After many centuries of waiting and agony, the days of tyranny and darkness will finally come to an end; the rays of the sun of felicity will become visible; and the great personage who, by the help of God, is supposed to wipe out the remnants of tyranny and oppression, will appear. He will affect extensive reforms and fundamental transformations in both the spiritual and material realms, and he will establish order in human society in a manner that will earn the pleasure of Allah.
Meanwhile, if certain persons, parties and groups would like to hinder this magnificent uprising by creating problems or slowing down the pace of his uprising by fanning the fire of agitation, they will be considered the staunch enemies of humanity and the divine religion, and they will deserve nothing but annihilation at the powerful hand of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs).
Saboteurs of the revolution of the Imam (‘atfs) would be those whose hands are stained with the blood of humanity, the indifferent, who had remained silent with respect to the crimes of the aggressors but raise the banner of opposition against the Imam (‘atfs), or the crooked-minded who regard their understanding as superior to the words of the Imam (‘atfs).
Naturally, they have to be repressed with the utmost decisiveness so that human society would become forever safe from their mischief. As such, the approach of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) toward them is decisive and uncompromising.
In this chapter, we shall examine two basic issues that can be deduced from the hadiths.
What has been under consideration in this section is that in dealing with enemies, the Imam (‘atfs) will apply not only one type of punishment. In fact, he will exterminate some of them in war and he will pursue even the fugitives and injured among them. He will execute some of them and destroy their houses while banishing and amputating the hands of others.
Zurarah asked Imam as-Sadiq (‘a): “Will the approach and policy of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) be the same as that of the Prophet (S)?” The Imam (‘a) replied: “O Zurarah! Never; never. He will not adopt the policy of the Prophet (S) (in dealing with enemies). The Prophet (S) used to deal with enemies leniently, gently and kindly in order to win their hearts and for the people to be acquainted with him. Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), however, will adopt the policy of killing; he will act according to his order and accept no one’s repentance. Thus, woe be to anyone who would oppose him!”1
Hasan ibn Harun said: “I was in the company of Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) when Mu‘alla ibn al-Khanis asked the Imam (‘a): ‘During his advent, will Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) act contrary to the approach of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) in dealing with opponents?’
The Imam (‘a) answered: ‘Yes. ‘Ali (‘a) adopted leniency and clemency because he knew that after him enemies would prevail over his supporters and Shi‘ah. The policy of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), however, is rage toward them as well as overpowering and subduing them because he knows that after him no one will ever prevail over the Shi‘ah.”2
Hadrat ar-Rida (‘a) said: “During the advent of our Qa’im (‘atfs), there will be nothing but the shedding of blood, sweating3 (on account of war and extreme exertion), and sleeping in the saddle (because of so many battles).”4
Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar said: “Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) made mention of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs). I said: “I hope that his (‘atfs) program would be easily implemented while his government would be easily established.” The Imam (‘a) said: “No. It will not be so; you would instead experience so many difficulties.”5
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “‘Ali (‘a) said: ‘It was permissible for me to kill deserters and the wounded, but I did not do so because if the Shi‘ah rose up, the wounded among them would not be killed. For Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), however, it is permissible and allowed, and there are grounds to kill deserters and to eliminate the wounded’.”6
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “If only the people knew what program Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) had and what actions he would take, most of them would wish not to see him at all because he would do a lot of killing and certainly the first killing will occur in the tribe of Quraysh. After the Quraysh, he will not take anything but the sword or give to them anything but the sword. Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will act in such a way that most of the people will say, ‘This person is not from the Progeny of Muhammad (S) and if he were really from the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S), he would have been compassionate’.”7
The same Imam (‘a) also said: “Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will stage the uprising with a new program, a novel tradition and innovative judgment. It will be a very difficult moment for the Arabs, and it does not behoove him anything but to kill enemies.”8
‘Abdullah al-Mughayrah said that Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “During the advent of the Qa’im of Muhammad’s Progeny (‘a), he will execute five hundred persons from the Quraysh while standing. Then, he will execute five hundred other people in the same manner, and this act will be repeated six times.” ‘Abdullah asked: “Will their number reach this?” The Imam (‘a) replied: “Yes; they as well as their friends.”9
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “During the uprising of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), he will present the faith to each of the Nasibis.10 If they accept the truth, he would release them. He will behead anyone who would not accept the faith, or ask him to pay the jizyah11 just as what they collect from the Ahl adh-Dhimmah,12 and he (‘atfs) will banish him in remote villages and small towns.”13
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “When our Qa’im stages the uprising, he will recognize our enemies from their faces. Then, he will take them by their feet and heads and strike them with the sword (thus, eliminating them).”14
Hirawi said: “I asked Imam ar-Rida (‘a): ‘What is the first thing Hadrat al-Qa’im will do?’ The Imam (‘a) replied: ‘He will first go to the tribe of Bani Shaybah and amputate their hands because they are robbers of the House of God’.”15
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “When our Qa’im rises up, he will detain the tribe of Bani Shaybah, amputate their hands, and present them to the people, saying: ‘They are robbers of the House of God’.”16
The same Imam (‘a) also said: “The first confrontation will be the Imam’s (‘atfs) encounter with the tribe of Bani Shaybah. He will amputate their hands and hang them in the Ka‘bah. It will thus be announced by the Imam, ‘These are robbers of the House of God’.”17
Shaybah became Muslim during the conquest of Mecca and the Prophet (S) appointed him as the key-keeper of the Ka‘bah, and for a long time the tribe of Bani Shaybah was the key-keeper of the Ka‘bah and its doorkeeper.18
The late Mamqani said: “Bani Shaybah is among the robbers of the House of God, and God willing, their hands will be amputated for this crime and they will be hung on the wall of the Ka‘bah.”19
During the uprising of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs), he will confront various groups and bands. Some of them would be a particular community (qawm) or ethnicity and some would be the followers of religions other than Islam. Although apparently Muslim, another group would act hypocritically, or would be one of the sanctimonious who will oppose the Imam (‘atfs) or would be the followers of deviant sects. The Imam (‘atfs) will have a particular dispute with each of them, which we shall examine by quoting some relevant hadiths.
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “When our Qa’im rises up, there will be no way between him, and the Arabs (in general) and the Quraysh (in particular) except the sword (and armed confrontation).”20
While pointing to his own throat, the same Imam (‘a) also said: “No way has been left between us and the Arabs except beheadings.”21 Perhaps, it refers to their autocratic leaders and rulers, or the followers of other religions.
Regarding the confrontation with the Quraysh, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “During the uprising of the Imam (‘atfs)… He will take aim at the Quraysh. He will not get anything from them except the sword; neither will he give anything to them but the sword.”22
Maybe what is meant by “He will not get anything from them except the sword,” is that the Quraysh will not submit to him. They will engage in insurrection and creating disturbances. They will directly or indirectly wage war against the Imam and the Imam in turn would not be able to find any appropriate way (to deal with them) except with the use of weapons.
‘Abdullah ibn Bakir asked Imam al-Kazim (a) regarding the interpretation of this noble verse:
“While to Him submit whosoever there is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly.”23
The Imam (‘a) replied: “This verse has been revealed about al-Qa’im (‘atfs); it is when he rises up against the Jews, Christians, Sabeans, materialists, those who turned back from Islam, and the infidels of the east and west while offering Islam to them. He will command anyone who accepts it out of his own volition to perform the prayers, pay the zakat and do whatever a Muslim ought to do. He will behead anyone who refuses to become Muslim so much so that not a single infidel will remain in both the east and west of the globe.”
‘Abdullah ibn Bakir asked: “May I be your ransom! There are a lot of people on earth. How could the Imam (‘atfs) make them Muslims or behead them?”
Imam al-Kazim (‘a) replied: “If God wills something, that which is few will become plenty and something plenty will become few.”24
Shahr ibn Hawshab said: “Hajjaj said to me: ‘O Shahr! There is a verse in the Qur’an that has exhausted me (and I do not understand its meaning).’ I asked: ‘Which verse?’ He replied: ‘It is when God says:
“There is none among the People of the Book but will surely believe in him before his death.”25
And it has always happened that they would bring to me a Christian or a Jew and I would behead him, and then I would stare at his lips but they do not move (to utter the formula of faith) until his breath expires.’
Shahr ibn Hawshab said: “I said to him: ‘The meaning of the verse is not what you imagine; the meaning, instead, is that before the Day of Resurrection ‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary) (‘a) will come down from heaven and follow Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs). At that time no Jew and Christian will be left except those who would believe in him before his death.’
