The Fortieth Narration

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The Fortieth Narration

 

Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

والذي نفسي بيده ليوشكن أن ينزل فيكم ابن مريم حكما عدلا ، وإماما مقسطا ، يكسر الصليب ، ويقتل الخنزير ، ويضع الجزية ، ويفيض المال حتى لا يقبله أحد

By Him in Whose hand is my life, the son of Maryam will soon descend among you as a just judge and a fair Imam. He will break the cross, kill swine, and abolish Jizyah[1] and the wealth will pour forth to such an extent that no one will accept it.[2]

 

This narration has been recorded by ‘Abdul Razzaq in his Musannaf. [3]

 

Imam al Bukhari and Muslim have recorded it with the following addition:

 

حتى تكون السجدة الواحدة خيرا من الدنيا وما فيها ثم يقول أبو هريرة واقرءوا إن شئتم وإن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته ويوم القيامة يكون عليهم شهيدا

Until a single sajdah will be more valuable to the world and whatever it contains. Then Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, recite if you wish:

وَإِنْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُوْنُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيْدًا

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. [4]

 

The narration of Muslim is as follows:

 

ولتتركن القلاص فلا يسعى عليها ولتذهبن الشحناء والتباغض والتحاسد

The young she-camel would be left and no one would endeavour to collect Zakat on it. Spite, mutual hatred, and jealousy against one another will certainly disappear.[5]

 

Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:

1. There is great virtue and honour in favour of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in this narration:

 

a. They are Companions between two great Prophets of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This is an honour that no other nation has achieved.

b. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam lends even more virtue to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum by being part of them.

c. The first part of this ummah benefited greatly from the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They achieved the unreachable through their knowledge, striving, and blessing. Similarly, the tail end of this ummah will be unified under the ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam.

d. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will revive the Shari’ah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without going out of its bounds by a hair just as Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum did, holding on to the pristine Shari’ah. By token of this he is already like the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Add to this his seeing and believing in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spiritually and physically.

 

2. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam is referred to as an Imam, not a Prophet or Messenger signifying his descent as a Companion together with being a Prophet. This is further stressed by the narration, “And your Imam will be from amongst you.”

 

3. Another indication is brought to the fore by referring to him as an Imam. He will be subject to the Shari’ah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The narration stating, he will break the cross is an extension of this indication.

 

4. The narration is proof that refutes the notion of the Christians that he was crucified.

 

5. The Christians claim permissibility of swine based on the teachings of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam. This is refuted by the narration, ‘He will kill swine’.

 

6. Abolishing the Jizyah means he will not accept it from anyone signalling all other religions will cease and not be accepted. The verse recited by Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu conforms to this.

 

7. Question: How is it that ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will abolish Jizyah which forms part of the Shari’ah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? If the disbelievers refuse to accept Islam Jizyah is accepted from them.

Answer: This ruling is specific to the end of times which is learned through the teachings of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This ruling has therefore already been decreed though ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will be the one to enact it. This ruling is so that eventually nothing remains besides pure monotheism as per the will of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

8. Question: Why is it that ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will be the one to unify the ummah on monotheism at the end of times?

Answer: This is—and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best—because the majority of people upon his descent will be Christians as indicated in another narration:

 

تقوم الساعة والروم أكثر الناس

The Hour will see most people as Christians.[6]

 

Furthermore, the salient beliefs of the Christians by which they have interpolated the religion of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam is the doctrine of trinity, crucifixion, and permissibly of swine amongst other things. It is therefore most appropriate that ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam come down to revert the changes they have made whilst attributing it to him.

Other wisdoms could be to honour this ummah at the end of times as all those that try to affect change cannot do so at the level of a Prophet. The end of the ummah will be revived by one who shares a close bond to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, even being his Companion.

 

9. This narration refers to strange happenings at the end of times; the strangest in the history of humanity. The world will witness the descent of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam from the heavens, all religions will abandon their faith and come under the banner of Islam, hatred and jealousy will altogether disappear, wealth will cease to be the object of people’s lives, and so on and so forth as depicted in the narrations. This will be the best of times that the world would witness as understood from authentic narrations.

