The following are questions posed by one of the translators of this book and the answers of the author to them:
Please explain hashr and nashr.1
Answer: Perhaps the hadith means that during the commencement of the Day of Reckoning, all human beings and other creatures will head toward Bayt al-Muqaddas (in Jerusalem) except those who were buried in Qum. In fact, those who would be admitted to paradise will enter it directly from Qum, for, as mentioned in hadiths, one of the doors of heaven will be opened in Qum.
Since “it is the day of the transformation of the world into another form,” on the Day of Resurrection this world and all its contents will change and nothing will remain of them. Perhaps, this is improbable.
It is also possible that this hadith refers to the raj‘ah or the purgatory world (‘alam al-barzakh) in which the souls of all believers would assemble in Bayt al-Muqaddas except for those who were buried in Qum which would be a purgatorial heaven for them.
What would be the status of jizyah during the time of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs)?2
Answer: Of course, the hadiths quoted in that part of the book are related to the noble verse,
﴿ ...حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ ﴾
“…until they pay the tribute out of hand, degraded,”3
and this is an indisputable part of Islamic law affirmed by all Muslims of the world.
At any rate, perhaps it can be said as an explanation that one of the reasons for abandoning their own religions and inclining to Islam would be as stated in the hadiths. On one hand, they would see that if they embraced Islam, they would enjoy all the privileges of being Muslim.
In addition to being exempted from paying the jizyah, they would also have a share in the public treasury. On the other hand, if they remained in their religions, they would suffer both a guilty conscience (for not accepting the truth after knowing it) and a financial burden (in paying jizyah). So, they would choose the first option and become Muslims.
Or, maybe there are other points and aspects of the hadiths which are beyond our understanding.
Why is making a profit off a believer unlawful and usurious, or discouraged and reprehensible (makruh)?4
Answer: The unlawfulness and usuriousness of making a profit off a believer or its being discouraged and reprehensible (makruh) is related to the time of the establishment of the government of truth and the Islamic state of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs).
Perhaps, at that time, such laws and regulations would be related to the conditions of the people and the market. It is also possible that it alludes to the psychological makeup of the people at that time which would naturally express itself in their commercial transactions with each other. As a manifestation of this psychological makeup, the people would tend to avoid burdening others and gaining huge profits.
Of course, any of these conjectures might be true provided that the hadiths in question are indeed authentic.
Why will qatayi‘ (private estates) cease to exist during the time of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs)?5
Answer: In view of the fact that qatayi‘ here refers to the vast tracks of land registered under the name of a king or his agents, perhaps the hadith means that during his just government, Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will declare these land titles null and void, confiscate these tracks of land in favor of the public treasury and turn them over to their original owners who are the masses or the popular government.
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said: “Woe unto him who destroyed you (Kufah Mosque)! Woe unto him who facilitated the way to your destruction! Woe unto him who built you with mud and baked clay, and changed the direction of Nuh’s (Noah) (‘a) qiblah!”6
Was this expression a warning because of the reprehensibility of the material used in the reconstruction (mud and baked clay), or because of the action itself of destroying and reconstructing the mosque?
Answer: Of course, it was because of the action itself of destroying and reconstructing the mosque. As recorded in history, it had been made up of woven reeds but during the rule of Mughayrah ibn Shu‘bah, a notorious and staunch enemy of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), in Iraq, it was rebuilt with mud and baked clay. Then, during the time of Ziyad ibn Abih, he destroyed and rebuilt the mosque with baked clay and acquired its foundations from Ahwaz.7
During the reign of Hajjaj ibn Yusuf in Iraq he totally destroyed it which was partly damaged at that time and rebuilt it. After that some of its walls were destroyed and rebuilt during the time of Yusuf ibn ‘Umar ath-Thaqafi, a bloodthirsty, cruel and tyrannical governor appointed by the Umayyad caliph Hisham ibn ‘Abd al-Malik.8
Actually, the aforementioned hadith was a prediction by the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) about the emergence of tyrant rulers such as Ziyad, Hajjaj, Yusuf ibn ‘Umar, and others.
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “Husayn (‘a), along with his companions who were martyred with him, will come and seventy prophets will accompany them just as Hadrat Musa was accompanied by seventy dispatched persons.”9 Who would be these seventy prophets?
Answer: These seventy prophets will accompany Hadrat Musa (‘a) in visiting the House of Allah while performing Hajj,10 or they could be the seventy persons from among the community (qawm) of Hadrat Musa (‘a) who demanded to see Allah and hear His voice at an appointed tryst (miqat), but when the manifestation of the divine glory came upon them, they fell down dead and were raised up to life again11 and while reaching the station of prophethood they would accompany Hadrat Musa (‘a) during the time of Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs). It could also mean something else which is beyond our knowledge and understanding.