Vanguard of Light
Author: Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi
Naba Cultural Organization
Name of Book: Vanguard of Light
Name of Author: Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi
Translator: Jalil Dorrani
Date of Publication: 2005
No. of Copies: 2000
Publisher: Naba Organization
Address: P. O. Box: 13185-567 Tehran, Iran
In The Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
This collection in your hand comprises of twelve pure traditions concerning Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) with six of them quoted from the famous books of eminent Sunni scholars and the other six narrated from famous Shiite sources.
These traditions along with their translation and brief explanation are expressed in very concise, attractive and fluent manner. A brief glance over them can acquaint you with the dimension of Imam Mahdi’s advent, the manner of his rule and the glad tidings given by the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Imams (a.s.) concerning him. One point that can clearly be observed in these traditions is that the matter of universal government of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is much higher than what a few among the ignorant can imagine. Besides, you can perceive this truth that awaiting his advent calls for spiritual, material, mental and physical preparedness and everyone claiming to be awaiting his advent cannot be labelled a true follower.
It is also necessary to point out that the traditions related to Mahdi are neither peculiar to some fixed tribe among the Muslims nor reserved for the Shiite sect. These traditions can be found in all the Islamic sources and in most instances, they are associated with delicate seasonings that reveal his style of rising and the contents of his invitation.
1- He shall come
In Musnad of Ahmad, which is one of the famous Sunni references and the works of one of the leaders amongst the four Sunni schools of thought, we read the following:-
قالَ رَسُولُ الله(صلي اللهُ عليه واله): لا تَقُومُ السّاعَةُحَتّي تَمْتَلِيَ الْاَرْضُ ظُلْماًَ وَ عُدْواناًَ ثُمَّ يَخْرُجُ رَجُلٌ مِنْ عِتْرَتي (اَوْمِنْ اَهْلِ بَيْتي) يَمْلَاُها قِسْطاًَ وَ عَدْلاًَ كَما مُلِئَتْ ظُلْماًَ وَ عُدْواناًَ.
The holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “The resurrection day shall not be set-up but after the earth has been filled with injustice and tyranny. Then, a man from my progeny shall rise and he will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it had been filled with injustice and tyranny”.
This description that has come down in several traditions (exceeding 10 traditions) from authentic Islamic references reveals that the rise of Mahdi (a.s.) is an indispensable affair that can never be broken.
The essence of the world of existence is based on justice and creation has been moulded on the basis of justice and equity. Thus, injustice and tyranny, which has always been against the basis of creation, is transient and at the end has to give its place to justice and equity.
If the balance of forces is removed from the heavens, all the stars and spheres in the universe would be destroyed. If the existence of human beings were put an end to, then it would immediately turn sick. The human society cannot remain an ill-matched link in this system. For this reason, justice and equity would ultimately prevail over this society until the aim of creation is achieved and the worthy hands of Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) would raise this flag
2- His name is the same as the holy Prophet’s name
In Sahih-Tirmidhi, it has been narrated from Abdullah-ibn-Mas’oud as follows:-
قال رسول الله(صلي الله عليه و اله ) : لاتَذْهَبُ الدُّنْيا حَتّي يَمِْلكُ الْعَرَبَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ اَهْلِ بَيْتي يُواطِيءُاسْمُهُ اسْمي.
The holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, “The world would not end until a man from my progeny whose name is the same as mine, comes and rules over the Arabs.” (and later the whole world)
This description is yet another emphasis concerning Mahdi’s great advent but with two differences. Firstly that the program of Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) would be to establish a universal rule in the world such that the level of people’s culture is raised and consequently they are invited towards social justice. He would uproot poverty and indigence that are the sources of ethical deviations. He would put an end to the ruffians in the human societies and remove the oppressors from the arena.
Secondly, his name is the same as the Prophet’s name (the beautiful name “Muhammad”) and this similarity in name is a delicate reference to the similarity in all their programs. Verily, he shall enliven the holy Prophet’s Sunnah and shall awaken the nations by virtue of the lofty teachings of the Quran.
