Who Are the Shia and What Do They Say?

Lesson 7: Mahdism

In the Name of God

Based on the words of: Masoud Basiti

Collected By: Zahra Moradi

Translated By: Ali Mansouri


Over the course of "Who Are The Shia And What Do They Say?", we will examine the advent of Shi’ism, discuss the foundations of Shia belief, and present authentic Islam.


Lesson 7: Mahdism

In the previous lesson we analyzed Imamate and explained that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced a successor from God as a guardian for the people, just like the previous prophets. He did not leave humanity wandering without a leader. The Shia follow the 12 successors that the Prophet introduced as having been chosen by God to be the leaders of the people. They recognize them as “Imams” and believe obeying them is obligatory. The first Imam was Ali ibn Abu Talib (AS) and the last, who is still alive today and is considered the living Imam of this era, is Imam Mahdi (AS).

We also mentioned that the people did not follow the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) last will to refer to the Imams and come to their aid. Not only did they not follow the Imams, but continually abandoned them in the face of their oppressive enemies. Thus, the Imams were martyred one after another. God took away the blessing of access to the last Imam from the people because of their lack of appreciation and disobedience of His explicit commands. At this point the era of the Occultation of the 12th Imam, Imam Mahdi (AS), began.

In this lesson, we will analyze the issue of Mahdism, the beliefs of the Shia about Imam Mahdi (AS). Specifically, we will focus on the meaning of Occultation, the people’s obligations during the era of Occultation, and ways for hastening the appearance of the Imam.


The Meaning of Mahdism

“Mahdism” comes from the root “Mahdi”, which means guided one[1]. It refers to believing in and awaiting the appearance of the Mahdi as the Promised Savior of the End of Days, who has been given special powers by God.


Who is Mahdi?

The Mahdi (AS) is a man from the lineage of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who will appear in the End of Days and spread peace and justice all over the world while it is full of oppression and corruption[2]. He is the Promised Savior that all Muslims, whether Sunni or Shia, believe will come[3].

Sunni’s generally believe that the Mahdi has not been born yet. However the Shia believe that the earth will never been empty of a Divine Proof and Guide[4] and that Imam Mahdi (AS), the twelfth Imam and successor that was introduced by the Prophet as being appointed by God, was born in the year 255 AH[5]. His father was Imam Hassan Askari (AS), the eleventh Imam and successor to the Prophet, and his mother was Lady Narjis (a Roman princess and descendant of Simon Peter, the successor to Jesus). His name was the same as his ancestor, the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad[6], but is usually referred to by his title Mahdi, Imam Zaman (the Imam of this Era), Wali ul-Asr (the Guardian of this Era), or the Promised Savior.


A Secret Birth

Because the Imams were chosen by God to be guardians and guides for the people, the oppressive rulers of every era that usurped their position felt threatened by them. They used all their power and wealth to isolate the Imams; Sometimes this was done by threatening and killing the people, sometimes this was done by imprisoning and torturing the Imams, and sometimes this was done by preventing the people from communicating with the Imam through confinement and severe surveillance. At the end, they would take advantage of the Muslim’s shortcomings in carrying out the last will of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to aid and follow the Imams and assassinate the Imams. These difficulties and atmosphere of suffocation reached their peak during the time of the latter Imams. This reached the extent that the tenth and eleventh Imams were kept in a military garrison (Askar in Arabic) under heavy surveillance, and thus were known as Askari[7].

A large part of the worry and fear of the oppressive rulers of that era came from the numerous narrations and prophecies about the birth of a child from Imam Hassan Askari (AS) that would uproot the foundation of oppressive governments and fill the entire world with justice and equity. This is why they continually strived to assassinate Imam Hassan Askari (AS) before the Promised Savior (meaning the 12th Imam) would be born[8]. However, they were not successful. By God’s will, even though there were many spies carefully keeping watch over Imam Hassan Askari’s (AS) residence, no one became aware of Lady Narjis’s pregnancy and the birth of the Awaited Mahdi. Sometime later, Imam Hassan Askari (AS) informed a few of his closest followers and relatives about the birth of his son. In a few private visits, he showed him to them[9]. In this way, the birth of Imam Mahdi (AS) was very similar to the birth of Prophet Moses (AS). The Pharaoh, who knew that the decline of his kingdom would come at the hands of the Savior of the Children of Israel, killed thousands of infants to prevent the birth of Moses (AS). In the end however, despite the extreme precautions taken by his soldiers, Prophet Moses (AS) was secretly born [10].


The Imamate of Imam Mahdi (AS)

After the martyrdom of the eleventh Imam (Imam Hassan Askari, AS), it was time for Imam Mahdi’s (AS) Imamate. Like the previous Imams, his life was in danger. He was also the last living proof of God on the earth. Thus, God kept him out of the people’s reach. In this way, the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (AS) began.


The Meaning of Occultation

The Occultation (Ghayba in Arabic) of the Imam does not mean he is not present. Rather, it means he lives anonymously. The people see him, but they do not recognize him[11].

Taking advantage of the Imam’s guidance is not contingent on seeing his face or having physical contact with him. The Shia believe that the Imam, through access to Divine Knowledge, is aware of the state of the all the people in the world and what goes through their hearts and minds[12]. Thus, if any person in any corner of the world concentrates on the Imam of their Time, or even speaks with them in their heart, the Imam will hear what they are saying and pay attention to them.

This trait is not exclusive to the 12th Imam. Previous Imams also possessed such knowledge. For example, a person living in the era of Imam Kadhim (AS), the seventh successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), traveled to from Neyshabour to Medina to see the Imam and deliver the letters and gifts of the people of Neyshabour to him. He went to Medina. Since he had never seen the Imam and did not recognize his appearance, he asked the people where his house was. A person gave him the direction of another person who falsely claimed to be the Imam. However, after hearing the man’s words, which contradicted the Aql and the words of the Prophet, he realized he has made a mistake. While he was wandering in the alleys of the city, a messenger from Imam Kadhim (AS) came to him and invited him to the home of the Imam. Before the man from Neyshabour had mentioned anything about the letters and gifts, the Imam gave him a paper, and said it contained the answers to all the questions he had brought. He also handed the man a gift to give to an old lady that had woven a cloth with her own hands for the Imam[13].

Such examples in the Imams’ communications with the people are abundant. The idea that the Imam is aware of the state of the people of his time, and does not need to be physically present to hear their words, is not an unusual or newfound belief.


The Status of the Imamate

During the time of the previous Imams, even if the people knew where the Imam lived, they did not necessarily have unrestricted access to visit or communicate with them. This was because:

-    Most of the Imams lived in exile or isolation. The ruling authorities would greatly restrict, or completely prevent their communications with the people.

-    Regardless of political and military restrictions, the limited state of communication and transportation in that time period meant that it was not easy for people that lived outside the immediate vicinity of the Imam’s residence to communicate with them.

