Chapter Five : Mahdi and His Birth
A group of scholars, amongst them being the learned and mystic traditionist Muhammad Khawja Bukhari in his book 'Fasl-ul-Khetab' (as per what has been written on page 387 of 'Yanabi-ul-Muwadda') have narrated that Hadimah, the daughter of Hazrat Imam Muhammad Jawad (A.S.) and aunt of Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari (A.S.) used to always pray and lament and ask Allah to make her succeed in meeting Hazrat's son. Thus it was about the midnight of 15th Shaban, 205 when she visited Hazrat Hassan and the latter asked her to stay with them because of the event which lay ahead. So she stayed behind in the very place. It was the time of dawn when Nargis (mother of Hazrat Mahdi) felt uneasy. Then Hakimah hastened towards her and a few moments later Nargis delivered a blessed child while circumcised. When Hakimah's looks fell on the child she took him in her arms and went towards Hazrat Hassan (A.S.).
Hazrat embraced him and rubbed his blessed hands over his back and eyes and then placed his mouth over his mouth. Thereafter he recited 'Azan' (call to prayer) in his right ear and 'Eqamah' (establishment of prayers) in his left ear and then said: "O aunt, take him to his mother." Hakimah obeyed and took the child back to his mother. Hakimah says: "Once again, I visited Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari's house. All of a sudden, I saw Hazrat carrying a child who was wearing a yellow dress and the baby's face was beaming with light.
" Then, his love superseded my heart and I said: 'O my Master, what have you to say about this blessed child? He replied: "O aunt, he is the same Expected one about whom we were given glad-tidings." Then, I threw myself on the ground and prostrated as an expression of thanksgiving.86 Author says: "What we have narrated before and what we shall narrate later on necessarily proves his birth because those traditions comprise several parts.
One of the parts indicates that he is the twelfth successor while another shows that he is the twelfth legatee. Still another portion indicates that he is the twelfth 86-A detailed tradition with similar contents has also been narrated in "Raudath-ul-Sefah" vol. 3 pg. 18-19.
Imam and leader and another indicates that he is the ninth from the progeny of Hussein (A.S.). Others reveal that he is the fourth from the offspring of Ridha (A.S.) and yet others reveal that he is the son of Hazrat Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari. Another part indicates his occultation and the fact that he is concealed from the public-view and cannot be recognized.
These 'Mustafiza' and rather 'Mustawatir' traditions clearly stipulate and or necessarily indicate that Mahdi, the Expected one is the immediate son of Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari. Moreover this indication is so manifest and evident that no one has any doubt in it and none disputes.
Now we say: Based on this, we are bound to accept one of the following: Firstly that, we reject the afore-said traditions from the view - point of chain of transmission and weakness in indication and as a result deny the afore- mentioned claims.
Reply: Anyone who had reviewed the traditions and gone through the books of 'Rijal' (distinguished scholars) can never ever imagine such an affair because a number of partisans of traditions have confessed the authenticity of some of them and have given evidence of their credibility and acceptability. Rather, Hakem who is the leader of this art has himself recorded some of them and as per the view of Bukhari and Muslim, has reckoned them to be correct.
Thus, man's conscience itself bears testimony to this objection.
Secondly, renouncing and abandoning those traditions and not acting upon them.
Reply: This obligation is an independent reasoning against the correct and explicit texts. Rather, just as you were told before, most of the scholars of Ahl-e- Sunnat have clearly stipulated the successive transmission of these traditions and compendiously reckoned their issuance to be decisive. Thus, resorting to this obligation will amount to refutation of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) and rejection of what has come from him through successive transmission nothwithstanding that which Allah says:
(Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed) Thirdly, being bound over the matter of non-existence of Mahdi and the continuation of the life of Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari until the end of time when Allah has foretold the birth of Mahdi.
Reply: Here too, we cannot consider this saying to be correct because Shias and Sunnis are unanimous over this fact that Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari has already passed away in the year 260 A.H.
Taken for granted that Imam Hassan Askari has lived till now and is still alive, why can't we assume the same for Mahdi and compel ourselves in believing him to be still alive and living. This is because if a decree on such a matter is permissible then there exists no difference between these two cases so that we may say that it is possible in the case of Hassan Askari but not so for Mahdi.
Fourthly, as per the consensus of Shias and Sunnis, Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari has passed away. However, Allah (All Glory be to Him) with the Power that He possesses, shall make him alive in the near future primarily for the birth of Mahdi.
Reply: There is no proof, which gives evidence to the truthfulness of this saying. Although Allah is having Power over all things and His Might cannot be denied yet, the reason for the rejection of continuation of Mahdi's life is because it is considered to be an improbable affair and contrary to the custom (as is in vogue amongst us) notwithstanding the fact that the chances of making someone alive after death and restoring him back to life after non-existence appears to be more remote and unusual than continuation of life. In addition, the restoration of Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari's life after his demise may be in reference to 'Reja't' (return to life), the same which we Shias believe.