3- He shall put out the flames of sedition
Hafez Abu Na’eem Esfahani narrates in his “Arbaeen” that the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said:-
يَكوُنُ عِنْدَ انْقِطاعٍ مِنَ الزَّمانِ وَ ظُهُورٍ مِنَ الْفِتَنِ،رَجُلٌ يُقالُ لَهُالمَهْدِيُّ ،يَكُونُ عَطائُهُ هَنيئاً.
“At the time when the people of the world would be cut off from the era of the prophets and sedition would become manifest all over, a man would rise whose name is Mahdi. (He shall put an end to the sedition and will turn into a link for re-union with the era of the prophets) and his generosity would be very pleasing.”
The more the human society keeps distance from the teachings of the prophets the more would be the rise of sedition, commotion, wars and bloodshed. Despite industrial advancement and growth of materialistic civilization, we see cruelty, ruthlessness, selfishness and mammon-worshippers on the rise. By utilizing the destructive and powerful industrial tools, they have lit the world into flames while at the same time oppressed the weak ones in the society.
But it’s not that the All-Compassionate and All-Merciful God would allow the world to remain an arena or circus for these beastly and merciless demons devouring the people in the face of human beings.
Finally, the one whose name is Mahdi and who has been divinely guided shall rise for putting an end to the sedition and injustice and settling the affairs aright.
4- All places would turn into the centre of Divine Light
Shaikh Sulaiman Qunduzi narrates in his book a tradition from Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) as follows:-
وَ الَّذي نَفْسي بِيَدِهِ لا تَبْقي قَرْيَةُ ( عِنْدَ ظُهُورِهِ ) اِلّا نُودِيَ فيها بِشَهادَةِ لااِلهَ اِلاَّ الله ُوَ اَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسوُلُ اللهِ ( صَلَي اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ اله )بُكْرَةً وَ عَشِيّاً.
“I swear by the One who has control over my life, (during the time of his re-appearance), no city or cultivable land would remain but that the testimony “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” would be proclaimed in it loudly every dawn and night”.
During that time, the entire land would come under the flag of monotheism and the Islamic rule would prevail over the entire world. Its possible that the Jews and Christians too might live during that time as minorities (because, as per the verse “there is no compulsion in religion”, force and compulsion would not be used) but yet the rule would be an Islamic rule. The testimonial cry of monotheism and prophethood of the last prophet would be heard everywhere at every dawn and night.
Verily, the schools of atheism, which are the main source of deterioration of the human world, would be destroyed and the light of monotheism which is the school of justice, equity, brotherhood and equality would spread everywhere.
5- Mahdi’s expansive programs
Molavi Muhammad (Hasan-al-Zaman) narrates in his book “Al-Fiqh al-Akbar” a tradition from Amir-ul-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) who said:-
لَيَخْرُجَنَّ رَجُلٌ مِنْ وُلْدي عِنْدَ اقْتِرابِ السّاعَةِ حَيْنَ تَمُوتُ قُلُوبُ الْمُؤْمِنينَ،كَما تَمُوتُ الْاَبْدانُ، لِما لَحِقَهُمْ مِنَ الْضُّرِّ وَ الشَّدَّةِ… وَ يَتَواتَرُ الْفِتَنُ وَالْمَلاحِمُ الْعِظامُ،وَ اِماتََةُ السُّنّةِِ،وَ اِحْياءُ الْبِدَع،وَتَرْكُ الْاَمْرِ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَ النَّهْيِ عَنِ الْمُنكَر،فَيُحْيِي اللهُ بِالْمَهْدِيِّ اَلسُّنَنَ الَّتي قَدْ اُميتَتْ وَ يَسُّرُ بِعَدْلِهِ وَ بَرَكَتِهِ قُلُوبَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ وَ تَتالَفُ اِلَيْهِ عُصَبُ مِنَ الْعَجَمِ وَ قَبائِلُ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ.
