The Universal Reformer of Mankind
Who Would Appear As An Elegant Young Man
The most remarkable thing about this episode is that according to the faith of the Shias of Ahle Bayt, from the time of his birth upto his Minor occultation and from that time throughout his Major occultation, and even after the golden period of his reappearance he had been and would be an eyewitness of all the happenings in this world. Years after years and centuries after centuries the world is making an estimation of his birth, his childhood, his outstanding companions who are absolutely exceptional in every aspect. Islam has also mentioned a great deal about this young miraculous child.
Two centuries before his birth, there was a general declaration by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Imams that the ninth descendant of Imam Husain (a.s) would have a concealed birth resembling that of Prophet Musa (a.s).
None but very few selected people would know about his birth and this information would be restricted only among the Shia community. He would have two occultations. One shall be a Minor occultation and the other Major. That is a short and a prolonged disappearance. When mankind would
fall into despondence and everywhere there shall be hopelessness, hunger and poverty and every kind of calamity, injustice and oppression, the Almighty Allah would cause his reappearance in the form of a forty-year-old youth though he would have lived for hundreds of years. He would be having a well-built and strong physique. He would be much above the creatures from the aspect of knowledge, intelligence and physical prowess.
Ten thousand exceptional companions of his would provide help and assistance to the afflicted people of the world. The Imam would unearth the hidden treasures of the earth. He would make the barren earth full of vegetation. He would correct all the evils and through his beneficial programs remove the widespread laziness, sloth and weakness from the people of the world and make the weak-willed and indolent people full of zest and a new life. That is he would enliven the earth once more. Universal justice shall be established and the brotherhood of mankind shall be given the greatest prominence. His government would have innumerable programs of uplifting the conditions of the people of the world. There would be no government and no religion in the world except the rulership of the Progeny of Muhammad and the religion of Islam.
Since traditions had clearly mentioned that the ninth descendant of Imam Husain (a.s) would destroy all oppression in the world, the Bani Abbas Caliph summoned Imams Ali Naqi and Hasan Askari (a.s) so that he could keep a close surveillance on them since they were the tenth and the eleventh Imams of the Shias. Mutawakkil also wanted to assure that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) does not
marry since he was supposed to father a male child who would be the expected Mahdi.
In spite of all the restrictions and surveillance that Mutawakkil had arranged for this purpose, Imam Mahdi (a.s) was born in 255 A.H. in an utmost concealed manner. Imam Askari (a.s) lived for another five years after his birth and after that he was martyred by poison. During these five years, the most selected people of the community who were trustworthy, reliable and pious had the honor of seeing Imam Mahdi (a.s). These people posed religious questions in order to become certain of his high station.
This is the twelfth Imam through whom the Almighty desired to reform this material world so that weak and suppressed people could live peacefully in it and universal justice and equity is established. The people could move about freely and they learn to live a life of righteousness. Also that they may benefit from God-given bounties depending upon their eligibility and disposition. The Imam may also eradicate every type of injustice and oppression, force and compulsion, illness, griefs, difficulties, supervision, opposition, racial and color discrimination and the mankind can see how man can lead a free life.
When his respected father passed away from this temporal world he was only five years old. In this period of five years, none but some of the most trusted and reliable persons knew that Imam Askari (a.s) had a son. The male and female spies appointed by the caliph continued to assure the caliph that the Imam was issueless. That is the reason that Ja'far, the Imam’s brother, who was an evildoer and an agent of the caliph, stepped forward to recite the funeral prayer. At that moment an extremely beautiful and
elegant child came out from behind the curtain and came to Ja'far, the liar and pulled him aside saying, “Uncle! I would recite the funeral prayer of my respected father.”
The young lad recited the funeral prayers then passed through the gathering and left the room. All those present there came to know that the eleventh Imam had not passed away childless. When the caliph was informed about this, he sent his soldiers who searched every room, every nook and corner of the house to find the boy and arrest him. So that he may be put to death and the world can be rid of the twelfth Imam. The search party inspected the whole house but the Imam was not to be found anywhere. He went into the cellar of his house and from there he disappeared to reappear when Allah, the Almighty wills; and that he may fill the earth with justice and equity like it would have been full of injustice and oppression.
Abu Sult Harwi asked Imam Reza (a.s), “What would be the signs of your Qaem at the time of his reappearance?” Imam replied, “His sign is that he would be senior in age but in the view of people he would appear to be a man of forty years or even less. Another sign is that, even through the passage of time he will not age till the time he passes away. He would always remain in the same condition of youth.”
Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “Our Qaem would appear in the form of an elegant youth while the people would say in surprise: We were expecting him to be an aged gentlemen.”
Reyan ibn Sult asked Imam Reza (a.s), “Are you the master of affair?” The Imam replied, “I am not the master of the affair, who would fill the earth with justice and equity like it would be filled with injustice and oppression. You see that there is weakness and senility in my body. That is why
I cannot be the master of affair. Master of affair is the one who at the time of his reappearance would be senior in age but his appearance would that of a youth and his body shall be strong.”
If he wants he could catch hold of a huge tree and uproot it, it would not be impossible for him. Thus when he stands between two mountains and raises a cry the huge boulders of the mountains would fragment into pebbles and begin falling to the earth. He is my fourth descendant. As long as Allah wills he would remain in concealment and when he reappears he would fill the earth with justice and equity like it would be filled with injustice and inequity.”
Amirul Momineen (a.s) says, “In the last days of calamity and ignorance of the people, God will appoint a person and will support him and protect his followers through angels. He will help him through miraculous signs and give him victory over all the people of the world, so that whether they like it or not they will convert to the true religion. He will fill the earth with justice and equity, and brilliance and rationality. The distances between places will shrink for him in such a way that no unbeliever will remain except that (the appointed one) will bring (to him) faith, and no sinful person would remain except that he will become pious. Even the beasts would live freely. The fertility of the earth would increase. Every part of the earth would be covered with vegetation. Bounties would descend from the sky and the earth would expose its hidden treasures. He would rule the earth from the east to the west for forty years. Those would be fortunate who are born during his divine rule and listen to the words spoken by him.”
 Refer Mahdi Maood, Vol. 13, Biharul Anwar, Allamah Majlisi