Imam al-Mahdi, the great universal peacemaker

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)-

Author: Ayatullah al-Uzma Nasir Makarim Shirazi

Characteristics of Universal Leader

We studied the appearance of a great universal revolution for removing oppression and injustice in an expanded view in previous discussion and we reached the point that: Foreseeing such revolution is completely acceptable by the logic of wisdom and the guidance of innate nature.

But it should be considered that rational proofs only show a general plan about this matter, but it is not possible to specify the details of this plan and the leader of such revolution in this way.

We should at least know that: this revolution – which means the greatest happening of human history and the greatest and the most expanded revolution of the world – will certainly be performed by the leadership of a person who has the following characteristics.

1) Extraordinary expanded knowledge and deep vision

2) Sharp sight, unexampled foresight as the vastness of the world of humanity

3) Having analyzed revolutionary plans for all the fields

4) Courage and broad and liberal scope and extraordinary ambition

5) Purity, virtue and honesty as much as his vase goal

6) Seeing all aspects of life and not being restricted to material aspect

7) A great soul, which is beyond categorizations, opposing groups and shortsightedness of personal interests and beyond available habits and traditions and schools.

Also, revolutionary army of such leader should be trained excellently in order to be able to execute such great plan.

Unknown, shortsighted, cowards, less ambitious, polluted, undecided and non-revolutionary members have no place in this revolution!

Now, we want to leave this general discussion and study the appearance of this great universal peacemaker in Islamic resources, because by all predictions which have been done in approximately all religious resources of the world about such appearance, but in no religion this issue has been discussed as much as Islam and its details have not been noticed this much.

It is interesting that, what have been mentioned in Islamic resources about this matter interestingly matches what we reach to through “reason and wisdom”; this accordance and harmony has to effects:

On the one hand, assures us more to the judgments of wisdom.

On the other hand, makes us more optimistic about the genuineness of Islamic teachings.

Great Universal Peacemaker in Qur’an

Qur’an which means the most important Islamic resource has only an essential and general discussion about this matter like many other matters, without mentioning the details of the issue; and in other words, verses of Qur’an follows what we had in reasoning of wisdom and innate intuitions, which means, informs us about the happening of a government of universal peace under the shadow of faith.

* * *

We mention some examples of verses, which have introduced this discussion, as follows:

1) we read in Surah al-Anbiya’ (the prophets): Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants the righteous shall inherit the earth.” Verily in this (Qur’an) is a Message for people who would (truly) worship Allah. (Surah Anbiyah 21: 105-106)

First, the definitions of these words should be noticed:

“ارض” refers to the entire earth and includes the world completely, except that it has a specific reference.

“ارث” literally means a thing, which reaches a person without any transaction and business, but in some cases of holy Qur’an, “ارث” has been mentioned in the meaning of victory of a righteous nation over the unrighteous ones and using their facilities and benefits.

“زبور” essentially means any kind of book and text; but usually, it refers to the book of “David” which has been called “Psalms of David” in the Old Testament; and it is a collection of sacred poems of King David; it is also possible that “زبور” refers to all previous divine books (before Qur’an).

“ذِکر” essentially means anything which advices or reminds, but in above verse, it has been interpreted to the divine book of Moses (as) (Torah), according to the fact that it has been introduced before “زبور” , and according to another interpretation“ذِکر” refers to holy Qur’an because it is mentioned in the verses of Qur’an: Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds (At-Takwir 81:27)

Therefore, the phrase “مِن بَعد” means “adding to”. (Attention

 

“صالح” means competent and righteous and when it is mentioned in its absolute definition, it includes competence in everything; scientific competence, moral competence, competence in faith, virtue, knowledge and management.

And accordingly, the meaning of the verse is this: We wrote in Psalms adding to holy Qur’an (of after Torah) that my competent and righteous servants will have the earth; and it is enough for the group of worshipers (and those who make their steps in the way of servitude of god) in order to reach their goals.

Mentioning this matter in “زبور” (if it means all previous divine books) is the reason for this matter to be available in all divine books as a constant principle.

And if the purpose of that is Psalms of David then maybe it is because David had an expanded kingdom which was in the way of truth, justice and human interests; although it was regional and not comprehensive to the entire world; but it was announced to him in Psalms that a comprehensive universal government, based on freedom, security and justice, is waiting for the people of the world.

It means that when they become enough competent and become the living example of “عبادي الصّالحون” and righteous servants of God, they will inherit and gain all the heritages and gifts of the earth, both material and spiritual governments.

