Chapter Eleven – The similarities between the Jews mocking the Ghaibah of Isa (as) and the Nawasib mocking the Ghaibah of Mahdi (as)

Introduction

 

Before delving into the main subject, the Nawasib need to have the following two things in their minds:

Firstly, the Sunnah of Allah (swt) never changes. Allah (swt) says in Quran:

[Yusufali 33:62] (Such was) the practice (approved) of Allah among those who lived aforetime: No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.

Secondly, the Prophet (s) clearly said, as has been attested in Sunni books through different authentic chains that the Muslims shall adhere to the footsteps of Jews and Christians:

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: Who else (than those two religious groups)?
Sahih Muslim, Book 034, Number 6448

With these two points in mind, please read the following tradition of Imam Sadiq (as). It is reported through ‘Abd Allah b. Fadl Hashimi:

Imam Sadiq said: “The one entrusted with the command will necessarily live an invisible life. This will lead those who are already astray into doubt.” So I asked the Imam the reason. He said: “I am not permitted to reveal the reason.” I went on to seek the philosophy behind the invisible life of the Imam of the Age].

He said: “It is the same wisdom that existed in the prior situation when other proofs of God also went into occultation. However, the true understanding behind this occurrence will not take place until after he has reappeared, just as the wisdom behind making the boat defective, killing the boy, and repairing the falling wall [in the story of Moses and Khidr in the Qur'an] were revealed to Moses only after the two had decided to part company. O the son of Fadl! The subject of occultation is among the divine secrets and a concealed matter whose knowledge is only with God. Since we regard God to be wise we must also affirm that His acts are based on that perfect wisdom, even when the detailed understanding is not accessible to us.”
Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52 page 91

After Allah (swt) raised Prophet Isa (as), the righteous companions of Isa (as) truthfully asserted that:

  1. He had not been crucified.
  2. Another person had been crucified whose Allah (swt) had been altered to replicate that of Prophet Isa (as).
  3. Allah (swt) had raised Isa (as) into Ghaibah (occultation) until that point when the Universe shall nearly come to an end.

The Jews mocked these righteous companions of Isa (as) at their ‘true’ claim. Interestingly, the Nawasib today mock the Ghaibah of Imam Mahdi (as) in the same way as the Jews mocked the Ghaibah of Isa (as). Just compare the two assertions:

Nasibi objections against Shias Jewish objections against the righteous Sahaba of Isa (as)
Why is the Mahdi (as) of Shias hiding himself in a cave like a coward? Why is the coward Isa (naudobillah) hiding himself in the heavens?
If Allah (swt) really wanted to protect Mahdi through a miracle, why didn’t he disappear before common folk, to enable hundreds of witnesses to his Ghaibah? Why wasn’t Isa publicly raised into the skies, to enable the presence of thousands of witnesses?
Following the death of Imam Hassan Askari (as), why did some of companions of Imam Hassan Askari (as) deviate and attest that he was still alive? Why did some Sahaba of Isa (as) assert that he had been crucified?

There are likewise many other things that the Neo Nawasib mock with regards to the Ghaibah of Mahdi (as) that were likewise used by the Jews against the pious Sahaba to mock at the Ghaibah of Isa (as).

Let us begin by examining the Ghaibah of Isa (as) and Mahdi (as) in tandem so that we can appreciate the Sunnah of Allah (swt) and expose the behavior of those alleged Muslims that have replicated the footsteps of the Jews by denying the Sunnah of Allah (swt).

The crucial point of our discussion shall entail the comparative study of the evidence for the Ghaibah of Isa (as) against the evidence of the Ghaibah of Mahdi (as).