 

10. “Your Imam will be from amongst you”. This has been explained to be al Mahdi. Ibn al Qayyim has recorded the following in al Manar:

 

وقال الحارث بن أبي أسامة في مسنده: حدثنا اسماعيل بن عبد الكريم حدثنا إبراهيم بن عقيل عن أبيه عن وهب بن منبه عن جابر قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “ينزل عيسى بن مريم فيقول أميرهم المهدي تعال صل بنا فيقول لا إن بعضهم أمير بعض تكرمة الله لهذه الأمة” قال ابن القيم وهذا إسناد جيد

Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will descend and their leader, al Mahdi will say, ‘come lead the prayer’. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will say, ‘no, some are leaders of the others; a token of honour to this ummah.’”. Ibn al Qayyim has said that the chain of narrators are sound.

 

11. Ibn Battal has explained the killing of swine, an indication that swine is impermissible in the Shari’ah of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam and his killing them proof against the Christians who deem it permissible. Ibn Hajar writes:

 

ويستفاد منه تحريم اقتناء الخنزير وتحريم أكله وأنه نجس ، لأن الشيء المنتفع به لا يشرع إتلافه

The impermissibility of possessing and eating swine can be understood from this narration. Its impure nature is also an indication therein, as anything of value cannot be destroyed. [7] [Here the opposite rings true.]

 

12. Take note of the following verse:

 

وَإِنْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكُوْنُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيْدًا

And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness. [8]

 

The Christians will believe in ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam before his death. This explanation is the most applicable of the verse, it is also the view of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The end of the verse indicates towards this; him being a witness against them on the Day of Qiyamah.

 

13. Muhammad al Amin al Shinqiti explains in his Tafsir:

 

من مرجحات هذا القول، أنه على هذا القول الصحيح، فمفسر الضمير، ملفوظ مصرح به، في قوله تعالى: وقولهم إنا قتلنا المسيح عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله وأما على القول الآخر فمفسر الضمير ليس مذكورا في الآية أصلا، بل هو مقدر تقديره: ما من أهل الكتاب أحد إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته، أي موت أحد أهل الكتاب المقدر ومما لا شك فيه، أن ما لا يحتاج إلى تقدير، أرجح وأولى، مما يحتاج إلى تقدير

Another explanation given is that the Christians will believe in ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam before their deaths. This second view is perhaps not the best due to it requiring a hypothetical [Muqaddar] in the verse.[9]

 

14. The narrations that depict the descent of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam are many and successive [mutawatir]. Thus rejecting this tenant will render a person a disbeliever as it is of those things which are essential to believe in.

 

15. Wealth pouring forth means that that the wealth will be over and above the needs of people. Discussing the reasons and manners in which there will be an increase will result in lengthy treatise. Suffice to say we believe in these signs and that they are true.

 

16. Nobody accepting wealth will be due to the poor becoming self-sufficient. This also shows the purity of character of the people in that time.

 

17. One will go out to discharge his zakat, but will not find a single person willing to take his wealth as they will not be in need. This will absolve him from his obligatory duty which is binding due to the poor. Since the reason for giving will be gone so too will the obligation. Purifying one’s wealth through zakat is a secondary principle based on meeting the needs of the poor.

 

18. The descent of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam as mentioned in this narration refutes the notion of the Jews who believe in his death and the Christians who believe in his crucifixion.

 

19. The narration refers to ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam as ‘The son of Maryam’. This is to reinforce that he most definitely is the son of the pure Maryam radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This also refutes the falsities of the Qadiyaniyyah who believe Mirza Ahmed Ghulam Qadiyani to be the waited ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam. Every detail prophesised by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam goes against the life of this liar. Many scholars have written books which refute this foreign religion.

 

20. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam being a just judge disproves what some, such as al Saffarini in al Buhur al Zakhirah, have stated that religious obligations will be no more after his descent.

