The signs before reappearance of al-Mahdi (pbuh)
- :Vahid Majd
A number of narrations in the Shi'ite collections of traditions inform us of some signs that will take place before the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH). Some of these signs describe the hard condition of people in the world before his reappearance. For instance, Abu Hamza al-Thumali and Abu Basir have both narrated:
Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (PBUH) said, "The Qa'im shall not rise until after a great fear from people, the earthquake, afflictions, trials, and the plague have been inflicted upon people, the war between Arabs, great disagreement among people,
breakups in their religion, change in their situation so that the wishers wish death every morning and night due to the enormity of what is observed, and the eating of people by people.
The emergence of al-Qa'im (PBUH) shall be at the time of despair and hopelessness of people for finding any (other) opening or relief." 2 On the other hand, some signs are about the miraculous events that will happen just prior to the reappearance of al-Qa'im (PBUH).
For instance, there will be a lunar eclipse at the end of the month of Ramadhan. The eclipse at the end of the month is a supernatural phenomenon that has never happened before. Badr Ibn Khalil al-Azdi narrated:
I was sitting with Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (PBUH) when he (PBUH) said, "There shall be two signs before the rising of al-Qa'im (PBUH) that have not occurred since Adam (PBUH) descended on earth. The sun shall be eclipsed in the middle of the month of Ramadhan and the moon (shall be eclipsed) in the end of that month."
A man in the presence said, "O Son of the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF)! The sun shall be eclipsed in the end of the month and the moon in the middle." The Imam replied, "I know what you say. But these are the signs that have never happened since Adam (PBUH) descended." 3
In many verses of the Quran, Allah reminds us that He has power over all things and is able to do what He wills. The Quran reports many miraculous events that happened in past as evidence for the truthfulness of His prophets (PBUT).
For instance, The Quran states that the moon was split into two parts as a sign for the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF), 4fire became cool and peaceful for Prophet Abraham (PBUH) 5, etc.
All the physical rules have been created by Allah and He may change it as He wills. When a miraculous event takes place, people truly realize that this is a sign from Allah, not from people.
Through the miracles, Allah reminds His creation of His absolute power and confirms His message. The impossibility of the natural occurrence of two eclipses in the specified order implies the possibility of its miraculous occurrence, its unpredictability by astronomical data, and consequently, the unpredictability of the time of the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH).
3. al-Kafi, vol. 8, p. 212, Hadith 258; al-Irshad, vol. 2, p. 374; al-Ghaiba, al-Tusi, p. 444; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 213, Hadith 67.
4. The Holy Quran, chapter 54, verses 1-3.
5. The Holy Quran, chapter 21, verse 69.
Adapted from the book: "Moment by Moment: Expecting the Advent of al-Qa'im (PBUH)" by: "Vahid Majd"
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