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AL‑MAHDI:  Perspective



Ø   Quranic Ayah about Al-Mahdi

Ø   The Prophet's (pbuh) Hadiths about Al-Mahdi

Ø   Sayings of some Imams about Al-Mahdi

Ø   Birth of Muhammad Al-Mahdi

Ø   Al-Mahdi's father, Imam Al-Askari takes exceptional care of him

Ø   Al-Askari tutors his son Al-Mahdi early

Ø   Al-Mahdi is informed about his future course according to the Hadiths in his behalf

Ø   Al-Mahdi's father is under house arrest often

Ø   Al-Mahdi's father, Al-Askari, dies at the age of 28

Ø   The Minor Occultation of Al-Mahdi begins

Ø   Al-Mahdi appoints Uthman Al-Amri as Safeer, and when this one died he appoints:

Ø   Muhammad son of Uthman Al-Amri as Safeer and when this one died he appoints:

Ø   Husain Ibn Rooh as Safeer and after this one died he appoints:

Ø   Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari as the last Safeer

Ø   The Major Occultation

Ø   The disbandment of the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization



      Of the different Ayahs in the Holy Quran, there are some that might be interpreted to indicate Al-Mahdi.  For instance, Al-Toosi holds that the following verse predicts the establishment of the State of Justice [Righteousness] in indicating Al-Mahdi's advent:


وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

"And We [Allah] desired to show favor unto those who were oppressed in the earth, and to make them Imams and to make them the inheritors.

Al-Quran, Al-Qassass, 28: 5




      There are 38 Hadiths about Al-Mahdi, quoted by 26 Sahaaba, almost 250 years before Al-Mahdi was born. (Aqeeda of Ahl Al-Sunnah wal Athar Fi Al-Mahdi Al-Mun'tadhar, Al-Abbaad, Vol. I, Pages 33-35.)  For brevity's sake three Hadiths are quoted.

The first Hadith declares as follows:

“Al-Mahdi is from my progeny.  His name is similar to mine and his epithet is similar to mine.  In his physique and character he looks like me.  He will be in a state of Occultation and there will be confusion (Hayra) in which people will wander about.  Then he will come forth like a shooting star to fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled before with injustice and inequity.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4, Pages 505-506.  Also Sunan, Vol. 4, Page 151.)


A second Hadith declares as follows:

“From my descendants there will be eleven leaders [who will be] noble, receivers of Tradition [and] possessed of knowledge, the last of whom will be Al-Qaa'im bil Haqq who will fill it [i.e. the world] with justice, just as it was filled with tyranny.”  (Al-Asfari, Asl Abu Sa'eed Al-Asfari, Ms Pages 1-2.)


A third Hadith asserts as follows:

“I am the master of the Prophets and Ali is the master of my Trustees, of whom there will be twelve; the first one is Ali, and the last is Al-Qaa'im [Al-Mahdi].”



      Seeing Imam Ali in deep thought a companion asked him what was the matter, Ali answered, “I thought about a child who will be from my flesh, the eleventh from my line of descendants.  He is Al-Mahdi who will fill the earth with justice and equity [righteousness] when the height of injustice and tyranny [Evil] in the world has been reached.  He will live in a state of occultation as a result of which a group of people will go astray and another remain faithful.“ (Ith'baat Al-Wasiyyah, Al-Mas'oodi, page 260.  Also Al-Kulaini Vol. 1, Page 19, Tradition 338.)


Imam Al-Hasan is quoted saying,

“Allah will prolong the life of the ninth descendant of my brother [Al-Husain] who will be in occultation; and Allah will manifest him at the proper time with full glory.”


Imam Al-Husain is quoted saying,

“The ninth in my lineage will establish Truth and Righteousness.  Allah will infuse spirit into the earth through him and the religion of Allah will prevail over all others.  His occultation will be very long, and [because of that] plenty of people will go astray but the truthful ones will remain firm in their belief.....”


Imam Zainul Abideen is quoted saying,

“Al-Qaa'im from us is he whose birth will remain undisclosed to the people, thus some will even deny the fact that he was born.” (Al-Qaa'im is another title of Al-Mahdi, it means the Activator of Allah's Deen.)


Imam Al-Baaqir is quoted saying,

“After Al-Husain there will be 9 Imams, the ninth of them will be [Al-Qaa'im] the one who undertakes the obligation [Activates Islam] for the rest of time.“ (Al-Kaafi, Vol. 1, Page 533, Tradition 15.)


Imam Al-Saadiq is quoted saying,

“When Al-Mahdi rises he will summon the people to Islam anew and guide them to a matter which had become lost to them and from which people had gone astray.  He is the only one called Al-Mahdi because he guides to the matter from which men had deviated.  He is called Al-Qaa'im because of his rising.”


Imam Al-Kadhim:  In answer to a devotee who asked if he were Al-Qaa'im [Establisher of the Truth], Imam Al-Kadhim is quoted,

“..... the specific Al-Qaa'im is the one who will clear the earth from evil and establish righteousness.  He will be the fifth in generation after me.  His occultation will be long that plenty of people will turn away but only few remain firm in belief.”


Imam Al-Ridha: Imam Al-Ridha is said to be quoting the Prophet (pbuh),

“The ninth of your descendants, O Husain, is Al-Qaa'im [Restorer of the Truth], the establisher of righteousness and justice...... and he will have a long occultation.....”


Imam Al-Jawaad is quoted saying,

“Al-Qaa'im is from [us] and that he would be Al-Mahdi; he must be awaited by his followers during his Occultation and obeyed at his rising and that he would be my descendant in the third generation.”


Imam Al-Haadi is quoted to have written to a loyalist,

“The Imam after me is my son Al-Hasan [Al-Askari] and after him will be his son Al-Qaa'im who will establish justice [righteousness] as the world will be full of injustice [evil].”


Imam Al-Askari:  In answer to loyalists who asked of the subsequent Imam after him, Imam Al-Askari is quoted saying,

“My son will succeed me.  His name is the same as the name of the Prophet (pbuh).......  The duration of his occultation will be so long that many people will question it........”


BIRTH   go to top of page

Year 255H:         Al-Mahdi was born in Samur'raa in the year 255H.  His father, Imam Al-Askari, said the Athan in his right ear and the Iqaama in the left.  For the Aqeeqah Imam Al-Askari asked his confidante, Uthman Al-Amri, to purchase 300 rams, sacrifice them, then distribute them to members of Benu Talib.  Al-Askari also asked him to distribute a large amount of meat and flour to the poor of Samur'raa.  Aqeeqah was done to every newborn in the family in compliance with the Prophet's (pbuh) recommendation, however this Aqeeqah was special, for the newborn was very special too.  (Ik'maal Al-Deen, Al-Toosi, Vol. 2, Pages 136 and 105.)


