When Will Mahdi (a.s.) Appear?
Dr. Jalali: When is the promised Mahdi expected to appear?
Mr. Hoshyar: No time has been fixed for his appearance (zuhur). As a matter of fact, the Imams have regarded those who fix the time of the Mahdi's appearance as liars. Thus, for instance, Fudayl, a companion of Imam Baqir, asked the latter whether there was any specific time when the Mahdi would appear. The Imam in his response said three times: "Any one who fixes the time of the appearance is telling a falsehood."1
Another companion by the name of 'Abd al-Rahman b. Kathir was with Imam Sadiq when Mahzam Asadi came to visit the Imam and asked him: "When will the Qa'im from the family of the Prophet rise and establish the just government that you are expecting, for it has been delayed? When shall this be realized? " The Imam replied: "Those who fix the time of the appearance are certainly telling a lie. Those who become hasty in this matter will definitely destroy themselves. Those who are patient will be delivered and will return to us."2
A prominent and well trusted companion of Imam Sadiq by the name of Muhammad b. Muslim was told by the Imam: "Any one who fixes the time of the appearance for you -- do not hesitate to falsify him, because we do not fix the time for the appearance." There are ten other traditions on the same theme.3
These and many other traditions on this subject provide evidence that neither the Prophet nor any of the Imams ever fixed the time of the Mahdi's advent. Hence, if a tradition on this subject fixes the time and the tradition is attributed to the Imams and if the text is open to some exegetical explanation, then it should be explained. Otherwise, it should either be ignored or else falsified. An example of such an explanation of a weak and unreliable tradition is provided by the example of Abu Walid Makhzumi, who had attributed to the Imam a statement that said: "Our Qa'im will rise in ALR."4
1 Ibid., Vol. 52, p. 103.
3 Ibid., Vol. 52, pp. 104 and 117.
4 Ibid., Vol. 52, p. 106.
Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"
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