|Chapter Three : Mahdi and His Looks|
Abu Dawoud in his 'Sahih' (vol.4 Pg. 88) has narrated from Abu Sa'eed Khudri as such: - Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: Mahdi is from me having a sparkling forehead and protracted nose.51 On page 98 of Sawa'eq, Ibn-Hajar has narrated from Abu Na'eem a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) as such: - "Verily Allah shall make a person to appear from my progeny. His front teeth is spaced a little and his forehead sparkling with light." The author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" too has narrated the same tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) from Abu Na'eem.
In the afore-mentioned book, Ibn-Hajar narrates (on page 98) from Ruyani and Tabarani and they two from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as saying: - 'Mahdi is from my progeny. His face is like a twinkling star; his color 'Arabi' and his figure like the figure of Isra'eel. (Speaking allusively of his wheatish complexion, tall height and stoutness). The same tradition can be seen in "Es'aaf-ur-Rhagebeen" (page 149). Author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 140 narrates from "Huliat-ul- Aulia" of Abu Na'eem Esfahani as such: - "It is said that Mahdi is a youth with black eyes, extended eye-brows, protracted nose, curly beard and a spot on his right cheek and right hand."
Author of "Nur-ul-Absar" narrates on page 229 from Abu Dawoud and Tirmidhi and they two from Abu Sa'eed who said: - 'I have heard that the Holy 51-Kanzul - Ummal vol.7 Pg. 186; Arful-wardi Page 58 - narrated from Abu Na'eem; Jaame-Sagheer vol.2, tradition No.9244 and adds that the Holy Prophet said: "His face is like a twinkling star' and in tradition No.9245 the Holy" Prophet says: "Mahdi is from me. His face is like a twinkling star." After mentioning these two traditions, Suyuti confirms their authenticity.
Prophet (S.A.W.A.) used to say: Mahdi is from me, having a sparkling forehead and protracted nose. In the afore-said book, the author on page 230 narrates from Ibn-Shirwiya and he, from Huzaifa - ibn - Yaman and he, from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) who said: 'Mahdi is my 59n. His color is the color of 'Arabi' (wheatish complexion) and his figure is like the figure of Isra'eel.52 Author of "Eqdud-Durar" narrates in the third Chapter from Ali (A.S.) who, while describing the disposition of Mahdi said: -
'He is a man with sparkling forehead, protracted nose and broad thighs. There exists a spot on his right cheek and there are gaps between his teeth.53 In the same chapter of the afore-said book, the author narrates from Abu Jafar Muhammad-ibn-Ali Baqer (A.S.) who said: -
'Amir-ul-Mumineen Ali-ibn-Abi Talib was asked about Mahdi's physical appearance and he replied: He is a youth with an average stature and a handsome face with hairs falling over his shoulders and light gleaming from his face.54
Mahdi and His Character
Ibn-Hajar in "Sawa'eq" (page 98) has narrated from Rauyani and Tabarani and they too from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such: "Mahdi is from my progeny." Thereafter he said: 'The inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth are happy with his reign.55 Tabarani adds: and the birds of the sky.
The same tradition can be found in "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 149.56 Author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 151 has narrated from Ahmad and Mawardi that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "Glad tidings be to you about Mahdi." Thereafter he said: - "The inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants 52-Arful-Wardi page 66 - narrating from Rauyani and Abu Na'eem adds that the Holy Prophet said: "On his right cheek is a spot."
53-Commentary of Nahjul-Balagha Ibn - Abil Hadeed Vol. 1, Pg. 93 narrating from 'Qazi-ul-Quzaat' and Ibn- Qutaiba.
54-Author of Arful-Wardi on page 63 narrates from Abu Na'eem a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.AW.A.) who said: Allah shall appoint from my progeny a person who shall have gaping teeth, sparkling forehead.... Also, in Arful-Wardi page 63 and Kanzul-Ummal, vol. 7 pg. 187 it is narrated from Abu Na'eem that the Holy Prophet, in sequel of a tradition about Mahdi said: 'He is from my offspring. He is a youth of forty with a face similar to the luminous moon. On his right cheek is a black spot and on him are two Qathwani cloaks. He shall look as if he is someone from the Bani-Israel.
Author of Kanzul-Ummal in vol. 7, Page 188 narrates from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such: 'The hour shall not be established until a person from my household becomes the master of the earth. His forehead will be sparkling and his nose a protracted one.
