The TRUE MAHDI
and False Claimants of Mahdiism
Abu Salman Deya-ud-Deen Eberle
أبو ســـلمان ضياء الدين ابرلي
Table of Contents
Introduction and Preliminary Observations.
Some Books on Mahdi
Some Reliable Narrations about the Mahdi
Some examples using the exact word “Mahdi”.
Some examples indicating him without using the word Mahdi
True Rightly Guided Mahdis, and False Mahdi Claimants, and some of mixed circumstances.
Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him..
Abdullah ibn Saba`a (the Liar)
Husain ibn Ali, may Allah be pleased with him..
Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyyah, may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Mukhtar ibn Abi Ubaid ath-Thaqafi (the Liar)
Musa ibn Talhah ibn Ubaidallah al-Quraishi, may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Ali ibn Husain (Zain-ul-Abideen), may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Umar in Abdul Aziz al-Khaleefa al-Umawi
Muhammad ibn Ali (al-Baqir), may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Zakariyah ibn Muhammad ibn Ali (?)
Ja’far ibn Muhammad (as-Sadiq), may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Muhammad ibn Abdullah (called an-Nafs az-Zakiyah) ibn Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them..
Abu Muslim al-Khurasani the caller of the Abbasid propaganda (?)
Al-Muqana’a (the Masked One) (Liar)
ِAbdullah ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Khaleefa ( 3rd Caliph) al-Abbasi ibn Mansur al-Khaleefa al-Abbasi, may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Isma’eel ibn Ja’far
Musa ibn Ja’far (al-Kazthim), may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Abdullah ibn Mu’awiyah ibn Abdullah ibn Ja’far ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with his great father and grandfather, and as for this Abdullah, he is said to be a Liar)
Muhammad ibn Ja’far ibn Muhammad (?)
Abdullah ibn Ja’far al-Abtah (?)
Muhammad ibn Isma’eel ibn Ja’far (Did he ever exist? Liars)
Ubaidallah ibn Maimum al-Qadah (claims to be Fatimi) (the Liar)
Al-Hakim bi- Amri-llahi al-Ubaidi (claims to be Fatimi) (Liar)
Various leaders of the Shi’a Qurmatah (Liars)
Various Shi’a Ghulat (Liars)
Ali ibn Musa Imam Ali ibn Musa (ar-Rizdha), may Allah’s mercy be upon him..
Muhammad ibn Ali (at-Taqi) (?)
Muhammad ibn al-Qasim ibn Ali Ibn Umar Ibn Ali Ibn Husain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib (?)
Ali ibn Muhammad (an-Naqi) (?)
Hasan ibn Ali al-Askari (?)
Imam Muhammad (al-Mahdi), ibn Hasan al-Askari (Did he ever exit? Liars)
Variuous Nazzariyah leaders (Agha Khani Liars)
Various Musta’liyah leaders (Bohri Liars)
Ibn Tumurt of North Africa, (? or Liar)
Shah Isma’eel Safawi (the Liar)
Ahmad al-Ihsa`e of the Sheikhi sect (the Liar)
The “Bab” of the Babiyah (the Liar)
Baha`ullah of the Baha`iyah (the Liar)
Mirza Ahmad al-Qadiyani, (the Liar)
Muhammad Ahmad in Sudan in 1881 CE, (? or Liar)
Muhammad ibn Abdullah Hasan Somalia (?) of Somalia.
Elijah Muhammad (American) and Farrakhan
Muhammad ibn Abdullah at-Qahtani (of 1400H Haram rebellion) (?)
Jauhar Shaihi al-Pakistani (the Liar)
Husain ibn Musa al-Luhaidi al-Kuwaiti (? or Liar)
Abu Umar Muhammad ibn Abdullah as-Saif (?)
Excerpt page 4-8
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent in Mercy, the Most Merciful
The praise is for Allah, we praise Him and seek aid from Him and seek forgiveness from Him and refuge in Him from the evil of ourselves and wicked consequences of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whomsoever Allah misguides none can guide thereafter. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah (nothing has the right to be worshipped except Him), who is alone without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, who conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, and gave sincere advise to the nation, and fought for the right of Allah with true Jihad, may the perfect prayers of peace and abundant blessings be upon him, and his family and companions, and those that follow them in excellence until the day of Resurrection…
Introduction and Preliminary Observations
The eschatological belief in a savior and hero figure is a recurrent theme in the major religions of man. Jews believe in their Messiah as a Redeemer of Israel and World Ruler. Christians believe in the second coming of their Lord Jesus as Warrior, God and final Judge. Hindus believe in Kalki (who is a reincarnation of Vishnu in their Trinitarian God, Brahman/Vishnu/Siva) on a white horse to usher in Hindutwa (rule of Hinduism). Buddhists believe in a returned Maitreya Buddha, Zoroastrians in a Savior figure called Saoshyant (or Soshyant), and so on.