“Hajjaj inquired: ‘From where have you learned this interpretation and who taught it to you?’ I answered: ‘Imam al-Baqir (‘a) taught this interpretation.’ Hajjaj said: ‘You have obtained it from the pure fountain’.”26
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The Day of Resurrection will not happen until you wage war against the Jews. Then, the (defeated) Jews will flee and hide behind rocks, but the rocks will cry: ‘O Muslims! O servants of God! These Jews are hiding behind us.”27
The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: “…The Jews who are with ad-Dajjal with flee and conceal themselves, but the trees and stones will cry: ‘O Spirit of Allah (Jesus)! Here are the Jews.’ He will also kill them and no one will be left.”28
Of course, it can be understood from other hadiths that the confrontations and encounters of the Imam (‘atfs) with the People of the Book would not always be the same. In fact, in some cases, he will allow them to remain in their religions by paying the jizyah. He will engage another group in discussion and debate, and in doing so, he will invite them to Islam. We can probably say that at the beginning of the uprising, he will engage in discussion with them and wage war with those who hide the truth.
Abu Basir said: “I asked Imam as-Sadiq (‘a): ‘Will Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) remain in the Sahlah (Kufah) Mosque till the end of his life?’ The Imam (‘a) said: ‘Yes.’ I asked: ‘How will be the Ahl adh-Dhimmah in his opinion?’ He replied: ‘He will deal with them concilliatorily just as the Prophet (S) used to behave with them. As subjects (of the Islamic state) they will pay the jizyah’.”29
Ibn Athir said: “At that time no Ahl adh-Dhimmah will be left to pay the jizyah.”30
Ibn Shawdhab said: “It is because of this that they refer to Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) as al-Mahdi (the Guided One) because he will be guided toward one of the mountains of Sham and from there he will take out the books of Tawrat (Torah). Through them he will discuss and debate with the Jews, and a group of them will embrace Islam through him.”31
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “Woe betide the Murji‘ites! Tomorrow, when our Qa’im rises up, to whom could they seek refuge? Rawi asked: “Is it when you and us would be equal under the scale of justice as they say?”
He replied: “Anyone of them who repents will be forgiven by God. If there is hypocrisy and two-facedness in his heart, God will not banish and expel anyone except him and if he manifests such hypocrisy, God will shed his blood.” Then, the Imam (‘a) said: “By Him in whose hand is my soul! Just as the butcher slaughters his sheep, He will kill them,” and he pointed to his blessed neck with his hand.
Rawi said: “They say if the Imam appears, all actions and activities will be to his advantage and he will not shed blood.” The Imam (‘a) said: “It is not so. By God! (It will not be like that) so much so that you and us will shed their blood and wipe the sweat from ourselves” and then he pointed to his forehead with his blessed hand.32
When passing by the Khawarij33 killed after their defeat, the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said: “He who killed you is the one who beguiled you.”
It was asked: “Who is he?” He answered: “Satan and corrupt souls.” His companions said: “God uprooted them till the end of the world.”
The Imam (‘a) answered: “No. By Him in whose hand is my soul! They will be in the loins of men and the wombs of women, and they will come out continuously until they come out under the leadership of a person named Ashmat between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. At that time, a man from our Ahl al-Bayt will fight him and send him to perdition. Afterward, there will be no more revolt on the part of the Khawarij until the Day of Resurrection.”34
Regarding the Batriyyah35 sect, the same Imam (‘a) also said: “After the uprising of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), he will proceed to Kufah; ten thousand people named Batriyyah, bearing arms, will hinder the Imam (‘atfs) there, saying: ‘Return to where you have been as we are not in need of the progeny of Fatimah.’ The Imam will unsheathe his sword and kill them all.”36
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “…Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will proceed to Kufah. Sixteen thousand armed men from the Batriyyah (sect) will stand in his way. They are Qur’an reciters and religious scholars with callused foreheads from excessive prostrations in worship whose faces are pale because of many night vigils, both of them are full of hypocrisy. They will cry in unison: ‘O descendant of Fatimah! Return to where you have been as we have no need of you.’
