Twenty-first century mankind has made extraordinary progress in terms of industry and technology. However, have any of these developments ever become substitutes for their relationship with the heavens? Is the arterial road between earth and heaven still open to mankind, or has it been disconnected for a long time? In theory, the monotheists have provided different answers to this question. In case you are looking for an answer, then join us in this research.
According to the Jews, the connection between heaven and earth was cut off when Prophet Moses (PBUH) passed away. This was coincident with the end of the Prophets amongst children of Israel. Thus, based on what the Jews believe, after the death of Prophet Moses (PBUH) and the great Prophets of children of Israel, there is no revelation, and there is no successor for Allah (SWT) on the earth.
In contrast, Christians believe that this blessing (the connection) remained until the time of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) (2). They say that the connection between mankind and the heavens in terms of revelation remained even after Prophet Moses (PBUH) and his successors; however, it was disconnected when Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was (supposedly) crucified, and there was no Prophet of Christianity
Nevertheless, Muslims believe that this blessing remained as long as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was alive. The Sunnis believe that this spiritual blessing, which appeared in the form of Prophethood and Imamate, was disconnected after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). They say that the connection between mankind and the heavens was disconnected after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) forever.
The question here is: Are the generations living after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) inferior to the previous ones? Is mankind of the recent centuries lower than the deceases ones in terms of accomplishments? Indeed, the children of Israel and the nation of Noah and Hud (PBUT) have never experienced the accomplishments today’s mankind has achieved and its increasing need for connection with the heavens. So why would Allah (SWT) deprive us of such blessing when He has offered it to them (previous generations)?
Meanwhile, some of the contemporary thinkers and philosophers(3) have found the answer to this vital question of mankind in the teachings of Shia school of thought, and believe that Shiites are the only ones who have an appropriate answer to this question.
According to the Shia doctrine, there exists a perfect human today who establishes the connection between the earth and the heavens. In fact, Prophethood has come to an end; therefore, this connection is not in the form of Prophethood; thus, it would not bring about a new religion and new regulations. Shiites believe in this connection in the form of Imamate. According to Shiism, the connection between the earth and the heavens is established through a perfect human, and the Divine blessings are granted to mankind through this perfect human. Moreover, in the current era, Shiism introduces Imam Mahdi (PBUH) as that perfect human, and considers him as the representative of Allah (SWT) on earth. He is the one who is explicitly addressed by the Shiites as the link between the heavens and the earth in the supplication of Nudbah(4).
Yes, Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is even now the link between the heavens and the earth, and the Shiites believe that the blessings of this hidden Imam are no less than what he would have in his reappearance era. Today, the effect of this connection between the heavens and the earth on the hearts of people and the guidance he bestows upon the seekers of guidance is no less than that in the reappearance era. In addition to what other religions have provided as the link between the heavens and the earth, the Shia school of thought offers this answer for all free men to judge. However, have you and I found our missing one, and are we accompanying him in the route from the earth to the heavens?
(Selection taken from the magazine of Intidhar, Issue 1, the article of “The Basis of Mahdawiat from the viewpoint of Science of Belief”, by Ayatullah Ja’far Subhani (with some changes and summarization))
The Roshd website congratulates all freemen of the world, especially you dear friend, upon the 15th of Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the Imam of the earth, the Imam of our time, the link between the heavens and the earth, Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH).
1. There are several important discussions regarding this topic. Yet, due to its briefness, this article discusses the connection between the heavens and the earth in the present time. As such, the necessity for this connection and other related discussions are taken for granted, and the detailed reasoning is considered out of the scope of this writing.
2. Of course by Christians, the Protestants are meant, because Catholics believe in Jesus as God.
3. The opinion of Professor Henry Corbin.
4. A phrase from Nudbah supplication says, ”Where is the link between the heavens and the earth?”