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Question 072: I read this in the book ‘Scale of Wisdom’: Imam al-Mahdi (AS) said, when ‘Ali b. Mahzyar asked him, ‘O my master, when will this rule be?’ ‘When the way between you and the Ka’bah will close). Nur al-Thaqalayn, v. 5, p.461, no. 3. What does it mean by the way to the Ka’bah will be closed? Is it telling of a time that no one will be able to make Hajj? Does evil close the way, or is there no longer a need to go to the Ka’bah when al-Mahdi reappears?

Answer 072: Tthe hadith is regarded as one of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) according to the book al-Ghaybah and Kamal al-Din, but it is not actually one of the signs which will certainly occur. In short, the signs fall under two categories. One group consists of those signs which will certainly occur, foreshadowing the re-emergence: the rebellion of Sufyani, the rebellion of Yamani, the burst of a heavenly cry, the murder of an innocent soul, the sinking of the army of Sufyani into the desert ground, the rebellion of Dajjal. The remaining signs are not certain and as such might not occur. This hadith is not among those signs which will certainly occur.

The signs can be categorized into four groups:

1) The social signs: that is, to put it in a nutshell, those social phenomena whose upshot would be the downfall of the then perverted human civilization.

2) The religious and Ideological signs: which constitute the collapse and distortion of the Divine religion.

3) The Natural Signs: changes such as alterations in the constellations.

4) The individual and miraculous signs: such as the burst of a heavenly cry, and the murder of the Innocent Soul.[1]

The followings are some reasons we can come to the conclusion that why this hadith is not true or not among those signs which will certainly occur:

  1. This is the only tradition trying to say that ‘closing the way …’ is the sing of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi, but it is a Khabar al-Wahid and not considered as mutawatir hadith.[2] Because, there are other traditions in which it hasn’t mentioned as the signs which will certainly occur.
  2. This is one of the traditions that include some of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi with different versions mentioned in books: Kamal al-Din (by Sheikh Sadouq), Al-Ghaybah (by Sheikh Tusi) and Dalael al-Imamah (attributed to Tabari (shia)). But, the followings are some of the issues concerning its chains of narrations by which we can conclude that this hadith is weak:
  3. In these books, there are four different names related to ibn Mahziyar that both of them are not relaible. Some say: Abū Isḥāq, Ibrāhīm b. Mahzīyār al-Ahwāzī; some say: Abul Hasan Ali bin Mahziyar and other say: Ali bin Ebrahim bin Mahziyar. Whereas, the two brothers have introduced in Shia Rijal authentic books as ibn Mahziyar.
  4. According to some references, Ali bin Mahziyar died before the birth of Imam Mahdi (ajtf). If so, he was unable to visit Imam Mahdi (as). He was alive during the times of Imam Ridha, Imam Javad and Imam Hadi (pbuth).[3] Ayatollah Khuei (ra) said: there is no reason proving that Ali bin Mahziyar was alive alive till the time of Imamat of Imam Askari (as). [4]

C: As Ali bin mahziyar was a representative of Imam Javad and Imam Hadi (pbuth) and was so respectable to them (pbuth)[5], it was easy for him to see Imam Askari’s (as) family. So, it is not true to say that he was going to Hajj for several times to visit Imam Askari’s (as) family and see Imam Mahdi (as) Himself, but he couldn’t find them!

D: Kamal al-Din and Tamam al-Ne’mah is another reference in which the name of Ebrahim bin Mahziyar is mentioned has error in its chain of narration as follows: it is said that he was looking for the next Imam after the death of Imam Askari (as) and finally visited Imam Mahdi (ajtf) through an unknown man. But, according to Kafi and Kashi, Ebrahim bin Mahziyar was one of the Imam Askari’s (as) or Imam Mahdi’s (ajtf) monetary representative and also he stated in his will to give some of the properties left behind him to Amri (special deputy).[6]

  1. This tradition, as a related issue concerning Qiyamat, is mentioned under verses 1 to 40 of Surah al-Qiyamah of the Holy Quran, according to the author of Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn.

