Imam Mahdi (as) in Sunni Books

Imam Mahdi (as) in Sunni Books



Upraising of a man from the household of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) named Mahdi is an issue which several scholars from Sunni sect has written about it. One of them is a contemporary writer named Muhammad –Ibn- Ahmad –Ibn- Ishmael, who has written a book with the name of “Mahdi: truth, not a superstition”. In second chapter of this book there are some issues which will be recited briefly as following:

  • He lists 31 name of companions of prophet (Pbuh) who has quoted about Mahdi(A.S)
  • 38 name of scholars who mentioned Mahdi (A.S) in their books.
  • 63 name of scholars who confirmed these quotations as “Authentic” or “Correct”.
  • 31 name of scholars who has independently, written a book about Imam Mahdi (A.S), which some of them has written more than one book.

In this brief overview, we will mention the names of 17 Sunni scholars –from early fifth century to the end of thirteenth century – who has written or cited about Imam Mahdi (A.S) and we will take a brief glance to their writings:

1- Al-Imam- al-Hafez abu-abdullah Muhammad –ibn- Abdullah known as Hakim Neishaburi (D.405 H) – has related several quotations in his renowned book, “al-Mustadrik al-al-sahihain” about Imam Mahdi(AS) in which Imam Mahdi has been introduced from the descendants of Fatima(SA) as a man who shall fill the earth with justice and equity.

In the previous chapter we mentioned two of his quotations about Khasf-e-Beida (Swallowing by earth in Beida) and uprising of Sufiani. Here is another quotation:

 “The Day of Judgment will not come until the earth is filled with tyranny, exploitation and rebellion. Later, a person (Mahdī) will be born from among my children who will fill the earth with justice and equity.”[1]

And he comments that this is a authentic quotation by the conditions of “both elders” (Bukhari and Muslim) but they didn’t relate this quotation. It should be noted that he compiled this book to show that there are some quotations which they have not mentioned as it is deduced from the name of his book. He also related the quotation of Ibn-majah:

And the only Mahdi (after Muhammad (Pbuh) is ‘Eisa bin Maryam’”

In his book and added that “I didn’t recited this Hadith to rely on it (which means it is not authentic in his opinion), but to show my surprise (that why it is recited by Ibn-majah).”

 2- abu-Salim Kamal-u-din Muhammad –ibn- Talha –ibn- Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan known as Imam Shafei, (D.652H) has recited some affairs about the virtues of 12 Imam in his book “Mataleb –a- soul fi managib Al al-rasul”. (It should be considered that he confines the family of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) to 12 Imam of Shiate). In the twelfth chapter he introduces the twelfth Imam:

“chapter 12 about ab-al-Ghasam Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan al-Khalas –ibn- Ali al-Mutavakel –ibn- al-Ghanaa (one of the titles of Imam Javad (A.S)) –ibn- Ali al-Redha –ibn- Musa al-Kadhim –ibn- Jaafar al-Sadigh –ibn- Muhammad al-Baghir –ibn- Ali Zein-ol-Abedin –ibn- al-Hussain al-Zaki –ibn- Ali al-Murtadha Amir-al-Mumanin –ibn- abi-Talib, known as al-Mahdi, al-Hujja, al-Khalaf al-Salih, al-Muntadhar (AS)”

As it is obvious, he names 12 Imam by the titles which is almost similar to the titles which is common by Shiates and it proves that they have always been called by these titles. Then he adds about Imam Mahdi (AS):

“and his lineage from father and mother: his lineage from father is al-Hasan al-Khalis –ibn … and his lineage from mother is um-valad known as saghil (which the correct name is Sighal) by the testimony of Hakima (Lady Hakima the aunt of Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) which witnessed the birth of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)) … and his name is Muhammad and his “surname” is abal-ghasim and his title is al-Hujah and al-Khalaf al-Salih and al-Muntadhar”

Like many Sunni scholars he believes that Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari, he recites his surname and title as what is common among shiates.

