The Uprising of the Imam al-Mahdi (‘atfs)
By: Ayatullah Najmuddin Tabasi
There are different hadiths regarding the day of the uprising of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs). Some say, Nu Ruz (Iranian New Year) is the day when the uprising begins while others mention ‘Ashura’ (Muharram 10) as the day. A number of hadiths say Saturday while others say Friday as the day of the uprising.
There is no contradiction for it to be on Nu Ruz and ‘Ashura’ at the same time because the two are calculated based on the Islamic solar and lunar calendars respectively, and the occurence of these two occasions at the same time as well as their coincidence with either Friday or Saturday is possible. What seems problematic and contradictory is the mention of two days of the week (Friday and Saturday) as the day of the uprising.
This group of hadiths, however, can also be reconciled, for if we grant that the chains of transmission of the hadiths are authentic, then the hadiths that specify Friday as the day of advent (zuhur) allude to the day of the advent and uprising (qiyam) while those that specify Saturday can be interpreted to mean the day of the establishment and stabilization of the divine system and the subjugation of opponents.
It must be stated that the hadiths that regard Saturday as the day of uprising are worthy of consideration in terms of the chains of transmission. But from the same perspective the hadiths that mention Friday also do not present a problem.
Now, let us draw our attention to the pertinent hadiths:
-Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “The Qa’im of ours, the Ahl al-Bayt, will appear on Friday.”
-Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “It is as if I can see Hadrat Qa’im on Saturday on the day of ‘Ashura’ standing between Rukn and Maqam (Mecca) with Jibril (Archangel Gabriel) standing in front of him and calling on the people to pay allegiance to him.”
-Imam al-Baqir (‘a) also said: “Hadrat Qa’im (‘a) will stage the uprising on Saturday on the day of ‘Ashura’, the day when Imam Husayn (‘a) was martyred.” He (‘a) also said: “Do you know what day—’Ashura’—is this? It is the day when God accepted the repentance of Adam (Adam) and Hawwa (Eve); the day when God split the sea for the Children of Israel, drowned Pharaoh and his legion and made Musa (Moses) triumphant over Pharaoh; the day when Ibrahim (Abraham) was born; the day when God accepted the repentance of the people of Yunus (Jonah); the day when Hadrat ‘Isa was born; and the day when Hadrat Qa’im will stage the uprising.”
-Another hadith with the same content has also been reported from Imam al-Baqir (‘a), but in this hadith the reliability of Ibn Bata’ini who is included in the chain of transmitters is debatable.
-Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “On the night of twenty-third (Dhu’l-Hijjah), there will be a call in the name of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) and on the day of ‘Ashura’, the day of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn ‘Ali (‘a), he will stage the uprising.”
-He (‘a) also said: “Nu Ruz (Iranian New Year) is the day when the Qa’im from among us, the Ahl al-Bayt, will appear.”
Announcement of the Advent
The advent of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘a) will be announced first by a heavenly harbinger. Then, while leaning against the Ka‘bah (in Mecca) he (‘a) will announce his advent in inviting to the truth.
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said: “When the harbinger from heaven calls, ‘The truth is with the Progeny of Muhammad; if you are looking for guidance and felicity, cling steadfastly to the Progeny of Muhammad (S),’ Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear.”
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) also said in this regard: “Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear in Mecca during the ‘Isha’ (night) prayer. Having with him the banner and shirt of the Prophet and having performed the ‘Isha’ prayer, he will raise his voice, saying: ‘O people! I remind you to remember God and your standing before God (on the Day of Resurrection) while He has completed His proof (in the world) on you, commissioned the prophets, and sent down the Qur’an.
God commands you not to associate partners with Him and be obedient to Him and His prophets. Revive that which has been enjoined by the Qur’an to revive, and extinguish that which has been urged by the Qur’an to be extinguished. Be the votaries of the path of guidance and have piety and virtue because the annihilation and doom of the world has come and the trumpet of farewell has already been blown.
‘I invite you toward God and His Messenger, the implementation of His Book, the annihilation of falsehood, and the revival and restoration of the life conduct (sirah) of the Prophet (S).’ Then, he will appear in the midst of his three hundred and thirteen companions.”
The Slogan on the Flag of the Uprising
Every government has a flag by which it can be recognized, and uprisings and revolutions also have particular flags whose logos bespeak of the objectives of their leaders. The global revolution of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘a) has also a specific flag on which a slogan has been inscribed. Of course, although there are differences with respect to the slogan on his flag, there is a common point in all the statements and that is: It invites the people to obey him (‘a).
Now, it would suffice to mention some pertinent instances:
It has been recorded in a hadith: “It is thus written on the flag of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs): ‘Listen and obey him’.”
Elsewhere, we read: “The slogan of al-Mahdi’s (‘atfs) flag is al-bay‘atu lillah (the allegiance for the sake of Allah).”
The Gladness of the People of the World for the Uprising
It can be understood from the hadiths that the uprising of al-Mahdi (‘a) will bring delight to the people of the world. This gladness and pleasure has been expressed in various forms. Some hadiths mention the gladness of the inhabitants of the heaven and the earth while others mention the gladness of the dead ones. Some hadiths discuss the people’s reception of the uprising and others mention their wish for their dead to be revived.
