Mahdi and ‘Eisa are not same
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
In a certain program of MTA channel one Ahmadi ‘scholar’ presented few arguments in a bid to uphold his religious belief that Mahdi and ‘Eisa Ibn Maryam are two references to the same personality.
The first argument that the Ahmadi ‘scholar’ presents goes as;
A certain narration says that Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, said:
كيف تهلك أمة أنا في أولها وعيسى في آخرها
‘How can that Ummah be destroyed in whose beginning is me, in whose end is ‘Eisa.”
Ahmadi ‘scholar’ contends that in this narration there is no mention of ‘Imam Mahdi’ hence it proves, in his good belief, that there is no separate person as Imam Mahdi.
While this is true that the report is given as such in Tarikh Damishq of Ibn Asakir but elsewhere the full report not only kills his argument but also exposes the gimmicks of the Ahmadiyya intellectual elite. The complete narration says;
لن تهلك أمة أنا في أولها وعيسى ابن مريم في آخرها ، والمهدي في أوسطها
“That Ummah cannot be destroyed in whose beginning is me, in whose end is ‘Eisa and in whose middle is al-Mahdi.”
(Kanzul Ummal 14/266 Hadīth 38671 cf. Kitabul Mahdi of Abu Na’im, Classified as Hasan by Al-Azizi in Siraj Al-Munir Sharah Jami’ Saghir 3/196)
Al-Manawi in his exegesis to this Hadith writes;
أراد بالوسط ما قبل الآخر لأن نزول عيسى لقتل الدجال يكون في زمن المهدي ويصلي عيسى خلفه
“By أوسط ‘before the end’ is meant for the descent of ‘Eisa (AS) to kill Dajjal will take place during the time of al-Mahdi and he (‘Eisa) will pray behind him.” (Faidh Al-Qadir 5/383 Hadith 7384)
This simply kills the twisting of Murabbis.
Next he uses the following narration to meet his end.
عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال : يوشك من عاش منكم ان يلقى عيسى بن مريم إماما مهديا وحكما عدلا فيكسر الصليب ويقتل الخنزير ويضع الجزية وتضع الحرب أوزارها
Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) that Prophet, may Allah bless him, said: “It is near that one who lives from amongst you shall meet ‘Eisa bin Maryam. He will be a rightly guided (imaman mahdiyyan] leader and a just ruler …”
Ahmadis argue that as ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, has been called ‘imaman mahdiyyan’ in this Hadith it means he will be Imam Mahdi spoken about in other Hadith narrations.
Let’s take this absurd argument to task.
What is “Mahdi”?
What? The heading says, ‘What is Mahdi?’ not, ‘Who is Mahdi?’ Yes, indeed that is what needs to be understood in the very first place.
Mahdi is an attribute/characteristic which means ‘rightly guided.’ And it is used for so many people in various Hadith narrations. With a quick look I could find that following people have been called so;
Abdullah bin Jarir (RA):
In Sahih Bukhari we read that Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, prayed for Sayyidina Jarir bin ‘Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him;
اللَّهُمَّ ثَبِّتْهُ وَاجْعَلْهُ هَادِيًا مَهْدِيًّا
“O Allah! Make him firm and make him a guiding and a rightly-guided man [mahdiyyan].”(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 2809)
According to Jami’ Tirmidhi, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, prayed exactly the same way for Sayyidina Mu’awiya, may Allah be pleased with him;
اللهم اجعله هاديا مهديا
“O Allah! Make him a guiding and a rightly-guided man [mahdiyyan].” (Jami’ Tirmidhi, Hadith 3842. Classified as Hasan by Tirmidhi and Sahih by Albani)
In one Hadith the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, addressing the people said about Sayyidina ‘Ali,may Allah be pleased with him;
تجدوه هاديا مهديا يأخذ بكم الطريق المستقيم
“You will find him a guiding and a right-guided person [mahdiyyan] who will take you on the right path.” (al-Isaba fi Ma’rifatil Sahaba 2/271. Hafiz Ibn Hajr said, its chain is good [jayyad])
All the Pious Caliphs:
A famous Hadith uses the word for all the pious Caliphs. It read;
فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء المهديين
“You must then follow my sunnah and that of the rightly-guided [mahdiyyeen] caliphs.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4607. Classified as Sahih by Albani)
The word ‘mahdiyyeen’ is plural of ‘mahdi.’
Thus we find that all of these great men and many others were ‘Mahdi’ i.e. rightly-guided ones. And by following the Ahmadiyya line of argument we end up with so many Mahdis instead of reaching the conclusion that ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, alone is ‘mahdi’.
The fact however, is simply that Ahmadiyya try to play with the innocent minds that do not know the Arabic language and have been basically made to think of ‘mahdi ‘as a noun and not an adjective.
A person from the lineage of the Prophet due to appear near the End of Times:
Just like all these people and many others, near the End of Times will appear a person from the lineage of the Holy Prophet, may Allah bless him, whose being ‘mahdi’ i.e. rightly-guided is testified in original sources of Islam.
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him, said;
المهدي من عترتي من ولد فاطمة
“The Mahdi (lit. rightly-guided) will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4284. Classified as Sahih by Albani and others)
But even he is referred to as ‘Mahdi’ not because it is his name but because he will be a rightly-guided person.
About his name, another Hadith says;
رجلا مني أو من أهل بيتي يواطئ اسمه اسمي واسم أبيه اسم أبي
“A man who belongs to me or to my family whose name is same as my name and whose father’s name is the same as my father’s name.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith 4282. Classified as Sahih by Ibn Qayyim, Albani and others)
Why generally only a particular person is referred to as ‘Mahdi’?
