A Glance At the Concocted Traditions

It is an indisputable fact of Islam that a noble man of the highest caliber, from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) and offspring of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (S.A.) will appear in the last era of the world, defunct religion, establish justice and equity and purge the world from all evils. All the sects of Islam unanimously agree that this major upheaval will be known as 'the Revolution of Mahdi.

Verily the Sunni traditionalists have adorned and embellished their books with the detailed narration of this glorious revolution. Of course there is a difference of opinion in their view point regarding his pedigree like some say that he is the immediate son and successor of Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.),

while others opine that he is from the offspring of Imam Hasan al- Mujtaba (A.S.), still others think that he is from the generation of Imam Husain (A.S.). There are a few who falter that he will belong to Abbasid lineage. Some of them believe that he was born in 255 A.H. and others are adamant that he is yet to take birth.

Some predict that he will reappear from Holy Mecca, while some forecast that he will arrive from Khurasan there are also some who assert that he will rise from 'the far west'. There are some pedantic scholars who out of their shallow and scant knowledge arbitrated that Mahdi and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) are one and the same person. Precisely speaking according to them, Mahdi is none else but Hazrat Isa (A.S.).

Such different and discordant narrations have stemmed from those contradictory traditions which are recorded in various books. It is deplorable, indeed such fabricated and concocted traditions have slowly and gradually penetrated into the books of Ahle-Sunnat traditionalists. From the historical view point it is evident that such traditions were fabricated by those imposters who claimed to be 'Mahdi' and have attracted hordes of naive followers. Some of the renowned Sunni scholars and traditionalists have admitted to the rampant fabrication of traditions in their books viz Ibn Jauzi in 'Al-Mauzoo'aat', Zahabi in 'Meezanul Etedaal', Ibn Araq in 'Al-Ahadithuz-Zaeefa wal-Mauzoo'ah'.

In this brief article, such concocted and fabricated traditions will be discussed, their authenticity scrutinized and their truth exposed. 1. Ibn Majah Qazveeni in his 'Sahih' narrates from Anas bin Malik who relates from the. Holy Prophet (S.A.) that:

"Mahdi is none else but Jesus, the son of Mary."

Which purports that the Mahdi of Islam is Hazrat Isa (A.S.). None of the scholars of Ahle-Sunnat have accepted this concept (that Isa is Mahdi) because this tradition contradicts various other traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) which are authentic and continuous. Particularly those traditions in which the Holy Prophet (S.A.) has said that 'He will be from my progeny and from the offspring of Fatema (S.A.)'.

The noted celebrity of Ahle-Sunnat, Imam Qurtubbi (exp. 671 A.H.) in his famous exegesis of Quran i.e. 'At-Tazkera fi Umuril Akhera' has declared that it is a weak tradition because in the reliable traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) it is clearly mentioned that he will be from his own lineage, from the children of Fatema (S.A.). These traditions are much more authentic and reliable than the one in question. Hence the verdict will be based on the most authentic traditions rather than the weaker ones.

Such objections are raised by other Sunni stalwarts too. Like Ibn Qayyim in fiftieth chapter of Al-MunarAl-MunifFil-HadithAs-Sahih waz-Zaeef. And according to Baihaqi, the narrators of this tradition are unknown or unreliable.Also the sequence of tradition is not consistent but is lost from some where in between. This tradition is one of the single reports of Mohammad bin Khalid Junaidi.

Zahabi in his Meezanul-Etedaal in third volume, Pg. No. 535 has decisively stated that Mohammad bin Khalid is an unknown narrator and the traditions related by him are not acceptable. More or less similar thing is indicted by another great scholar Abul HasanAaburi in 'Manaqibush-Shafei'.

However the unreliability of narrators and incorrect contents of the traditions prove that it is a spurious tradition. But despite all such inherent weaknesses some of the Sunni scholars like Ibn Kathir and Qurtubbi have made efforts to prove it a correct tradition by whimsical interpretations and fragile justifications.

They have asserted that the Mahdi does not imply a particular person but it is used in its literal sense which means 'guided'. Thus Hazrat Isa (A.S.) is the best guided person though this meaning is not correct in itself. Those things which are pertinent to this tradition like the events and conditions of last era, commotion and distraught which will be ubiquitous refute this justification were given in order to maintain the credibility of the book i.e. Sunane-Ibn Majah because it is claimed that all the traditions in the book are correct and authentic.

