The traditions that indicate he will lead (the prayers) for Jesus, son of Mary, and Jesus will follow him in prayers
Comprised of thirty-six traditions
756. Al-Bayān fī akhbār Ṣāḥib al-Zamān1: Al-Ḥāfiẓ Yūsuf informed us at Aleppo2, from al-Qāḍī Abū l-Makārim, from [Abū l-Ḥasan b. Aḥmad] Abū `Alī al-Ḥasan b. Aḥmad, from al-Ḥāfiẓ [Abū l-Faraj] Abū Nu`aim, from Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣbahānī, from Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan b. Shu`ba, from his father, from Ḥaṣīn b. Mukhāriq, from al-Khalīl b. Laṭīf, from Abū Hārūn al-`Abdī, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said: “From us is the one behind whom, Jesus, son of Mary, will pray.”
[The author of al-Bayān says] al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū Nu`aim has recorded it in his book Manāqib al-Mahdī `alayhi al-salām.
757. Ghāyat al-ma’mūl3:
The Mahdī will turn his face [towards] Jesus, son of Mary— who will have descended. It will be is as if water is dripping from [Jesus’] hair. The Mahdī will say to him, “Come forward and lead the prayers for the people.” He will reply, “The prayers have been established for you.” So, [Jesus] will pray behind a person from my descendants and he is the Mahdī.
758. Al-Fitan4: From more than one person, from Ḥammād b. Salma, from `Alī b. Zaid, from a person, from `Abd-Allah b. `Amr: “The Mahdī is the one that Jesus, son of Mary, will descend in his presence and will pray behind him—peace be on them.”
759. Al-Fitan5: Narrated to us Abū Usāma, from Hishām, from Muḥammad who said: “The Mahdī is from this nation. He is the one who will lead the prayers for Jesus, son of Mary—peace be on them.”
760. Al-Muṣannaf6: Narrated to us Abū Usāma, from Hishām, from ibn Sīrīn that “The Mahdī is from this nation. He is the one who will lead the prayers for Jesus son of Mary.”
761. Al-Fitan by Abū Ṣāliḥ al-Salīlī7: Narrated to us al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, from Sufyān b. Sa`īd al-Thaurī, from Manṣūr b. al-Mu`tamir, from Raba`ī b. Khirāsh, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who mentioned a long tradition about the unrests (fitan) that will occur and said: “Triumphant is that nation from whom I am the first and Jesus is at its end. [Jesus] will pray behind a person from my descendants . . . (to the end of the narration).”
762. Al-Durr al-manthūr8: Ibn Abī Shaiba, Aḥmad, al-Ṭabarānī, and al-Ḥākim have recorded the (following) tradition and have regarded it as authentic (Ṣaḥīḥ): From `Uthmān b. Abī l-`Āṣ, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said:
. . . Jesus will descend at the time of the morning prayers (ṣalāt al-fajr). The commander of the people will say to him, “Come forward, O Spirit of Allah, and lead the prayers for us.” He will reply, “Surely, you from the people of this nation, some of you are commanders of others. You come forward and lead the prayers for us.”
Thus, [the Mahdī] will go forward and will lead the prayers. When he finishes, Jesus will take his spear towards the Antichrist (al-Dajjāl). When he sees him, he will melt like the melting of lead. Then, he will pierce between his breasts with his spear and will kill him and then he will defeat his followers. On that day, nothing will give cover to [the Antichrist’s followers]—to such an extent that the stone will call out, “O believer! Here is a disbeliever, kill him.” And the tree will call out, “O believer! Here is a disbeliever, kill him.”
763. Sunan ibn Māja9: Narrated to us `Ali ibn Muḥammad, from `Abd al-Raḥmān al-Muḥāribī, from Ismā’īl b. Rāfi` Abī Rāfi`, from Abī Zur`a al-Shaibānī Yaḥyā b. Abī `Amr, from Abū Umāma al-Bāhilī who said:
The Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], gave a sermon to us and most of his sermon was about the Antichrist (al-Dajjāl) and he cautioned us about him . . . He continued the narration until he said, “And their Imam will be a righteous man. When their Imam goes forward to lead the morning prayers, Jesus, son of Mary, will descend in the morning. Then, the Imam will withdraw a bit—walking backwards—so that Jesus would come forward to lead the prayers for the people. On [seeing] this, Jesus will place his hand [on the Imam’s back] between his shoulders and say to him, ‘Go ahead and pray! The prayers have been established for you.’ So, their Imam will lead the prayers for them . . .”