Lineage   go to top of page



Parents Al-Askari Narjis, Umm Wilid
Grandfather Al-Haadi  


      The pregnancy of Narjis (Al-Mahdi's mother) was kept top secret even to some of the closest members of the family and friends.  The exceptional precautions were necessary to evade Benu Abbas (the ruling power of the time) from discovering the event, thus perchance destroy the newcomer.  When Narjis was due to give birth to Al-Mahdi, Imam Al-Askari asked his great-aunt Hakimah to supervise the event.  Hakimah was fasting at the time since it was the 15th of Sha'ban.  After breaking her fast, Hakimah stayed in the house, kept praying while waiting until early in the morning when the blessed event took place and Al-Mahdi was born. (Ik'maal Al-Deen, Al-Toosi, Vol. 6, Pages 424.  Also Ith'baat Al-Wasiyyah, Al-Mas'oodi, 248-250.)

  Secrecy and caution were absolutely necessary, for the Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams had said numerous Hadiths and sayings about the advent of the Al-Mahdi.  Al-Mahdi was to be free from any allegiance to a Khalifa or any ruler, he was to grow up for the unique events awaiting him, the significance of which is best known to his line of ancestors [the Prophet and the Imams] than to anyone else.

      Al-Mahdi grew up in an environment very different from any facing his ancestors [the Imams].  Al-Mahdi's environment was restrictive to an exceptional extent in that he was detached from contact with people, and his whereabouts were unknown to most people except for the very special, the confidantes, and the trusted ones.  Al-Mahdi was cared for with love and tender care in a virtuous and pious home environment but away from people.

      Al-Mahdi's lineage came from the line of Ahlul Bayt on the one hand and from a righteous mother on the other hand.  His mother's name was Narjis, a Christian woman whose line of heritage went back to Simon, the disciple of Isa (Prophet Jesus).  Narjis converted to Islam and became a woman of piety, virtue, and chastity.


AS AL‑MAHDI GROWS UP   go to top of page

      From the beginning Al-Mahdi was aware of his father's attachment to him and the special care he gave him.  Al-Mahdi's close relationship with his father Imam Al-Askari was that of love and understanding in addition to extreme protection.  Al-Mahdi could not go to various places with his father, but rather was painstakingly sheltered at home by his family.  Al-Mahdi noticed his father pray devotedly, excessively so, and often say Du'aa, which early on left a deep impression on him.  Like his predecessors Al-Mahdi had a very investigative mind which was ever thirsty for knowledge;  Al-Mahdi was a perpetual questioner and enquirer.


Year 259H:    At the Age of 4 years:   go to top of page

    Like his forefathers Al-Mahdi displayed an exceptional capacity to learn and to have a very sharp memory.  He had an excellent teacher in his father.

     Al-Mahdi loved to hear his father explain, whether it was Quranic verses, Hadith, or Ah'kaam.  With the passage of time Al-Mahdi continued to ask increasingly complex questions for his age, and he received the appropriate answers from his father.  “Father!” Al-Mahdi asked while the two were alone in the court of the house, “Why does everyone seem to keep me indoors, and why all the precautions?” (These conversations are theoretical, but with the intention of bringing out the issues of the time that affected the Muslim Ummah.  These conversations are not to be taken as if they had literally taken place.)

    Expecting to hear such a question from his son, and finding it the proper occasion, Imam Al-Askari answered warmly, “Son! You are going to be the Imam after me, the awaited Imam.  Your mission is global.  People all over know, that through your Imamah, you will bring about the reign of righteousness and justice to society, and at the same time destroy the evil of society.  This is what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and every Imam after him had said about your advent.  Because the ruling people (Benu Abbas) know about these Hadiths, they suspect that you constitute the biggest danger to their rule.  Benu Abbas are fully aware of the Hadiths, and they are frightened, since they know they had betrayed Islam and that their rule falls far short of the Islamic ideal, they conclude that you would be the one to destroy their Khilaafah.”

     But Al-Mahdi remarked, “The whole Islamic Ummah is under Benu Abbas' control, how can I destroy their evil works and establish righteousness?”  Appreciating his question Imam Al-Askari answered, “Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) tells us that when your time comes, you will go through two Occultations, a minor one and a major one.  Later on I shall tell you about that in more detail.  But coming back to the reason we keep a vigil watch on you, it is because Benu Abbas are petrified of you.  Benu Abbas put me under house arrest many times, and detained me in cells of their Palace, just for the sake of preventing your conception and birth.  However we outsmarted them, and you were conceived even before anyone suspected it.  We also kept your birth secret except for the confidantes, all to prevent Benu Abbas from knowing about you.  You are very special, extremely special, since your works will be of global dimensions.  This is the reason we take all precautions to evade the eyes of the people.  Also this is the reason we sent you to Medina with your grandmother.” (Ith'baat Al-Wasiyyah, Al-Mas'oodi, Pages 247-248 and 253.)

    “Now I understand it better though I had heard about that before.  But tell me more about my mission, and is it really global?” Al-Mahdi asked inquisitively.  “Sure son, that is a good question,” replied Imam Al-Askari then added, “Benu Abbas are all excited and so is everyone about your advent, but each for his own reason.  You will not directly be dangerous to Benu Abbas' rule, these people had betrayed the ideals of Islam and they will vanish.  Your role however is far greater than what Benu Abbas and many people think.  Your role is global and your works will be directed and supported by Allah (swt); Allah will direct you and guide you in your effort.  Allah did it before, He supported and directed all the Prophets, and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the best example.

      Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had said that you, the twelfth of the subsequent Imams who followed him will fill the world with justice [righteousness] as it would be filled with injustice [evil].  The Prophet's (pbuh) sayings are crystal clear, there is no doubt about it.  But how this will be done, only Allah knows.”  Al-Askari paused for a few seconds then continued, “Son, the Prophet (pbuh) had said 38 Hadiths on your behalf, and that was more than 250 years ago.  His Hadiths were more or less generic according to some and specific according to others.  Your forefathers, from Imam Ali down through every Imam, knew these Hadiths best, and many of them specify you by name.  You will be the deliverer of humanity generally speaking and the Ummah specifically.  But only Allah knows how.”

      “As I see it father, you are protecting me now just as you had previously concealed my birth from Benu Abbas.  And I am going to have two Occultations, a minor one and a major one.  And by the guidance and directions of Allah I will somehow bring about righteousness and smash evil in the world, perhaps when people are ready for that.  And that Benu Abbas will not be able to harm me, and I have to direct our adherents indirectly,” remarked Al-Mahdi.  Imam Al-Askari responded, “That is right, well done my son, and may Allah expedite your mission and help you in the matter.”  By that time they were interrupted by a delegation of visitors, so Al-Mahdi thanked his father for the conversation then left to see his mother.


Year 260H:    At the Age of 5 years:   go to top of page

    It was early morning and Al-Mahdi and his father Imam Al-Askari had just finished their Fajr Salat followed by Du'aa.  Both of them were alone in the still dark room, and Al-Mahdi had many things on his mind.  He asked, “Father, I have wondered about what you had told me before, that I will bring justice and destroy injustice as the Prophet (pbuh) had foretold.  But do the people know, and will the people help?  After all this is such a momentous endeavor.”  “Yes son, it is a momentous endeavor,” affirmed his father Al-Askari.  After a pause Imam Al-Askari added, ”Son, during the last two centuries every designated Imam had been foretelling about you, and the people know about that.  However, your real work will only be after a very long occultation, counting in the centuries.  By that time evil, wickedness, sinful acts, and immorality will have spread all over the world and become the norm.  These are indirectly called the injustices.  By those times people will yearn for integrity, righteousness, virtue, purity, security, and goodness.  These may be called the equity and justice.  When the proper time arrives Allah will give you His permission to declare the Good News, and you, as the Spiritual Leader will execute what Allah commands you to do.”

