‘Allamah al-Albani (d. 1420 H) summarizes the mainstream Sunni view of the Mahdi, ‘alaihi al-salam, for us:
أما المهدي المبشر به في الأحاديث الصحيحة، ومنها قوله عليه الصلاة والسلام: «لا تنقضي الدنيا حتى يبعث الله رجلاً يوافق اسمه اسمي، واسم أبيه اسم أبي -أي محمد بن عبد الله- يملأ الأرض قسطاً وعدلاً كما ملئت جوراً وظلماً»، يملأ الأرض قسطاً وعدلاً كما ملئت جوراً وظلماً، «يمكث في الأرض سبع سنوات أو ثمان سنوات».
فإذن المهدي محمد بن عبد الله هو رجل من المجددين، الذين أخبر الرسول عليه السلام عنهم بقوله: «إن الله يبعث لهذه الأمة من يجدد لها دينها على رأس كل مائة سنة». فالمهدي ما هو إلا إنسان عادي عالم مصلح، الناس يتبعونه لعلمه ولصلاحه؛ ولذلك ففي زمانه يرى الناس العدل، ولا يعودون يرون الجور والظلم [كما هو] حال المسلمين اليوم يعيشونه في كل بلاد الإسلام مع الأسف الشديد.
«لا تنقضي الدنيا حتى يبعث الله رجلاً يوافق اسمه اسمي، واسم أبيه اسم أبي، يملأ الأرض قسطاً وعدلاً كما ملئت جوراً وظلماً».
هذا المهدي إنسان من العلماء المصلحين لم تلد النساء مثله بعد الصحابة والخلفاء الراشدين.
As for the Mahdi whose glad tidings are given in the sahih ahadith, and among them is his statement, peace and blessings be upon him:”The world will not end until Allah SENDS a man whose name will match my name, and the name of his father is the name of my father – that is Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah – he will fill the earth with equity and justice just as it had been filled with aggression and oppression” “He will live on the earth for seven years or eight years”.
In that case, the Mahdi is Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah. He is one of the renewers, about whom the Messenger, peace be upon him, informed in his statement: “Verily, Allah appoints for this Ummah, at the head of every one hundred years, someone who renews its religion for it”. So, the Mahdi is nothing other than a MEDIOCRE human being, a scholar, a reformer. The people will follow him due to his knowledge and righetousness. This is why during his time, mankind will live in justice; and they will not continue to suffer aggression and injustice, as is the conditions of the Muslims today who suffer it in all the Muslim countries, very unfortunately. “The world will not end until Allah sends a man. His name will match my name, and the name of his father is the name of my father. He will fill the earth with equity and justice just as it had been filled with aggression and injustice”.
This is the Mahdi, a peron from the reforming scholars. Women have not given birth to anyone like him after the Sahabah and the khulafa al-rashidin.1
We have already established the severe weaknessness of the ahadith mentioning the name of the Mahdi’s father in the Sunni books. Therefore, al-Albani’s pretence that they are “sahih” is deceptive and misleading. There is simply no basis throughout all Sunni books for identifying Imam al-Mahdi’s father as one ‘Abd Allah. The bottom-line is: the Mahdi which the majority of Sunnis are expecting – one Muhammad, son of one ‘Abd Allah – is never coming, and exists only in their wishful thinking. There is ZERO reliable evidence for his existence in the Sunni and Shi’i books. Meanwhile, it is indeed established that the name of the real Mahdi himself is Muhammad. But, what is the name of his father? This is unknown through any authentic report in the Sunni books.
