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Section Five

The traditions that mention his facial appearance (shamā’iluh)

Comprised of twenty-nine traditions

500. Ṣifat al-Mahdī1: From Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said: “The Mahdī is from us Ahl al-Bait and a man from my umma. He will have a aquiline nose. He will fill the earth with justice just as it will be filled with injustice.”

501. Al-Muṣannaf2: Informed us `Abd al-Razzāq, from Mu`ammar, from Maṭar, from a man, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, that the Mahdī will have a aquiline nose and a wide forehead.

502. Musnad al-Rūyānī, Mu`jam al-Ṭabarānī, and Manāqib al-Mahdī3: Ḥudhayfat b. al-Yamān, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrates that the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, said: “The Mahdī is a man from my progeny. His face is like a glittering star. His complexion will be Arabian while his physique will be similar to the Israelites. He will fill the earth with justice just as it will be filled with injustice. The inhabitants of the earth and the sky and the birds in the air will be satisfied during his government. He will rule for twenty years.”

503. Al-`Awālī4: From Abī Salmat b. `Abd al-Raḥmān b. `Auf, from his father, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said: “Certainly, Allah will raise a person from my progeny. His front teeth will be slightly apart and he will have a wide forehead. He will fill the earth with justice and will bestow wealth abundantly.”

504. Al-Fitan5: Narrated to us al-Walīd, from Sa`īd, from Qatāda, from Abī Naḍra, from Abī l-Ṣiddīq, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said: “The Mahdī will have a wide forehead and a aquiline nose.”

And through another chain of narrator from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said: “The Mahdī will have an aquiline nose and a wide forehead.”

505. Musnad Abī Ya`lā6: Narrated to us Qaṭan b. Bushair, from `Adī b. Abī `Umāra, from Maṭar al-Warrāq, from Abī l-Ṣiddīq, from Abū Sa`īd, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said:

Certainly, a man from my Ahl al-Bait will rise upon my umma. He will have an aquiline [nose] and a wide [forehead]. He will fill the earth with justice just as it will be filled with unfairness and injustice. He will rule for seven years.

506. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to us `Alī b. Aḥmad b. Mūsā, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Abī `Abd-Allah al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl al-Barmakī, from Ismā’īl b. Mālik, from Muḥammad b. Sinān, from Abī l-Jārūd Ziyād b. al-Mundhir, from (Imam) Abū Ja`far al-Bāqir, from his father, from his grandfather, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib—peace be on them all—who said while he was on the pulpit:

A man from my descendants will emerge in the end of times. His color will be white with a reddish complexion and he will have a wide stomach, sturdy thighs, and large shoulders. On his back are two moles: One the color of his skin and the other will be similar to the mole of the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family.

He will have two names: One name will be hidden and the other will be apparent. The one which will be hidden will be Aḥmad and the one that will be apparent will be Muḥammad. When he moves, you will see everything between the east and west being illuminated for him. He will place his hands on the heads of the people, then, no believer will remain but that his heart will be stronger than plates of steel. Allah, the Exalted, will give him the strength of forty men. There will not be a dead person [from the believers] in the grave but that happiness will enter his [heart] while he is in his grave, and the [dead] will be visiting each other in their graves and giving glad-tidings to each other about the rise of the Qā’im, may Allah’s blessings be upon him.

507. Al-Mustadrak8: Narrated to us Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Muḥammad b. Isḥāq al-Ṣan`ānī, from `Amr b. `Āṣim al-Kilābī, from `Imrān al-Qaṭṭān, from Qatāda, from Abī Naḍra, from Abū Sa`īd, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said: “The Mahdī is from us Ahl al-Bait. He will have an aquiline nose and a wide [forehead]. He will fill the earth with fairness and justice as it will be filled with injustice and unfairness. He will live for this many years,” and he showed seven with his fingers by showing the five fingers of his left hand and the thumb and the index finger of his right hand.

Al-Ḥākim says, “This tradition is correct (ṣaḥīḥ) according to the criteria set by Muslim but neither of them [i.e. al-Bukhārī and Muslim] have recorded it.

508. Dhikr akhbār Iṣbahān9: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Ja`far, from Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Anṣārī, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥafṣ, from his grandfather al-Ḥusayn, from `Akramat b. Ibrāhīm, from Maṭar al-Warrāq, from Abī l-Ṣiddīq al-Nājī, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said:

The Hour will not be established until a man from my Ahl al-Bait rules. He will have a wide forehead and an aquiline nose. He will fill the earth with justice just as it would have been filled before him with unfairness. He will live for seven years.

509. Al-Fitan10: Narrated to us ibn Wahb, from Isḥāq b. Yaḥyā, from Ṭalḥat al-Taymī, from Ṭāwūs, from `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, who said: “He will be a youth from the Quraish with a tanned (asmar) complexion and lean [in figure].”

