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General appearance of Imam Mahdi (ajtf)

Question 267: Hi assalamualikum, This about Imam al mahdi(as), that there is a video in detail a documentry on physical charecteristics of imam mahdi(as) by harun yahya,a turkish. He had explained well in details about how we can identify imam mahdi by looking at his physical charecteristics when he appear…its a long video and available on youtube so that i kindly request you to have a look on to get in details..( video titled : The holy appearance that will identify imam mahdi(as). By harun yahya.

http://m.harunyahya.com/…/245…/the-holy-appearance-that-will

The question is, How accurate are those information and are they authentic when compared to the shia point of view?

Thanks

Brief Answer 267: According to some traditions, Imam Mahdi (ajtf) is the most similar person to the holy Prophet (PBUH). Some of his general appearance is as follows: youthful appearance with a brilliant face, curved eyebrows, a broad forehead, a nice stature, long straight nose, a small black spot on his right cheek, a face glowing like a shining star and had an appearance that no one has ever seen more beautiful, calm and pious complexion.

Answer 267: Imam Mahdī (ajtf) was born in 15 Sha‘bān 255 A.H. Since we are in the year 1438, the Imam (as) is said to be 1183 years old. After the death of His father (Imam Hasan al-Askari), Imam Mahdi (ajtf) were presented to offer prayer for the dead. All of the people that were presented there saw his face. He had a wheatish complexion, curly hair and a spacing with between his front teeth. [1]

There are two different types of traditions narrated in regards to the characteristic and general appearance of Imam Mahdi (as) as follows:

A: Traditions in which the Imam (as) is said to be youth without mentioning how old he is:

  1. He is young, though he is aged.[2]

Arabic version:

شابٌ بعد كبر السن

  1. He will appear at the best age of youth.[3]

رجوعه من غیبته بشرخ الشباب

  1. He is very old but with youthful appearance.[4]

فی سن الشیوخ و منظر الشباب

B: Traditions that rely on the both age and youthful appearance of Imam Mahdi as follows:

  1. with a complete youthful complexion and at the age of 30.[5]

Arabic version:

فی صورة فتیَ موفق ابن ثلاثین سنه

  1. Youthful complexion and less than 40 years old.[6]

فی صورة شاب دون اربعین سنة

  1. He is old, but with youthful complexion in a way that people think he has less than 40 years old. One of his signs is that he won’t be aged till the time of death.[7]

Sheikh Tusi quoted from those whom met the Imam (as) during the minor occultation that He was a handsome youth with fragrant smell and magnificent appearance. The narrator said: When he was delivering speech, we have never seen anyone can speak like him. [8]

It is narrated in other tradition that he is of medium height. He has a rounded head, broad forehead, long strait nose, shine cheeks and a small black spot on his right cheek.[9]

It is quoted from Imam Ridha (as) that he has said: One of his signs is that he is aged but with a youth appearance that when anyone look at him he is seemed to be at the age of 30 or less. He won’t grow old until he will die.[10]

When it comes to having long life, it is not specialized for Imam Mahdi (ajtf). Some individuals like the Prophet Noah (as) that lived long life (2500 years old), Prophet Khidhr (as) with thousands years old that he is still alive, Loqman bin Aad (3500 years old), Loqman Hakim or the Prophet Jesus (as) that he is still alive.

In order to justify it scientifically we can say that since getting old and death are because of some attrition factors. Therefore, if there are no attrition factors one would remain young.[11]

Know that Imam of the time (as) is the very beautiful and good-looking person among people. Because, he is the most similar person to the holy Prophet (PBUH).[12]

Jaber bin Abdullah Ansari narrated that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has said: Mahid (as) is one my children. His name is my name, his Kunyah is my kunyah. He is the most similar person to me.[13]

Ibrahim bin Mahziyar whom met Imam Mahdi (ajtf), quoted: The Imam (as) was young with a brilliant face, his eyebrows were curved, he had a broad forehead, a nice stature, long straight nose, a small black spot on his right cheek, a face glowing like a shining star and had an appearance that no one has ever seen more beautiful, calm and pious complexion like him.[14]

Meeting with the Imam of Time (‘atf) during the period of occultation:

It is possible to meet with the Imam of Time (‘atf) during the period of occultation. Many scholars who is believed to be honest and just (‘adil) and who can be trusted in such matters have narrated stories of people meeting with Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance. These stories can be found in their books along with names of people who have been blessed with the opportunity to meet with him. Such meetings have taken place both during the period of minor occultation and major occultation.

It is inferred from narrations that the Imam of Age (May Allah hasten his reappearance) is not living far away from people and society. In fact, he is living with people and in their midst. He attends public congregations but people do not recognize him.

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Possibility of Establishing Relationship with Imam Mahdi, answer 513.

Index: The Signs of the Re-Emergence, according to ibn Mahziyar Ahwazi, answer 072.

Index:  The Benefits of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) during His occultation, answer 026.

Index:  When appear: Imam Mahdi (ajtf) brings a new order, Method or Shari’ah with Him, answer 022.