At this point, we must quote again this wild misinformation of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) as well:
فالمهدي الذي أخبر به النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم اسمه محمد بن عبد الله لا محمد بن الحسن وقد روى عن علي رضي الله عنه أنه قال هو من ولد الحسن بن على لا من ولد الحسين بن علي
So, the Mahdi who was prophesied by the Prophet, peace be upon him, his name is Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah, NOT Muhammad b. al-Hasan. Moreover, it has been narrated that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said that he (the Mahdi) would be from the descendants of al-Hasan b. ‘Ali, NOT from the descendants of al-Husayn b. ‘Ali.2
But, that athar of ‘Ali, ‘alaihi al-salam, is dha’if too, as we have proved! Why do the top ‘ulama of the Ahl al-Sunnah keep deceiving their followers about the Mahdi of Islam? The situation is so bad that if Allah sends His Mahdi today, and his name is Muhammad, but his father’s name is not ‘Abd Allah, the majority of Sunnis would revolt against him! Worse still, even if he had been Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah, but from the offspring of al-Husayn, ‘alaihi al-salam, our Sunni brothers would still take up arms against the one sent by their Lord. Whereas, there is no shred of acceptable evidence in the Sunni books that the Mahdi would have a father named ‘Abd Allah, or that he would be from the offspring of Imam al-Hasan, ‘alaihi al-salam! Apparently, the Sunni ‘ulama deliberately mislead their unsuspecting followers about the Awaited Imam, perhaps to turn them away from the Twelfth Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt, ‘alaihim al-salam. Therefore, due to the unfaithful actions of their scholars, the majority of the Ahl al-Sunnah are extremely likely to take up arms against the true Mahdi the moment he “comes out”. This in part, perhaps, explains why his first army will be made up of people from Khurasan.
‘Allamah al-Albani also claims that the Mahdi is a “mediocre” person, apparently with no exceptional qualities or abilities. Yet, he too agrees that he is “sent” by Allah to the world. When does our Lord ever send mediocre people?! Whosoever is sent from Him is always equipped with extraordinary personal qualities and always assisted to secure supernatural achievements – few or many. For instance, this Mahdi will bring equity and justice to all the nooks and crannies of this earth, and will have all of humanity under his unified kingdom. He will also transform our sad planet into a little paradise, and his reign will usher in the happiest phase of human existence ever. Does all that really sound “mediocre”? Can any random human being truly achieve these feats? We believe they are some of the greatest miracles of Allah.
Ask a typical Sunni how the Awaited Imam will conquer the whole world, and he has no clue. His scholars have always told him that the Mahdi is only a “mediocre” human being; and we often see Sunnis parroting this on online forums and social media. So, they expect no real miracle from him. Whatever he can do, any other ordinary Muslim scholar can do it also. Apparently, they either expect the Imam to militarily defeat, occupy and rule the entire earth with rifles, tanks, fighter jets, warplanes, and similar weapons, or, alternatively, to peacefully convert the whole of humanity to Islam and to submission to his kingdom and teachings through powerful sermons. But, which of those two theories is possible, to begin with?! And, which of them can be achieved by mediocre men?
Basically, Sunni Islam has no idea how the Mahdi will successfully carry out his global revolution, and – importantly - without committing atrocities in the process. In fact, by the Sunni “mediocre” view of the Imam, his mission is impossible. However, the Shi’ah have the answer. Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381 H) documents:
حدثنا أحمد بن زياد بن جعفر الهمداني رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا علي ابن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن الريان بن الصلت قال: قلت للرضا عليه السلام: أنت صاحب هذا الامر؟ فقال: أنا صاحب هذا الامر ولكني لست بالذي أملاها عدلا كما ملئت جورا، وكيف أكون ذلك على ما ترى من ضعف بدني، وإن القائم هو الذي إذا خرج كان في سن الشيوخ ومنظر الشبان، قويا في بدنه حتى لو مد يده إلى أعظم شجرة على وجه الأرض لقلعها، ولو صاح بين الجبال لتدكدكت صخورها، يكون معه عصا موسى، وخاتم سليمان عليهما السلام. ذاك الرابع من ولدي، يغيبه الله في ستره ما شاء، ثم يظهره فيملأ] به [الأرض قسطا وعدلا كما ملئت جورا وظلما
Ahmad b. Ziyad b. Ja’far al-Hamdani, may Allah be pleased with him – ‘Ali b. Ibrahim – his father – al-Rayan b. al-Salt:
