The discussion of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is by no means restricted to the Shiite sect. Rather, reputed scholars and traditionists of the Ahle Sunnah have recorded traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in their books. The authenticity and credibility of these traditions is beyond reproach as they have been narrated by first generation (Sahaabah) and second generation companions (Taabeâeen). Such traditions abound, so much so that they appear in the books of all sects of the Ahle Sunnah viz. Hanafi, Maaliki, Shafiâee and Hanbali.
The research of notable scholars on the topic of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) reveals that the Ahle Sunnah have recorded traditions on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) on the authority of 33 companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
(Saafi Lutfullah Kitaabo Naveed Amno Amaan, Tehran, Daarul Kotobul Islamiyyah pg 91-96)
In all, 106 notable scholars of the Ahle Sunnah have recorded traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in their books.
(Saafi Lutfullah Kitaabo Naveed Amno Amaan, Tehran, Daarul Kotobul Islamiyyah pg 92-95)
Of the above, 32 scholars have documented the traditions in books dedicated solely to the topic of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
(Saafi Lutfullah Kitaabo Naveed Amno Amaan, Tehran, Daarul Kotobul Islamiyyah pg 95-99)
Traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) can be traced in the most authentic books of the Ahle Sunnah viz. Musnade Ahmed (exp 241 (A.H.) and Saheeh al-Bukhaari (exp 256 (A.H.) to name a few. It is noteworthy that these books were compiled before the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
(Saheeh al-Bukhaari with commentary of Shaikh Qasim, Beirut, Daarul Ilm 1407 A.H., chapter 945 (descent of Eesa b. Maryam) p 633, Musnade Ahmad b. Hanbal, Beirut, Daarul Fikr, v 1, p 84, 99, 448, v 3, p 27, 37, Sunan Ibn Majaah (exp 275 A.H.) with research of Muhammad Fawaaid Abdul Baaqi, Beirut, Daarul Ihyaa al-Toraas al-Arabi v 2, p 1366-1368, Kitab al-Fitan chapter 34 â” Rising of the Mahdi, traditions 4082-4088)
Among the numerous traditions recorded by Ahmed b. Hanbal on Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), the following one is widely reported by scholars of all sects:
âIf there is only one day left in the existence of the world, Allah will prolong it until He sends forth a member from my progeny who will fill the earth with equity and justice like it had been filled with injustice.â
(Musnade Ahmed, Beirut edition, Daarul Fikr v 1, p 99)
There are plenty of traditions related to Imam Mahdiâs (a.t.f.s.) characteristics and the signs of his reappearance narrated on the authority of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Moreover, these traditions have been documented in the most authentic and earliest books of the Ahle Sunnah. For all these reasons, the scholars of traditions have deemed the traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) as authentic as far as the consecutiveness is concerned (Tawaatur).
(Tawaatur and Mutawaatir are terminologies that find mention in the science of traditions. It means to give information on a group that does not fabricate; consequently the traditions narrated by the group reach the level of certainty and conviction (Ilm al-Hadis, Qom, Hauze Ilmiyyah Qom, 3rd Edition, year 1362, p 144). Based on this, the Tawaatur can be taken as a binding proof and Hadis-e-Mutawaatir is a binding hadis. This implies that the narrators (of the hadis) are numerous and several books have recorded it and the traditionalists and teachers (of traditions) have narrated it generation after generation and its origin from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the immaculate Imams (a.s.) is established. Under such conditions, the tradition assumes consecutiveness and belief in it is binding (Hakimi Muhammad Reza Khurshide Maghrib, Tehran, year 1360, p 99)
A cursory glance tells us that as many as 17 scholars of the Ahle Sunnah have recorded traditions related to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) after endorsing its consecutiveness.
(Saafi Lutfullah Kitaabo Naveed Amno Amaan, pg 90-91)
Noted, Ahle Sunnah scholar, Allamah Shukaani has established the consecutiveness of such traditions by compiling a book dedicated to this topic â” Al Tawzeeh fi Tawaatur Maa Jaa fi al-Muntazar wa al-Dajjaal wa al-Maseeh.
(Saafi Lutfullah Kitaabo Naveed Amno Amaan, pg 91)