Part 5 The Hadiths Concerning the End Times and Hazrat Mahdi (as) Must be Interpreted in A Manner Compatible with Reason and the Law of Allah
It is An Error to Explain the Hadiths Regarding the Advent of Hazrat Mahdi (as) in A Superstitious Manner
In his Kastamonu Addendum, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi states that some ignorant men of religion will interpret the hadiths by looking only at their surface meaning, making statements that do away with the free use of reason, for which reason they will fall into doubt over matters that can very easily be understood by the use of reason and good conscience, and that they can also in this way harm Muslims whose knowledge is weak. Said Nursi sets out with complete clarity this matter that Muslims of the End Times frequently encounter:
... SOME SUPERFICIAL SCHOLARS (who have judged on the basis of the seeming meanings of the hadiths) HAVE FALLEN INTO DOUBT LOOKING AT THE EXTERNAL MEANING OF THOSE ACCOUNTS AND HADITH. They have either DENIED THEIR ACCURACY OR else have ATTRIBUTED A SUPERSTITOUS MEANING [a wrong one as if something fanciful in tales] TO THEM AS IF EXPECTING AN IMPOSSIBLE APPEARANCE [of a literally impossible person who has characteristics that abolish one's faculty of reason to decide conscientiously], and thus inflict harm [for people will have difficulty in believing such metaphysical speculation, so they inflict harm on those common Muslims who do not have knowledge] on Muslims' faith. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Kastamonu Addendum, p. 80)
In our day, too, some ignorant religious scholars emerge and interpret the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) in the same superficial manner as described by Said Nursi, and thus try to cover up the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), at least in their own eyes. The religious scholars Said Nursi refers to in this passage are today trying to deceive people in exactly the same way and this, by the will of Allah, is a marvel and a prophecy, of Bediuzzaman's.
For example, some ignorant and bigoted men of religion today CLAIM, IN A MANNER THAT TOTALLY CONFLICTS WITH THE HADITH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS) AND WITH THE LAW OF ALLAH, that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be a most extraordinary person and will be recognized by the public as soon as he appears, that not even tanks, shells, guns or atom bombs will have any effect on him, that when people look above Hazrat Mahdi's (as) head they will see angels on a cloud, and that these angels will constantly identify Hazrat Mahdi (as) to people.
It is revealed in the hadith of our Prophet (saas) that there will be Angels alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as) and that they will help him:
GABRIEL AND MICHAEL AND FORTY-SIX THOUSAND (46000) ANGELS WILL BE IMAM MAHDI'S [HAZRAT MAHDI'S (AS)] FOLLOWERS AND COMPANIONS. (Sheikh as-Saduq, Al-Amali, Session 92, p. 504; Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani, p. 56; Tafseer al-Ayyaashi, Vol. 1, p. 197; Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 19, p. 284; Ibn Qulawayh al-Qummi, Kamil al-Ziyarat, pp. 52, 326 ; Vol. 52, p. 356; Vol. 53, pp. 14, 87; Hashim ibn Sulayman al-Bahrani, Kitab al-burhan fi tafsir al-Qur'an Vol. 1, p. 313; Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman , p. 77; Mikyalu'l Makarim, Vol. 1, pp. 29, 73-74)
HOWEVER, THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANGELS THAT WILL BE ALONGSIDE HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IS SOMETHING THAT WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD ALONE, AND WILL THEREFORE BE VISIBLE ONLY TO THE ANGELS.
Allah reveals in the Qur'an that some people from the tribe of our Prophet (saas) claimed that an Angel should come down as proof that the Prophet Muhammad (saas) was actually a Prophet. After that, He reveals that our Prophet (saas) was simply a human being sent as a warner, a messenger:
Perhaps you are leaving aside part of what has been revealed to you and your breast is constricted by this because they say, "Why has treasure not been sent down to him OR AN ANGEL NOT ACCOMPANIED HIM?" You are only a warner and Allah is Guardian over all things. (Surah Hud, 12)
In another verse it is revealed that people who denied the Prophets generally demand to see Angels as a condition of belief:
Why do you not BRING ANGELS TO US if you are telling the truth?' The Angels only descend with the truth and then they would be granted no reprieve. (Surat al-Hijr, 7-8)
They say, 'Why has AN ANGEL NOT BEEN SENT TO HIM?' If We were to send down an Angel, that would be the end of the affair and they would have no reprieve. (Surat al-An'am, 8)
Even if WE SENT DOWN ANGELS TO HEM, AND THE DEAD SPOKE TO THEM, AND WE GATHERED TOGETHER EVERYTHING IN FRONT OF THEM RIGHT BEFORE THEIR EYES, THEY WOULD STILL NOT BELIEVER UNLESS ALLAH WILLED. The truth is that most of them are ignorant. (Surat al-An'am, 111)
What are they waiting for BUT FOR THE ANGELS TO COME TO THEM or for your Lord Himself to come, or for one of your Lord's Signs to come? On the day that one of your Lord's Signs does come, no belief which a self professes will be of any use to it if it did not believe before and earn good in its belief. Say: 'Wait, then; We too are waiting.' (Surat al-An'am, 158)
What are they waiting for but THE ANGELS TO COME TO THEM or your Lord's command to come? That is like what those before them did. Allah did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves. (Surat an-Nahl, 33)
The ruling circle of those of his people who were unbelievers said, 'This is nothing but a human being like yourselves who simply wants to gain ascendancy over you. IF ALLAH HAD WANTED HE WOULD HAVE SENT ANGELS DOWN. We never heard of anything like this among our ancestors, the earlier peoples. (Surat al-Muminun, 24)
They say, 'What is the matter with this Messenger, that he eats food and walks in the market-place? WHY HAS AN ANGEL NOT BEEN SENT DOWN TO HIM SO THAT SO THAT IT CAN BE A WARNER ALONG WITH HIM? (Surat al-Furqan, 7)
'Why have gold bracelets not been put upon his arms and WHY IS THERE NOT A TRAIN OF ANGELS ACCOMPANYING HIM?' In that way he swayed his people and they succumbed to him. They were a people of deviators. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 53, 54)
When the Messengers came to them from in front and from behind, saying, 'Do not worship anyone but Allah.'they said, 'IF OUR LORD HAD WILLED, HE COULD HAVE SENT ANGELS DOWN, SO WE REJECT THE MESSAGE YOU HAVE BEEN SENT WITH.' (Surah Fussilat, 14)
Or make the sky, AS YOU CLAIM, fall down on us in lumps; or BRING ALLAH AND THE ANGELS HERE AS A GUARANTEE; or possess a house built out of gleaming gold; or ascend up into heaven – and even then we will not believe in your ascent unless you bring us down a book to read!' Say: 'Glory be to my Lord! Am I anything but a human messenger?' Nothing prevents people from believing when guidance comes to them but the fact that they say, 'Has Allah sent a human being as Messenger?' SAY: 'IF THERE HAD BEEN ANGELS ON THE EARTH GOING ABOUT IN PEACE, WE WOULD HAVE SENT DOWN TO THEM AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN AS MESSENGER.' (Surat al-Isra', 92-95)
As is clear from these verses, unbelievers have produced the same excuses in all periods of history. In the same way that the deniers demanded the presence of Angels in order to believe in our Prophet (saas), so some people today who do not believe are using similar methods in order to reject the coming of such a guide as Hazrat Mahdi (as).
By claiming there will be an Angel above Hazrat Mahdi's (as) head, that everyone will see that Angel and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will thereby be identified, they are proposing a situation that can never come about, by Allah's will, under earthly conditions, and imagine, in their own eyes, that they can thus prevent the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
It is revealed in the hadiths that an Angel will introduce Hazrat Mahdi (as) by calling out from a cloud above Hazrat Mahdi's (as) head, "This is Hazrat Mahdi (as), follow him." However, the cloud mentioned in the hadith is not one that people will be able to see. In the figurative sense, it is a cloud visible to the world of the Angels and the djinn. The appearance of such a thing is not beyond the comprehension of angels or djinn. As revealed in other hadiths of our Prophet (saas), Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the Mahdi of angels and djinn, as well as of human beings. Allah has sent Hazrat Mahdi (as) as a blessing to all three separate worlds. This description is therefore aimed at the world of the djinn, and especially that of the angels. And such a situation is a valid incident for them. When the event described in the hadiths takes place and an Angel cries out the glad tidings of Hazrat Mahdi (as), other angels will heed that call, as revealed in other hadith, and will also assist Hazrat Mahdi (as). The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) on the subject read:
... Allah will send three thousand Angels to help him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. (Nuaim ibn Hammad, Kitab Al-Fitan)
Allah will support him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] with three thousand Angels. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 41)
It is therefore most important that these hadith should not be interpreted in terms of their superficial meaning. Because it is very clear that what is being referred to here is not "an Angel appearing in a cloud and speaking to people, and introducing them Hazrat Mahdi (as)." No such thing has ever happened with our Prophet (saas) or any other Prophet. The angels have always appeared in the form of beautiful human beings and the Prophets have never been one hundred percent certain that they are angels. If such a miracle were to take place, everyone would believe unconditionally, accept Hazrat Mahdi (as) and feel no doubts of him of any kind. But such a thing is completely opposed to the law of Allah, as revealed in the Qur'an. Because if such a thing were to happen regarding Hazrat Mahdi (as), the "test" created for human beings in this world would be eliminated and that, according the Qur'an, is impossible. The angels are invisible to human beings. The angels will help Hazrat Mahdi (as) without being visible to him and, by the will of Allah, will inspire in people's hearts the idea that "This person is Hazrat Mahdi (as)." If, as some people say, Angels come down from the sky in a visible form and say "This is Hazrat Mahdi (as), follow him" and if a hand appears from the cloud and points to Hazrat Mahdi (as), indicating the oath of allegiance should be taken to him and if millions of people witness this but still deny Hazrat Mahdi (as) despite all this clear and incontrovertible evidence, then that means they don't believe the words of the Angels. And that is out of the question. The open and explicit conversations of the Angels will take place among themselves.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will go to Mecca and there, after he is forced to by people saying "If you refuse, we will strike you on the neck," he will accept their oath of allegiance to him between the Corner and the Maqam against his will. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 32)
If there were to be Angels beside Hazrat Mahdi (as) visible to everyone and calling them to swear allegiance to him, then Hazrat Mahdi (as) himself would be sure that he is Hazrat Mahdi (as). In that event, there would be no need for people to oblige him to agree that he is Hazrat Mahdi (as). Because if there were to be an Angel visible beside him, this would be evident and incontrovertible evidence and Hazrat Mahdi (as) would not be able to object it. And in that event, it would be obligatory for people to swear allegiance to him.
Many scholars from various countries will set out, unknown to one another, in order to seek Hazrat Mahdi (as) and 310 people will accompany each scholar… When they ask one another, "Why have you come here?" they will all answer "We seek Hazrat Mahdi (as), who will prevent this corruption and spiritually capture Constantinople, because we have learned his name, those of his mother and father and of his army.' (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 40)
It is revealed in many places in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that Islamic scholars will set out to seek Hazrat Mahdi (as). If there were to be an Angel visible above Hazrat Mahdi's (as) head, everyone would immediately know his identity and location. And there would be no need for Islamic scholars to set out to find Hazrat Mahdi (as). Another method by which some ignorant men of religion imagine, in their own eyes, that they can keep the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) secret, is to claim that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be invulnerable to tanks, shells, guns and even the atom bomb.
The fact is, however, that our Prophet (saas) has stated in the hadiths that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will resemble the Prophets in various ways and that, like them, he will have to strive against difficulties. Like the Prophets, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be slandered, tested by false allegations, various troubles and afflictions, and will overcome all the snares set by the deniers. Hadiths transmitted from our Prophet (saas) state:
Imam Zayn al-Abidin stated:
"OUR QAIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL RESEMBLE THE MESSENGERS OF ALLAH IN VARIOUS WAYS. HE WILL INDIVIDUALLY RESEMBLE NOAH (AS), ABRAHAM (AS), MOSES (AS), JESUS (AS), JOB (AS) AND MOHAMMAD (SAAS) AND THE OTHER PROPHETS. He will resemble Noah (as) in being long-lived, ABRAHAM (AS) IN HIS BIRTH BEING CONCEALED [AT HOME] and away from the public eye, to MOSES (AS) in his state of fear (the intensity of dangers directed to Hazrat Mahdi (as); his being face to face to all kinds of danger like murder, plotting, arrest, taking into custody and exile) and in his being in occultation (his constantly spending his life hiding); to Jesus (as) in people being in conflict about him (some people will say Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come while others will say he will not); to Job (as) in being delivered to salvation after trouble (Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also suffer many difficulties, diseases and trouble; however just like the Prophet Job (as) he will be saved by Allah's mercy); to Muhammad (saas) in his standing up with his sword (our Prophet's (saas) holy relics will be with Hazrat Mahdi [as]). (Sheikh al-Saduq, Kamal al-Din, p. 322, Chapter 31, Hadith no. 3)
Abu Bashir says: I heard Imam Muhammad Bakr (as) say: "HE WHO POSSESSES THIS OCCULTATION [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL HAVE THE SUNNAH OF FOUR PROPHETS… I SAID, WHAT IS THE SUNNAH OF JOSEPH (AS)? AND HE SAID: IMPRISONMENT AND OCCULTATION. (Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani, p. 191)
The hadiths of our Prophet (saas) say that the great Mahdi (as) of the End Times will be subjected to pressure, duress and oppression from the system of the antichrist, that he will be imprisoned and live with the threat of death, that his hands and feet will be chained, that a copper tablet will be hung around his neck, that he will be abandoned to suffering and trouble and that he will be isolated.
