The Qualities of Human Society after the Re-Appearance of Imam Mahdi A.S
By: Hojjat al-Islam Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani
Question: After the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), how long will it take before the rule of justice [becomes universal]? Will any poor person or tyrant remain? If no, then does that mean that no sin will ever be committed again? Is it correct that he will be martyred at the hands of a bearded old woman? How does such a crime take place despite the Imam’s uprooting of oppression?
What the narrations yield in this regard is that war will be waged for over a period of eight months, after which time all the various countries will fall under his reign, the rule of justice will be established worldwide, and disbelief, polytheism, and hypocrisy will be entirely uprooted. Hence, no tyrant will remain in power over any society, and the main incentives of sin, particularly social misdeeds, will be eradicated. The earth will yield its treasures of mineral deposits and crops will flourish; the share of the poor will be exacted from the oppressors and the rich and it will be distributed among the poor to such an extent that there will be no need for charity and alms, for all will be affluent and well off.
Belief in the reappearance of Imam Zaman (ع) is an instance of belief in the unseen realities, those realities which cannot be accepted and whose qualities cannot be apprehended by any other means but faith and through a study of the corpus of authentic narrations. But since most of the ahadith and narrations have through time undergone corrosion as the result of various factors””such as, taqiyyah (dissimulation) on the part of the Shi’ites, fabrication and distortion of narrations by the enemies of the Shi’ites, neglect of or the lack of attention in recording the narrations on the part of the transmitters, and absence of adequate facilities for publication and preservation of the texts””a detailed understanding of the events prior to and following the reappearance of Imam Zaman (ع), as desired by the truth-seeking Shi’ite, is not feasible. This becomes especially difficult when faced with some of the contradictions in the related narrations that are not reconcilable. Hence, the reply to the aforementioned question””particularly the first part””is [to a great extent] conjectural. And in order to forward an appropriate response, the question must be broken down into several parts. The answer to each part will be discussed separately.
After the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (ع), how long will it take for him to establish the rule of justice?
To this question, Imam Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Baqir (ع) has replied, “For a full eight months, he will have his sword unsheathed and will kill the enemies of Allah until Allah is satisfied.”
Based on the narrations that are available to us, he will reappear in Mecca. After the elite of his followers join him there, they will then advance toward ‘Iraq, Sham (the present day Syria), and from there toward Jerusalem. Thereafter the lands of Europe, Turkey, China, Afghanistan, and of other regions will be conquered by him, and so after eight consecutive months of fighting, the rule of justice will be established and peace and security will become prevalent. But about the duration of his rule, there is inconsistency amongst the narrations. Some of the related durations are as follows: 19 years and some months; seven years; 40 years; 10 years; 309 years, each year of which is equivalent to 20 or 40 normal years. And 40 days after his martyrdom or demise [depending on the narration], the earth and the sky will be demolished in preparation for the Day of Judgment.
Will any needy individuals remain after his rule has been established?
After the Imam (ع) rises and establishes the rule of justice, the earth will yield to him her treasures of mineral deposits and crops, the shares that rightfully belong to the destitute and poor will be exacted from the rich and the oppressors to be justly distributed, as the result of which no poor person will remain, to the extent that there will be no use for charities and zakat. Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (ع) says, “The world will be revitalized by the implementation of justice, the sky will send down abundant rain, trees will reveal their fruit, and the earth will deliver her plants, embellishing herself for her inhabitants.”
People will be so well-off that it has been narrated that on one occasion Imam Zaman (ع) will order the announcer to inform the people that whoever is in need of financial aid should stand up. From among the entire population only one person will stand up, proclaiming his need. Imam Zaman A will tell him, “Go to the treasurer and tell him that Mahdi commands him to provide you with some money.” At conveying the Imam’s message to the treasurer, the latter will tell him, “Bring me your garment.” Then the treasurer will fill it full. When the poor man turns away to leave, he will regret his request, saying to himself, “Why should I be the greediest of the nation of Muhammad?” So he will return it to the treasurer, but it will not be accepted, and Mahdi will tell him, “What we have granted, we will not take back.”
Three Parts of the Religion of Allah
What is the Relation of Mens Lives with Religion and Piety?