Are the Twelve Imams mentioned in the Bible?


We as Shi’a Muslims believe in the leadership of twelve infallible Imams (Ahlul Bait) after the prophet of Islam that begin with the commander of the faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib and end with Imam Mahdi, the last savior who according to explicit traditions mentioned in both Shi’i and Sunni sources will come one day and fill the earth with justice and equity as it would have been filled with injustice and oppression. 1

Apart from the numerous traditions that refer to the twelve Imams There is a verse in the bible which speaks about prophet Ismael and his descendants and more importantly about twelve princes from his descendants but before mentioning this verse a point has to be made that according to historic records prophet Ishaq is the forefather of the Hebrew people (the Jews) while his brother prophet Ismael is the forefather of prophet Muhammad and his descendants. 2

So here is the verse:

“As for Ismael I will bless him also just as you have asked, I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants, he will become the father of twelve princes and I will make him a great nation”
Genesis, chapter seventeen, verse number twenty

We know prophet Ismael but the question is who the twelve princes are? And the twelve kings that will come from the descendants of prophet Ismael?

As believers in Islam who follow the Ahlul Bait school of thought we know for a fact that the twelve princes who will come from the descendants of prophet Ismael are the twelve imams, the divinely inspired and immaculate descendants of the holy messenger of Allah) prophet Muhammad( that have been promised in Sunni sources as well as Shia references 3 and even some of the Sunni scholars have considered the twelve Imams as the twelve princes who are promised in the bible. For example, Ibn Qutayba Ddinavari has mentioned this verse of the Bible at the beginning of his book A’alam al-Nobowa, and commented on it as follows,

Reflect upon this verse because in it, there is a clear sign which shows that by the descendants of Ismael, is meant prophet Muhammad … with the appointment of Muhammad as the messenger of God, prophethood was transferred to the descendants of Ismael and then all kings and nations became humble towards him and with him, God abrogated all religions and terminated messengership and put the caliphate and leadership in his Ahlul Bayt (household) till the end of the time. 4

This verse of the Bible is what has actually made a lot of people convert to the religion of Islam and When you read it, you simply cannot find a way to explain it other than to submit to the Ahl al-Bait school of thought (Shia).


[1] Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha (a.s), “ … So when he [Imam al-Mahdi] will make his advent, the Earth with radiate with the celestial illumination of its’ Lord and the scale of justice will be positioned among mankind such that not a single person will oppress another individual …”
Biharul Anwar, Volume 52, Page 321; Kamal ad-Din
[2] Ayatullah Jafar sobhani in his book Forugh Abadiat, p.86 has thoroughly talked about the ancestors
[3] As an example, the Sahih Bukhari, the most famous book of the Sunnis says, “Jabir ibn Samarah says, ‘I heard the Prophet say, “There will be twelve leaders after me.”
In Musnad Ahmad it has been recorded from Abdallah ibn Mas’ud, a famous companion, that he asked the Prophet about his vicegerents. He said, “They are twelve people like the Israeli tribes who were twelve people.”(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, p. 398).
For more information about these traditions and their referent you can refer to,
[4] «فتدبّر هذا القول فإن فیه دلیلا بیّنا على أن المراد به رسول اللَّه صل الله علیه وآله ، لأن إسماعیل لم تکن یده فوق ید إسحاق،… فلما بعث رسول اللَّه انتقلت النبوة إلى ولد إسماعیل، فدانت له الملوک وخضعت له الأمم، ونسخ اللَّه به کل شرعة، وختم به النبیین، وجعل الخلافة والملک فی أهل بیته إلى آخرالزمان، فصارت أیدیهم فوق أیدی الجمیع، وأیدی الجمیع مبسوطة بالخضوع

What Will Happen After the Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)?

imam-zamanIt should be borne in mind that there will not be a nook or corner of life that will remain untouched with the effects of Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) reappearance.

Then, not only the earth, but the shape of the entire universe will undergo visible and tangible alteration. Everything will appear new. For details, a separate book is required. Again, being brief, we will indicate just a few of the changes that will occur.

Justice and Fairness

The earth will be filled with justice and equity, as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression. In the government of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), none will oppress another.

Everybody will receive their dues.

People will be appointed in their respective positions as per their perfections and qualifications.

The true and real standards of respect and disgrace will be set.


  • The earth will manifest its bounties.
  • The earth will throw up the treasures concealed within it.
  • It will pour from the skies, the trees will be laden with fruits, the earth will be lush green and fruits will be ripe. Each seed will yield seven hundred crops.


Immeasurable wealth will be distributed. Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will distribute wealth in an unprecedented fashion.

Welfare and prosperity will attain such heights that there will not be a single person on the face of the earth eligible for poor-rate.

Abundance of provisions will make people needless of hoarding.
People will be rich with various kinds of wealth.


All the roads will be vast and expansive.
Rivers will overflow and will be found everywhere. No nook or corner of the earth will be denied water.
Sewerage and gutter water will not flow on roads and in public places. Uncleanness will be completely wiped out.

Ruins will not be found anywhere

Due to the blessings of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), the colour of the earth will change.
Only and only Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will rule on the entire universe.


Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will propagate religion in such a beautiful manner that people will accept it willingly and with the depth of their hearts. They will worship Allah with utmost sincerity. Those who are far from religion will return to it like birds return to their nests.

All the innovations and deviations will be destroyed.

Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will invite the people towards Allah’s Book, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), the mastership of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and hatred towards his enemies.

The entire world will unite on the covenant of Ahlul Bayt’s (a.s.) love.


Due to the grace of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), people’s hearts will be enlightened with knowledge.

Housewives will be acquainted and familiar with the Holy Qur’an and traditions of the infallibles (a.s.).

Allah the Almighty has divided knowledge into twenty-seven parts. Till now, only two parts have been conferred on humanity. After the reappearance, the remaining twenty-five parts will be manifested as well.

Vision and hearing will attain such levels that the people of the East can see and listen to the people of the West without the means of any instrument or equipment.

General Hygiene

  • The blind will become seeing.
  • The sick will receive cure.
  • By the grace of Allah, the believers will never be afflicted with any illness.

General Security

All the roads will be safe and secure. Hooliganism will be put to an end.
Mischief and corruption will be completely destroyed.
Even the wild beasts will not harm the humans.
The earth and its inhabitants will be free of all afflictions and calamities.

Ethics and Morality

Intellects of all humans will be perfected. Hearts will be cleansed of desires and lusts, while being filled with needlessness.

Ostentation and show-off will be annihilated.

Trustworthiness will prevail.

The young will respect their elders, while the elders will have mercy on the young.
Lies and backbiting will be cleaned out.

None will be busy thinking about raising or pulling down others.

Friendship will be true and sincere.

Hearts will be abundant with love, and free from jealousy, malice and enmity.

In short, that era will be a completely different age. Everything will change, earth, skies, seas, jungles, mountains, trees, birds, beasts, animals and humans.

If we are truly waiting that momentous day, we should pray for his early advent from the depth of our hearts, and prepare ourselves, along with others, for helping and assisting him in his cause.

Source: He (Imam az-Zaman) will come, for Sure

What Does Holy Qur’an Say about the Reappearance of Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)?

man--quranFirst and foremost, it is not necessary that the Holy Qur’an explains in detail all the concepts. Given that it actually deals with many things, so it does not get involved with the finer aspects and intricacies.

Yet, there is an affirmative reply to this question as well. Many verses of the Majestic Qur’an do prove the existence and also mention about the government of Hazrat al-Hujjat (a.t.f.s.). Eminent scholars have listed such verses in their books. Among them Allama al-Majlisi (r.a.) deserves special mention for having brought numerous such verses in his book “Behar al-Anwar”, some of which are mentioned hereunder:

وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

“And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.”(Surah al-Anbiya’, 21:105)

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

“He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.” (Surah at-Tawbah, 9: 33)

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me.” (Surah an-Nur, 24:55)

Elucidating this verse in his book “al-Ghaibah”, Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) testifies to it being revealed about the occultation, reappearance and the supporters of Imam (a.t.f.s.).

وَنُرِيدُ أَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

“And We desire to bestow a favour upon those who were deemed weak in the earth and to make them the Imams and to make them the heirs.” (Surah al-Qasas 28: 5)

In the same book “al-Ghaibah”, Shaikh Tusi (r.a.) reports a tradition from Ameerul Momineen ‘Ali (a.s.), expounding this verse as follows:

“When the earth becomes restricted and a killing field for the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) progeny, then Allah will send Mahdi, to degrade the enemies and elevate the friends.”

لَنْ تُغْنِيَ عَنْهُمْ أَمْوَالُهُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

“Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand.” (Surah al-Hadid, 58: 17)

Explaining this verse Sheikh Tusi (r.a.) narrates in his book “al-Ghaibah” from Ibn Abbas as follows: “The giving of life to the earth after its death in this verse refers to the Qa’im (a.t.f.s.) from the progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.). After reappearance, he will purify the earth from all evil and enliven it through justice and equity.”

Likewise Allama Majlisi (r.a.) brings 60 verses from the Holy Qur’an about the occultation and reappearance of Imam (a.s.). The discerning should therefore refer to this reliable book.

Source: 14 Questions about Imam az-Zaman Volume 1

What Are Our Duties During Occultation of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.)?

What Are Our DutiesToday, our greatest anxiety is the occultation of our beloved Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

The remaining worries are tolerable to a certain extent but the separation with our most adored and dearest Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is simply insufferable. We recite in the Dua an-Nudbah,

“It is very difficult and unbearable for me that I see everybody but cannot have a glimpse at your resplendent visage. That I listen to everybody but am deprived of your ever-comforting voice.”

If we try to transform ourselves and prepare the ground for t h e reappearance of Imam az-Zaman (a. t .f .s.) and fulfill our responsibilities vis-à-vis him (a.t.f.s.), then most of our difficulties will be resolved. And when he (a.t.f.s.) himself arrives, then Insha’Allah all our problems will be dispelled with immediate effect.

Come! Let us take a step to discharge these duties in order to do away with our problems and difficulties. For, our existence and that of the entire universe, is indebted to Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).

Therefore, he (a.t.f.s.) enjoys a right over each and every thing. Keeping brevity in consideration, we will mention four duties over here related to the heart, tongue, limbs and wealth.