If, as some people maintain, Hazrat Mahdi (as) were an extraordinary entity with Angels visible around his head and immune to guns, tanks and shells, then how can he be imprisoned, tortured and persecuted, and live in great difficulty? How can anyone imprison or mistreat someone who is invulnerable to guns and bombs? In addition, our Prophet (saas) says there will be a time when Hazrat Mahdi (as) occults from sight. If, as they maintain, Hazrat Mahdi (as) were an extraordinary person, why would he feel the need to hide away and live out of sight?
As we have seen, the claims made by certain ignorant men of religion are exactly compatible with the description provided by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. To use such methods to try and deceive Muslims may result in them having a heavy price to pay in this world and in the Hereafter.
In one verse of the Qur'an, Allah says:
So on the Day of Resurrection they will carry the full weight of their own burdens and some of the burdens of those they misguided without knowledge. What an evil load they bear! (Surat an-Nahl, 25)
By How Many Means is the Coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) Concealed?
There are a great many people who have fallen into various errors regarding the existence and coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as). Some of these errors are as follows:
1. Hazrat Mahdi (as) has come and gone. He appeared in the past.
2. Hazrat Mahdi (as) is a collective personality, in other words, an invisible spirit. And there is therefore no point in awaiting him.
3. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come, but in many centuries' time.
4. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be a regular human being. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be an ordinary political leader who will not perform the second and third of the tasks that Bediuzzaman described in his works in the words "Hazrat Mahdi (as) has three duties," who will not wage an intellectual struggle against materialist, Darwinist and atheist philosophies and who will not tell people of the signs leading to faith. He will merely read the Risale-i Nur Collection, and is thus of little significance.
5. There is no such person as Hazrat Mahdi (as) and he will never come.
6. Hazrat Mahdi (as) may come but it is wrong to investigate these matters. Hazrat Mahdi (as) must find us busy working when he comes, so there is no need to investigate him. If he comes, he comes, and if not, then he does not.
7. There will be an Angel over his head telling people, "This is Hazrat Mahdi (as), follow him," and he should be immune to tanks and guns. Someone lacking these attributes cannot be Hazrat Mahdi (as).
8. Many Mahdis will come in the End Times. Three, five or ten Mahdis may come. They will all work silently and discharge the duties of the Mahdi and then die, so very few people will be aware of this fact.
Trying to confuse, complicate and cover up this issue, which the Messenger of Allah (saas) sets out so clearly in trustworthy hadiths and which Bediuzzaman Said Nursi describes so clearly and explicitly, is one of the terrible and peculiar characteristics of the End Times. Hundreds of millions of people have fallen into the errors concerning the existence and coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) listed above. Initially, there will be 313 people who think that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come this century. This can be seen from the general state of affairs today. The Messenger of Allah (saas) says in the hadiths that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will have 313 people around him.
According to these clear and explicit hadiths, nobody else apart from these 313 people will be able to understand Hazrat Mahdi (as). The reasons why people cannot understand are those set out above. Some people will genuinely fail to understand the existence of Hazrat Mahdi (as), while others will be incited by satan to pretend not to understand, and this will persist until Hazrat Mahdi (as) does appear. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi states that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be known through the light of faith and that there will be few people with him capable of doing that:
"The force and spiritual army this duty depends on is only some students in full possession of titles of purity, loyalty and solidarity. No matter how few they may be, they are as powerful and valuable as a literal army. That abundant and capable army is family of the Messenger of Allah (saas) and very pure army of Hazrat Mahdi (as). (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 259)
It is a great miracle for Hazrat Mahdi (as) to remain unknown despite all the portents of his coming having taken place and these signs being so clear and so explicit. However, a veil has come down over most people's eyes and they are unable to recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as) despite all these evident facts. This shows the severity of the End Times, and how much foresight and perspicacity have disappeared, and the kind of thought structure that people now possess.
However, in the future, by the will of Allah, the whole world will realize that Hazrat Mahdi (as) is an individual and that he will appear this century.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will Not Come with Unbelievable Characteristics, Contrary to the Law of Allah; He will Come Like All the Prophets, in Agreement with the Law of Allah
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not appear in a way that will oblige people to believe. On the contrary, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will have a very reasonable appearance in complete conformity with the law of Allah and again in conformity with that law, with a perfectly reasonable life. It is for that reason that it will not be easy for people to recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as), and his identity will only gradually be realized. As Bedizzaman Said Nursi has said, "even his close followers will only recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as) through the luminosity of his faith when they really focus on him."
"But already have come some tokens thereof." (Surah Muhammad, 18), was written in order to protect the belief of the mass of believers and preserve it from doubt. Like mutashabih (having many meanings, ambigiuous, allegorical) verses of the Qur'an, some hadiths about the events of the End Times have profound meanings. They cannot be expounded in the same way as muhkam (incontestable, entirely clear) verses, and not everyone can understand them. Rather than being expounded, they are explained away (interpreted in a different meaning). In compliance with the secret, "But none except Allah and those who are deeply rooted in knowledge, knows its final meaning (ta'wil)" (Surah Al 'Imran, 7) their interpretation (real meanings) and what is intended by them is understood only after the event, so that those firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer," (Surah Al 'Imran, 7) and they disclose those hidden truths. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Rays / The Fifth Ray - p. 455)
This Fifth Ray contains an Introduction and twenty-three 'Matters.' The Introduction consists of five 'Points.'
Since belief and accountability are a test, a trial, a competition within the bounds of man's will (in terms of willpower and the power to choose), matters that are obscure, profound, and in need of careful study and experiment cannot obvious. They should not be so compelling that everyone has to affirm them willy-nilly. For in this way the Abu Bakr's may rise to the highest of the high and the Abu Jahl's descend to the lowest of the low. If there is no will, there is no accountability. It is because of this mystery and wisdom that miracles are displayed only rarely, and in this realm of accountability, like some mutashabih verses of the Qur'an, the signs of the end of the world, which will be visible and seen, are obscure and open to interpretation. Only when the sun rises in the west, it will be so clear everyone will be compelled to affirm it, the door of repentance will be closed and repentance and belief will no longer be accepted. For the Abu Bakr's and the Abu Jahl's will be equal in their affirmation of it (Both the good and the bad will affirm these facts and they will be in the same situation). In fact, although when the Prophet Jesus (as) comes, that he is the Prophet Jesus (as) is known by the light of faith.
Some of the matters of the Unseen, outside the realm of man's perception, that were made known to the Prophet (saas) were made known in detail. These he could in no way alter or interfere with, like the muhkam verses of the Qur'an and 'Sacred' Hadiths. (Hadith Qudsi: A saying of the Prophet (saas) imparted to him by revelation or inspiration, the wording of which was his own. [Tr.]) Others, employing his eloquence, he would illustrate and explain in detail and is left to his opinion (since these are matters that are not commanded explicitly in the Qur'an they are left to the Prophet's (saas) decree by referring to the Qur'an and the hadith). Like the hadiths regarding the matters of the universe (matters that take place and are not related to faith) and of the events of the future. In this, our Prophet (saas) explain and depict in detail in allegorical form suitably to the wisdom of man's accountability. For example, one time when conversing with some people, a deep rumbling was heard.
Our Prophet (saas) said: "That is the sound of a rock which has been rolling down hill for seventy years and has at this moment come to rest in the very pit of Hell." Five minutes after he made this strange announcement, someone came and said: "Such-and-such a dissembler has died. He was seventy years old, and has gone to Hell," (Muslim, Janna, 31, No: 2844; Musnad, iii, 341) showing the meaning of the Prophet's (saas) eloquent words.
The Third Point consists of two 'Points'.
Because in the course of time ordinary people attached literal meanings to some hadiths, which had been narrated in the form of comparisons and allegories, such Hadiths are regarded to be not conformable with reality. Although they are pure truth, they appear not to be so since they are not consistent with the events taking place.
Some hadiths refer to the majority of Muslims, or to the Islamic State (places where Islamic morality prevails), or to the centre of the governance but they were understood to refer to all the people in the world. Although being particular in some respect, they were supposed to be universal and general.
Just as for numerous reasons and instances of wisdom hidden matters of 'the Unseen' like death and the appointed hour remain secret, so the end of the world, which is its death and the appointed hour of mankind and that of the animal kingdom, has been left secret for many good reasons and wisdom.
... Also, if the death of the world had been specified, some of the truths of belief would have been clearly obvious and everyone would have affirmed them willy-nilly (all people would believe these facts). The mystery of man's accountability (the power to chose using conscience) and the wisdom and purpose of belief (the secret behind the test of the life of this world), which are tied to man's choice and will, would have been negated.
It is for numerous benefits such as these that matters related to the Unseen remain secret. Everyone therefore continually bears in mind both his death and his continued life (everyone thinks of their life and death at the same time), and he works both for this world and the Hereafter. He is also aware that the end of the world may occur in any age, or that it may continue, and so works for eternal life within the transiency of this world, and yet strives to build the world as though he was never going to die.
… It is because most hidden cosmic events are tied to such instances of wisdom that to give news of the Unseen or to foretell events has been prohibited. In order not to be disrespectful and disobedient in the face of the principle (in the Law of Allah) 'None knows the Unseen save Allah', those who with the leave of Allah, even give news of the Unseen other than matters concerning man's accountability and the truths of belief, have done so only allusively and indirectly. In fact, the good tidings about the Prophet Muhammad (saas) in the Torah, Gospels, and Psalms, even are veiled and obscure, in consequence of which some of the adherents of those scriptures (those who obeyed those scriptures) put various meanings on those passages and did not believe by explaining them away (by misinterpreting these truths according to themselves). However, since the wisdom in man's accountability necessitates that the questions included among the tenets of belief are communicated explicitly and repeatedly, the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition and its Glorious Interpreter (saas) tell of the matters of the Hereafter in detail, and of future worldly events only in summary fashion.
Also, since the wonders of the times of the antichrist (dajjal), which are related to their centuries, have been narrated in connection with them, those wonders have been imagined to proceed from their persons and this has led to the narrations becoming allegorical and their true meanings being concealed. Like, for example, his travelling by aero plane and railway train…
And, for example, it is well-known that when the Islamic antichrist dies, the satan who serves him will shoutout the news to the whole world (Muslim, Kitab al-Fitan, 34) from 'Dikilitas,' the obelisk in Istanbul, and everyone will hear its voice saying he is dead. That is to say the news will be broadcast by radio, which is wonderful and leaves even satans in amazement.
Also, since the strange circumstances and fearsome activities of the antichrist's regime, and the covert organization and government that he founds, have been narrated as referring to his person, their true meaning has remained obscure. For example, the hadith narrates "He will be so powerful and long-lived that only the Prophet Jesus (as) will be able to kill him; nothing else will be able to." (Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Fitan, 62; Abu Dawud, Kitab al-Malahim, 14; Musnad, iii, 420; iv, 226; al-Hakim, al-Mustadraq, iv, 529-30).
That is, it will only be a revealed, elevated, pure religion (sent from the Sight of Allah that will be able to overturn his way and rapacious regime, and eliminate them. Such a religion will emerge among the true followers of the Prophet Jesus (as) (Christians), and it will follow the Qur'an and become united with it. On the coming of the Prophet Jesus (as) (his second coming to Earth) and emergence of the true Christian religion, the antichrist's irreligious way will be wiped out and will cease. The antichrist's person could otherwise be killed by a mere germ or by influenza.
Also, the explanations and statements of some narrators, made through their own exertions and interpretations, which are open to error, have been mixed up with the words of the hadith. Their words have been supposed to be part of the hadith, and the meaning (the real meaning of the hadith) has been obscured. It does not appear to be conformable with reality (therefore that the hadith are in conformith with the events that took place is not understood) and in a way has become mutashabih (it is assumed that these hadith require interpretation).
Also, in early times the social collectivity and its collective personality had not developed as it has at the present (that the spiritual entity of the community had not come to open) and the idea of the isolated individual (attributing many features to one person only) was predominant, the extensive attributes and widescale actions of the community (the distinctive feature of the community and its great acts), therefore, were ascribed to the persons who led them.
In order to be worthy and fitting for superhuman (out of the ordinary), universal attributes, those persons had to have gigantic bodies and be of vast stature and have colossal power and strength a hundred times surpassing their own, so that is how they were depicted. As this was not conformable with reality, and the narration became mutashabih.
... Also, the circumstances (features) of the Great Mahdi (as) do not fit the narrations alluding to the earlier Mahdis, and these have become mutashabih hadiths (they are considered as hadith that require interpretation)…
To Know Arabic Does Not Mean One is A Perfect Muslim Andthat Anyone Who Does Not Know It is Flawed
Honesty is one of the most important conditions for being a true Muslim.
