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IMAM AL-MAHDI (A.S.)

Title: Â Al-Mehdi, Saheb-ul-Asr and Al-Hujjat
Kunyat: Â Abul Qasim
Born at Samarra, on Friday, the 15th Shaban 255 A.H.
Father’s name:  Imam Hasan-al-Askari
Mother’s name:  Nargis Khatoon
He is still living and will appear before the end of the end.
1st Heavenly concealment: 8th Rabi-ul-Awwal 260 A.H.
Final Heavenly concealment: 10th Shawwal, 328 A.H. (939 A.D.)

There existed a good deal of harmony and uniformity between the aspects pertaining to the births of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), the last Apostle of God and Imam Mehdi, the last Apostolic Imam. Just as the coming of the Holy Prophet was prophesied well in advance by the preceding Prophets, similarly the impending news of the gracious birth of Imam al-Mehdi (A.S.) was foretold by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).

Innumerable traditions in this context, quoted right from the Holy Prophet, from the glowing contents of many books of Masanid, Sehan and Akhbar, and of Shia scholars (Ulama) existed. Many Sunni scholars have accumulated these traditions in complete volumes also, e.g.: “Albayan fi Akhbar-e-Sahib-al-Zaman” by Hafiz Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Shafeyee and

“Zikrenaf-ul-Mehdi” by Hafiz Abu Nayeem Ispahani, as well as “Sehah-e-Abudaud” and “Sunan Ibne-e-Maja”. All of the above books recorded the traditions bearing evidence of the coming of this Holy Imam. Out of those traditions two are quoted below:

Prophecies:

1. Abdullah Ibne Masood quotes the Holy Prophet as having said, “Even when the entire time of the world’s existence will have been already exhausted and one solitary day left to embrace the eve of Doomsday, God will expand and make that very day swell to such a length of time as to accommodate the ultimate reign of a person out of my holy progeny who will be called after my name. He will then make the earth abound with peace and justice as it will have been fraught with the injustice and tyranny before him.”

2. Hazrat Abdullah Ibne Abbas narrates that the Holy Prophet said, “I am the leader of all the Prophets while Ali is the leader of all the Imams (Successors of the Prophets). I will be followed by twelve successors, the first amongst them being Ali and the last one Mehdi.” (Behar-ul-Anwar). The above tradition vouches well for the fact that the twelfth Imam is the last Imam of the Holy Prophet, and stands as the final Divine Authority (Hujjat) on earth. His Apostolic career is divided into three important phases, i.e. the period of his childhood, the period of his “Ghaibat” (concealment) and the period of his “Zuhor” (Re-appearance).

Name Epithet and Titles:

The name of our twelfth Imam is Mehdi, epithet Abdul-Qasim and his well-known titles are ‘Alqaim’, and ‘Al-Hujjat’, ‘Al-Muntazer’, Al-Mehdi’, and ‘Sahbe-uz-Zaman’.

Birth:

He was born on 15th Shaban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarra. The momentous and singular aspects of his birth greatly resembled those under which the Prophet Moosa (Moses) was born. The birth of Hazrat Moosa had signaled the downfall and extinction of the empire of Pharaoh, who had ordered the slaying of all the newly born children of Bani-Israel. The Abbasids kings were similarly apprehensive of the continuous traditions of the Holy Prophet about the birth of Imam Mehdi, who was to bring about a curse to their (Abbaside) very empire. They were, therefore, laying in ambush to discover the birth of the Imam and to put an end to his life. But the event of the Imam’s birth was enveloped and shielded by the same Divine protection and miraculous phenomena which had marked the historical birth of Prophet Moosa. His birth remained strictly confidential and his nursery shrouded in secrecy except to a few devotees.

The Imam’s birth had coincided with the reign of Al-Mutamad, the well-known Abbaside king. He, being aware of the prophecy of the twelfth Imam’s birth occurring in his reign, was extremely worried and anxious to trace him out. But on the death of Imam Hasan Askari, when he was informed about the Imam’s funeral prayer having been conducted by his four year old son, his perplexity knew no bounds.

It struck his mind that this very boy must be the Imam, but he managed to hide his inner concern at the news of the existence of the young Imam. In order to get confirmation that the young Imam did in fact exist, he ordered the arrest of the Imam’s mother, Janab-e-Nargis Khatoon.

