After the advent of Dajjal the Dark Messiah, there shall rise a man who shall be the commander of the Muslim army that will encounter the Dajjal in Syria as he will be returning from the unsuccessful entry into Makkah and Madina. This man shall be Imam Mahdi (the Guided One).
Abdullah ibnMas’ud (R.A) is reported to have said, “Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘The world will not come to an end before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name will be the same as mine.” (Abu Dawood).
And explaining about his features, Abu SaeedKhudri (R.A) relates that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “The Mahdi will be from my progeny. His forehead will be broad and his nose will be high. He will fill the world with justice and fairness at a time when the world will be filled with oppression. He will rule for seven years.”
There are however different versions about Imam Mahdi especially between the Shia and Sunni Muslims. The version contained in this article is as that maintained by the Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat.
SIGNS THAT WILL PRECEDE IMAM MAHDI
1. Tribulations: During the reign of Dajjal, there shall be too many tribulations such that intense disputes and confrontations shall be widespread in the world. There shall be too much oppression such that a man will have nowhere to run and seek shelter. Every time a fitna (tribulation) shall come to an end, another one even more worse shall start to spread with intensity. People will just wish for death and Imam Mahdi will then appear.
2. War at Mina: Shuaib reported from his grandfather that the Rsulullah (SAW) said, “In DhulQaidah the tribes will fight, Hajis will be looted and there will be a battle in Mina in which many people will be killed and blood will flow until it runs over the JamaratulAqba. Their companion (Imam Mahdi) will flee to a point betweenthe corner and the Maqaam and will be forced to accept people’s allegiance.” (Al-Fitan, NuaimIbnHammad).
3. Gold to be discovered at the Euphrates:Abu Hurairah reported that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “The hour shall not occur until the Euphrates will disclose a mountain og god, over which people will fight. 99 out of every 100 shall die, and every one of them shall say, ‘perchance I shall be the one to succeed.”
4. A Sufyani will emerge: Narrates Abu Hurairah (RA) that Rsulullah (SAW) said, “ man will emerge from the depths of Damascus. He will be called Sufyani. Most of those who follow him will be from the tribe of Kalb. He will kill by ripping the stomachs of women and even kill the children. A man from my family (Imam Mahdi) will appear in Haraam, the news of his advent will reach the Sufyani and he will send to him one of his armies. He (Imam Mahdi) will defeat them. They will then travel with whoever remains until they come to a desert and they will be swallowed. None will be saved except the one who had informed the others about them.” (Mustadrak).
5. There are also some weak Hadeeth that mentioned of solar eclipses during the month of Ramadhaan.
IMAM MAHDI’S REIGN SHALL BE PEACEFUL
It is also reported in many hadeeths that Imam Mahdi shall lead a powerful Muslim army. Buraidah narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “There will be many armies after me. You must join that army which will come from Khurasaan.” (IbnAdi). In another hadeeth by Abu Hurairah, it is narrated that an army carrying black flags will come from Khurasaaan. No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach BaitulMaqdas (in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags.
Abu SaeedKhudri (RA) narrated a hadeeth that reported Rasulullah (SAW) as to have said regarding Imam Mahdi, “…the skies will rain down in abundance and the earth will yield forth its crop in abundance and those alive will desire that those who have already passed away should have been alive to enjoy this prosperity…”
It is also reported in another hadeeth gathered by Abu Dawood who reported that Umm Salmah(RA)narrated that Rasulullah (SAW)said, “ After the death of a ruler there will be some dispute between the people. At that time, a citizen from Madina will flee and go to Makkah. While in Makkah, certain people will approach him between Hajrul Aswad and Maqaam ibraheem, and forcefully pledge their allegiance to him.
Thereafter, a huge army will proceed from Syria to attack him but when they will be at Baida (between Makkah and Madina) they will be swallowed into the ground.
On seeing this, the Abdaals of Shaam as well as large numbers of people from Iraq will come to him and pledge their allegiance to him…He will lead the people according to the sunnat, and during his reign Islam will spread throughout the world. He will remain till seven years. He will pass away and the Muslims will perform Janaazah salaat.” (Abu Dawood).
In another hadeeth by Abu Umama (RA) he narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said, “There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The forth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Haroon (AS) and will be upheld for seven years.
The emergence of Imam Mahdi is one of the major signs of that the Day of Judgment is nigh. He will be from the progeny of Rasulullah (SAW) and will emerge at the age of forty. Just like Musa (AS), Imam Mahdi will speak with a stutter.
His reign on earth shall be peaceful albeit, after defeating some evil armies.