Then he relates some of quotations which we mentioned from abu-Dawud and Tirmidhi and relates the authentic quotation in “Sahihain”:

 How will you be when the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you and your Imam is from you …”

And he identifies this “Imam” as Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the linage of Fatima (S.A.) and from the household of the messenger of god (Pbuh) which is the namesake of the prophet and he is the one who shall fill the earth with justice and equity and he is from descendants of Abd-ul-Mutalib and one of the nobles of paradise, (referring to the quotation of Ibn-Majah: “We, the sons of ‘Abdul-Muttalib, shall be the leaders of the people of Paradise: Myself, Hamzah. ‘Ali, Ja’far, Hasan, Husain and Mahdi.”)

Then he argues that if someone says this does not prove that he is the same Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan, since there many descendants for Fatima (S.A.) and to the judgment day, everyone from her linage shall be from the household of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and replies that there has been recited some marks for him which all of them conforms the son of Imam Hasan Askari.

Then he argues that what if someone comes in the future with this specification from the lineage of Fatima(S.A.) and replies that we can’t eliminate this conformation because of that possibility and if we are about to do so, we should do the same for every sign which is related in the quotations of prophet Muhammad. It should be said that if a sign in some quotations be repetitive, then that sign will not be a sign. For example if someone says that the door of my house in the alley is green, it shall not work as a sign if there be more than one green door in that alley. So we believe that the marks in the quotations should be exclusive. Then adds:

“Muslim has recited in his book “Sahih” that prophet Muhammad said to Umar that someone named Oveis with some specifications shall arrive. Request him to ask forgiveness for you. When someone with the specified marks arrived, Umar did not wait for someone in the future with the same specifications.

Such is the affairs of “Khavarij” and Jews when they confronted with Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) with the same marks which was mentioned in Turat. They said that maybe someone comes in the future with the same marks and Quran blamed them for that. (refering to the verse 89th of “Bagharah” in which god accursed them.) Thus, when we found someone with the same specification which the messenger said in Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, al-Hujja, al-Khalaf al-Salih, then we should not wait for another man with the same marks.

Then he argues that what you said is correct but it is quoted that his father’s name is the name of the father of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) but the name of the father of Khalif al-Salih is Hasan, not Abdullah.

He replies something which in our opinion is not reliable but we recite the argument of Muhammad –ibn- Yusuf Ganji Shafei in the book of “al-bayan fi akhbar Sahib al-Zaman” in which he refers to the name of 30 scholars which related the first part “His name is my name” but didn’t relate the second part “the name of his father is the same as the name of my father” except Ubaidullah –ibn- Musa from Zaedeh, Then he concludes that this part with so many which oppose it, is definitely not reliable.

3- Sibt –ibn- Jauzi (D. 654H) writes in his book “Tazkirat ol-Khavas” about Imam Mahdi:

“He is Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan –ibn- al Ali … -ibn- Ali –ibn- Abi-Talib and his surname is abu-Abdullah and abal-Ghasim and he is al-Khalaf, al-Hujja, Sahib-al-Zaman, al-Ghaim, al-Muntazhar and he is the last Imam.”

In the beginning he names twelve Imam in sequence then he refers to the name and surname and titles of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and he says that he is the last Imam (of Shiates).

Then he relates this quotation from ibn-Umar by his reference”

“A man shall upraise at the last age from my descendants, whose name is my name and whose surname is my surname and shall fill the earth with justice as it was full of tyranny and he is Mahdi”

He believes this to be a renowned quotation. Then relates some other quotations and to contradict the improbability of his long age he names some people in the history who has long age also. Then adds: “one of the conditions of Imam is “Ismah”(Perfection) which means that Imam should be immune to mistakes.” (He truly believes “Ismah” to be immunity not only to sins but to mistakes also and this immunity is given by god to his chosen apostles because if they are leaders of people, they should not commit any mistakes, because their mistakes affects their followers which considers their deeds and words to be confirmed by god. This is not possible but by god’s special blessing.