I said to al-Ridha, peace be upon him, “Are you the one in charge of this matter?” So, he replied, “I am the one in charge of this matter. But, I am not the one who will fill it with justice just as it had been filled with injustice. How can I be that one with what you see of the weakness of my body? Verily, the Qaim is the one who, when he comes out, will have an old age but the appearance of a young man. He will be so strong physically that if he stretched his hand to the biggest tree on the face of the earth, he would surely uproot it; and if he shouted among the mountains, their rocks would explode. With him will be the staff of Musa and the ring of Sulayman, peace be upon them both. He will be the fourth in line from my offspring. Allah will make him invisible in His concealment for as long as He wishes. Then, He will make him visible; and He (Allah) will, through him, fill the earth with equity and justice just as it had been filled with oppression and injustice.”3
Al-Haj Muhammad Zakariya says about it:
Its chain is sahih.4
It seems that the al-Ridha, ‘alaihi al-salam, adopted the literary tool of hyperbole (mubalaghah) to emphasize on the extreme physical strength of Imam al-Hujjah5. Alternatively, it may be that the Eighth Imam was actually indicating that the physical strength of the Twelfth Imam would be helped with divine miracles whenever he exercised it. Allah knows best. Our primary interest is in the staff of Musa, ‘alaihi al-salam, and the ring of Sulayman, ‘alaihi al-salam, which will be with Imam al-Mahdi when he comes out. The Imam will certainly perform mammoth miracles through them, as the two prophets did. However, the exact nature or form of these miracles are unknown to us through the sahih ahadith.
Meanwhile, the Mahdi will also come with something else, which was never held by any prophet, messenger or Imam before him. Al-Saduq again reports:
حدثنا محمد بن الحسن بن أحمد بن الوليد رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا محمد ابن الحسن الصفار، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن أبان بن عثمان عن أبان بن تغلب قال: حدثني أبو حمزة الثمالي قال :قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: كأني أنظر إلى القائم عليه السلام قد ظهر على نجف الكوفة فإذا ظهر على النجف نشر راية رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله،)و (عمودها من عمد عرش الله تعالى، وسائرها من نصر الله عز وجل، ولا تهوى بها إلى أحد إلا أهلكه الله تعالى، قال: قلت: أو تكون معه أو يؤتى بها؟ قال: بلي يؤتى بها، يأتيه بها جبرئيل عليه السلام.
Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid, may Allah be pleased with him – Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. al-Saffar – Ya’qub b. Yazid – Muhammad b. Abi ‘Umayr – Aban b. ‘Uthman – Aban b. Taghlib – Abu Hamzah al-Thumali:
Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, said: “It is as though I am looking at the Qaim, peace be upon him, after he has appeared upon Najaf al-Kufa. So, when he appears upon al-Najaf, he will unfurl the banner of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family. Its pole will be from the pillars of the Throne of Allah the Most High: and the rest of it will be from the Nasr (Victory) of Allah the Almighty. He will not point with it towards anyone except that Allah the Most High will destroy him (i.e. that person).” I asked, “Will it (always) with him or will it be brought to him?” He replied, “Rather, Jibrail, peace be upon him, will bring it to him.”6
Al-Haj Muhammad Zakariya says about it:
Its chain is sahih.7
So, even if an army of millions gather against our saviour, the moment he points towards them with the banner of the Messenger of Allah, ‘alaihi al-salam - with its new pole and other new features - all of them will drop dead instantly by the Command of Allah. It then will take only minutes to conquer entire cities, and merely hours to overrun and completely secure whole countries. His soldiers will, in fact, only do minimum fighting – if any at all. But then, he will need them to occupy liberated territories to extend the Kingdom of Allah into them. This way, the Mahdi will be able to conquer even the greatest superpowers with minimum or no resistance, and with no unnecessary loss to innocent lives and no unnecessary infrastructural damage. From the look of it, it is very likely that after his initial victories in the Middle East, a lot of armies across the world will rush to pledge allegiance to him, even before he gets to their countries. Humanity will also witness great powers of Allah through him; and, there is a huge chance that they will thereby troop into his religion en masse.
