By Ailiya Haidri
“When al-Qaim rises up, he will judge with justice and during the time of his advent, all forms of tyranny will be removed and the paths (towards him) will be made safe and the Earth will bring forth Her blessings and the rights of each and every person will be given to them and no person who follows (any other) din (complete code of life) will remain except that they will accept al-Islam and all people will come towards true faith.” – Allamah Baqir al-Majlisi
To begin this very intricate topic relative to the Imam of our Time, we shall begin with one of the crucial objectives of Imam Mahdi (atfs). The above hadith indicates the aim of the Imam which will be the establishment of peace in such a way that the tyrannous and evil nature of the world shall be eradicated. But what are the signs of Our Imam? We often recite Du’a Faraj and pray for the hastening of the Imam but do we really recognise the signs of his appearance? Let us dissect some of them below:
- Abu Saeed Khudri narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “In the Last Age, severe tribulations would afflict my community from their rulers and kings such that they have not heard of more severe atrocities and the earth shall become constricted for them and become filled with injustice and oppression and the faithful believer would have no place of refuge from those oppressions” [Iqdud Durar] – There is no doubt that anyone reading this will agree that every city, every nation is not a nation of unity, but a nation of fear under their leader. Where there was a time that people would watch the news eagerly, we are now at a time where the news is negative information relative to war and politics.
- The Prophet of Islam (S) said, “…When confusion, turmoil and mischief would surround the world and the paths shall be cut off and people will destroy each other and the elders shall not be merciful on the young and the young shall not respect the elders.” [Bihar al-Anwar]. Nowadays the ayah 17:23 of saying uff to our parents has come to light in that parents are bound to the decisions of their offspring simply because they cannot control their actions for as far as they have tried to raise them as good as they can within their capacity.
- It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said, “Mahdi (a.s.) will reappear at the time when fear, mischiefs, calamities, epidemics, violence, divisions in religion and transformation of the peoples’ condition shall be dominant on the world and society. Day and night people would yearn for death and shall be at each other’s throat. In other words despair and hopelessness would have conquered them. At that time His Eminence (a.s.) would reappear; and congratulations to the one reaches Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and becomes his supporter and woe to the one who opposes him.” [Iqdud Durar]
- “A time when men shall resemble women. When women shall be in saddles and men shall omit prayers and follow the base desires and take usury and consider spilling of human blood easy and deal with usury and openly commit fornication and construct high-rises and consider lying permissible and accept bribery and follow sensual desires and sell religion in exchange of material benefits and dissociate from relatives and consider forbearance as weakness and oppression as pride.”
- “Oppression would be open and divorces common and sins would be committed openly and false testimonies would be accepted, wine would be imbibed and man shall mount upon man and women shall be needless of men and public funds would be considered spoils of war, alms would be considered a monetary loss. They would be afraid of the tongue of the evil people.”
- [al-Fadl Ibn Shadhan (reported) on the authority of Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abi Nasr , on the authority of Thalaba al-Azdi, who said:] Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: “Two signs will come before the one who will arise (al-qa’im), peace be on him: there will be an eclipse of the sun in the middle of the month of Ramadan and an eclipse of the moon at the end of it.”
- Ali Ibn Abi Hamza (reported) on the authority of Abu Basir, on the authority of Abu ‘Abd Allah (Ja’far al-Sadiq), peace be on him:] (Ja’far al-Sadiq) said: “Before (the coming of) the one who will rise (al-qa’im), peace be on him, there will be a year of abundant rain in which the fruits and the dates on the palms will be destroyed. But don’t complain of that.”
- Hadrat ‘Ali (‘a) said: “A time will come when corrupt and adulterous individuals will live in coquetry and bounty and the ignoble will acquire position and status while the just men will become weak.” It was asked: “When will this period come to pass?” He said: “It is at the time when women and bondswomen take charge of the affairs of the people and youngsters become rulers.” [al-Kafi]
- the Messenger of God (S) said: “The jurists (fuqaha) of those days will be the worst jurists under heaven. Sedition and chaos will start from them and will also return to them.” [Jami’ al-Akhbar and Bihar al-Anwar]. Perhaps, it alludes to court-affiliated scholars who justify the crimes of tyrant kings and self-centered rulers, giving them an Islamic twist.
- “It will be at the time when you would abandon religion in the same manner that a wife would take off her clothes for her husband.” [Ibn Tawus]
- The Prophet of Islam (S) said: “The Day of Resurrection shall not come to pass until such time when someone who has five children would wish for four while one who had four children will say: “I wish I had three!” The one having three children would wish for two, one with two children would wish for one child, and the one with a single child would thus say: “I wish I had no child!” [Firdaws al-Akhbar]
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