What are the properties of Mahdi?

a. He is from Ahl-i Bayt

We learn from the hadiths that Mahdi is from Ahl-i Bayt. It is stated in several hadiths clearly.

Once Hazrat Ali asked the Messenger of Allah (pbuh): O Messenger of Allah! Is Mahdi from us or from outside? our Prophet (pbuh) said: He is from us. Allah will end this religion with us and will open it with us again. They will be freed from shirk (polytheism) with us. Allah will put affection between their hearts thanks to us after an apparent enmity. 1

In a hadith some of which we mentioned before, the issue is mentioned. If only one day of this world remained, Allah would lengthen that day, till He raised up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family whose father's name is similar to mine 2

At first glance, it is understood from the hadith that the name of Hazrat Mahdi and his fathers name will resemble the name of our Prophet. However, the resemblance does not mean that it will be exactly the same. That is, the name of the Mahdi does not necessarily have to be Muhammad and his fathers name does not have to be Abdullah.  If it were like that, instead of the verb yuwatiu, yutabiqu could be used.  Then, it would have been stated clearly, which would have been contrary to testing.  Testing necessitates that events related to the future be somewhat veiled, implied. Thus, not everybody will believe and the secret of testing will not be revealed.  

 Bayazid-i Bistami, a great wali (saint), says that Hazrat Mahdis fathers bloodline goes back to Hazrat Hasan and his mothers bloodline goes back to Hazrat Husayn. 3  The determination of Aliyyu'l-Qari is the same.  Aliyyu'l-Qari says the strongest probability that is understood from the narration is that Hazrat Mahdis fathers bloodline goes back to Hazrat Hasan and his mothers bloodline goes back to Hazrat Husayn. 4

b. His description

Hazrat Ali looks at his son Hasan one day and says, "My son is sayyid as the Messenger of Allah named him. From his descendants, someone having the name of our Prophet will emerge. His high ethics will resemble him but his appearance will not. " 5

We see detailed narrations in the hadiths regarding the description of Mahdi. He has a wide forehead, thin nose 6; his face shines like a star 7; he has big eyes and rare, bright teeth. There is a sign on his right cheek that enlightens his face like a star; he has a dark skin; he is of medium height and has curved eyebrows. 8 His eyes are lined. 9 There is a seal, sign of the Messenger of Allah, on his shoulder. He is very impressive like the men of Bani Israel. 10

Hazrat Ali attracts attention to his period of youth and says that he is a handsome young man. He has a nice face. He has shoulder-length hair; the light of his face goes up to his head and the black of his hair.11 There is a narration that he will not have a beard: Doubtlessly, a happy person is the one who keeps away from mischief (The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) repeated that sentence three times.) However, he faces mischief and shows patience. Glad-tidings for him and shame on those who make him suffer." 12

The word fawahan that appears in the hadith, that is repeated three times and is explained as glad-tidings has some different meanings, which are explained in Mirqatu'l-Mafatih of Aliyyul Qari 13 and Rumuz and Lawami 14. In Rumuz, it is seen that the word "fawahan" is defined as al-wahyu, that is, shaven. The same meaning is given in Tadhkira al-Qurtubi.

The head of Mahdi is also mentioned in the hadiths; it is stated that he will not take off his turban, which is sunnah. 15

Another narration is as follows: "When Hazrat Mahdi emerges, he will have a turban on his head, and a crier will shout, This is Mahdi, the caliph of Allah. Obey him"." 16

We find out from another narration that he will start his duty when he is about forty. 17

c. His virtue

The spiritual rank of Hazrat Mahdi is so great that he comes just after the four caliphs and the Companions of the Prophet. There is unanimous agreement about it. 18

Imam Rabbani says the following in his Maktubat, "The rank of Mahdi seems to be before the rank of the Companions." 19

In Mahdi, the secret of the inheritance of prophethood, which is also called, walaya kubra (greater sainthood) has developed. That secret passes directly from the apparent to reality without traveling the intermediate path, looks to the unfolding of Divine immediacy. Although this way of sainthood is very short, it is extremely elevated. Its wonders are few, but its virtues many. 20

Imam Rabbani says Hazrat Mahdi will be given a lot of prosperity and abundance without any intermediary, hindrance and means because of that rank. 21

The following is stated in the Mustadrak of Hakim in a narration from Hazrat Ali about the virtues of Hazrat Mahdi and his soldiers: Salaf (predecessors) cannot be superior to them and khalaf (successors) cannot reach them. 22

Hazrat Mahdi is at the highest point of sainthood. 23 He is the best one on the earth. 24

When Hazrat Husayn was asked how Hazrat Mahdi would be recognized, he said: He will be recognized through his tranquility and dignity, his knowledge about halal and haram,  and the fact that people need him but he does not need anyone. 25.