First: Duties Related to the Heart

  1. To Love Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.)

Allah the Almighty has deemed the love and affection of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) as the recompense for Prophethood. Today, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) represents the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Besides, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,

“A person’s faith cannot be complete till
he does not love me more than his own self and
my progeny more than his own children and
offspring.” Obviously, who is more of a
descendant of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and
closer to him in lineage than Imam Mahdi

  1. To be sorrowful

When one’s most beloved goes into hiding, the lovers hold their hearts in grief and sorrows afflict them greatly. In this case, our beloved is the one who, despite being in occultation, prays for us and repels our difficulties. ‘Master! Till when should we be beleaguered and hassled due to your separation? O son of Allah’s Messenger!

Is there a way to meet you?’ This grief is augmented when we observe that the oppressors and tyrants have deposed the Real Emperor, seizing the reins of power.

  1. Awaiting

Love and pain are the inevitable consequences of separation. It is the most important duty of every believer to wait for the one whose occultation is the cause of difficulties and problems and in whose reappearance are their solutions, and whose arrival is certain. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,

“The best action of my nation is to await the reappearance. ” Imam Sadeq (a.s.) gives glad-tidings, “He who departs from the world while waiting for the reappearance of Imam (a.t.f.s.) is like the one who is with him (a.t.f.s.) in his tent. Nay! His status is even higher. As if he is fighting alongside the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in the battlefield. ” In other words, waiting for Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is fighting in the way of Allah and the one who waits is a Mujahid.


Second: Duties Related to the Tongue

  1. To pray for the safety of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). For instance, in the qunoot of our prayers, we must regularly recite Dua al-Faraj, ‘Allahumma Kun Le…’. In Mafaateeh al-Jenaan, a number of supplications are mentioned.
  2. To pray for the protection of our religion, faith and belief. Abdullah Ibn Sinaan narrates from Imam Ja’far Sadeq (a.s.), “There will come a time when the standard of leadership cannot be seen and the Imam of guidance will be in hiding. In such a situation, only he will find salvation who recites the Supplication of the Drowning One (Dua al-Ghareeq).” I (Abdullah) asked, ‘What is this supplication?’ He (a.s.) replied,

يا الله يا رَحْمنُ يا رَحِيمُ يا مُقَلِّبَ القُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلى دِينِكَ

“O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O Changer of hearts! Keep my heart steadfast on Your religion. “

This supplication can be recited in the Qunoot as well as after the prayers (ta’qeebaat).

  1. To pray morning and evening, and after every prayer for the early reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and to give preference to it over all other supplications.
  2. To invite the people towards Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), to instill his love in their hearts, to draw their attention towards him (a.t.f.s.), to answer queries raised concerning Imamat and Occultation, etc. Proclaiming the Imamat of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and to invite the people towards it is the greatest tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).


Third: Duties Related to the Limbs

  1. Obey the instructions of the Shariah.
  2. To organize gatherings and assemblies to discuss the merits and virtues of the Ahle
    Bait (a.s.) and to participate in such congregations.
  3. To keep away from the prohibitions. In a signed letter (tauqee’), Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) informs,

“The thing that has distanced me from you (Shias) are your undesirable acts that reach unto us and which we don’t expect from you.” In this regard, there is a fantastic supplication provided by Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) himself and which goes as follows, “Allahummarzuqna taufeeq al-taa’ah… “

Fourth: Duties Related to Wealth

In today’s world, wealth is dearer than life and life more loved than faith. True faith demands that one should sacrifice in the way of Allah the thing that he loves the most.

Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) being the representative of Allah among His creatures, we must sacrifice all that we have in his way. Therefore, we must,

  1. Pay sadaqah (charity) every day for the safety of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)

This, by no means, implies that he (a.t.f.s.) is engulfed in some difficulties, God forbid. Certainly, this is not the case. Rather, it is the sign of our love towards him (a.t.f.s.). Moreover, sadaqah is the medium for the acceptance of our supplications and the channel to acquire the grace of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).

  1. Perform Hajj or send others on Hajj on his behalf

Similarly, we must also perform other recommended actions on behalf of our beloved Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

  1. Help and assist in the spread and propagation of his name and his cause

We must try to help those organizations that are truly striving for his purpose. In a tradition, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) states,

“As compared to other good deeds, to expend one dirham for the cause of the Imam of the time is equal to spending two million dirhams (for other causes). “

Today, it is our duty to elevate the name and cause of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and spread it far and wide. We must acquaint the people with him (a.t.f.s.), strive to make them more familiar with him (a.t.f.s.) that they may recognize him (a.t.f.s.). In this aim, let us leave no stone unturned. Insha’Allah, this very sincerity will help us tomorrow at the time of reappearance and when the seeds of our supplications will yield fruit. Allah the Gracious commands,

“You invoke, I will fulfill your prayers.”

The more we act on our obligations, transform ourselves and dye ourselves in the colour of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), the faster will our supplications be accepted. The promise of Allah will be fulfilled and all the conspiracies and machinations of the Shaitan will be quashed. Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will certainly reappear. He (a.t.f.s.) will come for sure.

