The Life of Imam al-Mahdi

By: Allama Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translation by: Sayyid Athar Husain S.H. Rizvi

p. 53-57
The predominant characteristics and personal traits of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) are the same as that of his honorable ancestors and forefathers, the Holy Imams (a.s). Those great personages were the centers of mercy and torchbearers of effulgence of guidance on the earth, as the Almighty had sent them for the guidance of His creatures, they were created from effulgence, and appointed as guides and callers to Himself. Some of the important merits of the Holy Imam Mahdi (a.s) are as follows:

Encompassing knowledge of the Imam of the time

It is an established fact that His Eminence, would be the most knowledgeable and possess proficiency in all the sciences because he is the heir of his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (a.s) and he is the custodian of the treasure of prophetic wisdom.

He is having encompassing knowledge about the religious law and the various aspects of the Shariah of his grandfather, the chief of the prophets. It is one of the comprehensive sciences of the Awaited Imam.

The Purified Imams have mentioned the high intellectual level of Imam Mahdi (a.s) in their sayings issued long before he was born in this world.

1. His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s) says with regard to the virtues of Imam Mahdi (a.s), “He shall be most refuge-giving and the one having most knowledge and the one who does the most ‘Sile Raham’ (doing good to relatives).”[1]

2. Harth Ibne Mughaira Nazari says, “I inquired from His Eminence, Aba Abdillah Husain Bin Ali (a.s), ‘From what would the Mahdi be recognizeda’ He replied, ‘By recognizing the permissible and the prohibited and by the fact that people would be needful of him while he would not be needful of them.’”[2]

3. His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said, “His matter, that is, Kingdom would be from the youngest and the most handsome of us (the Progeny of Muhammad). The Almighty Allah would give him knowledge in inheritance and not leave him on his own (rather He is his helper and supporter).”[3]

4. His Eminence, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said, “Knowledge of Almighty Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and the Sunnah (practice) of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) grows luxuriantly in the heart of our Mahdi in the best form. Any of you that survives and sees it should say when you see him: ‘Peace be upon you (all) of Ahle Bayt of Mercy and Prophethood and the mines of knowledge and the location of messengership.’”[4]

Under the discussion of his excellent knowledge and accomplishments of His Eminence it is narrated that when he would reappear, he will discuss and prove his points with the Jews on the basis of Torah as a result of which a majority of them would accept Islam.[5]

His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) during the minor occultation, was the sole point of reference and the greatest center of the final decision. Therefore the special deputies used to convey the questions of the people to the Holy Imam and obtain their replies. Such questions in large numbers are recorded in books of jurisprudence and traditions and they serve as references for the Islamic jurisprudents in deriving their verdicts.

It is better to reiterate here that Shaykh Saduq (a.r.) had collected many replies bearing the signature of the Holy Imam.

Piety of the Imam of the time

The character and hearts of the Imams of Ahle Bayt (a.s) in all aspects of thoughts and actions (among them is piety in the world and giving up of material pleasures and joys) are same for all of them. It is not possible to pick out a single instance from them but that it would be found to be piety in the world and the renunciation of material things. His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s), the gate of the city of knowledge of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) in fact, divorced the world thrice so that it did not remain worthy of reconciliation. His pure and chaste descendents have also been bestowed with this exalted quality. Many traditions regarding the piety of Imam Mahdi (a.s) are recorded in history. Some of them are presented below:

a. Muammar Ibne Khuld has narrated from Imam Reza (a.s) the he said, “The dress and food of the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad shall be coarse and dry.”[6]

b. Abu Basir has quoted that Imam Sadiq (a.s) said, “Do not be in haste of the advent and reappearance of the Imam of the time. By Allah, his dress shall be coarse and his food, barley bread, thick and dense.”[7]

c. Ali Ibne Hamzah and Wahab have narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s) that he proclaimed regarding His Eminence, the Awaited Imam, “His dress is coarse and thick and his food is hard and rigid.”[8]

It is an established fact that this method is found in all aspects of the life of His Eminence. If he had not possessed such mannerism, the Almighty Allah would not have selected him for the greatest reformative movement, from all the personalities of the earth. Then he it is, who would make the earth abound with justice and equity, as it would be completely fraught with injustice and oppression, and he would save humanity from arrogance and pride of oppressors. He would distribute divine wealth and goodness between deprived and needy people.

Patience of Imam of the Time

One of the prominent characteristics and spiritual excellence of His Eminence is patience and forbearance.

His Eminence is encountering more severe problems and calamities than faced by all the infallible Imams. During his prolonged life he has experienced many bitter incidents and great tragedies, which has made the Islamic world black and broken its limbs and the Muslim community with these pieces, is subjugated under the yoke of disbelievers and tyrants and struggling in that position. Such types of different oppressions have become common in the world of Islam and the divine rules and laws have been rendered useless. The wealth of the Muslims has been plundered and they interfere in all the decisions of the Muslim nation and they force their own view upon them.

All these calamities and corruptions are being wrought under the very eyes of His Eminence and he, being the father of the broken-up community, is very much pained by it.

He has indeed resorted to patience and forbearance and entrusted everything to the Almighty. And this is so because He is the One, Who has everything in His power, and He is the true Ruler on His creatures, and there is no kind of any command or opinion for anyone else.

Worship of the Imam of the time

It is beyond any doubt that the worship of His Eminence, Mahdi (a.s) is also like the worship of his respected forefathers, the Purified Imams (a.s). All the Imams had devoted their whole lives to the Almighty Allah. They have deeply imbibed the love and regard of Allah in the depths of their hearts. Their complete beings are surrounded by the love of Almighty. That is why they fasted most of the days and prayed during the better part of the night, extolling and praising the Lord. Yes, the method of worship of the Awaited Imam is also same. Therefore, the tradition scholars have recorded some of his supplications in the ritual prayers or otherwise, that point out the extreme piety and attachment of the Holy Imam with his Lord and his aloofness from everything else. Some of them we present below:

[1] Ghaybah, Nomani
[2] Iqdud Durar
[3] Iqdud Durar, Pg. 109
[4] Kamaluddin
[5] Bihar, etc
[6] Ghaybah, Nomani
[7] Ghaybah, Nomani
[8] Ghaybah, Nomani



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