Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) bears the special characteristics and more from the previous prophets. He is the embodiment of their virtues and qualities. He carries their signs and is the inheritor of all that they stood for and what was revealed upon them. The following article mentions the similarity between Hazrat Isa (as) and Imam Mahdi (as).
Hazrat Isa (as) is the son of the best lady of her time. Imam Mahdi (as) is also the son of the best lady of her time.
Speaking in the womb and cradle
Hazrat Isa (as) spoke while he was yet in the mother’s womb reciting the glorifications of God as Allamah Majlisi has mentioned in his notes in the fifth volume of Beharul Anwar quoting from Thalabi through the Ahle Sunnah sources.
Imam Mahdi (as) also, as mentioned in the report of Janabe Hakima, spoke while he was in the womb of the mother and he recited Surah Qadr. (Kamaluddin, volume 2, page 428)
Hazrat Isa (as) spoke while he was an infant in the cradle. Imam Mahdi (as) also spoke while he was an infant in the cradle as proved by some traditions. Of them is a report mentioned in Kamaluddin quoting Janabe Hakima, daughter of Imam Mohammed bin Ali Jawad (as) that he said: Hazrat Hujjat (just) after his birth spoke up and said: “I witness that that there is no god except Allah. The One, there is no partner for Him. And that Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and his progeny.”
Then he recited benedictions upon Ameerul Momineen and Imams (as) one by one till he reached to the name of his father. At that time he closed his lips till on the seventh day he spoke on monotheism and recited benedictions on Mohammed and Imams (as). Then he recited the following verse: “In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful. And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs…” (Kamaluddin volume 2, page 425, Surah Qasas verse 5)
And in the same book it is mentioned in another report that: When Imam Mahdi (as) was born, he fell into prostration and while kneeling down he raised up his two index fingers and said: “I witness that that there is no god except Allah and that my grandfather, Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah; may Allah bless him and his progeny. And my father is Amirul Momineen (as).”
Then he named all the Imams one by one till he reached his own name. At this point he said: “O Allah, fulfill my promise and make my affair to reach its conclusion. Make my paths smooth and fill up the earth with justice and equity through me.” (Kamaluddin volume 2, page 428)
In the same way, in that same source, it is reported from two maid servants, Naseem and Mariya that: “As soon as the Master of the Time (as) was born, he knelt down and raised his two index fingers to the sky; then he sneezed and said: ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and may Allah bless Mohammed and his progeny.’” “The oppressors thought that the Divine Proof is invalid and destroyed. If we had been permitted to speak freely about him, all the doubts would be removed.” (Kamaluddin volume 2, page 430)
And also in the same source it is narrated from the maidservant Naseem that: “A night after the birth of the Master of the Time (as) I came to him. I sneezed and he said to me, “May Allah have mercy on you.’” Naseem says: “I became very pleased at this.” His Eminence said: “Shall I not give you glad tidings about your sneeze?” I asked: “What is it?” He said: “You are secure from death for three days.” (Kamaluddin volume 2, page 430)
Prophethood and Imamate at a young age
Hazrat Isa (as) was such that the Almighty Allah bestowed him wisdom and chose him for prophethood while he was yet a child. Imam Mahdi (as) is also such that the Almighty Allah bestowed him wisdom and chose him for Imamate while he was yet a child as we have discussed in the earlier articles.
Allah, the Mighty and the High raised up Isa (as) to Himself. Allah, the Mighty and the High also raised up Qaem (as) to Himself – as has been stated in earlier articles.
People will have different opinions
People had different opinions regarding Isa (as). Qaem (as) is also such that people have different opinions regarding him.
Imam Sadiq (as) said regarding the similarity of Hazrat Imam Mahdi to Isa (as) that: The Jews and Christians unanimously say that Isa (as) has died. But Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has refuted them saying: “And they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so.” (Chapter 4 verse 157)
The occultation of Qaem (as) is also such, that the last of this community would deny him due to its length. Some who are not guided would say: Actually he is not born yet. And others would say: He was born and is (now) dead. And they disbelieve who would say: The eleventh one from us was issueless and some transgressing ones would attribute Imamate to thirteen or more persons. And others have disobeyed Allah, the Mighty and Sublime who would say: The soul of Qaem (as) has entered another body and he speaks through the tongue of the Imam.
