Ask about Imam Mahdi (as)

Given all of the recent Ask threads out here I figured why not one more ask thread?
I’m certain a lot of Christians and non-muslims have questions about Imam Mahdi (as). I’ll start off by saying that there is a difference between the shia and sunni view of Imam Mahdi (as). While i’ll try to answer objectively, I’ll disclaim that I’m biased towards the Shia view of Imam Mahdi (as).

It is believed by both sects that Imam Mahdi (as) will show up in the last days when the earth is full of corruption and injustice. He will establish a universal government based on justice and peace for all.

Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said the following regarding Al-Mahdi (as) “Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left (before the day of judgment), Allah will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my family (Ahlul-Bayt) who will be called by my name. He will fill out the earth with peace and justice as it will have been full of injustice and tyranny (by then).”

Imam Mahdi is the descendant of Muhammad § through his daughter Fatimah (as). Shias believe in 12 imams who are spiritual and political successors to Muhammad §. Imam Mahdi (as) is the 12th imam.

His real name is Muhammad ibn al-Hassan (as). Al-Mahdi (The Guided One) is his title.
Some of his other titles are:
Imam Al-Asr - Imam of the generation
Sahib Al-Zaman - Lord of time
Al-Qaem - The one who rises
Hujjatullah - Allah’s decisive proof

He was born in 869 in Samarra, Iraq. His father Imam Hassan Al-Askari was kept under house arrest and under guard watch by the ruling government as it was anticipated that his first born male child would be the Mahdi. Imam Hassan (as) kept the birth of this child a secret and only a very few of the faithful knew of him. He lived in his father’s care until age 5 when his father was martyred, he then went into the minor occultation. This occultation is said to have lasted around 68 years or so.

The occultation simply means his presence was concealed or hidden from people. During this minor occultation he appointed 4 deputies to represent him. After the death of the 4th deputy the imam went into the greater occultation. During this time the Imam continues to guide and benefit the people in the same way as they benefit from the sun behind the clouds. Some of our responsibilities during this time include:

  1. Praying for the safety of the Imam (as) at all time
  2. Be in waiting for Imam (a.s.) at all times
  3. Give in charity for the Imam (a.s.)
  4. Pray for his re-appearance
  5. Whenever faced with difficulty (whether small or big) we are to ask for assistance from the Imam (as)
  6. Whenever his name is heard or recited, one should stand if possible, send greetings to him, and bow.
  7. If possible perform Hajj/Umra for Imam (a.s.). (after the obligatory Hajj is complete)

It is said the Imam will show himself to a believer on 3 occasions:

  1. At the time of trouble, when the believer is in desperate need
  2. He is present at every Hajj
  3. He attends the funeral of every believer who has no religious obligations pending on him/her

The actual time of the Imam’s reappearance is unknown but there are several prophecies of events which will occur right before his reappearance.

  • He will appear on a Friday
  • It will be the 10th of Muharram (1st month of the Islamic Calendar and the date of Imam Hussein’s (as) martyrdom
  • There will be both a solar and lunar eclipse in the month of Ramadan but contrary to all norms and calculations.
  • Homosexuality will be prevalent
  • People will usurp that which they are trusted with.
  • People will carry music in their pockets.
  • Earthquakes and Volcanos and other natural disasters shall be common.
  • The rich will become godless and the devout will become sinful.
  • False witnesses will be accepted and true ones rejected
  • The virtuous will be despised for their faith in God.
  • Human beings will be followers of selfish desires.
  • Iraq will burn on all four corners.
  • Basra (City in Iraq) will be abandoned.
  • Sufyani will appear.
  • A voice will be heard coming from the sky announcing the appearance of the Imam which will be heard by all in their own language.

The reason why Imam Ali (as) didn’t take up arms against Abu Bakr after he orchestrated the murder of Muhammad § and the Coup d’état is because Ali (as) did not have enough followers who were willing to take up arms against Abu Bakr.

Likewise Imam Mahdi (as) is said to appear when he has enough devout followers whose numbers will be equal to those who fought with Muhammad § at the battle of Badr. 313 believers.

The 313 followers of Imam Mahdi (as) are referenced in the commentary to Surah 2:148
“… therefore hasten to (do) good works; wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.”

Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al-No’maani narrated… from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
when Allah gives permission for the reappearance of the Imam, he will call upon Allah with His Hebrew name. Suddenly his 313 companions will be gathered for him like the clouds of autumn. The 313 men are the flag-bearers. Some of them will disappear from their beds at night and find themselves in Makkah, while others will travel on clouds during the day. They are all known by their names, their titles, and the names of their fathers. I (Mofadh’al) asked, May I sacrifice my life for you. Who are stronger in faith?
Imam Sadiq (as) replied, "Those who travel on clouds during the day. They are the missing ones and the following verse was revealed abou them, ‘Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together’ (2:148). Al-Ghaibah by No’maani page 127.

My friend, the Qa’im has already returned!! Rejoice! :slight_smile:

What are your thoughts on the claims of Siyyid Ali Muhammad, the Bab?

As this is a Catholic Forum I am not interested in your lengthy writing on Sunni/Shia, no more than a Moslem Forum would be interested and I wonder would it even be allowed to write as much as you did, not interested, unless you write about God the Son - Jesus Our Lord. It sounds like your writing a note to convert us, nice try, wont work, we don’t believe Mohammed was a prophet even, but misguided, warlord, and over sexed, judging by all his wives and mistresses that he had. The stutter means nothing to me that he had as Moses one of the GREATS had a stutter.:signofcross:

Why is this thread any different from the:

Ask Ba’hai thread

Ask Scientology thread

Ask Skih

Ask Gnostic

… and all of the other “Ask” threads…???

I’ll bet you a chocolate cake that the last thing Famdigy is trying to do is “convert” us.

What is the relationship between the coming of the Imam Mahdi and the Return of Jesus?

Well, that was interesting, but I am going to wait for Jesus.:slight_smile:

With all due respect my thoughts are that he is a false mahdi. It’s prophesied that near the end of time there will be a lot of false mahdis and Prophets. Also, some of the other prophecies made have not come to pass yet. For example, the Sufyani or the scream from the skies announcing the arrival of the Mahdi.

I respect and understand that Famdiguy but have you pondered the possibility of a scream from the sky actually having a more symbolic meaning?

What is the source for these prophetic signs that you mention?

All the signs of the Mahdi were satisfied for the hundreds of thousands of Babis who recognized the Bab within His 6 year ministry, including the chief mulla of the Shah, so what’s the difference between them and you.

What did they see in the Bab that you don’t?

Yes I would consider a symbolic meaning if that’s what was intended by the narrations. If there is justification for a symbolic meaning then yes absolutely otherwise It’s not up to me to interpret things differently.

The main point I was trying to make is that the Baha’i faith is not aligned with the narrations of the Ahlul-bayt. First the Mahdi is a direct offspring of Imam Hassan Al-Askari, second, he will have a lengthy period of occultation. Third, when he appears he will fill the earth with justice and equality. Fourth, no one can fix the time of his appearance.

Correct me if I’m mistaken here but “the Bab” as you refer to him is a person from Iran claiming Mahdiism. He was neither the son of Imam Hasan 'Askari nor had gone into occultation for a long time or fought any battle against the unjust rulers or established a universal Islamic government to fill the earth with justice and equity

This thread is about Islam & Imam Mahdi

Not ~

Ba’hai - there is an open thread on ba’hai discussions.

Jesus (as) will play a role in the Government of Al-Mahdi (as). According to the hadiths, Imam Mahdi (as) would be the first to recognise Jesus (as).

Jabir Ibn Abdillah al-Ansari (RA) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: "A group of my Ummah will fight for the truth until near the day of judgment when Jesus, the son of Marry, will descend, and the leader of them will ask him to lead the prayer, but Jesus declines, saying: “No, Verily, among you Allah has made leaders for others and He has bestowed his bounty upon them.”

In another version: Jesus, the son of Marry, will descend, and the Imam of them will ask him to lead the prayer, but Jesus replies: “You have more right to it, and verily Allah has honored some of you over others in this Ummah.”

In another report Abu Basir narrated that he asked Imam Sadiq: “Who is the Qa’im of the ahl al-bayt?” He said:
O Abu Basir, he will be the fifth descendant of my son Musa, the son of the best among the slave girls. His occultation will be prolonged so much so that a group will fall into doubt. Afterwards God will cause him to appear and will make him conquer the entire world. Jesus, the son of Mary, will descend [from heaven] and will perform his prayer standing behind him. In that afternoon the earth will brighten up with the Light of God and all spots on earth where other than God was worshipped will become a prayer house dedicated to God. Religion will be entirely God’s, even though the disbelievers may be averse to it.

