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 Shuaib (as) and Imam Mahdi (as)۔
Occultation and return as a young man
Hazrat Shuaib (as) invited his people towards Allah till his age prolonged and his bones became exhausted. Then he disappeared from them – and remained thus as long as Allah wished – then he returned to them as a young man. Allamah Majlisi (ra) has related this in the fifth volume of Beharul Anwar from Ameerul Momineen (as). (Beharul Anwar volume 12 page 385)
Imam Mahdi (as) also despite his advanced age would appear as a young man of less than forty years. Imam Sadiq (as) said, One who is more than forty years of age is not the master of this affair. (Beharul Anwar volume 52, page 319). A large number of traditions have been recorded on this matter.
Weeping in love and grief
Hazrat Shuaib (as), as mentioned in the saying of the Holy Prophet (sawa), wept so much in the love of Allah that he lost his eyesight. Allah then restored his sight; and he wept again till he became blind. Then the Almighty Allah once more restored his sight. Again for the third time he wept so much that he became blind and this time also the Almighty Allah brought his eyesight back. (Beharul Anwar volume 12 page 380)
Imam Mahdi (as) says in Ziyarat Nahiya for his grandfather Imam Husayn (as) as follows: “And I weep for you blood instead of tears.”
Baqiyatullah is better for you…
Shuaib (as) said to his people: “What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believers…” (Chapter 11 verse 86)
Imam Mahdi (as) would also be like that, as mentioned in Kamaluddin by Imam Baqir (as) when he said, “When Qaem (as) reappears he would lean on the Kaabah and three hundred and thirteen men would reach him, and the first words that he would speak up are: “What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believers…” Then he would say: I am the remnant of Allah on the earth and the vicegerent of God and His Divine Proof upon you. Then no Muslim would salute him except by the words: “Peace be on you, O the remnant of Allah on His earth.” And when the number of his supporters reaches one Iqd, that is 10,000 men, he would set out. Then no deity except Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would remain on the earth. Idols, statues and such other things would be destroyed, and fire would rise up among them; and this would come to pass after a prolonged occultation till the Almighty Allah knows who brings faith during the occultation and who obeys.” (Kamaluddin volume 1 page 331)
Destruction of idols
Shuaib (as) came out of the fire that came out of a cloud hovering on his deniers and burned them as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says, “But they called him a liar, so the punishment of the day of covering overtook them; surely it was the punishment of a grievous day.” (Surah Shuara verse 189)
Imam Mahdi (as) would also burn up all the idols and false deities during the period of his reappearance as mentioned in traditions.
(The above article was taken and adapted from the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaedid Dua Lil Qaem)