Imam Mahdi

Hadith about the death of Abdullah of Hijaz and the reappearance of Imam Mahdi, are they authentic?


There are some ahadith doing the rounds on social media, can you tell us if they are authentic or if they can be applied to the present situation?

1. From the Messenger of Allah (pbuhaf): Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) will be ruled by a man whose name is the name of an animal(Fahad/leopard), when you see him from a distance, you would think he has a lazy eye, and if you get close to him, you do not see anything (wrong) in his eyes. He will be succeeded by a brother of his, named Abdullah. Woe to our Shia (followers) from him! Woe to our Shia (followers) from him! Woe to our Shia (followers) from him! – he repeated it three times – Give me the good news of his death, and I shall give you the good news of the appearance of the hujjah (Imam Mahdi). Reference: Two Hundred and Fifty Signs, sign number 122

2. From Abi Baseer who heard from Imam Sadiq (pbuhaf): Whoever guarantees for me the death of Abdullah, I will guarantee for him the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi). When Abdullah dies, then people will not gather/agree on anyone after him, and this matter will not except for your companion (Imam Mahdi) inshallah, and the kingdom of years will be over, and it will become the kingdom of months and days. So I asked: Will that be prolonged? He said: No. (Biharul Anwar, Volume 52, page 21)


The following is a brief response on these narrations:

  1. Before delving into the meaning of a Hadith we have to be confident that it is narrated from a Ma’soom through a reliable chains of narrators.
  2. The narration mentioned in the book of 250 Signs: The author of this book claims that its primary source is Mosnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal; which is a Sunni source and hence not reliable for us. Most Wahhabis in their Fiqh follow this book and its author. By the way, I checked Mosnad Ahmad but I could not find it in it! Besides the sign of fabrication is clear in it.
  3. The narration quoted from Abu Baseer: the primary source of the Hadith is al-Ghayba written by Sh. al-Tousi (r.a.) pl. 447. Here is the actual Arabic text of the Hadith with its chain of transmitters:

الْفَضْلُ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عِيسَى عَنْ دُرُسْتَ عَنْ عَمَّارِ بْنِ مَرْوَانَ عَنْ أَبِي بَصِيرٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (ع) يَقُولُ مَنْ يَضْمَنْ لِي مَوْتَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ أَضْمَنْ لَهُ الْقَائِمَ ثُمَّ قَالَ إِذَا مَاتَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ لَمْ يَجْتَمِعِ النَّاسُ بَعْدَهُ عَلَى أَحَدٍ وَ لَمْ يَتَنَاهَ هَذَا الْأَمْرُ دُونَ صَاحِبِكُمْ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ وَ يَذْهَبُ مُلْكُ سِنِينَ وَ يَصِيرُ مُلْكَ الشُّهُورِ وَ الْأَيَّامِ فَقُلْتُ يَطُولُ ذَلِكَ قَالَ كَلَّا. (الغيبۀ للشيخ الطوسى ص 447)

The following are my comments on it:

  1. The chains of its transmitters are very problematic. Interestingly two of its narrators (i.e. Othman Ibn Eisa, and Dorost) are Waqefi; meaning they did not believe in any of the Imams after Imam Kadhem (as)! In fact, Othman Ibn Eisa was one of the leading figures of Waqefi sect. He used to be the Wakil of Imam Kadhem and after the martyrdom of the Imam, claimed all the funds (Khoms and the like) to himself and to justify that he denied the Imamat of Imam Redha!
  2. Regardless of the narrators, who would be this “Abdullah”, is this his real name or the Imam is using that title to make it anonymous? None of these are clear. Let me give you an example: one of our very eminent scholars of the 8th century A.H (about 600 years ago) whose name is Sh. Ali Ibn Yousof al-Hilli (he is the older brother of al-Allamah al-Hilli) he quoted the above Hadith in his book ‘al-‘Adadul-Qawiyyah’ p.77 and then concludes: “Indeed most of the Signs (of Reappearance) have already appeared such as… the death of Abdullah being the last Abbasid king”!
  3. The Hadith does not mention the territory of that (supposedly) king, so one may claim it’s meant for King Abdullah of Jordan! And why does it have to be a king in our time?!
  4. Abdullah could be also just a nickname, as it means ‘slave of Allah’. In Arabic its quite common to use this expression when they don’t want to mention an actual name.
  5. As Shi’a we believe in the concept of al-Bada’ which means it is always possible that the Almighty Allah postpones an event or brings it forward, even if it was prophesized otherwise.


