In the books Alamat-i Mahdi by Ibn Hajar-i Makki, Al-Burhan by Imam-i Suyuti, and Mukhtasar-i Tadhkira-i Qurtubi by Imam-i Sharani, nearly 200 signs of Mahdi are written. Saying “superstition” concerning Mahdi is infidelity to knowledge and a presage of Doomsday. Some of the pertinent hadith-i sharifs are as follows:
(Before Doomsday, Allahu ta’ala will create one of my descendants, whose name and father’s name will be the same as those of mine. The earth, which will have been filled with cruelty before him, will be filled with justice during his time.) [Tirmidhi, Ibn Asakir]
(There will be a cloud just above Mahdi’s head. An angel from the cloud will say, “This is Mahdi. Follow what he says.”) [Abu Nu’aym]
(Doomsday will not come until a person from my ahl-i bait rules over the world. He has a broad forehead and an aquiline nose. When the earth is filled with cruelty, he will fill it with justice. He will reign for seven years.) [Muslim]
(The Ashab-i Kahf [Companions of the Cave] will be Mahdi’s assistants, and ‘Isa will descend from the sky during his time. As ‘Isa fights the Dajjal, Mahdi will be with him) [Imam-i Suyuti]
(Four persons took possession of the earth. Two of them were Believers, namely, Dhulqarnain and Sulaiman. The other two were disbelievers, namely, Namrud [Nimrod] and Buhtunnassar [Nebuchadnezzar]. Fifthly, the earth will be owned by one of my descendants.) [Imam-i Suyuti]
(Join those who will come from the direction of Khorasan with black flags. Among them will be Mahdi, Allah’s caliph.) [Hakim, Imam-i Ahmad, Daylami]
(How can an Ummah perish when it begins with me, ends with ‘Isa, son of Maryam, and has Mahdi, who is from my ahl-i bait, in the middle of it?) [Hakim, Ibn Asakir]
(A group of people coming forth from the East will help Mahdi.) [Ibn Maja, Tabarani]
(When Mahdi appears, Allahu ta’ala will shower His mercy on him.) [Imam-i Ahmad, Hakim]
(Mahdi is from my progeny. He will fill the earth with truth and justice.) [Abu Dawud]
(Mahdi will not come forth until the earth is covered by disbelief.) [Maktubat-i Rabbani, Vol. II, Letter 68]
(When Mahdi comes, there will be abundance. My Ummah will live in comfort.) [Ibn Abi Shayba]
(Mahdi is from ahl-i bait. Allahu ta’ala will make him mature within a single night.) [Ibn Maja, Imam-i Ahmad]
(He who disbelieves the coming of the Dajjal or Mahdi becomes a kâfir [non-Muslim].) [Fawaid-il Ahbar, Shar’is-Siyar]
(Mahdi is from Quraish and from my ahl-i bait.) [Imam-i Ahmad, Bawardi]
(Mahdi will be from my descendants.) [Ibn Maja]
(Mahdi will be from the offspring of Fatimah.) [Abu Dawud, Hakim]
(Mahdi will be from the descendants of my uncle Abbas.) [Ibn Asakir, Dara Qutni]
(O Abbas! A young man from your descendants will fill the earth with justice. He will perform salat with ‘Isa.) [Hatib, Ibn Asakir, Dara Qutni]
[There is no contradiction between these statements. Hadrat Abdulqadir-i Ghaylani, for example, was a sayyid on his mother’s side and a sharif on his father’s side. As for Hadrat Mahdi, if a young man who is a lineal descendant of Hadrat Fatima marries a woman who is a lineal descendant of Hadrat Abbas, Hadrat Mahdi, in such a case, will be a descendant of both ancestors.]
Hadrat Ali stated, pointing to his son Hasan, “A man from the offspring of this son of mine will appear. He will fill the earth with justice” (Abu Dawud).
No person who has reason and faith can reject these hadith-i sharifs reported by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maja, Tirmidhi, whose hadith collections are together called Kutub-i Sitta, and by other hadith scholars and the explanations given by Ahl as-Sunna scholars. It is contrary to our religion to give them a different meaning. If everybody attempted to interpret each Islamic rule in a different way, there would be no such thing as religion.
