Chapter Seven : First Introduction
 

The affairs regarding the end of time which have been mentioned in traditions are of two kinds: One kind of affairs are those which are preliminary steps and signs of 'Qiyamat' and another kind are those affairs which shall occur just before Mahdi's emergence. However, majority of the Shias and Sunnis has combined together these two kinds in their respective literature and writings. The second kind, which shall occur before Mahdi's emergence and uprising, are also of two types:

Firstly, that types which should occur before Mahdi's emergence and uprising. As such, occurrence of such affairs and non-emergence of Mahdi will not prove the incorrectness of the traditions. This is because such traditions are no proof and sign of Hazrat's emergence. Rather, the motif of mentioning such traditions is to reveal their occurrence just before Mahdi's emergence. Secondly, those affairs which have been mentioned in traditions and which shall occur before Mahdi's emergence may be subject to 'bada' (change) which we Shias believe. As such, non-occurrence of some of these affairs will be no proof of the incorrectness of such traditions.

For both of the afore-said affairs certain proofs and evidences exist in some of the traditions. Thus, before anything else it should be first clarified whether the incident, which occurs, belongs to the first category or the second one.

Thereafter, the state of the narrators of the second kind and the context, which proves the correctness or the incorrectness of traditions, should be reviewed. Second Introduction If anyone ponders over the traditions mentioned by learned scholars in this chapter, he will realize that these traditions are either correct, weak, imputed or lacking (the mention of) the first transmitter. Rather amongst them are traditions, which are incorrect from the view - point of history and context. However we have restrained ourselves to 'Sahih' (correct) and authentic traditions or 'hasan' (good) traditions from the viewpoint of the chain of transmission. We have mentioned only those traditions which happen to be authentic and for which we could find a context. Otherwise we have restrained from mentioning them.

Similarly we have restrained ourselves to those types of traditions where credibility and conscience adjudge the possibility of their ascertainability and occurrence. Or those traditions where reason and exigency do not adjudge upon their impossibility and unattainability.

Verily, the occurrence of some of the miracles and extraordinary customs have come down in some of the traditions and if their chain of transmission happens to be correct it is not permissible for us to reject them. Those extraordinary things are affairs related to metaphysics commonly called as miracle and wonder and Allah too possesses power over all things.

Heavenly Voice

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" has narrated a tradition in Section 3, Chapter 4 from Hazrat Husseinibn-Ali as follows:

"I you happen to see a fire for three or seven days from the eastern side, then God-willing you may expect the 'Faraj' (deliverence) of Aal-e-Muhammad." Imam (A.S.) continued: Later a caller from the heavens shall call out Mahdi's name in such manner that it will be heard in the East and West. None shall be asleep but that he will wake up and none shall be sitting but that he will stand on his two feet and of awe. May Allah shower His Mercy on the one who hears and answers that call since the caller is none other than Gibra'eel?

The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" on page 414 has narrated from the book "Durrul-Manzoom" as such: One of the evidences of Mahdi's emergence is the very caller who shall call out: 'Know that the "Master of the Age" has emerged. After this, none shall be sleeping but that he will arise and none shall be standing but that he will sit...

Heavenly Signs

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section three, chapter four has narrated from Hafiz Abu-Bakr-ibn-Hammad and he from Ibn-Abbadd as such: 'Mahdi shall not emerge until certain signs appear with the sun. In the same section and chapter of the afore-mentioned book, its author narrates from Hafiz Na'eem-ibn-Hemmad and he from Bashr-ibn-Hazrami who said: 'The signs of events in the month of Ramadhan are a kind of heavenly signs and after that people shall dispute with each other. When you come across those, signs, procure food for yourself as much as you can.

Again, in the same section and chapter of the afore-said book, its author narrates from 'Al-Fatan' of Hafiz Na'eem-ibn-Hemad and he, from Ka'ab al- Ahbar who said: "Before Mahdi's emergence, stars shall appear from the East with constant glittering."