The Arrest of Janab-e-Nargis Khatoon:

When Janab-e-Nargis was brought before Al-Mutamad and inquiries made about the birth of the twelfth Holy Imam, she, in order to safeguard her own life as well as to protect her son, replied that she had never the symptoms of maternity and labor pain; so, for the moment, he did not harass her, but did put her under the most strict surveillance of Qazi Abu Sorab, entrusting him with the task of killing any child born to her.

Soon after this incident, the Abbaside kingdom passed through a revolutionary phase which greatly bewildered Al-Mutamad. He was forced to face the invasion of Sahib-al-Zanj, who raided Hejaz and Yemen and let loose the hounds of loot and arson throughout the Abbaside kingdom, subjecting the administration of Baghdad, the capitol, to utter chaos. Al-Mutamad was, therefore, naturally too occupied by warfare to pay any attention towards

Janab-e-Nargis, who was consequently released after six months and questioned no further about the birth of the twelfth Holy Imam.

Childhood:

The Holy Imam was brought up by his father Imam Hasan Askari, the eleventh Imam who resorted to the same underground and secret measures in rearing his child as Hazrat Abu Talib had adopted in connection with safe-guarding the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). He used to take care of his child in one portion of the house for a few days and then shift him to another with a view not to let the exact whereabouts be known.

While Imam Hasan Askari kept the birth of the young Imam-to-be and the affairs of his infancy a well-guarded secret, he did put him within the access of some exclusive devotees and sincere friends in order to familiarize them with their would-be Imam to whom they would pledge their allegiance. Below mention are the few names, quoted from the authentic books of both Sunni and Shia sects, of people who had the honor of having personally seen the Holy Imam Mehdi (A.S.).

It is mentioned by Abi Ghanim that when Imam Hasan Askari’s son was born he named him after the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and on the third day after his birth, bringing forth the child to show him to some of his followers, declared thus:

“Here is my successor and your would-be Imam! He is that very Qaim to whose reverence your heads will bow down. He will reappear to fill the earth with blessings and justice after it will have been abounding with sins and vices.”

Muawiya Ibne Hakeem, Muah Muhammad Ibne Ayyub and Muhammad Ibn Usman mentioned that they called upon Imam Hasan Askari with a deputation of forty persons. The Holy Imam showed them his newly born child and said,

“This is your Imam after me! All of you should unanimously submit your allegiance to him and should not allow any controversy on the subject which will lead you in peril! Mind that he will no more be visible to you”.

Imamat:

Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) died on the 8th Rabi-ul-Awwal 260 A.H. and the day marked the inception of his son’s Imamat and his elevation to the Apostolic office being the source of spiritual guidance for the whole universe. As, according to God’s Will, all the affairs pertaining to the Holy Imam were to remain strictly behind the curtain, he commissioned some of his deputies and ambassadors, who had been looking after the religious affairs from the time of his father to act as the associates between the people and the concealed Imam. They conveyed the problems and religious queries of the people to the Imam and brought back the verdicts and the answers of the Imam to the people.

It was by the Will of God that he disappeared and will again reappear by the Will of God. This will be a prelude to the Day of Judgment. Traditions have been reported mentioning the signs for the time of the appearance who will arise before the Day of Judgment. Some events that will take place before his appearance are of the following: There will be an eclipse of the sun in the middle of the month of Ramadon, there will be an eclipse of the moon at the end of the month of Ramadon, the land will be swallowed up at Bayda, it will be swallowed in the east, it will be swallowed in the west, the sun will rise from the west during the afternoon prayer, a pure soil will be killed in the outskirts of Kufa with seventy righteous men, a hashimite will be slaughtered between the corner of the Ka’ba and the station of Abrahim, the wall of the Mosque of Ku’fa will be destroyed, al- Yamani will come out in revolt, the star will appear in the west giving light just like the moon gives light, the new moon will bend to its horizons, a fire will appear for a long time in the east remaining in the air for three or seven days, the Arabs will throw off the reins and take possession of their land, the people of Egypt will kill their ruler and destroy Syria, horses will come from the west until they are stabled in al-Hira, the black standards will advance towards them from the east, the Euphrates will flood so that the water comes into the alleys of Kufa, sixty liars will come forward all of them claiming prophet hood, twelve liars will come forward from the family of Abu Talib, all of them claiming the Imamate. There are thousands of more signs. Most of them will happen and some of them might not happen.