More explicit and clearer expressions can be found in some narratives, which have been quoted in interpretation of above verses.

For instance, it is quoted in famous interpretation of “Majma’ al-Bayan” from Imam Baqir (as) beneath the above verse that: These are the companions of Mahdi (as) in End of Days.

Those self-constituted persons men and women who will inherit all the heritages of the earth; and will have the competence of this great prophecy.

It is interesting that, the same exact matter can be found, with different expressions, in “Psalms of David”, which is today included in the Old Testament:For instance, we read in psalm 37:

9 For the wicked shall be cut off; but those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land.

10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look well at his place, he will not be there.

11 But the meek shall possess the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

Also, in psalm 37, this matter is mentioned with different expressions:

22 for those “blessed” by the Lord shall possess the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

29 The righteous shall possess the land, and dwell upon it forever.

As you can see, the word “صالحون” (competent ones, righteous ones) which is mentioned in Qur’an is a comprehensive word, which includes “the meek”, “wise men”, “righteous ones” and “those who wait for the Lord”.

And we reminded, it is derived from the verse Verily in this (Qur’an) is a Message for people who would (truly) worship Allah. (Surah Anbiyah 21:106)

That government on the earth is not the final goal of righteous and competent ones, but it is a tool for reaching the final goal, which is perfection of humans in all aspects, because “بلاغ” means “a thing with which they reach their goal”.

Caliphate on Earth

We read in sura an-Noor: Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. (Surah Nur 24:55)

In this verse, three things have been explicitly promised to those who form the group of believer and competent persons.

And we know that there are three pillars in a promise:

The one who promises who is God in here; and those who are being promised to who are:

That means righteous believers; and what is being promised which are the three following matters:

1) “استخلاف في الارض” – “government on the earth as the successors of God”; which means the government of truth and justice.

2) Deference to religion – “spiritual influence and government of divine laws on the entire life”

3) Converting the fear to security; and removing all causes of fear and insecurity; and establishment of complete security and peace on earth.

The purpose of “deference to religion”, as it can be understood from other uses of the word deference, is that the teachings of religion influence all aspects of life constantly and deeply, not in the way of the words peace, freedom and human rights which are today playthings of their false defenders and they only tear their throats for hot mottoes about this matter, and there is no external sign of that; maybe they are just dreamy expressions which cannot be achieved in other than the world of dreams.

In that day, freedom-giving and life-giving teachings of Islam, not in the form of series of formalities, and not in the form of a bunch of mummified expressions, but as a school of life will expand its roots everywhere and efforts of reconstruction will be made on the roots, not on branches and leaves and designs.

That day, awareness and feeling of responsibility will be public; and its expansion and generalization will prevent some people to play with words, and transform constructive meanings; however, these kinds of acts is only possible to be performed in societies in which there is no public awareness and feeling of responsibility, or it has not reached the minimum needed amount, otherwise, no place remained for this childish games.

That day, personal and individual benefits won’t remove correct public judgment, not like today that when a group of removers of human rights give speeches so much exciting, on the chairs of wide and large so-called global assemblies established for defending human rights that mouths remains open wide of surprise; even they consider available declarations about human rights (which in fact they didn’t have acted according to any of them) incomplete and not enough, and even leaders of human rights in the world applause for them, because they are friends of each other and their interests will be in danger without these acts.

In that day, peace and security are not mixed with fear, not like the security, which appears sometimes in todays, world and it is the result of fear of terrible and horrible weapons.

This is the balance of fear not the balance of peace!

This peace is the result of great fear of the painful effects of war not the real peace! Therefore, anytime that balance of fear is disordered then the pillars of this security and false peace will fall.

The result of these three divine promises is preparations for human making and more perfection in human definitions and pure servitude of God, and breaking all idols in all forms

It is better to look at the expressions of interpreters and what has been said about the cause of revelation of the above verse: Some of interpreters believe that this verse revealed when the companions of Prophet (S) had immigrated to Medina.

A new movement was formed; a movement that shook the old and rotten society that was filled with superstitions and full of ignorance, oppression, and ignorant discrimination and naturally the flags of opposition was high in any place.

Although, limited but devoted companions of this divine revolution was in fact controlling the situation by using the great dynamism of the new religion, but the number of oppositions was so many and the jangled so much loud that their truthful cries were lost among them.

