Mahdavi Qaum of Islam - Frequently Asked Questions  
 
Compiled by: Brother Syed Akbar
1) Who are Mahdavis?
  Mahdavis are followers of Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH, who claimed himself as Mahdi the promised one.
2) So, who is Mahdi the promised?
  "Mahdi" literally means "the guided one". As per many sound and popular traditions from Prophet MuhammadPBUH, Muslims have believed that a person from the progeny of Prophet MuhammadPBUH would appear before the Day of Judgment, whose name would be the same as Prophet MuhammadPBUH's name and whose parent's names would be the same as Prophet MuhammadPBUH's parent's names and that he would be the Khalifa of AllahSWT. Also, that person would NOT err as he would be divinely guided by AllahSWT. Hence, that personality has been popularly known as Mahdi the promised.
3) Do Mahdavis believe in the finality of Prophet MuhammadPBUH?
  Yes, Mahdavis believe that Prophet MuhammadPBUH is the last prophet of AllahSWT and after him no prophet would appear till the Day of Judgment.
4) Do Mahdavis believe in the second coming of JesusPBUH?
  Yes, Mahdavis do believe that Jesus (Son of Mary) (Peace be upon them) will reappear before the Day of Judgment and follow the shariah (religious law) of Prophet MuhammadPBUH.
5) Are Mahdavis Sunni or Shia?
  If we go by the literal meaning of Sunni, yes, Mahdavis are sunni, as they follow the Sunnah of Prophet MuhammadPBUH and his companions perfectly. Mahdavis follow the doctrine of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat. They are not Shia because they do not subscribe to the Shiite doctrine.
6) Which Fiqhi Mazhab do the Mahdavis follow - Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki or Hanbali?
  Imam MahdiAS has commanded his followers to respect all four Imams of Fiqh and choose the principle which is based on Aaliyat (excellence). So for any religious query, Mahdavis use the touchstone of excellence to evaluate the opinions of the four schools of Fiqh and then choose the one which is based on excellence.
7) So, if Mahdavis are Sunnis, how are they different from rest of the Sunnis?
 
