To date, have any of the signs of Imam al-Mahdi's reappearance actually come to pass? (question)

From Imamatpedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Comprehensive Data Bank of Q&As about Mahdism
To date, have any of the signs of Imam Mahdi's reappearance actually come to pass?
Upper entry Mahdism / Preconditions for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a) / Signs for Imam Mahdi's reappearance
Main entry Fulfillment of signs of reappearance
This question is related to Mahdism | This page is under construction or in the process of expansion | Imamatpedia aims to provide a concise but all-embracing answer from the viewpoints of different scholars | Find sources in reference section.

Signs of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a), as narrated, fall into two categories of mutable and immutable. An abundant number of narrated traditions report that five of these signs are immutable in nature. These are: the uprising of the Sufyani, the uprising of the Yamani, the celestial proclamation that shall come from the sky, the murder of Nafs al-Zakiyyah, and the sinking of the earth at Baydah. The mutable ones include: Persistent and successive rains at the threshold of the Imam's reappearance, irregular instances of solar and lunar eclipses prior to the Imam's return, widespread deaths, earthquakes, wars and pervasive unrest and turmoil etc. Neither of the immutable signs have come to pass, nor can there be any definitive discussion regarding the mutable ones.

Short Comprehensive Answer

* Below is a detailed response developed from notes on the matter from following scholars
1368171.jpg 136863.JPG 151828.jpg 1402.jpg
al-Sadr Salimiyan Ayanda-ye Rawshan authors of Aftab-e Mihr

The Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a) has Certain Signs Which Must Occur Prior to His Reappearance?

  • According to the narrated discourse of the Infallibles (a), events that are counted as signs of Imam Mahdi's reappearance have two main attributes. Firstly, they represent incidents that are to occur at the threshold of Imam Mahdi's reappearance or concurrent to his arrival or immediately after the Imam's return. Secondly, they must usher in glad-tidings about his reappearance and the imminence of his global uprising.[1]

The Different Types of Signs for Imam Mahdi's Reappearance

  • From a chronological point of view, the signs of Imam Mahdi's reappearance fall within four types and categories. These are as follows:
  1. Signs that shall occur a good time before the Imam's reappearance[1]
  2. Signs that shall occur immediately before the Imam's reappearance and at the "threshold of his return"[1]
  3. Signs that shall occur concurrent to the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a)[1]
  4. Signs that shall occur immediately after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a) but prior to the Imam's uprising[1]
  • There exist numerous mutable signs for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a). These include:
  1. Persistent and successive rains at the threshold of the Imam's reappearance[1]
  2. Irregular instances of solar and lunar eclipses prior to the Imam's return[1]
  3. Widespread deaths, earthquakes, wars and pervasive unrest and turmoil[1] etc.[2]

Have Any of These Signs of Imam Mahdi’s Reappearance Already Taken Place?

  • Some scholars believe that most of the mutable signs of Imam Mahdi's (a) reappearance have already taken place, and that only the immutable signs related to a time immediately preceding the Imam's return remain unrealized. However, it seems that a definite and comprehensive opinion cannot be expressed upon this issue. The signs mentioned in the oldest and most reliable of Shi'a sources are limited and specific in nature. On the other hand, signs that are said to have already occurred are either absent from these credible source texts or are mentioned without any significant emphasis. This shows that classical scholars paid little or no attention to traditions that reported such signs.[3]
  • It is difficult to point towards a particular event and say that it represents the fulfillment of a certain sign mentioned within narrated traditions. In fact, it would be impossible to academically defend any such claim. [3]Furthermore, such an assertion brings with itself a host of various hazards.[4] This is because of the following points:
  1. Firstly, we human-beings have limited knowledge and, as such, it is erroneous for us to claim that a certain event is definitely the one prophesied within narrated reports.
  2. Secondly, some of these foretold signs are found within reports that are devoid of credible and admissible chains of transmission. Given this fact, it is illogical for us to move forward and try to ascertain whether the aforementioned signs have occurred or not. Nevertheless, if definite and undeniable circumstances and evidence appear, we may theoretically be able to confirm that a historical or contemporary event actually represents the fulfillment of a certain reported sign. However, the availability of such proof is extremely difficult to achieve. On the other hand, similarities between a reported sign and incidents that happen around us in our world do indeed serve to draw our attention towards the imminence of Imam Mahdi's reappearance and, as such, help to create awareness and readiness within any person who awaits the Imam's promised return.[3]
  3. Thirdly, some of these reported signs are totally unrelated to the issue of Imam Mahdi's reappearance. Rather, they simply predict various instances of deliverance from oppression and reprieve from tyranny for pious believers, or serve to inform us about events that have no relation to the Imam's return such as reports about the onset of extreme heatwaves.[4] Therefore, one of the most important hazards of subjects related to Mahdism is the issue of matching and equating signs to particular historical or contemporary world events.[5]

References