17 Apr HAZRAT MAHDI (A.S.) IN NAHJUL BALAGHA
HAZRAT MAHDI (A.S.) IN NAHJUL BALAGHA
In a sermon which Ali (a.s.) delievered to expose the Bani-Umayyah and their mischief in society, he said: “Thereafter, Allah shall unpleasantly widen difficulties and other occurrences upon you and (only) when the skin is cut off and the flesh is peeled off, the calamities will be obviated.” He continued: “Allah shall bring this freedom and salvation through a person whose behaviour with that tribe will be harsh and severe and he shall make them suffer and he will quench them with bitter cups (of hardships) and not extend them anything but sword.” 1
Ibn Abil Hadeed Motazeli, the renowned exegesist of Nahjul Balagha, under the afore-mentioned sermon says: “This sermon has been accepted by historians and is common, recounted and reached the level of اِسْتِفَاضَه (superabundance).
After the battle of Naharwan, Ali (a.s.) thundered : “None except me had the courage to remain steadfast and withstand those seditions and turbulences.” (Perhaps steadfastness at that time is referred to the Khawarij because, when the companions of Muawiya, through the tricks of Amr-Aas fixed the Quran on top of spears and by this way wanted to save themselves from the blows of Hazrat’s sword, the soldiers of Ali (a.s.) by witnessing such scene hesitated in obeying his commands and in fact opposed him arguing: We dare not draw our swords against these people. Or perhaps it refers to the battle against the people of Jamal where those participating in it were such personalities like Ayesha, Talha and Zubair who were enjoying esteemed status and position in the eyes of the Muslims. Thus, they did not have the courage to fight them except Ali (a.s.) who fought and defeated them.)
Then Ibn-Abil Hadeed says: A statement which Razi (the compiler of Nahjul Balagha) has not mentioned is an address which he delievered about Bani-Umayya, the contents of which are as follows:-
“Then surely Allah will liberate the people by the hands of a person from our chaste family. May my father be sacrificed for him, whose mother is the best amongst the ladies of Paradise.” Thereafter he confesses that Ali (a.s.) is referring to Imam Mahdi, the Awaited one. ( Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2, p. 178 )
Amongst the statements which Hazrat has spoken about the news of the unseen, is the following: “O’ people, this is the time for the occurrence of every promised event and the approach of things which you do not know. Know that whoever from among us (Ahlebait – the family of the Holy Prophet) in the future will continue in our way with a burning lamp and will tread on the footsteps of the virtuous, in order to unfasten knots, to free slaves and to unite the divided, he would be in concealment from the people in such a way that a track-finder would not find his footprints even though he may pursue him.”2
Under this sermon Ibn Abil Hadeed says: “Hazrat here is referring to Imam Mahdi, the Awaited one and his concealment.”3
There is a sermon in which Ali (a.s.) has addressed the people of Kufa. However, before narrating this sermon, it is worth mentioning that Nofil Bukali relates that Ali (a.s.) delivered this sermon standing on a stone which Joda-ibn-Hubaira Mukhzumi had erected for him Ali (a.s.) had a wollen apparel on his body, the sheath of his sword was made of leaves and the sandals on his feet were of palm leaves. His forehead had a hardened spot like the knees of a camel. He said:- “He would be wearing the armour of wisdom, which he would have acquired in toto with full attention towards it, its complete knowledge and exclusive devotion to it. For him it is like a thing which he had lost and which he was now seeking, or his need which he was trying to meet. If Islam is in trouble he would feel forlorn like a traveller and like a (tired) camel beating the end of its tail and flattening its neck on the ground. He is the last of Allah’s pleas and one of the vicegerents of His Prophets.” (Nahjul Balagha, sermon 180.)
Ibn-Abil Hadeed writes: “Each group has interpreted these sayings as per their beliefs and the twelve Imamiah Shi’ites reckon that the person who has been referred in Hazrat’s speech is none other than Imam Mahdi.”
Thereafter he opines: “As I see it, it does not appear difficult to believe that reference over here has been made to ‘Al-Qa’em’ from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.).” (Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2, p. 535.)
The author of Yanabi-ul-Mawaddah on page 46 narrates from the book Durrul-Munazzam as such: ‘Amongst the sayings of Amir-ul-Mumineen (a.s.) about Imam Mahdi and/or Qa’em from the progeny of Muhammad is the following sermon:-
“The standard-bearer of Muhammadi and the ruler of the Ahmadi government shall be manifested. He is someone who will revolt with his sword, straighten the crooked, conquer the earth and revive the forsaken aspects of religious obligations and Sunnah.”
The author writes: Some men of vision and foresight have narrated from Amir-ul-Mumineen as having said: “Soon Allah shall bring forth a group whom He Loves and they too are His lovers and the one who is like a stranger amongst them shall take over the Government. Verily, he shall be the ‘Imam Mahdi’; his face rosy and hair golden in colour. He will fill the earth with justice without any difficulty. In his very childhood, he shall get separated from his mother and father and from the view-point of training he shall be rare and matchless. He shall rule over the Muslim countries with utmost calm and security. Time shall be favourable and friendly towards him. His words will be accepted; the young and old shall humbly obey him. He shall fill the earth with justice just as it would be filled with oppression. Then, at that moment his Imamat shall reach its perfection and vicegerency will be established for him. Moreover, Allah will make the dead to rise from their graves and return them back to this world. Then, like people who get up from their morning sleep, they shall see nothing but their own houses. The land will flourish and by the blessing of his (i.e. Imam Mahdi’s) existence, it shall become fresh and fruitful. Seditions and disturbances shall vanish and blessings and welfare will increase manifold.”
1 Nahjul Balagha, sermon 91.
2 Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 148.
3 Sharhe Nahjul Balagha, vol. 2, p. 436.
1 Yanabeeul Mawaddah, p. 467
Ibn-Abil Hadeed in the first volume on page 93 writes: (And Hazrat at the end of his sermon says: ‘It shall end in us, not you.’ – reference is made to Imam Mahdi, the Awaited one who shall appear in the last era and most of the scholars of hadees are of the opinion that he is from the offspring of Fatemah (a.s.). Mu’tazalites do not deny his existence. They have mentioned him in their books and their Sheikhs too have acknowledged him. Then, after a few more words he says – Qazi-ul-Quza’at (Supreme Judge) narrates from Kafi-ul-Kafa’at Abul Qaasim Isma’il-ibn-Eba’ad whose reference is connected to Ali, that Hazrat himself said: He is from the offspring of Husain (a.s.). He shall possess a broad forehead, a protracted nose, a broad stomach and broad thighs. His front teeth will be separated from each other and on his right cheek will appear a spot. Ibn-Abil-Hadeed continues: This tradition has also been narrated by Abdullah-ibn-Qutiba in his book Al-Gharib.
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