Index: For how long Imam Mahdi will rule the whole world, answer 231.

Index: Proving the Ghaybah of Imam Mahdi, answer 252.

[1] . Refer to: Mawood Shenasi, Pg. 437.

[2] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 51, Pg. 217, chapter 13 (ما فيه ع من سنن الأنبياء).

[3] . Gheibat Tusi, Pg. 421.

[4] . Ekmal al-Din, Vol. 2, Pg. 376.

[5] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 52, Pg. 287, chapter 26 (يوم خروجه و ما يدل عليه).

[6] . Ekmal al-Din, Vol. 1, Pg. 316.

[7] . Ekmal al-Din, Vol. 2, Pg. 652;  Ibid, chapter 57, Pg. 558, H. 12.

[8] . Refer to: Mawood Shenasi, Pg. 437.

[9] . Ibid.

[10] . Mawood Shenasi, Pg. 555.

[11] . Refer to: Edalat Gostar Jahan, Ibrahim Imani.

[12] . Haeri Qazwini, Mikyal al-Makarem, Vol. 1, Pg. 132.

[13] . Sheikh Sadouq, Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ne’amat, translated by Mansoor Pahlawan, Vol. 1, chapter 25, Pgs. 534-535, H. 1.

[14] . Ibid, Vol. 2, chapter 43, Pgs. 180-181.

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The Signs of the Re-Emergence, according to ibn Mahziyar Ahwazi

Question 072: I read this in the book ‘Scale of Wisdom’: Imam al-Mahdi (AS) said, when ‘Ali b. Mahzyar asked him, ‘O my master, when will this rule be?’ ‘When the way between you and the Ka’bah will close). Nur al-Thaqalayn, v. 5, p.461, no. 3. What does it mean by the way to the Ka’bah will be closed? Is it telling of a time that no one will be able to make Hajj? Does evil close the way, or is there no longer a need to go to the Ka’bah when al-Mahdi reappears?

Answer 072: Tthe hadith is regarded as one of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) according to the book al-Ghaybah and Kamal al-Din, but it is not actually one of the signs which will certainly occur. In short, the signs fall under two categories. One group consists of those signs which will certainly occur, foreshadowing the re-emergence: the rebellion of Sufyani, the rebellion of Yamani, the burst of a heavenly cry, the murder of an innocent soul, the sinking of the army of Sufyani into the desert ground, the rebellion of Dajjal. The remaining signs are not certain and as such might not occur. This hadith is not among those signs which will certainly occur.

The signs can be categorized into four groups:

1) The social signs: that is, to put it in a nutshell, those social phenomena whose upshot would be the downfall of the then perverted human civilization.

2) The religious and Ideological signs: which constitute the collapse and distortion of the Divine religion.

3) The Natural Signs: changes such as alterations in the constellations.

4) The individual and miraculous signs: such as the burst of a heavenly cry, and the murder of the Innocent Soul.[1]

The followings are some reasons we can come to the conclusion that why this hadith is not true or not among those signs which will certainly occur:

  1. This is the only tradition trying to say that ‘closing the way …’ is the sing of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi, but it is a Khabar al-Wahid and not considered as mutawatir hadith.[2] Because, there are other traditions in which it hasn’t mentioned as the signs which will certainly occur.
  2. This is one of the traditions that include some of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi with different versions mentioned in books: Kamal al-Din (by Sheikh Sadouq), Al-Ghaybah (by Sheikh Tusi) and Dalael al-Imamah (attributed to Tabari (shia)). But, the followings are some of the issues concerning its chains of narrations by which we can conclude that this hadith is weak:
  3. In these books, there are four different names related to ibn Mahziyar that both of them are not relaible. Some say: Abū Isḥāq, Ibrāhīm b. Mahzīyār al-Ahwāzī; some say: Abul Hasan Ali bin Mahziyar and other say: Ali bin Ebrahim bin Mahziyar. Whereas, the two brothers have introduced in Shia Rijal authentic books as ibn Mahziyar.
  4. According to some references, Ali bin Mahziyar died before the birth of Imam Mahdi (ajtf). If so, he was unable to visit Imam Mahdi (as). He was alive during the times of Imam Ridha, Imam Javad and Imam Hadi (pbuth).[3] Ayatollah Khuei (ra) said: there is no reason proving that Ali bin Mahziyar was alive alive till the time of Imamat of Imam Askari (as). [4]

C: As Ali bin mahziyar was a representative of Imam Javad and Imam Hadi (pbuth) and was so respectable to them (pbuth)[5], it was easy for him to see Imam Askari’s (as) family. So, it is not true to say that he was going to Hajj for several times to visit Imam Askari’s (as) family and see Imam Mahdi (as) Himself, but he couldn’t find them!