Jesus (as) will be the Imam’s representative in the fight against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) or great deceiver. It is reported Jesus (as) will intercept the Dajjal and strike him with a decisive blow.

Thankyou for the clarification Famdiguy. I suppose the justification for a symbolic meaning behind these “signs” of His coming is simply because pretty much ALL prophecies relating to the coming of a Messenger of God or Prophet has been largely symbolic in their meaning.

Jewish prophecy announces that the Messiah will rule with a sword, and will be the King of the Jews. He was a carpenter and never possessed a sword in His life…

The justification for a symbolic meaning to these signs of the Mahdi is simply because they REMOVE faith, (when taken so literally) one of the central capabilities of human beings. Think about it, if a voice was heard from the sky and EVERYONE heard it, literally, then a man who has been in hiding for a THOUSAND years suddenly reappears, only to precede Jesus literally coming down from the clouds, who on earth needs FAITH any more? We instantly lose our humanity and become puppets of God.

FREE WILL is a central tenet of Islam, why would God remove it??

Is it possible that God tests His servants with looking at the DEPTH behind these signs and ascertaining a meaning beyond just an extravaganza of a magic show?

Just some thoughts to ponder…

Thanks for keeping this thread on track Pam. And yes you’re right I’m not trying to convert anyone here. I thought it was an interesting topic and I look forward to everyone’s thoughts.

You win the chocolate cake :slight_smile:

:slight_smile:

That’s all well and good but would you feel you have something to contribute if I started a thread on the signs and Jewish prophecies about the coming of the Messiah?

God bless! :slight_smile:

It’s a free site and you can open any thread you like, and I only participate on the ones I’m interested in.

The rules of the forum is **NOT **to derail threads and stick to the subject - otherwise - the mod’s will come in here and lock the thread if it goes off topic.

Just sayin’

OY Vey ~ :smiley:

Read my post #15

Jakaski, To those who believe that the Mahdi is the Bab there is direct connection which cannot be dismissed. It would be like Jews having a thread on the coming of the Messiah and someone saying, “But you can’t mention the name of Jesus here” In that case, there are many who would contend that Jesus IS the Messiah. The Bab IS the Mahdi.

This is a very good link comparing end times figures between Christianity and Islam, which includes Al-Mahdi (The Islamic version of a worldwide leader).
al-mahdi.atspace.com/compare.html

The prophecy of the 313 believers was fulfilled, carrying the flag you mention:

In 1848 Mulla Husayn hoisted the “Black Standard” and set out from Mashhad on horseback, towards Karbila, accompanied by 200 of his companions.
The early believers invited the inhabitants of every village, they passed through, to join them as they headed towards the Conference of Badasht, but they were ambushed as they passed through a wooded area near the village of Barfarush.
Mulla Husayn and the Babi’s took refuge at the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsi and built a moat and a fortress in preparation for a long siege. A few days later they were joined by Quddus which brought the number to 313 the same number of believers who accompanied the Prophet Muhammad at the historical Battle of Badr, near Mecca.
When Nasiri’d-Din Shah heard about the uprising he dispatched 12,000 troops to restore the peace. The pursuing siege lasted several months through the cold and rigorous winter.

NOTE I am truly hoping to learn something on this thread. As my background is originally Christian, my familiarity with the depths of Islam is limited to what I have learned through several readings of the Quran, what has come to me through the Baha’i Faith, and a few other books, chief among them: Muhammad and the Course of Islam, by Balyuzi, George Ronald Press.

There is a difference between literal interpretations of prophecy and symbolic. While the Bab was a direct descendent of Muhammad, He was not a thousand years old, yet the essence of His reality was that He claimed for Himself the station of “The Gate”, the Qaim, the Promised Mahdi.

Even as John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of the coming of Elijah the Prophet necessary before the coming of the Messiah (Jesus), he was not the same physical person. The rose of this spring brings the same beauty and fragrance of last year’s rose, and in one sense, is the return of that rose, while in an individual earthly sense it is not. Such was the case with John the Baptist. Such is the case with the Bab.

His followers would raise the cry: “Ya Sahib u Zaman!” O Lord of the Age whenever they were attacked.

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