      Al-Mahdi was fascinated, he was in full attention.  He heard his father continue, “Son, first you will go through the Minor Occultation.  This will be right after I die, which I think will not be too far from now.”  “Why is that, and how do you know father?” Al-Mahdi interrupted anxiously.  Imam Al-Askari answered, “As I had told you before, our knowledge comes not only by way of the Corpus of Knowledge (which Imam Ali had registered after the Prophet (pbuh) had died), but also by way of the Un-Erring Inspiration, and by way of Al-Muhad'dith.  I had told you previously about Al-Muhad'dith, that he gives us answers to happenings of Islamic importance, be they future matters or otherwise: such as events, concerns, or situations.  Al-Muhad'dith's information is always accurate, and when you become the Imam you will be empowered, he will not only inform you but may also direct you.  Al-Muhad'dith cannot be seen, he whispers in our ears, and the answer is also crystal clear. (As narrated by Abdullah Ibn Tawoos.

See Seerah of the Twelve Imams, H.M. Al-Hassani, Vol. 2, Page 414.)

      As to the Un-Erring Inspiration, [the compeller within] it works differently since as an Imam, Allah inspires you with answers to many Islamic matters, intricacies, or issues, no matter how intricate they are.  Son, as an Imam the Divine Light will guide you, no matter your age.  It has happened to me all along, and had happened to your ancestors, and it will happen to you.  We trust this power of inspiration, it is unerring.  It is not the Revelation, since Revelations are specific to Prophets only and are revealed by way of Jubra'eel.” (Al-Saadiq was quoted saying “We have Al-Naq'ru fi Al-Asmaa' and Al-Naqt fi Al-Quloob”, meaning the Muhad'dith and the Un-Erring Inspiration. (See Al-Irshad, Al-Mufeed, Page 414.)

      Still fascinated, Al-Mahdi wanted to hear more, so he asked, “How about the Minor Occultation?”  Glad that his son asked, Imam Al-Askari answered, “Son, to avoid Benu Abbas and their informants, you should make yourself unavailable at any time except to your closest confidantes.  Uthman Al-Amri is a pious man of great integrity who had served your grandfather and father exceptionally well.  He should act as your Safeer [Ambassador], and you should communicate only by writing, giving your signed answers to him to deliver to his different Wakeels [representatives].  I think Uthman's son will be the one to follow him, and he will manage our underground organization [Wikaalah] well and increase its membership.  There will be others after him, until you are informed by Allah Almighty about the termination of your Minor Occultation.”

      More curious than ever, Al-Mahdi asked, “What is the reason to be in a Minor Occultation to be followed by a Major One?”  Imam Al-Askari took a sip of water then answered, “Son, for the last 250 years we, Ahlul Bayt, were the Spiritual Leaders of the Ummah.  We were not the political leaders, but even so, people were persistently in pursuit of our I'lm, (the correct knowledge of the ways of Muhammad (pbuh) and his tradition).  Whenever people needed us we were there, no questions asked, giving of our fountain of knowledge freely, just for the asking.    With you it will be different, however, since you are ordained by the Almighty to be in occultation for a long time, centuries long.  Therefore your sudden and dramatic absence will jar your adherents, don't you think so?  For to do so your following may even lose their faith as a result.

      That is the reason for the two Occultations, since the Minor Occultation will gradually, and over a period of 60-70 years give time for the adherents to adjust to the idea and accept your absence, and be better prepared to accept the Major Occultation.  Son, your person will be missed very much, but your absence will be tolerated better that way.  Amazing how Allah's plans work,” said Imam Al-Askari with a smile on his face.

      Seeing his father tired Al-Mahdi said, “Thank you so much for your enlightenment.  You have clarified for me what is ahead, also the sources of our knowledge.  May Allah bless you father and keep you for us and the Ummah.”


Year 260½H:    At the Age of 5½ years:   go to top of page

    Al-Mahdi and Imam Al-Askari were sitting in the room alone, the sunshine was warm but the breeze was strong and cool.  Samur'raa's climate tended to be on the cool side and the air more pure than that of crowded Baghdad.

      Al-Mahdi took advantage of the occasion to ask, he said, “Father, tell me more about our adherents, the Imamah-Asserters (Imamiyah-Shi'a).”  Imam Al-Askari who was absorbed in his thoughts at the moment looked at Al-Mahdi with a loving eye and said, “Son, to give some detail about our adherents, the Imamah-Asserters (Imamiyah-Shi'a), we have to go back to the times of Imam Zainul Abideen [the 4th Imam].  He had laid the blueprint of the evolution of our works in the service of the Almighty.

      Imam Zainul Abideen was the Spiritual Leader of the Islamic Ummah at the time, and he was followed by the Imams after him in exactly the same capacity.  Imam Zainul Abideen was not the political leader since political leadership was denied him.  While offering the I'lm [the ways of Muhammad (pbuh) and his tradition] to the Ummah was paramount, Zainul Abideen did not forget the importance of the political side, but only when the public would become ready for it.  His perception was that with the passage of time the people who dearly hold to Islam will eventually prevail,” Al-Askari paused to take a drink of water then continued, “By the time Zainul Abideen died he had already started a vibrant movement which led to similar Piety-minded movements.

      Imam Al-Baaqir [the 5th Imam] expanded on the activity and laid the groundwork for the Imamah-Asserters (Imamiyah-Shi'a) network.  After him Al-Saadiq [the 6th Imam] expanded the works of this society enormously.  By then Imam Al-Saadiq had representatives for each Province of the Muslim Ummah, be it Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Khurasan, Yemen, Hijaz, and many more.  These representatives used to teach, disseminate the I'lm (Islamic knowledge), collect Zakat and Khums, and distribute the funds to the needy and disadvantaged, all under the leadership of Al-Saadiq.  But this was done in complete confidentiality.

      Imam Al-Saadiq was confronted with a choice of one of 4 courses to follow:

  1. Evolution: Continue on his evolution to a healthful authentic Islamic populace.

  2. Revolution: Take the course of revolutionary Zaidi-Shi'a movement.

  3. Revolution: Take the course of revolutionary Hassani-Shi'a movement.

  4. Indirectly participate in the Revolutionary movements of the Zaidi and Hassani Shi'a.

      Imam Al-Saadiq as well as all the Imams were convinced that evolution was the best; that the Imamah-Asserters (Imamiyah-Shi'a) would eventually prevail, and the wholesome message of Islam would be in effect.”  Al-Askari paused to collect his thoughts when Al-Mahdi said, “That is great father, what happened then?”  Imam Al-Askari replied, “Son, as the movement grew substantially, so did many people talk and perhaps exaggerate about it.  Since there was always a network of informants employed by Benu Abbas, the talk of the people raised suspicion that the movement was a grave threat to the security of the State.  That is the very reason Khalifa Al-Mansoor summoned Imam Al-Saadiq a few times, for he wanted to be assured that Imam Al-Saadiq had no intention to support revolts or rise against the established government.

