IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL
SAYYED DILDAAR HUSSAIN ZAIDI, NOVEMBER 2004
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The Bahai Doubt


The Bahais after the issue of the name of the respected mother of Imam Mahdi (as) go one step ahead and in their shamelessness try to raise a doubt about the birth of Imam Mahdi (as). They claim that only two narrators reported the birth of a son named Mohammed to Imam Hasan Askari (as) - one, the daughter of Imam Mohammed Taqi (as) and the aunt of Imam Askari (as), Janabe Hakeema Khatoon, and the other, Uqaid, the slave of Imam Askari (as).

Our response - The Shiah Viewpoint


Before delving into the actual incident of the birth of the Imam, we must probe books of history and pay attention to the reason why Imam Hasan Askari (as) was titled "Askari." The explanation is that Imam Hasan Askari (as) was placed under house arrest by the government in a military cantonment which is called "Askar." The hostile circumstances necessitated that the Shiahs met the Imam under the pretence of selling oil or other items. Hence it is difficult to estimate that there would have been many people who witnessed the birth of Imam Mahdi (as).

Even today, under normal circumstances, we do not find many witnesses to the birth of a child. At best there is a mid-wife or in the 21st century, a doctor and a nurse who help with the delivery of the child. These would be the witnesses to the actual birth of a child.

If in todays's modern world, there are just two witnesses - the doctor and the nurse to a child's birth, is it not too much to expect that 1,100 years ago there would be many witnesses to the birth of the Holy Imam (as)?

Even in the case of Mirza Ali Mohammed Bab, Bahaullah, Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi, we would not find more than one witness to their births. The Bahais are in a better position to throw some more light on this issue.

Notwithstanding this, the most reliable witness to such events is history which is consistent and can be referred to at any time. For your information, there are more than 120 historians who have reported the birth of Imam Mahdi (as) - all of whom passed away prior to the birth of the Bahai Faith.

This doubt and suspicion raised by the Bahais is baseless and not worthy of discussion. Yet for the sake of my readers, I consider it my duty to inform you that Allamah Majlisi (ar) has brought the names of atleast 18 reporters who narrated the incident of the birth of Imam Mahdi (as). The reports of some of them are given below. These reports are an evidence for the birth of Imam Mahdi (as) in the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as) and testify that it was discouraged to address the Imam Mahdi (as) by his name.

The first report - Mo'allah bin Mohammed narrates that he received a tauqee from Imam Hasan Askari (as) on the occasion of the death of Zubayri. The Imam wrote, "Such is the end of those who seek to falsify the friends of Allah. He (Zubayri) desired to kill me with the intention of terminating my lineage. See how Allah demonstrated his power that the birth of the Hujjat has taken place"
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 3, old ed.)

The second report - Ahmed Ibne Qummi reports that he received a letter from Imam Hasan Askari (as) in which he wrote, "A son has been born to me. His birth has been kept hidden. I have only reported it to only my close companions."

The third report - Abul Hasan Imam Ali Naqi (as) told his sister Hakeema Khatoon that "O daughter of the Holy Prophet (saw), you take her (Janabe' Narjis) to your house and teach her the rituals and obligations for surely she is the wife of Imam Hasan Askari (as) and the mother of Hazrat Qaem (as)."

The fourth report - Ibrahim Ibne Mohammed reports from Naseem, the slave girl of Imam Hasan Askari (as). I presented myself before the Imam (as) just two days after the birth of Imam Mahdi (as). When I sneezed in his presence, he (Imam Mahdi (as)) said "Yarhamuk Allah" (May Allah have mercy upon you)
(Ref: Behar volume 51, page 5)

The fifth report - Naseem and Mariya, the slave girls of Imam Hasan Askari (as) unanimously reported that when Imam Mahdi (as) was born, he knelt on the ground and his hands were raised towards the heavens. Then he sneezed and said, "Alhamdo Lillahe' Rabbil Aalameen" (All praises are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds)
(Ref: Behar volume 51, page 4)

The sixth report - Abu Ghanim narrates that a son was born to Abu Mohammed Imam Hasan Askari (as) who he named M-H-M-D. On the third day, he presented his son to his close companions with the words, "This is your master after me and the leader for you all. This is the son who will be awaited. When the earth will be rife with injustice, he will reappear and fill the earth with justice."
(Ref: Behar volume 51, page 5)

Imam Askari (as) has clearly indicated that he will fill the earth with justice - in his lifetime and not that people will await justice after his passing away. This is extremely relevant in our argument against the Bahais who are currently awaiting justice despite the passing away of the Bab more than 150 years ago.