The ascension and occultation of Isa (as) according to the Gospel of Barnabas

We shall provide details about the Ghaibah of Isa (as) from ‘The Gospel of Barnabas’ that is considered the most authentic Gospel by Muslims that concords with the Quranic concept about Isa (as). Those that wish to know more about the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ and the Muslim view of it can consult http://www.barnabas.net as this website is maintained by a group of Muslims. Below, we are quoting the text of the final 9 chapters of this Gospel (i.e. from chapter 214 to 222). This text has been cited verbatim from mentioned web site. These 9 chapters discuss the entire episode relating to the raising of Isa (as) into Ghaibah by Allah (swt).

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 214: Judas Betrays

Having gone forth from the house, Jesus retired into the garden to pray, according as his custom was to pray, bowing his knees an hundred times and prostrating himself upon his face. Judas, accordingly, knowing the place where Jesus was with his disciples, went to the high priest, and said: “If you will give me what was promised, this night will I give into your hand Jesus whom you seek; for he is alone with eleven companions.” The high priest answered: “How much do you seek?” Judas said, “Thirty pieces of gold.”

Then straightway the high priest counted to him the money, and sent a Pharisee to the governor to fetch soldiers, and to Herod, and they gave a legion of them, because they feared the people; wherefore they took their arms, and with torches and lanterns upon staves went out of Jerusalem.

Comments

The story of the promised Mahdi was widespread amongst Muslims from the early days of Islam. The traditions and the hadith-reports about the subject were in circulation amongst the people.

The rulers of the time were likewise aware of these hadith-reports that announced the promised Mahdi would be from amongst the descendants of Fatima and Husayn. These traditions announced the destruction of unjust governments by the Mahdi, who would establish the rule of justice and equity throughout the world.

The Heads of State consequently feared the birth and emergence of the promised Mahdi and were determined to rid themselves of the danger of his prophesized revolution. It was for this reason that the homes of the family members of the Prophet, that is, the Hashimites, and more particularly Imam Hasan ‘Askari’s home, was under constant surveillance and was under the watchful eyes of the secret agents of the ‘Abbasid regime.

Mu’tamid, the ‘Abbasid caliph, had assigned a number of midwives to conduct espionage missions of the Hashimite families to collate information about pregnancies and child births. When the caliph got news of Imam Hasan ‘Askari’s illness, he instructed his agents to keep a constant watch over the house of the Imam. When he heard that the Imam had died, he ordered a search of the Imam’s house to find the whereabouts of his son. In addition to this, he sent some of these midwives to examine the slave girls of the Imam to determine if they were pregnant. If a woman was found pregnant she was detained and imprisoned.

The midwives suspected one of the women to be pregnant and reported her to the caliph. The caliph ordered her to be confined to one of the rooms and commissioned Tahrir, his servant, to watch over her. He did not set her free until he was sure that she did not carry the Imam’s child. He did not stop with the household of Imam Hasan ‘Askari. Rather, as soon as the funeral was over he ordered all the houses to be searched and kept under surveillance.

Reference:

Usul al-kafi, Bab mawlid abi Muhammad al-Hasan b. ‘Ali. One can also consult other sources that mention the adverse conditions under which these women suffered at the hands of the ‘Abbasid caliph and his fear of the existence of a son of Imam Hasan ‘Askari.

The Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 215: Divine Rescue of Jesus

When the soldiers with Judas drew near to the place where Jesus was, Jesus heard the approach of many people, wherefore in fear he withdrew into the house. And the eleven were sleeping. Then God, seeing the danger of his servant, commanded Gabriel;, Michael;, Rafael;, and Uriel, his ministers, to take Jesus out of the world. The holy angels came and took Jesus out by the window that looks toward the South. They bare him and placed him in the third heaven in the company of angels blessing God for evermore.

Comments

The Nawasib mock the Shias of Ahlulbayt (as) by asking the question: “Does God not have the capability to Protect your Imam, that has caused him to hide like a coward?”

Ironically it was the Jews that first mocked the righteous companions of Isa (as) by posing the question: “Does God not have the capability to Protect Isa, that has caused him to hide like a coward?”