Eclipse of the Sun and Moon

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in section one, chapter four narrates from 'Al- Fatan' of Hafiz Abu-Abdullah Na'eem-ibn-Hemmad and he, from Yazid-ibn- Khalil Asadi who said: "I was in the presence of Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) He mentioned two of the signs which would occur before the emergence of Mahdi and which has not yet been witnessed (right from the time of fall of Adam till now). One sign is this that there shall occur an eclipse of the sun on 15th of Ramadhan and the moon too shall be eclipsed at the end of Ramadhan." A person said: 'O son of Messenger of Allah! It is not as you say. Rather the sun will be eclipsed at the end of the month of Ramadhan and the moon will be eclipsed during the middle of the month.

Imam Baqir (A.S.) said: The one who says these words knows better (than you) that right from the time of Adam's fall till today these two signs have not occurred…

The author of "Es'aaf-ul-Raghaben" too has narrated the same tradition. Discord and Pessimism amongst the People The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section one, chapter four has narrated from Imam Hussein (A.S.) as such: "The affair for which you are awaiting i.e. the emergence of Mahdi (A.S.) shall not be fulfilled until some amongst you feel disgusted of the other, while some amongst you bear testimony against the other and until some amongst you curse the other."

Narrator says: I asked: Will there by any goodness in this matter? Imam (A.S.) replied: Goodness will be at that time when Mahdi emerges and will destroy such cruelties and oppressions. The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates on page 491 from the book 'Arba'een' of Hafez Abu Na'eem Isfahani that Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (A.S.) said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) as such: 'O Messenger of Allah! Is Mahdi from our progeny or from others?

The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) replied: Rather he is from us. Religion shall terminate by his hands just as it commenced from us. People shall be delivered from seditions through Mahdi just as they got delivered from polytheism through us. Through Mahdi (A.S.) Allah will create a feeling of intimacy between their hearts (after hatred and sedition) lust as He created intimacy amongst them through us after hatred and polytheism... The author of "Es'aaf-ur-Raghebeen" on page 151 has narrated from Ahmad and Maawardi a tradition from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) as follows: "Glad-tidings be to you about Mahdi. He is from the Quraish and from my progeny who shall emerge at the time of discord and strife amongst the people..."

Cruelty and Oppression

Ibn-Hajar in "Sawa'eq" narrates (on page 99) from Abul-Qasim Tabarani that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A) said:

"After me, shall come the Caliphs. After the Caliphs will come the rulers and after the rulers will come the kings. Then oppressors will follow them and after them will emerge a man from my Ahl-e-bayt who shall fill the earth with justice as it was filled with injustice..." The author of "Es'aaf-ul-Raghebeen" has narrated (on page 148) a similar tradition from Hakim.

Anarchy

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section 3, Chapter 9 has narrated from Hafiz Abu Na'eem who has narrated from Ali-ibn-Hallal who has narrated from his father as such: At the time when the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A) was departing from this world, I went in his presence. He narrated for me a tradition where he concluded it as such: 'O Fatemah, I swear by the Lord who appointed me by the truth that Mahdi of this nation shall be from Hassan and Hussein.

Allah shall send Mahdi at the time when the world will fall into chaos. When seditions will prevail; when means will be cut-off; when some will revolt over the other; when there will remain no elder who will have mercy upon the young and when there will remain no young who will respect the elders. Mahdi shall conquer the forts of deviation and depravity and she after hearts. Mahdi shall rise for the religion at the end of time just as I rose for it in the beginning. He shall fill the world with justice as it was filled with oppression.

Killing and Death

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section one, Chapter four narrates from Ali- ibn-Muhammad Azdi' who narrates from his father who narrates from his grand - father that Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (A.S.) said: During Mahdi's time red and white death and locust will become visible. Otherwise too red colored locusts will be found. Red death refers to the sword and white death refers to plague.

In the same section and same chapter of the afore-said book, its author narrates from 'Sunan' of Imam Abu Amro Uthman-ibn- Saeed Muqarri and 'Fatan' of Hafiz Abu-Abdullah Na'eem-ibn - Hemaad a tradition from Amir-ul- Mumineen Ali-ibn - Abi Talib (A.S.) as such: "Mahdi shall not emerge until out of three persons one gets killed, the other dies and the third remains."

