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In order to answer this question, lets first have a look at two incidents from the life of Imam Ali (as): 

Once, the Imam was having a conversation with the Prophet (s) in the month of Ramadan, during which the prophet started to cry. When the Imam asked him the reason the Prophet (s) said; O’ Ali, I cry because of what will be done to you in the month of Ramadan, I see the day when your beard will be colored with the blood of your head. Then, Imam Ali asked, O’ Messenger of Allah, will I die then as a faithful man? The prophet (s) replied: Your faith will be safe. 1

And when the prediction of the Prophet (s) came true and Imam Ali (as) was struck on his head by a sword coated with poison while performing the prayer of morning in the mosque, he said: "By the Lord of Ka'ba, I have succeeded.” And he passed away (reached martyrdom) two days later [on the 21st of Ramadan] due to the injury.

divine salvation or prosperity and to make sure that in the end we depart this world while having faith is the last stage of perfection for which we all must strive and which must be our main concern. 

Look how a divine leader like Imam Ali is so much worried about his end, and when he is sure that he is leaving this world with a pure faith in Allah, he is relieved, and this shows that divine salvation or prosperity and to make sure that in the end we depart this world while having faith is the last stage of perfection for which we all must strive and which must be our main concern.

Being a believer at the moment should not make us confident about our destiny, for history is full of people who lived with piety for a period of time but then they changed the course of their lives and became wretched.

Being a believer at the moment should not make us confident about our destiny, for history is full of people who lived with piety for a period of time but then they changed the course of their lives and became wretched, the most evident example of which is Satan, about whom Imam Ali says, 

You should take a lesson from what Allah did with Satan; namely He nullified his great acts and extensive efforts on account of the vanity of one moment, although Satan had worshipped Allah for six thousand years - whether by the reckoning of this world or of the next world is not known. Who now can remain safe from Allah after Satan by committing a similar disobedience? None at all. 3

1 al-Amali, p. 193.
1 Khasa'is al- 'A'immah, p.63
3 Nahj al-Balagha, sermon. 192 
Answered by Saeed Mahmoudzade. 

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The following traditions narrated from the infallible Imams (a.s.) sufficiently answer this question:
Imam Zainul Abedin (a.s.) said:

“In our Qa’im are found the characteristics of the Prophets (s.a.w.a.). They are similar to those of our father Hazrat Adam (a.s.), Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), Hazrat Isa (a.s.), Hazrat Ayyub (a.s.), and Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). As regards Hazrat Adam (a.s.) and Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), it is their long life. As regards Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), it is his secret birth and staying away from the people. In case of Hazrat Musa (a.s.), it is the fear and his disappearance. In case of Hazrat Isa (a.s.), it is the controversy among the people about him. In case of Hazrat Ayub (a.s.), it is his perfection after his great test. And in the case of Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), it is his coming out with a sword.”1

Muhammad Ibn Muslim narrates: I went to Imam Al-Baqir (a.s.) and asked him about the Qa’im of Aali-Muhammad (a.t.f.s.). He (a.s.) replied:

“O Muhammad Ibn Muslim! The Qa’im of Aali Muhammad (a.t.f.s.) has the similarities of five Prophets (a.s.): Hazrat Yunus Ibn Matta (a.s.), Hazrat Yusuf Ibn Yaqub (a.s.), Hazrat Musa (a.s.), Hazrat Isa (a.s.) and Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.a.).”

“His similarity with Hazrat Yunus (a.s.) is his occultation from which he returned to his village as a youth though he had grown old. His similarity with Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) is his concealment from his near ones, the people in general and his brothers. The severity of his affair for his father Hazrat Yaqub (a.s.) although he was not very far from his father, his relatives and his people. His similarity with Hazrat Musa (a.s.) is his severe anxiety from the people and his long and secret occultation which started right from his birth and the seeking of refuge of his followers due to the torment and wretchedness which reached to them after him. This continued till Allah, the High, by His command, granted him victory over his enemies. His similarity with Hazrat Isa (a.s.) is the dispute regarding him among the people. A group alleged that he has not yet been born, while another group claimed that he has expired. Yet another assumed that he was killed by crucifixion.”