4- ibn abal-Hadid mutazili (D.655H): He writes in his book “comments on Nahj-ol-Balagha”, Vol.7 p59 where Imam Ali Says: “Blessed be the son of the best bondwoman”, that if someone asks who is this man we will reply: Shiate say that he is their twelfth Imam and his mother was a bondwoman named Narjes but we (Muutazilates) say he is a man from the lineage of Fatima(S.A) who shall be born in the future and his mother is a bondwoman who has not yet come to existence. Then he adds some arguments about “Rajat” (recursion) which we don’t think to be completely flawless. He concludes something from recursion and confines it to the lineage of Umaiah but he continues: “But shiate people, believe recursion and state that when their promised Imam returns, a group of the lineage of Umaiah shall come back and the man shall take revenge from the enemies of the household of prophet.” Then he states the belief of Muutazilate: “but we believe that in the last age a man from the descendants of Fatima (A.S.) shall be born which has not yet been born and he shall fill the earth with justice and equity as it wall full of tyranny and oppression and he shall take a severe revenge from the oppressors, his mother is a bondwoman and he is named Muhammad like prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). This man shall upraise when many Islamic lands are under the rule of a man from the lineage of Umaiah, who is Sufiani, from the descendants of abu-Sufian –ibn- Harb –ibn- Umaiah and it is promised that this man from the lineage of Fatima shall root out the lineage of Umaiah, then Jesus (A.S.) shall descend from the heaven and …”

He also refer to Imam Mahdi(A.S.) in the same book (Vol.10, p95 & Vol. 19 p104) and writes that it unanimous between Islamic sects that the world shall no come to end but after his uprising.

We related his beliefs which some of there are against shiate statements and even several Sunni sects, to prove that he is not Shiaate because of glorification of Imam Ali. Since Imam Ali (A.S.) has been praised by many who are not Shiate and even Muslim and there has been written many books by people who are not Muslim about Imam Ali(A.S.), for example the long ode of Abd-ul-Masih Antaki which is the longest ode about Imam Ali(A.S.).

 5- Muhammad –ibn- Yusuf –ibn- Muhammad Ganji Shafei who has been martyred at 658H. It is said that he has been killed because of one of his books, “kifaiat al-talib fi Managhib Amir-al-Muumanin Ali –ibn- abi-Talib” (Pbuh). Although his references are for Sunni scholars, but he was executed for this unforgivable! Sin at great mosque of Damascus. Yes! This is how the people who call themselves the followers of the messenger of god, treat with anyone who tell the truth.

This man has written a book named “al-Baian fi Akhbar Sahib –al- Zaman (A.S.)”. We list the titles of the chapters of his book which shall briefly describe his statements:

  • about his uprising in the last age
  • about the quotation “Mahdi is from my household and from descendants of Fatima”
  • about the quotation “Mahdi is one of the nobles of paradise”
  • about the commandment of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) to follow Mahdi(A.S.)
  • about the aid of people from east to Imam Mahdi
  • about the length of his rule after uprising
  • that he shall lead Jesus Christ(A.S.) in his prayer
  • about his marks in the speech of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

He relates this quotation here: “Mahdi (A.S.) is the peacock (symbol of glory) of paradise”

  • prophet said explicitly that Mahdi (A.S.) is from the descendants of Husain(A.S.)
  • about his generosity
  • To reject this quotation which says: “Mahdi is Jesus –ibn- Mary” which we discussed earlier.
  • About this quotation which says: “the nation which I am its beginning, Jesus is its end and Mahdi is its middle shall not perish.”
  • Abou his surname and his conduct which is similar to the messenger of god. At the end of this chapter he argues that the father of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.)


 6- ibn-Taimiyah (D. 728H): in the forth chapter of his book “Menhaj al-Sunnah” he claims this quotation to be authentic: “a man from my lineage shall upraise in the last age whose name is my name and whose surname is my surname and shall fill the earth with justice as it was full of tyranny.” Then he relates some quotations from abu-Dawun and Tirmidhi about the certainty of this event and accepts their authenticity.

