1)Qur'an 21: 105
Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth." 1 [Yusuf Ali 21:105]
1-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
Concerning the meaning of the first part of the verse "wa laqad katabna fi az-zabur mim ba'di adh-dhikr" ("Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses)"), Shaykh Tabarsi reports several views : 1
1- Zabur are all the Prophets' Books. The meaning of the verse is then 'We wrote in all the Prophets' Books after the Mother of the Books which is in Heaven'. Zabur and Kitab (Book) have the same meaning here.
2- Zabur are the Books which were revealed after the Tawrah (Torah), and Dhikr in this verse means Tawrah, so the verse means "after the Tawrah, We wrote in the Zabur".
3- According to Sha'bi, Zabur is the Book of the Prophet David and Dhikr is the Book of the Prophet Moses. He also says that Dhikr is the Qur'an and transforms mim ba'd (after) to min qabl (before).
Concerning the second part of the verse: "inna al-ardh yarithuha `ibadiya as-salihun" ("My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth"), Tabarsi reports its meaning from several commentators :
1- Some define the word ardh as the earth of Heaven. So the verse means: "My righteous servants shall inherit the earth of
1 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol. 16. p. 170
Heaven". According to this view, this verse does not concern the Mahdi.
2- Some define the word as the same Earth we are living in and which will belong to the Umma of the Prophet Muhammad. As the Prophet says: "The Earth was gathered for me, and the Eastern and Western parts of it were offered to me. And soon the Kingdom of my Community (Umma) will recover all of them." 1 Regarding this verse, Imam Baqir asserts that these righteous servants are the Companions of the Mahdi at the End of Time. To confirm these statements, there is a tradition that both the Shi'ites and the Sunnites report as emanating from the Prophet: "Even if there remains only a day on the Earth, God will prolong it until He will bring forth a pious man from my progeny so that he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny." 2
After having reported that the verse concerns the Mahdi, Shaykh Tabarsi mentions a tradition which denies the Mahdi and gives his own opinion. He writes that, in his work al-Ba'th wa an-Nushur, Imam Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Husayn Bayhaki cites several traditions in this regard; his grandson `Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad also reported all of these in the
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year 517 AH, but the tradition reported from Abu `Abdullah Hafez from Muhammad ibn Khaled from Aban ibn Saleh from Hasan from Anas ibn Malek, claiming that the Prophet said: `The people are living in difficulty and miserliness .... and Mahdi is no one but `Isa ibn Maryam' 1 is first of all a tradition reported only by Muhammad ibn Khaled, and secondly both the latter and Abu 'Abdullah Hafez are unknown. Finally, declared Tabarsi, there is also disagreement in the Isnad or the transmissional chain of the Hadith: once Muhammad ibn Khaled reports the tradition from Aban ibn Saleh from Hasan from Anas from the Prophet, and once he reports the tradition from Aban ibn Abi `Ayyash (who can be omitted) from Hasan from the Prophet, and this chain of transmission is broken.
Tabarsi finally confirms his position, saying: "The traditions which clearly concern the reappearance of the Mahdi have a more trustworthy chain of narration. In these same traditions, it is reported that the Mahdi is from the Prophet's progeny. Among them, there is one that Bayhaki's grandson reports in his work from Abu Ali Rudbary, from Abu Bala ibn Das, from Abu Dawud Sajestani ..... from the Prophet who said: 'Even if there remains only one day on the earth, God will prolong it until He will bring forth a pious man from my progeny.' And in some of these traditions it is reported that the Prophet also
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said: 'His name is the same as my name and he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny.' Also he reports a tradition from the Prophet who said: 'The Mahdi is from my progeny, and from the descendants of Fatimah'."
1-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
As for the Zabur, several meanings are reported by Allama Tabataba'i 1 from different commentators :
1- Apparently, the Zabur is the Book which was revealed to the Prophet Dawud as mentioned in another part of the Qur'an: "wa aatayna Dawud Zabura".
2- Some commentators believe that this refers to the Qur'an.
3- Some are convinced that it concerns all the Books in general that were revealed to the Prophets, or that were revealed to the Prophets after Moses. However, there is no apparent support for this view.
For the word Dhikr, Tabataba'i reports that :
1- Some believe it means the Tawrah because God used the word Dhikr in two other places of this same chapter, clearly referring to the Tawrah.
2- Some say that it refers to the Qur'an because God used it several times in the Qur'an with that meaning. If this is so, the
1 Al-Mizan, vol. 14, p. 453
fact that the Zabur comes after the Qur'an in this verse where the Qur'an was revealed before the Zabur is not a problem because this order corresponds to the rank of the Books and not to their chronology.
3- Dhikr is also said to mean al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Protected Tablets), but according to Tabataba'i this is not correct.
For Inheritance (waratha), Tabataba'i reports that Raghib says Inheritance means the donation of goods to someone without any monetary exchange and that the inheritance of land means in this verse the transfer of that land from others to the virtuous people as well as the wealth and abundance of this land which belongs exclusively to them. This inheritance may be this-worldly or otherwise.
Tabatabai's view is that the verse here has a general meaning and that the inheritance to which it refers concerns both this world and the hereafter, and that those who say that it concerns only the inheritance in the hereafter are in error. Also, the commentators who believe that the verse concerns exclusively the inheritance in this world, interpreting it for the time of the Mahdi's reappearance (about which there are authentic traditions from the Prophet reported by both Sunnites and Shi'ites) are also in error. The traditions concerning the Mahdi, even authentic and certain, cannot be applied exclusively to this verse, according to Tabataba'i. Tabatabai also refers to the Tafsir al-Qummi in which it is written that
the word Dhikr means all the divine Books and that the Zabur comprises the predictions, praises and prayers (du'a). As far as the inheritance of land by the virtuous is concerned, it is mentioned that it refers to the Mahdi and his followers.
Tabatabai concludes that the traditions concerning the Mahdi and his advent, whether originated by the Shi' ites or the Sunnites, by the Prophet or the Imams, are so numerous that they are considered as mutawatir, reported by several unbroken chain of transmitters, and authentic. It would perhaps be better to refer to the works devoted specifically to this subject.
1-C) Tafsir Makhzan Al-`Iran By Banu Nusrat Amin
Banu Amin 1 first reports from several commentators the meaning of Zabur and Dhikr. The meaning of Zabur :
1- According to some commentators, the Zabur means the Book of the Prophet Dawud (David), as God says in the Qur'an 4: 126 ("wa aatayna Dawud Zabura') and in the Qur'an 17: 55.
2- Others claim that the Zabur refers to the Qur'an.
3- Also, the Zabur is said to consist of all the revealed Books or the Books revealed after that of the Prophet Musa (Moses).
1 Makhzan al-lrfan, Vol. 10 p. 309
The meaning of Dhikr :
1- According to some commentators, it means the Tawrah, because God used the word Dhikr several times in the Qur'an when referring to the Tawrah.
2- It is also said to refer to the Qur'an because it was used to indicate the Qur'an on different occasions. In this case, the fact that the Zabur comes after the Dhikr (Qur'an) in the verse does not mean after in chronological time but in the sense that it comes after the Dhikr because of its lower rank.
3- The Zabur is said by some to represent the al-Lawh alMahfuz.
Banu Amin then briefly reports the commentators' views concerning the second part of the verse ("My servants the righteous, shall inherit the earth") :
1- The meaning of Ardh is the earth of Heaven which the virtuous and pious servants of God will inherit, as we can see in the Qur'an 23: 11 and in the Qur'an 39: 74.
2- Ardh is also said to be a sacred land that the Community of the Prophet will inherit.
3- Ardh is the earth and the verse concerns people who have faith in general.
4- The virtuous members of the Community are being referred to here; it is said that, at the End of Time, the Umma
of the Prophet will conquer the earth and its unbelievers, and will rule it.
At this point, Banu Amin reports a tradition from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (fifth Imam) concerning the Righteous mentioned in the verse: "These are the Companions of the Mahdi at the End of Time, who will conquer the Eastern and Western parts of the earth". She adds that, in confirmation of this, there is a tradition reported by the Shi'ites and the Sunnites, according to which the Prophet said: "Even if there remains only one day on Earth, God will prolong it until He will bring forth a pious man from my progeny so that he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny". 1 Moreover, she adds that the traditions concerning the reappearance of the Mahdi and his descendency from Fatima are numerous among the Shi'ites and the Sunnites."
2) Qur'an 24 : 55
Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion-the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will
1 The same tradition is reported by Shaykh Tabarsi in his tafsir of the same verse, see note 5.
change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. 1 [24:55]
2-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi-
Shaykh Tabarsi explains the verse as: 2 "God promised to those who sincerely have faith and are obedient that he will make them heirs of the ancients and that He will grant them all the Arab and non-Arab unbelievers' lands, and will make them inhabitants and governor of these lands, in the same way as he made the Bani Isra 'il the heirs of the ancients and destroyed the tyrant of Egypt, and granted all his goods and lands to them." He then reports several views concerning this verse :
1- Some commentators believe that it concerns the Prophet.
