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ʿAqāʾid Course Notes Index and FAQ – Nubuwwah & Imamah

The Arabic term “rajʿah” means “return”. It refers to the belief that after the reappearance of Imām al-Mahdī (A), a group consisting of the most sincere believers will be brought back to life in order for them to witness the Divinely promised rule of justice under the righteous Imām and in order to exact revenge from the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (A). The purpose of the rajʿah would also require that a group of the worse enemies of God and the Ahl al-Bayt (A) also be returned to this world, so that revenge may be exacted from them.

Traditions explaining the occurrence of the rajʿah are great in number and evidence for the possibility of such an occurrence is also present in the Qurʾān. For example, compare the two verses of the Qurʾān cited below:

وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ فَوْجًا مِّمَّن يُكَذِّبُ بِآيَاتِنَا فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ
On that day We shall resurrect from every nation a group of those who denied Our signs, and they will be held in check. [27:83]

وَيَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَفَزِعَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُۚ وَكُلٌّ أَتَوْهُ دَاخِرِينَ
The day when the trumpet is blown, whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will be terrified, except such as Allah wishes, and all will come to Him in utter humility.[27:87]

As can be seen, the verses above are speaking of two different days. The first verse refers to the revival of only a particular group, whilst the second refers to the revival of the whole of mankind. Many commentators explain that the first verse is referring to the revival of a group of the enemies of God during the rajʿah, while the second refers to the revival of the whole of mankind on the Day of Resurrection.

The coming back to life of certain people before the Day of Judgement should not come as something of surprise, since the Qurʾan also mentions other groups of people who were brought back to life from death. One example of this can be seen in verses 2:55-6, where a group from among the Banī Isrāʾīl is brought back to life after death.

According to a narration from Imām Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (A), one who recites Duʿāʾ al-ʿAhd for 40 consecutive mornings will be counted amongst the helpers of the 12th Holy Imām (A) and if this person happens to die before the Imām’s reappearance, Allāh (SWT) will raise him/her from his/her grave in order for them to assist the Imām in his mission. One of the things we pray for in this supplication is the following:

“O Allāh, if death that You have made inevitably and certainly incumbent upon Your servants stands between me and him (the 12th Imām), then take me out of my grave using my shroud as dress, unsheathing my sword, holding my lance in my hand, and responding to the call of the Caller who shall announce (the Imām’s advent) in urban areas and deserts.”

Taqiyya refers to the permissibility for a Muslim to conceal one’s true beliefs in situations where there is fear that one’s life, property or honour, or that of other Muslims, is at the risk of being endangered. Although on the one hand, acting according to one’s beliefs and speaking the truth is given utmost importance, the safeguarding of one’s life, property or honour is also paramount. When these two come to clash, more often than not, leeway is provided to give precedence to the latter. A simple example to elucidate this principle is that of the consumption of pork – although according to Islamic law this is strictly prohibited, the ban is lifted at times of desperation.

In the Qurʾān, Allāh (SWT) says:

Except someone who is compelled [to recant his faith] while his heart is at rest in it, those who disbelieve in Allāh after [affirming] their faith and open up their hearts to unfaith, Allāh’s wrath shall be upon them and there is a great punishment for them. [16:106]

It is unanimously agreed among Muslim scholars that the one who’s ‘heart is at rest’ on account of faith as referred to in this verse is the famous companion of the Holy Prophet (S), ʿAmmār bin Yāsir. The polytheists of Makkah had caught ʿAmmār and wouldn’t let him free until he condemned the Holy Prophet (S) and praised their gods. Out of taqiyyah, he eventually complied with their wishes; however, upon relating the incident to the Holy Prophet (S), the latter instructed ʿAmmār that was such an episode to take place again, then he should repeat what he had mentioned to them before in the same way.

Another significant verse, “A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith…” [40:28], clearly bring forth the idea that one may be a ‘believer’ in the eyes of God, yet under special circumstances in life, be compelled to hide one’s beliefs in public – or as in ʿAmmār’s case, go as far as to lie about them.

At first glance, it might seem to the reader that such a belief is tantamount to hypocrisy – it’s Arabic equivalent being nifāq, for the idea suggests putting forward a false image of oneself. However, when taqiyyah is analysed through an Islamic framework, it would become quite apparent that such an assertion couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, taqiyyah and nifāq are seen as opposite states, for while nifāq pertains to the outward declaration of faith whilst having disbelieve in the heart, taqiyyah is an outward show of disbelief due to fear while the heart is full of faith. In the Qurʾānic light, as has been proven above, taqiyyah is not only permitted, but at times even recommended, while nifāq has been clearly reproached as can be witnessed in the 63rd chapter named “The Hypocrites” (Al-Munāfiqūn).

Having said this, considering the same logic, acting according to taqiyyah can at times become forbidden if the greater good is endangered through it, such as taqiyyah causing the misguidance of other Muslims from the teachings of Islam. A vivid example of this in Islamic history was manifested by Imām al-Ḥusayn (A), when he rose up against the deeply irreligious rule of the Umayyad caliph Yazīd bin Muʿāwiyah in 61 AH resulting in the preservation of the teachings of Islam for later generations at the expense of his own life and that of his family members and close followers.

Please refer to Lesson 3 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lesson 3 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 2 & 3 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 2 & 3 of the Class 8 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 5 & 6 of the Class 10 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 5 & 6 of the Class 10 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 5 & 6 of the Class 10 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lessons 2 of the Class 9 Madressa manual.

Please refer to Lesson 4 of the Class 10 Madressa manual.