Greater signs of the Hour
After the lesser signs of the Hour appear and increase, mankind will have
reached a stage of great suffering. Then the awaited Mahdi will appear; he
is the first of the greater, and clear, signs of the Hour. There will be
no doubt about his existence, but this will only be clear to the
knowledgeable people. The Mahdi will rule until the False Messiah
(al-Masih al-Dajjal) appears, who will spread oppression and corruption.
The only ones who will know him well and avoid his evil will be those who
have great knowledge and Iman (faith).
The false Messiah will remain for a while, destroying mankind completely,
and the earth will witness the greatest Fitnah (tribulation) in its
history. Then the Messiah Jesus (alayhe sallam) will descend, bringing
justice from heaven. He will kill the Dajjal, and there will be years of
safety and security.
Then the appearance of Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog) will take mankind
by surprise, and corruption will overtake them again. In answer to Jesus
faithful prayer to Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala), they will die, and safety,
security, justice and stability will return. This state of affairs will
continue for some years, until the death of Jesus.
The Ulama differ concerning the order in which the other greater signs of
the Hour will come about. They are:
- The destruction of the Kabah and the recovery of its treasure.
- The rising of the sun from the west.
- The emergence of the Beast from the earth.
- The smoke.
- A wind will take the souls of the believers.
- The Quran will be taken up into heaven.
- A fire will drive the people to their last gathering place.
- The Trumpet will be sounded: at the first sound everyone will feel terror; at the second sound all will be struck down; at the last sound all will be resurrected.
The Mahdi will come at the end of time; he is one of the Rightly-Guided
Caliphs and Imams. He is not the Mahdi who is expected by the Shiah, who
they claim will appear from a tunnel in Samarra. This claim of theirs has
no basis in reality nor in any reliable source. They allege that his name
is Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Askari, and that he went into the tunnel
when he was five years old.
The matter we intend to discuss has been proven by Ahadith narrated from
the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam): that the Mahdi will appear at
the end of time. I believe that he will appear before Jesus the son of
Mary comes down, as the Ahadith indicate.
Hajjaj said that he heard Ali say, The Prophet said, Even if there were
only one day left for the world, Allah would send a man from among us to
fill the world with justice, just as it had been filled with oppression
and justice. (Ahmad).
Ali said, The Prophet said, The Mahdi is one of us, from among the people
of my household. In one night Allah will inspire him and prepare him to
carry out his task successfully. (Ahmad and Ibn Majah.)
Ali said, whilst looking at his son al-Hasan, This son of mine is a Sayyid
(master), as the Prophet named him. Among his descendants there will be
man named after your Prophet. He will resemble him in behaviour but not in
looks. Then he told them the report which mentions that the earth will be
filled with justice. (Abu Dawud.)
Abu Dawud devoted a chapter of his Sunan to the subject of the Mahdi. At
the beginning of this chapter he quoted the Hadith of Jabir ibn Samrah, in
which the Prophet said, This religion will remain steadfast until twelve
caliphs have ruled over you. (According to another report he said, This
religion will remain strong until twelve caliphs have ruled over you.)
Jabir said, The people cheered and shouted Allahu akbar! Then the Prophet
whispered something. I asked my father What did he say? My father said, He
said, All of them will be from Quraysh.
Another report says that when the Prophet returned to his house, Quraysh
came to him and asked, What will happen after that? He said, Then there
will be tribulation and killing.
Abu Dawud reported a Hadith from Abd Allah ibn Masud: The Prophet said, If
there were only one day left for the world, that day would be lengthened
until a man from among my descendants or from among the people of my
household, was sent; his name will be the same as my name, and his fathers
name will be the same as my fathers name. He will fill the earth with
justice and fairness, just as it will have been filled with injustice and
oppression. The world will not end until a man of my household, whose name
is the same as mine, holds away.
Abd Allah said, The Prophet said, A man from my household, whose name is
like mine, will take power. (Tirmidhi.) In another report, from Abu
Hurairah, the Prophet said, If there were only one day left for this
world, Allah would lengthen it until he took power.