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 216: Judas Transformed

Judas entered impetuously before all into the chamber whence Jesus had been taken up. And the disciples were sleeping. Whereupon the wonderful God acted wonderfully, insomuch that Judas was so changed in speech and in face to be like Jesus that we believed him to be Jesus. And he, having awakened us, was seeking where the Master was. Whereupon we marvelled, and answered: ‘You, Lord, are our master; have you now forgotten us?’

And he, smiling, said: ‘Now are you foolish, that know not me to be Judas Iscariot!’ And as he was saying this the soldiery entered, and laid their hands upon Judas, because he was in every way like to Jesus. We having heard Judas’ saying, and seeing the multitude of soldiers, fled as beside ourselves. And John, who was wrapped in a linen cloth, awoke and fled, and when a soldier seized him by the linen cloth he left the linen cloth and fled naked. For God heard the prayer of Jesus, and saved the eleven from evil.

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 217: Judas Scourged and Mocked

The soldiers took Judas ;and bound him, not without derision. For he truthfully denied that he was Jesus; and the soldiers, mocking him, said: ‘Sir, fear not, for we are come to make you king of Israel, and we have bound you because we know that you do refuse the kingdom.’ Judas answered: ‘Now have you lost your senses! You are come to take Jesus of Nazareth;, with arms and lanterns as [against] a robber; and you have bound me that have guided you, to make me king!’

Then the soldiers lost their patience, and with blows and kicks they began to flout Judas, and they led him with fury into Jerusalem. John ;and Peter ;followed the soldiers afar off; and they affirmed to him who writes (i.e. Barnabas) that they saw all the examination that was made of Judas by the high priest, and by the council of the Pharisees, who were assembled to put Jesus to death. Whereupon Judas spoke many words of madness, insomuch that every one was filled with laughter, believing that he was really Jesus, and that for fear of death he was feigning madness. ………

When it was morning there assembled the great council of scribes and elders of the people; and the high priest with the Pharisees sought false witness against Judas, believing him to be Jesus: and they found not that which they sought. And why say I that the chief priests believed Judas to be Jesus? No all the disciples, with him who writes, believed it; and more, the poor Virgin mother of Jesus, with his kinsfolk and friends, believed it, insomuch that the sorrow of every one was incredible………………

As God lives, he who writes (i.e. Barnabas) forgot all that Jesus had said: how that he should be taken up from the world, and that he should suffer in a third person, and that he should not die until near the end of the world. Wherefore he went with the mother of Jesus and with John to the cross. …………

So they led him to Mount Calvary, where they used to hang malefactors, and there they crucified him naked;, for the greater ignominy. *Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: ‘God, why have you forsaken me, seeing the malefactor has escaped and I die unjustly?’ *Truly I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world.

But they that stood firm in the doctrine of Jesus were so encompassed with sorrow, seeing him die who was entirely like to Jesus, that they remembered not what Jesus had said. And so in company with the mother of Jesus they went to Mount Calvary, and were not only present at the death of Judas, weeping continually, but by means of Nicodemus and Joseph of Abarimathia; they obtained from the governor the body of Judas to bury it. Whereupon, they took him down from the cross with such weeping as assuredly no one would believe, and buried him in the new sepulchre of Joseph; having wrapped him up in an hundred pounds of precious ointments.

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 218: Judas Crucified

Then returned each man to his house. He who writes, with John and James his brother, went with the mother of Jesus; to Nazareth.

Those disciples who did not fear God went by night [and] stole the body of Judas and hid it, spreading a report that Jesus was risen again; whence great confusion arose.

Comments

So the companions of Isa (as), who didn’t fear Allah i.e. their hearts were not pure hid the body of Judas whom they considered Isa (as) and falsely claimed that Jesus had risen again was still alive.

