Some Muslims allege that the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is an invention of the Shias and that there is no mention of him or his birth in the Sunnah or Islamic history.

Reply

We will prove that the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is very much an inseparable part of Islamic belief and not just Shiite ideology. The most renowned scholars, historians and reporters of traditions have documented Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) birth, in addition to other aspects of his life, occultation and reappearance. So much so that the cumulative content on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) surpasses the content on the first three usurpers of caliphate.

Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) birth among the Ahle Tasannun

Reports on Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) birth are widely documented by many scholars of the Ahle Tasannun (or Sunni as they are erroneously addressed). We have listed some names by way of illustration as the complete list is too long for the purpose of this article.

  1. Allamah Shams al-Deen Qazi Ibn Khallekaan al-Shaafe’ee (exp. 681 A.H.)

‘Abul Qasim MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari Ibn Ali al-Hadi Ibn Muhammad al-Jawad is the 12th Imam of the Imamiyyah (Shias) and is famous as al-Hujjah…he was born on Friday in mid-Shabaan in the year 255 A.H. When his father died (i.e. martyred), he was five years old.’

  • Wafayaat al-A’yaan vol. 4 p. 176
  1. Allamah Salaah al-Deen Khaleel Ibn Aibak Safdi

‘Al-Hujjah al-Muntazar MHMD Ibn Al-Hasan al-Askari Ibn Ali al-Hadi Ibn Muhammad al-Jawad Ibn Ali al-Reza Ibn Moosa al-Kazim Ibn Jafar al-Sadiq Ibn Muhammad al-Baqir Ibn Zain al-Aabedeen Ali Ibn al-Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib – may Allah be satisfied with them – Al-Hujjah al-Muntazar is the 12th Imam of the Shiites. He is the one considered by the Shias as the Awaited One, the Qaim, the Mahdi…he was born in mid-Shabaan in 255 A.H.’

  • Al-Waafi bil Wafayaat vol. 2 p. 336
  1. Ibn Atheer al-Jazari (exp. 630 A.H.)

He documents the events of 260 A.H. thus: ‘And in this year Abu Muhammad Al-Alawi al-Askari died (i.e. martyred); he was among the 12 Imams of the Imamiyyah sect and he was the father of MHMD, the one whom they (Shias) consider to be the Awaited One, in the cellar of Samarra…’

  • Al-Kaamil fi al-Taarikh vol. 4 p. 454
  1. Mir Khwand

‘The birth of Imam Mahdi, named after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and titled with the same agnomen, took place in Saamarra in the night of mid-Shabaan in 255 A.H. He was five years old at the time of his father’s demise (martyrdom). He was granted wisdom in infancy just like Yahya (a.s.) and was granted Imamat while still an infant, like Isa (a.s.) was granted Prophethood (in infancy).’

  • Rauzah al-Safaa vol. 3 p. 59
  1. Abu al-Fida Ismail Ibn Ali Shafe’ee

He documents the events of 254 A.H. thus: ‘and al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) is the father of MHMD al-Muntazar, Saheb al-Sardaab and MHMD al-Muntazar is the 12th Imam according to the Imamiyyah and it is said about him that he is al-Qaim, al-Mahdi, al-Hujjah…’

  • Taarikh Abu al-Fida vol. 1 p. 361
  1. Allamah Muhammad Farid Wajdi

‘Abul Qasim MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari Ibn Ali al-Hadi (a.s.)…is the 12th Imam of the Imamiyyah, famous as al-Hujjah…

  • Daairah al-Maarif vol. 6 p. 239
  1. Sibt Ibn Jawzi (exp. 654 A.H.)

In the chapter related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) he reports: ‘MHMD Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad…(a.s.); his agnomen is Abu Abdillah and Abul Qasim and he is al-Khalaf, al-Hujjah, Saheb al-Zamaan, al-Qaim, al-Muntazar…’

  • Tazkerah al-Khawaas p. 377
  1. Muhammad Ibn Talha Shafe’ee (exp. 652 A.H.)

