Biographies , Mahdism
12th Imam- Mahdi (PBUH)
Imam Mahdi (PBUH)
(PBUH) (Arabic: امام مهدی) is the 12th and the last Imam of Shia from
the descendant of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and he is prophesied in all
Abrahamic books (Turah, Bible, Quran). It is
prophesied he will return along with the prophet Jesus (PBUH) to save the world
and end all misers, wars, famine … and lead the people into the truth.
(PBUH) was born in 869 A.D (15th, Sha’ban, 255 A.H) in Samarra. When
his great father, Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH) martyred by Abbasid caliph; he reached the exalted position
of the Imamate. As it was mentioned by the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) before, His
name (Muhammad) and his agnomen (Abu’l-Qasim) are the same as the Prophet’s.
His father, the 11th Shia Imam, was Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH), and
his mother, the lady Narjis.
reasons, the twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (PBUH) from the first day of his life,
did not appear publicly, and for about seventy years people were in
communication with him through the intermediary of his special representatives,
in order of succession: Othman Ibn Sa’id, Muhammad Ibn Othman, Hussain Ibn Ruh,
and Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Samari. This period of seventy years is known as the
minor occultation (Al-Ghaybat Al-Sughra), and at the end of that period the
major occultation (Al-Ghaybat Al -Kubra) began. One of the reasons was: he is
the last Imam and he should be saved by Allah to return and fill the world with
justice to spread the orders of God. On the other hand, enemies of Imams and enemies
of God knew him by the prophecies, so they attempted to kill him, but God, made
him disappear to save him just like prophet Jesus (PBUH), because their
returning is the great promise of God in religions.
occultation of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is, divided into two parts: the first, the
minor occultation (Ghaybat Sughra) which began in 872 and ended in 939, lasting
about seventy years; the second, the major occultation which commenced in 939
and will continue as long as God wills it.
major occultation till the time of his reappearance, no one has been his
special representative, and there will be no one in the future, and the people
have the duty to refer to the Quran, Ahl al-Bayt’s Hadith and “Fuqaha”
(Jurists), those excelling in knowledge of the shariah (Islamic laws), and the
narration of Hadith who are specialized in the matters of the religion.
the reappearance of the expected Mahdi (PBUH) the universal reformer is not
confined to the Shia Muslims. Other Islamic groups and even non-Islamic groups
like the Jews and the Christians and some of the great world intellectual
figures believe in the appearance of a great spiritual reformer.
narrations it is prophesied that Imam Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (PBUT) will
return together to reform the world. To know more refer to “the secrets of the Bible”, “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) in Other Religions”, “The Promised in Christianity“,
“Ahl Al-Bayt promised in Gosple“
numerous Hadith (prophetic sayings) cited in Sunni and Shia sources from
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his descendants (Ahl Al-Bayt) concerning the
appearance of Imam Mahdi (PBUH), such as that he is of the progeny of the
Prophet (PBUH) and that his appearance will enable human society to reach true
perfection and the full realization of spiritual life. In addition, there are
numerous other traditions concerning the fact that Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is the son
of the eleventh descendant of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Imam Hassan Askari
(PBUH). They agree that after being born and undergoing a long occultation Imam
Mahdi (PBUH) will appear again, filling with justice the world that has been
corrupted by injustice and iniquity.
example, Imam Reza (PBUH) (8th Imam of Shia, from the descendant of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)) has said, in the course of a Hadith, “The Imam after
me is my son, Muhammad (Imam Muhammad Jawad), and after him his son Ali (Imam Ali Hadi),
and after Ali his son, Hassan (Imam Hassan Askari), and after Hassan his son Hujjat Al-Qa’im (the risen
reason), who is awaited during his occultation and obeyed during his
manifestation. If there remain from the life of the world but a single day,
Allah (God) will extend that day until he becomes manifest, and fill the world
with justice in the same way that it had been filled with iniquity. But when?
As for news of the hour, verily my father told me, having heard it from his
father who heard it from his father who heard it from his ancestors who heard
it from Imam Ali (PBUH),
that it was asked of the Holy Prophet, “Oh Prophet of Allah, when will the
“Qa’im” (the Risen) who is from thy family appear?” He said, “His case is
unknown like the Resurrection day. He will manifest it at its proper time. It
is significant in the heavens and the earth. It cometh not to you save
Surah Al-A’raf, verse 187)
Saqr Ibn Abi
Dulaf said, “I heard from Imam Jawad (9th Imam) who said,
′The Imam after me is my son Ali (Imam Ali Hadi); his command is my command;
his word is my word; to obey him is to obey me. The Imam after him is his son,
Hassan (Imam Hassan Askari). His command is the command of his father; to obey
him is to obey his father.′ after these words the Imam remained silent. I said
to him, ′Oh son of the Prophet, who will be the Imam after Hassan? ′ the Imam
cried hard, then said, ′Verily after Hassan his son is the awaited Imam who is
“Al-Qa’im bi’l-haqq” (He who rise for the Truth).′”
Ja’far Baghdadi said, “I heard from Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH) (11th
Imam of Shia) who said, ′I see that after me differences will appear among you
concerning the Imam after me. Whoso accepts the Imams after the Prophet of
Allah but denies my son (Imam Mahdi), is like the person who accepts all the
prophets but denies the prophet hood of Muhammad (PBUH), the Prophet of Allah.