As the followers of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s) we are bound to believe in the coming of our Saviour al-Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) and we hope it happens in our time, and we believe that it is near. However, we are forbidden to specify any date for it. Also, instead of delving into dubious narrations we are instructed by our holy Imams (a.s) to prepare ourselves- in all aspects- for his global government and to endeavor to be among his supporters by supporting his cause. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said to Zorarah: “Make sure you know the Imam of your time, for surely if you know the Imam of your time, it does not harm you whether this matter (the reappearance of al-Mahdi) happens in your time or not (you will be counted among his companions).” (al-Kaafi vol1. P.371)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is the reason and significance of Friday prayers (Salat al-Jum’ah)?


Is the reason for Jum’ah prayer (Friday) prayers to pay homage to an Imam? If not, what is the significance of Jum’ah? Does chapter 62:9 apply to Muslims today?  Why or why not? Does disagreement between scholars (on the obligation of Jum’ah or in general) necessarily mean one isn’t as knowledgeable as the other?


“O you who believe, when the call is proclaimed for the prayer  on the day of Friday, come to the remembrance of Allah (SWT) and leave off business, that is better for you if you did but know!” (62:9).

There are a number of wisdoms behind Jum’ah prayer:

  • It is a chance for the Muslims to remind one another to adhere to piety. It is important to have this reminder every week. This is perhaps why we have narrations indicating missing three Friday prayers in a row causes a seal over the heart: The Prophet (SAWA) said:

Whoever misses three Friday prayers, being indifferent to them, Allah (SWT) seals his heart.

’[Wasael al-Shi`aah , v. 5, p. 6, no. 25]

  • It is a chance for the Muslims to meet regularly and discuss important social and political issues. It is a platform for the leaders of the Muslim community to educate the community about such issues. This is why it is quite widely agreed that the second sermon of Friday prayer should be about the daily affairs of Muslims.
  • This is besides the hidden spiritual benefits of Friday prayer, which are indicated by some narrations that state that a person gains hasanat (good deeds) and is forgiven sins for every single step they take on the way to Friday prayer.

Even though the Imam (as) is in absence, he has directed the community to follow the knowledgeable and pious scholars of the community. Therefore attending Friday prayer remains a way of paying homage to the Imam and showing our obedience to him.

The other point to remember is that the command in the above ayah of the Holy Qur’an is unconditional i.e it speaks to all believers. Therefore, unless we have other evidence, we cannot say that it does not apply to Muslims for the last 1200 years of ghaybah (occultation), because this would be the majority of Muslims, and it does not make sense for a command from a Wise Legislator to exclude the majority of its addresees. Therefore, the ayah does apply to Muslims today.

Lastly, if scholars differ in their opinions, it does not necessarily mean one is more knowledgeable as the other. Scholars often have to deal with a large body of religious evidence, and sometimes they come to slightly different conclusions despite both being sufficiently knoweldgeable. This happens in all fields of science, even in empirical and clinical sciences which are supposed to be easier to come to conclusions about.

Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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How can I prove to my Sunni friend that Imam Mahdi is currently alive?


How can I prove to my Sunni friend that Imam Mahdi (ajtf) is currently alive?


The easy way in short to prove the current existence of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) to a Sunni is the following:

Premise 1: All Muslims agree that the Holy Quran is very explicit and clear that the time will come when a universal and just Islamic state will be established, in which those who have been oppressed will lead the world. (Surah al-Anbi’a, Ayah 105)

Premise 2: It is narrated by Shi’a and Sunni narrators that:

a. The day of judgment will not come until a man from the offspring of the Prophet rises to spread peace and justice in the world. (Mosnad Ahmad 3:36 , H. 10920)

b. Whoever dies not knowing the Imam of his time has died the death of Ignorance (Kofr). (Muslim 3:239, H 1851)

c. Hadith al-Thaqalayn in which the Prophet (P) says: the Book of Allah and his Ahlul-Bayt (P) will never be separated until they join him at the Pool of Kouthar. (Mostadrak al-Hakim 3:10)

d. 12 Imams: The Prophet foretold that the Kholafa (successors after him) shall be 12 Imams, and that are all from Qoraysh. (Muslim 3:220, H. 1821). This hadith can only apply to the 12 Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s). Also, there is no doubt that Imam Askari (a.s) was martyred and died. (More info. about the narrations regarding 12 Imams after the Holy Prophet)

Conclusion: if Imam Mahdi is not born yet, then: there will be a separation between the Quran and Ahlul-bayt (a.s) (violating premise 2/c), the Imams won’t be 12 (violation of premise 2/d.) and all contemporary Muslims die the death of Jahiliyah because there is no Imam of their time for them to know him (violation of premise 2/b).