2- Some say it concerns the Umma.
3- From the sayings of the Imams of the Ahl al-Bay!, it is reported that it concerns the Mahdi from the Prophet's descendants. The fourth Imam once recited this verse and said: "By God, these people are our Shi'ites about whom God will accomplish all the promises he made in this verse by the hands
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2 Majma' al-Bayan,Vol.17 p.161
of a man from among us, who is the Mahdi of this Community." The Prophet said about him: "Even if there remains only one day on Earth, God will prolong it until He will bring forth a pious man from my progeny and who is named as I am, so that he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny" 1 The same tradition was reported by Imam Baqir and Imam Sadeq.
Shaykh Tabarsi adds that the expression "al-ladhina amanu minkum wa `amilu as-salehat" ("those among you who believe and work righteous deeds") refers to the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt and that this verse gives them the good news that they will be the Caliphs (governors) and will seize power in every land and that during the revolution of the Mahdi, they will be made safe. Moreover, he affirms that the meaning of "kama estakhlqfa al-ladhina min qablihim" ("as He granted it to those before them") is that, before them also, God granted the governorship (khilafa) and power to those who deserved it, such as Adam, Dawud and Sulayman, as we can see in the following verses:
Qur'an 2: 30; Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein
1 Ñæí ÇáÚíÇÔí ÈÅÓäÇÏå Úä Úáí Èä ÇáÍÓíä (Ú) Âäå ÞÑÇ ÇáÂíÉ æ ÞÇá åã æÇ... ÔíÚÊäÇ Çåá ÇáÈíÊ íÝÚá Ç... Ðá˜ Èåã Úáí íÏí ÑÌá ãäÇ æ åæ ãåÏí åÐå ÇáÇãÉ æ åæ ÇáÐí ÞÇá ÑÓæá Ç... (Õ) áæ áã íÈÞ ãä ÇáÏäíÇ ÇáÇ íæã æÇÍÏ áØæá Ç... Ðá˜ Çáíæã ÍÊí íáí ÑÌá ãä ÚÊÑÊí ÇÓãå ÇÓãí íãáÂ ÇáÃÑÖ ÚÏáÇ æ ÞÓØÇ ˜ãÇ ãáÆÊ ÙáãÇ æ ÌæÑÇ
and shed blood whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "1 know what ye know not." [2:30] 1
Qur'an 38: 26; 0 David! We did indeed make thee a vicegerent on earth: so judge thou between men in truth (and justice): Nor follow thou the lusts (of thy heart), for they will mislead thee from the Path of Allah: for those who wander astray from the Path of Allah, is a Penalty Grievous, for that they forget the Day of Account. [38:26] 2
Qur'an 4: 54; Or do they envy mankind for what Allah hath given them of his bounty? But We had already given the people of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. [4:54] 3
Finally, concerning the Mahdi, Shaykh Tabarsi remarks that consensus has been reached among all the Imams concerning this subject and their consensus is a proof (hujja) because the Prophet said: " I am leaving among you two weighty things: the Book of God and my progeny. They will never be separated from each other until they meet me again next to the fountain".
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2-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabatabai, 1 in his explanation of the term "al-Ghayb" (the unseen), says that it is the opposite of "the perceived", and that we cannot perceive through our usual senses. He adds that the term is used to denote Allah, and His great signs, including the revelation, which is referred to in the Qur'an 2: 4; And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. 2 He affirms that it also includes the hereafter, but in this verse, the belief in the revelation and in the hereafter have been mentioned separately. Therefore, "the unseen" must have been used only to mean Allah. In this way the belief in the three fundamentals of religion becomes complete.
Tabatabai then reports from the Ma'ani al-akhbar a tradition from Imam al-Sadiq (sixth Imam), who said that: "Who believe in the Unseen" means those who believe in the rising of al- Qa'im (the Mahdi) and consider it as the Truth."
1 Al-Mizan: Vol.1, p.68
2 æ ÇáÐíä íÄãäæä ÈãÇ ÇäÒá Çáí˜ æ ãÇ ÇäÒá ãä ÞÈá˜ æ ÈÇáÂÎÑÉ åã íæÞäæä.
The author comments that this explanation is given in other traditions also. But Tabataba'i adds that in order to interpret the verse as concerning the Mahdi in this case implies transforming the general meaning of the verse to a specific one, the verse having a general meaning.
2-C) Tafsir Makhzan Al-'Irfan By Banu Nusrat Amin
Banu Amin 1 describes the word Ghayb in this verse as something that is not perceptible through our senses like the sense of hearing or the sense of sight. She gives as examples, the existence of God, the Hereafter that we cannot perceive through our usual senses, or the Imam of the Time who is not visible and hidden from our sight; however, at the same time she says that he is attentive to the situation of his Shi'ites. She then explains the superiority of those who have faith and are living in the time of the great Occultation of the Mahdi, which is the most difficult period in which to preserve one's faith: the Prophet in his greatness declared, concerning believers of this time, that he was impatient to meet them and considered them as his brothers. There are also traditions. Banu Amin argues, concerning the importance of those who believe during the period of the Occultation. She adds that if we can find believers in this time (of the greater Occultation) who believe intelligently, i.e. after having carried out some research and not only by imitating their parents, we can say that they are
1 Tafsir Makhzan al-'Irfan : Vol.1 p. 91.
even superior to believers at the very beginning of Islam who had an opportunity to be with the Prophet and to learn directly from him, and also there were fewer temptations for them of being lead astray from the truth compared to the temptations of our time.
3) Qur'an 34: 51
If thou couldst but see when they will quake with terror; but then there will be no escape (for them), and they will be seized from a position (quite) near. 1 [34:51]
3-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
For this verse, Shaykh Tabarsi reports traditions which interpret the verse as concerning the fate of the army of the Sufyani. 2 Indeed, Shaykh Tabarsi 3 reports from Abu Hamza Thumali who said: "I heard Ali ibn al-Husayn and Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali saying that they are the army of the desert of Bayda 4 where the earth will swallow them starting by their feet." He added:" `Amr ibn Marah and Hamraan ibn A'yan
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2 Among the signs of the Mahdi's reappearance in the traditions is the emergence of the Sufyani (a short time before the Mahdi's appearance) from the region of Syria, who will massacre the Shi'ites, and whose army will be swallowed up by the earth in the desert on the way to Mecca where he planned to destroy the Ka'ba. See Ali Kurani, Asr-e Zuhur, p.90.
3 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol. 20, p.294
4 a desert between Mecca and Medina
told me that they heard from Muhajir ... who said that he heard from Umm Salama who said that the Prophet said: "He will take refuge in the House of God, then God will guide an army towards him until they reach the desert of Bayda' and get swallowed up by the earth."
Also Shaykh Tabarsi reports a tradition from Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman that the Prophet once reminded that: "Discord and unrest between the Westerner and the Asians will occur, and at that time of war between them, the Sufyani will come out with a big army from the valley of Yabes and will reach Damascus. Then he will raise two armies, one toward the East and the other one toward Medina. They (the army toward the East) will enter in the land of Babylon next to Bagdad. They will start killing more than three thousand people, and rape more than a hundred women, and will kill three hundred people from the nobles of Bani al-Abbas (Abbasids). They will then move to Kufa and destroy the areas of Kufa and will move toward Sham. At the same time, a well-guided army will come out of Kufa and will reach them and kill them, and they will not even leave an informant and they will take their captives, goods and booty. The second army will attack Medina and will pillage the city for three days and nights. They will finally move toward Mecca until they enter the land of Bayda'. God will call Jibril (Gabriel) and tell him: '0 Jibril, Go and destroy them!' Then Jibril will go and hit the land of Bayda with his
foot and the army will be swallowed up by the earth and only two men among them will survive from Juhayneh." 1 The author says that this tradition is reported by Tha'labi in his tafsir and similar traditions are also reported by the Shi'ites among the traditions concerning the Mahdi from Abi `Abdillah al-Sadiq (sixth Imam) and Abi Ja'far al-Baqir (fifth Imam).
3-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
The author of al-Mizan 2 reports from the work al-Durr al-Manthur a tradition reported from Hakim (who considers the tradition as authentic) who reported it from Abu Hurayra who says that the Prophet of God said: "In the future, a man will come out from Damascus who will be called Sufyani, and the totality of his followers will be from the tribe of Kalb; he will start to kill and massacre, he will even open the women's
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2 Al-Mizan, Vol.16, p.592
wombs, and will assassinate the children, until the tribe of Qays will rise against him, and he will end up killing Qays, and he will not leave a place free of his oppression and violence. At that moment, a man from my Household will come out and will reach Sufyani and will send his army to suppress Sufyani and his army, and finally he will put him to flight, defeating him and his army. Sufyani and his followers will then travel to Bayda and, in that place, they will have an accident and be swallowed up by the earth and none of them will remain but one person among them who will describe for people what happened." Tabataba'i adds: "This tradition has been reported from the Sunnites many times whether in detail or briefly, and was reported from several chains of transmitters from ibn 'Abbas, ibn Mas'ud, Hudhayfah, Abu Hurayra, the grandfather of `Amr ibn Shu'ayb, Umm Salama, Safiyya, `Aa'isha, and Hafsa (the Prophet's wives), and Nufayra (the wife of Qa'qa'), and also from Sa'id ibn Jubayr".
