Can Imam Mahdi (as) Live For More Than 1,100 Years?

Once a person accepts that Imam Mahdi (as) was born on 15 Shabaan 255 AH, his mind starts doing mental calculations to determine his age. And that is when the questions start to crop up in one’s mind – How can Imam Mahdi (as) live for so long? Is is humanly possible for a person to have such a long life? Are there any examples in history?

These questions are valid and the answers to each of these questions and more are available through the Quran, traditions of Ahle Bayt (as), through history and even through science. What is required however is to approach the topic with an open mind – with the attitude that it is possible to have a long life. Now let us see how.Through a series of articles, we shall, God-willing, establish that the long life of Imam Mahdi (as), though unusual and uncommon, is not unique. There is a reason why we say this. Pay attention to the following:

Several proofs are available for longevity

  • The Quran talks offers examples for it,
  • Aimmah (as) have discussed it in the context of the long life of Imam Mahdi (as) through the examples of some of the previous prophets
  • Taking lesson from the long life of Hazrat Khizr (as)
  • There are examples of ordinary people who also enjoyed an extraordinary long life
  • Science acknowledges longevity

After all of these discussions, if a person still feels that it is an exception, then so be it. We can still treat it as an exception. We have sufficient examples of ordinary people who were blessed with extraordinary abilities – amazing memories, ability to east anything or even withstand an electric shock. These are exceptions to the norm and perhaps at one level, for the skeptics, we may treat the long life of Imam Mahdi (as) as an exception. We shall provide some examples around this point as well.

The World has progressed

Lastly, there is one point which needs thought. There are several comforts in our lives which we would have never thought possible or human beings from the previous ages would have never thought that these things would ever come to pass.

For example, if 1,400 years ago, if the Holy Prophet (sawa) would have spoken to the Arabs about aeroplanes and how people would travel several thousand miles to reach one place to another in a matter of hours, would any one have believed him?

In our own generation, science has made such things possible, which if we would have been told of them, say 25 years ago, we would have been skeptical. Take for example, the emergence of the smartphone and its capabilities today.

The point being made with this argument is that human thought is to some extent limited by its exposure and knowledge. Today we feel that a person cannot live for more than 70-80 years. But our knowledges are incomplete. Maybe with the progress of science, in ten years time, we may change our view. But the key words here are – our knowledges are incomplete. It is not so for the Imam (as) who possesses complete and perfect knowledge about everything.

Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said, “Knowledge consists of twenty-seven letters – all that the prophets brought is two letters and people have not received till date more than two letters. And when our Qaim arises, he would bring another twenty-five letters and spread them among the people and add them to the two letters and spread the knowledge of twenty-seven letters.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52, chapter 32, tradition 75)

Longevity as a subject therefore needs to be explored with an open mind, where the starting point is yes, a person can remain alive for as long as Allah wishes and over time, science will establish a way for it.

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