Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in the Sihaah-e-Sittah
Some sections of Muslims consider it their duty to reject all beliefs even remotely linked to the Shias. One such belief is that of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), the Promised Messiah, who is prophesied to fill the earth with peace and justice in the last age. These Muslims consider the Promised Mahdi an invention of the Shias and deny any link whatsoever with Islam and the Sunnah.
As we have already seen in a separate article, Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) birth in 255 A.H. is a well-documented fact in the books of renowned Ahle Tasannun (or Sunni) scholars. Some of the scholars include:
Ibn Atheer al-Jazari (exp. 630 A.H.) in Al-Kaamil fi al-Taarikh vol. 4 p. 454
Sibt Ibn Jawzi (exp. 654 A.H.) in Tazkerah al-Khawaas p. 377
Ahmed Ibn Hajar Haithami Shafe’ee (exp. 974 A.H.) in Al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah p. 208
Muhyiddeen Ibn Arabi (exp. 635 A.H.) in Al-Futuhaat al-Makkiyyah Chap. 366
Interested readers can refer the complete article over here:
Imam Mahdi’s birth (a.t.f.s.) from Sunni sources
Sihaah-e-Sittah and Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
The six most reliable books of traditions of the Ahl Tasannun, also referred to as the Sihaahe Sittah as also the ‘Sisters of the Quran’, have documented traditions on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). Going by their own guidelines on equating the Sihaah with the Holy Quran, it is mandatory for the Muslims to believe in and take the reports on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) as an article of faith.
Abu Huraira narrates from Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.) – ‘How will you be when Isa Ibn Maryam (a.s.) descends amongst you and your Imam (Mahdi a.s.) is amongst you?’
Sahih al-Bukhari Book 60, tradition 119
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) observed: ‘What will be your state when Isa Ibn Maryam (a.s.) descends amongst you and there will be an Imam (Mahdi a.s.) amongst you?’
Sahih Muslim Book 1, tradition 299
3. Abu Dawood
The author records the following traditions in relation to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.):
Abdullah Ibn Masood narrates: The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: If only one day of this world were to remain, Allah would prolong that day (according to the version of Za’idah) till He sends in it a man who belongs to me or to my family…he will fill the earth with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny (according to the version of Fitr). Sufyan’s version says: The world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name will be the same as mine.
Abu Dawud asserts: The version of Umar and Abu Bakr is the same as that of Sufyan.
The tradition is found to be Hasan (good) and Sahih (authentic)
Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Mahdi (a.s.) 38, tradition 4
4. Abu Isa Muhammad Ibn Isa al-Tirmizi
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) narrates from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – ‘Even if a day remains from the life of the earth Allah will most certainly raise a person from my Ahle Bait.’
Sunan al-Tirmizi vol. 4 p. 505 tradition 2,231
Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in the books of Sunni scholars
Like the authors of Sihaah-e-Sittah, many other Sunni scholars/historians have recorded traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
By way of example, we list some of the scholars:
Hafiz Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ghanji Shafe’ee (exp. 658 A.H.)
‘He (Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)) was succeeded by his son Imam al-Muntazar (a.s.)’
Kifaayah al-Talib p. 312
Arif Abd al-Wahhaab Sha’raani Hanafi
‘And he is from the sons of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and he was born on the eve of mid-Shabaan in the year 255 A.H.; he survives till date, he will be with Isa Ibn Maryam (a.s.) and his age at this time is 958 years as informed by Shaikh Hasan al-Iraqi…’
Al-Yawaaqeet wa al-Jawaahir vol. 2 p. 127
Shaikhal-Islam Sadr al-Deen Hamweeni
In the 31st chapter of his book he records a tradition where the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has listed the name of each successor and Imam and in the end says – ‘and the 12th son from my progeny will be in occultation till the time Allah permits him to reappear…’
Faraaid al-Simtain vol. 2 p. 132
Shaikh Fareed al-Deen Attaar Nishaburi
After documenting each Imam (a.s.) he has penned verses praising him. He has done the same for Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) recalling his occultation and beseeching Allah to establish his just rule.
Yanaabi al-Mawaddah vol. 3 pp. 350-351
Jalal al-Deen Rumi known as Molvi
He has also penned verses praising Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
Yanaabi al-Mawaddah vol. 3 p.351
Ahmed Ibn Yusuf Abu al-Abbas Kirmani Hanafi
‘MHMD al-Hujjah al-Khalaf al-Saleh and his age at the time of his father’s demise (martyrdom) was five years. Allah granted him wisdom in infancy like He granted it to Yahya in infancy…and the scholars are unanimous that he is the Mahdi and will rise in the last age…’
Akhbaar al-Duwal vol. 3 p. 535
Allamah Yusuf Ibn Yahya Ibn Ali Ibn Abd al-Aziz Maqdasi al-Shafei al-Salmi
The author records a conversation between Qataadah and Saeed Ibn Musayyab which establishes that Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is from the children of Fatima (s.a.).
Iqd al-Durar fi Akhbaar al-Muntazar wa huwa al-Mahdi (a.s.) p. 23
In another tradition, he records a report of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Even if a day remains from the life of this earth, Allah will prolong the day so much that a member of my progeny will rise.
Likewise, Umm Salmah (r.a.) has narrated – I have heard the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – Mahdi is from my progeny.
Iqd al-Durar fi Akhbaar al-Muntazar wa huwa al-Mahdi (a.s) p. 207
In yet another tradition, he records – Haarith Ibn Mughairah says – Imam Husain Ibn Ali (a.s.) – with what trait will we recognize Mahdi? He (a.s.) replied – ‘With tranquility and dignity’. Haarith asked: ‘And with what else?’ Imam Husain (a.s.) answered – With his knowledge of the permissible and the prohibited and the pressing need of the people for him and his being needless of them.’
Iqd al-Durar fi Akhbaar al-Muntazar wa huwa al-Mahdi (a.s) p. 41
Ahmed Ibn Hajar Haithami Shafe’ee (exp. 974 A.H.)
The author records a tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – The Mahdi is from my progeny, the residents of the heaven and the earth alike will be pleased with his caliphate.
Al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah p. 162
Abu al-Muayyad al-Muwaffaq Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad al-Bakri al-Hanafi al-Musawi al-Khwaarazmi
The author records on the authority of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.): ‘He will reappear with the treasures of the (past) prophets (a.s.).’
Al-Manaaqib p. 493