And, concerning the Shi'ite sources, Tabataba'i then reports from the Tafcir Qummi that it is written: "My father reported a tradition to me from ibn Abi 'Umayr, who reported it from Mansur ibn Younus, who reported it from Abi Khalil Kabuli that Imam Abi Ja'far said: I swear by God! It is as if I am right now seeing the al-Qa'im who is leaning against the Hajar (al-Hajar al-Aswad = the black stone) and is inviting people in the name of God to maintain his Right, and then he is saying: 'O people, whoever talks with me about God, know the best about Him. O people, whoever talks to me about
Adam, I know the best about him and I am the closest to him. O people, whoever talks to me about Nuh (Noah), I know more than anyone the best about him. O people, whoever talks to me about Ibrahim (Abraham), I am closer to Ibrahim than anyone else is. O people, whoever talks to me about Musa (Moses), I know the best about him. O people, whoever talks to me about `Isa (Jesus), I am closer to `Isa than anyone else is. O people, whoever talks to me about Muhammad, I am closer to Muhammad than anyone else is and I know him the best. O people, whoever talks to me about the Book of God, I am closer to the Book of God than anyone else.' At that moment, he will get closer to the Maqam Ibrahim (sanctuary of Abraham) and will perform two-rak'a prayers and will swear by God as to his truthfulness.' Imam Abi Ja'far then said: 'By God, he is the one in distress in the Qur'an 27: 62; Or, Who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and Who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Little it is that ye heed! 1 The first one to pledge allegiance to him will be Gabriel and then three hundred and thirteen people; among them, some will do their best to find their way to him and will finally be successful, and those who will not be able to reach him in this way will disappear from their beds... and this is also the meaning of the
1 Ããä íÌíÈ ÇáãÖØÑ ÅÐÇ ÏÚÇå æ í˜ÔÝ ÇáÓæÁ æ íÌÚá˜ã ÎáÝÇÁ ÇáÃÑÖ ÃÇáå ãÚ Ç... ÞáíáÇ ãÇ ÊÐ˜Ñæä
Qur'an 2: 148; To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah hath power over all things. 1' The Imam continues: 'The meaning of good deeds (al-khayrat) is the Love for the Ahl alBayt (Wilaya) and also in the verse 'If We delay the penalty for them for a definite term, they are sure to say, "What keeps it back?" Ah! On the day it (actually) reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be completely encircled by that which they used to mock at!' [8:11], the meaning of `ummatin ma 'dudah ' refers to the Companions of the al-Qa 'im (Mahdi) who will gather together in one place within an hour. When the al-Qa 'im reaches the land of Bayda, the army of Sufyani will stand in rank in front of him, and then God will order the earth to swallow up their feet and absorb them."
3-C) Tafsir Makhzan Al-lrfan By Banu Nusrat Amin
Banu Amin 2 reports from ibn 'Abbas the cause of the revelation of that verse and says: "The verse concerns the people who will sink in the desert of Bayda' and who will be eighty thousand from Sufyani's 3 army and will march from Damascus with the intention of destroying the Ka'ba. When
1 æ á˜á æÌåÉ åæ ãæáíåÇ ÝÇÓÊÈÞæÇ ÇáÎíÑÇÊ Ãíä ãÇ Ê˜æäæÇ öíÃÊ È˜ã Ç... ÌãíÚÇ Åä Ç... Úáí ˜á ÔíÁ ÞÏíÑ
2 Tafsir Makhzan al- Irfan : Vol. 8, p. 311
3 See note 17 concerning the Sufyani.
they are close to the desert of Mecca, all of them will be swallowed up by the earth, and the meaning of "they will be seized from a position (quite) near" in the verse is that they will be in danger right under their own feet (which is the closest place to them) and these will be the people of Sufyani who will live again at the End of Time. Sufyani will send an army to demolish the Holy Ka'ba and among the eighty thousand people, only two will survive. One of them will bring the news to the people of Mecca and the other one will go back to inform Sufyani about the event."
Banu Amin also reports from the Minhaj al-Sadiqin a tradition from Hudhayfah, who said that: "I heard from the Prophet who said while giving information about the events of the End of Time: `Sufyani will come out and will send an army from the arid land to Damascus (toward the East) and another one to Medina. When they (the army toward the East) reach Babylon, which is located between the lands of Medina and Bagdad, they will kill more than a thousand people, open up the women's wombs and kill three hundred well-known men from the family of the Bani 'Abbas; then they will move toward Kufa and will destroy the whole area; after that, they will go to Sham while a guided army emerges from Kufa who will follow them and after two days of traveling they will kill most of its members, pillaging and taking captives. And Sufyani will send one of his armies to Medina and for three days and nights, they will pillage the city, then move to Mecca, and then they will reach Bayda', God will send Gabriel
to destroy them. Gabriel will hit the earth with his feet and all of them will at once be swallowed up by the earth and this is the meaning of the words of God : "If thou couldst but see when they will quake with terror; but then there will be no escape (for them), and they will be seized from a position (quite) near" and among them two people will survive, Bashir and Nadhir; Bashir will inform the people of Mecca and Nadhir will frighten Sufyani, informing him of the annihilation of his people; and both of these survivors will be from Juhayna.' This tradition is reported by our Companions from Abi Ja'far and Abi `Abdillah among the traditions of the reappearance of the Mahdi"
4) Qur'an 9: 33
It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). 1 [9:33]
4-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
This verse concerns the reign of Islam over all the religions, and Shaykh Tabarsi reports several views and traditions which interpret the verse as a prediction of the return of Jesus and the reappearance of the Mahdi.
1 åæ ÇáÐí ÃÑÓá ÑÓæáå ÈÇáåÏí æ Ïíä ÇáÍÞ áíÙåÑå Úáí ÇáÏíä ˜áå æ áæ ˜Ñå ÇáãÔÑ˜æä
1- Shaykh Tabarsi 1 reports from Dhahhak that the expression "liyuzhirahu `ala al-din kullihi" ("to proclaim it over all religion") refers to the time of the descent of `Isa ibn Maryam on the earth when the followers of all religions will become Muslims.
2- He then reports a tradition from Imam Baqir (fifth Imam) that this event will occur during the time of the reappearance of the Mahdi from the progeny of the Prophet when there will be no one left on the earth who did not accept the message of the Prophet Muhammad. 2
3- The author also reports from Kalbi that there will be no religion left in the world unless Islam is victorious over it; this event is certain and the Day of Judgement will not occur until it takes place.
4- He reports from Miqdad ibn Aswad who said: "I heard from the Prophet who said: 'There will be no house left in the world unless the word of Islam enters this house either with dignity or by force." 3
5- It is also reported from ibn 'Abbas, says the author, that the pronoun hu in "liyuzhirahu `ala al-din kullihi" refers to the Prophet, which means that God will teach him all the religions
1 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol. I I p. 73
2 ÞÇá ÇÈæÌÚÝÑ : Åä Ðá˜ í˜æä ÚäÏ ÎÑæÌ ÇáãåÏí ãä Âá ãÍãÏ (Õ) ÝáÇ íÈÞí ÃÍÏ ÅáÇ ÃÞÑ ÈãÍãÏ (Õ)
3 ÞÇá ÇáãÞÏÇÏ ÇÈä ÇáÃÓæÏ ÓãÚÊ ÑÓæá Ç... (Õ) íÞæá áÇ íÈÞí Úáí ÙåÑ ÇáÃÑÖ ÈíÊ ãÏÑ æ áÇ æÈÑ ÅáÇ ÃÏÎáå Ç... ˜áãÉ ÇáÅÓáÇã ÅãÇ ÈÚÒ ÚÒíÒ æ ÃãÇ ÈÐá Ðáíá ...
so that nothing from the world's religions will remain outside the Prophet's knowledge.