In Seera Halabi vol. 1 pg. l86 we read as such: Mahdi's face is like the luminous star and on his right cheek is one spot.
In Saba'ek-uz-Zahab chapter 6, pg. 78 it is written that Mahdi possesses a tall figure with good appearance and hair, protracted nose and handsome face.
55-The author of "Arful-Wardi" too has narrated on page 65 the same tradition of the Holy Prophet from Hakem. Moreover, on page 82 he has brought the same contents in a lengthy tradition narrated from Daani from Shar-ibn -Hushab from the Holy Prophet.
56-Arful-Wardi page 66 - narrating from Rauyani and Abu Na'eem.
of the earth are happy with him. He shall distribute the wealth equally, free Muhammad's 'Ummah' from need or want and comfort them with his righteousness."
The author of "Eqdud-durar" in the eighth chapter of his book narrates from Ta'oos as such: "The sign of Mahdi is that he shall be harsh with rulers, generous with the people in distributing wealth and gentle with the helpless in caressing them." Thereafter he writes: 'This tradition has been taken from Abu Abdulla Na'eem-ibn-Hemad from the book of 'Fatan'57 In the third chapter and the ninth section of the afore-mentioned book, the author narrates from the book of "Fatan" of Hafez Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn -Hemad who narrates from Abu Rumiyah as follows: "Mahdi shall feed the helpless."
Author of "Nur-ul-Absar" narrates (on page 230) from 'Musnad' of Imam Ahmad who narrates from Saeed Khudri who said: - 'Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: - "I give you glad-tidings about Mahdi."
Thereafter he said: - 'The inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth are happy with him. He shall distribute wealth equally amongst the people and will fill the hearts of Muhammad's 'Ummah' with needlessness (a metaphoric remark of making the people wealthy). He shall comfort them with his righteousness.58
Furthermore, in the afore-mentioned book the author on the same page, narrates once again from 'Fatan' from Huzaifa-ibn-Yamaan that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "Mahdi is my son." Thereafter he said: "The inhabitants of the heavens, the inhabitants of the earth and the birds of the sky are happy with his reign."
Mahdi Resembles the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.)
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" on page 493 narrates from "Manaqeb" of Khawrazmi who in turn narrates from Jafar-ibn-Muhammad Masroor who narrates from Hussein-ibn-Muhammad Aamer who narrates from his Uncle Abdullah-ibn-Aamer who narrates from Muhammad-ibn-Abu Omair who narrates from Abu Jumaila Mufazzal-ibn-Saleh who narrates from Jaber-ibn- Yazid who narrates from Jaber-ibn-Abdullah Ansari who said: 'The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: - 'Mahdi is my son. His name as well as his agnomen shall be the same as mine. Amongst all the people, he shall resemble me the most in creation and morals.59
57-The author of Arful-Wardi has narrated (on page 78) from Hafez Abu Na'eem that Ta'oos has said: 'If at any time Mahdi shall come, he will donate wealth, will be firm with the government official and will caress the indigent.
58-The author of "Arful-Wardi" has narrated the same from Ahmad, Bawardi and Abu Na'eem. The author of "Kanzul-Ummal" too has narrated in vol. 7 Page 186 from Ahmad and Bawardi.
59-The author of "Arful-Wardi" on page 63 narrates from Mu'ajam of Tabarani and Abu Na'eem that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "There shall emerge from my progeny a person whose name shall be the same as mine and his morals will be the same as mine.
In the afore-mentioned book, the same tradition of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has been narrated from Abu Baseer who has narrated from Hazrat Sadiq Jafer-ibn-Muhammad who in turn has narrated from his father Amir-ul- Mumineen (A.S.).
The author of 'Al-Fotouhat-al-Makkiyah' in the 366th chapter writes about the characteristics of Mahdi as such: - 'He is similar to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) in creation. However in morals, he is similar to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) to a lesser degree because none can be like Hazrat in morals as Allah says:
The author says: 'Two persons being alike from any viewpoint (whether creation or morals) is impossible habitually. However such remarks show the nearness of one (amongst them) to the other just as the same meaning can be derived from the first tradition which says: Amongst all the people, he resembles the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) the most. That is to say, if at all the creation and morals of the people is to be compared with the creation and morals of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) then amongst all, Mahdi (AS.) is the one who resembles the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) the most and he is the one who is nearest to him. This matter is not incompatible with the matter of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) being (Majestic in creation) and the fact that no (character) is similar to his .
