6. His Holy Companions

The Mahdi, ‘alaihi al-salam, will have some 313 companions, who will be of the best of Allah’s entire creation, since Adam, ‘alaihi wa alihi, till the Trumpet. Imam al-Hakim (d. 403 H) documents a beautiful hadith about these noble companions:

حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان العامري ثنا عمرو بن محمد العنقزي ثنا يونس بن أبي إسحاق أخبرني عمار الدهني عن أبي الطفيل عن محمد بن الحنفية قال كنا عند علي رضي الله عنه فسأله رجل عن المهدي فقال علي رضي الله عنه : هيهات ثم عقد بيده سبعا فقال : ذاك يخرج في آخر الزمان إذا قال الرجل الله الله قتل فيجمع الله تعالى له قوما قزع كقزع السحاب يؤلف الله بين قلوبهم لا يستوحشون إلى أحد ولا يفرحون بأحد يدخل فيهم على عدة أصحاب بدر لم يسبقهم الأولون ولا يدركهم الآخرون وعلى عدد أصحاب طالوت الذين جاوزا معه النهر قال أبو الطفيل : قال ابن الحنفية : أتريده ؟ قلت : نعم قال : إنه يخرج من بين هذين الخشبتين قلت : لا جرم والله لا أريهما حتى أموت فمات بها يعني مكة حرسها الله تعالى

Abu al-‘Abbas Muhammad b. Ya’qub – al-Hasan b. ‘Ali b. ‘Affan al-‘Amiri – ‘Amr b. Muhammad al-‘Anqazi – Yunus b. Abi Ishaq – ‘Ammar al-Dahni – Abu al-Tufayl – Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyyah:

We were with ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him and a man asked him about the Mahdi. So, ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “How impossible!” Then, he counted seven on his hand and said, “That one will come out at the End of Time. (At that time) if a man said, ‘Allah! Allah!’ he will be killed. Then, Allah the Most High will gather together a group around him, just as the separate pieces of cloud are joined together. Allah will unite their hearts. They will not fear anyone and they do not celebrate about anyone joining them. Their number is that of the Companions of Badr. THE PAST GENERATIONS WILL NOT SURPASS THEM AND THE LATTER GENERATIONS WILL NOT REACH UP TO THEM. Their number will be that of the Companions of Talut who crossed the river with him.”

Abu al-Tufayl said: Ibn al-Hanafiyyah asked (me), “Do you want to meet him?” I (Abu al-Tufayl) answered, “Yes.” He said, “He will come out between these two pillars.” I said, “Surely, I swear by Allah, I will never leave them both till I die.” Therefore, he died there, that is Makkah. May Allah the Most High protect it.1

Al-Hakim says:

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط الشيخين

This hadith is sahih upon the standard of the two Shaykhs.2

And Imam al-Dhahabi (d. 748 H) agrees with him:

على شرط البخاري ومسلم

Upon the standard of al-Bukhari and Muslim.3

Dr. al-Bastawi also has this verdict on the hadith:

إسناده حسن.

Its chain is hasan.4

This athar, which has the hukm of a marfu’ hadith due to its nature, reveals two primary facts about the close companions of Imam al-Mahdi. First, their number will be 313, the universally accepted number of the Badr warriors as well as that of the soldiers of Talut, ‘alaihi al-salam, who crossed the river with him. And, also, they will be from the best of Allah’s creation since the start of existence.

  • 1. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyyah; 1st edition, 1411 H) [annotator: Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Aṭa], vol. 4, p. 596, # 8659
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Dr. ‘Abd al-‘Alim ‘Abd al-‘Azim al-Bastawi, al-Mahdi al-Muntazar fi Dhaw-i al-Ahadith wa al-Athar al-Sahihah wa Aqwal al-‘Ulama wa Ara al-Firaq al-Mukhtalifah (Beirut: Dar Ibn Hazm; 1st edition, 1420 H), p. 208, # 10