This is why many of the Shia that lived during the time of the first 11 Imams never saw the Imam of their Era during their lives. But this issue neither decreased the status of the Imams, nor closed the doors of guidance from the people. The Shia believe that the Imam of every era is the deputy of God on the earth. He is the Hearing Ear and Seeing Eye of God, and the source of Ilm, Aql, guidance, certainty, understanding, and reason. The Imams power and knowledge is not limited by space[14].

Therefore, whether the Imam is easily accessible to the people or it is difficult to visit him, whether he is apparent and present or in Occultation, his status and guidance giving is never suspended.

So how is it possible for the people to refer to an Imam that cannot be physically visited?


How to Refer to a Hidden Imam

There are numerous ways to refer to an Imam[15]. Just as we stated, the Imam is the Seeing Eye and Hearing Ear of God. He does not need a special tool or physical visit to become aware of our needs. It is enough that we pay attention to him and speak what is in our hearts in our native tongue. The people that lived at the time of the previous Imams would, according to the Ahlul Bayt’s recommendations, do exactly this. For example, a person sent a letter to Imam Hadi (AS) and asked him how he could refer to him and put forth his needs even though the Imam is far away? The Imam stated,

“Whenever you need something, it is enough that you move your lips (you speak with us). Be sure that the response will reach you!”[16].

Receiving a response from the Imam is not necessarily hearing his voice or receiving a letter. It’s possible that with the Imam’s blessing, we meet someone that solves our problem, that the veil in front of our mind and Aql is lifted and we understand the answer to our question, or that an unexpected event happens that brings a solution.

Test this in your own life! Refer to Imam Mahdi (AS). Pay attention to and refer to this Divine Guide. Speak with him in your mother tongue and be certain that you will benefit from his attention and kindness.


The Status of the Qa’im

As was mentioned, the status of Imam Mahdi (AS) has no relation with him being seen or knowing where he lives. He possesses the same status of Imamate that Imam Ali (AS) and the Imams after him possessed.

However, Imam Mahdi (AS) has another status, which depends on the ending of his Occultation and appearance before all the people of the world, which is called the “Status of the Qa’im”.

The Status of the Qa’im has been determined by God for Imam Mahdi (AS) and relates to the Imam’s unique mission. The mission that will begin with his Zuhoor (Appearance) and Qiyam (Uprising) and will lead to the reform and saving of humanity. This is the very blessed event that the previous Prophets gave glad tidings of to the people[17]. They said that at the End of Days, a man descended from the Seal of the Prophets will come, purify the world from oppression and tyranny, and fill it with justice and equity[18].

For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) addressed all the Muslims on the Day of Ghadir, proclaiming with a loud voice,

“Oh people! Know the Mahdi, the Qa’im is from us! He will prevail over the religions and take revenge from the oppressors. He is the helper of the religion of God!”[19].


Mahdism and Messianism

As was explained, the “Status of the Qa’im” of Imam Mahdi (AS) is related to the belief in the coming of a Messiah or Savior.

The belief in a Savior is one of the most deep rooted human beliefs. Humanity has always lived in the hope of the coming of a Savior that spreads justice. Both humanist schools of thought and Divine Religions give their followers the tidings of the coming of the “Savior of the End of Days”.

The belief of Jewish Faith about the coming of a Savior is one such example of Messianism in Divine Religions. The Jewish People await a victorious Divine Leader from the line of King David, who they name Mashiach (Messiah)[20]. In the Book of Isaiah it is written,

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse [the father of David]; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him … with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth … The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat … The infant will play near the cobra’s den … They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”[21].

Christians also await the reappearance of the Messiah and the spread of justice in every corner of the world. In the Books of Matthew and Luke it is written,

“For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even onto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be … And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven … But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”[22].

“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man”[23].

Even though there appears to be some differences between different faiths and schools of thought about exactly who the Savior will be, all of them share the belief about the coming of a person with extraordinary powers who will reform the chaotic situation of the world.


Characteristics of the Mahdi and the Golden Age of Zuhoor (the Appearance)

The Mahdi is the inheritor of the accomplishments and miracles of the previous Prophets and their successors. He possesses all the Ilm of the Prophets and is equipped with all their powers[24].

He is a loving father whose heart beats for all people, no matter what faith or religion they follow, and is upset at their griefs and problems[25].

Even though the people have forgotten him or are completely unaware of his existence, he eagerly counts down to the moment that he will appear and be able to save each and every one of his loved ones from difficulty, poverty, sickness, insecurity, and confusion. God has willed to transform the Earth to a new world through the hands of his last representative; to uproot oppression, poverty, sickness, and grief forever[26] and gift all the blessings of the Heavens and the Earth to His servants[27].

With the coming of the Mahdi, all the tyrannical governments will be uprooted[28], all people will follow the religion of God[29], the oppressed will have their rights returned to them[30], the treasures of the Earth will be divided equally among the people such that the people will be completely immersed in blessings[31], ruins will be renewed[32], roads will become safe[33], lifespans will become long[34], moral virtues will be manifest and Aql’s will become complete[35], and the Satan will be destroyed[36].

The Mahdi, the ambassador of peace, will bring so much safety and happiness that the dead will wish to be brought back to life to live during his rule[37]. He will spread friendship and kindness to such an extent on the earth that not just humans, but even wild animals will put aside their predatory nature and live in peace and harmony alongside other creatures[38].

The Mahdi, just like his ancestor the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), will have a magnificent disposition, meaning that his character will be exalted and distinguished[39]. His temperament will be so sweet and lovable that that time will be the “Spring of People and Flourishing of Days”[40]. With his coming, hatred will be banished from the hearts of God’s servants[41]. He will take care of people more than they take care of themselves and be more kind to them than their own parents[42].

However, the Mahdi is not just a safe refuge for all people during the Era of Zuhoor, but also during the Occultation, including today.

God stated that, “The Mahdi will be a Mercy for the people of the world. He will possess the perfection of Moses (AS), the greatness of Jesus (AS), and the patience of Job (AS)”[43]. In short, whatever traits all the good in the past possessed, he brings together in a single place.

Is it not befitting for us to pray for the coming of his appearance every dawn and dusk?


Questions about Mahdism

Many questions and doubts are raised about the life of Imam Mahdi (AS) and his Occultation. In this section we will answer some of the more common ones.


            The Mahdi’s long lifetime

Many people wonder how it is possible for the Savior of the End of Days to be over a thousand years old.

In response to this, we ask the reader whether it is possible for God to possess the power to give human beings a longer than normal life span? God’s power is not limited in anyway. If He desires, H can give anyone He wishes eternal life in this world. Beyond this, in order to make accepting this issue easier for people, God has given examples of previous people like the Prophet Noah, who lived for 2500 years[44], or the Prophet Khidr, who has been alive for several thousand years[45].


Living in Occultation

For some people, accepting the idea of the Occultation and the Savior living unrecognized among the people is difficult. But the “Occultation” is not a new phenomenon that is unique to the twelfth Imam. Numerous Prophets had occultations and, despite living among the people, were not recognized by them. For example, the Prophet Joseph (AS) was not even recognized by his brothers who sat down on the same table as him[46]. Or such as Prophet Moses (AS), who was not recognized as the Prophet of God and Savior of the Children of Israel even though he was in the Pharaoh’s palace and would mingle with the people[47].