Fifthly, being bound over believing that Abul-Qasim Muhammad Mahdi (A.S.) has been born and is still living. Moreover, he is being given sustenance and just like other people who seek means of livelihood he too seeks means of livelihood until the time when Allah wishes him to fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression. Thus, He shall command him to emerge and inspire him to bring about a complete reform. This is exactly what we group of Imamiah believe and the proof of Hazrat being alive will be brought at the end of this book.
Besides, those things, which necessarily and explicitly prove the birth of Hazrat, are the sayings of a number of Sunni scholars, traditionists and historians in this regard. We may mention the names of some of them:
(1) Shaikh Mohyiddin Arabi in the book of 'Fotouhat' as per what has come in "Es'aaf-ur- Rhagebeen".
(2) Shaikh Abdul-Wahab Sharani in the book "Al-Yawakit-wal-Jawaher".
(3) Ibn-Wardi. a historian in his 'Tarikh' as per what has come in "Nur-ul- Absar".
(4) Shaikh Muhammad-ibn-Yusuf Ganji in his book "Al-Bayan-Fi-Akhbar Saheb-uz-Zaman".
(5) Ibn-Hajar Haithami in the book "Sawa'eq-ul-Muhareqa".
(6) Sebt-ibn-Jauzi in the book "Tazkerat-ul-Aimma".
(7) Shaikh Muhammad-ibn-Thalha in "Matalib-us-Su'ool".
(8) Shaikh Nuruddin Ali in "Fusul-ul-Muhimma".
(9) The noble Sayed Abu Abdullah Muhammad Sirajuddin in the book "Sihah-ul-Akhbar".
(10) The famous historian Ibne-Khallakan in "Wafayat-ul-A'yan'".
(11) Ibn Azraq a historian in his 'Tarikh' as per what has been narrated by Ibne-Khallakan.
(12) The mystic Shaikh, Sayed Hassan Araqi as per what has come in "Al- Yawaqit wal-Jawaher".
(13) Shaikh Ali Khawas as per what has come in the afore-mentioned book.
(14) The mystic scholar, Shaikh Muhammad Khawaja in "Fasl-ul-Khetab" as per what has been narrated in "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda".
(15) Sayed Mumin Shablanji in "Nur-ul-Absar".
(16) The mystic scholar, Shaikh Qunduzi in "Yanabi -ul-Muwadda".
(17) The learned genealogist Abul-Fauz Muhammad Amin Baghdadi Suyedi in "Saba'ek-uz-Zahab".
(18) The learned genealogist of recent times Sayed Hussein Rafa'ee contemporary to one of the Universal Professors of Azhar in his book "Nur-ul- Anwaresh".
(19) Shaikh Ahmad Jaami - on the basis of his poems and as per what has come in "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda".
(20) Shaikh Athar Naishabouri - on the basis of his poems.
(21) Shaikh Jalaluddin Rumi - on the basis of his poems. Besides them, many others too have confirmed this matter.87
Verily, Mahdi's birth is unanimously agreed upon by both Shias and Sunnis and they are in accord with each other on this matter.
Thus, there exists no difference between the two groups. Rather its firmness is as clear as a fire kindled over the tip of a flag or as bright as a sun present during the day. Those who refer to their books and writings (Sunni references) will realize that they are all unanimous over this matter that Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari has had a son by the name of Muhammad whose title is Mahdi and agnomen is Abul-Qasim and the fact that he has been the only son of his father.
This is notwithstanding the fact that they have had minor differences amongst themselves about Mahdi just as the same can be seen from the sayings of Ibn- Khallakan and some other Sunni scholars. Ibn Khallakan says: "Shias think that Mahdi is the son of Imam Hassan Askari."
After this, he said: Continuation of Mahdi's life till now is something unusual and improbable.
When the birth of Abul-Qasim Muhammad Mahdi, son of Hassan Askari is 87-Abul Fidah in his 'Tarikh' vol. 2, pg. 45, Abdullah Shabrawi in 'Al-Ettehaf' pg. 179, Muhammad-ibn-Shehna in Raudath-ul-Manazer (in the margin of "Muruj-uz-Zahab") vol. 1 pg. 294, Abul-Fallah Hanabli in "Shazarat- uz-Zahab" vol. 3 pg. 150, Muhammad-ibn-Khawand Shah in "Raudath-as-Sefah" vol. 3 pg. 19, Abul-Abbass Ahmad Qarmani in "Akhbar-ud-Dawal" pg. 117, Shaikh Sa'aduddin Hamuani (as per what has come in "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" pg. 395), Shaikh Salauddin Safandi (as per what has come in the same book on page 393)and Shaikh Abdur-Rahman Basthami (as per what has come in the same book on page 337).
