THE EXPECTED MAHDI

By: Maulana Jibrill Brill (Proudly Zambian)

Who is Mahdi? His name is Muhammad, and his nickname is Abul-Qasim. His titles are: - Al-Mahdi, which means the guided one, Al-Qa’im the standing because he is the current Imam or authority. Al-Muntazar meaning the awaited, Al-Hujjah, the assignee or the proof of God, and his other title is Sahib-uz-Zaman, which means the master of the age.

 

Mahdi’s father is Imam Hassan Al-Askari, who is the eleventh Imam. His mother’s name is Narjis, a descendant of the disciple Simon Peter, the vicegerent of Jesus. Narjis was a Roman Princess and it was a sort of a miracle in the way she got married to Imam Hassan Al-Askari, and subsequently to become the mother of the last Imam, the Imam of the age.

 

Bashr Ibn Sulaiman narrates that, Imam Ali Al-Naqi who is the tenth Imam, the grand father to Mahdi, wrote a letter and placed it in a red envelop together with 220 Dinars in gold coins then and said,

“O Bashr!, take this and go to Bagdad to the ferry at the river where boats from Syria are being offloaded. There you will see a slave trader named Amr Ibn Yazid, observe when he exhibits a slave girl who is wearing two silk garments to protect her from being seen or handled by the buyers. Then, you should Amr Ibn Yazid that you have a letter written in Roman language from a certain nobleman. You must give this letter to the girl to read”. Bashr further narrates: - “When I carried out these instructions and gave the girl the letter so that she could read it, she could not stop herself from crying as she read the letter”. Then she said to Amr Ibn Yazid, “Sell me to the one who wrote this letter, for if you refuse, I will surely kill myself”.

 

“I therefore, discussed the price of the girl with Amr; we agreed on the some price as the money that the Imam had given me. I took the girl and she was very happy. Filled with excitement she took the letter that the Imam had written from her pocket and kissed it. I asked her why she was kissing a letter when she did not even know its writer”. She answered:-

 

“How do you not know well the greatness of the successors of the prophet!? You may listen to my life history; I am a princess the grand daughter of the Emperor of Rome. My mother was a descendant of Simon the vicegerent of Jesus The Emperor was anxious to marry me off to his nephew, he gathered a great crowd at his cattle, including 300 monks and hermits, 700 noblemen and 400army officials and the landed gentry. He had a special place which was laid with jewels. It was placed in the court of the castle and had forty steps. At the head of the steps, he had his nephew seated and around him where images standing. Christian priests were there to pay him honour. They opened the New Testament to read but suddenly, the poles holding the room all fell and the images all crushed to the ground, the nephew fainted. The people gathering were over-come with fear and the chief priest said, “O king! Preserve us from witnessing this ill-fated day.” My grand father was extremely angry because the ceremony had been disturbed. In my dreams the following night, I saw Jesus and his disciples at the place where the building had been erected. There, they put a pulpit and Muhammad, Ali and his descendants had come into the castle. Jesus went forward and embraced Muhammad and the latter said:-

“O spirit of God! I have come to seek the daughter of your successor Simon, for my son Hassan Al-Askari’s hand in marriage.” Jesus looked at Simon and said:-

“Nobility and glory has come to you in this opportunity to unite your mercy with that of the family of Muhammad.” After this, Simon ascended the pulpit while Muhammad conducted the wedding ceremony.

 

After the dream, I wake up but did not dare to utter a word about the dream for fear of my life. I could not help loving Hassan Al-Askari, because of that, I grew thin and ill. My consulted every doctor in the city, but all in vain. Finally he asked me if there was any desire in my heart that he could satisfy. I replied that the doors of pleasure where closed for me, however, if he could set free the Muslim prisoners, it could be possible that Jesus and his mother could help me. My father did has I had asked him, after that, I ate a little food and felt better.

 

After a few days, I had another dream in which Fatima, the daughter of prophet Muhammad and Mary mother of Jesus, came to me and they said:-

“If you want God and Jesus to be placed with you, you must accept Islam.” So I declared, ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.’ Thereafter, I have been seeing Imam Al-Askari in my dreams every night.”