Hadrat Imam-i A’zam stated: “We believe [without giving them a figurative sense] that Gog and Magog’s emerging, the sun’s rising in the west, Hadrat ‘Isa’s descent from the sky, the coming of the Dajjal, and all other signs before Doomsday will take place in due course in exactly the same way as they were stated in hadith-i sharifs.” [Fiqh-i akbar]
Hadrat Amjad Ali, writes, “The only place that will be left as Doomsday draws near when infidelity will spread to the whole world will be Haramain Sharifain. All the Awliyâ [pl. of walî], Abdâl [the mass name of a group of Awliya] and pious Scholars will migrate to the Haramain Sharifain. While the Abdâls will be performing Tawâf [that is, to go round] of the Kâ’ba in the blessed month of Ramadân, Imam Mahdi would be present. The Awliyâ would recognize him and would want to take Bî’at [that is, to promise for joining] by him, but the Imam would refuse. From the Unknown, a Voice would say: “This is the Khalifah of Allah, Mahdi! Listen to him and obey him.” Then, all will make Bî’at at his blessed hands. Thereafter, Imam Mahdi would take everyone with him to Syria. (Bahar-i-Shari’at)
Hadrat al-Mahdî will be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alaihi ‘s-salâm). His name will be Muhammad and his father’s name will be ‘Abdullâh. He will preside over Muslims, strengthen Islam and spread it everywhere. He will meet ‘Îsâ (‘alaihi ‘s-salâm), and together they will fight and kill ad-Dajjâl. During his time, Muslims will settle everywhere and live in comfort and ease. (Belief and Islam)
The coming of Hadrat Mahdi
Question: What is meant by these statements that appear in Tam İlmihal, “Hadrat Mahdi will be born in the time period close to Doomsday. He will meet ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam and put and end to madhahib [pl. of madhhab]. Only his madhhab will remain”?
The rulings of true madhahib will have been forgotten by the time Hadrat Mahdi appears. Instead, the world will be bristle with heretical sects, and no true madhhab will exist. That is, true rulings of madhhaib will disappear. They will be in existence in name only, and these names will be abused by the enemies of the religion or heretics.
Hadrat Mahdi will perform ijtihad, and his ijtihad will be in accordance with the Hanafi Madhhab. In fact, just as ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam will prohibit Christianity, so Hadrat Mahdi will prohibit corrupt sects and corrupt madhahib. Since he will eradicate corrupt madhahib, the statement “[He will] put an end to madhahib” is written in that book.
When will Hadrat Mahdi come?
Question: Imam-i Rabbani writes in his 209th letter that Hadrat Mahdi and Hadrat ‘Isa will appear after a thousand years. Is it a thousand years after him or a thousand years after our master the Prophet?
He means that he will come a thousand years after him. As he passed away in 1624, the appearing of Hadrat Mahdi and Hadrat ‘Isa will be sometime around the year 2624. It may be earlier or later than it. The expression “a thousand years” is a round figure. This means to say that 600 years will pass before these persons appear. As Doomsday will occur after they come, it is obvious that those who assert that Doomsday will take place tomorrow or within a few years are in a miscalculation.
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states in his 209th letter: When ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam descends from the sky and follows the religion of the Prophet of the latest time, his [Hadrat ‘Isa’s] reality will rise from his own rank. Since he will follow him, it will ascend to the rank of the Muhammadan reality (haqiqat-i Muhammadi). It will strengthen his religion. For this reason, in the earlier dispensations, after an arch-prophet a new prophet used to be sent within a thousand years. With those prophets, the religion of that arch-prophet used to be strengthened. When the period of time appointed for his religion came to an end, a new religion with an arch-messenger used to be sent. Since Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam is the last of the prophets and his religion will never be able to be changed, the scholars of HisUmmah are like prophets. The task to strengthen Islam has been entrusted to them. Though the number of scholars is few who will come a thousand years after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, they will be in the highest degree so that they can strengthen Islam thoroughly. Apart from them, an arch-prophet [Hadrat ‘Isa] has been included in his religion. He has been assigned to strengthen his religion.