“Behind the city of Najaf from the noon of Monday until the night Hadrat al-Mahdi will draw his sword against them and put them all to death. In this encounter none of the supporters of the Imam (‘atfs) will suffer even a wound.”37
Abu Hamzah ath-Thumali reported that Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “The problems that the master of this affair will experience from the people during his advent will be the same as the problems encountered by the Prophet (S), or even more.”38
Fadil reported: “Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: ‘During the uprising of our Qa’im, he will experience more pain and agony from the ignorant than what the Prophet (S) had from them.’
“I asked: ‘How and why?’ He answered: ‘The Prophet (S) was commissioned at a time when the people were worshipping engraved stone, wood and idols, but our Qa’im will rise up at the time when the people will resort to the Qur’an in opposing him and quote Qur’anic verses against him.”39
The same Imam (‘a) also said: “Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) will kill so many people that the flowing blood will be as high as the foreleg. A person from the progeny of his father will register strong protest against him, saying: ‘You are driving away the people from you like frightened sheep! Is this approach based on the order of the Messenger of Allah (S)?’
“One of the Imam’s supporters will rise up and say: ‘Keep silent or else I will behead you!’
The Imam (‘atfs) will bring out and show the covenant and pledge from the Prophet (S) which will be at his disposal.”40
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “During the uprising of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), a group will leave aside the religion and wilayah albeit they will be imagined to be among his followers. There are also some individuals who will acknowledge the wilayah of the Imam and they would be like the splendorous sun and radiant moon.”41
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “During the uprising of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), all the Nasibis and enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) will be presented to the Imam (‘a). If they acknowledge Islam, which is the very wilayah of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), he will release them and if not, he will kill them, or he will oblige them to pay the jizyah just as the Ahl adh-Dhimmah do.”42
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “During the uprising of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs), he will present his faith to each of the Nasibis. If they accept it, he would release them and if they do not he would behead them, or ask them to pay the jizyah just as they collect from the Ahl adh-Dhimmah today, and he will banish them from the cities to the villages (and farms).”43
The late Majlisi said: “Maybe this order is related to the beginning of the uprising because the apparent purport of the hadiths is that none of them will be accepted except those embracing the faith and if they refuse they will be executed.”44
Abu Basir said: “I asked Imam as-Sadiq (‘a): How will Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs) behave with the Nasibis and those who are inimical to you?’ He replied: “O Abu Muhammad! In our state and government, opponents will not have any favor. God will make their blood lawful for us (to shed) at that time, but today their blood is unlawful for us and you (to shed). Thus, no one should deceive you, and it is at that time when our Qa’im rises up that he will take revenge for God, His Messenger and for us.”45
On the interpretation of the Qur’anic verse (ayah),
“And had they been separate, We would have surely punished the faithless among them with a painful punishment,”46
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “In the loins of the infidels and hypocrites, God has trusts from the believers. Our Qa’im will not appear unless those trusts come out of their loins (and believers would be born). Thereafter, the Imam will kill the infidels and hypocrites.”47
Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “When Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘atfs) rises up, there would be no need for him to ask help from you, and with respect to most of you, hypocrites, he will implement the punishment (hadd)48 of God.”49
Imam al-Husayn (‘a) said to his son, Imam as-Sajjad (‘a): “By God! My blood will not cease from flowing till God incites al-Mahdi (‘atfs) (to rise up). By taking revenge for my blood upon the corrupt and faithless hypocrites, he will kill seventy thousand people.”50
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “When Hadrat al-Qa’im rises up… he will come to Kufah and kill all the hypocrites (who do not believe in his imamah) there; destroy their palaces; and fight with their warriors, and he will kill so many of them that God would be pleased.”51
Wahhab ibn Jami‘ said: “I asked Imam as-Sadiq (‘a): ‘That God said to Satan,
“You are indeed among the reprieved until the day of the known time,”52
is it specified when will it be?’ The Imam (‘a) said in reply: “Have you imagined that it is the Day of Resurrection? God has given respite to Satan till the day of the uprising of our Qa’im. When God commissions him and (permits him to stage the uprising), he will go to the Kufah Mosque. At that time, walking on his knees, Satan will go there and say: ‘Woe is me from this day!’
“Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will take hold of his forehead and slaughter him and that moment is the ‘appointed time’ when the respite given to Satan will come to an end.”53