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Portents of the Mahdi's Coming

Many of the prophetic hadiths that have been handed down to us in the works of great Islamic scholars are devoted to portents of the Mahdi’s coming. This section examines the links between these hadiths and the present day. We shall see that they describe the contemporary climate and conditions and certain critical events that took place in the recent past accurately and miraculously.

As stated earlier, both the Mahdi’s coming and the fulfillment of the hadiths regarding the portents of Doomsday started coming to pass, one after the other, at the beginning of the 1400s ah (1979-80), clearly reveals that these are the years of the Mahdi’s presence on Earth. (Allah knows the truth, of course.) Let’s now examine these portents.

  1. PORTENTS OF MAHDI’S COMING TAKING PLACE ONE AFTER THE OTHER,
  2. THE PROLIFERATION OF SEDITION (FITNAS),
  3. WIDESPREAD SLAUGHTER BEFORE THE MAHDI COMES,
  4. THE GLOBAL PERVASIVENESS OF CHAOS AND CONFLICT,
  5. STRIFES IN WHICH EVEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE SLAUGHTERED,
  6. HE WILL APPEAR WHEN THE WAYLAYING INCREASES,
  7. INCREASED OPPRESSION OF MUSLIMS,
  8. THE DESTRUCTION OF MASJIDS AND MOSQUES,
  9. RELIGIOUS PROHIBITIONS GAIN ACCEPTANCE,
  10. THE OPEN DENIAL OF ALLAH (Surely Allah is beyond that!),
  11. THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR,
  12. THE OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN,
  13. THE ARMY THAT SANK IN THE DESERT,
  14. HALTING OF THE FLOW OF THE EUPHRATES,
  15. LUNAR AND SOLAR ECLIPSES DURING RAMADAN,
  16. THE RISE OF A COMET
  17. STORMING THE KA`BAH AND THE SUBSEQUENT BLOODSHED,
  18. SIGHTING A FLARE IN THE EAST,
  19. AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF FALSE PROPHETS,
  20. USING RELIGION FOR PERSONAL ENDS,
  21. GREAT AND AMAZING THINGS TAKING PLACE,
  22. A SIGN OUT OF THE SUN,
  23. THE DESTRUCTION OF GREAT CITIES, and
  24. AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF EARTHQUAKES.

1)Portents of Mahdis Coming Taking Place One After the Other

Those hadiths that reveal the portents of the Mahdi’s coming describe them as occurring one after the other “like the dots on a prayer-beads.” We can see that this is the case, for as stated in the hadiths, chaos and anarchy are on the rise all over the world, sedition is growing, slaughter and terrible catastrophes are taking place in many lands, poverty and hunger are increasing, and people are suffering terribly. The fact that these portents are coming to pass at one particular time shows that the Mahdi, the blessed person for whom Muslims have awaited for centuries, will come soon. (Allah knows the best!)

Some of the reports related to this subject are as follows:

I asked Abu Abdullah Husain ibn Ali: “Are there portents of this?” – in reference to the Mahdi’s appearance. He said: “Yes.” I asked: “What are they?” He said: “The destruction of the [tribe of the] Bani Abbas, the emergence of the Sufyani (Abu Sufyan), and sinking in Bayda.” I said: “I am afraid this will all take a long time,” to which he replied: “These things will happen one after the other, like the dots on a tasbih (prayer beads).(Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, Kahraman Publishings, p. 3)

Signs of the Doomsday follow one another, like the pieces of a prayer beads falling one after the other when its string is cut. (Tirmidhi Hadiths)

Painful situations and grievous sights will be seen. Strife will go on and on… (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi, p. 36)

Fitnas (seditions) will follow one another in the near future. Then, there will be other fitnas and even more following them. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 374, no. 684)

2) The Proliferation of Sedition (Fitnas)

The wordfitna (sedition) describes events, environments, and conditions in which all people, especially believers, face intensified tests of their faith. Such tests, in which living conditions are difficult and efforts are made to weaken or destroy people’s faith, are all described as fitna in Islamic sources.