The important thing in order to be a believer with taqwa (fear of Allah) is not to speak Arabic, but rather to love and fear Allah and to seek and intend the greatest possible extent of His approval. There is no question of everyone who knows Arabic being a Muslim or of someone who does not know Arabic being unable to be a Muslim. Some 280 million people speak Arabic in the world as a whole. These people know its grammar and vocabulary well and read it very fluently. But some of them are atheists and espouse materialism or else support ideologies incompatible with religious moral values, such as communism or capitalism. The people who oppressed Muslims in the past in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and caused so many Muslims to live under harsh conditions in prisons also knew Arabic very well. The philosophy departments in many Arabic-language universities teach courses that criticize Islam, the Qur'an and the Prophet (saas). (Surely the Qur'an and the Prophet (saas) are beyond that.) A great many universities in the world have departments of Arabic language and literature, with thousands of people graduating from them. But some of these people are materialists, communists and even irreligious. There are a great number of people who know Arabic very well but who choose to insult the Prophet (saas) in the light of their own ignorant logic. There are people who speak excellent and grammatical Arabic. There are atheist freemasons, communists and fascists who recite the Surat al-Fatiha very well. It is therefore illogical to say that anyone who knows good Arabic is a good Muslim. There are few people in Turkey, with its population of 70 million, who know Arabic, but they live by Islam in a most perfect manner. There are commentaries and catechisms prepared by great Islamic scholars for Muslims to learn the Qur'an and Islamic doctrine. These set out all the information a Muslim will need in the most perfect manner. It is the works of Sunni scholars that are to be esteemed, not the words of someone who say, "I can explain it better." Muslims acquire information by reading these works. For example, a Muslim wishing to learn the Qur'an can acquire complete knowledge by reading the Commentary on the Holy Qur'an by Hamdi Yazir of Elmali. A Muslim wishing to learn about doctrine will read Omer Nasuhi Bilmen's Great Catechism. If he wishes to obtain more comprehensive information he will read the "Durr-ul-Mukhtar" and its commentary, the "Radd al-Mukhtar." Muslims do not need to listen to ignorant teachers to enhance their knowledge. They read Imam Rabbani's Letters, Imam Ghazzali's Spiritual Exercises, or Mansur Ali Nasif's Nimat al-Islam and obtain all the information they need. That is the correct way to learn about Islam.
A Response to the Claim That 'One Must Know Arabic and the Proper Recitation of the Qur'an in Order to Understand the Qur'an and the Hadiths: 'Hazrat Mahdi (as) will Use Internet Knowledge
1) In our day there are hundreds of millions of Arabs around the world reading the Qur'an and the hadiths flawlessly in their native languages. However this proves to be insufficient to know the Qur'an and live by it.
2) Knowing the Qur'an and living by it becomes possible by sincerity. What matters is not knowing the Qur'an and the hadith by heart but to understand them and live by them sincerely. Allah relates in the Qur'an thus: "You will be repaid for what you did- except for Allah's sincere servants". (Surat as-Saffat, 40 and 74)
3) In these countries there are thousands of communists, irreligious or Darwinist people. If they wish, these people, who speak Arabic fluently, can read the Qur'an flawlessly. This is not a sign showing their devoutness and fear of Allah.
4) The people who oppressed Muslims in the past and became instrumental in holding many Muslims under severe conditions of prisons in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia also speak very good Arabic. There are also freemasons, communists and fascists who read the Surah Al-Fatiha of the Qur'an very well. Consequently it is a flawed rationale to say, "Those who know Arabic are good Muslims" and "Those who do not speak Arabic are not good Muslims."
5) Darwinists, materialists, atheists, communists around the world are not influenced by one's knowledge of Arabic or tawjeed (perfecting the recitation of the Qur'an) but his piousness. They are scared to death by the knocking off Darwinism through science and philosophy.
6) Indeed the most important and influential feature of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be his 'profound faith'. Otherwise, HAZRAT MAHDI (as) WILL ALSO BE ILLITERATE like our Prophet (saas).
7) Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not have time to make detailed research about many subjects, learn foreign languages or explore the origins of languages. However, this state will not influence the perfection of his service. Bediuzzaman stated that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will "NOT BE AVAILABLE IN TERMS OF TIME AND STATE, FOR THIS REASON HE WILL BENEFIT FROM READY WORKS."
Since preserving believers from depravity (preventing believers straying from the true path) and that this duty necessitates leaving behind the world and everything, and being occupied with research and bringing forth the truth, all of which requires a great deal of time, HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL HAVE NO TIME OR MEANS TO PERFORM THAT TASK HIMSELF. Governance in the struggle of succeeding Muhammed [in other words, the great efforts made to spread Islam, bequeathed to Muslims by our Prophet (saas)] leaves no time for that. Someone before him will probably be engaged in that duty in one respect.
THAT PERSON WILL MAKE A READY PROGRAM OF RESEARCH ALREADY CONDUCTED AND WRITTEN BY THAT COMMUNITY. He will fulfill that first duty in its full sense, by which he will have fulfilled his first duty. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 266-267)
8) Sheikh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Arabi mentioned Hazrat Mahdi's (as) "ministers", in other words, " students" who will help him in many works.
Know that when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears all Muslims, high and low, will rejoice. THERE WILL BE PEOPLE (students) WHO HAVE DIVINE OR SPIRITUAL SUPPORT. They will keep his (Hazrat Mahdi's (as)) call alive and HELP HIM (HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)) AND MAKE HIM VICTORIOUS.
9) In addition, one of the most important attributes of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is that he will be equipped with wisdom and knowledge from Allah. This is described as follows in the hadiths:
The Mahdi is from us, from the Ahl al-Bayt. ALLAH WILL PERFECT* HIM IN A NIGHT. (* i.e., will forgive him, or give him success and the inspiration of wisdom and guidance) (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol:10, Bab: 34, p. 348)
"O Ahl al-Bayt! The Mahdi (as) is one of us. Allah, the Great and Glorious, WILL PURIFY HIM (HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)) AND SHOW HIM THE TRUE PATH IN A SINGLE NIGHT." (Ash-Sharani, Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 437)
10) By Allah's blessing, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will possess a glorious knowledge. In the hadiths it is related that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be equipped with "HIDDEN AND SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE, SUCH AS ILM AL-LADUN, BESTOWED BY ALLAH". Muhyiddin Arabi relates this feature of Hazrat Mahdi (as) as follows:
1- HE HAS A STRONG SENSE OF PROVIDENCE
11) Hazrat Mahdi's (as) main attribute is that he is enormously wise, profoundly faithful and scrupulous. Indeed, for a reviver and a great scholar deducing judgment from the Qur'an and the hadith, what is important and needed is his deep faith and conscience.
12) Besides in the End Times Allah will give the computer and internet technology to the service of Hazrat Mahdi (as). INSTEAD OF MEMORIZING AND HIS OWN MEMORY, HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL USE THE MEMORY OF INTERNET AND COMPUTER, AND THUS WILL REACH ENORMOUS KNOWLEDGE. Indeed no one in this world has information as much as Internet. Noone can keep the accumulated knowledge of thousands of people in his memory; this can only be accomplished by Internet. Consequently Hazrat Mahdi (as) will reach all sorts of information by means of Internet and use all the information achieves of the time. Whenever he wishes, all the information in the world will be brought to him in an outline form. Normally while a scholar only uses his own knowledge, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will employ a very wide commission of consultants and information storage through the Internet. He will get hold of the most right and most perfect information by benefitting the knowledge of best experts and scholars of his time.
13) BY MEANS OF THE WEALTH OF INFORMATION ON INTERNET HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL NOT NEED TO MEMORIZE THE QUR'AN, THE HADITH AND OTHER KIND OF INFORMATION. In the past the conditions of the time made it compulsory to learn Arabic and thus it was important to memorize the Qur'an in Arabic. However IN OUR DAY THE QUR'AN IS RENDERED INTO ALL LANGUAGES. Consequently the Internet eliminates this necessity because Internet provides all kinds of information. In order to be expert on the interpretation of the Qur'an and its recitation in compliance with its style, the Arabic roots of all the words and their use in other languages should be known. For this one needs to also know various languages such as Persian and Hebrew. However it is obvious that no one can know the content of all dictionaries by heart. For this end one needs computer and Internet. Various meanings of each Arabic word, the original Quran and its interpretation in various other languages, the Arabic versions of the hadith included in the Al-Kutub as-Sittah and the meaning of each word with their explanations are available on the Internet. Everyone having access to Internet can rapidly reach this information. HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) will also use this information on the Internet and will benefit from many researches in many languages such as Arabic, Persian and Hebrew and linguists and a wide cadre of scholars. THIS WAY HE WILL KNOW ARABIC DOWN TO ITS MOST ANCIENT ORIGINS. Besides all branches of science such as genetics, molecular biology, paleontology, bio-chemistry and information about every subject are available on the Internet. Such information that no one can know by heart are given to the service of humanity as a blessing of Allah. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also have access all this information.
14) AS A RESULT OF ALL THESE HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL HAVE AN UNIQUE INFORMATION OF THE WORLD AND HE WILL DETERMINE WHAT IS RIGIHT AS A CONSEQUENCE OF ALL THIS ACCUMULATED INFORMATION BY HIS PERSONAL CONVICTION. BECAUSE HE WILL ACT BY ALLAH'S INSPIRATION HE WILL NOT ERR AND HE WILL MAKE THE MOST PERFECT COMMENTS AND JUDICIAL OPINION. As a result even the most perfect scholar will have insufficient knowledge compared to the knowledge possessed by Hazrat Mahdi (as).
15) Apart from making a good use of the knowledge of his time, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also employ consultation in a very good way. This way he will conscientiously assess the truest knowledge in the most pertinent way. AND HE WILL BE INNOCENT IN THE DECISIONS HE MAKES. Muhyiddin ibn 'Arabi relates a related hadith of our Prophet (saas) as follows:
It is for this reason that while describing Hazrat Mahdi (as) our Prophet (saas) said, "He will follow in my footsteps; he will not err." We understand from this explanation Hazrat Mahdi (as) is not the one who brings Sharia (sacred law of Islam), but the one who abides by it. (That is to say, he will not bring a new Book but comply with the Qur'an.) At the same time HE IS INNOCENT OF SINS, meaning HIS INNOCENCE IN JUDGMENT. That is because only our Prophet (saas) is virtuous in its real sense. However Hazrat Mahdi (as) is not a prophet but a wali (saint). Walis are protected from committing sins. They are not innocent. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 190)
16) Hazrat Mahdi (as) is from us, from the Ahl al-Bayt. ALLAH WILL PURIFY* HIM IN ONE NIGHT. (* i.e., will forgive him, or give him success and the inspiration of wisdom and guidance) (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol:10, Bab: 34, p. 348)
"O Ahl al-Bayt! Hazrat Mahdi (as) is one of us. ALLAH, the Great and Glorious, WILL PURIFY HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] AND SHOW HIM THE TRUE PATH IN A SINGLE NIGHT." (Ash-Sharani, Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 437)
As is expounded in details in the previous parts, our Prophet (saas) related that "extraordinary atrributes and sciences will be bestowed to Hazrat Mahdi (as) from Allah's Sight in one night." However the pharase "IN ONE NIGHT" also implies to every sort of information that one can access very rapidly through Internet, and Hazrat Mahdi's (as) increase of knowledge by accessing to this information in one night. Employing the technology of Internet, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be instrumental in communicating the morality of Islam and in rendering them faithful by means of the communication means such as radio, television and cellular phones.
This guidance duty of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is also stressed in other hadiths. Our Prophet (saas) draws attention to the activities Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his students engages especially at nights is stressed as follows:
Similar to those who fought in Badr, he will command the 313 people and challenge unbelievers. That is because these 313 people will have the attributes of worshippers by night and heros by day. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 169)
He will defy those around by keeping control of these 313 people in his hand, like the warriors of the battle of Badr. THESE 313 ARE DEVOUT BELIEVERS BY NIGHT and heroes by day. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 169)
They consist of a group, including women, of 314 people. They will overcome all tyrants. Their hearts are like iron, and they are lions by day and DEVOUT BELIEVERS BY NIGHT. Neither those before nor after them can match them in self-sacrifice. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 57-58)
As Bediuzzaman also states, the hadith above states that Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers will use Internet at nights and thus have accesss to all kinds of information and guide people to the truth. The phrase "they are... DEVOUT BELIEVERS BY NIGHT" in the hadith expresses that Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers will continue their activities of communicating the religion also by night by means of, television and radio. As the verse in the Qur'an "Certainly rising at night has a stronger effect and is more conducive to concentration." (Surat al-Muzzammil, 6) also refers, just as how our Prophet (saas) communicated Allah's religion at nights, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also enlighten many subjects and inform people at nights.
17) Indeed, in many of the hadith of our Prophet (saas) there are signs to the "perfection of this internet technology given to the service of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers and non-dependence on memorization". Some of these hadiths are as follows:
... THEY [THE FOLLOWERS OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL POSSESS THE POWER TO TRAVEL THE WORLD IN MINUTES. (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, p. 318; Mikyaal al-Makaarem, Vol. 1, p. 148 from Basaaer al-Darajaat)
Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers will be able to communicate with every point of the world by means of internet in only minutes.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) HE WILL SEE THE WHOLE WORLD AS IF IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND. (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.52, p. 328)
It appears from the hadith that Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers will make use of internet technology in the End Times.
