1) According to 43:19-22, claims about an issue of Ghayb must be verified by asking if those who believe it had seen it with their own eyes, or had a Divine scripture in which it was mentioned. The belief in Imam al-Mahdī fulfills neither of these criteria and is thus not valid.
2) To say that Hadith mentions the existence of Imam al-Mahdī is problematic because;
1) The Quran in Sura Zukhruf, verses 19-22 says that any claim about the Ghayb (hidden world) has a 2-step verification test.
The issue discussed in these verses is when the disbelievers claimed that angels are female.
Did the disbelievers see the angels being created so they would know they are female?
The claim that angels are females fails this verification test. The Quran condemns those who make and accept such wild assumptions and claims. It says that people who believe such claims usually use the excuse that they found their forefathers following those beliefs and they did too.
When we test the claim about Imam al-Mahdī with the same 2-step verification we see that;
2) Some hadith mention that the Prophet made a prophecy about the coming of Imam Mahdī. There are a few problems with that;
Approximate date of talk: September 2021
1) In Surah Zukhruf, Allah has given criteria for us to test claims about the Ghayb or unseen. This was in the context of the disbelievers claiming that angels were female (in a negative context).
Some people use this verification test and apply it to the birth of Imam Mahdī because the claim of Imam al-Mahdī is a claim about Ghayb. They say that since no one from us witnessed Imam Mahdī’s birth (given a very long gap of over 1000 years) and it is not clearly mentioned in the Quran, nor does it have mutawātir narrations, it is a false claim.
Flaws in the argument:
2a) Bukhārī himself has confessed that not all authentic hadith are mentioned in his book nor in Sahīh Muslim. Therefore, the mention of an event in Bukhārī or Muslim is not sufficient criteria to prove whether it happened or not, given that many hadith books after Bukhārī and Muslim have authentic narrations not mentioned previously.
Moreover, Bukhārī and Muslim filtered their books very much to exclude the virtues and mention of the Ahlul Bayt and Imams. He has not even used their names as narrators of the Prophet’s Hadith. The only times he used the Ahlul Bayt as narrators was to defame the Ahlul Bayt (i.e., Imam Ali asked Abu Jahl for his daughter’s hand in marriage and Bibi Fatima was jealous or that Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn narrated that once Imam Ali and Bibi Fatima slept in and missed Fajr).
2b). With a historical event, you look at historical evidence which is present for Imam Mahdī’s birth. There were eyewitnesses that witnessed the Birth of Imam al-Mahdī.
2c) Indirectly, the birth of Imam al-Mahdī is also mentioned in Bukhārī and Muslim; It has a hadith of the Prophet which says – The glory of Islam will be maintained so far as my 12 successors rule and all of them will be from the Quraysh (my progeny). If you ask any Sunni scholar who these 12 are, they will not be able to name 12 caliphs from their interpretation. The only possible 12 caliphs then are the 12 Imams.
Approximate date of talk – October 2021
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