Lunar and Solar eclipse prophecy for the Mahdi: Authenticity and fulfilment

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Last Updated on 12th February 2021

M Adam Ahmad, Al Hakam

اِنَّ لِمَهْدِيَّنَا آيَتَيْنِ لَمْ تَكُوْنَا مُنْذُ خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ، تَنْكَسِفُ الْقَمَرُ لأَوَّلِ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ، وَ تَنْكَسِفُ الشَّمْسُ فِي النِّصْفِ مِنْهُ، وَلَمْ تَكُوْنَا مُنْذُ خَلَقَ اللّٰهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَ الأَرْضَ

“For our Mahdi [Spiritual Reformer] there are two signs which have never appeared before since the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, namely the Moon will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadan [i.e. on the first of the nights on which a lunar eclipse can occur] and the Sun will be eclipsed on the middle day [i.e. on the middle one of the days on which a solar eclipse can occur]. And these signs have not appeared since God created the Heavens and the Earth.” (Sunan al-Daraqutni, Kitab al-Eidain)

Referring to this hadith, opponents of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, assert this tradition of the Holy Prophetsa is not authentic, so it cannot be considered a sign for the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat.

Allah the Almighty says:

وَ اَقۡسَمُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ جَهۡدَ اَيۡمَانِهِمۡ لَئِنۡ جَآءَتۡهُمۡ اٰيَةٌ لَّيُؤۡمِنُنَّ بِهَا ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّمَا الۡاٰيٰتُ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ وَ مَا يُشۡعِرُكُمۡ ۙ اَنَّهَاۤ اِذَا جَآءَتۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ

“And they swear their strongest oaths by Allah that if there came to them a Sign, they would surely believe therein. Say, ‘Surely, Signs are with Allah. But what should make you understand that when the Signs come, they will not believe?’” (Surah al-An‘am, Ch.6: V.110)

As stated in this verse of the Holy Quran, opponents of the Promised Messiahas follow in the footsteps of the earlier enemies of prophets and deny extraordinary signs which clearly announce the appearance of the Imam Mahdias in the last age.

The remarkable celestial sign mentioned in the hadith presented at the outset has its basis in the Holy Quran. Allah the Almighty states:

يَسۡـَٔلُ اَيَّانَ يَوۡمُ الۡقِيٰمَةِ۔ فَاِذَا بَرِقَ الۡبَصَرُ۔ وَ خَسَفَ الۡقَمَرُ۔ وَ جُمِعَ الشَّمۡسُ وَ الۡقَمَرُ

“He asks, ‘When will be the Day of Resurrection?’ When the eye is dazzled, and the moon is eclipsed, and the sun and the moon are brought together.” (Surah al-Qiyamah, Ch.75: V.7-10)

That the Promised Messiah would arrive in the last age is undisputed and one of the signs of the Latter Days is mentioned in the above verses; the Sun and the Moon will be brought together. This clearly refers to the solar and lunar eclipse that happened in the time of the Latter-Day Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, as the Sun and the Moon aligned together to manifest this heavenly sign, in the month of Ramadan (according to the prophecy mentioned in hadith).

Responding to the objections raised on the hadith under discussion, the Promised Messiahas said:

“If this hadith was not reliable, then why did Al-Daraqutni record it in his book? On the other hand, he was a man of such reputation that he had even commented on Sahih al-Bukhari and no one has ever questioned his criticism. More than a thousand years have passed since his book came out, but thus far, not a single scholar has discussed this hadith and declared it as unauthentic, nor did any one of them say that this [hadith] is not supported by evidence present in other books. 