 7- sheikh ul-Islam Ibrahim –ibn- Muhammad –ibn- al-Muaiad al-Hamawi al-Khurasani (D.732H): He relates many quotations about Imam Mahdi in his book “exclusive banquets from the virtues of al-Murtadha(Imam Ali(A.S.)) and al-Batul (lady Fatima (S.A.) and two grandchildren (Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Imam Husain (A.S.) and the Imams from their lineage” which we have discussed earlier. For example he relates these quotations: “Mahdi will absent for a while” or “whoever denies Mahdi’s upraising has denied whatever inspired to prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)” or “the most excellent deed is to wait for the upraising”.

He related this quotation in the second part of this book from prophet Muhammad by ibn-Abbas:

Truly, Ali –ibn- abi-Talib is the leader of my people and my successor amongst them and one of his descendants is the promised savior, by whose hand god shall fill the earth with justice and equity as it was full of tyranny and oppression. By the one who sent me as the messenger, many few people shall endure in his absence.”

Then Jabir –ibn- Abdullah al-Ansari raised and said: “O messenger of god! Will this savior be absent?” He replies: Yes, by god! Verily god shall test the faithful and perish the unbelievers by his absence. O Jabir! This is one of god’s orders and secrets which is hidden from the knowledge of men. Lest you doubt this which is herecy.”

 8- ibn-Ghaiam (D.751H) – who was one of the apprentices of ibn-Timieh – relates some quotations about Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in the 50th chapter of his book: “al-minar al-munif fi al-Sahih va al-Zaeef” He relates the quotation which says “there is no Mahdi but Jesus son of Mary” which ibn-Majah has related in his book. Then consider it to be unreliable because it contradicts many quotations which introduces Mahdi as one of the descendants of Fatima (S.A.)

9- Ali –ibn- Muhammad known as ibn-Sabagh Maliki (D.855H) who writes in his book “important chapters to recognize the conduct of Imams (A.S)”:

“Chapter 12: about abi-al-Ghasim Muhammad al-Huja al-Khalaf al-Salih ibn abi-Muhammad al-Hasan al-Khalis:

He is the twelfth Imam and has been born in the middle of Shaaban of 255H in Samirra. His lineage from father is abu-al-ghasim Muhammad al-Hujja son of Hasan Khalis son of Ali Hadi … son of Ali –ibn- AbiTalib (A.S) and his mother was a bondwomen named Narjes who is the best of bondwomen and some believes her name to be something else. His surname is Abu-al-Ghasim and his titles are Hujja, Mahdi, Khalaf al-Salih, Ghaim, Muntazar (means promised), Sahib al-Zaman and the most renowned is Mahdi”

Then after relating many quotations he says that he is the meaning of this verse which has been repeated three times in Quran:

He is the One Who has sent His messenger with guidance and the True Religion so He may cause it to prevail over all [other]religions, no matter how associators may hate it[2]

10- ibn-Toloun (D.953H) who is one of the scholars of the tenth century and residents of Damascus. He writes about twelfth Imam in his book “The twelve Imam”:

“and the twelfth of them is Muhammad –bn al-Hasan who is abal-Ghasim Muhammad son of al-Hasan son of Ali al-Hadi son of Muhammad al-Javad son of …. Ali –ibn- AbiTalib (A.S.)” and acknowledge him to be Mahdi (A.S.). Then he relates a poem about twelve Imam which name all of them.

11- Abd –ul- Wahab Shaarani (D.973H) Consider Imam Mahdi (A.S.) to be son of Imam Hasan Askari in his book “rubies and diamonds in expression of beliefs of elders”[3] and continues that he has been born in the middle of Shaaban of 255H and now in the year of 958H, he is 706 years old. (The correct number is 703).

