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Imam Mahdi

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How do we know who Imam Mahdi is and what he looks like?

Answer: Bismillahi al-Rahmani al-Rahim.

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your valued question.

The Mehdi will be a man of the descendants of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) who will have a pronounced forehead and a hooked nose. He will fill the earth with justice and will rule for seven years. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibban and Hakim) His name will be Muhammad and his father’s name with be Abdullah. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Tabarani, Ibn Hibban, Hakim)

He will come before the Dajjal and before Sayyidna Isa.

Although it is nice to know how to identify the Mehdi, it is much more important that he will identify us as true Muslims when he comes. This means that we should busy ourselves with learning and applying the basics of our religion, and make sure that all the creases in our spiritual lives are ironed out before he comes.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

Mahdi’s Reign

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle

Question: Assalamu alaykum

My question is about 3 similar hadiths:

“Indeed there will be a Mahdi who comes in my Ummah (ruling) living for five, or seven, or nine.”- Zaid was the one in doubt- He said: “We said: What is that?” He said: “Years.” He said: “A man will come to him and say: O Mahdi! ‘Give to me, give to me! So he will fill in his garment whatever he is able to carry.'”
Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2232

“The Mahdi will be among my nation. If he lives for a short period, it will be seven, and if he lives for a long period, it will be nine, during which my nation will enjoy a time of ease such as it has never enjoyed. The land will bring forth its yield and will not hold back anything, and wealth at that time will be piled up. A man will stand up and say: ‘O Mahdi, give me!’ He will say: ‘Take.'”
Sunan ibn majah 4039

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The Mahdi will be of my stock, and will have a broad forehead a prominent nose. He will fill the earth will equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years.
Sunan Abi Dawud 4285

What is the correct amount of years that the Mahdi will rule for according to scholars?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner, thank you raising this issue.

According to Mubarakpuri, the commentator on Jami al-Tirmidhi, the correct position is seven years. This is because seven years has been mentioned unequivocally in the hadiths of Umm Salama and Abu Said al-Khudri (Allah be well pleased with them) in the Sunan of Abu Dawud mention seven years explicitly. (Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi, Mubarakpuri)

That said, this is not a tenet of faith, and I am sure there are other valid interpretations that marry the apparent conflict.

In his essay on the Mahdi, Abdullah al-Ghumari cites numerous hadiths in which the variation of number is mentioned by the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) himself. (al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar, Abdullah al-Ghumari) In which case, the numbers are just approximations, and not a product of doubt or inaccuracy. Allah knows best.

I pray this helps.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle

Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.

Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi’i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi’i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.

In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed. 

Will the Name of Imam Mahdi Be Exactly “Muhammad”?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Will the name of Imam Mahdi be exactly “Muhammad” or only similar to it?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

The hadith concerning the name of Imam Mahdi identify it as being the same as the name of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him). In one hadith, for example, the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him stated that, “his name will be the same as my name.” [Abu Dawud]

Since “Muhammad” is the most well-known name of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon), scholars have concluded that the name of Imam Mahdi is Muhammad.

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

Does the Mahdi Have a Higher Rank Than Prophet `Isa (Peace be upon him)?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: There are various aḥādīth that state that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] will come and rectify Islam. I also understand that he will lead ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎] along with others in salah, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher ranking than that of ʿĪsā [عليه السلام‎]?

If this is correct, does this mean that Mahdi [عليه السلام‎] has a higher status than other Prophets, except of course the Prophet Muhammad?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

No, the Mahdi does not have a higher rank than the Prophets (Allah bless them all).

The line of reasoning mentioned in the question is not valid as the very premise that the mere act of leading another in prayer indicates superiority is not sound.

This is an addition to the fact that:

(a) The narrations on the issue mentioning our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) praying behind an individual of this community, though sound, are probabilistic in their establishment and indication and as such cannot be used to formulate a point of belief (if it indicated one) that goes contrary to decisive texts.

(b) These very narrations indicate the reason for our liege-lord `Isa’s (Allah bless him) refusal to lead prayer when offered to do so, namely to show how Allah has honored the community of Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace). Thus, when requested to lead he will reply, “No, for some of you are leaders upon others out of Allah’s honoring this community.” [Muslim]

(c) The fact that our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) was offered to lead indicates that people understood his superiority over all others. His refusal was on account of other considerations as mentioned above.

Superiority of Prophets over Non-Prophetic Figures

There are a number of proofs from both the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) that demonstrate the superiority of a prophet over non-prophetic saints.

Proofs From the Qur’an

1. The statement of Allah Most High after naming numerous prophets, “each one We preferred above all beings.” (6:86)

Imam Baydawi in his commentary on this verse states, “there is proof in this for their superiority over those other than them from among created things.” [Anwar al-Tanzil]

The reason for this, as Imam Razi clarifies, is that the word used in the Qur’an is “`aalamin”, which refers to every existent thing apart from Allah. This includes non-Prophetic saints as well, as there is no proof that they are exempted from the general purport indicated by the word “`aalamin” within this verse.

Further, this verse also shows the superiority of a single prophet over non-prophetic saints as the purpose of the verse is not to state that all prophets together are given preference and superiority over all of creation but that a single prophet, on account of being given the duty of prophethood, is superior to all other created things who are not prophets.

2. The statement of Allah Most High, “God chose Adam and Noah and the House of Abraham and the House of Imran above all beings.” (3:33)

3. The statement of Allah Most High, “Whosoever obeys God, and the Messenger – they are with those whom God has blessed, Prophets, just men, martyrs, the righteous; good companions are they.” (4:69)

This verse indicates four ranks among those blessed by Allah, with the Prophets (Allah bless them) coming foremost.