D: Kamal al-Din and Tamam al-Ne’mah is another reference in which the name of Ebrahim bin Mahziyar is mentioned has error in its chain of narration as follows: it is said that he was looking for the next Imam after the death of Imam Askari (as) and finally visited Imam Mahdi (ajtf) through an unknown man. But, according to Kafi and Kashi, Ebrahim bin Mahziyar was one of the Imam Askari’s (as) or Imam Mahdi’s (ajtf) monetary representative and also he stated in his will to give some of the properties left behind him to Amri (special deputy).[6]

  1. This tradition, as a related issue concerning Qiyamat, is mentioned under verses 1 to 40 of Surah al-Qiyamah of the Holy Quran, according to the author of Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn.

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows[7]:

في كتاب الغيبة لشيخ الطائفة قدس سره باسناده الى على بن مهزيار حديث طويل يذكر فيه دخوله على القائم عليه السلام و سؤاله إياه. و فيه: فقلت يا سيدي متى يكون هذا الأمر؟ فقال: إذا حيل‏ بينكم‏ و بين‏ سبيل‏ الكعبة و اجتمع‏ الشمس‏ و القمر، و استدار بهما الكواكب و النجوم- فقلت: متى يا ابن رسول الله؟ فقال لي: في سنة كذا و كذا تخرج دابة الأرض من بين الصفا و المروة، معه عصى موسى و خاتم سليمان يسوق الناس الى المحشر.

I said, then: My Master! When you appear? The Imam has replied: “when you are not being allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and the sun and moon gather together and the stars stand around them”. I said: O son of Rasool Allah, at what time? He (as) said: on such and such year, and ‘Dabbatul Ardh’ will appear between Safa and Marwa and has Moses’ (as) rod and Suleiman’s (as) signet-ring with itself and lead people to the Gathering Place (Mahshar). Thus, there have been mentioned many signs for re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (as) that some of which are related to the Day of Judgment.

  1. The Book Kamal al-Din is the first authentic book in which quoted the tradition concerning ibn Mahziyar. But, as we refer to the historical events, the Iranian and Iraqi people haven’t been allowed to make the pilgrimage to Mecca for several times.[8]

Conclusion: Although, the hadith is regarded as one of the signs of re-emergence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) according to the book al-Ghaybah and Kamal al-Din, but it is not actually one of the signs which will certainly occur and also due to the previous mentioned reasons this hadith cannot be true or at least it is weak in its chain of narration.

For further information, please read the following answers:

Index: The Benefits of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) during His occultation, answer 026.

Index: When appear: Imam Mahdi (ajtf) brings a new order, Method or Shari’ah with Him, answer 022.

[1] . Kitab al-Ghaybah, pgs. 252 – 254; 279 – 282. Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah, pg. 331 – 649.

[2] . Mutawatir is a hadith which is reported numerously by different narrators and through various chains of transmission in a way that substantiates its authenticity. Mutawatir hadiths are considered opposite Khabar al-Wahid.

[3] . Rijal al-Najjashi, Pg. 253.

[4] . Mojam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 12, Pg. 198; For further information in this regards, please refer to: Al-Kafi, Kuleini, Vol. 4, Pg. 310; Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Sadouq, Vol. 2, Pg. 444; Tahzib al-Ahkam, Sheikh Tusi, Vol. 9, Pg. 226.

[5] . Rijal al-Najjashi, Pg. 253; Al-Ghaybah, Sheikh Tusi, Pg. 349.

[6] . Rijal al-Kashi, Pg. 531; al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 518; For further information in this regards, please refer to: Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ne’mah, Vol. 2, Pgs. 446-467; Mojam Rijal al-Hadith, Vol. 1, Pg. 306, Vol. 4, Pg. 65; Ibid, Vol. 11, Pg. 193; Ibid, Vol. 12, Pg. 198.

[7] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, Pg. 12; Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, Vol. 5, Pg. 461; Tafsir al-Safi, Vol. 5, Pg. 255; Al-Ghaybah (by Tusi), the book Al-Ghaybah lilHujjah, al-Nass, Pg. 266.

[8] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 11, Pg. 107; Ibid, Pg. 249; al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, ibn Kathir, Vol. 11, Pg. 153; Ibid, Pgs. 155-156-189; Al-Tanbih wa al-Ashraf, Masoodi, Pg. 329; Shazerat al-Zahab, ibn Emad al-Hanbali, Vol. 4, Pg. 312; ibn Jawzi, al-Muntazim, Vol. 13, Pg. 378.

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The Benefits of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) during His occultation

Question 026: What are the benefits of Imam Mahdi during occultation?

Answer 026: Imam Mahdi (ajtf) is the channels and mediators between us and Allah’s (swt) grace and mercy. If He wasn’t in this world the human beings’ dynasty would be overthrown. If He doesn’t exist Allah would not be known completely, and as a result the relation between this universe and the Creator would be broken off.

