Resemblance of Imam Mahdi (as) to the Prophets (pbut)

This is a summary I wrote up from the volume 1 of the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaaid ad-Duaa Lil Qaaim by Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Musawi Isfahani. The title of the book translates to Perfection of Morals Among the Benefits of Praying for Al-Qaim (meaning the 12th Imam al-Mahdi). The author goes into details regarding the various benefits of praying for the Imam, preparing for his arrival and the reward that exists for those who wait for his reappearance. Ayatullah Isfahani claims that he saw a dream in which the Imam (as) advised him to write this book and upon seeing the dream he began doing so.

In any case, the book contains a chapter where the resemblance of the Imam (as) to the various Prophets (pbut) are described. The section is very lengthy, however I have summarized each of the section under each Prophet’s (pbut) name and listed them below. Some of the individuals I believe, may not necessarily be Prophets (such as Habeel or Dhulqarnain) or there may be a difference of opinion about them, but nevertheless they have been mentioned in this section.

Resemblance to Adam (as)

Allah (swt) appointed Adam as his caliph (2:30) and will likewise appoint Imam Mahdi (as) as a caliph on this earth. Prophet Adam (as) enlivened the earth with worship of Allah, after the Jinns had killed it with their infidelity and rebellion. Imam Mahdi (as) will also enliven the earth with the religion of Allah, justice and establishing His code of law after it has been filled with disbelief and transgression of the people.

Resemblance to Habeel

Habeel was killed by his nearest and closest kin (his brother), while the Imam’s paternal uncle Ja’far al-Kazzab (the liar) tried to eliminate the Imam. A narration by Imam Zain ul-Abideen (as), recorded in Kamaluiddin (volume 1, page 320) is as follow: “As if I can see that Ja’far kazzab, helping the tyrant of the time in searching for the wali of Allah. He will try to spy on him and not knowing about the birth of Imam Qaim, he will become the executor of his father’s estate and will desire that were he to gain upper hand on the Qaim he will eliminate him; and will be greedy for his inheritance, till he will usurp it wrongfully.”

Resemblance to Sheeth

Prophet Sheeth did not get the permission to reveal his knowledge as one of the reasons why Qabeel killed Habeel was due to the knowledge that was given to him and his sacrifice accepted. Qabeel was therefore jealous and did not want Habeel to have children who could proudly claim that they are the children of him whose sacrifice was accepted. Thus Qabeel informs Sheeth that if he were to reveal the knowledge that Adam had given to him, he would kill him just like he had killed Habeel.

The Imam (as) will also not receive permission to reveal all his knowledge until the appointed day. When he was born, he said: “The oppressors thought that the Divine Proof is invalid and destroyed. If we had been permitted to speak freely about him, all the doubts would be removed.”[1]

Resemblance to Nuh

The characteristics of Prophet Nuh’s long life and his lengthy patience are present in Imam al-Mahdi. Furthermore, Nuh (as) purified the earth from the disbelievers, whereas the Imam will also clear the earth from disbelievers. The call of Nuh reached to the east and the west of the earth and the Imam will also stand between the Rukn and Maqaam and call out with a voice that will reach people where ever they are and in whatever state they are in.

Resemblance to Idris

It is said that Idris (as) was raised to the 4th or 6th heaven  by an angel, while Imam Mahdi (as) was taken into the skies by the angel Ruh ul-Qudus (that came in a form of a pigeon). Prophet Idris (as) disappeared from among the people when they wanted to kill him and the Mahdi (as) also disappeared in a similar manner when the enemies wanted to kill him.

Resemblance to Hud

Allah (swt) destroyed the disbelievers through Hud (as) as he sent Aqeem (a destructive wind) on them and Allah (swt) will also destroy some disbelievers through a black windstorm when the Imam comes.

Resemblance to Saleh

Prophet Saleh (as) went into occultation from his people and when he returned, many of them denied him. His community asked him for proof and signs and then believed him. When Imam al-Mahdi comes, many people who had belief in him would reject him, while some will ask for signs. When he shows them proof, they will pledge allegiance to him.

Resemblance to Ibrahim

When Ibrahim’s mother was pregnant, her pregnancy was concealed by Allah (swt) and the same was true with Imam Mahdi’s mother. Prophet Ibrahim (as) grew up in a day as much as others grow in a week and the Imam also grew in a day as much as others grow in a week.

Resemblance to Ismail

The spring of Zam Zam burst forth for Prophet Ismail (as), and for the Imam a spring of water burst forth from a hard stone.

Resemblance to Ishaq

Allah (swt) gave the glad tidings of the birth of Prophet Ishaaq (as) to Sarah after she had lost all hope of having a child. In regards to Imam Mahdi (as), when people became despaired that he would be born, they were given the glad news of his birth.

Resemblance to Lut

Angels would come down to assist Prophet Lut (as), and the angels also came down to assist the Imam.

Resemblance to Yaqoob

Prophet Yaqoob (as) remained in anticipation of reappearance, and the Imam is also in a similar state waiting for the reappearance.

Resemblance to Yusuf

Prophet Yusuf (as) was the most handsome person of his time, and the Imam will also be the most handsome person of his time. Yusuf also disappeared for a long time, while he walked among them who knew of him, but they were not able to recognize Yusuf though he recognized them. The Imam also disappeared from the sight of people in such a way that he walks among them, but they do not recognize him.

