Question: Some people interpret the signs of the Mahdi into different things and say:
1. The word Medina refers to any city. That “The Mahdi will be born in Medina” means he will be born in a city, not in a village. As I was born in a city, you understand what I mean.
2. That “The Mahdi will kill the Dajjal with ‘Isa” means they will eradicate atheism.
3. That “When the Mahdi emerges an angel from the sky will announce it” means people will inform one another about his emergence through telephones, radios, or televisions.
4. That “The Mahdi will wipe out bida” means he will wipe out the four madhahib and the things that jurists fabricated under the name of ijtihad.
5. What is meant by the hadith “The Mahdi’s name will be the same as my name. His father’s name will be the same as my father’s name” is not that his name will be Muhammad and his father’s name will be Abdullah. The name of the Mahdi may be the name of one of the grandfathers of the Prophet, e.g., Hashim, Ilyas, or Adnan.
6. The Mahdi has emerged, but people have not heard about this reality. ‘Isa will perform salat behind the Mahdi after the sun rises in the west, which will take place 93 years later. And Doomsday will come 15 hours later than this.
7. The Mahdi is a sun that illuminates the earth, which has darkened, and he has started to illuminate it. Since the Mahdi is the sun, the sun’s rising in the west may refer to the Mahdi’s emergence.
If everyone attempts to make interpretation according to his/her own mentality, then who will believe in what Islam stated?
It is no use trying to make sense out of a statement that is, in essence, nonsense. All of the above-mentioned interpretations are nonsense. The hadith-i sharifs of our master the Prophet are not like crosswords or riddles. In other words, they are not of the kind “If I say Medina, understand it as some city like Ankara or Izmir. If I say Muhammad, understand it as Hashim.” Our master Prophet did not talk in riddles (never!). Let us give short answers to these silly interpretations:
1. A hadith-i sharif says:
(The Mahdi, one of the inhabitants of Medina, will go to Mecca. Some Meccans will come to him, will take him out from his house against his will, and will take the oath of allegiance to him.) [Abu Dawud] (This hadith-i sharif explains clearly that he will be one of the inhabitants of Medina, and it explains further that he will go to Mecca. Why is it said that he is one of the inhabitants of a city [Medina] and that he will go to Mecca later?)
It was reported from Hadrat Ali that our master the Prophet said:
(The Mahdi will be born in Medina.) [Imam-i Munawi] (If he were not to be born in Medina, then why was it said that he would be born in Medina? This hadith-i sharif states explicitly that he will be born in Medina and then will go to Mecca.)
2. It is stated explicitly in another hadith-i sharif how the Dajjal will emerge. It is reported that when Hadrat Mahdi arrives in Jerusalem the news of the Dajjal’s emergence will be heard. (Kitab al-Burhan fi ‘Alamat al-Mahdiyyi Akhir az-Zaman)
What does it have to do with atheism? Will he hear the news that atheism has emerged when he arrives in Jerusalem? Our ancestors did not say in vain, “It is no use trying to make sense out of a statement that is, in essence, nonsense.”
3. Though our master the Prophet said, “An angel will announce it,” they claim that the announcer will not be an angel, but it refers to telephones, radios, or televisions. A hadith-i sharif declares, “There will be a cloud just above Mahdi’s head. An angel from the cloud will say, ‘This is the Mahdi. Listen to his words'” [Maktubat-i Rabbani].
4. It is a very ugly slander against scholars of Islamic jurisprudence and mujtahids. Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states:
“Qiyas and ijtihad are not innovations because they bring out the meanings of Qur’anic verses. They do not add anything to these meanings” (Vol. 1, Letter 186).
Hadrat Mahdi will not abolish the four true madhahib when he appears. To claim the opposite means claiming that the four true madhahib are fallacious. By the time he appears, the rulings of the four true madhahib will have been forgotten, and false madhahib and religious innovations (bida’) will have become widespread. Hadrat Mahdi and Hadrat ‘Isa will not eradicate true madhahib or Islamic rules, but they will eradicate these religious innovations and false madhahib. They will also perform ijtihad. Moreover, rulings they will derive through ijtihad will be in agreement with the Hanafi Madhhab. Hadrat Muhammad Parisa states:
“All of the rules that ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam will derive through ijtihad will be in agreement with the rules in the Hanafi Madhhab” (Fusul-i sitta).
5. A hadith-i sharif declares:
“Before Doomsday, Allahu ta’ala will create someone from my ahl al-bayt whose name and father’s name will be the same as those of mine. The earth, which will have been filled with cruelty before him, will be filled with justice during his time.) [Abu Dawud, Imam-i Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Tabarani, Abu Nu’aym, Ibn Abi Shayba]
Although our master the Prophet expresses clearly what his name and his father’s name will be, how can one say that his name may be Hashim, Ilyas, Adnan, or the name of any of the grandfathers of the Prophet? Is it not a blatant denial of the hadith-i sharif?
6. On the one hand they say that the Mahdi has appeared, but on the other hand they say that Hadrat ‘Isa will perform salat behind the Mahdi after the sun rises in the west, which will take place 100 years later. Since the Mahdi will appear at the age of 40, will Hadrat ‘Isa perform salat behind the Mahdi, who they say has appeared, 100 years later, that is, when he is 150 years old?
7. They say that the sun will rise in the west 93 years later. They also claim that the Dabba has emerged. Have they only recently read the fact that these signs will emerge one right after the other, so that they are compelled to make a new interpretation with regard to the sun’s rising in the west?
As is seen, all of the above-mentioned assertions are antithetical to our religion. Hadrat Imam-i A’zam, like all Ahl as-Sunnah scholars, did not interpret these meanings into different things and said, “We believe that Gog and Magog’s emerging, the sun’s rising in the west, Hadrat ‘Isa’s descending from the sky, the Dajjal’s emerging, and all other signs before Doomsday will take place in due course in exactly the same way as they were stated in hadith-i sharifs” (Fiqh-i akbar).