The Twelfth Imam; Mahdi
Birth and Martyrdom
Hujjat Ibn Al-Hassan (`a) was born on the night of fifteenth of Sha’ban in the year 255 A.H. in Samira’. His name is the name of the Prophet of Islam (s), Muhammad, and his nickname is the Prophet’s (s) nickname, Abul Qasim. His father was Imam Hassan Askari (`a) and his mother was Narjis. When his father was martyred, Imam Mahdi (`a) was only five. Being only five, he possessed knowledge and wisdom and he reached the Imamate position, just as Prophet Yahya (`a) reached prophet hood at childhood and Prophet Jesus (`a) became prophet in cradle.
The titles of Imam Mahdi (`a) are Hujjat, Qa’im, Mahdi, Khalaf Salih, Sahib Al-Zaman, and Sahib.
People Who Saw Imam Mahdi (`a) in his early days
Some close companions of Imam Askari (`a) had seen his son or heard the news about him.
Hakimah Khatun, the paternal aunt of Imam Hassan Askari (`a), has said, “On the birth night of Imam Qa’im (`a), I was in the house of Imam Hassan (`a) and present at the birth time. I saw the newborn son then and several times after that night.”
Fat’h –Mulla Zarari– has said, “I heard from Abu Ali Ibn Mutahhar, ‘I saw the son of Imam Hassan Askari (`a).’ He also described the height of Imam’s (`a) son.”
‘Amr Ahwazi has said, “Imam Abu Muhammad (`a) showed his son to me and told me, ‘He is your guardian.’”
‘Ibrahim Ibn Muhamamd has narrated from Abu Nasr Tarif, the servant, “I saw the son of Imam Hassan (`a).” Nasim, the servant of Imam Hassan (`a), has said, “Two nights after the birth of Sahib Al-Zaman (`a), I saw him. I sneezed, so he told me, ‘Allah bless you!’ And I became happy.”
Abu Ja’far ‘Amri has said, “When our master was borne, Imam Abu Muhammad (`a) called Abu ‘Umar. When he came, Imam (`a) told him, ‘Buy ten thousand trays of dates and ten thousand trays of meat and divide them among Bani Hashim. Buy a certain number of sheep and give away as ‘aqiqah for my son.’”
Abu Ghanim, the servant, has said, “The child of Abu Muhammad (`a) was borne. Abu Muhammad named him Muhammad. On the third day after the birth, Abu Muhammad (`a) showed his son to his companions and told them, ‘He is your guardian after me and the caliph after me. He is the Qa’im, who is waited for by the world people, and will fill the world with justice, after being filled with oppression.’”
Muhammad Ibn Hassan Karkhi said that he heard from Abu Harun, “I saw Sahib Al-Zaman; his birth was on a Friday in the year 256 A.H.”
Muhammad Ibn ‘Ibrahim Kufi has said, “Abu Muhammad (`a) sent a slain sheep for one of his companions with this message, ‘This is ‘aqiqah for my son, Muhammad.’”
Hassan Ibn Mandhar has said, “One day Hamzah Ibn Abul Fat’h came to me and told me, ‘Good tidings! Last night the child of Abu Muhammad (`a) was born and he ordered that we hide the news of it.’ I asked about his name. He answered, ‘His name is Muhammad and his nickname is Ja’far.’”
Hassan Ibn Hussayn ‘Alawi has said, “I went to meet Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali (`a) in Samirra’ and congratulated him on the birth of his son, Qa’im.”
‘Ibrahim, a friend of Imam Abu Muhammad (`a) has said, “My master, Abul Hassan (`a), sent four sheep for me with this message, ‘Give them away as ‘aqiqah for my son, Mahdi. Eat from them and feed other Shi’ahs with them.’”
Texts Proving His Imamate
Shiykh Mufid has written in this regard, “The traditions from Prophet Muhammad (s), Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a), the infallible Imams (`a), and his father, Imam Hassan (`a) about Imamate of Imam Mahdi (`a) were previously mentioned. His honorable father had introduced him as the Imam and appointed him to Imamate among his trustworthy Shi’ah companions.”
Shiykh Mufid has also written, “One of the reasons for Imamate of Qa’im, Muhammad Ibn Hassan (`a), is the logical reason for necessity of existence of an infallible Imam, who is independent of the knowledge of other people, in every time. In fact, someone should be present to enjoin goodness and forbid evilness, punish the criminals, guide the misguided people, enforce the hudud, execute Divine rules, appoint the governors, maintain the Islamic land from the danger of enemies, and establish Jumu’ah and ‘id prayers.”
It is proved that such a person should be infallible and an Imam introduced by the previous Imam. Or he should prove his Imamate by doing a miracle for the people.”
After the demise of Imam Hassan Askari (`a), there was no one possessing all these characteristics except his son, Mahdi (`a). Therefore, his Imamate is proved and there is no need to cite traditions in this regard.”
‘Is’haq Ibn Sa’d ‘Ash’ari has said, “I went to see Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali Askari (`a) and told him, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! Who will be the Imam and caliph after you?’ Imam Askari (`a) rose and entered his house rapidly. Shortly afterwards, he returned with a child on his shoulder. He was a three-year-old son with an illuminating face. Then Imam (`a) stated, ‘O ‘Is’haq Ibn Sa’d! If you were not dear to Allah and the Imams, I did not show you my son. This son has the same name and nickname as the Prophet of Islam (s). He is the person, who will fill the world with justice after being filled with oppression and injustice. O ‘Is’haq! He is like Khizr and Zul Qarnayn! By Allah that he has an occultation in which only the people are saved, who have a constant belief in Imamate –by Allah’s Mercy– and pray for my son’s hasty reappearance.’ I asked, ‘Does he have a sign to assure my heart?’ Then the child said in fluent Arabic, ‘I am Allah’s remnant on His earth and the avenger of His enemies.’”
I was happy of hearing this and went out. I returned on another day and asked Imam Askari (`a), ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! I got very happy of your news. You really did bless me. Now tell me what the tradition of Khizr and Zul Qarnayn is?’ Imam (`a) answered, ‘Occultation.’ I asked again, ‘Will he have a long occultation?’ He answered, ‘By Allah yes! His occultation will be so long that most of the believers in Imamate will change belief, except the people in whose hearts Allah has inspired our affection and the real belief. His occultation will be by Allah’s order and a secret of His secrets. Remember what I told you and keep it from the aliens. Praise Allah so that you will be with us in the Hereafter.’”
Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Bilal has said, “Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali (`a) informed me of his successor two years before his demise. He also introduced his successor to me three days before his demise.”
‘Amr ‘Ahwazi has said, “Abu Muhammad (`a) showed his son to me and told me, ‘He will be your guardian after me.’”
Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri has said, “Abu Muhammad (`a) showed his son to us in his house. We were forty people. He told us, ‘He will be your Imam and caliph after me. Obey him and do not create dispute, or else your religion will be lost. Beware that you will not see him again.’ Only a few days later, Abu Muhammad (`a) passed away.”
Musa Ibn Ja’far Ibn Wahab Baghdadi has said, “I heard from Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali (`a), ‘It is as if I see you in dispute over my successor! Everyone who accepts the infallible Imams after the Messenger of Allah (s), but denies my son, is like someone who accepts the prophet hood of the prophets (s), but denies the prophet hood of Muhammad (s). Obeying the last person of us is like obeying the first one of us and denying the last of us is like denying the first one of us. My son will have an occultation in which the people will doubt about his existence, except the people who are saved by the Almighty Allah.’”
Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri has said, “I heard from my father that Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali (`a) was asked about the tradition from his grand fathers, ‘The earth will not be void of Allah’s hujjat until the Resurrection.’ and that ‘Everyone who dies without knowing the Imam of his age has died a pagan death.’ Imam Abu Muhammad (`a) answered, ‘This is the truth just as the day is true.’ So he was asked, ‘Who will be the hujjat and the Imam after you?’ Imam (`a) answered, ‘My son, Muhammad, will be the Imam and hujjat after me. Everyone who dies without knowing him has died a pagan death. Beware that my son will have an occultation in which the ignorant will wander and the followers of untruth will perish. Anyone who defines the time of my son’s reappearance is a liar. He will rise. It is as if I see white flags swinging above his head in Najaf.’ ‘”
Some of the companions have narrated that when the wife (formerly servant) of Abu Muhammad got pregnant, Imam (`a) told her, “You will soon give birth to a son, named Muhammad. He will be the Qa’im after me.”
Saqar Ibn Abi Dilf has said, “I heard from Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali (`a), ‘The Imam after me will be my son, Hassan. After Hassan, his son will be Qa’im, who will fill the earth with justice after it has been filled with injustice and oppression.’”
In addition to the mentioned traditions, there are many other traditions that can be used for proving the existence of the twelfth Imam (`a). These traditions are of several types.
The first type; the traditions from the Messenger of Allah (s) about the twelve caliphs from Quraysh after himself.
‘amir Ibn Sa’d Ibn Waqqas has said: I wrote in a letter to Jabir Ibn Samarah, ‘Inform me of what you heard from the Messenger of Allah (s).’ He wrote in answer, ‘On a Friday, I heard from the Messenger of Allah (s), ‘This religion will continue until the Resurrection, until twelve caliphs from Quraysh will rule.’’ Such traditions reveal that:
-The religion (Islam) will exist until the Resurrection.
-Twelve caliphs from Quraysh will rule as the Prophet’s (s) successors.
There are some probabilities about the instances of these twelve caliphs, none of which are acceptable. The only acceptable explanation is the belief of the Imamiyah, the Shi’ah. According to this belief, the Imams and caliphs after Prophet Muhammad (s) are twelve people from Quraysh and Bani Hashim, the twelfth of which is Imam Muhammad Ibn Hassan Askari (`a), who is alive but hidden. He will reappear and rise in the destined time and fill the world with justice.
The second type; the traditions about the twelve infallible Imams and their last one, Qa’im and Mahdi.
Salman Farsi has said, “I went to see the prophet (s) and saw Hussayn (`a) on his lap. The Prophet (s) kissed Hussayn’s (`a) eyes and mouth and said, ‘You are Sayyid, the son of Sayyid, and the father of Sayyids. You are the Imam, the son of Imam, and the fathers of Imams. You are hujjat, the son of hujjat, and the father of nine hujjats, the ninth person of which is Qa’im.’”
The third type; the traditions about twelve Imams, including the names of each Imam.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari asked the Messenger of Allah (s), “O Messenger of Allah! Who are the Imams from the progeny of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a)?” Prophet Muhammad (s) answered, “Hassan and Hussayn, the youth of the Paradise, then Sayyidul ‘abidin in his time, Ali Ibn Hussayn, then Baqir, Muhammad Ibn Ali. O Jabir! You will meet him, so say my hello to him! Then Sadiq, Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, then Kazim, Musa Ib Ja’far, then Riza, Ali Ibn Musa, then Taqi, Muhammad Ibn Ali, afterwards Naqi, Ali Ibn Muhammad, then Zaki, Hassan Ibn Ali, and after him his son, Qa’im, Mahdi, who will fill the world with justice as it was filled with oppression.”
Sahl Ibn Sa’d Ansari has said, “I asked Fatimah (`a), the daughter of Messenger of Allah (s), ‘Who are the Imams?’ Fatimah (`a) said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (s) told Ali (`a), ‘O Ali! You will be the Imam and caliph after me. You are more deserved than the believers to interfere in their affairs. When you pass away, your son, Hassan will be the most deserved one. After Hassan’s demise, Hussayn will be the most deserved one. After Hussayn’s (`a) demise, his son, Ali Ibn Hussayn (`a) will be the most deserved one. When Ali Ibn Hussayn (`a) passes away, his son, Muhammad, will be the most deserved one. When Muhammad passes away, his son, Ja’far, will be the most deserved one. After Ja’far’s demise, his son, Musa, will be the most deserved one. When Musa passes away, his son, Ali, will be the most deserved one. When Ali passes away, his son, Muhammad, will be the most deserved one. After Muhammad’s demise, his son, Ali, will be the most deserved one. When Ali passes away, his son, Hassan, will be the most deserved one. After Hassan’s demise, his son, Qa’im, Mahdi, will be the most deserved one. He will conquer the East and the West of the world.’ ‘”
The fourth type; the traditions about twelve infallible Imams.
Abu Tufayl has narrated from Imam Ali (`a) from Messenger of Allah (s), “You are my guardian for anyone who dies from my Ahlul-Bayt and my successor among my ummah. Fighting you is like fighting me and making peace with you is like making peace with me. You are the Imam and the father of the Imams. Eleven Imams, all purified and infallible, will be born from your progeny. One of them will be Mahdi, who will fill the world with justice. Woe to those who conflict them!”
The fifth type; the traditions about the existence of Ahlul-Bayt until the Last Day.
