The signs of the reappearance of Imam Zamana (a.s.) narrated to us by the Holy Imams (a.s.) are a type of a wall which none of the claimants and the ascribed ones could scale. History is replete with such claimants of Mahdaviyat who have assumed the name Muhammad and Abdullah – sometimes they claimed from Kaaba – sometimes they named their companions, Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman and their wives as Ayesha. But none of them could produce even one of the signs narrated by the Holy Imams (a.s.). The space age man has reached the moon but is incapable to cause the sun to rise from the west. Apart from this it is clear that there are two points which must be adhered to if one intends to draw a straight line. A line cannot be drawn with a single point. It will waver and will surely go astray from its path. Thus, Allah has also laid down two principles for the correct understanding of the faith. This could be aptly illustrated by these words of the Hadees-e-Saqalain which says: “If you hold to both of them firmly; you shall never go astray.” Probably the same method has been followed for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). It was not sufficient for anyone to just assume a name and declare to be Mahdi. Because the balance would tilt to one side. It would be a great deprivation from the mercy of Allah. That is the reason why it is necessary to learn about the qualities of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) as well as have knowledge about the predictive signs which would precede his reappearance. Otherwise one would easily be misled by a false claimant or an ascribed one.
There are, basically, two types of signs. The first types are certain and the second types are not uncertain. Although ‘Bada’ (change of decree) is possible for both of them. This is the fundamental classification of the signs. There are other classifications which shall be discussed at a later stage (Inshaallah). First of all, let us study the certain signs so that we shall not be misguided by any false claimant. In order to have a correct understanding of the same let us examine the following traditions. Imam (a.s.) said: The following occurrences are imminent: The advent of Sufyani, the call from the sky, the rising of the sun from the west, dispute between the progeny of so and so, the kitting of Nafs-e-Zakiyya (The pure soul) and the advent ofAl-Qaem.
“What is the ‘call of the sky’?” inquired the narrator. The Imam (a.s.) replied, “At the beginning of the day, a caller will proclaim from the sky, “Certainly truth is with Ali and his Shias”. This proclamation shall be understood by all the people in their respective languages. At the end of the day the Satan shall cry from the earth that truth is with Usman and his Shias. (Here Usman stands for the name of Sufyani, i.e. Usman bin Ambasa.)
(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 288, p. 31, Kamaluddin p. 652, p. 14, Kashful Ghumma p. 459/2, Alserat al-Mustaqeem 248/2, Aalamul waraa 426, Ghaibat-e-Tusi p. 435, 425).
Imam Ali (a.s.) has narrated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), “It is essential that these ten things should occur before the “hour” and there is no other
alternative: Sufyani, Dajjal, Smoke, Depression (of land), advent of Mahdi
(a.s.), Sunrise from the west, descent of Isa (a.s.), the destruction of the east, The Destruction of the Arabian Island, The fire from Aden which would herd the people towards the day of Judgment.
(Behaarul Anwaar, vol., 52 pg. 209, vol. 10, Mustadrak al-Wasail vol. 12, pg 200)
It must be noted at this point that ‘the hour’ as mentioned in the traditions, sometimes connotes the day of judgment and at other times the advent of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) from the signs mentioned above, of which some are to occur before the advent of Mahdi and which later, shall be deduced from the following traditions. It is mentioned in the traditions that the first sign shall be the rise of Sufyani who will dispatch an army of 30,000 to conquer Mecca but all of them shall sink in the desert except two. He will rule for totally eight months and the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) shall be in the same year. In Qurbul Asnaad a tradition is narrated from Ibn Asbaat wherein the narrator asked Imam Reza (a.s.) “Would the rise of Sufyani be the first occurrence?” The Imam replied, “Yes”.
The narrator inquired about the time of the coming of Sufyani. Imam replied, “Whenever Allah wills”.
Dajjal: He will rise from the east of Khorasan and spread corruption and discord. His followers shall be the Turks and the Jews. They shall bring all their treasures for him. He shall be of stunted height. His right eye shall be missing. Between his eyes the following letters will be inscribed ‘disbeliever’ (kafir). He shall be in power for 40 days in this world. Each day shall be as long as a month and each month shall be equal to a year. But the day of Friday will be like an ordinary day. He shall be killed by Isa the son of Maryam at the gate of the city of Ladd in Palestine. After his death not a single unbeliever shall remain on the face of this earth. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a. has said that whosoever sees Dajjal he should spit on his face and in order to seek refuge from his magic must recite Surah Fatiha. For if one recites the same, the magic of Dajjal shall have no effect on him. This is also called as the Khurooje-Khorasani (The rebel lion of Khorasan.).
Sheikh Abbas (r.a.) says in his book Muntahal Aamal that the cry from the sky shall be emitted first on the 30th of Ramazan. Zurarah asked Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (a.s.), “Is the “cry from the sky’ true?” Imam (AS.) said, “Yes,
all the people shall hear it, in their own languages”.
(Behaarul Anwaar , vol. 52, pg. 244)
In Tafseer of Ali Ibne Ibrahim Qummi (r.a.), under the explanation of the 50th verse of Surah Saba, it is mentioned that Imam Baqir (a.s.) was quoted to have said that people shall be terrified upon hearing this cry and the earth shall devour them. Maqatil has written in his tafseer that from among the signs of reappearance is the call from the sky and it shall occur in the month of Ramazan on a night, of Friday. After this he has also related about, the universal cry. A caller will raise a cry on the 23rd of Ramazan, “0 People! Be aware that the reappearance of the Imam of the time has come to pass”. On hearing this, all those who had been standing shall sit down and those who had been sitting shall stand up.
