13 Apr Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in Hadise Lauh
HAZRAT MAHDI (A.T.F.S.) IN HADISE LAUH
Hadith e Lauh is a narration whose authenticity is beyond doubt and has been related by noted scholars in their books and compilations. The list of these reputed authors is long. They are all highly venerated in the Shiite world. They include Shaikh Yaqub Kulaini in his magnum opus – ‘Usule Kafi’, vol. 1 pg. 527, Shaikh Saduq in ‘Kamaluddin’, pg. 64, Shaikh Tusi in ‘al-Ghaibat’, pg. 45, Shaikh Tabarsi in ‘Ehtejaaj’ vol. 1 pg. 85 and Ibn Shahre Aashob in ‘al-Manaqib’ vol. 1 pg. 255, Shaikh Hurre Ameli in ‘al-Jawaherul Saniyya’, Allamah Majlisi in ‘Behaarul Anwaar’.
This tradition was related by Abu Basir, Ishaq b. Ammar and Muhammad b. Sinan from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) who quoted his father, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.). Since the tradition is very important we have mentioned it here. In view of brevity we will skip the original text and reproduce only the translation. The original text can be referred to from the above-mentioned books.
Abdul Rehman b. Saalim narrated from Abu Basir who reported from Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) that his father Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) told him:
‘One day my father told Jabir b. Abdillah Ansari – ‘I have some work with you tell me when you can spare time so that I can ask you something.’ Jabir replied, ‘Whenever you say I can be at your service.’ Thus at a mutually convenient time both of them met. My father told him. ‘O Jabir, tell me about the Lauh (a tablet like the biblical tablets of Moosa (a.s.) that
contained the inscription of Ten Commandments) which you saw in the hands of my grandmother, Hazrat Fatema (s.a.). And what did she tell you about the text which was inscribed on the Lauh?’
Jabir replied: ‘I make Allah my witness and say – in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when I visited the house of Hazrat Fatema (s.a.) to congratulate her on the birth of Imam Husain (a.s.). She was carrying a green-coloured tablet in her hand. It seemed to be made of expensive pearls and the inscription seemed to be emblazoned with a silvery hue of sunlight. I asked her – O daughter of the Messenger, may my parents be sacrificed on you what tablet is this?’
Hazrat Fatema (s.a.) informed: ‘It’s a tablet which the Almighty has gifted to His Messenger. This tablet has the names of my father, my husband, my children and the names of the successors of my children. My father has gifted this tablet to me as a souvenir.’
Jabir continued his narration to Imam Baqir (a.s.), ‘Your grandmother (s.a.) handed over the tablet to me, I read it and copied it.’
My father (a.s.) asked Jabir, ‘Can you show me the copy of the text that you reproduced?’Jabir said, ‘Why not! I can definitely show it to you.’ Then my father accompanied Jabir to his house. Jabir showed him a scripture made up of a thin hide.
‘You look at your copy while I read it out (from memory).’
As Jabir referred to his own handwritten text, my father continued reading the contents of the Lauh (from his memory). There was not the difference of even a single word or a punctuation mark. When Imam finished his narration. Jabir said, ‘I take Allah as my witness and affirm that I had seen exactly the same inscription in the tablet (as narrated by you).’The translation of the Lauh’s contents is reproduced below: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
This passage is from Allah, the Almighty and the Wise for Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) who is His Prophet, His Light, His Messenger, His Veil and His Evidence. Jibraeel has brought this Lauh from the Lord of the Worlds. O Muhammad! Venerate my (holy) names. Express gratitude for My Bounties and do not be ungrateful. Verily, I am Allah and there is no God other than Me. I destroy the unjust transgressors and accord respect to the oppressed. Whoever will disregard My Boundless Grace, expect from others and fear others instead of My Justice, then I will inflict such a chastisement on him that none would have faced such a punishment in the worlds. Then worship Me alone and rely solely on Me.
I have not sent any prophet but when his tenure was concluded I continued the series of succession for him. I held you superior over all the prophets and made your successor (Ali) better than the successors of prophets. I granted you respect through your two grandsons – Hasan and Husain. Then after his father’s tenure was over, I made Hasan as the treasure of My Knowledge. And I made Husain as the wealth of My Revelations and enhanced his prestige and greatness through martyrdom. Nobility was perfected on him. Among the martyrs he is the greatest and his grade is the highest. I made him My Perfect and Complete Word and with him is My Complete Proof. Through his respect will I reward and through him will I inflict my punishment. The foremost among them is Ali, the chief of worshippers, the adornment of all My Past Friends. His son resembles his grandfather, Muhammad, the disseminator of My Knowledge and the Fountain of My Wisdom. Those who will doubt Jafar will be doomed to perdition. Rejection of his word is tantamount to rejection of My Word. I make it evidently clear that I will revere the position of Jafar. Certainly and with absolute conviction, I will bestow unabated delight and pleasure on his Shias, friends, aides and those who have affinity towards him. And when darkness will rise and aggravate, then I will nominate Moosa. My Chain of religious duties will not terminate and My Proof will not be concealed. Surely My Friends will be satiated. And whoever will deny even a single one among them would deny My Bounties. And whoever tampered with a single verse in My Book then he has forged a lie against Me. Moosa, who is My Servant, My Beloved and My Chosen One, will be followed by Ali. And whoever doubted him will face the punishment of hell. He is My Friend and My Helper whose responsibilities are similar to prophethood. Through him I will examine severely. He will be assassinated by a haughty man. He will be buried, in the city founded by My Virtuous Servant, next to my worst creature. I pledge that after his sons, I will please him through his successor and inheritor of knowledge, Muhammad, who will be the treasure of knowledge, My Confidante and My Proof on My Creation. Whoever will believe in Muhammad will reach heaven, and from his family I will be considerate towards at least seventy of his family members who will be entitled to go to hell. Nobility will conclude with his son, Ali, who is My Friend and My Helper, a witness on My Creation and trustee of My Revelations. From his person will rise a caller towards My Path and treasure of My Knowledge – Hasan. The series will be completed through his son Meem, Ha, Meem, Daal, who will be the Mercy for the Universe. He will have perfection of Moosa, magnificence of Isa and patience of Ayyub. During the era of his occultation, My Friends will be humiliated – their severed heads will be gifted in the similar m anne r as the heads of Turk and Daylam were presented. They will be slaughtered, set ablaze, threatened, subjugated, harassed; the earth will be coloured with their blood, their womenfolk will wail and weep.
