3 Islamic articles on: The Mahdi

IslamQA: Why I don’t believe in the Mahdi

Salamu alaikum. Is the story about The End of Times true, like the Imam Mahdi, the descend of Prophet Isa (alaihi as-salam), the Ya'juj & Ma'juj, Daabbatul Ardh, etc? Are these all in an authentic hadith?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I don’t believe in the Mahdi due to the lack of strong evidence in support of it (see this previous answer). The Quran mentions Yajuj and Majuj coming at end times, but it is possible that this is a reference to an event that already happened thousands of years ago. Most of the hadiths on the signs of end times are not very strong, but I have not done a detailed study of them. As far as I’m concerned what the Quran mentions regarding the signs of end times is sufficient.

When I was a kid I was very fascinated by The End and it’s signs like Dajjal and Mahdi. Now you’re telling that Mahdi is probably not real? Bruh...

It’s about standards. I have very high standards for which hadiths I accept as authentic. If you lower your standards so much that you accept the Mahdi hadiths, then, if you want to be consistent, you will also have to accept the hadiths that say music is haram or that drawings and paintings of living things are haram. 

I read many books of hadith until I learned how truly authentic hadiths are very different in quality from the other supposedly authentic ones that contain all kinds of questionable teachings. Unfortunately the average Muslim is stuck with accepting everything sahih as if it is true, while a scholar knows there are endless shades of authenticity within the sahih hadiths. I use my hadith verification method to find out which hadiths are undeniably authentic. Having high standards is about finding out what the Prophet PBUH really, truly taught. It leads to an easy and simple Islam that lacks almost everything that troubles people.

As for the Mahdi, to me the idea of a great ruler coming at end times and putting everything right sounds very Jewish and Christian. It is alien to the teachings of the Quran which tells us that history goes in cycles and that there is no final victory in this world. As Muslims we should believe that even if we establish the perfect caliphate that rules the whole universe and it lasts for 500 years, it too will come to end like every caliphate before it. Islam is all about the journey, not the destination. The destination is not in this life, it is in the Hereafter.

Assalamu 'alaikum, seems to me you're going against 99% of classical scholars with your high standard of accepting hadiths. Classical scholars have way more knowledge than us as they were living at or just after the prophet ﷺ's time. I understand that you probably have no bad intentions and just mean to be sincere but I don't think rejecting something of classical scholars is the way to go. They lived and experienced the time of islam, we didn't.

The majority of scholars accept those hadiths, and they have 10+ years of studies. And the prophet ﷺ said it will always be the majority that you should stick with. It’s okay to have a different opinion based on your knowledge, but it’s absolutely not okay to be so disrespectful about it.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

Not at all, I love the classical scholars and consider myself among them. When people ask me questions I always look up the opinions of past scholars. I am happy to abide by their opinions as long as there isn’t a strong reason to disagree, and there rarely is. And when I disagree, there are always other scholars who share my opinion. Islam is all about respecting dissent. If you read the books of classical scholars, they will tell you the opinion of ten scholars who all agree on a particular issue, then they will respectfully mention a single scholar who disagreed. They do not consider the disagreement a problem, to them it is just life as usual. Most of the scholars of Medina considered drawings of living things to be haram, yet one scholar disagreed and everyone quoted him without attacking him.

I’m happy to accept the average hadith as long as it doesn’t contain something strange or contradictory. My hadith verification method fully relies on the opinions of past scholars, it simply formalizes them so that the distinctions between different levels of authenticity become clear. We are encouraged to use our reasoning and to go by our hearts, and that is what all the great scholars do. It’s literally haram for a scholar to agree with a common opinion when their heart tells them the minority opinion is the right one. It’s our duty to disagree when we have to, and of course people are free to ignore us or take us seriously.

+ also it was not right for you to use such demeaning words for hadiths you rejected. what if you’re wrong? And those words come back to you? Even if you have a difference of opinion you must be respectful about it, instead of using horrendous words “*If you lower your standards so much* that you accept the Mahdi hadiths, then, if you want to be consistent, you will also have to accept the hadiths that say music is haram or that drawings and paintings of living things are haram.” that’s gross

I’m sorry, but that’s how I would speak to a scholar or in a research paper, I’m surprised you found anything in it to bother you. Maybe consider the possibility that a person who probably knows more than you knows the right way to talk about these matters.

