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... Some scholars (who have judged on the basis of the external meanings of the hadith) have fallen into doubt looking at the external meaning of those accounts and hadith. They have either denied their truth or else have attributed a nonsensical meaning to them (as if literally describing the impossible), and thus inflict harm (through such metaphysical speculation) on Muslims' faith. (Kastamonu Addendum, p. 80)

Bediuzzaman has said that analogical or figurative hadith about such entities of the End Times as the Prophet Jesus (as), Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the Dajjal need to be explained by having their figurative elements clarified.  Otherwise, he says, some supposed scholars ignore these hadiths' figurative meanings and fall into doubt through considering their superficial significance alone or else reject the hadith entirely. Such supposed scholars misinterpret the subject of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), and this causes Muslims lacking in sufficient knowledge of the matter to go astray, as well.

The fact is, however, that the Prophet's (saas) hadith on all aspects of Hazrat Mahdi's (as) life are of such a kind as to be accessible to reason and logic.  When examined in the light of the information in the Qur'an and other accounts, those accounts on the subject that are figurative or analogical can also be explained in such a way as to leave no doubt as to the coming of the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as).

In the verses of the Qur'an, Muslims are shown how they should interpret such hadith. We are told that people asked about the Prophet (saas), "Why has an angel not been sent down to him'?" (Surat al-An'am, 8) But no angel was ever seen at the Prophet's (saas) head saying, "This person is a prophet."

The same thing applies to Hazrat Mahdi (as). One of the analogical hadith about Hazrat Mahdi (as) is as follows:

"There will be a cloud just above his head. There will be an angel there who will cry out 'This is Hazrat Mahdi (as), follow him'..." (Abu Nuaym)

A cloud will appear above Hazrat Mahdi's (as) head. An angel will cry out from that cloud: "O People, Allah has chosen the most auspicious of the community of Muhammad as your imam and has sent a caliph (spiritual leader). Make haste to join him. He is in Mecca. He is Hazrat Mahdi (as)."

The cloud mentioned in the hadith is not one that people will be able to see. In the figurative sense, it is a cloud visible to the world of the angels and the djinn. The appearance of such a thing is not beyond the comprehension of angels or djinn. As revealed in other hadith of our Prophet (saas), Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the Mahdi of angels and djinn, as well as of human beings. Allah has sent Hazrat Mahdi  (as) as a blessing to three separate worlds. This description is therefore aimed at the world of the djinn, and especially that of the angels. And such a situation is a valid incident for them. When the event described in the hadith takes place and an angel cries out the tidings of Hazrat Mahdi (as), other angels will heed that call, as revealed in other hadith, and will also assist Hazrat Mahdi (as). The hadith of our Prophet (saas) on the subject read:

... Allah will send three thousand angels to help him [Hazrat Mahdi (as)]. (Naim ibn Hammad)
Allah will support him [Hazrat Mahdi(as)] with three thousand angels. (Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, Ahmad bin Hajar Makki, p.41)

It is therefore most important that these hadith should not be interpreted in terms of their superficial meaning. Because it is clear that what is being referred to here is not "an angel appearing in a cloud and speaking to people, and introducing them Hazrat Mahdi (as)." No such thing has ever happened with our Prophet (saas) or any other prophet. The prophets also have never been one hundred percent certain that they are angels; they have always appeared in the form of beautiful human beings.  If such a miracle were to take place, everyone would believe unconditionally, accept Hazrat Mahdi (as) and feel no doubts of any kind. But such a thing is completely opposed to the law of Allah, as revealed in the Qur'an. Because if such a thing were to happen regarding Hazrat Mahdi (as), the "test" created for human beings in this world would be eliminated and that, according the Qur'an, is impossible.

For that reason, and just as with our Prophet (saas), Hazrat Mahdi (as) must not be expected to appear with characteristics that exceed human powers of comprehension. Like all human beings, Hazrat Mahdi is a servant subject to the law of Allah and to the test. Like all the guides to salvation, Allah has strengthened Hazrat Mahdi (as) both physically and mentally, and made him superior to the great majority of people in terms of faith, moral values, intellect and wisdom. However, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not appear by working miracles as some scholars mistakenly suppose. Muslims will recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as) from the physical features described in the hadith, from his superior qualities, from his being instrumental in Islamic moral values prevailing across the world, from his freeing the world from atheism, materialism and Darwinism, from his performing the prayer (namaz) together with the Prophet Jesus (as), and from the whole world enjoying love, peace, security and happiness, in other words, from Allah assisting him in this blessed duty.



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