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Stories Of Imam Mehdi

Name : Muhammad

Title : al-Mahdi (The Guided One)

Kuniyat : Abul Qasim

Father : Imam Hasan al-Askari (A)

Mother : Bibi Narjis Khatun (A)

Birthdate : 15th Sha'baan 255 A.H. in Samarra

Imamat : From 260 A.H. till today

Martyrdom : He is still alive

Imam (A) was born in the time of the Abbaside Caliph Mu'tamad. Mu'tamad had tried to prevent his birth but had been unsuccessful.

Amongst the titles of Imam (A) are Al-Qayim (the Established one), al-Hujjat (the Proof), al-Muntazar (the Awaited one), al-Muntazir (the Waiting one) and Sahib uz-Zaman (the Master of this Age).

Allah granted Imam (A) with wisdom and excellence at birth. Like the Prophets Isa (A) and Yahya (A), he had the ability to speak in infancy and used to recite verses of the Holy Qur'an from the cradle. On the day just following his birth, a servant sneezed near his cradle. Imam (A) immediately said in the usual Muslim tradition, "May Allah have mercy on you" but also added, "Whoever sneezes, his life is assured for at least the next three days."

During his childhood, his father never used to let him stay in one place in the house. He used to move him to a different location every so often, so that Mu'tamad would not come to know of his existence. Imam Hasan al-Askari (A) only let a few trusted companions into the secret of his son and advised them that he would be his successor.

At the time of the death of Imam Hasan al-Askari (A), his brother Ja'far was preparing to lead the funeral prayers when Imam (A) suddenly appeared. He was only 5 years old and most people had never seen him. Imam (A) told his uncle to move aside because only an Imam (A) could lead the funeral prayers for another Imam (A). He led the prayers and then disappeared.

Mu'tamad received the news that the prayers had been led by a young boy, from whose face light shone out like the full moon. He immediately knew that he had failed in his plan and despite all his efforts, the next Imam (A) had been born. This fact frightened him because he knew of the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (S) that the 12th Imam (A) would be the one who would fill the earth with peace and justice in the same way as it will have been filled with cruelty and injustice. Mu'tamad knew that his own rule was far from just, so he increased his efforts in locating and killing Imam (A) before any harm came to himself. In this he was unsuccessful because Allah protected His Hujjat, who had to serve mankind till the last days.

The Holy Prophet (S) has said that if one dies without knowing the Imam of his time, his death is that of an unbeliever. We must therefore realise our duties to our Imam (A), who is still alive and in Ghaybat (Concealment).

There have been two periods of Ghaybat. The first is known as Ghaybate Sughra (Minor Concealment) which took place from 260 A.H. to 328 A.H. During this time Imam (A) could not be seen by his followers, but they could communicate with him through his special deputies. In the period of Ghaybate Sughra, Imam (A) nominated four deputies. They were:

1. Uthman bin Said. He was the companion and attorney of the 10th and 11th Imams (A) also. He was the deputy of Imam (A) for only one and a half years. Imam (A) told him that he would soon die and to appoint his son Muhammad in his place and inform the people. His grave in Baghdad is still visited today.

2. Muhammad bin Uthman. He was extremely pious and served Imam (A) for 50 years. At the time of his death in 305 A.H., he was instructed to appoint Husain bin Rauh. He is also buried in Baghdad.

3. Husain bin Rauh. He was a man of cheerful character who got on well with the Sunnis also. He was a scholar of a very high standard. He died in 326 A.H.

4. Ali bin Muhammad Samry. He was the last deputy of Imam (A) and his office lasted 3 years. Just before his death, he received a message from Imam (A) that he would soon depart from the world and to announce that the period of Ghaybate Sughra would now end.

Imam (A) also told him of the two main signs of his reappearance. The first would be the rising of the army of Sufiani from Syria and secondly, a loud voice would be heard from the sky announcing the presence of Imam (A). The announcement would be understood by every person on earth, whatever language they spoke.

After 68 years the period of Ghaybate Sughra ended and the period of Ghaybate Kubra (Major Concealment) began. This is the period we are living in today.

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