The traditions with the following numbers also show the aforementioned concept: 360, 366, 374, 378, 414, 428, 431, 484, 518, 577, 691, 812-814, 835, 836, 1198, 1217 and 1246

  • 1. `Iqd al-durar, chap. 3, p. 33. He says: “Al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu`aim has recorded it in Ṣifat al-Mahdī; Kashf al-ghumma, citing al-Aḥādīth al-arba`īn, vol. 2, p. 469, no. 11; Farā’id al-simṭain, vol. 2, chap. 61, p. 330, no. 58; Yanābī`’ al-mawadda, chap. 94, p. 488; Bishārat al-Islām, vol. 2, chap. 3, p. 271, from al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu`aim; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, p. 80.
  • 2. `Abd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, vol. 11, chap. “Al-Mahdī,” no. 20773; al-Fitan, vol. 5, p. 95, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family.
  • 3. `Iqd al-durar, chap. 3, p. 34. He said: “Al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu`aim has recoded it in Manāqib al-Mahdī and al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū l-Qāsim al-Ṭabarānī in his Mu`jam; Jawāhir al-`iqdain, vol. 2, p. 8; al-Ṣawā`iq al-muḥriqa, p. 162, from al-Rūyānī, al-Ṭabarānī, and others; Ghāyat al-ma’mūl, vol. 5, p. 343, from al-Rūyānī, Abū Nu`aim, al-Daylamī, and al-Ṭabarānī; Firdaus al-akhbār, vol. 4, p. 6940, which says: “his face is like a glittering moon”; al-Bayān, through his chain of narrators from Ḥudhayfa, chap. 17. He writes: “This is a good (ḥasan) tradition. We have narrated it from a large number of people from the companions of al-Thaqafī and his chain of narrators is acceptable to us, and All Praise is for Allah.” He then mentions that Abū Nu`aim, al-Ṭabarānī, and al-Daylamī have recorded this tradition. Nūr al-abṣār, chap. 2, p. 154, citing Firdaus al-akhbār; Is`āf al-rāghibīn, chap. 2, p. 135; Yanābī`’ al-mawadda, chap. 73, p. 433; Al-Burhān fī `alāmāt Mahdī ākhir al-zamān, chap. 2, pp. 93–94, no. 16, citing al-Rūyānī in his Musnad and Abū Nu`aim; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 469, no.9, citing al-Aḥādīth al-arba`īn; al-`Arf al-wardī, p. 137, with the following wording: “The Mahdī is a man from my descendants. His complexion is an Arabian complexion, his physique is like the Israelites, and on his right cheek is a mole like a glittering star . . . and the birds in the air.” He has narrated it from al-Rūyānī’s Musnad and Abū Nu`aim; al-Jāmi` al-ṣaghīr, vol. 2, p. 187, under the letter ‘al-Mīm,’ no. 45; Mahdī āl al-Rasūl, p. 4; Ibrāz al-wahm al-maknūn, p. 572, no. 66; Lawā’iḥ al-anwār al-bahiyya under the commentary on the line of poetry: minhā al-imām al-khātam al-faṣīḥ / Muḥammad al-Mahdī wa l-Masīḥ, from the collection of poems called al-Durrat al-muḍī’a; Faiḍ al-qadīr, vol. 6, p. 279; Mashāriq al-anwār, sect. 2, p. 112; al-’Idhā`a, p. 188; al-Qaṭr al-Shahdī, p. 48; Ghāliyat al-mawā`iẓ, vol. 1, p. 77; al-Ṣawā’iq, p. 162, under the Twelfth Verse; al-Fatāwī l-ḥadīthiyya, p. 39, which says: “there is a mole like a glittering star on his right cheek”; Nūr al-abṣār, p. 154; Kanz al-`ummāl, vol. 14, no. 38666; Dhakhā’ir al-`uqbā, p. 136; Sharḥ al-akhbār, vol. 3, p. 378, no. 1251, and many other books and writings which will not be mentioned for the sake of conciseness. In some of these sources, only mentioning the beginning of the tradition will suffice.
    I say: Some of them have said ‘Israelite physique’ means that his body-shape is like that of the Israelites, who are tall and well-built.
  • 4. `Iqd al-durar, chap. 3, p. 34, he writes: “Al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu`aim al-Iṣbahānī has recorded it in al-`Awālī; Farā’id al-simṭain, vol. 2, chap. 61, p. 331, no. 582, with the difference that he said: “Allah, the Exalted, will send from my progeny a man with slightly separated front teeth, a wide forehead . . . (to the end of the tradition).” Al-`Arf al-wardī (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 132, with a slight difference; al-Munār al-munīf, sect. 50, pp. 187–188, no. 335, with a little difference; Lawā’iḥ al-anwār, vol. 2, under the commentary on his saying “minhā al-imām al-khātam al-faṣīḥ); Is`āf al-rāghibīn, p. 135; Jawāhir al-`iqdain, vol. 2, p. 8.
  • 5. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, “Ṣifat al-Mahdī wa ni`atih,” pp. 195–196; Farā’id al-simṭain, vol. 2, chap. 61, p. 330, no. 581, with the difference that he said: “The Mahdī is from us.”
  • 6. Musnad Abī Ya`lā, vol. 2, p. 367, no. 154 (1128); Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat wujūb al-qā’im wa annahū lābudda an yakūn,” p. 251.
  • 7. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 57, p. 653, no. 17; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 4, p. 35, no. 4, from al-Ṭūsī’s Ghayba—although I did not find it there.
  • 8. Al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 557; al-’Idhā`a, p. 138.
  • 9. Dhikr akhbār Iṣbahān, vol. 1, p. 84.
  • 10. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, chap. “Ṣifat al-Mahdī,” p. 197; al-`Arf al-wardī (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 147, with the following wording: “The Mahdī is from me, from the Quraish.”
    There is no contradiction between such a tradition and those that mention his long life, for surely, when he is described as a youth and a young person and other similar attributes, it refers to his chivalry and this is in addition to what has been narrated about him that he will not become old with the passing of the days and that he will emerge with the body of a strong man.

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