Mahdi in Sihah Sitta – Part II

The Sihah Sittah or Sihah Sittah (Six Books) is the collective name given to the six famous books of traditions by Ahle Sunnah. The scholars of Ahle Sunnah confirm that the traditions reported from the Prophet (sawa) in these six books are accurate. It is for this reason that according to the beliefs of the Ahle Sunnah, the Sihah Sittah is the second most important reference source after the Quran.Many hadith on the subject of the Mahdi are reported in the Sihah Sittah. The fact of its mention in this collection reveals that the subject of the Mahdi is a truth about which there can be no doubt.

Various traditions from the Sihah Sittah about the Mahdi and traditions regarding the last era are listed below:

Sahih al-Bukhari

Mohammed ibn Ismail al-Bukhari’s (810-870) book of hadith. It is the most important of the Sihah Sittah. The Ahle Sunnah regard the Sahih al-Bukhari as the second fundamental Islamic holy text after the Quran. It contains 725 hadith. Imam al-Bukhari selected these most reliable hadith from a total of around 6,000, completing the Sahih al-Bukhari over a period of 16 years.

Abu Huraira narrated that Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “How will you be when the son of Maryam (Hazrat Isa) descends amongst you and judges people by the Law of the Quran and not by the law of the Gospel?” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 4, book 55, tradition no. 658)


Abu Huraira narrated that Allah’s Messenger (sawa) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, surely (Hazrat Isa) the son of Maryam will soon descend amongst you and will judge mankind justly (as a Just Ruler); he will break the Cross and kill the pigs and there will be no Jizya (taxation taken from non-Muslims). Money will be in such abundance that nobody will accept it…” (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 4, book 55, tradition no. 657)

Sahih Muslim

A book of trustworthy hadith by Abu al-Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj al-Qushayri (821-874). Imam Muslim is one of the most renowned traditionalists, and selected his traditions from a total of around 300,000. The Sahih Muslim is the second basic book of traditions after Sahih al-Bukhari, and these two books are together known as the “Sahihayn.”

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger or Allah (sawa) observed, “I swear by Allah that the son of Maryam will certainly descend as a just judge and will definitely break the cross, and kill swine and abolish the Jizya and will leave the young she-camel and no one will endeavor to (collect Zakat) on it. Spite, mutual hatred and jealousy against one another will certainly disappear and when he summons people to accept riches, not even one will do so.” (Sahih Muslim, book 1,  tradition no. 289)


It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (sawa) observed, “What will be your state when the son of Maryam descends amongst you and there is an Imam amongst you?” (Sahih Muslim, book 1,  tradition no. 290)


It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that he heard the Messenger of Allah (sawa) saying, “What will you do when the son of Maryam descends and leads you?” (Sahih Muslim, book 1, tradition number 291)


It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (sawa) observed, “What will you do when the son of Maryam descends amongst you and leads you as one amongst you?…” (Sahih Muslim, book 1, tradition no. 292)


Jabir ibne Abdullah reported, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sawa) say, ‘One section of my people will not cease fighting for the Truth and will prevail till the Day of Resurrection. Isa son of Maryam will then descend, and their (the Muslims’) commander will invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he will say: No, some amongst you are commanders over others (amongst you). This is an honor from Allah for this Ummah.’” (Sahih Muslim, book 1, tradition no. 293)

Sunan at-Tirmizi

A six-volume  book of traditions collected by the traditionalist Mohammed ibn Isa al-Tirmizi (824-893). Al-Tirmizi, a famous hadith scholar and Imam, made his name by hadith memorisation. He was born in the Bugh suburb of the town of Tirmiz to the east of the River Ceyhan. In order to study the hadith he travelled to Khorasan, Iraq and Hijaz, and studied under al-Bukhari and various other hadith scholars. He made use of Ahmad ibn Hambal, ad-Darami and third century hadith scholars. His works include Ash-Shamail, al-‘Ilal, at-Tarikh and al-Jami al-Sahih.The latter book in particular won special renown and value in the eyes of the Ahle Sunnah. It is also one of the Sihah Sittah. A number of expositions of this book have also been written. Hadith regarding the blessed Mahdi are related in the fourth volume of the Sunan.

Narrated by Abu Saeed al-Khudri, “We were afraid that things might happen, so we asked the Prophet of Allah (sawa), … ‘In my Ummah there will be the Mahdi; he will appear and live five, seven or nine.'” Zayd was one who was not sure. He said, “We said, ‘What does that refer to?’ He said, ‘Years.’ He said, ‘So he will come to him and say, “O Mahdi, give unto me!”’ He said, ‘So he will spread his garment for him as open as possible to carry it away (what the Mahdi will give him)’.” (Sunan al-Tirmizi)


Abdullah narrated, “The world will not end until a man of my house takes control of the Arabs, one whose name coincides with my name.” (Sunan al-Tirmizi)


Abdullah narrated, “If there remains nothing of this earth except one day, then Allah will lengthen that day until a man emerges who will be descended from me, or from my household. His name will correspond to mine and his father’s name to my father’s.” (Sunan al-Tirmizi)


Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet of Allah (sawa) said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the Son of Maryam will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizyah. Then there will be abundance of money and no one will accept charitable gifts.” (Sunan al-Tirmizi)

Sunan Abu Dawood

A book of traditions collected by the hadith scholar Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn Ash`ath al-Azadi al-Sijistani (817-888). The book consists of 4,800 hadith. He was from the Iranian town of Sistan. He travelled from an early age in order to pursue his studies and, so Zahabi says, studied under Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Baghdad in 220 according to the Hijra calendar.

