The Belief of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and the scholars of Medina University
The member of the board of education of Medina Munawwara University (Al Jame Al Islamia Bil Madmatil Munawwara) Professor Sheikh Abdul Mohsin Bin Hamdal Abaad presented a paper in an important seminar which was attended by the vice chancellor Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Baaz. The title of that paper was, “The Belief of Ahle-Sunnat: Signs regarding The Awaited Mahdi.” This article was published in the mouthpiece of the University, “Majlisul Jame Al Islamia” year one issue no.3 Zilqad ul Haraam 1388 A.H. This treatise is comprising of 40 pages of book size and is divided into ten sections:
I. An account of those companions who had related traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (a.s.) from the Holy Prophet, (s.a.w.a.).
II. An account of the scholars and traditionalists who have mentioned these traditions in their books.
III. An account of those scholars who have compiled books based on this subject.
IV. An account of those scholars who have labeled these traditions to be Mutawatir (widely related).
V. An account of those traditions about Imam Mahdi (a.s.) which are recorded in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
VI. Those traditions which are recorded in other authentic books other than two Sahihs (Bukhari and Muslim).
VII. An account of those scholars who have studied these traditions and accepted it as a part of faith.
VIII. Those who have rejected those traditions. An account of their arguments and their scholarly replies.
IX. An account of those things which overtly oppose these traditions and the replies to these.
X. Conclusion. When Abdul Mohsin completed the presentation, Abdullah bin Baaz praised it extensively and approved it. He also added some more points. A few points from the fourth section are presented below in the following paragraph. It shall be clear from the same that the belief of Mahdaviyat is not exclusive to Shias, but it is also present in the Sunnis and the belief of Mahdaviyat is obligatory for all. It could be concluded from this essay that they (Sunnis) are also waiting for Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
The excerpt is as follows:
Hafiz Abul Hasan ibn Al-Husam Al-Abri (died 363 A.H.) writes in his book “Manaqib ush-Shaafi” :
The traditions which are related from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) regarding Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.) are Mutawatir (consecutively related) and are to be regarded favorably.
Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) is from Ahle Bait (a.s.).
Hafiz Muhammad Al-Bazranji (died 1103 A.H.) has written in the third chapter of his book “Al Ashaa-a-al-Ashraat- as-saa-a”: Reports in connection with Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) are presented in various ways and are numerous. It is often reported in authentic traditions that he will be from the progeny of Janabe Fatema Zahra (s.a.). The reports are so many that there is no scope for rejection. Sheikh Muhammad al Safarini (died 1183 A.H.) writes in his book “Lawame al-Anwaar al Bahiya”: The reports about Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) are so numerous that they reach the grade of ‘Mutawatir’ (widely related). They are so famous among the scholars of Ahle Sunnat that they are considered as their belief- on the basis of this the belief in the reappearance of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is necessary. This is what that is accepted by the men of letters (scholars) and it is the belief of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat.
Qazi Muhammad bin All al-Shaukafi (died 1250 A.H.) states in his book titled “At-tawzeeh Fi Tawaatur Jame Fil Mahdi Al Muntazar Wai Dajjal Wai Masih” : The total number of traditions regarding Imam Mahdi (a.s.) that we have access to are fifty. Without any doubt these traditions are ‘Mutawatir’. The companions have also reported widely about Imam Mahdi (a.s.). There is no scope for interpretations on a subject so clear. Sheikh Siddiq Hasan Khan Kanauji (died 1307 A.H.) has mentioned in his book, “Al-lzaah he Maakaana wa Maayakoon Baine Yadaee As Saah.” The reports regarding Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.) are so numerous that they attain the degree of ‘Mutawatir’. There is no doubt that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will reappear in the Aakher az- amaan (the last period). However the year and the month is not prescribed. And none cares for those who reject this.
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Jafar al-Katam (died 1340 All.) has written in his book, “Nazmul Mutanaasir Minal Hadith al Mutawatir” Thus the traditions regarding the Awaited Mahdi are Mutawatir.
In the concluding portion of the essay Abdul Mohsin says that to reject the traditions of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) or to entertain any doubt concerning them is highly dangerous. We pray to Allah for well-being, forgiveness and steadfastness upon the truth.
The speech which was delivered by Abdulla Ibn Baaz after the presentation of this paper was later transcribed from the cassette and published with the essay. He says in the speech: “Whatever has been mentioned by Sheikh Abdul Mohsin Al baad is correct and true. The matter regarding Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is famous and well-known among the scholars, and the traditions regarding him are Mutawatir. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is a blessing of Allah upon the Muslim people in the last period (Akhir uz-Zaman). He will appear and establish truth and justice and eradicate oppression and tyranny. Allah will hoist the flag of goodness through him. Through him, only, Allah will guide the people.