Occultation Until When?

One of the most basic questions that comes up in relation to the issue of occultation is:

How long will the Occultation last? Is there any way to hasten the Appearance of the Imam?

Obviously the Occultation can occur by God’s Will at any moment He deems fit[48]. However God has given the people certain ways to make the Imam’s Appearance come closer. Principally, whenever the people join their hearts and unite in asking for the Savior to come back from the bottom of their hearts, the Zuhoor will occur.

A similar event happened for the Children of Israel, when they were waiting for the Zuhoor of Moses (AS). God had warned the Children of Israel that if they do not listen to and come to the aid of their Divine Guides, then, in accordance to Divine Custom, the blessing of the presence these guides among them will be taken away. During that time, they would keep distance from the Divine Guides, making their lives difficult and full of misery. If they continued their disobedience and ingratitude, God would decree that they should not have a savior for 400 years.

However, the Children of Israel did not take this warning seriously. They continued to ignore their Divine Guides, and thereby laid the groundwork for oppression, corruption, and calamity. This led to a situation in which the Pharaoh buried their men alive, violated the sanctity of their women, cut open the wombs of their pregnant women, and beheaded their children in front of their mothers.

After these calamities, the Children of Israel saw the error in their ways. They did not lose hope even though they knew God had decreed their Savior does not come for 400 years. They joined together and brought their hands up to pray sincerely as one, and urgently asked God to cut back on the remainder of the Occultation. God answered their prayers and hastened the appearance of the Savior of the Children of Israel (Moses, AS)[49]. Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), related this story for the people as an example for the era of the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (AS). He stated that if the people unite together and sincerely pray for his reappearance, God will bring about the Zuhoor. However if they are indifferent about the absence of the Savior, God will push back the Zuhoor to the most far off time possible[50].


Zuhoor Coinciding with War and Bloodshed

In many of the narrations about the coming of the Savior of the End of Days, there are references to wars, massacres, and widespread bloodshed that will supposedly come about at that time. As a result, some people are not very eagerly awaiting the Zuhoor of the Savior of the most Merciful God out of worry about the wars and violence that will come along with the Savior. A few points should be pointed out to these people.

Firstly, wars during the End of Days will arise from the oppression and aggression of tyrants, not from the Savior. The coming of the Savior will extinguish the fire of war. Imam Mahdi (AS) will bring an end to the crimes and massacres, not the other way around.

Secondly, after his Zuhoor, Imam Mahdi (AS) will invite everyone to accept the truth and follow the Aql[51]. The basis of his invitation will be the Aql. Some tyrants will ignore this, challenge the Imam, and continue their violations of innocent people’s life, wealth, and honor to the point that they will massacre innocent women and children in the most gruesome manner[52]. At this point, in order to establish universal justice and safety, the Savior will have no choice but to go to war with the criminals who have already been fully exposed to the truth[53]. Wars launched by the Savior will end the violence, not spread it. He will save the people and establish safety and security throughout the world. This is not scary, but rather should bring hope. Hope that the Awaited Savior finally ends oppression and corruption with his Divine Powers and forever cut off the hands of the aggressors others.

We eagerly await his Zuhoor.


Main Points of this Lesson

-    Mahdism is the belief in and waiting for the Mahdi as the Promised Savior

-    The Shia believe that the Earth will never be empty of a Divine Proof and Guide.

-    The Shia believe that the living Imam of this era is a savior named Mahdi, who is descended from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and will appear at the End of Days with Divine Powers to save all of humanity.

-    God punished the people because they did not value the loving guides that God appointed for them, but rather laid the groundwork for their assassination by the oppressive rulers. He hid His last proof from them and kept him safe from the mischief makers. This was the beginning of the Occultation of the Imam.

-    The meaning of the Occultation is that the Imam is still present on the earth and lives among the people, but the people do not see and recognize him.

-    The status of the Imam does not change during the Occultation. According to the Shia, the Imam is the Seeing Eye and Hearing Ear of God. If someone concentrates on him and speaks to him, the Imam will hear and pay attention to that person.

-    The “Status of the Qa’im” depends on the Imam’s appearance and his uprising to establish peace, justice, and security throughout the world. From this perspective, Mahdism is very closely related to the Messianism that exists in other religions and schools of thought.

-    With the Zuhoor of the Mahdi, all human beings will taste happiness, safety, and health. In contrast, poverty, oppression, tyranny, sickness, and grief will leave the earth.

-    If the people pray for the coming of the Savior with one voice and from the bottom of their hearts, God will hasten his appearance. However, if they are apathetic towards his existence and absence, God will delay his Zuhoor to the farthest possible time.


المَهْدِيُّ: الذي قد هَداه الله إِلى الحق، و قد اسْتُعْمِل في الأَسماء حتى صار كالأَسماء الغالبة، و به سُمي المهْدِيُّ الذي بَشَّر به النبيُّ، صلى الله عليه و سلم، أَنه يجي‏ء في آخر الزمان‏

meaning, “‘Mahdi’ is the person that God has rightfully guided to the way of truth. The word is used so often to name Muslim children that it is one of the most commonly used names.

Furthermore, the Promised One that the Prophet (PBUH) gave glad tidings of coming in the End of Days is named ‘Mahdi’”. Lisan al-Arab. Volume 15, Page 353 (under the entry for the root ‘Hoda’).

[2] Among Shia Sources, the words of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to his daughter Lady Zahra (AS) can be cited, in which he said,

وَ مِنَّا وَ الَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَهْدِيُّ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ الَّذِي يَمْلَأُ الْأَرْضَ قِسْطاً وَ عَدْلًا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ ظُلْماً وَ جَوْرا

meaning, “And I swear by the God in whose hands my life is, the Mahdi of this Ummah (nation) is from us. The one that will fill the Earth with equity and justice, just as it was full of oppression and tyranny”. Bihar al-Anwar. Volume 28. Page 53. Among Sunni Sources, a narration can be seen in which the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,

یخرج فی آخر الزمان رجل من ولدی اسمه کإسمی، و کنیته ککنیتی یملأ الأرض عدلاً کما مَلئت جوراَ فذلک المهدی

meaning, “During the End of Days, a man from my children, whose name is my name and whose kunya will be my kunya will fill the Earth with equity and justice, just as it was full of oppression and tyranny. Verily he is the Mahdi”. Tadhkirat al-Khawas (by Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi), Page 377.

A kunya is the part of an Arabic name referring to an adult’s first-born child.

