Fifth: The answer to the following question: “How can Mahdi improve the world in a few years at a time when religious feelings weaken and the society corrupts so much.

The Second Question consists of Two Signs:

The First Sign is the Fifth Sign,

and is a very brief answer to an important question:

Question: There are numerous authentic narrations about the appearance of the Mahdi at the end of time and his putting the world to rights, which will have been corrupted. However, the present time is the time of the group, or social collectivity, not of the individual. However great a genius an individual is, even a hundredfold genius, if he is not the representative of a group and if he doesn't represent the collective personality of a group, he will be defeated in the face of the collective personality of an opposing group. However elevated and great the power of his sainthood, how will he be able to reform the world at this time amid the widespread corruption of a human group such as that? If all the Mahdi's works are wondrous, it wondrous, it would be contrary to the Divine wisdom and Divine laws in the world. We want to understand the true meaning of this matter of the Mahdi. How should we?

The Answer: Out of His perfect mercy, every time the Muslim community has been corrupted, Almighty Allah has sent a reformer, or a regenerator, or a vicegerent of high standing, or a supreme spiritual pole, or a perfect guide, or blessed persons resembling a Mahdi, as a mark of His protecting the Shari'a of Islam until eternity; they have removed the corruption, reformed the nation, and preserved the religion of Muhammad (PBUH). Since His custom has proceeded in this way, certainly, at the time of the greatest corruption at the end of time, He will send a luminous person as both the greastest interpreter of the Law, and the greatest renewer, and ruler, and the Mahdi, and as guide, and spiritual pole, and that person will be from the Family of the Prophet. Almighty Allah, Who fills and empties the world between the heavens and earth with clouds, and in an instant stills the storms of the sea, and in an hour in spring creates samples of the summer and in an hour in summer creates a winter storm, such an All-Powerful One of Glory can also scatter the darkness of the World of Islam by means of the Mahdi. He has promised this, and certainly He will carry out His promise.

If considered from the point of view of Divine power, it is most easy. If it is thought of from the point of view of causes and Divine wisdom, it is again so reasonable and necessary that thinkers have asserted that even if it had not been narrated from the Bringer of Sure News, it still should have been. And it will be. It is like this: All praise be to Allah, the prayer, O Allah, grant blessings to our master Muhammad and to the Family of our master Muhammad, as you granted blessings to Abraham and to the Family of Abraham, in all the world; indeed You are worthy of all praise, exalted!, which is repeated by all the Muslim community five times every day in all the abligatory prayers, has self-evidently been accepted. For like the Family of Abraham (Upon whom be peace), the Family of Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace) have assumed a position whereat they stand as commanders at the head of all blessed chains of spiritual authorities in the assemblies of all the regions of the world in all centuries.1 They are so numerous that all these commanders together form a mighty army. If they took on physical form and through their solidarity were formed into a division, if they awakened the religion of Islam and bound it together in unity, which would be like a sacred nationhood, the army of no other nation could withstand them. Thus, that numerous and powerful army is the Family of the Muhammad (Upon whom be blessings and peace), the most select army of the Mahdi.

Yes, today in the world there is no family distinguished by such high honour and elevated qualities and nobility in its descendants, in unbroken succession and well-documented genealogy, which is as powerful and important as the line of Sayyids of the Family of the Prophet. Since early times it is they who have been at the heads of all the groups of the people of truth, and they who have been the renowned leaders of the people of perfection. Now it is a blessed line numbering millions. Vigilant and circumspect, their hearts full of belief and love of the Prophet, they are distinguished by the honour of their world-renowned lineage. Momentous events shall occur which will awaken and arouse that sacred force within that vast community... Certainly, the elevated ardour in that huge force will surge up and the Mahdi shall come to lead it, guiding it to the way of truth and reality. We await from the Divine law and Divine mercy that it should be such, and its being such, like we await the coming of spring after winter; and we are right to await it...

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1. Just one of them is Sayyid Ahmad al-Sanusi, who commands millions of followers. Another is Sayyid Idris, who commands more than one hundred thousand. Another Sayyid like Sayyid Yahya commands hundreds of thousands of men. And so on. Just as among the individuals of this tribe of Sayyids there are numerous outward commanders, so too there are the heroes of spiritual heroes, like Sayyid 'Abd al-Qadir Gilani, Sayyid Abu'l-Hasan al-Shazali, and Sayyid Ahmad Badawi. Individuals of this tribe of Sayyids there are numerous outward commanders, so too there are the heroes of spiritual heroes, like Sayyid 'Abd al-Qâdir Gîlânî, Sayyid Abu'l-Hasan al-Shâzalî, and Sayyid Ahmad Badawî.

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