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Khutba #36

A Look into the Future of Mankind


Let us all practice Taq’wa (piety and righteousness), and revere Allah and obey His divine commands!  Let us be aware of our final destination, our eventuality and departure into the everlasting life.


Surah 21 (al-Anbiya’), Ayah 105 asserts about future of mankind and the Universal Reform in the world by saying:


وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

Verily We did write in Psalms, after the Reminder [the Torah], “My righteous servants shall inherit the earth.”

This shows that in the end, the world will fall to the hands of Allah's worthy and righteous servants.  The Quran promises victory for the righteous servants: A single world government, which establishes wholesale justice, security, welfare, progress, and goodness.


This is the logic of religion.  We should not worry about the future of mankind. The world as promised to us is a wide and clear space; it is beyond the dark tunnel in which our present world is.  God has given us the promise that in time wisdom will rule and life will be in peace, and security more complete.  So promised, there will be no chance for corruption or vice to rule the world.


This is not just a promise for the future. We have seen it happen in the past, when great dangers had occurred on smaller scales; proportionate to the size of the tribes, coun­tries or regions.  But God has always protected mankind and even when a danger appears to be on a worldwide scale, again God is there to save it.  Allah (swt) says in Surah 24, (al-Noor), Ayah 55:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الأرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا

Allah has promised to appoint those of you who believe and do righteous deeds, successors in the land, even as He appointed those before them,

and He  shall surely establish their religion which He has chosen for them, and He will give them in exchange security after their fear:  They shall worship Me and not associating any one with Me...

In the Quran a time is promised when the worshippers of the Truth [Allah], (the world's people of righteousness) will take over the power and government of the world:  that they will be leaders of the world.  Surah 28 (al-Qasas), Ayah 5 says:


وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

"We wished to favor those who were meek in the land, and make them the leaders, and make them the heirs."

The universal message of the Quran can be summarized in this sentence: "To know God.” In other words, it is to instruct man to follow the path of Divine Realization in order to gain felicity and salvation (the religion of truth).  This message is con­tained in the very phrase in which the Holy Prophet com­menced his mission when he said: 

"Oh men! Know God in His Oneness, and acknowledge Him, so that you will gain salvation.”

If man becomes endowed with such vision and power of appre­hension, he will see that the world and all there is in it depend upon an Infinite Being.  This Infinite Being possesses life, gives life and takes away life; and possesses all Power and Might, and all kinds of knowledge to the infinite degree.  And it is through Divine Guidance that man becomes adorned with moral virtue, spiritual virtue, and wholesomeness, which are the same as Islam itself.  For by such that submission to God is materialized.


This is the way the Complete Man (al-Insan al-Kamil) is reached.  This is the rank or degree of the Imam, who has reached through the Divine Grace.  This shows that there exists a strong relationship between the knowledge of God and that of the Imam.


In discussions on Prophethood and Imamah, man is of necessity endowed with power of receiving revelation through Prophethood.  In other words, ever since man has inhabited the earth, man had wished to lead a social life filled with happiness in its true sense and had striven toward this end.


Therefore, by reason of necessity and determination, the future will see a day when human society will be replete with justice, when all will live in peace and harmony, when man will be possessed with virtue and righteousness. This will occur through human hands but with Divine support and succor.  The leader of such a society (who will be the savior of man) is called in the language of the Hadith, al-Mahdi.


The belief in the reappearance of the expected Universal Reformer is not confined to the Shi'a Muslims. Other Islamic groups and even non-Islamic groups like the Jews, Christians, and some of the great world intellectual figures believe in the appearance of a great spiritual reformer.  They have usually given happy tidings of his coming, although naturally with differences in its detail. The Hadith of the Holy Prophet upon which all Muslims agree refers to this same truth by saying:

"The Mahdi is of my progeny,"


The groundwork for the acceptance of a just government free of war and injustice will come into existence.  It will happen when all nations will become fed up with their tyrannical governments in an expanding evil environment with injustice befalling the world.


The afflicted and deprived masses will be so fed up with their conditions as to be prepared to accept Islam, and respond to it positively.  They will quickly respond to the call of Tawhid (Oneness of God) and Justice of the Prophet, and they will embrace it gladly for their own good.


