At the end of time, although the people will be waiting passionately for the establishment of a powerful government, which at the same time, champions the cause of the oppressed, they would not be optimistic about most current governments. They would not accept the statement of any party or group, and in principle, they would not regard anybody capable of reviving order in a global society and of stabilizing the chaotic world.
As such, anyone who claims to be the one to put order in society and spread security in the world must possess power beyond that of other human beings and to prove this point necessitates the performance of miracles and extraordinary acts. Perhaps, it is owing to this that as soon as he appears Hadrat al-Mahdi (A.S) will embark on performing a series of miracles and wonders. He will point to a flying bird and it will immediately descend on his hand. He will stick a dry piece of wood in the barren ground and it will immediately turn green, sprouting twigs and leaves.
These works of wonder will prove to the people that they are dealing with a person who is in control of, and has discretion over, the heaven and the earth by the decree of God. These miracles are glad tidings for the people who, for years, and in fact, for centuries had been under the pressure and wrath of the heaven and earth; people who have been subjected to the aggression of warplanes and bombs over their heads. They would have made many sacrifices, but they were not able to find any power to hinder all these aggressions. But now they would be facing a man who would seem to have control of the heaven and the earth and all the things in between.
People who, till yesterday were suffering from such famine that they had to endure all kinds of afflictions and adversities just to procure their daily bread and had been subjected to severe economic strangulation as the result of drought and lack of agricultural products, would now be meeting a person who, by just pointing a finger, will make barren ground fertile, fresh and green, and make water and rain available.
People who had been afflicted with incurable diseases will now meet a person who could cure even them and revive the dead. These are the miracles and wonders that bespeak of the power, sincerity and truthfulness of the words of this heavenly leader. In a nutshell, the people of the world would believe that this giver of glad tidings has no similarity with any of the preceding false claimants, and that he is the same true savior, the Remainder of Allah (baqiyyatullah) and the Promised Mahdi.
The miracles of al-Mahdi (A.S) will sometimes be shown to his combatants in order to strengthen their faith and conviction and at other times to his enemies and those who pose threats in order for them to believe in him.
Now, we shall present some of these miracles and wonders:
1. The Speaking of Birds
The Commander of the Faithful (A.S) said: “Hadrat al-Mahdi (A.S) will meet on his way a descendant of Imam al-Hasan (A.S) (Sayyid) who will have twelve thousand combatants with him. The Sayyid will be occupying a lofty station and regard himself more deserving of the leadership.
In reply to him, the Imam (A.S) will say: ‘I am the Mahdi.’ The Sayyid will ask: ‘Do you have any proof and sign so that I can pay allegiance to you?’ The Imam will point to a bird flying in the sky and it will descend upon his hands. Then, by the power of God, it will start talking and bear witness to the Imamate (imamah) of Hadrat al-Mahdi (A.S).
“In order to give further proof to the Sayyid, the Imam (A.S) will stick a piece of wood in the ground and it will turn green and sprout twigs and leaves. Again, the Imam (A.S) will pick up a stone from the ground, and by just a slight pressure, it will be broken into small pieces like soft paste.
“By witnessing those miracles, the Sayyid will believe in the Imam (A.S). He and all his forces will submit to the Imam (A.S) and the Imam will designate him as the commander of the frontline forces.” [Aqd ad-Darar, pp. 97, 138-139; Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 19; Shi‘ah wa’r-Raj‘ah, vol. 1, p. 158]
2. The Gushing Forth of Water and Provisions from the Ground
Imam as-Sadiq (A.S) said: “When the Imam (A.S) appears in the city of Mecca and wants to proceed to Kufah, he will announce to his forces that they should not bring any water, food and other provisions. The Imam (A.S) will have with him the stone of Musa (A.S)(Prophet Moses) through which twelve springs gushed forth from the ground. Wherever they will stop along the way, he will set it up and springs will gush forth from the ground. Anyone who is hungry will be satisfied by drinking from it and anyone who is thirsty will be quenched by drinking from it.