The following hadith describes how believers’ faith will weaken prior to the Mahdi’s coming and the causes thereof:

The Mahdi, one of my children, comes into being, by the blessing of Allah, when the Day of Judgment approaches and the believers’ hearts weaken because of death, hunger, the disappearance of the Sunnah, the emergence of innovations, and the loss of the means by which to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. His justice and prosperity will ease the believers’ hearts, and friendship and love will settle between the non-Arab and the Arab nations. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 66)

To summarize, the following events will take place before the Mahdi appears:

  1. Death: Public security will disappear in the face of anarchy, widespread slaughter, and the ensuing tension.
  2. Hunger: The high cost of living, as well as catastrophes and natural disasters, will cause a rise in hunger and famine.
  3. Fitnas (Sedition): Sin will be encouraged and spread, and all kinds of immoral actions will take place before people’s eyes.
  4. Un-Islamic innovations (bid`at): Customs that have no place in true Islam and that were added on and gradually came to be accepted as a true part of it, will emerge.
  5. Being Unable to Preach the Religion: An emptiness caused by being unable to teach how good is commanded and evil forbidden; in other words, the preaching of religion.

Sedition enables strong believers to enhance their faith and fortitude, as well as their degree in the Hereafter, whereas they lead those with weak faith to become further removed from faith, and those whose faith is artificial to lose it altogether. The Mahdi will appear at a time when such a climate of corruption is being experienced in its fullest and most violent form.

Another hadith imparts the tidings that there will be confusion, sedition, and fear in the “west”: Disorder, sedition, and fear will emerge in the west... Sedition will proliferate. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah Qurtubi)

Another hadith reveals that the Mahdi will come when sedition is everywhere:

A kind of sedition will surface from which no party will be able to protect itself, and spread immediately in every direction. This situation will persist until one comes and says: “O people, from now on your leader is the Mahdi.”   (Ibn Hajar al-Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi `Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 23)

In other words, a sedition that opposes religion and Allah will target people’s faith. Today, this sedition is materialist philosophy, the supposed scientific basis of which is Darwin’s theory of evolution. Although it is completely irrational, unscientific, and devoid of any scientific or logical proof, materialist circles are seeking to impose this theory on every society through intensive propaganda, deception, and misrepresentation.

This theory enters our homes through the press and television, whether we live in the West or in the Muslim world. Forming a part of most science and other textbooks, it is imposed upon children from the early grades through constant repetition, such as its most famous claim: that people are descended from a common ancestor with apes. Young people are fed these evolutionist lies from primary school to the university.

In addition, the sedition referred to in the prophetic hadiths can only become so widespread through modern-day technological means (e.g., the press, publishing, the Internet, and satellite communications). Indeed, such widespread sedition has never been seen before today. All of these are important signs that the Mahdi’s coming coincides with our own time. The hadiths also state that this sedition will end when the Mahdi comes.

3) Widespread Slaughter Before the Mahdi Comes

The hadiths reveal that violence and chaos will affect the great majority of people before the Mahdi comes and that much blood will be shed:

Doomsday will not take place until these things come to pass…Death and slaughter will be widespread…   (al-Suyuti, Jamius Sagir, 3:211; Musnad, 2:492, 4:391, 392)

There will be cries of war in Shawwal and war and carnage in Dhu al-Hijjah. Again in Dhu al-Hijjah, pilgrims will be plundered and the roads will be filled with blood…The bloodshed will continue and increase. (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times p. 37)

…The Hajjis will be looted, and there will be a battle at Mina in which many will be slain. Blood will flow until it runs over the Jamra al-'Aqaba.[Jamra: a stone pillar representing Satan that is stoned during the pilgrimage.] (Narrated by `Amr ibn Shu`ayb, al-Hakim, and Nu`aym ibn Hammad)

There will emerge widespread strife that seems impossible to ever end... (Al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 55)

People make pilgrimage without an imam leading them. Big wars break out when they come down to Mina, and they are entwined just the way dogs entwine, and tribes attack each other. This strife is so widespread that legs are buried in lakes of blood. (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 35)

Such a strife will appear that nowhere will be spared. When it ends in one place, it will immediately spread to another... (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar,pp. 21-22)

Modern communications technology will make everyone aware of this corruption and disasters. Even though there may only be few people present at the scene, the whole world will learn what is happening instantaneously. Radio, television, newspapers, and the Internet will broadcast bloodshed, injustice, and oppression to the whole world.

