The Government of Ahle Bait (a.s.)
In the words of Imam Sadiq (a.s.)
"Verily, the government of Ahle Bait (a.s.) shall be established. Then one who aspires to be amongst our helpers and companions must forsake all sins. He must don the mantle of piety and steadfastness. He must strive to scale the summit of good ethics and morals. Then one who prepares himself thus, aspiring to be among the companions of our Qaim, (a.s.), but does not get our Qaim’s reappearance and death puts paid to his hopes, then regardless, he shall enjoy a status equal to the companions and helpers of Imam (a.t.f.s.).’ Then Imam (a.s.) continues, ‘Strive, and yearn for the reappearance and success. O nation, who enjoys Allah’s special grace and bounties, I give you glad tidings of success and deliverance."
(Ghaibat of al-Nomani, p. 106)
Islam emphatically exhorts the Shias to be prepared (for reappearance) and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) urges us in this regard thus, ‘Prepare yourself for the reappearance of Qaim (a.s.) even if you have only a single arrow in your quiver.’
Allah, the Almighty, has favored the Muslims to expel injustice and tyranny from the face of this earth. And He decided to grant the Muslims dominion over all forces of oppression and despotism. They will weed out disbelief and apostasy so that only Islam remains on the earth. None denies the fact that such a metamorphosis can be effected only through a revolution mounted on a mammoth scale. And this transition can not evolve by itself, as it needs the necessary groundwork, to finally takeoff. The Holy Quran too, echoes this sentiment thus,
"And certainly We wrote in the Book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it."
(Anbiya : 105)
Then it certainly does not appeal to one’s rationale that Allah would have appointed the Muslims as the harbingers of such a colossal transformation without their share of responsibilities.
A Message for the Muslims
O Muslims, wake up from your sleep of negligence! The period of laxity and indifference has come to an end! Guard yourselves from bickering and disputes. Remain firm on your belief in the Unity of Allah! Do not lag behind in ethics and morals! Do not waver from your sovereignty, morality, principles of religion and culture! Reap benefits from the light of Quran, the Book ofAllah, and take steps to protect the honour and dignity of Islam! Dispel ignorance from your midst by taking refuge in true belief . Combat the corrupt and aberrant schools of thought. Enlighten your lives with the teachings of Islam and acquaint yourselves with the duties (that have been enjoined upon you), so that depravity and corruption are forced to turn on their heels.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has prophesied, ‘The world will not come to an end, until one of Husain’s (a.s.) descendants takes charge of the affairs and the dealings of my nation. He will fill the world with peace and equity like it would be inundated with tyranny and injustice.’
(Behaar, vol. 51, p. 96)
Mahdi is from the progeny of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.)
Numerous traditions echo this statement. In fact, even a cursory glance at such traditions makes it very apparent that the concept of al-Mahdi (a.s.) was a topic of discussion right from the Prophet’s time. Moreover, it was not the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who introduced this concept. Rather, it existed even before him (s.a.). The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) disclosed the signs and prophecies relating to Mahdi (a.s.). He then recounted,
‘The Promised Mahdi and Qaim will be from my progeny..’
The Chief of the faithful, Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) narrates, ‘Once I inquired from the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) whether Mahdi is from us or from someone else?’ He (s.a.w.s.) replied that he would be from us. Allah will make Islam attain its culmination through Mahdi (a.s.), just like He made it originate through us. The people will be alleviated from discord and oppression through us, just like they had been redeemed from apostasy and disbelief before that. Allah will destroy calumniation from the hearts of the people through our existence, like he had repelled idolatry and atheism in the era of ignorance earlier. Through us, he will make them indebted and benevolent to each other. And finally, there will exist a sense of fraternity and brotherhood in the society.
(Behaar vol. 51, p. 84; Isbaatul Hudaat, by Shaikh Hurr Aameli, vol. 7, p. 191; Majmauz Zavaaid by Haithami, vol. 7, p. 317)
Abu Saeed Khudri narrates that he heard the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) declare from atop the pulpit, "The Promised Mahdi is one of my sons and a member of my progeny. He will reappear in the last era. The skies will open up and rain will gush forth for him. The earth will bloom with vegetation. He will establish peace and equity in this world, as it would have been filled with oppression and tyranny before him."
(Behaar vol. 51 p. 74; Isbaatul Hudaat, vol. 7 p. 9)
Umme Salmah relates that she heard from the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who said, "Mahdi is from my progeny and among the sons of Fatima (s.a.)."
(Behaar, vol. 51 p. 75)
The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) recounts further, ‘Mahdi will be from my sons. His name and agnomen will be the same as mine. His propriety and demeanour too, shall be like me. His character and disposition shall be a reflection of my character and disposition. He will summon the people towards my religion and creed. He will invite the people towards the Book of Allah. Then one who adheres to him, has adhered to me, and one who disregards him has disregarded me. One who rejects him in his occultation has rejected me, and he who disputes his existence has disputed with me. One who acknowledges him has acknowledged me. I will complain to Allah about those who reject him, disregard my warnings and create discord in my community. The tyrants and oppressors shall soon return to their Lord and will witness the consequence of their actions.
(Ibid., p. 73)
Abu Ayyub Ansari reports a tradition that he heard the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) saying, ‘I am the chief of all the Prophets (a.s.), Ali is the master of all the successors and his two sons are the best of sons. The infallible Imam (a.s.) shall come forth from us, from the progeny of Husain (a.s.). The Mahdi of Islam is from us." At that moment, one simple Arab stood and inquired, ‘How many Imams will succeed you?’ The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘The same number as the disciples of Esa (a.s.) and the chiefs of Bani Israel.’ (i.e. twelve)."
(Isbaatul Hudaat, vol. 2, p. 53)
The Origin of Mahdiviyat
The belief in Mahdiviyat is one of the fundamental beliefs of Islam, and by no means of lesser significance than the other principles of Islam. Yet, unfortunately, it is a subject of heated discussion and debate among the different sects of Islam. This is in complete disregard of all the reports and records that have been chronicled by some of the most acclaimed Muslim scholars in their books relating to the existence of Al-Mahdi (a.s.) and his reappearance. But woe unto prejudice! On account of which people do not hesitate to refute facts as evident as daylight . Therefore, we shall make an attempt to explore this topic from various aspects with the help of some assumed characters. But it should be borne in mind that only the characters are fictitious otherwise, the references mentioned are definitely reliable and available in various books.