Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin

Researcher of Political Science & Classical Islam. Initiated by the Khwajagan i-Naqshband.

Guidance for the Preplexed Regarding the Identity of Saheb uz-Zaman Imam al-Mahdi alaihi salam By Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin



Q. What is your opinion about one accepting belief in Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, but also saying the Mahdi is not the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan al-‘Askari radiAllahu anhu, rather is another individual who will be known as “Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah al-Hasani”?  Which is the correct belief?

A. It is incorrect. Belief in “Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Hasani” as al-Mahdi is in contradiction with the Hadith Al-Ithna Ashar Khalifah which is a Sahih Hadith referenced in both Sunni and Shia sources from at least 37 chains of narrators in over 100 hadiths, that there will only be twelve caliphs/Imams (successors) after the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alayhi wa  aalihi wa sallam all of whom are from Quraysh. In light of this hadith, Muslims identify the Twelve Imams of Ahl al-Bayt as the successors of the Prophet mentioned in the ahadith.  Every Sufi Order on earth is traced through at least the first eight.  The remaining three are in the ancestral chains of the Khwajagan – Ghawth al Adham Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, founder of the Qadiri Sufi Order and a descendant maternally from Imam Muhammad al-Taqi, Qutb al-Din Mawdud Chishti, founder of the Chishti Order, paternally is a descendant of Imam ‘Ali an-Naqi, Baha al-Din Shah Naqshband Bukhari, founder of the Naqshbandi Order, paternally is a descendant of Imam Hasan al-‘Askari.  Also, according to some Chishti’s Sultan ul-Hind Khwaja Moin al-Din Chishti was a descendant of the twelfth imam Muhammad al-Mahdi ibn Hasan al-Askari.

If one accept the hypothesis of “Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Hasani” as Mahdi, we are saying one of the following things:

A. There are in fact thirteen caliphs not twelve
B. The twelfth caliph Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi ibn Hasan al-Askari radiAllahu anhu was in fact not an imam
C. This thirteenth caliph will not be an imam
D. The hadith of the Al-Ithna Ashar Khalifah does not apply to the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt – even though they have been identified as the source of all Wiliyah and are found in every Sufi lineage on earth.

As such we can logically conclude this is a wrong belief and the identity of the Imam named Muhammad al-Mahdi is in fact Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Askari radiAllahu ‘anhu.  According to the narrations relating to the statements of the Holy Prophet (s), after the Twelve Imams come twelve Mahdis from the sons of Husayn, but these will not be Imams, rather followers of the Twelve Imams and guides (Muhtadun) to their love (al-Mawaddat fil Qurba). After the twelve Mahdis, the Hidden Imam emerges, and after him seven new Mahdis reign from his dynasty.
Wa minallahi tawfiq. 

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