Source: He (Imam az-Zaman) will come, for Sure

 What Are Characteristics of the Companions of Imam az-Zaman (a.s.)?

imam_zamana_prepWe all desire earnestly and fervently to be included among the companions of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Every believer aspires to help the Imam of his time. There is no status or fortune higher than this for him.

More than nearly fourteen hundred years after his friends achieved martyrdom in Karbala while defending the Imam of their time, Imam Husayn (a.s.), Prophets, Messengers, successors, angels, martyrs, witnesses, the truthful ones, and even the Almighty Allah Himself, continue to send incessant blessings and salutations on them.

The door of helping and assisting the Imam of the time is not closed. We too can be among the helpers and supporters of the Imam of our time. Traditions have talked about the characteristics of Imam az-Zaman’s (a.t.f.s.) helpers.

If these attributes and traits are found in us, then a million thanks to the Almighty, and we should pray for their betterment and improvement by the day (both quantitatively as well as qualitatively). But if these characteristics are not found in us, or if some are found and others are not, then we should supplicate to Allah the Mighty and the Wise that he adorns us with these attributes, for the sake of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Some of these characteristics and attributes are as follows:

  • They are devout and highly religious individuals.
  • Their hearts are overflowing with the love of their Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).
  • They are nice and decent.
  • They are concealed like mines of treasures in the earth.
  • In their certitude, they are stronger than steel; if they pass by mountain, they will render it into pieces.
  • They fight only for divine pleasure; any opponent who stands against them, bites the dust.
  • They are not cowed down by criticism and censure.

Source: The Recognition of Imam al-‘Asr: Significance and Obligations

How is the Ideal Society Formed in the Future?

worldTo hope for the appearance and revolution of the Mahdi is an inspiring Islamic social idea. Besides being a repose of trust in the future, it is an appropriate mirror in which the nature of the Islamic aspirations of mankind can be seen.

This prophecy comprise many elements, some of them philosophical, others cultural, political, economic or social and still others human or physio-human.

It is not possible in this short article to discuss the subject in detail nor to quote extensively from the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, but, in order to make the nature of “The Big Expectation” clear, we propose briefly to throw some light on its salient features. They are as below:

Optimism about the Future of Humanity

There are divergent views about the future. There are some who believe that adversity, distress, disorder and mischief are the lot of humanity and on that account life has no value. In the eyes of such people the most judicious action would be to put an end to life.

Some others think that human life has already been thrown into disarray. They believe that, following the marvellous technological progress and the accumulation of huge stockpiles of the means of mass destruction, mankind has reached a stage where its final annihilation is Imminent.

The English philosopher, Bertrand Russell, says in his book, ‘New Hopes’ that there are people, including Einstein, who see the possibility of man having completed his span of life and think that with his wonderful scientific skill he may, in a few years, succeed in completely exterminating himself.

According to this theory there is a great possibility of the total extinction of the human race just when it is on the threshold of attaining maturity. If we rely on perceptible evidence only, such a possibility cannot be ruled out.

  • According to a third theory distress and disorder are not a part of human nature. Nor will the tragedy of collective suicide ever take place. In fact, a very happy and bright future awaits humanity. A great man will appear who will uproot all corruption and mischief. This is a religiously inspired theory and it is in this context that Islam gives the glad tidings of Mahdi’s revolution. Its salient features will be:
  • Final victory of righteousness, virtue, peace, justice, freedom and truth over the forces of egoism, subjugation, tyranny, deceit and fraud.
  • Establishment of a world government (one government in the whole world).
  • Reclamation and rehabilitation of the whole earth so that no area remains waste.
  • Attainment of full sagacity by mankind, adherence to ideology and emancipation from animal impulses and undue social restrictions.
  • Maximum utilization of the gifts of the earth.
  • Equal distribution of wealth and property among all human beings.
  • Complete eradication of all vices like adultery, fornication, usury, use of intoxicants, treachery, theft and homicide and total disappearance of abnormal complexes, malice and ill-will.
  • Eradication of war and restoration of peace, friendship, co-operation and benevolence.
  • Complete coherence between man and nature.

All these points require detailed discussion and analysis but here the idea is just to acquaint the readers with the nature of the Islamic tidings and aspirations.

 Big expectations

It simply means hoping and aspiring for the materialization of the order (referred to above) which the Divine Will has destined for the world. Now let us turn back to the point that the expectation is of two kinds. One kind is constructive and dynamic which is an act of virtue and the other is destructive and paralysing which is a sort of licentiousness.

We have already mentioned that these two kinds of expectations are the outcome of two divergent notions of the great appearance of the promised Mahdi. These two notions have sprung from the two approaches to the nature of historical development. Now let us explain further the two kinds of expectations.

Destructive expectation

The concept which some people have of the rising of the Mahdi and the revolution which he will bring about is only of an explosive nature. These people believe that the appearance of the Mahdi depends solely upon the spread of injustice, discrimination, frustration and disasters. They are of the opinion that, immediately prior to the appearance of the Mahdi, the forces of evil will gain a complete hold and not a single good man will be left in the world. They look forward to an explosion, following which the divine forces will redeem the truth but not the supporters of truth, for they would not be existing.