“On the contrary, from the time this book was published in Islamic countries, all the scholars, intellectuals, mutaqaddimin and muta‘akhirin [earlier and later hadith scholars] have been writing this hadith in their books. If any of the great muhaddithin [specialists of hadith] considered this hadith as unreliable, then present any action or saying of only one of the muhaddithin who has written that this hadith is not authentic … However, if this hadith is authentic and it is free from any accusation of falsity, then righteousness and honesty demands that it should be accepted.” (Tohfah-e-Golarhviyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 17, p. 133-134)

This hadith has been frequently mentioned by various eminent scholars of Islam in their books and acknowledged as a sign of the advent of the Mahdi. Below are the names of some books: 

1. Al-Arf al-Wardi fi Akhbar al-Mahdi by Hazrat Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyutirh

2. Al-Qawl Al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar by Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami

3. Maktubat of Imam Rabbani Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-e-Sani, Ahmad Sirhindirh (Maktub no. 67)

4. Kitab al-Isha‘ah li-Ashrat al-Sa‘ah by Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Rasul al-Barzanji

Hence, this hadith was not presented by the Promised Messiahas out of the blue. Reliable and learned religious scholars had been constantly quoting this hadith in relation to the arrival of the Imam Mahdi.

The prophecy mentioned in the hadith is so unique and magnificent in nature that any sensible person with a rational mind cannot deny it. 

Highlighting undeniable aspects of the prophecy, the Promised Messiahas said:

“As a matter of fact, since the time of Adam to the present day, nobody ever made a prophecy like this. The prophecy has four aspects: 

1. The occurrence of the lunar eclipse on the first of the eclipse nights 

2. The occurrence of the solar eclipse on the middle of the eclipse days

3. The occurrence in the month of Ramadan 

4. The presence of a claimant who has been rejected. 

“Hence, if the greatness of this prophecy is denied, then show a parallel to it in the world and until a parallel cannot be found, this prophecy ranks foremost among all those prophecies for which the subject of the following verse provides authenticity:

لَا‭ ‬يُظۡهِرُ‭ ‬عَلٰي‭ ‬غَيۡبِهٖۤ‭ ‬اَحَدًا

“[‘He reveals not His secrets to any one (except to him whom He chooses, namely a Messenger of His)’], because it is stated in this [hadith] that from the time of Adam to the last age, it has no parallel.” (Tohfah-e-Golarhviyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 17, p. 136)

The unseen was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa and he prophesied that this extraordinary sign would take place in the era of the Promised Messiahas and Mahdi. Then, the Latter-Day Messiahas announced in his time under divine guidance that the sign of the solar and lunar eclipse which had occurred was shown by God Almighty in accordance with the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa as a truth of his claim. Thus, there remains no room for doubt in the authenticity of the hadith because the divine prophecy was fulfilled to the letter.

Moreover, Hazrat Al-Daraqutni, who has recorded this hadith in his book, was not an ordinary person. He was a well-renowned scholar and a righteous man. Commenting on his honest and piety, Hazrat Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Delhvi states:

“Imam Al-Daraqutni once said, ‘O residents of Baghdad! Do not even think that any narrator would be able to refer any false or incorrect statement to the Holy Prophetsa of Islam during my life time.’” (Naubat-ul-Fikr, p. 52)  

Referring to those who still deny the said hadith, the Promised Messiahas states:

“Are you not afraid to deny the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, even though its truth has become as manifest as the bright Sun? Can you present a sign like this in any age in the past? Do you read in any book that some person claimed to be from the Almighty God and then in his time in Ramadan, the lunar and solar eclipses occurred as you have now seen? 

“O group of deniers, if you are aware of any such happening [in the past], then relate it and you will get 1,000 rupees as a reward. So prove it and take this reward and I call the Almighty God as a witness on this promise and you also be a witness; God is the Best of all witnesses. And if you cannot prove it, and you will never be able to prove it, then guard against the Fire which is prepared for those who create disorder.” (Nur-ul-Haq, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 212)

Hence, grand fulfillment of the hadith and historical evidence goes against opponents of the Promised Messiahas. Moreover, it is unreasonable to deny a prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa without any substantial proof when it has become manifest.

(Research support by Awwab Saad Hayat, Al Hakam)

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