What is the significance of the Minaret of Jesus (minaratul masih), mentioned in the Hadith literature?


A non-Ahmadi lady wrote to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, and requested Huzoor-e-Anwaraa to answer some of her questions about the Jamaat.

Huzoor-e-Anwaraa, in his letter dated 22 August 2021, gave the following reply to her:

“[…] As far as Minaratul Masih is concerned, just as the previous prophets and messengers of God Almighty, during their respective eras, used to try to also fulfil prophecies in their literal form, following the Sunnah of the prophets and with the permission of Allah the Exalted, the Promised Messiahas initiated the construction of this minaret to also fulfil the following prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa in its literal form:

“Hazrat Nawwas bin Samanra narrates a long tradition in which the Holy Prophetsa said, among other things, that:

إِذْ‭ ‬بَعَثَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬الْمَسِيحَ‭ ‬ابْنَ‭ ‬مَرْيَمَ‭ ‬فَيَنْزِلُ‭ ‬عِنْدَ‭ ‬الْمَنَارَةِ‭ ‬الْبَيْضَاءِ‭ ‬شَرْقِيَّ‭ ‬دِمَشْقَ

“‘When Allah will send the Messiah, son of Mary, he will descend at the white minaret east of Damascus.’ (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-fitan wa ’ashrat as-sa‘ah)

“In order to fulfil this prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa in its literal form, many Muslim kings tried to build such a minaret. Hence, in 461 AH, a minaret was built in the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, which was destroyed by a fire caused by the Christians many years later. In later periods, this minaret was rebuilt, but then both the minaret and the mosque were destroyed by fire. For the third time in 805 AH, the governor of Syria started the reconstruction of this minaret and it was named the Minaret of Jesus […] [The dates and other historical details vary hugely depending on the sources one consults, with the common element in them being that the minaret was destroyed by fires or earthquakes etc. and later rebuilt several times throughout history. — The Editor, Al Hakam]

“The Promised Messiahas appeared in the town of Qadian which is located just east of Damascus. He also initiated the construction of a minaret to fulfil the literal aspect of the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa. However, that construction could not be completed during his blessed era due to unfavourable financial circumstances, but it was completed during the first two years of the caliphate of his second successor, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra. The minaret reached its completion in 1915. It still stands tall at the place of the advent of the Promised Messiahas and is known as Minaratul Masih i.e. the minaret of the Messiah. While highlighting the purpose and goal of the construction of this minaret, the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi, peace be upon him, states: 

“‘In the Prophetic hadith, it was stated about the Promised Messiah that he would descend near the White Minaret [minarat al-baida’]. The purpose of this statement was to indicate that it was a sign of the time of the Promised Messiah that during his time, owing to the interconnectedness of the world, the development of roads, and the ease of assembly, it would be so easy for him to propagate God’s commandments, convey the light of faith and to call people to it, as if he were [able to do so merely] standing on a minaret […] In short, the use of the term ‘minaret’ used for the time of the Messiah indicates that his light and voice would spread across the world very fast. And these facilities were indeed not available to any other prophet.’ (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. III, 2019, p. 51)

“He further states: 

“‘There is a hidden fact within the word ‘minaret’ itself, and that is that it is mentioned repeatedly in the Hadith of the Holy Prophetsa that the Messiah to come would appear as the Man of the Minaret. This signified that in his age, the truth of Islam would reach the greatest of heights in the likeness of a towering minaret, and that the religion of Islam would prevail over all religions just as the voice of the one who makes the call to prayer, standing atop a tall minaret, dominates all other voices. So, it was but destined that the same would happen in the time of the Messiah, as Allah the Exalted states: 

هُوَ‭ ‬الَّذِيۡۤ‭ ‬اَرۡسَلَ‭ ‬رَسُوۡلَهٗ‭ ‬بِالۡهُدٰي‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬دِيۡنِ‭ ‬الۡحَقِّ‭ ‬لِيُظۡهِرَهٗ‭ ‬عَلَي‭ ‬الدِّيۡنِ‭ ‬كُلِّهٖ

“[‘‘He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions.’ (Surah as-Saff, 61:10)]

“‘This verse is in favour of the Promised Messiah. The loud voice of the conclusive proofs of the veracity of Islam [hujjat al-islam], under which all voices drown, has been reserved for the Messiah since eternity. And since ancient times, the step of the Promised Messiah has been declared to be standing on that high minaret, higher than which there is no other edifice.’ (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. III, 2019, p. 52)

“He further states: 

“‘It should be remembered that the main purpose of building this minaret is to fulfil the prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa. In the past, a minaret was built twice on the eastern side of Damascus for this very purpose, which was later destroyed by fire. This is the same kind of purpose as when Hazrat Umarra had a companion wear gold bangles from the spoils of the Chosroes to fulfil a prophecy.’ (Majmu‘ah-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. III, 2019, p. 80, footnote)) […]”

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