The Mahdi and his helpers

Our Prophet (saas) has told us that the Mahdi will serve for the benefit of Islam and Muslims and will carry out many important activities. According to the information provided in the hadiths, the Mahdi, who resembles our Prophet (saas) in terms of his moral values, will engage in sincere efforts for people’s salvation in this world and in the Hereafter, and by means of him there will be comfort, peace and abundance in the world. It is also reported that he will have a small number of helpers in this honorable and superior duty. The information provided regarding the Mahdi’s helpers in the hadiths and in the expressions of Islamic scholars are the signs that will enable him to be recognized.

The 1400s (Hijri) in which we are living is a time when the portents of the end times reported in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and in the works of Islamic scholars are becoming true one by one. We are informed that great and historic events will take place in this period. Allah has chosen blessed people to conduce to those developments. The superior moral values and honorable struggle of the Mahdi, is described detailed in the hadiths. Another thing we are informed about is the Mahdi’s helpers and their various features. One of the most striking features is their numbers. According to the hadiths, the numbers of his helpers, who will be active on a global scale, will remain the same and won’t change during their transmission.  This is a miraculous state of affairs created by Allah in His wisdom. The numbers of the Mahdi’s helpers are going to be the cause of his recognition.

When the Mahdi Appears His Helpers Will Be Few

As revealed by our Prophet (saas) in the hadiths, the number of the people who support him when he first appears will be very few as a requirement of the law of Allah revealed in the Qur’an. This has been same in all the communities of believers who lived throughout the history. The Qur’an also contains information about the fewness of sincere believers around the prophets.

For example, only few young people constituting the community in which the Prophet Musa (as) lived, believed in him:

“No one believed in Musa except for a few of his people out of fear that Pharaoh, and the elders, would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was one of the profligate.” (Surah Yunus: 83)

The same thing is valid for the helpers in the period when Prophet ‘Isa (as) first appeared. It is understood that noone has believed in him except few Disciples The Disciples believed in Prophet (as) is revealed as follows in the Qur’an:

“You who believe! Be helpers of Allah as ‘Isa son of Maryam said to the Disciples, ‘Who will be my helpers to Allah?’ The Disciples said, ‘We will be the helpers of Allah.’ One faction of the tribe of Israel believed and the other disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy and they became victorious.”  (Surah As-Saf: 14)

The Qur’an also tells us that the Companions of the Cave were very few in number:

“They will say, ‘There were three of them, their dog being the fourth.’ They will say, ‘There were five of them, their dog being the sixth,’ guessing at the Unseen. And they will say, ‘There were seven of them, their dog being the eighth.’ Say: ‘My Lord knows best their number. Those who know about them are very few.’ So do not enter into any argument concerning them, except in relation to what is clearly known. And do not seek the opinion of any of them regarding them.” (Surat Al-Kahf: 22)

In another verse we are told that the number of people following Prophet Nuh (as) was also few:

“…But those who believed with him were only few.” (Surah Hud: 40)

It is also reported in the Qur’an that very few people believed in Prophet Lut (as). When the People of Lut (as) were struck by a great disaster, apart from his non-believing wife, Allah rescued only the believer members of Prophet Lut’s (as) family:

“…We are going to rescue him and his family–except for his wife. She will be one of those who stay behind. When Our Messengers came to Lut, he was distressed on their account, feeling incapable of protecting them. They said, ‘Do not fear and do not grieve. We are going to rescue you and your family–except for your wife; she will be one of those who stay behind.” (Surat Al-‘Ankabut: 32-33)

The Number of the Mahdi’s Helpers Will be Around 300

A specific number is cited in the hadiths for the number of people who will follow the Mahdi:

These 313 are devout believers by night and heroes by day. (Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib fi Bayan Anna'l Mahdi min Awladi Ali b. Abu Talib Ale't-Tamam ve'l Qamal)