Calamity and Tribulation

The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" narrates from "Meshkat-ul-Masabeeh" and "Mustadrak" of Hakim (through proper chain of transmission) from Abu Saeed Khudri that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said:

Calamity shall befall this nation such that a person will fail in finding any shelter from it. Thereafter Allah will appoint a man from my Ahl-e-bayt who will fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it was previously filled with cruelty and tyranny... The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section one, chapter four has narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) as such: of 'Mahdi shall not emerge but after prevalence serve awe amongst the people, when people will be afflicted with earthquakes and plagues, when strife and discord will emerge amongst the people, when differences in religion will prevail amongst them, when people's condition will so change that they would wish for death, day and night... Mahdi shall emerge at the time of hopelessness and despair. Blessed is he who perceives Mahdi and joins the rank of his helpers. Woe be to the one who opposes him and his commands.

In the same section and the same chapter of the afore-s aid book, its author narrates from Abu Saeed Khudri that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: 'After me, seditions (disasters) will arise the deliverance of which would not be possible. In those seditions, wars and sporadic fighting would occur. Thereafter, more severe seditions will arise such that if seditions would calm down in one place, the same would continue in another place. Things would extend so far that there would remain no Arab house and no Muslim who would not be affected by it. It would be then that a man from my progeny will emerge. This tradition has been narrated by Hafiz Abu Muhammad Hussein in his book 'Masabeeh' and by Hafiz, Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn - Hemaad in his book 'Fatan'. There exists an evidence too for this tradition in the book of Sahih Bukhari.

Ibn-Hajar in "Sawa'eq" (page 97) has narrated from 'Sahih' of Hakim Abu- Abdullah that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: At the end of time, severe calamity shall befall my nation - such severe calamity which was never heard of before and which people will fail to find any shelter from it. At that time Allah will appoint a man from my progeny who will fill the earth with equity and Justice just as it was filled with cruelty and tyranny… Sayed Khorasani The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in chapter five narrates from Hafiz Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn-Hemaad who narrates from Sa'eed-ibn- Musayyeb that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said:

A person from Bani-Abbass shall emerge from the East and whatever Allah Wishes will be established accordingly. Afterwards, men with small black flags will rise and will battle out with the offspring of Abu Sufyan. They will prepare the ground for the obedience and submission of Mahdi. In the same chapter of the afore-said book, its author narrates from Na'eem- ibn-Hemaad (from his book 'Fatan') that Muhammad-ibn-Hanafiya said: The people of the flag will emerge from Khorasan. Afterwards people of another flag with white will rise. A man from Bani-Tamim called, as Tamim-ibn-Saleh will face them... it will be then that people would seek and desire for Mahdi. Again, in the same chapter of the same book, its author narrates from Na'eem-ibn-Hemaad and he from Shareey-ibn-Abdullah Rashid-ibn-Sa'ad and Hamza-ibn-Habib as such:

The people of the East will swear allegiance to a person from Bani-Hashim who shall emerge with the army of Khorasan. A man from Bani-Tamim will face them... If mountains confront him, he will destroy them. Later he will encounter the army of Sufyani and will defeat them. Fierce battle will take place with them and he will kill them. He will expel them from one place to another until he will defeat them in Iraq. Thereafter an incident shall occur between them as a result of which Sufyani will gain victory and the Hashimi man will escape towards Mecca and Tamim-ibn-Saleh (who is one of the leaders of the army of Hashimi) will escape towards Baitul-Muqaddas. When Mahdi shall reappear, the Hashimi man too will emerge.

Killing of Nafs-Zakkiyah

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in Section Chapter 4 narrates from Hafiz Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn Hemaad (from the book 'Fatan') that Ammar Yasir said: When Nafs-Zakkiyah will be killed a caller will call out from the heavens - "Be aware that your ruler is so and so a person i.e. the Mahdi who shall fill the earth with truth and Justice."

In the same section and the same chapter of the afore-said book, its author narrates from Hafiz Na'eem-ibn-Hemaad (from the book 'Fatan') who in turn narrates from ka'ab al-Ahbar as saying:

"Plundering of Medina will become lawful and Nafs-Zakkiyah will be killed." Again in section 3 and chapter 4 of the afore-said book its author narrates from Imam Hussein-ibn - Ali (AS.) as such: There will be five signs for Mahdi.

(1) Sufyani (2) Yamani (3) Heavenly cry (4) Sinking of the land of 'Baideh' and (5) Killing of Nafs-Zakkiyah.