Resemblance to Khizr

The prolonged life of Khizr is well accepted by the Shi`a and Sunni sects, and the Mahdi (as) also has been given a long lifespan. Wherever Khizr (as) would go, the surroundings would turn green and likewise it has been mentioned that where ever the Mahdi will go, the surroundings would become green, vegetated and water will flow from it. When he departs, the land will return to its prior condition. Both Khizr and Imam participate in the Hajj every year and perform all the rituals.

Resemblance to Ilyas

Like Khizr, Allah (swt) has also prolonged the life of Ilyas and life of Imam Mahdi (as) has also been prolonged. Ilyas fled from his people and disappeared from their sight when they wanted to kill him. The Imam also fled from his community and has gone out of sight. Prophet Ilyas (as) was such that Allah (swt) through his du`a revived Prophet Yunus (as) 14 days after he died in his childhood. Likewise, through the blessings of the Imam, Allah (swt) will also enliven numerous dead people, years after their death.

Resemblance to Dhulqarnain

Dhulqarnain was not a prophet, but he called the people to the path of Allah. Likewise, Imam Mahdi (as) is not a prophet, but he will also call people towards piety and the path of Allah. Dhulqarnain was a Divine Proof on the people like the Imam. Dhulqarnain also had a long occultation and was taken away from the sight of his people. He also rode on a cloud, and there is a tradition which mentions that Imam al-Mahdi will also sit on a cloud.

Resemblance to Shuaib

Prophet Shuaib (as) came out of the fire that came out of a cloud hovering on his deniers and burned them. The Imam will also burn up all the idols and false deities during the period of his reappearance.

Resemblance to Musa

The pregnancy of Musa`s mother was not apparent, and the pregnancy of Imam Mahdi`s mother was also not apparent. Both their births were concealed. Prophet Musa (as) also went into two occultations, one being longer than the other. The Imam also went into two occultations, one of which he is in right now. Prophet Musa (as) brought a book that people disputed, likewise Imam Mahdi (as) will bring the Qur`an that was compiled by Imam Ali (as) and there will be dispute regarding it. The Imam will also have the staff of Musa (as) in his possession.

Resemblance to Haroon

Just as Prophet Haroon (as) could hear Prophet Musa (as) from a long distance (and vice versa), it is also mentioned that Imam Mahdi will be able to hear from a great distance those Shi’as who call out to him (and vice versa). To the extent that there will be no need for any intermediary between them; he shall listen and speak to them as if he were right with them even at such a distance.

Resemblance to Yusha

When Prophet Musa (as) passed away, the hypocrites rose against Yusha (as); likewise Imam Mahdi (as) will also be such that the hypocrites would rise up against him and would fight him.

Resemblance to Hizqil

Allah (swt) had risen the dead back to life for Hizqil (as) and the same will happen during the time of Imam Mahdi (as). The believers will be brought back to life and so will the hypocrites and the infidels.

Resemblance to Dawood

Allah (swt) softened iron for Prophet Dawood (as) and He also made iron soft for Imam Mahdi (as). Dawood killed Jaloot and the Imam will be the one who will finish off Dajjal.

Resemblance to Sulaiman

Sulaiman was appointed as Dawood’s vicegerent when he had not even reached the age of maturity. Likewise, Imam Mahdi (as) became the Imam formally at the age of five. Prophet Sulaiman (as) was given a vast kingdom and had power over not only humans, but also the jinns and animals. Allah (swt) will also bestow a similar kingdom to the Imam.

Resemblance to Daniyal

Daniyal (as) remained in occultation for a period of time from the Bani Israel and the Imam also currently remains in occultation. The Shi’as today face much hardship due to him being out of our sight, just like the Shi’as of Daniyal who fell into severe hardships.

Resemblance to Uzair

When Prophet Uzair (as) returned back to his people, he recited from the Torah as it had been revealed to Musa (as). Likewise, when the Imam reappears he will recite from the Qur’an as it had been revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Resemblance to Ayyub

Prophet Ayyub (as) observed patience in calamities, and the Imam is observing patience from the time of the passing away of his father till today. Allah (swt) brought the dead back to life for the sake of Ayyub (as) and will do the same for the Imam when he reappears.

Resemblance to Yunus

Prophet Yunus (as) returned back to his people after a long time, but still looked like a young man. Likewise, though the Imam has been in occultation for a long time, he will reappear as a young man.

Resemblance to Zakariya

Angels would call out to Prophet Zakariya (as) while he was engrossed in prayers. The angels will also call out and address the Imam during the Nights of Qadr.

Resemblance to Yahya

Prophet Yahya (as) spoke to his mother while he was still in the womb. The Imam also spoke to his mother while he was in the womb and recited Surah Qadr.

Resemblance to Isa

Prophet Isa (as) spoke while he was an infant in the cradle, and the Imam also spoke after his birth while he was a new-born. Through the permission of Allah (swt), Isa would bring back the dead to life. The Imam will also revive the dead by the permission of Allah (swt).

Resemblance to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

The author of the book mentions one narration by the Prophet (pbuh) which the author feels is sufficient. The narration by the Prophet is: “Mahdi is from my progeny. His name is same as mine and his agnomen is same as mine; and in looks and speech most resembling me among all the people…”.



[1] Kamaluddin, Vol.2, pg. 430

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