 

Bashr feather asked her, “But how did you come to be among the prisoners?” She replied:-

“Imam Hassan told me that my father was planning to send an army to fight the Muslims, and that I should disguise myself and some of my maids and go with the army. I did as I was told, and before long, some Muslim guards captured us and now you can see how it has turned out.”

 

Bashr narrated this story when they reached Samarra. Upon arriving, Imam Ali Al-Naqi welcomed them with both hands and informed the girl that she was to be married to his son, Imam Hassan Al-Askari, as she had seen in her dreams. He also told her that she was to be the mother of the one who will fill the earth with justice. She was then put in the care of Hakimah, Imam Al-Naqi’s sister as per Islamic custom.

 

THE BIRTH OF MAHDI

 

Mahdi’s birth greatly resembles that of Prophet Moses. The birth of Moses signaled the down fall and extinction of Pharaoh's empire. Pharaoh, had ordered that all the newly born children of the Israelites were to be killed because the magicians had informed him that a prophet, who would bring an end to his rule, was to be born from the Israelites.

 

Similarly, the Abbasid Kings were apprehensive of the traditions narrated by the Holy Prophet about the birth of Imam MAHDI who was to bring a curse on all unjust kingdoms. Therefore, they were very eager to know about the birth of this Mahdi so that they could put an end to his life. But his birth was enveloped and shielded by the same divine protection and miraculous phenomena which had marked the historical birth of Prophet Moses.

 

Mahdi’s birth remained strictly confidential and his nursing shrouded in secrecy except to a few devotees. He was born at the time of the reign of al-Mua’tamad the Abbasid king who was fully aware of the prophecy that, the birth of the twelfth Imam would occur during his reign. He naturally was very worried and anxious to find him. This was the main reason for keeping Imam Mahdi’s birth a secret. Upon the death of his father, Hassan Al-Askari, al-Mua’tamad was informed that Al-Askari’s funeral was conducted by his five year old son; al-Muatamad’s perplexity knew no bounds.

 

There are more than 214 traditions about the birth of Imam Mahdi. However, we shall look at some of them. One of them is narrated by Hakimah, the daughter of the ninth Imam, Imam Muhammad Al-Taqi. She narrates to say that her nephew Imam Al-Askari invited her saying:-

“O auntie! Stay in my house tonight and break your fast with us, because it is the night of 15th Shaa’ban that the Hujjar, who is God’s Hujjar on earth will be born.”

She said she asked him who his mother was. The Imam answered “Narjess”. Again she said, “May God make my life your sacrifice, by God, she does not show any signs of pregnancy. The Imam answered: “That is I said to you.”

Then I went in and when I greeted her and sat, she came to take off my socks saying, “O my master and master of my family how are you?” I said, “But you are my master and master of my family. She answered, “O auntie what are you saying”? I said “my daughter, certainly God will offer you a son tonight who is master in this world and the hereafter. When the sun had set and I finished my evening prayer and broke the fast, I went to bed. At mid-night I got up for my night prayer, she was sleeping and nothing had happened. Later on she got up, performed her night prayer and slept again. Afterwards, I got out of the room to look at the sky, it was nearly dawn and she was still sleeping. A sudden doubt came to my mind, the Imam called out from his room saying: - “Do not hurry O auntie, the event is nearly near.” I then recited surah 32 and 36 of the Qur’an, and saw her undergoing labour. I hurried to her and said: - “May God’s peace be upon you, do not worry”. Then I fainted and when I wake up, I saw my master prostrating, I embraced him, and he was circumcised and clean.

The Imam called me to take the baby to him. He put his hand under the child’s legs and back and the child’s feet on his chest and his tongue in his mouth, then passed his hand on his eyes, ears and joints and said:-

“Speak my son.” The child said: - “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, he has no partner and Muhammad is his messenger.” Then he prayed for Ali Amirul-Mu’min and all the Imams (peace be upon them). Then his father told me to take him to his mother so that he may greet her, and then take him back to him. When I returned the child to his father, the father told me to go back there after seven days. The next morning I went to say good morning to Abu Muhammad (Imam Hassan Al-Askari), I was surprised that the child was not there. I asked his father where the child was. He answered: “O auntie, he has been entrusted to God just as Moses was.”

