Every individual prays for the early reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) after every prayer and every salutation. The holy advent of Imam Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance), traditions and signs of his reappearance are discussed extensively in various gatherings. However, we shall briefly discuss about the transitional period between his reappearance and his universal government and the period when he will enforce divine laws. Hence, it is necessary that we throw some light on this transitory period for which every Shia child, youth and elderly should be prepared.
The Era of Examination
In this era, the political aspirants and opportunists will be separated from the selfless and sincere ones. As soon as the news of reappearance of Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) spreads, evil forces will rise as storms. The armies of powerful politicians and rulers will come to the fore with all their might. The mighty magicians, fraudsters and artists will stand against him like a wave. In short, it is enough to say in the light of traditions that when Imam’s sword will be unleashed with all its grandeur, the armies of its opponents will be made to bite the dust at all places. One has to be thoroughly prepared to be a part of the army of Imam Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance). It is not difficult but not easy as well. The question is how should one prepare for this?
To be in the army of Imam Zamaana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) every individual will have to assess his level of certainty.
After obtaining knowledge from the gatherings of scholars one has to take account of his own self.
There should be a strong bonding between knowledge and practice.
Every person in the community has to be like-minded, united in character and behavior. Otherwise, a person can be deceived and behavioral and social problems will arise, all of which cannot be discussed here but at least we should be aware of it. When the rule of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will dominate, the legislative and administrative laws will be established on the basis of the Noble Quran. The capacity and the potential of every individual in that era, its management and organization cannot be mentioned here as it will be a totally different realm and it is difficult to mention their characteristics.
By pondering over such discussions, the condition of the world post reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) becomes evident. Since we have not seen it we can only imagine it superficially just as we imagine the bounties of hereafter. The real picture of paradise will be clear when, by Allah’s Will and intercession of progeny of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his family), we shall enter it. Similarly, the real picture after reappearance will be clear only after its occurrence. Nevertheless, it will be a different world altogether. The skies and the earth will be at their places but their conditions will be different. Those who died before reappearance will be brought to life again. They will be unable to recognize this world and will witness themselves in a completely different world.
A few important peculiarities of reappearance are given below:
One of the reasons for the destruction and loss of this world is ignorance from its aim. People are unable to find the root cause of the problem. Shrewd people deceive the masses easily. When Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will reappear, intellects of the people will be perfected. Imam Muhammad Baaqir (peace be on him) says:
“When our Qaim rises Allah shall place His hand over the heads of His servants due to which their intellects will be perfected and their understanding will be completed.”
[Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 25, H. 21]
The root cause of our problem is love of this world due to which our intellects are reined by desires. Desires have overpowered our intellects. Post reappearance, intellects will be freed from the clutches of desires, they will be perfected and the foundation of evils will be destroyed. As per Ameerul Momineen Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be on them both) one of the reasons for raising Messengers was perfection of intellects.
[Nahj al-Balaagha, Sermon 1]
The Holy Quran also addresses the people of intellect at various places. It converses with the heedful. Hence, with reappearance, the aim of Messengers (peace be on them all) will be fulfilled and the Holy Quran will get its audience.
Today, developed nations are called progressive on the basis of science and technology and are ruling the world through it. The youth of today are under their control and everyone is smitten by technology which enslaved them. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) has narrated the condition of science and technology after reappearance thousand years ago (please note that the words of Imam are as per the people of that era hence it is an indication. The true picture will be unveiled when Imam will reappear).
“When our Qaim will reappear, Allah shall extend the (power of) hearing and sight of our Shias to such an extent that there would not be any obstacle between them and the Qaim. He (may Allah hasten his reappearance) shall speak to them and they will be able to hear and see him while he would (still) be at his place.”
[Al-Kaafi, vol. 8, p. 241, H. 329]
Ears will listen to him and eyes will see him directly. There will not be a need for any modes of communication i.e. seeing and listening will not be on telephone, radio or television. In fact, technology will be so advanced that believers themselves will not need a means to communicate. In another tradition, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) says:
“Surely, in the time of the Qaim, a believer who will be in the East will be able to see his brother who is in the West and in the same way the one who is in the West will be able to see his brother in the East.”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 391, H. 213]
All this progress and perfection will not be on the basis of miracles but due to advanced knowledge. “Ignorance is the key to all evils while knowledge is the basis of all goodness”.
In the time of reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) knowledge will reach to such heights as cannot be imagined today. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) narrates in a tradition
“There are twenty seven parts of knowledge. The knowledge brought by the Messengers till date is two parts and people do not know anything apart from them. When our Qaim (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will reappear he will manifest the other twenty five parts and make it common among the people and include the earlier two parts as well. Hence all the twenty seven parts will be known to people.”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 336]
It is worth noting that all the progress in the world is a result of only two parts of knowledge and that too, one cannot claim that the two parts have been used in their entirety. Possibly, only a fraction of the two parts have been used by humanity to ascend such heights. Imagine the state of the world when the other twenty five parts will be revealed!
When intellects will be perfected, knowledge will be at its peak and thoughts will be purified. Then Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will propagate monotheistic knowledge and mastership of Ahle Bait (peace be on them) without whose light the ambience of the Noble Quran and supplications are unexplainable. According to traditions, people will flock in groups to mosques to teach the Holy Quran and Islam. Religious classes will be widespread.
Needlessness from Sunlight
The radiance of Imamat and Mastership of Hazrat Wali-e-Asr (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will be so intense and bright that people will be needless of sunlight.