“Close to the day of resurrection, a man from my progeny shall rise and that would be the time when the hearts of the believers would die out as a result of pressures and hardships just as the physical bodies die out. Commotion would increase and horrible events would occur; the true Sunnah would be targeted and heretical practices would be enlivened. Enjoining the good would be abandoned and forbidding of wrong would sink into oblivion.
At that time, Allah would enliven the Sunnah by the hands of Mahdi. He shall make merry the believers hearts by his justice and blessings and will create friendship between the Arabs and non-Arabs (so that they serve and assist him in this mission).”
This hadith is so self-evident that we need not give further explanation.
6- Destroyer of the tyrants
Allameh Suyuti narrates in his book from “Huzaifa”, the famous companion of the holy Prophet that the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said:-
وَيْحَ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مِنْ مُلُوكٍ جَبابِرَةٍ … فِاِذا اَرادَ اللهُ اَنْ يُعيدَ الْاِسْلام عَزيزاً قَصَمَ كُلَّ جَبّارٍ عَنيدٍ … يا حُذيفَةُ!لَوْ لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنْ الدُّنْيا اِلّا يَوْمٌ واحِدٌ لَطَوَّلَ الله ُذلِكَ الْيَوْمَ حَتّي يَمْلِكَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ اَهْلِ بَيْتي،تَجْري الْمَلاحِمُ عَلي يَدَيْهِ وَ يُظْهِرُ الْاِسْلامَ ، لا يُخْلِفُ وَعْدَهُ .
“Alas! How would be this Ummah (nation) against the oppressive and unjust rulers?…..However, whenever Allah makes a Will to regain Islam’s glory, He would shatter all the spiteful oppressors and tyrants…..O Huzaifa!! If there remains not more than a day from the life of the earth, God will set the day so long until He makes a man from my progeny to rule over the entire earth. Major events shall occur by his hands and Islam shall become manifest all over; this is the Divine promise.”
The rule of the tyrants lays the ground for the rise of this great saviour because, the people of the world would realise from their lengthy and bitter experiences that the infidel and human-minded governments cannot serve anyone save the oppressors and selfish people. Verily, they shall get tired of oppression and tyranny and would seek divine leadership.
7- The world under Mahdi’s rule
In a tradition from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) we read as follows:-
اِذا قامَ الْقائِمُ حَكَمَ بِالْعَدْلِ وَ ارْتَفَعَ الْجَوْرُ في اَيّامِهِ،وآمَنَتْ بِهِ السُّبُلُ ، وَاَخْرَجَتِ الْأَرْضُ بَرَكاتِها،وَ رُدَّ كُلُّ حَقًّ اِلي أهْلِهِ…وَ حَكَمَ بَيْنَ النّاسِ بِحُكْمِ داوُدَ وَ حُكْمِ مُحَمَّدٍ ( صَلَّي اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ اله ) فَحِيْنَئِذٍ تُظْهِرُ الْاَرْضُ كُنُوزَهاوَتُبْدِي بَرَكاتِها،وَلايَجِدُ الَّرجُلُ يَوْمَئِذٍ مَوْضِعاً لِصَدَقَتِهِ وَلالِبِرَّهِ لِشُمُولِ الغِني جَميعَ الْمؤْمِنينَ
“When he will rise, he shall rule on the basis of justice. Oppression and tyranny would be destroyed during his era; the roads and highways would turn safe and secure due to him; the land would manifest its bounties and every right would be restored to its true owners. He would judge amongst the people just like the way Davoud and the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did so. The land would throw out its treasures and manifest its bounties to such extent that nobody will find any poor to offer them charity as all the believers would turn needless.”
Materialistic poverty, the major global calamity and the mother of all corruption in all times and ages, arises mainly due to cultural poverty. Until the human culture and beliefs is made rich, the materialistic needs of the people cannot be fulfilled. He shall train the humans in such manner that there would remain no poor and deprived one on earth.