 

On the seventh day, I went to the Imam and sat next to him. He told me to bring him his son. I took my master who was in a cloth; he did what he had gone before, then put his tongue in his mouth as if feeding him with milk and honey and said: “Speak my child.” The child said: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.” He also prayed for Muhammad, Ali and all the Imams then recited the following verse from the holy Qur’an, “And we wish to bestow on those who were weakened in the earth and to make them Imams and to make them the heirs.” (28: 4)

 

Thus the twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi grew up under the cherishing care of his father till the 8th of Rabi-ul-awwal 260 AH. That was the time when the Abbasid tyrant Mua’tamad poisoned the eleventh Imam and Imam Mahdi retired into seclusion by God’s command.

 

It is true that Jesus talked from the cradle, saying he was a servant of God. Yahya whilst a boy was endowed with wisdom, i.e. apostleship. Holy Qur’an (19: 12, 30)

The holy prophets and the chosen Imams from birth are gifted with the extra ordinary power of receiving the divine blessings and expressing it to others.

 

SUCCESSORS OF THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD

 

It is clear that a doctor alone can take the place of a doctor or only an engineer taking the place of another engineer. It is also natural that the successor of a prophet should be but infallible, superior in knowledge and piety as the prophet himself. Therefore, no one has the power to appoint anyone as successor of a prophet except a prophet himself through revelation fro God. We do not need any elections among men to nominate another man as a successor of the prophet.

 

In reference to this fact, the holy prophet Muhammad named his successors in ascending order, mentioning that they are 12 Imams to succeed him, nothing more nothing less. He also mentioned the names of the Imams, and that the last of them all is Mahdi. All these Imams are purified by God himself (holy Qur’an 33: 33), they are of the same caliber and excellence and purity as the prophet himself.

The holy prophet said: “Ali and I are of one and the same light or

Ali and I are of the same tree, in another version.” The names of the twelve Infallible Imams are as follows:-

1)    Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the immediate successor of the holy prophet

2)    Hassan Al-Mujtaba,

3)    Hussein Abu Abdullah Al-Shaheed

4)    Ali, Sajjad Zain-ul-Abidin

5)    Muhammad Al-Baqir

6)    Ja’far Al-Sadiq

7)    Musa Al-Kazim

8)    Ali Al-Reza

9)    Muhammad Al-Javad Al-Taqi

10)    Ali Al-Naqi Al-Hadi

11)    Hassan Al-Askari

12)    Muhammad Al-Mahdi, the awaited one.

The prophet also declared in unequivocal terms:

“Whoever dies without knowing the Imam of his time dies a paganic death.” Hence it is the duty of every Muslim to know the Imam of his time. He will also have to know his qualities so that he can recognize imposters.

 

SOME TRADITIONS ABOUT MAHDI FROM THE HOLY PROPHET’S FAMILY

 

There are numerous traditions from the holy prophet and his successors about Mahdi the awaited one.

Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the first Imam said:

“Mahdi the promised one will be our descendant in the last age, there was no Mahdi in any age before to be awaited.”

In another version; “The ninth of Hussein's descendants would be the propagator of Islam and justice.

 

Fatima, the daughter of the holy prophet narrates from her father;

Hussein is an Imam, father of nine Imams. These Imams are pious and the last of them is their QAEM.

 

Hassan Ibn Ali the second Imam said:-

“The Imams after the holy prophet are twelve; nine of them will descend from my brother Hussein. And Mahdi of these people is one of them.

 

Hussein Ibn Ali the third Imam also narrates:-

“The first of the twelve Imams is Ali Ibn Abi Talib and the last of them is the ninth of my descendants. He will stand up for the truth and through him God will give to the dead earth life. Through him, the true religion (Islam) shall over power other religions and during his absence, many shall go astray and only a few shall be true to their creed and they shall suffer for it. Those who suffer in this cause shall have the same blessings as if they had fought in the company of the prophet.” 