According to Muhammad, son of Imam Jaffar Sadik, the imam said: "WHEN THE QAIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] APPEARS, he will send a messenger to every country, and will say to them: "YOUR AGREEMENT IS IN YOUR HAND. If you encounter a situation you do not understand and find it difficult to rule on, LOOK AT YOUR HAND AND DO WHAT IS WRITTEN THERE..." (Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani, p. 381)
In the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as), administers will make research and communicate by means of the palm-computers and computer-like cellular phones over the internet.
Hazrat Mahdi (as) walks about WITH FLAMMY TORCH OF GUIDANCE IN THE UNIVERSE and lives as the genuine believers... (Al-Mahdiyy al-Maw'ud, volume. 1, p. 281-282 ve 266 and 300).
Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his followers will communicate the religion of Allah by means of television, internet and satellite and thus become instrumental in people's guidance to the true path.
When matters are entrusted to competent Hazrat Mahdi (as) Almighty Allah will raise the lowest part of the world for him and lower the highest places. SO MUCH THAT HE WILL SEE THE WHOLE WORLD AS IF IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND. Which of you can not see a single hair in the palm of his hand? (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 5, p. 328)
In the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as) satellite imaging, television and internet systems will serve Hazrat Mahdi (as).
Our Prophet (Saas) Received No Madrassa Education and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will Receive No Madrassa Education, and He will Simply Rule with Special Knowledge Imparted to Him
Our Prophet (saas) was illiterate, meaning he was unable to read or write. He had received no special madrassa training. Neither was he taught any foreign languages. Our Prophet (saas) only knew Arabic. Allah also bestowed on him innate knowledge and the hidden knowledge (ilm al-ladun). Hazrat Mahdi (as), who will appear in 1400 according to the Islamic calendar and who will be the greatest mujaddid (reviver), saint and final guide of the End Times, will receive no madrassa training, either, and will possess only innate knowledge and the hidden knowledge (ilm al-ladun). Allah will purify Hazrat Mahdi (as) in a single night, meaning that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come into possession of very profound knowledge in the course of a single night.
Our Prophet (saas) tells us that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be enlightened with such special knowledge in the words:
The Mahdi is from us, from the Ahl al-Bayt. ALLAH WILL PURIFY* HIM IN A NIGHT (* i.e., will forgive him, or give him success and the inspiration of wisdom and guidance). (Sunan Ibn Majah, vol:10, Bab: 34, p. 348)
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will Not be Known When He First Appears
Imam Rabbani has stated that the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) WILL BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY, and that this appearance had not taken place even though 18 years had passed since the beginning of the century in his time:
But this birth is not that which will appear at the coming of the Mahdi (as). THAT IS BECAUSE HIS APPEARANCE WILL BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY. Eighteen years have currently gone by since the beginning of the century. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, Letter no 381, p. 1184)
Imam Rabbani's reference to "HIS APPEARANCE WILL BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY" MEANS THAT THE PORTENTS OF THE COMING OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL BEGIN TAKING PLACE AROUND THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY. IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear immediately at the beginning of the century, that Islamic moral values will prevail at once and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be recognized by people as soon as he appears.
As Imam Rabbani says, JUST ABOUT ALL THE PORTENTS OF THE COMING OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) OF WHICH OUR PROPHET (SAAS) SPEAKS HAVE HAPPENED IN THE 30 YEARS BETWEEN THE YEAR 1400 AND THE PRESENT (These portents are explained in the coming parts of the book).
Imam Rabbani's use of the term "EIGHTEEN YEARS HAVE CURRENTLY GONE BY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY" is most significant. With these words, Imam Rabbani indicates that had Hazrat Mahdi (as) appeared, he would himself, as a person of knowledge and foresight, have felt and realized Hazrat Mahdi (as) through the luminosity of his faith from the fact that the portents of his coming having taken place during the 18 years since the beginning of the century. The fact is, however, although 18 years had gone by since the beginning of the century on Imam Rabbani's time, the portents of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) had not taken place, for which reason he had not yet appeared.
Therefore, Imam Rabbani is not saying or implying that Islamic values will prevail the world as soon as Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will therefore be recognized by everyone that sees him. But he notes that wali (saint) people like him possessed of profound knowledge will be able to recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as).
It can also be seen from statements by Said Nursi that not everyone will recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as) when he first appears, that he will not be known despite being among the people, and that ONLY PEOPLE WITH KNOWLEDGE AND FORESIGHT WILL BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE HIM FROM THE RADIANCE OF HIS FAITH, THE PROFUNDITY OF HIS FAITH AND THE MAJESTY OF HIS FAITH:
However, as we said, this world is the arena of trial. The door is opened to the reason, but the will is not taken away. SO, WHEN THOSE INDIVIDUALS [Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the Prophet Jesus (as)], and even the terrible antichrist, APPEAR, MANY PEOPLE AND HIMSELF EVEN WILL NOT KNOW TO START WITH THAT HE IS THE ANTICHRIST. THOSE INDIVIDUALS OF THE END TIMES [HAZRAT MAHDI (as) and THE PROPHET JESUS (as)] WILL BE KNOWN THROUGH INSIGHT AND THE LIGHT OF BELIEF. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Words / Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch - pp. 354-355)
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, like Imam Rabbani someone possessed of knowledge and foresight, stated in his Letters that the Prophet Jesus (as) will not be recognized by everyone when he returns, and that HE WILL ONLY BE RECOGNIZED BY STUDENTS OF DEEP FAITH AROUND HIM, BY THE LUMINOSITY OF HIS FAITH:
... WHEN JESUS (AS) COMES, it is not necessary that EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW HIM TO BE THE TRUE JESUS (AS). His elect and those close to him (his close followers with deep faith) will recognize him through the light of belief. It will not be self-evident so that EVERYONE WILL NOT RECOGNIZE HIM. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, Fifteenth Letter)
NEITHER IMAM RABBANI'S WORDS NOR THE DESCRIPTIONS GIVEN BY SAID NURSI MEAN THAT THE MORAL VALUES OF ISLAM WILL PREVAIL THE WORLD AS SOON AS HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) APPEARS OR THAT HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL IMMEDIATELY BE RECOGNIZED BY EVERYONE. If the moral values of Islam were to prevail across the world as soon as Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears, then everyone would immediately recognize and identify him. Hazrat Mahdi (as) would not then encounter any difficulties under such circumstances. The fact is that the hadith of our Prophet (saas) unequivocally state that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not be recognized by the public and that he will resemble the Prophet Joseph (as) in that regard, that he will face difficulties and pressure and that he will be exposed to all kinds of danger, such as murder, like the Prophet Moses (as), difficulties and pressure, conspiracies, imprisonment and exile, and that he will live in occultation:
... THEN HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) RESEMBLES THE PROPHET JOSEPH (AS), AND PEOPLE WILL SEE HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] BUT WILL NOT SEE THAT HE IS HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] AND IT IS CERTAIN, as Hazrat Ali has said, HE WILL NOT BE SEEN UNTIL THERE COMES A PROCLAMATION FROM THE SKY. (Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani p. 167)
Abu Bashir says: I heard Imam Muhammad Baqr (as) say: "HE WHO POSSESSES THIS MYSTERY [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL HAVE THE SUNNAH OF FOUR PROPHETS… I SAID, WHAT IS THE SUNNAH OF JOSEPH (AS)? AND HE SAID: IMPRISONMENT AND OCCULTATION. (Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani, p. 191)
Imam Zayn al-Abidin stated: "There are some similarities between our Qaim [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] and Allah's Messengers. He has similarities to each one of the Prophets Noah (as), Abraham (as), Moses (as), Jesus (as), Job (as) and Muhammad (saas). He has similarity to NOAH (as) in having a long life; to ABRAHAM (as) in having his birth being hidden and his staying away from the public; TO MOSES (AS) IN HIS STATE OF FEAR (THE INTENSITY OF DANGERS DIRECTED TO HAZRAT MAHDI (AS); HIS BEING FACE TO FACE TO ALL KINDS OF DANGER LIKE MURDER, PLOTTING, ARREST, TAKING INTO CUSTODY AND EXILE) AND HIS CONSTANTLY SPENDING HIS LIFE IN OCCULTATION; to Jesus (as) in people being in conflict about him (some people will say Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come while others will say he will not); to Job (as) in being delivered to salvation after trouble (Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also suffer many difficulties, oppression and trouble; however just like the Prophet Job (as) he will be saved by Allah's mercy); to Muhammad (saas) in his appearing with his sword [our Prophet's (saas) holy relics which are his sword, standard and mantle will be with Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. (Sheikh al-Saduq, Kamal al-Din, p. 322, Section 31, Hadith number 3)
Sadr al-Sayrafi says: I heard Imam Abu Abdullah Jafar Sadiq say: He said: "THE OWNER OF THIS TASK [THE HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WILL HAVE A RESEMBLENCE TO JOSEPH (AS)]." AND I SAID: "IT IS AS IF YOU ARE TELLING US OF AN OCCULTATON OR ASTONISHMENT." (Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani p. 189)
Information in the Hadiths Referring to the Date of the Day of Reckoning That Might Appear Contradictory is Actually Transcription Errors, One Must Look for the Common Points Inwhat the Hadiths Relate
When we look at the hadith signifying the time of the Day of Judgment, it is seen that there is not an unanimity amongst the hadiths regarding the time given.
In such a case, one needs to look at the common point on which all hadiths agree. For instance when we analyse the 8 hadith, compiled by the great scholar of Ahl-Sunnah, al-Suyuti, that narrates the age of the Earth to be 7000 years, we see that all these hadiths reveal one single point which they agree on unanimiously. The similarity of the events related in the hadith yet the disagreement on the time signify an error made during the transmission of the hadith from our Prophet's (saas) time to our day. For this reason one needs to accept the transmission errors on the hadiths about the Day of Judgment and notice the common point they relate.
From the hadith regarding the time of the Day of Judgment, we understand that people will live 120 years from the beginning of the End Times to the Day of Judgment. This period will be the last times of the earth that will commence with the prevelance of irreligious systems, continue with the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the second coming of Prophet Jesus (as) and the prevelance of the morality of religion over the entire world, and end with the eradication of the morality of Islam and dominance of irreligion. That is to say, at the begining and end of this period of 120 years, the movement of irreligion will be severe while in the middle the morality of Islam will prevail and the Golden Age will dominate.
It is not a wise and rational attitude to indicate the time of the Day of Judgment in the distance and to prevent people to feel the due awe for it. Even if it will be far off, every individual will witness the Day of Judgment when he dies.
In a hadith related from our Prophet (saas):
During a conversation, a deep noise came. Our Prophet (saas) said: "That is the sound of a rock which has been rolling down hill for seventy years and has at this moment come to rest in the very pit of Hell." Five minutes after he made this strange announcement, someone came and said: "Such-and-such a dissembler has died. He was seventy years old, and has gone to Hell," (Muslim, Janna, 31, No: 2844; Musnad, iii, 341, 346)
As this hadith also states, although our Prophet (saas) and other people around him were alive, the hypocrite mentioned in the hadith died, he was put on trial and sent to the Hell. All these events occurred very rapidly. For this reason, because all people who die will experience the Day of Judgment, trying to show that it will occur far in the future only to make people feel no fear for it would not be a decent act. Besides, this will not change the facts.
The second explanation of the hadith, sun rising from the West may be the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) from the West. Indeed, in another hadith revealed by our Prophet (saas) Hazrat Mahdi (as) is compared to a Sun.
HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IS THE SUN WHO WILL DO AWAY WITH ALL TROUBLES AND OPPRESSION. When he bestows goodness he is fertile rain. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 188)
Besides, in a hadith revealed by our Prophet (saas) it is related that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear from the "West." In the hadith revealed by Hafiz Abu Nuaim our Prophet (saas) told:
In such a troublesome time a person FROM THE FAR END OF THE (WESTERN) COUNTRY and one of the sons of our Prophet's (saas) blessed daughter Fatima will appear. That individual is Hazrat Mahdi (as) who will engage in activities at the End Times. The appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the first of the portents of the Day of Judgment. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p.16)
As is known, Turkey is located in the West end of Islamic countires. The information in the hadith reveal that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear from Turkey. When this hadith is considered, one may think that the information in the hadith revealing that the Sun will rise from the West signifies that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also appear from the West.
In this case, based on the information in the other hadith revealed by our Prophet (saas), for the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as), if we take the Hijri 1400 year for the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) as a basis, the phrase that the Day of Judgment will commence after 120 years the Sun rises from the West corresponds to the Hijri year 1520.
The date provided by Said Nursi, that is the Hijri year 1520 are the years that Muslims will lose their strenghth and the system of irreligion will prevail the world. According to the explanations of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi 20-25 years after these years the Day of Judgment is awaited. (Allah knows the truth.)