8- Unprecedented perfection in knowledge and culture
In a tradition, Imam Baqir (a.s.) says:
اِذا قامَ قائِمُناوَضَعَ اللهُ يَدَهُ عَلي رُؤُسِ الْعِبادِ فَجَمَعَ بِها عُقُولَهُمْ وَ كَمُلَتْ بِها اَحْلامُهُمْ .
“When our Qaem (Mahdi ) will rise, God shall set his hand over His slaves heads as a result of which their knowledge would increase and their thoughts perfected.”
Any true revolutionary program cannot progress without any intellectual and scholarly leap and cannot experience the necessary growth and development without it. Thus, undoubtedly, the first step that would be taken in the global revolution of Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) would be the intellectual revolution that would transform the human mind from two aspects:
One aspect is that knowledge and wisdom that is required by an ideal flourishing, free and healthy society from materialistic viewpoint and the other aspect would be awareness towards the ideal way of living accompanied with faith from spiritual viewpoint. For achieving a universal rule, one requires high-minded people with extended thoughts and expansive insight so that they can solve the great social problems; set up a world full of peace and tranquility and put an end to the clashes, wars, narrow-mindedness and fanaticism.
9- Extraordinary progress in the field of communication
In a tradition from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), we read as such:-
اِنَّ قائِمَنا اِذا قامَ مَدَّ اللهُ لِشيعَتِنا في اَسْماعِهِمْ وَ اَبْصارِهِمْ حِتّي لا يَكُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَ بَيْنَ الْقائِمِ بَريدُ،يُكَلِّمُهُمْ فَيَسْمَعُونَ،وَ يَنْظُرُونَ اِلَيْهِ وَ هُوَ في مَكانِهِ
‘When our Qaem would rise, Allah would bestow such audio-visual powers to our followers that there wouldn’t be any mailman between them and their leader. He would address them (world-wide) from his place and all would listen to his speech and would even see him.”
Establishment of a universal government based on complete and constant supervision all over the world from the nearest point to the furthest end is not possible without the most advanced communication tools. Such government should possess a tool that discloses clearly the whole world such that the central command enjoys domination over every situation. This is so that he rises with no time lost in solving the problems and he destroys any kind of intentional or unintentional mischief and evil.
During Mahdi’s advent, this tool would be kept at his disposal by Divine command.
10- He would gain control over the whole world
In another tradition from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), it has come down as follows:-
اِنَّهُ اِذا تَناهَت الْاُمُورُاِلي صاحِبِ هذَا الْاَمْرِ، رَفَعَ اللهُ تَبارَكَ وَ تَعالي لَهُ كُلَّ مُنْخَفِضٍ مِنَ الْاَرْضِ،وَ خَفَضَ لَهُ كُلَّ مُرْتَفِعٍ حَتّي تَكوُنَ الدُّنْيا عِنْدَهُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ راحَتِهِ،فَاَيُّكُمْ لَوْ كانَتْ في راحَتِهِ شَعْرَة ٌ لَمْ يُبْصِرْها .
“When the affairs would be entrusted to the true master (Mahdi), the Almighty Allah would raise for him the lowest end of the world and lower the highest ends such that he would see the whole world in the same manner as he sees his palm. Which among you would not see a hair that is placed on his palm?
Just as mentioned in the preceding tradition, a universal government that wishes to guarantee justice and equity and wants to defend the deprived section of the people cannot emerge successful without accurate and powerful communicative dominance over the whole world. God would keep this medium at Imam Mahdi’s disposal.
This matter is also clear that parallel to the presence of such powerful informative unit, great advancement would also take place in other spheres of the society too.
11- His rule will envelope the East and West and he shall build and develop every ruin
It has come down in a tradition as follows:-
اِنَّهُ يَبْلُغُ سُلْطانُهُ الْمَشْرِقَ وَ الْمَغْرِبَ وَ تَظْهَرُ لَهُ الْكُنُوزُ وَ لا يَبْقي فِي الْأَرْضِ خَرابٌ اِلاّ يُعَمَّرُهُ.
“His rule would dominate the East and West; the resources and treasures in the ground would manifest before him and there would remain no ruin but that he would develop it.”