[3] In Shia Sources, it has been narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),

إِنَّ خُلَفَائِي وَ أَوْصِيَائِي وَ حُجَجَ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ بَعْدِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ أَوَّلُهُمْ أَخِي وَ آخِرُهُمْ وَلَدِي قِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَ مَنْ أَخُوكَ قَالَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ قِيلَ فَمَنْ وَلَدُكَ قَالَ الْمَهْدِيُّ الَّذِي يَمْلَؤُهَا قِسْطاً وَ عَدْلًا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْماً وَ الَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالْحَقِّ نَبِيّاً لَوْ لَمْ‏ يَبْقَ‏ مِنَ‏ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا يَوْمٌ وَاحِدٌ لَطَوَّلَ‏ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ‏ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ فِيهِ وَلَدِيَ الْمَهْدِيُّ فَيَنْزِلَ رُوحُ اللَّهِ عِيسَى‏ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ فَيُصَلِّيَ خَلْفَهُ وَ تُشْرِقَ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِهِ‏ وَ يَبْلُغَ سُلْطَانُهُ الْمَشْرِقَ وَ الْمَغْرِب‏

Verily my successors and executors of my will and Divine proofs upon the people will be 12 individuals. The first of them is my brother (Ali, AS) and the last of them my son (Mahdi, AS). The same person that will fill the earth with equity and justice just as it was full of oppression and tyranny. And I swear by the God whose hands my life is in, even if there is one day remaining from the life of this world, God will make that day so long that my Mahdi emerges. Then Jesus the Son of Mary (AS) will come and pray behind Mahdi. And the earth will be brightened with his light and his rule will encompass the East and West of the world”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 1, Page 280.

In Sunni Sources, it has been narrated from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),

لاتقوم الساعه حتی تملئ الارض ظلماً و عدواناً. قال: ثمّ یَخرج رجل من عترتی (أو من اهل بیتی) یملأَها قسطاً و عدلاً کما مَلئت ظلماً و عدواناً

meaning, “The Day of Judgement will not come until the Earth is filled with oppression and tyranny … then a man from my lineage (or from my Ahlul Bayt) will rise and fill the Earth with justice and equity just as it was filled with oppression and tyranny”. al-Musnad (Ahmad ibn Hanbal), Volume 3, Page 26; al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain (Hakim Neyshabouri), Volume 4, Page 557; Also refer to the previous footnote.

[4] For example, Imam Hussain (AS), the third Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِنَّ الْأَرْضَ لَا تَخْلُو سَاعَةً مِنَ الْحُجَّة

meaning, “Verily, the Earth will not remain empty of a Hujjat (proof) for an hour”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 1, Page 202.

[5] The 15th of Sha’ban of the year 255 AH or August 2, 869 AD.

[6] The Seal of the Prophets stated,

الْمَهْدِيُّ مِنْ وُلْدِي اسْمُهُ اسْمِي وَ كُنْيَتُهُ كُنْيَتِي أَشْبَهُ النَّاسِ بِي خَلْقاً وَ خُلْقاً يَكُونُ لَهُ غَيْبَةٌ وَ حَيْرَةٌ تَضِلُّ فِيهَا الْأُمَمُ ثُمَّ يُقْبِلُ كَالشِّهَابِ الثَّاقِبِ يَمْلَؤُهَا عَدْلًا وَ قِسْطاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْما

meaning, “The Mahdi is from my children. His name is my name and his Kunya is my Kunya. Out of all the people, he has the most resemblance to me in creation and behavior. For him there is an Occultation and confusion in which nations will fall into misguidance. Then, just like a bright meteor, he will appear and fill the Earth with justice and equity just as it was filled with tyranny and oppression”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 36, Page 309.


سمي الإمامان علي بن محمد و الحسن بن علي ع العسكريين لأنهما نسبا إلى المحلة التي سكناها بسر من رأى و كانت تسمى عسكرا

meaning, “Imam Ali ibn Muhammad and Imam Hassan ibn Ali (AS, the tenth and eleventh Imams) are called the Askariayn because the resided in the city “Surra Man Ra'ā” (Samaara), in the neighborhood known as Askar (meaning military garrison)”. Ma’ani al-Akhbar, Page 65.


                 زَعَمُوا أَنَّهُمْ يُرِيدُونَ قَتْلِي لِيَقْطَعُوا هَذَا النَّسْلَ وَ قَدْ كَذَّبَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ قَوْلَهُمْ وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّه‏

meaning, “They imagined that they will kill me to cut off this line [of Imamate], however God Almighty made what they said null, praise be to God”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 407.

[9] For example,

One of the workers in Imam Hassan Askari’s house stated,

وُلِدَ لِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ ع وَلَدٌ فَسَمَّاهُ مُحَمَّداً فَعَرَضَهُ عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ يَوْمَ الثَّالِثِ وَ قَالَ هَذَا صَاحِبُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِي وَ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَ هُوَ الْقَائِمُ الَّذِي تَمْتَدُّ إِلَيْهِ الْأَعْنَاقُ بِالانْتِظَارِ فَإِذَا امْتَلَأَتِ الْأَرْضُ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْماً خَرَجَ فَمَلَأَهَا قِسْطاً وَ عَدْلا

meaning, “A child was born from Aba Muhammad (Imam Hassan Askari, AS) whose was named Muhammad. So the Imam showed him to his select followers on the third day and said, ‘This [child] is the possessor of your authority after me and my successor upon you. And he is the same Qa’im (one who will rise) that the people will wait for, and when the earth is covered with oppression and corruption, he will appear and fill it with justice and equity”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 431.

Imam Hassan Askari (AS) wrote in a letter to Ahmad ibn Ishaq,

وُلِدَ لَنَا مَوْلُودٌ فَلْيَكُنْ عِنْدَكَ مَسْتُوراً وَ عَنْ جَمِيعِ النَّاسِ مَكْتُوماً فَإِنَّا لَمْ نُظْهِرْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا الْأَقْرَبَ لِقَرَابَتِهِ وَ الْوَلِيَّ لِوَلَايَتِهِ أَحْبَبْنَا إِعْلَامَكَ لِيَسُرَّكَ اللَّهُ لَهُ مِثْلَ مَا سَرَّنَا بِهِ وَ السَّلَام‏

meaning, “A son has been born for us. Hide this matter from others. Just like we also do not make this matter apparent except for the closest of our relatives and the most dear of our friends. I liked to introduce him to you so that God will make you happy because of him, just like he made us happy with this existence. Wassalam (may peace be upon you)”. ibid, page 433-434.