The following are some of the benefits the existence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) bring, according to ahadith and the sayings of great scholars regarding this issue:

  1. The Imam is the mediators between us, the human beings and Divine grace: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) was asked, what is the benefit of Imam Mahdi during occultation? He replied: Yes. By Allah who appointed me as a Messenger they will benefit from the rays of the light of his imamate during his occultation. [He will be useful during his occultation] just as the sun hidden behind the clouds is useful for people. O Jabir! This is one of the secrets of Allah and the remaining of His knowledge and therefore keep it secret from unworthy people. [1]

Arabic version:

إِي وَ الَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالنُّبُوَّةِ إِنَّهُمْ يَسْتَضِيئُونَ بِنُورِهِ وَ يَنْتَفِعُونَ بِوَلَايَتِهِ فِي غَيْبَتِهِ كَانْتِفَاعِ النَّاسِ بِالشَّمْسِ وَ إِنْ تَجَلَّلَهَا سَحَابٌ يَا جَابِرُ هَذَا مِنْ مَكْنُونِ سِرِّ اللَّهِ وَ مَخْزُونِ عِلْمِهِ فَاكْتُمْهُ إِلَّا عَنْ أَهْلِهِ

 

The same question was asked Imam Mahdi (ajtf) and His Excellency has replied: I am useful during my occultation just as the sun hidden behind the clouds is useful for people.[2] Indeed, I am the cause of Tranquility and Peace for the people of this universe as the stars are for the sky.

  1. Spiritual Guidance: The Imam’s (as) duty is not only stating the Islamic teachings or apparently guiding people, but His other responsibility is to spiritually guiding us to the Right Path.

In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us.”[3]

Arabic version:

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

 

Also, Allah says: “And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs.”[4]

Arabic version:

وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا ۖ وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ

According to these verses of the holy Quran, we come to this conclusion that other than guiding people normally, the Imams (pbuth) are also responsible to spiritually guide their souls.

  1. Protecting the Divine Religion: Imam Ali (as) says: a group of people, as for the blessing of Imam Mahdi (as), will get ready to protect religion and suppress the seditions. By the holy Quran, their eyes are open, meaning and interpretation of the holy Quran will be explained to them and they will be taught Divine wisdom and sciences.[5]

Imam Sajjad (as) was asked about how the people make use of an “absent” imam; the imam answered: “The same way people benefit from the sun when it is behind the clouds.”[6]

The same way the sun gives off light and radiation behind the clouds, the imam in occultation is a source of guidance to the people (whether they know it or not).[7]

4- The upholding of clear signs and proof: No matter in occultation or amongst the people, the imams are the “proof” [hujjah] of Allah (swt) in this world [meaning that Allah (swt) has sent them to be followed, leaving no excuses for those who don’t], rising sincerely for Him with clear proof and signs.

Imam Ali (as) says: “O Kumayl!  This earth will never be without the hujjahs [proofs] who will prove the universality of truth as disclosed by Allah, they may be well-known persons, openly and fearlessly declaring the things revealed to them or they may, under fear of harm, injury or deaths hide themselves from the public gaze and may carry on their mission privately so that the reasons proving the reality of truth as preached by religion and as demonstrated by His Prophet may not totally disappear .”[8]  Other hadiths with the same theme can also be found that confirm the fact that the world never lacks Allah’s (swt) “proof” [meaning the imam].

5- Channels and mediators between us and Allah’s (swt) grace and mercy: Imam Sajjad (as) says: “We (the imams) are the means of the safekeeping of this world, we are the reason for the skies not collapsing onto the earth, the reasons why the clouds rain and the blessings of the ground emerge.  If it wasn’t for us, the earth would swallow its inhabitants…The world has never been free of a “divine proof”, the only thing is that sometimes he is present, while at other times, he is “absent” [which in reality means that he is unseen, not that he isn’t present at all].”[9]

In the famous and great ziyarah of Jame’ah Kabirah, some of these benefits and blessing have been pointed to:

“It is because of you [the imams] that Allah (swt) sends down the rain, it is because of you that the skies don’t collapse unto the earth, and it is because of you that sorrows and harms are relieved of and adverted.”[10]

It is because of the imams that Allah (swt) showers His general and special blessings upon the people and the Shiites.

3- Making use of Imam Mahdi’s existence (aj) by the people:

Imam Sajjad was asked about how the people make use of an “absent” imam; the imam answered: “The same way people benefit from the sun when it is behind the clouds.”[11]

The same way the sun gives off light and radiation behind the clouds, the imam in occultation is a source of guidance to the people (whether they know it or not).[12]

Muhaqqiq Tusi, one of the Shia’s greatest scholars says: “The existence of the imam is a divine grace, and the changes and things he does are another.  The reason why he is “absent” [not seen by us] is because of our own actions [and has nothing to do with him][13].”   What Muhaqqiq Tusi is trying to say is that him just being there and all the benefits that follow this presence of his are a great divine grace, although if he were to be seen by us as well, it would have also been another grace and other benefits would also follow.

Add to all of the above the fact that knowing the imam is present and aware of all that we do can factor greatly into many people moving towards virtuousness and righteousness [out of love and respect to the imam and because they know he is watching].

