Question: There are people who say that Mahdi is a superstition. What answer should we give them?
In the books Alamat-i Mahdi by Ibn Hajar-i Makki, Al-Burhan by Imam-i Suyuti, and Mukhtasar-i Tadhkira-i Qurtubi by Imam-i Sharani, nearly 200 signs of Mahdi are written. Saying “superstition” concerning Mahdi is infidelity to knowledge and a presage of Doomsday. Some of the pertinent hadith-i sharifs are as follows:
(Before Doomsday, Allahu ta’ala will create one of my descendants, whose name and father’s name will be the same as those of mine. The earth, which will have been filled with cruelty before him, will be filled with justice during his time.) [Tirmidhi, Ibn Asakir]
(There will be a cloud just above Mahdi’s head. An angel from the cloud will say, “This is Mahdi. Follow what he says.”) [Abu Nu’aym]
(Doomsday will not come until a person from my ahl-i bait rules over the world. He has a broad forehead and an aquiline nose. When the earth is filled with cruelty, he will fill it with justice. He will reign for seven years.) [Muslim]
(The Ashab-i Kahf [Companions of the Cave] will be Mahdi’s assistants, and ‘Isa will descend from the sky during his time. As ‘Isa fights the Dajjal, Mahdi will be with him) [Imam-i Suyuti]
(Four persons took possession of the earth. Two of them were Believers, namely, Dhulqarnain and Sulaiman. The other two were disbelievers, namely, Namrud [Nimrod] and Buhtunnassar [Nebuchadnezzar]. Fifthly, the earth will be owned by one of my descendants.) [Imam-i Suyuti]
(Join those who will come from the direction of Khorasan with black flags. Among them will be Mahdi, Allah’s caliph.) [Hakim, Imam-i Ahmad, Daylami]
(How can an Ummah perish when it begins with me, ends with ‘Isa, son of Maryam, and has Mahdi, who is from my ahl-i bait, in the middle of it?) [Hakim, Ibn Asakir]
(A group of people coming forth from the East will help Mahdi.) [Ibn Maja, Tabarani]
(When Mahdi appears, Allahu ta’ala will shower His mercy on him.) [Imam-i Ahmad, Hakim]
(Mahdi is from my progeny. He will fill the earth with truth and justice.) [Abu Dawud]
(Mahdi will not come forth until the earth is covered by disbelief.) [Maktubat-i Rabbani, Vol. II, Letter 68]
(When Mahdi comes, there will be abundance. My Ummah will live in comfort.) [Ibn Abi Shayba]
(Mahdi is from ahl-i bait. Allahu ta’ala will make him mature within a single night.) [Ibn Maja, Imam-i Ahmad]
(He who disbelieves the coming of the Dajjal or Mahdi becomes a kâfir [non-Muslim].) [Fawaid-il Ahbar, Shar’is-Siyar]
(Mahdi is from Quraish and from my ahl-i bait.) [Imam-i Ahmad, Bawardi]
(Mahdi will be from my descendants.) [Ibn Maja]
(Mahdi will be from the offspring of Fatimah.) [Abu Dawud, Hakim]
(Mahdi will be from the descendants of my uncle Abbas.) [Ibn Asakir, Dara Qutni]
(O Abbas! A young man from your descendants will fill the earth with justice. He will perform salat with ‘Isa.) [Hatib, Ibn Asakir, Dara Qutni]
[There is no contradiction between these statements. Hadrat Abdulqadir-i Ghaylani, for example, was a sayyid on his mother’s side and a sharif on his father’s side. As for Hadrat Mahdi, if a young man who is a lineal descendant of Hadrat Fatima marries a woman who is a lineal descendant of Hadrat Abbas, Hadrat Mahdi, in such a case, will be a descendant of both ancestors.]
Hadrat Ali stated, pointing to his son Hasan, “A man from the offspring of this son of mine will appear. He will fill the earth with justice” (Abu Dawud).
No person who has reason and faith can reject these hadith-i sharifs reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja, Tirmidhi, whose hadith collections are together called Kutub-i Sitta, and by other hadith scholars and the explanations given by Ahl as-Sunna scholars. It is contrary to our religion to give them a different meaning. If everybody attempted to interpret each Islamic rule in a different way, there would be no such thing as religion.
Hadrat Imam-i A’zam stated:
“We believe [without giving them a figurative sense] that Gog and Magog’s emerging, the sun’s rising in the west, Hadrat ‘Isa’s descent from the sky, the coming of the Dajjal, and all other signs before Doomsday will take place in due course in exactly the same way as they were stated in hadith-i sharifs” [Fiqh-i akbar].
The coming of Hadrat Mahdi
Question: What is meant by these statements that appear in Tam Ýlmihal, “Hadrat Mahdi will be born in the time period close to Doomsday. He will meet ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam and put and end to madhahib [pl. of madhhab]. Only his madhhab will remain”?
The rulings of true madhahib will have been forgotten by the time Hadrat Mahdi appears. Instead, the world will be bristle with heretical sects, and no true madhhab will exist. That is, true rulings of madhhaib will disappear. They will be in existence in name only, and these names will be abused by the enemies of the religion or heretics.
Hadrat Mahdi will perform ijtihad, and his ijtihad will be in accordance with the Hanafi Madhhab. In fact, just as ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam will prohibit Christianity, so Hadrat Mahdi will prohibit corrupt sects and corrupt madhahib. Since he will eradicate corrupt madhahib, the statement “[He will] put an end to madhahib” is written in that book.