But, there is an interesting note here. The Mahdi is “sent” by Allah to destroy aggression and injustice on the earth. Yet, a lot of religions and sects are themselves both aggressive and oppressive. So, what does he do? Will he have to ban all those religions and sects? If he does, what about the religious freedoms of the practitioners of such faiths? The truth, however, is that there is really no freedom to inflict aggression or oppression upon others. Therefore, the Awaited Imam will basically outlaw every religion and sect, except the only true one revealed by Allah. It is only the religion of our Lord that is truly free of aggressive and oppressive teachings and dcotrines. Unless he does this, he will never fulfil his mission. Al-Majlisi (d. 1111 H) has this hadith on the step he will take:
الكافي: علي، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن أذينة، عن محمد بن مسلم قال: قلت لأبي جعفر عليه السلام: قول الله عز ذكره وقاتلوهم حتى لا تكون فتنة ويكون الدين كله لله قال: لم يجئ تأويل هذه الآية بعد، إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله رخص لهم لحاجته وحاجة أصحابه، فلو قد جاء تأويلها لم يقبل منهم ولكنهم يقتلون حتى يوحد الله عز وجل وحتى لا يكون شرك.
Al-Kafi: ‘Ali – his father – Ibn Abi ‘Umayr – Ibn Uzaynah – Muhammad b. Muslim:
I said to Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, “The statement of Allah the Almighty: ‘And fight against them until there is no more oppression and all worship is devoted to Allah.’ (8:39)” He said, “The tawil (implementation) of this verse has not come yet. Verily, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, permitted them due to his needs and the needs of his Sahabah. But, when its tawil comes, such would not be accepted from them. Rather, they will be killed until Allah the Almighty is declared to be One, and until there is no more shirk (idolatry).”8
This hadith has a mu’tabar (reliable) chain, according to Ayatullah al-Muhsini.9 Al-Majlisi also says about it in his Mir-at:
It shows how the Mahdi will eradicate all the religions which were founded upon deceit and oppression, or which survive upon both. Meanwhile, this job – apparently – has been assigned to him alone, and none before him is allowed to do it. The tawil of that ayah comes with him only, and with no one else.
The Awaited Imam will also eradicate all oppressive and aggressive cultures, rituals and practices as well, among Muslims and non-Muslims. Al-Majlisi again transmits:
التهذيب: الصفار، عن ابن أبي الخطاب، عن جعفر بن بشير ومحمد بن عبد الله بن هلال، عن العلا، عن محمد قال: سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن القائم إذا قام بأي سيرة يسير في الناس؟ فقال: بسيرة ما سار به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله حتى يظهر الاسلام قلت: وما كانت سيرة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله؟ قال: أبطل ما كانت في الجاهلية، واستقبل الناس بالعدل، وكذلك القائم عليه السلام إذا قام يبطل ما كان في الهدنة مما كان في أيدي الناس ويستقبل بهم العدل
Al-Tahdhib: al-Saffar – Ibn Abi al-Khaṭṭab – Ja’far b. Bashir and Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allah b. Hilal – al-‘Ala – Muhammad:
I asked Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, concerning the Qaim, “When he rises, which line of action will he adopt with regards to mankind?” He replied, “He will adopt the same line of action which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family, adopted until Islam triumphed”. I said, “And what was the line of action of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family?” He said, “He outlawed what was during the Jahiliyyah period, and made mankind incline to justice. The Qaim too, peace be upon him, when he rises, he will outlaw what was during the armistice from what was in the hands of mankind, and will call them to justice.”11
Its chain too is mu’tabar (reliable), according to Ayatullah al-Muhsini.12 Interestingly, the hadith describes the period up to the rise of Imam al-Mahdi as that of “the armistice”. Apparently, all Muslim countries and individuals – especially the Shi’ah Imamiyyah – are supposed to be in peace and harmony with all non-Shi’is, including even non-Muslims – except perhaps in cases of strict self-defence - until whenever the Qaim rises.
Meanwhile, from the submissions of ‘Allamah al-Albani quoted at the beginning of this chapter, we find these words of his to be really very careless:
«يمكث في الأرض سبع سنوات أو ثمان سنوات».
