This is an account of the Signs of the Reappearance of the Final Imam who undertakes the Office (al-Qa’im), peace be on him, the Period of Time of his Appearance, an Explanation of his Life and an Extract of what is revealed about his State.
The Signs of the Reappearance (Qiyam) of the (Imam) who undertakes the Office
(al-Qa’im), Peace be on him, the Period of Time of his Appearance, an
Explanation of his Life and an Extract of what is revealed about his State.
Traditions have been reported mentioning the signs for the time of the
appearance of the Imam who will arise (qa’im), peace be on him, and the events
which will take place before his appearance, together with the indications and
features of it. Among them are: The Sufyani will come out in revolt; the Hasanid
will be killed; the Abbasids will dispute over worldly kingdom; there will be an
eclipse of the sun in the middle of the month of Ramadan; there will be an
eclipse of the moon at the end of that month in contrast to ordinary happenings;
the land will be swallowed up at al-Bayda’; it will be swallowed in the east-it
will be swallowed up in the west; the sun will stay still from the time of its
decline to the middle of the time for the afternoon prayer; it will rise from
the west; a pure soul (nafs zakiyya) will be killed in the outskirts of Kufa
with seventy righteous men; a Hashimite will be slaughtered between the corner
(of the Ka’ba) and the station of Abraham); the wall of the mosque of Kufa will
be destroyed; black standards will advance from Khurasan; al-Yamani will come
out in revolt; al-Maghribi will appear in Egypt and take possession of it from
Syria; the Turk will occupy the region of al-Jazira; the Byzantines will occupy
Ramla; the star will appear in the east giving light just like the moon gives
light; then (the new moon) will bend until its two tips almost meet; a colour
will appear in the sky and spread to its horizons; a fire will appear for a long
time in the east remaining in the air for three or seven days; the Arabs will
throw off the reins and take possession of their land, throwing out the foreign
authority; the people of Egypt will kill their ruler and destroy Syria; and
three standards will dispute over it (Syria); the standards of Qays and the
Arabs will come among the people of Egypt; the standards of Kinda (will go) to
Khurasan; horses will come from the west until they are stabled in al-Hira; the
black standards will advance towards them from the east; the Euphrates will
flood so that the water comes into the alleys of Kufa; sixty liars will come
forward, all of them claiming prophethood, and twelve will come forward from the
family of Abu Talib, all of them claiming the Imamate; a man of important rank
of the supporters of the ‘Abbasids will be burnt between Jalula’ and Khaniqin;
the bridge next to Karkh in the city of Baghdad will be established; a black
wind will raise it at the beginning of the day and then an earthquake will occur
so that much of it will be swallowed up; fear will cover the people of Iraq and
Baghdad; swift death (will occur) there and there will be a loss of property,
lives and harvests; locusts will appear at their usual times and at times not
usual so that they attack agricultural land and crops and there will be little
harvest for what the people planted; two kinds of foreigners will dispute and
much blood will be shed in their quarrel; slaves will rebel against obedience to
their masters and kill their masters (mawali); a group of heretics (ahl al-bida)
will be transformed until they become monkeys and pigs; slaves will conquer the
land of their masters; a cry (will come) from the sky (in such a way) that all
the people will hear it in their own languages; a face and a chest will appear
in the sky before the people in the centre of the sun; the dead will arise from
their graves so that they will return to the world and they will recognize one
another and visit one another; that will come to an end with twenty-four
continous rainstorms and the land will be revived by them after being dead and
it will recognize its blessings; after that every disease will be taken away
from those of the Shia of the Mahdi, peace be on him, who believe in the truth;
at that time they will know of his appearance in Mecca and they will go to him
to support him.
(These signs) are as the reports have mentioned. Among the total of these events
are some which are bound (to happen) and other which are conditional. God knows
best what will take place. We have only
mentioned them on the basis of what is recounted in basic sources of tradition (usul)
because of their inclusion in traditions which have been handed down. From God
we seek help and Him do we ask for success.
told me on the authority of Ahmad b. Idris, on the authority of ‘Ali b. Muhammad
b. Qutayba, on the authority of al-Fadl b. Shadhan, on the authority of Ismaeil
b. al-Sabbah, who said: I heard an old man among our colleagues mention on the
authority of Sayf b. Umayra, who said:]
I (i.e. Sayf b. ‘Umayra) was with Abu Jafar al-Mansur and he said to me of his
own accord: "There will certainly be a voice calling from the sky the name of a
man from the descendants of Abu Talib."
"May I be your ransom, Commander of the faithful," I said, "do you relate that?"