A thousand years after the demise of Messenger of Allah, though the number of scholars who are sent from among his Ummah is few, they will be in the highest degree so that they can strengthen Islam thoroughly. The Messenger of Allah ‘alaihis-s-salatu wa-s-salam’ foretold that Hadrat Mahdi would appear. He will appear after a thousand years. Likewise, ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam will descend from the sky after a thousand years. The superiority of Awliya that will come after a thousand years is like that of Ashab-i Kiram. Even though the most superior ones after prophets are Ashab-i Kiram, since the successors are very much like them, it is as if it could not be understood which ones are higher. Maybe for this reason the Messenger of Allah stated, “Which ones are superior—the predecessors or the successors? It cannot be known.” He did not say, “Which ones are superior—the predecessors or the successors? I do not know,” because he knew which ones were superior. Hence, he stated, “The most superior ones are the Muslims living in my time.” However, because they are remarkably similar and this similarity causes a doubt, he stated, “It cannot be known.” (Translation of Maktubat)
Imam-i Rabbani and Hadrat Mahdi
Question: Did Imam-i Rabbani state that the Mahdi would appear 1,000 years after the death of our Prophet or 1,000 years after his own death?
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani stated that Hadrat Mahdi would appear 1,000 years after his own death. In fact, 1,000 years after the demise of our master the Prophet is the time of Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani. If Hadrat Mahdi were supposed to appear 1,000 years after our master the Prophet, he must have appeared 400 years ago. As a matter of fact, Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani says, “Before the emergence of Hadrat Mahdi, a bright comet will come up in the east. A comet has appeared now, but it should be known that these appearances are different from the ones that will take place at the time of the Mahdi’s emergence because the Mahdi will come at the beginning of the century. But now 18 years have elapsed since the beginning of the century” (Vol. 2, Letter 68).
[As is seen, he states explicitly in the piece above that in spite of the fact that a comet came up it was still impossible for Hadrat Mahdi to appear during his time simply because 18 years elapsed since the beginning of the Islamic (hijri) century. In the present day, 30 years have elapsed since the beginning of the Islamic century.]
“Though the number of scholars sent from among the Ummah of the Messenger of Allah 1,000 years after his demise is a few, they will be very high so that they can strengthen Islam thoroughly. Our master the Messenger of Allah informed us that Hadrat Mahdi would come. He will come after 1,000 years, and ‘Isa ‘alaihis-salam, too, will descend from the sky after 1,000 years” (Vol. 1, Letter 209).
[He states clearly in the above-quoted passage that Hadrat Mahdi will come after 1,000 years. That is, he states that Hadrat Mahdi will come 1,000 years after his death. If he were to come nowadays, couldn't Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani have said, "He will come 1,500 years after the death of our Prophet"?]
“The end of this Ummah began 1,000 years after our Prophet’s death, that is, with the second millennium [in the hijri year 1011], for there will be a great change in people and a strong alteration in things with the elapse of 1,000 years. Since Allahu ta’ala will not change this religion until the end of the world, the freshness and strength of the early ones has been seen on the last ones, and thus He is strengthening Islam at the beginning of the second millennium. To prove this word of ours, we will point out Hadrat ‘Isa and Hadrat Mahdi as strong witnesses” (Vol. 1, Letter 261).
[He states in the above-quoted piece that Islam will be strengthened with the passage of every 1,000 years. The one who strengthens Islam at the beginning of the second millennium is Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani, who is described as the restorer of the second millennium. A thousand years after his death, the job of strengthening Islam will be carried out by Hadrat 'Isa and Hadrat Mahdi.]
