Dr. Rashid Shaz's interview with Mr. Adnan Oktar (Future Islam Magazine and Milli Times International Newspaper, India, 1 July 2010)
DR. RASHID SHAZ: Now with my own findings, the things that I’ve been reading of Harun Yahya, of his books and especially last night just I finished his book called the Islamic Unity. In this perspective, I have some questions. May I please get acknowledged?
ADNAN OKTAR: All right, insha’Allah.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: So the first question is that when we call it Islamic Unity, we know that how Islamic Unity was. I mean, it was actually abolished in the past with emergence of Arab nationalism and so forth. But at the very basis of Muslim division lies the division of fiqh. So I have been very closely watching the scene in Afghanistan and I have been very much associated with the groups, visited their bases. When Afghanistan got liberated, then Muslims started fighting among themselves. So when will it be that we get a line to rule, the question comes which fiqh should prevail whether the Hanafi, Shafi’i or Hanbali or whatever? These artificial divisions have kept the Ummah divided for many centuries. So do you propose any solution?
ADNAN OKTAR: Our Prophet (saas) has told us the answer to this, and we can immediately grasp it when we totally follow our Prophet (saas). Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the cure for it. Our Prophet (saas) has said that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come in the End Times. The time has come, and the portents have been revealed. It’s all about following Hazrat Mahdi (as). He will bring all the scholars and all the holy figures together. He will establish an assembly of scholars and will leave no sects behind. It will be just as it was in the time of the Companions. The Ummah will continue to suffer so long as it remains at a distance from Hazrat Mahdi (as). It will escape this suffering if it draws close to Hazrat Mahdi (as), insha’Allah.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: Well, there has been a political initiative in the past. The Ummah prayed in the Holy Haram of Mecca for five hundred years or so, in different groups. There was a Hanafi period and a Shafi’i period and a Hanbali period in the Holy Haram of Mecca for five hundred years. Then comes a political move by Ibn Saud, and he rolled back all the Musalman and only now united Musalman to the entire Ummah. So before the Mahdi comes, there is an initiative, an example, which may set things in order.
ADNAN OKTAR: Yes. It will not be like that in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as). It will be as in the time of the Companions. There will be no Shiites or Sunnis. Our Prophet (saas) told this. He says he will restore the religion to its original form.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: In the hadith literature, there has been all these overlap among the three personalities, Mahdi, Qaim Al-Zaman or what the Shiah call him the 12th Imam and the Messiah. So the return of three figures, they overlap. And the information in hadith literature always overlap over these personalities. This is one point. Another is that among the scholars of Islam, during all these years, there has been no consensus whether the Mahdi will arrive. And all the traditions about the Mahdi has been a matter of debate among the ulama. Muhammad Iqbal, because in India in his time the fitna of Qadiani came up, so Muhammed Iqbal was forced to make a research. He himself was a philosopher, a poet, so he asked some learned scholars in India to make a search about the Mahdi and all the traditions. And there are some good researchers now in Urdu that says that it is very difficult to establish and most of these traditions that they are going back to the Prophet (saas). Because in the area there is a tradition in Abu Dawud, you have also spoken in your book The Islamic Unity. But with your finding, for example the dajjal in Bukhari, in Muatta we have no information about it. But in later traditions it comes. So if coming of the Mahdi is so much part of the faith, it has always been a matter of debate among Muslim scholars, so if it is so center to Islamic faith, why we do not find it in the Quran?
ADNAN OKTAR: They say that out of weakness of faith. Almighty Allah speaks of Muslims ruling the world in verse 55 of Surat an-Nur. He says Muslims will rule the world. That is a verse about the system of the Mahdi. There are at least 10 such verses in the Qur’an, about the global dominion of Islam. He speaks of Mahdis and dajjals in the Qur’an. Much of the Qur’an is about pharaohs, Nimrods and dajjals. It refers to the dajjals who will come in the End Times, and the prophets are the Mahdis of their centuries.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: So you mean to say that the new Mahdi will be a Prophet?
ADNAN OKTAR: No prophet will come after our Prophet (saas). But he is the greatest guide there has ever been. We can see from Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet Jesus (as) will be Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) helper. That is why Hazrat Mahdi (as) is such an important person.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: So if Mahdi is not a Prophet, and Jesus being a Prophet, he comes just as a helper? So how it comes that a prophet becomes subordinate to a man who is not even a Prophet?