    At the time of Imam Al-Kadhim [the 7th Imam] the Imamah-Asserters' movement became very large, better focused, and more wide-spread, but had to continue to be underground more than ever before.  The movement was so strong that the Khalifa (son of Khalifa Al-Mansoor) who followed Al-Mansoor detained Imam Al-Kadhim and released him only after Al-Kadhim swore to him that he had no intention to rise against his rule.

      However, 20 years after that the organization of the Imamah-Asserters had become so strong and so large that Khalifa Haroon Al-Rashid was extremely frightened, despite the fact he was the Monarch (Emperor) of the only superpower of the known world.  Haroon Al-Rashid was in a dilemma, for one thing he was aware of the innocence of Imam Al-Kadhim, yet Khalifa Al-Rashid continued to hear about the grave potential danger the Imamah-Asserters were posing to his rule, and he was anxiety-ridden that he would be toppled.  That was why Khalifa Haroon Al-Rashid detained then imprisoned Imam Al-Kadhim for 4 years.

      Despite all this the Imamah-Asserters continued to grow, often remembering the Hadiths about you [Al-Mahdi] and the two Occultations ahead of you.  That scared Benu Abbas even further.  The Imamah-Asserters (Shi'a) were now in the government, they constituted the elite and the cream of the society, including the highest positions of the bureaus, the Kaatibs, the bankers, the merchants, the intellectuals, writers, and the authors.

By the times of Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon the Imamah-Asserters and their sympathizers had grown to such an extent that a high percentage of the employees of Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon's government were Imamah-Asserters or their sympathizers.  Not only that but also by that time many areas revolted against Al-Ma'Moon's rule in Kufa, Basrah, Medina, Yemen and other areas, led by various Shi'a groups or their sympathizers.  This is the very reason why Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon requested Imam Al-Ridha [the 8th Imam] to move to Khurasan, to keep him away from his headquarters in Medina.

      But by this time however, even if one takes the Spiritual Leader away from his headquarters the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization (Wikaalah) will keep going since the movement was decentralized.  After Al-Ridha died, Khalifa Al-Ma'Moon did the same thing with Imam Al-Jawaad [the 9th Imam] in requesting him to move to Baghdad and stay there, again to keep him away from his headquarters.

With the advent of your grandfather Imam Al-Haadi [the 10th Imam] the underground movement (Wikaalah) was stronger than ever; however out of sympathy some of its members participated in the uprisings of the Zaidi-Shi'a revolts at the time.  This led to detection, arrest, then execution of many of the leaders (Wakeels) of the Imamiyah-Shi'a.  Also that was why Khalifa Al-Mutawak'kil summoned your grandfather Imam Al-Haadi and forced him to reside in Samur'raa, and that is the reason we are here.

      By this time there was added fear, a new fear of the Khalifas about your impending birth.  People all over were hearing of your impending birth and Benu Abbas, ever fearful of you, tried to prevent the event.  But by Allah's Grace you were born and raised without raising much suspicion.  Also the anticipation of your birth was the main reason for Benu Abbas to put me under house arrest, detention, and prison.”  Al-Askari stopped for a short while but Al-Mahdi urged him, “Tell me more, father, tell me more.”

      “As you are aware,” continued Imam Al-Askari, “the Imamiyah-Shi'a movement (Wikaalah) continued its underground work, not only to emphasize the authentic Islamic teachings (I'lm) but also with an eye on Political Leadership in addition to the Spiritual Leadership.  However, we know that soon you will be the Spiritual Leader, who will be in a Minor Occultation at first then into the Major One later on.  People will gradually become used to your absence during the Minor Occultation but will benefit from your correspondence, this will gradually prepare them to accept your Major Occultation.

      Son, you will live for a long time, and Allah will control your genetics in such a way that you will always look like a forty year old man, at the peak of your prowess and maturity.”

      “Father, what will happen to the organization, after all it is worldwide?” asked Al-Mahdi inquisitively.  Al-Askari replied, “Son, after an initial period of adjustment the organization of the Imamah-Asserters (Imamiyah-Shi'a) will grow and grow, it will continue to be an underground endeavor, but eventually it will rally around you, and Al-Mahdi will be the deeply abiding pillar around which the solidarity and wholeness of the Imamah-Asserters revolve.

      You will be the awaited one until Allah (swt) permits you under His direction to preach the I'lm again and bring it into focus for the benefit of the world.  That is what is meant by the Prophet's Hadith that you would bring about Justice [Righteousness] to the world as it would have been filled with Injustice [Evil].”

      “Many thanks father and may Allah keep you for us.  I will do my best, may Allah help me and expedite the matter,” answered Al-Mahdi.


AL-MAHDI BECOMES THE IMAM   go to top of page

      It was not too long after the last conversation that Imam Al-Askari got sick and his sickness lasted for 8 days.  On several occasions before his sickness Imam Al-Askari had confidentially shown his son Al-Mahdi to his adherents and had designated him as the subsequent and final Imam.  At one occasion (when asked about the subsequent Imam) Al-Askari showed Al-Mahdi to a group of 40 devotees despite the confidentiality of the matter. (Ith'baat Al-Wasiyyah, Al-Mas'oodi, Pages 247-248.)

      Imam Al-Askari died after having entrusted the Corpus of Knowledge in the hands of Al-Mahdi, designating him as the last Imam, and having given him his will.  It is narrated that the uncle of Al-Mahdi (i.e., the brother of Al-Askari) was about to lead a private Salat of Janaaza and the audience consisted mainly of the relatives and prominent devotees of Imam Al-Askari who were called Al-Khaassah, meaning the Imamah-Asserters.  Just before he tried to lead the Janaaza Salat a boy came out and said:


تَنَحَّ يا عم، فأنا أحق منك في الصلآة على أبي

“Uncle, move aside, I have more right than you to pray over my father's body.”


      Quite startled and taken by surprise, the uncle moved aside and Al-Mahdi led the Salat, now that he was the Imam.  This was also a great surprise to those who had never seen Al-Mahdi before but had heard of his presence.

      The people who saw Al-Mahdi at the moment described him as:  Radiant, with fairly wide forehead, and spaced front teeth.

      When Al-Mahdi finished off the Janaaza Salat he left immediately and vanished.  This way Al-Mahdi was witnessed by the crowd which consisted of the close ones (Al-Khaassah) but not by the Khalifa officials. (Seerah of the Twelve Imams, H.M. Al-Hassani, Vol. 2, Page 526.)

      Other narrations claim otherwise, for they claim that by the time Imam Al-Askari died the house was full of doctors, judges, Khalifa courtiers, and other prominent personalities of Samur'raa.  The attendants were there to care for him, they were sent by the Khalifa and his Wazir.  It is said that when Imam Al-Askari died, the Janaaza Salat was performed by the huge crowd, and led by the brother of the Khalifa (For more detail see      Al-Askari dies, Section 5 of this book.)  It is quite possible that the private Janaaza Salat led by Al-Mahdi was followed sometime later by the public one.