Severity of opposition of tribes was so much that revolutionary soldiers of Prophet (S) were always alert; they slept every night with weapons and woke up in the mornings with weapons and in tight and heavy clothes of war.

Continuing this condition for a long time was surely harmful. How is it possible to sleep with armor and boot beside sword and shield? An interrupted sleep accompanied by awakening!

Sometimes, they wished that the time comes when they can sleep one night in peace in comfortable bed; without any threatening danger from the enemy. Neither to fear from the sudden assault of the enemy during prayer nor to fear from their camisado; worship the God freely; break the idols; and live a peaceful life under the shadow of Government of justice of Qur’an.

Therefore, sometimes they worried about their conditions and asked each other that will such day come?!

Meantime, the above verse revealed and promised them that: Yes, such day will come and this is the great promise of God; certain and inviolable promise!

And we saw in the history of Islam that how that day came by complete conquers of Prophet (S) over the Arabian Peninsula.

This cause of revelation seems completely natural for the verse, but as we are familiar with different verses of Qur’an and their causes of revelation, we know that it is never possible to restrict the vast meanings of verses to the boundaries of their causes of revelation; but always, cause of revelation is one of the examples of the verse.

Specifying a verse to its cause of revelation is exactly like that we throw away a weapon which we were using in war against the enemy after the way, although it is still useful, precious and rare.

Albeit, at the end of the age of Prophet (S) a part of the meaning of the verse became practical, but establishment of complete meaning of the verse and caliphate on the entire earth has not been established yet, and world is waiting for that.

The verse promises all competent believers in all ages and centuries that finally, government of the world will be for the competent ones and won’t be the plaything for a bunch of selfish dictator imperialist, who pas the world to each other like a ball, forever.

Therefore, we read in narratives that this verse has been interpreted to the rise of promised Mahdi; for instance, “Tabarsi”, the precious interpreter, quotes from Imam Sajjad (as) in “Majma’ al-Bayan” that: (This group is those followers of us who accomplish this matter with a man of our dynasty and he is Mahdi of this nation).

And it is narrated from Al-`Ayyaashee by his chain of narrators from `Alee bin Al-Hussayn (عليه السلام) that he read the ayah and he (عليه السلام) said: “They are, by Allah, our Shi’a’s of the Ahl Al-Bayt and this act Allah for them by His hand a man from us, and he is Mahdi from this Ummah, and he is who the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: ‘If there does not remain (even) one day from this world, Allah would make that day longer until a man from my `itra (lineage) comes. His name is my name, and he will fill the earth with justice like the amount of oppression and tyranny that filled (the earth).’” And it is also narrated like this from Abi Ja`far (عليه السلام) and Abi `Abd Allah

Source:

 

Al-Tabarsi, Majma` Al-Bayan, vol. 7, pg. 239 – 240

Then he quotes the same matter from Imam Baqir (as) and Imam Sadiq (as).

Afterwards, he adds that the verse is absolute and includes the caliphate on the entire earth and we should wait for it because the promise has not been realized yet.

And in the interpretation “Burhan”, several narratives have been quoted from Imam Sadiq (as) and Imam Baqir (as) beneath this verse that the verse refers to the rise of He Who Arises (as).

It is also necessary to remind that by considering the word “منکم”, existence of a competent, believer and righteous minority is enough who start their global revolution when the backgrounds are ready, and this sinking ship reaches the coast of rescue by their leadership.

3) It is mentioned in sura at-Tawbah: It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). (Surah Tawbah 9:33)

For understanding the meaning of this verse, we should return to the previous verse, which says: Enemies desire to put out the light of God by their mouths, but God intends to complete his light, although the unbelievers are averse. (Surah Tawbah 9:32)

It is cleared well from this verse that the God’s will is to complete the light of Islam and its real perfection is the time when it covers the entire world.

Then God says this truth more explicitly in the next verse: He is the one who sent his messenger with guidance and religion of truth, in order to prevail over all religions, although the polytheists are averse.

The same promise is repeated in sura al-Fath with a little difference: He is the one who sent His Messenger with guidance and religion of truth, in order to prevail over all religions, and God is enough as the witness (of this great promise). (Surah Fath 48:28)

And finally for the third time, we see this great promise in sura as-Staff, with the same expression of sura at-Tawbah: It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). (Surah Saf 61:9)

The importance of this divine promise can be briefly understood from these verses, which are mentioned in three suras of holy Qur’an.

But it is important to clear the meaning of the phrase “ليظهره”: Firstly, does the pronoun “ه” refer to the Prophet (S) or to “دين الحق”?

