The traditions that indicate his character and approach
Comprised of forty-seven narrations
699. Al-Fitan1: Narrated to us Abū Mu`āwiya, from Dāwūd, from Abū Naḍra, from Abū Sa`īd, may Allah be satisfied with him, from the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said: “In the end of times a Caliph will emerge [who] will distribute wealth without counting [it].”
700. Al-Fitan2: Narrated to us `Abd al-Razzāq, from Mu`ammar, from Qatāda, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him [and his family], who said: “He will bring out the treasures, will distribute wealth, and will correctly establish Islam.”
701. Al-Fitan3: Narrated to us al-Walīd, from Sa`īd, from Qatāda, from Abī Naḍra, from Abū Sa`īd al-Khudrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, who said: “He will give away wealth abundantly and will not even count it. He will fill the earth with justice just as it will be filled with injustice and unfairness.”
702. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī4: Informed us `Abd al-Wāḥid b. `Abd-Allah b. Yūnus, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Rabāḥ, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Ḥimyarī, from al-Ḥasan b. Ayyūb, from `Abd al-Karīm b. `Amr, from Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan b. Abān, from `Abd-Allah b. `Aṭā’ al-Makkī, who asked a Shaykh from the scholars, meaning, (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, “What will be the approach of the Mahdī (sīratuh)?” He replied, “He will act like the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family. He will destroy all that was before him just as the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, destroyed the affairs of ignorance (amr al-jāhiliyya). He will re-establish Islam from the beginning.”5
703. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī6: Informed us Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sa`īd, from `Alī b. al-Ḥasan, from his father, from Rifā`at b. Mūsā, from `Abd-Allah b. `Aṭā’ who said:
I asked (Imam) Abū Ja`far al-Bāqir, peace be on him, “When the Qā’im rises, what will be his approach towards the people?” He replied, “Like the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, he will destroy what was before [him]; and he will re-establish Islam from the beginning.”
704. Qurb al-isnād7: Hārūn b. Muslim, from Mas`adat b. Ziyād, from Ja`far, from his father who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family . . . said, ‘When our Qā’im rises fiefdom will vanish and no fiefs will remain.’”
705. Al-Kāfī8: `Alī b. Ibrāhīm, from his father, from ibn Abī `Umair, from Manṣūr, from Faḍl al-A`war, from Abū `Ubaida al-Ḥadhdhā’, in a hadith from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, who said: “O Abū `Ubaida! When the Qā’im from the family of Muḥammad, peace be on them, rises, he will judge like [the Prophets] David and Solomon. That is, he will not ask for evidence.”9
706. Al-Kāfī10: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. Sinān, from Abān, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said: “The world will not come to an end until a person from me emerges. He will judge like the judgments of the family of David. He will not ask for evidence and will give everyone their rights.”
707. Al-Kāfī11: Isḥāq narrates from al-Ḥasan b. Ẓarīf that
Two issues were making me restless and I intended to write about them to (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. I wrote to him and asked him how the Qā’im, peace be on him, would judge and where he would seat for judging between the people. I also intended to ask him for a [medicine] for Quartan fever12 but I forgot to do so.
He replied like this: “You asked about the Qā’im, then [know] that when he rises, he will judge amongst the people by his knowledge—like how David used to judge, without asking for evidence. You also intended to ask about Quartan fever but forgot. Write on a piece of paper [the following verse] and hang it on the person who has this fever and he will soon be cured with Allah’s permission, if Allah pleases, ‘O fire, be cold and safe on Ibrāhīm.’” We hung it on him as (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, had ordered and he was healed.
708. Al-Tahdhīb13: Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṣaffār, from Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn ibn Abī al-Khaṭṭāb, from Ja`far b. Bashīr and Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Hilāl, from al-`Alā’ b. Razīn al-Qallā, from Muḥammad b. Muslim who said:
I asked (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, “When the Qā’im—may Allah hasten his relief—rises, what will be his approach towards the people?” He replied, “He will adopt the approach of the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, until Islam becomes victorious.” I enquired, “What was the approach of the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family?” He replied, “He extinguished what prevailed during the time of ignorance (al-jāhiliyya) and dealt with the people with justice. The same applies to the Qā’im. He will remove the un-Islamic laws that will prevail [during the occultation, because of a lack of a true Islamic government] and will deal with the people justly.”