764. `Uyūn al-mu`jizāt10: From the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family . . . who informed about the emergence of the Mahdī who is the seal of the Imams, who will fill the earth with fairness and justice just as it will be filled with unfairness and injustice. That Jesus will descend upon him at the time of his emergence and reappearance and will pray behind him. [The author of `Uyūn al-mu`jizāt says,] “This is a report on which the Shias, scholars, non-scholars, the Sunnis, the elite, the masses, the old, and the children are all unanimous and agree to due to its fame.”
765. `Uyūn al-mu`jizāt11: From Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, who said: “I swear by the One in Whose Hands is my life! The Mahdī of this umma—behind whom Jesus will pray—is from us; then, he patted the shoulder of Imam al-Ḥusayn with his hand and exclaimed, ‘From him, from him.’”
766. Al-Tafḍīl12: Some of the Shias and also some of the Sunni traditionists (muḥaddithīn) have recorded that
When the Mahdī appears, Allah, the Exalted, will send down Jesus upon him and they will come together. When the time of the compulsory prayers comes, the Mahdī will say to Jesus, “Come forward, O Spirit of Allah” suggesting that he should lead the prayers. The Christ will reply, “No one is allowed to precede you Ahl al-Bait.” So the Mahdī will go forward and the Christ will pray behind him, peace be on them both.
767. Ḥāshiyatu fatḥ al-mubīn13: One narration mentions that he will descend after the Mahdī has commenced the prayers. He will go back a bit so that Jesus may lead the prayers. Jesus will place his hand between his shoulders and say to him, “You go ahead.” Before narrating this tradition [the author of the book] says, “His descent will occur at the time of the morning prayers.”
768. Anwār al-tanzīl14: It has been narrated that
Jesus will descend at a mountain pass in the Holy Land called Afīq. In his hand will be a lance by which he will kill the Antichrist (al-Dajjāl). Then, he will come to Bait al-Maqdas while the people are busy with the morning prayers. The Imam will withdraw but Jesus will stand back and will pray behind him in accordance with the sharia of Muḥammad, blessings and peace be on him.
`Alī b. Burhān al-Dīn al-Ḥalabī al-Shāfi`ī writes in al-Sīrat al-Ḥalabiyya, “[Jesus’] descent will be at the time of the morning prayers. He will pray behind the Mahdī after the Mahdī says to him, ‘Come forward, O Spirit of Allah!’ and he will answer, ‘You go ahead, for indeed, the prayers have been established for you.’”
Similar to the above has been recorded in Rūḥ al-bayān under the saying of Allah, the Exalted, “And surely, it is a knowledge of the Hour” (Quran 43:61). Similar to it has also been mentioned in Tafsīr al-kashshāf.
It has been recorded in Tafsīr rūḥ al-ma`ānī that “It is famous that his descent will take place at Damascus while the people are busy with the morning prayers. On his arrival, the Imam—and he is the Mahdī—will withdraw a bit but Jesus will want him to lead the prayers and will pray behind him saying, ‘It has been established for you.’”
Al-Suyūṭī—while refuting the claim of those who deny that Jesus will pray behind the Mahdī, peace be on him, because a Prophet’s position is so great that he cannot pray behind a non-Prophet—writes in al-I`lām bi ḥukmi `Īsā `alayhi al-salām, “This is extremely amazing! The praying of Jesus behind the Mahdī is proved beyond doubt in a number of authentic traditions based on the news of the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him [and his family], who is the truthful and the verified whose prophecies no one can refute . . . ” He then proceeds to mention some of these traditions and then says, “I am not surprised by their denial [because they are claiming something] they do not know, rather, I am amazed at them for writing these claims in pieces of paper which will remain forever after they have passed away.”