“His similarity to his forefather Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) is his rising with the sword and slaying the enemies of God and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) , the oppressors , the ruffians and conquering them with the sword. His awe will be visible in their hearts. Among the signs of his rising is the revolt of Sufyani from Syria and of a Yemeni from Yemen. A divine call will be heard in the Holy month of Ramadhan, which will call out his name and the name of his father .”2

1. Kamaaluddin, p. 322
2. Mahdi al-Mau’d, ‘Ali Dawaani, p. 481

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It is a practice among the Shi’as that whenever the name “Qa’im (a.s.)” is pronounced in their gatherings, all of them stand up in reverence. Though this action is not established as an obligatory one, it is prevalent as a highly recommended act for expressing deference for the beloved Imam (a.t.f.s.).

Imam As-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked, “What is the reason for standing while mentioning the title al-Qa’im?” He (a.s.) replied:

“Sahib al-‘Amr (a.s.) will have a long occultation. Whenever he will be addressed by the title al-Qa’im, due to the intense love which his followers will have for him, they will remember his noble era and express sorrow at his present distress. Reciprocating this action, even Hazrat (a.t.f.s.) is benevolently attentive towards them. Since this condition results in receiving the attention of Imam (a.t.f.s), it is recommended to stand as a mark of respect for him and pray for his early reappearance.”1

In certain conditions, it becomes compulsory to stand. When either this title or any of his other titles are mentioned in a gathering and all the people stand up respectfully. In such a situation if someone does not rise, it would be equivalent to insulting him. Here, not rising will necessarily be forbidden.

Ayatullah Sayed Mahmood Taleqani (r.a.) says: “Perhaps this practice of standing is not just for the purpose of respect, as otherwise it would be necessary even on the mentioning of the names of Allah, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the other Imams (a.s.). Standing is an indication of the preparedness and support for him in relation to the worldly resurgence... All oppression and difficulties started in the unpleasant era of the Ummayyad government. Thereafter, this (oppression) continued in the Crusades, the conquest of the Mongols and the suffocation under the colonial rule. They lorded over the people but finally became naught. But the religious government of true Islam will always remain powerful. It will be established by the true guides personified in the word Qa’im. By standing we demonstrate our eagerness for helping in its affair.”2

1. Ilzamun Naasib, vol.1, p. 271
2. Khurshid al-Maghrib, Muhammad Ridha’ Hakimi, p. 264

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Many reliably narrated traditions emanate from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the infallible Imams (a.s.) about the existence and reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). These leave no room for any doubt whatsoever for the seekers of truth. The following are some examples from the sayings of these Holy Personalities (a.s.):

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) informed,

“Mahdi is from my progeny. His name is my name (Muhammad) and his agnomen is my agnomen (Abul Qasim). He resembles me most in the creation and in the manners. He will be associated with occultation and confusion, till most people deviate from religion. He will appear as a bright shining star, will fill the earth with truth and justice just as it was filled with oppression and injustice.”1

Amir ul-Mu’minin ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) said:

“My Qa’im will have a long occultation. I can foresee that our Shi’as in spite of their lifelong efforts to find him will not be able to do so. Know you all that the one who, in his occultation, is steadfast on his religion and does not deny him in his long absence will be with us on the Day of Judgment.” He (a.s.) then continued: “When my Qa’im reappears he will not have the allegiance of any one on his neck as his birth was hidden and his personality was in Occultation.”2

Once, Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari was present in the service of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Before her was a tablet in which the names of the successors (a.s.) were written. Jaabir says that he counted them and found 12 names, the last of which was “Qa’im”. Three names were “Muhammad” and four “‘Ali”.3

Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) said:

“People are not exempted from the obedience of any of us Imams. Yet, our rights have been trampled upon by oppressive rulers and their followers. This will go on until the time of Qa’im (a.s.), behind whom Prophet Isa Ibn Maryam (a.s.) will pray and whose birth will be kept a secret by Allah. He will be kept in occultation. When he reappears, paying allegiance to him will be compulsory on everyone. He will be a great descendant from the progeny of my brother Husain (a.s.). Allah will lengthen the age of his occultation. By His power, He will make him reappear and when he reappears, his age will seem to be like a man of 40 years or even lesser. Know him, as Allah has power over everything.”4

Imam Husain (a.s.) said:

“The characteristics of one of my descendants is the same as that of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Hazrat Isa (a.s.). He is the Qa’im from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Allah will transform his condition in one night.”5

Imam as-Sajjad (a.s.) said:

“In our Qa’im are found the characteristics of the Prophets (a.s.). They are similar to those of our father Hazrat Adam (a.s.), Hazrat Nuh (a.s.), Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), Hazrat Isa (a.s.), Hazrat Ayyub (a.s.), and Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). As regards Hazrat Adam (a.s.) and Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) it is their long life. As regards Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) it is the secret birth and his staying away from the people. In case of Hazrat Musa (a.s.) it is the fear and his disappearance. In case of Hazrat Isa (a.s.) it is the controversy among the people about him. (Some people believe that he is alive and on Allah’s order resides on the fourth sky. While others allege that he was crucified.) In case of Hazrat Ayyub (a.s.), it is his perfection after his great test. And in the case of Hazrat Muhammad (a.s.), it is his reappearance with a sword.”6

Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (a.s.) said:

“Worse conditions will afflict the world. People shall express differing personal views about the existence of the Qa’im (a.s.). Is he alive or dead? Has he gone towards the desert? His deniers will claim that his bones have decayed. They will thus question the possibility of his reappearance. It is your duty to wait for his reappearance. When the news of his reappearance reaches you, then hasten to reach unto him, even if you have to face thousands of obstacles.”7

Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

“The occultation of our Qa’im will be like that of the Prophets (a.s.). All the characteristics of our Qa’im flow from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).....My son is similar to Hazrat Musa (a.s.). He is the son of the queen of the maidens. His occultation will be such that the wrong doers will be in doubt. Allah will then make him reappear. The entire universe will submit to him. Prophet Isa (a.s.) will appear and pray behind him. The earth will illuminate with his existence and not a piece of land will remain where any one other than Allah will be worshipped. Allah’s religion will be found everywhere, no matter how much the polytheists may detest it.”8

Imam Musa al-Kadhim (a.s.) said:

“Al-Qa’im will purify the earth from the enemies of God. He will fill it with justice and equity just as before him it was filled with tyranny and oppression. He is my fifth descendant. He will be in occultation for a long period due to the fear of his life. In that period, many will become deviated from religion. Praised are our followers who remain steadfast on our mastership, are firm on our friendship and on the enmity of our enemies in the period of Qa’im’s occultation. These are from us and we are from them. They are satisfied with our leadership and we are satisfied with them as our followers. Thus congratulations are due to them as Allah will place them with us on the Day of Judgment.”9

Imam ‘Ali ar-Ridha’ (a.s.) said:

“When our Qa’im reappears, he will appear like a youth. His strength will be such that if he extends his hand towards the biggest tree it will be uprooted. The mountains will break up on his pleadings. He will have the staff of Hazrat Musa (a.s.) and the ring of Hazrat Sulaiman (a.s.). He is my fourth descendant. Whomsoever and howsoever Allah wishes, He will conceal him from the eyes of the people. When the Qa’im reappears, he will fill the earth with justice and equity just as previously it was filled with oppression.”10

Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (a.s.) said:

“Qa’im is our Mahdi, who will guide (the people). It is necessary upon everyone to wait for him in his occultation and obey him when he reappears. By Allah Who raised Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) for Prophethood and selected us for Imamat, even if a single day remains from the life of this world, Allah will lengthen it to such an extent that our Qa’im reappears and fills the earth with justice when it would be filled with tyranny and oppression.”11

Abdul Azim Hasani asked Imam ‘Ali Naqi al-Hadi (a.s.):

“Who will be my master after you?