Prophet Muhammad (s) stated, “The stars are safety for residents of the heavens.
If all the stars expire, the residents of heavens will die too. My Ahlul-Bayt are safety for residents of the earth. If my Ahlul-Bayt perish, the earth people will perish too.”
Abdullah Ibn Sulayman ‘amiri has narrated from Imam Sadiq (`a), “The earth will never be empty of Allah’s hujjat, who distinguishes between halal and haram and guides the people to the right path.”
Abu Hamzah has said, “I asked Imam Sadiq (`a), ‘Will the earth be void of Imams?’ Imam Sadiq (`a) answered, ‘No. If the earth gets void of Imams, it will collapse.’”
Washa’ has said, “I asked Imam Riza (`a), ‘Will the earth be without Imams one day?’ Imam Riza (`a) answered, ‘No.’ I said again, ‘It is narrated for us that the earth will never be without Imams except if Allah becomes angry with His servants.’ Imam Riza (`a) stated, ‘No. The earth will never be without Imams, otherwise it will collapse.’” 
Such traditions reveal that the existence of Imam –an infallible complete human as the goal of creation– is necessary for continuation of the life on earth. As the earth will never be without an Imam, our age is not without an Imam, though he is hidden from sights.
This also confirms the belief of the Shi’ah that the Imam of our age is the progeny of Imam Hassan Askari (`a), who was born in the year 255 A.H. He is hidden from sights and is fulfilling his duties until the ground is ready for his reappearance and reforming the world.
Continuous News about the Existence of Mahdi
From the time of Prophet Muhammad (s) until the age of Imam Askari (`a), there had been news about the existence of Mahdi and Qa’im. Many traditions are narrated in this regard and recorded in tradition books, some of which are cited here.
Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (s), “Mahdi will be one of my progeny; his name is my name and his nickname is my nickname. He is more similar to me than anyone else in terms of creation and ethics. He will have an occultation in which the people will go astray about him. Then he will reappear like the rising of a star and will fill the world with justice, as it had been filled with oppression and injustice.”
Imam Hussayn (`a) has narrated from his father, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a), “O Hussayn! Someone from the ninth generation of your progeny will be the very Qa’im (riser for the sake of truth), the revitalizer of religion, and spreader of justice.” Imam Hussayn (`a) asked, “O Amiral Mu’minin! Will this really happen?” Imam Ali (`a) answered, “Yes, by Allah Who appointed Muhammad to prophet hood and selected him from among all the people. Spread of justice by him will be after his occultation and bewildering of the people. Only the sincere believers will maintain their belief in religion during that occultation; the people who have a promise with Allah about our affection, whose belief is in their heart, and are confirmed.”
Imam Hassan (`a), after his peace contract with Mu’awiyah, told the protesters, “Don’t you know that none of us, the Imams, can escape oath of allegiance with the monarch of our age, except Qa’im, behind who Jesus, son of Mary, will perform prayer? The Exalted Allah will hide his birth and he will be hidden until his reappearance. Then he will not be forced to take oath of allegiance with anyone. He will be a progeny from the ninth generation of my brother, Hussayn. He will spend his long life in occultation. Then he will reappear while he resembles a forty year old one, by Allah’s power. And Allah has power over all things.”
Hussayn Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a) stated, “Qa’im (riser) of this ummah will be a progeny from my ninth generation. He will have an occultation and his legacy will be divided during his lifetime.”
Sa’id Ibn Jubayr has said, “I heard from Ziynul ‘abidin Ali Ibn Hussayn (`a), ‘Qa’im will have a tradition from Noah and that is long life.’”
Muhammad Ibn Muslim Thaqafi has said, “I heard from Abu Ja’far Muhamamd Ibn Ali (`a), ‘Qa’im will win by scaring his enemies and will be confirmed by Allah. The earth will surrender its treasures to him. His sovereignty will envelop the East and the West. The Almighty Allah will win Islam over other religions by him, though the disbelievers do not like it. He will organize all the earth. Prophet Jesus (s) will descend the heavens and perform prayer with him.’”
Safwan has said, “I heard from Imam Sadiq (`a), ‘Anyone who accepts all the Imams but denies Mahdi (`a) is like someone who accepts all the prophets, but not Prophet Muhammad (s).’ Imam Sadiq (`a) was then asked, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! Whose son is Mahdi?’ Imam (`a) answered, ‘A progeny from the fifth generation of the seventh Imam. He will be hidden from you and saying his name will be forbidden for you.’”
Yunus Ibn Abdur Rahman has said, “I asked Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (`a), ‘Are you Qa’im?’ He answered, ‘I am Qa’im (riser) for the truth, but Qa’im, who will eradicate Allah’s enemies and will fill the earth with justice as it had been filled with injustice, will be the fifth person from my progeny. He will have a long occultation, because he is fearful of his life. During his occultation, some people will forget their belief and some will be constant in their beliefs.’ Then he said, ‘Good for our Shi’ahs who will resort to us in occultation time, love us, and dislike our enemies! They are from us and we are from them. They are happy with our Imamate and we are happy of their being Shi’ah. Goof for them! By Allah that they will be with us in the Hereafter.’”
Rayyan Ibn Salt has said, “I asked Imam Riza (`a), ‘Are you Sahibul ‘Amr?’ He answered, ‘Yes, I am Sahibul ‘Amr, but not the Sahibul ‘Amr who will fill the earth with justice after being filled with oppression. How can I be Sahibul ‘Amr with my weak body? Qa’im is the person who appears, in his old age, like a young strong man. He is able to eradicate a large tree and if he shouts before mountains, the stones collapse. He possesses the stick of Moses (`a) and the signet of Solomon (`a). He will be the fourth generation of my progeny. Allah will hide him from sights then he will reappear and will fill the earth with justice after it had been filled with injustice and oppression.’”
Abdul ‘Azim Hassani has said, “I went to see Imam Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Musa (`a). I was going to ask about Qa’im and whether he is Mahdi (`a) or not when Imam (`a) told me, ‘O Abul Qasim! Our Qa’im will be Mahdi (`a) who should be waited for in his occultation time and obeyed after his reappearance. He is from the third generation of my progeny. By Allah, Who appointed Muhammad (s) to prophet hood and allocated Imamate to us, if only one day is remaining from the world, Allah will last it until Mahdi (`a) reappears and fills the earth with justice as it was filled with oppression. Allah will organize the affairs for Mahdi (`a) in a single night, as He did for Moses (`a). Moses went away to bring fire, but he returned as a prophet.’ Then Imam Riza (`a) stated, ‘The best deed of the Shi’ah is waiting for Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance.’”