Bringing dead back to life
Isa (as) by the permission of the Almighty Allah used to bring the dead back to life. The Almighty Allah has quoted him directly in the Holy Quran, “And (I) bring the dead to life with Allah’s permission.” (Chapter 3 verse 49)
And addressing him says: “And when you brought forth the dead by My permission.” (Chapter 5 verse 110)
Here is a very interesting narration having important morals and our many past scholars have mentioned it. Shaykh Bahai is one who has recorded it in his book, Arbaeen on the authority of Imam Sadiq (as) that he said: “Hazrat Isa (as) passed by a village whose people, animals and birds had perished at one and a single time. He said: It is nothing but divine chastisement that killed them. If they had died separately they would buried each other. The disciples said: O spirit and word of the Almighty Allah, invoke the Lord to bring them back to life so that they may tell us what their actions were so that we may keep away from such deeds.
Thus Isa (as) supplicated to his Lord. At that moment a voice was heard from the sky: Call out to them. In the evening Isa (as) went on an elevated place and said: O people of this village. One of them replied: Labbaik (Here I am) O Spirit of Allah and His Word. He said: Woe be on you, what did you do (to deserve chastisement)? He replied: Worship of false gods, love of the world with little fear and high hopes, ignorance, playfulness and hectic activity. He asked: How was your love for the world? He said: Like a mother loves her child. Whenever it was with us we used to be happy and pleased and whenever it went away from us we used to lament and aggrieve.
Hazrat Isa (as) said: How was your worship with regard to the false deities? He replied: It was in the form of obedience of sinful people. He asked: What happened to you in the end? He said: One night we went to sleep in comfort but awoke in the Haawiya. Isa (as) asked: What is Haawiya? He said: Sijjeen. Isa (as) asked: What is Sijjeen? He replied: A mountain of red fire which will keep us till the Judgment Day. What did you say and what were you told? He said: We said: Send us back to the earth so that we may practice piety in it. We were told: You lie. Isa (as) asked: Woe be on you, how is it that except for you, none else speaks to me? He said: O Spirit of Allah, they are caught up in reins of fire and the rude and severe angels have closed their mouths. I was among them but I was not like them, but when the chastisement came down, it included me with them. I hang from a hair-like wire at the edge of Hell. I don’t know whether I would fall from it or obtain salvation. After this conversation Isa (as) told his disciples: O friends of Allah, having dry bread with salt is better and sleeping on a bed of nails with the well being of the world and the hereafter is very nice.”
Imam Mahdi (as) would also revive the dead by the permission of the Almighty Allah and many traditions prove this, some of which we have quoted in the topic of resemblance to Hizqil and also in other discussions of this book. In some books it is related from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said, “When Imam Mahdi (as) reappears ,a person from Azerbaijan would come to him holding a decayed bone and say: If you are the Divine Proof order this bone to speak up. Thus by the order of the Imam (as), that bone will begin to speak and say: I am in chastisement since a thousand years and hopeful that through your prayers the Almighty Allah would release me from the punishment. Then that man would say: This is magic. At that moment by the command of the Imam (as), he would hung atop the house and for seven days and he would cry: This is the punishment of one who compares the miracle of the Imam to magic. After that he would die.”