Besides these names, those which have been mentioned by Nuri in his "Kashful-Astar" are Sayed Jamaluddin author of "Raudath-ul-Alibab", Ahmad Baihaqi Khusrojerdi Naishabouri, Ha fez Abul-Fath Muhammad-ibn Abul- Fawares, Shaikh Aamer-ibn-Aamer Basri, Abdul-Haq Dahawi, Shaikh Abdul-Rah man Jaami, Qaazi Shahabuddin-Malek-ul-Ulema, Ibne-Kheshab, Haflz Abu Muhammad Ahmad Belazari, Abdullah Mateeri author of "Riyaz-uz-Zahera", Mulla Hussein Kashaci, Nazr-ibn-All Jahzami Nasri (Just as it has come in "Najm-us- Saqeb"), Qazi Jawad Sabati, Mulla All Qari, Shaikh Sadruddin Qunawi, An-Nasir-Le-Deena Allah Ahmad Cal ipha Abbassi, Mufez-Ibn-Ahmad favous as 'Akhtab-ul-Khutaba' Khawrazmi and others whom Qunduzi and Noorl have mentioned in their books 'Yanabi-ul-Muwadda' and 'Najm-us-Saqeb'.
proved (which was done so from the Prophetic traditions which are 'Mutawatir' and the sayings of the Infallible household members who are more knowledgeable than others and the excessive stipulations of mystics and scholars who have reckoned the Awaited Mahdi to be the very child which we have mentioned) it will automatically be verified that Mahdi (A.S.) has already been born and not that he will be born in the future.
Moreover, with regard to his birth, what appears to be more correct is that he was born at dawn, on 15th Shaban 256 A.H. Thus, at the time of his father's demise he had passed five years of his age.
Mahdi's name, Title and Agnomen
Tirmidhi in vol. 2 of his 'Sahih' (page 270) narrates from Abdullah-ibn- Masoud that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "The world shall not cease to exist until a person from my progeny shall conquer the earth. His name is the same as mine."88 In the same place of the afore-mentioned book he narrates from Abu Huraira that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth … a person from my progeny who carries the same name as mine shall appear."89
Thereafter he writes: "This is an acceptable and authentic tradition." Ibn-Hajar in his "Sawae'q" (page 98) narrates from Ahmad, Abu Dawoud and Tirmidhi and all the three from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) who said: "The world shall not end until a person from my progeny shall come and rule. His name shall be similar to my name."
The author of "Esaaf-ur-Rhagebeen" too has narrated the same.90 The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in the second chapter narrates from 'Sunan' of Imam Abu Bakr Muqarri and he from Abdullah-ibn-Masoud that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said:
"The world shall not pass away until a person from my progeny shall conquer it."
In the same chapter of the afore-said book, he narrates from the book "Sefat- ul-Mahdi" of Hafez Abu Na'eem and 'Sunan' of Abu Abdullah Muqarri and they two from Abdullah-ibn-Omar who said: The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: -
"A person from my progeny shall emerge. His name is similar to mine and his moral too is the same as mine. He shall fill the earth with equity and Justice." Again, in the same chapter of the afore-said book, he narrates from Hafez Abu Na'eem who in turn narrates from Huzaifa-ibn-Yaman that the Holy 88-Arful Wardi 59. 89-Arful-wardi 59. 90-The author of Arful-wardi (page 58) too has narrated the same. Thereafter he writes: Tirmidhi s say: - This an acceptable and authentic tradition.
Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will make a person to appear from my progeny who carries the same name as mine and whose morals are the same as mine. His agnomen is Abu-Abdullah."91
Yet again, in the same chapter of the afore-said book, he narrates from Abdullah-ibn-Omar that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "A person from my progeny shall emerge at the end of time. His name and agnomen will be the same as my name and agnomen. He shall fill the earth with Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression.
What we have written under the afore-mentioned topic is only a few of the noble traditions, which mention about the name and agnomen of Hazrat Mahdi. The author of "Eqdud-Durar" has specially earmarked a chapter for this matter.
Thus, these and some other traditions together with their lengthy exegesis (which was already mentioned and will be mentioned in future) reveal that his name is Muhammad, his title is Mahdi and his agnomen is Abul-Qasim and this is a well-known matter. However, on the basis of only one or two traditions his name has been mentioned to be Ahmad. Apparently, it has been the independent reasoning of its narrator and a mistake committed from his side. If this reasoning is improper, we may still say that this tradition is insignificant as compared to the other traditions (which are contrary to this one).