Imam (a.s.) replied:

“After me, it is my son Hasan. But what will be the condition of the people after him?”

On being asked to explain his concern, he (a.s.) further reasoned:

“As nobody has seen him and it is prohibited to take his name till he reappears and fills the earth with justice just as it was previously filled with tyranny and oppression.”12

Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) said:

“I can foresee your dispute about my successor after me. Beware that if a person believes in Imamat and the past Prophets (a.s.) but denies my son, then his example is as if he believes in all Prophets but denies the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). If someone denies the Prophethood of the last Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after believing in all the Prophets (a.s.), he is like the one who obeys our first but denies the last. (His obedience is just as necessary as the obedience to all of us.) One who denies our first infallible is like the one who denies our last.”13

1. Kamaaluddin by Shaikh Sadooq (a.r.), p. 287
2. Kamaaluddin, p. 303
3. Kamaaluddin, p. 308
4. Isbaatul Hidaayah by Shaikh Hurr al-Aameli, vol. 5, p. 155
5. Kamaaluddin, p. 318
6. Kamaaluddin, p. 322
7. Kamaaluddin, p. 326
8. Kamaaluddin, p. 345
9. Kamaaluddin, p. 361
10. Kamaaluddin, p. 376
11. Kamaaluddin, p. 377
12. Kamaaluddin, p. 380
13. Mahdi al-Mau’ood translated by ‘Ali Davaani, p. 391

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First and foremost, it is not necessary that the Holy Qur’an explains in detail all the concepts. Given that it actually deals with many things, so it does not get involved with the finer aspects and intricacies.

Yet, there is an affirmative reply to this question as well. Many verses of the Majestic Qur’an do prove the existence and also mention about the government of Hazrat al-Hujjat (a.t.f.s.). Eminent scholars have listed such verses in their books. Among them Allama al-Majlisi (r.a.) deserves special mention for having brought numerous such verses in his book “Behar al-Anwar”, some of which are mentioned hereunder:

“And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.” 1 

“He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.” 2 

“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me.” 3 

Elucidating this verse in his book “al-Ghaibah”, Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) testifies to it being revealed about the occultation, reappearance and the supporters of Imam (a.t.f.s.).

“And We desire to bestow a favour upon those who were deemed weak in the earth and to make them the Imams and to make them the heirs.” 4  

In the same book “al-Ghaibah”, Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) reports a tradition from Ameerul Momineen ‘Ali (a.s.), expounding this verse as follows:

“When the earth becomes restricted and a killing field for the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) progeny, then Allah will send Mahdi, to degrade the enemies and elevate the friends.”

“Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand.” 5 

Explaining this verse Sheikh Tusi (r.a.) narrates in his book “al-Ghaibah” from Ibn Abbas as follows: “The giving of life to the earth after its death in this verse refers to the Qa’im (a.t.f.s.) from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). After reappearance, he will purify the earth from all evil and enliven it through justice and equity.”

Likewise Allama Majlisi (r.a.) brings 60 verses from the Holy Qur’an about the occultation and reappearance of Imam (a.s.). The discerning should therefore refer to this reliable book.

1 (Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:105)
وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ
2 (Surah at-Tawbah, 9: 33)
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
3 (Surah an-Nur, 24:55)
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
4 (Surah al-Qasas 28: 5)
وَنُرِيدُ أَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ
5 (Surah al-Hadid, 57: 17)
 اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

 

 

 

 

 

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An examination of the religious books of the different religions conclusively proves that the belief in the Promised Mahdi is not exclusive only to the Muslims. Even other religions have this belief as is illustrated:

1) Kitab us Zind the religious book of the Parsis mentions about the end of Injustice and the victory of the righteous as follows:

“There is a constant conflict between the armies of Ahreman and Yazdan for supremacy in the land. Though mostly Ahreman is victorious yet Yazdan is never fully vanquished such that neither he nor his progeny remain. In difficulties, he receives help from God (Avarmazd) as he is His son. Thus, their war will go on for 9000 years until finally Yazdan receives a great victory. Ahreman’s army will be defeated and no trace of his followers will remain in the heavens and the earth. Following the complete defeat of Ahreman and the conclusive victory of Yazdan the world will progress towards its perfection and happiness. Men will enjoy lasting peace and victory.”1

In the book Jamsabnaamah it is mentions that:

“In the land of Taziyaan, from the progeny of Bani Hashim, a person will rise. He will possess a large head, a husky voice, and long shins. He will follow the religion of his ancestors. He will come to Persia with a big army. He will enliven the land with justice and equity.”

At another place it is mentioned:

“The Great Reformer will spread the religion in the Land. He will eradicate poverty and scarcity. He will successfully support Yazdan against Ahreman. He will lead humanity through an ethical, moral and intellectual revolution”.

2) Shakmuni is considered as an intellectual in Indian Mythology. He is also believed to be a messenger and a possessor of divine communication. He describes the spiritual leader of humanity thus:

“In those days there will be a religion (All worldly authority will terminate in the hands of the son of the leader of the two worlds Jamnad Kishan). The mountains of the east and the west will be under his authority. He will travel on the clouds. The angels will be his servants. Men and Jinn all will submit to him. His rule will spread in the lands of the east and the west and even beyond the oceans. There will be only one divine religion. Divine religion will be enlivened and everyone will believe and have recognition of only one God.2

The Vedas which is considered as the divine book of the Hindus record thus:

“After the world suffers heavy destruction, a King will appear in the Last Age. He will be called “the Helped One” and will be a Universal Leader. He will rule on the entire world and will collect all people on one religion. He will recognize every person from the believers as well as the disbelievers. He will be the one who actualizes God’s will.

In the Old Testament, it is written that:

“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning. Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord will find watching when he comes..... Therefore be ready also, for the Son of Man is coming in an hour that you don't expect him.” (Luke 12:35-36)

In the Old Testament, the divine book of the Jews, it is mentioned that;

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him...... with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. ...... The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the lair of the cobra and put his hand into it. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:1-10)

5) In the Psalms, it is mentioned that:

“For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” (Psalm 37: 9-12)

1. Al-Fusul Al-Muhimmah, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki, p. 294
2. Religions and Mahdawiyyah, Muhammad Behisti, p. 18

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“Mahdawiyyah” is the belief about a universal saviour. All heavenly religions like Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam make a prominent mention about it. They hold that the last age will witness a person who will emancipate the people from all corruption and evil. Through him, the oppressed will regain their rights and breathe freely.

“Mahdawiyyah” is the belief about a universal saviour. All heavenly religions like Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam make a prominent mention about it. They hold that the last age will witness a person who will emancipate the people from all corruption and evil. Through him, the oppressed will regain their rights and breathe freely.

This creed is not limited to Islam but is an established faith of all religions. Support for the weak, termination of oppression and enlivening the dead are all matters related to the belief in the promised Mahdi. Studies establish the archaism of “Mahdawiyyah”.

This matter has been subjected to distortion in all divine books except the Holy Qur’an. But truth can never be eradicated completely. Some sentences still remain in these ancient scriptures that help us in tracing the belief about the Promised Mahdi in them. It is related to prophecies and the Holy Qur’an testifies about it. Its origin is in Divine revelation and beyond the reach of any human.