 12 – ibn- Hajar Heithami Macci (D.974) writes down in his book “al-Savaigh al-Muharragha” (The burning lighnings) which has been written to refuse the Shiate statemens:

“ and the 12th verse

It (Jesus (A.S.)) will be because of knowledge about the Hour. Do not puzzle over it and follow Me; this is a Straight Road.[4]

It may mean that when Jesus (A.S.) descend from heaven makes people to recognize the hour of arrival of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)”

It should be noted that ibn-Hajar has related more than 15 verse about the virtues of the household of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) (Ahl –ol- Bait) and this is the 12th one and he says that it has been inspired about Imam Mahdi (A.S.) then he adds that some quotations shall follow which imply that the one is from the household of the messenger of god, then continues:

“considering this issue (that this verse is about Mahdi and he is one of the household) we can conclude that the lineage of Fatima (S.A) and Ali (A.S.) is blessed (till the last age) and god shall chose pure people from their lineage which are keys to wisdom and source of blessing and mercy and their descendants are sheltered from devil and are under the protection of god.”

Then he narrates the story of their marriage and relates from abu-Dawud that Abubakr and Umar proposed marriage but Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) refused. Then they came to Ali and asked him to propose marriage. After relating their marriage story which was by the order of god, he transcribes the quotations about Imam Mahdi(A.S.) in the following pages, and denies the authenticity of the quotation which says “there is no Mahdi but Jesus son of Mary”.

In continue he tells two story about Imam Hasan Askari which is interesting:

1- Imam Hasan Askari(A.S.) was a child and was crying while other children were playing. Bohlul supposed he is crying in the desire of their toys, so told him: “let me buy something for you to play”.

He replied: “you ignorant! We have not been created to play.”

“Then why we have been created?”

“To acquire knowledge and serve god.”

“How do you say that?”

“Because god said:

Did you reckon We have created you just for fun and that you would never be returned to Us”[5]

Bohlul asked him to preach him. Imam preached him in some poems then fainted himself. When he woke up Bohlul said:

“What happened to you? You are child and innocent.”

“Leave me alone Bohlul! I saw my mother firing big firewoods with small ones and I am afraid to be a small firewood of hell.”

2- When Imam Hasan Askari were imprisoned at the rule of Muutamid, a famine came to Samira. The Caliph Muutamid son of Mutavakil ordered the scholars to perform rain prayer. They held the prayer for three days but nothing happened. But Christians came out with a monk and when the monk raised his hand for praying raining began. The same happened in the second day. Some people who had weak faith doubt their religion and denied their faith. This event was troublesome for Caliph. (Because he was on the throne as the successor of the messenger of god and his position would be weakened by disbelief of people) He summoned Imam Hasan Askari (A.S.) and said “save the people of you grandfather the messenger of god (Pbuh).”

(It is interesting that the tyrant Abbasid Caliph imprisoned him while he knew his position with god but when he see his throne in peril asks his aid under the title of saving people from misbelieve. Ultimately he will kill him like his ancestors and chase Imam Mahdi (A.S.) but he flee to a basement and vanishes from people and many few men has seen him afterward until the day which he returns again and purge the world from the oppressors of the time.)

Imam Said: “We shall come out tomorrow and by god’s will I shall remove their doubt.” Then He asked Caliph to release his men and Caliph did so.

Tomorrow people came out to pray for rain and the monk raised his hand to pray and the sky get full of clouds. Imam ordered them to take the hand of the monk. They saw that there is a bone in his hand. Took it and said: “now, pray!” he raised his hand but the clouds vanished. People were amazed. Caliph asked Imam what has happened? Imam said: “This bone belongs to one of prophets which this monk has found in cemetery, when it is under the sky it shall rain. They tried it and it was so. The doubt of people were removed and Caliph sent Imam with respect to his house and sometimes he used to send some gifts for him. Until He died at the age of 28 in Samira and it is said that he was killed (like his fathers) and he has no son but the same abal-Ghasim Muhammad al-Hujja who was 5 years old when he passed away, but god granted him wisdom and he is named Muntazar (Promised) and it is said that he vanished in the city and it not known where he has gone and Rafiza (Heretics) meaning Shiates consider him to be Mahdi.”

We discussed that some of Sunni scholars states the same but ibn-Hajar attribute it to Shiates only and this demonstrates his prejudice and his ignorance about the quotations of his predecessors.