Imam al-Mahdi will materialize, and his call will be global.  Therefore, people of the world will be receptive to his call.


For the end of the 1st part of the Khutba, read Surah Al-Asr, take a short intermission, then start the 2nd part of the Khutba with a short Du’aa.


Let us now speak about the life of Imam al-Mahdi.  Al-Mahdi, (usually mentioned by his title of Imam 'Asr) or (Sahib al-Zaman, meaning: the Lord of the Age), is the son of al-Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam.  Al-Mahdi’s name is the same as that of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).


Al-Mahdi was born in Samur’raa in 256/868.  He lived under his father's care and tutelage until 260/872 when his father died. He was kept from public eyes; and only a few of the privileged among the Shi’a of the time were allowed to meet him.  By Divine Command al-Mahdi went into the first occultation (Ghayba sughra), whereby he appeared only to his deputies (Na'ib) and even then only in excep­tional circumstances.


For a time the Imam chose as deputy (Ambassador) a highly trusted person who was the confidant.  Through this deputy the Imam would answer demands of the Shi’a and their questions.  The 4th deputy (who died in 329/939) was the last one, after which the major occultation (Ghayba kubra) began and would continue until the day God grants permission to the Imam to manifest himself.


In a Hadith upon whose authenticity everyone agrees, the Holy Prophet has said:[1]


لو لم یبق من الدنیا الا یوم واحد   لطول الله ذلک الیوم   حتّی یبعث فیه رجلاً من امّتی   ومن اهل بیتی، یواطی إسمه اسمی

یملأ الأرض  قسطاً وعدلاً    کما ملئت جوراً وظلماً.

 "If there were to remain in the life of the world but one day, God would prolong that day until He sends in it a man from my com­munity and my household.  His name will be the same as my name.  

He will fill the earth with equity and justice as it would have been filled with oppression and tyranny."



There are numerous Hadiths cited in Sunni and Shi’a sources from the Holy Prophet and the Imams concerning the appearance of the al-Mahdi.  Examples are such that, 1) he is of the progeny of the Prophet, 2) that his appearance will enable human society to reach true per­fection and the full realization of spiritual life, and 3) that he will fill the world with justice and equity.


Musa ibn Ja'far Baghdadi said:[2]


سمعت أبا محمد الحسن بن علي (الحسن العسکری) یقول:

کأنی بکم  وقد اختلفتم بعدی فی الخلف منی   أما إنّ المقرّ بالائمة بعد رسول الله المنکر لولدی  کمن أقرّ بجمیع أنبیاءالله  ورسله ثم انکر نبوّة محمّد رسول الله  والمنکر لرسول الله کمن أنکر جمیع الأنبیاء   لان طاعة اخرنا  کطاعة اوّلنا  والمنکر لآخرنا  کالمنکرلأوّلنا     

أما ان لولدی غیبة یرتاب فیها الناس إلاّ من عصمه الله.

"I heard from the Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali [the eleventh Imam] who said:

    'I see that after me differences will appear among you concerning the Imam after me.

    Whoso accepts the Imams after the Prophet of God but denies my son is like the person who accepts all the Prophets but denies the Prophethood of Muhammad, the Prophet of God, upon whom be peace and blessing. 

    And whoso denies [Muhammad] the Prophet of God is like one who has denied all the Prophets of God,

    For to obey the last of us [Ahlul Bayt] is like obeying the first and to deny the last of us is like denying the first.

    But beware! Verily for my son there is an occultation during which people will fall into doubt except those whom Allah protects."



Of course, waiting for the Imam of the Age during the period of Ghayba (occultation) does not mean that Muslims should fold their arms and take no measures in the way of furthering the aims of Islam, only waiting for his appearance!  The great Shi’a scholars have been saying that all Muslims, and especially the Shi’a, have the sacred duty to strive in establishing Islamic knowledge and Laws in the face of injustice and evil.  They are to struggle hard till the preparation for the Just Rule is made, till society is harmonized and those with complaints have seen justice.


Finally, let us read Surah Al-Nasr with a short Du’aa to close the Khutba.


[1] Al-Fusool al-Muhimma, Page 271.

[2] Bihaar al-Anwaar, Vol. 52, Page 336.

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