A few days ago Sufilive posted a picture of Mawlana Sh Hisham with a picture of an old man kissing their hand, the caption stated that mawlana said this is a wazir of Imam Mahdi and also that Sh Hisham is one of the 59. When we hear and see such things from the shayukh of the tariqa they speak as if it is very soon, which to be honest I do believe, but does it mean Imam Mahdi will appear in their lifetime?
Habib `Alawi b. Ahmad b. Hasan ibn al-Qutb `Abd Allah b. `Alawi al-Haddad wrote in the introduction to his book “Misbah al-Anam” (see https://www.livingislam.org/n/
oma_e.html): <<I have heard Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rumi al-Hijazi – may Allah benefit us with him – narrate from his Shaykh, the scholarly verifier and erudite Friend of Allah without dispute, ‘Ali ibn Mubarak al-Ahsa’i, that he used to say to a certain student of his whenever the latter went to see him: “You are one of al-Mahdi’s helpers – peace be upon him.” Those present were surprised and thought that the Mahdi would come in the time of that student and that the student would be one of his soldiers. Then Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Mubarak ordered that student to go on Pilgrimage on a certain year, in the lifetime of the Shaykh. When he arrived in Makka he found that some of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s students had arrived and gone to the governor of Makka, the Sharif Mas‘ud, intending to challenge the Ulema of Makka to a debate. The governor gathered them before him in Makka together with some of the Ulema that were there, including the student from al-Ahsa’ whom Shaykh ‘Ali ibn Mubarak had named one of the Mahdi’s helpers. The latter defeated the students of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab and their untenable arguments. The reason is that the people of al-Ahsa’ are more knowledgeable in all the topics brought up by the Wahhabis and possess more experience or expertise in such topics than the scholars of Makka. If that student had not been present at that time, the scholars of Makka would have been vanquished and disgraced. After the student returned to his Shaykh ‘Ali, he died. At that time they realized that the Shaykh’s intent, when he said that he was among the Mahdi’s helpers, was that the student would take apart the proofs of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s students. Similarly, EVERY SCHOLAR OF LEARNING THAT SPREADS THE SUNNA AND DESTROYS THIS AND OTHER INNOVATIONS IS ONE OF AL-MAHDI’S HELPERS; and every person that revives this innovation, loves it, and loves those who perpetuate it: know, O Reader! that such a person is bound for destruction and shall be raised with those he loves.>>
Hajj Gibril Haddad