And whoso denies “Muhammad” (PBUH) the Prophet of Allah, is like one who has
denied all the prophets of Allah, obeying the last of us is like obeying the
first and denying the last of us is like denying the first. But beware! Verily
for my son there is an occultation during which all people will fall into doubt
except those whom Allah protects.”
unquestionable that the idea of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) was projected upon several
Imams in turn, but it could take definite shape only around the person of the
twelfth, with whom the purpose of Imamate will be fulfilled. There is a
considerable body of literature about him, both in Persian and in Arabic. The
sources of this literature have been assembled by Saffar al-Qummi,
reporter-witness of Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH); al-Kulayni and his follower
al-Nu’mani, fourth/tenth century; Ibn Babuyah, who owed his information to a
contemporary witness, Hassan Ibn Muktib; al-Shaykh al-Mufid; Muhammad Ibn
Hassan Tusi. The principal traditions are collected in volume 13 of
Islam, Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is a “hidden Imam” who has already been born and who
will one day return alongside Prophet Jesus (PBUH) to fill the world
with justice. The promised Mahdi (PBUH), who is usually mentioned in
Shia by his title of “Imam Asr” (the Imam of the “time”) and “Sahib Al-Zaman”
(the Lord of the Age).
In a Hadith
upon whose authenticity Shia and Sunni agree, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said,
“If there were to remain in the life of the world but one day, Allah would
prolong that day until He sends in it a man from my community and my household.
His name will be the same as my name. He will fill the earth with equity and
justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny.”
Purpose of the Hidden Imam
appointed the Imam of the Age to be a guide amongst people; however it is the
people who are the obstacle to his appearance, and whenever they are ready for
a single, divine world rule, formed on true justice observing rights, truths
and realities, putting into practice all the laws of God without any
dissimulation or fear, Imam Mahdi (PBUH) will openly declare himself. So, with
regard to Allah, the Merciful, there is not the slightest lack of favor or
mercy, for the fault lies with the people that the Imam is hidden and the
appearance of his rule is delayed. Still, it must be remembered that the
benefits of the existence of the Imam are not limited to outward guidance among
people, for the pure existence of the Imam has other benefits which are not
necessarily evident among people.
important benefit of the Imam’s existence is that he is the intermediary for
Divine Favor. For, one the basis of the evidence scholars have produced and
also according to numerous Hadith which speak about the Imamate, if there were
no Imam, the relation between the world and its creator would no longer exist,
because all of the favors of God come through the Imam to the rest of humanity.
In many Hadith it is said very clearly that the earth will not remain without
an Imam (leader).
The Imam is
the heart of the world of existence, the leader, the preceptor of mankind, and
for this reason his presence or his absence makes no difference. What is more,
the spiritual guidance of the Imam towards worthy individuals will always be
there, although they may not see him, especially as it is mentioned in Hadith
that Imam Mahdi (PBUH) comes and goes in among the people and help them without
anyone understanding. Thus the guarding of Islam and the protection of the
worthy is well undertaken by the Imam, even during the time of his occultation.
In reality the hidden Imam is like the sun behind a cloud from whose light and
heat existent things may profit, although the ignorant and the blind may not
Imam Sadiq (PBUH) (6th Imam of Shia) also said in answer to the
question: “How can people benefit from a hidden Imam? – Just as they do from
the sun when it is behind a cloud.”
religion, finished prophet hood with Prophet Moses (PBUH), which was the
relationship between God and the world of man, and do not acknowledge the
prophet hood of Jesus (PBUH) or Muhammad (PBUH). The Christians, also, stopped
with Jesus (PBUH), and the Sunni Muslims stood still with the prophet Muhammad
(PBUH), but Shia sect is the only religion which maintains eternally the link
of Divine guidance between God and his creation, and continually keeps alive
the union of Succession (Imamate). With the seal of prophet hood among the latter, they
admit of no further link being maintained between the Creator and creation.
Only the Indeed, only among the Shia does this reality between the world of man
and the Divinity remain forever.”
of Existence of Imam Mahdi (PBUH)
existence of the redeemer is rationally necessary. Muhammad Hussain
Tabatabaii, one of the most prominent thinkers of philosophy and contemporary
Shia Islam, addresses the issue as follows: “As a result of the law of general
guidance which governs all of creation, man is of necessity endowed with the
power of receiving revelation through prophecy, which directs him toward the
perfection of the human norm and the well-being of the human species.