6- His aid and inspiration regarding scientific and spiritual matters which only belongs to the believers:[14] His Excellency pays great attention to the believers and Shia and prevents many calamities and disasters from taking place for them.  He also helps those who have the capacity to reach higher levels of spirituality [sometimes with them knowing it, and sometimes not].  Imam Mahdi (aj) says: “We never forget you and it is because of us that Allah (swt) averts dangers [that threaten you].”[15]

[1] . Kamal al-Din, Vol. 1, chapter 23, H. 3.

[2] . Kamal al-Din, Vol. 1, chapter 45, H. 4.

[3] . Surah Anbiya, verse 73.

[4] . Surah Sajdah, verse 34.

[5] . Ihtijaj Tabarsi, Vol. 2, Pg. 497.

[6] Farhange Mo’udnameh, pg. 529.

[7] Intizar Magazine, issue 5, pg. 130, article of Ali Rabbani Golpaygani.

[8] Nahjul-Balaghah, Saying 147; Al-Kafi, vol. 1, pg. 179.

[9] Mojtaba Tune’i, Farhange Alefbayiye Mo’udnameh, pg. 529; Biharul-Anwar, vol. 52 pg. 92.

[10] Mafatihul-Jinan, Ziyarah Jami’ah Kabirah.

[11] Farhange Mo’udnameh, pg. 529.

[12] Intizar Magazine, issue 5, pg. 130, article of Ali Rabbani Golpaygani.

[13] انحصار اللطف فيه معلوم للعقلاء و وجوده لطف و تصرفه آخر و عدمه منا  Kashful-Morad, pg. 363.

[14] Mikyalul-Makarem, vol.1, pg. 271, quoted by Farhange Mo’udnameh, pg. 593.

[15] Jum’eye Entezar, issue 5, pp. 135-142.

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When appear: Imam Mahdi (ajtf) brings a new order, Method or Shari’ah with Him

Question 022: Is Imam Mahdi (ajtf) going to bring a new Shari’ah?

Answer 022: Promoting and expanding the spiritual and material sciences is one of the important issue during the time of Imam Mahdi (ajtf). The knowledge will reach the highest level during that time, according to Imam Sadiq (as).

A great cultural revolution will occur by Imam Mahdi (ajtf). As mentioned in some Ahadith, the ratio of all the sciences known by man to the sciences which Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will discover is 2 to 27. This means that although we have made great progress, is not highly knowledgeable. This means, that Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will expand the knowledge completely. It doesn’t mean that the Shari’ah is incomplete and then Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will complete it! So, during the time of Imam Mahdi (ajtf), those who are eager and capable to learn more knowledge and participate in classes, they will reach the highest level of knowledge.[i]

The Arabic version of this hadith is as follows:

«الْعِلْمُ‏ سَبْعَةٌ وَ عِشْرُونَ‏ حَرْفاً فَجَمِیعُ مَا جَاءَتْ بِهِ الرُّسُلُ حَرْفَانِ فَلَمْ یَعْرِفِ النَّاسُ حَتَّى الْیَوْمِ غَیْرَ الْحَرْفَیْنِ فَإِذَا قَامَ قَائِمُنَا أَخْرَجَ الْخَمْسَةَ وَ الْعِشْرِینَ حَرْفاً فَبَثَّهَا فِی النَّاسِ وَ ضَمَّ إِلَیْهَا الْحَرْفَیْنِ حَتَّى یَبُثَّهَا سَبْعَةً وَ عِشْرِینَ حَرْفاً»
The following are some hadith in which mentioned that Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will bring new religion:
Imam Baqir (as) said: When Imam Mahdi (as) appears He will bring new order, new method and new judgment with Him.[ii]
یَقُومُ الْقَائِمُ بِأَمْرٍ جَدِیدٍ وَ کِتَابٍ جَدِیدٍ وَ قَضَاءٍ جَدِیدٍ

Imam Sadiq (as) said: Imam Mahdi (as) will do the same act that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) done. As the holy Prophet (pbuh) that destroyed the act of Jaheliyyah (ignorance), the Imam will destroy current innovations (bid’ah) and then rejuvenates Islam.[iii]

The Arabic version of this hadith:

قَالَ يَصْنَعُ مَا صَنَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ يَهْدِمُ‏ مَا كَانَ قَبْلَهُ كَمَا هَدَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَمْرَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ وَ يَسْتَأْنِفُ الْإِسْلَامَ جَدِيداً

Some translators have mistakenly translated that He (ajtf) will appear with new book, a new Shari’ah. Because, the phrase “یستأنف الاسلام جدیدا” doesn’t mean new religion, it means rejuvenates Islam.

It clear that the newness of these programs, methods and judgments is not because he brings new religion with him, but exits Islam from the congestion of superstitions, distortions and incorrect interpretations and false understandings in the way that it appears like a completely new building

In the Holy Quran Allah (swt) says: “Truly, the Perfect Religion in The Sight of Allah is Islam.” Also, Allah (swt) says: “Muhammad is not the father of [any] of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.” [iv]

According to the following issues, we see that Imam Mahdi (ajtf) is the leader who guides us toward the right path.