Dajjal's Uprising

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in chapter 5 narrates from Bukhari and Muslim and they in turn narrate from Ma'az-ibn-Jabal that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: "A tribe from my nation will battle for the truth and will gain victory over the enemies until he will face Dajjal for the last time."

One tradition mentions Hazrat as saying: "A group from my nation." In section 3, chapter 9 of the same book, the author narrates from the book 'Mustadlak' of Hakim Abu-Abdullah (who reckons the chain of transmission of this tradition to be correct provided it has been narrated by Muslim) who narrates from Jabil-ibn-Samrah and that Nafeh-ibn-Uqbah said: I heard the Holy Prophet saying: "You will battle with the people of Arabian Peninsula and will gain victory over them. Thereafter you will battle with the Persians and you will gain victory over them too. Then you will battle with Dajjal…

In section 2 chapter 12 of the same book, the author narrates from Abul- Abbass Ahmad-ibn-Yahya-ibn-Tughlab as saying:

The reason why Dajjal is called as Dajjal is because he displays everything in contrariety. Again, in the same section and the same chapter of the afore-said book, the author narrates from Bukhari and he from Anas-ibn-Malik and he from the Holy Prophet (S.AW.A) as such: "There is no Prophet but that whose nation terrifies the ominous and mendacious Dajjal..." Ibn-Hajar in "Sawa'eq" (page 99) has narrated from Abul-Hussein Abari as such:

Abundant traditions related by successive hearsay have come down from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) regarding Mahdi's emergence; concerning the fact that Hazrat is from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.); that he will rule for seven years; that he will fill the earth with Justice; that he will emerge along with Isa and the latter would help him in killing Dajjal...

Sufyani's Uprising

The author of "Eqdud-Durar" in section 2, chapter 4, narrates from Abdullah- ibn-Safwan and he from Halsah (wife of the Holy Prophet) as such: I heard the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) saying: This house shall remain safe from an army, which would attack it until the army takes position in a soft land. The center row would sink in the ground while the first row would seek help from the last row. Then no one shall remain from them except the one who will inform about them.

A person addressed Abdullah-ibn-Safwan as such: I bear witness that you have not lied about Hafsah and she too has not lied about the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A).
This tradition has been narrated by Imam Muslim in his book 'Sahih'. In the same chapter of the afore-said book, the author narrates from Imam Muslim (book of 'Sahih') who in turn narrates from Abdullah-ibn- Utbah who said:

I approached Umm-ul-Mumineen (i.e. Umm-Salma, the wife of the Holy Prophet) along with Harith-ibn-Abu Rabiyah and Abdullah-ibn Safnan. Both inquired from Umm-Salme about the army which would sink in the ground and Umm-Salma replied: -The Messenger of Allah said: A person will seek shelter in the House (Ka'aba?) Allah shall appoint an army and when they reach the soft land they will sink in it. I asked: "O Messenger of Allah" How will be the state of the one who will be un-prosperous? He replied: He too shall sink with them but Allah will appoint him on the Day of Judgement as per his intention. In one tradition, Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) says: By 'soft land' it is meant Medina.

In section 3 chapter 4 of the same book, the author narrates from Hafiz Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn-Hemaad (book of Fatan) that Zuhri said: When Sufyani and Mahdi will encounter each other a cry will be heard from the heavens as such:

Be aware Allah's saints are the helpers of so and so a person i.e. Mahdi... In section 2, chapter 4 of the same book, the author narrates from Na'eem- ibn-Hemaad and he from Khalil-ibn-Sufyan as saying: Sufyani shall revolt and he will be having three pipes in his hand. He will not play on it for anyone but will die.

In section 2 chapter 4 of the same book, the author narrates from Hafiz Abu Abdullah Na'eem-ibn-Hemaad (book of Fatan) and Hafiz Abu Abdullah (book of Mustadrak) who reckon [the chain of transmission of this tradition to be authentic] and they from Ibn-Massoud that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: Be on guard against seven calamities, which would occur after me: The sedition which would arise in Medina, the sedition which would arise in Mecca, the sedition which would arise in Yemen, the sedition which would appear in Syria, the sedition which would appear from the East, the sedition which would arise from the West and lastly the sedition which would arise from central Syria which would be the sedition of Sufyani. Ibn-Massoud says: Some of you will perceive the beginning of these seditions while some of you will perceive the last part of it.