The author of "Tazkerat-ul-Al" while mentioning the children of Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari says:
Amongst them is Imam Muhammad son of Hassan, son of Ali, son of Muhammad, son of Ali, son of Musa, son of Jafar, son of Muhammad, son of Ali, son of Hussein, son of Ali-ibn-Abi-Talib. His agnomen is Abu-Abdullah and Abul-Qasim and he is the successor, 'Hujjat' (Proof) Master of the age, 'Qa'em' (Upholder) and 'Muntazir' (Awaited one). He shall be the last Imam. The author of "Matalib-us-Su'ool", after mentioning the place of birth of Hazrat Mahdi (may the blessing of Allah be upon him and his holy forefathers) says: "However, his name is Muhammad, his agnomen is Abul-Qasim and his titles are 'Hujjat' (Proof) and 'Khalaf-Saleh' (Virtuous successor). He has also been called as 'Muntazar' (Awaited one).
Ibn-Hajar in his book "Sawa'eq", after mentioning about Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Askari writes:
"He did not leave behind any successor but his son Abul-Qasim Muhammad Hujjat whose age at the time of his father's demise was five years. However Allah granted him wisdom at that time and he has been called as 'Qa'em' and 91-The author of "Raudath-us-Sefa" vol. 3 pg. 18 narrates from Ibn-Masoud that Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will Se the day so long, until a person from my progeny who carries the same name as mine, shall appear and fill the earth with equity and Justice just nit had been filled with cruelty and oppression."
'Muntazar'. The author of "Nur-ul-Absar", after mentioning about Mahdi says: "His name is Muhammad and his agnomen Abul-Qasim. The Imamiyahs have given him such titles as 'Hujjat', 'Mahdi', 'Khalaf-Saleh', 'Qaem' and 'Saheb-uz-Zaman'. The most famous amongst them is Mahdi.92
A subtle point: Amongst the strange events (if we do not say that God has dissuaded their hearts) is this that amongst the immediate sons of Imams, none has been bestowed with the title of 'Mahdi' except Qaem Al-e-Muhammad (A.S.). Surely, they were a family which spread for a period of over two hundred and forty years. They owned many children and repeatedly heard this blessed title of 'Mahdi'. Nevertheless amongst their immediate children there was none who was called by the title of 'Mahdi' because, this was something against the custom. It is possible to say that Allah, the Exalted may have dissuaded them from this matter in order to safeguard the position of Mahdi (A.S.).
Mahdi and His Parents' Name
What seems evident from the previous traditions (mentioned in chapter No. 4) is this that Mahdi, the Awaited one is the son of Abu Muhammad Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.). The Shia Imamiyahs and majority of the Sunni scholars unanimously believe that his honorable father's name is Hassan.93
Verily, it is in some of the rare and uncommon traditions that the name of Hazrat Mahdi's father is mentioned to be the same as the Holy Prophet's father. Abu Dawoud in his 'Sahih' (vol. 4 pg. 78) has narrated from Zurra-ibn- Abdullah a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such:
"If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will set the day so long until a person from my progeny shall appear and... His name is the same as mine and his father's name is the same as my father's name." The author of "Eqdud-Durar" has narrated this tradition (in the second chapter) from a group mainly comprising of Tirmidhi, Abu Dawoud and Baihaqi.
Thereafter he says: This tradition has been mentioned by Imam Ahmad Hanbal in his 'Musnad'. However he has not mentioned the afore-said sentence of the Holy Prophet that his father's name is the same as my father's name. The author says: I have come across some portions of traditions wherein the 92-Author of 'Raudath-us-Sefa' (Vol.3 Pg. 18) writes: "Abul-Qasim is his agnomen and the Imamiyah call him as 'Hujjat', 'Qa'em', 'Mahdi' and 'Sahab-uz-zaman'. In the same place, he mentions his name and agnomen to be the same as that of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) Abul-Fida in his 'Thrikh' (vol. 2 pg. 45) and Shabrawi in 'Al-Ettehaf' (page 179) have also narrated the same."
93-"Thrikh-Abul-Fida" vol. 2 pg. 45, 'Tarikh-e-Farmani' page 117, 'Al-Ettehaf' of Shabrawi pg. 179, 'Raudath- ul-Munsaer' (in the margin of 'Muruj-uz-zahab') vol. 1, Pg. 294, 'Saba'ek-uz-Zahab' of Suyedi pg. 78, 'Shazrat- us-Zahab' vol. 2, Pg. 150 and 'wafiyat-ul-A'yan' of Ibn-Khallakan vol. 1, pg. 451.
Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) says: The name of Mahdi's father is the same as my father's name. Apparently, Abu Dawoud is preferred. Thus, we say: Shablanji, in "Nur-ul-Absar" (page 231) has narrated the afore-mentioned tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) from Abu Dawoud and he from Zurra-ibn-Abdullah but without this sentence that Mahdi's father's name is the same as my father's name.
He (i.e. Abu Dawoud) says: In another tradition the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) says: "The name of Mahdi's father is the same as my father's name." This very difference in narration from Abu Dawoud causes one to doubt his narration and consider it to be unreliable. Even if we assume this tradition to be firm, it is (still) against and contrary to the numerous 'Mustafiza' traditions which are more authentic (from the view - point of the chain of transmission) and obvious (from the viewpoint of reasoning) than the previously - mentioned tradition. Therefore, one should not pay attention to this tradition at all.
In this regard Ali-ibn-Isa Arbeli in "Kashf-ul-Ghumma" says: Shi'ites do not consider this tradition to be correct because the name of Mahdi and his father's name too has been proved for them (as per authentic reasons). The Sunni scholars have mentioned that the narrator has added something to this tradition. Thus, it should be said that this sentence (i.e. the Holy Prophet saying: "His father's name is the same as my father's name") is an addition.
The author of "Al-Bayan-Fi-Akhbar-Saheb-uz-Zaman" says: 'Abul-Abbass- ibn-Abul-Karam Khas'amee (i.e. Omar-ibn-Me'mar Baghdadi) has narrated from Abul-Fath-ibn-Abul-Qasim - ibn - Abu Sahil Karukhi and he from Abu Aamer-ibn-Qasim and others and they from Abu Muhammad Maruzi and he from Abul-Abbass-ibn-Marzabani and he from Hafez Abu Isa and he from Abdul-Jabbar-ibn-E'la Atthar and he from Sufyan-ibn-Aiyana and he from Aasim and he from Zurra and he from Abdullah and he from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such: - "A person from my progeny who carries the same name as mine, shall become the Master (of this earth)."
Athim has narrated from Abu Saleh who in turn has narrated from Abu Huraira as such: "If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will set the day so long until a person becomes the owner of this earth." Author of "Al-Bayan-Fi-Akhbar-Saheb-uz- Zaman" says: "This tradition is an authentic tradition and Hafez Muhammad-ibn-Isa Tirmidhi has narrated this in a similar manner in his 'Sahih'."
He continues: Allama Hassan-ibn-Hassan Laghwi sent a letter for me in Damascus and after I met him in Baghdad he said: Nasr-ibn-Abul-Faraj Hasari has narrated from Abu Talib Muhammad-ibn-Muhammad - ibn - Abu Zaid Mavi and he from Abu Ali Shustari and he from Abu Omar Hashimi and he from Abu Ali Muhammad-ibn-Omar Lu'lui Basri and he from Hafez Abu Dawoud Sulaiman-ibn-Ash'as Sajestani and he from Musaddad and he from Yahya-ibn- Sa'eed and he from Sunan and he from Aasim and he from Zurra and he from Sayed Sadruddin Sadr Abdullah and he from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such: "The world shall not cease to exist until a person from my progeny who shall carry the same name as mine becomes the Master amongst the Arabs."
The author of "Al-Bayan-Fi-Akhbar-Saheb-uz-Zaman" adds: "This tradition is an acceptable and correct tradition and Abu Dawoud has narrated it in his 'Sunan' in the same manner which we have narrated."
Abu Dawoud says: Uthman-ibn-Abu Shuiba has narrated from Fazl-ibn- Dakeen and he from Qatar and he from Qasim-ibn-Abu Marra and he from Abu Tafeel and he from Ali and he from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) who said: "If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will appoint a person from my progeny to fill the earth with Justice just as it had been filled with oppression."
The author says: Abu Dawoud has mentioned this tradition in the same manner in his 'Sunan'. The author of the book "Manaqib as-Shafa'ee" has mentioned the afore-said tradition and then said:
The narrator has added the following sentence to this tradition and said: If there remains not more than a day from the 1ife of the earth, God will set the day so long until a person from my progeny who carries the same name as mine and whose father carries the same name as my father's name, appears and fills the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression.
The author says: Tirmidhi has narrated the afore-said tradition but not the sentence of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) saying: The name of Mahdi's father is the same as my father's name.
However Abu Dawoud has mentioned the afore-said sentence. In most of the traditions which are object of reliance of most of the experts (of traditions) and narrators, only this sentence can be found where the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) says: "His (i.e. Mahdi's) name is the same as mine." The sentence that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "His father's name is the same as my father's name" is an addition made by the narrator.
If the afore-said sentence happens to be correct it would mean that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has said: "The name of Mahdi's father is the same as my son, Hussein's name and his agnomen is Abu Abdullah.