Now look at the Nawasib that mock the Shias of Ahlulbayt (as) by pointing out that after the death of Imam Hassan Askari (as), some of his companions alleged that he was not dead but remained alive. We would like to ask the Nawasib:

Did the Jews have sufficient proof to deny the Ghaibah of Isa (as) on the basis that some of his companions (who didn’t fear Allah) deviated and asserted that he had been brought back to life?

If you believe they did, then verily you have gone out of the pale of Islam.

If the answer is no, then why are you following the footsteps of the Jews step by step and using this argument so as to deny the existence of Mahdi (as)?

………The news reached Nazareth how that Jesus, their fellow citizen, having died on the cross was risen again. Whereupon, he that writes; prayed the mother of Jesus; that she would be pleased to leave off weeping, because her son was risen again. Hearing this, the Virgin Mary, weeping, said: ‘Let us go to Jerusalem to find my son. I shall die content when I have seen him.’

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 219: Jesus appeareth to his friends

The Virgin returned to Jerusalem with him who writes, and James and John, on that day on which the decree of the high priest went forth. Whereupon, the Virgin, who feared God, albeit she knew the decree of the high priest to be unjust, commanded those who dwelt with her to forget her son. Then how each one was affected! God who discerns the heart of men knows that between grief at the death of Judas whom we believed to be Jesus our master, and the desire to see him risen again, we, with the mother of Jesus, were consumed.

So the angels that were guardians of Mary ascended to the third heaven;, where Jesus was in the company of angels, and recounted all to him. Wherefore Jesus prayed God that he would give him power to see his mother and his disciples. Then the merciful God commanded his four favourite angels, who are Michael, Gabriel, Rafael;, and Uriel, to bear Jesus into his mother’s house, and there keep watch over him for three days continually, suffering him only to be seen by them that believed in his doctrine.

Comments

Isa (as) stayed there for only 3 days, while Mahdi (as) remained at home until the age of five.

Allah’s Sunnah was that Isa (as) would only be seen by those that believed in his doctrine. Allah’s Sunnah was that Imam Hassan Askari show Mahdi (as) only to his those close companions, that feared Allah (from the depths of their hearts) and believed in the doctrine that he was the 11th appointed/chosen Caliph/Imam of Allah (swt).

Jesus came, surrounded with splendour, to the room where abode Mary the Virgin with her two sisters, and Martha and Mary Magdalen, and Lazarus, and him who writes, and John and James and Peter. Whereupon, through fear they fell as dead. And Jesus lifted up his mother and the others from the ground, saying: ‘Fear not, for I am Jesus; and weep not, for I am alive and not dead.’ They remained every one for a long time beside himself at the presence of Jesus, for they altogether believed that Jesus was dead. Then the Virgin, weeping, said: ‘Tell me, my son, wherefore God, having given you power to raise the dead. suffered you to die, to the shame of your kinsfolk and friends, and to the shame of your doctrine? For every one that loves you has been as dead.’

Chapter 220: Jesus and the four Angels

Jesus replied, embracing his mother: ‘Believe me, mother, for truly I say to you that I have not been dead at all; for God has reserved me till near the end of the world. ‘ And having said this he prayed the four angels that they would manifest themselves, and give testimony how the matter had passed.

Thereupon the angels manifested themselves like four shining suns, insomuch that through fear every one again fell down as dead. Then Jesus gave four linen cloths to the angels that they might cover themselves, in order that they might be seen and heard to speak by his mother and her companions. And having lifted up each one, he comforted them, saying: ‘These are the ministers of God: Gabriel, who announces God’s secrets; Michael, who fights against God’s enemies; Rafael, who receives the souls of them that die; and Uriel, who will call every one to the judgment of God at the last day. Then the four angels narrated to the Virgin how God had sent for Jesus, and had transformed Judas, that he might suffer the punishment to which he had sold another.

