Hazrat Mahdi (as), who is revealed in the hadith as coming in the End Times, is a holy individual awaited with great love and fervor by the whole Islamic world for some 1400 years, whom all Muslims at all times wish to live alongside, and blessed and charged with a most honorable task by Allah (God). Our Prophet (saas) reveals that Allah will send Hazrat Mahdi (as) as a great blessing for the entire Muslim world and that he will ‘cause Islamic moral values to prevail across the world. According to the information provided by our Prophet (saas), the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is now very close, and will soon take place. According to the indications in the hadith, Hazrat Mahdi (as) has already started work and is carrying out his activities among people. However, it is still uncertain who Hazrat Mahdi (as) actually is; people do not recognize him, even though he is among them, and do not know him by his title of Hazrat ‘Mahdi’ (as).
However, the hadith of our Prophet (saas) provide a great deal of detailed information, signs and evidence for people to be able to recognize him. One of the important pieces of information that provide a clue as to recognizing Hazrat ‘Mahdi’ (as) is that ‘Hazrat ‘Mahdi’ (as) name and fame will spread constantly across the world.’ Even if people do not know he is the Hazrat Mahdi (as), they will frequently see him, hear his voice, learn his ideas, follow his works and activities and speak often about him, in manners described in the hadith. The hadith reveal how during this time, people will frequently speak of Hazrat Mahdi (as), remember his name, talk about him and feel great love and fervor for him:
HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL APPEAR, EVERYONE WILL SPEAK OF HIM ALONE; THEY WILL ABSORB HIS LOVE AND SPEAK OF NOTHING ELSE. 1
When Hazrat Mahdi (as) comes, PEOPLE WILL EMBRACE HIM WITH LOVE AND AFFECTION. 2
Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the most auspicious of people (in his time). His helpers and those who swear allegiance to him ... will have Jibril before them and Mikail behind. HE (HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL BE BELOVED OF ALL LIVING THINGS. 3
1 (Al-Burhan fi Alamat Al-Mahdi, p. 33)
2 (Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi alamat Al-Mahdi Al-Muntazar, p. 37)
3 (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 58)
Salama ibn Zufar relates: “HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL APPEAR WHEN PEOPLE ARE WEARIED OF EVIL, SAVAGERY AND OPPRESSION AND WHEN NO PERSON LIVING IN RECLUSION IS AS GREAT OR LOVED AS HIM.” 4
Certain it is that he (Hazrat Mahdi (as)) WILL NOT APPEAR UNTIL HE IS THE MOST BELOVED OF PEOPLE due to the evils they suffer. 5
ALLAH WILL FILL EVERYONE’S HEARTS WITH LOVE OF HIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)]. 6
HAZRAT MAHDI’S GLORY WILL SPREAD ALL OVER THE WORLD THROUGH THE INTERNET, TELEVISION AND RADIO
In the End Times, the name and renown of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will spread constantly across the world. The Internet, television and radio will play a major role in this. We are told in the hadith of our Prophet (saas) that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) renown will spread by way of images and videos carried over the Internet, television films and radio:
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will (spiritually) conquer both east and west and cause Islam (the moral values of Islam) to rule the world... ALLAH WILL BESTOW SUCH POWERS ON PEOPLE THAT EVERYONE WILL HEAR HIS (THE MAHDI’S (AS)) WORDS, WHEREVER THEY MAY BE and Imam (as) will give life to Islam...7
Certain it is that IN THE TIME OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IF A BELIEVER IS IN THE EAST HE WILL SEE HIS BROTHER IN THE WEST. AND IF HE IS IN THE WEST, HE WILL SEE HIS BROTHER IN THE EAST. 8
4 (Al-Khawi, vol. 2, p. 159)
5 (Ali ibn Husamaddin al Muttaki, Hadith from the Commentary of Imam Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Kahraman Publication, p. 27)
6 (Al-Qawl Al-Mukhtasar Fi alamat Al-Mahdi Al-Muntazar, p. 42)
7 (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, p. 27 and Vol. 53, p.12 Ikmal'ud- Din, Vol. 2, p. 367)
8 (Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 52, p. 391)
In addition, it is also indicated in the hadith that every community will be able to hear the voice and see images of Hazrat Mahdi (as), again through such means of communication as the Internet, television and radio, and that they will be able to listen to him, translated into their own languages, from anywhere in the world:
The Ikdu’d-Durer says: THIS VOICE WILL BE BROADCAST ACROSS THE WORLD, AND EVERY PEOPLE WILL HEAR IT IN THEIR OWN TONGUE. 9
A VOICE from the sky ADRESSING THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH, AND EVERYONE WILL HEAR IT IN HIS OWN LANGUAGE. 10
A voice from the sky will call him by name AND EVEN PEOPLE ASLEEP IN THE EAST AND WEST WILL HEAR THIS VOICE AND WEAKEN. 11
In another hadith, it is indicated that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will answer all the questions put to him about the eastern (Muslim) and western (Christian) worlds and that people will witness these.