"Indeed, by Him in Whose hands is my life," he replied, "because my own ears
have heard it."
"Commander of the faithful," I said, "this tradition which you have heard is
before my time."
"Sayf, it is the truth," he told me. "When it happens, we will be the first to
answer it. Indeed the call will be for a man from the descendants of our uncle."
"A man from the descendants of Fatima, peace be on her?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied. "Sayf, if it was not for the fact that I have heard from Abu
Jafar Muhammad b. Ali (al-Baqir), who told me about it, even though all the
people of the earth have told me about it, I would not accept it from them.
However it was Muhammad b. Ali (al- Baqir), peace be on them, (who told me)."
of Ata’ b. al-Sa’ib, on the authority of his father on the authority of Abd
Allah b. Umar, who said:]
The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, said: "The hour (of the
end of the world) will not arise until the Mahdi from my descendants comes
forth. The Mahdi will not come forth until sixty liars come forward, all of them
declaring: ‘I am a prophet.’ "
authority of Abu Hamza al-Thumali, who said:]
I (i.e. Abu Hamza al-Thumali) asked Abu Jafar (al-Baqir), peace be on him: "Is
the revolt of the Sufyani one of the things which must happen?"
"Yes," he replied. "The call is one of the things which must happen as is the
rising of the sun from the west one of the things which must happen. The dispute
of the Abbasids over the state is also one of them and the killing of the pure
soul (al-nafs al-zakiyya). The appearance of the one who will arise (al-qa’im)
from the family of Muhammad, may God bless him and his family, is another of the
things which must happen."
"How will the call be?" I asked.
"There will be a call from the sky at the beginning of the day indeed the truth
is with Ali; and his Shia,” he said. "Then at the end of the day, Satan will
call from the earth – indeed the truth is with Uthman and his supporters. At
that the false one will feel doubt."
the authority of Abu Khadija, on the authority of Abu Abd Allah (Ja’far al-Sadiq,
peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "The one who will arise (al-qa’im) will not come forth
until twelve of the Banu Hashim come forth before him, all of them summoning men
on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandfather, who said:]
The Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, said: "Before the one who will
arise (al-qa’im), there will be red death and white death; there will be locusts
at their usual time and at their unusual time like the colours of blood. As for
red death that is (from) the sword, while white death is (from) plague."
authority of Jabir al-Jufi on the authority of Abu- Jafar (al-Baqir), peace be
(Al-Baqir) said: "Stay close to the ground. Don’t move an arm or a leg until you
see the signs which I will mention to you I don’t think that you will live until
that time. The Abbasids will dispute; a voice will call from the sky; one of the
villages of Syria called al-Jabiyya will be swallowed up; the Turks will occupy
the region of al-Jazira; the Byzantines will attack al-Ramla; at that time there
will be much conflict throughout the land until Syria is destroyed. The cause of
its destruction will be the meeting of three standards there: the standard of
the Red, the standard of the Spotted and the standard of the Sufyan."
Concerning the words of Him, the Mighty and High: We will show them our signs on
the horizons and in themselves so that it will become clear to them that it is
the truth [XLI 53], (Musa) said: "(There will be) a disturbance on the horizons
and the enemies of truth will be changed in form."
I (i.e. Abu Basir) heard Abu Jafar (al-Baqir) speak concerning the words of Him,
the Exalted: If We wish, We will send down on them signs from the sky, and their
necks will remain bent submissively to them (XXVI 4). He said: "God will do that
"Who are they?" I asked.
"The Umayyads and their supporters," he answered.
"What is the sign?" I asked.
"Between the decline of the sun (at noon) and the time of the afternoon prayer,
the sun will remain still," he said. "The chest and face of man will appear in
the centre of the sun, who will be recognized by his standing and genealogy.
That will occur in the time of the Sufyani. At that moment his destruction will
occur and the destruction of his people."
the authority of his father, on the authority of Said b. Jubayr:]
(Sa’id b. Jubayr) said: "In the year in which the Mahdl will rise, twenty rain
storms will rain on the earth. You will see their effects and benefits."
, on the authority of Thalaba al-Azdi, who said:]
Abu Jafar (al-Baqir), peace be on him, said: "Two signs will come before the one
who will arise (al-qa’im), peace be on him: there will be an eclipse of the sun
in the middle of the month of Ramadan and an eclipse of the moon at the end of
"Son of the Apostle of God," I said, "usually the eclipse of the sun occurs at
the end of the month and the eclipse of the moon occurs in the middle of it?"