Regarding Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) condition he says: ‘MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Khaalis Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad…(a.s.), then as for his son he was (born) in Saamarra…and his agnomen is Abul Qasim and his titles include al-Hujjah, al-Khalaf al-Saleh; he is also called al-Muntazar.’

  • Mataalib al-S’ol fi Manaaqib Aale Rasool (a.s.) vol. 2 p. 152-153, chapter 12 
  1. Shams al-Deen Muhammad Ibn Toloon Hanafi

‘And the 12th one of them is his son – MHMD Ibn al-Hasan (a.s.) and he is Abul Qasim…he was born on Friday in mid-Shabaan in 255 A.H. At the time of his father’s demise (martyrdom), he was five years old.’

  • Al-Shazaraat al-Zahabiyya p. 117-118 
  1. Mirza Muhammad Ibn Rustom Shafe’ee

While recording the life of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) he writes: ‘…and he did not leave behind a son except MHMD al-Muntazar…’

  • Miftaah al-Najaah p. 104
  1. Ahmed Ibn Hajar al-Haithami al-Shafe’ee (exp. 974 A.H.)

After narrating about Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), he records: ’…and he did not leave behind any successor save his son Abul Qasim Muhammad al-Hujjah (a.s.) and his age at the time of his father’s demise (martyrdom)  was five years, but Allah granted him wisdom (in infancy) and he was named al-Qaim, al-Muntazar.’

  • Al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah p.208
  1. Muhyiddeen Ibn Arabi (exp. 635 A.H.)

‘And know that Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) advent is inevitable, however he won’t rise until the world is filled with oppression and injustice; then he will fill it with equity and justice…and he is from the progeny of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), from the sons of Fatima (s.a.), Husain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) is his forefather, his father is Hasan al-Askari Ibn Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.)…his name coincides with that of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). The Muslims will give him allegiance between Rukn and Maqaam.’

  • Al-Futuhaat al-Makkiyyah, Chapter 366
  1. Mo’min Ibn al-Hasan al-Shablanji

‘Abu Muhammad al-Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s.) passed away (due to poisoning) on Friday on 8th Rabi al-Awwal 260 A.H. He was succeeded by his son MHMD… his mother was a slave (princess), she was called Narjis…and his agnomen is Abul Qasim and the Imamiyyah have given him titles like al-Hujjah, al-Mahdi, Khalaf al-Saleh, al-Qaim, al-Muntazar, Saheb al-Zamaan and the most popular one is al-Mahdi.’

  • Noor al-Absaar p. 321,322
  1. Abu al-Waleed Muhammad Ibn al-Shahnah Hanafi (exp. 815 A.H.)

‘Al-Hasan (al-Askari) (a.s.) gave birth to a son al-Muntazar (a.s.) – the 12th Imam, he is called al-Mahdi, al-Qaim, al-Hujjah, he was born in 255 A.H.’

  • Rauzah al-Manazer in the margins of Muruj al-Zahab vol. 1 p. 292
  1. Ibn Khaldun Maghrebi (exp. 808 A.H.)

‘And caliphate continued from Jafar (al-Sadiq) to his son Moosa al-Kazim (a.s.) to his son Ali (a.s.) and this link ended in the 12th Imam MHMD al-Mahdi.’

  • Tarikh Ibn Khaldun vol. 3 p. 361
  1. Abu al-Fath Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Karim al-Shahrastaani (exp. 548 A.H.)

‘And after him was his son MHMD al-Qaim, al-Muntazar, who was born in Samarra and he is the 12th Imam according to the Imamiyyah of our era.’

  • Kitab al-Milal wa al-Nihal
  1. Noor al-Deen Ibn Sabbaagh al-Maaliki (exp 855 A.H.)

‘Abul Qasim, MHMD al-Hujjah, al-Khalaf al-Saleh, Ibn Abi Muhammad al-Hasan al-Khaalis and he is the 12th Imam’ he then goes on to narrate details about Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) birth and Imamat.