Hazrat Mahdi is a sufferer on whom the secret of the following hadith of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is manifest "My Ahl-u Bayt will suffer murders, troubles and banishment after me." 26

Therefore, the real virtue of Hazrat Mahdi is his patience against those troubles and banishments like Hazrat Ayyub (Job). The following is stated in a narration:


The virtue of Mahdi is due to his maximum patience he shows against all grieves and severe mischief. The siege of Dajjal on him will never lift. The virtue of Mahdi is not due to his rewards and his high rank in the presence of Allah.27




Hazrat  Mahdi is given the good news, while he is still alive, that He will go to Paradise due to his important service like some of the people from Ahl-i Bayt. Anas bin Malik says: I heard from the Messenger of Allah: We, the children of Abdulmuttalib are the dignitaries of the people of Paradise. Me, Hamza, Ali, Jafar, Hasan, Husayn and Mahdi. 28



Muhyiddin Arabi attracts attention to his nine important characteristics: He has foresight, understands the Book well and knows its meaning, foresees well the actions and attitudes of the people he will appoint; he does not deviate from justice when he is furious; he knows the classes of the beings and the intricate aspects of things; he understands the needs of people well and especially he is well aware of the secret sciences of his period. 29

Hazrat Mahdi is very pious. "He is a person who fears Allah a lot. He fears Allah like a bird of eagle family (nasir) shivering its wings." 30

We find our from the narrations that Hazrat Mahdi will act very fast 31 and that he will be firm while fulfilling his duty.  He will be so determined and resolute that even if mountains blocks his way he will crush the mountain and find a way through it. 32

The students of Hazrat  Mahdi are so virtuous that they come first in rank after the Companions of the Prophet.

d. His Knowledge

Hazrat  Mahdi will be outstanding with his knowledge. According to what is stated in a hadith, he is a person to whom wisdom, that is, knowledge has been granted as a divine gift; he is an influential person. 33

Bayazid-i Bistami, a great wali (saint), says that God Almighty will grant him extensive knowledge and deeds when he is only a child. 34

According to what is stated in Kitabu'n-Nihaya, knowledge and dignity will be the adornment of Mahdi. 35

He does not need to learn so much information because he will be sent with a very important mission in the most terrible period of the end of time. Therefore, he will receive the knowledge in an extraordinary way. We learn about it from the following hadiths Allah will improve him overnight. 36, "God Almighty guides Mahdi perfectly in one night. " 37

Explaining those two hadiths, scholars state that Allah will accept his repentance and fill him with prosperity, merits and wisdom and grant him success. Explaining that hadith, Al-Hafni, in his hashiya (annotation) of Jami Saghir, states that God Almighty will give him sovereignty over people and grant him scholarly virtues in one night. 38

Abdulkarim Ibnu'l-Arabi says Hazrat Mahdi will be given the highest spiritual rank and the ability to make ijtihad without his effort; he will receive them not as a result of hard work but as the grant of Allah. 39

Muhyiddin Arabi says the following while mentioning those characteristics of Mahdi: "He will never make a mistake because there is an angel that corrects him in a place that he does not see." Futuhat Makkiya, Chapter 366. Arabi considers that angel as the angel of inspiration and he states the relationship between Mahdi and the angel as follows:
"As the hadith of Mahdi indicates, he will rule with the principles that the angel of inspiration gives him. The angel inspires him the Sharia of Muhammad; and Mahdi fulfills his duty.  In the hadith of Mahdi, the following is stated: 'He will be subject to my mission and he will not make any mistakes about it."40

Mahdi guides people as a blessing of Allah. He fulfills his duty by the help of Allah. 41

It is stated in the sources that Mahdi will know the secrets of the letters, that is, the science of cipher and abjad. 42  Taşköprülüzâde Ahmed Efendi, who is one of the authors of İlimler Ansiklopedisi (the Encyclopedia of Science) says, in his book Mawzuatu'l-Ilim that Mahdi will know the science of cipher. 43

e. Period of His Activities

In a hadith in Abu Dawud, it is stated that Hazrat Mahdi will rule seven years 44 and in a hadith in Ibn Majah that he will rule seven years if he lives short, otherwise nine years.