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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We have narrations mentioning ’12 Mahdis’ that come after Imam Mahdi. Are they valid?


Can you please comment on the validity (or invalidity) of the following hadith:

Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) said: “from among us, after the Qa’em (Imam Mahdi), we shall have twelve Mahdi’s of Al Hussein descendents (a.s).”  [Bihar Al Anwar (Oceans of Lights), chapter 53 page 148, and Ghaybat Al Tousi (Occultation by Al Tousi) page 4478]

Some Shias are using this hadith and other similar ones to claim that there is a man living today who is the son of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) and that he is one of the ’12 Mahdis’ mentioned in hadiths such as the one above. Please clarify if this can be true.


There a few Ahadith like that in our books of Hadith. Please consider the following points about them:

1. These Ahadith are weak in their Esnad (Chain of transmitters), there are unknown narrators among them, and in some of them part of the Sanad (chain of transmitters) is missing.

2. They are contrary to many other authentic and famous narrations that state: ‘The Imams from the pure Progeny of the Prophet (P) are twelve, and they are all Mahdi’ (i.e. in the literal sense: ‘guided’). For example see: Behar, vol. 36, p. 385.

3. Irrespective of the above points, these Ahadith are talking about the time after the appearance of Imam Mahdi (a.f), thus no one can relate them to any individual or group during our occultation time.

4. Sheikh al-Mofid; one of the most eminent early Shi’a scholars comments on such Ahadith as follows:

ولیس بعد دولة القائم (عج) لأحد دولة إلّا ما جاءت به الروایة من قیام ولده إن شاء الله ذلک ، ولم یرد به علی القطع والثبات ، واکثر الروایات انّه لن یمضی مهدی الأمة الّا قبل القیامة بأربعین
یوماً ، یکون فیها الفرج ( الهرج ) و علامات خروج الاموات وقیام السّاعة للحساب والجزاء

“And there will be no state for anyone after the state of the Qaaem (Imam Mahdi), although there are some narrations about his son ruling if God willed so, but there is no certain narration about it, instead most of the narrations say that the Mahdi of (the Islamic) Ummah will not pass away till 40 days prior to the Day of Judgment, whence there will be the relief (or great commotion) and the signs of the resurrection of the dead (from their graves) and the hour of judgment and recompense.” (Al-Irshad – 2:387)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

How can we truly know whether we will be on the side of Imam Mahdi (ajtf)?


How can we “truly” know if the Imam(ajtfs) comes in our time, whether we will be with him and not against or neutral? What is the best advice to increase our chances? Surely reciting Dua, and sending salawat and so on does not gurantee anything, surely a so called “super religious person” who does all the recommended Islamic acts is not guranteed anything, and there will be many of these people who turn againts him.

We are living in a time of major confusion and doubts, no matter how “religious” we feel, we can turn. So what is the best advice, to ensure that we, by the will of God, will be his true followers and helpers?


My advice is: do not leave any obligatory deeds, and as you mentioned, perform dua, and prepare your self to welcome the Imam (ajtfs) with your Akhlaaq (ethics) at all times. Consider yourself at this moment as a follower of the Imam, so keep yourself away from physical and spiritual corruptions.

Inshallah, if we all try in this way, the reward from Allah (swt) is to be with our beloved Imam (ajtfs). Allah (swt) has promised us that he will reward those who do good. Rely and trust in Allah (swt).

Answered by: Sheikh Jafar Fathullah

Who is the Sufyani, Khurasani, and Yamani, and which one of those is with the truth?


Can you explain this, I’m abit confused. It says that only the Yamani will be with truth. I always thought that the Khurasani had a big role and was a helper of the Imam? Also, could you please provide some hadith to identify these individuals?