Saqar Ibn Abu Dilf said, “I heard from Imam Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali (`a), ‘The Imam after me will be my son, Hassan, and after Hassan his son will be Qa’im, who will fill the earth with justice after being filled with oppression.’”
‘Ahmad Ibn ‘Is’haq ‘Ash’ari has said, “I went to see Imam Abu Muhammad Hassan Ibn Ali (`a). I was going to ask him about his successor, when Imam (`a) told me, ‘O ‘Ahmad Ibn ‘Is’haq! The Exalted Allah will never leave the earth without hujjat until the Hereafter. Because of the blessings of the hujjat calamities do not happen for the earth inhabitants, it rains, and blessings come out of the earth.’ I asked, ‘O son of Messenger of Allah! Who will be your caliph and the Imam after you?’ Imam Hassan Ibn Ali (`a) rapidly went to his house and came out after a while. He held a three-year old son on his shoulders, whose face illuminated like the full moon. So Imam (`a) told me, ‘O ‘Ahmad! If you were not dear to me, I did not show my son to you. He has the same name and nickname as the Prophet of Islam (s). He is the very person, who will fill the earth with justice after it is filled with oppression and injustice.’”
The mentioned traditions and many more similar ones reveal that the honorable Prophet (s) and infallible Imams (`a) had frequently informed the people of existence of the twelfth Imam, Mahdi, or Qa’im, to prepare them for accepting him. In fact, it has happened as they had informed. What was begun by the Prophet (s) was continued by infallible Imams (`a).
Foretelling the Occultation
As is clear from previous traditions, the Occultation of the twelfth Imam (`a) has always been discussed among the Shi’ah until the age of the eleventh Imam (`a) and Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahlul-Bayt, the infallible Imams (`a) announced it. The occultation had been considered a characteristic of Mahdi (`a). In addition to these traditions, many other traditions explicitly mention the Occultation.
The honorable Prophet (s) stated, “By Allah, Who appointed me for giving good tidings, Qa’im from my progeny will hide because of a promise. Then most of the people will say, ‘Allah does not need the Household of Muhammad.’ Some others will doubt about his birth altogether. So everyone who is present in occultation time should attempt in maintaining his religion and avoiding satanic temptations; he may get you out of my religion, as he drove your parents away from Paradise before. Allah has given guardianship of the disbelievers to Satan.”
Imam Sadiq (`a) stated, “If you heard the news of your Imam’s occultation do not reject it.”
Tabarsi has written, “The news of occultation of Imam of the age (`a) had been issued before he, his father, and his grandfather were born. The Shi’ah narrators have recorded these news in books authored in the times of Imam Baqir (`a) and Imam Sadiq (`a). One of trustworthy narrators and authors is Hassan Ibn Mahbub Zarrad. He has recorded the traditions about Occultation of Imam Mahdi (`a) in his book more than one hundred years ago. As it was cited in traditions, the Occultation was materialized.”
Muhammad Ibn ‘Ibrahim Ibn Ja’far Nu’mani, who was born during Short Occultation of Imam Mahdi (`a), wrote in his book Al-Ghaybah, which was written when Imam (`a) was about eighty years old, “The infallible Imams (`a) had declared the Occultation of Imam of the age (`a) before. If his occultation had not happened, it was a reason for denying the Shi’ah belief. However, the Almighty Allah revealed the truth of Imams’ (`a) traditions by materializing the Occultation.”
In addition to Hassan Ibn Mahbub, some other companions of Imams (`a) have authored books about Imam Mahdi’s (`a) Occultation before his birth, including:
1. Ali Ibn Hassan Ibn Muhammad Ta’i Tatari, a companion of Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (`a) has written a book about Occultation. He was a trustworthy jurisprudent.
2. Ali Ibn ‘Umar ‘A’raj Kufi, another companion of Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (`a) wrote a book about Occultation.
3. ‘Ibrahim Ibn Salih ‘Anmati has authored a book about Occultation.
4. Hassan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Hamzah, who lived in the age of Imam Riza (`a), wrote a book about Occultation.
5. Abbas Ibn Husham Nashiri ‘Asadi, one of the companions of Imam Riza (`a), has written a book about Occultation.
6. Ali Ibn Hassan Ibn Fazzal, a companion of Imam Hadi (`a) and Imam Askari (`a) has written a book about Occultation.
7. Fazl Ibn Shadhan Niyshaburi, the companion of Imam Hadi (`a) and Imam Askari (`a) wrote a book about Qa’im of Prophet Muhammad’s (s) Household and his Occultation.
As a result, the existence of the twelfth Imam in his occultation is certain, because:
I. Based on logical reasoning proved before and many traditions from infallible Imams (`a), the existence of Imam and hujjat is necessary for continuation of human race and the earth will never be without Allah’s hujjat.
II. Many frequent traditions mention that the number of Imams will be twelve.
III. According to the traditions and the testimony of history, eleven of the Imams have reached Imamate and passed away after some time. Therefore, it can be concluded that the twelfth Imam is the son of Imam Hassan Askari (`a), the eleventh Imam, and is living in Occultation.
Imam Mahdi’s (`a) Virtues
Unfortunately, Imam Mahdi (`a) has lived in Occultation from childhood and has not interacted with the people directly, so his innate virtues, ethical qualities, knowledge, are not narrated for us. However, based on the prerequisites of the Imam it should be said that Imam Mahdi (`a) possesses all virtues of other infallible Imams (`a). He is infallible too, away from all sins and faults. He knows all sciences and teachings necessary for an Imam. The sources of his knowledge are the sources of knowledge of other Imams, too.
Imam Mahdi’s (`a) social, ethical, and worshipping conduct is the same as the conduct of Messenger of Allah (s) and infallible Imams (`a), though the details about him are not narrated for us. After his reappearance, all his virtues will be revealed, insha’allah.
Imam Baqir (`a) stated, “Knowledge of Allah’s Book and tradition of the Prophet (s) grows in the heart of our Mahdi (`a) as a plant grows in a ready piece of land in its best form. Every one of you who witnessed the time of his reappearance should say, ‘Greetings to you, O Ahlul-Bayt of Mercy and prophet hood, the treasures of knowledge and prophecy! Greetings to you O Baqiyyatullah (Allah’s remnant) on the earth!’”