Most of these signs did not happen, but they don’t have to happen, because Judgment Day can come right now, and as you can see, some or all of these signs didn’t happen.

God knows the best will take place. From God we seek help and Him do we ask for success. Abul al Hasan informed us that there will certainly be a voice calling from the sky the name of a man for the descendants of Abu-Talib.

No one knows the exact date of year and day on which the one who will rise (P.B.U.H.).

Imam Jafar, al Sadiq (a.s.) said: “The one who will rise will not come forth in an odd year:  one, three, five, seven, or nine.” Imam Jafar, al Sadiq said: “All voice will summon the one who wall rise on the night of the twenty-third of the month and he will rise onto day of Ashura, the day on which al Husayn ibn Ali (a.s.) was killed. It is as if I could see him on Saturday, 10th of the month of al Muharam, standing between the corner of the Ka’ba and the station of Abrahim and Gabriel (a.s.) on his right will call for the pledge of allegiance to God. His Shia will come to him from the ends of the earth, rolling up in great numbers to pledge allegiance to him. Then God will fill the earth with justice as it was filled with injustice.”

Which direction will the Twelfth Imam come from?

Imam al Baqir said, “It is as if I could see the one who will rise on the Day of Judgment (a.s.), on the sand dunes of Kufa. He came there from Mecca with five thousand angels. Gabriel was on his right and Michael on his left. The believers were standing in front of him and he was scattering the soldiers into the land.”

Imam al Baqir mentioned the Mehdi and said, “He will enter Kufa and there will be three standards which will have become confused. They will be clear to him. He will go in until he comes to the pulpit. Then he will preach but the people will not know what he says because of the crying. On the second Friday, the people will ask him to pray the Friday prayer with them. He will order that a place of prostration be marked for him with a red dye and he will pray there with them. Then he will order that a river should be dug from the back of the shrine of al Husayn (a.s.), which would flow to the Ghariyyan so that the water would descend into al, Najaf. At its entrance, bridges and mills would be working. It is as if I could see an old women, on her head a basket, in which wheat is brought to those mills, and they grind it without charging.”

How long will Judgment Day be? Judgment Day will be for seven years, but each day will lengthen so that one of his years will be the same lengthen ten of our years. So the years of Dominion will be for 70 years. On his coming, it will rain on the people during the month of Jumada al Akhira and for ten days during the month of Rajab with rain, the like of which creatures have never seen. By it God will bring forth the flesh and bodies of the believers in the graves. It is as if I could see them advancing from Juhayna shaking off the soil from their hair.

The Description of Imam al Mehdi (a.s.)

One day, Jabur al Jufi heard Abu Jafar al Baqir (a.s.) say, “Ummar ibnal Khattab question the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). The man said, “Tell me about the Mehdi, what is his name?

He answered, “As for his name, the apostle (a.s.), took a promise from me that I would never mention to until God sent him. “Ummar said, “Give me his description.”

He answered, “He is a young man of medium stature with a handsome face and beautiful hair. His hair flows on to his shoulders. A light rises on his face. The hair of his beard and head is black. By my father, he is the son of the best mother. ”

In our great heavenly book, the Qur’an, there are multiple verses which give the glad tidings of a great manifestation. One selected verse is:  “God has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power) as He granted it to those before them that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace. They will worship Me (alone) and not associate ought with me. If they do reject faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.” (24:55)

This verse well shows that finally the rule on the earth will be free of tyranny and oppressors and the righteous believers will rule over the universe. Imam Ali ibn Husayn (a.s.), in commenting upon this verse, said, “This group, I swear by God, is those very followers of our school. ”

The Holy Prophet of Islam said: “If only one day remains from the life of the earth, which is filled with tyranny and oppressors, with justice and equity.” In traditions of Imam al Sadiq, we read, “When the time of the arising of the rule of the Redeemer comes, he will establish it upon justice. Tyranny and oppression, during his rule, will be eliminated; roads and passage ways, during his rule, will be safe and the earth will be blessed. Every right will be given to its rightful owner and he, among the people, will judge like David and Muhammad. At this time, the earth will reveal its treasures and it will reveal its blessings. No needy person will be found because all believers will be without need.

(According to the book, The Twelfth Imam, by Murtaza Lakha).