Walid-ibn-Abbass says: The sedition of Medina was the very one which appeared from Thalha and Zubair, the seditlion of Mecca was the very one from Ibn-Zubair; the sedition of Yemen ascended from Najdah's side; the sedition of Syria appeared from Bani-Ummayah and sedition of central Syria is through this group.

In section 2, chapter 4 of 'Eqdud-Durar' its author narrates from Jabir-ibn- Yazid Ju'afi that Hazrat Imam Muhammad Baqir addressed Jabir as such: 'O Jabir! Sit firmly in your place until I describe for you the signs… Three flags will set out from Syria: Red and white flag, black and white flags and the flag of Sufyani … Sufyani shall dispatch 10000 men towards Kufa. They will plunder, kill and take as captives its inhabitants. When they will engage in these activities, men from Khorasan holding flags will march forward with swiftness. They are Mahdi's helpers... Sufyani shall despatch troops towards Medina and Mahdi shall escape from Medina to Mecca. The commander of the Sufyani's army shall be informed about Mahdi's flight towards Mecca.

Najdeh-ibn-Aamer Hanafi was one of the Khawarij who commands his army to persue Mahdi but they will not find him... The commander of Sufyanis army shall descend over the land of 'Baidah' (soft land between Mecca and Medina) and a caller from the heavens shall cry out: "O baidahl destroy this group." Then the land of Baidah shall swallow them.

The author of "Yanabi-ul-Muwadda" (page 414) has narrated from the book "Durrul-Monzoom" as such:

"One of the signs of Mahdi's emergence will be the revolt of Sufyani. He will despatch 30000 men towards Mecca where they will sink in the land of Baidah..."

Ibn Abil-Hadid in his commentary of Nahjul-Balagha (vol. 1, pg. 211) on the occasion when Ali (A.S.) delivered a sermon on the 'Ghaib' (unseen) says: 'Abu Dawoud Thayalesi has narrated from Sulaiman Zarriq who has narrated from Abdul Aziz-ibn-Suhib who has narrated from Abul-A'alia that Mazrah (who was one of Ali's followers) said:

"An army shall advance until it reaches the land of Baidah. There, the army would sink in the ground." Abul-A'alia says: I asked Mazrah whether he would give me the news of the unseen and he replied: Keep guard of whatever I tell you since a reliable man like Ali-ibn-Abi Talib has informed me.

Ibn-Abid Hadid says: The tradition of "Sinking in the ground" has been narrated by Bukhari and Muslim in their books of 'Sahih' from Umm-Salme (may Allah be satisfied with her) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: A group will seek shelter in the Ka'aba until they reach 'Baidah' and then the ground would swallow them.

I said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Perhaps the discontented people are amongst them!

The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.A.) said: The land shall swallow them but they will be gathered. Or he said: They will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement according to their intentions.

Ibn-Abi Hadid says: Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) was asked whether every land was called as 'Baidah' and Imam replied: Never. Rather 'Baidah' is in Medina. Bukhari has narrated a part of this tradition while Muslim has narrated the rest. The author of "Esaaf-ul-Raghebeen" on page 153 says: It is mentioned in traditions that Sufyani will dispatch troops from Syria against Mahdi and they will sink in the ground at 'Baidah'. None will remain alive except the person who will spread news about them. Sufyani and Mahdi will approach that person along with their respective followers and victory will be on Mahdi's side and Sufyani will be killed...

The author says: I have not come across any authentic traditions which have revealed the matter of meeting of the two afore-said armies - Perhaps it is between Kufa and Medina - Allah Knows best. Number of Signs of Mahdi's Emergence The author of "Fusul al-Muhimma" (who is one of the Sunni authors) in chapter 12 says:

Traditions have come down about the signs of Mahdi's emergence and the events, which would occur before his uprising and the evidences, which would be discovered before his emergence. They are as such: (1) Sufyani's revolt, (2) killing of Hasani, (3) discord amongst Bani-Abbass about possession of kingdom, (4) eclipse of the sun during mid-Shaban, (5) unusual eclipse of the moon during the end of Shaban contrary to astronomy's calculations. The moon will not be eclipsed but during the thirteenth, fourteenth or fifteenth of the month. The moon will be eclipsed at the time when the sun and the moon would be facing each other in a special form.