 

21. This narration has not explained the manner in which ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will descend however, other narrations have detailed this. The following narration of Sahih Muslim is one such narration:

 

فبينما هو كذلك إذ بعث الله المسيح ابن مريم فينزل عند المنارة البيضاء شرقي دمشق بين مهرودتين واضعا كفيه على أجنحة ملكين إذا طأطأ رأسه قطر وإذا رفعه تحدر منه جمان كاللؤلؤ

At this very time that Allah would send Jesus, son of Maryam, and he will descend at the white minaret in the eastern side of Damascus wearing two garments lightly dyed with saffron and placing his hands on the wings of two Angels. When he would lower his head, there would fall beads of perspiration from his head, and when he would raise it up, beads like pearls would scatter from it.[10]

 

In the narration Sahih al Bukhari his description is given as follows:

 

لمته بين منكبيه ، رجل الشعر ، يقطر رأسه ماء

His hair fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dripping from his head.[11]

 

22. This narration does not mention the physical features of ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam. In other collections of hadith we do find traditions of this kind. Take the following hadith of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu recorded in Sunan Abu Dawood:

 

ليس بيني وبينه نبي يعني عيسى وإنه نازل فإذا رأيتموه فاعرفوه رجل مربوع إلى الحمرة والبياض بين ممصرتين كأن رأسه يقطر وإن لم يصبه بلل

There is no prophet between me and him, that is ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam. He will descend (to the earth). When you see him, recognise him: a man of medium height, reddish fair, wearing two light yellow garments, looking as if drops were falling down from his head though it will not be wet.[12]

 

23. This narration does not include lengthy details of his life after he descends. However, other narrations are recorded to this effect, which the scholars have gathered and explained the authentic from the weak. From authentic narrations we find that jealousy will be no longer remain, poisonous creatures will become harmless to the extent that children will play with them, and the earth will bring forth its blessings so much so that a group of people will eat from a bunch of grapes and a single pomegranate which will suffice for them.

 

24. Some narrations have the following:

 

وتسلب قريش ملكها

And the Quraysh will no longer be in power[13]

 

This, though, goes against other authentic narration such as:

 

لا يزال هذا الأمر في قريش ما بقي من الناس اثنان

Authority of leadership will continue to remain with the Quraysh as long as there are two people.[14]

 

Ibn Hajar, al Sakhawi, al Haytami and others have reconciled this in the following manner:

 

معنى ذلك لا يبقى لقريش اختصاص بشيء دون مراجعته

This means that the Quraysh will not affect change except by seeking counsel from ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam.[15]

 

This reconciliation is especially good since we know it will be al Mahdi who will lead the people in salah and he is from the progeny of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam himself will attest to this by saying some are leaders of the others; a token of honour to this ummah.

This being said, one should understand the aforementioned hadith of Sahih al Bukhari in its context. The meaning of the hadith is that the Quraysh will always be more rightful for positions of leadership even if there be only two left.

 

25. Al Saffarini has written the following in al Buhur al Zakhirah:

 

اما عيسي فلا ينبغي ان يقال أن الأمر في زمنه للمهدي، كيف وهو روح الله وكلمته، وذاك رجل مجتهد يصيب ويجوز عليه الخطأ وقد أخبر النبي ان الأمر يكون لعيسى ، نعم يكون المهدي من خواص أصحابه، بل وزيره، يراجعه في الأمور، ويصدر عنه الشورى و عيسي مجدد ومقرر الشريعة و هذا واضح

As far as ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam goes, saying that he will be under the leadership of al Mahdi is inappropriate as he is the word and spirit of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, whilst al Mahdi is but a man who can err. Furthermore, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prophesised that ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will lead the way. Yes, al Mahdi will be his close companion and chief counsellor who will be consulted. ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam will be a reviver of the Shari’ah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[16]

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam referred to ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam as the Imam and judge. The Imam and judge are figures that are followed. Although the wording of some narrations may suggest al Mahdi being the Imam, this is probably as a chieftain under a king who sees to the affairs of the masses. “Your Imam will be from you” and “Some are leaders of the others; a token of honour to this ummah” will be seen in this light.