Obviously, if this perfection and happiness were not possible for man, whose
life possesses a social aspect, the very fact that he is endowed with his power
would be meaningless and futile. But there is no futility in creation.”
words, ever since he has inhabited the earth, man has had the wish to lead a
social life filled with happiness in its true sense and has striven toward this
end. If such a wish were not to have an objective existence it would never have
been imprinted upon man’s inner nature, in the same way that if there were not
food there would have been no hunger. Or if there were to be no water there
would be no thirst and if there were to be no reproduction there would have
been no sexual attraction between the sexes.
by reason of inner necessity and determination, the future will see a day when
human society will be replete with justice and when all will live in peace and
tranquility, when human beings will be fully possessed of virtue and
perfection. The establishment of such a condition will occur through human
hands but with Divine succor. And the leader of such a society, who will be the
savior of man, is called in the language of the Hadith, the Mahdi (PBUH).
different religions that govern the world such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism,
Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam there are references to a person who
will come as the savior of mankind. These religions have usually given happy
tidings of his coming, although there are naturally certain differences in
detail that can be discerned when these teachings are compared carefully. The
Hadith of Prophet Muhammad upon which all Muslims agree, “The Mahdi is of my
progeny,” refers to this same truth.
the long lifetime of Mahdi and Jesus (PBUT) possible?
opponents of Shia Islam protest that according to the beliefs of this school
the Hidden Imam should by now be nearly twelve centuries old, whereas this is
impossible for any human being. In answer it must be said that the protest is
based only on the unlikelihood of such an occurrence, not its impossibility. Of
course such a long lifetime or a life of a longer period is unlikely. But those
who study the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad and the Imams will see that they refer
to this life as one possessing miraculous qualities.
certainly not impossible nor can they be negated through scientific arguments.
It can never be proved that the causes and agents that are functioning in the
world are solely those that we see and know and that other causes which we do
not know or whose effects and actions we have not seen nor understood do not
exist. It is in this way possible that in one or several members of mankind
there can be operating certain causes and agents which bestow upon them a very
long life of a thousand or several thousand years. Medicine has not even lost
hope of discovering a way to achieve very long life spans. In any case such
protests from “peoples of the Book” such as Jews, Christians and Muslims are
most strange for they accept the miracles of the prophets of God according to
their own sacred scriptures.
opponents of Shia Islam also protest that, although Shia Islam considers the
Imam necessary in order to expound the injunctions and verities of religion and
to guide the people, the occultation of the Imam is the negation of this very
purpose, for an Imam in occultation who cannot be reached by mankind cannot be
in any way beneficial or effective.
opponents say that if God wills to bring forth an Imam to reform mankind He is
able to create him at the necessary moment and does not need to create him
thousands of years earlier. In answer it must be said that such people have not
really understood the meaning of the Imam. The duty of the Imam is not only the
formal explanation of the religious sciences and exoteric guidance of the
people. In the same way that he has the duty of guiding men outwardly, the Imam
also bears the function of Succession of the Prophet and the esoteric guidance
of men. It is he who directs man’s spiritual life and orients the inner aspect
of human action toward God.
physical presence or absence has no effect in this matter. The Imam watches
over men inwardly and is in communion with the soul and spirit of men even if
he be hidden from their physical eyes. His existence is always necessary even
if the time has not yet arrived for his outward appearance and the universal
reconstruction that he is to bring about.
signs of returning
and very important sign is that he will come at a time when there is great
confutation, intense disputes and violent deaths. When people are afflicted by
disturbance and experiencing great fear. Calamities will fall upon the people,
so much so that a man shall not find a shelter to shelter himself from
oppression. There will be battles and seductions before the appearance. Every
time a seduction has come to end, another will start, spread and intensify. The
people will be troubled to such an extent that they will long for death. It is
then that Imam Mahdi and prophet Jesus (PBUT) will be sent.
some narrations by the prophet Muhammad and 11 Imams (PBUT), there are 5 signs
which show the proximity of reappearance day:
some narrations Sufyani, one of the descendants of Abu Sufyan, (the enemy of
the Muslims in the life of the prophet Muhammad) will arise before Imam Mahdi’s
reappearance. He has been depicted as an outwardly devout man that will take
care to remember God at all times. But in reality he will be the wicked man in
the world. He will upraise during the Lunar month,Rajab. After he realizes that
Imam Mahdi has reappeared, he will send away an army to fight him. Some books
say that the army of Sufyani before getting to the army of Imam Mahdi will sink
into the earth in the Beyda, the area between Mecca and Medina. The appearance
of Sufyani is mentioned in both Shia and Sunni narrations.
narrations, the appearance of Yamani is mentioned as one of the certain signs.