In the first case, its meaning is the victory of the Prophet (S) over all religions, and in the second case, the victory of religions of Islam.

But by considering that “دين الحق” is closer, according to the literature rules, reference of the pronoun to that seems to be more correct (although it has not much difference in the result).

Moreover, victory of a religion over other religions is more proper that the victory of a person over other religions. (Attention

 

Secondly, (and the important part is this) what is the purpose of “ظهور” in here? There is no doubt that here, “ظهور” doesn’t mean appearance and manifestation but it means to prevail and victory; because one of the famous meanings of the word is this; in the book “Qamoos” which is one of the famous resources of Arabic language, it is mentioned that: ظهر به و عليه غلبه.

In the book “Mufradat” written by Raghib is also mentioned that: ظهر عليه غلبه.

This word has been used in the meaning of “prevail and victory” in several verses of holy Qur’an in sura’s at-Tawbah Mu’min (al-Ghafir) and Kahf. For example:

(1) How their pact has respect, while if they prevail over you then they don’t observe the kinship and the pact! (Surah Tawbah 9:08).

(2) O you my people {of Pharaoh}! Today you have victory on the earth (but…) (Surah Ghafir 40:29).

(3) If they have victory over you (companions of Kahf) then they will stone you! (Surah Kahf 18:20).

But the discussion is that what kind of victory is the purpose of the victory of this religion over other religions?

Interpreters have expressed three interpretations for that:

1) Logical victory; it means that by comparing Islam with other religions which are mostly mixed with superstitions, the victory of its reasonable logic over other logics is clear.

Adherents of this interpretation believe that whenever we compare the pure Islamic monotheism with monotheisms mixed with polytheism or pure polytheism then the superiority of the school of Islam over other schools will be cleared, also other discussions.

This divine promise has been realized; even comparing the motto of Adhan, which is a communicative and motivating motto, with the motto of bell and other religions, which have no motto, clears this logical victory.

2) The purpose is practical victory and external conquering over other religions, but in a regional scale not global and general.

This has been also realized; because Islam conquered the Arabian Peninsula in the time of Prophet (S) and after that, conquered a great flourished part of the world and followers of other religions and faiths in these regions which was from the Great Wall of China – maybe beyond the Great Wall of China – to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, mostly surrendered themselves to Islam. Even when the dominance of Islamic government was removed from these regions then Islam still remained as a religion in these regions.

3) The purpose is practical and external victory and dominance over the entire world, which includes cultural, economical and political victory; and this interpretation, has been accepted by some of Sunni interpreters adding to Shiites.

Certainly, this promise has not been realized yet and it only matches the government of the promised Mahdi that the government of truth and justice covers everywhere and this religion will prevail over other religions in global scale.

And we have evidences, which prove the priority of the third interpretation over other interpretations, because: Firstly, dominance and victory which is derived from the word “ظهور” is appeared in sensible, objective and external dominance, not intellectual and mental dominance; therefore, in none of the cases which we expressed from Qur’an, “ظهور” is not mentioned in the meaning of mental dominance, but if we return to previous verses and notice then we see that in all these cases the meaning is objective and external dominance.

Secondly, mentioning the word “کلّه” for stressing clears that the dominance is not regional and limited and it includes all religions and faiths of the world and it is not possible without comprehensiveness of Islam in the entire world.

Thirdly, narratives that we have in interpretation of the above verse strengthen the third interpretation, like the following narratives:

1) “Ayyaashee” quotes from “Abayah” referring to “Imran ibn Maytham” that: Amir al-Mu’mineen Ali (as) asked his companions when he recited the verse Is this victory achieved?

They said: Yes!

He said: (No! I swear to the one whom my life is in his hands, this victory won’t appear, except for the time when there is no village remained on the earth except لا اله الا الله is heard from that!1

2) We read in another hadith from Imam Baqir (as): (This victory will be in the time of the rise of Mahdi from the dynasty of Muhammad (S), in the way that nobody remains on the world except that testifies to Muhammad (S).2

3) Miqdad ibn Aswad says: (No brick house and no tent (in the desert) will remain on the entire earth, except that Islam enters that).3

There are also some other narratives in interpretation of the above verse with the same meaning.

This was a part of the verses of holy Qur’an, which affirm universal peace and justice, and belief of Islam and monotheism on the entire world.

 

 

Source: imamreza

www.shafaqna.com

 

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