Humanity has seen many problems and experienced many crises and calamities throughout its history, from the time of Aadam (as) to the current age. Today, the current generation is witnessing an extreme form of corruption and brutality which is spreading misery over the whole world. The capitalist ideology has made the world a playground for the powerful and rich to pillage and plunder the land, lives and wealth of the masses.
As a result of these circumstances and this onslaught many people can start to feel overwhelmed and feel that they themselves are completely unable to change their situation. The Christians and the Jews were the first who when facing hardships instead of increasing their resolve to tackle them began to talk about the end of the world and the second coming. They justified their fatalistic behaviour and inaction to tackle the problems they faced by stating that they would be saved by the second coming. Today when Muslims face tremendous difficulties and challenges it is saddening to see that so many of them have also begun to adopt this mentality.
Some Muslims who have fallen into this trap have begun to justify their view by interpreting the Islamic texts in a way which has led to inactivity and fatalism. The effect of this interpretation has led many Muslims to do nothing to remove the causes that have led to the predicament of the Islamic Ummah. Rather, they spend much of their time justifying inactivity by looking for the signs of Dajaal and waiting for the Al-Mahdi and the return of Isa (as) to rescue the Ummah from the clutches of the West.
It is important to understand the mentality we need to have when looking to the divine texts and how they should regulate our behaviour and attitudes.
It is clear that the attitude of fatalism that affects some Muslims is something which is not applied in all aspects of life. We see many who have a fatalistic attitude towards the political situation, but do not have it when it comes to seeking the rizq (provisions) which Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala), Ar-Raziq provides. Many Muslims work extremely hard, sacrificing time, effort and even emigrating, leaving behind families and loved ones in order to find work. This is despite the fact that it is proven through definitive text (qati thaboot) that is definitive in meaning (qati dalalah) that Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) provides the rizq.
It is also evidently clear that many Muslims who have a fatalistic attitude when it comes to their own life, will protect it. They will not stay in front of the bus, when it is racing towards them. When an illness comes to them, they will seek treatment from their doctor and if he is unable to help, they strive hard to seek the best possible treatment. They will refrain from going to dangerous places to protect their own lives and will also protect others whom they love. This is despite the fact that Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) has stated in many definitive texts (qati thaboot) that are definitive in meaning (qati dalalah) that Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) is the cause of death and the expiration of the ajal (life span).
When we look to the divine texts, some of them come to us dealing with matters of Iman. These texts have a bearing on our Iman (decisive belief) and must be based on text which is definite, and the meaning must be definite too. There are many ayat of the Qur'an which determine elements to do with Iman such as the ayah:
”O you who believe! Believe in Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) and His Messenger and the scripture which He has sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denies Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala), His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day Of Judgement, has gone far, far astray" [TMQ An-Nisa: 136].
The Sunnah which is definite in text [thaboot] and meaning [dalalah] is the Mutawatir. The Mutawatir report is divided into two categories. Firstly, verbal (lafzun) Mutawatir like the hadith:
"Whosoever intentionally lies about me let him reserve his place in the Hellfire."
Secondly, the Mutawatir by meaning (manawi), such as when the transmitters concur on a matter occurring in different incidents such as the Sunnah of the morning prayer being two rakats.
As far as hadith of prophecies, they discuss about things that are not in the reality and are therefore beyond the limits of our minds. Hence we cannot make a judgement on these matters. We can only fully understand and confirm them as the reality plays out. The honourable Sahabah (ra) knew many hadith of prophecies but they only understood them as the situations actually played out in front of their eyes. Also more importantly they did not use these hadith as a means to sit back and do nothing, waiting for the event to happen, but they worked hard to carry out the obligation which was set by Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala).