The seventh report - Abu Nasr Khadem narrates that I presented myself before Imam Mahdi (as). He sought some red sandalwood from me which I duly provided. He asked, "Do you recognise me?" I replied, "You are my master and the son of my master" The narration continues and ends with the words of Imam Mahdi (as), "I am the seal of the vicegerents"
(Ref: Behar volume 52, page 30)

The eighth report - Ibrahim, the companion of Imam Hasan Aksari (as) reports that Imam Hasan Askari (as) sent me four male sheep with the following letter, "In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent. These are from my son, Mahdi (as). Eat them and share them with our Shiahs as well."
(Ref: Behar volume 51, page 22)

The ninth report - Ahmed bin Ishaq narrates that Imam Hasan Askari (as), his face was radiant like the full moon, brought forward a child whose age was about 3 years on his shoulders and said, "I would never have disclosed this to you but for my respect for you. This is my son, with the same name and the kuniyat (agnomen) as the Holy Prophet (saw)."
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 112, old ed.)

The tenth report - Ibrahim bin Idrees narrates, Imam Hasan Askari (as) sent me two male sheep and wrote, "In the name of Allah. Consider these from your master and after completing the Aqeeqa (an Islamic ritual after the birth of a child), eat them and share them with your brothers as well."
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 7, old ed.)

The eleventh report - Hamza bin Nasr narrates the following from his father. On the occasion of the birth, the house was filled with celebrations. As the child grew up, I was ordered to purchase bones filled with marrow along with meat. I was told that this was for the young master.
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 7, old ed.)

The twelfth report - Hussain bin Ali reports, "I presented myself before Imam Hasan Askari (as) in Samarrah to congratulate him on the birth of his son."
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 6, old ed.)

The thirteenth report - Ismail bin Ali Kubakhshi reports, "Imam Mahdi (as) offered a brewed medicine to his father Imam Hasan Askari (as). Then he helped him wth his ablution for namaz. The father (Imam Hasan (as)) who was unwell said, Congratulations! You will be the Imam of the Age after me"
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 110, old ed.)

The fourteenth report - Ahmed bin Abdullah Hashemi narrates, I visited the house of Imam Hasan Askari on the event of his death. His bier was taken out of the house. We were 39 men waiting there. Suddenly we saw a fully grown youth who was bearing a cloak. We were in awe of his presence. Then we recited the namaz (which is recited for the dead) behind him.
(Ref: Behar volume 13, page 110, old ed.)

Conclusion


In addition to the above reports, there are innumerable other narrations which report the birth of Imam Mahdi (as). I have not brought them here for the sake of brevity. I hope that it is now sufficiently proved for my readers that the argument for the birth of Imam Mahdi (as) does not rest only on the witnesses of Hakeema Khatoon and the slave Uqaid. Even if these witnesses were ignored, the above arguments will conclusively prove that the birth of Imam Mahdi (as) took place in the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as) in Samarrah.

Detractors may yet point out that in all the narrations, the child - Imam Mahdi (as) was revealed to the narrators by Imam Hasan Askari (as), hence all the narrations are from a single source. Our categorical response to this is that the birth of a child is always announced by the father or members of the house and not by any other person. In this case, the event was announced just so. Consider the circumstances surrounding the birth of Imam Mahdi (as) - the paternal grandfather had expired. The child's uncle was busy staking his own claim to the Imamate and the question of the maternal grandparents announcing the birth does not arise as, given that the mother was a slave girl, they were absent. In any case, the paternal grandfather, Imam Ali Naqi (as) had prophecised the birth of this child - Imam Mahdi (as) earlier.

In addition, during the period of Ghaybate' Sughra (the Lesser Occultation), the letters written by the people (who wrote them without ink for fear of the authorities, giving an impression of a blank paper) and routed to the Imam (as) through his deputies and subsequently receiving the correct response is an irrefutable indication of the birth of the Holy Imam (as).

During the period of Ghaybate' Sughra (the Lesser Occultation) many had the opportunity to meet Imam Mahdi (as). Even in the period of Ghaybate' Kubra (the Major Occultation), there are innumerable incidents wherein people not just met, but also received help at the hands of the Hidden Imam (as). These incidents prove not only the birth, but also the continued existence of the Imam (as).

I would like to conclude by saying that despite these proofs, if a person does not accept the birth of Imam Mahdi (as), then for such people I quote these verses,

"How can they see the brilliance of the Mahdi, when their helpless eyes cannot perceive the shining sun?"

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