21: Knowledge Of The Signs Of Reappearance

It is obligatory to learn about the signs of Reappearance that are taught to us by the Imams (as). Especially the ‘Certain’ signs.

Rational Proof

We have already proved that Marefat of Imam az-Zaman (aj) is Wajib. And this Marefat includes knowing correctly the ‘certain’ signs of his reappearance.

If it is said: It is also possible to recognize His Eminence through means other than those signs, therefore the means of recognition is not restricted to this. We will say: In traditions we have been ordered to join the Imam during the time of his reappearance as mentioned in a traditional report of Nomani through his own chain of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) after the mention of the call and sinking of Baida land it is said: Then head to him even if you have to crawl on your hands and feet. By Allah, as I can see him between the Rukn and Maqam taking pledge of allegiance from the people…1

There is no doubt that going out to join the Imam during his reappearance from different cities will not be possible except after being informed that the Imam has reappeared and this will become apparent through the inevitable signs that are promised. However the recognition of the Imam through his miracles by the people and others in his service will take place in the presence of the Imam as is obvious.

Textual Proof

Imam Sadiq (as) is quoted in the book Al-Kafi that he said, “Recognize the signs (of reappearance). After knowing them correctly, the hastening or delay of this affair will not cause you any harm.”2

In addition to this, the Holy Imams (as) have described the signs that the Almighty Allah has appointed for the reappearance of the Imam of the Time (aj) so that the liar may be distinguished from the truthful and in some traditions there is mention of some mischiefs that the villains will create to mislead the gullible.

But those who are aware of traditions of the Holy Imams (as) and know that such a thing would happen, they will not be fooled by these antics. They will be able to distinguish the liars from the truthful as they have learnt about the signs of reappearance on the basis of traditional reports. Have you not seen that some people, in our age as well as in the ages gone by, were misguided and became apostates by similar things only because they were ignorant of the signs of reappearance and special characteristics of the Imam?

Therefore they became deviated and misled others also. If they had acquired knowledge and obtained Marifat and followed what is mentioned about the signs of reappearance and traits of the Imam of the Time (aj) they would have gained salvation and they would not have washed their hands of faith. I beg Allah, the Mighty and Sublime to bestow us knowledge and protect us from mistakes and deviations, as He is the hearer of supplications. Further explanation on this matter will be presented at a later stage, Insha Allah.

Also, supporting this matter is the dictum that it is obligatory on us to obey the commands of His Eminence (aj) according to the saying of the Almighty Allah:

أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you. (Surah Nisa 4:59)

On the basis of this it is obligatory for the believer to recognize the signs of the reappearance of His Eminence, so that when he reappears, he can be obeyed and that falsehood may be separated from truth. Here we shall present some traditions that Shaykh Nomani has included in Ghaibat:3

1. Umar Ibne Hanzala reports that Imam Sadiq (as) also said, “There are five certain signs for Qaim (aj): Sufyani, Yamani, Call from the Sky, Slaying of Nafs-e-Zakiyyah (The pure soul) and sinking of the ground at Baida?”

2. In another report from the Imam (as) it is mentioned that he said: “Before the year of the cry (from the heavens), there will be a sign in the month of Rajab.” He was asked, “What is it?” He said, “A face and a protruding hand will appear on the moon.”

3. It is narrated from Abdullah bin Sinan that Imam Sadiq (as) said, “The cry (from the heavens), the rising of the Sufyani, the rising of the Yamani, killing of the pure soul and a hand appearing in the sky will be inevitable. There will be also a fright in Ramadan, which will awaken the sleeping people, terrify those who are awake and bring the girls out of their veils.”

4. It is narrated from Bazanti from Imam Reza (as) that he said, “Before the appearance of al-Qaim, there will be the risings of as-Sufyani, al- Marwani, al-Yamani, Shuaib bin Salih and the protruding hand; then how can he (Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ismail known as Ibne Tabataba) say this?”