Proofs From the Statements of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)

1. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas said, “I stated, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which person is most afflicted [in this world]?’ He replied, ‘The messengers then the most superior and then the most superior after them.’” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Ahmad (with a sound chain according to Ahmad Shakir)]

This narration clearly shows that the messengers are the most superior of all people as affliction has been made commensurate to one’s superiority in the religion.

2. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Allah selected my companions over all created things apart from the messengers and prophets.” [Bazzar]

If the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) are superior to all created things apart from those Allah sent as messengers, it logically follows that these messengers are superior to all created things including the companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace).

All of the above goes to show that the rank of a prophet is superior to the rank of a non-prophetic figure. As Imam Mahdi is a non-prophetic figure, it is contrary to our creed to consider him superior to our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him).

Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Video: The Coming of The Mahdi – Shaykh Samir al Nass

Video: The Coming of The Mahdi – Shaykh Samir al Nass

Shaykh Samir al Nass speaks about The coming of The Mahdi; how to prepare ourselves, Dajjal (Anti-Christ). Followed by a Q & A Session in Preston, December 2011.

Shaykh Samir al-Nass was born in Damascus, Syria, where he studied at the College of Medicine of the University of Damascus. He went on to study in the United States where he qualified in internal medicine.

The Shaykh has studied under some of the great ‘ulama of the Levant (Shaam) and the Arabian peninsula. He has a traditional license to teach (ijazah) in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of the Shatibiyyah and the Durra from Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar. He received an ijazah in the ten styles of recitation of the narration of Tayyibah from the Egyptian Shaykh Ahmad Mustafa in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, himself a student of Shaykh Abd al-Aziz al-Zayyat of Egypt. Shaykh Samir has a traditional license to teach (ijazah) in Islamic law (fiqh) and theology and creed (‘aqida) from the previous Mufti of Syria, Shaykh Abu Yusr Ibn `Abidin, Shaykh Lutfi al-Fayumi, and the late Hanafi Mufti, Shaykh Adib al-Kallas.

Shaykh Samir was honoured to study hadith in Mecca with the great Indonesian-Meccan Shaykh Yasin al-Fadani, and with Shaykh Nur ud-din `Itr of Syria. He also has an ijazah in Prophetic traditions (hadith) from the late Shaykh `Abd Allah Siraj al-Din of Aleppo, Syria.

Shaykh Samir is presently a teacher in the al-Fatih al-Islami University in Damascus, teaching the Hanafi fiqh manual Al-Hidayah in the department of Islamic Law (Shariah), and lecturer on the ten recitations of the Qur’an in the MA programme. The Shaykh teaches Qur’anic recitation (tajwid) after fajr prayers daily in the blessed mosque of Shaykh Ibn `Arabi, a post given to him by his Shaykh and father-in-law, one of the illustrious Shaykhs of Quran in the Levant (Sham), the late Shaykh Muhammad Sukkar. Shaykh Samir has been teaching at various Islamic studies intensive courses in England and North America since 2000.

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Will the Mahdi Come Before Dajjal? What About Our Liege-Lord `Isa (Allah bless him)?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: Who comes first in the last days, the Mahdi or the Dajjal? Does the Mahdi come before `Isa alaihis salam or after?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well and in the best of health.

According to what is indicated in various prophetic narratives (ahadith), the Mahdi (Allah bless him) will come before the Dajjal.

In the Sunan of Abu Dawud it is stated that Imam Mahdi (Allah bless him) will be given allegiance by the people between the Black Stone and the maqam of Ibrahim (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The Dajjal will then come out and would later be met by Imam Mahdi and his army (after some prior conquests) in battle, as understood from the narration of Muslim. Mulla `Ali al-Qari also states in his Mirqat,that the Dajjal will come out during the time of Imam Mahdi, indicating that the Mahdi will already be present at the time.

As for our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he will also descend after the appearance of Imam Mahdi (Allah bless him). Abu Hurayra (Allah be well pleased with him) states, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘How will you be when the son of Mary descends among you and your leader (imam) is from amongst yourselves.”

This narration demonstrates that at the time our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him) descends, the Muslims will already have a leader. Many of the hadith commentators stated that this leader (imam) would be none other than the Mahdi (Allah bless him). Our liege-lord  `Isa (Allah bless him and grant him peace) will pray behind him, as is is mass-transmitted (tawatur) from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). [Ibn Hajar, Fath al Bari; Nawawi. Sharh Sahih Muslim; Kashmiri, Fayd al-Bari]

Wasalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

و في المرقاة:
ثم يخرج الدجال أي زمن المهدي

و في الحاوي
وهو آخر أمير من أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ثم يخرج في زمانه الدجال وينزل في زمانه عيسى بن مريم

و في الصحيح المسلم:
‏ حدثنا ‏ ‏ابن بكير ‏ ‏حدثنا ‏ ‏الليث ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏يونس ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏ابن شهاب ‏ ‏عن ‏ ‏نافع ‏ ‏مولى ‏ ‏أبي قتادة الأنصاري ‏ ‏أن ‏ ‏أبا هريرة ‏ ‏قال ‏
‏قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ ‏كيف أنتم إذا نزل ‏ ‏ابن مريم ‏ ‏فيكم وإمامكم منكم

قال الإمام نووي:
وقال أبو الحسن الخسعي الآبدي في مناقب الشافعي : تواترت الأخبار بأن المهدي من هذه الأمة وأن عيسى يصلي خلفه

قال الحافظ في الفتح:
تواترت الأخبار بأن المهدي من هذه الأمة وأن عيسى بن مريم سينزل ويصلي خلفه