The belief in the concept of the Mahdi creates hope in the hearts of Muslims. As a result whenever the Islamic world is facing calamities, and Muslims become aware of their helplessness, they turn towards that great protector whose advent has been prophesied clearly in the Holy Quran and traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa).
History is witness that whenever the Islamic society has been torn with strife and discord there has risen a person who claimed to be a Mahdi, whom we believe to be the last deputy of Allah and that he would cause Islam to reign over the rest of the religions of the world. The list of such claimants is an extremely long one. In this article we shall only discuss about Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri and see if the claim of Mahdaviyyat of the son of Sayyed Khan is authentic and commensurate with the criterion of truth.
Our discussion would be divided in two sections. The first section shall deal with the books on the life of Sayyed Mohammed bin Khan and in the Second section we shall ascertain if his life is in consonance with the Mahdi of Quran and the Hadeeth.
The life of Mahdi Jaunpuri
According to the Mahdavi (followers of Mahdi Jaunpuri) belief, Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri is a descendent of the 7th Imam of the Shiahs, Imam Musa Kazim (as) in Matla-e-Wilayat of Miya Sayyed Yusuf page 7, printed in Hyderabad 1374 AH and Shawahid-e-Wilayat pages 29, 30 printed in Hyderabad 1379 AH) his lineage is presented in the following way:
Sayyed Mohammed bin Sayyed Abdullah bin Sayyed Yusuf bin Sayyed Yahya bin Sayyed Jalaluddin bin Sayyed Ismail bin Sayyed Nematullah bin Sayyed Musa al-Kazim.
Sayyed Mohammed was born on Tuesday 14th Jamadi 1847 AH in Jaunpur, ruled at that time by Sultan Mohammed Shirazi bin Sultan Ibrahim Shiraji. According to the Mahdvi Ulama, Sayyed Mohammed was a disciple of the famous Sufi Sheikh Daaniyaal-e-Chisti. He memorised the Holy Quran at the age of seven years. At the age of 40 years Sayyed Mohammed bid farewell to Jaunpur.
Mahdavis believed that during his journey at Danapur it was revealed to his wife Bibi Allahdi, his son Sayyed Mahmud and one of his companions Miyashah Dilawar that they should declare that Sayyed Mohammed is the promised Mahdi of the Quran. When Sayyed Mohammed was informed of this, he admitted it to be correct but refused to declare his Mahdaviyat and said that the time was not yet ripe for such a declaration. He promised to declare his Mahdaviyyat at an appropriate time. (Life of the promised Imam Mahdi page 37; Matla-al-Wilayat pages 19-20; Shawahid al Wilayat pages 52-53)
When Sayyed Mohammed reached Gujarat , the ruler Sultan Mahmud Begda who was himself a scholar of Hadees, met Sayyed Mohammed personally. After the meeting he refused to grant permission to Sayyed Mohammed to halt in Gujarat and acting upon the Fatwa (decree) of religious scholars, sent him to Makkah (hereby exiling him from the country). (Rajaatur Rishad by Mulla Abdul Qadar Badayuni).
In the year 901 AH, Sayyed Mohammed fled to Makkah, accompanied by 860 followers. The same year he performed the circumambulation of the sacred House and between Rukn and Makaam, announced that he was Mahdi. At this time two of his companions, Shah Nizam and Kazi Alauddin and an Arab pledged allegiance. This declaration is known as his first declaration of Mahdaviyyat. He did not stay in Makkah for more than a few months and without going for the Ziyarat of the Holy Prophet (sawa) at Medina , he returned to India . He resided in the Taj Khan bin Salaar mosque of Ahmedabad. (Mirat-e-Sikandari by Sikandar bin Mohammed alias Manju bin Akbar page 136 published from Bombay 1308 AH)
In the year 908 AH in Ahmedabad he again raised his claim for Mahdaviyyat (Shawahid al Wilayat page 113). After this declaration, with the order of the Sultan, and the decree of Ulama, he was externed from the city of Ahmedabad along with his followers. Passing through Solah Sateej, he reached Bareily, where he repeated his claim for Mahdaviyyat. This occurred in the year 905 AH. This time he said even though the divine revelation had time and again ordered him to declare his Mahdaviyyat, he was reluctant to do so. It was to such an extent that Almighty God began accusing him to be more fearful of the people than God Himself. (Seerat Imam Mahdi Maood pages 85-86; Matla-e-Wilayat page 60; Shawahid al-Wilayat page 166)
In order to prove the authenticity of his claim he repeated it in Gujarati language (Seerat Imam Mahdi Maood page 86; Matla-e-Wilayat page 60)
Along with the declaration he also announced that those who have denied his Mahdaviyyat were kafirs (disbelievers). Those who deny his Mahdaviyyat, have denied all the prophets, the heavenly books, the Quran and ultimately deny in the belief of Almighty Allah. (Seerat Imam Mahdi Maood pages 86-87; Matla-e-Wilayat pages 61, 63; Shawahid-e-Wilayat pages 163-164)
After this passing through Jaisalmer and Nasrpur, Sayyed Mohammed reached Sind. He stayed there for 18 months. The religious scholars of Sind learned of the claim of Sayyed Muhammad, appealed to the ruler of Sind, Jaam Nanda and had a decree issued for the capital punishment of Sayyed Muhammad. Ultimately on Monday, the 19th Zilqaad, 915 AH, Sayyed Mohammed bin Sayyed Khan Jaunpuri died in the city of Mizah.