Many traditions prove the coming of the Mahdi, as evidenced by this tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):

“Even if one day remains for the end of the world, Allah the Almighty will prolong it to such an extent till a man appears from my family. His name will be my name and his agnomen will be my agnomen. He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be fraught with oppression and corruption.”1

1. Al-Fusul Al-Muhimmah, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki, p. 294

Islam & Religions » About Islam
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Islam teaches that religion is in the nature of human beings. To be human is to be concerned with religion; to stand erect, as men and women do, is to seek transcendence. Human beings have received the imprint of God on the very substance of their souls and cannot evade religion any more than they can avoid breathing. Individuals here and there may reject religion or a society may turn against its God-given religion for a short time, but even those events possess a religious significance. Men and women are created in the “form” (surah) of God, according to the famous Prophetic hadith. Here surah means the reflection of God’s Names and Qualities, for otherwise God is formless and imageless.

Men and women are created in the “form” (surah) of God, according to the famous Prophetic hadith. Here surah means the reflection of God’s Names and Qualities, for otherwise God is formless and imageless. 

Also, God breathed into human beings His Spirit according to the verse:

“I have made him and have breathed into him My Spirit” (15:29).

To be human is to carry this Spirit at the depth of one’s being and therefore to be concerned with religion and the author of all religion, who has breathed His Spirit into us.
According to Islam, as in all traditional teachings, men and women did not ascend from lower forms of life, but descended from on high, from a Divine prototype. Therefore, humanity has always been humanity and has always had religion. The first man, Adam, was also the first prophet. Religion did not evolve gradually during the history of humanity, but has always been there, in different forms but always containing the eternal message of Divine Oneness until, as a result of forgetfulness, its teachings were neglected and corrupted, only to be renewed by a new message from Heaven. Monotheism did not evolve from polytheism. Rather, polytheism is a decadent form of monotheism necessitating the ever newer revelations that have characterized human history.

Religion did not evolve gradually during the history of humanity, but has always been there, in different forms but always containing the eternal message of Divine Oneness until, as a result of forgetfulness, its teachings were neglected and corrupted, only to be renewed by a new message from Heaven. Monotheism did not evolve from polytheism. Rather, polytheism is a decadent form of monotheism necessitating the ever newer revelations that have characterized human history.

It is religion alone that can bestow meaning on human life, because it and it alone issues directly and in an objective manner from the same Divine Source as human life itself. Religion alone can actualize the potentialities within human beings and enable them to be fully themselves. It is only with the help of Heaven that we can become what we are eternally in the Divine Presence. Religion provides that supreme knowledge which is the highest goal of the intelligence and reveals the nature of that Reality which is also supreme love and the ultimate goal of the will. Religion is the source of all ethics and values, providing the objective criteria for the worth of human actions and deeds. It is also the source of veritable knowledge of both the Divine Principle and the created order in its relation to that Principle as well as the bearer of those principles that constitute the science of beauty and of forms in a traditional civilization.

Religion is the source of all ethics and values, providing the objective criteria for the worth of human actions and deeds. It is also the source of veritable knowledge of both the Divine Principle and the created order in its relation to that Principle as well as the bearer of those principles that constitute the science of beauty and of forms in a traditional civilization.

Islam cannot accept a human world in which religion is irrelevant. It can understand perfectly what it means to rebel against God and His prophets and has a fully developed doctrine concerning the nature of evil, the trials and tribulations of the life of faith, the dangers of unbelief, and the consequences of being responsible, as a being endowed with freedom to choose, before God. But the idea of humanity without religion as normal and a world in which the being or nonbeing of God is irrelevant and inconsequential as acceptable are totally rejected by Islam, which sees religion as the sine qua non of human life. Indeed, it is a human being’s relation to the Absolute, whatever that relation might be, that determines his or her relation to the relative. The loss of religion for the individual can only mean separation from both inner beatitude and the beatitude of the Beyond and, for a society as a whole, a sure sign of the disintegration of that society as a viable human collectivity.

Source: Islam; Religion, History, and Civilization 

 


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Daily Hadith
الإمام علي (عليه السَّلام):الإخْوانُ في اللّهِ تعالى تَدُومُ مَودّتُهُم، لِدَوامِ سَبَبِها.
Brothers [whose brotherhood is] for the sake of Allah, enjoy an enduring Amity, due to the firmness of its foundation