It is interesting that he says one of the titles of the son of Imam Hasan Askari is Muntazar (Promised) and who else but Mahdi is promised to Islamic nations?

He says that he has been granted wisdom when he was a child. We argue who but god can grant wisdom to a five years old boy? Is it but that he was chosen by god? And is it anything but succession of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and leadership of people?

He writes down in his book “Al-Fatava al-Hadithiah” that prophet said: “Whoever denies Mahdi has committed herecy” and he says the denier of Mahdi should be executed and argue by some quotations.

In his book “brief statements in the marks of the promised Mahdi” after relating the previous quotation, emphasizes that Mahdi(A.S.) is from the lineage of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and from the descendants of Fatima (S.A)

12-Ali –ibn- Sultan Muhammad (D.1014) in his book (merghat al-Mafatih) argues by the quotation which says “His name is my name, and his father’s name is my father’s name” and adds:

“This quotation is against the belief of Shiate which states that promised Mahdi is Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan al-Askari.”

What a strong reasoning! I wished they could argue by shiate sources, which definitely they cannot do.

They are like people who are trying to argue with Jews and Christians by Quran or Hadith.

 14- Ahmad –ibn- Yusuf –ibn- Ahmad (D.1019) who writes in his book “Akhbar al-Duval va Athar al-Aval”:

“11th chapter about khalaf al-Salih, Imam Abal-Ghasim Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) who was 5 years old when his father passed away. God granted him wisdom when he was a child as he granted Yahia”

15- Abdullah –ibn- Muhammad –ibn- Amir Shafei (D.1171H) says in his book “al-Athaf be hob el-Ashraf”:

:Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan was the twelfth Imam and his titles are Mahdi, Ghaem, Muntazar, Khalaf al-Salih, Sahib al-Zaman and the most renowned is Mahdi. But the promised Mahdi which shall upraise in the last age is somebody else.”

And praises 12 Imam in continue:

“The lights of Hashimate lineage and pure descendants of messenger and the sons of Ali who are 12 Imam, has been shone to all. Their virtues are excellent and their manners are high and their souls are dignified and they have rooted on prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and they are Muhammad son of al-Hasan al-Khalis son of Hadi … son of Husain brother of Hasan, two sons of Ali –ibn- Abitalib, the blessing of god be upon them.”

Yes this holy spirits has been so shining that both enemy and friend can’t do anything but to praise them.

16- Sheikh Suleiman –ibn- Ibrahim Konduzi Hanafi (D.1294) relates many quotations about Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in his book “yanabi ol-Mavadah le zavel ghurba”:

“Imam Hasan Askari lived 6 years after his father and has no son but abal-Ghasim Muhammad al-Muntazar known as Ghaim, Hujja, Mahdi, Sahib al-Zaman who is the last of 12 Imam of Shiates. He was born in the middle of Shaaban 255H and his mother was a bondwoman named Narjes. He was 5 years old when his father passed away and he is Muhammad Muntazar son of Hasan Askari (A.S.).”

He also devotes the chapter 71 of his book to Imam Mahdi which is too long for this discussion.

17 – Seyed Mumen –ibn- Hasan –ibn- Mumen Shablanji (D.1290) writes down about Imam Mahdi in his book “Noor ol-Absar fi Managhib Al al-Nabi al-Mukhtar” in a chapter in his name:

“This chapter is about the virtues of Muhammad –ibn- al-Hasan al-Khalis –ibn- Ali al-Hadi … -ibn- Ali –ibn- Abitalib …”

And repeats some of his virtues which we related by Muhammad –ibn- Yusuf Ganji Shafei.

Let’s hope and pray that god hasten his upraising and consider us as his companions and thank god that we are followers of people who are immune to evil and are is such a position that even who denies their leadership and succession accepts their excellency.


[1] – Mustadrak – Hakim Neishaburi, Vol.4, No.8669

[2] – Holy Quran 9-33, 48-28,61-9

[3] – al-Yavaghit val Javahir fi bayan aghaeed al-Akabir

[4] – Holy Quran 43-61

[5] – Holy Quran 23-115



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