Mahdi of the Quran and Mahdi Jaunpuri: A comparison
Hereon is the second part of our discussion in which we compare the Mahdi of the Quran and hadees with Mahdi of Jaunpuri. It shall be upon the readers to decide for themselves, whether Sayyed Mohammed was the true Mahdi or just a false claimant.
The name of the father of Sayyed Mohammed was Sayyed Khan or Sayyed Budh. Some Mahdavis quote the following interpolated tradition of the Holy Prophet (sawa): His name would be my name and his father’s name would be my fathers name.” (Although this part of the tradition is itself fabricated. Because the original version does not contain these words) and say that the name of the father of Sayyed Mohammed was Sayyed Abdullah. Even if it is considered to the authentic, according to various writers the name of the father of Sayyed Mohammed was Sayyed Khan or Sayyed Budh. (Nijatur Rishad of Mulla Abdul Qadar Badayuni; Aine Akbari of Abul Fazl volume 3 page 174)
When the scholars of Gujarat questioned Sayyed Muhammad, “The name of the promised Mahdi is Mohammed ibn Abdullah and your name is Sayyed Mohammed bin Sayyed Khan, how is it so” He replied, “You should put this question to the Creator of the Universe as to why He has appointed the son of Sayyed Khan as Mahdi. He has absolute power and does as He wishes. Actually, the Holy Prophet’s (sawa) father was a Kafir (we seek refuge in Allah). So, how is it possible that his name was Abdullah. It is just a textual error. In fact, the name of the Holy Prophet (sawa) was not Mohammed ibn Abdullah but it was Sayyed Abdullah.” (Naqaliyat Miya Abdul Rashid page 7 Insaaf Nama Miya Wali page 27)
But, is the name of the father of Hazrat Mahdi really Abdullah or it is Hasan ibn Ali (as). As we have mentioned before, this part of the tradition is interpolated: “The name of his father shall be the name of my father”. According to famous Ulama, Hazrat Mahdi is the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari. For example, the famous Sunni scholar Sheikh Abdul Wahab Shaarani, who was a Sufi like Sayyed Muhammad, writes in his well-known book, “Al-Yawaqeet -wal-Jawahir” – “Then one should wait for the reappearance of Hazrat Mahdi. He is the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari. He was born in the year 255 A.H. and he is still alive….” (chapter 65).
The respected personality of Sunnis and the father of Sufism, Sheikh Mohiuddin Arabi writes in his book, Al-Futoohat al-Makkia, “You should know that the reappearance of Mahdi is imminent. But he will not appear till the world would be completely filled with injustice and oppression. After that he shall come and fill the earth with justice and peace… He is from the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and Janabe Zahra (sa). His respected great grandfather is Husayn ibn Ali and his father is Imam Hasan al-Askari (as).” (Al-Futoohat al-Makkia page 366).
The lineage of Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri has neither been authenticated by any Sunni scholar. nor is it confirmed by any Shiah leader.
Education and training
According to the Mahdavis, Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri, received education at a young age from Sheikh Daaniyaal Chishti.
It is an established fact that the true Imam Mahdi (as) is gifted with divine knowledge. Neither would he become the student of anyone, nor would he study in any school or Madresa. Because if anybody is competent enough to impart knowledge and learning to the promised Mahdi, it would mean that he himself is more worthy of being the Mahdi as he is more knowledgeable and learned. Reason dictates that the most learned one should be the leader. The foundation of leadership in Islam rests upon the matter of superiority.
End of injustice and tyranny
It is clearly recorded in the six Sihahs (the six collection of the hadith of Sunnis) that the Holy Prophet (S.A.) said: If only a day remains for the world to end, Allah the Almighty shall prolong that day to such an extent till a man from my progeny, whose name is my name and whose agnomen is my agnomen shall appear. He shall fill the earth with justice and peace like it would be replete with injustice and tyranny.
