Sunday, 1 November 2015

Rebuttal of Qadyani Concept of Imamate

This article is in response to a video clip issued by a Qadyani khalifa, in which he states about his concept of second coming of hazrat Isa (a.s) and about his concept of Imamate and Imam Mahdi.
In the succeeding lines we would thrash out how far the arguments given by the Qadyani khalifa are wrong and how far the texts quoted by him in favor of his arguments are mis-interpreted and mis-understood.
First we would analyze his concept of second coming of Hazrat Isa (a.s).
He says that second coming of Hazrat Isa (a.s) would be as a prophet. In support of his argument, he says that our Nabi (s.a.w.w) has mentioned Hazrat Isa (a.s) as a prophet in his (s.a.w.w) saying, while stating about hazrat Isa’s (a.s) second coming. 
Regarding our Nabi’s (s.a.w.w) sayings about second coming of Hazrat Isa (a.s), it should be kept in mind nowhere our Nabi (s.a.w.w) has stated that Hazrat Isa (a.s) would come second time on earth as a Nabi. While stating about his second coming, if Isa (a.s) has been mentioned as Nabi, it has been mentioned as Nabi to specify as to which personality is to come again on earth so that people may know with certainty that the personality which has to stage his second coming is the same personality who has come on the earth first time as a prophet. If our Nabi (s.a.w.w) stated only that Hazrat Isa (a.s) would come, people might not be sure which Isa (a.s) our Nabi (s.a.w.w) is talking about- whether he is the same Isa (a.s) who was a prophet or he is some different personality. Therefore in order to remove the ambiguity and make the people certain that the personality whose name is Isa ibn e Maryam and who was a prophet in his first coming will come on earth for the second time, our Nabi (s.a.w.w) has mentioned Hazrat Isa (a.s) as prophet but has never stated that he [Isa (a.s)] will be a prophet after his second coming.  
Rather Quran and sayings of our Nabi (s.a.w.w) clearly rebut the view that Hazrat Isa (a.s) would come for the second time as a prophet. Quran says:
“And We did not send any messenger/rasool except to be obeyed by permission of Allah”(al-nisa-64).
This above quoted verse clearly states a rasool is he who must be obeyed by the  people; a rasool is NOT a personality who should obey someone else (after the Rasool is sent (not born) means after resalat is exposed to the rasool, he is not to obey someone else). But according to our Nabi’s (s.a.w.w) sayings Hazrat Isa (a.s) will obey our Nabi’s (s.a.w.w) shariah. Qadyanis also believe Isa (a.s) will obey our Nabi (s.a.w.w) after his second coming. It clearly leads us believe that Hazrat Isa (a.s) will not be a prophet/ rasool after his second coming. 
He (a.s) will also not be a Nabi after his second coming. We have seen in the article a prophet who is rasool and nabi combined like hazrat Isa (a.s), receives Book from Allah as a 'rasool', and, as a nabi, receives from Allah interpretation of that Book; such interpretation of the Book is called that prophet's Sunnah. Sunnah is always based on the Book. If hazrat Isa (a.s) is not to come as a rasool, it means he (a.s) is not to come along with his Book i.e. Injil. If hazrat Isa (a.s) is not to come as a nabi, it means he (a.s) is not to come along with his Sunnah which is based on his Book i.e. Injiil. In other words, if hazrat Isa (a.s) is not to come as a rasool, he (a.s) is not to come as a nabi as well; nabuwwat of a prophet who  is rasool and nabi combined is based on his resalat; if resalat is not there, nabuwwat will also not be there. It leads us to conclude that hazrat Isa (a.s) will come neither as a rasool nor as a nabi.

