The Belief in Imam Mahdi (as) Was Ingrained in People

The belief in Imam Mahdi (as) and the concept of Imam Mahdi (as) that a person would come from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and establish justice and equity on this earth ingrained in people. This was due to the large number of discussions regarding the Mahdi which was continuously done right from Holy Prophet (sawa) and all Aimmah (as). So much so that in almost every age, the Aimmah (as) were asked if they were the promised Mahdi who would establish justice. The following traditions are sufficient to establish this point.

An important conclusion to derive from these traditions – the similarity of concept and style of questioning is that the belief in Imam Mahdi (as) is a true Islamic belief and not one limited to Shiahs alone. In fact one can extend the argument and say that the belief in an Awaited Saviour is a universal belief and not one restricted to Islam.The book Kamaluddin reports that Isa Khashshab asked Husayn Ibne Ali (as), “Are you the master of this affair? He replied, ‘No, the master of the affair is that same ‘Tareed’ and ‘Shareed’ (titles of Imam Mahdi) who is the motor and revenger for his father, who is having the patronymic of his uncle and who would carry his sword on his shoulders for eight months.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 30, tradition 5)

The book Ghaybate Nomani narrates that Abdullah bin Hammad Ibne Bukair from Humran asked Imam Mohammed Baqir (as), “May I be your ransom, I entered Medina with a sack on my waist having a thousand dinars; I pledged to Allah that I will distribute them at your door one by one or you answer me what I want to ask you about.” “Humran,” he said: “Ask and you will get your answers. Do not hate your dinars.” “I beseech you by your relation to the Messenger of Allah,” I implored, “are you the Awaited Patron (the Mahdi) of this affair and the establisher (Qaem) thereof?” “No,” he said. I asked, “Then who is he? My father and mother be your ransom.” He said, “He is the one whose complexion has a shade of red, has deep eyes and high eyebrows, is broad between shoulders. There is a scurf on his hair and a mark on his face. May Allah have mercy on Musa.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 4, tradition 21)

The book Al-Kafi reports that Hakam bin Abu Naeem said, I came to Imam Mohammed Baqir (as) when he was in Medina. I said to him, “I have taken a vow between the Rukn and the Maqam that when I meet you, I will not go away from Medina until I know whether you are the Qaem of Aale Mohammed (as) or not.”

He did not answer me anything. I stayed for thirty days. Then he met me on a road and said: “O Hakam, you are still here?” I said: “I told you about the vow I have taken by Allah and you did not order me to do anything, nor did you forbid me from anything. And you did not give me an answer.” He said: “Come to me in the morning at my house.” I went to him in the morning.

He said: “Ask what you need.” I said: “I have vowed with Allah of alms and fasting and charity between the Rukn and the Maqam, that if I meet you I will not exit Medina until I know whether you are the Qaem of Aale Mohammed (as). If you are, I will stay and be at your guard; and if you are not, I would go in the lands in search of livelihood.” He said: “O Hakam, we are all Qaem by the order of Allah.”

I said: “Then are you the Mahdi (the Guide)’?” He said: “We all guide to Allah.” “Are you the one with the sword’?” “Each one of us is with the sword and heir of the sword.” “Then are you the one who will kill the enemies of God, and is it through you that the friends of Allah will be victorious, and is it through you that the religion of Allah will manifest’?” “O Hakam,” he said: “how can I be that and I have reached forty-five years of age. The awaited Patron (the Mahdi) is closer to breastfeeding than me and lighter on the back of a courser.”

The book Ghaybate Nomani narrates that Shuaib Ibne Abi Hamzah said, I came to Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) and said to him, “Are you the Awaited Patron (The Mahdi) of this matter?” He said, “No.” “Then your son?” I asked. “No,” he said. “Then the son of your son?” “No.” “Then the son of your son’s son?” “No.” “Then who is he?” “The one who will fill the earth with equity, just as it will become full of oppression. He may come after a period of absence of Imams, as the Messenger of Allah (sawa) was sent after a period of absence of apostles.” (Beharul Anwar, volume 51, chapter 4, tradition 19)

The book Kamaluddin reports that Yunus Ibne Abdur Rahman came to Imam Musa Kazim (as) and asked, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, are you the Qaem bil Haqq (The Establisher of the Truth)?” He said: “I am the Qaem bil Haqq, however, the Qaem who will clean the earth from the enemies of Allah and will fill it with equity, as it will be full of injustice, is the fifth from my sons. He will have an occultation the length of which will be much due to his fear for his life. Many nations will apostatize in that period and the rest will remain steadfast.”

Then he said: “Good news for our Shiah, the adherers to our love during the occultation of our Qaem, who will remain steadfast on our adoration and detestation of our enemies. They are ours and we are theirs. They are pleased with us as Imams and we are pleased with them as Shia. Bliss be for them! They are, by Allah, with us in our rank on Judgment Day.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 34, tradition 5)

Zayyan bin Salt asked Imam Reza (as), “Are you the Sahibul Amr (Master of Affair)? He replied: I am also Sahibul Amr but not the Sahibul Amr who will fill the earth with justice as it would have been fraught with tyranny and oppression. And how can I be that person? While you can see that I am physically weak. Whereas the Qaem is the one who at the time of his reappearance will be senior in age but have the appearance of the youth. His body shall be so strong that if he catches hold of the biggest tree of the earth he shall be able to uproot it and if he shouts between the mountains, their stones will roll down. The staff of Prophet Musa and the seal ring of Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.) are with him. He is my fourth descendent. The Almighty Allah will keep him in occultation as long as Divine wisdom dictates. Then He will reveal him so that he may fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would fraught with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 35, tradition 8)

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