4-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabataba'i 1 reports from the Tafsir Burhan that reported from Shaykh al-Saduq who reported a tradition from Abi Bassir who said: "Imam Sadeq said, concerning the interpretation of this verse, that: 'By God, the ta'wil of this verse has not yet been revealed, and will not be revealed until the rise of the al-Qa'im (Mahdi). When he rises, there will be no disbeliever in God or enemy of the Imams left, unless they are annoyed at the rise of the Imam (because he will put them up against the wall so that no one will escape). Even if a disbeliever hides behind a rock, the rock will say: 'O believers, there is a non-believer hiding behind me, break me and kill him.'" 2 The author says: "Such a tradition is also reported by al-`Ayyashi from Abi al-Muqaddam from Abi Ja'far (fifth Imam) and also from Sama'ah from Imam Sadiq (sixth Imam). Shaykh Tabarsi also reported it from Abi Ja'far. In the Tafsir al-Qummi it is reported that this verse was revealed about the al-Qa'im ale Muhammad (Mahdi) which means that the rise of
1 AI Mizan : Vol. 9 p. 315
2 ÞÇá ÇÈæ ÚÈÏ Ç... Ýí Þæáå ÚÒ æ Ìá : åæ ÇáÐí ÃÑÓá ÑÓæáå ÈÇáåÏí æ Ïíä ÇáÍÞ ... ÇáÂíÉ æ Ç... ãÇ äÒá ÊÃæíáåÇ ÈÚÏ æ áÇ íäÒá ÊÃæíáåÇ ÍÊí íÎÑÌ ÇáÞÇÆã ÝÅÐÇ ÎÑÌ ÇáÞÇÆã áã íÈÞ ˜ÇÝÑ ÈÇ... æ áÇ ãÔÑ˜ ÈÇáÅãÇã ÅáÇ ˜Ñå ÎÑæÌå ÍÊí áæ ˜Çä Çá˜ÇÝÑ Ýí ÈØä ÕÎÑÉ ÞÇáÊ : íÇ ãÄãä Ýí ÈØäí ˜ÇÝÑ ÝÇ˜ÓÑäí æÇÞÊáå -ÊÝÓíÑ ÇáãíÒÇä ÓæÑå ÇáÊæÈÉ ÂíÉ : 33
the Imam is the ta'wil of this verse as we saw in the tradition reported from al-Saduq."
The author then reports from the Sunnite sources: "It is reported in the al-Durr al-Manthur that Sa'id ibn Manthur, ibn Manzar, and Bayhaki reported in their Sunan from Jabir who said in the commentary of this verse: "What is said in the verse will not be realised unless there is no Jew or Christian or follower of any other religion apart from Islam left in the world, and also when sheep and wolves, lions and cows or humans and snakes will live together in peace and safety, and when mice no longer make holes in food sacks, and when taxes deducted from non-Muslims are eradicated, and crosses are destroyed and pigs are killed; and this will occur when `Isa ibn Maryam descends from heaven." Tabataba'i explains: "The reason for the abolition of taxes deductible from non-Muslims is that there will be no need for such taxes any more at that time. There are also other traditions concerning the fact that there will be no more non-Muslims left in the world. Also there are traditions which say that during the time of the Mahdi, he will abolish taxes levied on non-Muslims."
5) Qur'an 4: 159
And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them; 1 [4:159]
5-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
This verse concerns the Prophet 'Isa and the People of the. Book and as to whether it is intended to refer to the time of the Mahdi's reappearance or not. Shaykh Tabarsi, 2 after having translated the verse, reports several interpretations in this regard :
1- According to ibn 'Abbas, Abu Malek, Hasan, Qatadeh, and ibn Zaid, the two pronouns hi in "Bihi qabla mawiihi" ("in him before his death") refers to the Prophet 'Isa. It means that all the Christians and Jews will accept Islam as their religion, and will believe in him (`Isa) before his (`Isa) death, at which time God, during the time of the reappearance of the Mahdi, will send down 'Isa for killing the Antichrist (Dajjal) and when all the world's nations will be united and will come to an agreement.
1 æ Åä ãä Çåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÅáÇ áíÄãää Èå ÞÈá ãæÊå æ íæã ÇáÞíÇãÉ í˜æä Úáíåã ÔåíÏÇ
2 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol.6 p.137
2- Tabarsi adds that Tabari has also given the above interpretation and that according to Tabari the verse is intended for the group of Jews and Christians who are living at the time of the Mahdi. The author then mentions a tradition in favor of this view and says that Ali ibn Ibrahim reports in his tafsir from Shahr ibn Hushab who reports from Hajjaj ibn Yusuf 1 who said: "This verse surprises me. When I order the death of Jews and Christians and when their throats are being slit, I wait for them to say something but I never hear anything from them on this subject before their death. Their lips do not even move." I said: "May God guide the Amir (leader), the meaning of the verse is not this." He asked: "What is the meaning then?" I said: "`Isa ibn Maryam will descend to the earth before the Day of Judgment and will pray behind the Mahdi." 2 He said: "From which source do you state that?" I said: "Imam Baqir (fifth Imam) related this to me". Some asked to Shahr: "What was your purpose in saying this to him?" He said: "I wanted to irritate him".
3- Abu al-Qasim Balkhi has also given the same interpretation.
1 Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi (d.259 AH/ 873 CE) was the governor of Iraq designated by the Caliph Abdul Malek. He is known for the massacre and torture of thousands of people in Iraq.
2 Úä ÈÇÞÑ Èä Úáí Èä ÇáÍÓíä Èä Úáí ÇÈä ÃÈí ØÇáÈ ÞÇá : Åä ÚíÓí ÇÈä ãÑíã íäÒá ÞÈá íæã ÇáÞíÇãÉ Åáí ÇáÏäíÇ æ áÇ íÈÞí Ãåá ãáÉ íåæÏí Âæ äÕÑÇäí Ãæ ÛíÑå ÅáÇ æ Âãä Èå ÞÈá ãæÊ ÚíÓí æ íÕáí ÎáÝ ãåÏí ...
4- Zajjaj considered this view as weak. He says: "Those who remain until the return of 'Isa are of a small number and the verse refers to the faith of the totality of the people of the Book. But it is possible to say that the totality of the People of the Book say, 'We believe in that `Isa who will come at the End of Time'.
5- According to ibn 'Abbas -according to another tradition-, Mujahid, Dhahhaq, ibn Sirin, and Juwaybir, the pronoun hi in "bihi" ("in him") refers to `Isa and the pronoun hi in "mawtihi" ("his death") refers to a book, which means that each and every Jew or Christian who leave this world believe in `Isa before their death, and this is when there are no longer any duties or obligations and when death is certain. But this belief does not bring any advantage or benefit to them. The reason why the Jews and the Christians are both referred to here is because they are both on the wrong path, the Jews because of their blasphemy and the Christians because of their exaggeration and excess.
6- The meaning of the verse is that the people of the Book will believe in the Prophet Muhammad before their death ("bihi" then would refer to Muhammad). Tabari considered this view as weak. He says that if this is true, then the People of the Book should not be considered as unbelievers.
To this, Shaykh Tabarsi answers that "Tabari's comment is not pertinent because their belief occurs after the obligations and duties of this life but before death and at a time when it no
longer offers any advantage for them. On the other hand, the weakness of this view lies in the fact that the name of the Prophet does not occur in these verses and there is no reason to refer the pronoun hi to the Prophet when the name of `Isa is pronounced in these verses. It is then reasonable to refer the pronoun to `Isa."
5-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabataba'i 1 comments that the word "In" in the beginning of the verse is an adverb of negation and means "and there is none" and that in the expression "min ahl al-Kitab" ("of the People of the Book") the subject has been deleted which was the word ahad (one) and the expression is then read as "ahad min ahl al-Kitab" ("one of the People of the Book"). He adds that the pronoun hi in "bihi" and the verb "yakuna" refers to `Isa, but that the pronoun hi in "qabla mawtihi" ("before his death") is the subject of different interpretations. Therefore, he reports from several mufassirin the following views :
1- Some of the commentators said that the pronoun hi in "qabla mawtihi" refers to the deleted subject ahad (one) and the meaning of the verse is then "each one of the People of the Book before his death will believe in `Isa" which means that just a moment before his or her death it will become clear to him or her that `Isa was the Prophet of God and His true Servant. But this faith at the last moment of life will not have
1 Al-Mizan: Vol.5 , p.219
any benefit and 'Isa will testify against all of the People of the Book on the Day of Judgement, either their faith was useful and they believed in him during their lifetime in the correct manner or their faith was useless because they started to believe a moment before their death.
2- Other commentators said that the pronoun hi in "qabla mawtihi" refers to 'Isa himself and that the faith of the People of the Book in 'Isa before the death of 'Isa will occur at the moment of 'Isa's descent from Heaven. These commentators give, as an argument supporting this view, some of the traditions that say the Prophet 'Isa is still alive and did not die on the Cross, and that he will return from Heaven at the End of Time and that all the Jews and Christians existing at that time will believe in him.
Then Tabataba'i gives his own opinion after having compared the verses concerning 'isa in the Qur'an, and concludes his argument by saying that the pronoun hi in "Qabla mawtihi" refers to 'Isa and that 'isa is not dead and will not die unless all the People of the Book believe in him and this is confirmed in the traditions.
