Praise be to Allaah.
The appearance of the Mahdi at the end of time, when he will
fill the earth with justice and fairness after it had been filled with
injustice and wrongdoing, is something that is mentioned in the saheeh
Sunnah, and some of the scholars of hadeeth said: The ahaadeeth about the
Mahdi are mutawaatir because of their large number, and the descent of ‘Eesa
ibn Maryam (peace and blessings be upon him and our Prophet) and his praying
behind him is something that is well known. The name of the Mahdi and the
name of his father will be like the name of the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the name of his father; he will be one
of the descendents of Faatimah (may Allaah be pleased with her).
It should be noted that this Mahdi who is mentioned in the
ahaadeeth is not the so-called awaited Mahdi mentioned by that deviant
group, the Ithna’ ‘Ashari (Shi’ah) who claim that he entered the tunnel and
is awaiting the order to emerge, and whose name they say is Muhammad ibn
al-Hasan al-‘Askari. This is an illusion and a myth, and the refutation of
that is discussed in books, and there is no room to go into it here.
But we advise you to read Minhaaj al-Sunnah by Shaykh
al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and summaries of it such as Manhaj al-I’tidaal
by al-Dhahabi, and Tuhfat al-Ithna ‘Ashariyyah by Muhibb al-Deen
al-Khateeb. It is essential to note that every group is awaiting a Mahdi
such as the Jews who are awaiting the Mahdi, but for them he will be the
Dajjaal who will be followed by the Jews of Isfahaan. The Christians are
awaiting a Mahdi which is the descent of the Messiah (Second Coming of
Christ). We Muslims have no doubt about the descent of ‘Eesa ibn Maryam
(peace be upon him), when he will break the cross and kill the pigs, and
will abolish jizyah and rule according to the sharee’ah of Islam, and at
that time there will be no war.
Throughout history there have appeared liars who claimed to
be the Mahdi. Some historians have counted them and said that there were
more than thirty of them, including Ibn Tumart in Morocco and the Mahdi of
the Sudan, etc.
As for the view that he exists at present and that he has
been born, this is merely a claim that is made by some people, but there is
no evidence for it. It is most likely that it is a myth. The ahaadeeth that
have been narrated about the Mahdi do not mention where he will be born or
when, and they do not tell us to look for him or to bring him up, rather
they say that Allaah will prepare him in a single night and that the Muslims
will swear allegiance to him as their caliph and will be united behind him.
When will that happen?
Only Allaah knows.
And Allaah knows best.