 

Imam Ali Ibn Hussein the forth Imam said:-

“The birth of our QAEM shall remain so much a secret that the common people will say he has not yet been born.”

 

Muhammad Al-Baqir, the fifth Imam said:-

By God, Imamate (leadership) is a testament which reached us from the massager of God. The Imams after the prophet are twelve, nine of the are Hussein's descendants. The last one is Mahdi who will guard the religion in the last age.

 

Ja’far Al-Sadiq, the sixth Imam said:-

“The fifth of the descendants of my son Musa Kazim, shall be the Mahdi.

 

Musa Kazim in reply to Yunus Abdurahman who asked the Imam if he was the Qeam Bil-Haq, said:-

“Yes I am but the Qeam who will clear the earth from the enemies of God, and fill it with justice is the fifth of my descendants. He will disappear for a long time during which many shall go astray and just a few shall remain faithful

 

Ali Reza the eighth Imam was asked by Rayan Salt if he was the Qeam. The Imam answered:-

“Yes I am, but I am not the one who shall fill the earth with justice.

In another version, when the poet, Daa’bal recited his famous eulogy to Imam Reza, “….And certainly our imam shall come and will stand by God’s name and his blessings. He will distinguish between right and wrong among us, and he will give rewards and punishment….” The Imam wept and said:

“O Daa’bal, the holy spirit recited these verses through your tongue. After me, my son Muhammad shall be Imam and after him, his son Ali, Ali’s son Hassan, shall succeed him, the successor of Hassan is Al-Hujjah Al-Qeam, the awaited Imam. He shall disappear for a certain period of time. When he reappears, all shall obey him, he will fill the earth with justice, after it had been filled with tyranny and injustice. The time of his reappearance is not known certainly my father narrated from his fathers, and his fathers from the prophet who said, “Mahdi shall appear suddenly.”

 

Muhammad, Al Taqi the ninth Imam said to Abdu-Azeem al-Hasani:-

“Our QEAM is the promised Mahdi who will be awaited in his concealment and when he shall reappear, he will be obeyed. He is the third of my descendants. By God who sent Muhammad as a messenger and made us Imam, if only one day of this world remained, God would lengthen that day till the appearance of Mahdi and fill the earth with justice as it had been filled with oppression.”

“God will do this in one night as he had for Moses in one night. Moses had gone to obtain fire for his wife but he returned with possession of prophet hood.”

The Imam further said: - “waiting for the ease of Mahdi’s coming is the best duty of our devotees.”

 

The tenth Imam, Ali al Naqi said:-

“After me, my son Hassan will be Imam, and after Hassan, his son who is the QEAM. His justice will cover the whole earth.”

 

The eleventh Imam, Hassan al Askari said:-

The period of my son’s concealment will be so long that the people will doubt his coming, except those whose faith is protected by God.”

 

Ibn Abbas narrates that the holy prophet said;

I am the master of the apostles, Ali is the master of executors and certainly the executors after me are twelve. The first one is Ali Ibn Abi Talib, and the last one of them is

Mahdi.”

 

Umma Salama also relates that the holy prophet said:-

“Al-Mahdi is from my family, he is a descendant of Fatima.”

 

Jaber Samura narrates that he heard God’s messenger say:-

“Islam will continue to be strong during the time of the twelve Imams, all of them belong to the Quraish tribe.

Another version, “Men’s interests will continue to proceed well as long as they are governed by the twelve men all of whom belong to Quraish.”

Another version: - “The religion will continue to be established till the last hour comes and there are twelve caliphs all of whom belong to Quraish.”

 

Abdullah Ibn Abbas related that the holy prophet said: “Certainly my successors, executors and the assignees of God to his creatures after me are twelve, first of them is my brother and the last of them is my son.” The prophet was asked; “Who is your brother and son.” He answered; “Ali son of Abu Talib is my brother. And Mahdi who will fill the earth with justice as it was filled with injustice and tyranny. By the one who has sent me as announcer of the truth, if only one day of this world had remained, God would lengthen that day until my son appeared. Then Jesus son of Mary would descend and follow him in prayer. The earth will shine with his light and his authority will reach East and West.