A hadith in Musnad reported by Abu Saidi'l-Khudri is similar: Mahdi is from my community (umma). He will live seven, eight or nine years whether his life is long or short. 46

According to some narrations, Hazrat Mahdi will rule forty years. 47 Ibrahim Haqqi of Erzurum says in his Marifatnama that Hazrat Mahdi will rule forty years with justice. 48

Hazrat  Mahdi will fulfill his duty with a congregation that is based on sincerity, perseverance and loyalty, and with their collective personality. In a narration in Abu Dawud, it is stated that the last group of that congregation that will struggle for the right path will fight Masih Dajjal. 49

Explaining the hadith, A group from my umma will continue jihad in the way of Allah till Doomsday 50 Badiuzzaman calculated it with abjad and found out the activity period of the collective personality of Hazrat Mahdi. Accordingly, the abjad value of the expression Zahirina ala'l-haqq=sovereign with truth in the hadith is 1506. That congregation will rule openly and dominantly until 1506 Hegira. Then, the following activities will be carried out secretly and in defeat until 1542. Hatta ya'tiyallahu biamrihi=until the Doomsday 1545 indicates the doom that will hit the unbeliever. 51

In addition, Badiuzzaman, in his sermon in the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus in 1911, addressing more than one hundred scholars, said, The future will belong to Islam only and the ruler will be the truths of the Quran and belief, 52 and once he said, The future, the earth and the skies of Asia together will surrender to the white hand of Islam. Giving glad-tidings; thus he attracted attention to those periods of Islamic sovereignty and stated their dates.

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1 ash-Shablanji Nuru'l-Absar, p. 189.
2 Abu Dawud, Mahdi: 4; Tirmidhi, Fitan: 43.
3 Nursi, B. Said, Tılsımlar Mecmuası, İstanbul: Tenvir Neşriyat, 1988, p. 205, 206.
4 Hatiboğlu, Haydar, Sunan Ibn Majah Trns and Expl (İstanbul: Kahraman Yayınları, 1983), 10:351.
5 Abu Dawud, Mahdi: 1.
6 Abu Dawud, Mahdi: 1.
7 Is'afu'r-Raghibin, p. 46; al-Hawi, 2:66, 67. Kitabu'l-Burhan, p. 22.
8 Nuaym bin Hammad, Kitabu'l-Fitan, Waraq: 52a.
9 Is'afu'r-Raghibin, p. 146; Nuru'l-absar, p. 187.
10 al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, p. 41; Kitabu'l-Burhan, p. 23, 30.
11 Iqdu'd-Durar, Waraq: 11a.
12 Abu Dawud, Fitna: 2.
13 Aliyyu'l-Qari, Mirqatu'l-Mafatih, 5:151
14 Lawami', 1:652
15 al-Burhan, Waraq: 81a; al-Hawi, 2:61, 62; İs'afu'r-Raghibin, p. 148, 149.
16 al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, p. 25.
17 ibid., p. 43.
18 Lawami, II:85; al-Haytami, al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, p. 71; Nursi, Mektûbât, (Letters) p. 271.
19 İmam Rabban, Maktubat, I:45;
20 Nursi, Mektûbât, (Letters)  p. 54.
21 İmam Rabbanî, Maktubat, 2:763, 764.
22 Mustadrak, Muqaddima: Chaper 52, p. 319.
23 İmam-ı Rabbanî, Maktubat, p. 357 (from 251st letter).
24 al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, p. 27.
25 Iqdu'd-Durar, Waraq: 12b.
26 Kanzu'l-Ummal, 14:267.
27 repeorted from Is'afu'r-Raghibin, Tılsımlar, p. 212.
28 Ibn Majah, Kitabu'l-Fitan: 34 (H. 4087.)
29 Sharani, Kıyamet Alâmetleri, p. 189.
30 Kitabu'l-Burhan, p. 53.
31 al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, p. 12.
32 ibid., p. 39.
33 Ramuzu'l-Ahadith, p. 518.
34 Tılsımlar Magazine, p. 205, 206.
35 Ibn Kathir, Kitabu'n-Nihaya, 1:29-30.
36 Ibn Majah, Kitabu'l-Fitan: 34 (H. 4085).
37 Musnad, 1:84.
38 Sunan Ibn Majah Trns and Expl, 10:351.
39 Nursi, Tılsımlar Magazine, p. 207.
40 ibid., p. 211.
41 Hajjaj, Abdullah, Alamatu'l-Qiyamati'l-Kbra, Cairo: 1986, p. 73.
42 Tılsımlar, p. 206.
43 Taşköprülüzâde Ahmed Efendi, Mawzuatu'l-Ulûm, II:246.
44 Abu Dawud, Kitabu'l-Mahdi, 4:170; Musnad, 3:117.
45 Ibn Majah, Kitabu'l-Fitan: 33, 34 (H. 4083.)
46 Musnad, 3:36.
47 Kitabu'l-Burhan, s. 83; al-Qawlu'l-Mukhtasar, s. 50.
48 İbrahim Haqqi of Erzurum, Marifatnama, 1:27.
49 Abu Dawud, Jihad: 1.
50 Bukhar, I'tisam: 10; Muslim, Eeman: 247; Ibn Majah, Muqaddima: 1; Tirmidhi, Fitan: 51.
51 Nursi, Kastamonu Lahikası, p. 23.
52 Nursi, Hutbe-i Şamiye (İstanbul: Yeni Asya Neşriyat, 1993), p. 28.

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