There will be So-Called Religious Scholars Who Oppose Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the End Times
In his "Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya" Muhyiddin Ibn al-'Arabi states:
... Hazrat Mahdi (as) will practice the religion exactly as it was in the time of the Prophet (saas). He will eliminate the sects from the world. No sect will be left apart from the true, pure religion. HIS ENEMIES WILL BE THOSE WHO IMITATE THE SCHOLARS OF IJTIHAD [scholars who make a legal decision by independent interpretation of the Islamic sources]. That is because THEY WILL BE DISPLEASED when they see Hazrat Mahdi (as) pronounce in opposition to the imams of the sects, BUT NEITHER WILL THEY OPPOSE HIM... HIS [HAZRAT MAHDI'S (AS)] SWORD IS HIS BROTHERS. Since they fear his sword they will submit to his rule, willingly or unwillingly. HIS DECLARED ENEMIES WILL BE THE SCHOLARS OF FIQH (RELIGIOUS LAW). BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE NO MORE ESTEEM IN THE PUBLIC EYE. AND EVEN THEIR KNOWLEDGE ON THE SUBJECT OF AHKAM (WILL DECLINE." With his [Hazrat Mahdi's (as)] coming, he will overcome scholars' disputes regarding their pronouncements... IF HE HAD NO SWORD [WISDOM] IN HIS HAND THE SCHOLARS OF RELIGIOUS LAW WOULD ISSUE HIS [HAZRAT MAHDI'S (AS)] DEATH WARRANT. Because Almighty Allah will purify him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] with His munificence and his sword (brothers), AND THEY WILL OBEY HIM [HAZRAT Mahdi (as)]. Because they will have no more esteem in the public eye and even their knowledge of ahqam will decline.
In his [Hazrat Mahdi's (as)] time, the religion will be completely purged of all subsequent accretions and restored to its original form. HE WILL OPPOSE THE ULAMA OF THE SCHOOLS IN MANY OF HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS. FOR THAT REASON, THEY WILL KEEP AWAY FROM HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)]. According to their presumptions, they will accept that Allah truly did not leave a renovator (mujaddid) after the imams… (Muhyiddin Al-Arabi, Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya, Chap. 66 Vol. 3, pp. 327- 328)
Other information regarding this subject are as follows:
"SEVENTY THOUSAND SCHOLARS WITH TURBANS FROM MY COMMUNITY WILL FOLLOW THE ANTICHRIST." (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, p. 796)
... SOME SUPERFICIAL SCHOLARS [who have judged on the basis of the seeming meanings of the hadiths] HAVE FALLEN INTO DOUBT LOOKING AT THE EXTERNAL MEANING OF THOSE ACCOUNTS AND HADITH. OR, THEY HAVE EITHER DENIED THEIR ACCURACY OR ELSE HAVE ATTRIBUTED A SUPERSTITIOUS MEANING [a wrong one as if something fanciful in tales] TO THEM AS IF EXPECTING AN IMPOSSIBLE APPEARANCE [of a literally impossible person who has characteristics that abolish one's faculty of reason to decide conscientiously] and THUS INFLICT HARM on MUSLIMS' FAITH [for people will have difficulty in believing such metaphysical speculation, so they inflict harm on those common Muslims who do not have knowledge]. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Kastamonu Addendum, p. 80)
"... WHEN THE IMAM MAHDI (AS) APPEARS, ONLY SCHOLARS OF RELIGIOUS LAW WILL BE INIMICAL TOWARD HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)]. HIS [HAZRAT MAHDI'S (AS)] SWORD IS HIS BROTHERS. If he did not have a sword in his hand - IN OTHER WORDS, IF HE HAD NO BROTHERS - THE SCHOLARS OF FIQH (CANON LAW) WOULD ISSUE HIS DEATH WARRANT. Because Almighty Allah will purify him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] with His munificence and sword (HIS BROTHERS), and they will attach credence to him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN HIS PRONOUNCEMENTS WILL BE OBLIGED TO ACCEPT IT AND WILL CONCEAL THE CONTRARY OPINION." (Ahmad Diya ad-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Ahadith, pp. 56, 73)
Imam Rabbani says this on the subject:
When Hazrat Mahdi (as) whose coming is promised wishes to raise the value of the religion and revive the Sunnah, those who are used to act along with the people of innovation [ahl al-bidah] and who imagine that things not in fact lying at the essence of the religion are in fact the commandments of the faith will say with amazement: "THIS PERSON [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WANTS TO DO AWAY WITH OUR RELIGION AND DESTROY OUR SHARI'A [WAY OF BELIEF AND PRACTICE]." (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, 1/535)
Hadiths, Accounts and Statements Referring to Ignorant Scholars in the Time of Hazrat Mahdi (As)
Our Prophet (saas) refers to scholarship disappearing and being replaced by ignorance as one of the portents of the End Times:
• "Almighty Allah will not take back knowledge (from your memories) after having bestowed it on you. However, He will take scholars, together with their knowledge, from within their communities and take their souls. All that remains will be an ignorant body of people. The people will ask them about their religious needs, and they will issue fatwas (religious opinion on a matter) in the light of their own ideas and desires (ignoring the Qur'an and hadith) and will both deviate themselves and lead other into deviation." (Sahih Bukhari, Tajrid as-Sarih: 2174)
• "Seventy thousand people from the Jews of Isfahan with turbans and gowns will follow the antichrist." (Muslim, At-Taj Ali Nasif al-Husayn, Vol. 5, p. 627)
• "SEVENTY THOUSAND SCHOLARS WEARING TURBANS FROM MY COMMUNITY WILL FOLLOW THE ANTICHRIST."(Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, p. 796)
• The Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "Such a time will befall my Community that rulers will be oppressive and scholars will be avaricious and without fear of Allah, those who worship will be hypocritical, traders will seek to earn interest and they will only hide their disgraces in business. Their women will be caught up in the baubles of this world. Evils will plague them at that time. The good will pray and they will not be heeded." (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 23, p. 22)
• My Community will be destroyed because of evil scholars and ignorant servants.(Darimi)
• On the Day of Reckoning a religious scholar is cast into hell. People he knows say to him, "While in the world you communicated the commandments of the religion. Why has this torment befallen you?" And he will say; "I told people not to sin, but sinned myself. And I did not do those things I told them to do. I am being punished for that." (Bukhari)
• Such a time will come that scholars will be an element of mischief. (Abu Nuaim)
• Imam Rabbani said: Listening to the words or reading the books of religious scholars who follow their own worldly interests is as harmful as eating poison. The harm done by evil religious scholars is contagious. They damage communities and split nations asunder. Evil religious scholars were always responsible for the disasters that befell Islamic states. They caused the heads of the states to deviate from the true path. Our Prophet (saas) said that Muslims will be divided into 73 parties, of which 72 will go to hell and only one party will be saved from hell. The leaders of these 72 heretical parties are all evil religious scholars. The only party to be saved from hell in the People of the Sunna. (Imam Rabbani, The Letters of Rabbani, 47th letter)
• "Seeking knowledge from spiritually little people with understanding of bid'ah (innovation) is one of the signs of the Last Day." (Al Jami as-Sagir, p. 2475) (Ömer Öngüt, Kıyamet ve Alametleri [The Last Day and Its Portents], p. 53)
• "The Hour will not come until renunciation of this world no longer remains in people's vocabularies, and until fear of Allah also become artificial." (Jamiu's-sagir: 9856) (Ömer Öngüt, Kıyamet ve Alametleri [The Last Day and Its Portents], , p. 53)
• Our Prophet (saas) described the End Times: Such a time will come to people that only the name of Islam and the image of the Qur'an will remain. Mosques will be prosperous on the outside, but will have no salvation in them. Their scholars will be the most evil under the sky. Corruption emerged from them and will return to them. (al-Bayhaqi) (Omer Ongut, Kiyamet ve Alametleri [The Last Day and Its Portents], p. 54)
• In the hadith the Messenger of Allah (saas) says: "Such a time will befall my Community that only the name of Islam, the image of faith and the letters and typeface in the Qur'an will remain. Their efforts will be directed toward their stomachs, the faith will be money and their Qibla [direction] their wives. They will be discontent with little and unsatisfied by much." (Omer Ongut, Kiyamet ve Alametleri [The Last Day and Its Portents], p. 50)
• "... WHEN THE IMAM MAHDI (AS) APPEARS RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS WILL BE HIS PARTICULAR ENEMIES. HIS SWORD IS HIS [HAZRAT MAHDI'S (AS)] BROTHERS. Had he no sword in his hand -HAD HE NO BROTHERS-, THE RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS WOULD ISSUE A FATWA [RELIGIOUS OPINION] FOR HIS DEATH. Because Almighty Allah will cleanse him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] with benevolence and the sword (HIS BROTHERS) and they will place credence in him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE HIS PRONOUCEMENTS WILL BE FORCED TO BELIEVE, OR ELSE HIDE THEMSELVES AWAY. (Ahmad Diya ad-Din al-Kamushkhanawi, Ramuz al-Hadith, pp. 56, 73)
• In his [Hazrat Mahdi's (as)] time the religion will assume its previous form by being purged of all conflicting opinions. HE WILL OPPOSE THE MEMBERS OF THE ULAMA (RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS) IN MANY OF HIS JUDGMENTS. FOR THAT REASON, THEY farILL AVOID HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)]. Because they will imagine that that Allah will leave no Mujtahid (a scholar who derives legal rulings) of the faith after the imams... (Muhyiddin Arabi, Futuhat Al-Makkiya, chapter 66, Vol. 3, pp. 327- 328)
Religious Scholars of Weak Faith in the End Times
Since the hadith that speak of the signs of the end of times, the events at the end of times, and the merits and rewards of certain actions have not been well understood, SOME SCHOLARS WHOSE BELIEF IS WEAK AND WHO ARE ARROGANT relying on their reason have MOVED ON TO DENY SOME OF THEM. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Words, Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch, p. 351)
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says that some religious scholars whose "belief is weak" and who are "arrogant" will deny or explain away the return of the Prophet Jesus (as) and the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as). These people's attitude stems in fact from their having socialist, Darwinst and materialist inclinations. These are people who deny the existence of any rank superior to themselves, who have deified themselves (surely Allah is beyond that) and who regard themselves as highly learned and far superior to anyone else. For that reason they will refuse to join any sect or to follow Hazrat Mahdi (as). That is the reason why they deny the second coming of the Prophet Jesus (as), like the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
In his statements, Bediüzzaman says that, contrary to what they imagine, these people are skeptical in their belief in Allah, weak in faith and of limited intelligence. That was the mentality that attacked the Ahl al-Bayt after the death of the Prophet (saas) and martyred Hazrat Uthman, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Hussein and the imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. These people are dark of face and soul because of their arrogant, extreme, secretly irreligious and corrupt political thinking, and an unpleasant human model.
The Qualities of Religious Scholars of Weak Faith in the End Times
● One of their main signs is the lack of light in their faces, their disagreeable facial expresions.
● Their expressions are introverted and full of hate. Their gestures are artificial. They always award themselves prominence.
● They never ascribe anything to Allah when they speak. They scrupulously avoid saying that Allah created. (Surely Allah is beyond that.).
● They never speak of destiny, Hell or Paradise; they are highly reluctant to discuss such matters.
● They always regard themselves as very superior when discussing any subject.
● They are impolite and always ready to argue.
● They know no love, affection, compassion or respect.
● They are noteworthy for their aggression and fanaticism.
● They give themselves airs as if they know everything and act snobbish.
● They regard religion as a profession or means of prestige.
● When speaking to someone who does not know Arabic or another foreign language they constantly speak in Arabic, even though they know that person and the majority of the public do not speak foreign languages, just to show off and show how learned they are.
● They are gossipy, sly and secretly full of hate.
● They are reluctant to discuss beauty, love or compassion.
● They do not evaluate religious matters in the light of the Qur'an, the hadiths or good conscience. They strive to produce their own evaluations in the light of their own sullied logic and poor intelligence.
● They speak insincerely to win the support of the irreligious. But they treat true believers with arrogance and aggression.
● They are reluctant to discuss the transitory nature of this world. They appear to believe in things that they do not.
● They have divisive, sectarian souls. They are not constructive.
● They try to appear repectably and pleasant to the irreligious. But they behave impolitely and contemptuously toward genuine believers. The try to conceal their envy and jealousy, but these are still plain to see.
● Irreligious people hold them in high esteem and regard them as very important. People of such low character are generally used in their attacks on the devout. They use such irreligious people as tools when they wish to attack religion and believers.
The respect shown them by the irreligious makes them even more arrogant.
● They have an ugly way of engaging in demagoguery by going into great detail. Like the chameleon they change shape according to the times and the circumstances. They try to appear agreeable to the irreligious by speaking out against believers. So the irreligious always have a team of people of such low character at their disposal.
Some Evidence of the Coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the Hijri 1400s, the Century We are Living in Now, Rather Than in Imam Rabbani's Time
In his Letters, Imam Rabbani states that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not be coming in his own time. Two important pieces of evidence are provided to support this.
• One is the condition of Hazrat Mahdi (as) appearing at the beginning of the century.
• The second is that this appearance will coincide with the consecutive fulfillment of the portents revealed by our Prophet (saas).
A statement in Imam Rabbani's 381st Letter:
• In this extract Imam Rabbani says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear at the beginning of the century (Islamic calendar).
• But in Imam Rabbani's time, none of the portents indicating the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) had taken place, even though 18 years had passed since the start of the century.
This is one of clearest indications that Hazrat Mahdi (as) would not appear at that time. Because when Hazrat Mahdi (as) comes, the portents of the End Times revealed by our Prophet (saas) should have been coming about one after the other since the beginning of the century (Islamic calendar).
• But these portents did not come about either during the first 18 years of the century in which Imam Rabbani was living, not up until the year 1400 (Islamic calendar). With the 1400s, however, these portents began taking place one after the other, like beads falling from a necklace.