 

Salman Al-Farsi relates that one day the holy prophet had put Hussein son of Ali on his lap. He was kissing Hussein's eyes and mouth and saying; “You are a master son of a master and father of masters, you are an Imam, brother of an Imam, and father of Imams, you are a hujjah of God, son of God’s hujjah and father of nine hujjahs. The ninth will be the QEAM.”

 

Abu Zar Al-Ghaffari relates that the prophet said;

“The Imams after me are twelve, nine of them are Hussein's descendants, and the ninth of them is their QEAM.”

 

Abdullah Ibn Masuaad reported that the prophet said;

“The world will not pass away until the Arabs are ruled by a man from my family whose name is the same as mine.”

 

Abu Sayyid related that the holy prophet said;

“The Mahdi of this people, who Jesus follows in prayer, is of us (Ahlul-Bait)” Then the prophet put his hand on Hussein's shoulder and said; “Mahdi of this people will descend from this child of mine.”

 

THE QUALITIES OF MAHDI

 

The qualities of Mahdi are recorded in nearly all tradition books, and there are also many books which were written about him before his birth. Here are some of the titles of the numerous traditions.

1)    Mahdi is a descendant of the prophet through his daughter Fatima

2)    He is a descendant of Ali Ibn Abu Talib, Hussein and other eight Imams

3)    Mahdi’s name and title is the same as the prophet’s

4)    Mahdi is like the prophet in manner

5)    His father’s name is Hassan and his mother is the best of bondmaids

6)    Mahdi is the 12th Imam and seal of the Imams

7)    He has two occultations, long and short period

8)    His concealment is so long that the common people will doubt his coming

9)    He will fill the earth with justice after it had been filled with injustice and tyranny

10)    In spite of living so many years, he is still a young man

11)    Through him, Islam will spread all over the world and all its enemies will be defeated.

12)    Jesus will follow him in prayer

13)    Some great events will occur before his appearance

14)    In less than an hour, his313 companions will appear before him as well.

Some faithful Muslims have the honour to be visited by Mahdi. All Muslims and of course some religions know about the coming of Mahdi.

 

OCCULTATION OF MAHDI

 

The occultation of the twelfth Imam is divided into two, thus long and short period. During the short occultation, he was only accessible to his immediate deputies and representatives. In this period the general believers could not meet with him. Propagation of Islam was entrusted to various distinguished scholars who worked as representatives and legates of the Imam.

 

In cities and villages, the Imam was represented by one person or more, and these representatives were under one chief deputy of the Imam whose permanent headquarters was in Baghdad. Through these representatives, the Imam continued to guide people.

 

Up to the time of his disappearance, there are four men who acted as his chief deputes. These men were appointed one after another and their names are:-

 

1) Othman Ibn Sayyid

He held office at the time of the tenth and eleventh Imams. He was the private secretary and treasurer as well as a reliable person for both Imams. He worked on their behave and his decisions were the same as those of the Imams

After the death of Imam Askari, Imam Mahdi appointed him as his personal secretary too. He acted as his secretary from 260 H, until he died in Baghdad in 304 H.

 

2) Muhammad Ibn Othman

Muhammad succeeded his father as the chief deputy of Mahdi. During his father’s life time, he served Imam Askari too.

 

3) Hussein Ibn Rooh

He was appointed by Imam Mahdi as his deputy after the death of Muhammad Ibn Othman. He was respected by everyone and was acknowledged as the most learnt man of that time. He died in 326 H.

 

4) Ali Ibn Muhammad Samarri

He was the last legate and he succeeded Hussein Ibn Rooh. A few days before his death, he received a letter from Imam Mahdi telling him: - “In the name of God the Beneficent the merciful. May God grant patience to you brother on your departure. You are going to die in six days, so be patient and appoint no one after you. My special deputation will come to an end and the major and second occultation will begin. It will continue until God grants permission that I manifest myself. Beware of people who will claim to have seen me before the heavenly announcement, for such people are liars and impostors.”

 

Six days after receiving this letter, the last representative of Mahdi died. It was in the year 329 H. Thus, the first concealment was from 260 H to 329H, lasting about seventy years. Mahdi miraculously disappeared under divine protection.

