Names And Titles Of Imam Mahdi (as) – Part I

Scholars of ethics and morals inform us that Allah likes that He should be called by His different names. The duas of Jawshan Kabeer and even Dua Mashlool are testimony to this fact. It is also the sunnah of Allah (swt) that He calls His loved ones by different titles. See how lovingly he refers to the Holy Prophet (sawa) in Quran – sometimes as Yaseen, or at time he refers to him as Ta-Ha. Some of the other titles by which the Holy Prophet (sawa) has been referred to in the Quran are Mudassir, Muzammil and sometimes he is called by his designation – Ya Ayyohal Rasool.

This sunnah of Allah is found in Holy Prophet (sawa) and Aimmah as well. Therefore we should try and refer to them by their various titles. The ziyarahs of Aimmah inform us of the various titles of Aimmah. So Ameerul Momeneen is referred to as Abul Hasan, Haider, Ghazamfar etc. Imam Husayn (as) is referred to as Sayyadush Shohada, Aba Abdillah and Imam Ali Ibnil Husayn is referred to as Zainul Abedeen, Sayyadus Sajedeen and even as Sajjad.

Like the other Aimmah, Imam Mahdi (as) has also been referred to by several titles in traditions and even in the Holy Quran. His most popular title is al-Mahdi. Some of his other titles include al-Qaem, al-Muntazar, Sahebaz Zaman, Wali al-Asr, Baqiyatullah etc.

The book of Najmus Saqib has listed out 182 titles of Imam Mahdi (as). Each of these titles is having a deep meaning and a rationale to it. These have been explained in traditions. In this article, we shall try and see some of these names and their meanings in the light of traditions.

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Abu Hamza Thumali asked Imam Mohammed Baqir (as): “O son of Allah’s Messenger, aren’t all of you Establishers (Qaemeen) of Truth?” He said: “Indeed so.” I asked him then, “Why has Qaem been named ‘the Establisher’ (Qaem)?” He said: “When my forefather, Husain, may Allah bless him, was martyred, angels wailed to Allah, the Exalted, and cried and said: ‘Our Lord, our Master, are You going to ignore people who killed Your chosen friend and the progeny of Your chosen and selected friend from Your creation?’

Allah, the Exalted, revealed to them, ‘O My angels. By My Honor and Majesty, I will take revenge from them, even if it be after a while.’ Then Allah, the Exalted, manifested the Imams from the progeny of Husain (as) which made the angels happy. They saw one of them standing (Qaem), offering prayers. Allah, the Exalted, said: ‘Through that Standing one (Qaem) I shall avenge from them.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 2, tradition 1)

Shaykh Saduq states, “Qaem has been named thus as the rising/standing one, because he will rise after his name has been forgotten.”

Imam Mohammed Taqi (as) said, “The Imam after me is my son, his command is my command, his word is my word, and obedience to him is obedience to me. Imamate after him belongs to his son, Hasan, his command is his father’s command, his word is his father’s word, and obedience to him is obedience to his father.” Then he became silent, so I said: “O son of Allah’s Messenger, then who is the Imam after Hasan?” He cried very profusely and then said: “After Hasan (as), is his son, the Establisher of the Truth (Qaem bil-Haqq), the Awaited Savior.”

I asked him, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger, why is he named Qaem?” He said: “Because he will rise after the oblivion of his name and the apostasy of the majority of the believers in his Imamate.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 2, tradition 4)


A person asked Imam Mohammed Taqi (as), “And why is he (Imam Mahdi) named Muntazar (the Awaited)?” He said: “Because the days of his occultation will be many and its time will be long, with the sincere ones awaiting his rise and the doubters denying it, and the deniers ridiculing it. There will be many predictors then of the time of his rise. The hasty will be annihilated and the submitters will be rescued.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 2, tradition 4)


A man came to Imam Baqir (as) while I was present there, and said: “May Allah have mercy on you. Take these five hundred dirhams and spend them in their appropriate venues, for they are the Zakat of my wealth.”

The Imam (as) replied, “Rather, you take them and spend them on your neighbors, orphans and the needy and amongst your Muslim brothers. This will happen when our Qaem rises, for he will distribute equally and establish equity in the creation of the All-Merciful, amongst their virtuous and their evil. Whoever obeys him, has obeyed Allah, and whoever disobeys him, disobeyed Allah.

He has been called Mahdi, because he will guide to a hidden affair, bringing out the Torah and the rest of books of Allah from a cave in Antioch. He will issue verdicts amongst the followers of Torah according to Torah, and amongst followers of Injeel according to Injeel, and amongst followers of Zabur according to Zabur, and amongst followers of Quran according to Quran.

All riches and wealth will come to him, be they beneath the earth or over it, and he will say to people, ‘Come to the riches for which you forsook your relatives, shed blood, and committed forbidden acts.’ He will dispense wealth in a way no one has done before.” Abu Ja’far said: “The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: ‘He is a man from me. His name is like mine. “Allah will protect me through him. He will act on my conduct and fill the earth with equity and justice and light as it will be filled with oppression, inequity, and vice.’” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 2, tradition 2)

Abu Saeed Khurasani said: I asked Imam Sadiq (as), “Is the Mahdi and the Qaem the same?” He said: “Yes.” I asked, “For what reason has he been named the Mahdi?” He said: “Because he will be guided to every hidden matter. And he is named Qaem, because he will rise after his name dies. He will establish a mighty enterprise.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 2, tradition 6)


In Zakheerah it is said that this name belongs to the Imam as mentioned in the book of Zoohar, (Tazkeratul Aimmah, page 184) In Ghaybat of Fazl bin Shazan it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said under the circumstances of the Qaaem (as) that: Thus, when he reappears, he will rest his back on the Kaaba and three hundred and thirteen men will gather around him and the first words that he speaks would be the following verse: “What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believers…” (Surah Hud, verse 86)  Then he will say: I am the remnant of Allah and His proof and His Caliph on you. Thus, no one would greet him, except by the words of ‘Peace be on you, O remnant of Allah on His earth.’

Part II – Names and Titles of Imam Mahdi (as)

Read more about Imam Mahdi (as)

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