Prophet Mani pbuh is a mysterious figure in history, his claims had intrigued many and he accumulated many followers over the years, his religion became one of the most widespread religions that the world had seen, but today not many people know much about this great personality or his teachings, and what is even more unfortunate is that Many of the holy books written by Mani were lost or were intentionally destroyed, only small fragments remained, but what has remained, gives us a good idea of what he taught and preached, and what the results were from his teachings…
Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf is known throughout the world as the founder of the religion of Islam, he was born several centuries after the death of Prophet Mani pbuh. Today the Islamic religion is one of the worlds most practicing religion, widespread across the globe. Both of these founders were born after the founding of Christianity and had emerged as new faiths. It may come as a shock to learn that the closest religion to Islam with many shocking similarities, is not Judaism nor Christianity, but rather Manichaeism, we will be looking in depth into what makes these two similar, and how they are connected.
The first and most important belief that both Mani and Muhammad pbut had preached was Monotheism, the Oneness of God, without partner, they also rejected the concept of a trinity which distinguished Manichaeism from their mainstream Christian rivals.
At the age of 12 Mani had received his first revelation from what is believed to be from an Angel as a messenger to him saying: “Withdraw from this sect, for none of its people belong to you; your concern is with purifying the soul and abandoning the passions. But (the time for) your public appearance has not yet come, for you are still too young.” At the age of 24, he was once again visited by this Angel who had informed him to declare himself publicly to the people, Mani pbuh had called out to his people stating: “As once Buddha came to India, Zoroaster to Persia, and Jesus to the lands of the West, so came in the present time, this prophecy through me, Mani, to the land of Babylonia.” He had declared himself to be a prophet to his people by the command of this Angel who he identified as his Twin.
Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf at the age of 40 had also received his first revelation from an Angel, that Angel was none other than Gabriel pbuh, and at the age of 43 he declared himself openly to the public to be a Prophet and Messenger of God. Both Mani and Muhammad pbut had declared themselves publicly by these Angels to be on a mission from God the almighty, and what is even more interesting are the names that Mani pbuh had called out as past Prophets, ‘Buddha, Zoroaster, and Jesus pbuh,’ and that he himself was the next in line in a succession of prophets.
You will find Islamic scholars that believe or consider Buddha and Zoroaster pbut to be past Prophets who’s call and message had become distorted over time, it’s also reported that the Muslims who had invaded Persia had considered Zoroaster pbuh to be a divinely sent prophet, and the Muslims had labeled Zoroastrians under the category of ‘The people of the Book’ like the Christians and Jews. The Quran also testifies that there are unknown Prophets which are not mentioned in the Quran:
“And We have already sent messengers before you. Among them are those [whose stories] We have related to you, and among them are those [whose stories] We have not related to you.”
And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut.”
Both Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf and Prophet Mani pbuh had claimed to come as reformers of the religions of their predecessors after their call and message had been distorted and corrupted overtime, such as the religion of Christianity, which is why you will find some unique claims in these religions. For example: Just as Mani pbuh claimed to be the direct successor and disciple of Jesus pbuh, so do the Muslims, as they claim that Muhammad pbuhahf was a successor of Jesus pbuh.
In Islam Jesus pbuh is revered as a great Prophet and Messenger of God, however Islam is known for it’s famous and controversial claim that the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ pbuh was not Crucified, in the Quran it states:
And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them.
Another controversial belief besides the concept of the trinity and crucifixion which both religions reject, is the rejection of the idea that Jesus pbuh was the Absolute God in the flesh.
The Quran states:
They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.”
Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf had assigned 5 daily obligatory prayers to his followers, Manichaeans are reported to have prayed between 4 to 7 times a day.
Even the start of the prayer is quite similar, in Islam one must perform ablution in order to approach and initiate the prayer, at the beginning of the prayer there is a standing position facing the Qibla, the direction of prayer, the Kaaba, which is considered by Muslims to be the ‘House of God’ in which the worshipper recites praises, bows, and prostrates to the Lord, in Manichaeism, the direction of prayer was, the Sun and the Moon, as they represented the Light of God, and if the Moon was not Visible at night, they prayed in the Direction of the North, the Throne of the Light King.
Al-Nadim has reported about the Manichaean prayer in his book Al-Fihrist: “Now indeed he, the man, stands up and washes in the flowing water or something else, and he turns towards the greater Luminary, standing.” Showing a clear similarity between the Muslim and Manichaean ablution and prayer.