From the foregoing we may conclude that hazrat Isa (a.s) will NOT be a prophet after his second coming.
Now we discuss the concept of Imamate as propounded by the Qadyanis.
The Qadyani khalifah says that Imam Mahdi has two such attributes which are attributes of a prophet; these two attributes are: he (Imam Mahdi) will be appointed by Allah as Imam; the second is that obedience to Imam Mahdi will be essential for the Muslims. In support of his argument, Qadyani Khalifa gives reference to al-anbiya-73, and one of the sayings of our Nabi (s.a.w.w) about essentiality of ‘bayah’ to Imam Mahdi. Therefore he concludes that Imam Mahdi is an ummati nabi. Qadyani concept of Imamate may be rebutted on the following grounds.
Quoting reference of al-anbiya-73, he states that this verse shows that all Imams are prophets. Before analyzing qadyani interpretation of this verse, we need to appreciate the concept of Imam as reflected out of Quran. Imam means a leader who has a following; without followers, there is no Imam. If a person claims to be Imam without following of the Muslims, such a claim is just like a claim of a ‘khalifah’ without a throne/ state. Prophets are appointed by Allah; but it is not necessary that every prophet should have a group of followers; many prophets have passed who could not convert even a single person to Islam. But there are also many prophets who had sizeable following; such prophets were made Imams as well.
Verse al-anbiya-73 (and other similar verses) quoted by Qadyani leader as reference in support of his argument state about those prophets who had sizeable following. Al-anbiya 73 states about hazrat Isaac; hazrat Yaqoob as below:
  “And We made them leaders/Imams guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us” (al-anbiya-73).
This verse states that it were prophets like Isaac and Yaqoob who were made Imams; this verse does not state that Imams were made prophets. It does not mean that all Imams are made prophets. On the contrary, it is reflected out of Quran that all Imams are not prophets.   Quran says about bani-Israel:
“And We wanted to confer favor upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders/imams and make them inheritors” (al-qasas-5).
This verse states that Allah wanted to make Imams the nation of bane-Israel; obviously whole bane-Israeli nation was not to be appointed as prophets.  Similarly Quran says about the righteous people:
 "And those who say, "Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us 'Imam' for the righteous" (al-furqan-74)."
This verse states the prayer of righteous persons (other than prophets) who pray for becoming 'Imam' of righteous people ( Imamate of righteous people only means spiritual Imamate). This verse shows that common pious persons (other than prophets) may also become Imam. 
The above quoted two verses (i.e. al-qasas-5 and al-furqan-74) show that, for every field of social life, there may be an Imam; some may be Imam in social fields; some in scientific fields; some in political field;  some in the field of Shariah; and some in spiritual field etc. The Imamate may be individual as well as collective; it was in collective sense that  Bani Israeli persons were wanted to be Imams of other nations in various fields, as mentioned in al-qasas-5.
From the foregoing, it becomes clear that qadyani argument that all Imams including Imam Mahdi are prophets is wrong. 
Now the question arises if all Imams are not prophets, how Imams are appointed by Allah. From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that no Imam is appointed prophet by virtue of his Imamate; but a prophet may be appointed Imam by virtue of his nabuwwat.  It means Imamate is not something superior to ‘nabuwwat’; rather nabuwwat is superior to Imamate. Imamate is just having sizeable following; it does not determine the spiritual status of an Imam; the spiritual status is determined by ‘muqamat’ attached with salehiat, shahadat, and siddiqiat (plz see my article  
From the foregoing it may be appreciated that Imamate is of two types i.e prophetic Imamate which is granted to prophets and non-prophetic Imamate which is granted to non-prophets. As far as mode of appointment of Imamate is concerned, it is the same in cases of both prophetic and non-prophetic Imamate. This mode has been described in Quran as below:
“And [mention, Muhammad (s.a.w.w)], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [Allah] said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." [Abraham] said, "And of my descendants?" [Allah] said, "My covenant does not include the wrongdoers” (al-baqra-124).
This verse states that first hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) was given certain commandments from Allah, and when Ibrahim (a.s) fulfilled those commands, he (a.s) was granted with Imamate of people. It means  Imamate is not ‘wahbi’ like prophet-hood. A prophet is always by birth a prophet; prophet-hood is not cultivable. But Imamate is not wahbi; it is cultivable. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) was first tried by Allah to ascertain whether he (a.s) could shoulder the responsibilities given by Allah or not; when he (a.s) succeeded in dispensing with those responsibilities, he (a.s) was declared as Imam of the people. It means no person (even a prophet) can claim Imamate without shouldering the responsibilities given by Allah.  It means responsibilities attached with Imamate are quite different from those attached with a prophet; a prophet’s job is to receive and understand ‘wahi’ received from Allah and to communicate the commandments contained in the ‘wahi’ to the people; an Imam is to execute the commandments received from a prophet. A prophet is superior to Imam; Imam is always follower of prophet. In case of prophetic Imamate, the prophet receives wahi from Allah as a prophet, and executes, as an Imam,  the commandments contained in the wahi. In case of non-prophetic Imamate, the Imam executes what commandments he has received from his prophet.
