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Verses of Mahdism

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Verses of Mahdism (Arabic: الآيات المهدوية) are Quranic verses interpreted as being concerned with issues of Mahdism, such as Reappearance, al-Mahdi's uprising, his Occultation, and his reign. Such verses are said to amount to about 500, and in exegeses of these verses, appeals are made to hadiths from Ahl al-Bayt (a).

Many books have been written about verses of Mahdism.

The Number

Verses of Mahdism are Quranic verses in exegeses of which there are references to issues of Mahdism such as Reappearance, uprising, Occultation, and reign. Some authors take the number of such verses to amount to about 398,[1] and others to 500.[2]


Verses of Mahdism are categorized into the following:

  • Verses that count as instances of Mahdism, that is, they apply to Mahdism, such as verses in which the reign of the virtuous is prognosticated, such as verse 105 of Qur'an 21.[7] In one hadith, the "virtuous" is said to refer to Imam al-Mahdi (a) and his companions.[8]
  • Verses deployed for explanation and elaboration of issues of Mahdism and response to objections to it,[9] such as the verse, "and there is a guide for every people,"[10] according to which God selects a guide for every nation. In the exegesis of this verse, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said: "there is an Imam from our household in every period of time, who will guide people to what the Messenger of God has brought."[11]


The book Mu'jam Mahdawiyya in Shia and Sunni exegeses

Books have been written about verses of Mahdism and their exegeses.[12] These verses are discussed in these books in different ways; for example, in the order of the traditional compilation of Quranic suras, in order of the revelation of such suras, and in terms of subject-matters.[13] Here are some of these books:

  • Al-Imam al-Mahdi fi l-Qur'an wa l-Sunna (Al-Imam al-Mahdi in the Qur'an and the Tradition) by Sa'id Abu Ma'ash: the book is concerned with over 500 verses about Mahdism.
  • Al-Mahajja fi ma nazal fi l-Qa'im al-Hujja by (on what is revealed about al-Qa'im) al-Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani. The book covers 128 verses, and is translated into Persian under Sima-yi Hadrat-i Mahdi dar Qur'an.
  • Mu'jam-i mahdawiyyat dar riwayat-i tafsiri (an encyclopedia of Mahdism in exegetical hadiths) by Murtada 'Abdi Chari. It was published by Zuhur publications in 3 volumes.
  • Mu'jam ahadith al-Imam al-mahdi (encyclopedia of hadiths about Imam al-Mahdi). The seventh volume of this 8-volume set is devoted to hadiths in which a Quranic verse is interpreted by the Imams as relevant to Imam al-Mahdi (a). The collection is compiled and written under 'Ali Kurani by Mu'assisa Ma'arif Islami.

Other works concerning verses of Mahdism include Mu'jam-i Mahdawiyyat in tafasir-i Shi'a wa ahl-i Sunnat (encyclopedia of Mahdism in Shiite and Sunni exegeses) by Muhsin Tabataba'i, al-Ayat al-bahira fir baqiyyat al-'itrat al-tahira (evident verses about the remainder of the pure household) by Sayyid Dawud Mirsabiri, al-Qur'an yatahaddath 'an al-Imam al-Mahdi (the Qur'an talks about Imam al-Mahdi) by Mahdi Hasan 'Ala' al-Din, al-Imam al-Mahdi fi l-Qur'an by Sayyid 'Abd al-Rahim al-Musawi, and Imam Mahdi dar Qur'an by Mahdi Yusufian.

See Also


  1. Kurani, Muʿjam al-aḥādīth al-Imām al-Mahdī.
  2. Abu Maʿāsh, al-Imām al-Mahdī fī al-Qurʾān wa al-Sunna.
  3. Ṭabarī, Dalāʾil al-imāma, p. 471.
  4. Nuʿmānī, Kitāb al-Ghayba, p. 316.
  5. Were you to see them when they will be stricken with terror, without any escape, and are seized from a close quarter.
  6. ʿAyyāshī, Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī, vol. 2,p. 57.
  7. Certainly We wrote in the Psalms, after the Torah: ‘Indeed My righteous servants shall inherit the earth.’
  8. Istarābādī, Taʾwīl al-āyāt al-zāhira, p. 327.
  9. Abādharī, Qāfila Sālār, p. 34.
  10. Qur'an 13:7
  11. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 23, p. 5.
  12. See: Kitābshināsī-yi Qurān wa Intizār.
  13. Abādharī, Qāfila Sālār, p. 34.


  • Abādharī, Maḥmūd. Qāfila Sālār Imām Zamān az manzar-i Qurʾān. Qom: Bunyād-i Farhangī-yi Mahdī-yi Mawʿūd, 1393 Sh.
  • Abu Maʿāsh, Saʿīd. Al-Imām al-Mahdī fī al-Qurʾān wa al-Sunna. Mashhad: Intishārāt-i Āstān-i Quds Raḍawī, 1388 Sh.
  • ʿAyyāshī, Muḥammad b. Masʿūd al-. Tafsīr al-ʿAyyāshī. Tehran: al-Maktaba al-ʿIlmīyya al-Islāmīyya, 1380 Sh.
  • Dabīrkhāna-yi dawāzdahumīn namāyishgāh-i bayn al-milalī-yi Qur'an Karīm. Kitābshināsī-yi Qurān wa Intizār. 1383 Sh.
  • Istarābādī, ʿAlī. Taʾwīl al-āyāt al-zāhira fī faḍāʾil al-ʿitrat al-tāhira. Edited by Ḥusayn Walī. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Nashr al-Islāmī, 1402 Ah.
  • Kurani and colleagues. Muʿjam al-aḥādīth al-Imām al-Mahdī. Qom: Maʿārif al-Islāmīya, 1411 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār al-jāmiʿa li-durar akhbār al-aʾimmat al-aṭhār. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Nuʿmānī, Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm. Kitāb al-Ghayba. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Tehran: Nashr-i Ṣadūq, 1397 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Dalāʾil al-imāma. Edited by Qism al-Dirāsāt al-Islāmīyya Muʾassisa al-Biʿtha. Qom: Nashr-i Biʿthat, 1413 AH.