Not only this but just as the Muslims bow and prostrate several times in their prayers, the Manichaens also bow and prostrate several times throughout their prayers, the Manichaeans also used to supplicate to their lord with their hands up with their palms facing towards the sky, and this is exactly how you find Muslims supplicating today.
In Islam there are five pillars, four of which are Declaration of Faith, Prayer, Charity, and Fasting, from these four we have already gone over the fact that Islam and Manichaesm share the belief in One God and the belief of their founders being a sent Messenger of God, and both of these religions have daily obligatory prayers, but what of the other two pillars?
In Islam it is obligatory to give in charity also known as Zakat, to help the poor and needy, in the Quran it states:
“And establish prayer and give zakah, and whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. Indeed, Allah of what you do, is Seeing.”
Prophet Muhammad pbuh has placed a huge emphasis on giving to the poor in charity, it is narrated by Abu Burda that the Prophet pbuhahf said, “Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Prophet! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.”
In Islam fasting is also obligatory, it is upon every Muslim man and woman to fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan, consisting of 29 or 30 days, abstaining from food and drink and during the entirety of the month from dawn til sunset.
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.”
Fasting was prescribed so this way those who were more fortunate than others in this world would have an idea of what it was like to have the pains of hunger like that of the less fortunate, it allowed one to become more humble and sympathetic towards others, fasting in itself is considered in Islam as a charity for the body itself.
And if fasting has been decreed upon those before Islam, then let’s take a look at Manichaesm and see if fasting is included along with charity.
According to Prophet Mani (pbuh):
“The first duty of the Hearer which he does is Fasting, Prayer and Alms-giving… The Alms is this, that he must make an offering of food through the Saints [Elect/Monks], and piously give it to them. The Alms will be reckoned to his good, the Fast he has kept, the cloth that he has put upon the Saints; and thereby they daily have communion with them in their fasting and their good deeds.”
The fasting of the Manichaens is also the same as the Muslims, they both refrain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, and they had a prescribed Month of fasting…. according to Al-Nadim “when the New Light appears and the sun is in Aquarius and the eight days have passed of the (lunar) month, they (the Manichaens) fast for thirty days, but break the fast each day at nightfall.”
Doesn’t the implementation of charity and fasting complete four of the five pillars of Islam by the Manichaeans? You can almost even call them Muslims, but let us continue looking at what other things bring these two faiths together.
In both Islam and Manichaeism, there exists the belief of Angels, just as we had gone over, Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf was visited by the Angel Gabriel and Mani pbuh by an Angel known as his Twin who Manichaeans also identify as Jesus pbuh.
In Islam it is a must to believe in the unseen, like God for example, and this of course stretches out to the Angelic beings in the religion, in Islam the most known angels are the likes of Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Azrael. God had warned against being enemies to his angels as stated:
“Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and His messengers and Gabriel and Michael – then indeed, Allah is an enemy to the disbelievers.”
In the Manichaean Book of Giants four angels are mentioned, these angels are none other than, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel. As you can see, even the indentity of some of the Angels are also the same, the Angels in both religions are benevolent and can act as messengers to prophets just as the Twin was for Mani pbuh, and Gabriel to Muhammad pbuhahf. Each Angel is assigned with a different task, even the task of collecting the souls of the deceased, sending them to their next life.
Both faiths hold the belief in an afterlife, humanity has long feared death, and what lies beyond this life, asking, what happens after death? Where do we go? And why?
According to both Islam and Manichaeism, there exists two realms besides this one, there is Heaven or Paradise, a place filled with everlasting bliss and pleasure for those who had faith and were good, abstaining from all that which was evil and forbidden, and their exists a realm opposite to Heaven, and that is Hell, Hell is a place which houses the souls of the wicked and evil souls, it is a place described as an abyss of everlasting pain, torture and misery, a roaring fire is set for them as compensation for their grievous evil deeds during the lifetime of the individual. Or the soul simply reincarnates back into this world.
That’s right, the religion of Mani openly preaches and believes in reincarnation, the return of the soul into this physical life multiple times, reincarnation also serves as a divine judgment and punishment of the soul into poor living conditions, sometimes the individual can incarnate as an animal.
