|Mohammad(a.s.) – the 12th and the last Holy Imam|
|Sahib al-Asr waz-Zamaan (Imam of the time/space),
Al-Hujjat (proof of Allah),
Al-Qaim (the present one),
Al-Muntazar (one who is awaited),
Al-Muntazir (one who waits the order of Allah),
Al-Mahdi (one who guides)
|Imam Hasan Askari(a.s.)|
|Bibi Nargis Khatoon(a.s.)|
|In Samarrah on 15th Shabaan 255 AH (868 AD)|
|The 12th Imam is still alive but is in occultation by the will of Allah(swt)|
|Birth and Imamate
The promised Mahdi, who is usually mentioned by his title of Imam-i ‘Asr (the Imam of the “Period”) and Sahib al-Zaman (the Lord of the Age), is the son of the eleventh Imam. His name is the same as that of the Holy Prophet. He was born in Samarrah in 256/868 and until 260/872 when his father was martyred, lived under his father’s care and guidance.
Sayyida Hakima who was the sister of the 10th Imam (Imam Mohammad Taqi(a.s.)) relates that she went to her nephew’s (11th Imam – Imam Hasan Askari(a.s.)) house for iftaar on the 14th of Sha’ban 255 A.H.The 11th Imam asked her to stay as his son was to be born soon. There was no sign of pregnancy on Sayyida Narjis. The 11th Imam asked her to recite Suratul Qadr on Sayyida Narjis. At the time of Fajr on 15th Sha’ban Sayyida Hakima heard the Sura being recited from the womb of Sayyida Narjis. The 11th imam told her that the birth would occur very soon.
He also recited the 5th aya of Suratul-Qasas
One of the women slaves called Naseema relates that when she went to see the baby Imam in his cradle she greeted him with salaam and was replied to. She then sneezed and the Imam said: “Yarhamukallah – it is a blessing from Allah and you have 3 days immunity from death”.
The last Imam(a.s.) was hidden from public view and only a few of the elite among the Shi’ah were able to meet him. After the martyrdom of his father he became Imam and by Divine Command went into occultation (ghaybat). Thereafter he appeared only to his deputies (na’ib) and even then only in exceptional circumstances.
Ghaibat (occultation) of the last Imam (a.s.)
The Imam’s ghaibat (occultation) was in two phase – Ghaibat-e-Sughra (minor occultation) was for about 69 years – 260 A.H. (872 A.D.) to 329 A.H. (939 A.D.) and the Ghaibat-e-Kubra (greater occultation) started in 329 A.H. (939 A.D.)and will continue until Allah(swt) so wills.
the 6th Imam, Imam as-Sadiq (a.s.) states the reason of the ghaibat as prevention against being killed.
If he is to remain in Ghaibat, what is the use of his existence?
Why insist on 12? Why Imamat not continued and last Imam near Quiyama to do 12th Imam’s work?
For one who is to cleanse the earth of all wrong and injustice is necessary for him to be born near early Islam and carry pure and pristine Islamic ideas. It is necessary to look from his vantage point at all the upheavals in the world. Personal experience of the past will make him fearless of the seemingly invincible superpowers no matter how strong they are.
GHAIBAT-E-SUGHRA (160 A.H. to 329 A.H.)During Ghaibut-us-Sughra, the Imam(a.s.) appointed four deputies/representatives to represent him among the people. After the death of the fourth deputy, the Imam(a.s.) went into Ghaibut-e-Kubra (major occultation). This was on the 10th Shawal 329 A.H. The 4 representatives were :
1. Janabe Abu Amr Usman Ibne Saeed Amri(a.r.)
2. Janab Abu Jafar Mohammad Ibne Usman Ibne Saeed Amri (a.r.)
3. Janab Abul Qasim Husain Ibne Rauh Nawbakhti (a.r.)
4. Janab Abul Hasan Ali Ibne Mohammad Seymouri (a.r.)
GHAIBAT E KUBRA (329 A.H. to present)
Imam’s ghaibat is described by the Aimma like that of Prophet Yusuf (A.S.) who was amongst his brothers yet they did not recognise him.