709. Al-Tahdhīb14: Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Bazī`, from Ḥamzat b. Zaid, from `Alī b. Suwayd, from (Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan Mūsā, peace be on him, who said:
When our Qā’im rises, he will call out, “O horsemen! Tread on the middle of the road. O pedestrians! walk on the two sides of the road.” Then, if any rider goes to the roadside and hurts a pedestrian, he will have to compensate [the pedestrian, i.e. pay diya to him], but if a pedestrian walks in the middle of the road and is hurt, then he will not be compensated.
710. Al-Tahdhīb15: From him [meaning Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṣaffār], from Ya`qūb, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Faḍḍāl, from Shu`ayb al-Aqarqūfū, from Abū Ḥamza al-Thumālī, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:
The earth will not survive unless if there is a learned person from us who can distinguish the truth from falsehood within it. The purpose of dissimulation (al-taqiyya) is to safeguard the blood [of the Shias]. When dissimulation (al-taqiyya) reaches the [threshold of] bloodshed, then [at that time] it should be put aside. By Allah! If you are called to help us you will say, “We will not do so because we are dissimulating.” Dissimulation is indeed dearer to you than you fathers and mothers. When the Qā’im, peace be on him, rises, he will not be in need to ask you about this. Indeed, he will carry out Allah’s punishments (ḥadd) on most of the hypocrites from amongst you.
711. Al-Tahdhīb16: From him [meaning al-Ḥusayn b. Sa`īd], from al-Naḍr b. Suwayd, from `Abd-Allah b. Sinān, from his father who said:
I asked (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, “I have a piece of land that was taken as tax [from someone else and given to me by the government] and I don’t have a good feeling towards it. Should I abandon it?” He was silent for a while, then said, “When our Qā’im rises, you will be granted much more land than that.” He continued, “When our Qā’im rises, the people will have better than their current properties.”
712. Al-Khiṣāl17: My father, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, and Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-`Aṭṭār, may Allah be satisfied with them, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. Abī l-Khaṭṭāb, from Mūsā b. Sa`dān, from `Abd-Allah b. al-Qāsim al-Ḥaḍramī, from Mālik b. `Aṭiyya, from Abān b. Taghlib, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:
Soon, three hundred and thirteen men will come to this Mosque of yours—meaning Mecca. The people of Mecca will know that these people are not from them. With them will be swords and on each sword will be scribed a word which will open up a thousand words. They will send the wind and it will call out in every valley, “This is the Mahdī. He will judge like the judgments of the family of David; he will not ask for evidence.”
The following traditions also establish the above concept: 344, 345, 346, 368, 383, 403, 405, 419, 425, 426, 432, 466, 481, 484, 535, 583, 682, 689, 692–695, 713–718, 719, 726, 732, 1115, and 1199.
- 1. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, p. 191.
- 2. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, p. 192; al-Malāḥim wa l-fitan, chap. 146, p. 69, which mentions ‘Mu`ammar b. Qatāda’ which is wrong.
- 3. Al-Fitan, vol. 5, p. 192; al-Malāḥim wa l-fitan, chap. 147, p. 69; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 54, p. 713, no. 99. He writes: “This tradition is established and correct”; Ḥāfiẓ Muslim has recorded it in his Ṣaḥīḥ and has written “a caliph from your caliphs,” and he has not recorded the end of the tradition; Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, vol. 18, “Kitāb al-Fitan,” p. 39, which says: “from your caliphs is a caliph who will give away wealth abundantly.” He too, has not recorded the end of the tradition.
- 4. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. “What has been narrated about his attributes and his approach,” p. 230, no. 13; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 37, pp. 627–628.
- 5. In this tradition and others, ‘all that was before him’ refers to all the evil traditions, condemnable habits, false foundations, and deficient and tyrannical laws that will appear in the end of times. “He will re-establish Islam from the beginning,” means he will call upon the people to acknowledge and practice what has been taught in the sharia.
- 6. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. “What has been narrated about his attributes,” p. 232, no. 17; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 37, p. 69.
- 7. Qurb al-isnād, p. 39.