He has set the agnomen as name so as to allusively speak of this fact that Mahdi would be from the progeny of Hussein and not from the progeny of Imam Hassan. It is (also) possible that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) must have said: "The name of Mahdi's father is the same as my son, Hassan's name." The name of Mahdi's father too was Hassan but the narrator has thought (???) (my son) to be (??) (my father) and hence changed it to (??). Thus it is necessary to interpret and explain this tradition in the manner which we have done so that perhaps we have mustered together all the traditions. This interpretation which was said with regards to the previously mentioned tradition is not correct. Rather, it should be interpreted in another manner and it is as follows:
Imam Ahmad, with his good recording and care in traditions, has mentioned the afore-said tradition in several places of his book 'Musnad' in this manner that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) only said: "Mahdi's name is the same as my name."
Abdul-Aziz-ibn-Muhammad Ansari has imputedly narrated from Zurra and he from Abdullah that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) said: "The world shall not be destroyed or rather said: The world shall not terminate until a person from my progeny who carries the same name as mine shall become the master amongst the Arabs."
In the book of "Manaqib-e-Mahdi", Hafez Abu Na'eem has narrated the ways of the afore-said tradition from a great number of people who have all narrated from Aasim-ibn-Abu Najwad and he from Zurra and he from Abdullah and he from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.). Amongst them we may speak of Sufyan-ibn- Amiya (as mentioned before) whose ways differ from that of Aasim. Amongst them is Qatar ibn -Khalifa whose ways too differ from that of Aasim.
Amongst them is A'mash whose ways differ from the ways of Aasim. Amongst them is Abu Ishaaq Sulaiman-ibn-Firuz Shaibani and his ways differ from that of Aasim. Amongst them is Hafas-ibn-Omar. Amongst them is Sufyan Sun whose ways differ from the ways of Aasim. Amongst them is Sh'uba whose ways too differ. Amongst them is Wasith-ibn-Harith. Amongst them is Yazid-ibn- Muawiya-Abu Shuaiba who possesses two ways. Amongst them is Sulaiman- ibn-Qaram whose way differs from that of Aasim. Amongst them are Jafar- Ahmar, Qais-ibn -Rabih, Sulaiman-ibn-Qaram and Esbath who have all been placed on one path. Amongst them is Salam Abu-Munzar.
Amongst them is Abu ShahabMuhammad-ibn-Ibrahim Kanani and his ways differ from that of Aasim. Amongst them is Omar-ibn-Ubaid than afasi whose ways differ from the ways of Aasim. Amongst them is Abu Bakr-ibn-Aiyaash whose ways differ from that of Aasim. Amongst them is Abul-Hejaf Dawoud Abul Auf) and his ways differ with the ways of Aasim. Amongst them is Uthman-ibn-Shabrama whose ways differ from that of Aasim. Amongst them is Abdul-Malik-ibn-Abu Ainaiya. Amongst them is Muhammad-ibn-Aiyaash who has narrated from Omar and Aameri and his ways are different. He has mentioned the chain of transmission and said: - Abu Ghesan has narrated from Qais but not narrated his connection. Amongst them is Amro-ibn-Qais Malavi. Amongst them is Ammaribn-Zarriq. Amongst them is Aishaan Abdullah-ibn-Hakim-ibn Jubair Asadi. Amongst them is Omar-ibn-Abdullah-ibn-Bashar. Amongst them is Abul-Ahwas. Amongst them is Saad-ibn-Hassan-ibn-Okht Tholaba.
Amongst them is Ma'az-ibn-Hisham who says: "My father narrated for me from Aasim." Amongst them is Yusuf-ibn-Yunus. Amongst them is Ghalib-ibn- Uthman. Amongst them is Hamza-ibn-Zaiyat. Amongst them is Shaiban.
Amongst them is Hakam-ibn-Hisham.
They have narrated the afore-said tradition from (other than Aasim) Zurra i.e. Omar-ibn-Marra and all the narrators have narrated that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "Mahdi's name is the same as my name" (but did not says: His father's name is the same as my father's name) with the exception of the tradition which Ubaidullah-ibn-Musa has narrated from the one who has made an addition in the afore-said tradition and narrated it from Aasim. Only the one who has made this addition in the tradition has narrated the afore-said sentence (as per the narrators) that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "His father's name is the same as my father's name". A wise person will not hesitate to conclude that this additional sentence lacks credibility, notwithstanding this fact that almost all the Sunni leaders have narrated against the afore-said sentence. Allah is All-knowing. The sayings of the author of "Al-Bayan-Fi-Akhbar Saheb-uz- Zaman" is completed.