1. At the time of trouble.
During this time he continues to guide. Numerous letters have been received from him by (to quote a few) Ishaq bin Yaqub, Sheikh Mufeed…
Responsibilities During Ghaibat e Kubra
Pray for the safety of Imam(a.s.) at all time.
RE-APPEARANCE OF IMAM AL MAHDI (A.S.)
” The actual time of appearance is only known by Allah”
– It will be the day of Friday.
“Kufa will become barren of Islamic knowledge……….. whilst Qum will become the centre of Islamic Fiqh………… so much so that it will spread throughout the world that not a single person will remain ignorant of the message of Islam”.
“These people will be the vicegerents of the 12th Imam. Their rule will continue and link with the appearance of the 12th Imam. They will not entrust the rule established by them to any but Imam on his reappearance”.
– Imam Ali (a.s.) took Kumayl bin Ziyad to the outskirts of Kufa and showed him where he was to be buried. He then told him that all round his grave there would be tall buildings carrying the sign of Shaitan on them. The sign would be called Antennae.
– Sufyani will appear. He will be a Jew but make himself apparent as a Muslim. He will be supported fully by the Christian governments and his mission will be to destroy Shias. He will offer booty to anyone who kills a Shia. The result will be such that even neighbours who have lived as brothers for years will kill Shias for money. He will be finally killed by Prophet Isa (A.S.)
– Imam will appear in Makka and his ‘zahoor’ will be in two stages (similar to Prophet hood of the Prophet).
– In the Zil-Hajjah of the preceding to Imam’s appearance on Ashura, 40 momineen who will be Imam’s closest companions will realise the nearness of ‘zahoor’ and go for Hajj. They will not return home and on the 15th of Zil-Hijjah they will go to the Ka’ba and cry a lot.
– One of them will be called by Imam(a.s.), introduced and told to be the representative of the 40. They will all meet Imam(a.s.) between the 16th and 22nd of Zil-Hijjah. Imam will tell them that one of them will have to announce the arrival of Imam(a.s.) at the door of the Ka’ba but whosoever would do this would be killed immediately.
– On the 25th Zil-Hijjah the announcement will be made and the announcer killed (This is the blood of Nafse Zakiyya – pure soul, those whose blood will touch the Ka’ba and who is mentioned in numerous prophecies).
– Those who answer the first call will be 313 in number.
Additional notes on the re-appearance of Imam(a.s.).
In Sheikh Tusi’s ‘Ghaybat’, Abu Baseer quoted Imam Ja’fer As-Sadiq (A.S.) as saying
Sheikh Sudooq in his book Kamaaluddin relates from Zararah that Imam Jafer as-Sadiq(a.s.) said “The announcer will call the name of the Qaim(a.s.)”. I asked whether this call is for a particular group or if it is meant for everyone, Imam Jafer Sadiq(a.s.) said:
In the 13th volume of Bihar-ul-Anwar, Imam Al-Baqir(a.s.) is quoted as saying that “The Qaim (Imam Al-Mahdi(a.s.)) will send one of his companions to Makka and will ask him to inform them that I’m sent by so-and-so to you and that we are the merciful Ahlul-Bayt and the Store-house of ‘Risalat’ (religious guidance) and ‘Khilafat’ and we are the progeny of Muhammad(pbuh&hf) and from the time that the Prophet of Islam(pbuh&hf) left this world until now, we’ve been oppressed and deprived and our rights have been usurped. So we call you to befriend us. When that young man will utter these words, he will be caught and beheaded between ‘Rukn’ and ‘madam’ (in Masjidul Haram) and this young man is the ‘Nafse Zaki’………. And between the death of the ‘Nafse Zaki’ and the re-appearance of Imam Al-Mahdi (A.S.) there will not be a gap of fifteen nights”.
Other signs heralding the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s)
Prophet Muhammed (saws) has said:
“Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before Doomsday, Allah will expand that day to such length of time as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my Ahlul-Bayt who will be called by name. He will fill out the earth with and justice as it will have been full of injustice and tyranny (by then)”
From this Hadith, it is clear to every Muslim that the twelfth Imam will reappear when this world is full of sins and injustice.