It is reported from Abu Baseer that Imam Sadiq (as) said: “If you see a great fire burning in the east for three days or seven days, then wait for the deliverance of Muhammad’s progeny if Allah wills. Allah is Mighty, Wise!” Then he said, “The cry will not occur except in the month of Ramadan because Ramadan is the month of Allah and the cry is the cry of Jibraeel to the people.” Then he added, “A call will come from the heavens with the name of al-Qaim. It will be heard by everyone in the east and everyone in the west.

The cry will make every sleeper awake, every stander sit and every sitter stand because of fright. Allah will have mercy upon whoever submits to the cry and obeys the caller because the first cry will be the cry of Jibraeel.” Then he said, “The cry will be in the month of Ramadan, on a Friday eve, which will be the twenty-third of the month. Do never doubt that. Listen and obey! At the end of the day there will be the voice of Iblees, the cursed calling out: So and so (Uthman) is killed unjustly, just to make people doubt and become confused and then go to Hell. If you hear the call in Ramadan, do not doubt it. It will be the voice of Jibraeel.

The evidence is that he will call out the name of al-Qaim and the name of his father. The call will be heard by everyone until the virgins in their veils instigate their fathers and brothers to rise (to join al-Qaim). These two calls must occur before the appearance of al-Qaim. One will be from the heavens calling out the name of al-Qaim and the name of his father.

It will be the call of Jibraeel. The other will be from the earth and it will be the call of Iblees calling out the name of someone claiming that he has been killed unjustly just to create sedition among the people. Obey the first call and beware of being deceived by the second one.”

6. From some of our associates it is narrated that they asked Imam Sadiq (as): “Is the rising of the Sufyani inevitable?” He said, “Yes, it is. Killing of the pure soul, the sinking of the desert, the appearance of a hand in the sky, the call that comes from the heavens and the appearance of al-Qaim are also inevitable.” It was asked from him, “What is the call?” He said, “A caller calling out the name of al-Qaim and the name of his father.”

7. It is reported by Ibne Abi Yafur that he said: His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as) said, “Keep in mind the perishment of so and so (he mentioned a name of a man from Abbasids), the rising of as- Sufyani, killing of the Nafs Zakiyyah, the sinking and the call by which the man of this matter (al-Qaim) will be known.”

8. Zurarah reports that asked Imam Sadiq (as): Is the call, a fact? He replied: Yes, by Allah, so much so that every people will hear it in their own tongues.

9. It is reported from Abdullah bin Sinan that he said: I was in the company of Abi Abdullah Imam Sadiq (as) when a man from Hamadan said to him: “People criticize us and say that we claim that a caller from the heavens will call out the name of the man of deliverance.” Abi Abdullah as-Sadiq (as) became so angry, he changed his sitting position and said: “Do not narrate this from me but narrate it from my father and you are not to be blamed for that. I heard my father say: By Allah, it is mentioned in Qur’an:

إِنْ نَشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ 

If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heaven so that their necks should stoop to it. (Qur’an, Surah Shuara 26:4)

Everyone on the earth will then submit to that (the call coming from the heavens) and his neck will stoop when a call is heard from the heavens announcing: The right is with Ali Ibne Abi Talib and his followers. The next day Iblees will rise in the space until he disappears from the people of the earth and calls out: The right is with Uthman bin Affan and his followers. He has been killed unjustly so you are to avenge his blood.