 

REASONS FOR THE OCCULTATION

 

Those who have studied the history of antiquity and ancient prophets are similar several instances of various apostles of God who resorted to their concealment as the only measure of shielding them from the hostile designs of their enemies in compliance with the divine decree. After certain periods of time, God unveiled those apostles and sent them back to their assigned posts again. Even in the state of their concealment, they never failed in the execution of their apostolical responsibilities; such as, Salih, Hood, Yunus, Jesus e.t.c. Even prophet Muhammad remained in a state of concealment for days.

 

The same reason mentioned above is one of the reasons of Mahdi’s concealment. According to some traditions, we do not know the real reason for his concealment, but in compliance with God’s will, he disappeared and will appear when he is commanded by God to do so.

 

MAHDI’S LIFE AND HIS PARTICIPATION IN WORLDLY AFFAIRS

 

Mahdi lives amongst us but is not recognized. It is only the pious ones, those who are very faithful in religious matters, have the privilege of meeting him. There are many stories told by those who have met him and they have also written books about there encounter with the Imam of the age. Mahdi performs the pilgrimage to Mecca guides and helps people. He maintains a spiritual contact with those who develop their souls to a high degree of faith and piety according to the Islamic teachings.

 

It is a known fact that if something is hidden, it does not mean that it can not have influence on the things that are not hidden. Cosmic rays, electricity, magnetic currents, thoughts, impulses, radiation, distant stars and millions of objects known to exist and exert influence in the physical world, yet they can not be seen by the naked eyes.

When the holy prophet was telling his companions about the twelfth Imam, Jaber Ibn Abdullah asked him, “How will the people benefit from him during the time of his concealment?” The prophet replied, “Just like the way the people benefit from the sun when it is hidden in the clouds.”

TIME OF MAHDI’S REAPPEARANCE

 

God alone knows the time when Mahdi will come. But according to some traditions, many signs will occur before his coming. Such are like; the world groaning under the yoke of tyranny, the value of human life will be no higher than that of a flea or a gnat, bloodshed will be taken lightly, usury will be considered lawful, the wicked will be respected for their capacity to do mischief and the virtuous will be despised, suffering humanity will cry out to despair. That will signal Mahdi’s re-appearance.

 

A divine announce will announce his name and his appearance. Upon hearing this call, 313 men will be drawn towards him just like iron fillings are pulled by a magnet. The men will form the nucleus army of the Imam. The world will be prepared and the minds of men will be ready to aid his great revolt against all evil.

 

THE PROLONGED LIFE OF MAHDI

 

It has often been argued that the belief in the Imam after so many centuries is unreasonable. But is known that Mahdi was born and is living in terrestrial form as a pivot and medium between the creator and his creatures.

 

For a person of great spiritual accomplishment, the question of the long life of Mahdi does not arise. His soul is so strong and high that it is far from being fettered with the conditions of matter

 

His will power controls his body and other material things, so his life and death are under his disposal and his will is controlled by God. Science and reason has not been able to tell that there is a fixed time for the length of life. In order to continue life, it is necessary to keep the material means intact. As long as the essential materials of life remain active, life also remains active. Thus, it is possible for an ordinary individual to live a very long life. Besides, what limits can be placed upon him when God himself wishes to keep him alive for centuries? Angles have been in existence for thousands of years, Satan is older than Adam, Noah lived more than 950 years, the cave companions, (Ashab-ul-Khahf) slept in their hide-out for many centuries, Prophet Khezr, Edris and Jesus were all born long before the twelfth Imam and yet are believed still to be alive. History has it that they lived for many centuries leading ordinary lives.

 

OUR DUTY DURING THE CONCEALMENT OF MAHDI

 

After the first concealment which lasted for seventy years, the second concealment began. The second concealment will last until the re-appearance of Mahdi. During the second concealment, no person has been or was nominated as deputy of Mahdi.