"I know what I have said," replied Abu Jafar (al-Baqir), peace be on him. "They
are signs which have not occurred since Adam came down."
authority of Salih. b. Maytham, who said:]
I (i.e. Salih b. Maytham) heard Abu Jafar (al-Baqir), peace be on him, say:
"There is no longer than fifteen nights between the appearance of the one who
will rise (al-qa’im), peace be on him, and the killing of the pure soul (al-nafs
I (i.e. Jabir al-Jufi) said to Abu Ja’far (al-Baqir), peace be on him: "When
will this event occur?"
"Jabir, that will occur at a time when the killing between al-Hira and Kufa is
considerable," he replied.
the authority of Abu Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]
(Ja’far al-Sadiq) said: "When the wall of the mosque of Kufa, which adjoins the
house of Abd Allah b. Masud is destroyed, then at that time the ruler of the
people will disappear. At his disappearance, the one who will rise (al-qai’im),
peace be on him, will come forth."
authority of Abu ‘Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "There will be three appearances in one year, one month
and one day the Sufyani, the Khurasani and the Yamam. The standard of guidance
will not be among them, except the standard of the Yamani, because he will
summon (people) to the truth."
on the authority of Abu al-Hasan al-Rida, peace be on him:]
(Al-Rida) said: "What you stretch your necks for will not occur until you are
able to discern and to be tested. Only a few of you will remain."
Then he recited: Alif Lam. Do the people consider that they can abandon saying "
We believe whenever they are tempted? [XXIX 1-2]. He said: "Among the signs of
the relief is an event which will occur between the two mosques (of Mecca and
Medina). So-and-so from the descendants of so-and-so will kill fifteen leaders
of the Arabs."
authority of Abu al-Hasan (al-Rida), peace be on him:]
(Al-Rida) said: "(It is as if I see) standards, dyed green, coming from Egypt
until they come to the Syrian (standards). Then they will be guided to the
descendant of the one who gave the testamentary bequests of authority (to the
authority of Abu Basir, on the authority of Abu Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq),
peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "The kingdom of these men will not disappear until they
slaughter people in Kufa on Friday. It is as if I was looking at heads falling
between the Gate of al-Fil and (the place of) the soap-sellers."
A man asked Abu al-Hasan (Musa), peace be on him, about the relief. He asked:
"Do you want most of it or shall I give you a summary?"
"Would you give me a summary?" he said.
"(It will be) when the standards of Qays are carried in Egypt and the standards
of Kinda in Khurasan," he replied.
authority of Abu Abd Allah (Ja’far al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "Because of the sons of so-and-so there will be a battle
at our mosque meaning the mosque of Kufa. On one Friday four thousand will be
killed between the Gate of al-Fil to (the place of) the soap-sellers. Beware of
this street. Avoid it. Those who are in the best situation will take the street
of the Ansar."
Abu ‘Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "Before (the coming of) the one who will rise (al-qa’im),
peace be on him, there will be a year of abundant rain in which the fruits and
the dates on the palms will be destroyed. But don’t complain of that."
authority of his father, on the authority of Abu Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq),
peace be on him:]
(Jafar al-Sadiq) said: "In the year of the Conquest (by the Mahdi) the Euphrates
will flood so that the water goes into the alleys of Kufa."
I (i.e. Muhammad b. Muslim) heard Abu Abd Allah (Jafar al- Sadiq), peace be on
him, say: "Before (the coming) of the one who will rise (al-qaim) there will be
a trial from God."
"May I be your ransom, what is that?" I asked him.
He recited: Let Us test you with fear, with hunger, and with lack of money, of
lives and of harvests. Good news will come to those who are steadfast [II 55].
Then he said: "The fear will be from the kings of the Banu so-and-so; the hunger
will be as a result of exorbitant prices; the lack of money will be due to the
failure of trade and the scarcity of surplus (goods) in it; the lack of lives
will be because of swift death; the lack of harvest will be due to the great
rains and the little benefit they bring to the crops." Then he continued: "The
good news for those who are steadfast is that the one who will rise (al-qa’im)
will soon come forth."
authority of Abu Abd Allah (Jafar al-Sadiq), peace be on him:]
(Mundhir al-Jawzi) said: I heard (Ja’far al-Sadiq) say: "Before the coming of
the one who will rise (al-qa’im), peace be on him, the people will be chided for
their acts of disobedience by a fire which will appear in the sky and a redness
which will cover the sky. It will swallow up Baghdad, it will swallow up Kufa.
There blood will be shed and houses destroyed. Death (fana) will occur amid
their people and a fear will come over the people of Iraq from which they shall
have no rest."