Mention any unique virtue of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) that places him ahead of all companions, and the Muslim majority gets very uncomfortable. But they have no problem in admitting that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is superior to Prophet Isa (a.s.) and will lead him in prayers.
Superiority of Mahdi (a.t.f.s) to Isa (a.s.)
The superiority of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) over Prophet Isa (a.s.) drives home the point that Imamat is superior to Prophethood.
The infallible Imams (a.s.) are superior to all Prophets (s.a.w.a.) except the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Prophet Isa (a.s.) was last prophet before Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the religion (Shariat) of Prophet Isa (a.s.) as abrogated all previous religions.
So, when Imam Mahdi (a.s.) leads Prophet Isa (a.s.), it is as if He is leading all other Prophets (a.s.) before Prophet Isa (a.s.). Just like Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) led all Prophets (a.s.) in prayer during the incident of Meraj (ascent to the heavens).
Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) leads Prophet Isa (a.s.) in prayers
Muslims who stubbornly refuse to admit that Imamat is superior to prophethood have no reply to the traditions that clearly state that Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will lead Prophet Isa (a.s.) in prayers.
When it comes to leading congregational prayers there is no peer for Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), seeing that he (a.t.f.s.) will lead Prophet Isa (a.s.), an Ulul Azm prophet. Even the extremists who are loathe to admit a single virtue for the Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), concede that Prophet Isa (a.s.) will pray under the Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) leadership.
- Sahih Muslim p. 193 part 2
- Musnad-o-Ahmed Ibn Hanbal vol. 3
- Al-Sawaiq al-Mohriqah, chap 11, p. 254, Section 1
- Nuzool-o-Isa Ibn Maryam (a.s.) p. 57 by Jalaal al-Deen Suyuti
- Faraaid al-Simtain p. 43
Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) who will lead Prophet Isa (a.s.) in prayers is the son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). By consensus of scholars of both sects, Ali (a.s.) is the father of the Imams (a.s.) and is superior to them. Rather, Ali (a.s.) is the self (nafs) of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). When Ali’s (a.s.) son is the one who will lead Isa (a.s.) in prayers, then Ali (a.s.) is even worthier for this task. If Ali’s (a.s.) status makes him worthier to lead the highest-ranking divine prophets (a.s.), where is the question of ordinary companions taking precedence over Ali (a.s.) in leadership of the nation or in leading congregation prayers ahead of Ali (a.s.)!
This is a moment of reflection for the Muslim nation – ‘therefore take a lesson, O you who have eyes!’
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