So for example Ibn Hisham relates it in his Seerah through Ibn Ishaq that:
Salman al-Farsi said:
"(During the battle of Khandaq) I was digging in one corner of the trench at which time one rock gave me difficulty. Allah's Messenger came near me and saw my difficulty as I was digging. He came down and took the pick from my hands. Then he struck and a great spark flashed under the pick. He struck again and another spark flashed. He struck a third time and a third spark flashed. I said to him: My father and mother (be ransomed) for you, O Messenger of Allah! What is that I saw flashing under the pick as you were striking? He said: Did you see this, O Salman? I said: Yes! He said: The first time, Allah opened Yemen [in the South] for me; the second time, He opened the North (al-Sham) and the west (al-Maghrib) for me; and the third time, he opened the East (al-Mashriq)." (Ibn Hisham relates it in his Seerah (Beirut, dar al-wifaq ed. 3-4: 219)
After this news spread amongst the Sahabah, they did not sit back, and wait for it to occur. On the contrary, they strived hard, expending their utmost effort to achieve the obligation of opening up new lands for the sake of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala).
It is very important to keep the correct viewpoint when reading such informative hadith about events that are to occur in the future. In summary there are 5 key points to keep in mind.
1) The first thing to look for in these hadith whether they instruct Muslims to perform actions in advance of the event occurring
The Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have told the Sahabah (ra) to seek protection from the tribulations of ad-Dajaal with the following dua;
Abu Hurairah (ra) reported: The Messenger of Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said: When anyone of you utters Tashahhud (in the Prayer) he must seek refuge with Allah from four (trials) and should thus say: O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the torment of Hell, from the torment of the grave, from the trial of life and death and from the evil of the trial of Meshih Al-Dajaal.
2) The next thing to look for is whether they offer any course of action for Muslims when the event happens.
An-Nawwas ibn Sam' an reported that the Sahabah asked Allah's Apostle, how long will he (Ad-Dajaal) stay on earth?' He (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said, 'For forty days, one day like a year, one day like a month, one day like a week, and the rest of the days will be like your days'. We said, 'Allah's Apostle, will one day's prayer suffice for the day equal to a year?' Thereupon he said, ‘No, but you must make an estimate of the time (and then observe prayer). [Sahih Muslim]
In this hadith Muslims are instructed to calculate the times of prayer, as opposed to missing them, at the time when we experience the 'one day like a year' which corresponds with the coming of Ad-Dajaal.
3) Encouragement for those striving on the path towards the re-establishment, protection, and conveyance of the deen of Allah
In a hadith from Abu Umamah, the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said:
"A group of my Community will remain constant to the truth, conquering their enemy until the command of Allah comes to them while they are still in that condition." He was asked, "Messenger of Allah, where are they?" He replied: "In Jerusalem." [Ahmad and Tabarani]
4) Another important matter is not discussing in the detailed matter related to the unseen.
Discussion in the metaphysics and what is beyond the sensed reality, debating it and claiming that one's opinion is better than the others is a debate which takes up precious time, and takes the attention away from the vital work that is required from the Muslims. Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) mentions this regarding debating with the people of the book the number of men who sought refuge in a cave from their corrupt community.
"So the people will now say, "They are three, their dog is the fourth"; and some will say, "They are five, their dog is the sixth" - just blind guesses; and some will say, "They are seven, and their dog is the eighth"; proclaim "My Lord well knows their number - no one knows them except a few"; therefore do not debate concerning them except what has occurred, and do not ask any of the People of the Book(s) anything concerning them’. [TMQ Al-Kahf: 22]
5) These hadith must never be used as a basis of inactivity, hopelessness and laziness
These hadith are not a means to ignore the obligations set by Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala), such as the work for the Islamic revival, just because they inform us that the revival will one day occur. An even more dangerous and incorrect view than this is the mentality that working for these obligations, such as the work to resume the Khilafah Rashida, is something impossible to achieve by our own work because Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) will establish this for us at a time of His I choosing.