Mahdi and His Disposition
Abu Dawoud narrates on page 88 of his "Sahih" a tradition from Umm- Salma, the wife of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and she from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) while speaking about Mahdi and his allegiance between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam' he said: "The people shall act according to the manners of their Prophet and Islam will be established and its precepts will expand all over the earth."
The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates (on page 437) from Ali-ibn-Abi Talib, Amir-ul- Mumineen (AS.) who said about Mahdi's characteristics as such: -At the time when they (i.e. the people) shall suit the guidance to follow the desires, Mahdi shall alter the desires to follow the guidance. At the time when they shall interpret Quran to follow their (own) prudence, Mahdi shall realign (their) prudence to follow the Quran. Mahdi shall demonstrate to you the Justice. Mahdi shall enliven the commandments of the Quran and the Sunnah, which was until then, dead and lifeless.
On page 98 of "Sawa'eq", Ibn-Hajar says:
Ibn-Hemad narrates one tradition, which its chain of transmission culminates in the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.). Hazrat says: "Mahdi is from my race. He shall fight for my 'Sunnah' just as I fought for the revelation of Allah."60 The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates on page 445 from Hamuani who narrates from Ibn-Abbass as such: 'The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: - "Verily Allah resolved this religion by the hands of Ali. Then, when he is killed, the religion shall deteriorate until Mahdi comes and rectifies it." The author says: Traditions about Mahdi that he shall fill the earth with equity and Justice after it has been filled with cruelty and oppression come to the level of 'Mustafiza'. Allah - willing, you shall soon come across these and other traditions.61
Mahdi and His Knowledge
In the third chapter of "Eqdud-Durar" its author narrates from Harith-ibn- Mughaira Ansari that he asked Abu Abdullah Hussein-ibn-Ali as such: By what sign should we recognize Mahdi?
He replied: 'By (his) calmness and (his) dignity. Once again I asked: By what sign?
He replied: By recognizing the 'forbidden' and 'permissible' affairs and the need of the people towards him and his own needlessness from others. On page 401, the author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates from the book of "Durra-tul-Ma'aref" as follows: "Mahdi shall bring out from the cave of 'Anthakia' the books and shall bring out from the lake of 'Tabariah' the Zaboor which contains all that the family of Musa and Haroon have left behind and which was carried by the Angels and contains the Tablets (pieces of stone or wood on which divine matters have been written) and the cane of Musa (A.S.). Moreover Mahdi is superior to all the people in knowledge and insight."62
In the afore-mentioned book, the author narrates from Khawrazmi where the chain of transmission leads to Abu Jafar Baqir (A.S.) who, while speaking, about Mahdi and his resemblance to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "And he shall bring out all that the Prophets have stored." The author of "Eqdud-Durar" narrates (in chapter 3, Section 9) from Abdullah-ibn-Atha as such: 'I asked Hazrat Abu Jafar (Baqir) to inform me 60-Arful-Wardi Page 74- narrating from Ali (A.5.) who in turn narrates from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.).
62-The author of Arful-Wardi brings a tradition On page 62 from Abu Na'eem from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) as such: - 'There shall emerge a person from my progeny who will speak but my 'Sunnah'. Allah will send rain for him from the heavens and the earth shall throw out its bounties for him. He shall fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression…
On page 64, he narrates from Abu Na'eem that the Holy Prophet while mentioning about the injustices and seditions of despotic rulers says: '1f there remains not more than a day from the me of the earth, Allah will set the day so long until a person from my progeny comes and rules. Then great events shall take place through his bands and Islam shall manifest itself…
62-On page 75 of Arful-Wardi ills written that Ka'ab-ul-Akhbar says: - 'Mahdi shall bring out the Ark of Covenant' from the cave of Anthakia. Also it is written: The reason he lass been called as Mahdi is that he shall be a guide to the secret affairs. Then, he shall bring out the Ark of Covenant from the cave of Anthakia. about 'Qaem' and he replied: - 'I am not that 'Qaem' and neither the one whom you have perambulated around. I asked him about Mahdi's behaviour and he replied: "Just as the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) used to behave."