The Last Signs Heralding His Reappearance

There is a Hadith from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) that for three or seven consecutive days, one will see reddish yellow fire raging in the East which is a sure sign that the advent of the Imam (a.s) will be imminent. Some commentators have interpreted this Hadith to suggest nuclear explosion. Indeed as much of the world as its two-thirds will have been destroyed. Yet one finds that the lust for blood will not have been quenched and two more wars will follow as a matter of course, one after the other. The signs described by Aimma Alaihimussalaam are that these two wars are almost a necessary pre-requisite to the Zuhur of the Imam (a.s).

First, the emergence of the Sufiani. In so far as the Sufiani is concerned, we know for sure from the Hadith of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) as well as other Imam as reported in Qiyamat-e-Sugra by Syed Muhammad Abbas Qamar Zaidi. Sufiani will emerge in Palestine, where he will start a revolt in the month of Rajab. He will be a ruthless rebel and his rule will last for eight consecutive months. That is to say, that it will start in Rajab and it will stretch into Safar of the ensuing year. The narration is that after he starts the revolt in Palestine, he will march towards North Africa and conquer and rule Egypt for four consecutive months. He will then move further west. He will conquer Tunisia, Algeria and go as far as Morrocco. His greed will then make him come back east to Palestine and conquer Jordan and from Jordan get to Syria. He will cause tremendous destruction and chaos in Syria but he will find it a suitable shelter and will make Damascus his headquarters. This person, Sufiani, has been specifically described by Aimma (a.s.) as an ugly, blistered, green-eyed person who will by an enemy of the friends of the Ahl-lul Bayt (a.s.).

Imam Ali (a.s.) has said that Sufiani’s hatred of the devotees of the Ahlul-Bayt will be such that any person named Ali, Fatema, Hasan, Husein, Zainab, Ruqaiya will be arrested and beheaded straight away without further investigations. In fact he will cause so much havoc that people will be living in terror. Whilst a good number of us perhaps today merely recite Allahummasalli Allah Muhammadin Waali Muhammad Waajil Farajahum as a matter of course, the people in those times will whole – heartedly be praying for emergence of Imam Mehdi (a.s.). Indeed the order of the day will be that there will be a general command from the administration that any person detected to be a follower of Ahlul-Bayt should immediately be reported to the authorities. There will be guards moving around watching for any sign that would indicate that the person is a devotee of Ahl-lul Bayt. Indeed, neighbors will be commanded to report neighbors, and the situation will become so awful, so atrocious , that fathers will report their children, brothers will report their brothers, neighbors will find no safety from their neighbors, each reporting the other only to obtain sufficient rewards from the administration to survive in those difficult days of hardship. But apart from these torture and oppression that will prevail, the Jewish soldiers acting for Sufiani, over seventy thousand of them, will be so ruthless that there will be no woman whose chastity nor no man whose neck will be safe. Traditions reveal quite clearly that almost all of the seventy thousand in the army of Sufiani will be illegitimate children. They will be ruthless and will cause chaos, they will not only attack chastity, they will also attack humanity and there will be open daylight robbery. Indeed in those days to find sustenance will be difficult that Ahadith go so far as to say that a father will be prepared to give away a young beautiful daughter only to obtain a loaf of bread for his sustenance. Such will be the intensity of suffering that will be imposed upon the public by Sufiani. The Sufiani terrors will not end there. From Syria he will march into Iraq and he will cause untold horror there also. He will reach the Mosque of Kufa, and destroy its walls but then somehow he will become frightened. What exactly will scare him away is not clear from the traditions but he will flee back to Syria. One would have thought the oppression of Sufiani would cool off, but that will not be so. He will then embark upon attacking Medina. Ahadith say that the tortures and destruction caused by Muslim bin Aqaba in the history we already know of will be insignificant compared to the destruction and chaos that Sufiani will cause in Medina, so much so that the Member of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) will be ripped. The Holy House of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) which contains his grave will be pulled down and used as a stable. Horses will be tried in that Holy place.