Most of the problems prevailing in the world, the wars, bloodshed and differences are the outcome of artificial borders created between countries and which man has turned the God-gifted traceless and colourless land into manifold colours.
On the other hand, destruction and ruin is not due to lack of sufficient facilities but rather the result of absurd use of human and monetary facilities resulting from the carnal desires of self-interested governments and the wars.
He will remove the borders and will turn the whole world into a single country. By proper utilisation of all the available facilities, he would make every place to flourish.
12- The manner of Mahdi’s rule
In reply to one of Imam Sadiq’s companion who had inquired about Mahdi’s way of life, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said:-
يَصْنَعُ ما صَنَعَ رَسُولُ اللهِ(صَلَّي اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آله)يَهْدِمُ ماكانَ قَبْلَهُ،كَماهَدَمَ رَسُولُ اللهِ اَمْرَالْجاهِلِيَّةِ،وَيَسْتَأْنِفُ الْاِسْلامَ جَديداً
“He shall do whatever the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did; he shall destroy the incorrect programs of the past nations just as the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) destroyed the deeds of the era of paganism. Besides, he will renew Islam (and would remove from it, the superstitions and lies).
At the outset, the Divine rules are pure and pleasant like the rainfall; they are radiant like sunlight and as beautiful as spring. However, upon their contact with the ignorant, malicious and neglectful people, it so transforms that it loses its pleasantness altogether. Monotheism gets contaminated with various polytheism; the true and useful concepts gets mingled with justification of the liars and the divine rules are practically kept aside by fraud either in the name of religion or otherwise.
He shall cleanse Islam of all contamination and would blow a new life into it.
* * *
اَللّهُمَ عَظُمَ الْبَلاءُ وَ بَرِحَ الْخَفاءُوَ انْكَشَفَ الْغِطاءُ وَ ضاقَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَ مَنَعَتِ السَّماءُ وَاِلَيْكَ يارَبِّ الْمُشْتَكي وَ عَلَيْكَ الْمُعَوَّلُ فِي الشِّدَّةِ وَ الرَّخاءِ اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلي مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ اَلَّذينَ فَرَضَتْ عَلَيْنا طاعَتَهُمْ فَعَرَّفْتَنا بِذلِكَ مَنْزِلَتَهُمْ فَرِّجْ عَنّا بِحَقِّهِمْ فَرَجاً عاجِلاً قَريباً كَلَمْحِ الْبَصَرِ اَوْ هُوَ اَقْرَبُ مِنْ ذلِكَ يا مُحَمَّدُ يا عَلِيُّ يا عَلِيُّ يا مُحَمَّدُ اُنْصُراني فَاِنَّكُما ناصِرايَ وَ اكْفِياني فَاِنَّكُما كافِيايَ يا مَوْلايَ يا صاحِبَ الزَّمانِ اَلْغَوْثَ اَلْغَوْثَ اَلْغَوْثَ اَدْرِكْني اَدْرِكْني اَدْرِكْني
Translation of Dua-e-Imam Zaman:
O God! Indeed the calamities have become enormous; the secrets are disclosed; curtains are unveiled and hopes are ruined.
The earth has straitened and the sky has withheld its blessings.
(O Allah), You alone are the One from Whom help is sought and to You is the grievance. And on You is the reliance in hardships and comforts.
O Allah! Send blessings on Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the progeny of Muhammad (a.s.), the masters of all affairs, whose obedience You have made obligatory on us and through this, made us aware, their ranks.
Then grant us salvation, for their sake, a quick and near salvation, (as fast as) the twinkle of an
O Muhammad! O Ali! O Ali! O Muhammad! Suffice me, for surely, you two shall definitely suffice. Help me, for surely, you tow are certain helpers. Our Master! O Master of the Time! Help! Help!
HELP ! Reach unto me! Reach unto me! Reach unto me! In This hour ! in this hour ! in this hour! Fast ! Fast ! Fast ! For the sake of Muhammad and his progeny, O the Most merciful of all Merciful ones!