By Ibrahim Usman
Sheikh Zakzaky (H) extends facilitations to the Muslim Ummah on the auspicious birth of Imam Mahdi (AF), born on Friday, 15th Sha’aban 255 AH. The Programme took place at Husainiyyah Baqiyatullah Zaria on Satruday the 15th of Shaban 1435(13/6/14).
Birthday of Imam of the Age, he said, is strange to some people here and for some reasons people dispute or doubt it. Mahdi is known to all segments of the Muslim Ummah as the Awaited Saviour. It is a very well known phenomenon. But his birthday is strange to them; we therefore talk to them base on their level of conception and capacity of comprehension.
The Qur’an clearly tells us the story on the birth of Prophet Isa (AS), to our level of comprehension in a logical sequence that is acceptable to our reason. According to Qur’an, Maryam has known no man, contrary to the Biblical narration. The birth of Prophet Isa (AS) is well known to us as taught us by Allah in the holy Qur’an. She was chaste and never married in her life. Isa was born without a father. Isa (AS) will come back and live a normal life in this; he world would die a natural death. All these are normal and accepted by Muslims.
The issue of Mahdi was covered by those who imposed themselves on the people in disobedience to the Holy Prophet’s Will. His antecedent was buried for his parents are the A’imma (AS). Banu Umayyah are clear example who imposed on the people that Imam Ali (AS) killed Uthman, they therefore went for revenge. The Ummayds therefore ruled based on false claims and fabrications. The scholars of that time and people knew it was untrue. Banu Abbas also based their rule on false claim of avenging the blood of Hussain (AS).
The house detention of the 11th Imam was deliberate to stop the arrival of Imam Mahdi, the Awaited Saviour. The night of the birth of Imam Mahdi (AF), Friday 15th Sha’ban was known to them through chains of Hadith of the A’imma. They sent spies and soldiers across the town to find out the child to be borne that night so that they kill him. Update on the issue was brought to the Caliph at regular intervals, but there was no news on the birth. The Caliph was not comfortable, as he knew the birth was inevitable. He therefore ordered for the killing of Imam Askari (AS). The Imam had secret disciple that send out his messages. He secretly told them of the birth of Imam Mahdi (AF), as their next Imam and Saviour of the world.
The Imam Mahdi was born pure and circumcised. When he was brought to his father, he placed his hand on him and asked him to proclaim. Imam Mahdi proclaimed the unity of Allah, Prophet hood of Muhammad, Wilaya of Ali and other A’imma and his Imamate.
Imam Askari brought the child before his secret disciples, unknown to everybody. The caliphate began hearing rumour of the message of the Imam that was born unknown to the people as the Awaited Saviour. Just as how after the crucifixion, Prophet Isa (AS) appeared only to his secret disciples for fear of being killed. It was the same situation with Imam Mahdi (AAF). The Caliphate became certain that the Awaited Saviour was born, but to reach him was impossible. The Caliphate therefore barred people from narrating his true story. The Imam had secret disciples that transmit his messages to the people. They were scholars of high repute, teaching people but were not known to be disciples of the Imam (AF).
No matter the level of comprehension of people regarding the concept of Imam Mahdi (AF), there is a well known Hadith that, whoever dies without knowing the Imam of his time, dies the death of Jahiliyyah. It is also narrated that whoever dies without allegiance to Imam of his time, dies death of Jahiliyyah.
The area of contention is the longevity of Imam Mahdi (AF) as a living soul. This is no surprise as Prophet Yunus (AS)S, as Allah said, if he had not been among ardent servant of Allah, he would have lived in the belly of the whale for an unspecified period of time. Nothing is impossible to Allah.
After sunset prayers and brake fast, the leader spoke further on the long awaited savior of Humanity. He expressed he will reappear at a time when God permits him- a time when Allah promises to fulfill the earth with his religion and justice. It is the promise of God and it will come to pass. He further said the Imam is alive and is the one running the affairs of his followers.
The Leader also explained the acts of devotion expected of his followers during the time of Imam Mahdi(AJ)’s occultation. They include nudba prayers, ziyara, special prayers, standing when his name is mentioned and intercession with his name. others include charity and organizing or attending gatherings especially the mourning of Imam Husain(AS). Avoiding sins altogether is a necessary condition, the Sheikh said.