Access to Divine knowledge
Isa (as) said: “With Allah’s permission and I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses…” (Surah Aale Imran verse 49)
In the same way, Imam Mahdi (as) is informed about all our actions and circumstances. That which proves this are the numerous traditional reports recorded about the Knowledge of the Infallible Imams (as) but here we shall present only a few of them by way of examples:
There is a tradition in the book of Kharaij related from Abu Baseer that he said, I went to the Masjid with Imam Baqir (as). People were coming and going. The Imam (as) said to me, “Ask the people if they can see me?” I asked every person that entered, “Have you seen Abu Ja’far?” He said: “No” while Imam Baqir (as) was standing over there. Till there came Abu Haroon Makfoof (blind). The Imam (as) said, “Ask him also.” I asked him: “Have you not seen Abu Ja’far (as)?” He replied: “Is it not he that stands?” I asked: “How did you know?” He said, “How could I not know it when he is a brilliant effulgence?” (Al-Kharaij, page 92)
The same Abu Baseer says, I heard Imam Baqir (as) ask a man from Africa: “How is Abu Raashid?” That man replied politely: “I found him alive and in good health. I will convey your greetings to him.” Imam said: “May Allah have mercy on him.” The man asked: “Is he dead?” “Yes,” said the Imam. “When?” “Two days after you left.” “By Allah, he was neither sick nor had any disease.” I asked: “Who was that man?” Imam said: “He was a man from our followers and Shiahs.” Then he said: “If you think that we don’t have the seeing eye and the hearing ear for you, you think wrongly. By Allah, nothing from your affairs is concealed from us. You should always consider us to and make a habit of performing good deeds and be from the devout, so that you are identified with that. This is our request from our children and Shiahs.” (Al-Kharaij page 92)
It is also mentioned in Kharaij from Imam Sadiq (as) that: Someone came to him and asked: “What is the description of an Imam?” He replied: “His description is great, if you come to him you must pay respect and honor him. And that which he conveys to you (divine recognition) you must bring faith in it. And it is incumbent on him to guide you. And there is a quality in him that when you come to him no one has the capacity to look at him fully due to his awe and majesty. Because the Messenger of Allah (sawa) was also like that. The Imam is also like that.” They asked: “Are you acquainted with your Shiahs?” He said: “Yes, he sees all of them.” They asked: “Are we your Shiahs?” He replied: “Yes, all of you?” “Please tell us about their characteristics.” He said: “I will tell your name and the name of your tribe.” They said: “Please do.” Thus the Imam mentioned the names of each and their respective tribes. They said: “You are right.” He said: “And I will inform you from what you asked me regarding the verse: “Like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven.” (Surah Ibrahim verse 24)
They said: “You are right.” He said: “I can give as much knowledge as I like to our Shias.” Then he said: “You will be satisfied by this much.” They said: “We would have been satisfied with lesser.” (Al-Kharaij page 92)
In Kamaluddin it is mentioned from Hasan bin Wajna Naseebi that he said, “I was in my fifty-fourth Hajj and in supplication in prostration under the drain-pipe of the Kaaba after Isha prayer. I was lamenting and beseeching when all of a sudden somebody shook me and said: “O Hasan bin Wajna, get up.” He said: I got up and saw a slave girl of pale complexion and thin stature. I thought she was more than forty years of age. She began to walk before me. And without asking any questions I began to follow her till she reached the house of Janabe Khadija (sa). There was a room in that house with an open door in the center of the wall. The slave girl went above. I heard a voice calling out: O Hasan, come up. So I went up and stood at the door of the room when His Eminence, the Master of the Time (as) said: “O Hasan, you thought that you were hidden from me? By Allah, I had been with you every time you came for Hajj.” Then he described my circumstances. I fell down unconscious on the face. Then I felt a hand touching me; I got up. He said to me: “Stay in Medina at the house of Imam Jafar bin Mohammed as-Sadiq (as) and do not worry about food, water and clothes.” Then he gave me a paper on which were written Dua Faraj and recitations of salawat upon Imam Mahdi (as). And he said: “Recite this supplication and send benedictions upon me in this manner. And do not show this paper to anyone except deserving ones among our Shiahs. As Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will give you Tawfeeq.”
I said: “O my master, Would I never see you after this?” He replied: “O Hasan, whenever Allah wills, (you will see me).” Hasan says: After concluding my hajj I went to Medina and stayed at the house of Imam Sadiq (as). I always went to the Masjid and except for three things I did not return to the house. For making ablution, rest and sleep, and at mealtime. When I entered my room at the time of breaking the fast I found a bowl one-fourth filled with water and upon it was kept a loaf of bread and food that I felt like having that day. I consumed it till satiation. Winter clothes arrived in winter and summer clothes in summer. During the day I used to enter the water for bathing and sprinkle the water in the house also. I used to take the empty cup and fill it with food and whatever exceeded my needs I gave it away to the poor so that those with me may not come to know of my circumstances.” (Kamaluddin volume 2, page 443)
(The above article was taken and adapted from the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaedid Dua Lil Qaem)