Question: Some people say, "The Mahdi is an ordinary human. He will not exhibit karamat (phenomena which happen beyond the laws of causation through the awliya of the ummats of prophets) or demonstrate unusual things. It is not true that an angel will say, 'This is the Mahdi' because it is contrary to the trial and removes freedom of choice. That the emergence of Mahdi will be announced from the sky means that it will be announced by telephones or radios or televisions." What is the purpose of them? Do they want to introduce themselves or their masters as the Mahdi?
Maybe they are saying so for that purpose. The truth is that Hadrat Mahdi will exhibit a lot of unusual events, and those unusual events do not contradict the trial. If it were the contrary, all of the polytheists that saw the miracles (mu'jizat) of prophets would have believed instantly. Even though all prophets performed miracles, the number of disbelievers was more than the number of believers.
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states:
The signs of Hadrat Mahdi's emergence are like the irhasat that appeared before our master the Prophet was informed of his prophethood. As a matter of fact, when our master the Prophet fell into his mother's womb, all idols on earth fell face down. All devils were made to desist from their activities. Turning the throne of Iblis upside down, angels threw him into the sea and inflicted torment on him for 40 days. On the day when our master the Prophet was born, the palace of the Persian emperor Chosroes shook, and its 14 towers toppled. The fire of Zoroastrians that had not gone out for 1,000 years ceased to burn. Because Hadrat Mahdi, being a high personality, will be a great reinforcement for Islam and Muslims and because his wilayah (the status of, state of being a wali) will have a significant effect spiritually and materially, he will display a lot of extraordinary wonders, and unusual signs will appear in his time. Hence, extraordinary events like the irhasat of the Messenger of Allah will also appear before the emergence of Hadrat Mahdi and will be his signs. (Vol. 2, Letter 68)
[Irhasat means wonders that are displayed by a prophet before he is informed of his prophethood. Such states as Isa's (alaihis-salam) talking when he was in a cradle and Muhammad's (alaihis-salam) being greeted by trees and stones are called irhasat (sing. irhas). They are not called mu'jizat because their prophethood is not yet announced.]
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani further states:
Somebody in India claimed to be the Mahdi. However, many well-known hadith-i sharifs in addition to those whose meanings have reached the level of certainty belie the beliefs and words of such people. It was declared in a lot of hadith-i sharifs, "There will be a cloud just above Mahdi's head. An angel from the cloud will say, 'This is the Mahdi. Listen to his words.'" Then let them be reasonable enough to see if these symptoms existed in that man [who claimed to be the Mahdi]. Many other symptoms of Hadrat Mahdi were predicted by our master the Prophet. Hadrat Ahmad ibni Hajar-i Makki wrote almost 200 hundred symptoms of Hadrat Mahdi in his book Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi 'Alamat al-Mahdi. While the symptoms of the reported Mahdi are so obvious, those who think of others as Mahdi are so ignorant. (Vol.2, Letter 67)
The above-mentioned hadith-i sharif that is conveyed by Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani says clearly that the emergence of Hadrat Mahdi will be announced by an angel. How can one claim that it will be announced by telephones, radios, or televisions? This means to say that such people who interpret the signs of Doomsday into different things can do anything. As a matter of fact, there appeared heretics who interpreted angels as natural forces. These acts of theirs are called rejection by way of interpretation. Since they cannot reject them openly, they reject them by means of interpretation. There will be no such thing as Islam if different interpretations are made in each matter.
The book Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi 'Alamat al-Mahdi lists the following hadith-i sharifs on this issue:
(When the Mahdi appears, he will have a turban on his head, and an announcer will cry out: "This is the Mahdi, the Caliph of Allah. Obey him.")
(The Mahdi will appear with an angel over his head who will cry out: "This is the Mahdi. Obey him.")
(A fitnah that no region will be able avoid will come up. This fitnah will immediately spread to another place from where it emerged, and this state will last until a caller from the sky calls out, "O people, your ruler is the Mahdi from now on.")
(The Mahdi will appear in the month of Muharram, and a voice coming from the sky will say, "This is the Mahdi, the Caliph of Allah. Obey him and listen to his words.")
No Ahl as-Sunnah scholar interpreted the above-mentioned hadith-i sharifs into different things, and Hadrat Imam-i A'zam declared, "We believe that all of the signs of Doomsday will take place in due course in exactly the same way as they were stated in hadith-i sharifs" (Fiqh-i akbar).