[Sayf b. ‘Umayra (reported) on the authority of Bakr b. Muhammad, on the authority of Abu ‘Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]

(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: “There will be three appearances in one year, one month and one day, the Sufyani, the Khurasani and the Yamam. The standard of guidance will not be among them, except the standard of the Yamani, because he will summon (people) to the truth”.


Most of the narrations with regards to the signs prior to the appearance of Imam Mahdi (a.f) are either weak in terms of their Esnad (chains of narrators) or very ambiguous. I think that’s why you don’t find any such narrations in al-Kaafi and in the other books that are the four most reliable for the Shi’a.

For instance, the Hadith you have mentioned is Morsal, meaning that the author (al-Tabresi died in 548 AH) does not mention his Esnad to Saif Ibn Omar. So, although Saif and Bakr are both authentic, there must be several narrators between them and the author who was living in the 6th century, and as their names are not mentioned, the Hadith is unreliable. Moreover, Sheikh Tousi in al-Ershad confirms that Khorasani and Yamani will be allied against Sofyani (Ershad 2:368).

As with regards to who these people are (if we accept the authenticity of such narrations), we really don’t know, but what we do know is that none of them exist or have risen yet. Note, the Hadith you mentioned says that they all rise in the same year, month, and day.

What we know for sure and we must believe, and many authentic narrations confirm is that: A day will come in the future when Imam Mahdi (a.f) will appear and spread justice and fairness on Earth, after it is filled with injustice and unfairness.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Have the 313 already been chosen?


Is it true that the 313 companions have already been chosen and that we cannot be from amongst them nor make an intention to be from amongst them?

It is a small, yet important question.


If the list was full, the Imam would have come. Don’t worry, there is still room InshAllah (God willing)! Try to get in.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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What proofs do we have for the return of Prophet Jesus at the time of Imam Mahdi?


Can you please provide proofs for the belief that Prophet Jesus will return at the time of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi aswell? Ayaat from the Quran and Hadiths would be appreciated.


The Return of Jesus in Islam

Muslim scholars irrespective of their denominations are quite unanimous that upon the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (May God hasten his reappearance) Prophet Jesus will also descend to Earth from the heavens. During that time Jesus and Imam Mahdi will spread peace and justice on Earth, and the Earth will attain unprecedented peace, justice and welfare. Jesus will be like the minister for Imam Mahdi and his main mission will be to correct the dogma of Trinity and to clarify his humane personality and servitude to God.

The Islamic doctrine of the descension of Jesus to Earth is derived from a couple of Ayaat in the Quran and many Ahadith which are narrated by both Shi’a and Sunni narrators. The following are the most important reasons for this doctrine:

1. Jesus is still alive

The holy Quran in a unique style denotes the false dogma of crucifixion. The holy Quran clearly states that Allah raised Jesus to Himself. Thus, Jesus has not tasted physical death as yet. On the other hand, ‘every creature shall have a taste of death’. [29:57]. In conclusion, Jesus must return to earth to live a physical life and die a physical death.

2. The People of the Book believe in Jesus before his death

The Almighty Allah states: “And there will be none of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) but must believe in him before his death and on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.” [4:159].

Most interpreters of the Quran agree that the above Ayah is with reference to the time of the return of Jesus to Earth. During that time there will be no Jews or Christians, but rather those who believe in Jesus as a Messenger of Allah and a human being. According to this interpretation, the pronoun in ‘before his death’ returns to ‘Jesus’ not a Jew or a Christian.

Shahr bin Houshab narrated: “Hajjaj bin Yusuf said to me: “There is an Ayah in the Quran that I’m baffled as to its meaning. I said: O Amir! Which Ayah is that? He said: “And there will be none of the People of the Book …” By Allah! I have ordered the execution of many Christians and Jews and I have witnessed their death, but none of them believed in the humanity of Jesus before his death.” Shahr said: “I said to Hajjaj: This is not the meaning of the Ayah. (He meant the pronoun in that phrase returns to Jesus not the Jews and Christians). The meaning of the Ayah is that Jesus will descend to Earth before the Day of Resurrection and there will be no Jews or Christians but believers in Jesus, and he will pray behind Imam Mahdi.” Hajjaj asked from whom I had learnt that interpretation from. I replied: Imam Baqir, son of Imam Sajjad, son of Imam Husain, son of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib narrated this to me.” Hajjaj said: By Allah, you gained it from a pure spring.”
3. The followers of Jesus will be superior over disbelievers

Almighty Allah states: “And when Allah said: O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve till the Day of Resurrection. Then you (believers and disbelievers) will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matter in which you used to dispute.” [3:55].