769. Tafsīr al-Qummī15: My father narrated to me, from al-Qāsim b. Muḥammad, from Sulaimān b. Dāwūd al-Minqarī, from Abū Ḥamza, from Shahr b. Ḥaushab who said:
Al-Ḥajjāj said to me, “A verse from the Book of Allah has exhausted me.” I asked, “O Emir! Which verse is it?” He replied, “‘And there is no one from the people of the Book (ahl al-kitāb) but that he will most certainly believes in him before his death’ (Quran 4:159). By Allah, I summon the Jews and the Christians and [order] their heads to be chopped off. Then, I carefully observe them with my own eyes but I do not see them moving their lips until they die.”
I said, “May Allah redeem the Emir! The verse is not as you have interpreted it.” He said, “Then how is it?” I answered, “Jesus will descend to the world before the Day of Judgment. Then, no one will remain from the nation of the Jews and Christians except that he will believe in him before his death and [Jesus] will pray behind the Mahdī.” He said, “Woe to you! Where have you got this from? What is your source?” I answered, “Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, informed me.” He exclaimed, “By Allah, You have brought this narration from a pure source.”
770. `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā16: Tamīm b. `Abd-Allah b. Tamīm al-Qurashī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from his father, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Anṣārī, from al-Ḥasan b. al-Jahm who said:
One day, I went to al-Ma’mūn’s court and (Imam) `Alī b. Mūsā al-Riḍā, peace be on him, was with him. The jurists and dialecticians from various sects had gathered there and one of them asked [the Imam], “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! How can a person’s claim of Imamate be verified?” He replied, “By divine text (al-naṣṣ) and reasons . . . (and the narration continues until he said,) Whoever claims divinity for the Prophets, or claims prophethood for the Imams, or claims Imamate for others other than the Imams, then we dissociate ourselves from such a people in this world and the hereafter.”
At that point, al-Ma’mūn said, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! What is your opinion about the Return (al-raj`a)?” (Imam) al-Riḍā, peace be on him, answered, “Verily, it is the truth. It occurred in the previous nations and the Quran has talked about it. The Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, has said, ‘Whatever has occurred in the previous nations will occur in this nation in the exact same manner.’” Then, he continued, “When the Mahdī from my descendants emerges, Jesus, son Mary, peace be on him, will descend and will pray behind him.”
771. Al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Quran17: From ibn Bābawayh, through his chain of narrators from Mu`ammar, from Imam Abū `Abd-Allah (al-Ṣādiq), peace be on him, in a long tradition from the Holy Prophet, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, who said: “From my progeny is the Mahdī. When he emerges, Jesus, son of Mary, will descend to help him and will ask him to lead [the prayers] and will pray behind him.”
The traditions which encompass this concept are too many to be listed here and the chapter will become too long if they are all mentioned. The following traditions also prove the above concept: 118, 153, 219, 284, 327, 361, 399, 429, 530, 539, 553, 582, 668, 669, 910, 1066, 1071, 1081, 1083, and 1105.
- 1. Al-Bayān fī akhbār Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, chap. 7, p. 116; Kanz al-`ummāl, vol. 14, chap. 266, no. 38673. He has recorded it from Abū Nu`aim in the Book al-Mahdī from Abū Sa`īd; Muntakhab kanz al-`ummāl, vol. 6, p. 30; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 54, p. 706, no. 73; al-Burhān fī `alāmāt Mahdī ākhir al-zamān, chap. 9, p. 158, no. 1.
- 2. A city in Syria with the Arabic name of Ḥalab—Trans.