Allah will confirm the believers, who believe in the first call and then those, whose hearts are full of diseases, will doubt and become confused. By Allah, the disease of the heart is the enmity towards us. Then they will turn away from us and begin to criticize us. They will say that the first call is a piece of magic of the people of this house (Ahlul Bayt).” Then Abi Abdillah as-Sadiq (as) recited this Qur’anic verse:

وَإِنْ يَرَوْا آيَةً يُعْرِضُوا وَيَقُولُوا سِحْرٌ مُسْتَمِرٌّ

And if they see a miracle they turn aside and say: Transient magic. (Surah Qamar 54:2)

10. It is reported by Muhammad bin Samit that he said: I said to Imam Sadiq (as): “Will there be certain signs before this matter (the appearance of al-Qaim)?” he said, “Yes, there will be.” I asked, “What are they?” He said, “The perishment of the Abbasids, the rising of al- Sufyani, killing of Nafs Zakiyyah, sinking of the desert and the call from the heavens.” I said, “May I be sacrificed on you, I am afraid that these things may take a long time!” He said, “No, they will come like the beads of a rosary; coming one after that other.”

11. It is narrated by Humran bin Ayyin from Imam Sadiq (as) that: “The inevitable things that must occur before the appearance of al-Qaim are the rising of as-Sufyani, the sinking of the desert, killing of Nafs Zakiyyah and the call from heavens.”

12. It is narrated from Zurarah that he said: I heard His Eminence, Abu Abdillah as-Sadiq (as) say: “A caller will call out from the heavens that so and so is the emir and that Ali and his followers are the triumphant ones.” I said, “Then who will fight al-Mahdi after that?” He said, “The Satan will call out that so and so and his followers are the triumphant ones, a man of the Umayyads (Uthman).” I said, “Then who will know which the truthful is and which the liar is?” He said, “Those, who used to narrate our traditions, will know that and will know that they are with the truth.”

13. In another tradition from Zurarah it is mentioned that he said: I said to His Eminence, Abi Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as): “May Allah make you succeed! I wonder how people will fight against al-Qaim in spite of all the miracles they will see; like the sinking of the desert with the army and the divine call that comes from the heavens!” He said, “The Satan will not free them until he calls out as he had called out against the Prophet (S) on the day of al-Aqabah.”

14. It is reported from Hisham bin Saalim that he said: I heard His Eminence, Abi Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as) say: “There will be two cries; one at the beginning of the night and the other will be at the end of the second night.” I asked, “How will that be?” He said, “One will come from the heavens and the other will be from Iblees.” I said, “How one will be distinguished from the other?” He said, “He, who knows about it before its occurrence will recognize it.”

15. It is narrated by Abdur Rahman bin Maslama that he said: I said to Imam Sadiq (as): “Some people blame us and say how the truthful call is distinguished from the false one when they both occur.” He said, “With what do you answer them?” I said, “With nothing.” He said, “Say to them: He, who has believed in them before they occur, will know which of them is true and which is false. Allah has said:

أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لَا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَنْ يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge? (Qur’an, Surah Yunus 10:35)

16. It is reported from Abdullah bin Sinan that he said: I heard His Eminence, Abi Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: “This matter, which you stretch your necks to, will not be until a caller from the heavens calls: So and so is the master of the affair, so what is this fighting for?”

17. It is narrated by Muhammad bin Muslim that Imam Baqir (as) said: “The rising of as-Sufyani and the rising of the Qaim will be in the same year.”

18. It is mentioned by Badr bin Khalil Asadi that he said: I was in the company of Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) when he said that two signs would appear before the appearance of al-Qaim that had never appeared since Allah had sent Adam down to the earth. He said that the sun would be eclipsed in the middle of Ramadan and the moon would be eclipsed in the end of Ramadan.” A man said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, it is the moon that will be eclipsed in the middle of Ramadan and the sun will be eclipsed at the end of it.” Abu Ja’far al- Baqir (as) said, “I do know what I say. They are two signs that have never occurred since Adam (as) descended to the earth.”

19. It is narrated by Ward, brother of Kumayt, the famous poet from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (as) that he said: “Before the appearance of al-Qaim, the moon will be eclipsed five days before the end of the month and the sun will be eclipsed in the middle of the month. That will occur in Ramadan and then the calculations of the astrologers will fail.”