  • Al-Fusool al-Muhimmah p. 273
  1. Muhammad Ibn Mahmood famous as Khwaja Parsa

‘From the Imams of the impeccable Ahle Bait (a.s.) is Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)…he did not leave behind any son except Abul Qasim MHMD al-Muntazar named al-Qaim, al-Hujjah, al-Mahdi, Saheb al-Zamaan and he is the last of the 12 Imams (a.s.) according to the Imamiyyah. And he was born on the eve of 15th Shabaan in 255 A.H.

  • Mirqaat al-Mafaatih Fi Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabih vol. 10 p. 336
  1. Fazl Ibn Roozbahaan

He sends greetings and salutations on each Imam from the progeny of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and for Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) he writes: ‘Peace be on al-Qaim al-Muntazar Abul Qasim.’

  • Dalaail al-Sidq vol. 2 p. 370
  1. Jamal al-Deen Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-Zarandi al-Hanafi

‘The 12th Imam has been blessed with well-known and extraordinary feats. His stature is very high with respect to knowledge and truth. He is raised with the truth (al-Qaim bil Haqq) and calls towards it…he was born as reported by the Shias on Friday in mid-Shabaan in 255 A.H. in Saamarra during the reign of Mutamid (Abbasi) and his mother is (the princess) Narjis – the daughter of the Emperor Ceaser of Rome…’

  • Meraj al-Wusool ila Marefah Fazle Aale Rasool (a.s.)
  1. Qazi Bohlool Bahjat Aafandi

‘He was born on 15th Shabaan 255 A.H. and his mother’s name was Narjis (s.a.); there were two periods of occultation for him – the minor and the major – for his safety. He will reappear with Allah’s permission and will fill the earth with equity and justice…’

  • Al-Muhaakamah fi Tarikh Aale Muhammad (a.s.)
  1. Hafiz Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ghanji Shafe’ee (exp. 658 A.H.)

In the 25th chapter of his book, he writes regarding Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) prolonged life – ‘his long life is not usual as also the (continued) long life of Isa (a.s.), Ilyas (a.s.), Khizr (a.s.) from Allah’s friends and the (continued) long life of Iblis and Dajjal – may Allah curse them – from Allah’s enemies…’

  • Al-Bayaan fi Akhbaare Saheb al-Zamaan p. 148
  1. Ahmed Amin al-Misri

He acknowledges Imam Mahdi’s (a.t.f.s.) birth and that he is the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.).

  • Zoha al-Islam vol. 3 p. 210-212
  1. Shaikh Husain Ibn Muhammad Diyaar Bakri al-Maaliki (exp. 966 A.H.)

‘The 12th Imam MHMD Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ali al-Reza (a.s.) has the agnomen of Abul Qasim and the Imamiyyah refer to him with the titles of al-Hujjah, al-Qaim, al-Mahdi, al-Muntazar, Saheb al-Zamaan and he is the 12th and last one according to them…’

  • Tarikh al-Khamees p. 288
  1. Shams al-Deen al-Zahabi al-Shafe’ee (exp. 747 A.H.)

‘MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari Ibn Ali al-Hadi Ibn Muhammad al-Jawad Ibn Ali al-Reza Ibn Moosa al-Kazim Ibn Jafar al-Sadiq al-Alawi al-Husaini – Abul Qasim (a.s.) the one referred to by the Rafizis (Shias) as al-Khalaf, al-Hujjah and titles al-Mahdi, al-Muntazar, Saheb al-Zamaan and he is the last of the 12 Imams.’

  • Al-Ebar fi al-Khabar man Ghabar vol. 1 p. 381

‘And as for his son MHMD Ibn Hasan the one referred to by the Rafizi as al-Qaim…’

  • Tarikh al-Islam p. 113 under the events of the years 251-260 A.H.