 

Almost all Imams in particular the tenth, eleventh and twelfth Imams declared and affirmed the authoritative status of those pious and righteous scholars who exclusively followed the twelfth imam. These men reached high spiritual levels that they could understand the connotations of the Qur’an and the sayings (traditions) of the prophet through rational approach which is called IJTEHAD. These scholars have been declared by the Imams to have the right of discharging the duty of a person nominated by the Imam within the limit of their ability. A person, who has not attained the standard of becoming a Mujtahid, should do taqlid from a living Mujtahid who is the most superior in knowledge and piety.

 

Therefore, recognition of the authoritative status of a qualified living Mustached of the time (as a representative and general deputy of the Imam during his concealment) is the most important part of the theocratic form of government recognized by Islam. It is different from other theocratic forms of government in other sects and religions of the world. It has nothing to do with temporal or secular forms of government.

Imam Mahdi said; “In all the events of life, I refer you to those (scholars) who bear our traditions. They are the authority over you on my behave and I am the authority on behalf of God.”

 

There is no room left for any individual or choice except the open door for every human being irrespective of any racial or geographical basis or restrictions to qualify oneself in knowledge and piety to the level of Ijtehad.

 

BELIVING IN THE UNSEEN

 

Believing in the unseen is the basis of all fundamental articles of faith. No one can deny the possibility of the existing religions and the realms within the terrestrial folds or beyond them which are populated with living beings of various forms, faculties and functions. No one can deny the existence of anything without a clear sensible proof.

 

Modern scientific devices are gradually detecting the possibilities of existing societies of invisible beings surrounding our space and beyond it. The stories about genies, evil and good spirits, angles, accomplished personalities in invisible forms such as Ilyas, Khezr, Jesus and the 12th Imam of the house of the prophet Muhammad, are all possible and science or reason never rejects them. And Islam confirms them all, such as problems in this world that are unknown to men. When one believes in God, they know that his orders are according to his wisdom and real reason. We can not reject a subject of which we do not know its reason.

 

The holy prophet, a pivot man, blessed and directed by God, repeatedly prophesized many events which later on were to occur. None of his companions rejected his prophecy, for a Muslim believes that a prophet is inspired by God and whatever he says, is nothing but a revelation from God (Holy Qur’an 53: 2-4). Among the prophet’s prophecies, the advent of Mahdi is very important for it was announced through numerous traditions which are narrated by many companions of the prophet and are as well recorded in almost all traditional books of Islam.

THOSE WHO CLAIMED TO BE THE PROMISED MAHDI

 

In the history of Islam, there are many imposters who claimed to be Mahdi some of them are as follows:

1)    An-Nafso-z-Zakiyah. He died in 145 H

2)    Udaidu-llah al-Mahdi, he was the founder of Fatemides, a dynasty of kings who reigned over Egypt and North Africa from 908 A.D to 1171 A.D.

3)    Muhammad Ibn Toomart, he was the founder of Abdul-Munem-State in Morocco at about 1200 A.D

4)    Abbas-ul-Fatemi, who claimed to be Mahdi in Morocco and was killed about 1250 A.D

5)    Sayyed Ahmad, he fought against the Sikhs on the North-West frontier of the Panjab (India) 1826 A.D.

6)    Al-Sanoosi of Morocco 1295 A.D

7)    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (India), he had claimed to be Jesus of Islam as well 1875 A.D

8)    Abdullah al-Jabali

9)    Ahmad Ibn Halal al-Karkhi

10)    Muhammad Ahmad of Sudan, he died in 1885

11)    Ali al-Shalmaghani

12)    Muuhammad Ibn Nasir al-Nomairi, he claimed to have been a prophet too.

13)    Abubakr al-Baghdadi

14)    Mulla Arshi Kashani

15)    Hussein Ibn Mansoor al-Hallaj, he claimed that he was appointed by Mahdi to act as his representative. He was a student of Jonaib al-Baghdadi and he used to say that; “There is nothing in my jubbah (robe) but God.” He was killed in 309H

16)    Mirza Ali-Muhammad of Shirazi in Iran. He was son of a cloth-seller in Shiraz called Mirza Reza Bazzaz. He was born in the year 1235 H. His mother was called Khadijah. He claimed that no one could contact Mahdi except through him for he was the gate (Bab). Hence he came to be known as Bab and his followers Babi.