- 3. Al-Ṭabarānī, Ghāyat al-ma’mūl (Sharḥ al-tāj al-jāmi` lil-uṣūl), vol. 5, p. 365; Is`āf al-rāghibīn, p. 147, and he says, “Similar to this [has been recorded] in ibn Ḥibbān’s Ṣaḥīḥ, in Imāmat al-Mahdī”; al-`Arf al-wardī (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 158: “From Abū `Amr al-Dānī in his Sunan, from Ḥudhayfa, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said: “The Mahdī will turn . . . (to the end of the tradition)”; al-Ṣawā`iq al-muḥriqa, under the twelfth verse from the verses which are about [the Ahl al-Bait, peace be on them], p. 164, citing al-Ṭabarānī and Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Ḥibbān; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chaps. 73 and 85, pp. 433 & 469; Jawāhir al-`iqdain, sect. 2, under no. 8, from Ḥudhayfa. He says: “al-Ṭabarānī has recorded it, and in ibn Ḥibbān’s Ṣaḥīḥ similar to it has been recorded from the tradition of `Aqabat b. `Āmir about the Imamate of the Mahdī; al-Burhān fī `alāmāt Mahdī ākhir al-zamān, chap. 9, p. 160, no. 9, citing Abū `Amr al-Dānī’s Sunan; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 54, p. 719, no. 121 (short version) from Mu`jam al-Ṭabarānī and Abū Nu`aim’s Manāqib al-Mahdī.
- 4. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, p. 200.
- 5. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, chap. “Nisbat al-Mahdī,” p. 200; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 54, p. 719, no. 123; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 78, p. 449.
- 6. Ibn Abī Shaiba, al-Muṣannaf, vol. 5, “Kitāb al-Fitan,” p. 198, no. 19495; al-I`lām bi ḥukm `Īsā `alayhi al-salām (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 299; al-`Arf al-wardī (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 135.
- 7. Al-Malāḥim wa l-fitan, chap. 83, p. 153, from what he has recorded from Abū Ṣāliḥ al-Salīlī’s al-Fitan.
- 8. Al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 2, p 243; al-I`lām bi ḥukmi `Īsā `alayhi al-salām (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, p. 298; Majma` al-zawā’id, vol. 7, chap. “Mā jā’a fī l-Dajjāl”, p. 342; Musnad Aḥmad, vol. 4, pp. 216–217, similar to it; al-Taṣrīḥ bi mā tawātara fī nuzūl al-Masīḥ, pp. 162–164, no. 12; al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 478.
- 9. Sunan ibn Māja, vol. 2, pp. 1359–1362, no. 4407; Sunan Abī Dāwūd, vol. 4, p. 117; Ṣaḥīḥ ibn Khuzayma (Manuscript); al-Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 536, and al-Dhahabī has endorsed it Talkhīṣ al-mustadrak; Fatḥ al-bārī, vol. 6, pp. 358 and 450, and vol. 13, pp. 83–84, 87–88, and 93; Tafsīr ibn Kathīr, vol. 1, p. 581; al-Taṣrīḥ bi mā tawātara fī nuzūl al-Masīḥ, pp. 142–156, no. 13; `Iqd al-durar, chap. 10, p. 231; Ḥilyat al-auliyā’, vol. 2, p. 712, no. 94 (short version), and vol. 6, p. 108; al-I`lām bi ḥukm `Īsā alayhi al-salām (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 3, p. 298; al-Burhān fī `alāmāt Mahdī ākhir al-zamān, chap. 9, p. 160, no. 6; Nūr al-abṣār, p. 188.
I say: This tradition does not clearly state that Jesus will pray behind the Mahdī—peace be on them—but this meaning is apparent from the context of similar traditions and also the current tradition; because Jesus’s turning away from the congregational prayers, not praying behind him, and praying along with the Muslims is highly improbable. It seems as if the narration has been summarized and only the details have been mentioned.
- 10. `Uyūn al-mu`jizāt, p. 141.
- 11. `Uyūn al-mu`jizāt, p. 64.
- 12. Al-Tafḍīl, p. 24.
- 13. Ḥāshiyatu fatḥ al-mubīn (Egypt: 1307 AH), p. 76; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 54, p. 712, no. 94, citing al-Ḥāfiẓ Abū `Abd-Allah.
- 14. Anwār al-tanzīl (under the saying of Allah, the Exalted, ‘And surely, it is a knowledge of the Hour’ [Quran, 43:61]), vol. 2, p. 370; al-Sīrat al-Ḥalabiyya (Egypt: Maṭba`atu Mustafa Muḥammad), vol. 1, p. 226; Rūḥ al-bayān and al-Kashshāf under the mentioned verse; Rūḥ al-ma`ānī, vol. 25, p. 95; al-I`lām bi ḥukm `Īsā `alayhi al-salām (al-Ḥāwī lil-fatāwī), vol. 2, pp. 297–299.