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows[7]:

في كتاب الغيبة لشيخ الطائفة قدس سره باسناده الى على بن مهزيار حديث طويل يذكر فيه دخوله على القائم عليه السلام و سؤاله إياه. و فيه: فقلت يا سيدي متى يكون هذا الأمر؟ فقال: إذا حيل‏ بينكم‏ و بين‏ سبيل‏ الكعبة و اجتمع‏ الشمس‏ و القمر، و استدار بهما الكواكب و النجوم- فقلت: متى يا ابن رسول الله؟ فقال لي: في سنة كذا و كذا تخرج دابة الأرض من بين الصفا و المروة، معه عصى موسى و خاتم سليمان يسوق الناس الى المحشر.

I said, then: My Master! When you appear? The Imam has replied: “when you are not being allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and the sun and moon gather together and the stars stand around them”. I said: O son of Rasool Allah, at what time? He (as) said: on such and such year, and ‘Dabbatul Ardh’ will appear between Safa and Marwa and has Moses’ (as) rod and Suleiman’s (as) signet-ring with itself and lead people to the Gathering Place (Mahshar). Thus, there have been mentioned many signs for re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (as) that some of which are related to the Day of Judgment.

  1. The Book Kamal al-Din is the first authentic book in which quoted the tradition concerning ibn Mahziyar. But, as we refer to the historical events, the Iranian and Iraqi people haven’t been allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca for several times.[8]

Conclusion: Although, the hadith is regarded as one of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) according to the book al-Ghaybah and Kamal al-Din, but it is not actually one of the signs which will certainly occur and also due to the previous mentioned reasons this hadith cannot be true or at least it is weak in its chain of narration.

For further information, please read the following answers:

Index: Possibility of Establishing Relationship with Imam Mahdi, answer 0513.

Index: When appear: Imam Mahdi (ajtf) brings a new order, Method or Shari’ah with Him, answer 022.

Index:  The Benefits of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) during His occultation, answer 026.

Index: The Signs of the Re-Emergence, according to ibn Mahziyar Ahwazi, answer 072.

Index: General appearance of Imam Mahdi (ajtf), answer 267.

[1] . Kitab al-Ghaybah, pgs. 252 – 254; 279 – 282. Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah, pg. 331 – 649.

[2] . Mutawatir is a hadith which is reported numerously by different narrators and through various chains of transmission in a way that substantiates its authenticity. Mutawatir hadiths are considered opposite Khabar al-Wahid.

[3] . Rijal al-Najjashi, Pg. 253.

[4] . Mojam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 12, Pg. 198; For further information in this regards, please refer to: Al-Kafi, Kuleini, Vol. 4, Pg. 310; Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Sadouq, Vol. 2, Pg. 444; Tahzib al-Ahkam, Sheikh Tusi, Vol. 9, Pg. 226.

[5] . Rijal al-Najjashi, Pg. 253; Al-Ghaybah, Sheikh Tusi, Pg. 349.

[6] . Rijal al-Kashi, Pg. 531; al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 518; For further information in this regards, please refer to: Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ne’mah, Vol. 2, Pgs. 446-467; Mojam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 1, Pg. 306, Vol. 4, Pg. 65; Ibid, Vol. 11, Pg. 193; Ibid, Vol. 12, Pg. 198.

[7] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, Pg. 12; Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, Vol. 5, Pg. 461; Tafsir al-Safi, Vol. 5, Pg. 255; Al-Ghaybah (by Tusi), the book Al-Ghaybah lilHujjah, al-Nass, Pg. 266.

[8] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 11, Pg. 107; Ibid, Pg. 249; al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, ibn Kathir, Vol. 11, Pg. 153; Ibid, Pgs. 155-156-189; Al-Tanbih wa al-Ashraf, Masoodi, Pg. 329; Shazerat al-Zahab, ibn Emad al-Hanbali, Vol. 4, Pg. 312; ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazim, Vol. 13, Pg. 378.

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