[10] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), compared the events surrounding Imam Mahdi (AS) to those of the time of Prophet Moses (AS), and stated,

... فَإِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ لَمَّا وَقَفَ عَلَى أَنَّ زَوَالَ مُلْكِهِ عَلَى يَدِهِ أَمَرَ بِإِحْضَارِ الْكَهَنَةِ فَدَلُّوهُ عَلَى نَسَبِهِ وَ أَنَّهُ يَكُونُ مِنْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَ لَمْ يَزَلْ يَأْمُرُ أَصْحَابَهُ بِشَقِّ بُطُونِ الْحَوَامِلِ مِنْ نِسَاءِ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ حَتَّى قَتَلَ فِي طَلَبِهِ نَيِّفاً وَ عِشْرِينَ أَلْفَ مَوْلُودٍ وَ تَعَذَّرَ عَلَيْهِ الْوُصُولُ إِلَى قَتْلِ مُوسَى ع بِحِفْظِ اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى إِيَّاهُ وَ كَذَلِكَ بَنُو أُمَيَّةَ وَ بَنُو الْعَبَّاسِ لَمَّا وَقَفُوا عَلَى أَنَّ زَوَالَ مُلْكِهِمْ وَ مُلْكِ الْأُمَرَاءِ وَ الْجَبَابِرَةِ مِنْهُمْ عَلَى يَدِ الْقَائِمِ مِنَّا نَاصَبُونَا الْعَدَاوَةَ وَ وَضَعُوا سُيُوفَهُمْ فِي قَتْلِ آلِ الرَّسُولِ ص وَ إِبَادَةِ نَسْلِهِ طَمَعاً مِنْهُمْ فِي الْوُصُولِ إِلَى قَتْلِ الْقَائِمِ وَ يَأْبَى اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ أَنْ يَكْشِفَ أَمْرَهُ لِوَاحِدٍ مِنَ الظَّلَمَةِ إِلَّا أَنْ يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَ لَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُون ‏...

meaning, “Once the Pharaoh became aware that his Kingdom would decline at the hands of Moses (AS), he ordered that the priests be assembled. They let him know about the lineage of Moses (AS) and told them that he would come from the Children of Israel. And the Pharaoh ordered his agents to rip open the stomachs of pregnant Israelite woman. They killed over twenty thousand infants, but were not able to kill Moses (AS) because he was protected and supported by God Almighty. Bani Umayya and Bani Abbas (two Muslim ruling dynasties) are also like this. When they became aware that their Kingdom, and rule of their princes and oppressors would end at the hands of our Qa’im (one who will rise), they rose in enmity to us. They pulled out their swords in killing the family of the Prophet (PBUH) and destroying his descendants, seeking to be able to kill the Qa’im. However, God Almighty does not leave his matter unguarded from the oppressors. God will perfect his light, even though the disbelievers do not like it (The Holy Quran, Surah al-Tawbah, 9:32)”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 354.

[11] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), explained the meaning of the Occultation of the guide during the End of Days as,

يَرَوْنَهُ وَ لَا يَعْرِفُونَهُ

“They will see him, but not recognize him”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 224.

[12] Imam Ali (AS), the first Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

لَيْسَ يَغِيبُ عَنَّا مُؤْمِنٌ فِي شَرْقِ الْأَرْضِ وَ لَا فِي غَرْبِهَا

meaning, “No believer in the East or West of the world is hidden from us”. Basa’ir al-Darajat fi Fada’il Ale Muhammad, Volume 1, Page 260.

Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), also stated,

إِنَّ الدُّنْيَا لَتَمَثَّلَ لِلْإِمَامِ فِي مِثْلِ فِلْقَةِ الْجَوْزِ فَلَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِنْهَا شَيْ‏ءٌ

meaning, “Verily for the Imam, the world is present and visible like the piece of a walnut and nothing is hidden from him”. Ikhtisas, Page 217.

Furthermore, the Shia address the Mahdi (AS) as “Ayn Allah” in their supplications, meaning the Eyes of God. For example,

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكَ يَا عَيْنَ اللَّهِ فِي خَلْقِه

Bihar al Anwar, Volume 99, Page 215.

[13] Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 48, Page 74.

[14] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

فَهُمْ عَيْنُ اللَّهِ النَّاظِرَةُ وَ أُذُنُهُ السَّامِعَةُ وَ لِسَانُهُ النَّاطِقُ فِي خَلْقِهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَ أُمَنَاؤُهُ عَلَى مَا أَنْزَلَ مِنْ عُذْرٍ أَوْ نُذْرٍ أَوْ حُجَّةٍ فَبِهِمْ يَمْحُو اللَّهُ السَّيِّئَاتِ وَ بِهِمْ يَدْفَعُ الضَّيْمَ وَ بِهِمْ يُنْزِلُ الرَّحْمَةَ وَ بِهِمْ يُحْيِي مَيِّتاً وَ يُمِيتُ حَيّاً وَ بِهِمْ يَبْتَلِي خَلْقَهُ وَ بِهِمْ يَقْضِي فِي خَلْقِهِ قَضِيَّةً

meaning, “They (the Ahlulbayt, AS), are, with the permission of God, the seeing Eye of God, the hearing Ear of God, and telling Tongue of God among creation. And they are trustees of God upon that which was revealed. Through them God forgives the sins, by means of them tyranny is repulsed, by their blessing Divine Mercy is revealed, through them the dead come to life and the living die, by means of them the people will be tested, and through them He enforces His judgement and verdict”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 26, Page 240. Also refer to footnote 12.

[15] Those that are interested in this issue can refer to the book, “Ghorbat, Nosrat, Muraje’e”, written by Masoud Basiti (in Farsi).


إِنْ كَانَ لَكَ حَاجَةٌ فَحَرِّكْ شَفَتَيْكَ فَإِنَّ الْجَوَابَ يَأْتِيك‏

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 50, Page 155.

[17] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated the following about Mahdi (AS) on the day of Ghadir,

أَلَا إِنَّهُ قَدْ بَشَّرَ بِهِ مَنْ سَلَفَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ

meaning, “Be aware that those who came before gave glad tidings of his (Mahdi’s) coming”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 37, Page 214.

[18] Refer to footnote 2.


أَلَا إِنَّ خَاتِمَ الْأَئِمَّةِ مِنَّا الْقَائِمُ الْمَهْدِيُّ أَلَا إِنَّهُ الظَّاهِرُ عَلَى الدِّينِ أَلَا إِنَّهُ الْمُنْتَقِمُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ... أَلَا إِنَّهُ النَّاصِرُ لِدِينِ اللَّه‏

Bihar al Anwar, Volume 37, Page 213.

[20] Mashiach is a Hebrew word meaning Messiah (anointed in oil), which was the title of the ancient kings of the Sons of Israel. Based on an ancient tradition, Prophets that were present would take a small amount of oil and rub it on the king’s head. This would make a sort of sacredness for the ruler. During later times, this title was used to describe the ideal King of the Jews. Because the title Messiah was given to Prophet Jesus (AS), writers typically use the words Mashiach and Moshiach to refer to the Promised One the Jews wait for.

[21] The Holy Bible, the Old Testament, the Book of Isaiah, (11:1-9).

[22] The Holy Bible, the New Testament, the Book of Matthew, (24:27, 24:30, 24:36)

[23] The Holy Bible, the New Testament, the Book of Luke, (21:36).

[24] For example, refer to the following narrations,

The Messenger of Mercy (PBUH) stated on the day of Ghadir,

أَلَا إِنَّهُ وَارِثُ كُلِّ عِلْمٍ وَ الْمُحِيطُ بِهِ

meaning, “Be aware that he (Mahdi, AS), is the heir of all Ilm and has mastery over it”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 37, Page 214.

Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet (PBUH), stated,

ما من معجزة من معجزات الأنبياء و الأوصياء إلا و يظهر اللّه تبارك و تعالى مثلها في يد قائمنا لإتمام الحجة على الأعداء

Meaning, “There is no miracle from the miracles of the Prophets and their successors other than that which God Almighty will make similar to it evident by the hands of our Qa’im (Mahdi, AS) so that the proofs will become complete upon the enemies”. Ithbat al-Hoda bin Nusus wa al-Mu’jizat, Volume 5, Page 328.

Imam Baqir (AS), the fifth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِذَا ظَهَرَ الْقَائِمُ ع ظَهَرَ بِرَايَةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص وَ خَاتَمِ سُلَيْمَانَ وَ حَجَرِ مُوسَى وَ عَصَاه‏

meaning, “When the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi, AS) appears, the special flag of the RasoolAllah (the Prophet Muhammad, PBUH), the ring of Solomon (AS), and the rock of Moses (AS) and his staff will be with him”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 351.

Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), explained the shirt of Prophet Joseph (AS) which caused the eyes of his father Jacob (AS) to be able to see again was in fact a shirt from Heaven that the Archangel Gabriel had brought for Prophet Abraham (AS) so that he did not burn in Nimrod’s fire (these are all stories that have come in the Holy Quran). After this, the Imam stated when Imam Mahdi (AS) appears he will possess this shirt. Then he states,

كُلُّ‏ نَبِيٍ‏ وَرِثَ‏ عِلْماً أَوْ غَيْرَهُ فَقَدِ انْتَهَى إِلَى مُحَمَّد

meaning, “Any Prophet that has left Ilm and other than Ilm as inheritance, it (that inheritance) has reached the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Ahlul Bayt”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 327-328.

[25] Imam Ridha (AS), the eighth Imam and successor to the Prophet, stated,

وَ لَا يَبْقَى عَلَى وَجْهِ الْأَرْضِ أَعْمَى وَ لَا مُقْعَدٌ وَ لَا مُبْتَلًى إِلَّا كَشَفَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ بَلَاءَهُ بِنَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْت‏

meaning, “There are signs for an Imam … [including that] he is more empathetic for the people than themselves and their fathers and mothers”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 25, Page 116.

Please note that the word Nas refers to all people here and is not referring to a particular group.

[26] The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,

وَ لَا يَبْقَى عَلَى وَجْهِ الْأَرْضِ أَعْمَى وَ لَا مُقْعَدٌ وَ لَا مُبْتَلًى إِلَّا كَشَفَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ بَلَاءَهُ بِنَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْت‏

meaning, “During the era of Zuhoor (the Imam’s appearance) there will not remain a blind, crippled, or afflicted person other than which God will relieve their problem through the Ahlul Bayt”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 29.

Furthermore, Imam Sajjad (AS) stated,

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ أَذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنْ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ الْعَاهَةَ وَ رَدَّ إِلَيْهِ قُوَّتَه‏

meaning, “When the Qa’im appears, God will remove all disability from the believers and will bestow them with strength and ability”. al-Ghaybah (by Nu’mani), Page 317; Also see footnote 2.

[27] Imam Ali (AS) stated,

لَوْ قَدْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا لَأَنْزَلَتِ السَّمَاءُ قَطْرَهَا وَ لَأَخْرَجَتِ الْأَرْضُ نَبَاتَهَا

meaning, “When the Qa’im rises, the sky will reveal its rain and the Earth will let out its plants”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 338.

Imam Sadiq (AS), also stated,

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ... أَخْرَجَتِ الْأَرْضُ بَرَكَاتِهَا وَ ... تُظْهِرُ الْأَرْضُ كُنُوزَهَا وَ تُبْدِي بَرَكَاتِهَا

meaning, “When the Qa’im rises … the Earth will let out its blessings … will make its treasures evident … and will spread its blessings”. Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’imma, Volume 2, Page 465.

[28] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet (PBUH), stated,

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ع حَكَمَ بِالْعَدْلِ وَ ارْتَفَعَ فِي أَيَّامِهِ الْجَوْر

meaning, “When the Qa’im rises, he will make rulings with justice, and dismantle tyranny”. Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’imma, Volume 2, Page 465.

[29] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ع ... لَمْ يَبْقَ أَهْلُ دِينٍ حَتَّى يُظْهِرُوا الْإِسْلَامَ وَ يَعْتَرِفُوا بِالْإِيمَانِ أَ مَا سَمِعْتَ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ يَقُولُ وَ لَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ طَوْعاً وَ كَرْهاً وَ إِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُون‏ (سوره آل عمران، آیه 83)

meaning, “When the Mahdi rises, there will not remain any religious person other than one that declares their submission to God (Islam) and confesses to faith. Have you not heard the words of God, when He said, “Whatever is in the Heavens and Earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned? (The Holy Quran, Surah Ali ‘Imran, 3:83)”. Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’imma, Volume 2, Page 465.

[30] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ع ... رَدَّ كُلَّ حَقٍّ إِلَى أَهْلِه‏

meaning, “When the Qa’im rises, all rights will be returned to their owners”. Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’imma, Volume 2, Page 465.

[31] Refer to the following narrations:

Imam Baqir (AS), the fifth Imam and successor after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا فَإِنَّهُ يَقْسِمُ بِالسَّوِيَّةِ وَ يَعْدِلُ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَنِ

meaning, “When our Qa’im rises, he will divide [everything] equally and spend on the servants of God the Merciful in justice”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 29.

Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِنَّ قَائِمَنَا إِذَا قَامَ‏ ... تُظْهِرُ الْأَرْضُ كُنُوزَهَا حَتَّى تَرَاهَا النَّاسُ عَلَى وَجْهِهَا وَ يَطْلُبُ الرَّجُلُ مِنْكُمْ مَنْ يَصِلُهُ بِمَالِهِ وَ يَأْخُذُ مِنْ زَكَاتِهِ لَا يُوجَدُ أَحَدٌ يَقْبَلُ مِنْهُ ذَلِكَ اسْتَغْنَى النَّاسُ بِمَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ

meaning, “When our Qa’im rises, the Earth will make its treasures evident, to the extent that that people will see the treasures on the [surface of] the Earth and will look for someone so that they can give Zakat (charity) to from their wealth, but will not be able to find someone that will accept Zakat because the people have all become needless and wealthy from that which God has given them from his grace”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 337.

The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,

يَكُونُ مِنْ أُمَّتِيَ الْمَهْدِيُّ ... يَتَنَعَّمُ أُمَّتِي فِي زَمَانِهِ نَعِيماً لَمْ يَتَنَعَّمُوا مِثْلَهُ قَطُّ الْبَرُّ وَ الْفَاجِرُ يُرْسَلُ السَّمَاءُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِدْرَاراً وَ لَا تَدَّخِرُ الْأَرْضُ شَيْئاً مِنْ نَبَاتِهَا

meaning, “During the time of the Mahdi, the people will obtain prosperity and blessing that they did not have in any other era; every person (will obtain this), whether a good doer or evil doer. The sky will shower down its blessings down upon them and the Earth will not hide anything from its inside”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 78.

