Ever since the Last Prince of Bani Hashim went into occultation over 11 centuries ago, the Muslim Ummah has constantly been seeking signs that are said to indicate his return. With wars and natural disasters becoming ever more prevalent, we wonder when our beloved Imam will reappear to deliver peace and justice to all of mankind.
In A Discussion Concerning the Mahdi, Martyr Baqir al-Sadr eloquently explains the Hidden Imam's importance and loving character: "Mahdi is not a saviour whose birth is awaited or a prophecy whose fulfillment is sought; rather he is a present reality whose active involvement is awaited, and a particular individual living with his flesh and blood in our midst, whom we see and who sees us. With us, he lives through our hopes and sufferings and participates in our joys and sorrows. He witnesses everything going on in the world stage, the sufferings of the tormented, the misery of the miserable, and the tyranny of the tyrants, and, from far and near, feel them all intensely, and, with his grief, awaits for the moment when he may extend his hand towards every victim of oppression, deprivation and distress, and crush the tyrants.
Signs in the Skies
1. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be upon him) said, "Two signs will come before the one who will arise - there will be an eclipse of the sun in the middle of the month of Ramadan and an eclipse of the moon at the end of it. These are signs which have not occurred since Adam came down." (Kitab al-Irshad)
2. The sun will rise from the West and the vast skies will become red. (Al-Yawaqeet wal-Jawahir)
3. A distinctly sparkling star will rise from the East. In Eqdud-Durar it is said two stars will rise, while traditions in Fusul al-Muhimma state it will be a single star that will break into two.
Signs on Earth
1. A fire will break out in the East that will last between three to seven days.
2. A flood will occur on the roads of Kura after the River Euphrates will split.
3. Not only will a "black wind" blow throughout Baghdad, but an earthquake will also take place there. The earthquake will affect only a specific section of Baghdad, causing it to collapse.
4. The Awaited Savior's noble grandfather, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said, "Before the one who will arise, there will be red death and white death; there will be locusts, at their usual time and at their unusual time, like the colors of blood. As for red death, that is (from) the sword, while white death is (from) plague."
5. Agriculture will be at a low and there will be heavy rains (some sources say it will rain approximately 20 consecutive times). In reference to both occurrences, Imam as-Sadiq said, "Before (the coming of) the one who will rise, there will be a year of abundant rain in which the fruits and the dates on the palms will be destroyed. But do not complain of that." (Kitab al-Irshad)
Signs of the Ummah
1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, "The hour (of the end of the world) will not arise until the Mahdi from my descendants comes forth. The Mahdi will not come forth until sixty liars come forward, each of them declaring to be a prophet."
2. Imam as-Sadiq said, "The one who will arise will not come forth until twelve of the Bani Hashim come forth before him, all of them summoning men to themselves [claiming the Imamat for themselves]."
3. The Turks and Romans will argue amongst themselves.
4. The Arabs will gain more power.
5. Armies will make their way towards places such as Syria, Egypt, Khorasan, and Hira. (Kitab al-Irshad)
The Commander of the Faithful once said, "Await the relief and do not despair from the mercy of Allah, because indeed the most beloved of actions with Allah, the Noble and Grand, is awaiting the relief." (Bihar al-Anwar)