Hadrat Muhammad Mazhar, son of Ahmad Said Faruki, says the following in his book in which he writes the biography of Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani: “A new mujaddid, that is, strengthener of the religion, appears at the beginning of every century, but there is a world of difference between mujaddids coming every hundred years and those coming every thousand years. Difference between these two kinds of mujaddids is equal to and even more than the difference between a hundred and a thousand. The time of Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani can be described as follows: During the earlier dispensations, whenever an Ummah degenerated and the earth was covered with darkness, a new great prophet called Ulu’l ‘azm would come, and a new religion would be revealed to him. The best Ummah is the Ummah of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam, and the Prophet of this Ummah is the finality of all prophets. Scholars among this Ummah are like the prophets of Children of Israel. This fact is stated in a hadith-i sharif. It was decided (by Allahu ta’ala) that existence of scholars in this Ummah would be sufficient (for Muslims). Therefore, 1,000 years after our master the Prophet, a noble person with perfect ma’rifat, knowledge, and wisdom is necessary to take the place of one of the past prophets called Ulul’azm, for the latest period of the Muslim dispensation begins 1,000 years after our master the Prophet’s death because the elapse of one thousand years is a matter of paramount importance and it is a major factor in the changing of situations. Since there will not be any change in this Ummah and in this religion, it is without doubt necessary that the standard of spirituality and the firmness of guidance possessed by the earlier Muslims be reinstated in the later generations. Thus, Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani’s blessed person was equipped with all the perfections peculiar to prophethood and messengership and was distinguished from others owing to these high ranks” (Manakib wa Makamat-i Ahmadiyya-i Saidiyya).
According to what Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states, Hadrat Mahdi will appear 1,000 years later than his own demise and will be the mujaddid of the third millennium. (Islam’s Reformers)
As is seen, none of the Islamic scholars came to the conclusion that Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani said Hadrat Mahdi would appear 1,000 years after the demise of our Prophet, but all of the Islamic scholars stated that the mujaddid that would appear 1,000 years after the demise of our master the Prophet was Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani.
The Dajjal will emerge
Question: When the Mahdi appears, the Dajjal will appear, too. Therefore, those who claim that the Mahdi has appeared fabricate an explanation for the Dajjal, saying, “Contrary to what the ahadith state, the Dajjal is not a human; it is atheism. Since atheism has no scientific bases anymore, that is, has died, the Dajjal has died consequently.” But won’t the killer of the Dajjal be Hadrat ‘Isa? The Dajjal will have many distinguishing characteristics. Since the Dajjal will be a human, how can it be ever said that the Dajjal is atheism?
It is not true that the Dajjal has appeared or has died. When one claims that the Mahdi has emerged, one knows that his emergence must be accompanied by the descent of Hadrat ‘Isa and by the emergence of Dajjal, which is the reason why inconceivable interpretations are made. Some people say that Hadrat ‘Isa will not come in person, but will come as a spiritual personage, as a movement. Some others say that Hadrat ‘Isa will descend, but not everybody will recognize him. As for the Dajjal, while some people construe him as such dictators as Mao and Lenin, some others say that the Dajjal is a system. In the past, there were people who maintained that the Dajjal was America. However, leaving no need for further clarification, our master the Prophet expressed clearly that the Dajjal, Hadrat Isa, and Hadrat Mahdi would come as humans and that the Muslims living during their times would recognize them. Some pertinent hadith-i sharifs declare:
(The Dajjal will emerge from the East.) [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Imam-i Ahmad, Ibn Abi Shayba, Hakim]
(The Dajjal cannot enter Mecca and Medina.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Imam-i Ahmad]
(The Dajjal will be blind in one eye.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Abu Nu’aym]
(The Dajjal will be short and have curly hair.) [Abu Dawud] (Will they interpret this hadith-i sharif as that atheists have curly hair? If the Dajjal is interpreted as atheism, does atheism have curly hair?)
(The Dajjal will not have children.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
(When the Dajjal appears, he will claim divinity. He who believes in his divinity will become a disbeliever.) [Ibn Abi Shayba]
(The Dajjal will kill a person and then resurrect him.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
(I also saw the Dajjal during the Mi’raj.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Imam-i Ahmad]
(When ‘Isa descends, he will kill the Dajjal.) [Muslim, Abu Dawud]
(After ‘Isa kills the Dajjal, there will be no hostility between two people.) [Muslim] (If the Dajjal has died, why do hostility and wars still prevail?)
