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The title of Imam Mahdi "Al-Qa’im" (The Riser): Part 3

imam mahdi (a.s)

Now, contemplate; how can this tradition””whose narrator is the champion of fabrication””be relied upon in opposition to those firm fundamentals and hundreds of reliable traditions?

As for the reason for employing the title "Al-Qa’im" for the Imam of the Age (may Allah hasten his return): "Al-Qa’im" means "the one who rises." The Imam shall rise against political conditions and religious and social deviations and fill the world with justice and equity after it had become filled with injustice and oppression. Additionally, the issue of rising with the sword and armed struggle is also understood from that title.

Nevertheless, since "rising" has weak and strong degrees, it can be understood from traditions that all of the Imams were قائم بالأمر"Qa’im bi ’l-amr" (upholders of the affair), and it is proper and befitting to employ this title for all of them, in accordance with the positions they had. But since the rising of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) is a world uprising that subsumes all social, individual, political, and economical conditions of humanity and brings to fruition Allah’s promises to His prophets and the prophets’ prophecies to their people, this title is used without qualification for that personage. Thus, anytime they say "al-Qa’im" and their is not context that another one of the Imams is intended, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) is understood from that.

In a tradition that Shaykh Saduq narrates in the book Kamal al-Din from Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (peace be upon him), the ninth Imam, it has come:

إِنَّ الإِمَامَ بَعْدِي ابْنِي عَلِّي...

"The Imam after me is my son ‘Ali - Imam ‘Ali al-Naqi (peace be upon him) - whose command is my command, whose speech is my speech, and obedience to whom is obedience to me. And the Imamate after him has been placed in his son Hassan - Imam Hassan al-‘Askari (peace be upon him). His command is his father’s command, his word is his father’s word, and obedience to him is obedience to his father.

The narrator says, After that the Imam fell silent.

I asked, O’ son of the Messenger of Allah, then who is the Imam after Hassan (peace be upon him)?

The Imam at first wept to a great extent and then said, After Hassan, his son is the Establisher of Truth, the Awaited

القائم بالحق المنتظر

I said, O’ son of the Messenger, why has that personage been named "Qa’im" (The Riser)?

The Imam replied, because after his name and remembrance is forgotten and most of the believers in his Imamate turn back from their creed, he shall rise.

I said, Why has he been named "Muntazar" (The Awaited)?

He replied, because he has an occultation with a very long duration, such true believers will wait for his advent and appearance, but people of doubt and uncertainty will deny and rejecters will ridicule him. Those who specify a time for it will become many and those who are hasty during that occultation will be destroyed, but the Muslims””those who submit””will achieve salvation."[1]

‘Allamah Majlisi has said, the meaning of "death" that has come in that weak tradition is that that personage will arise after his name and memory has been forgotten.

And Shaykh Mufid relates a tradition from Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) in al-Irshad in which he says,"

سمي القائم لقيامه بالحق

"He was named the ‘Qa’im’ because he shall arise with truth."[2]

And from some narrations another reason that is understood is that the Imam was given this title by Allah because, in the worlds before this world, he used to stand and pray.

Regarding the entitling of that personage with the title "Al-Mahdi" as well, appropriate reasons have been mentioned. Of course, it is not the case that "Al-Qa’im" is the original title and "Al-Mahdi" is a secondary title. Both are titles and the usage of each name has a separate reason. Rather, it can be said that since the concept of the "Mahdi" is "the one whom Allah has guided" من هداه الله

according to rank, a person must be "Qa’im" whom Allah has guided.

That is, the "Qa’im" must be "one whom Allah has guided," but it is not necessary that "one whom Allah has guided" must always be "Qa’im." However, the actions, reforms, movement, uprising, and stand that will take place by the Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return), such as establishment of a world government, are dependent on rising and the becoming actualized of the title "Qa’im."

These titles are not classified into primary and secondary, and all have been heard from the blessed tongues of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) and pure Imams (peace be upon them); nor do they have "old" and "new." Each has its own particular concept and each has been used with attention to a particular aspect. In texts, sometimes all of these titles are mentioned, sometimes one, and another time one title is mentioned before another.

In any case, application of these titles is on the basis of essential and actualized titles, all of which that personage possesses.

Source: Taken from Discussions Concerning al-Mahdi (May Allah Hasten His Return) by Ayatullah Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani


1. Kamal ad-Din, Volume 2, Page 378, Section 36, hadith 3. See also, Ma’ani al-Akhbar

2. Irshad of Shaykh Mufid, Page 364

Other links:

Remembrance and chanting, a way to have heartfelt relations with Imam of the Time

Ways to Be in Touch with Imam of the Time

Remember Him to Be Remembered by Him

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