He will direct desires towards (the path of) guidance while people will have turned guidance towards desires, and he will turn their views to the direction of the Qur'an while the people will have turned the Qur'an to their views.
(Before this Enjoiner of Good (1), matters will deteriorate) till war will rage among you with full force, showing forth its teeth, with udders full of sweet milk but with a sour tip. Beware, it will be tomorrow and the morrow will come soon with things which you do not know. The Man in power, not from this crowd, will take to task all those were formerly appointed for their ill deeds and the earth will pour forth its eternal treasures and fling before him easily her keys. He will show you the just way of behaviour and revive the Qur'an and sunnah which have become lifeless (among people).
As if I see (him), he (the Enjoiner of Evil) (2) is shouting in Syria (ash-Sham) and is extending his banners to the outskirts of Kufah. He is bent towards it like the biting of the she-camel. He has covered the ground with heads. His mouth is wide open and (the trampling of) his footsteps on the ground have become heavy. His advance is broad and his attacks are severe.
By Allah, he will disperse you throughout the earth till only a few of you remain, like kohl in the eye. You will continue like this till the Arabs return to their sense. You should therefore stick to established ways, clear signs and the early period which has the lasting virtues of the Prophethood. You should know that Satan makes his ways easy so that you may follow him on his heels.
(1). This prophecy of Amir al-mu'minin is with regard to the appearance of the Twelfth Imam, Abu'l-Qasim Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h.).
(2). This refers to `Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan who came to power in Syria (ash-Sham) after his father Marwan ibn al-Hakam and then after the killing of al-Mukhtar ibn Abi `Ubayd ath-Thaqafi in his encounter with Mus`ab ibn az-Zubayr he proceeded towards Iraq. He clashed with Mus`ab's force at Maskin near Dayru'l-jathaliq in the outskirts of Kufah. After defeating him he made a victorious entry into Kufah and took allegiance from its inhabitants. Then he sent al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi to Mecca to fight with `Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr. Consequently this man besieged Mecca and stoned it, and shed the blood of thousands of innocent persons like water. He killed Ibn az-Zubayr and hung his body on the gallows. He perpetrated such atrocities on the people that one shudders at the thought of them.