab narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) while he was in Mecca. Saalim informed Imam (a.s.) that e had heard his father Abdullah b. Umar who related from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that:
“When Allah took me to Meraj, He revealed to me, ‘O Muhammad! Who did you designate as your caliph and successor on the earth?’” (While Allah had better knowledge about it than me.) ‘I said: My brother.’
‘Allah said: O Muhammad! Is it Ali b. Abi Talib?’ ‘I said: Certainly, my lord.’ ‘Allah said: O Muhammad! When I glanced at the earth, I chose you. Hence My Name is never mentioned alone, because your name will be an integral part of Mine. I am Mehmood and you are Muhammad. When I looked at the earth again, I selected Ali b. Abi Talib. I made him your successor. You are the leader of the prophets and he is the chief of successors. I desired a name for him which was actually My Name. I am A’ala and he is Ali.’
‘O Muhammad! I created Muhammad, Ali, Fatema, Hasan, Husain and rest of the Imams from a common light. Then I advanced their guardianship (Wilayat) to the angels whoever accepted it got elevated in stature and whoever denied was branded as a disbeliever. If any of My servants worshipped Me to such an extent that his body is reduced to pieces and in this very state meets Me on the Day of Judgment but if he does not believe in the Mastership of these holy personalities, then I will hurl him in hell.’
Then Allah asked: ‘O Muhammad! Would you like to see these holy personalities?’ When I replied in affirmative, Allah asked me to step further. When I did that, I saw Ali b. Abi Talib, Hasan, Husain, Ali b. Husain, Muhammad b. Ali, Jafar b. Muhammad, Moosa b. Jafar, Ali b. Moosa, Muhammad b. Ali, Ali b. Muhammad, Hasan b. Ali and Hujjat Al Qaim. Among them he (Qaem) was shining like a radiant star.’
I asked: ‘Who are these men?’ Allah informed: ‘All of them are Imams…and the Qaim will declare My permissible (halaal) as permissible and My prohibited (haraam) as haraam and will avenge My enemies.
O Muhammad! Befriend him and be affectionate towards him because I Myself am fond of him and will love him who will hold him dear. (Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 36, pg 222-223, tradition 21)
The Lights of Lights
In another tradition it is narrated:
‘And Hujjat was sparkling brilliantly among them like a radiant star.’(Al-Jawaherul Saniyya, pg. 216-217, 220)
Over here, Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is compared to the splendor of a brilliant star.
The halo of light
In yet another tradition, the same point is conveyed with a slightly different perspective. The initial portions of the tradition are more or less similar. After the mention of the 11 Imams (a.s.), the 12th Imam (a.t.f.s.) is described in the following manner:
‘And the Mahdi was surrounded by an aura of brilliance. All the Imams were praying namaz, while Mahdi was in the position of Qiyaam (upright position). Among the Imams he was shining brightly. Then He (Allah) said O Muhammad! These are My Proofs and he (Qaim) is the one who will avenge your progeny. I swear by My Power and Might, for My Friends he is the absolute evidence and for My enemies he is the nemesis.’(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 36, pg. 216-217, tradition 18)
There are several traditions of this nature highlighting the same concept. In this regard, following points are worth enumeration.
1) Before arriving on the earth, the Imams (a.s.) were in the celestial heavens in the form of light.
2) They were busy in worshipping Allah.
3) In the night of Meraj, Allah showed the Imams (a.s.) to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
4) From the entire creation, Allah chose the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Hazrat Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) for prophethood and Imamat respectively.
5) Allah loved Prophet Muhammad so much that His Name will never be mentioned in isolation, whenever and wherever His Name will be mentioned; the name of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) will also be mentioned.
6) Allah loved Imam Ali (a.s.) so much that He gave him His own name.
7) The reward for worship will be on the basis of belief in the Imamat and Wilayat of these divine personalities..
8) Whoever will deny their mastership, none of his action will not be accepted by Allah
9) Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) upright position (Qiyaam) in the state of worship (at the time of Meraj) is symbolic of his universal uprising and revolution.
10) Among the brilliance of all Imams (a.s.), his was the most striking, which means that he had a special status. Perhaps for this reason, whenever Imam Reza (a.s.) heard the title of Al Qaim, while referring to the 12th Imam, he used to rise and place his hand on the head. He did this while he was not even born. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is the dearest creation of Allah, he is also named Habeeb (the beloved). Allah commands his most beloved servant – O Muhammad! Befriend him and be affectionate towards him because I Myself am fond of him and will love him who will hold him dear.
11) While Quran says:
‘If you love Allah then emulate me, Allah will love you and hold you dear.’(Surah Aale Imran, Verse 31)
If the people will follow the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) then Allah will love them and forgive their sins. If the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) loves Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) then Allah will love him (s.a.w.a.) even more.
12) Allah will avenge the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) through Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) and retaliate against His own enemies through him.
The avenger of the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.)
The martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) is such a distressing event that it has left the whole universe in a state of gloom and misery. Some of the venerable scholars have termed Ziarat-e-Ashoora to be Hadith Qudsi. This sacred Ziarat has the following statements in it: ‘O Abu Abdillah! Certainly the calamity that struck us is too colossal and unbearable. Your afflictions are too excruciating for us and for the entire Islamic nation. This distressing pain is devastating for the skies and all its inhabitants.’ (Ziarat-e-Ashoora)
In another Ziarat it is said: ‘I bear witness that your sacred blood was placed in heaven which shook the shadow of Arsh. The entire creation grieved and wept on it-all the seven heavens wept as also the seven layers of earth. And all those who are in between the heavens and the earth wept .’(Mafatihul Jenaan, pg. 423)
The tragic martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) has engulfed the whole universe in grief and every particle of the universe is pained by it. The angels were deeply affected by Imam Husain’s (a.s.) killing and to date they have not recovered from the shock. Abu Hamza Saabit b. Deenar Somali has related the following tradition from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.).
Imam (a.s.) narrates, ‘The angels screamed at the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.)and mourned him aloud and beseeched Allah, ‘O our Lord and our Master, will you spare those who killed the chosen one of your chosen ones.’ Then Allah revealed to the angels, ‘O My Angels be patient, I swear by My Might and Power, I shall definitely take revenge from them even if it is after a delay.’ Then Allah unveiled the holy lights of the Imams (a.s.) who
were about to descend from the offspring of Imam Husain (a.s.). The angels were pleased at the sight of the Imams (a.s.). One of the Imams (a.s.) was in
standing position. Allah informed, ‘Through this upright one (Qaim) I will take revenge from them (killers of Imam Husain (a.s.)).’(Al-Jawaherul Saniyya, pg. 19)
These are the phrases from Hadise Qudsi that Allah will exact the revenge of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) blood through Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). This has been explained clearly in Ziarate Ashoora. It is not out of place to reiterate that Ziarate Ashoora is regarded as Hadise Qudsi, which means that it is a divine concept expressed in the Prophet’s language. ‘So I supplicate Allah, the One who gave you exalted position and due to you raise my status. Then grant me so that I can avenge your blood along with the Imam, who is divinely helped and is from the Ahlul Bait of your prophet, Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)…and assist me to seek revenge for your blood along with the rightly guided Imam when he appears, proclaiming the truth from your family…’(Ziarate Ashoora)
The significance of revenge for the blood for Imam Husain (a.s.) is of paramount importance so much so that it has been mentioned twice in Ziarate Ashoora and that too by none other than Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). The angels were placated only after they learnt that an Imam from the offspring of Imam Husain (a.s.) would retaliate for the injustices meted out to him. May Allah grant us the opportunity to avenge the blood of Imam Husain (a.s.) under the guidance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.).
Final stage of purpose of creation
Allah created man, with the sole purpose of His Worship and Recognition. But never except for a brief period when Hazrat Adam (when he and Hazrat Hawwa were the only humans on earth) Allah was worshipped as He ought to be worshipped. Apart from that short period, people have always associated partners with Allah (i.e. they committed Shirk). So the main purpose of creation – divine worship and recognition is yet to be achieved. This all-important objective will be realised only after the reappearance of
Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Let us see what Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) have to say about the purpose of creation. An interesting dialogue between Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) transpired during Meraj at the highest point – Sidratul Muntaha, after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had transcended the seventh heaven. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had surpassed even the ‘Veil of Light’. The very occasion, backdrop and venue of the dialogue will give us an insight into the importance of the subject. It is such a position where neither a prophet or nor the most venerable of angels could access. The conversation is between Allah, the Creator of the whole universe and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), the person for whom the universe came into existence. The topic of conversation is prophethood, Hazrat Ali (a.s.), his descendants and the mastership of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). It indicates that for Allah, Wilayat is the most important subject, particularly the Imamat of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
Asbagh b. Nubata related from Ibn Abbas who quoted from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): “When I went to Meraj, I crossed the seventh sky and reached Sidratul Muntaha. Then I stepped into the Veil of Light where my Lord told me:
‘O Muhammad! You are My servant and I am your Lord. So be sincere and humble to Me and worship Me alone. Also trust Me alone. I am pleased with the fact that you are My slave, My beloved and My apostle. I am also pleased that your brother Ali is your caliph and confidante. He is My proof on the servants and Imam of My creation. Through him My friends and foeswill be distinguished. And through him will My followers gain dominance over the party of Satan. Through him My religion will be established, precepts of faith disseminated and My laws will be protected. It is because of you, him and Imams in his progeny that I am Merciful to My creatures. Through your Qaim will I spread My glorification, slogan of unity, word of purification, word of greatness and hymns of veneration on the earth.’ ‘And through him will I cleanse the earth from My enemies and make My friends inherit it. And through him will I disgrace the apostates and ensure that My word dominates. And through him will I revive My servants and cities. And through him will I uncover My treasures and invaluable. And through him will I reveal the secrets and manifest the thoughts of people.’ ‘To establish My command and proclaim My religion, I will assist him through my angels. He is My real friend and the genuine Mahdi for My Servants.’(Al-Jawaherul Saniyya, pg. 184, Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 51, pg 66, tradition 3)
The tradition clearly specifies that the divine purpose of sending numerable prophets, their successors, divine scriptures and Shariat (religious code) will be fulfilled only with the reappearance of Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s)
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