[32] Imam Baqir (AS), the fifth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,     

فَلَا يَبْقَى فِي الْأَرْضِ خَرَابٌ إِلَّا عُمِر

meaning, “No ruin will remain on the Earth other than that which will be made thriving”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 191.

[33] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ ع ... أَمِنَتِ بِهِ السُّبُلُ

Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma’rifat al-A’imma, Volume 2, Page 465.

[34] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),

إِنَّ قَائِمَنَا إِذَا قَامَ ... يُعَمَّرُ الرَّجُلُ فِي مُلْكِهِ حَتَّى يُولَدَ لَهُ أَلْفُ ذَكَر

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 337.

[35] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), has stated,

إِذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا وَضَعَ يَدَهُ عَلَى رُءُوسِ الْعِبَادِ فَجَمَعَ بِهِ عُقُولَهُمْ وَ أَكْمَلَ بِهِ أَخْلَاقَهُم‏

meaning, “When our Qa’im appears, he will put his hands on our servants. Then their Aql’s will be collected and their morality will be completed”. ibid, Page 336.

[36] Imam Kadhim (AS), the seventh Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

الثَّانِي عَشَرَ مِنَّا ... يُبِيرُ بِهِ كُلَّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ وَ يُهْلِكُ‏ عَلَى‏ يَدِهِ‏ كُلَ‏ شَيْطَانٍ‏ مَرِيد

meaning, “From the hands of the twelfth one of us, every hardened tyrant will be destroyed, and every mutinous devil will be destroyed”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 150.

[37] Imam Ridha (AS), the eighth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

يَأْتِي‏ النَّاسَ الْفَرَجُ وَ تَوَدُّ النَّاسُ لَوْ كَانُوا أَحْيَاء

meaning, “The Faraj (relief, meaning Imam Mahdi’s appearance) will come for the people and the people [that have left this world] will wish that they were alive”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 51, Page 289-290.

[38] Imam Ali (AS) has stated,

لَوْ قَدْ قَامَ قَائِمُنَا ... لَذَهَبَتِ الشَّحْنَاءُ مِنْ قُلُوبِ الْعِبَادِ وَ اصْطَلَحَتِ السِّبَاعُ وَ الْبَهَائِم

meaning, “When the Qa’im rises, hatred will be taken out of the hearts of the servants and [even] the wild and tamed animals will live with each other in peace”. ibid, Page 316.

[39] God Almighty talks about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Holy Quran, saying,

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِیمٍ

meaning, “And indeed, you are of a great moral character”. The Holy Quran, Surah al-Qalam, 68:4.

On the other hand, Imam Mahdi (AS), will be the most similar of people to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in creation and character. Imam Hassan Askari (AS), the father of Imam Mahdi (AS), stated,

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُخْرِجْنِي مِنَ الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى أَرَانِيَ الْخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِي ما أَشْبَهَ النَّاسِ بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص خَلْقاً وَ خُلُقاً يَحْفَظُهُ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى فِي غَيْبَتِهِ وَ يُظْهِرُهُ فَيَمْلَأُ الْأَرْضَ قِسْطاً وَ عَدْلًا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَ ظُلْما

meaning, “Thanks be upon the God that did not take me from this world until He showed me my successor. He is the most similar of people to the Prophet in creation and character. God Almighty will protect him in his Occultation, then make him appear. He will fill the Earth with justice and equity, just as it was full of oppression and tyranny”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 409.

[40] One of the titles of Imam Mahdi (AS) is Rabi’ al-Anam, meaning the spring of the people. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 99, Page 101.

[41] Refer to footnote 38.

[42] Refer to footnote 25.

[43] In the Hadith of the Tablet, after introducing the eleven Imams and successors to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), God Almighty states about Imam Mahdi (AS),

م‏ح‏م‏د رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ عَلَيْهِ كَمَالُ مُوسَى وَ بَهَاءُ عِيسَى وَ صَبْرُ أَيُّوب‏

Kafi; Volume 1, Page 528.

[44] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

عَاشَ نُوحٌ ع أَلْفَيْ سَنَةٍ وَ خَمْسَمِائَةِ سَنَة

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 11, Page 285.

[45] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated,

وَ أَمَّا الْعَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ أَعْنِي الْخَضِرَ ع فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى مَا طَوَّلَ عُمُرَهُ لِنُبُوَّةٍ قَدَّرَهَا لَهُ وَ لَا لِكِتَابٍ يُنَزِّلُهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ لَا لِشَرِيعَةٍ يَنْسَخُ بِهَا شَرِيعَةَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَهُ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ وَ لَا لِإِمَامَةٍ يُلْزِمُ عِبَادَهُ الِاقْتِدَاءَ بِهَا وَ لَا لِطَاعَةٍ يَفْرِضُهَا لَهُ بَلَى إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى لَمَّا كَانَ فِي سَابِقِ عِلْمِهِ أَنْ يُقَدِّرَ مِنْ عُمُرِ الْقَائِمِ ع فِي أَيَّامِ غَيْبَتِهِ مَا يُقَدِّرُ وَ عَلِمَ مَا يَكُونُ مِنْ إِنْكَارِ عِبَادِهِ بِمِقْدَارِ ذَلِكَ الْعُمُرِ فِي الطُّولِ طَوَّلَ عُمُرَ الْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ فِي غَيْرِ سَبَبٍ يُوجِبُ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا لِعِلَّةِ الِاسْتِدْلَالِ بِهِ عَلَى عُمُرِ الْقَائِمِ ع وَ لِيَقْطَعَ بِذَلِكَ حُجَّةَ الْمُعَانِدِينَ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّة

meaning, “However [in regards to] that pious servant of God, Khidr, God did not prolong his lifelong in order to complete his mission, nor for the book that He revealed to him, nor so that through him and his laws, the laws of the previous Prophets become abrogated, nor for the Imamate so that God’s servants follow him, nor because of the obedience that God had made obligatory upon him. Rather, God, who created the world, because He willed that the life of the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi, AS) be very long during the period of Occultation, knew that His servants would take issue with his long life and find faults in it. For this reason, He made the life of his pious servant (Khidr) long so that it could be a proof and the life of the Qa’im (AS) could be compared to it, and thus the fault finding of the enemies and misguided thinkers would become void”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 357.