      After the Janaaza Salat the Khalifa officials were after Al-Mahdi since they heard of his presence but could not verify the news beforehand.  They wanted to arrest him immediately, said per orders of the Khalifa Al-Mu'tamid.  They searched the house, looked for him in every corner, questioned many of the households, but all was in vain.  The search continued later on but to no avail either.  It is said the search was so frustrating to the officials that they even detained some of the women households for a long period, even to rule out pregnancy, but all was in vain too. (Al-Kaafi, Vol. I, Page 505.  Also Ik'maal Al-Deen, Al-Siddooq, Page 43.)


Now that Al-Mahdi's Imamah had started he will be in the Minor Occultation, only available to his Safeers [Ambassadors].  Al-Mahdi's Safeers will be the means of a go-between, between him and his adherents for it was only they who knew Al-Mahdi's whereabouts, and it was only they who could communicate between him and his adherents.


AL‑MAHDI'S PERSON:   go to top of page

      Al-Mahdi was the last of the twelve Designated Imams but he differed from all of them by starting his Imamah in occultation.  Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had foretold about him and so did every Imam, and for the previous 250 years the Islamic Ummah was aware of his coming.  His Occultations were necessary, first to evade the pursuit of Benu Abbas, but more importantly because his final advent was for a global purpose.

      Just like all the Imams before him, Al-Mahdi was the Spiritual Leader of the Ummah, the most meritorious person, and the weighty erudite.

His Name:  Muhammad, as that of the Prophet (pbuh).

His Kunya (epithet):  Abul Qasim.

Titles:  Al-Mahdi: The one whom Allah is guiding;  Al-Qaa'im: The one who undertakes the matter, or the Activator of Islam;  Sahib Al-Zaman: Commander of the Eras (Ages); Sahib Al-Amr: Master of the Command;  Al-Mun'tadhar: The awaited one to bring about the State of Faith.  Al-Qaa'im Bil Haqq:  The one who undertakes the achievement of Truth.

Appearance:  As described by the ones who had seen him Imam Al-Mahdi was a young man of medium stature with handsome face and a radiant look.  The hair of his beard and head was black.  When he was young there was a space between his front teeth.

Hideabouts:  At first Imam Al-Mahdi concealed himself somewhere in Samur'raa.  Samur'raa was a large town teaming with government employees, Benu Abbas, the Turkics, and other militaries of various nationalities.  It is possible that Al-Mahdi hid in the Sirdaab, an exclusive cellar built deeply underground and used by Imam Al-Askari for Salat and seclusion.  The Sirdaab's entrance must have been extremely well camouflaged since it successfully evaded all the attempts of those deployed by the government to search for Al-Mahdi.

      In later years Imam Al-Mahdi's headquarters were possibly in Baghdad, and as in Samur'raa it was known only to his Safeers.  Imam Al-Mahdi was seen at the Ka'ba during Haj time.

Attestants:  While available to his Safeers, Imam Al-Mahdi made provisions for meeting with certain adherents at certain occasions.  This was certified by reports of the adherents in various areas, at different times.  The names of 46 such people who had met him and 13 Wakeels who had reported about their meeting with him are in existence. (The Occultation of the Twelve Imam, Jassim M. Hussain, Page 89.  For full account of the letters and their answers by the Imam see      T. Al-Ghayba, Al-Toosi, Pages 184-193.)

Correspondence:  While the Imamah-Asserters were unable to meet Al-Mahdi personally as they had met the previous Imams, Imam Al-Mahdi corresponded with them indirectly by way of the Safeer (Ambassador).  The Safeer had many Wakeels, (representatives or agents) for each Province.  At the same time each Wakeel had subordinate workers and down the hierarchy, but all of them communicated in strict confidentiality.

    Imam Al-Mahdi's correspondence was, a) personal sometimes, b) answering Fiqh inquiries at other times, and c) giving edicts as the occasion arose.  Imam Al-Mahdi gave the same high caliber information of the same distinctive level as the Imams before him had done, but it was all in writing.  Imam Al-Mahdi's writing was concise, to the point, and very clear.  This mode and style continued for 69 years.

Handwriting:  Imam Al-Mahdi's signed correspondence (`Tawkii'] which he gave to the Safeers [and on their part they gave them to the people] carried exactly the same style of handwriting and signature throughout the years.  These letters were examined and checked several times to see if they were written by the same person, and such was always the case.

Literary Style of his Writing:  The high literary Arabic style of correspondence was also of the same caliber despite the passage of years and the appointment of various Safeers.  The level of expression was also the same throughout the years, without any change.

Du'aas:  The distinctive charm of the Du'aas of Al-Mahdi was also of the same exceptional caliber as those of the Imams before him.  This style was too distinguished for any ordinary man to reproduce.


THE MINOR OCCULTATION   go to top of page

      Al-Mahdi's Imamah started during the Khilaafah of Al-Mu'tamid.  Khalifa Al-Mu'tamid was extremely worried and distressed about, a) his fate that he might be killed as his predecessors were, b) the Zinj [the Blacks], who had rebelled and occupied a large area of Iraq, c) the relative independence of the Tahiri in Iran, and d) the political fragmentation affecting the Abbasi rule. (The Khalifa Al-Mu'tamid had previously appeal to Imam Al-Askari to invoke a Du'aa on his behalf, which Imam Al-Askari graciously complied asking Allah to give Al-Mu'tamid long life.  Al-Mu'tamid lived long enough to rule for 23 years.  Later, Al-Mu'tamid turned against Imam Al-Askari fearing his underground movement which posed as a grave danger to his Khilaafah.  He incarcerated Imam Al-Askari in his Royal Palace for a period, and cut off the Khums.  (Khums is the financial undertakings consisting of revenue from the Imamah-Asserters to be distributed to the Syeds, disadvantaged, and needy.)  However this effort did not succeed, since the Imam and his devotees formulated a way to collect the funds and distribute them undetected.)

      It was against such a background that Al-Mahdi's Imamah started, and the insecurity of the suspicious, if not volatile Khalifa Al-Mu'tamid was such that an intensive search for Al-Mahdi was immediately ordered by him, and it was done extensively but to no avail.  The agents and those deployed for the task did a thorough search over and over again but they failed to find him.  By Allah's wish and desire Imam Al-Mahdi successfully evaded them.   Thus, the Minor Occultation had already started.

      During the Minor Occultation Safeers (Ambassadors) were appointed by Imam Al-Mahdi, one Safeer at a time, to represent him.  They brought to him the Fiqh questions, inquiries, Islamic problems and the myriad of questions from his adherents (the Imamah-Asserters) who were residing in diverse areas all over by now, hundreds if not thousands of miles away.  All questions were answered briefly, clearly, some with constructive suggestions, others with sentences foretelling events that came true later on.  Of these was the foretelling of the day when each of his Safeers died.


      While the Imamah-Asserters missed the face-to-face meeting with Al-Mahdi, (they knew about the necessity of his occultation from previous Hadiths), they took solace in that at least they could get his replies.  His replies were anxiously awaited for, but were also kept secret, for Benu Abbas were ever on the look out for the leaders of the Imamah-Asserters, fearing their political ambition and underground activities to topple their government.