The eclipse of the sun will not occur but on the twenty-seventh, twenty-eight or twenty-ninth of the month. The sun will be eclipsed at the time when it comes close to the moon in a special form, (6) rising of the sun from the West, (7) killing of seventy pious people (8) killing (9) destruction of the wall of the Mosque of Kufa, (10) advancement of the holders of black flags from Khorasan, (11) Yamani's revolt, (12) Maghrabi's revolt in Egypt and becoming the ruler of Syria, (13) descencion of Turks in an island, (14) the coming of Romans in Rumalah, (15) the rising of a star in the East which would be like a sparkling moon, (16) that star would bend and break into two in such a manner that they would come close to each other, (17) a redness will appear in the sky and it will cover its surrounding, (18) a fire would appear throughout the East and it would remain so for three or seven days, (19) Arabs would set free their rein, (20) Arabs would become owners of cities, (21) Arabs would exit from the rule of Iranian Kings, (22) the inhabitants of Egypt would kill their ruler and his commands, (23) Syria would be destroyed and three flags will advance towards it, (24)the flags of Qais and Arab would advance towards Egypt, (25) engraved flags would advance towards Khorasan, (26) The entry of some Arabs in the outskirts of Hirah (27) the coming of black flags from the East, (28) A split shall occur in Euphrates as a result of which its water would flow on the roads of Kufa, (29) Sixty liars will emerge where each of them will claim Prophethood for themselves, (30) twelve persons from the progeny of Abu-Talib would revolt and each of them would claim Imam ate for themselves, (31) A dignified person from the followers of Bani-Abbass will get drowned near the bridge of Karkh in Baghdad, (32) A black wind will blow in Baghdad, (33) An earthquake shall occur in Baghdad where a greater portion of the city will collapse, (34) fear will encompass the inhabitants of Iraq, (35) death will swiftly overtake the people of Iraq, (36) The people of Iraq will face deficience in their property and fruit, (37) locusts will appear during the normal season as well as during off-season and they will get attracted to plants and cereals, (38)the agriculture output of the people will be poor, (39) discord will arise amongst non-Arabs and they will shed blood of one another, (40) slaves shall disobey their master and will kill them.

(41) After that, it would rain successively for twenty-four times. The earth would become alive after its death and would throw out its treasures. At that time, all types of calamities will be kept away from Mahdi's believers. At that moment they will realize that Mahdi has emerged in Mecca. As a result, they will move towards Mecca for assisting Hazrat and the same can be seen in the traditions.

Some of these events are sure and certain to occur while some others are conditional. Allah Knows better what might take place. We have mentioned the afore-mentioned happenings as per the traditions.

Ali-ibn-Yazid Ezadi narrates from his father who narrates from his grand - father that Amirul-Mumineen (A.S.) said: When the Qaem's emergence shall draw near, red and white deaths will appear. Red-colored locusts shall become visible during the normal and off-season. Red death refers to the sword and white death refers to plague.

Jabir Tuafi narrates that Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) told him as such: Remain firm in your place. Do not move until you see for yourself these signs. I do not think that you will perceive these signs. They are as such: Discord amongst Bani-Abbass, a caller who will call out from the heavens, sinking of a village (called Jobiah) in Syria, descencion of Turks in an island descencion of Romans in Rumalah and discord in every part of the land until Syria will be ruined. The reason for destruction of social life will be the hoisting of flags where one of them would be red and white, the other black and white and the third flag will belong to Sufyani.

Traditions about the Year and Day of Mahdi's Emergence

Abu Basir has narrated from Sadiq Aal-e-Muhammad as such: "Mahdi shall not emerge but in the odd year i.e. the first, third, fifth, seventh or ninth year." Again Abu Basir narrates from Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) who said: The name of Qa'em will be taken on the 23rd night of the blessed month of Ramadhan. The Qa'em shall emerge on the day of Ashura - the day on which Imam Hussein was martyred. As if I am seeing the Oa'em emerging on Saturday, the tenth of Muharram between Ruku and Maqaem and someone standing in front of him calling out: Allegiance, Allegiance. Thus Mahdi's followers will turn towards him from all sides and will give allegiance to him. By Mahdi's means Allah will fill the earth with justice just as it was previously filled with cruelty and oppression. Thereafter, Mahdi will turn his attention from Mecca to Kufa and will land in Najaf from where he will send soldiers towards the cities. It has been narrated from Abdul-Karim Nakh'ee as such: I asked Sadeq Aal-e- Muhammad: For how long will the Qa'em rules?