Then said he who writes: ‘O Master, is it lawful for me to question you now, as it was lawful for me when you dwelt with us?’ Jesus answered: ‘Ask what you please, Barnabas, and I will answer you’. Then said he who writes: ‘O Master, seeing that God is merciful, wherefore has he so tormented us, making us to believe that you were dead? and your mother has so wept for you that she has been near to death; and you, who are an holy one of God, on you has God suffered to fall the calumny that you were slain amongst robbers ;on the Mount Calvary?’

Jesus answered: ‘Believe me, Barnabas, that every sin, however small it be, God punishes with great punishment, seeing that God is offended at sin. Wherefore, since my mother and my faithful disciples that were with me loved me a little with earthly love, the righteous God has willed to punish this love with the present grief, in order that it may not be punished in the flames of hell.

And though I have been innocent in the world, since men have called me “God,” and “Son of God, in order that I be not mocked of the demons on the day of judgment, has willed that I be mocked of men in this world by the death of Judas;, making all (non believing) men to believe that I died upon the cross. And this mocking shall continue until the advent of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, who, when he shall come, shall reveal this deception to those who believe in God’s Law. Having thus spoken, Jesus said: ‘You are just, O Lord our God, because to you only belongs honour and glory without end.’

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 221: Jesus chargeth Barnabas to write

Jesus turned himself to him who writes, and said: “Barnabas, see that by all means you write my gospel concerning all that has happened through my dwelling in the world. And write in a similar manner that which has befallen Judas, in order that (only) the faithful may be undeceived, and every one (of them) may believe the truth.”

The Jews rejected the notion of Isa (as) being Allah’s appointed Prophet. Hadhrat Isa (as) therefore made it clear that Allah lead the non believers to believe that he had died on the cross and would continue to affirm this deviant belief, until they gauged the witness testimony of the righteous companions, namely that he (as) had been raised up to the Heavens in a state of Ghaybah, once they accepted this they would likewise acknowledge he was the divinely appointed Prophet of Allah (swt).

Rejecting the notion that Isa (as) has been crucified, is linked to affirming that he is chosen Prophet of Allah (swt), and deeming the witness testimonies of his pious companions to be the testimonies of truthful men.

Imam Hassan Askari (as) and Imam Mahdi (as) commanded their righteous companions to record the birth and existence of Imam Mahdi (as) exclusively for those faithful, that believed in the doctrine of twelve divinely appointed Imams, so that the truth was made manifest and they were protected from deception. Those that rejected the doctrine of twelve divinely appointed Imams, will never accept the occultation of Imam Mahdi (as). Their rejection of Ghaibah is in consequence to their rejection of the first main condition requiring that they have faith in the twelve divinely appointed Imams. That is precisely why they reject the witness testimonies of those righteous companions of the Imam, who recorded the events depicting the existence and occultation of Imam Mahdi (as). Retuning to the Gospel of Barnabas we read:

Then answered he who writes: “I will do so, if God wills, O Master; but I do not know what happened to Judas, for I did not see it.”

Jesus answered: “Here are John and Peter who saw everything, and they will tell you all that has passed.” And then Jesus commanded us to call his faithful disciples [so] that they might see him. So James and John called together the seven disciples with Nicodemus and Joseph, and many others of the seventy-two, and they ate with Jesus.

Now compare this to the narration about the birth of Imam Mahdi (as):

Mu’awiya b. Hakim, Muhammad b. Ayyub and Muhammad b. ‘Uthman ‘Amri related the following account:

There were forty of us that collectively attented Imam Hasan ‘Askari’s house. The Imam presented his son to us and said: “This is your Imam and my successor. After me you must obey him. Do not get into a dispute on this matter, otherwise you will be destroyed. However, you must remember that after this you will not be able to see him.”
Bihar al-anwar, Volume 52 page 25

Ja’far b. Muhammad b. Malik was amongst a group of the prominent members of the Shi’a that included ‘Ali b. Bilal, Ahmad b. Hilal, Muhammad b. Mu’awiya b. Hakim and Hasan b. Ayyub. He relates the following occasion:

We were all gathered at the Imam ‘Askari’s house to seek knowledge of his successor. There were some forty people there. At that time ‘Uthman b. ‘Amr stood up and asked: “O son of the Prophet, we have come to ask you about something of which you have better knowledge.” The Imam said: “Please be seated.” He then left the room asking everyone to remain there. He returned after an hour, having brought with him a small boy whose face was shining like the moon. He then announced: “This is your Imam, obey him, let it be known that you will not see him again after this day.
Ithbat al-hudat, Volume 6 page 31

There are at least 18 Ahadith, confirming that the companions of Imam Askari (as) saw Imam Mahdi (as).