Not content with all that, Sufiani will then decide to attack Mecca. And his purpose in attacking Mecca will be twofold, firstly to completely demolish of the Holy Kaaba and secondly, ruthlessly to kill the entire population of Mecca. So his army will set out via Baghdad but, as Allah would have it, when they get between Medina and Mecca, in the desert of Baida, suddenly one night they will hear a voice from the sky which will say, “O Baida eat up the entire army of Sufiani” and it is said that the entire army numbering almost 100,000 persons will all be swallowed up by the earth, except for two. And those two who will be spared will narrate that the army was swallowed up by the land in such a way that there would not even be a trace of a single man of the army. Their vehicles, their weapons and all materials will be buried along with them in one full swoop. The two who will be spared will suddenly encounter an angel. He will slap both of them turning their faces right round, looking behind instead of front. And that will be the time when Imam A.S. will already have reappeared in Mecca. He will establish his authority in the Holy Mosque at Mecca in the Haram. The angel will then order one of them calling him Bashir, “O Bashir, go straight to Mecca, into the Haram and inform the Imam A.S. that Sufiani’s army has been swallowed up by the land”. Bashir means a person who sends good tiding. The other will be called Nazir who will be ordered to go to Sufiani and tell him that the Mahdi A.S. has already appeared. He should proceed straight to Mecca and declare allegiance to him.

We have just discussed the details of the tortures of which he will be the cause, the murders and massacres which he will mastermind and ultimately answer for. Indeed, he will prepare himself to attack the Imam A.S. but will not have the courage. It is said that the Imam will then move from Mecca and go to Medina. Once in Medina he will decide to go after Sufiani to allay the fears of the people. Despite losing the whole army swallowed up by the land his lust to kill and loot will not have averted. People will be beseeching Hazrat Hujjat A.S. who would already have reappeared to come to their salvation. Hazrat Hujjat A.S. will march to Syria. At this point the traditions differ; one says that the Imam A.S. will catch him in Syria and kill him in Damascus. The other tradition says that Sufiani realizing the Imam is in hot pursuit will escape to Palestine where the Imam A.S. will eventually catch him in Jerusalem. There will be a direct confrontation at Baitul Muqaddas and Sufiani will be killed at the holy hands of the Imam A.S. However, the traditions on earth in Damascus and he will participate in attacking the remnants of the army of Sufiani and kill a number of them. Indeed, he will be with the Imam A.S. when Sufiani meets his fate. If the Imam A.S. reappears in Muharram it will be a full month before Sufiani will be killed. The Aimma Alaihimussalaam have repeatedly fore-warned us about Sufiani, simply because of his intense hatred for the devotees of the Ahl-lul Bayt A.S. Perhaps the persecution of the followers of Ahl-lul Bayt in the days of the Omayyad and Abbaside rulers was less intense than what awaits at the hands of Sufiani.