NONE OF THE PORTENTS OF THE END TIMES THAT TOOK PLACE ONE AFTER THE OTHER IN 1400 HAD COME ABOUT IN THE TIME OF IMAM RABBANI
• No great fire1 illuminating the night was seen in Imam Rabbani's time.
However, on the morning of 15 November, 1979, a giant Romanian tanker exploded on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Following the great explosion, the tanker and the fuel it was carrying blazed for days. Giant flames, light, a smoke cloud and occasional explosions were all observed.
• The Iran-Iraq War2 had not yet broken out in Imam Rabbani's time.
The war between Iran and Iraq began in October 1980. This war is a portent of the End Times revealed by our Prophet (saas) 1430 years ago.
• No fire3 from the East had been seen in Imam Rabbani's time.
In 1991, Iraqi troops set fire to the Kuwaiti oil wells at Saddam's command. As a result of that attack, a huge fire enfolded Kuwait and the Persian Gulf. With this, yet another of the portents of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) revealed by our Prophet (saas) took place in the Hijri 1400s.
• The waters of the River Euphrates had not been stopped in the time of Imam Rabbani.4
The waters of the River Euphrates were stopped for the first time in 1973 with the construction of the Keban Dam.
• There was no great terror in the region following the stopping of the waters of the Euphrates and no large number of people lost their lives in the time of Imam Rabbani.5
But following the construction of a dam across the Euphrates, PKK terror raised its head after 1400 and many innocent people and Turkish troops were killed.
• There was no great war between The Tigris and the Euphrates in the time of Imam Rabbani.6
The war between two Muslim countries, the Iran-Iraq War that broke out in 1980 and lasted for 8 years, is one in complete agreement with the hadith and that took place in 1400 (Islamic calendar).
• No attack on the Kaaba took place in the time of Imam Rabbani and no blood was shed there.7
But on the first day of 1400 (Islamic calendar), or 21 November, 1979, a bloody assault on the Kaaba did take place, resulting in terrible slaughter. Seven years later, in 1407, an even more bloody incident took place at the Kaaba and a great many pilgrims were martyred. The circumambulation of the Kaaba was halted because of this attack on it, unique in its history.
• The community of Islam was not left leaderless in the time of Imam Rabbani.
Imam Rabbani lived between 1564 and 1624. During his lifetime 8 Ottoman sultans, from Solomon the Magnificent to Mustafa I acted as caliph of Islam. In other words, this sacred position was occupied during the time of Imam Rabbani. Yet it is revealed in the hadith of our Prophet (saas) that there will be no caliph at the head of the community of Islam when Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears. One hadith of our Prophet (saas) on the subject reads:
He [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] will not appear until no caliph remains on earth.
• There were no eclipses of the Sun and Moon in two consecutive years in the month of Ramadan until the time of Imam Rabbani.8
Whereas our Prophet (saas) reveals that these celestial phenomena will take place at the time of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as). Just as revealed by our Prophet (saas), solar and lunar eclipses at 15-day intervals took place in consecutive years in the month of Ramadan in the Hijri 1400s. These eclipses took place in 1981 and 1982.
* In line with these calculations, there was a lunar eclipse in 1981 (Hijri 1401) on day 15 of Ramadan 15 and a solar eclipse on day 29 of Ramadan.
* There was a "second" lunar eclipse in 1982 (Hijri 1402) on day 14 of Ramadan and a solar eclipse on day 28 of Ramadan.
• Afghanistan was not invaded in Imam Rabbani's time.
Whereas in one hadith our Prophet (saas) says, "Pity poor Taliqan (Afghanistan),"9 noting that the country would be invaded at the time of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as). And Afghanistan was invaded by Soviet Units in Hijri 1400 (1979 AD).
• Azerbaijan was not invaded in the time of Imam Rabbani.
Our Prophet (saas) has revealed that "A fire will appear from Azerbaijan.10" And Azerbaijan was invaded in 1990 by the Armenians, who claimed territorial possession of Nagorno Karabakh, and many of our Azeri brothers were martyred.
• The comets Lulin and Halley had not passed by the earth in close succession in the time of Imam Rabbani.
Halley's comet passed by the Earth in 1986. This appearance takes place once every 76 years, its last appearance coinciding with the year 1400 (Islamic calendar).11
The expression "a double-toothed, light-shedding horn will appear," described by our Prophet (saas) in the hadith as a portent of the coming of the awaited Hazrat Mahdi (as) in the End Times and described in detail by Imam Rabbani refers to the comet Lulin, which came closest to the Earth on 24 February, 2009.12 Scientists say that it will be another 1000 years before this comet comes by the Earth again.
• The rulers of Sham and Egypt were not killed in the time of Imam Rabbani. 13
Yet just as reported in the hadith, the rulers of Egypt and Sham were assassinated just before 1400 (Islamic calendar). Some of the incidents concerned are:
- The killing of former Syrian President Salah Al-Deen Beetar in 1920,
• Nothing resembling the Egyptians being taken prisoner took place in the time of Imam Rabbani. 14
In 26 October, 1956, Israel attacked Egypt and occupied the Sinai Peninsula. The Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel followed. The West Bank, Golan Heights and Jerusalem are still under Israeli occupation. A great many Egyptian troops were either taken prisoner or martyred during these conflicts.
• There was no corruption of smoke and dust in the time of Imam Rabbani. 15
This hadith came totally true on 11 September, 2001, with the worst ever terror attacks on New York and Washington in the USA. As the whole world saw, a big, thick cloud of dust and smoke swallowed up the immediate surroundings.
• There was no worldwide slaughter in the time of Imam Rabbani. 16
Some 250 million people lost their lives in World Wars I and II alone. Conflicts, invasions and wars, the result of the arms technology that developed in the 20th century and the ensuring military strategies cost the lives of a great many people. Terrible slaughter has taken place in Palestine, Ruanda, Bosnia, Chechnya, East Turkestan and many other places in the world.
• Muslims and Jews did not go to war in the time of Imam Rabbani. 17
But the disputes between Muslims and Jews have persisted in the present day in the form of war and conflict.
• There was no question of open denial of Allah in the time of Imam Rabbani. 18
Atheism, the perversity of denial of Allah (Allah is surely beyond that), although around for a long time, started to spread on a heretofore unknown scale by the end of the nineteenth century. The number of people deluded by the spread of materialism and Darwinism, atheism's philosophical and so-called "scientific" bases, increased markedly in the twentieth century. Heretical belief systems such as atheism, materialism, Darwinism and communism will be intellectually destroyed in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as). The moral values of the Qur'an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (saas) will previal the people of the world. But no such system of denial dominated the world in the time of Imam Rabbani, and neither was there any question of such systems being intellectually eliminated or the moral values of the Qur'an prevailing the world in his time.
• Muslims did not wage war with one another in the time of Imam Rabbani. 19
But there have been wars between some Muslim countries since 1400 (Hijri style). The Iran-Iraq War and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait shows that the hadith refers to the period after 1400.
• There was no anarchy and disorder across the world in the time of Imam Rabbani. 20
Anarchy and terror, war and slaughter, reached the highest levels in the 20th century, that which saw the advent of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
• There was no question of "an army being lost in the desert" in the time of Imam Rabbani. 21
During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a 15000-man unit of the Iraqi Army, known as the Fedayeen, simply disappeared.
• There was no question of the Iraqi currency disappearing or their monetary units no longer being in circulation in the time of Imam Rabbani. 22
With the last war, the rapid loss of the Iraqi currency's value and the possibility of its being withdrawn from circulation appeared in the newspapers during 2003.
• There was no question of Baghdad being in flames in the time of Imam Rabbani. 23
During the Second Gulf War in 2003, from the very first day Baghdad was the target of a very intensive bombing campaign. Under heavy bombardment, Baghdad burned in flames, just as the hadith said it would.
• There was no question of the reconstruction of Iraq in the time of Imam Rabbani. 24
Yet Iraq, which was devastated in the invasion of 2003, is being rapidly reconstructed in the present day.
• No tall buildings could be built in the time of Imam Rabbani. 25
But the 1400s in which we are living is a century in which very tall skyscrapers have been constructed.
• People were unable to talk using the end of a whip, in other words the telephone, in the time of Imam Rabbani, as this had not yet been invented. 26
• There was as yet no greening of the deserts, making desert lands suitable for agriculture, in the time of Imam Rabbani.
In the hadith our Prophet (saas) says;
He thus described agricultural improvement work that would take place in desert lands. Today, now that water has been brought into the deserts of Arabia, agriculture is possible in even the most arid regions.
• Nobody's own voice had yet spoken to him, in other words sound recording devices had not yet been invented, in the time of Imam Rabbani. 27
Remarkable progress in this field of technology began taking place in the 20th century in particular.
• No wars or disasters leading to the devastation of great cities took place in the time of Imam Rabbani. 28
Many major cities were destroyed in the First and Second World Wars and in earthquakes in recent years. The atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki made those cities uninhabitable.
• Another great phenomenon to which our Prophet (saas) refers in the hadith had not yet taken place in the time of Imam Rabbani. 29
These details provided by our Prophet (saas) in the hadith bear a very close similarity to the 1 May incidents that took place in Taksim Square in 1977, immediately before the year 1400 (Hijri style).
• There was no intense rain following drought in the time of Imam Rabbani. 30
But our Prophet (saas) refers to heavy rains that will take place following the appearance of the comet Lulin in the End Times. And immediately after the appearance of the comet Lulin on 24 February, 2009, very heavy rain began falling especially in Turkey from the month of March. While people had been complaining of drought and lack of rain, some people now had to be evacuated from their homes because of flooding. The gates of the Dim Dam were broken because of the heavy rainfall, for example.
These portents cited above are just a few of the signs of the advent of Hazrat Mahdi (as), whom our Prophet (saas) describes as appearing in the End Times. Yet even these few signs are sufficient to show that Hazrat Mahdi (as) very definitely did not appear in the time of Imam Rabbani. Imam Rabbani said that because of these signs, that did not manifest themselves in the early 18 years of century in which he lived, or after, it was impossible for Hazrat Mahdi (as) to have appeared in his day. Yet these portents all began taking place as of the first day of the 1400s (Islamic calendar). This, by Allah's leave, is a clear and explicit sign of the advent of Hazrat Mahdi (as) in this century. (Allah knows the truth.)
1 - It is narrated from Husayn ibn Ali that: "When you see a great fire from the east in the sky illuminate the night, that moment is the time of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as)." (Mari' ibnYusuf Karami Hanbali " Fawaid Fawaid al-Fikr fil Mahdi al-Montazar )
2 - There will be tumult in Shawwal [the tenth Islamic month], talks of war in Dhu al-Qa'dah [the eleventh Islamic month], and the outbreak of war in Dhu al-Hijja [the twelfh month]. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 166)
3 - I swear that a flame will engulf you. That flame is presently in an extinguished form at the valley called Barahut. That flame swallows up people with terrible pain inside it, burns down and destroys people and property, and spreads all over the world by flying like a cloud with the assistance of winds. Its heat at night is much higher than its daytime temperature. By going as deep as the center of Earth from the heads of people, that flame becomes a terrible noise just like the lightning between the earth and sky, he narrated. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi, p. 461)
4 - Soon the river Euphrates will disclose the treasure [the mountain] of gold. So, whoever will be present at that time should not take anything of it. (Sahih Bukhari)
5 - "The Hour will not come to pass before the water of the Euphrates stops to unveil the mountain of gold, , for which people will fight. NINETY-NINE OUT OF ONE HUNDRED WILL DIE [in the fighting], and every man among them will say: 'Perhaps I may be the only one to remain alive'." (Muslim, Fitan, 29)
6 - There will be a city called Zawra [Baghdad] between the Tigris and the Euphrates. There will be a great battle there. Women will be taken prisoner, and men will have their throats cut like sheep. (Al Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 5, p. 38)
7 - There come the cries of war in [the month of] Shawwal with the outbreak of war, massacre, and carnage in [the month of] Dhu al-Hijja. The pilgrims are plundered in this month, the streets cannot be crossed because of the blood shed, and religious prohibitions are violated. Big sins are committed near the Magnificent House [the Kaaba].