Year 260H:  

Uthman Al-Amri, the First Safeer:  A pious man Uthman Al-Amri was a confidante of Imams Al-Haadi, Al-Askari, and Al-Mahdi.  Uthman Al-Amri was a trusted person of the three Imams and their devotee for decades.  He had the privilege of performing the Aqeeqah when Al-Mahdi was born, then was in company of the 40 people who were given a chance to see Al-Mahdi when Al-Mahdi was a young boy. (Ith'baat Al-Wasiyyah, Al-Mas'oodi, Pages 247-248.  Also Al-Najaashi, Vol. 4, Pages 202 and 323.)

      With the advent of the Minor Occultation Uthman Al-Amri became the first Safeer appointed by Imam Al-Mahdi.  As Imam Al-Mahdi's representative to his followers and advocates Uthman Al-Amri carried out his duties well.  Letters, communications, explanations, clarifications, among other things were done over a period of several years until he died.  Al-Mahdi predicted Uthman Al-Amri's death, and at the same time appointed Uthman Al-Amri’s son to take his place.  Uthman Al-Amri died in Baghdad and was buried there.

Year 265H:  

Muhammad Ibn Uthman Al-Amri, the Second Safeer:  As a Safeer (Ambassador) Muhammad Ibn Uthman was extremely effective in the management of the organization (Wikaalah) which grew many folds.  He conducted his job for 40 years, working tenaciously but always in strict confidentiality not only to deliver the Imam's written messages to the Imamah-Asserters but also in administering the organization under the auspices and authority of Imam Al-Mahdi.

      Muhammad Ibn Uthman, the son of the first Safeer, was also well known to Imams Al-Haadi and Al-Askari.  He as well as his father were called the trusted, the reliable, and the confidantes.

      When Muhammad Ibn Uthman became the Safeer he faced several dilemmas which he brilliantly solved over a period of time.  For one thing this Safeer had to work on expanding the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization (Wikaalah), thus he gradually expanded the number of Wakeels (Deputies or representatives) in many provinces, for example he increased the number of Wakeels in Baghdad from 3 to 10.  The Wakeels (Deputies) were of limited responsibilities, divided into:

  1. regional,

  2. provincial, then

  3. town representation.

      These Wakeels were responsible to the Safeer who himself was ultimately responsible to Imam Al-Mahdi and was the means of communication between him and the Wakeels.  Many times these Wakeels (Deputies) met with the Imam but at the same time had to work in complete confidentiality.

      There developed a special system of intelligence and counter intelligence; the government was apprehensive about the organization (Wikaalah), though it was presuming there was no Al-Mahdi.  Nevertheless, the government used its intelligence extensively against the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization.  On the other hand, for a counter-intelligence the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization had many of its members in the highest posts in the government itself to gather sensitive information to the Safeer.  For instance, when the Khalifa wanted to infiltrate the organization by sending undercover agents to give fake Zakat money to the suspected Wakeels, the news of the decision arrived ahead of time to the Safeer, and the Safeer gave orders not to accept any money from anyone and feign ignorance about the organization.  This directive was immediately circulated not only in Baghdad but also throughout the web of the whole organization over 1,000s of miles all over the vast Muslim Ummah.  Thus the effort of the Khalifa was completely thwarted.

Women were also active in acting as undercover agents of assemblies and councils to gather news or be on the look out for unfamiliar faces who might be spies.  And an old woman was particularly energetic in delivering written notes (Tawkii') from the Imam to the Safeer, thus completely evading the undercover agents.

During the 2nd Safeer's representation political conditions of the government were hazardously unstable.  Other than being weak, the government had to deal with the Zinj (Blacks) rebels who occupied the lower part of Iraq and caused tremendous property destruction and loss of life.  After 20 years the Zinj were finally subdued.

      Soon however the revolutionary Isma'ili-Shi'a were carefully preparing for a revolt.  After many years the Isma'ili-Shi'a succeeded, and in 295H took over many regions in North Africa and later on Egypt.  They called themselves the Fatimi dynasty.

      Simultaneously the also revolutionary Zaidi-Shi'a were agitating, which of course kept the government preoccupied.

      Then arose a new revolutionary element calling themselves Qaramita-Shi'a.  Though the Qaramita-Shi'a were a destructive element, they could muster strong support and played havoc in many areas locally and far away.

      Desperate, the government tried to find a connection between these movements and the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization.  This explains why the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization was held highly suspect by the government, and the extreme precautions taken by the Safeer as per order of Imam Al-Mahdi.  That is why the Imamiyah-Shi'a were persecuted by Khalifa Al-Mu'tadhid (279H-289H) and Al-Muk'tafi (289H-295H).  And that is why Imam Al-Mahdi changed his place of residence from Samur'raa to Hijaz, since his house was searched by soldiers or special agents on a number of occasions looking for him, but their search was in vain. (The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam, Jassim M. Hussain, Page 123.)

      The Safeer and his Wakeels diligently worked in this highly charged atmosphere yet they were very successful in completely evading the suspicion.  They used certain secret codes, passed the written edicts (Tawkii') and copied it by hand to be distributed to the various representatives, then destroyed it shortly after.  They did not even write receipts for Zakat or Khums funds collected, so that no suspicion could be aroused.  Places of meetings were also changed often, and even contact between Imam Al-Mahdi and the Safeer at certain periods was temporarily stopped.  Conclusions from correspondences and reports with Al-Mahdi give indications that Al-Mahdi was in residence in the Maghrib (North Africa), Syria, Egypt and in the mountains near Mecca. (The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam, Jassim M. Hussain, Page 116.)

Al-Mahdi is used to perform the Haj every year.  Haj season was the best time to meet and exchange information, since people from far away places and of different localities were gathered for several weeks in one spot.  Haj time was used extensively for coordinating the organization's activities.

      Al-Wakeels who had met with Imam Al-Mahdi became affected with a form of disorientation, and only after he left did they come to the conclusion that it was him (a.s.).

      Some have reported that they ate with him, others saw him while he was in Sujood in Mecca uttering Du'aa then leaving with a narrator to the house of Khadija, the wife of the Prophet.

      A narrator said he saw the Imam doing Tawaf around the Ka'ba, and described him as good looking, with very pleasing scent, respectful demeanor, awe inspiring personality, yet was close to the people in his articulation.

      During Haj time Al-Mahdi used to meet with the special of his partisans and devotees, discuss with them and solve their problems for them. (Seerah of the Twelve Imams, H.M. Al-Hassani, Vol. 2, Page 557.)

Like his father, the second Safeer (Muhammad Ibn Uthman) was a pious person trusted both by Al-Mahdi and the Imamah-Asserters.  During his last years Muhammad Ibn Uthman dug a grave in which he used to sit, pray and say Du'aas, in preparation to meet his Lord.  He prepared his own grave stone and inscribed on it verses from the Quran and the names of the Imams.  He was buried in his house.

      Imam Al-Mahdi foretold the date of the death of the Safeer, and appointed Husain Ibn Rooh to take his place as the third Safeer.  Muhammad Ibn Uthman was buried in Baghdad, and his tomb still exists, it is called Al-Khillani.