There are many signs mentioned by the Masumeen (a.s) on the reappearance of the 12th Imam. It is reported in Biharul Anwar that after the last pilgrimage the Prophet made, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) stood near the Kaaba, and called his people to listen to him. The Prophet said: “listen to me carefully so that you transmit these words of mine to those who are absent today.” The Prophet began, “My people, a time will come when kings and rulers will be tyrannical.” The Prophet also said that the payment of Zakat will be stopped.
According to the Masumeen(a.s), Muslim countries will seek aid from non Muslim countries. This is already evident in a number of Muslim countries. Another prediction that is come true is that 60 impostors will claim to be Prophets. By their attractiveness, their persuasion, and their personality, they will misguide the people. 58 false Prophets have already emerged since the days of the Prophet (s.a.w.). We have only two more to witness.
It is reported in Qayamat-e-Sughra citing “Oqdatud-Durr” that Hazrat Amir(a.s) has said that the Mahdi will not appear until one-third of the world population will die by being killed and one-third will die as a result of epidemics.
The Last Signs Heralding the Appearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s)
There is a Hadith from Imam Muhammed Baqir (a.s) that for three or seven consecutive days, one will see reddish yellow fire raging in the East.
Sufiani will emerge in Palestine, where he will start a revolt in the month of Rajab. He will be an uncompassionate rebel and his rule will last for eight consecutive months. He will conquer and rule Egypt for four consecutive months. Sufiani will conquer Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, and Syria. Sufiani has been specifically described by Aimma A.S. as an ugly, blistered, green-eyed, cross-eyed person who will be an enemy of the friends of the Ahlul-Bait. Imam Ali (a.s) has said that Sufiani’s hatred of the devotees of the Ahlul-Bait will be such that any person named Ali, Fatema, Hassan, Hussein, Zainab, Ruquaiya will be arrested and beheaded straight away without further investigations. Sufiani will rip the Mimber of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). The holy house of the Prophet which contains his grave will be pulled and used as a stable. Horses will be tied in that Holy place.
Sufiani will then decide to attack Makka. His purpose would be to demolish the Holy Kaaba and kill the entire population of Makka. Sufiani’s army will set out via Baghdad but, as Allah would have it, when they get between Medina and Makka, in the desert of Baida, suddenly one night they will hear a voice from the sky which will say, “O Baida eat up the entire army of Sufiani.” It is said that the entire army numbering 100,000 persons will be swallowed up by the earth, except for two. The two who will be spared will suddenly encounter an angel. He will slap both of them turning their faces right round, looking behind instead of front. And that will be the time when Imam al-Mahdi (a.s) will already have reappeared in Makka. The Imam will establish his authority in the Holy Mosque at Makka in the Haram. The angel will then order one of them calling him Bashir. “O Bashir, go straight to Makka, into the Haram and inform the Imam that Sufiani’s army has been swallowed up by the land. The other called Nazir will be ordered to go to Sufiani and tell him that the Imam has already appeared. He should proceed straight to Makka and declare allegiance to him.
Sufiani will prepare to attack the Imam but will not have enough courage. The Imam will catch Sufiani in Jerusalem and will kill him.
Imam Ali (a.s) has said that nine definite signs will precede the emergence of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s). These nine signs are:
Other Prophets(pbut) will join the Imam(a.s.)
Hazrat Isa, Hazrat Khizr, Hazrat Ilias, and Hazrat Idris(pbut) will give allegiance to the Imam(a.s.) when he reapers. Also Hazrat Jibrael(a.s.) will announce 313 companions of the Imam(a.s.). These 313 companions will be people of eminent piety, great knowledge and absolutely steadfast in their determination and faith towards the Imam(a.s.). Another 1000 people will be in the army of the Imam(a.s.). These people will fight battles and kill enemies like Dajjal, who will appear from India. Dajjal will have the musical tunes with him. Then the Imam(a.s.) will lead the prayers, Hazrat Isa(pbuh) will be behind him.
Lets us all pray for the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi(a.s).