The fifth Shia Imam, Imam Baqir (PBUH) described Yamani in detail in a hadith:”… among these
individuals (Sufyani,Yamani and Khorasani) the Yamani is the closest to
guidance, for he calls the people to join the Imam Mahdi. When he rises there
is no use of weapons. When he rises join him immediately, for his flag is the
flag of guidance and prosperity and no Muslim should oppose it. The Yamani
calls to the right path.” Some sources mention that Yamani and Khurasani will
be allied against Sufyani.
loud cry in the sky
certain sign that is mentioned in the above narration is the loud cry in the
sky. According to tradition two cries will heard. In the first of them Gabriel
will call the name of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) and his father (Imam Hassan Askari) and
say that truth is with Ali (Imam Ali) and his followers. All people will hear
Gabriel’s cry in their own language. In a tradition of Imam Sadiq (PBUH)
that is narrated by Zurarah ibn A’yan, it is said that after this cry Satan
will call certainly, so and so and their followers are victorious ones and his
meaning is a man from Banu Umayya. But the first cry is the truth.
murder of Nafse Zakeyyah
A pure soul
or Nafse Zakeyyah is one of the descendants of Imam Hussain (PBUH). He will be murdered and is without any sin or crime.
According to many narrations, he is the envoy of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) to Mecca
before his reappearance. When he will arrive to Mecca and say his message, the
people of Mecca slay him around the Kaaba.
swallowing (Sufyani’s Army) in land of Bayda
of Sufyani’s army into the earth is a certain sign of reappearance of Imam
Mahdi (PBUH). In addition to above-mentioned hadith of Imam Sadiq (PBUH), in a
hadith Imam Ali (PBUH) mentions that Sufyani’s army will sink on the earth by
the order of God.
world after reappearance
Mahdi (PBUH) rises and establishes the rule of justice, the earth will yield to
him her treasures of mineral deposits and crops. The shares that rightfully
belong to the destitute and poor will be exacted from the rich
and the oppressors to be justly distributed, as the result of which
no poor person will remain.
(PBUH) says: “The world will be revitalized by the implementation of justice,
the sky will send down abundant rain, trees will reveal their fruit, and the
earth will deliver her plants, embellishing herself for her inhabitants.”
character trait of the universal rule of Imam Mahdi will be the worldwide
maintenance of peace, security, justice, and the annihilation of the
foundations of corruption, decadence, oppression, and crime. This has been the
main purpose of all the prophets, but with the difference that the success of
the latter and their successors following them was not as decisive.
Nevertheless, establishing worldwide peace and security has always constituted
one of their promises. And so the unpolluted souls of mankind at large, ever
since the beginning of human history, have been waiting for the time when those
promises would be realized. Now since God, His messengers, and
their infallible successors do not breach their promises, they
would not raise the hopes of people without a good reason. This means
that this promise will certainly be realized and that a just government
will be established, consisting of the aforementioned characteristics.
is so vital and real that its realization can be considered the rationale
behind the creation of humankind, a promise that once realized will lead to the
unity of the whole of humankind under the banner of worshiping God (the
one God) and, by God’s Mercy, the uprooting of disbelief, polytheism, and
hypocrisy from amongst them. (11:118&123)
Shia research scholars and historians in their books have narrated from Hassan
Ibn Mathleh Jamakarani (a righteous man of upright conduct and noble character,
and a lover of the Ahl al-Bayt, the holy progeny of the Prophet Muhammad) that
on Tuesday night, the 17th day of the blessed and holy month of Ramadan of 393
A.H. (1003 A.D) he woke up by a voice who called him to obey Imam Mahdi’s
command. When he opened the door he saw a group of pious personalities and
offered them salutations. They reciprocated his salutations and spoke to him
kindly and with appreciation. Then they directed him to a place – the present
location of the Holy Jamkaran Mosque (in the outskirts of Qum, Iran). There he
saw Imam Mahdi (PBUH) and some of prophets and virtues around him.
Imam commend him to tell the people about a mosque which should be built in a
farm by the God’s will. He accepted but he said: ‘Oh my Master and Lord! I must
have some unique convincing signs for delivering your message, because
otherwise people will not believe my words, and it will be quite difficult to
mark some special signs showing the boundaries of the Holy Mosque, which will
prove the truthfulness of your statement. Go and convey my message to the
addressed him the person who pay for this building.
delivered the message, then he and the others went to the place that Imam Mahdi
(PBUH) had told. They saw the mark so they obeyed the command of their Imam
(leader). This mosque is known as Jamkaran Mosque and it is one of the famous
Mosques. Every day many pilgrims gather and pray there. Many people wishes also
have ever fulfilled in this mosque.
The anniversary of Imam Mahdi’s birth day is held every year in Jamkaran mosque