Who is Imam Mahdi?

   As we all know that Hazrat Imam Mahdi(A.S.) is one of the greatest signs before the last hour (Qiyamah) and is one of famous personalities among muslims who are eagerly waiting for his coming.

   Many people across the world had claimed to be Mahdi but we eventually come across that they were liars. Due to this, the Muslims got a mindset that anyone claiming Mahdi would be false only and the true one's coming is very far.

   But such thinking is not appropriate. If Prophet (S.A.W.) has given the news of Mahdi's (A.S.) arrival then he will surely come & it is our duty to recognize him and help him as Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said in one sahih hadith:
" Helping Mahdi or following his orders is must for every muslim." - (Abu Dawood)

   Now the question arises as how to identify the right Mahdi & to realize the time of his coming (appearance) ??

   The answer to this can only be found from the person who has informed the people about Mahdi's (A.S.) coming i.e Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) , the last prophet of this world. So from his words, we can know the details of Mahdi.

   We know that the words of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) are collected in the form of Hadith; so in order to know about Mahdi (A.S.) , first we should have good knowledge about hadith it's type, it's origin etc...

Physical Appearance

    The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
" The Mahdi will be of my stock, and will have a broad forehead a prominent nose. He will fill the earth (ارض) with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. " ( Abu Dawood)

    The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
" His (mahdi) nose will be pointed and his face will be bright." (Hakim)

Inference :

   The above hadiths show that Mahdi (A.S.) will have broad forehead, pointed nose and bright face. Apart from this, there are many weak narrations about Imam Mahdi which are very famous among the Muslims. They are that he will be of wheatish colour, medium height, light weighted body, have mole on his cheek .. So the things which are matching are considered and the rest are rejected because to identify someone, only sahih hadith’s narration is the correct basis.

His Name And Father's Name

   The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
" If only one day of this world remained. Allah would lengthen that day, till He raised up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family whose father's name is the same as my father's, who will fill the earth (ارض) with equity and justice as it has been filled with oppression and tyranny. " ( Abu Dawood)

   The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
" His name will be compatible with mine and his father’s name with my father’s name... " ( Abu Dawood & Tirmizi)

Inference :

   As we know that, name of a person that has figured out in prophesies does not match when the prophesies are unfolded. However, meanings of the name match or sometimes qualities which the name signifies match.

   Huzoor (S.A.W.) has no where said in any sahih hadith that Mahdi’s name will be Muhammad but has said that his name will be same as my name.

   Huzoor's (S.A.W.) name was Muhammad from childhood. But Isa (A.S.) has prophecised him with the name “Ahmad” as we see it in Surah As-Saf of quran. Ahmad means “the praised one” and Muhammad also means the same. Hence this prophecy by Isa (A.S.) is fulfilled by meaning. There are also many qualitative names of Huzoor (S.A.W.). so Mahdi’s name could be either Muhammad or Ahmad or these words could be included in his name as we see this in India that parents mostly keep Muhammad or Ahmad as their son’s name and to differentiate one from the other they add a qualitative name to this or if they are not aware of this fact, then they add any name to differentiate one from the other. ex- Muhammad Salim, Muhammad Salman, Afroz Ahmad, etc.. so if Mahdi (A.S.) is to come from India then he could also have such name.

   As far as his father’s name is concerned, nowhere has Huzoor (S.A.W.) said that Mahdi’s father’s name will be “Abdullah” but he (S.A.W.) said that Mahdi’s father’s name will be same as his father’s name.

   The real father of Huzoor (S.A.W.) was Abdullah but on many occasions Huzoor (S.A.W.) called Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) as his father as Huzoor (S.A.W.) belongs to Ibrahim (A.S.) progeny. The various hadiths calling Ibrahim (A.S.) as his father are as follows :-

  • Huzoor (S.A.W.) said:
    ” I am the product of my father Ibrahim’s (A.S.) supplication,”
  • On the occasion of Eid-ul-zoha, Huzoor (S.A.W.) said:
    ” This (sacrifice of Eid-ul-zoha) is the tradition of my father Ibrahim (A.S.).”
  • On referring to a particular supplication, Huzoor (S.A.W.) said:
    ” This supplication was done by my father Ibrahim (A.S.)….. on his two sons.”

   Also, when Huzoor (S.A.W.) was on his way to Heaven on the night of Miraj, then every prophet greeted him by saying, “ welcome! righteous prophet “ but Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) said, “welcome! righteous prophet, righteous son”.

   So from these points we come to know that Mahdi’s father name could be Abdullah or Ibrahim(as Huzoor (S.A.W.) called him his father) or any qualitative name of Ibrahim (A.S.) or names similar in meaning to Abdullah or Ibrahim. Ibrahim (A.S.) has two qualitative name by which Allah (S.W.T.) has called him in Quran. They are Khalilullah and Hanif. so Mahdi’s father’s name could be any of these two names also.

His Progeny


   "Al-Mahdi is one of us, the member of the household (Ahlul-Bayt). " (Sunan Ibn Majah)

   "The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatima (the Prophet's daughter). " (Abu Dawood & Tirmizi)
   "The earth (ارض) will be filled with injustice and corruption. At that time, a man from among my progeny will rise and will rule for seven or nine years and will fill the earth (ارض) with justice and equity." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad)

Inference :

   He will belong to Huzoor's (S.A.W.) family or his progeny. Huzoor (S.A.W.) has said Iranian as his progeny people. therefore he could also belong to Iranian descendent. But today it is very difficult to identify whether the person’s progeny belong to Huzoor (S.A.W.) or Hassan (R.A.) or Hussain (R.A.) because people rarely keep the details of their progeny and hence it is difficult to identify Mahdi (A.S.) on the basis of progeny. But one can easily identify him on other criteria of his identification.

   Apart from these, it has been also prophecised that Mahdi (A.S.) will introduce the Sunnah of Huzoor (S.A.W.) and will be made righteous in one night by Allah (S.W.T).