Tabataba'i reports from the Tafsir al-Qummi in which a tradition is mentioned concerning this verse: "My father reported from Qasim ibn Muhammad who reported from Sulayman ibn Dawud, who reported from Abi Hamza, who reported from Shahr ibn Hushab who said : "Hajjaj told me: '0 Shahr, a verse of the Quran is causing me confusion, and I
do not understand its meaning.' I asked: '0 Amir! Which verse is it?' He said: 'The verse : "And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them". By God, although I would give the order to slit the throat of a Jew or a Christian and would stand nearby until his last breath and would attentively look at him to see if he is testifying the legitimacy of Jesus, the Messiah or not, I would see nothing but his lips closed until his body would get cold. In such case, how is it that that verse of the Quran informs us that every Jew, before his death, becomes a believer in Jesus?' I told him: 'May God correct you; the meaning of the verse is not as you understood it.' `Then what is the meaning?' he said. `Before the Day of Judgement, Jesus will descend from Heaven and from all the nations no one will remain, be he Jew or non Jew, unless he becomes a believer in Jesus before he dies and Jesus will perform his prayers behind the Mahdi.' When Hajjaj heard these comments, he was most amazed and said: 'Wonderful! From whom did you learn this? From whom are you reporting these comments?' I replied: 'Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib related it to me.' To this, he answered: 'By God, you obtained this from a pure source.'"
Allama Tabataba'i then reports the same event from the tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur that ibn Manzar reported from Shahr ibn Hushab who said: "Hajjaj told me: '0 Shahr, there is a verse in the Quran that whenever I recite it, a feeling of
objection rises within myself and it is the following verse: "And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death." At the same time the captives of war are brought to me and I usually slit their throats but I never hear anything from them before their death.' I told Hajjaj: 'You did not get the proper meaning of the verse; when the soul of a Christian leaves his body, the angels slap him from behind and from ahead and say: '0 Wicked one! When you were on earth, you used to believe that either Jesus is God, or is the son of God or is a third God while he was God's servant, His soul and His word.' When the Christian hears these words, he becomes a believer. However, at that time, his faith has no benefit. Likewise, when the soul of a Jew leaves his body, the angels slap and beat him from behind and ahead and say: '0 Wicked one! You were the one who believed that you had killed Jesus! He was the servant and the soul of God.' Hearing this, the Jew starts believing in Jesus but at a time when his faith is no longer of benefit to him. This event occurs continuously for each one of the Christians and the Jews, until the time of Jesus' descent. In fact, at that time, each one of the People of the Book, either dead or alive, will believe in him (Jesus).' Hajjaj asked: `Where did you get that from?' I replied: 'From Muhammad ibn Ali.' He said: 'Indeed, you got it from the fount of knowledge.' Shahr then added: 'By God, I never heard that story except from Umm Salama but in order to make Hajjaj
(who was an enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt) jealous, I lied and told him that I heard it directly from Muhammad ibn Ali."
The author, in order to confirm that the verse concerns the Mahdi, reported from the same work (al-Durr al-Manthur) that Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, and Bayhaki in the Kitab al-Asma wa al-Sifat reported a tradition in which the narrator said: "The Prophet said: 'How will you react when the son of Mary (Jesus) descends among you and your Imam will be from among yourselves?" 1 Again, according to the author, this is narrated in the same book from ibn Marduwayh who reported from Abu Hurayra that he said: "The Prophet said: "Soon the son. of Mary will descend among you and will kill the Antichrist and the pigs (that Christians consider as lawful from a religious point of view)- the meaning here may be that he will prohibit them from consuming pork - and he will break the Cross which is one of the Christians' religious symbols (he will annihilate those symbols) and re-introduce the taxes (that had been abandoned) among the People of the Book, so that they pay taxes to the Islamic government; at that time wealth will increase and only God, the Lord of the Worlds, will be worshipped." Abu Hurayra then said: "If you wish, recite the verse: "And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death", which means 'before the death of `Isa'" and he repeated 'the death of `Isa' three
1 ... Úä ÃÈí åÑíÑÉ ÞÇá : ÞÇá ÑÓæá Ç... (Õ) ˜íÝ ÃäÊã ÅÐÇ äÒá ÇÈä ãÑíã Ýí˜ã æ ÅãÇã˜ã ãä˜ã.
times." 1 Tabataba'i comments that the traditions concerning the descent of Jesus at the time of the appearance of Mahdi are numerous both from Shi'ite and Sunnite sources, and reported either from the Prophet or from the Ahl al-Bayt.
Allama then reports another view concerning the Prophet apart from the one mentioned above. He reports from the tafsir al-'Ayyashi, a tradition reported from Harith ibn Mugheerah who reported from Imam Sadiq who said that the following verse "And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death ; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them" is about the Prophet. The author comments that although this tradition seems to be in contradiction with the verses concerning `Isa, however it is possible to say that the aim of these traditions may be to clarify that when the Prophet was appointed and brought a Book and a Divine Law (Shari 'a}, which abrogated the Law brought by Jesus, it became compulsory for the People of the Book to believe in the Prophet Muhammad as well as in Jesus and the Prophets who came before Jesus. Also, if one of the People of the Book lived after the prophetic mission of the Prophet, and at the moment of his death when the truth is being unveiled, he finds out that Jesus was the truth, he will obviously at the same time realise the
1 Úä ÃÈí åÑíÑÉ ÞÇá : ÞÇá ÑÓæá Ç... (Õ) : íæÔ˜ Ãä íäÒá Ýí˜ã ÇÈä ãÑíã Í˜ãÇ ÚÏáÇ íÞÊá ÇáÏÌÇá æ íÞÊá ÇáÎäÒíÑ æ í˜ÓÑ ÇáÕáíÈ æ íÖÚ ÇáÌÒíÉ æ íÞÈÖ ÇáãÇá æ Ê˜æä ÇáÓÌÏÉ æÇÍÏÉ á... ÑÈ ÇáÚÇáãíä æ ÇÞÑÃæÇ Åä ÔÆÊã : æ Åä ãä Ãåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÅáÇ áíÄãää Èå ÞÈá ãæÊå ãæÊ ÚíÓí ÇÈä ãÑíã. Ëã íÚíÏåÇ ÃÈæ åÑíÑÉ ËáÇË ãÑÇÊ.
truthfulness of the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the belief of the People of the Book in Jesus will be considered as true, only if they also believe in Muhammad. (In other words, they will understand that during their life, they were supposed to follow the religion of Muhammad as it is an abrogating religion, whereas the religion of Jesus is an abrogated one). Therefore, the Prophet who will be accepted truthfully by the People of the Book and who will bear witness against them is the Prophet Muhammad, who is the absolute proof for people living after his prophetic mission, although Jesus had the same position and there is no contradiction in considering one of the two Prophets in this verse. In the same book, says the author, it is reported from ibn Sinan who reported from Imam Sadiq concerning the commentary of the verse, that: "The faith of the People of the Book is only valid once they believe in the prophethood of Muhammad." 1
Again, Tabataba'i reports from the same book that it is reported from Jabir who reported from Imam Baqir (fifth Imam) that the latter said for the meaning of the above verse that: "No one from among any of the religions, from the very first to the very last, will die unless he contemplates the truthfulness of the Prophet of God (Muhammad) and the
1 Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... Ýí Þæá Ç... Ýí ÚíÓí : æ Åä ãä Ãåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÅáÇ áíÄãää Èå ÞÈá ãæÊå æ íæã ÇáÞíÇãÉ í˜æä Úáíåã ÔåíÏÇ. ÝÞÇá : ÅíãÇä Ãåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÅäãÇ åæ áãÍãÏ Õáí Ç... Úáíå æ Âáå
Commander of the Believers (Amir al-Mu'minin Ali)". 1 Concerning this view, Allama Tabataba'i comments that "It is not sure that the Imam's purpose was to give a commentary of the verse or even to adapt his word to the verse because it is likely that these words were merely the continuation of other words that the Imam might have said regarding the verse, and such (fragmented) traditions are numerous."
He finally reports from the same book, a tradition from Mufadhdhal ibn `Umar who said: "I asked Imam Sadiq about the meaning of the verse "And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death", and he answered: 'This verse has been revealed for us, the People of the House; any of the children of Fatima will not die and leave this world unless they testify in favour of the Imam and his Imamate in the same way that the children of Ya'qub testified in favour of Yusuf ...". 2 Concerning this tradition, the author comments: "This tradition is among the traditions that have a unique transmitter (which is not valid except in Ahkam). Besides, the source of this tradition is not mentioned."
1 Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... Ýí Þæáå : æ Ãä ãä Ãåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÃáÇ áíÄãää Èå ÞÈá ãæÊå æ íæã ÇáÞíÇãÉ í˜æä Úáíåã ÔåíÏÇ. ÞÇá áíÓ ãä ÃÍÏ ãä ÌãíÚ ÇáÃÏíÇä íãæÊ ÅáÇ ÑÃí ÑÓæá Ç... (Õ) æ ÂãíÑ ÇáãÄãäíä (Ú) ÍÞÇ ãä ÇáÃæáíä æ ÇáÂÎÑíä.
2 Úä ÇáãÝÖá Èä ÚãÑ ÞÇá ÓÃáÊ ÃÈÇÚÈÏÇ... (Ú) Úä Þæá Ç... : æ Åä ãä Ãåá Çá˜ÊÇÈ ÅáÇ áíÄãää Èå ÞÈá ãæÊå. ÝÞÇá : åÐå äÒáÊ ÝíäÇ ÎÇÕÉ Åäå áíÓ ÑÌá ãä æáÏ ÝÇØãÉ íãæÊ æ áÇ íÎÑÌ ãä ÇáÏäíÇ ÍÊí íÞÑ ááÅãÇã æ áÅãÇãÊå ˜ãÇ ÃÞÑ æáÏ íÚÞæÈ áíæÓÝ Ííä ÞÇáæÇ : ÊÇ... áÞÏ ÂËÑ˜ Ç... ÚáíäÇ.