  1. Ibn Asakir from the third Caliph Usman bin Affaan and he had related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :

"The Mahdi is from the progeny of my uncle Abbas",

means 'Mahdi will be from Bani Abbas. In this context Hafiz Mohibuddeen Tabari in his 'Zak-haerul-Uqba' Pg. 206 has quoted on the authority of Hafiz Sahmi, who quoted from Ibn Abbas who related from Holy Prophet (S.A.) that: 'Once the Holy Prophet (S.A.) addressed him thus : "Mahdi will be from your offspring who will disseminate guidance and quell deviations. Allah the Almighty commenced His religion from me and will culminate it on your progeny."

Muhibuddeen Tabari has quoted two more traditions from Abu Huraira and from Abdus-Samad of similar contents. Besides this, Abul Faraj Isfahan! has quoted from a courtier scholar of Bani Abbas namely Qati bin Abbas in his book 'Al-Aghani'(Vol. 12, Pg. 81), a tradition ascribed to Holy Prophet (S.A.) without mentioning the chain of narrators.

All these traditions are supporting the notion that Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) will be from the lineage of Abbas, the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S.A.). In other terms he will be from Bani Abbas. But if a person is scantily aware of the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.) in this regard then he can infer on his own that it is a concocted and an unscrupulously fabricated tradition. Such few traditions are starkly contradictory to those authentic and continuous traditions which abound the books of traditions. Such as :

"Mahdi will descend from my lineage from the offspring of Fatema."

It was this reason that such a great Sunni scholar like Dar Qutni has objected to the former tradition and thus commented :

"This is a weird and queer tradition related only by the slave of Bani Hashim namely Mohammad bin Walid."

As it was hinted earlier that historically these were the product of claimants to attract the laymen towards themselves and gain their sympathies. As a further step they entitled Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Ali as 'Mahdi'. They distorted the religion of Holy Prophet (S.A.) for their greed of rule for few days in this transient world. Qazi Luqman bin Mohammad has hinted towards such heinous vices of Bani Abbas in his eulogy.

"The time when gems were compared to their like. Similarly Mohammad bin Abdullah was entitled as "Mahdi'.This Mohammad bin Abdullah bin Ali Abbasi is a wretched transgressor. If mere similarity in names was sufficient then every man named as 'Ahmed'would have been a Prophet. Alas! every name is not like its named ones. And ignorance made them dumb and blind ."

This is not the only attempt to dupe and deceive the common populace but there are numerous such instances which are cited over here. 3. Tirmizi in his 'Sahih' has quoted from 'Zaeda', he narrated from 'Aasem' and in turn he quoted from 'Zar', who narrated it from Abdullah bin Masud who related from the Holy Prophet (S.A.) that :

"If a solitary day is left from the eve of doomsday then Allah will prolong that day to such an extent that a man from my progeny will rise. Whose name will be my name and his father's name will be my father's name. He will fill the world with justice and equity as it would be filled with injustice and oppression."

The contents of this tradition are continuous and reliable according to Shia and Sunni scholars. It has been narrated in various ways. The thing which has made this narration of Tirmizi skeptical are those words which are not quoted in other authentic hooks. In other books the phrase of 'his father's name is the same as my father's, is not recorded they all have recorded only 'his name will be same as mine'.

This doubt holds ground when we notice the name of 'Zaeda' in the chain of narrators, which according to Sunni scholars of 'Rejal' is not reliable and adds more words in the concept of traditions. Because that chain of narrators where Zaeda's name is not there and only namesof Aasem, Zar, Abdullah bin Masud are mentioned then addition of 'his father's name is same as that of my father' is not seen. But all have sufficed upto 'his name will be same as mine.

This point requires special attention that Tirmizi whose book is enumerated among Sehah Sittah has narrated the same tradition elsewhere but has not narrated this addition (i.e. his father's name will be my father's name) over there . Similarly in the ranks of traditionalists Ahmed bin Hanbal is accorded precedence over Ibn Majah. Ahmed ibn Hanbal in his 'Musnad' has recorded the same tradition at four places but even for once he has not mentioned this addition'. (Vol. 1, Pg. 377, 430, 448)