Mahdi and His Justice
In the third chapter of "Eqdud-Durar" its author, narrates from Ka'abul- Akhbar who said: "I have found in the Books of Prophets about the characteristic of Mahdi and that his commands are not oppressive and violatary in nature." Thereafter he writes: 'Imam Abu Omar and Muqqari in their 'Sunan' and Hafez Abu Na'eem Abdullah-ibn-Hemad too have narrated this tradition.63 About the characteristic of Mahdi, the author of "Fotouhat al-Makkiyah" writes in chapter No. 363 as such:
"He shall distribute wealth equally, will execute Justice among the people and bring to a halt the altercations." The author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" narrates on page 161 of his afore-said book from "Fotouhat al-Makkiyah" as follows: 'As research goes, Hazrat Mahdi shall give command to those things which the Angel of inspiration shall give and surely he shall be revealed the creed of Muhammad. The same matter can be seen in one of the traditions where the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) says: - "Mahdi shall follow me and he is free from every error."
Thus the Holy Prophet made us realize and recognize Hazrat Mahdi in this regard that his commands are the very commands of the Holy Prophet and are not innovations. Moreover it shows that he is infallible and will not issue any order but that which the truth is.
Thereafter he says: Notwithstanding that Allah inspires him to the truth, his comparison is forbidden. Rather, some of the researchers have forbidden comparison for all men of conscience and men of God for this reason that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) is present in their sight. Thus, if they should occasionally doubt the authenticity of a tradition or decree, they ought to refer to Hazrat and he in turn shall inform them about the true and manifest affairs. The one who possesses such a status is not in need of following any leaders save the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A).
Mahdi and His Generosity
The magazine "Hudal-Islam" in its 25th weekly publication in its third year narrates from Ibn-Maaja who narrates from Abu Sa'eed Khudri that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) said: -
"Verily Mahdi shall be from my Ummah." Thereafter he said: - "A person 63-Arful-Wardi, Page 77.
shall approach him and say Mahdi grant me something." Then he shall pour wealth unto him to the extent, which he can carry.64 The author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 149 has narrated from Abu Dawoud and Abu Abdullah Hakem Naishabouri; the author of "Yanabi-ul-- Muwadda" on page 431 from Tirmidhi and all three from Abu Sa'eed the same tradition of the Holy Prophet in its exact form.
Ibn-Hajar in his "Sawaeq" on page 98 narrates from Abu Na'eem that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "Allah shall appoint a person from my progeny." Thereafter he said: - "He shall bestow wealth abundantly." The same has been narrated in "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 149. Also, Ibn-Hajar on page 98 of his "Sawaeq" writes that Ahmad and Muslim have brought a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) stating: - "In the end of time, there shall be a Caliph who will bestow wealth abundantly and unlimitedly."
The same tradition has been narrated on page 149 of "Esaaf-ur-Raghebeen".65
Mahdi and His Rule
The author of "Eqdud-Durar" narrates from 'Tarikh' of Abu Abdullah-ibn- Jauzi and he from Abdullah-ibn-Abbass and he from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as saying: - 'The rulers of the earth are four- two of them believers and two apostates. The two believers are Zul-Qarnain and Sulaiman while the two apostates are Bukht-un-Nasr (Nebuchadnezzar) and Nimrod. Soon a person from my progeny shall gain control over it (i.e. the earth).66 The author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 152 says: "It has come in traditions that Mahdi will become the Master of the earth from East to West." 64-The same can be found in Kanz-ul-Ummal Vol 7 Page 186 and Arful-Wardi page 59 - from Abu Sa'eed. 65-Tarikh Ibn-Asaker (vol. 1 pg. 186), Kanzul-Ummal (vol. 7 pg. 186) narrating from Jaher and on page 187 from Abu Sa'eed and Arful-Wardi (page 60 & 61) narrating from Jaber and Abu sa'eed have brought the same and instead of 'end of time' the word of 'Ummah' lass been used. Also, the authors of Kanzul-Ummal (vol.7 pg. 189) and Arful-Wardi (on page 62) have narrated from Abu Humira and Abu Sa'eed as such: - The Holy Prophet said: 'Mahdi is from my 'Ummah'. If he endures short, it will be seven, eight or nine years. At that time, my Ummah shall enjoy such bounties which the good and evil amongst them had never enjoyed before. The heavens shall pour for them and the earth shall throw out its wealth without keeping anything in store. At that time, there will be no esteem for wealth such that a person will rise and say: "O Mahdi bestow me something" and he will say: 'Take'.
