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Al-Bayan fi akhbar Sahib al-Zaman (book)

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Al-Bayan fi akhbar Sahib al-Zaman
Author Muhammad b. Yusuf b. Muhammad al-Ganji al-Shafi'i
Original title (البیان فی اخبار صاحب الزمان (عج
Language Arabic
Subject Imam al-Mahdi (a)
Genre Hadith
Published 1404/1984
Publisher Dar Ihya' Turath Ahl al-Bayt

Al-Bayān fī akhbār Ṣāḥib al-Zamān (a) (Arabic: البیان فی اخبار صاحب الزمان) is a book written by Muhammad b. Yusuf b. Muhammad al-Ganji al-Shafi'i (d. 658/1260). The book, which consists of twenty five chapters, is about Imam al-Mahdi (a). The author of the book, who is Shafi'i, mostly benefited from his masters and Sunni sources.


Al-Hafiz Fakhr al-Din Abi 'Abd Allah, Muhammad b. Yusuf b. Muhammad al-Ganji al-Shafi'i is one of the great Shafi'i scholars of the early seventh/thirteenth century. Biographers have mentioned him as beneficial muhaddith (narrator), al-imam, al-hafiz, reliable, just, religious, memorizer of the Qur'an and Sunna and etc.. Due to expressing his fondness of Imam Ali (a), some Sunnis hated, dispraised and rebuked him. Although he is a reliable, trustworthy, and cautious person in narrating hadiths, some Sunni scholars such as Ibn Taghri al-Birdi and Ibn Kathir al-Dimashqi have called him "evil Rafidi". Eventually, under the pressure of this group of scholars he was expelled from Mosul. He went to Damascus to learn hadiths, and in 658/1260 he was killed in Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.

Cause of Writing

Al-Ganji wrote this book for Muhammad b. Nasr (d. 656/1258) the representative of the caliph in Irbil, as he has dedicated his other book Kifayat al-talib to him.


The book contains twenty five chapters. The first chapter is about the uprising of Imam al-Mahdi (a). Some other chapters are:

  • Al-Mahdi (a) one of Fatima's (a) descendants
  • Al-Mahdi (a), one of the masters of heaven
  • The Prophet's (s) order to follow al-Mahdi (a)
  • Al-Mahdi (a) assisted by the people of the East
  • Prophet Jesus (a) performing prayer behind al-Mahdi (a)
  • Al-Mahdi (a), one of Imam al-Husayn's (a) descendants
  • Generosity and magnanimity of al-Mahdi (a)
  • Refuting [the argument of] those who think that al-Mahdi (a) is Jesus (a)
  • Al-Mahdi's (a) teknonym and his similar manners to that of the Prophet (s).
  • Al-Mahdi's (a) reappearance
  • Al-Mahdi (a) is alive during occultation

In the last-mentioned chapter, the author thoroughly discusses that Imam al-Mahdi (a) is alive and provides proofs and examples for this opinion.


According to the author himself, he does not narrate the content of the book form Shi'a sources, rather form others; so that his arguments become stronger. Based on this, he narrates hadiths form Sunni sources.

The author narrates the hadiths in the book form his masters; however, the most frequent book that he narrates hadith from is Manaqib al-Mahdi, written by Abu Nu'aym al-Isfahani. He typically cites other Sunni hadith sources, too, and by citing form these book he tries to support what he has narrated from his masters.

He also narrated from Sahih Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, al-Firdaws (written by Ibn Shirawayh al-Daylami), Kashf al-makhfi fi manaqib al-Mahdi in this book.