Year 305H:  

Husain Ibn Rooh, the Third Safeer:  Husain Ibn Rooh was a highly respected person whom the Imams Al-Askari and Al-Mahdi knew well.  Husain Ibn Rooh was distinguished by his sharp acumen and quick mind, particularly in relations with his opponents. (Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Vol. 51, page 23.)

      Husain Ibn Rooh was highly influential in the government, though at the same time he was in charge of the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization without their knowledge.  He continued to keep contact with the Imam and bring back his written answers (Tawkii') to the Wakeels.

      By this time many of the Imamiyah-Shi'a got used to corresponding indirectly with the Imam.  And the privileges the Imam gave to the Safeer and the Wakeels by now had expanded their role in answering the less complicated Fiqh inquiries.

      Husain Ibn Rooh refined the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization (Wikaalah) further, which had become very highly developed by now.  Husain Ibn Rooh had a magnetic personality, was quick minded, and he attracted a larger number of people to the organization.  At one time the government imprisoned him thinking he was an anti-government leader, but was later released to assume an important post in it once more.  Husain Ibn Rooh carried out his duties as a Safeer for 21 years.

      Imam Al-Mahdi foretold the date of his death, and appointed Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari to take his place as the fourth Safeer.  Ibn Rooh was buried in Baghdad and his tomb still exists to this day. 

Year 326H:  

Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari, the Fourth Safeer:  Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari carried out his duties well, just as well as his predecessors and his headquarters were also in Baghdad and it is assumed that Imam Al-Mahdi resided in Baghdad too for easier communication.  Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari undertook his duties for 3 years only, when by 329H he got a message from Imam Al-Mahdi which was the last Tawkii'.  It said:


 يا علي ابن محمد، أعْظمَ الله أجر إخوانك فيك، إنك ميتٌ ما بينك وبين (الموت) ستة أيام، فاجمع أمرك ولا توصي إلى أحدٍ يقوم مقامك بعد وفاتك، فقد وقعت الغيبة التَّامه فلا ظُهور إلاّ بعد أن يأذن الله تعالى، وذلك على طول المده وقُوَّة القلوب وامتلآء الأرض جوراً......

 "May Allah give good reward to your brethren concerning you (i.e. on your death), for indeed you shall die after the sixth day.  So prepare your affairs, and do not appoint anyone to take your place after your death.  For the Major Occultation has now started, and there can be no appearance until (after a long time when Allah gives His permission) hearts become hardened and the world becomes filled with injustice........"

(Ik'maal Al-Deen, Al-Toosi,الغيبة Page 516.  Also T Al-Ghayba, Page 257.)


      Learning that he would die within 6 days and that there would be no Safeers after him, Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari gathered his Wakeels and trusted ones, showed them the pronouncement (Tawkii'), and waited for the 6th day.  By the 6th day he died.  He was buried in Baghdad too.

      Since all pronouncements (Tawki’at) were written in the same handwriting and in the same [literary] style, the identical handwriting explains the consensus among the Imamiyah-Shi'a to be obedient to the last pronouncement of the fourth Safeer, by which the Minor Occultation had come to an end and the Major Occultation had started. (Bah'th Howla Al-Mahdi, Muhammad B. Al-Sadr, Pages 69-70.)

      As a result the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization was dissolved, so that no one would suddenly claim any representation of the Imam in order to fraudulently collect Zakat or Khums money.  From now on the Faqeehs (Jurisprudents) were to represent the Imam in absentia, the responsibility fell on their shoulders.

      Al-Mufeed may have been the first Jurist to practice Ij'tihaad, then Al-Toosi gave a definite shape to it. (The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam, Jassim M. Hussain, Page 150.)  Before then, the Faqeehs simply quoted the information of the Imams, but now that they were on their own to represent Al-Mahdi, the Faqeehs (jurisprudents) had to render Ij'tihaad and do it the best they can.

      Thus the Major Occultation had started by now.


MAJOR OCCULTATION   go to top of page

      With the advent of the Major Occultation suddenly and for the first time the Imamiyah-Shi'a were devoid both of direct or indirect contact with the Imam.  They were used to be in direct contact with eleven previous Imams over 250 years' period, then in an indirect contact with the final Imam [Al-Mahdi] for 69 years during the Minor Occultation, but not anymore.  As a matter of fact, even though for many generations people had heard about the Major Occultation but now they had to experience it.

Al-Mahdi, the twelfth and final Imam, was to be awaited for, but his spirit, influence, authority and power continue to be the means for the faithful to sharpen their resolve and be ever ready when he is allowed by the Almighty to appear again.

      The final aim of all the Imams was the establishment of a truly Islamic State based entirely upon the Shari'ah as interpreted and implemented by the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt.




اللهم ارزقنا توفيق الطاعه  وبعد المعصيه  وصدق النيه  وعرفان الحرمه  وأكرمنا بالهدى والإستقامه  وسدد ألسنتنا بالصواب والحكمه  واملأ قلوبنا بالعلم والمعرفه   وطهر بطوننا من الحرام والشبهة  وأكفف أيدينا عن الظلم والسرقه  واغضض أبصارنا عن الفجور والخيانه   واسدد أسماعنا عن اللغو والغيبة......


O Allah! 

We ask of Thee to favor us with the gift of being obedient to Thee, and

Detach us from being disobedient to Thee.

Bestow on us being sincere in intentions; and

Provide us with the knowledge of what is sacred.

O Allah! 

Honor us with guidance and honesty­, and

Direct our tongues to what is right and wise;

Fill our hearts with comprehension and knowledge, and

Cleanse us from the forbidden and doubtful.

O Allah! 

Prevent [our hands] from committing oppression and theft,

Lower our gaze [out of modesty] from the immoral and disloyal, and

Block our ears from hearing the vain talk and slander.

O Allah! 

Endorse our scholars with the gift of piety and fitting advice, and

the learning ones with hard work and desire to learn.

Bless the listeners [to Thy scholars] with wisdom and compliance, and

Impart recovery and comfort to the sick ones from illness and disease,

and bless the dead among them with kindness and mercy.

O Allah! 

To our old people, award dignity and peace of mind,

To our young people, confer repentance and turning away from sin, and

To our women, bestow modesty and chastity.

O Allah! 

Supply the rich with humility and abundance; and

the poor with patience and contentment.

Let those fighting in Thy way be victorious, and

the imprisoned be freed and unfettered.

O Allah! 

Let the rulers be just and kind and

the ruled be fair and with good conduct;

Bless the ones on pilgrimage with abundance and support, and

help them complete what is obligatory on them.

With Your Grace and Kindness, O Most Kind, Full of Grace!


ANOTHER DU'AA    go to top of page

Excerpts of general Du'aa for the Muslims' welfare:


اللهم إنا نرغب إليك في دولةٍ كريمةٍ تُعِزُّ بها الإسلام وأهله  وتذل بها النفاق وأهله  وتجعلنا فيها من الدعاةِ إلى طاعتك والقادة إلى سبيلك وترزقنا بها كرامة الدنيا والآخره

الهم ما عرفتنا من الحق فحملناه وما قَصُرْنا عنه فبلغناه.......