20. It is reported by Abdul Malik bin Ayyin that he said: I was in the company of His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) when Qaim (aj) was mentioned. I said to His Eminence: “I hope this (reappearance) happens soon and that there is no rise of Sufyani also.” He said: “By Allah, it is inevitable and is bound to happen in any case.”

21. It is narrated by Humran bin Ayyin that Imam Baqir (as) said regarding the exegesis of the verse:

ثُمَّ قَضَىٰ أَجَلًا ۖ وَأَجَلٌ مُسَمًّى عِنْدَهُ

Then He decreed a term; and there is a term named with Him. (Qur’an, Surah Anam 6:2)

They are two fixed terms, one is inevitable and the other conditional.” Humran asked His Eminence: “What is inevitable?” He replied: “It is something that has nothing to the contrary.” I asked: “What is conditional?” He replied: “It is something in which there is hidden divine wisdom.” Humran said: “I hope the decree of Sufyani is from the conditional matters.” Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) said: “No, by Allah, it is from the inevitable matters.”

22. Again by Fudail bin Yasar it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) that he said: “Indeed, there are some inevitable matters and some conditional. Although Sufyani is an inevitable matter, it is bound to occur in any case.”

23. It is narrated from Khallad Saigh that His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) said: “Sufyani; there is no remedy from it. And he will not appear except in the month of Rajab.” A person asked: What should we do when he appears? He said: “When he rises you should remain attached to us, (Ahle Bayt).”

24. Imam Baqir (as) is quoted by Muhammad bin Muslim to have said: “As-Sufyani is red, blonde and blue. He has never worshipped Allah at all. He has seen neither Mecca nor Medina. He says: O my God, I take revenge even if I go to Hell! O my God, I take revenge even if I go to Hell!”

25. It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: “When Qaim (aj) rises up, he will appoint a person in every province of the earth and tell him: If you ever be in a position when you cannot understand or you do not know what judgment you should deliver, glance at the palm of your hand and act upon what is mentioned there.

And he would dispatch an army to Constantinople. When it reaches the gulf they would write something with their feet and walk on the surface of the water. The people of Constantinople will say: They are the companions of one who walks on water, then what would be his own excellence? At that moment they would open up the gates of the city for them. They would enter the city and rule over it as long as they like.”4

I say: The strength of Sufyani’s army that will be swallowed by the desert between Mecca and Medina, is almost three hundred thousand, according to the narration of Mufaddal. It is mentioned in a lengthy report quoted in Anwarun Nomaniya and Biharul Anwar.5 In some versions it is stated that when this army will reach Baida, Jibraeel will descend and call out: “O Baida, swallow the people.”

We shall rest content with only this much as it should be sufficient for those who want to benefit from them although Shaykh Sadooq and others have narrated a large number of sayings in this regard. And Shaykh Sadooq has narrated from Abdullah bin Ijlan that he said: We were discussing the advent of the Qaim in the company of Abi Abdullah (as) when I asked him: “How would we know about this?” He replied: “When you get up in the morning, a slip of paper will be found below your head with the following written on it: Obedience with recognition.”6

Testimony of some signs

In the book, Noorul Oyoon, among the signs of reappearance is that: People in the last period of time will give up wearing the turban and instead of that wear hats. It is also mentioned in a tradition that among the signs of reappearance is that: People would be happy not to have children and one who is childless will express joy and thankfulness.

I say: These signs have appeared in this year, that is year 1346 Hijri. I saw some people taking off the turban and donning hats to resemble non- Muslims. I also saw childless people happy of not having issues due to the burden of upbringing. I protest to the Almighty Allah regarding the Ghaibat of His Wali and beseech Him to hasten the advent of His Eminence, and make us among his companions.

  • 1. Al-Ghaibah, Pg. 139-140
  • 2. Usool Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 372
  • 3. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 133
  • 4. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 172
  • 5. Biharul Anwar, Vol. 53, Pg. 25
  • 6. Kamaluddin, Vol. 2, Pg. 654, Chapter 57, Tr. No. 22