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


There are discrepancies about the date of Imam Mahdi's birth. If his birth is a fact of history then there cannot be scope for multiple dates of birth.

Our response - The Shiah Viewpoint


  1. First and foremost, different dates for the same event cannot be a pointer to the fact that the event never occurred. If anything, they indicate that the event did occur, only certain historians report dates that are different from the widely reported date.

  2. Any student of history will tell you that reporting of different dates for an event is common place. Does that mean that all such events of history never occurred?

  3. Discrepancy in birth dates are not restricted to just Imam Mahdi (as), even personalities like Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Hazrat Esa (as) to name a few, have more than one reported date of birth. In fact, in Hazrat Esa's (as) case, there are differences in the year of his birth. That does not mean that he never existed.

  4. Even a Bahai personality like Shoghi Effendi born a little over 100 years ago has more than one reported date of birth. If a discrepancy related to an event that is so fresh in history is acceptable to the Bahais, then I fail to understand why Imam Mahdi's (as) birth (nearly 1,200 years ago) should set the alarm bells ringing.

  5. With reference to Imam Mahdi (as) it should surprise no one that there was a shroud secrecy surrounding his birth. Only the very na´ve and ignorant can demand that his birth should have been evident like the sun. Since his father - Imam Hasan Askari (as) revealed the incidence of Imam Mahdi (as) birth selectively to his companions over several months, some companions understood that day (when the Imam informed them of the birth) as the date of Imam Mahdi's (as) birth. Some very close companions who were in the know of the exact date have reported 15th Shabaan 255 Hijri. Others have reported the date according to their assumption. The multiple dates being reported for Imam Mahdi's (as) birth is a pointer to the large number of companions who were informed about the event. It is certainly not an indication of the birth being a fictitious incident.

  6. Several traditions indicate Imam Mahdi's (as) birth will be concealed much like that of Hazrat Moosa (as) and Hazrat Ibrahim (as). There are entire chapters in the most reliable books (Kafi, Kamaluddin, Beharul Anwaar) devoted to how Imam Mahdi's (as) birth is similar to that of past prophets. To cite an instance; there is a tradition in Kamaluddin by Shaikh Sadooq (Chapter 4: Ghaibat of Ibrahim (as), vol. 1, pg. 138), on how Janabe Nargis Khatoon (s.a.) did not even have signs of pregnancy much like Hazrat Ibrahim's (as) mother when Namrood's soldiers came to check for the presence of an infant in the house.

  7. In addition, out of the universally accepted 124,000 prophets sent by God, the names of less than 100 are known to us. Of these the birthdates of not more than about 10 are known. And in these too, there are are differences. Can any sane person say that these prophets did not exist just because of the differences in their birthdates. For the other prophets, even their names are not known? Did they not exist?

  8. Readers can also refer to my article, The birth of Imam Mahdi (as) for more references on this topic.

Conclusion


The position of the Bahais is compromised if it is proved sufficiently that it is Mohammed Ibnil Hasan (as) and not the Bab who is the true Mahdi. My readers may wonder what the Bahais hope to achieve by raising objections to the above and why I am consistently raising the issue of Mohammed ibnil Hasan. I am happy to clarify this as follows:

The entire structure of the Bahai Faith rests on the fact that the Bab was the 12th Imam. It was by the advent of the Bab that the Bahais claim ushered the "spiritual" resurrection and paved the way for Bahaullah to make his claim as the new prophet for the era. By disputing his birth, by raising objections about his mother and the date of his birth - some even go to that extent of denying that Imam Hasan Askari (as) had a son - the Bahais hope to create a doubt that the 12th Imam never really existed and Bab was the return of the mythical 12th Imam.

However through my articles, I have dispelled that theory. The 12th Imam is Mohammed Ibnil Hasan who was born in the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as). The Bab has acknowledged his presence on multiple occasions. In my articles so far, it is sufficiently proved that the lineage of the Imamate extended from Hazrat Ali (as) to Imam Hasan Askari (as). It is also proved that Imam Hasan Askari (as) had a son who was born on 15th Shaban 255 AH. It is also sufficiently proved that the mother of the 12th Imam was Janabe' Narjis.

So where does that leave the Bab and subsequently the Bahais? I await an answer from them.

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