On this basis they would condemn every reform and regard every sin, every excess and every injustice as valid and proper, because, according to their idea, corruption and tyranny bring the explosion nearer and pave the way for the eventual betterment of a permanent nature. They believe in the maxim that ends justify the means and as such unlawful means become lawful if the objective is desirable. That is how deadly sins besides giving pleasures are supposed to help in bringing about the final sacred-revolution. The following lines most appropriately apply to their case:

“Win the heart of your beloved even by deceit and treachery. Commit a sin if you are unable to perform a good deed.”

Such people naturally dislike the reformers and all those who enjoin good and forbid evil, because they think that their action is delaying the appearance of the promised Mahdi. They, even if they do not commit the sins themselves, at least appreciate the reprehensible activities of the sinners who, according to them, are preparing the ground for the appearance of the Mahdi.

This sort of notion may be called semi-dialectic, because it regards corruption and distress as a prelude to the sacred explosion. The dialectic thinking also opposes partial reforms and allows the creation of unrest, but it has some merit, because it does so with a view to making the split wider and the fight hotter, whereas the supporters of this outrageous notion simply allow corruption and disorder and then do nothing except to sit back and hope for the desired result to follow automatically. It need not be added that this sort of notion of the appearance of the promised Mahdi is against the tenets of Islam and must be regarded as a sort of licentiousness.

Constructive expectation

All the verses of the holy Qur’an, which form the basis of the concept of the Mahdi and all the traditions cited in support thereof go against the above notion. What is inferred from the holy Qur’an is that the appearance of the Mahdi is a link in the series of fights between the righteous and the wicked and the Mahdi is the symbol of the final and complete victory of the righteous and the faithful. The holy Qur’an says:

Allah has promised the righteously striving believers to appoint them as His deputies on earth, as He had appointed those who lived before. He will make the religion that He has chosen for them to stand supreme. He will replace their fear with peace and security. They will worship their Lord without fear and will not submit to anyone other than Him and will associate nothing with His worship and obedience. (Surah al-Nur, 24:55)

The appearance of the Mahdi is Allah’s favour for the oppressed and the weak and is a means of their coming to power and gaining the promised Divine succession in the whole world. The holy Qur’an says.

We have decided to grant favour to the suppressed ones by appointing them leaders and heirs of the earth. (Surah al-Qasas, 28:5)

The appearance of the Mahdi means the realization of the promise Allah made to the righteous in His sacred Book.

Verily We have written in the Psalms after the Torah had been revealed: My righteous servants shall inherit the earth. (Surah al Anbia, 21:105)

The well-known saying of the holy Prophet that Allah will fill the earth with justice after its having been filled with injustice and tyranny testifies to the fact that at the time of the appearance of the Mahdi there will exist two classes. One will consist of the oppressors and the other, howsoever small, of the oppressed who are subjected to injustice and tyranny.

Shaykh Saduq narrates on the authority of Imam Ja’far ibn Muhammad al Sadiq that the Mahdi would appear only when the virtuous would become the most virtuous and the wicked the most wicked. From this also it is evident that both the virtuous and the wicked will be in existence.

Islamic traditions make mention of a group of people who will come forward and join Imam Mahdi immediately on his appearance. From this again it is evident that the virtuous will not be completely wiped out and though their number may be insignificant, yet they will be best in the quality of faith and comparable to the companions of Imam Husayn ibn Ali.

According to Islamic traditions the rising of the Mahdi will be preceded by other risings of the virtuous. What has been mentioned as the Yamani’s rising is an instance.

In some Islamic traditions a mention has been made of a government of the righteous people which will continue to exist till the rising of the Mahdi (May Allah hasten his solace) and, as we know, some Shi’ah ulama, who held good opinions about some of their contemporary Shi’ah governments, considered it probable that it would be those very governments which would last till the rising of the Mahdi.

It is gathered from the various Qur’anic verses and traditions taken together that rising of the promised Mahdi will be the last one of the chain of the battles which have taken place between truth and falsehood since the creation of the world.

The promised Mahdi will realize the ideal of all the prophets, saints and fighters in the path of truth.

Source: The Saviour’s Revolution; written by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari

How is the Final Victory of Righteousness Realized?

imam-zaman-3The idea of the final victory of the forces of righteousness, peace and justice over those of evil, oppression and tyranny, of the world-wide spread of the Islamic faith, the complete and all-round establishment of high human values, the formation of a utopian and an ideal society and lastly the accomplishment of this ideal at the hands of a holy and eminent personality called, according to the Islamic traditions, Mahdi is a belief which, of course with variations in details, is shared by all the Muslim sects and schools of thought.