But whilst there will be such terror and tyranny here will also be another army of hope, mercy and salvation. It is said that a Seyyid descendant of Imam Hasan A.S. known as Seyyide Hasani, will star a revolution immediately join him in great numbers and his slogan will be Amr bil Maaruf wa Nahy anil Munkar. We have already seen how in those days Amr bil Maaruf wa Nahy anil Munkar will be impossible. How many of us see our friends doing wrong done publicly and are not able to redress them? But in those days the situation will be beyond control and yet this Seyyide Hasani will embark on such a mission. Propagating his mission he will move right down to Kerman and up to Multan. He will then decide to get into Iraq and see how he can confront Sufiani and how he can put right the wrongs of the day. He will decide to travel by sea and so he will get into the Gulf and eventually land in Basra. He will influence the region around Basra. News will reach him that the Imam A.S has appeared in Mecca. At this stage he will concentrate how to meet the Imam A.S. Imam Hafar-e-Sadiq a.s reports quite categorically that when this news will reach Seyyide Hasani he will be convinced that the claim is of the true Imam Mahdi A.S. and not of an impostor. However, to satisfy his army he will make investigations. He will receive a word that the Imam has already left Mecca and is on his way to Medina form where he will be proceeding to Kufa. So Seyyide Hasani with his entire army, will diver t his journey form Basra to Kufa, where he will have audience with the Imam A.S. However Shaitan will still be alive on that day. He will cause chaos. A number of people in the army of Seyyide Hasani will challenge the authenticity of the Imam A.S., so Seyyide Hasani will ask for proof. He will, it is said in traditions, as for the Ammamma (turban) of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.W.), the Imam a.s. will produce it. But he will seek further proof and the Imam a.s. will prove it by hitting it on the ground and immediately a tree will grow and in split seconds will sprout branches and leaves and blossom into fruits. The speed at which this will happen will be unnatural and unheard of. Even that will not satisfy the Seyyid’s army. They will ask for further proof. The Imam A.S. will then embark upon providing proof of his own. He will produce the Standard, The Alam which will have been unfolded. It is said that the Standard has been used only twice. In the war at Badr and in the war of Jamal. They will ask the Imam for proof that this is the same Standard. The Imam will instruct the Standard: “disclose your identity”. It is said that the flag will become vocal and will say, “I am now being held by the rightful descendant of the Prophet, the true Mahdi of the day.” The Imam will then produce Thulfiqar, (the sword) which will become vocal and will say “I am in the hands of the rightful owner of mine, the true descendant of the Prophet and the true Mahdi of this day.” Even that will not satisfy them. The Imam will then produce the A’saayah of Nabi Musa. They will ask for proof that it is the walking stick of Nabi Musa. So the Imam A.S. will repeat the miracle Nabi Musa performed when facing Pharaoh. He will hit it one the stone and twelve streams of water will immediately flow out of it. The Imam will then ask if the army is not yet satisfied with his proofs. He will produce the ring of Nabi Suleiman. When Nabi Suleiman wore the ring, immediately all the birds would come in and gather near him and speak to him and he would speak to them in their language. That episode will be repeated. Birds will gather round the Imam A.S.; and will later disperse. After that Seyyide Hasani himself will ask the Imam, “I know that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w.) had an armor which can only fit his true descendant and nobody else.” Hazrat Hujjat A.S. will produce that armor and will first give it to Seyyide Hasani. And the Imam will then say “Wear it on you”. Seyyide Hasani will then start trembling. He will say “I did not ask for proof. I only asked for this to convince my army. My body is not capable of taking this from your hands.” The Imam will then insist. The Armor will not fit Seyyide Hasani. The Imam will then challenge anybody else to try it on. The Imam will eventually put in on himself. It will be a perfect fit. With all these signs the Imam will say, “I have now given you sufficient proof that I am the Mahdi of the time.” At that time the majority of the army of Seyyide Hasani will declare allegiance to the Imam A.S., but 4,000 Yemenis who will be followers of Zaid who was the son of the Fourth Imam A.S.. Although he never proclaimed to be an Imam, some people regarded him so. They will refuse to swear allegiance. For three days they will be persuaded but on their refusal to swear allegiance to the Imam A.S. will be killed.

Two signs are a absolutely inevitable. It is only after the ,arrogance of Seyyide-e-Hasani and Sufiani that the Imam’s arrival can be expected. But the Ahadith are clear also that all these three events, the emergence of Sufiani in Palestine, the emergence of Seyyide-e-Hasani from Iran and the emergence of the Imam A.S. in Mecca will take place during the same period of twelve months. That will be the crucial time.

Thus the position at that stage will be one chaos caused by Sufiani on the one hand and the attempt by Seyyide-e-Hasani to bring people back to religion on the other. In between these two, the Imam A.S. will reappear and will kill all the enemies so as to bring about justice and equity in the world. Apart from these, there are two other smaller events will happen. A revolution will take place in Yemen and the rebels will go right up to Mecca but will eventually be pushed back. Another person will rise in Kuwait causing great dissension. Propagating his ideology he will move right up to Syria, where eventually he will be killed, perhaps by Sufiani.