8 - A lunar eclipse will occur in the first night of the Ramadan. In the middle of the Ramadan, a solar eclipse will occur. (Al-Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li-ashrat al-sa'ah, p. 199)
9 - Pity poor Taliqan [a region in Afghanistan]. At that place are treasures of Allah, but these are not of gold and silver. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p.59)
10 - ... Abu Bashir says: Imam Abu Abdullah Jafar Sadiq said: My father told me: A FIRE WILL CERTAINLY APPEAR FROM AZERBAIJAN. AND NOTHING WILL BE ABLE TO STAND IN ITS WAY. STAY IN YOUR HOMES WHEN THIS HAPPENS. Do whatever we do. (In other words, when we stay at home, you stay at home, too). And when our Qaim [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] moves, run swiftly and without stopping towards him...(Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Numani, al-Ghaybah al-Numani p. 311)
11 - Before he arrives, a comet will appear in the east, giving out an illumination. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 53)
12 - Know that, according to his Companions, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: "When Abbasi Malik arrives at Khorasan, one of the signs of the coming of the promised Mahdi, A DOUBLE-TOOTHED (1) LIGHT SHEDDING (2) HORN (3) WILL APPEAR IN THE EAST." (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, 381st Letter, p .1184)
13 - Before he comes, the inhabitants of Egypt and Sham will kill their rulers and their commanders... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 49)
14 - The people of Sham will take prisoner the tribes of Egypt... (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 49)
15 - Before the Hour comes, there will be a dusty and smoky tribulation like patches of dark night... (Sunan Abu Dawud)
16 - Before the advent of Hazrat Mahdi (as) a great strife will occur, in which massacres will take place. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 37)
17 - The Last Day does not take place until Muslims and Jews make war.... (Muslim, Tirmidhi)
18 - There will be great corruption, in which there will be terrible slaughter, before the Mahdi. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, p. 37)
19 - The Hour will not come until the two great Islamic armies get into war with one another... (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 454, no. 831)
20 - The Day of Judgment will not take place until these things come to pass… Death and slaughter will be widespread… (al-Suyuti, Al-Jami as-Sagir, 3:211; Musnad, 2:492, 4:391, 392)
21 - There are five portents of the Mahdi: a cry from Sufyani, Yemani, and Sama, the sinking of an army in Bayda, and the killing of the innocent. (Narrated by Nuaim ibn Hammad)
22 - The Iraqis will be left with no weighing equipment, and no money will be left to them with which to buy and sell. (Al Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, Kanz al-`Ummaal, vol. 5, p. 45)
23 - Baghdad is destroyed by fire in the End Times ... (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, vol. 3, p. 177)
24 - ... The Day of Judgment will not come until Iraq is attacked. Innocent people in Iraq will seek shelter in Sham. Sham will be rebuilt, and Iraq will be rebuilt. (Al Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 5, p. 254)
25 - There will be no [Day of] Judgment until very tall buildings are constructed. (Narrated by Abu Hurayra)
26 - The Last Hour will not come before the end of a man's whip speak to him. (Tirmidhi)
27 - There will be no Judgment Day... until a person's own voice speaks to him. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 471)
28 - Great cities will be ruined, and it will be as if they had not existed the day before. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 38)
29 - "Before the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), there will be a great event when pitch-black stones in Medina will vanish in blood. In that event it will be as easy to kill a woman as to wave a whip. And this phenomenon will spread for 2 km, and the oath of allegiance will be taken to Hazrat Mahdi (as). (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, 41)
30 - At Hazrat Mahdi's (as) coming, a double-toothed comet will appear and will be so bright that it will shine like the full moon. After the appearance of this comet there will be such rain that great damage will be caused. But people will welcome that rain. Because no rain will have fallen for the previous 3 years. (The Twelfth Imam, Murtadha Lakha)
Hazrat Mahdi (as) is Expected to Appear 1000 Years After the Death of Our Prophet (Saas), Not 1000 Years After the Death of Imam Rabbani
In Letter 261 of his Letters, Imam Rabbani says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come 1000 YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS), "Between the first and second millennia:" (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1 , 261st Letter, p. 628)
Here, Imam Rabbani is speaking very clearly and distinctly OF THE TIME AFTER THE DEATH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS), NOT AFTER HIS OWN DEATH. This statement is significant, because some people MISINTERPRET Imam Rabbani's statement, "IN OTHER WORDS AFTER THE DEATH OF OUR PROPHET (SAAS)," which is too clear to bear any other interpretation, as actually meaning "after the death of Imam Rabbani".
These people, uncomfortable with the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), are trying, at least in their own eyes, to put back the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (as) as far as possible and thus to supposedly win themselves 500-600 years.
The fact is, however, THAT ACCORDING TO THE STATEMENT BY IMAM RABBANI ABOVE, INSHA'ALLAH, (BY ALLAH'S WILL) THE PROPHET JESUS (AS) AND HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL COME BETWEEN THE FIRST AND THE SECOND MILLENNIA.
The Mahdism is a Subject Needing to be Widely Broadcast Rather than Kept Hidden
Talk of Hazrat Mahdi (as) Is One of the Portents of His Appearance
In his works, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, mujaddid (reviver) of the 13th century Hijri, has made a number of important statements that serve as a guide to all Muslims concerning the coming of the Mahdi and the way that he will be a reason for Islamic moral values to prevail all over the world. Some circles, however, maintain that, "it would be wrong and objectionable in many ways to speak openly of the subject of the Mahdi," to which Bediuzzaman devoted considerable space in his works.
The fact is, however, that "The Mahdi is a subject needing to be broadcast, rather than hidden or concealed." The glad tidings, of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), have been imparted by our Prophet (saas) himself; there are a number of hadiths of our Prophet (saas) on the subjects that are regarded as completely reliable. In one hadith, the Prophet (saas) revealed that the subject represented great glad tidings for all Muslims: "LEARN OF THE MAHDI. He is from the Quraysh and is one of my house." (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p.13) In another hadith, which reads: "The Mahdi will appear, and EVERYONE WILL SPEAK ONLY OF HIM, drink of his love and SPEAK OF NOTHING ELSE," (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 33) our Prophet (saas) stated that when the Mahdi (as) appears, everyone will speak of this holy individual. These signs revealed by our Prophet (saas) have begun to take place in our own day, and everyone is speaking of the Mahdi.
In his works, Bediuzzaman devoted wide space to this subject, describing it in detail over hundreds of pages. It is clear that had he thought the subject was one needing to be concealed, or one which there was no need to read about, he would not have included all these statements in his treatises. Indeed, when a subject was to be avoided, Bediuzzaman wrote that this was "confidential" in his works and stated in various places that it did not appear in the treatises because it should not be published. One of these statements by Bediuzzaman reads,
"As for the treatises, we have called such treatises confidential … we have forbidden them to be broadcast." (Bediuzzaman and His Students' Trial Defense, p. 187)
As stated by Bediuzzaman, secret things should not be published. However, the situation is the exact opposite of this when it comes to the subject of the Mahdi (as). Bediuzzaman devoted hundreds of pages to elucidating the coming of the Mahdi, made the matter a public one, and openly stated that it was not an issue that needed to be kept hidden. Indeed, the fact that the treatises have been read by millions over the years makes it clear that the subject is one for public consumption, not a secret one.
However, although Bediuzzaman's view is crystal clear, some people have sought to support this misconception by loading various false meanings onto Bediuzzaman's words. One statement by Bediuzzaman that has been misinterpreted to that end is this:
My brothers' second error: they ascribe a mortal identity that is prone to decay to that helpless brother who represents the spiritual entity of the Disciples of Light (Nur) and who forms the vanguard in the first duty in certain respects. Such as these two errors harm ,the true purity of the Risale-i Nur, the Treatise of Light, even in one respect to its being used for spiritual and heavenly rank, they cause political circles to fall into an unfounded error and the publication of the Treatise of Light is harmed. Since this time is one of a spiritual entity, such great and eternal truths cannot be built on mortal, helpless identities that are liable to error. In consequence, it is wrong to give the name of that personage who will come and perform three tasks. Both the purity in the Treatise that cannot be misused will be harmed, and the truths will become deficient in the eyes of common believers (with little knowledge of spiritual things); even indisputable arguments will turn into an opinion that is only partly the truth, and the victory over stubborn proof and arrogant atheism will begin to not be seen among the confused people of faith. Political circles will begin to feel doubts and some religious teachers will begin to protest... Therefore, it does not seem appropriate to give that name to the followers of Light. A reviver, a precursor may be said." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 10)
The facts stated by Bediuzzaman in this extract are distorted, and it is suggested that "he said it would be extremely damaging for the subject of the Mahdi (as) to be spoken about publicly." Yet this idea is totally based on a misinterpretation; what Bediuzzaman is saying here refers to his own time. He says that his disciples harbour a misconception about him with regard to the Mahdi (as), but that "this is an error that stems from confusion." For that reason, he tells them not to "speak in this way or make any claims with regard to the Mahdi." On close inspection, however, Bediuzzaman is saying that it is not speaking of the Mahdi (as) that is objectionable and damaging, but directing claims regarding the rank of the Mahdi (as) towards himself, since these are founded on an erroneous opinion. He reminds them that at that time, bringing up such a mistaken idea regarding himself will damage the purity and may cause certain politicians unease, harm the publication of the Risale-i Nur, the Treatise of Nur and mean that theTreatise enjoys only half a victory over the deniers. Bediuzzaman says that holding such an erroneous view will lead to an erroneous supposition and thus to the misdirection of the people of faith; as a result of this uncertainty, this will prevent Muslims from being able to recognise the true Mahdi (as).
With the terms he also employs here, Bediuzzaman has many times reiterated that he is not the Mahdi. For example, he does not say, "I have performed the Mahdi's (as) three tasks at the same time." Note that he says that he has only led the way for the Mahdi (as) in the first of the Mahdi's duties, that of regarding the truths of faith, and that he has only performed this in one way. By saying "it will be wrong … to give the name of that personage who will come in the future," he is stating that it will be wrong for him to be given the name of the Mahdi (as) although he is not the Mahdi and that this will damage the truth, for which reason the name of Mahdi should be given, not to him, but to that individual who will come in the future. Regarding himself, he says that he may be referred to as a "reviver and the precursor of the Mahdi.
In addition to all this, as we know, the date given by Bediuzzaman regarding the appearance of the Mahdi (as) is 2011. There is, of course, no question of such an important matter being kept concealed and not talked about with so little time remaining.
Bediuzzaman's words are perfectly clear. He states that his treatises are works that "everyone, from a labourer to the wisest scholar, a middle school student to a philosopher, can easily understand." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Kastamonu Addendum, p. 10; Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 549) Some extracts from Bediuzzaman on this subject read:
... The Treatise of Light proves this duty, at the most severe, essential and sensitive time, in a manner everyone can understand, the deepest and most secret truths of the Qur'an and of faith, with the most powerful evidence. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 748)
... The Treatise of Light can be read and understood by all levels of society, such as a woman, a man, a civil servant and a tradesman, a scholar and a philosopher… (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 549)
To suggest, nonetheless, that only special people possessed of special secrets and special abilities can understand the Treatise and to so depart from the evident meaning of Bediuzzaman's words is a grave mistake. In that event, everyone can draw his own erroneous conclusions from Bediuzzaman's words. Thus the treatises will become works that reflect, not the true words of Bediuzzaman himself, but of those who interpret those words according to their own knowledge and understanding. The question of the damaging effect that such a logic could have on the Collection, written by Bediuzzaman in such a compact and sincere style, is one calling for careful consideration.
Bediuzzaman has told, with full supporting evidence, those who imagine him to be the Mahdi (as) that he is not the Mahdi (as)
A number of questions were directed towards Bediuzzaman in his own day from his disciples and those around him regarding whether or not he was the Mahdi (as). In fact, similar questions had been put to other revivers (mujaddids) before Bediuzzaman, and their followers claimed that these people were the Mahdi (as). They also told their students, with proof, that they were not the Mahdi (as), and that their attributes were incompatible with his. They gave detailed descriptions of when and where the Mahdi (as) would appear, the kind of features he would possess, his struggle, and how he would cause Islamic moral values to prevail. They made statements, in the light of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), along the lines of "I am not the Mahdi, because the Mahdi will be aged such and such, appear from such and such a place, possess such and such features, and be a sayyid."
Bediuzzaman gave two kinds of response to those asking for his thoughts on the subject;
1) He made it clear that he was not the Mahdi (as) and wrote pages of statements regarding why he was not the Mahdi (as) aimed at those who claimed that he was.
2) He also responded to those who ascribed the rank of Mahdi (as) to him by saying, "assumptions have been around for a long time, that cannot be denied; therefore, I had no quarrel with those holding such assumptions, and yet told these people that "he rejected claims regarding the rank of Mahdi".
1) Bediuzzaman said, "All my brothers bear witness that I never accepted the rank of Mahdi (as)" (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 365) and proved this over hundreds of pages in the treatises.
The answer provided by Bediuzzaman, when asked about a subject is important, and he clearly stated that he was not the Mahdi (as). In his works, Bediuzzaman stated that he was not the Mahdi (Emirdag Addendum, p. 266), that the Mahdi (as) would appear a century after him (Kastamonu Addendum, p. 57), that he was a private soldier and a member of the vanguard of the Mahdi (as) (Barla Addendum, p. 162), that he had prepared the way for the Mahdi (as) with his work and books (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 189), and that it was an error and a confusion to imagine that he and the Treatise of Light were the Mahdi (as) (Emirdag Addendum, p. 266).
He also stated that the Mahdi (as) would be a sayyid (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, , the Rays, p. 365), that he will perform three tasks in the worlds of politics, authority, and religion at once and at the same time (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, the Rays, p. 456) (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 590) (Emirdag Addendum, p. 259-260), that the Mahdi (as) will reanimate the essence of Islamic moral values by bearing the titles of the successor of our Prophet (saas) and the spiritual leader of all Muslims (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 9), that he will bring peace and justice to all the world (Emirdag Addendum, p. 2590; Letters, pp. 411-412), that he will bear the title of "the Great Reviver" (Tilsimlar Magazine, p. 168), that he will bring about Islamic Union (Emirdag Addendum, p. 260), that he will receive the support of all Islamic scholars, sayyids descended from our Prophet (saas), and all Muslims (Emirdag Addendum, p. 260), that he will forge an alliance with the Christian world (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen p. 9), that he will pray together with the Prophet Jesus (as) (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays p. 493), and that he will install the moral values of the Qur'an over all the world and encourage all people towards the true path (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 9) (Letters p. 473).