Imam Ridha (AS), the eighth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated,

إِنَّ الْخَضِرَ ع شَرِبَ مِنْ مَاءِ الْحَيَاةِ فَهُوَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوتُ حَتَّى يُنْفَخَ فِي الصُّورِ و... إِنَّهُ لَيَحْضُرُ الْمَوْسِمَ كُلَّ سَنَةٍ فَيَقْضِي جَمِيعَالْمَنَاسِكِ وَ يَقِفُ بِعَرَفَةَ فَيُؤَمِّنُ عَلَى دُعَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ سَيُؤْنِسُ اللَّهُ بِهِ وَحْشَةَ قَائِمِنَا فِي غَيْبَتِهِ وَ يَصِلُ بِهِ وَحْدَتَه

meaning, “Surely Khidr drank from the water of life. He is alive and will not leave this world until the trumpet is blown … he takes part in the Hajj ceremony and carries out all the rituals. On the day of Arafa he stands in the land of Arafat and says ‘Amen’ to the believer’s prayers …”. ibid, Page 390-391.

[46] God states,

"وَ جاءَ إِخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ فَدَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَ هُمْ لَهُ مُنْكِرُون‏"

meaning, “The brothers of Joseph (AS) entered his presence. He recognized them, but they did not recognize him”. The Holy Quran, Surah Yusuf (12:58).

Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated the following about the similarity of Imam Mahdi (AS) to Prophet Joseph (AS),

إِنَّ فِي الْقَائِمِ شَبَهٌ مِنْ يُوسُفَ ع ... إِنَّ إِخْوَةَ يُوسُفَ كَانُوا أَسْبَاطاً أَوْلَادَ أَنْبِيَاءَ تَاجَرُوا يُوسُفَ وَ بَايَعُوهُ وَ هُمْ إِخْوَتُهُ وَ هُوَ أَخُوهُمْ فَلَمْ يَعْرِفُوهُ حَتَّى قَالَ لَهُمْ أَنَا يُوسُفُ ... فَمَا تُنْكِرُ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةُ أَنْ يَكُونَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ يَفْعَلُ بِحُجَّتِهِ مَا فَعَلَ بِيُوسُفَ أَنْ يَكُونَ يَسِيرُ فِي أَسْوَاقِهِمْ وَ يَطَأُ بُسُطَهُمْ وَ هُمْ لَا يَعْرِفُونَهُ حَتَّى يَأْذَنَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ أَنْ يُعَرِّفَهُمْ بِنَفْسِهِ كَمَا أَذِنَ لِيُوسُف

meaning, “The Qa’im (AS) shares a similarity with Joseph (AS) … even though the brothers of Joseph (AS) were the sons of a Prophet and the brothers of Joseph (AS), and he was their brother, they bought, sold, and did trade with him and did not recognize him, until Joseph (AS) introduced himself and said, ‘I am Joseph’ … Nonetheless, why do they deny that God Almighty will do the same thing with His proof (Imam Mahdi, AS) that he did with Joseph (AS)? He will walk in their markets and step and their rugs, but the people will not recognize him, until God gives him permission to introduce himself, just like God gave Joseph (AS) permission”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 341.

[47] Imam Baqir (AS), the fifth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), stated the following about the similarity of Imam Mahdi (AS) to Prophet Moses (AS),

شَبَهُهُ مِنْ مُوسَى ع فَدَوَامُ خَوْفِهِ وَ طُولُ غَيْبَتِهِ وَ خَفَاءُ وِلَادَتِهِ وَ تَعَبُ شِيعَتِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ مِمَّا لَقُوا مِنَ الْأَذَى وَ الْهَوَانِ إِلَى أَنْ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فِي ظُهُورِهِ وَ نَصْرِهِ وَ أَيَّدَهُ عَلَى عَدُوِّه‏

meaning, “His similarity to Moses (AS) will be the long length of insecurity and his occultation, the secret nature of his birth, and the difficulty his Shia will face from torments, harassment, and abasement after his occultation until God gives permission for his appearance, help, and victory over His enemies”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 1, Page 327.

[48] The Ahlulbayt always have said that the time of the appearance, just like the Day of Judgement, is only known by God (for example, refer to Uyun Akhbar ar-Ridha, Volume 2, Page 266). Imam Mahdi (AS) responded to a question from one of his representatives about the time of his appearance as follows,

ظُهُورُ الْفَرَجِ فَإِنَّهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ وَ كَذَبَ الْوَقَّاتُون‏

meaning, “Verily the Faraj (relief, meaning Imam Mahdi’s appearance) becoming evident is in God’s hands, and those that set a time are liars”. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 484.

[49] The events of the Children of Israel have been cited based on the following sources: Kamal ad-Din, Volume 1, Chapter 6 (the Occultation of Moses), Narration 12, Pages 145-147; And Tafsir al-Ayyashi, Volume 2, (in reference to Surah Hud), Page 154.


فَلَمَّا طَالَ عَلَى بَنِی إِسْرَائِیلَ الْعَذَابُ ضَجُّوا وَ بَكَوْا إِلَى اللَّهِ أَرْبَعِینَ صَبَاحاً فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ إِلَى مُوسَى وَ هَارُونَ عَلَیهِمَا السَّلَامُ یخَلِّصُهُمْ مِنْ فِرْعَوْنَ فَحَطَّ عَنْهُمْ سَبْعِینَ وَ مِائَةَ سَنَةٍ ... هَكَذَا أَنْتُمْ لَوْ فَعَلْتُمْ لَفَرَّجَ اللَّهُ عَنَّا فَأَمَّا إِذْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا فَإِنَّ الْأَمْرَ ینْتَهِی إِلَى مُنْتَهَاه‏

meaning, “When torments and difficulties lasted long, they cried out to God for 40 days … this is while there remained 170 years from the 400 years. Based on the prayers of Children of Israel, God set aside the 170 years … if you Shia also cry and moan as such, God will bring our Faraj (relief, meaning Imam Mahdi’s appearance), otherwise if you do not move, the matter of Zuhoor (the appearance) will reach the maximum extent of its time”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 13, Page 140.

[51] Imam Sadiq (AS), the sixth Imam and successor to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), said,

يَدْعُوهُمْ‏ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَ الْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ فَيُطِيعُونَه

Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 53, Page 11.


یخرج السفیانی فیقاتل حتى یبقر بطون النساء و یغلی الأطفال فی المراجل

Al Tashrif bel Menan fi ta’rif bel Fetan (Ibn Tawus), Page 116, No 107.


فَيَتِمُّ حُجَّةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْخَلْقِ حَتَّى لَا يَبْقَى أَحَدٌ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ لَمْ يَبْلُغْ إِلَيْهِ الدِّينُ وَ الْعِلْمُ ثُمَّ يَظْهَرُ الْقَائِمُ ع وَ يَسِيرُ سَبَباً لِنَقِمَةِ اللَّهِ وَ سَخَطِهِ عَلَى الْعِبَادِ لِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَنْتَقِمُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ إِلَّا بَعْدَ إِنْكَارِهِمْ حُجَّة

meaning, “The proof of God upon the people will be complete to the extent that there will not remain a person on the Earth that have not received the religion and Ilm. Then the Qa’im will appear and bring about Divine Wrath and Curses upon the oppressors, for God does not get revenge from the tyrants until they have denied the proof”. Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 57, Page 213.


Mohammad Foundation


Join us