Imam (A.S.) replied: Seven years. The days and nights during Mahdi's time will be so lengthy that one year of that time will be like twenty years of today and (seven) years of Mahdi will be equal to seventy years of your reckoning. In a lengthy tradition, Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) said: When the Qaem shall emerge; his attention will be drawn towards Kufa. He will develop the mosques of Kufa, strike down the balconies overlooking the roads, destroy the wells and drain-pipes on the road-paths, uproot all sorts of heresy, enliven every custom and conquer Istanbul, China and the mountains of Dailam. This will remain so for seven years where each year would be equal to ten years of your reckoning. In another tradition Imam Muhammad Baqir (A.S.) said: - Due to fear (which the enemies have of Hazrat) the Qa'em will be assisted (by Allah) and due to triumph, will become victorious. The earth will roll for Mahdi and treasures will loom before him. His rule will extend from East to West. Allah will place his religion above all other religions even though the polythesis may dislike it. There will be no dilapidated place but that Mahdi will develop it. The earth will not cede anything from its herbs but that it will cause it to thrive. During Mahdi's time, the people will enjoy such blessings which they had never enjoyed before.

The narrator says: I said: 'O son of the Messenger of Allah! When will your Qa'am emerge?

He replied" At the time when men will imitate the women and women will imitate the men; when women will ride on saddles; when people will cause their prayers to die and will follow their carnel desires; when people will turn users; when shedding of blood will become something insignificant; when trade and business of the openly commit adultery; when they will make towering constructions; when they will consider lie to be lawful; when they will accept bribes; when they will follow their lusts and desire; when they will sell their religion for this world; when they will hold under obligation the one whom they feed; when they will consider forbearance to be the sign of weakness and feebleness and injustice to be an honor; when their rulers will be evil and their ministers liars; when the trustworthy amongst them will be traitors; when the helpers amongst them will be unjust; when the reciters of Quran will be transgressors; when cruelty and oppression will become manifest; when divorce will increase; when people will engage in debauchery and libertinism; when forced witness and lie will be accepted; when they will engage in drinking and gambling; when men will be mounted on;

when women shall engage with women (indecent acts); when - people will consider 'Zakat' to be a booty and charity to be a loss; when they will fear from the tongues of the wicked people; when Sufyani shall revolt from Syria and Yemen; when 'Baidah' which is between Mecca and Medina will sink; wh6n a child from the progeny of Muhammad (S.A.W.A.) will be killed between 'Rukn' and 'Maqaam' and when a live voice will be heard from the heavens trying out that the truth is with Mahdi and his followers. It will be then that our Qaem will emerge. When he re- appears, he will stand with his back against the wan of Ka'aba and 313 of his followers would gather around him. The first speech of Qaem would be the following verse:

"What remains, with Allah is better for you if you are believers." Then he will say: I am the 'Baqiyatullah' (God's remainder) representative and Proof of Allah upon you. After that, no Muslim would salute him but in this manner:

Assalamu-Alaika - ya Baqiyatullah-Fi-Arzeh (Peace be upon you 'O God's remainder on the earth.) As soon as 10000 men gather around him, no Jew or Christian will remain but that they will bring faith in him and religion shall be confined only to Islam. A fire shall descend from the sky and will burn every object of worship (other than Allah) on the earth.

Some of the historians say: Mahdi is the same Awaited Qa'em. Traditions about Mahdi's emergence substantiate each other. Traditions manifest the luminous of Hazrat's light. It will not be long when the gloomy day and night of his Occultation will turn into brightness and luminosity. Due to his emergence the desired dawn shall rise and the veil of darkness of the night will be set aside. Hazrat will emerge from behind the veil of Occultation and the hearts will be filled with joy. His Justice, will reach the horizons and the luminousness of his Justice will be more than luminousness of the luminous moon.