- 8. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 397, no. 1; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 23, chap. 4, pp. 85–86, no. 28, which ends like this: “he will not ask people for evidence”; Baṣā’ir al-darajāt, chap. 15, p. 259, no. 3, which ends like this: “he will not ask people for evidence”; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 7, chap. 32, p. 45, no. 404; al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 2, p. 861, under no. 77, which ends like this: “he will not ask people for evidence.”
- 9. It is appropriate here to answer the objection raised by some those who oppose us, which is as follows: The Muslims are unanimous that there will be no prophet after the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, but you Shias think that when the Qā’im rises, he will not accept the jizya from the People of the Book, he will kill all those who have attained the age of twenty but have failed to acquire deep knowledge in religion, will destroy all the mosques and shrines, will judge like the Prophet David and will not ask for evidence, and etc. All of these are an abrogation of the Islamic sharia. A group of scholars have answered this objection in their books. We will suffice here with the reply given by the majestic scholar al-Shaykh al-Ṭabrisī in his book I`lām al-warā. He writes: “We don’t believe in what has been mentioned in the question that he will not accept the jizya from the Peoples of the Book and will kill all those who have attained the age of twenty but have failed to acquire deep knowledge in religion. Because they have been mentioned in a tradition whose correctness has not been proved. As for the destruction of the mosques and the shrines, then we too have heard about that. It is legitimate to confine this to those mosques and shrines that have been built without having Allah in mind and in opposition to the commands of Allah. This is perfectly legal and is what the Prophet did himself. As for him judging like David (and) not asking for evidence, again this has not been mentioned [in a correct tradition]. If it is correct, then it means that he will judge using his knowledge. For, when an Imam or a judge knows about an affair, then he must judge according to his knowledge without asking for any evidence. There is absolutely no abrogation of the Sharia in these. Even if what they say about him neither accepting the jizya nor asking for evidence is correct, then that will also not be an abrogation of the Sharia. Because, an abrogating law is the one that comes after the abrogated one and not at the same time with it. If they exist together, then one will not be abrogating the other even if they are apparently contradictory to each other in judgment. Therefore, we agree that if Allah had said, ‘You restrict yourself until such and such time and not thereafter,’ then this will not be abrogation because the removal factor is accompanied with the obliging factor. If this statement is correct and the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, has informed us that it is obligatory to follow and agree with the Qā’im from his progeny, then we have to follow what judgment he passes concerning us even if it is contradictory to some of the earlier laws and no abrogation will have occurred.”
- 10. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, pp. 397–398, no. 2.
- 11. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 509, no. 13; al-Irshād, p. 343, with the difference that it says: “He said, ‘Narrated to me al-Ḥusayn b. Ẓarīf.’” The following section has not been recorded in it: “and he will soon be cured with Allah’s permission, if Allah so pleases.”; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 31, p. 403, no. 15; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 95, chap. 55, pp. 66–67, no. 46, and vol. 50, chap. 3, p. 264, no. 24; al-Manāqib by ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol. 4, p. 431 (short version); al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 1, pp. 431–432, no. 10; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 413; I`lām al-warā, p. 357; al-Da`awāt by Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāwandī, p. 209, no. 567.
- 12. A mild form of malaria causing a fever that recurs every third day (Concise Oxford English Dictionary).
- 13. Al-Tahdhīb, vol. 6, chap. “The Imam’s attitude,” p. 154, no. 1 (270); Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 6, sect. 2, chap. 32, p. 377, no. 76.
- 14. Al-Tahdhīb, vol. 10, chap. 28, p. 314, no. 10 (1169); Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 6, chap. 32, sect. 2, p. 379, no. 81 (short version).
- 15. Al-Tahdhīb, vol. 6, chap. 79, p. 172, no. 13 (335).
- 16. Al-Tahdhīb, vol. 7, p. 149, no. 6 (660); Ithbāt al-hudāt, chap. 32, sect. 2, vol. 6, no. 78.
- 17. Al-Khiṣāl, vol. 2, p. 649, no. 43; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 6, chap. 32, sect. 8, p. 455, no. 261, and vol. 7, pp. 91–92, no. 539, with variations in context and chain of narrators. The same has been recorded in Ghaybat al-Nu’mānī, pp. 314–315, no. 7.