4) The Global Pervasiveniss of Chaos and Conflict

At a time when the world will be in utter confusion and disorder (harj), fitna will appear, people will be attacked, the old will not have mercy on the young, and the young will not show respect to the old, Allah will send someone (the Mahdi) to eradicate hostility, conquer the castles of perversion, uphold faith in the End Times just as I upheld it formerly; someone who will fill this Earth with justice where violence prevailed before.   (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 12)

Rather than describing one particular place, the hadith refers to chaos (e.g., conflict, war, slaughter, and terror) spreading all over the world. Indeed, this is the case today, a time when every day hundreds of people are killed or exiled for no fair reason.

5) Strife in Which Even Women and Children Are Slaughtered

Even women, children, the elderly, and the innocent will be massacred before the Mahdi comes:

In this case, killing a woman will be as easy as wielding a whip. This event will spread twenty-four miles from Madinah. Then the oath of allegiance will be taken to the Mahdi. (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi, p. 34)

The Mahdi will not appear until innocent people are killed… (Ibid., p. 35)

The last of this strife will be the killing of innocent people, and then the Mahdi will appear, to the approval of all. (Ibid., p. 38)

The Mahdi will not appear until innocent people are slaughtered. He will appear when those on Earth and in the skies can no longer bear the killing... (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 37)

They will kill mothers, fathers, daughters, men, everyone, and inflict great suffering on the [Muslim] community by conquering Persia and Iraq. Among these there will be strife, violence, destruction, and flight. (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi, p. 36)

6) The Mahdi Will Appear When the Roads Are Cut

The hadiths reveal that the Mahdi will come when the means of transport are severed due to conflict, anarchy, and terror, and when people are unable to travel in safety and security:

When trade and roads are cut and strife multiplies ... (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, pp. 39-40)

Before the Mahdi appears, trade and roads between nations will be cut and strife among people will grow. (Mukhtasar Tazkirah al-Qurtubi, p. 454)

7) The Increased Oppression of Muslims

During the end times, the hadiths state that Muslim societies will suffer from the conflict, war, and injustice aimed at them. The conflicts and climate of chaos experienced in parts of the Islamic world, both now and in the recent past, as well as the oppression that has led to dictatorial regimes in certain Muslim countries, are some of the proofs that this time has begun.

Everyone bowing (ruqu`) and prostrating (sajda) themselves in prayer will be punished . Cruelty, malice, and vice will be produced; scholars and ascetics murdered; and many cities conquered. There will be hostility to Prophet Muhammad (saas), bloodshed and destruction will be legitimate.

There will be caliphs after me, amirs after the caliphs, and cruel tyrants after the amirs. Finally, one from my line will appear. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 84)

Woe to this community because of those tyrannical rulers. These cruel ones frighten even the silent and submissive, apart from those who obey them. (Ibid., p. 13)

Every one out of three Muslim will be killed...  (Ibid., p. 73)

8) The Destruction of Mosoues

The Sufyani will emerge from a dry valley and form an army from the Kalb tribe consisting of grim-faced and hard-hearted men who will oppress all people. He will destroy mosques and madrassas, and punish everyone bowing (ruqu`) and prostrating (sajda) themselves in prayer.  (al-Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi, p. 35)

9)Religious Prohibitions Gain Acceptance

Today, although such harmful activities as prostitution, alcohol consumption, usury, and bribery are unlawful or religiously forbidden in many lands, more and more people are indulging in them. Even more, some those who engage in them are praised and encouraged, whereas those who do not are disparaged and belittled. Lifestyles that know no bounds, that care nothing for what the scriptures allow and forbid, and that regard all forms of excess as permissible have spread far and wide during the last few decades. The hadiths describe this dark age, a herald of the Mahdi’s coming, as follows:

Strife will be seen, and more will follow. Such a level of strife will come that the first will spur the last to clashes of swords, and after this there will be such strife that what is forbidden is regarded as lawful. Then the caliphate will come to the Mahdi, the most auspicious individual on Earth, while he is sitting at home. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 26)

The Mahdi will not emerge until unbelief invades everywhere and is openly committed in public. What rules in such times is… the invasion by unbelief. That is its power. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, 2:259)

The Mahdi will emerge after the appearance of such vile corruption, whereby all prohibitions are regarded as lawful.   (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 23)

10) The Open Denial of Allah (Surely Allah is beyond that!)