Abu Basir asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “What will that cry be?” He replied, “That call shall be raised with his name and the name of his respected father. It will say, “So and so, the son of so and so is the Qaem of the Progeny of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.), Obey him…” The one who had been sleeping at that time will wake and stand at once and start searching for the source of this voice in the precincts of his house. Spinsters would search for the announcer in the corner of the veils. After this Imam (a.s.) shall reappear.
And the announcer would be Hazrat Jibraeel. The signs described above have been considered to be the certain ones. Till the above signs have not occurred one cannot accept anyone as Imam Mahdi (a.s.). History is a witness that until now all the claimants and the ascribed ones that have appeared have not been preceded by even one of these signs. Now we shall relate those portends, which may occur or that may be subject to ‘bada’ (change of decree) and they may not occur. The first tradition in this regard
is from Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) which he gave in reply to the question of Sasaa as to, “When will Dajjal come?
” Ameerul Momineen Ali (a.s.) replied, “When people will begin to forget Namaz, usury and bribery will become common, exchanging the religion for worldly pleasures, break relationships, start following the carnal desires. Murder and destruction shall be considered as trifle, cruelty shall be considered as a proud achievement, false testimonies shall be given openly, slandering will not be looked upon as evil, sins and disobedience will become rampant, copies of the Holy Quran shall be beautifully decorated, mosques shall be built exquisitely, the minaret of the mosques will rise higher, the evil people shall be respected, breaking of promise will not be considered wrong, the love of wealth will increase so much that women will rub shoulders with men in business, women will ride horses, etc.”
After studying these types of signs we must pray to Allah to keep us away from such deeds so that they may not be a cause of Imam (a.s.) being displeased with us. Doubtlessly, Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.) shall come for eradicating such people and he would surely not tolerate them.
There shall be good tidings for the believers. Foremost will be that he shall be honored by the presence of his beloved Imam (a.s.) and Master, who will overcome their difficulties and save them from all types of injustice and atrocities. Abdul Malik Ibne Ayun says: I was before Imam Baqir (a.s.) when he said: Would you not like to see your enemies fight to death among themselves while you remain peacefully in your houses.
Whenever will the advent of our Qaem be, each one of you shall be bestowed with the strength of forty people and your hands shall become so powerful that if you were to hit a mountain it shall cause a hole in it. The treasures of the earth shall be thrown open for you.
(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 335)
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Until the advent of AI-Qaem the people shall be having only two parts of knowledge. After his reappearance twenty live parts more shall be added to their knowledge .
(Behaarul Anwaar vol 52, pg. 336, Isbatul Huda, vol. 6, Ghaybate Noamani).
Apart from this, it is also mentioned in the traditions that after his reappearance if any one will ask the Imam to show miracles, Imam would oblige him. He will not be helpless like the false claimants.
Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) has said in the Khutba Al Bayan that: “From the descendants of Imam Hasan (AS.) a person would meet Imam Mahdi (a.s.). He will be having an army of 20,000 soldiers in his command. He will tell Imam Mahdi (a.s.), “0 my cousin, I am more deserving to become Ulul Amr (authority) because I have descended from the elder son of Ameerul Momineen”. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will ask him, “Don’t you know that I am Mahdi?” He will ask Imam Mahdi (a.s.) to prove his claim. Hazrat will look towards the sky and a bird which had been flying will come towards him and perch on his hand, and testify about his Imamat. Then Imam (a.s.) will pick up a dry stem and keep it with himself for a day. It will become green and begin to flower. After seeing this the Hasani shall be convinced and along with his army of 20,000 pay allegiance upon the hand of Imam and say, “You are more deserving to be the Ulul Amr (authority).
(llzamul Naasib, vol. 2, pg. 2O5, Iqdud Durar, pg. Q7)-
History testifies that none of the claimants have been able to perform such a miracle and even if they were asked to do so they could not do it. An other tradition that could be found in the authentic books of traditions state that before the reappearance of Imam (a.s.) two signs will occur which will astonish the astronomers. Imam Mohammad Baqir (a.s.) said:
“Such a thing would not have happened from the time of Hazrat Adam (a.s.) till the reappearance of our Qaem; that on the 15th of the lunar month solar
eclipse will take place, and on the 25th of the same month lunar eclipse will
(Kamaluddm, vol 2 pg. 55)
Sheikh Mufid (r.a.) in a lengthy tradition relates: “Just before the reappearance of Mahdi, the earth will be lashed with heavy rains which will continue for the whole of the month of Jamadius Sani and ten days of Rajab.
In the end we pray to Allah to make the earth prepared for (he reappearance of Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) and give us taufeeq (divine help) to perform such deeds which please the Imam (a.s.) and keep us away from the deeds which are disliked by the Imam (a.s.) and will be the cause of his displeasure after his reappearance. Give us the taufeeq (divine help) of discerning the truth and give us the insight to recognize falsehood and reject it. O Allah make the reappearance of Imam (a.s.) certain in our life. Count us among the helpers and supporters of Hazrat.