6) Qur'an 8: 39
And light them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do. 1 [8:39]
6-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
- The author of Majma' al-Bayan 2 first explains the meaning of "Wa qatiluhum, hatta la takuna fitnah" ("And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression"): "This first part of the verse was directed at the Prophet and the believers so that they would fight against the unbelievers and put an end to their provocative disturbances."
- He then explains the meaning of "Wa yakuna ad-dinu kulluhu lillah" ("and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere"): "This second part means that the people of the Truth and the Falsehood gather around the True religion and accept correct beliefs, and because of the acceptance of the True religion by the people, religion in its entirety belongs to God."
- The author then reports a tradition from Zurarah who reported it from Imam Sadeq who said: "The to 'wil has not yet been reached. At the moment of the rise of our al-Qa'im, the
1 æ ÞÇÊáæåã ÍÊí áÇ Ê˜æä ÝÊäÉ æ í˜æä ÇáÏíä ˜áå á... ÝÅä ÇäÊåæ ÝÅä Ç... ÈãÇ íÚãáæä ÈÕíÑ
2 Majma' al-Bayan: Vol.10, p.218
people who will then be on earth will see the realization of the ta'wil of this verse and the religion of Muhammad will dominate the universe, and no polytheists (Pagans) will remain on earth." 1
6-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabataba'i 2 reports from Tabarsi's work (Majma' al-Bayan) that Zurarah and others besides him reported from Abi `Abdillah (sixth Imam) that he said: "The ta'wil of this verse has not yet been reached. When our al-Qa'im rises, those who recognise him will rapidly see the ta'wil of this verse. And the religion of Muhammad will reach such a rank that not even one single polytheist will remain on earth".
The author also says that 'Ayyashi reported this tradition in his tqfsir from Zurarah who reported it from the Imam, and concerning the meaning of this verse, there is a tradition in the Kali (work of Shaykh Kulayni) reported from Muhammad Ibn Muslim who reported it from Abi Ja'far (fifth Imam) and also `Ayyashi reported a similar tradition from `Abd Halbi from Abi Ja'far.
1 Ñæí ÒÑÇÑÉ æ ÛíÑå Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... (Ú) Ãäå ÞÇá : áã íÌí ÊÃæíá åÐå ÇáÂíÉ æ áæ ÞÇã ÞÇÆãäÇ ÈÚÏ ÓíÑí ãä íÏÑ˜å ãÇ í˜æä ãä ÊÃæíá åÐå ÇáÂíÉ æ áíÈáÛä Ïíä ãÍãÏ (Õ) ãÇ ÈáÛ Çááíá ÍÊí áÇ í˜æä ãÔÑ˜ Úáí ÙåÑ ÇáÃÑÖ.
2 AI-Mizan, Vol.9, p.114.
7) Qur'an 11: 8
If We delay the penalty for them for a definite term, they are sure to say, "What keeps it back?" Ah! On the day it (actually) reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be completely encircled by that which they used to mock at! 1 [11:8]
7-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
Shaykh Tabarsi 2 reports several commentators' views concerning the meaning of "umma" in this verse :
- He reports from ibn 'Abbas and Mujahid that the term "umma" in this verse has the meaning of "time", as it appears in another verse also.
- He reports from Ali ibn `Isa who said that "umma" means "community"; the meaning of the verse would then be, "if we delay their punishment until another community comes after them, one that also keeps insisting on their blasphemy and no believers would mingle with them... as we did with the community of the Prophet Nuh."
- Jaba'i said that the meaning of the verse is that "if we delay their punishment until the people after them come, who are ordered to perform duties and who also behave with
1 æ áÆä ÇÎÑäÇ Úäåã ÇáÚÐÇÈ Åáí ÇãÉ ãÚÏæÏÉ áíÞæáä ãÇ íÍÓÈå ÃáÇ íæã íÃÊíåã áíÓ ãÕÑæÝÇ Úäåã æ ÍÇÞ Èåã ãÇ ˜ÇäæÇ Èå íÓÊåÒÆæä.
2 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol.12, p.12
disobedience, when at this moment the divine wisdom orders their annihilation ..." - Tabarsi then reports from the traditions of Imam Baqir (fifth Imam) and Imam Sadiq (sixth Imam) who said: "The meaning of "ummatin ma 'dudah" in that verse is the Companions of Imam Mahdi, whose number is the same as the Companions of Badr, who were more than three hundred and ten people, and like the clouds in autumn, they will gather in circle around him."
7-B) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabataba'i 1 explains the expression "Ila ummatin ma 'dudah" in this verse and gives several meanings from different mufassirin :
1- The word umma means "time"
2- It is also possible that "umma" means "community", and in this case the meaning of the verse would be "and if we delay the punishment of the nonbelievers until the arrival of a limited community, they would say: why that punishment did not appear?" "Limited community" would refer to the believers (mu 'minin), since God promised that one day He would grant this religion to a virtuous community, a community that would never consider anything above the religion of God, and whenever these people are gathered
1 Al-Mizan, Vol.10, p.217
together and ready, God would establish for them the religion that is pleasing to them, as it appears in the Qur'an 5: 54; O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things, 1 and in the Qur'an 24: 55; Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion - the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: 'They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. 'If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked. 2 And this view is acceptable.
3- Some of the commentators said that the word "Umma" means "community" but a community that would arrive after
1 íÇ ÇíåÇ ÇáÐíä ÂãäæÇ ãä íÑÊÏ ãä˜ã Úä Ïíäå ÝÓæÝ íÃÊí Ç... ÈÞæã íÍÈåã æ íÍÈæäå ÃÐáÉ Úáí ÇáãÄãäíä ÃÚÒÉ Úáí Çá˜ÇÝÑíä íÌÇåÏæä Ýí ÓÈíá Ç... æáÇ íÎÇÝæä áæãÉ áÇÆã Ðá˜ ÝÖá Ç... íÄÊíå ãä íÔÇÁ æÇ... æÇÓÚ Úáíã
2 æÚÏÇ... ÇáÐíä ÃãäæÇ ãä˜ã æ ÚãáæÇ ÇáÕÇáÍÇÊ áíÓÊÎáÝäåã Ýí ÇáÃÑÖ ˜ãÇ ÇÓÊÎáÝ ÇáÐíä ãä ÞÈáåã æ áíã˜ää áåã Ïíäåã ÇáÐí ÇÑÊÖí áåã æ áíÈÏáäåã ãä ÈÚÏ ÎæÝåã ÃãäÇ íÚÈÏæääí áÇ íÔÑ˜æä Èí ÔíÆÇ æ ãä ˜ÝÑ ÈÚÏ Ðá˜ ÝÃæáÆ˜ åã ÇáÝÇÓÞæä.
the non-believers, and would be even worse than the preceding one, and the members of this community would persist in their blasphemy and lack of belief. At that time, God would trap them in his punishment, just like he did at the time of the prophet Nuh.
4- Others said that the word "Umma" conveys the meaning of "community" but a community that will come after the present infidels and that will persist in sinning against God to the extent that the Day of Judgement will come because of its members.
However, these last two versions are weak and incorrect because they rely on a false foundation, which is that those punished are the future non-believers and not the ones discussed in the verse.
Tabataba'i then reports from the TO* of al-Nu'mani who, according to his own source from Ishaaq ibn `Abd al-`Aziz who himself reported from Imam al-Sadiq who said regarding this verse: "The meaning of punishment and penalty (`athaab) is the reappearance of the Mahdi and "Ummatin ma 'dudah" means the Companions of Badr and those who participated in that battle." 1 The writer adds that this last meaning is also reported by al-Kulayni in his Kafi and Qummi and `Ayyashi in
1 Ýí ÊÝÓíÑ ÇáäÚãÇäí Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... (Ú) Ýí Þæáå : áÆä ÃÎÑäÇ Úä åã ÇáÚÐÇÈ Ãáí ÃãÉ ãÚÏæÏÉ ÞÇá ÇáÚÐÇÈ ÎÑæÌ ÇáÞÇÆã (Ú) æ ÇáÃãÉ ÇáãÚÏæÏÉ Ãåá ÈÏÑ æ ÃÕÍÇÈå.
their Tafsir works from Imam Ali, Imam al-Baqir and Imam al-Sadiq.
Finally, he mentions that in the Majma' al-Bayan, it is reported that some commentators said that "Ummatin Ma'dudah" refers to the Companions of the Mahdi who number just over three hundred and ten, the same number as the Companions of Badr, and who will gather around him on the day of his reappearance within an hour, in the same way as the clouds in autumn gather. It is said that this meaning was reported from Imam Abi Ja'far and Abi `Abdillah.