Thanks to technological progress and by means of the Internet and television, people all over the world will witness the statements made by Hazrat Mahdi (as). All questions about which people are curious will be put to him, and he will answer them:
... HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THINGS BETWEEN THE EAST AND WEST. 12
THE HAND REFERRED TO IN THE HADITH “A HAND WILL REACH OUT FROM THE SKY AND A VOICE WILL SAY ‘THIS IS HAZRAT MAHDI (AS), FOLLOW HIM’.” WILL BE THAT OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WHO WILL BE SEEN ON TV AND THE INTERNET.
It is narrated from Qaza’ah (N. b. Hammad) Zuhri that he said: ... A VOICE WILL BE HEARD FROM THE SKY, SAYING: “ALLAH’S SAINT IS THIS PERSON.” (Referring to Hazrat Mahdi(as))
Asma binti Umays says: THE SIGN OF THAT DAY IS A HAND REACHING OUT FROM THE SKY AND PEOPLE STOPPING TO LOOK AT IT. 13
... AT THAT TIME A HAND WILL BE SEEN TO MANIFEST ITSELF... 14
9 (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 51)
(Muhammad ibn Rasul al Hussein al Barzanji, Portents of Doomsday, p. 201)
10 (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 37)
11 (Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Makki (Haitami), The Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al Muntazar, p. 56)
12 (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Noman p. 283)
13 (Ali ibn Husamaddin Al Muttaki, Hadith from the Commentary of Imam Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Kahraman Publication, p. 69)
14 (Ali ibn Husamaddin Al Muttaki, Hadith from the Commentary of Imam Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Kahraman Publication, p. 51)
CONFLICTS AND DISPUTES WILL CONTINUE UNTIL A HAND APPEARS FROM THE SKY and a voice cries “your leader is Hazrat Mahdi (as).”
THE SIGN OF THAT DAY: A HAND WILL REACH OUT OF THE SKY and people will look at and see it. 15
And he (Prophet Musa (as)) drew out his hand and there it was, PURE WHITE TO THOSE WHO LOOKED. (Surat al-Araf, 108)
In the hadith, our Prophet (saas) has revealed that one of the signs that will identify Hazrat Mahdi (as) before he actually appears is ‘a hand extended from the sky.’ Again according to these hadith, ‘people will see and look at this hand.’ Together with this hand, people will be told ‘This is Allah’s saint, Hazrat Mahdi (as).’ This voice calling out to people will be that of Hazrat Mahdi (as). Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not claim to be Hazrat Mahdi (as), but as the person who knows him best he will describe him to people by way of television and the Internet.
Again according to these signs in the hadith, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear before people’s eyes by way of the television and Internet, and people will constantly see his hand through these means. It also appears that, like the hand of the Prophet Musa (as) described in the Qur’an, that of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be very beautiful and eye-catching. And keeping that hand constantly in people’s view, people will always see it.
Another hadith says that, “Hazrat Mahdi (as) will use his hands when he talks; he will move his hand as he wishes to emphasize points when he speaks and they will see these movements:”
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be weighty in his speech. When he speaks, slowly and weightily, HE WILL HIT HIS LEFT KNEE WITH HIS RIGHT HAND. 16
This ‘hand being seen by everyone’ is another important sign that will identify Hazrat Mahdi (as) to people.