These are my genuine friends, through them will I eliminate the dark troubles, hardships and calamities, and through them will I lighten the burden and grant freedom. Certainly, their Lord will shower blessings and mercy on them and only these people are truly guided.’
Abdul Rehman b. Saalim quoted Abu Basir – in your entire lifetime if you have not heard of any tradition except this one, then even this tradition is sufficient for you; so don’t convey it to the undeserving ones.
A few important points
Each and every word of this tradition is thought-provoking. It commands our rapt attention and demands an explanation for the concepts espoused by it. For the sake of brevity, we will focus only on the key concepts:
- This tradition is revealed from the Almighty to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as a gift.
- The sender of the gift is a Possessor of Might and Wisdom.
- The receiver of the gift is His Prophet, His Light, His Messenger, His Veil and Proof.
- In this tradition, Allah has used the word light for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and in the 35th verse of Sura Noor, He declares, ‘Allah guides to His light whom He pleases.’ In other words, to whoever Allah wishes to guide, then He gives him the recognition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
- A holy and trustworthy angel like Jibraeel has communicated this tradition.
- This tradition descended on the occasion of the birth of Imam Husain (a.s.).
- The series of Imamat will continue in the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.).
- Such a divine gift on the occasion of Imam Husain’s (a.s.) birth highlights his noble position.
- The tradition mentions the perfect chain of guidance.
- The tradition not only enumerates the names of the Imams (a.s.), but also indicates the circumstances during their times.
- People will be rewarded or punished based on their acceptance or rejection of the Ahlul Bait (a.s.).
- This tradition also mentions the characteristics and traits of Imams (a.s.). The companions of two Imams (a.s.) have found special mention in this tradition. Firstly, Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) about whom it is said:
‘I will revere the position of Jafar. Certainly and with absolute conviction, I will bestow unabated delight and pleasure on his Shias, friends, aides and those who have affinity towards him.’
Over here, the exalted status of the Shias, friends and helpers of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is very apparent.
Then we find a reference to the companions of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Allah has described Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) companions thus:
‘During the era of his occultation, My Friends will be humiliated – their severed heads will be gifted in the similar m anne r as the heads of Turk and Daylam were presented. They will be slaughtered, set ablaze, threatened, subjugated, harassed; the earth will be coloured with their blood, their womenfolk will wail and weep. These are my genuine friends, through them will I eliminate the dark troubles, hardships and calamities, and through them will I lighten the burden and grant freedom. Certainly, their Lord will shower blessings and mercy on them and only these people are truly guided.’
The lofty position of Imam-e-Zamana’s (a.t.f.s.) companions is evident from this praiseworthy portrayal. Allah has referred to them as His Friends. Fortunate are those who will join the ranks of the companions of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Also it is clear that there is a huge difference in being steadfast on religion during Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) occultation and after his reappearance. Those who will cling to the religion during occultation will beaccorded a higher rank by Allah.
13. In fact, Allah has not just mentioned the companions of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) as His Friends, but has highlighted their position further with the following words: ‘Through them will I eliminate the dark troubles, hardships and calamities and through them will I lighten the burden and grant freedom.’ The pronoun used over here is in the plural and not in the singular. The tradition does not say through ‘him’ but through ‘them’. Had it been used with the singular pronoun, it could have been construed as Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). However, since the plural pronoun has been used, it refers to the companions of Imam (a.t.f.s.). These companions are so noble, that through them Allah will solve the problems. If this is the station of the companions, one cannot even imagine the station of their master Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) in front of Allah.
14. The tradition mentions Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) as Rehmatulil Aalameen – Mercy for the Universe –
‘I will complete the series through his son Meem, Ha, Meem, Daal, as Mercy for the Universe.’
Among all the prophets, Allah had appointed the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as the Mercy to the Universe ‘And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds.’ (Surah Ambiya, verse 107)
To comprehend the spheres of the worlds, recite the first verse of Surah Hamd. All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
To whatever extent is Allah’s lordship; same is the scope of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) mercy. Now, to understand the meaning of mercy, recite ‘Bismillahir Rehmanir Rahim’. The first characteristic that Allah has mentioned for himself is Rahman – All Beneficent and Rahim – All Merciful. Traditions explain that Allah’s Beneficence is confined to this world, while his Mercy envelops this world as well as the hereafter. In the chain of prophethood, Allah nominated his last Prophet (s.a.w.a.) as ‘Mercy to the Worlds’ and in the series of successors (Imams), He declared the last successor as Mercy to the Worlds. In lay terms, both prophethood and Imamat are in fact mercy. With the declaration of Imam-e- Zamana (a.t.f.s.) as ‘Mercy to the Worlds’, his privileged position in front of Allah becomes evident.