Imam Baqir (`a) also stated, “When our Qa ’im rises, he will put his hand on the people’s heads; he will make them smart and will complete their minds and thought.”
Imam Sadiq (`a) said, “Knowledge is divided into 27 parts. Whatever is revealed to the prophets (s) and the people have learned is only two parts out of 27 parts. When our Qa’im rises, he will reveal the remaining 25 parts and teaches them to the people. These 25 parts plus what the prophets (s) have revealed equals the 27 parts of knowledge.”
Of course, such traditions do not imply that the knowledge of Imam Mahdi (`a) is superior to that of Prophet Muhammad (s)! Rather, the Prophet (s) and all infallible Imams (`a) are equal regarding their knowledge and virtues. The difference is that the time conditions and people’s understanding had not been prepared for accepting the complete sciences before Imam Mahdi’s (`a) time.
Short Occultation and Long Occultation
According to the Imamiyyah (Shi’ah) belief, the twelfth Imam (`a) has had two occultation periods; the Short Occultation and the Long Occultation. The former began from the birth of Imam Mahdi (`a) and ended in the year 329 A.H. During this period, Imam Mahdi (`a) was hidden from most of the people; however, he interacted with the Shi’ah through some elites, answering religious questions and fulfilling their needs. Imam Mahdi’s deputies for interacting with the people were four trustworthy persons, called na’ib (deputy), as cited below:
The first na’ib of Imam Mahdi (`a) was ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’id. He was a trustworthy companion of Imam Hadi (`a) and Imam Hassan Askari (`a). He was one of the people to who Imam Hassan Askari (`a) showed his son and said, “You will not see him again. In Occultation time, obey ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’id, who is deputy of your Imam.” 
The second na’ib of Imam Mahdi (`a) was Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman. After his father, ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’id, Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman was appointed as deputy by Imam of the age (`a). ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’id said before his demise, “My son, Muhammad, will be my successor and the deputy of your Imam (`a) after me.”
After ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’id, his successor was confirmed by Imam Mahdi (`a) in a letter.
The third na’ib of Imam Mahdi (`a) was Hussayn Ibn Ruh. Muhammad Ibn ‘Uthman introduced him as his successor and deputy of Sahibul Amr before his demise. He told his companions, “I have a mission from Imam of the age (`a) to appoint Hussayn Ibn Ruh as na’ib after myself. Refer to him for your affairs and questions.”
The fourth na’ib of Imam Mahdi (`a) was Ali Ibn Muhammad Samari. He was a reliable Shi’ah. Hussayn Ibn Ruh appointed Ali Ibn Muhammad Samari as his successor and deputy of Imam Mahdi (`a) before his demise.
Ali Ibn Muhammad Samari was the last deputy of Imam Mahdi (`a). He passed away in the year 329 A.H. Before his demise, he recited the letter Imam Mahdi (`a) had sent to him for the people, “Your death will come in six days. Organize your affairs, but do not set a successor to yourself. From this time, my Long Occultation begins. I will not reappear until a long time passes, the hearts become stubborn, the earth becomes replete with oppression, and the Almighty Allah allows me to reappear. From this time on, anyone who claims seeing me is a liar, so deny him.” 
The short Occultation and existence of Imam Mahdi’s (`a) deputies lasted for nearly seventy four years. In this period, the Shi’ah were in contact with Imam (`a) through his deputies. Sometimes the people asked their questions and received response letters, called towqi’, from Imam Mahdi (`a). Some other times, Imam (`a) primarily sent letters to the Shi’ah and issued verdicts and orders.
Some miracles have been narrated in this regard that need more time and space to be mentioned. The purpose of Short Occultation was preparing the Shi’ah for accepting the Long Occultation.
Imam Mahdi’s (`a) Long Occultation began from the demise of Imam’s (`a) last deputy, Ali Ibn Muhammad Samari, in the year 329 A.H. and will last until Imam’s (`a) reappearance. The honorable Prophet (s) and his Household, infallible Imams (`a), had announced these two Occultation periods before.
‘Is’haq Ibn ‘Ammar has said, “I heard from Imam Sadiq (`a), ‘Qa’im will have two Occultation periods; a short one and a long one. In the former, close Shi’ahs know about his place, but in the latter one only a few close sincere companions know about his place.’”
The living place of Imam Mahdi (`a) is not clear. He may live and interact with ordinary people in disguise.
The Philosophy of Occultation
Some people may ask, “Why did Imam of the age (`a) become absent? Couldn’t he live somewhere in the world, like other people, lead the Islamic ummah, and publicize religious rules and verdicts, until the situation became ready for his world uprising and reform and Allah allowed him to reappear? Then he could demolish the oppressor governments and establish a just Islamic one instead.”
The answer is that this is a good, but unfortunately impractical, hypothesis. Some points worth mentioning in this regard:
The mission of promised Mahdi (`a) is different from missions of other Imams (`a). The other Imams (`a) had no duty to have armed fighting for establishing Islamic government, enforcing religious rules and verdicts, combating oppression, supporting the deprived oppressed people, and establishing complete justice. The promised Mahdi (`a), however, has such important duties and this duty is one of his characteristics. Prophet Muhammad (s) and infallible Imams (`a) have introduced Imam Mahdi (`a) this way.
The government of Imam Mahdi (`a) is an international Islamic one, not limited to a single country, tribe, or language. Establishing such a government is not an easy work. It needs preparation in two ways; first, having complete military equipments superior to the world’s military forces, and second, preparing majority of world’s people mentally for accepting such a government and attempting to materialize it.
It has been proved logically and through traditions that the existence of the Imam is necessary for continuation of human generation. In fact, the world will never be without Allah’s hujjat.
According to many frequent traditions, the number of infallible Imams (`a) after Prophet Muhammad (s) will be twelve; eleven of them have lived in this world, so the last one –Qa’im (riser) for the truth and the promised Mahdi– should be alive until the Day of Judgment.
The honorable Prophet (s) and infallible Imams (`a) have frequently announced the existence of Mahdi (`a) and his uprising, saying, “When the world is replete with oppression and injustice, Mahdi (`a) will revolt and eradicate injustice and oppression with the aid of his companions, establishing the government of justice.”
Based on what was mentioned so far, it should be discussed if Imam of the age could live like an ordinary person somewhere in the world and fulfill his duties as much as possible. What would happen in the world in such an assumption?