15 (Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Makki (Haitami), The Portents of the Awaited Mahdi, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al Muntazar, p. 53)
16 (Imam Suyuti, Portents of Doomsday, Death and Resurrection, p.174)
WE ARE TOLD IN THE HADITH THAT EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE WILL SEE HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IN THEIR HOMES AND ON THE STREETS, AND WILL SEE HIM VERY OFTEN, THEY WILL NOT REALIZE THAT HE IS HAZRAT MAHDI (AS).
Sadir al-Sayrafi says: I heard from Imam Abu Abdullah Jafar al-Sadiq that: ... He whose rights have been taken away and who is denied (HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)) WILL WALK AMONG THEM, MOVE THROUGH THEIR MARKETS AND WALK WHERE THEY WALK. BUT THEY WILL NOT RECOGNIZE HAZRAZ MAHDI (AS) until Allah gives them leave to recognize him, just as He did with the Prophet Yusuf (as). 17
Amr bin Sa’ad narrates from Commander of the Faithful Ali bin Abu Talib: “... I swear to the Lord of Ali that HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL BE ON FOOT, WILL WALK IN THE PATHS OF THIS WORLD, WILL ENTER HOMES AND PALACES, WILL TRAVEL IN THE EAST AND WEST, HIS WORDS WILL BE HEARD AND WILL GREET AND SEE THE COMMUNITY, but he will not be known until the promised time and until that voice comes from the sky.” 18
Our Prophet (saas) has revealed that in the period prior to the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as), Hazrat Mahdi (as) will often be seen among people, that people will see him as they sit in their homes or walk on the streets and will hear his voice and see images of him via the television and the Internet, but that they will still fail to recognize him and realize that he is Hazrat Mahdi (as). Hazrat Mahdi (as) will pass among people in markets and fairs, but since people do not expect him to be Hazrat Mahdi (as) they will not recognize him for who he is. This information provided in the hadith shows that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be someone familiar and known to people, someone prominent, whose name and renown are known to all, but someone who people do not identify with the title of Hazrat Mahdi (as).
17 (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p.189)
18 (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 167)
It also appears from the details our Prophet (saas) provides regarding Hazrat Mahdi (as) that his name and renown will spread in two ways:
1- HAZRAT MAHDI’S (AS) RENOWN WILL RESOUND EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD THROUGH HIS WORKS AND INTELLECTUAL STRUGGLE:
In the End Times, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be quite well known to people, prominent, and someone who is frequently talked about. People will be unaware that he is Hazrat Mahdi (as) before he appears, but they will have the opportunity to become well acquainted with him. Allah will introduce him to people by spreading his renown across the world and making his activities more effective than anyone has ever seen before.
Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) becoming well known to people all over the world will largely happen through his works and activities. Every word, action and work of Hazrat Mahdi (as), whom Allah will endow with special knowledge, wisdom, oratory, foresight and preaching ability, will provoke enormous responses all over the world. Although people will not know that Hazrat Mahdi (as) is the Mahdi, masses of people across the world will be completely devoted to him with great respect and love because of the reason, wisdom and genuine manner of communication in his works; and they will follow the path he shows them. In the same way, his opponents will be amazed by Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) powerful influence and will also be instrumental in spreading Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) renown and intellectual prowess by frequently referring to this person who demolishes heretical trends that had been around for decades in a single move.
2- HAZRAT MAHDI’S (AS) FAME AND GLORY WILL ALSO SPREAD ALL ACROSS THE WORLD AS A RESULT OF THE PRESSURE AND ATTACKS FROM THE DAJJAL.
In the End Times, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be the most important obstacle to the Dajjal, who will strive to spread denial and attempt to lead people into evil. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will obstruct the Dajjal by his sincere faith, and the effect of his wisdom and intelligence. For that reason, the Dajjal will resort to a number of superstitious techniques in an effort to try to neutralize Hazrat Mahdi (as) in society and people’s eyes. In one hadith it is revealed that “In the time when Hazrat Mahdi (as) lives, they will seek to follow, observe and put pressure on Hazrat Mahdi (as):”
In his account, Abu Said al-Hudri says the Messenger of Allah (saas) stated: When the Dajjal appears, one man from among the believers (HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)) will step forward to oppose him. AT THAT MOMENT MANY ARMED MEN, ARMED MEN INVOLVED IN SURVEILLANCE IN THE DAJJAL’S BASES, WILL OPPOSE THAT BELIEVER. 19
In this hadith of the Prophet’s (saas) it is revealed that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be watched and followed by armed men of the Dajjal’s. The Qur’an also reveals how similar efforts have been made to obstruct envoys preaching the true faith in their own times:
‘He is nothing but a man possessed so wait a while and see what happens to him.’ (Surat al-Muminun, 25)
However, as our Prophet (saas) says, these actions of the Dajjal’s will serve no purpose; on the contrary, they will actually be instrumental in further increasing Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) influence and power and spreading his name and renown over an even wider area.