The third day Jesus said: “Go to the Mount of Olives with my mother, for there I will ascend again to heaven, and you will see who shall bear me up.” So they all went there except twenty-five of the seventy-two disciples, who for fear had fled to Damascus. And as they all stood in prayer, at midday Jesus came with a great multitude of angels who were praising God: and the splendour of his face made them greatly afraid and they fell with their faces to the ground. But Jesus lifted them up, comforting them, and saying: “Do not be afraid, I am your master”

And he reproved many who believed that he had died and risen again, saying: “Do you hold me and God for liars? I said to you that God has granted to me to live almost to the end of the world. Truly I say to you, I did not die; it was Judas the traitor. Beware, for Satan will make every effort to deceive you. Be my witnesses in Israel, and throughout the world, of all things that you have heard and seen.”

And having said this, he prayed God for the salvation of the faithful, and the conversion of sinners and [then], his prayer ended, he embraced his mother, saying: “Peace be to you, my mother. Rest in God who created you and me.” And having said this, he turned to his disciples, saying: “May God’s grace and mercy be with you.” Then before their eyes the four angels carried him up into heaven.

Gospel of Barnabas, Chapter 222: Jesus carried up to Heaven

After Jesus had departed, the disciples scattered through the different parts of Israel and of the world, and the truth, hated of Satan, was persecuted, as it always is, by falsehood. For certain evil men, pretending to be disciples, preached that Jesus died and rose not again. Others preached that he really died, but rose again. Others preached, and yet preach, that Jesus is the Son of God, among whom is Paul deceived. But we – as much as I have written – we preach to those that fear God, that they may be saved in the last day of God’s Judgment. Amen.

Comments

The total number of disciples of Isa (as), who witnessed his being raised into Ghaibah, were 47 . If we add Hadhrat Mariam, her 2 sisters, Martha, Mary Magdalen, and Lazarus then the total number of witnesses increases to 53.

Satan hates the truth and caused many disciples of Isa (as) to deviate and split into sects. The positions of the disciples can be categorized into four groups:

The first group: falsely preached that Isa (as) died on the cross and never rose again
The second group: falsely claimed that he died in the cross was subsequently resurrected
The third group: through the propagation of self proclaimed disciple Paul claimed that Jesus was the Son of God,
The fourth group: (who were in the minority) preached the Truth to those who feared God, so that they may be saved.

The Jews mocked this fourth righteous group of companions of Hadhrat Isa (as) by questioning them about the formation of all these contradictory Sects. Was the existence of these Sects with differing views sufficient grounds for the Jews to deny the ascension of Isa (as) prior to his crucifixion?

Just look at the Post Modern Nasibies that are following the Jews inch by inch and vigorously reject the doctrine of their being12 divinely appointed Imams by arguing that if Imamate is a pivotal part of Islam, why did so many deviant Sects exist during the lifetime of the twelve Imams (as)?

Conclusion

The number of disciples of Isa (as), that witnessed the ascension to heaven were 53. A similar number of the companions of Imam Hassan Askari (as) witnessed the existence and occultation of Imam Mahdi (as). If we included Iman Hassan Askari, Hakima Khatoon and the other slave girls and men as witnesses, it is likely that the number of witnesses of Imam Mahdi (as)’s occultation would be greater than those that witnessed the ascension and occultation of Isa (as).

 

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