Birth Anniversary of Imam al-Mahdi (pbuh)
Dated: May 22, 2016
Birth Anniversary of Imam al-Mahdi (pbuh)
On the auspicious date of 15th Shaban, World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL) congratulates the whole world on the birth anniversary of the last Infallible Imam and pure descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him and his holy Progeny), the 12th Imam, Allah’s Proof to all mankind, the Awaited Saviour, the Leader of all humanity, Imam al-Mahdi (pbuh).
The Master of Our Age was born to the 11th Imam, Hasan al-Askari and his noble wife Lady Narjis Khatoon (pbut) in 255A.H/868 C.E in Samarra, Iraq. As his divine mission would be up to the end of time, he was extremely precious and protected by his holy father, until the 11th Imam’s martyrdom in 260 A.H. Since that time, Allah took his vicegerent into minor occultation, to save him from the enemy's plots. His communication continued with the world through four deputies for 69 years until 329 A.H/939 C.E. Since then the Imam has been in major occultation, ever-present in the world, yet hidden from view from the majority.
Some people question the concept of a saviour. However, all religions have some understanding of a saviour figure. The Quran states:
‘And we wrote in the Psalms (of David) after the reminder that my righteous servants shall inherit the earth’ (21:105)
That is, the Saviour shall inherit the earth and rule with justice. Imam is not just for believers, but for all.
There are those Muslims who claim that the 12th Imam is yet to be born and will come at the end of time to save the world. However, authentic narrations, both Sunni and Shia, describe that his birth has indeed taken place. Even Bin Baaz, the wahabi cleric, confirmed that there are 300 authentic hadiths concerning Imam Mahdi.
The difference between us and our Sunni brethren is that they believe he is yet to be born, whereas we follow the Prophet’s teachings that there is a constant unbroken chain between all 12 Imams. Also, the Prophet stated that he was leaving behind the Quran and Ahlul Bayt, and they would never be separated – this means that as long as the Quran is in existence on earth, an infallible from the Ahlul Bayt will ALWAYS be present on earth with it too. There are over 100 Sunni scholars testifying to the Imam’s birth: yet in shariah, only two witnesses are sufficient for any matter. Thus evidence of Imam’s birth is overwhelming.
Allah the Merciful Loving God never leaves the earth without His guide and proof present in it: indeed it is because of the presence of Imam al-Mahdi on earth that the world is sustained with Allah’s blessings.
We are also often asked, how can the Imam be alive for over 1000 years (1182 years now to be precise)? The answer is very simple: anything is possible with Allah. If Khizr (pbuh) is still alive, and he was born around if not before the time of Prophet Moses (pbuh), and if Jesus (pbuh) is still alive, then why can Allah not keep Imam Mahdi (pbuh) alive? Is this difficult for the Almighty?
The question also arises, what is the point of the Imam being present but in occultation? The answer again that we give very sincerely is simple: the Imam is very much present, not absent, in our lives. Even the Prophet (pbuh &hp) and Moses (pbuh) were also absent from their communities for a short time, yet they still existed on earth. They were absent for a reason. The same applies to Imam Mahdi (pbuh): he is amongst us, helping and guiding us, he is wherever Allah sends him to perform His bidding, and as Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (pbuh) said, his occultation will be long but his benefit will be the same as like the sun when it is behind a cloud – that is, his guidance and light reaches us. Because he is a divine leader, through him Allah’s blessings reach and spread through the universe.
The Saviour mourns for the pain of humanity. He mourns for the injustices to his ancestors. Yet he gives blessings and peace too, and accepts each and every one who remembers him. Allah alone knows when the Imam will be re-appearing. He will come and fill this unjust world with justice.
The greatest act of worship is to wait for this Saviour of humanity. Waiting does not mean Shias who believe in him are passive and in despair, but we actively wait, patiently bearing difficulties yet actively doing good deeds, and purifying ourselves, promising the Imam daily that we are awaiting his joyous return. We live in hope despite the injustice that is spreading on earth.
Today, as we wait for the Imam, we are filled with unbounding love on his birth anniversary. As the heavens and the earth rejoice, WABIL extends its warmest wishes to all on the coming to the world of this exemplary Saviour for mankind. We send our sincerest greetings to our Imam, and we pray that Allah blesses us with his re-appearance very soon.
May our eyes be cooled by beholding his glorious presence. We wish that Muslims and all humankind pledge their allegiance to this great divine Leader and join us in serving him.
Sayed Mohammad Al-Musawi
World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)