Moreover, the authors of Arful-wardi and Kanzul-Ummal have narrated on page 58 and page 186, vol. 7 respectively, a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) as such: - 'A caller shall cry out on behalf of Mahdi: "Is there anyone having some wish? If so, then come forward." Then none shall come except for one person who will ask something from him. He will say: 'Bring the vessel'. When it is brought he will bestow him so much so that he will be unable to carry. Then he shall take away the amount, which he is capable of carrying but afterwards will repentantly come back to return the wealth. Hazrat will say: We shall not accept the thing, which we have already bestowed...
The author of Arful-Wardi on page 63 narrates from Abu Na'eem and on page 64 from Ibn-Abu Shuiba and all three from Abu Sa'eed that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - "At the time a seditions shall occur, Allah will send at the end of time a peon from my progeny whose munificence will be at ease." In some copies the words 'will be swift' is written.
66-Arful-Wardi, page 81.
The author says: In some of the traditions it is mentioned that his rule will envelop the East and West. The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates from the author "Jawahar-ul- Aqdain" and he, from Ali who said: - "When the 'Qaem' from the progeny of Muhammad (SAW.A.) Emerges, Allah will gather for him the inhabitants of the East and West."
Mahdi and His Reforms
In vol. 4, pg. 87 of 'Sahih' Abu Dawoud narrates from Ali (Peace be upon him) that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: 'If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, Allah will appoint a person from my progeny. He shall fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it had been filled with cruelty and oppression.67
The author of 'Nur-ul-Absar' has narrated (on page 231) from Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (A.S.) as such: - 'I asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.): Will Mahdi be from (our) progeny of Muhammad or will he be from some other progeny? He replied: No, he shall be from us. Allah shall bring the religion to completion through his hands just as he expanded it through us. By our blessings they (i.e. the people) shall be released from turbulence just as they got released from polytheism. By our blessings Allah will unite their hearts after conspiratorial animosity just as He united their hearts after polytheistic animosity. By our blessings, they shall turn into brothers in faith after having become enemies to each other.
Some of the scholars reckon this tradition to be 'Hassan' (acceptable) and superior in the chain of transmitters and the experts m traditions have written them in their respective books. However Tabarani has only rememorated books. However Tabarani has only rememorated it in his 'Mu'ajam' (Ausath), Abu Na'eem has only narrated it in his 'Huliat-ul-Aulia' and Abdur-Rahman has only mentioned it in his 'Awaali'.68
Mahdi and Allegiance
The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in chapter 1 section 4 narrates from Abu Jafar Muhammad-ibn-Ali who said:
'Mahdi shall emerge on the day of 'Ashura' (and that is the day when Hussein-ibn-Ali will be martyred perhaps on Saturday the tenth of Muharram) between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam' and on his right will be Gibra'eel and on his left 67-The author of "Ja'ame-us-Sagheer" vol. 2 pg. 277 as well as Suyuti in Arful-Wardi Pg. 63 have narrated from Hakem and Abu Na'eem that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: - 'Mahdi shall emerge from my Ummah. Allah shall send and inspire him for the rescue of the people such that the nations will enjoy the bounties and the four- legged will live in freedom...
68-Suyuti has brought this tradition on page 63 of his book Arful-wardi narrating from Na'eem-ibn-Hemad from Makhool from Ali (A.S.). Moreover, he lass narrated another tradition with similar contents from 'Ausath' of Tabarani who lass narrated from Amro-ibn-Ali from Ali (A.S.)
Micha'eel. Allah will gather his Shias around him from everywhere and the earth shall roll up for them.69
In Chapter 2, Section 4 of the afore-mentioned book, the author narrates from "Mustadrak" of Abu Abdullah Hakem who narrates from Umm-Salma (peace be upon her) who said: 'The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: People shall give allegiance between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam' to the person who is amongst my followers and their number shall match the number of people of 'Badr'. Again, in Chapter 7 of the same book its author narrates from the book "Al- Fatan" of Na'eem - ibn -Hemad who narrates from Abu Huraira as such: - 'Allegiance will be given to Mahdi between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam' without a person being awakened from neither his sleep nor a drop of blood being shed. The author of "Fotohat-al-Makkiyah" after mentioning (in the 366th Chapter) about Mahdi and the fact that he is from the offspring of Fatemah and is similar in name to the Holy Prophet and his great grand-father Hassan-ibn-Abi-ibn-Abi Talib says: -'People shall give him allegiance between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam'.