(The sustenance of the Believers living during the time of the Dajjal will be tasbih, like the sustenance of angels. Allahu ta’ala will then satisfy the hunger of those who will make tasbih.) [Hakim] (Since the Dajjal emerged in their opinion, how to interpret Muslims’ getting hungry then?)
When our master the Prophet said, “The final days of the Dajjal will be very short, so much so that when one of you exits the gate of Medina, evening will fall before he reaches its hill,” they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! How will we perform salat during those short days?” In answer to their question, he stated, “You will make an estimate of it as you make an estimate of it during those long days” [Ibn Majah]. (Since the Dajjal died according to them, when did those short days come and go?)
(The first of the signs of Doomsday is the sun’s rising from where it sets and the emergence of the Dabbat al-ard to people at forenoon. Of them, whichever appears first will immediately be followed by the other.) [Muslim, Abu Dawud]
A Qur’anic verse purports: (On the day when some of the signs of your Lord come, believing then will be of no avail to a person who did not believe before, or who did not earn some good through his faith.) [Surat al-An'am 158]
Our master the Prophet explains this Qur’anic verse as follows: (When these three things appear, believing then will be of no avail to a person who did not believe before or who did not earn some good through his faith: the sun’s rising in the west, the Dajjal, and the Dabbat al-ard.) [Muslim, Tirmidhi, Bayhaqi]
This means to say that everybody will believe when the Dajjal emerges, but belief will not be accepted anymore as extraordinary signs start to appear. Supposing that the Dajjal really appeared and was killed, then why do they struggle so that people have faith? We wonder whether the âyât and ahadith about this subject are rejected. Some more hadith-i sharifs about the Dajjal are as follows:
(Medina will expel the Dajjal, just as a pair of bellows expels rust from iron.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
(Every prophet frightened his people with the Dajjal.) [Bukhari, Muslim]
(Of my Ummah, those who continue on the right path will also fight the Dajjal.) [Abu Dawud]
(While ‘Isa is fighting the Dajjal, the Mahdi will be with him.) [Imam-i Suyuti]
(Doomsday will not come before ten presages appear. One of them is the Dajjal.) [Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]
(From Adam ‘alaihis-salam to Doomsday, there is no fitnah greater than the Dajjal.) [Muslim]
Hadrat Muhammad bin Hasan Askari stated: A person who says that he/she has seen the Dajjal before he has emerged is a liar. (Shawahid-un-Nubuwwa)
It was reported from Hadrat Ibn Abbas that Hadrat ‘Umar said: (There will appear people who will deny rajm, the Dajjal, the sun’s rising in the west, the torment in the grave, intercession, Muslims’ being taken out of Hell after they burn as much as their sins.) [Ibn Abd-il barr, Qurtubi]
Though there are no people who say openly that the Dajjal will not appear or the sun will not rise in the west, there are those who interpret them into different things such as, “The Dajjal refers to atheism, and the sun’s rising in the west refers to the spreading of Islam from the west.” Hadrat ‘Umar informed us about such people with this statement of his.
The emergence of the Dajjal
Question: According to what is written in hadith books, when theSahaba asked the Messenger of Allah how long the Dajjal would stay, he said, “He will stay for 40 days. The first day will be like a year in length; the second day, like a month; the third day, like a week; and the remaining days will be like your days.” Is it reasonable? Is it possible for a day to be like a year in length? Rotation of the earth is fixed, so this hadith must be interpreted in a different way. The Mahdi and the Dajjal are nonmaterial beings, and they will not come as humans. Is it not wrong to write them [ahadith] without giving them a different sense?
It is not wrong. They do not call for a different interpretation. When this issue was mentioned to the Ashab-i Kiram, they did not ask what its interpretation was; instead, they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! On the day when a day will equal a year, will one day’s salat suffice for us?” He replied, “No, you will make an estimate of the days.”
This means that a day will be as long as a year. Our scholars stated that it is necessary to offer salats and fasts according to the time found after estimation in the regions with a six-month-long night and a six-month-long day, such as poles, or with days and nights shorter or longer than these. That is, in such regions one fasts for a certain period of time and performs salat at arranged intervals. If a day were not as long as a year, he would not have ordered us to perform salat in this manner.