In Islam the Sunnis believe – in accordance with historically reliable and authentic scriptures of Islam – in the coming of the Mahdi, a rightly guided leader from the household of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who will lead the Muslim in a time contemporaneous to the second coming of Jesus Christ peace be upon him. Twelver Imami Shi’a believe in the appearance of the Occulted 12th Imam Muhammad “al-Mahdi” ibn Hasan al-Askari who has remained in hiding for around twelve centuries since 260 Hijri year. Many other Shi’a groups and others sects have made claims about the prophesized Mahdi. The polemics and conflict between the sects is, to say the least, intense.
In Islamic history volumes may be produced about the fabricated narrations about the Mahdi and the numerous false claimants of Mahdawiyyah, (Mahdism) whether of the extremist Shi’a (Ghulat) sects or other groups. Sometimes there are clear indications that these lies are derived from other corrupted religious traditions. At others they are fabrications of tricksters to gain name and fame, followers and riches. Confusion, ignorance and aversion to sectarianism should not lead a Muslim, nevertheless, to negate the true Mahdi according to reliably reported narratives transmitted by trustworthy narrators of Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, which inform us authentically the exact words of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. These narratives inform us that he is a normal person of Ahl-al-Bait (People of the Household) of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, who will appear in the last eventful days of the world before the Day of Resurrection as a heroic leader of the rightly guided and victorious group of Muslims. He has been reliably described without any deviant sectarian attachments and spiteful vengeance against other Muslims (as opposed to the many fabricated Shi’a traditions for instance), but only as a great leader and ally of the Jesus Christ son of Mary, peace be upon him upon, in his second coming and descent, in their epic battle against the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) and the Dajjal’s followers of the Jews and the hypocrites. In another book entitled: “Jesus is a-coming! He will rule by Islam as the Messenger of Allah and Allah’s Slave, peace be upon him”
(مجيء عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام عبد الله ورسوله إماما حكما بالإسلام)
I have explained some of the relevant scriptural texts of the Quran and the Sunnah and other information about the subject of the second coming, there this information will not be repeated here unless it is deemed necessary to complete the proper understanding about the Mahdi.
When I saw the extent of misunderstandings about the Mahdi concept, the prolific mixing of fabricated and reliable narrations about the Mahdi, and the multitude of false claims about his appearance, I decided to write this booklet perhaps Allah the Exalted will grant some success in lifting the clouds of confusion around some of the related issues, and enter it into the list of my good deeds. Truly man will meet that Great Day when nothings benefits him except his righteous acts done sincerely for the sake of his only Lord, Allah the Almighty and Majestic. Much of the information is taken from my own research, especially the documentation in my thesis “Adeedat-ar-Raj’ah enda ash-Shi’a.” [The faith and creed of “Return” (to life) according to the Shi’a].  I also have benefited from many other Arabic and English books and articles like from Sheikh Abi Ya’la al-Baidawi (أبي يعلى البيضاوي) may Allah protect him, and his beneficial verification of Jalal-ad-Deen as-Suyyuti’s book “al-Arf al-Wardi fi Akbar al-Mahdi” (العَرْفُ الوَرْدِي في أخبار المَهْدِي) [Sweet Rose of the News of the Mahdi], and various writings on the subject.
One reason for confusion on this subject is that the Arabic word “Mahdi” can describe any rightly guided person, and thus there are a number of Mahdi`een in Islam, An example of this is the poetry of Hassan ibn Thabit may Allah be pleased with him, wherein he described the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, with the word Mahdi, (جزعا على المهدي أصبح ثاويا) “(we are) sad about the al-Mahdi who has become absent.” And after his death the poet Amr ibn Yathrabi described Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, on the day of the Battle of Jamal as the wife of the Mahdi Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, saying (يا زوجة المبارك المهدي) “O wife of the Blessed, the Mahdi.” Another example is the narration of Irbad ibn Sariyah may Allah be pleased with him, when he said that the Messenger peace and blessing be upon him, said in an eloquent sermon by which their hearts fluttered and tears flowed from their eyes, and they said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allah as if this is the final sermon so give us a final instruction,’ to which he said, peace and blessing be upon him):
أوصيكم بتقوى الله والسمع والطاعة وإن تأمّر عليك عبد، فإنه من يعش منكم بعدي فسيرى اختلافاً كثيراًفعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين المهديين عضوا عليها بالنواجذ وإياكم ومحدثات الأمور، فإن كل بدعة ضلالة
“I instruct you with fearing Allah and hearing and obeying even if an Ethiopian slave becomes your leader, for indeed whoever among you lives will see much disagreement so adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided (Mahdieen), correctly directed Caliphs, adhering to it with the firm bite of your molar teeth, and beware of the invented fabricated thing since every Bid’ah is misguidance.”  For this reasons the four Khulafa (Caliphs) are all Mahdi, and considering the fact the Umar in Abdul Aziz al-Umamwi was also considered Mahdi we can say that the rightly guided Caliphs which the Muslims all agree upon in there righteousness and correct guidance is a Mahdi.