In such situation, Imam Mahdi (`a) always faced two groups of people; first, the oppressed weakened people, who have always consisted the majority of the people throughout history and have waited for Imam Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance. These people always complain about difficulties and ask for world uprising, because they see Mahdi (`a) among them. Then if Imam (`a) accepts their request and begin his rise, he will not be victorious. Since the grounds had not been prepared for a world rising, Imam (`a) would be killed and the world people would lose their hujjat and Imam.
If Imam Mahdi (`a) does not accept the request of oppressed people, they would get disappointed and scattered. As a result, the only way for him is to be absent.
The second group is monarch governments of the world, which are dominant in most parts of the world. Unfortunately, they avoid no crime for continuing their dominance and would remove any probable threat to it.
This group has heard that the promised Mahdi (`a) would rise for defending the oppressed people’s right and fighting tyranny. If they see Imam (`a) with his long unconventional life, they feel the danger and undoubtedly assassinate him. Therefore, the earth would become void of hujjat.
In conclusion, the occultation of Imam of the age (`a) is necessary for preventing the mentioned happenings.
The Signs and Benefits of Absent Imam (`a)
In discussing the necessity of an Imam’s existence some major duties of the Imam were mentioned in previous chapters, including:
Recording and maintaining religious sciences, teachings, verdicts, and rules.
Publishing and propagating them among the Muslims.
Establishing and administering Islamic government and enforcing judiciary, political, social, economic, and cultural verdicts of an Islamic country for people’s problems.
Now it may be asked, “These needs necessitate the existence of the Imam. However, none of these are fulfilled by absent Imam (`a). So what is his benefit?”
The answer is that Imam Mahdi (`a) has no difference with other infallible Imams (`a) in fulfilling the first duty; he records and maintains religious verdicts. In fact, after Prophet Muhammad (s) religious sciences and teachings have remained intact with the Imams (`a) throughout the ages.
Concerning the other two duties of the Imam, though the people of occultation time cannot use the existence of absent Imam (`a), Imam (`a) has no fault in this regard. Rather it is the fault of people, who have not prepared the conditions for Imam’s (`a) reappearance and establishment of Islamic government. Therefore, Imam Mahdi (`a) is forced to live a hidden life until the grounds are prepared for his reappearance and rising.
Moreover, there is no obvious reason for Imam’s (`a) not interfering in scientific, cultural, political, and social issues of Islamic ummah. It is probable that Imam Mahdi (`a) gives direct or indirect scientific aid to some individuals, groups, or officials in urgencies and crises. Such helps cannot be denied.
In addition to mentioned uses of Imam Mahdi (`a), there are two other major benefits:
The first use of existence of Imam Mahdi (`a) is continuation of human race and protection of the earth. This is proved by two kinds of reasons; reasons found in traditions and logical reasons.
Reasons from traditions: There are many traditions saying that the existence of hujjat and Imam is necessary for continuation of human race and inexistence of him is the cause of devastation of the earth and extinction of human race. These traditions have been cited previously in this book.
Logical reasons: Some reasons have been pointed out in kalam and philosophy books for necessity of existence of Imam. Defining these reasons –proved in related books– requires a related introduction, which cannot be mentioned in this book. Only a summary of proved results are cited here:
Human is composed of physical body and spiritual soul. The body and soul combine to create a thing called human. Human has two levels of existence. The superior level is the everlasting heavenly human essence and the inferior one is physical. So the latter level can move and develop.
Human soul can go one of two ways; the direct path of humanity and development of human virtues to reach the Almighty Allah, or deviation from the true path and developing vices and evilness. Going to either of the two routes depends on individual humans.
The creation of human being and the world has not been vain and purposeless. The purpose is development of human soul, passing the rout to Allah, and reaching physical and spiritual perfection.
Human is not needless in finding the true path of humanity and seeking true salvation, rather he needs his Creature and guidelines of the prophets (s). Therefore, it is said that Allah’s Mercy necessitates that He send a program for human salvation in this world and the Hereafter by His prophets (s). Religious rules and verdicts are revealed for the same reason; to show direct path to humanity and meeting the Almighty Allah.
True belief, good ethics, and virtuous deeds are factors of soul development that bring about human salvation in the Hereafter. Evil belief and conduct and wrongdoing lead human to decline.
The route of human spiritual development is not credential, but real. Human essence moves in a real route. It goes either toward perfection or away from humanity and toward viciousness.
Thus, it can be concluded that there should always be a perfect human among the people who moves toward humanity, inside framework of religion, and possesses good ethics and conduct. Such a person is the purpose of creation. This brilliant human seeks the way toward absolute perfection and receives Allah’s blessings. He absorbs other people seeking this way with his spiritual attractions, benefitting them from Allah’s blessings revealed to pure soul of an Imam.
Such a noble person is the goal of creation, leader of humanity, and Allah’s hujjat. His existence causes the existence of human race and his inexistence causes extinction of humans and demolishing of the earth.
Therefore, it can be said that the major use of existence of the Imam is human survival. His absence or presence does not make any difference in manifestation of this effect. The absent Imam is compared to the sun behind the clouds in some traditions.
Sulayman has said, “I told Imam Ja’far Sadiq (`a), ‘How do the people benefit from the absent Imam?’ Imam (`a) answered, ‘Just as they benefit from the sun behind the clouds.’”
This tradition needs a little explanation. It is proved in astrology that the sun is the center of solar system. The sun gravity maintains the earth from collapsing. The earth rotates around the sun, creating day and night and different seasons. The sun light illuminates the earth and its heat is the cause of life for humans, animals, and plants. These benefits are effective in days, at nights, and in cloudy weather.
The second use of existence of Imam of the age (`a) is strengthening hope of waiting for his reappearance and preparation for participating in plans for world reformation. His plan includes ousting monarch governments and eradicating their oppression forever, establishing a single Islamic government and developing justice, promoting Islam throughout the world above other religions, complete eradication of infidelity, and enforcement of Islamic verdicts and removing poverty and deprivation forever.
A little attention reveals that realization of these goals is not possible except in case of all-out world preparation. This great victory is possible with fighting and attempting not with miracle. Nowadays, world oppressors have developed military industries and mass destruction weapons. True believers in promised Mahdi (`a) and his world reformation should prepare themselves for his rising and a difficult war. First, waiters for Imam Mahdi (`a) should develop their souls in a way that Imam (`a) wants all the people to be. Second, they should prepare world people mentally for accepting Islam and a single world government. Third, they should attempt to compensate their industrial and military shortcomings and become superior to other forces. This is the meaning of waiting for reappearance that is mentioned in some traditions. It is also considered another use of believing in the existence of the absent Imam (`a).