The last eight months before Thuhr will have very clear signs, in fact we can even start with about 11 months before Thuhr. Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.) has said to Jabir-Jaafi that in the month of Safar preceding the emergence of the Imam A.S. there will appear a comet, known as Al Qarb Zushifa. The Imam A.S. says that this comet had been seen when the Abassid Khalifa visited Khorasan. It had become visible just before the destruction of the followers of Nabi Nuh. It emerged when Ibrahim was being thrown into the fire by Namrud. It was visible before destruction of the Pharaoh in the time of Musa and it rose when Yahya ibne Zakaria, was murdered in Damascus. So the appearance of this comet has always been accompanied by dire events:  when Ibrahim was to be killed, when a complete Ummah of Nuh was to be wiped out, when Nafs-e-Zakia, or Yahya ibn Zakaria was to be killed. This comet will again appear in the month of Safar before the Thuhr. It is also recorded that a two-tailed star will appear in the sky before the advent of Imam Mahdi A.S. and it will be so bright that it will shine like a full moon. That will also be in the month of Safar. Then we do not know much of what is to follow for a few months but when we come to the eighth month before Thuhr, the month of Jamadi-us-thani, it is said that from the 16th of Jamadi-us-thani to the 10th of Rajab there will be incessant and torrential rain which will cause great damage. In a way it will be welcome because for three years preceding that period there will be have been famine and drought. There will not have been a drop of rain in the whole world for three years before that; this is why people will be prepared to give away their daughters in living for a loaf of bread. The rains will last up to the 10th of Rajab when Sufiani will emerge. One calamity will be followed by another. Rajab will see another sign. There will be a vision of a hand in the sun and a human face will be seen in the moon and will startle the people. In that month numerous other miracles will begin to appear. In the succeeding month, the holy month of Ramadhan, there will be a lunar eclipse at the end of the month and a solar eclipse in the middle of the month. The ordinary position will be reversed. It will shock the people. It is said that this will be a positive sign and that it will be the last holy month before the emergence of the Imam A.S. But something even more remarkable will happen in that holy month. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has said that soon after the middle of that month which Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.) had elucidated as 23rd of the month of Ramadhan, Momineen should spend the whole of that night in prayer. It will not only be a lailatul Juma (Friday eve) but also Lailatul Qadr and the next morning they should lock themselves in their houses. In fact, every effort should be made to keep away from glass. Doors should be so bolted that nothing should penetrate through them, because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and the Imam A.S. have warned that at about mid-day, a shriek will be heard from the sky and it will be so powerful that it will be heard all over the world and so strong that it will cause untold horrors and destruction. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) has taught us, “When that period comes, prostrate and recite, SUBHANAL QUDDUS, RABBUNAL QUDDUS” and he said that those who would continue with this recitation would be spared any harm from that shriek. Ahadith states that at least three loud voices will be heard in that month. What will follow in Shawwal will be great upheavals. The month of Zilqaad will see rifts everywhere and in Zilhajj, caravans of Hujjaj will be looted, and the road to pilgrimage will be blocked. What will happen during Zilhajj will be horrible, but the horrors that will occur in Muharram are absolutely beyond description and it is said that it is in that month of Muharram that there will be the final emergence of the Imam A.S. These briefly will be the signs that will portray with certainty the arrival of the Imam A.S. The exact date is not known, even by the Imam A.S. himself – only Allah knows.

But at far as it was possible for Aimma Alaihimusalam to guide us, this is the pattern that has been unfolded. As was apparent from our discussion the happenings of early days are more speculative in regard to the emergence of the Imam. But as we progress nearer to the time of Thuhr we are able to tell with exactitude from the signs of the emergence of the Imam A.S.

Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has said that nine definite signs will precede the emergence of Hazrat Mahdi A.S. First, he says, Dajaal will emerge. Secondly, a loud voice will be heard from the sky. Thirdly, Sufiani will appear and wage a fierce war. Fourthly, the army of Sufiani will be swallowed by a sudden opening of the land between Mecca and Medina in the desert of Baida. Fifthly, a revered wise saint will be murdered in Mecca. Traditions have it that this will happen on the 23rd of Zilhajj and that this Nafse Zakia will be a Hashimite descent. Sixth, a Seyyid descendant of Imam Hasan (a.s.) will emerge with his army, the army of Seyyid-e-Hasani and an image of a man will appear in the sky opposite the sun. We have seen how this will happen in the month of Shaban. There will be two eclipses in the holy month of Ramadhan contrary to the normal order and calculation and the eclipse of the moon. The last is that on three occasions a loud voice from the sky will be heard in the holy month of Ramadhan. According to Hazrat Ali A.S., these signs are absolute pre-requisite to the re-emergence of the Imam A.S. Finally, Imam Jafar al Sadiq (a.s.) was asked, “When such will be the chaos and the insufferable calamities of the time, how do we spare ourselves from going astray?”

Indeed Ahadith say that at that time living the life of a Moomin will be like treading on the edge of a sharp knife. Imam A.S. was asked how one could come through the turmoil patiently and bear the sufferings until the emergence of the Imam A.S. He taught us a small dua’a, “YA ALLAH, YA RAHMANU, YA RAHIM, YA MUQALLIBAL QULUB, THABBIT QALBI ALA DINIK”.

This source of information was taken from:
1. Lakha, Murtaza. The Twelfth Imam. Published by R & K Tyrrell. London, 1993.
2. Lalljee N. Yousuf. Know Your Islam. Published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an Inc. New York, 1986.

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