Friday, 18 March 2022

Muhammad Al-Mahdi The Last Imam/Khalifah

In the name of Allah the Beneficent The Merciful

The Praise and adoration of every acts of goodness belong to Allah (swt) exclusively. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of mankind, the best source of emulation, the Messenger of Allah (saw), and his purified Ahlulbayt (a.s). 

Brothers and sisters in Islam, we would like to greet you with the best of greetings saying As-Salam alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. 

And congratulate the entire Muslim Ummah on this special day. Today, the 15th of Shaaban coincides with the commemoration  of the birth of the savior of humanity, Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (a.s). 

It is very expedient using the opportunity of today's significant to quickly discuss an aspect in Islamic fundamentals, and that is in regards to the concept of Mahdawiyyah (Mahdism). 

While we try to give a very brief introduction to this concept, our main focus shall be on the commonalities in the Shia-Sunni Hadith corpus regarding the personality of Al-Mahdi. 

The concept of Mahdism in Islam is derived from numerous Qur'anic verses and explicitly explained to the Ummah by the noble Prophet himself that at a time, the world shall be filled with tyranny, injustice and oppression beyond bearable. At this time, Allah (swt) will BRING OUT a man from the progeny of our noble Prophet who will reform the world. 

In a nutshell, the noble Quran gives a precise and concise message regarding this concept. Allah says: 

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ 

And certainly We wrote in the Zabur (Psalms) after the reminder that (as for) the earth, My righteous servants shall inherit it." 


Holy Qur'an 

This is an obvious indicator that the earth will eventually be inherited and governed by righteous servants of Allah (swt). And knowing Islamic concept and system of governance, it is expedient that a leader (Khalifah) will lead these "righteous servants". This khalifah is the last of the 12 Imams (peace be upon them all) from the pure progeny of the noble Prophet (saw). 


Abu Sa'id al-Khudri "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, "The Mahdi will come out at the END of my Ummah." 

Al-Hakim: Saheeh (Authentic)

Al-Dhahabi: Saheeh (Authentic)

Source: Al-Mustadrak 'ala Al-Sahihayn. Vol. 4, Pg. # 601, H. # 8673.

The grand Salafi scholar, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin writes in his commentary of Al-'Aqidah al-Safariniyyah: 

"His statement (the Last, Eloquent Imam): that is, from the signs of the Hour is the Imam. "The Imam (here) refers to the one who leads mankind, not (just) in salat but in government. This Imam will be their supreme Imam, as the Khalifah.

He says that he (al-Mahdi) is the last, the last of whom? The last of the Imams, because there will be NO Imam after him. As such, he is the LAST of the Imams. His name is Muhammad, and his title is "the Mahdi", meaning the one who has been guided by Allah the Almighty. This is the Mahdi who will be SENT during the End of Time, when the earth will have been filled with injustice and oppression and the truth will have been forgotten... At that period, Allah the Almighty will SEND this man as a male Imam to reform THE CREATION and to restore the truth" 

Source: Sharh Al-'Aqidah Al-Safariniyyah. Pg. # 450-451.

This concept is definitely not far-fetched in the beliefs of other religions as they are expecting a "Messiah" that will reform the world at a global scale. The main area of differences is only in the identity and personality of that "Messiah." 

Alas! This very area of differences also exist between the major Muslim sects: the Shi'ah and the 'Sunni'. However, rather than talking about the differences, we shall only focus on the common grounds between the two school of thoughts regarding Al-Mahdi. 

There are various narrations that are agreed upon by both schools. His name and nickname, his resemblance with the noble Prophet, being of the offsprings of Imam Alee (a.s) and lady Faatima (s.a), Hadith on the certainty of his appearance, Hadith regarding his followers/supporters, Hadith on Hazrat Isa and Imam al-Mahdi and many others. 


Narrated Umm Salamah (s.a), Ummul Mu'minin: The Prophet (saw) said: The Mahdi will be of my offspring, of the descendants of Fatimah (s.a).

Al-Albani: says Saheeh (Authentic)

Narrated Alee ibn Abu Talib (a.s):  The Prophet (saw) said: If only one day of this time (world) remained, Allah would raise up a man from my Ahlulbayt (a.s) who would fill this earth with justice as it has been filled with oppression.

Al-Albani: Saheeh (Authentic)

Source: Sunan Abi Dawood. Pg. # 766. H. # 4283-4285. 

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