O Allah our Lord!  We ask of You for an honorable government so Islam and Muslims be dignified, and the hypocrites be in disgrace, and make of us people who call to Your obedience, and the leaders to Thy way, and award us the dignity in this life and the one to come. 

O Lord!  What Thou have taught us of the truth, Let us carry it out,

and what we languished in it, let Thou inform us

O Lord! Bring in him our Unity, and repair in him our predicament, and increase in him our small numbers, and fortify us in him to erase our lowliness, Oh Allah Lord of the Truth, Amen!


 SAMPLE OF TAWKII'   go to top of page

      Al-Mahdi issued a Pronouncement [Tawkii'] in reply to Ishaaq Ibn Ya'qoob via his second Safeer [in regard the works during his Major Occultation]:


وأما الحوادث الواقعه فارجعوا فيها إلى رُوَّاةِ حديثنا فإنهم حُجَّتي عليكم وأنا حُجَّةَ الله عليهم

As for the events which will occur, turn to the narrators of our tradition, because the narrators are my proof to you, while I am the proof of Allah to them.

(Al-Wasa’il, Al Aamili, Vol. 18, Page 101.  Also Bihaar Al-Anwaar, Vol. 53, Page 181.)


As a follow up:

Al-Tibrisi mentions the following tradition attributed to Imam Al-Askari:

It is mandatory for the populace to follow the jurist who refrains from committing wrong, mentions his faith, opposes carnal desire, and obey Allah's Command.


QUESTIONS    go to top of page

  1. Discuss a Quranic Ayah said to be in regard to Al-Mahdi.

  2. Delineate a Hadith about Al-Mahdi, and discuss its contents.

  3. Delineate a saying of Imam Ali about Imam Al-Mahdi, and discuss its contents.

  4. Give the importance of Zainul Abideen's saying about Al-Mahdi, and discuss its contents.

  5. Discuss the saying of Imam Al-Saadiq about Al-Mahdi, and what it means to you.

  6. Name the father and mother of Imam Al-Mahdi and his lineage.

  7. Give a detailed account surrounding the birth of Al-Mahdi and the confidentiality needed.

  8. Describe the environment in which Al-Mahdi grew and its differences from others.

  9. Specify the manner in which Al-Mahdi was told about his forthcoming Occultations.

  10. Discuss the importance of global mission of Al-Mahdi.

  11. Delineate the important factors that made the Minor Occultation necessary.

  12. Describe the organization maintained under Ahlul Bayt's guidance.

  13. Discuss the evolutionary and revolutionary organizations confronting the Imams.

  14. Give an account of the death of Imam Al-Askari and the conducting of his Janaaza Salat.

  15. Give the reasons for the Khalifa to be anxious to capture Al-Mahdi.

  16. Describe Al-Mahdi's appearance, Hideabouts, and Attestants.

  17. Give a brief description of Al-Mahdi's correspondence, handwriting, and literary style.

  18. Give a historical perspective of the Safeer Uthman Al-Amri.

  19. Briefly discuss the works of the 2nd Safeer, Muhammad Ibn Uthman.

  20. Delineate the methods and the manner in which Al-Mahdi met some of his devotees.

  21. What kind of revolts did take place during the time of the 2nd Safeer?

  22. Discuss in full the condition of the people who met Imam Al-Mahdi.

  23. Furnish a summary of the works of the 3rd Safeer (Husain Ibn Rooh).

  24. Give an account of the termination of the Minor Occultation.

  25. Briefly discuss Ij'tihaad before and after the Major Occultation of Al-Mahdi.




EVENTS AND HAPPENINGS   go to top of page


Al-Mahdi is born to Al-Askari and Narjis, the descendant of Simon the Disciple.


Al-Mahdi's birth is kept strictly confidential.


Al-Mahdi is tutored by his father Imam Al-Askari.


Al-Askari informs his son Al-Mahdi about the Occultations ahead of him.


Imam Al-Askari dies, and his son Al-Mahdi leads the Salat of Janaaza.


The Khalifa agents and military look feverishly for Al-Mahdi but in vain.


Imam Al-Mahdi's Minor Occultation begins.


Al-Mahdi appoints Uthman Al-Amri to be his first representative (Safeer).


The Safeer acts as a go-between since Al-Mahdi corresponds only by writing.

5 up

No one is told about the whereabouts of Al-Mahdi.


The 1st Safeer dies, his son is appointed by Al-Mahdi as the 2nd Safeer.


The Imamiyah-Shi'a organization works effectively, but under duress.


The Zinj revolt is subdued after having inflicted much destruction and loss of life.


The revolutionary Zaidi-Shi'a, the Isma'ili-Shi'a, and the Qaramita-Shi'a pose grave danger to the government.


The Imamiyah-Shi'a are persecuted since they were blamed for other's revolts.


Women help in the underground activities of the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization.


Many people meet with Imam Al-Mahdi in confidentiality.


The 2nd Safeer dies as foretold by Imam Al-Mahdi.


The 3rd Safeer is appointed, the Imamiyah-Shi'a organization expands further.


Al-Mahdi gives more powers to the Safeer and the Wakeels to answer inquiries.


The 3rd Safeer is imprisoned due to allegations that he was against the ruler.


The 3rd Safeer is released and put back in his high government position.


Ibn Rooh, the 3rd Safeer dies as foretold by Imam Al-Mahdi.


Ibn Muhammad Al-Sammari is appointed as the 4th Safeer.


After 3 years the 4th Safeer dies as foretold by Al-Mahdi, and after 69 years the Minor Occultation comes to an end.


The Major Occultation starts.



Contemporary Khalifa   go to top of page


1.  Al-Mansoor son of Muhammad of Benu Abbas

2.  Al-Mahdi son of Al-Mansoor

3.  Al-Haadi son of Al-Mahdi

4.  Haroon Al-Rasheed son of Al-Mahdi


1.  Haroon Al-Rasheed son of Al-Mahdi

2.  Al-Amin son of Haroon Al-Rasheed

3.  Al-Ma'Moon son of Haroon Al-Rasheed


1.  Al-Ma'Moon son of Haroon Al-Rasheed

2.  Al-Mu'tasim son of Haroon Al-Rasheed


1.  Al-Mu'tasim son of Haroon Al-Rasheed

2.  Al-Waathiq son of Al-Mu'tasim

3.  Al-Mutawak'kil son of Al-Mu'tasim

4.  Al-Mun'tasir son of Al-Mutawak'kil

5.  Al-Mus'taeen son of Al-Mu'tasim

6.  Al-Mu'tazz son of Al-Mutawak'kil


1.  Al-Mu'tazz son of Al-Mutawak'kil

2.  Al-Muh'tadi son of Al-Waathiq

3.  Al-Mu'tamid son of Al-Mutawak'kil


1.  Al-Mu'tamid son of Al-Mutawak'kil

2.  Al-Mu'tadhid son of Talha son of Al-Mutawak'kil

3.  Al-Muk'tafi son of Al-Mu'tadhid

4.  Al-Muq'tadir son of Al-Mu'tadhid

5.  Al-Qaahir son of Al-Mu'tadhid

6.  Al-Raadhi son of Al-Muq'tadir