Now naturally the question arises, if so many people were given the title of ‘Mahdi’ why only one person is referred to as such? The answer is simple. ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, is basically a Prophet, Pious caliphs and other companions themselves are praised much by the Qur’an so they have much greater references to be known with.
However, the personality known and revered as ‘Imam Mahdi’ is so referred to as it will be his greatest position and as such makes him stand out among all other humans after the Prophets and their companions.
And that is the reason we always, retain the word Mahdi when translating the narrations about him. And looking at the subtleties let me say that this contention of ours springs from the very wording of the Hadith and a comparison of various narrations.
Please note, in the narrations using the word ‘mahdi’ (as singular adjective) for ‘Eisa, may Allah bless him, and various companions it is simply ‘mahdi’ i.e. without the article ‘al’ i.e. ‘the’ while the narration about the person to appear near the End of the Times is ‘al-Mahdi’ which makes him stand out among all those for whom this word is used. This is, let me reiterate, because his being rightly-guided is an honor for him greater than any other status of him.
His third argument is about the famous narration that Ahmadis often quote.
لا مهدي إلا عيسى
“There is no Mahdi except ‘Eisa.”
He says that one of its narrators Muhammad bin Khalid al-Jundi is a trustworthy narrator and that ‘Yahya bin Mu’in’ [sic.] graded him as trustworthy.
Firstly Hafiz Ibn Hajr, who has been recognized as Mujaddid by Ahmadis, after careful scrutiny of the various opinions, graded him as ‘Majhul’ i.e. unknown. See al-Taqrib 2/71.
Imam Hakim also classified him as ‘Majhul’ see Tahzib al-Tahzib 9/126
Let’s not forget Imam Hakim is also recognized as Mujaddid by Ahmadiyya.
As to what is attributed to Imam Yahya bin Ma’in (its Ma’in not Mu’in as Ahmadi ‘scholar’ speaks) al-Mizi quotes Abu al-Hassan al-Abri to have said, “If they mention what is said to come from Yahya bin Ma’in, it is not known to the experts among the people of knowledge and reporting.” (Tahzib al-Kamal 25/149)
Infact the narration has multiple issues. Shaykh Albani (in Silsala Da’ifa, Number 77) has mentioned three problems in this.
1. Tadlis of Hassan al-Basri
2. Muhammad bin Khalid al-Jundi being Majhul.
3. Difference in the chain. At another place Muhammad bin Khalid narrates from Aban bin Abi Ayyash instead of Aban bin Salih and he is ‘Matrook’ i.e. rejected. See Tahzib al-Tahzib 9/126
It is for this reason; Imam Ibn Taymiya, al-Saghani, al-Shaukani, Ibn Qayyim, al-Dhahbi, al-Qurtubi, Azimabadi etc. and recently Albani and Shu’aib Arnaut all have graded this narration as dubious.
And it is precisely for this reason Mullah Ali Qari in his commentary to Mishkat al-Masabih writes;
ثُمَّ اعْلَمْ أَنَّ حَدِيثَ: لَا مَهْدِيَّ إِلَّا عِيسَى بْنُ مَرْيَمَ ضَعِيفٌ بِاتِّفَاقِ الْمُحَدِّثِينَ
“Then I learnt the Hadith: There is no Mahdi except ‘Eisa, is weak by the consensus of the scholars of Hadith.” (Mirqat al-Mafatih 8/3448)
Infact Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself accepted that this report is not authentic. He wrote;
“And as to Ahadith about the arrival of Mahdi you know they are all Da’if and problematic contradicting one another so much so that in one narration in Ibn Majah and other books says, ‘There is no Mahdi except ‘Eisa, so how can one rest is his case on such kind of narrations with so much difference and contradictions, weakness and criticism on their narrators, as is not hidden from the scholars of Hadith?”
(Humamtul Bushra pp.148-149 included in Rohani Khazain vol.7 pp.314-315)
Please remember in Sirat al-Mahdi vol.1 p.91 Mirza Bashir Ahmad on the authority of Maulvi Sher Ali quotes Mirza to have said that all his Arabic writings are only a kind of revelation.
So Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself accepted this narration as weak and unreliable. Whatever he said certainly applies to this narration. However his contention about the other narrations is faulty.
Mullah Ali Qari discussing the ‘No Mahdi except ‘Eisa’ narration, writes;
قَالَ الطِّيبِيُّ – رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ: الْأَحَادِيثُ عَنْهُ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – فِي التَّنْصِيصِ عَلَى خُرُوجِ الْمَهْدِيِّ مِنْ عِتْرَتِهِ مِنْ وَلَدِ فَاطِمَةَ، ثَابِتَةٌ أَصَحُّ مِنْ هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ، فَالْحُكْمُ لَهَا دُونَهُ
“Taybi, may Allah have mercy on him, said; And the narrations from the Prophet, may Allah bless him, about Mahdi emerging from his progeny and from the children of Fatima, are proved and authentic than this narration, and their status is different than it.” (Mirqat al-Mafatih 8/3448)
Also note scholars like Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Qayyim, Albani and Shu’aib Arnaut who have graded the ‘No mahdi except ‘Eisa’ narration as weak authenticated the other narrations about al-Mahdi.
So we find all the claims of Murabbis are not only erroneous but also show how common Ahmadis are fooled into misleading beliefs risking their life in the Hereafter.
May Allah bring all Ahmadis back to the fold of religion of His Last and Final Messenger, on whom be the peace and blessings of Almighty Allah.
Indeed Allah knows the best!
Source Let me turn the tables