«إِذَا قَامَ الْقَائِمُ (ع) دَعَا النَّاسَ إِلَی الْإِسْلَامِ جَدِیداً وَ هَدَاهُمْ إِلَی أَمْرٍ قَدْ دَثَرَ وَ ضَلَّ عَنْهُ الْجُمْهُورُ وَ إِنَّمَا سُمِّیَ الْقَائِمُ مَهْدِیّاً لِأَنَّهُ یُهْدَی إِلَی أَمْرٍ مَضْلُولٍ عَنْهُ وَ سُمِّیَ الْقَائِمَ لِقِیَامِهِ بِالْحَقِّ»

Reasons: 1. Some traditions and rules have not been declared due to the lack of circumstances and conditions during the time of the Infallibles (pbuth). Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will explain them completely.

  1. Some rules have been removed from books of Ahadith and He (ajtf) will carry them out.
  2. Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will present the real rules as they seem unreal during the time of occultation, however, we must act based on them.
  3. Thanks to technology and other reasons which help people expand their knowledge of comprehending the Islamic teachings, they will have a lot of new questions which are required to be answered comprehensively.
  4. Mahdi (ajtf) is an imam, not a Prophet, Imam does not bring new Shari’ah.

5. Since, people have deviated Islam over time from the original message of the Prophet (saw), or have misinterpreted it, but since Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) are qualified to interpret Quran they know much more than various caliphs, scholars, individuals over time – they also know which hadith are real and which are fabricated, etc. They know the proper intent without doubt.

Therefore, Imam Mahdi (ajtf) will appear and guide us based on the above mentioned issues. People think that He (ajtf) will bring a new method or a new Shari’ah, though the only Perfect Religion in The Sight of Allah (swt) is Islam and it has been completed.

[i] . Majlesi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, Pgs. 336-364.

[ii] . Ibn abi Zaynab (Nomani), Muhammad bin Ebrahim, al-Ghibah, researcher and editor: Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, Pg. 233, Sadouq publication, Tehran, first edition, 1397 A.H.

[iii] . Majlesi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, Pg. 352, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, second edition, 1403 A.H.

[iv] . Surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 19;  Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 40

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Possibility of Establishing Relationship with Imam Mahdi

Question 513: Is meeting with the Imam before his re-appearance only spiritual or physical meetings are also possible? Please do cite the examples as well.

Brief Answer 513: A relationship with Imam Mahdi (aj) can be in one of three ways; an inner relationship, an in-person one or in dream.  Although they are possible, yet the latter calls for different “prerequisites”.  Having an inner connection with the imam and living up to this inner relationship can be considered one of the prerequisites for meeting him in person. And recognizing the Imam (aj) in dream is not possible for everyone.

When two individuals know nothing about each other, there is no way they can have a relationship, unless at least one of them knows the other sparking a two way knowledge and awareness that will finally end in a relationship.

As for having a relationship with Imam Mahdi (as), he is one end of the relationship that knows us very well and has affection for us.  What is left for us, the other end, is to know our imam well and become worthy enough to see him, as has been the case with many righteous and pious individuals.

Detailed Answer 513: There are three types of relationships one can have with Imam Mahdi (aj); a) In person b) In the heart. c) In dream. The question is, are these relationships possible?  In order to answer this question, we will analyze each of them separately:

1) Meeting the imam in person: Meaning that the two meet each other physically; this can be in one of two ways:

  1. A) To see the imam but not recognize him

According to hadiths, this is possible for all and takes place as well.  Sheikh Saduq, a great Shia scholar narrates from one of the imam’s “specific” representatives that he said: “Imam Mahdi (aj) participates in the Hajj ceremony every year; he sees the people and knows all of them, yet the people see him but don’t recognize him.”[1]  So not only isn’t seeing the imam possible, but it is also takes place, nevertheless, such a seeing can’t be called having a relationship with him, and this isn’t what your question is about.

  1. B) To see the imam and recognize him:

Is it possible for one to see the imam and recognize him?  Yes, it is possible, and the real question is, if one is righteous and pious enough to be worthy of seeing the imam, why wouldn’t the imam want to see him?!  There is no reason for Imam Mahdi (aj) not seeing anyone until the zuhur [his emergence].  He hasn’t sworn to not see anyone till then.  There is one exception though, and that is that there are sometimes other reasons that make it better for the imam not to meet a certain person who is worth [for instance, sometimes it is for the person’s own good not to the see the imam].

There are many stories of great scholars and individuals that tell us of them meeting the imam.  Some of them recognized the imam while others realized who they had met after they/he had left.

The point that needs to be made here is that meeting the imam doesn’t always have to be in person, although meeting him in person is a very extraordinary and sweet experience.  This type of meeting doesn’t take place for everyone and seldom does the imam meet someone in such a way.  What is important is for all of us to at least have an inner connection with him.

2- Having a relationship with him in the heart:

This means for one to be in touch with the imam through the soul and heart, regardless of whether he speaks and prays for the imam orally or in the heart, without ever experiencing his physical presence.