In another hadith, our Prophet (saas) says that all the pressure and attacks he is exposed to will further strengthen Hazrat Mahdi (as):
When the believer (Hazrat Mahdi (as)) sees the Dajjal he will say, ‘O people! This is the Dajjal spoken of by the Messenger of Allah.’ The Dajjal will immediately issue orders regarding him and say, ‘Catch and injure him!’ THEN THAT INDIVIDUAL’S BACK AND STOMACH WILL BE EXTENDED BY BEATING. This time he (the Dajjal) will catch him by his hands and feet and cast him away. PEOPLE WILL IMAGINE THE DAJJAL HAS CAST HIM INTO THE FLAMES. BUT HE WILL REALLY HAVE BEEN CAST INTO PARADISE. 20
The hadith emphasize how the Dajjal will chain Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) hands and feet. This can be seen from the hadith; ‘Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be chained by his hands and feet and thrown into the prisons and mental asylums of his time.’
However, the figurative expression regarding Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) "back and stomach being extended by beating" shows that because of these pressures and attacks Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) name and glory will spread still further, and his influence will spread across the world.
The reference in the hadith to the Dajjal casting Hazrat Mahdi (as) into the flames shows that the Dajjal will seek to do him harm but will in fact further increase Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) power. The proponents of the system of the Dajjal will seek to burn Hazrat Mahdi (as) in a metaphorical fire, just like the Prophet Ibrahim (as), but Allah will cool the flames and foil the snares of the deniers, and He will make all their efforts in that regard instruments whereby the fame, renown and power of Hazrat Mahdi (as) increase still further.
19 (Mahdism and Imamiye, 37, (narration from Sahih Muslim, 11/393)
20 (Mahdism and Imamiye, p. 40)
HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL NOT SAY, ‘I AM HAZRAT MAHDI (AS);’ BUT ALLAH WILL RAISE THE FOG OF HEEDLESSNESS FROM BEFORE PEOPLE’S EYES AND ENABLE THEM TO GRASP ‘THE TRUTH OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS).’
Hazrat Mahdi (as) will never say, “I am Hazrat Mahdi (as).’ The signs Allah has revealed through the mouth of our Prophet (saas) will identify him as the Mahdi. One of these signs is the fact that, “HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL BE THE PERSON BEST ABLE TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT HAZRAT MAHDI (AS).” With his work, and his most accurate and wise interpretation of the hadith and statements by Islamic scholars concerning Hazrat Mahdi (as), he will describe the Hazrat Mahdi (as) to people in the very best manner. One hadith reveals that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be the person with the best knowledge of the truth of the information our Prophet (saas) provides regarding the End Times, for which reason only Hazrat Mahdi (as) will properly be able to provide the most accurate interpretation of our Prophet’s (saas) hadith about the End Times:
Abu Basir says: I heard Imam Muhammad Bakir say, “...He said: When Hazrat Mahdi (as) appears he will follow in the path of the Messenger of Allah. ONLY HE WILL BE ABLE TO EXPLAIN THE WORKS OF THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH...” 21
With these wise interpretations Hazrat Mahdi (as) will increase people’s foresight. He will not openly state, “I am the Mahdi.’ But he will lift the fog of heedlessness before people’s eyes by indicating Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) existence and power and enable them to understand the ‘truth of the Hazrat Mahdi (as).’ The more Hazrat Mahdi (as) talks about the Mahdi, the more people will conclude that he is genuine and will wish to be his spiritual followers.
21 (Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim Nomani, al-Ghaybah al-Nomani, p. 191)