Note the last part of the tradition says, The Holy Prophet (sawa) has clearly mentioned that Hazrat Mahdi will reappear before the end of this world and he shall fill the world with justice and peace, like it had been filled with injustice and tyranny. In other words it would be the foremost duty of Hazrat Mahdi after his reappearance to eradicate all the strife and tyranny from the face of the earth. Everywhere Islam would reign supreme. The standards of pride, conceit, falsehood, immorality, backbiting and slander shall be made to kiss the dust.
A poet has aptly said,” When the Promised one will come, all the fake pomp and show will be rendered useless.”
But, did the coming of Mahdi Jaunpuri cause the earth to be filled with justice and peace Did all the tyranny and injustice vanish from the face of the earth If these queries are put to any intelligent person, he will agree that the situation has further deteriorated. Every where there is nothing but discord. Justice and peace are conspicuous by their absence. The believers, the people of Islam and followers of Quran get nothing but injustice and disgrace. In every corner of the world, massacre of the Muslims is a common phenomenon.
In this situation we have only two alternatives either to accept the authenticity of the tradition of Sihah Sitta and reject the Mahdaviyat of Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri or to accept the Mahdviyat of Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri and deny the truthfulness of the saying of the Holy Prophet (sawa) iv)
Signs of reappearance
Numerous verses of the Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) mentioned the happenings before the advent of Imam Mahdi (as). For example ,”the rising smoke from the sky. the sinking of the ground, the coming of Gog and Maggog, the rising of the sun from the west, the advent of Dajjal, all by the Shiahs and the Sunni scholars in their books. They include Shaykh Tabarani, the author of Mojamul Kabir and Ahmad bin Hanbal the author of Musnad. Not a single believer could dare to refute the clear verses of the Quran and the opinion of the learned scholars.
Reappearance of Mahdi or the claim of Sayyed Mohammed
The writings of the Mahdavis mention that Sayyed Mohammed Jaunpuri claimed Mahdaviyat thrice. The first instance was in the year 901 AH when his wife told him that it had been revealed to her that he was the promised Mahdi. Therefore he should convey this message to the people – but Sayyed Mohammed declined to make such an announcement. The second declaration was in the year 903 AH in Ahmedabad when the religious scholars issued the decree for his expulsion from the city. To this, the reply of Sayyed Mohammed was, “I make the divine truth manifest upon you, you shall all be reduced to dust. (Seerat-e-Imam Mahdi Maood page 70-73)
The third time was when in the year 905 AH he declared his Mahdaviyat even though he had been reluctant to do so. But he was afraid that God Almighty may blame him to be more fearful of the people than God Himself. Then, in order to prove the truthfulness of his claim he repeated it in the Gujarati language. (Seerat-e-Imam Mahdi Maood page 75-76; Matla al-Wilayat page 60; Shawahid al-Wilayat page 166)
Now the question that arises is there such a statement from the Holy Prophet (sawa) wherein it is mentioned that the promised Mahdi will make his declaration thrice And repeat it in Gujarati Or why is it when Sayyed Mohammed was sent revelation for the first time to declare Mahdaviyat he kept silent and refrained from obeying such an important order.
The abundance of wealth upon the earth
The famous Sunni scholar. Allamah Hakim Nishapuri writes in his book ‘Mustadrakus Sahihain’: “In the last period when the reappearance of Mahdi will occur, the world shall be filled with wealth. Poverty will be nonexistent.” After narrating this tradition he says: “The tradition is authentic so far as the reliability of the narrator is concerned.” (Mustadrak us-Sahihain volume 4 page 557)
This tradition has also been recorded by Ibn Majah in his Sunan (chapter on Advent of Mahdi), Hafiz Abu Noaim Isfahani and Shablanji in his book ‘Noorul Absar’.
The readers are requested to judge: Is there no poverty remaining on the earth Could anyone make such a claim No! Because the one who denies reality is either called blind or is a fool. Or shall we declare that we refuse to believe in the sayings of the learned, in the traditions in the clear proofs
After presenting all these proofs and after this brief essay we leave the judgement upon you. But while passing let us see what the Holy Quran says regarding the search for truth (O Messenger) Therefore give good new to (My) servants. Those who listen to the words, then follow the best of it…. (Surah Zumar: 17-18)
The above proofs are sufficient to establish that the Mahdi of Jaunpur was a false claimant to the position of Imam Mahdi (as). May Allah guide us to the truth and grant us true recognition of the true Imam Mahdi (as). Aameen!
Read More: False Claimants of Imam Mahdi (as)