Basically this is a Qur’anic concept and it is the holy Qur’an which in very clear terms, predicts:

  1. The final victory of Islam.

It is He who has sent His messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth to make it prevail over every other religion. However much the disbelievers may dislike it. (Surah al-Tawbah, 9:33 and Surah As-Saff, 61:9)

  1. The absolute supremacy of the good and the pious.

Indeed We have written in the Psalms after the Torah had been revealed: The righteous among My slaves shall inherit the earth“. (Surah al-Anbia. 21:105)

  1. The final collapse of the oppressors and the tyrants.

We willed to show favour to those who were persecuted in the earth and to make them leaders and masters. It was also Our will to give them power in the earth and to show Pharaoh, Haman and their hosts to experience from their victims what they feared most. (Surah al-Qasas, 28:5-6)

  1. A bright and happy future for humanity.

Moses told his people to seek help from Allah and exercise patience. The earth belongs to Him and He has made it the heritage of whichever of His servants He chooses. The Final Victory is for the pious. (Surah al-A’raf 7:128)

This idea is not an outcome of any wishful thinking, but it emanates from the total working of the system of nature, the evolutionary process of history, man’s confidence in the future and the total rejection by him of pessimism about the destiny of mankind, which is extraordinarily bleak, according to certain theories.

Source: The Saviour’s Revolution; written by Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari

To Know Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) Better

imam-zaman-2Name : Muhammad

Title : Mahdi, Baqiyyatullah, Imam az-Zaman, Vali al-Asr, Qa’im, etc.

Agnomen : Abul Qasim, Aba Saaleh al-Mahdi

Father : The Eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)

Mother : Narjis Khatoon, also called as Sosan.

Birthday : 15th Sha’baan, 255 A.H.

Birthplace : In the house of Imam Askari (a.s.) in the Iraqi city of Saamarra
Commencement: 8th Rabi-al-Awwal, 260 A.H.of Imamat

Age : Still alive. Shall reappear on the command of Allah the Almighty

One can find in reliable traditions narrated on the authority of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that when Mahdi reappears, oppression and tyranny will be eradicated from the face of earth, and unjust and tyrannical rulers will be uprooted.

Therefore, every oppressive king, particularly the contemporaries of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), strove to prevent the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and his advent in this world. Also, as the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) had prophesied that the number of Imams will be twelve, and that Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) will be the eleventh Imam, (and Mahdi the twelfth), they were sure that Mahdi will be born in his house only.

Consequently, tight security and strict surveillance was imposed. But just as Firaon had failed in his machinations to prevent the birth of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.), which ultimately did occur, in the same way, despite all their efforts, the oppressors could not stop the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). As there was a great danger to the life of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), the news of his birth was not announced to all and sundry. Only those who could be relied upon were informed about this holy occurrence. After the martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), when the Imamate and leadership of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) began, the perils to his life increased.

His residence was raided umpteen times by the king’s army. Hence, on divine command, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) went into occultation. On the one hand, conditions were threatening and danger loomed large. While on the other, the masses had their queries and posers for which contact with Imam (a.s.) was necessary. Considering this necessity, Imam (a.s.) appointed four special deputies, through whom contact with Imam (a.s.) could be possible. These four persons were called as Special Deputies (Nawwaab al-Arba’ or Naaebeen al-Khaas).

The names of these Special Deputies were as follows (in chronological order):

1) Uthman Ibn Saeed Amri
2) Muhammad Ibn Uthman Ibn Saeed Amri
3) Husayn Ibn Rauh Nawbakhti
4) ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Seymouri

The series of special deputyship started from 260 A.H. and terminated in the year 329 A.H. (i.e. 69 years). This period is called as Minor Occultation (Ghaibat al-Sughra). The year 329 A.H., with the death of the fourth deputy, ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Seymouri, marked the end of minor occultation and the beginning of the Major Occultation (Ghaibat al-Kubra). Till Allah the Almighty does not permit Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) to reappear, the major occultation will continue.

Today, we are living in the era of the major occultation in which, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) has not appointed any special deputy. But he has also not abandoned us. For our religious problems and questions, he has appointed jurists (mujtahideen), bearing all the necessary conditions, as his proof upon us and has ordered us to refer to them. As per his command, it is essential that our lives should be in conformity with the edicts of the living mujtahid.

Source: The Recognition of Imam al-‘Asr: Significance and Obligations

Does Belief in a Savior Exist in Other Religions and Nations?

saviorThe belief in “Mahdi” (PBUH) originates from the divine nature of mankind. This belief causes hope in the hearts of people. Furthermore, even though there have been differences in the belief of the existence of a savior, this belief however existed amongst many of the ancient communities. Due to the divine law of Allah sending prophets to promise the arrival of a savior, the belief in a savior has been mentioned in other holy books. Though the narrations regarding to savior in other beliefs do not all coincide exactly with the Islamic faith, they at least prove the existence of such a belief. This article will be elaborating and presenting the different beliefs of previous faiths about the existence of a savior.

 Savior in the Old Testament

 The promise of the Savior has been mentioned in 35 section of the 150 part Muzamir of Prophet David’s Gospel (Holy book). “For oppressors will be eradicated, but the waiters of God inherit the earth. After a while there would be no oppressors and …”

“And a stem has grown from its roots; a branch will spring from its roots.  And on it will the ghost of God be placed and …will judge the poor fairly and will judge truthfully toward the oppressed.”

In this book there is a brief explanation about reappearance era:

“A Wolf will live with a sheep, a leopard will sleep with a goat, a calf will be tamed with a lion, and a small kid will operate upon them. And there won’t be a single loss or corruption within any of my holy mountains because the world will be filled with the insight of God.” And further He emphasizes upon this holy occultation, “Though the result of this may delay, await for it, for it will truly come without hesitation.”