I say: It has been mentioned in some Sunni traditions that Jesus—peace be on our Prophet, his family, and him—will kill the Antichrist (al-Dajjāl), whilst reliable traditions narrated from the Ahl al-Bait, peace be on them, clearly establish that it is the Mahdī, peace be on him, who will kill the Antichrist (see vol. 3, section 7, chap. 7). It is possible to reconcile between these two traditions by considering the verb killing as passive or by supposing that he will assist the Mahdī in killing him or he will undertake the task of killing him by the order of the Mahdī.
- 15. Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 158, under verse 4:159; Al-Majlisī, al-`Arba`īn, p. 411, no. 28, similar to it from `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, peace be on him; Tafsīr al-Ṣāfī, vol. 1, p. 411; Tafsīr nūr al-thaqalain, vol. 1, p. 473; Tafsīr al-burhān, vol. 1, p. 426; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 34, p. 619; al-Maḥajja, p. 62; Majma` al-Bayān, vol. 2, p. 137. Regarding this verse, he says: “There are numerous views about this verse. Some say both the pronouns refer to Jesus. In other words, no one from the People of the Book—the Jews and the Christians—will remain but that they will believe in Jesus before Jesus’ death, when Allah sends him to the earth at the time of Mahdī’s reappearance in the end of times to kill the Antichrist (al-Dajjāl). Consequently, all the nations will be united [under one religion] and that will be the true religion of Islam, the religion of Ibrāhīm; ibn Abbās, Abū Mālik, al-Ḥasan, Qatāda, and ibn Zaid [have said] that is when becoming faithful will not benefit them; al-Ṭabarī also has this view and he has said, ‘This verse is specifically for those who will live in that era.’ `Alī b. Ibrāhīm has mentioned in his Tafsīr that his father has narrated from Sulaimān b. Dāwūd al-Minqarī . . . (he then mentions the tradition).”
- 16. `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā, vol. 2, chap. 46, pp. 200–202, no. 1.
I say: In this noble tradition the Return (raj`a) has been mentioned. Authentic and mutawātir traditions from the Ahl al-Bait prove it conceptually and synoptically. The Holy Quran also establishes it. For example, “And on the day that We will gather from every nation a party from among those who rejected Our signs, then they will be formed into groups” (Quran 27:83). There is no doubt that the day is not the day of the great rising (qiyamat al-kubrā) because in that day all the nations will be raised as Allah, the Exalted, says, “And We will gather them and will leave none of them behind” (Quran 18: 47). A group of the early scholars have written exclusive books to prove it. Therefore, it is compulsory to believe in it in general without the details mentioned in the singular (āḥād) traditions except what has been proved through mutawātir narrations or by other means which one can become certain.
What he means by “the Quran has spoken about them” are the verses of the Quran that have spoken about it. For instance, the saying of Allah, the Exalted, “Or like the one who passed by a town and it had fallen down upon its roofs. He said, ‘When will Allah give it life after its death?’ So Allah took his life for a hundred years, then raised him [to life again]” (Quran 2:259), and His saying, “Have you not considered those who abandoned their homes for fear of death—and they were thousands—then Allah said to them, ‘Die’ then He gave them life [again]” (Quran 2:243), and His saying to Jesus, peace be on him, “and you give life to the dead by My permission” (Quran 5:110), and His saying, Mighty and Majestic be He, about the chosen ones from the people of Moses for the meeting of his Lord, “Then We raised you up after your death so that you might be thankful” (Quran 2:56), and His saying in response to the supplications of Job (Ayyūb), “Therefore We answered [his prayers] and took off what harm he had, and We gave him his family and the like of them along with them” (Quran 21:84). All such discussions concerning raj`a, views about it, questions about it and their answers, and its occurrence in the end of times are dealt with in exclusive books written on the subject like Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 53, chap. 29, pp. 39–144 and al-Majlisī, al-Arba`īn, pp. 400–448, no. 28.
- 17. Al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Quran, vol. 1, p. 89, no. 14.