The coming of Imam Mahdi
If we look to some of the hadith regarding Imam Mahdi such as the one below
Abu Dawud also published from Umm Salamah by way of Salih Abu'l-Khaleel from a companion of his from Umm Sal amah, that he said,
"There will be disagreement at the death of a Khilafah, so a man from Madinah will come out fleeing to Makkah, and the people of Makkah will come to him and bring him out (as a claimant for the Khilafah) against his will and swear allegiance to him between the Corner (of the Ka'bah in which the black stone is) and the station (of Ibrahim). An expeditionary force will be sent against him from Sham (Syria) and the earth will swallow them up in the waterless desert between Makkah and Madinah. When people see that, the Abdal of the people of Sham will come to him and the companies of the people of Iraq and they will swear allegiance to him. Then a man of Quraysh will arise (in rebellion) whose maternal uncles are (the tribe of) Kalb, and an expeditionary force will be sent against them and they will conquer them, and that is the expeditionary force of Kalb, and there is disappointment for whoever does not attend (the division of) the spoils of Kalb. So he will divide up the wealth, and he will act among people according to their Prophet's Sunnah and he will throw Islam by its neck on the earth. He will remain seven years then die and the Muslims will pray over him" [Abu Dawud Book 36, Number 427]
The hadith on Imam Mahdi show us a number of things. He will be one of the Muslims from this Ummah, with some hadith indicating he will be a descendent of Muhammad (salAllahu alaihi wasallam). He will not carry out any miracles or receive any revelation but will rule with justice which will bring prosperity for the Khilafah state. He will not know that he is the Mahdi, as the hadith indicates that he will be reluctant to take the allegiance (bay'ah), and he will need to be convinced to take it. The Hadith explicitly states that he will follow the death of a Khaleefah, and there will be a dispute about the next one. The Ummah will be debating who to give bay'ah to, and they will give it to him. All this indicates that the Ummah will have a Khilafah state, and that they will know how to appoint a Khaleefah.
These points also indicate that the Mahdi will learn Islam from around them, as he will receive no revelation. The hadith states what he will act among the people according to the Sunnah which again indicates that it is the Ummah which will have to be ready to teach and groom the Mahdi to take up the tasks of Khaleefah.
Therefore there is no indication for some Muslims to remain inactive and do nothing; certain event must pass before his arrival such as the re-establishment of Khilafah state, and the preparation of the Ummah to resume the Islamic way of life. This obligation still lies upon the Muslims and not upon Imam Mahdi.
The descent of Isa (as) and the destruction of Dajaal
And (remember) when Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) said:
"O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself.'' [TMQ Al-Imran: 55]
The meaning here is that Isa (as) was raised up by Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) and his mission had ended. There are many hadith regarding his return,
By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the son of Maryam (`Isa) will shortly descend among you as a just ruler, and will break the cross, kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah. Then there will be an abundance of wealth and nobody will accept charitable gifts any more. At that time, one prostration will be better for them than this life and all that is in it.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurairah said that the Messenger of Allah(salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,
How will you be when Al-Masih, son of Maryam (`Isa) descends among you while your Imam is from among yourselves
In another long hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim by Abu Hurairah it mentions the fitna of Dajaal and the power of the illusions that he will have to confuse the Muslims, it also mentions the descent of Isa (as).
Like the storm when driven by the wind. He will come to a people and will call them (to his worship), and they will believe in him and accept his call. He will order the sky and it will rain, the land and it will grow (vegetation). Their cattle will return to them with their hair the longest, their udders the fullest (with milk) and their stomachs the fattest. He will come to a different people and will call them (to his worship), and they will reject his call. He will then leave them. They will wake up in the morning destitute, missing all of their possessions. He will pass by a deserted land and will say to it, `Bring out your treasures', and its treasures will follow him just like swarms of bees. He will summon a man full of youth and will strike him with the sword once and will cut him into two pieces (and will separate between them like) the distance (between the hunter and) the game. He will call the dead man and he will come, and his face will radiant with pleasure and laughter.