The author says: The apparent expression of the book of "Al-Bayan-Fi- Akhbar Saheb-uz-Zaman" is this that Tirmidhi has not narrated this additional sentence. However previously, we understood the saying of the author of "Eqdud-Durar". What is evident from this book and the books of "Matalib-us- Su'ool" and "Fusul-ul-Muhimma" is this that Abu Dawoud,. Tirmidhi, Baihaqi, Abu Omar, Muqarri and Abu Na'eem have all narrated the afore-said additional the truth).
The author of "Matalib-us-Su'ool" says: If someone remonstrates and says: We agree that when these false attributes are discovered they would be a sign and proof. It would then become necessary to act upon them and prove them for the one who is endowed with them. However we do not believe that these signs and proofs could be applied to Khalaf-e-Saleh Muhammad because, amongst the false attributes, is the sign and proof that Mahdi's father should carry the same name as the Holy Prophet's father and Prophetic hadiths too (just as they have narrated) stipulates this matter. However, this attribute (i.e. Mahdi's father bearing the same name as the Holy Prophet's father) cannot be found in the existence of Mahdi because the name of Mahdi's father is Hassan and the name of the Holy Prophet's father is Abdullah.
What kind of a connection exists between Hassan and Abdullah? Therefore, this attribute which is only a part of the signs and proofs cannot be applied to Mahdi and when one part of the cause is not proved the entire cause too cannot be proved, since the rest of the attributes are not enough for proving this decree. This is because the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has not substantiated this decree except for the one in whom all the attributes (where one of them is the similarity of his father's name) is found and this matter cannot be true of 'Hujjat Khalaf'. Thus, this decree too cannot be applied to him and this problem or difficulty is a severe one. Before giving a detailed reply to this problem it is necessary to express two matters so that we may achieve our aim:
First: - In the Arabic language it is a common practice to apply the word of father for great ancestors. The Holy Quran too speaks of this matter and says:
(The faith of your, Ibrahim) Also, on behalf of Yusuf it says: (And I follow the religion of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishag…) The holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) too has clearly stipulated this matter as can be seen in the tradition of 'Me'raj' (ascension): the Holy Prophet (S.AW.A) asks: Who is this? He replied: 'Your father Ibrahim. Thus it can be observed that the word of (??) (father) is applied to forefathers.
Second: - 'Name' too is used instead of 'agnomen' and 'attribute' just as the eloquent speaking people have done so. This can be observed in tradition also where Bukhari and Muslim have narrated from Sahl-ibn-Saad Saa'edi who narrated from Ali (A.S.) that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) called Ali as 'Abu Turab' and did not call him by this name.
A poet too has pin - pointed this matter in the following poem: The words has also been narrated.
Thus this poet has used 'name' instead of agnomen and attribute and this rule is prevalent in the Arabic language.
Now that the two afore-mentioned matters have become clear know that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had two grandsons - One was Abu Muhammad (i.e. Hassan) and the other was Aba Abdullah (i.e. Hussein). Considering that Hujjat Khalaf-e-Saleh Muhammad was from the progeny of Aba Abdullah Hussein and not from the progeny of Abu Muhammad Hassan and the agnomen of Hussein is Aba Abdullah also, therefore the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has used the word of (name) [because of confronting for his father's right with in place of agnomen and used the word of(father) in place of grandfather. As if the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has said: Mahdi's name is the same as mine - He is Muhammad. I too am. Muhammad and the agnomen of Mahdi's great grandfather is the same as my father's name because Mahdi's great grandfather is Abu Abdullah and my father (too) is Abdullah. Hazrat explained in this manner so that these brief wordings could be comprehensive enough for explaining the attributes and he himself has had briefly announced that Mahdi is from the progeny of Aba Abdullah Hussein.
Therefore, (with this explanation) the afore-mentioned attributes have been put in order and all of them can be applied to Hujjat Khalaf-e-Saleh Muhammad (A.S.).
This explanation is good and sufficient enough to overcome this problem. So ponder over it. The author says: Apart from the reasons which the author of 'Al-Bayan' and Ibn-Thalha in Matalib-us-Su'ool have narrated there are other aspects too as follows: -
Firstly, Allama Majlisi in the beginning of the 13th Volume of his book 'Bihar-ul-Anwar' says: some of the contemporaries have said: With regard to the afore -said tradition there are other aspects too, like the fact that Imam Hassan Askari's agnomen was Abu Muhammad and Abdullah's (i.e. Hazrat Muhammad's father) agnomen was Abu Muhammad. Thus these two agnomens are in accord with each other and (amongst the Arabs too, just as it will come later on) the agnomen too is in the name. (I.e. the Arabs use agnomen instead of name).