The companion Jarir ibn Abdullah al-Bijli is also Hadi and Mahdi, for in the long narration wherein he was sent on an expedition to destroy the idol Dthil-Khilsah, he said:
ولقد شكوت إليه إني لا أثبت على الخيل فضرب بيده في صدري وقال اللهم ثبته واجعله هاديا مهديا
“…I complained that I am not stable my riding of the horse so he struck me in my chest and said (peace and blessing be upon him): “O Allah stabilize him and make him a guide and rightly one (Hadian Mahdiyan) 
There is a correct narration wherein the companion Umair may Allah be pleased with him, said about Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with them:
قال عمير لا تذكروه إلا بخير فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول اللهم اجعله هادياً مهدياً و اهد به
“Do not mention him (Mu’awiyah) except with that which is good for I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, say: ‘O Allah, make him a guide and guided one, and guide by him.’”  Despite the fact that Mu’awiyah was incorrect in his rebellion against the rightly guided Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with both of them, a fact proven by many narrations,  he was considered by many companions and followers praiseworthy in his manner of ruling the governorship of Sham (greater Syria) for twenty years before assuming the Caliphate, and after assuming the Caliphate for twenty years, in his justice and legendary patience and composure.
All the great revivers of Islam can be called Mahdi by virtue of the fact that the Muslim Ummah (community of believers) has agreed that they were great teachers and propagators of right Islamic guidance. This doesn’t mean that they were infallible but are great leaders of the implementation of truth and justice. The Prophet said, peace and blessing be upon him: (إن الله يبعث لهذه الأمة على رأس كل مائة سنة من يجدد لها دينها)
“Allah will raise for this Ummah at the end of every hundred years (one) who will renovate its religion for it.”
The fact that there are numerous kinds of “Mahdi” but that usually one automatically thinks of the eschatological figure when the word is mentioned is analogous is some aspects to the fact that the Arabic word “Dajjal” can describe any liar and trickster who exploits limited truths to cover their falsie claims, although the word is mostly associated with the great Dajjal (Anti Christ) of the last days.
We find in the narration of Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger peace and blessing be upon him, said
يكون في آخر الزمان دجالون كذابون، يأتونكم من الأحاديث بما لم تسمعوا أنتم
ولا آباؤكم فإياكم وإياهم لا يضلونكم ولا يفتنونكم
“There will be at the end of times great tricksters (Dajjaleen) and falsifiers. They will bring to you narrations that you have not heard nor your fathers, so beware of them that they do not misguide you and tempt you.”  The narrations about the great Dajjal (Anti Christ), are too famous, many and long to mention here, and the important thing is that there is no doubt about the coming of the greater Dajjal whose trial and tribulation will be enormous, and also the coming of many lesser Dajjals each with a degree of trial and tribulations, and this is analogous to the fact that there are many Mahdieen with correct guidance, each according to his degee. There is an important difference, although, in that some of the earlier Mahdieen like Abi Bakr and Umar may Allah be pleased with them, are greater than the latter Mahdi of the great eschatological events, and for each their merit and reward from Allah the Exalted. The Great Dajjal is the worst trial – and we seek refuge in Allah from his temptations – as in the authentic narration of Muslim
“Between the creation of Prophet Adam and the coming of the last hour, there will not be any matter more severe than the trial of the Dajjal.”