Afterwards (while all this is happening with Ad-Dajaal), Allah will send Al-Masih (`Isa), son of Maryam down. He will descend close to the white minaret to the east of Damascus. He will be wearing garments lightly coloured with saffron and his hands will be placed on the wings of two angels. Whenever he lowers his head droplets fall. Whenever he raises his head, precious stones that look like pearls fall. No disbeliever can survive `Isa's breath, which reaches the distance of his sight. He will pursue Ad-Dajaal and will follow him to the doors of (the Palestinian city of) Ludd where he will kill him. A group of people, who, by Allah's help, resisted and survived Ad-Dajaal, will pass by `Isa and he will anoint their faces and inform them about their grades in Paradise.
Shortly afterwards, while this is happening with `Isa, Allah will reveal to him, `I raised a people of my creation that no one can fight. Therefore, gather my servants to At-Tur (the mountain of Musa in Sinai).' Then, Allah will raise Gog and Magog and they will swiftly swarm from every mound. Their front forces will reach Lake Tabariah (Sea of Galilee) and will drink all its water. The last of their forces will say as they pass by the lake, `This lake once had water!'
Meanwhile, `Isa, Allah's Prophet, will be cornered along with his companions until the head of a bull will be more precious to them than a hundred Dinars to you today. `Isa, Allah's Prophet, and his companions will invoke Allah for help and Allah will send An-Naghaf (a worm) into the necks of Gog and Magog! The morning will come, and they will all be dead as if it was the death of one soul. Afterwards, `Isa, the Prophet of Allah, will come down with his companions to the low grounds (from Mount At-Tur). They will find that no space of a hand-span on the earth was free of their fat and rot (rotten corpses). `Isa, the Prophet of Allah, and his companions will seek Allah in supplication. Allah will send birds as large as the necks of camels. They will carry them (the corpses of Gog and Magog) and will throw them wherever Allah wills. Afterwards, Allah will send rain that no house made of mud or animal hair will be saved from, and it will cleanse the earth until it is as clean as a mirror. The earth will be commanded (by Allah), `Produce your fruits and regain your blessing.' Then, the group will eat from a pomegranate and will take shelter under the shade of its skin. Milk will be blessed, so much so that the milk-producing camel will yield large amounts that suffice for a large group of people. Meanwhile, Allah will send a pure wind that will overcome Muslims from under their arms and will take the soul of every believer and Muslim. Only the evildoers among people will remain. They will indulge in shameless public sex like that of donkeys. On them, the Hour will begin.
For anyone who contemplates on this hadith it is clear that Isa (as) will return, he will be a ruler, and follow the Shariah of Muhammad (salAllahu alaihi wasallam). Many hadith will indicate that he will have a discussion with the Khaleefah of the Muslims i.e. there will already be a Khaleefah/Imam of the Muslims and Isa will be a citizen of the Islamic state. This again indicates, that the situation for the return of Isa (as) will be when the Khilafah state exists, which again is motivation for us to work to re-establish it, as Isa (as) will not return until it is established. Also the hadith explicitly links the fact that the Khilafah state will be the shield from the fitnah of ad-Dajaal. This is one of the reasons why Muhammad (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said;
The Prophet of Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said:
”The Imam (Khaleefah) is a shield for them. They fight behind him and they are protected by (him from tyrants and aggressors). If he enjoins fear of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, and dispenses justice, there will be a (great) reward for him; and if he enjoins otherwise, it redounds on him.” [Muslim]
So going through the hadith on this subject there is no basis found why anyone should be inactive and rely upon these honourable hadith as a means to do nothing and sit idle waiting for the return of Imam Mahdi and Isa (as).
Many Muslims use these Ahadith to justify their inactivity in working to change the political situation and to bring back the Khilafah State. They incorrectly believe that this earth will be filled with injustice until Imam Mahdi appears and revives the Muslim Ummah. There is in fact no indication from these, or other Ahadith, that we are relieved from fulfilling our obligation of comprehensively establishing Islam if the Islamic State is absent, and working in all situations to make the deen of Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) dominant.
Source: Khilafah Magazine