 Savior in the New Testament (The Gospels and their additions)

It has been talked about him in different Gospels: “The appearance of Human’s Son is like light that spreads from east to west … and then his signs will appear in the sky, and all the people will beat their breast at that time, and will watch him come down on clouds majestically.”

And this same Bible (New Testament) speaks of awaiting (during occultation) as such, “Thus you to be prepared, for the son of Man will come at a time you do not expect.” (Chapter 24, verses 37 and 45).

Marcus talks about awaited people: “But Father, no one knows of that day and hour, not the angels and not even the Son. So stay alert and supplicate, because you do not know when that time will arrive” (The Bible of Marcus, Chapter 14, verses 26-27, 31 and 33).

An interesting point about the Bible: According to American writer Max, the word ‘Son of Human/Man’ has been mentioned 80 times in the Gospel and the new additions. However, only 30 of them are about Jesus (PBUH) and the 50 other are regarding the savior who will reappear near the ends of time.  Jesus (PBUH) will come with him, and will respect him greatly. And no one knows of the hour and day of the reappearance but the Almighty creator.

 Savior in Hindu’s holy books

Let it be emphasized that from the point of view of the Shiite belief, these books are not considered holy. Rather these excerpts are collected from previous holy books and/or from noble people. Also these specific predictions must be somehow related to sacred works and revelations.

It has been narrated in one of the Hindu books known as “Bask” that: “a just commander near the ends of time will end two worlds. This commander is the leader of angels and mankind. The truth is with him. And he will get hold of what are hidden within the seas, earth, and skies.”

In “Shakmoni”, an accredited Hindu book, it has been mentioned that: “Monarchy in this world will end by the son of the best creature, “Koshen”(name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)). He will rule on the mountains of the east to west and will ride upon the clouds…”

Furthermore, we read in “Vashen-Jool” about the end results of the world: “Eventually, the world will turn toward the one whose name is “Auspicious”, he loves God and is of God’s special servants.”

We may find texts about The Savior in other Hindu books such as:

Dartek, Dideh Patkil, and Shaboohergan.

 Savior in Zoroastrians references

In “Zand”, one of the holy books of Zoroastrians, the end of the world is discussed in this way, “Then, Izadan will be aided by Ahoora Mazda and will gain a great victory against Ahrimans. It is after Izadan victory that human beings will become prosperous.”

The book of Jamasb, one of the Zoroastrian scholars, describes the characteristics of Savior as such, “Someone will come from the Tazian Land of Hashem descendants with the religion of his ancestors; he will come towards Iran with many troops; he shall civilize and fill the earth with justice.”

And somewhere else he says, “From the last prophet’s descendants, someone will come who follows his ancestor’s religion. “From the justice he practices, the entire world will become ‘Mehr Azmay’ (Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP)) followers.”

“Bahman” contains Zoroaster foretells. In the book of Zand and HooHooMan Lisen the arrival of Socians, the great savior of the world has been foreteller as, “Signs for the arrival of the savior will be seen as marvelous signals appear in the sky and some angels will carry his messages from the east and the west to the whole world.”

The ancient Iranians believed so strongly in the arrival of “Socians” that when their empire was defeated decisively in “Qadesieh war” the third Yazdgerd turned to his great castle, “Mada’in”, and said “Bless you; I will leave now and shall return with one of my descendants who has not reappeared yet” (Book of Jamasb, pages 121-122). However, the Shiite believes Savior is of the descendants of Yazdgerd’s daughter. She was the wife of the third Imam of Shiites, Imam Hussein (PBUH), who is the ancestor of Imam Savior.

 Savior in different nations

Below is a brief description on a few beliefs of different nations:

1) The ancient Iranians believed that “Garzas,” their historical hero, is alive and that a hundred thousand angels will keep him until the day he will come and fill the world with justice.

2) The Slovakian believe that someone will reappear from the east, unite all the Slovakian tribes and will set them over the world.

3) The Germans believed that one of them will come and set Germans over the world.

4) Residents of “Sebastian” waited for the return of “Marco Karliowich”.

5) The Jews believe that”Messiah” (the great savior) will come and rule the world forever. But they know him as the descendants of Is’haq. However, the Old Testament regards him as the descendant of Isma’il, obviously.

6) People of “Scandinavia” believe that the world will receive some misfortunes. World wars will ruin most of the nations, then “Oodin” or the divine help will come and defeat the entire world.

7) The Greek believe “Kal”, the great savior, will come and save the entire world.

8) Central America tribes believe that the savior of the world will gain victory after some events in the world.

9) The Chinese know someone called “Keresna” to be the savior of the world.

10) The central Europe tribes wait for the coming of “Bokhes”.

To Know Imam Ali Ibn Al-Husayn (Peace be on him) Better

imamName: Ali.
Title: Zaynu’l-’Abidin.
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father’s name: al-Husayn Sayyidu’sh-Shuhada’.
Mother’s name: Shahr Banu, daughter of Yazdeger III, the King of Persia.
Birth: In Medina, on Saturday, 15th Jumadi ‘1-ula 36 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 58, in Medina; poisoned by al-Walid ibn `Abdi’1-Malik ibn Marwan on 25th Muharram 95 AH; buried in Jannatu ‘1-Baqi’, in Medina.