Here, we will quote some of these hadiths:
-The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “All the inhabitants of the heaven and the earth—the birds, beasts of prey, and fishes of the sea—will be happy and glad at the advent of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs).”
-The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a) said in this regard: “When Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) appears, his blessed name will be mentioned on different tongues and people will be so full of love for him that no name other than his will be on their minds and tongues and friendship with him will enliven their spirits.”
-The phrase “yashribuna hubbuh”—“they are imbibing his love”—has been used in hadith where love for him has been compared to water or a pleasant beverage, which the people will drink with the utmost pleasure and their love for him will influence their existence.
-While enumerating the painful events and seditions prior to the advent of al-Mahdi (‘a), Imam ar-Rida (‘a) said concerning the progress and relief after the advent (zuhur): “At that time, progress and relief will be experienced by the people such that the dead will wish for a new life.”
-Imam as-Sadiq also said in this regard: “It is as if I can see the Qa’im (‘atfs) sitting on the pulpit of Kufah and wearing the armor of the Messenger of Allah (S).” Then, he (‘a) mentioned some of his characteristics and continuing, he said: “No believer will be left in the grave without having such a delight and rejoicing that the dead will visit one another and congratulate each other on his advent.”
In some hadith the phrase “tilka’l-farajah”—“progress in the affair”—has been used. By the blessing of his advent, the dead will be revived, and based on this report, the grandeur of the movement and leadership of the uprising will be such that it will also impact upon souls.
Deliverance of the Deprived
There is no doubt that the uprising of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will lead to the establishment of justice and the uprooting of all deprivations from human society. In this section, we will examine the steps he (‘a) will take at the time of the uprising for the oppressed and the deprived, which will render him as the sanctuary of the deprived.
The Noble Prophet of Islam (S) said: “The Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear from my ummah. God will send him as the redresser of the people’s grievances. At that time, the people will live in grace.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) did not confine the redresser of grievances to a particular sect or nationality; rather, by using the word “nas” (people or mankind) he (S) regarded him (‘atfs) as the savior of all human beings. Prior to his advent, therefore, the state of affairs will be such that all peoples of the world would pray for his advent.
Jabir said: Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “Hadrat Mahdi will appear in Mecca… God will relieve the land of Hijaz (through him) and he (‘a) will set free the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim.”
Abu Artat said: “(From Mecca) Hadrat Mahdi will go to Medina and set free the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim. Then, he will go to Kufah and set free again the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim there.”
Sha‘rani said: “When Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) arrives in the west, the people of Andalus (Spain) will meet him, saying: ‘O Wali (Friend) (and Proof) of Allah! Assist the Iberian Peninsula as it and its people have been in perdition.”
An Overview of Imam al-Mahdi’s (atfs) Government
By: Ayatullah Najmuddin Tabasi
 The specification of Friday vis-à-vis Saturday and Nu Ruz vis-à-vis ‘Ashura’ as the day of uprising in two sets of hadiths can also be reconciled in another way. It is possible that the day of uprising falls on a Saturday (Nu Ruz, or ‘Ashura’) in the eastern part of the world while it is still the preceding Friday (Nu Ruz, or ‘Ashura’ as the case may be) in the western part of the globe. For example, 9:40 am of a certain day in Tehran, Iran (GMT +03:30) is still 7:10 pm the preceding day in Hawaii, USA (GMT -10:00). (Trans.)
 Ithbat al-Hudah, p. 496; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 279.
 Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; Kashf al-Ghammah, vol. 3, p. 252; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 290.
 Kamaluddin, vol. 2, p. 653; Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; At-Tahdhib, vol. 4, p. 333; Maladh al-Akhyar, vol. 7, p. 174; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 285.
 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 285.
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 Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 290.
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 Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said to Abu Hamzah: “It is as if I can see the Qa’im from among us, the Ahl al-Bayt, entering Najaf and when he reaches the innermost point of Najaf, he will hoist the banner of the Messenger of Allah (S). Once the banner is unfurled, the angels who were present at the Battle of Badr will descend upon him.” ‘Ayyashi, Tafsir ‘Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 103; Nu‘mani, Ghaybah, p. 308; Kamaluddin, vol. 2, p. 672; Tafsir Burhan, vol. 1, p. 209; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 326.
 Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 582; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 305.
 Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 98; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 68; Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 24; Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah, p. 435; Ash-Shi‘ah wa’r-Raj‘ah, vol. 1, p. 210.
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 Al-Hawi Li’l-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 68; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 324.
 Khara’ij, vol. 3, p. 1169; Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 268.
 Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 530.
 ‘Aqd ad-Darar, p. 167.
 Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 95; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 64; Al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyyah, p. 31; Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 23.
 Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 83; Al-Hawi Li’l-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 67; Muttaqi Hindi, Burhan, p. 118; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 64.
 Qurtubi, Mukhtasar Tadhkirah, p. 128; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 260.