Is this type of relationship possible?  Of course it is; no matter where we are and how we speak with them, the imams hear our voices and are aware of the situations we are in.  When entering the shrines of the imams, we say: “اشهد أنک تسمع کلامی و تشهد مقامی”,[2] which means “I bear witness that you hear my words and are aware of my standing”.

There are numerous hadiths which tell us that the Prophet (pbuh) and imams (as) are aware of all of us and the situations we are in.  In the story of Uways Qarani [the person who left his old mother to travel to Medinah to see the Prophet (pbuh) with her permission, given that he would return by the end of the night, and after reaching Medinah, realized that the prophet (pbuh) was out of town, and would return at a time that if Uways was to await him, wouldn’t reach home in time, thus breaking his promise to his mother, so he left Medinah without seeing the prophet (pbuh), despite his deep love to see him], we read that he loved the prophet (pbuh) very much and although he longed to see him, he never succeeded, yet the prophet (pbuh) knew of him and his extreme affection for the prophet (pbuh).  In a hadith, the prophet (pbuh) says: “The scent of heaven blows from Qaran’s direction, O Uways, how I long to see you!  [The prophet (pbuh) was very pleased of the fact that Uways had returned to his home without succeeding in seeing him, just to fulfill his promise to his mother and for the sake of Allah (swt)] Send him my salams if you ever see him.”  He goes on to say: “He will never see me, and after me, will be martyred while fighting on Ali’s (as) side in the battle of Siffin.”[3]

So the prophet (pbuh) and imams (as) are aware of us and what we have in our hearts, regardless of whether we verbalize it or not.  Thus, we always have the chance to get in touch and speak with them anytime we want.

  1. Having a relationship with him in dream.

Generally, it is possible to see an Infallible (pbuth) in dream.

There are different types of dreams which can be divided into three categories: one, clear dreams which do not have to be interpreted. Two, dreams which do not have an interpretation due to their being difficult or to another excuse. Three, dreams where the soul uses similes; these dreams can be interpreted.[4]

After this introduction it must be stated that one, in a dream, through the mithali and intellectual existence meet one of the beloved ones. [5]

How to make sure this is one of the Infallibles (pbuth) if we see Him in our Dream? The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: Whoever sees Me, my Ahlul Bayt or my followers in his dream has certainly seen us, because the Satan is unable to assume our form. [6]

The Arabic version of the Hadith is as follows:

مَنْ رَآنِي فِي مَنَامِهِ فَقَدْ رَآنِي لِأَنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَا يَتَمَثَّلُ فِي صُورَتِي وَ لَا فِي صُورَةِ أَحَدٍ مِنْ أَوْصِيَائِي وَ لَا فِي صُورَةِ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْ شِيعَتِهِم‏

According to Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, if one has already seen an Infallibles (pbuth) in person he would be able to recognize the Infallible in his dream. Otherwise, one cannot be able to recognize whether this is the Imam or not. There is a way to make sure if this is Imam or not is to see if He is recommending the one to do the righteous deeds, mustahab act or bid with is wrong. Thus, if the one who claims to be an Imam order his to do the bid what is right he can make sure this is the Imam.[7]

Ways for establishing a relationship with the Imam

Here, we would like to draw your attention to some advice and tips given by The Grand Ayatullah Bahjat [who is known for his high spirituality] for those who want to see and meet the imam:

In response to a question from those who want to meet the imam in person, he says: “Recite salawats frequently, [Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad], adding the wa ajjil farajahum [which means “and hasten their aid [to us]” (aid here refers to the return of Imam Mahdi)] to the end, and offer them [their blessings and rewards] to the imam (aj), go to the Jamkaran mosque on a regular basis and pray the the special prayers there.”[8]

In another place, concerning the ways one can use to establish a relationship with the imam, he says: “Establishing a relationship with Allah (swt) is contingent upon obeying Him and Imam Zaman (aj), and in order to know that we are doing so, we need to act according to what Islam has asked us to do, which calls for us to refer to a risalah [the books in which Islamic marja’s record their verdicts on Islamic law] that can be followed [and apply all of the rules therein to our everyday lives].”[9]

In response to another question about how we can strengthen our relationship with the imams, especially Imam Mahdi (aj), he says: “Obeying Allah (swt) after understanding who He is and getting familiar with him, brings love for Him, and love for those Allah (swt) likes, who are the prophets (pbut) and their successors, in which the most beloved of all of them are the prophet of Islam (pbuh) and his progeny (as), and the closest of them to us is Imam Mahdi (aj).”[10]

Other ways for establishing a relationship with the imam have also been mentioned elsewhere:

2-1 Reciting the dua of اللهم کن لولیک … for his health and well-being.[11]

2-2 Reciting Dua Ahd[12] which Imam Sadiq (as) has said that whosoever recites this dua during the sabah [between dawn and sunrise] will be one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (aj).