Mufazzal Ibn Umar narrates that I heard Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) exclaim:
“Indeed when our Qaim (may Allah hasten his reappearance) rises, the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord and people will be needless of sunlight…”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 330, H. 52]
Apart from providing light, sun is also the epicenter of energy and the focal point of the solar system. After reappearance we will neither need the light of the sun nor its energy, and it will no longer be required as the center of the solar system. All of these will be through the medium of the radiance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). The Holy Quran announces:
“And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord”.
[Surah Zumar (39): Verse 69]
It refers to radiance of Imam-e-Asr (may Allah hasten his reappearance). The entire world for Imam (peace be on him) is like a palm of a hand and nothing will be concealed from him.
He or his companions will not need an aircraft or any other means of transport to travel. Mufazzal Ibn Umar narrates from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) that the companions of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will be seen traveling on clouds.
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 368, H. 153]
The clouds with their thunder and lightning will be subservient to them. They will travel whenever and wherever they want.
Production and Prosperity
In that golden era, all doors of mischief and atrocities will be shut. There will be no oppression or blood shed anywhere in the world. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) says and each sentence of this tradition is worth pondering:
“When the Qaim (may Allah hasten his reappearance) rises, he will rule with justice. During his time, injustice will be wiped out and roads will be safe due to him. The earth will produce it treasures and every due will be restored to its deserving person…… He will judge between people with the judgment of Prophet Dawood (peace be on him) and Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and his family). At that time, the earth will reveal all its treasures and show its blessings. People from among you will not find anyone to accept alms or donations because all believers will be excessively affluent.”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, pp. 338-339, H. 83]
Black marketing, business that have been destroyed, prices that have escalated are all a result of unjust decisions. To say that the earth will manifest its treasures implies that agricultural produce will be at its peak. All the hidden treasures of earth will be unearthed. All minerals will be available for use whereas currently, only oil reserves are apparent. What would be the economic condition when all treasures will be manifest? There will be no poor in the world, be it India or African countries; not only will hunger and poverty alleviate but due to perfection of intellect and knowledge, people will be satiated enough to accept any charity.
When poverty and hunger will cease to exist and intentions will be satiated, the incidents of theft and burglary would end automatically. Roads will be so safe that women will come out of their houses with jewelry but none will harm them.
Equal and Just Distribution
Today, one of the reasons for poverty and inflation is not only less cultivation but unjust distribution too. The masses are dying of hunger while food is rotting in warehouses. Abu Saeed Khudri narrates from Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his family):
“I give you glad tidings of Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance). He will be sent to my nation when people will be in dispute and concussions. He will fill the earth with peace and justice as it would be full of tyranny and oppression. The dwellers of heavens and earth will be pleased with him and the people in earth will distribute wealth correctly.”
Someone asked: What does correctly mean? He (peace be on him and his family) replied: “Equally between the people.”
“Allah will instill lack of need in the hearts of the nation of Muhammad (peace be on him and his family) and will stretch His equity so much so that a caller will call, ‘Who has a need for wealth?’ And no one rises from the people except one man…” Later even this man would return it feeling ashamed about it but it will still be granted to him.
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 51, p. 92]
It is clear from this tradition that even people of heaven will be satisfied with this government and his rule will not be limited to earth but skies as well. It is quite possible that knowledge and science advance to such levels that people from the earth reach the skies to administer things there. Wealth, money and property will be in abundance, distribution will be even, there will be neither any wastage nor misery. There will be no favoritism in distribution. One important thing is that people will be trained so that none will wish for more than his requirement. These are fruits of having an infallible leader.
Development of Cities
In that era, all cities will be vast and populated, with large mosques. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (peace be on him) says:
“He will construct a mosque in the outskirts of Kufa which will have a thousand doors and the houses of Kufa will be connected to the river of Karbala.”
[Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 330, H. 52]
Today, the distance between Kufa and Karbala is approximately 70-80 kilometers. One can imagine the vastness of a city spread over 80 kilometers.
The System of Development
The walls of mosques in that era will be small, there will be no minarets and mosques will resemble the ones build during the time of Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his family). Today a lot of emphasis is laid on decorating mosques whereas they should not be decorated with expensive stones rather embellished with piety, religiousness and remembrance of Allah the High.
Roads will be wide up to the extent of sixty meters each. There will be no windows opening towards or drains on the street. There will be no balconies facing the road.
It can be concluded that people will be concerned with the rights of others in that era. Even the water from a person’s house will not fall on public places while we observe today that people usurp property of others and construct their own houses.
In that era, human etiquette will also progress along with intellects such that the aim of sending Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his family) wherein he said “I have been raised for the perfection of best morals” will be achieved. During that time, not only humans but the nature of animals will also change. A lion and a sheep will live together harmoniously.
It is worth pondering that so many changes and advancements will not be miraculous and instant that people will witness these changes overnight. The actions of people will lead to these. Intellect will be perfect, thoughts will be pure and knowledge will be at its peak. Everyone will be abundant in intellect, knowledge and thoughts and hence, there will certainly be a change in the etiquette and manners of a person. When the goodness of knowledge and intellect will be made clear over evil, people will themselves adapt to goodness and distance themselves from evil.
This was just a minor exhibit of the golden era after reappearance. However, there is a world of difference between reading and witnessing it. May Allah give us the opportunity of seeing the holy visage of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and may we be a part of the revolution of that era! And if death overtakes us, may Allah enliven us again so that we may witness the radiant face of the son of Fatima Zahra (peace be on her)!
Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!