The Awaited Mahdi is Unique
In the first Chapter of this book, while mentioning the expressions of scholars (regarding Mahdi) we had produced the following statement of Ibn-Hajar from his book "Al-Qual-ul-Mukhtasar-fi-Alamat Mahdi al-Muntazar": "The expected Mahdi is one and not several." The word of Ibn-Hajar is a valuable discourse. Indeed it has achieved the purpose and enformed to the realities.
Verily, the awaited Mahdi and the 'Qaem' from the progeny of Muhammad (S.A.W.A.) is the very same person which Allah has mentioned in His Glorious Book. His honorable Prophet has given glad-tidings of his coming and the Prophet's 'Ahl-ul-Bait', companions and followers and scholars have informed that he (i.e. Mahdi) is a single and a unique person. He is not several although his name and title are many.
The traditions, which we had mentioned before and those which we shall mention in the coming chapters are, by the simplest indication the proof to this matter. Indeed, these traditions will obviate every kind of misgivings such that there shall remain no doubt in the mind of any skeptic that Mahdi, the Expected one is one.
The traditions, which we have written and the traditions, which we shall mention gives indication to the characteristics and those things, which introduce, verify and distinguishes Mahdi, the Expected one. As such, it is not rational to consider multiplicity and number for him. Now, we may mention those characteristics and distinguishing features as follows: -
First, the specification of his house and family
69-A tradition, almost similar to the above has been mentioned in 'Qarmani' (page 118) narrating from Abu Baseer from Hazrat Sadel. Thereafter it say: A person will stand in front of him and shout - covenant, Covenant. Then, his followers will hasten towards him from all sides and will conclude allegiance to him.
Second, the specification of his fathers and fore - fathers
Third, the identification of his father and mother by name
Fourth, the specification of his name, agnomen and title
Fifth, the specification of his qualities and signs
Sixth, the specification of his morals and behaviors
Seventh, his occultation and its lengthy period
Eighth, his emergence at the end of time
Ninth, the things that will occur at the time of his reappearance
Tenth, the coming of Dajjal and Sufyani at the time of his reappearance
Eleventh, Allegiance to him between 'Rukn' and 'Maqam'
Twelfth, the coming down of Isa (Jesus) and his prayers behind him
Thirteenth, his reform programs
Fourteenth, the blessings of his emergence
Fifteenth, the things which he shall command amongst the people
Sixteenth, his battles and victories
Seventeenth, the expansion of his Government and rule
Eighteenth, the period of his Caliphate and leadership
Ninteenth, the circumstances of his demise or assassination
Twentieth, the return to life of some of the dead after his emergence
The position of lineage and familial dignity, truthfulness and rectitudes, the demeanors and signs, the favors and munificences, the occurrences and unpleasantness, the hardships and harsh reminiscences and the finally such affairs are not, as per exigencies rational enough to levy for even two people let alone more. Maybe it is applicable after the end of this world and its lapse and then it's coming into existence from the beginning. However, even though this interpretation is acceptable from the view - point of Power of Allah, yet the traditions are apparently inconsistent with the occurrence of such an affair because what they evidently reveal is that after the time of Mahdi the Day of Judgement shall commence. Verily, saying that Mahdaviyat is an affair pertaining to the kind and it is possible to have multiple Mahdis with all the afore-said characteristics where each one will be possessing one of those characteristics will be a claim contrary to the common sense.
In the two testaments (old and new) of Torah and Bible (Ingeel), some of the characteristics of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) have been stated. Amongst the characteristics mentioned are his ways, behaviour, insight, lineage and family and none from the East or West have reckoned these insights and specifications to be referring to Muhammad of various kinds. Thus, this much difference exists between these insights and the insights of Mahdi so that the possibility of kinds and numbers may be correct for Mahdi but not so for the Holy Prophet! The author says: My imagination (although imagination does not make one free from want of truth) is that the source of claiming Mahdaviyat of various kinds is one of the following three: -
Firstly, it may be instigated from the part of those fascinated by rule and Government and those desirous of kingdom and Caliphate. Secondly, it may have appeared in some of Sufi sect because when they became helpless in claiming the position of special deputyship, they resorted to devising Mahdaviyat of various kinds.