8) Qur'an 48: 28
It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness. 1 [48:28]
8-A) Tafsir Majma' Al-Bayan By Shaykh Tabarsi
For this verse, Shaykh Tabarsi 2 explains the expression "liyudhhirahu `ala al-dini kullihi" ("to proclaim it over all religion") as the fact that he will make Islam, with all its arguments and proofs, dominate over all the religions. He then reports some views that he does not reject :
1 åæ ÇáÐí ÃÑÓá ÑÓæáå ÈÇáåÏí æ Ïíä ÇáÍÞ áíÙåÑå Úáí ÇáÏíä ˜áå æ ˜Ýí ÈÇ... ÔåíÏÇ.
2 Majma' al-Bayan, Vol. 23, p.175
- Some of the commentators said that Islam would be victorious over all the religions by means of propagation and development and success throughout the lands.
- Some of the commentators said that all this would happen at the time of the reappearance of the Mahdi when no other religion will remain on earth except Islam.
9) Qur'an 41: 53
Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things? 1 [41:53]
9-A) Tafsir Al-Mizan By Allama Tabataba'i
Tabataba'i 2 explains that "the verse concerns God's promise that soon He will show the Signs on the horizons and within the people themselves, so that it becomes clear for everyone that the Qur'an is the truth. Indeed in "annahu al-Haqq" ("this is the Truth") the pronoun hu seems to refer to the Qur'an. And the Signs which are able to prove the veracity of the Qur'an will be the Signs from the Qur'an itself, those which inform the people about events and promises which will soon
1 ÓäÑíåã ÂíÇÊäÇ Ýí ÇáÂÝÇÞ æ Ýí ÃäÝÓåã ÍÊí íÊÈíä áåã Ãäå ÇáÍÞ Ãæ áã í˜Ý ÈÑÈ˜ Ãäå Úáí ˜á ÔíÁ ÔåíÏ.
2 AI-Mizan: Vol.17, p.601
be realised; for example, the verses informing people that God will help His Prophet and the believers (Mu 'minin), will put the earth at their disposal, will enable their religion to triumph over all other religions, and will take His revenge on the polytheists from Quraysh."
The author then mentions several possible tafsirs for the verse :
1- This prediction came to be realised by the victory over the polytheists in the battle of Badr and the conquest of Mecca by the Prophet and the believers. Of course, these events are historical and constitute a sign in favor of the veracity of the Qur'an, because the Qur'an had predicted these events before their fulfillment, and they occurred exactly in the way the Qur'an described.
2- It is also possible that the signs by which the truth will become clear may be applied to the fact that God will soon enable His religion to triumph over all the religions in its true meaning, so that no one and nothing will be worshipped but God the Unique. We have already mentioned this meaning from other verses such as in the Qur'an 24: 55.
Tabataba'i comments that the difference between the two interpretations given above is that in the first case, the verse addresses the Polytheists (Mushrikin) of Mecca and their followers, and in the second case, it addresses all Polytheists in general. It is also possible to consider the two meanings together.
3- The verse can also be applied to the situation of a person in the last moments of his life, when he has to renounce all his hopes and claims, when he has not any further choice and nothing is left for him but God. In this case, the pronoun hu in "annahu al-Haqq" refers to God. The commentators have also given other interpretations for the verse but we will not go into them here.
Tabataba'i does not himself interpret this verse as regarding the Mahdi but reports traditions from the Rawdhat al-Kali and from the Kitab al-'Irshad, which interpret the verse as concerning the Mahdi and does not reject these views. He says that in the Rawdhat al-Kafi, it is reported from at-Tayyar from Imam al-Sadiq who said that: "The meaning of the verse is to sink into the earth, metamorphose and become a victim of the meteorites." The narrator adds that he asked the Imam: "What does "hatta yatabayyana lahum" ("until it becomes manifest to them") mean?" The Imam answered: *Leave this aside for the time being, it concerns the uprising of the Al-Qa'im (the Mahdi)'." 1 The author then reports from the Kitab al-it-shad of Shaykh al-Mufid: " In Mufid's 'Irshad, it is reported from Ali ibn Abi Hamza, from Abi al-Hasan Musa ibn Ja'far (seventh Imam) concerning this verse that 'It concerns tumult
1 Ýí ÑæÖÉ Çá˜ÇÝí ÈÅÓäÇÏå Úä ÇáØíÇÑ Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... (Ú) Ýí Þæáå ÚÒ æ Ìá : ÓäÑíåã ÂíÇÊäÇ Ýí ÇáÂÝÇÞ æ Ýí ÃäÝÓåã ÍÊí íÊÈíä áåã Ãäå ÇáÍÞ ÞÇá : ÎÓÝ æ ãÓÎ æ ÞÐÝ. ÞÇá : ÞáÊ : ÍÊí íÊÈíä áåã¿ ÞÇá : ÐÚ ÐÇ ÐÇ˜ ÞíÇã ÞÇÆã.
and oppression that will take place on the earth and the transformation that will eliminate the enemies of the Truth'." 1 He again reports from the Rawdhat al-Kafi a tradition reported from Abi Bassir from Imam al-Sadiq (sixth Imam) who said that: "The meaning of the Sign within the people is the transformation, and the Sign on the horizons is the incompatibility of the time until they see the power of God within themselves and around them.' I asked: 'What does "hatta yatabayyana lahum annahu al-haqq" ("until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth") mean?' The Imam answered: 'It means the uprising of the al-Qa'im (Mahdi), because the Truth that is in God's hand and that will become clear and obvious for the creation and that will be seen by everyone, is the al-Qa'im (Mahdi).'" 2
1 Ýí ÅÑÔÇÏ ÇáãÝíÏ Úä Úáí Èä ÃÈí ÍãÒÉ Úä ÃÈí ÇáÍÓä ãæÓí (Ú) Ýí ÇáÂíÉ ÞÇá : ÇáÝÊä Ýí ÂÝÇÞ ÇáÃÑÖ æÇáãÓÎ Ýí ÃÚÏÇÁ ÇáÍÞ.
2 Ýí ÑæÖÉ Çá˜ÇÝí ÈÅÓäÇÏå Úä ÃÈí ÈÕíÑ Úä ÃÈí ÚÈÏÇ... (Ú) Ýí ÇáÂíÉ ÞÇá : íÑíåã Ýí ÃäÝÓåã ÇáãÓÎ æ íÑíåã Ýí ÇáÂÝÇÞ ÇäÊÞÇÖ ÇáÂÝÇÞ Úáíåã ÝíÑæä ÞÏÑÉ Ç... ÚÒ æ Ìá Ýí ÃäÝÓåã æ Ýí ÇáÇÝÇÞ. ÞáÊ : ÍÊí íÊÈíä áåã Ãäå ÇáÍÞ¿ ÞÇá : ÎÑæÌ ÇáÞÇÆã åæ ÇáÍÞ ÚäÏÇ... ÚÒ æ Ìá íÑÇå ÇáÎáÞ.
10) Qur'an 97: 5
Peace!...This until the rise of morn! 1 [97:5]
10-A) Tafsir Makhzan Al-'Irfan By Banu Nusrat Amin
Banu Amin 2 after having translated and explained the verse, says that the Qur'an has an outer (Zahir) and an inner (Batin) meaning and that both tafsir and ta 'w il are used to interpret the verses as they appear in the traditions where the Qur'an has seven inner meanings. She then asserts that it is consequently permissible to ascribe another meaning to the verses in addition to the meaning given by other commentators to this chapter.
Banu Amin then interprets the verse "Salamun hiya hatta matla 'il-fajr" ("Peace it is until the rise of morn!") in two different ways: The angels and Gabriel (Ruh) send their blessings and greetings to the Muhammadan soul and body and nature as long as nature and creation exist and until his pure soul returns from the world of nature to the world of Light and rejoins the Truth. It is reported in some of the traditions that the pronoun hiya refers to the Imam of the time, the Mahdi. Banu Amin adds that "this view confirms our interpretation of the verse as referring to the Prophet
1 ÓáÇã åí ÍÊí ãØáÚ ÇáÝÌÑ
2 Makhzan al-'Irfan, Vol.4, p.206
Muhammad, since the Imam of the time is the manifestation, the incarnation and the representative of the Prophet."
11) Qur'an 61:9
It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it). 1 [61:9]
11-A) Tafsir Makhzan Al-'lrfan By Banu Nusrat Amin
In the interpretation of "liyudhhirahu 'ala al-din kullihi" ("that he may proclaim it over all religion") Banu Amin 2 says that there is no doubt that the pronoun hu refers to the Qur'an and the religion of Islam which means that Islam will prevail and reign over all the religions of the world. She adds that we can see that Islam has not yet reached the whole world but we know that the promise of God is the Truth, so a time must certainly come when Islam will dominate all the religions, and this can only be realised with the help of the Mahdi's reappearance from the Prophet's offspring, after which no one will remain unless he pronounces the declaration of faith in Islam (Shahada). She then reports from the Minhaj al-Sadiqin and from Ali ibn Ibrahim Qummi that the al-Qa'im from the
1 åæ ÇáÐí ÃÑÓá ÑÓæáå ÈÇáåÏí æ Ïíä ÇáÍÞ áíÙåÑå Úáí ÇáÏíä ˜áå æ áæ ˜Ñå ÇáãÔÑ˜æä.