3-2 Reciting Ziyarah Ale-Yasin,[13] which Imam Mahdi (aj) has said: “Whenever you want to focus on us, recite this ziyarah.”  It can be found in Mafatihul-Jinan.

4-2 Reciting Ziyarah Jame’ah Kabirah which can also be found in Mafatihul-Jinan.[14]

Therefore, it is possible to establish a relationship with Imam Zaman (aj).  It just depends on how much we want and strive for it.  It is both possible to have an inner connection with him, or, in the case of very hard struggle and effort by being pious and staying away from sins, even see and meet him.  One can even reach a level that the imam himself will come to him!  Of course, we should all keep in mind that if one does all of the things mentioned above and still doesn’t succeed in seeing the imam (aj), he/she shouldn’t lose hope, but should try harder and harder and be more careful of his/her actions.

Finally, there are always chances of a person being totally worthy of seeing the imam, yet other circumstances don’t allow such a thing to happen, such as seeing him not being to the benefit of the individual, and we should be aware of this fact and not lose hope, but continue our way, because we have been brought to this world to serve and obey Allah (swt), regardless of whether we see our imam (as) or not, and that is what being a true servant of Allah (swt) is; to serve Him sincerely, without expecting anything in return [although he never leaves our good actions without any reward].

Hadith: Deny the claims of those who say they have seen the Imam (aj):

A question might come up here which is: “If it is possible to see the Imam (aj), then how come there are hadiths that tell us to deny the claims of those who say they have seen the imam?

The answer to this question is that there are hadiths that tell us whoever claims to have seen the imam before the emergence of the Sufyani and “the cry”[15] is a liar.[16] Regarding these hadiths, our scholars have said: “What the imam means by “seeing” [when he says those who claim to have seen me], is for one to claim to have seen him and say that he is the imam’s “specific” representative, like the four representatives he had during his minor occultation.[17]  In any case, none of these hadiths reject the possibility of seeing the imam, all they say is to deny the claims of those who say they have seen him.  When we read about the lives of some of the great individuals who had seen the imam (aj), we see that none of them neither announced nor took advantage of what had taken place for them; in many cases, they had concealed it until their deaths and after that others had found out.

Without a doubt, being able to see the Imam (aj) takes a lot of hard work and effort.

The final point that needs to be made is the importance of maintaining a relationship with him for his followers, because as we all know, when one has a relationship with those higher than him in spirituality and morality, he strives to become like them or at least more like them than before.  It has been proven in psychology that every person is in need of a “role model”.  For instance, when a youth establishes an inner relationship with Imam Mahdi (aj), it has an impact on his life and he tries to do things that will please his master; this will eventually end in his spiritual progression.  Thus we can say that a relationship with the imam can play the role of an “engine” in one’s life; pushing towards good deeds and morality.

When a youth sees all of the dignity, grace and virtues of his imam, he will try to establish a relationship with him, and of course, such a matter doesn’t necessarily have to be through physically getting in contact with the imam; all people can have a relationship with him by reading about him, his characteristics, attributes, virtues and way of life, and following him in all of them and becoming more like him.  Certainly, the imam’s vast existence is to the extent that whenever one gets in touch with him through the heart, he also pays attention to the individual, as corroborated by different ziyarahs that say: “I bear witness that you hear my words and see my standing”.[18] Therefore, it isn’t our duty to see the imam in person, although it would be a great blessing for such a thing to happen, nevertheless, if one doesn’t ever see the imam, it doesn’t mean that the imam is indifferent and doesn’t care about him/her.

[1] ان صاحب هذا الامر یحضر الموسم کل سنة یری الناس و یعرفهم و یرونه و لا یعرفونه  Man La Yahdhuruhul-Faqih, vol. 2, pg. 520, hadith 3115).

[2] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 97, pg 375, chapter 5, hadith 9.

[3] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 42, pg. 155, chapter 124, hadith 22.

[4] Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, p.372

[5] Refer to Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, pgs. 366-373

[6] . Biharul Alnwar, Vol. 49, chapter 19, Pg. 283, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 1403.

[7] . Nihad Nemayandegi of the Supreme Leader (ha) in Universities, recommendations, question and answer, Vol. 2, second edtion, Pg. 69.

[8] Seyyid Mahdi Sa’i, Beh Sooye Mahboub, pg. 59.

[9] Ibid, pg. 61.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Kafi, vol. 4, pg. 162, chapter الدعا فی العشر الاواخر (supplications for the final ten days), hadith 4.

[12] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 53, pg. 95, chapter 29, hadith 11.

[13] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 99, pg. 81, chapter 7, hadith 1.

[14] Man La Yahdhuruhul-Faqih, vol. 2, pg. 609, hadith 3213.

[15] These are two of the signs ofZuhur.

[16] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 151, chapter 23, hadith 1.

[17] Allamah Majlisi quotes this interpretation of this hadith under it in Biharul-Anwar from the book Ikmaluddin.

[18] Biharul-Anwar, vol. 97, pg. 375, chapter 5, hadith 9  “أشهد أنک تسمع کلامی و تشهد مقامی”.