  • The primary difference is that we believe that Mahdi Mau'oodAS has come and gone. We believe that Syed Muhammad, who was born in Jaunpur, India in the 9th Century Hijri and passed away in Farah, Afghanistan at the age of 63 years and is buried there is the Mahdi who was promised by the ProphetSLM. The Sunnis believe that the Mahdi has not come yet and will come in the future. In addition to this, there are many notable differences some of which are given below.
  • Mahdavis believe in doing all the religious acts only for the sake of Allah and not for good things of this world or the things of paradise. If a seeker gets AllahSWT, he/she will any way get paradise.
  • Mahdavis do not hire Imams in their masajid to lead prayers as it is against the sunnah of ProphetPBUH and His CompanionsRZ to get paid for leading prayers. In a Mahdavi Masjid a person who leads the prayers is a seeker of Allah and does not indulge in worldly act of earning livelihood.
  • Mahdavis believe that Vision of AllahSWT is possible in this world and it is obligatory for Mahdavis to have the desire to see Allah.
  • Mahdavis not only give Zakat (usually 2.5% of the wealth, given annually) but also give Ushr (Tithe) (10% of regular income)
  • Mahdavis believe that the Quran is Marboot (every ayat is linked to the next ayat)
  • Mahdavis believe that there is no Nasq in Quran (no ayat is cancelled), Sunnis believe that some ayats in Quran are cancelled.
  • Mahdavis do not offer nafil prayers, instead they spend their time in DhikrAllah
  • Mahdavis offer two rakat Tahyat-ul-Wudu prayer after doing wudu (ablution).
  • Mahdavis believe that the 27th night of Ramazan is the Lailatul Qadr. This night was revealed on our Imam Syed Muhammad Mahdi Mau'oodAS.
8) Is Syed MuhammadPBUH of Jaunpur the only person who claimed to be the Promised Mahdi?
  No. There have been other people in history who claimed to be the Mahdi as well.
9) So, how is Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri's claim different from the claim of other claimants of Mahdiat?
  Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH's claim was based on a mandate from AllahSWT. That's the reason why he challenged the scholars and muslim kings from his time to compare his teachings and practice with the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet MuhammadPBUH and kill him if they find any discrepancy because in that case he would be a false claimer of Mahdiat and Muslim kings are supposed to get rid of falsehood. No other claimer of Mahdiat issued such a challenge before or after Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH's claim.
10) Where and when did Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH claim his Mahdiat?
  Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH made his first claim of Mahdiat at the holy city of Makkah, right in front of Kaaba (between rukn and maqam) in the Hijri year 901. He made the claim after performing Hajj.
11) How many people accepted his claim at Makkah and who were they?
  According to some traditions, there were around 360 people who accepted his Mahdiat and did bayah (ba'it) on his hand at Makkah. Among the people who accepted him there were scholars, kings, nobles and other common folk.
12) Were there any Arabs who accepted him as the promised Mahdi?
  It is believed that there were some Arabs among the people who accepted his claim at Makkah but there is no documented proof of that fact.
13) Where are Mahdavis found?
  Majority of Mahdavis are natives from different parts of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. A few native Mahdavis are also found in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran. But now-a-days emigrated Mahdavis are also found in many Western countries including USA, Canada, and UK.
14) What was Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH claim and invitation about?
  He invited people to seek AllahSWT and AllahSWT only; that is, he invited people to seek Vision of AllahSWT in this world.
15) Did anybody have Vision of AllahSWT by accepting him as Mahdi?
  Lot of people who were seekers of AllahSWT had the divine Vision of their Lord by accepting Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH as promised Mahdi and by following his teachings.
16) So what are the teachings of Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH?
  Apart from following all the principles of shariah of Prophet MuhammadPBUH the followers of Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH also practice the following precepts based on the injunctions in the noble Quran:
  • Tark-e-Dunya (Renunciation of the World)
    Allah says:-
    (S11-A15) "Those who are desirous of worldly life and its splendour, we reward their deeds in this world only, and they will have nothing but hell hereafter"
  • Talab-e-Deedar (Desire for Vision)
    Allah says:-
    (S18-A110) One who wishes to meet (See) God, he should do virtuous deeds and never make any one His partner in worshipping Him.
  • Zikr-e-Dawam (Constant Remembrance of Allah within)
    Allah says:-
    (S4-A103) Thus always remember Allah standing, sitting and lying down on your sides
  • Tawakkul (Dependence on Allah)
    Allah says:-
    (S3-A159) Thus have trust in Allah indeed God loves those who have put trust in Him.
  • Sohbat-e-Sadiqeen (Company of Ascetics)
    Allah says:-
    (S9-A119) O, believers fear Allah and be with the ascetics
  • Hijrat (Migration)
    Allah says:-
    (S4-A97) Whether the earth of Allah was not wide enough to leave the native place and go to some other place. Such people will be thrown in to the Hell and it is a very terrible place.
  • Uzhlat-az-Khalq (Retreat)
    Allah says:-
    (S73-A8) Come towards Allah leaving every one (Isolate from others)
17) Do Mahdavis believe in the five pillars of Islam?
  As mentioned above Mahdavis believe in the doctrine of Ahle-Sunnat-Wal-Jammat and hence they believe and practice all the five pillars of Islam
18) Why do Mahdavis pray 2 rakat Tahyat-ul-Wudu prayers after wudu?
  It was a sunnah of Prophet MuhammadPBUH to offer 2 rakat prayer after performing wudu which was neglected by muslims and eventually left altogether. Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH resurrected that sunnah of prophet MuhammadPBUH and ordered Mahdavis to perform the 2 rakat Tahyat-ul-Wudu prayer after every wudu.
19) Why do Mahdavis give tithe on income and rest of the Muslims don't?
  Ushr (tithe) is one-tenth (1/10th) of a person's income that is donated for the sake of AllahSWT. This was another sunnah of ProphetPBUH and his CompanionsRZ that was not followed by later generation muslims. Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH ordered his followers to follow this sunnah too.
20) Why do Mahdavis offer special prayers on 27th night of Ramadan?
  Mahdavis believe that 27th night of Ramdan is the night of Lailat-ul-Qadr, the night in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet MuhammadPBUH. Other muslims believe that one of the last ten odd nights (21st, 23rd,... 29th) is the night of Lailatul-Qadr but do not know which one. The exact night was known to ProphetPBUH but was made to forget by AllahSWT. The knowledge of exact night of Lailatul-Qadr was revealed to Syed Muhammad JaunpuriPBUH as a favor from AllahSWT and AllahSWT ordered him to offer special thanksgiving prayer on that night. Since then Mahdavis have been offering this special prayer on the 27th night of Ramadan.
Abbreviations:
PBUH: Peace Be Upon Him
SWT: Subhana Wa Tala
SLM: Sallallahu Alaihis Sallam
AS: Alaihis Salaam
RZ: RaziAllahu Tala Anhu (or) RaziAllahu Tala Anhum (or) RaziAllahu Tala Anha (or) RaziAllahu Tala Anhuma
 
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