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 Ismail (as) and Imam Mahdi (as).
Glad tidings of birth
The Almighty Allah gave glad tidings of the birth of Hazrat Ismail (as) and He says, “So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance.” (Chapter 37 verse 101)
The Almighty Allah has also prophesied the birth and advent of Imam Mahdi (as). And in the same way the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Infallible Imams (as) have also given glad tidings about them.
That which additionally proves this matter is that which is mentioned in the books Tabsiratul Wali and Beharul Anwar from Ismail bin Ali Naubakhti (ra) that he said, When Imam Hasan Askari (as) was in his fatal illness, I was present with him. He summoned his servant, Aqeed, who was a Nubian black. Aqeed was earlier in the employment of Imam Ali Naqi (as) and had brought up Imam Hasan Askari (as). Imam (as) told him, “O Aqeed, boil for me some mastic water.” Aqeed obeyed and after the water was procured, the mother of Imam Mahdi (as) brought it to the Imam (as).
He (as) took hold of the vessel, but his hands shook so much that the bowl clattered against his teeth. The Imam let go of the vessel and said to Aqeed, “Go inside the house where you will find a boy in prostration. Bring him to me.”
Abu Sahl says, Aqeed said, When I went inside to bring that boy I saw that the boy was in a prostration and he had raised his index finger to the sky. I saluted him. He shortened his prayer. I said respectfully, “The master has called you.” At that moment his mother arrived and taking his hand brought him to his father.
Abu Sahl says, Imam Mahdi (as) came to the Imam Hasan Askari (as) and saluted him. I saw that his face was glowing like a pearl, he had short hair and wide teeth. When the eyes of Imam Hasan Askari (as) fell upon him he wept and said, “O master of my family, give me this water so that I may proceed to my Lord.” The young master obeyed and taking up the bowl of mastic water brought it to the lips of his father so that he may drink it.
Then Imam Askari (as) said, “Prepare me for the ritual prayer.” That child kept a towel before the Imam and made ablution for him by washing his face and hands in turn. Then he did Masah of his head and both feet. The Imam said, “O my son, I give you glad tidings that you are the Master of the Time and the Proof of Allah on the face of the earth. You are my son and successor. You are born from me and you are M-H-M-D the son of Hasan son of Ali son of Mohammed son of Ali son of Musa son of Jafar son of Mohammed son of Ali son of Husain son of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) and you are from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the last of the Purified Imams (as). And the Messenger of Allah (sawa) gave glad tidings about you and informed about your name and agnomen. This was told me by my father from his purified forefathers – blessings of Allah be on Ahle Bayt. Indeed our Lord alone is worthy of praise and glorification.” Imam Hasan bin Ali Askari (as) spoke these sentences and passed away at that very moment. (Beharul Anwar volume 52, page 16) (Read more about Events at the Time of Martyrdom of Imam Askari (as)
Imam Askari (as) passed due to the effect of poison on the 8 of Rabi-ul-Awwal, year 260 AH and at that time his age was barely 28 years, may Allah bless him.
Spring of water
The spring of Zam Zam burst forth for Hazrat Ismail.
For Qaim (as) also a spring of water would burst forth from a hard stone – as would be explained in the discussion of resemblance to Prophet Musa (as) – and water also had sprung many times for that respected personality
Sayyed Ajal Ali narrates that there was a short-statured Shaykh in Kufa who was well known for his piety, he liked sightseeing, was an ardent worshipper and preferred seclusion. He was always in pursuit of historical information and traditional reports.
One day it so happened that I was in the gathering of my father when this gentleman arrived and began to converse with my father and the latter was listening to him intently. The senior gentleman said, One night I was in Masjid Jofa, which is an ancient Masjid on the outskirts of Kufa. Half the night had passed and I was engrossed in secluded prayers when suddenly three persons entered the Masjid. When they reached the center of the courtyard, one of them squatted and began to move the soil to the right and the left. A spring of water appeared and water gushed out of it. He performed the ritual ablution with this water and gestured to the other two persons and they also performed the ablution. Then he stood in the front and the other two stood behind him to pray.
I also went and stood at the back and recited the prayers with them. Since I was astonished at the erupting of the spring, when the prayer was concluded I asked the man to my right, Who is that gentleman? He told me, He is the Master of the Affair, son of Imam Hasan Askari (as). So I went forward and kissed the blessed hands of the Imam (as) and asked very respectfully, O son of Allah’s Messenger (sawa), what is your opinion about Shareef Umar, son of Hamza? Is he on the right religion? He replied, No, but it is possible he may come to the right path. However it is sure that he would not die without seeing me.
The narrator says, We wrote down this interesting tradition, and some time passed after this incident till Shareef Umar bin Hamza expired and it was not heard that he had seen Imam Mahdi (as). One day I met that old gentleman at a place and reminded him about that incident and asked, Did you not say that Shareef would see Imam Mahdi (as) before his death? The aged gentleman replied, How do you know that he did not meet the Imam?
After that, one day I met Shareef Abul Manaqib son of Shareef Umar son of Hamza and discussed about his father with him. Shareef Abul Manaqib said, One night I was with my father when he was in his terminal illness. It was the last part of the night. The physical strength of my father was sapped and his voice had become feeble. All the doors of the house were shut when suddenly a man came to us and I was overwhelmed by his awe. We were so astonished that we didn’t even ask him how he managed to enter the house when all the doors were closed and what the purpose of his visit was. That gentleman sat besides my father spoke softly to him and my father wept. Then he arose and went away. And when he went out of our sight my father shook terribly and asked me to make him sit up. I helped him to sit up. He opened his eyes and asked, Where is that gentleman who was sitting near me? I replied that he had left. He said, Go after him. I went after him but could not find him again as all the doors were closed. I returned to my father and related the matter to him. Then I asked him who that gentleman was. He said, He is the Master of the Affair (as). After that his illness intensified again and he became unconscious. (Beharul Anwar volume 52, page 55)
Both are shepherds
Ismail (as) used to graze sheep. Qaim (as) also would have the same program.
In the tradition of Mufaddal it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said, “And by Allah, O Mufaddal, as if I can see him entering Mecca wearing the dress of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and donning a yellow turban and shoes of Prophet, holding the staff of His Eminence, driving some emaciated goats; and he would walk in this manner till he reaches the Holy Kaabah. At that time there would be no one who could recognize him, he shall appear as a young man.” (Beharul Anwar volume 6, page 53)
Submissive to command of Allah
Ismail (as) was submissive to the command of the Almighty. He said, “He said, O my father! do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.” (Chapter 37 verse 102)
Imam Mahdi (as) is also submissive to Divine orders.
(The above article was taken and adapted from the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaedid Dua Lil Qaem)