Traditions about Imam Mahdi (`a) in Sunni Books
The traditions about promised Mahdi (`a) are not only observed in Shi’ah books, rather many Sunni scholars have cited such traditions in their books, including the following:
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a) has narrated from Prophet Muhammad (s), “If only one day is remaining from the age of the world, the Almighty Allah will send a man from my Household to fill the earth with justice as it had been filled with oppression and injustice.”
Ummi Salamah has said, “I heard from Messenger of Allah (s), ‘Mahdi (`a) is from my Ahlul-Bayt and a progeny of Fatimah (s).’”
Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a) has narrated from the Prophet (s), “Mahdi (`a) is from my Ahlul-Bayt. The Exalted Allah will prepare the conditions for his rising over night.”
There are tens of other similar traditions in books of Sunni narrators.
These traditions indicate that the belief in promised Mahdi (`a) is not especial to the Shi’ah Muslims; rather it is an Islamic belief emerged from the Prophet (s) and believed by the Sunni Muslims too. The difference, however, is that the Shi’ah Muslims consider Imam Mahdi (`a) as a known progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s) and his daughter, Fatimah (s), and his grandson, Imam Hussayn (`a), and also the son of Imam Hassan Askari (`a). The Shi’ah also believe that Imam Mahdi (`a) has been born in the year 255 A.H., is alive now, and lives in absence. He will reappear in latter ages of the world when the conditions are ready for his rising. The Sunni Muslims believe that the promised Mahdi (`a) is not a known figure. He is the progeny of the Prophet (s) and Fatimah (s) and will rise in latter ages to fill the world with justice. In fact, they believe that he will be born in the very latter ages of the world for reforming the world.
This belief comes from the Sunni books, which do not mention the birth of Mahdi (`a), his father, Imam Hassan Askari (`a), and his Short and Long Occultations. Though these sources do not deny the beliefs of the Shi’ah.
Finally, it should be pointed out that the birth and absence of Imam Mahdi (`a) are not cited in Sunni books, but some Sunni narrators have acknowledged the birth of Imam Hassan Askari (`a) and recorded in their books, including:
Muhammad Ibn Talhah Shafi’i in the book Matalibus Su’ul, Muhammad Ibn Yusuf in the book Kifayatul Talib, Ibn Sabbagh Maliki in the book Al-Fusulul Muhimmah, Yusuf Ibn Qazawughli in the book Tadhkirah Khawas Al-Ummah, Shablanji in the book Nurul Absar, Ibn Hajar in the book Al-Sawa’iqul Muhaarriqah, Muhammad Amin Baghdadi in the book Saba’ik Al-Zahab, Ibn Khalkan in the book Wafiyyat Al-‘A’yan, Sha’rani in the books Al-Yawaqit and Al-Jawahir, Khajah Parsa in the book Fasl Al-Khitab, Abul Falah Hanbali in the book Shadharat Al-Zahab, Muhammad Ibn Ali Hamawi in the book Tarikh Mansuri.
Long Life of Imam Mahdi (`a)
One of important issues about Imam Mahdi (`a) is his long life. He is born in the year 255 A.H. and is alive until now (1423 A.H.). The time of his reappearance and later his demise is not known. Anyway, this lifetime is so long and extraordinary in present age. It may be unacceptable for some people and requires scientific discussion.
The reasons and factors of lifetime, oldness, and death need broad research by a group of scientists and experts in related fields, such as biology, medicine, dietetics, hygiene, human sciences, sociology, etc. The findings of such scientists reveal the secrets of long life, which can help humans live healthier longer lives. Discovering the secrets of long life will be useful for everyone, especially the advocates of Imam Mahdi (`a).
Some issues should be pointed out here:
The average human lifetime has not been identical throughout the ages and across world countries. The differences are the result of type and quality of nutrition, observing hygiene basics, prevention of contagious diseases, life milieu, and development of medical sciences.
Some people have lived longer than the average lifetime of others, for example up to one hundred years. Exceptionally, some people have lived up to nearly 150 years. Some rare examples of people living until 200 years of age or a little more than that have been reported. The interesting point is that no scientist has ever defined a limit for human age that cannot be passed.
Although the Almighty Allah does the world affairs through natural causes, His Power is not limited to known causes; rather He can do anything through causes and means unidentified by humans, as is the case about miracles. Therefore, it can be said that if the existence of a special human until a long time later is necessary, the Almighty Allah can prepare essential natural or even odd causes for it. As a result, a person’s exceptional hundreds or even thousands years of age cannot be denied.
The causes of old age and death are not clear for us. There is no reason for aging and lack of physical ability of all the people in the same age.
In the history, there have been people living for hundreds of years, thousand years, or even longer. Of course, proving such long lifetimes needs absolute reason. However, they cannot be denied altogether.
One of the people with a long life has been Prophet Noah (`a). The Holy Quran states that Noah (`a) lived 950 years. He invited his people to monotheism, but they always opposed him. Finally, severe rain and storm killed all the disbelievers. Only Prophet Noah (`a) and his followers boarded a ship and were saved from death.
(We (once) sent Noah to his people, and he tarried among them a thousand years less fifty: but the Deluge overwhelmed them while they (persisted in) sin. But We saved him and the companions of the Ark, and We made the (Ark) a Sign for all peoples!)
This verse shows that Prophet Noah (`a) have been fulfilling his mission for 950 years. It is not clear when he had been appointed to prophet hood or how much he had been alive after the storm happening. However, it can be concluded that he had lived more than a thousand years.
In sum, the Holy Quran that is an undeniable document has confirmed a lifetime more than thousand years. If we accept it, longer lifetimes cannot be denies either.
Imam Mahdi’s (`a) Reappearance Time
No time is defined for reappearance and world rising of Imam Mahdi (`a). Rather, the infallible Imams (`a) have rejected anyone who clarifies a time for it.
Fuzayl has said, “I asked Imam Baqir (`a), ‘Is there a specified time for reappearance of Mahdi (`a)?’ Imam Baqir (`a) said three times, ‘The definers of a time for it are liars.’”
Muhammad Ibn Muslim has said, “Imam Sadiq (`a) stated, ‘Do not hesitate to deny anyone who determines the time of Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance, because we do not define a time for reappearance.’”
Such traditions show that Prophet Muhammad (s) or infallible Imams (`a) have not given news of Imam Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance time, thus preventing any probable misuses. Therefore, if someone quotes the reappearance time from an Imam or other people, we should deny him.