Secondly, some of the contemporary learned scholars have said in the margin of the book of 'Al-Bayan' as such: The best reason in reply to this matter is to say that the wording of the tradition is perhaps in this manner: - Mahdi's name is the same as my name and my father's name. This is because many traditions (which can be seen in the book of 'Ghaibat') say: Mahdi possesses three names where one of them is Abdullah and the Holy Prophets father's name too was Abdullah. In some of the traditions, which was previously mentioned, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has said:
Mahdi's name is the same as my father's name. Moreover, on the subject matter of this tradition too, it has come that (the Holy Prophet) said: "Mahdi's name is the same as my name and my father's name.
The narrator, not grasping the meaning of the tradition and not even imagining that Mahdi (may Allah hasten his emergence) possesses two other names too, and wishing to have corrected the tradition (as per his own reflection) has added the afore-said sentence (Mahdi's name is the same as my father's name) to the tradition. Previously, we came to know that the afore-said tradition lacked any defect because Mahdi possesses three names. Thus it can be seen that the afore- mentioned tradition does not contradict our traditions in any way. This is the best reply and I have not found anyone replying in this manner although this reply appears to be clear and obvious.
Thirdly, the afore-said scholar in the margin of the afore-mentioned book says: It is possible that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) must have said: - "Mahdi's name is the same as mine and his son's name is the same as my father's name." This is because in some of the traditions the name of Mahdi's son has been mentioned to be Abdullah and in the third section of this book it will come that Mahdi's agnomen is Abu Abdullah. Thus a change has occurred and the word of (his son) has been converted to (his father).
Fourthly, Maula Muhammad Reza Imami Mudarres Khatoon Abadi a researcher and scholar writes in his book 'Jannat-ul-Khulud' (which contains all what one eye can enjoy and all what one desires) as such: "Our Master Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) has two names - One is Hassan and the other Abdullah. On the basis of the saying of this scholar, the problem is solved and is in accord with the tradition of Abu Dawoud and all other traditions. Although some of the subject - matter of the book of 'Jannat-ul-Khulud' is confined to the book itself yet its author is a person who is a scholar as well as a researcher and perhaps God may enlighten us through his reference and sayings.
Allama Sayed Shahabuddin Najafi who is one of the spiritual leaders of Qum narrated for me as such: "The Qazvini scholar, Agha Razi'uddin (may his dust be fragrant) has mentioned under 'Qurrat-ul-Aafaaq' the same as that which the author of 'Jannat-ul-Khulud' has mentioned.
The conclusion that we can derive from these traditions is this that the most preferable reply would be to stick to one of the following:
(1) The chain of transmission of this tradition (i.e. the Holy Prophet saying: Mahdi's father carries the same name as my father's name) appears to be weak because, it comprises such men who are not reliable and authentic. Rather, they belong to the unknown group. On the contrary, they are those people who are famous as the fabricators of traditions. If there was no one amongst them except the (i.e. the one who is amongst the narrators of this tradition) suffice it was to render this tradition weak.
(2) The text of this tradition is upseting because Imam Ahmad Hanbal has narrated the same tradition in his 'Musnad' (just as it can be seen in "Eqdud- Durar") without mentioning the saying of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) that "the name of Mahdi's father is the same as my father's name."
(3) This tradition has been narrated by Abu Dawoud (who is the original one) in different ways. This is because some have narrated this tradition along with the afore-said sentence while others have narrated without this sentence from Abu Dawoud.
(4) This tradition is opposite and contrary to the numerous traditions which, from the viewpoint of chain of transmission are more authentic and from the view-point of expression are more manifest.
Rather, this tradition is contradicting a number of other traditions.
(5) If this tradition is interpreted in either of the above four ways (which have been interpreted against its apparent form and to me is inconceivable) it is still better than rejecting it outright.
The author of "Nurul-Absar" says: - 'Mahdi's father was Abu Muhammad Khales-ibn-Ali Hadi-ibn-Muhammad Jawad-ibn-Ali Ridha. Mahdi's mother was a slave-girl who was called Nargis and as per some other saying she was called as Seegal and still as per some other saying she was called as Susan. About Imam Hassan Askari he says: 'His mother was a slave-girl who was named as Susan.
The author says: "The truth is that Imam Hassan Askari's mother was called as 'Hadees' and what is well-known is this that Susan was one of the names of Mahdi's mother."
The author of Matalib-us-Su'ool says: "Mahdi's father was Hassan Khales- ibn-Ali Mutawakkil-ibn -Muhammad Qaneh-ibn-Ali Ridha... His mother was a slave-girl named as Seegal and as per some other saying was called as Hakimah."
The author says: "I do not know who has said this because, the woman by the name of Hakimah was the daughter of Abu Jafar Hazrat Jawad and aunt of Mahdi's father and she was present at the time of Mahdi's birth."