In Bediuzzaman's day, "no Islamic Union collecting all Muslims under a single roof had been established, and nobody bore the title of spiritual leader of all believers," "justice and dominion had not been brought to the entire world," and "Islamic moral values did not prevail all over the world." Nobody bore the title of the Great Reviver and Ruler; nobody enjoyed "the support of all Islamic scholars, sayyids descended from the line of the Prophet (saas), and all Muslims," and nobody had performed such a great service to the faith as communicating the message of the moral values of the Qur'an, dedicating his life to and risking everything for it.
He fulfilled the role of reviver of his own century in the most honourable manner. Yet, his message was communicated, not with force and imposition, but in the face of difficult physical and spiritual circumstances and enormous difficulties. He did not assume the position of commander; on the contrary, he was oppressed and spent his life as a captive, faced with physical troubles and difficulties. He received no widespread support, but was rather subjected to various injustices, oppressed, and spent much of his life under such harsh circumstances as prison and exile. He reported that the means and responsibilities to be discharged as listed above, would belong to the Mahdi (as), the reviver of the century following his.
2) Bediuzzaman stated with full supporting evidence that he was not the Mahdi (as), but that he had no quarrel with people who harbored such misconceptions:
There were people close to him in his day who held misconceptions about Bediuzzaman being the Mahdi (as). Indeed, Bediuzzaman added some mentions of these attitudes of his followers to various parts of his treatises.
However, as we know, pleasing thoughts about a person are no proof that they actually reflect the truth. Bediuzzaman also stated this in his treatises, saying there may be people who hold pleasing assumptions about himself; these have been around for a long time, that cannot be denied, but they are in fact an error and a confusion. One extract in which Bediuzzaman sets this out reads:
... They rightly personally regard the spiritual entity of the Treatise of Light as a kind of Mahdi (as). Since they imagine the mere interpreter of this spiritual entity to be therepresentative of this spiritual entitywhich comes from the students of Light, , they sometimes give him that name (the Mahdi). This is, in fact, a confusion and an error, but not one for which they are responsible; suppositions have been around for a long time and cannot be objected to. Since I regard what my brothers do as a kind of prayer, a hope, and a reflection of the pure conviction of the students of Light, I made no great objection. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 248)
Bediuzzaman states that it is sometimes imagined that as the spiritual entity of the Treatise of Light and the author of these works he was considered to be the Mahdi (as), but that this is an error and confusion. He says that people who think along those lines make an analysis with regard to describing the truths of faith, but that they do not take into consideration that the Mahdi's (as) other two duties - "establishing an Islamic Union, being the leader of the Islamic world, and causing Islamic moral values to prevail over the world, are absent from him." Therefore, equating the role of Mahdi (as) with the Treatise of Light and with himself is merely a "supposition."
Bediuzzaman has stated several times in his works that the Mahdi (as) will be a sayyid, and that he is not a sayyid, but a Kurd.
In one of the proofs revealed by Bediuzzaman demonstrating that he is not the Mahdi (as), he states that "the Mahdi (as) will be a sayyid, but that he himself is not a sayyid." Some extracts in which Bediuzzaman openly expresses this fact read as follows:
... All my brothers will bear witness that I have never accepted the imputation of being the Mahdi (as). Indeed, in response to what learned people in Denizli said about whether Said claims to be the Mahdi (as), contrary to what all his disciples believe, Said stated in his objection, "I am not a sayyid, the Mahdi will be a sayyid," and refuted them. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 365)
I know that I am not a sayyid (descended from the line of our Prophet (saas)). Generations are not known at this time. Yet, that great figure of the end times will be descended from our Prophet (saas). (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, pp. 247-250)
Bediuzzaman also recalled one of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) in his works - "it is incompatible with Qur'anic moral values for one who is a sayyid to conceal the fact," thus making it clear that what he said on this subject was the truth:
Those people who are not sayyids, but who say they are, and those who are sayyids, but who say they are not, are both sinners, and in the same way that such claims and denials are forbidden … so adding anything to or removing anything from the hadiths and Qur'an is forbidden. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Reasonings, p. 52)
Had Bediuzzaman been a sayyid, there would have been no reason to conceal it because being descended from the line of our Prophet (saas) is not a feature requiring to be concealed. On the contrary, it is a great honour for all Muslims. Therefore, had Bediuzzaman been a sayyid, then when he was asked, he would have said, "Yes, I am a sayyid, but I am not the Mahdi," and he would have been honored to say that he was descended from the line of the Prophet (saas) because admitting that one is a sayyid does not necessarily mean that one is the Mahdi (as). However, he nevertheless, several times reiterated that he was not a sayyid. Bediuzzaman also confirmed this several times in the treatises by saying that he was "Kurdish" (Disputations, p. 84; History of Life, p. 228; Bediuzzaman and His Students' Trial Defence, p. 18). In the same way, had he been of the opinion that he was the Mahdi (as), he would not have spent hundreds of pages in works read by millions saying the exact opposite; he would not have said that he did not match the attributes of the Mahdi (as) nor, with a great deal of evidence, that this holy individual would be coming after him.
In addition, "there is no question of everyone who is a sayyid being the Mahdi. (as)" There are millions of sayyids in the world. Since the fact that someone is a sayyid does not necessarily mean that he is the Mahdi (as), and everyone who is a sayyid can freely and openly admit the fact. Moreover, Bediuzzaman did not say, "The only thing I lack in this regard is being a sayyid, had I been a sayyid I would have been the Mahdi (as)." On the contrary, he provided lengthy descriptions of all the attributes of the Mahdi (as) and the matchless activities he would engage in, and stated that these had not yet come about in his own day.
The effects of the system of the antichrist and the Sufyan, opposed to the Mahdism, had not been felt when Bediuzzaman was alive
The current state of Islamic countries and of the Muslims of the world clearly reveals that the duties to be discharged by the Mahdi (as) had not come about in Bediuzzaman's day. The effect of the Sufyan and the system of the antichrist were not yet fully felt in Muslim countries. Religious freedom does not apply in many countries of the world. When Bediuzzaman was alive, the difficulties, troubles and oppression facing Muslims were not that intense. This shows that, like those of the Mahdi (as), the activities of the Sufyan and the antichrist had not yet taken place at that time. It is impossible to speak of the Mahdi (as) performing his duties in a climate in which the struggle against the antichrist and the Sufyan had not yet arisen.
In addition, the whole Islamic world and Muslims are today divided amongst themselves. In Bediuzzaman's day, there was a unifying effect on the Muslims of the world. It is revealed in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that the Mahdi will have a unifying effect on all Muslims. Bediuzzaman also reports this characteristic of the Mahdi (as):
…that individual will seek to fulfill that great duty with the spiritual assistance of all believers, and the solidarity of Islamic Union, and all scholars and learned men, and in particular with the contribution of millions of devoted sayyids descended from the line of our Prophet (saas). (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 260)
In this extract, Bediuzzaman is describing the third duty of the Mahdi (as). According to this, at a time when the moral values of the Qur'an are ignored, the Mahdi (as) will be a means whereby people turn back to religious morality; he will establish an islamic Union, and all Muslims will unite and join forces and assist the Mahdi in this task. Such comprehensive alliance and support, in which all Muslims will be included, had not yet come about in Bediuzzaman's day. As revealed by Bediuzzaman, the spiritual assistance from this wide community will only emerge in the end times with the Mahdi, and will play a major role in Islamic moral values coming to rule the world.
Bediuzzaman said that the accounts in the treatises were sufficient concerning all matters
Bediuzzaman, many times, asserted during his lifetime the truth of everything he had written, saying, "I also abide by these as a student of the Treatise of Light." Each treatise is a book published in many editions. If, therefore, he openly states, "I know I am not a sayyid" in his works, then it would be a vile insult and slander against Bediuzzaman Said Nursi for certain people to say: "Bediuzzaman's statements are untrue; he called us one day and said that he was both a sayyid and a sharif and the Mahdi (as)." Because this would be equivalent to claiming that what such a worthy and moral individual as Bediuzzaman had written was a "lie." A claim to the effect that, contrary to what he wrote over hundreds of pages, Bediuzzaman "only told two or three people that what he had written was a lie," is a grave imputation against those who make such claims. No claim to the effect that "Bediuzzaman deceived millions of people, but only told a handful of people the truth," is completely unacceptable.
On the other hand, it is sufficient for Bediuzzaman to say, "I am not the Mahdi (as)" to put the record straight. It is nonsensical to maintain that such a holy personage "wrote detailed and comprehensive lies overe hundreds of pages, and what he wrote is all a deception." Such a grave insult is unacceptable, even if made out of love.
It is completely out of the question for a reviver of such deep faith as Bediuzzaman to have written the exact opposite of what he thought and believed in his works. Therefore, it is a grave slander, albeit made out of love for Bediuzzaman, albeit with the very best of intentions, to make such a claim years after his death. An attitude that accuses him of lying and maintains that he spent hundreds of pages deceiving the public cannot be accepted by any conscience.
In addition, various unrealistic claims regarding the Prophet Jesus (as) may also be made in order to support this groundless claim. As we know, we are told in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) that the Prophet Jesus (as) will return to Earth during the time of the Mahdi (as). The Prophet Jesus (as) and the Mahdi (as) will pray together, with the Mahdi (as) acting as imam, and they will rule together on Earth for seven years. However, none of these developments took place while Bediuzzaman was alive. Bediuzzaman did not live alongside the Prophet Jesus (as). Various attempts are made to explain this anyway. Unfounded ideas, such as that the Prophet Jesus (as) will return only in spirit, or that he lived, died and was buried during Bediuzzaman's lifetime, are put forward. The fact is, however, that Bediuzzaman has made it crystal clear, and many times, in his works that the Prophet Jesus (as) will return to Earth as "a person," with his human body. He also stated that the Prophet Jesus (as) would forge an alliance with Christian leaders and fight against and intellectually neutralise the antichrist. In one of these statements, Bediuzzaman says that the Prophet Jesus (as) will be a person, not a spiritual entity:
... THE PROPHET JESUS (as), who is in the world of the heavens WITH HIS PHYSICAL BODY, will assume the leadership of the true.... (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, p. 60)
In addition, in those extracts in which Bediuzzaman refers to the Prophet Jesus' (as) struggle against the antichrist, he speaks not of a struggle between one spiritual entity and another, but of one between the true person of the Prophet Jesus (as) and the personage of the antichrist:
... Those whose faith is weak find it hard to believe that "the Prophet Jesus (as) will come and labour with the law of Islam and will slay the antichrist," as is reported in a hadith of absolute trustworthiness. If the truth of that is set out, no room for doubt will remain. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters, pp. 58-59)
In another extract, Bediuzzaman says that the influence of the antichrist can only be done away with by a Prophet possessed of the power of miracles, and once again states that the Prophet Jesus (as) will be a person with the attribute of working miracles, and not a spiritual entity:
... he can only be A PERSON possessed of marvels and miracles and accepted by the people; THAT PERSON is THE PROPHET JESUS (as), the most concerned and the Prophet of most people... (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Rays, p. 463)
Such claims as these, pointing to private conversations as evidence, despite Bediuzzaman's unequivocal words regarding the coming of the Prophet Jesus (as)and Hazrat Mahdi (as) are very dangerous interventions that may cast doubt on all the treatises written by such a valuable reformer. How valid can these be if many people come up with very different claims, saying, "Bediuzzaman Said Nursi may have said this here, but this is only a stratagem, a lie; he told us the truth"? Not long after this, anything at all will be able to be said about any matter in the Treatise of Light, and Bediuzzaman's works will increasingly lose their true meaning and wisdom. The only way to forestall this danger is to accept the words of such a worthy Islamic scholar, written and confirmed by himself, at their face value. Indeed, in his works, Bediuzzaman has recalled that the treatises contain the most truthful exposition of this subject, as they do of all others, and has stated that when someone reads what is written in the treatises they can acquire the most accurate information, just as if they were speaking to him in person.
Each book in the Treatise of Light is a Said. Whichever book you look at, you can benefit from it ten times more than by speaking to me in person, and you will really have spoken to me in truth. The Treatise of Light leaves no need for me. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 159)
… because he says: "If anyone wishes to speak with me, about the Hereafter, or the Treatise of Light, the Treatise of Light has left no need for me at all. The millions of copies are as much use as ten Saids… If it regards serving or disseminating the Treatise of Light, it is enough for true followers who serve me and my spiritual children and brothers to deal with my counterpart, there is no need for me… (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Emirdag Addendum, p. 214)
Bediuzzaman also devoted space in his works to the words of his students who expressed the same fact. Some of these read:
O teachers and people of the heart! You can find the answers to your questions in the Treatise of Light. One of those who, as a blessing from Allah, know secret, invisible truth, asks someone as helpless as me about the Mahdi (as), "When will he come?" He knows nothing of the Mahdi (as) and does not know who the Dabbat al-Ard is. There is a description of this in the treatises. Look for the answer to every difficult question in the treatises, and you will find it there. (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Barla Addendum, p. 143) s
… On this subject, may I submit that, in sometimes reading to a disciple from the Treatise of Light, our teacher Bediuzzaman would not explain it, saying: "The Treastise of Light explains matters of faith sufficiently and deeply. The teacher of the Treatise of Light is the Treatise of light itself. The Treatise of Light leaves no need to study with anyone else." (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Words, p. 772)