The Signs of Imam Mahdi’s Reappearance
Some signs and conditions to happen before Imam Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance are recorded in tradition books. However, most of them have a weak unreliable document. They may have been altered and need exact review.
Perhaps the most important condition of reappearance is preparation of world milieu, which may reveal the closeness of reappearance time of Imam Mahdi –May Allah hasten his reappearance. Some issues need to be kept in mind in this regard.
Characteristics of Imam Mahdi’s (`a) Government
The government of Imam Mahdi (`a) will not be an ordinary one, but an exceptional government with these qualities:
His government will be completely religious and Islamic. In that government, Islam will rule completely. Heavenly rules and verdicts are enforced and benefitted from in all social affairs.
The government of Imam Mahdi (`a) will be international. At that time, conventional boundaries related to countries, languages, and races will disappear; one government will rule the world and all the people will cooperate in this government.
Disbelief will be eradicated and Islam will overcome other religions. The holders of heavenly religions will live together peacefully.
Tyrant governments will be ousted; oppression will be eradicated in the world and justice will be expanded everywhere.
Present Conditions of the World
Nowadays, many of the world people are disbelievers or infidels. The tyrant rulers and governments are ruling countries, controlling science and industry, especially extraordinary military industries. In sum, the ruling is in control of oppressors, who suppress independence and freedom movements.
Conditions of Victory
One of the major conditions of victory of revolutions and movements is materialization of all its necessary prerequisites. International movement of Imam Mahdi (`a) is not an exception. Though Imam Mahdi (`a) and his followers will benefit from Allah’s support in this movement, their victory will come with jihad and bloodshed, not with miracle.
Bashir has said, “I told Imam Abu Ja’far (`a), ‘The people say that when Mahdi (`a) rises, the affairs will be organized for him naturally and there will not be any bloodshed, even a little bit.’ Imam Abu Ja’far (`a) replied, ‘By Allah that it is not so. If it was possible, it would have happened for the Prophet (s), when his tooth was broken and his forehead was wounded in the war. By Allah the movement of Sahibul ‘Amr will not win, except that sweat and blood flow in the battlefield.’ Then Imam (`a) touched his forehead.”
With regard to Imam Mahdi’s (`a) great and expanded world plan, present and future state of military industries and tyrant monarchs in the world, and the fact that his movement will win with war, it can be concluded that realization of such great victory needs all-out world preparation. Without such preparation, Imam Mahdi (`a) will not reappear, nor will his movement win.
Preparing the world situation for reappearance of Imam Mahdi (`a) is the duty of Muslims, lovers of promised Mahdi (`a), and real waiters for reappearance. Realization of this great happening requires that: They observe refinement of their souls, development of good ethics, avoidance of sins, especially oppression, observing justice, practical adherence to Islamic rules and verdicts, defense of the oppressed deprived people, and expansion of justice. In fact, Imam Mahdi (`a) will rise for the same purposes.
They introduce Islamic rules and values in various worshipping, ethical, political, social, cultural, and economic aspects for the world people and prepare them mentally for accepting Islam.
They attempt in acquiring knowledge, technology, and military industries to compensate their previous lag and become superior to other powers.
They update their military force with developed weapons to confirm their power in the world and endanger their enemies so that they dare not attack Muslims.
They try to establish an Islamic government in a strong developed country, solve their economic, political, social, and cultural problems, and fight injustice, poverty, and prejudice to show the world people that complete enforcement of Islamic rules is the best way for managing the world.
Fulfilling these duties is the very real waiting for Imam Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance, recommended to Muslims of Occultation time in tradition books. If the Muslims behave this way, the ground will gradually prepare for Imam Mahdi’s (`a) reappearance and can be considered a sign of his reappearance, inshallah.
 Al-‘Irshad, Vol 2, p. 339; ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 214.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 213.
 Al-‘Irshad, Vol 2, p. 351.
 Ibid, p. 352.
 Al-‘Irshad, p. 353.
 Ibid, p. 354.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 217.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 51, p. 5.
 Ibid, p. 15.
 Ibid,p. 15.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 51, p. 15.
 Ibid, p. 16.
 Ibid, p. 28.
 Al-‘Irshad, Vol 2, p. 339.
 Al-‘Irshad, Vol 2, p. 242.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 248.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 250.
 Ibid, p. 252.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 352.
 Kifayatul ‘Athar, p. 290.
 Ibid, p. 288.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol 3, p. 1453.
 Yanabi’ Al-Mawaddah, p. 308.
 Ghayatul Maram, Vol 1, p. 163.
 Ghayatul Maram, Vol 1, p. 216.
 Ghayatul Maram, Vol 1, p. 193.
 Al-Mustadrak, Hakim Niyshaburi, Vol 3, p. 150.
 Al-Ghaybah, Al-Nu’mani, p. 68.
 Ibid, p. 69.
 Ibid, p. 69
 Kamalad Din, Vol 1, p. 403.
 Ibid, p. 421.
 Kamalad Din, Vol 1, p. 433.
 Ibid, p. 434.
 Ibid, p. 439.
 Ibid, p. 439.
 Ibid, Vol 2, p. 2.
 Kamalad Din, Vol 2, p. 30.
 Kamalad Din, Vol 2, p. 48.
 Kamalad Din, Vol 2, p. 49.
 Ibid, p. 55.
 ‘Ithbatul Hudat, Vol 6, p. 386.
 Ibid, p. 350.
 ‘A’lamul Wura, Vol 2, p. 257.
 Al-Ghaybah, Nu’mani, p. 6.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 52, p. 317.
 Ibid, p. 328.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 52, p. 336.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 51, p. 346.
 Rijal Mamaqani, Vol 1, p. 30.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 51, p. 349.
 Ibid, p. 355.
 Ibid, Vol 51, p. 360.
 Ibid, pp. 360-361.
 ‘Ithbatul Hudat, Vol 7, p. 69.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 52, p. 92.
 Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol 2, Kitabl Mahdi; Fusulul Muhimmah, p. 275.
 Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol 2, Kitabl Mahdi. Sunan Abi Majah, Vol 2, Bab Khurujul Mahdi.
 Sunan Abi Majah, Vol 2, Bab Khurujul Mahdi, p. 1367.
 The present book was written in the year 1423 A.H. and translated in the year 1432 A.H.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 52, p. 103.
 Ibid, pp. 104-117.
 Biharul Anwar, Vol 52, p. 358.