The Holy Imam `Ali Zaynu’1-Abidin is the Fourth Apostolic Imam. His epithet was Abu Muhammad and was popularly titled as “Zaynu’1-Abidin”. The mother of this Holy Imam was the royal personage, Shahr Banu, the daughter of King Yazdeger, the last pre-Islamic Ruler of Persia.

Imam Zaynu’1-`Abidin spent the first two years of his infancy in the lap of his grandfather `Ali ibn Abi Talib and then for twelve years he had the gracious patronage of his uncle, the second Holy Imam al-Hasan ibn `Ali. In 61 AH, he was present in Karbala’, at the time of the gruesome tragedy of the wholesale massacre of his father, his uncles, his brothers, his cousins and all the godly comrades of his father; and suffered a heartless captivity and imprisonment at the hands of the devilish forces of Yazid.

When Imam Husayn had come for the last time to his camp to bid goodbye to his family, `Ali Zaynu’l-`Abidin was lying semi- conscious in his sickbed and hence he escaped the massacre in Karbala’. Imam Husayn could only manage a very brief talk with the inmates of his camp and departed nominating his sick son as Imam.

The Holy Imam Zaynu’l-’Abidin lived for about thirty-four years after his father and all his life he passed in prayers and supplication to Allah and in remembrance of his martyred father. It is for his ever being in prayers to A11ah, mostly lying in prayerful prostration, that this Holy Imam was popularly called “Sajjad”.

The knowledge and piety of this Holy Imam was matchless. az-Zuhri, al-Waqidi and Ibn `Uyaynah say that they could not find any one equal to him in piety and godliness. He was so mindful of Allah that whenever he sat for ablution for prayers, the complexion of his face would change and when he stood at prayer his body was seen trembling. When asked why this was, he replied, “Know ye not before whom I stand in prayer, and with whom I hold discourse?”

Even on the gruesome day of Ashura when Yazid’s forces had massacred his father, his kith and kin and his comrades and had set fire to the camp, this Holy Imam was engrossed in his supplications to the Lord.

When the brutal forces of Yazid’s army had taken the ladies and children as captives, carrying them seated on the bare back of the camels, tied in ropes; this Holy Imam, though sick, was put in heavy chains with iron rings round his neck and his ankles, and was made to walk barefooted on the thorny plains from Karbala’ to Kufah and to Damascus; and even then this godly soul never was unmindful of his prayers to the Lord and was always thankful and supplicated to Him.

His charity was unassuming and hidden. After his passing away, the people said that hidden charity ended with the departure of this Holy Imam. Like his grandfather Ali ibn Abi Talib, Ali Zaynu’l-’Abidin used to carry on his own back at night bags of flour and bread for the poor and needy families in Medina and he so maintained hundred of poor families in the city.

The Holy Imam was not only hospitable even to his enemies but also used to continually exhort them to the right path.

Imam Zaynu’l-`Abidin along with the Ahlu’l-bayt passed through dreadful and very dangerous times, for the aggressions and atrocities of the tyrant rulers of the age had reached a climax. There was plunder, pillage, and murder everywhere. The teachings of Islam were observed more in their breach. The heartless tyrant al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thagafi was threatening everyone who professed allegiance or devotion to the Ahlu’l-bayt; and those caught were mercilessly put to death. The movement of the Holy Imam was strictly restricted and his meeting with any person was totally banned. Spies were employed to trace out the adherents of the Ahlu’1-bayt. Practically every house was searched and every family scrutinized.

Imam Zaynu’l-’Abidin was not given the time to offer his prayers peacefully, nor could he deliver any sermons. This God’s Vicegerent on earth therefore, adopted a third course which proved to be very beneficial to his followers. This was in compiling supplication prayers for the daily use of man in his endeavour to approach the Almighty Lord.

The invaluable collection of his edited prayers are known as as-Sahifah al-Kamilah or as-Sahifah as-Sajjaddiyyah; it is known also as az-Zabur (Psalm) of Aal Muhammad. The collection is an invaluable treasury of wonderfully effective supplications to the Lord in inimitably beautiful language. Only those who have ever come across those supplications would know the excellence and the beneficial effect of these prayers. Through these prayers the Imam gave all the necessary guidance to the faithful during his seclusion.

On the 25th of Muharram 95 AH when he was in Medina, al-Walid ibn Abdil-Malik ibn Marwan, the then ruler got this Holy Imam martyred by poison. The funeral prayers for this Holy Imam were conducted by his son the Fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery of Jannatu ‘1-Bagi ‘ in Medina.

al-Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn, peace be on him, said:

* Refrain from lying in all things, big or small, in seriousness or in jest. For when one starts lying in petty matters, soon he will have the audacity to lie in important matters (also).

* A man need not fear Allah except on account of his own sins, and should place his hopes only with his Lord. When about something one does not know, one should not be ashamed of having to learn about it. And patience is to faith what the head is to the body; one who does not have patience also lacks faith.

Source: Brief History of Fourteen Infallibles published by World Organization for Islamic Services