“The soldiers will be provided with provisions and water along the way in this manner until they arrive at the city of Najaf. By setting up the stone there, water and milk will gush forth from the ground which will satisfy anyone who is hungry and thirsty.” [ Basa’ir ad-Darajat, p. 188; Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 231; Nu‘mani, Ghaybah, p. 238; Khara’ij, vol. 2, p. 690; Nur ath-Thaqalayn, vol. 1, p. 84; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 13, p. 185; vol. 52, p. 324]
Imam al-Baqir (A.S) said: “When Hadrat al-Qa’im (A.S) appears, he will have with him the banner of the Prophet (P.B.U.H&H.P), the ring of Sulayman (A.S) (Prophet Solomon), and the stone and staff of Musa (A.S) (Prophet Moses). Then, by his order it will be announced that his soldiers should not bring provisions for them and forage for their four-footed animals (horses).
Some of their companions will say: ‘He wants to bring us to perdition and annihilate our horses through thirst and hunger.’ The companions will set out along with the Imam. At the first place where they arrive, the Imam will strike the stone against the ground, and water and food for the forces as well as forage for the animals will emerge, and they will consume them until they arrive at the city of Najaf.” [Kamaluddin, p. 670; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 351;Al-Wafi, vol. 2, p. 112]
3. Slowness of the Movement of Time
Imam al-Baqir (A.S) said: “When the Imam of the Time (A.S) appears, he will set out toward Kufah. He will rule there for seven years each year of which would be equivalent to ten years of yours. Then, he will do whatever God wishes.” It was asked: “How could the years become longer?” The Imam (A.S) answered: “God will order the (solar) system (and the angel managing it) to reduce the speed of its movement. As such, the days and years will become longer.”
It was said: “It is said that if there were the least change in their (units of the system) movement, they will experience trouble and perish.” The Imam (A.S) said: “This statement is that of the materialists and deniers of God, but the Muslims (who believe in God as the Regulator of them all) do not make such a statement.” [Shaykh al-Mufid, Al-Irshad, p. 365; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 337; Ash-Shi‘ah wa’r-Raj‘ah, vol. 1, p. 400]
4. The Staff of Musa (Moses) in His Hand
Imam al-Baqir (A.S) said: “The staff of Musa (A.S) had belonged to Adam (A.S), which had been handed down to Shu‘ayb (A.S) and after him, it had been given to Musa ibn ‘Imran (A.S). That staff is with us and as I saw it recently, it was still green like the day it was cut from the tree. If something is asked from the staff, it will talk and it would be ready for our Qa’im. Whatever Musa did with it will also be performed by Hadrat al-Qa’im, and whatever the staff is ordered, it will execute and wherever it is thrown, it will swallow all sorceries.” [ Kamaluddin, vol. 2, p. 673; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 318, 351; Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 232]
5. The Call of the Cloud
Imam as-Sadiq (A.S) said: “…Hadrat al-Mahdi (A.S) will appear at the end of time. There will be a cloud moving above the head of the Imam and it will move along with him to cover him from the sunlight. With a clear and understandable voice, it will proclaim, “This is Mahdi”. [ Tarikh Mawalid al-A’immah, p. 200; Kashf al-Ghammah, vol. 3, p. 265; Sirat al-Mustaqim, vol. 2, p. 260;Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 51, p. 240; Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 615; Nur Kashf al-Astar, p. 69]
Finally, based on the statement of Imam as-Sadiq (A.S), “No miracle from among the miracles of the prophets and the executors of will (awsiya) will remain without being performed by God, the Glorified and Honored, through our Qa’im so as to complete the proof for the enemies.”[Khatunabadi, Arba‘in, p. 67; Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 700]
Taken from: An Overview of Imam al-Mahdi’s (A.S) Government (with summarization)
Author: Ayatullah Najmuddin Tabasi
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