2 Makhzan al-'lrfan, Vol. 5, p. 279
Prophet's offspring will complete the religion of God and will establish it and enable it to reign over all other world religions in such a way that, apart from God, nothing else will be worshipped, and this is the meaning of the Prophet's saying: "he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with oppression and tyranny."
In this study, we have seen that the idea of Mahdawiyyah (Mahdism) in Islam, in both Sunnite and Shi'ite creeds, is particularly strong, although this idea did not originate solely within the Islamic faith. Indeed, Islam only confirms the period of waiting and the belief in a Saviour at the End of Time in terms of the world religions. As for the Shi'ites, they believe that this Saviour, who is also awaited by non-Muslims, is exclusively the twelfth Imam who is presently in Occultation. For these Muslims, the earth could not even last a day without the Occult presence of the Imam. Also, the idea of Messianism is stronger in Shi'ism than in any other religion and has its place in day-to-day life, the greatest act of worship for Shi'ites being to wait for the Mahdi's reappearance and to be prepared at any time to help him.
The subject of our study was to explore the presence of the Mahdi in the Qur'an according to Shi'ite commentators. In order to assess these Shi'ite scholars' opinion concerning the idea of Messianism in the Qur'an, we have studied two tafsir works that according to us are the most representative and widely accepted among the Shi'ite works, and that are also
praised by Sunnite scholars, especially the work of Shaykh Tabarsi, representing the classical works, and Allama Tabataba'i, representing more modern thought. We also studied the tafsir work of Banu Amin as a modern work, because we found it interesting and important to introduce her to the Western world as the first woman in Islam to have written the entire tafsir of the Qur'an.
Their methods :
Concerning the method used in her commentary, Banu Amin follows Tabarsi's method in general terms. She first explains the words and grammar of the verse, then reports on the points of view of several commentators. It is possible to assert that her tafsir is a summary of the Majrna, at least in the verses studied in this research. Of course, a reliable comparison between the two works in their entirety can only be done by studying the gnostic verses, since Banu Amin's is known as a gnostic tafsir given that she is considered to be a disciple of Molla Sadra, however research such as this would need to be tackled as a separate study.
Concerning the Mahdi, Banu Amin follows Tabarsi as other Shi'ite and Sunnite mufassirin have done. However, she does not follow him in all the nine verses he interprets as referring to the Mahdi. Indeed, she interprets four verses in common with Tabarsi in this respect while also discussing the Mahdi in the Qur'an 61: 9, and in the Qur'an 97: 5. Another difference between Banu Amin's work and that of the two other authors is
the absence of Sunnite references in her tafsir. This may be the reason why her tafsir is less voluminous.
Tabataba'i makes the most use of the Sunnite references and being a modern mufassir, his independent view and non-imitation of the opinions of the classical mufassirin, plus the fact that his commentary is based on the principle of having one part of the Qur'an interpreting other parts, has earned him a major position among the Shi'ite commentators, as is the case for Tabarsi. Indeed, Tabataba'i, as we see in his debates, relies more on his own understanding of the verses than the others do.
If we compare the way the verses are interpreted, we get the following results :
In the Qur'an 21: 105, the Majma', after having reported from other commentators that the verse concerns the Mahdi that he did not reject, reports the view of someone who denies the Mahdi, arguing his case through a demonstration of the weakness of the hadith while affirming that the Mahdi's appearance is certain and that the traditions concerning the Mahdi are mutawatir. Banu Amin interprets the Qur'an 21:105 as concerning the Mahdi. As for Tabataba'i, where most of the Shi'ite mufassirin have followed the classical works, saying that according to this verse (21:105] the Companions of the Mahdi will inherit the earth, the author of al-Mizan (Tabataba'i) disagrees with this interpretation, stating that it carries a general meaning, although the belief in
the Mahdi itself is certain and has been reported in mutawatir traditions by the Shi'ites and the Sunnites, and there is no need to interpret this verse as referring to the Mahdi.
In the Qur'an 24: 55, Tabarsi and Banu Amin share the same method of interpretation, both interpreting the verse explicitly as referring to the Mahdi. However, Tabataba'i, after having mentioned the views of other mufassirin, offers a broader interpretation of this verse and does not attribute it exclusively to the Mahdi.
In the tafsir of the Qur'an 2: 3, Tabarsi reports different opinions concerning the verse; one of them mentions the occultation of the Mahdi. His style of relating this seems to imply that he also believes in this interpretation. Banu Amin attributes this verse to the hereafter and all that we cannot perceive through our senses, but also to the occultation of the Mahdi that she explains in more weighty terms. Tabataba'i gives a broad meaning to the verse, implicitly suggesting that the Mahdi may be one among many other meanings embedded within the verse.
In the tafsir of the Qur'an 34:51, the three authors report traditions from different sources concerning the rise of the Sufyani and his being swallowed up by the earth in Bayda at the time of the Mahdi. They thus agree that the verse concerns one of the signs of the time of the Mahdi.
Concerning the Qur'an 4:159, Majma' discusses the faith of the People of the Book in `Isa, suggesting that it concerns the
time of the Mahdi's reappearance. Al-Mizan offers the same tafsir as Majma ' . The author of Makhzan does not mention the Mahdi in her tafsir.
In the Qur'an 8: 39, Tabarsi and Tabataba'i confirm that the verse refers to the time of the Mahdi, and that the people of the time of the Mahdi will understand the ta 'wil of this verse. Banu Amin does not offer an interpretation of this verse.
For the Qur'an 9: 33, Tabarsi sees the verse as a prediction of the Qur'an and interprets it as concerning the time of the reappearance of the Mahdi. Tabataba'i interprets it without doubt as the rise of the al-Qa 'im and reports this tafsir from several commentators. The Makhzan al- 'Irfan offers no interpretation for this verse.
For the Qur'an 11: 8, Majma' considers the verse as referring to the Mahdi and his Companions while al-Mizan confirms Majma's tafsir and those of other mufassirin. The Makhzan offers no interpretation concerning the Mahdi.
For the Qur'an 41: 53, al-Mizan reports two tafsirs concerning this verse and considers one of the two as concerning the Mahdi according to references gleaned from other commentators. The Majma' and the Makhzan have no tafsir for this verse.
In the Qur'an 48: 28, Tabarsi reports two interpretations for the verse, one of them concerning the time of the Mahdi's
reappearance. Al-Mizan and Makhzan offer no tafsir concerning the verse.
The Qur'an 97: 5, and the Qur'an 61: 9, are only interpreted by Banu Amin as concerning the Mahdi. Neither al-Mizan nor Majma' offer an interpretation concerning the Mahdi.
What we can understand from the verses reported as implicitly concerning the Mahdi and their interpretation by three Shi'ite commentators is the future supremacy of Islam over the world and good tidings from. God to the Muslims of the future Universal Reign of Islam. There are diverging opinions among the commentators concerning the above-mentioned victory of Islam over all the religions. Some say that this victory can be understood in intellectual and rational terms, and that it has already occurred since Islam is the most logical and rational religion practised in the world today.' But most of them agree, as do the authors studied here, that a more correct interpretation would encompass a victory on all fronts, meaning that the day will come when Islam will be victorious over all the religions of the world, not only intellectually and spiritually, but also politically through the constitution of a new world government, and belief in the predictions of these verses and that such important and universal events can only be realised at the time of the Mahdi. These commentators give as an argument for their opinion that these verses are N. Makarem Shirazi: Tafsir-e Nemune, Vol 7, p.359
unconditional and general, and that there is no reason to limit their meaning by affirming that the victory will be limited to a particular region demarcated at the time of the Prophet or at some time afterwards, or to a particular intellectual standpoint. Moreover, they argue that the verses concerning the victory of Islam on a worldwide scale at the time of the Mahdi have been interpreted by numerous traditions explicitly announcing the appearance of the Mahdi who will enable Islam to triumph throughout the world. Apart from those reported by the Imams, the Mahdi traditions are also reported by a number of the Prophet's Companions; for example, `Othman ibn `Affan, Ali ibn Abi Talib (first Imam for the Shi'ites, but also considered as a Caliph and Companion by the Sunnites), Talha ibn `Ubaydillah, `Abdurrahman ibn `Awf, 'Abdullah ibn Harith, Abu Hurayrah, Jaber ibn `Abdullah, Abu Umamah, `Abdullah ibn 'Omar, Anas ibn Malek and others, also Umm Salama or `Aisha (the Prophet's wife). These traditions concerning the rise of the Mahdi are accepted by most Muslim scholars because of the multiplicity of their sources allowing a certain certitude (tawatur), although a limited number of them 1 doubt their Prophetic origin, objecting that the content of such traditions is not rationally acceptable, even as mutawatir traditions.
1 like Ibn Khaldun or Ahmad Amin
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