Clarification about Imam Mahdi

salam alaikum ya shaykh,

I have a salafi associate at work who bothers me about Sufism and I have little knowledge. Can you please help me. Recently, he has been attacking the Haqqani belief regarding sayyidina Mahdi as. He says that in the authentic narrations of the Prophet salalahualaih wasalam, it is mentioned that Mahdi will be 40 years old when he comes and he says Shaykh Mawlana has said he is born in 1930 and it is over 80 years. He also says that Sufi belief of Mahdi are just like of Shias and he says Shaykh Hisham said in a suhba that Sayyidina Ali will come back with Imam Mahdi. Shaykh he bothers me much. Allah bless you for taking out your valuable time.


`Alaykum as-Salam,

There is no authentic hadith to our knowledge mentioning the age of al-Mahdi but only a single saying of our liegelord `Ali, Allah be well-pleased with him, saying “he will come out between 30 and 40.” But the editor of the 415-page Encyclopedia of weak and forged hadiths on al-Mahdi (al-Mawsu`a fi Ahadith al-Mahdi al-Da`ifa wal-Mawdu`a), `Abd al-`Alim al-Bastawi, said there is no doubt it is forged. The same researcher also compiled in his 430-page book al-Mahdi al-Muntazhar fir Daw’ al-Ahadith wal-Aathaar al-Sahiha (The awaited Mahdi in light of the sound hadiths and reports) all the authentic
reports on the Mahdi and he concluded with a list of his personal attributes, with no mention of his age.

Even so, “he will come out between 30 and 40” might mean many things, such as between 1930 and 1940 which confirms Mawlana’s words; or that 40 years might be the length of his rule in one very weak report (as the established reports mention 7-9 years); or 30-40 might be the age of Sayyidina `Isa, upon him peace, who was raised at 33; or some other meaning different from what we might expect. But there is no objection to his being 80 either; `Ammar b. Yasir (Allah be well-pleased with him and his father) was 93 when he was killed fighting at Siffin on `Ali’s side, and he was fasting that day. The age of the Friends of Allah is irrelevant when He decides to give them a heavenly sword.
As for the accusation that Sufis believe what Shi`is believe, this is usually what the ignorant say to block Sunnis from loving the Prophet’s family also. Allah is enough for us and He said:

{O you who believe! Let not people deride people who may be better than they are, nor let women deride women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso turns not in repentance, such are evil doers} (49:11).

As for our liegelord `Ali coming back with al-Mahdi, what is meant is that his blood runs in al-Mahdi’s veins.


Hajj Gibril

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