The above Ayah is one of the controversial Ayaat in the story of Prophet Jesus. Some Christian preachers use this Ayah to prove the superiority of Christians over the adherents of all other religions whom they also call ‘disbelievers’ until the Day of Judgment.

Christians assumed the Quranic phrase ‘those who follow you’ equals Christians. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Christianity today is in essence very different from the actual teachings of Prophet Jesus. The followers of Jesus were those who truly followed his teachings. According to the Quran, the dogma of Trinity is in full conflict with the teachings of Prophet Jesus. Thus, how could Trinitarians be regarded as the followers of Jesus?!

The examples of ‘those who follow you’ from the time of Jesus till the advent of Islam are those sincere believers who believed in Jesus as a Messenger of Allah and followed his teachings. With the rise of Islam, Muslims who believe in Jesus as a Messenger of Allah are the true followers of Jesus. The disbelievers in return are those who never believed in Jesus as a Prophet such as the Jews or even the Christians who believed in the divinity of Jesus. Thus Almighty Allah has made the true monotheists who believe in Jesus as His Messenger superior in their ideology over the disbelievers who do not believe in Prophet Jesus.

Another meaning for the Ayah is to say when Imam Mahdi (a.s) reappears and Jesus returns to Earth, the true followers of Jesus who include all Muslims, Jews, Christians who truly followed Jesus, will be superior to the disbelievers.

4. Prophetic narrations confirm the descent of Jesus

Numerous Narrations in both Sunni and Shi’a sources confirm and detail the descending of Jesus at the same time as Imam Mahdi.

Renowned Sunni narrators such as al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Maajah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Abu-Dawood and many others have narrated the narrations of the return of Jesus at the time of Imam Mahdi, and that he will pray behind Imam Mahdi.

Ibn Jouzi in his book ‘Tathkeratul-Khawas’ narrated: “Mahdi and Jesus will reunite. When it’s the time for Prayers, Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the Prayers, but Jesus will say: You are more preferred to lead the Prayers. Then Jesus will pray behind him.”

According to the narrations of his return, Jesus will break the cross and abandon the meat of the pig. He will also abolish the Jazyah for the People of the Book of his time who will have no excuse to adhere to their false principles. They have to either convert to Islam and hence no Jazyah will apply to them or will be executed by Jesus. Jesus will live on the Earth for 40 years before he dies. Imam Mahdi will pray on his body and will attend his burial in pubic.

The Return of Jesus and the Seal of Prophet-hood

One of the theological problems about the return of Jesus is the paradox between this concept and the seal of Prophethood. Undoubtedly, Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet and Messenger of God. With Prophet Muhammad, prophethood ceased to continue. Then how could one of the previous prophets return to earth after Prophet Muhammad?

The answer to the above paradox is that Prophet Jesus will not return to Earth to bring a new Shari’a Law. Thus, he will pray behind Imam Mahdi. In fact, Imam Mahdi who is the 12th and the last successor of the Prophet of Islam will lead the world. The main purpose of the return of Jesus to Earth is in order for him to prove to the Jews and the Christians the truth about himself.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

How do us youth in the West prepare for Imam Mahdi’s arrival?


What do you think is the most important thing for us youth living in the West to do to prepare for Imam Mahdi’s (ajts) arrival?  There are many social pressures in the West. What would be the priority for the youth to work on?


In a nutshell:

1. Learn about your religion,

2. Be an active member of an islamic centre,

3. In addition to your daily prayers, talk to God as often as you can; like when you are driving, when you are lying in bed, whenever you get an opportunity, just talk to God and think of Him.

4. Everyday send 100 Salawat for the well being of Imam Mahdi (ajtfs) and ask him to pray for you.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Why place the hand on the head when Imam Mahdi’s name is heard or said?


I want to enquire as to the reason behind standing, placing the hand, and bending slightly whenever our 12th Imam’s name is heard or said?


There is a Hadith that the name of Imam Mahdi(ajtf) was mentioned in front of our 8th Imam, Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.). Upon hearing Imam Madhi’s name, Imam Al-Ridha (a.s.) stood up and put his hand on his head.

This is an expression of: ‘I’m at your service and ready for your command’.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei