Belief of Imam Mahdi (as) in The Quran

The belief in an “Awaited Saviour” – a person who will fill the earth with justice and equality just as it will be rife with oppression and inequality – is the hallmark of very faith. This is a universal belief of all major religions – whether it be Islam, Christianity, Judaism and even Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. This has been established conclusively through religious scriptures.When this discussion is seen in the lens of Islam, it is given a Shiite colour. It is alleged that the belief in Imam Mahdi (as) is a concept which is concocted by Shiahs and that it has little to do with Islam. However nothing could be farther from the truth.

Islamic beliefs always find a place in
Quran and the Sunnah (traditions)

Our response to such allegations is that for any belief to be considered within the fold of Islam, it must find place in the Quran and the Sunnah or traditions.

For example, when we discuss beliefs like Tawheed, Nabuwwat (prophethood), Imamate (successorship) and Qiyamat (day of judgement). We do not question the “Islamic” nature of these beliefs because they are supported clearly by verses of Quran and by the traditions of Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Ahle Bayt (as).

We find the same for Salah (prayers), Sawm (fasting), Hajj (pilgrimage) etc. There is no doubt in the order for these actions for we find them conclusively and unambiguously established in Quran and in the Sunnah of Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Ahle Bayt (as).

The concept of the Mahdi is as Islamic as
Tawheed, Nabuwwat, Imamate and Qiyamat

As discussed earlier, for any discussion to be considered within the fold of Islam it must find place in Quran and Traditions. Regarding traditions, both scholars of the Shiah and scholars of the Ahle Sunnah have written extensively about Imam Mahdi. You can click on the relevant links to see books and even selected traditions from them regarding Imam Mahdi (as). The important point to note is that the traditions cover a wide range of topics regarding the Mahdi, right from his birth, long life, conditions after this reappearance etc.

As regards the Quran, Allah has brought forth the discussion on the Mahdi at several places in the Quran. Concepts right from his occultation, his companions, reappearance and many more topics are discussed in Quran. Books have been collected both in Shiah and the Ahle Sunnah on this topic. For example, chapter number 25 of the book Al Bayan Fee Akhbaris Sahebaz Zaman discusses the verses of Quran about the Mahdi. Another celebrated book of the Ahle Sunnah – Yanabiul Mawaddah – has brought this discussion in chapter 71 of the book.

Shiite traditionalists like Allamah Majlisi (Beharul Anwar), Shaykh Sudooq (Kamaluddin), Ayatullah Sayyed Mohammed Taqi Musawi Isfahani (Mikyalul Makarem), Mirza Husain Noori (Najmus Saqib) and several others brought the discussion of Mahdi and the Quran in their books.

Allamah Majlisi has brought 65 verses of Quran in Chapter five of volume 51-52-53 of his magnum opus, Beharul Anwar. The book Al Muhajjah Fee Ma Nazala Fil Qaemil Hujjah by Sayyed Hashim Bahrani discusses 120 verses of Quran regarding Imam Mahdi (as). Some researchers have placed the number of verses in the Quran about Imam Mahdi (as) at more than 250. The sheer number of verses and the breadth of topics covered under them are a reflection of the importance of this belief.

There is one caveat though while discussing the verses of the Quran. And that caveat emanates from the tradition of Holy Prophet (sawa) – “Surely, I leave behind two precious things amongst you – the Quran and my Ahle Bayt (as). They will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Kauthar.”

The simple implication is that Quran and Ahle Bayt (as) will always be together and understanding one without the active help of the other will lead us astray. Therefore the verses of Quran regarding Imam Mahdi (as) will be discussed in the light of traditions of Ahle Bayt (as).

We pray to Allah to accept this small effort and to keep us to the path of guidance through the Quran and Ahle Bayt (as). We also pray to him to hasten the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) and count us amongst his sincere companions and helpers. Aameen!

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