Belief in the doomsday is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam. It is the day when the whole universe will be destroyed and resurrected for judgment. This day will be the beginning of a new life which will never come to an end. On the Day of Judgement, Allah will give reward or punish according to one’s work. One of the major events before the day of judgement is the advent of Imam Mahdi.
But nobody knows about the exact time of this day, even the knowledge of the time of Qiyamah has not been given to any Prophet (PBUH) or angels. However, there are certain events going to take place to the coming of the Qiyamah. All the prophets including our last prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) have informed their ummah about the signs of the last day of the earth.
Some of the signs are minor (includes the high consumption of alcohol, lifting of knowledge and prevalence of arrogance) while a few of them are considered as major ones – the advent of Dajjal, Hazrat Isa and Imam Mahdi.
The descent of Hazrat Isa
Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) have told us about the descent of Hazrat Isa ibn Maryam. He was the mightiest and miraculous prophet of Allah who was born from an unmarried woman Bibi Mariam. When the followers of Hazrat Isa tried to kill him, Allah raised him unto Himself. It has been declared in Quranic verses and hadiths that Hazrat Isa will be sent down to earth on the Day of Judgement.
It has been stated in the Quran that,
And indeed, Isa will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path – Surah Zukhruf, verse 61
Holy Prophet (PBUH) told his companions about the descent of Hazrat Isa in these words.
By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be an abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts – Sahih al-Bukhari Book 34 Hadith 425
Advent of Imam Mahdi
This fact is yet unknown that which year will Imam Mahdi appear. According to various Sunni and Shia traditions, Hazrat Mahdi – the grandson of Holy Prophet (PBUH) will appear on earth as a savior.
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatimah – Sunan Abu Dawood Book 37 Hadith 4271
Another hadith about Imam Mahdi appearance is,
The Mahdi will be of my stock and will have a broad forehead a prominent nose. He will fill the earth will equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years – Sunan Abu Dawood Book 37 Hadith 4272
Difference between Shia and Sunnis about Imam Mahdi Arrival
1. Is Imam Mahdi already born or not?
There is a huge debate on the advent of Imam Mahdi in Muslims. According to the Sunni school of thought, Imam Mahdi will be born a few years before the Day of the Judgement and then he will save the world. On the other hand, Shias believe that Imam Mahdi was born on 15th Shaban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarra-Iraq and that Imam Mahdi is here among us in the world. But who is Imam Mahdi in Islam? He is the son of Imam Askari – the grandson of Hazrat Ali and whose lineage traced back to Hazrat Ali and Bibi Fatima.
2. Where is Imam Mahdi if he is alive?
According to Shia scholars, he is in occultation from last 1184 years and people will see Imam Mahdi on the day of the judgment. However, according to some Sunni beliefs, Imam Mahdi is born and he is living on the Bermuda Triangle.
3. Is Hazrat Isa and Mahdi same?
A question was raised among the Muslims about the Isa and Mahdi that both are the same. But Shia and Sunni scholars denied these false claims.
And verily Allah knows the best.