Amu a companion of Mani pbuh stated:
“We were on our way, while our Father (Mani) sat on the mule. Then a big lion came down to meet us, with an arrow in its side, weeping. So our Father bade that it keep still while he removed it. Then he spoke to us again: You see this. That was Pilate, who once condemned Jesus; but in his favour he uttered one word, namely: Lo, my hands are pure from the blood of this Righteous One. On that account has he received forgiveness of (his) sins.”
– Manichean Homilies 91
Although most mainstream Muslims do not believe in reincarnation, you will find that there are sects who believe in reincarnation within Islam and there are Muslims who question and even accept the possibility of reincarnation and the return of the soul.
The “Al-Haft Al-Shareef” an ancient islamic manuscript displays conversations between Imam Jafar al-Sadiq pbuh the descendant of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf and his loyal and faithful companion Muffadal ibn Umar. The book is filled with lengthy esoteric revelations which include Reincarnation, the Imam pbuh explained how the soul can incarnate as a human, and can incarnate as an animal due to the misdeeds of the individual, those who believe in reincarnation also use the Quran as a basis for the belief in reincarnation. An example of reincarnation of an animal known as “Maskh” is by the Words of the Holy Imam pbuh within the book, he states:
“And of them were those taken by the trembling and of them are those who went into Maskh as Monkeys and Pigs and the likes of that of the Torture of the Afterlife.”
Then Allah said: “And indeed We will make them taste of the lower Penalty prior to the supreme Penalty, in order that they may return.”
-Al Haft Al Shareef – Door 62
And this act of reincarnating as a monkey or pig can be found in the following verse:
Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that as penalty from Allah? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.”
Other verses states:
“How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.”
– Quran 2:28
“From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time.”
– Quran 20:55
And the Quran states that those who reject reincarnation are disbelievers, it states:
But they wonder that there has come to them a warner from among themselves, and the disbelievers say, “This is an amazing thing. When we have died and have become dust, [we will return to life]? That is a distant return.”
– Quran 50:2-3
“And He is the one who gave you life; then He causes you to die and then will [again] give you life. Indeed, mankind is ungrateful.”
– Quran 22:66
The fact of the matter is that Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf did teach that the soul reincarnates and the evidences of this in the religion of Islam are numerous for those who sincerely search…
Another similarity that both religions share is the belief in the End Times, both religions believe that Jesus Christ the son of Mary has a return in the end of times, in order to save humanity from the darkness and to distinguish the darkness from the light. Both beliefs also share that the end times heralds in an age of perfect Justice, Gods Kingdom on Earth, or as divine just state. In Islam Jesus pbuh is not alone, but rather he is accompanied with Imam al-Mahdi pbuh, who is greater than Jesus pbuh, and Jesus pbuh is also one of his followers, the State of Imam al-Mahdi pbuh according to the Muslims is similar to that of Manichaeism, it is a State with Justice and Equity only after this world had been filled with Injustice and Tyranny.
The similarities between both of these religions are numerous and shocking, to the extent that even towards the end of their lives, these founders left behind something very similar for their communities, so they would never go astray…. Before Mani pbuh died, he had gathered his companions and selected for them their Leader from amongst them… his divinely appointed successor after him, Sisin. Before Mani died:
They came closer to him; he laid his hand upon the head of Sisin, saying: “Use the place that I have given you for the help and strengthening of your brethren . . . after me.”
– Manichean Homilies
The divine appointment was obvious to all of the Manichaeans without dispute, and after Mani pbuh they would recite a prayer revolving around Mani pbuh as followed:
“You did appoint the twelve Teachers and the seventy-two Overseers; you did make Sisin Leader over your children.”
– Manichean Psalms 44
And it did not end with Sisin, there was another. Sisin had also pointed out his successor, Innai.
“His word was laid upon Innai, that he should himself be the Leader of the Sect in his place.”
In Islam, most Muslims state that Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf did not leave behind a successor, but rather Abu Bakr was the successor of the Prophet by the people. This however is not true. During the Event of Ghadir al-Khum, the Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf had designated his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib pbuh as his successor decreed by Allah. And it has been reported in countless narrations and authenticated over the centuries by even mainstream Muslims.
The Messenger of Allah pbuhahf said: “Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?” People cried and answered: “Yes, O’ Messenger of God.” Then Prophet Muhammed (pbuhahf) held up the hand of Ali and said: “Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his leader (Mawla). O God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.”
-Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63 and Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43
At this time, the Muslims had accepted the words of the Prophet without question.
However, during the event known as ‘The Calamity of Thursday’ in which the Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf was laying on his death bed, it is reported that he had desired to write a Will for his nation before his death, but unfortunately, his request was met with disrespect. This event has been regarded as completely authentic by all Muslims.
Ibn Abbas narrated said “When Allah’s Messenger pbuhahf was on his deathbed and there were some men in the house, he said, ‘Come near, I will write for you something after which you will not go astray.’ Some of them said, ‘Allah’s Messenger is seriously ill and you have the Qur’an. Allah’s Book is sufficient for us.’ So the people in the house differed and started disputing. Some of them said, ‘Give him writing material so that he may write for you something after which you will not go astray.’ while the others said the other way round. So when their talk and differences increased, Allah’s Apostle said, “Get up.” Ibn Abbas used to say, “No doubt, it was very unfortunate (a great disaster) that Allah’s Messenger was prevented from writing for them that writing because of their differences and noise.”
– Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 5, Book 59, Hadith 717
Do you really believe that God who is all-knowing and all-loving would allow his nation to go astray without allowing his Messenger to have written his statement in which he promised them that they would never go astray if they held on to it? Of course not, because the truth is that he did allow his Messenger to write it. On the night of his death Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf had dictated his Will to Ali ibn Abi Talib pbuh. Written within it the names of his Successors, 12 Imams and 12 Mahdis, the first Imam and successor being Imam Ali pbuh, all the way to the 12th Imam who is still alive today. Imam al-Mahdi pbuh, and his successor, the first Mahdi, Ahmed, and he is the awaited Savior of Mankind who is accompanied with Jesus Christ pbuh…. The identity of this savior and reformer who brings the world out of darkness into the light is none other than Imam Ahmed al-Hassan pbuh, he has come to rid the world of injustice and tyranny and replace it and fill it with Justice and Equity, he is the one who will herald in the just divine state, the kingdom of God on earth. And he has revealed certain pieces of information concerning the religion of Mani pbuh, revealing how the religion is so similar with the Islamic religion.
Imam Ahmed al-Hassan pbuh had revealed that Prophet Jesus pbuh was the Physical father of Prophet Mani pbuh, who continued the true call of his father, and that Muhammad pbuhahf was a descendant of Prophet Mani pbuh, Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf was in fact a Manichaean… and he was continuing the call of Allah the Almighty. This explains why the beliefs and practices of prophet Mani pbuh mirrors perfectly with that of Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf.
Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Mani pbut were both Prophets whose missions were revealed to them by angels, they taught there followers of the existance of these angelic beings and to believe in them although they may be unseen, they both preached the belief in One God, they both rejected the Christian concept of the Trinity, Crucifixion, and the Absolute Divinity of Jesus pbuh, they taught there followers about past prophets and messengers before them, those who were known and unknown, they claimed to be successors of the past prophets i n a chain of successions in order to reform the true message which was lost overtime, they taught there followers how to perform ablution, to pray several times a day, there prayers were similar as it included bowing, prostrating, sitting, supplication and standing, they made there followers give in charity to the less fortunate and they both had a month long fasting from dawn to sunset, there beliefs included an afterlife of heaven or hell, and the reincarnation of the soul into this world, they also appointed infallible successors who would lead mankind after there deaths and they both spoke of the Second Coming and Return of Jesus Christ pbuh in the end times… and this return has already taken place.
but today, just as it was in the past, as Mani pbuh came as a reformer of the corrupted religions which had true divine founders, and just as Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf also came as a reformer with the same mission.
Imam Ahmed al-Hassan pbuh has also come to reform the Islamic religion anew after it had been corrupted and distorted, and revealing certain truths that have been lost, and true teachings which other religions hold as well….. and he has come to bring humanity out of the darkness into the light, saving us from our own selves, this call is the same as that of Prophet Mani pbuh, who humanity today sympathizes over the tragic loss of his religion because of the ignorant and intolerant ones of his time. Do not make the same mistake, as Imam Ahmed al-Hassan pbuh has come to unite all of humanity, under one truth, under one call, under one divine just state, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth…. It is time that we support him, it is time that we throw aside our systematic dogmas and hold faithfully to the chosen one of God in our time, it is time that we become… united.