The Mahdi will not come until Allah is openly and flagrantly denied.  

This hadith indicates that many people will either be atheists or agnostics, and that they will relay their denial to everyone through the press and declare it openly. This state of affairs clearly exists today, since those who deny Allah are highly esteemed for their supposed “modern and contemporary” attitude. Moreover, the public is encouraged to emulate them.

11) The Iran-Iraq War

The hadith reports that a major war will take place in the End Times:

There will be tumult in Shawwal, talk of war in Dhu al-Qa`dah, and the outbreak of war in Dhu al-Hijjah.   (Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha'ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, p. 166)

These three months match the dates of the developmental stages of the Iran-Iraq war:

Tumult in Shawwal …

The first uprising against the shah took place on 5 Shawwal 1398 (8 September 1976), as indicated by the hadith.

Talk of war in Dhu al-Qa`dah, and the outbreak of war in Dhu al-Hijjah …

A full-blown war broke out between Iran and Iraq in Dhu al-Hijjah 1400 (October 1980).

Another hadith describes the details of this war as follows:

A tribe will come from the Farsi direction, saying: "You Arabs! You have been too zealous! If you don't give them their due rights, nobody will have an alliance with you... It must be given to them one day and to you the following day, and mutual promises must be kept..." They will be going up Mutekh; Muslims will be coming down to the plain ... Mushrikun [idolaters] will be standing over there on the bank of a black river [Rakabeh] on the other side. There will be a war between them. Allah will deprive both armies of a victory ...   (Ibid., p. 179)

- Those coming from the Farsi direction: Those coming from the Iranian side,
- Farsi: Iran, Iranian,
- Coming down to the plain: Coming down to the Iraqi plain,
- Mutekh: Name of a mountain in the region, and
- Rakabeh: A region where the oil wells are concentrated.

"You Arabs! You have been too zealous! If you don't give them their due rights, nobody will have an alliance with you…"

This hadith may draw attention to the outbreak of a racial dispute that will cause both sides to come down to the (Iraqi) plain and wage war.

Allah will deprive both armies of a victory...

The Iran-Iraq war lasted for 8 syear and, despite the enormous number of casualties, neither side could claim victory.

12) The Occupation of Afghanistan

Pity poor Taliqan [a region in Afghanistan]. At that place are treasures of Allah. These are not of gold and silver, but consist of people who have recognized Allah as they should have. They are the Mahdi’s servants.   (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi `Alamat al-Mahdi, p. 59)

Pity poor Taliqan…

The hadith may refer to the invasion of Afghanistan during the Mahdi’s time. Indeed, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 (1400 ah – according to the Islamic calendar), the beginning of a new Islamic century. The hadiths state that the Mahdi will appear at the beginning of a new Islamic century. The fact that many portents coincided with this particular date shows that these dates are an important sign of the Mahdi’s coming.

… at that place are treasures of Allah. But these are not of gold and silver …

This hadith also draws attention to Afghanistan's material riches. Today, large oil deposits, iron basins, and coal mines that have not yet been commercially exploited have been detected there.

13) The Army That Sank in the Desert

But when this army enters the desert, it will so be buried in the ground at the place called Dhu al-Hulaifah that those on top will not see those underneath, nor will those underneath see those on top, until Doomsday. (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 21)

One of the portents of his appearance is, as stated before, the burial of an army in the desert. (al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 37)

< When a shepherd seeing an army moving across the desert on a bright night says: “It will be a sadness for Makkah. Woe will befall them,” he will see the army suddenly disappear. He will say: “Subhan Allah. How did they disappear so quickly?” When he goes down and looks, he will see a blanket half under the ground and half out. He will try to extract it. But when he cannot, he will realize that the army he saw has been buried… (Ibid., p. 39)

 

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