And in another reliable narration about the Esa (Jesus) that he is called a Mahdi as apposed to the Dajjal, for instance the saying of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him:
ما أهبط الله تعالى إلى الأرض – منذ خلق آدم إلى أن تقوم الساعة – فتنة أعظم من فتنة الدجال وقد قلت فيه قولا لم يقله أحد قبلي إنه آدم جعد ممسوح عين اليسار على عينه ظفرة غليظة وإنه يبرئ الأكمه والأبرص ويقول : أنا ربكم . فمن قال : ربي الله فلا فتنة عليه ومن قال : أنت ربي . فقد افتتن يلبث فيكم ما شاء الله ثم ينزل عيسى ابن مريم مصدقا بمحمد صلى الله عليه وسلم على ملته إماما مهديا وحكما عدلا فيقتل الدجال
“There is no trial descending from Allah ever since the creation of Adam until the hour of resurrection greater than the trial of the Dajjal and I will say to you (warning about it) what no one has said before: he is dark complexion this left eye is rubbed, and his eye has a coating over it, and he will cure the lepers and dumb and will say ‘I am your Lord,’ and whoever says ‘My Lord is Allah’ will not be tried and whoever says, ‘You are my Lord’ will be tried. He will remain among you as long as Allah wills and then Jesus son of Mary will descend testifying to the truth of Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him and will be a leader (Imam) and rightly guided one (Mahdi and just ruler and he will kill the Dajjal.” 
This narration is close to the narration of Imam Muslim that says: “No tribulation on earth since the creation of Adam will be worse than the tribulation of the Dajjal. Allah has never sent a Prophet who did not warn his Ummah against the Dajjal. I am the last of the Prophets, and you are the last Ummah. The Dajjal is emerging among you and it is inevitable. If he appears while I am still among you, I will contend with him on behalf of every Muslim. But if he appears after I am gone, then every person must contend with him on his own behalf. He will appear on the way between Syria and Iraq, and will spread disaster right and left. O servants of Allah adhere to the path of Truth. I shall describe him for you in a way that no Prophet has ever done before. … He will start by saying that he is a Prophet, but there will be no Prophet after me. Then he will say, “I am your Lord,” but you will never see your Lord until you die. The Dajjal is one-eyed, but your Lord, glorified be He, is not one-eyed….”
For our purposes here in summery we see that there are many Mahdieen and many Dajjaleen that will appear in the history of Islam, yet most often the term is applied commonly for the Mahdi and Dajjal of the great event preceding the Day of Resurrection.
As Ibn al-Qayyim said
المهدي في جانب الخير والرشد، كالدجال في جانب الشر والضلال، وكما أن بين يدي الدجال الأكبر -صاحب الخوارق- دجالين كذابين، فكذلك بين يدي المهدي الأكبر مهديون راشدون
“Al-Mahdi is about goodness and guidance whereas the Dajal is about evil and misguidance, and just as there are many Dajjaleen that will come before the great Dajjal –who will do many amazing feats as if they are miracles – there are many Mahdieen Rashideen that will come before the Great Mahdi.” 
Abu Salman Deya-ud-Deen Eberle
أبو ســـلمان ضياء الدين ابرلي
 Al-Qadi Abdul Jabbar al-Mu’tazali in his book Dala`il Tahbeet an-Nabuwah 1/ 179 says that this Saoshyant is believed by the Zoroastrians to remain alive and living in China or another land.
 Unpublished Masters thesis in Islamic Theology (Aqeedah) in 1989 CE with title:
(وعلاقتها بالديانات الاخرى)] [عقيدة الرجعة عند الشيعة
 Ibn Sa’ad, at-Tabaqat, 2/322, Ibn Hisham, as-Sirah 6/89.
 At-Tabari, at-Tareekh 3/46.
 Reported by Abu Da`ud, 4/201, no. 4707, at-Tirmidthi 5/44, no.2676, and Ibn Mahad 1/15-16, no. 42- 4 and Ahmad 4/46-47, [TN And verified as authentic by al-Albani in Sahih al-Jame’ 1/782 no.7819.]
 Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim and others.
 Reported by Ahmad 4/216 and at-Tirmidthi and authenticated as reliable by Sheikh al-Abani in as-Silsalah as-Sahihah no. 1969 and Sahih and at-Tirmidthi 3/236.
 For instance
 Reported by Abu Da`ud al-Hakim, al-Baihaqi and others and authenticated by Sheikh al-Abani in as-Silsalah as-Sahihah no. 599.
 This narration is of at-Tabarani in his Mu’jam al-Kabeer and al-Waseet and the narrators of it are reliable as al-Haithami said in Maj’ma’az-Zawa`id 7/336, and Sheikh al-Albani deemed it reliable in his book about the Dajjal. Note hat other authentic narrations mention that his right eye is defect, and others that he has one left eye and even that is defective.
 Al-Manar al-Muneef p. 88.
Forth coming (insha-Allah: God willing)