Thirdly, as some of the adherents of Bani-Ummayyid came across traditions wherein the name of Mahdi was mentioned and concluded that if they were to believe in Mahdi who was a distinct person, they would be compelled to pronounce that he is from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and offspring of Fatemah and Hussein or still the son of Hazrat Hassan Askari. This was something unpleasing for them and irreconcilable with their aims. As a result, they started believing in Mahdaviyat of various kinds.
In this regard, other sayings can be found which, from the view - point of logic are worthless such as the saying that; Mahdi is from the offspring of Abbass or from the children of Hassan Mujtaba (A.S.) or that he shall be born afterwards. The root cause of all these and such other talks about Mahdi is one of the afore-said three points.
In 'Mataleb-us-Su'ool', Muhammad-ibn-Thalha writes as such: - 'If anyone objects to these traditions of the Holy Prophet (where they are many in number and great emphasis has been laid to each one of them. Moreover there is a consensus in the correctness of its chain of transmission as well as in its narration from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) with correct and explicit proof that Mahdi is from the progeny of Fatemah and from the lineage of the Holy Prophet and his name is the same as the Prophet's name. Besides, he shall fill the earth with Justice and equity, he is from the generation of Abdul-Muttalib and amongst the leaders of Paradise and there this manner that they do not indicate this fact that the Mahdi which the Holy Prophet depicted (which we have already mentioned regarding his signs and qualities is the same Abul-Qasim Muhammad-ibn-Hassan, the virtuous 'Hujjat (Definitive Proof)'.
This is because the children of Fatemah are many and till the day of Qiyamat anyone who comes into existence from her generation will be true to him that he is from the pure progeny of Fatemah and the Holy Prophet. Therefore, with such exposition of the traditions, which we have previously mentioned, we should have with us a proper proof, which indicates that that Mahdi is the same Hujjat-ibn-Hassan.
We reply - The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) depicted Mahdi (A.S.) with some qualities like mentioning his name, lineage and his ancestry to Fatemah (A.S.) and Abdul-Muttalib and the fact that he possesses a sparkling forehead and protracted nose and counted many other comprehensive characteristics (which we have previously mentioned) which all of these reveal that anyone possessing those characteristics and signs will be the same person called as Mahdi and he will be having some authority upon us as per what we have previously mentioned (like the necessity of following and obeying him). We found those afore-said characteristics only in Abul-Qasim Muhammad, the virtuous successor. Thus it is essential to substantiate these decrees for Hazrat and he becomes the possessor of those characteristics. Otherwise, how is it possible that sign and reasoning exist but not their purport! If the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) introduces some thing as the sign and proof of something else but does not consider the result as the desired goal, there has occurred a contradiction in his sayings (i.e. he mentions some signs for something but rejects the result which is according to his own prestipulated criterion). If someone objects and says: -
'Signs alone are not sufficient, we should ascertain the one who possesses those signs and characteristics and attribute those characteristics exclusively to him. However, until the exclusiveness and uniqueness of that person to those characteristics is not known, we cannot say that those signs are applicable to him and it is certain that right from the time of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) until the time of the birth of the virtuous successor Hujjat Muhammad (AS.), none (other than him) from the progeny of Fatemah has been found to be exhaustive of those characteristics. However, the time of his movement and sovereignty will be at the end of time, when Dajjal shall appear and Isa (Jesus) shall descend from the heaven. These shall occur after a lapse of a lengthy period and till then, there are new and novel times in between and in the pure generation of Fatemah many will be born, one after the other. Therefore it is possible that from now onwards, a person from the pure offspring and generation of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) shall be born who is exhaustive of these characteristics and he will be the same Mahdi whom you talk about and who is referred to in the afore-said traditions. In spite of this possibility how is it that your reasoning can be exclusively attributed to Hujjat Muhammad (A.S.)?
We reply: If you acknowledge that before and after birth of the virtuous successor, nobody except him has been found to possess all those characteristics and signs then this very acknowledgement will be sufficient enough to substantiate these afor-said signs and characteristics for Mahdi.