Hello, brother. I'm an anon who support your thinking that the Mahdi and stuff does not make sense. I mean, if it were come from Islamic source, while Allah does not mention it in the Quran, why does The Signs of End Times described with such detail? I mean, too much detail seems suspicious to me. Meanwhile, I'm no Islamic scholar and I do not study Islam in a scholarly manner. But what you said does make sense. I'd rather follow my logic and my heart, what I see fit and ideal about Islam.


That’s how Islamic thinking works, or is supposed to work. We use our reason and conscience to judge what we hear, and if something doesn’t fit, we research it to find out just how authentic the thing is. For example the idea that music is haram has always sounded like nonsense to me since Islam doesn’t forbid listening to bird songs which often make great music. And upon greater research we find that the evidence against music is pretty weak and contradictory.

This is one greatest signs of the truth of Islam, that it is a religion completely free from nonsensical and unreasonable things. Everything I heard about Islam in the past that insulted my intelligence turns out to be unauthentic or badly supported now that I can do my own research.

IslamQA: Are Mahdi and Dajjal authentic concepts?

Is the hadith about the mahdi and dajjal authentic? What will come after the other?

The Mahdi is likely a fabricated addition to Islam. This is the opinion of the respected Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi (as I discuss here).

As for the Dajjal, there are many authentic narrations that mention it, and many narrations of questionable authenticity that add details about it. It seems well-established that there will come a being named Dajjal at the end times due to the number of narrations from multiple Companions that mention it. But the details about the miracles he performs are of doubtful authenticity. Since it is not mentioned in the Quran, I consider it not worth worrying about. But since it is mentioned in many authentic narrations, we cannot reject it entirely until a respected scholar conducts a thorough study and comes up with the conclusion that it is partly or mostly false. For now, we just have to accept things as they are. If the Prophet PBUH really said these things then we have no choice but to accept them. There also hadith narrations like the following that take away from Dajjal’s importance:

No one asked Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) more about Dajjil than I asked him. He said: He should not be a source of worry to you for he would not be able to do any harm to you. I said: Allah's Messenger, it is alleged that he would have along with him (abundance of) food and water. Thereupon he said: He would be more insignificant in the eye of Allah than that. (Sahih Muslim 2939 a)

The epic narratives that people mention about the end of the world are not mentioned in the Quran, which to me means they are unimportant and not worth concerning ourselves with.

IslamQA: Are the signs of end times (such as al-Mahdi) in Islam authentic?

Salam, If it's not too much of a bother to you, would you mind talking about the end of times and it's various signs? What are your interpretations of them and possible thoughts on its implications that are manifesting in our world already? Not all hadith is as authentic as it initially seems which is why I'm a little skeptical of descriptions made by some imams and scholars. I was curious to know what you have to say on this topic, being someone I respect intellectually and religiously.

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I have always been skeptical of end days narratives that are not mentioned in the Quran. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi says that since the Mahdi is not mentioned in the Quran nor explicitly in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, the concept should not be taken seriously. He says that since this is a very big addition to Islam, and since the support for it does not come from Islam’s main sources, the addition should be rejected. There are many respected scholars who believe in it. But it is not a matter of consensus despite the claims of some. If a single highly respected and qualified scholar disagrees with the rest on something, this automatically breaks the consensus.

I have not done a detailed study of these matters since what the Quran says about Day of Judgment has always been sufficient for me. I see no benefit in concerning ourselves with epic narratives when the Quran constantly stresses the Day of Judgment itself rather than what takes place in the days and years before it. I do not say the whole literature is false, I will have to do a detailed study to find out what can be trusted and what cannot. If there are authentic narrations coming from multiple Companions (rather than a single Companion) and multiple chains that speak of something, then that is strong support for it. But if it comes to us from a single Companion then skepticism is required (there is much disagreement on this, but scholars of legal theory accept this, while scholars of hadith are often less skeptical).

Source for al-Qaradawi’s opinion (Arabic PDF)

Discussion of multiply-and-singularly transmitted narrations (Arabic PDF)