Studying under many great hadith scholars, he eventually joined their ranks himself. Tirmizi, al-Nesaai and even Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrated hadith from him.

After living in several towns, he settled in Basra at the invitation of the Abbasid caliph al-Wathiq, where he eventually died. He wrote works about the hadith and other subjects. Among his best known works are the Sunan Abu Dawood, known as the Sunan, which is also one of the Sihah Sittah. It is said that he selected and collected the hadith in this book from a total of half a million hadith in order to preserve the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws).

In the section of the book concerning the Mahdi he related the Mahdi’s features, the portents of his coming and what he will do after having made his appearance.

Ummul Momeneen, Umme Salamah reported that the Prophet (sawa) said, “The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatemah.” Abdullah ibn Ja’far said: “I heard Abu’l Malih praising Ali ibn Nufayl and describing his good qualities.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, book 36, tradition no. 4271)


Abu Saeed al-Khudri reported that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “The Mahdi will be of my lineage, and will have a broad forehead and a prominent nose. He will fill the earth will equity and justice as it was formerly filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years.” (Sunan Abu Dawood, book 36, tradition no. 4272)


Hazrat Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) narrated that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “If only one day of this time (the world) remains, Allah will raise up a man from my family who will fill this earth with justice as it had been filled with oppression.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, book 36, tradition no. 4270)


Ummul Momeneen, Umme Salamah reported that the Prophet (sawa) said, “…He [the Mahdi] will divide property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet (sawa) and establish Islam on earth. He will remain for seven years…” (Sunan Abu Dawud, book 36, tradition no. 4273)


Abdullah ibn Masood narrated that the Prophet (sawa) said, “If only one day of this world remains, Allah will lengthen that day (according to Za’idah’s version), till He raises up in it a man who belongs to me or to my family whose father’s name is the same as my father’s, who will fill the earth with equity and justice as it had been filled with oppression and tyranny (according to Fitr’s version).” Sufyan’s version says: “The world will not pass away before the Arabs are ruled by a man of my family whose name is the same as mine.” (Sunan Abu Dawud, book 36, tradition no. 4269)

Sunan Ibne Majah

A book of traditions by the hadith scholar Abu Abdallah Mohammed ibn Yazid Ibn Majah (824-886). Ibn Majah was a well-known teacher of the hadith, who travelled from Qazwib to Baghdad, Basra, Mecca, Kufa, Sham, Egypt and Rayy in order to research them.

He wrote several works on the subjects of history, Tarikh, exegesis and knowledge of the hadith. His best-known book is the two-volume Sunan al-Mustafa, known as the Sunan Ibne Majah  – one of the Sihah Sittah. One chapter of the book, titled “al-Fitan,” concerns those hadith regarding the blessed Mahdi.

Hazrat Ali ibne Abi Talib (as) has related a tradition from the Holy Prophet (sawa) who informed him, “The promised Mahdi will be from among my family. Allah will make the provisions for his emergence within a single night.” (Sunan Ibne Majah, volume 2, page 519)


The Messenger of Allah (sawa) announced, “The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatemah (the Prophet’s daughter).” (Sunan Ibne Majah, volume 2, tradition no. 4086)


The Prophet (sawa) said, “We the children of Abdul Muttalib are the masters of the inhabitants of Paradise – Myself, Hamza (as), Ali (as), Jafar Ibn Abi Talib (ra), al-Hasan (as), al-Husayn (as), and al-Mahdi (as).” (Sunan Ibne Majah, volume 2, tradition no. 4087)


Abd Allah ibn al-Harith ibn Juz al-Zubaydi reported that the Prophet (sawa) said, “A (group of) people will come out of the East who will pave the way for the Mahdi.” (Ibn Majah)


The Prophet said, “… a man from my family appears to fill the Earth with justice as it has been filled with corruption. So whoever lives to see that (time) ought to come to them even by crawling over snow.” (Sunan Ibne Majah, volume 2, tradition no. 4082)


Abu Umamah al-Bahili said, “The Prophet (sawa) delivered a speech to us, most of which dealt with the Dajjal (the Antichrist) and warned us against him. Umm Sharik bint Abil-Akr said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, where will the Arabs be at that time?’ He said, ‘At that time they will be few in number; most of them will be in the Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), and their Imam will be a righteous man. While their Imam is going forward to lead the people in the Salat al-Subh (the morning prayer), Isa son of Maryam will descend. The Imam will step back, to let Isa lead the people in prayer, but Isa will place his hand between the man’s shoulders and say, “Go forward and lead the prayer, for the Iqamah was made for you.” So the Imam will lead the people in prayer… Isa son of Maryam will be a just administrator and leader of my Ummah. He will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizyah (tax on non-Muslims). He will not collect the Sadaqah, so he will not collect sheep and camels. Mutual enmity and hatred will disappear. Every harmful animal will be made harmless, so that a small boy will be able to put his hand into a snake’s mouth without being harmed, a small girl will be able to make a lion run away from her, and a wolf will go among sheep as if he were a sheepdog. The earth will be filled with peace as a container is filled with water. People will be in complete agreement, and only Allah will be worshipped. Wars will cease…’” (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Fitan, tradition no. 4077)


Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated that the Holy Prophet (sawa) said, “There will be the Mahdi in my Ummah; if it is shortened then seven, and if not, then nine, and my Ummah will be blessed in him with a blessing the like of which they will have never heard. The earth will give up its produce and nothing of it will be stored, and wealth on that day will be in heaps, so that a man will stand up and say, ‘Mahdi, give me!’ and he will say, ‘Take’.” (Sunan Ibne Majah)

Read more about Imam Mahdi in the Ahle Sunnah

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