In that same book, al-Albani repeats it, with further emphasis:
فلو خرج [المهدي و] وجد التسعمائة مليون مسلم متفرقين شذر مذر حتى يجمعهم على فكرة واحدة، على تصفية وعلى تربية، يحتاج إلى كذا سنين هو، ونص الحديث يمكث في الأرض سبع سنين، ثمان سنين
If he [the Mahdi] came out, and he found 900 million Muslims divided in all directions, in order to unite them upon the same thinking, upon the same spiritual purification, and upon the same moral training, he would need such-and-such number of years, while THE EXPLICIT TEXT of the hadith is: “He will live on the earth for seven years, eight years”.13
He has claimed that this is from a “sahih” hadith about the Mahdi. But, that “explicit text” exists in NO Sunni or Shi’i hadith about the Imam! From every indication, it is only a false statement which al-Albani has attributed to the Messenger of Allah. However, did he do it intentionally or by mistake? We do not know. Besides, we are sure that the fallacy of that fake hadith is beyond obvious anyway. It is suggesting that the Mahdi would have liberated and ruled the entire world before he reaches the age of seven, and that he would then die at that age as a kid!
- 1. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Nasir al-Din b. al-Hajj Nuh b. Tajati b. Adam al-Ashqudri al-Albani, Mawsu’at al-‘Allamah al-Albani (Sana, Yemen: Markaz al-Nu’man li al-Buhuth wa al-Dirasat al-Islamiyyah wa Tahqiq al-Turath wa al-Tarjamah; 1st edition, 1431 H) [producer: Shadi b. Muhammad b. Salim Al Nu’man], vol. 9, pp. 236-237, # 1581
- 2. Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad b. ‘Abd al-Halim b. Taymiyyah al-Harrani, Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah (Muasassat Qurṭubah; 1st edition, 1406 H) [annotator: Dr. Muhammad Rashad Salim], vol. 4, p. 95
- 3. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami li Jama’at al-Mudarisin; 1405 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], p. 376, Ch. 35, # 7
- 4. Muhammad Zakariya, al-Sahih wa al-Mu’tabar min Akhbar al-Hujjah al-Muntazar (Majmu’at al-Rasid; 1st edition, 1434 H), p. 20, # 10
- 5. The Qur’an too has used hyperbole in a number of verses, such as 7:40 and 33:10
- 6. Abu Ja’far Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babuyah al-Qummi, Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mah (Qum: Muasassat al-Nashr al-Islami li Jama’at al-Mudarisin; 1405 H) [annotator: ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghiffari], p. 672, Ch. 58, # 23
- 7. Muhammad Zakariya, al-Sahih wa al-Mu’tabar min Akhbar al-Hujjah al-Muntazar (Majmu’at al-Rasid; 1st edition, 1434 H), p. 42, # 37
- 8. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’ah li Durar Akhbar al-Aimah al-Aṭhar (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 3rd edition, 1403 H), vol. 52, p. 378, Ch. 27, # 181
- 9. Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 2, p. 233
- 10. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Mir-at al-‘Uqul fi Sharh Akhbar Al al-Rasul (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah) [annotator: Sayyid Muhsin al-Husayni al-Amini], vol. 26, p. 110
- 11. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’ah li Durar Akhbar al-Aimah al-Aṭhar (Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi; 3rd edition, 1403 H), vol. 52, p. 381, Ch. 27, # 192
- 12. Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mashra’ah Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut: Muasassat al-‘Arif li al-Maṭbu’at; 2nd edition, 1426 H), vol. 2, p. 233
- 13. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Nasir al-Din b. al-Hajj Nuh b. Tajati b. Adam al-Ashqudri al-Albani, Mawsu’at al-‘Allamah al-Albani (Sana, Yemen: Markaz al-Nu’man li al-Buhuth wa al-Dirasat al-Islamiyyah wa Tahqiq al-Turath wa al-Tarjamah; 1st edition, 1431 H) [producer: Shadi b. Muhammad b. Salim Al Nu’man], vol. 9, p. 235, # 1580