 

26. The importance of calling towards good and forbidding evil together with this being the occupation of the Prophets ‘alayh al Salam.

 

27. Those things that are impermissible in principle have no replacement value if destroyed.

 

28. Amongst the greatest works of an Imam is calling towards good and forbidding evil.

 

29. Hatred, jealousy, and spite are of the worst characteristics that one can be imbued with.

 

30. The permissibility of taking an oath in important matters.

 

31. The desirability of prostrating continuously in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Prostration is signifies subjecting one’s self completely to the will of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala whilst being in total need of him.

 

32. The greatest form of seeking out proofs is through the Qur’an and Sunnah.

 

33. The importance of bringing one’s life to completion by the most honoured act in the sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. There is no greater devotion after Tawhid than calling people towards Tawhid and the sole worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to bring our life to an end in the best of manners.

This is the end of the Forty Narrations. All praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds. Peace and salutations be upon the Master of the those that have passed and those yet to come and upon his family, Companions, and those that follow in his footsteps. Amin.

This book was completed in many sittings, the last whilst on Kuwait Airways headed to Kuwait from Riyadh on Wednesday the 19th of Dhul Qa’dah, 1431 A.H.

 


[1] Jizyah is a per capita yearly tax levied on non-Muslim subjects.

[2] The son of Maryam is ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam the Prophet of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Together with attaining the distinction of being a Prophet, he also has the honour of being a Sahabi as he had, physically, seen Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the night of ascension. The narration of Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim is as follows, “I then passed by ‘Isa who said, ‘Welcome pious prophet and pious brother’. I asked who is this? He said, “‘Isa ibn Maryam.” This distinction of him being Prophet and Companion is unrivalled by the other Prophets ‘alayh al Salam as they had seen Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with their spiritual beings with their bodies in the earth as is in authentic narrations, whilst ‘Isa had seen Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam both physically and spiritually.

Many of the erudite scholars such as al Dhahabi, al ‘Iraqi, al Subki, Ibn Hajar, and al Suyuti have included ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam in the index of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Hafiz writes in al Isabah:

 

عيسى المسيح ابن مريم الصديقة ، رسول الله ذكره الذهبي في التجريد مستدركا على من قبله فقال: عيسى ابن مريم رسول الله ، رأى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ليلة الإسراء وسلم عليه، فهو نبي وصحابي، وهو آخر من يموت من الصحابة وألغزه القاضي تاج الدين السبكي في قصيدته في آخر القواعد له فقال‏:‏

من باتفاق جميع الخلق أفضل من ** خير الصحاب أبي بكر ومن عمر

ومن علي ومن عثمان وهو فتى ** من أمة المصطفى المختار من مضر

‘Isa ibn Maryam, the Prophet of Allah. Al Dhahabi has mentioned him in al Tajrid saying, “‘Isa ibn Maryam, the Messenger of Allah. He saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the night of ascension and greeted him. He is therefore a Prophet and Companion and the last Companion that will die. Al Subki has delivered this in the form of a riddle in the following poem:

Who is, by consensus better than; The best of the Sahabah; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar,

‘Ali, ‘Uthman and is a young man; from the ummah of the selected from Mudar [Al Isabah, vol.4 pg. 761]

 

Another riddle could be, ‘Who is the sahabi that is still alive?’

Being a Companion does not lower his status, it rather elevates his status and the status of the galaxy of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They are between two prophets, Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam. This is an honour unmatched by any other nation.

[3] Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, Hadith: 20840.

[4] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3264.

[5] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 155.

[6] Sahih Muslim.

[7] Fath al Bari: 3264.

[8] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3264.

[9] Adwa’ al Bayan, vol. 7 pg. 130.

[10] Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2937.

[11] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3440.

[12] Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith: 4324.

[13] Sunan ibn Majah, Hadith: 4077.

[14] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3310.

[15] See, Lawami’ al Anwar al Bahiyyah wa Sawati’ al Asrar al Athariyyah, pg. 96.

[16] Al Buhur al Zakhirah, pg. 515.