The Eleven Imams' Predictions about Imam Mahdi 1

The Eleven Imams' Predictions about Imam Mahdi 1

Dr. Fahimi: What was the belief of the Family of the Prophet and the Imams regarding the Mahdi?

Mr. Hoshyar: Following the Prophet's death the subject of Mahdiism was also under discussion among the Prophet's companions and the Imams. The Family of the Prophet, as the heirs to the Prophet's knowledge and to the intricate matters concerning faith, was the most knowledgeable about the Prophetic traditions. They spoke about the Mahdi and replied to the questions that were posed to them on this subject. Let us cite some examples of these communications by them with some attention to the chronology. Although there are several traditions cited from each one of the Imams and from Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) we will cite just one from each:

(1) Tradition Narrated by Imam 'Ali about the Future Coming of the Mahdi

The following tradition is related by al-Asbagh who heard 'Ali b. Abi Talib say: The promised Mahdi will emerge at the End of Time from among us. There is no Mahdi in any nation other than him being awaited.

There are more than fifty traditions narrated from 'Ali b. Abi Talib in connection with the future appearance of the Mahdi and his being from among the Family of the Prophet.

(2) Tradition Narrated by Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her)

Holy Lady Fatima Zahra told her son Imam Husayn:

When I gave birth to you, the Prophet came to see me. He took you in his hands and said to me: "O Fatima, take your Husayn, and know that he is the father of nine Imams. From his descendants will appear righteous leaders among whom the ninth will be the Qa'im (1)."

(3) Tradition Narrated by Imam Hasan b. 'Ali (PBUH)

Imam Hasan b. 'Ali said:

There will be twelve Imams following the Prophet. Nine of these Imams will be from the progeny of my brother Husayn. The Mahdi of this ummah will be among them (2).

(4) Tradition Narrated by Imam Husayn b. 'Ali (PBUH)

Imam Husayn b. 'Ali said:

Twelve Imams will be from among us. The first among them will be 'Ali b. Abi Talib and the last will be my ninth descendant, the rightful Qa'im. Because of his blessed existence God will bring back the dead earth to life and prosperity. God will give victory to His religion over all other religions, even if this be against the liking of the disbelievers. The Mahdi will disappear from public for a while. During his occultation a number of people will abandon religion, whereas others will remain steadfast and will suffer because of their faith.
This latter group will be asked tauntingly: "If your belief is true, when would your promised Imam rise?" But, remember that whoever perseveres under those unfavorable circumstances when enemies would falsify and harm them, their status will be like those who fought by the side of the Prophet in defending the religion of God (3).

(5) Tradition Narrated by Imam 'Ali b. Husayn (PBUH)

Imam 'Ali b. Husayn said:

The birth of our Qa'im will be hidden from the people in such a way that they will assert: "He has not been born at all!" The reason for his concealment is that when he begins his revolution he will have no one's allegiance on his neck (4).

(6) Tradition Narrated by Imam Muhammad Baqir (PBUH)

Imam Muhammad b. 'Ali Baqir told Aban b. Taghlib:

I solemnly declare that the Imamate is the divine covenant that has reached us from the Prophet. The Imams after the Prophet are twelve in number of whom nine are the descendants of Husayn. At the End of Time the Mahdi will also emerge from among us who will protect the religion of God (5).

(7) Tradition Narrated by Imam Ja'far Sadiq (PBUH)

Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad Sadiq said:

Whoever acknowledges all the Imams, but denies the existence of the Mahdi, is like the one who acknowledges all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Someone asked him: "Among whose descendants is the Mahdi?" The Imam responded:

The fifth progeny of the seventh Imam [Musa Kazim] will be the Mahdi. However, he will disappear. It is not proper for you to name him (6).

(8)Tradition Narrated by Imam Musa Kazim (PBUH)

Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman asked Imam Musa b. Ja'far: "Are you the rightful Qa'im?" He replied:

Yes, I am the rightful Qa'im. But the Qa'im who will purify the earth from the enemies of God and will fill it with justice and equity, is my fifth descendant. Since he is afraid for his life, he will be in occultation for a long time. During this period of occultation, a group will turn away from religion. But some will remain steadfast in their faith.

He went on to add:

Blessed are those Shi'a who during this period of occultation will continue to be faithful to us and remain steadfast in their loyalty to us and their hostility toward our enemies. Truly, they are from us and we are from them. They are convinced about our Imamate and we acknowledge their fealty to us. By God, blessed are they! They will be with us in Paradise (7).

Continue in the next article: ( The Eleven Imams' Predictions About Imam Mahdi 2 )

NOTES:

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1. Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 2, p. 552. There are three more traditions here reported from Fatima Zahra

2. Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 555. There are four other traditions reported from Imam Hasan

3. Ibid., Vol. 2, pp. 333, 399; Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 133. There are thirteen more traditions reported from Imam Husayn

4. Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 135. There are additionally ten traditions reported on the authority of Imam 'Ali b. al-Husayn

5. Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 2, p. 559. Additionally, there are sixty-six traditions related on the authority of al-Baqir

6. Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 143; Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 2, p. 404. There are one hundred and twenty-three additional traditions reported on the authority of al-Sadiq

7. Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 151; Ithbat al-hudat, Vol. 6, p. 417