Abu Said said, The Prophet said, The Mahdi will be one of my descendants;
he will have a high forehead and a hooked nose. He will fill the earth
with justice and fairness just as it was filled with injustice and
oppression, and he will rule for seven years. (Abu Dawud.)
Umm Salamah reported that the Prophet said, People will begin to differ
after the death of a Khalifah. A man from the people of Madinah will flee
to Makkah. Some of the people of Makkah will come to him and drag him out
against his will; they will swear allegiance to him between al-Rukn and
al-Maqam. An army will be sent against him from Syria; it will be
swallowed up in the desert between Makkah and Madinah. When the people see
this, groups of people from Syria and Iraq will come and swear allegiance
to him. Then a man from Quraysh whose mother is from Kalb will appear and
send an army against them, and will defeat them; this will be known as the
Battle of Kalb. Whoever does not witness the spoils of this battle will
miss much! The Mahdi will distribute the wealth, and will rule the people
according to the Sunnah of the Prophet. Then he will die, and the Muslims
will pray for him. (Abu Dawud.)
Ali said, The Prophet said, A man named al-Harith ibn Hirath will come
from Transoxania. His army will be led by a man named Mansur. He will pave
the way for and establish the government of the family of Muhammad, just
as Quraysh established the government of the Messenger of Allah. Every
believer will be obliged to support him. (Abu Dawud.)
Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Juz al-Zubaydi said, The Prophet said, A
people will come out of the East who will pave the way for the Mahdi. (Ibn
Abd Allah said, Whilst we were with the Prophet, some young men from Banu
Hashim approached us. When the Prophet saw them, his eyes filled with
tears and the colour of his face changed. I said, We can see something has
changed in your face, and it upsets us. The Prophet said, We are the
people of a Household for whom Allah has chosen the Hereafter rather than
this world. The people of my Household (Ahl al-Bayt) will suffer a great
deal after my death, and will be persecuted until a people carrying black
banners will come out of the east. They will instruct the people to do
good, but the people will refuse; they will fight until they are
victorious, and the people do as they asked, but they will not accept it
from them until they hand over power to a man from my household. Then the
earth will be filled with fairness, just as it had been filled with
injustice. If any of you live to see this, you should go to him even if
you have to crawl across ice.
This text refers to the rule of the Abbasids, as we have mentioned above
in the text referring to the beginning of their rule in 132 AH. It also
indicates that the Mahdi will appear after the Abbasids, and that he will
be one of the Ahl al-Bayt, a descendant of Fatimah, the daughter of the
Prophet, through Hasan, not Husayn, as mentioned in the Hadith from Ali
ibn Abi Talib; and Allah knows best.
Thwaban said, The Prophet said, Three men will be killed at the place
where your treasure is. Each of them will be the son of a Khalifah, and
none of them will get hold of the treasure. Then the black banners will
come out of the East, and they will slaughter you in a way which has never
been seen before. Then he said something which I do not remember; then, If
you see him, go and give him your allegiance, even if you have to crawl
over ice, because he is the Khalifah of Allah, the Mahdi. (Ibn Majah.)
The treasure referred to in this text is the treasure of the Kabah.
Towards the end of time, three of the sons of the Khalifahs will fight to
get hold of it, until the Mahdi appears. He will appear from the East, not
from the tunnel of Samarra, as the Shiah claim; they believe that he is in
this tunnel now, and they are waiting for him to emerge at the end of
time. There is no evidence for it in any book or Sahih tradition, and
there is no benefit in believing this.
The truth of the matter is that the Mahdi whose coming is promised at the
end of time will appear from the East, and people will swear allegiance to
him at the Kabah, as some Ahadith indicate.
At the time of the Mahdi, there will be peace and prosperity, with
abundant crops and wealth, strong rulers, and Islam will be
Abu Said said, By Allah every ruler we have had has been worse than the
previous one, and every year has been worse than the year before, but I
heard the Prophet say, Among your rulers will be one who will give out
wealth freely, without counting it. A man will come and ask him for money,
and he will say Take; the man will spread his cloak out and the ruler will
pour money into it. The Prophet spread out a thick cloak he had been
wearing, to demonstrate the mans actions; then he gathered it up by its
corners and said, Then the man will take it and leave. (Ahmad.)