ADNAN OKTAR: That is the wisdom of Allah. He does not explicitly say in the Qur’an that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come, but He clearly refers to the system of the Mahdi in Surat al-Kahf, Surah Yusuf and in the story of Solomon. These things are covered in detail on our web site. Looking at those one can see all the answers, with hundreds or thousands of supporting proof. People must make use of them. I mean, I prove it with the verses of the Qur’an and with the hadiths. There is much detailed information there.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: There came up another question. Because the books of Muslim faith or aqaid, when we take like Ash’ari and before that for example if we take Tabari and we come down to Gazali and others. We find that the book definition of aqaid is changing from time to time. Because the books of aqidah addresses the questions of their time, but there are certain points on which there is a general agreement, it is unchangeable. For example about the Muslim belief, it is very much stated in the Qur’an in a verse. So this becomes the very backbone of Muslim aqidah. Being people to accept something and they will ask the writing in the text itself not in the traditions, because on the traditions there is disagreement. The Shia do not accept the books of Sunni and Ibadis they do not accept neither the Shia books of hadith nor the Sunni books of hadiths. So, I mean, my feeling has been that these are the points which are debatable, which some people may believe, may not believe. When we start the revival work, we start with something on which everybody agrees on it. And this revival of the work for Islamic unity should not wait or cannot afford to wait for the Mahdi to come. We have to start preparing, we have to take initiative. When Khomeini did it in Iran he said, “We are waiting the day for the Imam Ghaib. We are not sitting,” he said.
ADNAN OKTAR: The system of the Mahdi is too powerful to be stopped anyway. That can be seen from the hadiths. With the system of the Mahdi will arise a force that cannot be stopped. You will see this within the next 10 years.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: So this thing is his prediction or how have you calculated? Because there are some people in the past who made? He made this prediction on what basis?
ADNAN OKTAR: Bediüzzaman Said Nursi and the hadiths both say this.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: Are there any hadiths that say the time?
ADNAN OKTAR: There are hadiths about the life span of the community being 7000 years. Our Prophet (saas) says that 5600 years of that have already passed. There are 8 hadiths about that. There are 8 hadiths from Suyuti. Take 5600 from 7000 and 1400 years remain. We are now in 1431 (Hijri), so Hazrat Mahdi (as) must already have come, so the Day of Reckoning must also be close at hand.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: Thank you very much. In fact this actually came up, I mean in the very beginning. What actually I wanted to ask some questions about your contributions too. Because your writings have produced you know, have attracted the new Muslim minds especially with the creation and myth and with his attack on Darwinism. That was one of the very positive contributions that people like. And it was Mr. Anthony Flew who got converted too, by reading these two books he says about intelligent design. So I think that, from the entire Islamic world, yours was a single voice and so well-authenticated and documented. So this is actually something that not only impressed me but a number of people like us, that we took of this challenge and especially with the new development of knowledge of our DNA and other things, I mean all perceptions are changing. So in chapter 19, in Origin of Species, that is about the eyes, there was always a gap. People always feared that there is a God because eye is always a fully developed organ from day one. So, I think that this is the point that Mr. Harun Yahya has contributed. What is needed more is that this kind of information reaches to our religious seminaries you know, our traditional Arabic madrasah which teach fiqh and shariah. They never took of this challenge to evaluate on solid intellectual grounds. So do you have some sort of plan for?
ADNAN OKTAR: May Allah be pleased. You have produced very honest and excellent analyses. I think there will be a huge opening up in the next 10 years, insha’Allah. And we will strive with all our might, with your help. We will obtain excellent results. We would hope for your prayers about this.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: A last question, actually I am trying to get your comments on the kind of thing I’ll be coming to. I have been trying to figure out to imagine Islam without the full fiqh. Because, Islam was there before them. So is it possible and how do you react to this idea then? Do you imagine Islam without a full fiqh?
ADNAN OKTAR: We will leave that to Hazrat Mahdi (as) insha’Allah and to the assembly of the scholars of Islam. They will sort it out, insha’Allah.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: I’m not asking questions now. I’m saying that your call for Islamic Unity is a good initiative and the time is right for this. The Ummah is in distress. They are looking for some initiative from anywhere. With the Turkish coming now on the political scene and the Ummah has expectations of it. I think if with your presence here and with your group you can start this initiative, you will find that I will be one of your supporters, I will be one of your hands insha’Allah in India.
ADNAN OKTAR: Estafurullah, you are our brothers. We are already allied. We will speak all the time and exchange information.
DR. RASHID SHAZ: This is not a question. This is to get some enlightenment from him. Because he is senior to me in this field.
ADNAN OKTAR: Estafurullah. May Allah be pleased. He [Allah] uses you and me as His instruments. All power lies with Allah, masha’Allah. It is our destiny to meet like this. You are my brother, and we will speak again.