The Arrival

Imam Mahdi

In Sunni and Shia eschatology, the Mahdi (In nglish it means Guided One) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years (according to various interpretations) before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection) and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.

In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "powerful and central religious idea" a 10th generation grandson of Prophet Mohammed and closely related as the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation is deemed analogous with the coming of the Mahdi.
In Sunni traditions, there are several hadiths referring to the Mahdi.

The beliefs of Mahdi which are shared by both Sunni and Shia Muslims according to scholar Moojan Momen
  • The Mahdi will be a descendant of Muhammad of the line of Fatimah; He will be descendent by one side (by one of the parents) by Hassan and by another by Hussain.
  • He will have the same name as Muhammad.
  • He will be a fore-runner to Jesus (Hazrat Isa)
  • His coming will be accompanied by the raising of a Black Standard.
  • His coming will be accompanied by the appearance of the Masih ad-Dajjal (Antichrist/Beast).
  • A star with a luminous tail will rise from the East before the coming of the Mahdi.
  • He will establish the Caliphate.
  • He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression, which is war and calamities.
  • He will have a broad forehead, a prominent nose, and a natural mascara will ring his eyes.
  • His face shall shine upon the surface of the Moon.
  • The name of the Mahdi's representative will begin with the first-letter of a prophet's name and a verse of the Qur'an: ی (English: Y)

The Mahdi symbol has developed into a powerful and central religious idea in Shia Islam. Twelver Shia Muslims believe that the Mahdi is Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, who was born in 869 CE and was hidden by God at the age of five (874 CE). He is still alive but has been in occultation, "awaiting the time that God has decreed for his return".According to Moojan Momen, Shia traditions state that the Mahdi will be "a young man of medium stature with a handsome face" and black hair and beard. "He will not come in an odd year [...] will appear in Mecca between the corner of the Kaaba and the station of Abraham and people will witness him there.
The Twelfth Imam will return as the Mahdi with "a company of his chosen ones," and his enemies will be led by the one-eyed Antichrist and the Sufyani. The two armies will fight "one final apocalyptic battle" where the Mahdi and his forces will prevail over evil. After the Mahdi has ruled Earth for a number of years, Isa will return.

Prophet Muhammad said:
  • The Mahdi is the protector of the knowledge, the heir to the knowledge of all the prophets, and is aware of all things.
  • The dominion (authority) of the Mahdi is one of the proofs that God has created all things; these are so numerous that his [the Mahdi's] proofs will overcome (will be influential, will be dominant) everyone and nobody will have any counter-proposition against him.
  • People will flee from him [the Mahdi] as sheep flee from the shepherd. Later, people will begin to look for a purifier. But since they can find none to help them but him, they will begin to run to him.
  • When matters are entrusted to competent [the Mahdi], Almighty God will raise the lowest part of the world for him, and lower the highest places. So much that he will see the whole world as if in the palm of his hand. Which of you cannot see even a single hair in the palm of his hand?
  • In the time of the Mahdi, a Muslim in the East will be able to see his Muslim brother in the West, and he in the West will see him in the East.
Sadir al-Sayrafi says:
I heard from Imam Abu Abdullah Jafar al-Sadiq that: ... He whose rights have been taken away and who is denied (hazrat mahdi (as)) will walk among them, move through their markets and walk where they walk. But they will not recognize hazrat mahdi (as) until Allah gives them leave to recognize him, just as He did with the Prophet Yusuf (as).

Muhammad al-Baqir, the Fourth (Isma'ili) or Fifth (Twelver) Imam said of the Mahdi:
The Master of the Command was named as the Mahdi because he will dig out the Torah and other heavenly books from the cave in Antioch. He will judge among the people of the Torah according to the Torah; among the people of the Gospel according to the Gospel; among the people of the Psalms in accordance with the Psalms; among the people of the Qur'an in accordance with the Qur'an.

Ja'far al-Sadiq, the Sixth Imam, made the following prophecies:
Abu Bashir says:
When I asked Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, "O son of the Messenger of God! Who is the Mahdi (qa'im) of your clan (ahl al-bayt)?", he replied: "The Mahdi will conquer the world; at that time the world will be illuminated by the light of God, and everywere in which those other than God are worshipped will become places where God is worshiped; and even if the polytheists do not wish it, the only faith on that day will be the religion of God.
Sadir al-Sayrafi says:
I heard from Imam Abu Abdullah Ja'far al-Sadiq that: Our modest Imam, to whom this occultation belongs [the Mahdi], who is deprived of and denied his rights, will move among them and wander through their markets and walk where they walk, but they will not recognize him.
Abu Bashir says:
I heard Imam Muhammad al-Baqr says: "He said: When the Mahdi appears he will follow in the path of the Messenger of God. Only he [the Mahdi] can explain the works of the Messenger of God.
The face of the Mahdi shall shine upon the surface of the Moon.

According to Moojan Momen, among the most commonly reported signs that presage the advent of the Mahdi in Shia Islam are the following:
  1. Before his coming the red death and the white death will come. The red death is the sword and the white death is plague.
  2. Several figures will appear: the one-eyed Antichrist (Masih ad-Dajjal), the Sufyani and the Yamani.
  3. The Muslims will throw off the reins of the foreigners and take possession of their land, overthrowing those rulers that are foreign agents.
  4. There will be a great conflict in the land of Syria, until it is destroyed.
  5. Death and fear will afflict the people of Baghdad and Iraq. A fire will appear in the sky and a redness will cover them.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib quoted Muhammad as saying:
The Mahdi is one of us, the clan of the Prophet. God will reform him in one night.(Reported by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Maqah)

At-Tirmidhi reported that Muhammad said: 
The Mahdi is from my Ummah; he will be born and live to rule five or seven or nine years. (If) one goes to him and says, "Give me (a charity)", he will fill one’s garment with what one needs.

Abu Dawud also reported a hadith about the Mahdi that Muhammed said:
The Mahdi will be of my stock, and will have a broad forehead, a prominent nose. He will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years.

Sunnis believe the Mahdi will be an ordinary man, born to an ordinary woman.

The Prophet Muhammad said:
The world will not come to an end until the Arabs are ruled by a man from my family whose name is the same as mine and whose father’s name is the same as my father’s.

Umm Salama said:
  1. His [the Mahdi's] aim is to establish a moral system from which all superstitious faiths have been eliminated. In the same way that students enter Islam, so unbelievers will come to believe.
  2. When the Mahdi appears, God will cause such power of vision and hearing to be manifested in believers that the Mahdi will call to the whole world from where he is, with no postman involved, and they will hear and even see him.
  3. I heard the Messenger of God say: "The Mahdi is of my lineage and family […]".
 Abu Sa`id al-Khudri said:
  1. The Messenger of God said: "He is one of us […]"
  2. The Messenger of God said: "The Mahdi is of my lineage, with a high forehead and a long, thin, curved nose. He will fill the earth with fairness and justice as it was filled with oppression and injustice, and he will rule for seven years.
  3. The Messenger of God said: "At the end of the time of my ummah, the Mahdi will appear. God will grant him rain, the earth will bring forth its fruits, he will give a lot of money, cattle will increase and the ummah will become great. He will rule for seven or eight years.
A typical modernist in his views on the Mahdi, Abul Ala Maududi (1903–1979), the Pakistani Islamic revivalist, stated that the Mahdi will be a modern Islamic reformer/statesman, who will unite the Ummah and revolutionise the world according to the ideology of Islam, but will never claim to be the Mahdi, instead receiving posthumous recognition as such.

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