Moreover, you're saying that in the future there exists the possibility of the coming someone appearing form the progeny for the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) who would possess the afore-said signs, does not bring any damage in the effect of reasoning, nor acts as any obstacle. This is because the existing proof is preferred (due to its manifestness) than the possibility of appearance of (another) proof which is against it. Thus it is not advisable to forsake the preferable proof. Otherwise it will not be possible to act upon the existing ans form proof because there exists no reason but the possibility of an opposite proof being found against it in the 'Ulemas' (scholars) the appearance of an opposite proof cannot serve as an obstacle to the existing proof (from being put into practice).
An example, which can perfectly clarify and accentuate this matter, is the saying of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) to Omar-ibn-Khattab (just as Imam Muslim-ibn-Hajjaj has narrated the same in his 'Sahih'). It goes as follows:
Owais-ibn-Aamer who belongs to the tribe of 'Murad' shall come to you with the people of Yemen in the future. Moreover, a person from 'Qarran', having been cured from his leprosy (except for one spot) will approach you. Owais is indeed a good man living with his mother. If Owais vows to Allah then that person will be fully cured from his leprosy. If possible, ask him to seek forgiveness on your behalf.
Here, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) has mentioned Owais-ibn-Aamer's name, lineage and qualities and set them as the sign and proof such that if anyone is found possessing this name and quality and if he swears by Allah, then that person will be cured. Moreover, he would be competent enough to seek forgiveness and this is a very great position and status before Allah. After the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and Abu Bakr passed away, Omar-ibn- Khattab used to inquire from someone amongst the people of Yemen about the person who was endowed with those characteristics. This continued until harbingers came from Yemen and Omar-ibn-Khattab asked them about that person. Omar was informed about his coming and did not stop from acting upon those signs and guidelines which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had set forth. Rather, he took action and contacted that person.
He asked him to seek forgiveness. He believed that he was the same person who had been pointed out by the Holy Prophet (S.AW.A.). In spite of this possibility that perhaps in the near future, another person could appear with those characteristics which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) had referred to, (not withstanding that the tribe of 'Murad' was many in numbers and their offspring rapidly multiplying). Omar did not stop. The same possibility, which you give for Mahdi, can be given here too.
The incident of Khawarij too is the same since the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had introduced their attributes and characteristics and issued judgement about them. Thus, in the incident of Harawra' and Nahrwan, when Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (AS.) became sure that they are those same ones, which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had described he fought and killed them. Therefore, Ali-ibn-Abi Talib acted upon those reasoning and qualities which the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had some other group in mind. Examples of such kind of reasoning and the necessity of acting upon them (in spite of the possibility of opposite reasoning) are many. Thus, it became obvious that one cannot forsake a superior reasoning for the sake of an inferior one.
We further say: The necessity of affirmation of a decree, (with the existence of signs and reasonings, which are found in someone) is an affair, which is essential to be acted upon. The one who forsakes it and says: (Perhaps the one who is endowed with these characteristics and is worthy of this decree be not that intended person. And on the contrary, it is some other person who will come in the future) has indeed deviated from the truth and made himself worthy of rebuke.
The incident mentioned in Torah too denotes this matter on the occasion when Allah revealed (a sign) upon Musa and said: An Arab Prophet, who will be the Last of the Prophets, shall be appointed at the end of time. He described Hazrat by some qualities and made those signs as the sign and indicator of his Messengership and Prophethood. As such, the 'Ummah' (nation) of Musa remembered the Prophet of Islam by those qualities and knew that he would be appointed in the future. When the time of his emergence and appointment drew near, Musa's nation threatened the polytheists and said: 'A Prophet with such and such signs and qualities shall soon come. We shall join him and seek his help in fighting and campaigning against you.
However, when the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) got appointed and they discovered in him, all those signs and qualities which were the proof of his Messengership and Prophethood, they denied him and said: "This is not the same Prophet which we often talk of Rather, he is someone who shall come afterwards." When they acted upon something, which was probable and left the existing proofs, God too turned away from them (for forsaking the afore-said signs and reasoning of Torah and acting upon the probable).
This account of Torah is the greatest and strongest proof for acting upon the existing proofs and substantiating the decree for the one who is endowed with these qualities. Thus, when these qualities which are the proof of substantiation of the afore-said decree, are present in Hujjat and Khalaf-e-Saleh i.e. Muhammad, then that Mahdi, whom we spoke about will be verified without paying any regard to the possibility of a new Mahdi coining in the future.