Now the question arises, if Imamate is not ‘wahbi’, why Allah has attributed grant of Imamate to Himself (al-baqra-124; al-qasas-5; al-anbiya-73).  Before replying to this question, we need to appreciate the difference between Amr-e- Ilahi and Sunnat e Ilahi. Amr- e-Ilahi are those Allah’s deeds which are performed by Allah without involvement of people; for instance all physical laws are Amr e Ilahi. Sunnat Ilahi are those Allah’s deeds which are performed by Allah through the people. Nabuwwat is Amr e Ilahi which is granted by Allah without involving the people; whereas Imamate is Sunnat e Ilahi which is granted by Allah through the people. All Muslims have been granted with Allah’s commandments; those who most seriously take these commandments are blessed with divine guidance to execute those commandments. Out of these blessed persons, the most successful in executing Allah’s commandments is declared as Imam. It may be noted the person who is declared as Imam is the person most followed by the people; in this way Allah declares someone as Imam through the people. Similarly all what happens to the people through the people is attributed by Allah to   Himself; for instance Quran says about the refuge given to our Nabi (s.a.w.w) as follows:
“Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge”? (al-duha-6).
We know that the refuge was actually given by Hazrat Abdul Muttalib and then by Abu Talib. Similarly Allah says He saved bane Israel from the Pharoah:
“And [recall] when We saved your forefathers from the people of Pharaoh, who afflicted you with the worst torment, slaughtering your [newborn] sons and keeping your females alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord” (al-baqra-49).
But we know actually bane Israel were saved through hazrat Musa. Similarly Allah has attributed grant of Imamate to Himself; though Imamate is always granted to an Imam through the people. Wahbi are only those matters which happen without involvement of people; the matters like Imamate which happen with involvement of people cannot be called ‘wahbi’; such matters are Sunnat e Ilahi and as such are attributed by Allah to him-self.
From the foregoing, it becomes clear that qadyani leader’s argument that Imams are prophets is wrong; that Imamate like nubuwwat is wahbi is  wrong and baseless. Imamate is not granted like nubuwwat is granted; Imamate is granted through the people whereas Nubuwwat is NOT granted through the people; Imamate is Sunnat e Ilahi whereas nubuwwat is amr e Ilahi. A prophet is he who receives wahi from Allah and communicates to the people the commandments contained in the wahi; whereas an Imam is he who executes the commandments contained in the wahi received from the prophet. It may be appreciated there is NOT a single hadith in which  our Nabi (s.a.w.w) has  mentioned  Imam Mahdi as a Nabi.
Now we deal with the Qadyani leader’s second point that it is essential for the Muslims to have ‘bayat’ to Imam Mahdi; from it he infers that  having ‘eman’ in Mahdi is essential like having ‘eman’ in prophets is essential. He is unable to differentiate between having ‘bayat’ to someone and having ‘eman’ in someone. 'Eman' is relating to prophets only (Eman is to believe in deeds and sayings of prophets); whereas 'bayah' may be relating to non-prophets also. We have ‘eman’ in our nabi (s.a.w.w) but if Muslims, after Nabi (s.a.w.w) took ‘bayat’ to his (s.a.w.w) successors, it does not mean the Muslims thought the successors were also Nabis. The hadith he states in support of his argument states about the ‘bayat’  of Imam Mahdi; it does not state about having ‘eman’ in Imam Mahdi. Of course it is essential for the Muslims to have ‘bayat’ to Imam Mahdi; but it does not mean if any Muslim does not have ‘bayat’ to Imam Mahdi, he would become a ‘kafir’. Having bayat to Imam Mahdi is just like many other commandments given by our Nabi (s.a.w.w); like commandments given relating to theft, corruption, moral turpitude, zakat, fasting, hajj etc. If any Muslim violates any of such commandments and does not act upon any of such commandments, he does not become a ‘kafir’; similarly if any Muslim does not take ‘bayat’ to Imam Mahdi, he would commit a sin-a capital sin- but he would not become a kafir due to not taking ‘bayat’ to Imam Mahdi. But having ‘eman’ in a prophet is not like having allegiance/ bayat to an Imam; if someone does not have ‘eman’ in the prophet, he becomes a kafir.

From the foregoing we may conclude that qadyani leader’s arguments are not viable in the light of Quran and Sunnah. Actually the attributes of Imamate are different from the attributes of a prophet; therefore qadyani claim that Mirza Ghulam Qadyani is a prophet by virtue of (his so called) Imamate is a wrong concept; similarly qadyani concept that Mirza Ghulam Qadyani is a prophet by virtue of being (so called) 'Masih Maood' is also wrong.

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