‘Al-Muntazar al-Sharif Abu al-Qasim MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari…last of the 12 chiefs.’

  • Seyaro A’laam al-Nubala vol. 13 p. 119
  1. Fakhre Raazi Shafe’ee (exp. 604 A.H.)

About Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) he writes: ‘As for Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) he had two sons and two daughters…as for his sons, one of them was Saheb al-Zamaan – may Allah hasten his reappearance. Many historians have recorded reports proving the birth of al-Hujjah Abu al-Qasim – from the lineage of his father Hasan Askari (a.s.) and his mother Sayyedah Narjis (s.a.) in the year 252 A.H. or 255 A.H. or 259 A.H. Although there is debate about the (actual) date, according to the Shias it is in the night of mid-Shabaan 255 A.H.’

  • Al-Shajarah al-Mubaarakah p. 78-79
  1. Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Ibn al-Husain al-Samarqandi (exp. 996 A.H.)

‘As for his son – MHMD al-Mahdi, he is the 12th Imam. He was born on Friday in mid-Shabaan in 255 A.H. His agnomen is Abu al-Qasim and his titles are al-Qaim, al-Hujjah, al-Khalaf, al-Saleh, al-Muntazar and the most popular one is al-Mahdi. His age at his father’s demise (martyrdom) was five years.’

  • Tuhfah al-Talib bi Marifah man Yuntasabo ilaa Abdillah (a.s.) wa Abi Talib (a.s.) pp. 54, 55
  1. Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn Aamir al-Shabraawi al-Shaafe’ee (exp. 1171 A.H.)

‘The 12th Imam is Abul Qasim MHMD Ibn al-Hujjah al-Imam. It is said – he is the Mahdi, the Awaited One. MHMD al-Hujjah Ibn Imam al-Hasan al-Khaalis (a.s.) was born in Samarra on the eve of mid-Shabaan 255 A.H. At his father’s demise (martyrdom) he was five years old. His father feared for his safety and concealed his birth due to the turbulent times and (tyrant) caliphs… And he is Imam MHMD al-Hujjah, with titles of al-Mahdi, al-Qaim, al-Muntazar, al-Khalaf, al-Saleh, Saheb al-Zamaan and the most famous one is al-Mahdi. Authentic traditions state that he will reappear in the last age.’

  • Al-At’haaf be Hubb al-Ashraaf pp. 179-180
  1. Ibn Emaad al-Dimishqi al-Hanbali (exp. 1089 A.H.)

Regarding the events of 260 A.H. he records: ‘In it, Al-Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Jawad Ibn Ali al-Reza Ibn Moosa al-Kazim Ibn Jafar al-Sadiq al-Alawi al-Husaini (a.s.) – he is one of the 12 Imams. The Rafizis believe him to infallible. He is the father of al-Muntazar, the owner of the cellar.’

  • Al-Shazaraat al-Zahab fi Akhbaar min al-Zahab vol. 3 p. 265
  1. Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Rasool al-Barzanji al-Shaafe’ee (exp. 1103 A.H.)

He acknowledges the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) by the name of MHMD.

  • Al-Ishaa’ah le Ashraat al-Saa’ah p. 149
  1. Abul Barakaat Noman Ibn Mahmood al-Aaloosi al-Hanafi (exp. 1317 A.H.)

‘It is accepted by the Imamiyyah that Mahdi is MHMD Ibn al-Hasan al-Askari Ibn Ali al-Hadi…and he is known as al-Hujjah, al-Muntazar, al-Qaim…’

  • Ghaaliyah al-Waaiz vol. 1 p. 78

NOTE: IN MANY OF THE ABOVE NARRATIONS, THE ACTUAL NAME OF IMAM MAHDI (A.T.F.S.) HAS BEEN MENTIONED. BUT SINCE IT IS PROHIBITED BY OUR IMAMS (A.S.) FROM NAMING HIM DURING OCCULTATION, WE HAVE REPLACED IT WITH M-H-M-D.