They consist of a group, including women, of 314 people. They will overcome all tyrants. Their hearts are like iron, and they are lions by day and devout believers by night. Neither those before nor after them can match them in self-sacrifice. (Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib fi Bayan Anna'l Mahdi min Awladi Ali b. Abu Talib Ale't-Tamam ve'l Qamal)

Three hundred and fourteen people, among them women, will appear before the Mahdi. (Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib fi Bayan Anna'l Mahdi min Awladi Ali b. Abu Talib Ale't-Tamam ve'l Qamal)

It is striking that the number of people believing in this valuable person who serves for the religion and calls people to believe in Allah, are few. There is no doubt that this is a miraculous state of affairs. The Mahdi, who will prevail the moral values of the Qur’an, will have only 313-314 helpers, when even the smallest religious communities today have thousands of members, is one of the main distinguishing features of the Mahdi and his community.

Bediüzzaman Said Nursi also recalled in his writings that although their numbers will be few every member of the community of the Mahdi would be spiritually very powerful: 

It was related from Muhammed b. Hanefi that: Their numbers will be those of the people of Badr (313). In the same way that those before them cannot match them, neither can those who come after. Their number is as many as those who crossed the river with Talut. (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)

The force and spiritual army this duty depends on is some students in full possession of titles of loyalty and solidarity. No matter how few they may be, they are as powerful and valuable as a literal army. (Emirdag Addendum, p. 259)

Angels Will Also Assist the Mahdi

Allah will support him with three thousand angels. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar)

Jibril will be before them, and Mikail behind.

... .( Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar) 

It is reported in the hadith that Jibril and Mikail will be among the Mahdi’s helpers. According to this information, by Allah’s will, angels are also going to help the Mahdi.

The angels’ help to true believers is reported in various verses of the Qur’an. Our Lord also supported our Prophet (saas) and his companions with angels. Some verses on the subject are as follows:

“And when your Lord revealed to the angels, ‘I am with you so make those who believe firm…” (Surat Al-Anfal: 12)

“And when you said to the believers, ‘Is it not enough for you that your Lord reinforced you with three thousand angels, sent down?’” (Surah Al ‘Imran: 124)

Every Believer Living in the End Times Is Very Valuable

Another noteworthy subject in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) is that every believer in the end times will be very valuable. In the end times, when atheism is widespread all over the world and when moral degeneration is proceeding at a great pace, believers, and especially the Mahdi, will encounter great difficulties and social pressure. This is reported in one of the hadiths as follows:

Such a time will come that he who is patient before the religion will be like one holding a glowing ember.  (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar) 

To serve with this worthy person who is patient in the face of such pressure, people need to compete with one another to be his helpmates in great excitement and enthusiasm. However, during the end times, truth and falsehood will change place in practice. The people who have left the moral values of the Qur’an and the moral degeneration’s enormous dimension may prevent people from following such an honorable believer and joining his community.

The Mahdi’s Helpers in Various Islamic Sources

They are young

The standard-bearer of the Mahdi will be a young person, fair colored, with light beard.” (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 51)

His (the Mahdi’s) standard-bearer will be a young person belonging to the line of Temimi from the East. ((Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 26)

They are non-Arabs

The Mahdi’s helpers will not be Arabs, but will be from other nations.” (Portents of Doomsday, p.187)

They possess knowledge

“These ministers will be wise in all matters.”  (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

They will be supported spiritually

Know that when the Mahdi appears all those with great knowledge and fear of Allah and the people in general will rejoice. They will be divine, in other words spiritually supported man of the Mahdi. They will preserve his call, assist him, and reunite him to the victory. They will assume all heavy burdens belonging to the nation. They will support the Mahdi beyond the duty entrusted to him by Allah.” (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

They will have a protector who is not one of their kind. This has never opposed Allah. He will be one of the purest and most honest ministers.” (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

It is related from Muawiya b. Qurra that:

A group from his community will be helped until the Resurrection day. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, 472)

They have superior moral values

It is certain they are banners of the true path. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, 1/135)

They are people of Islam who fear no condemnation from any critics nor any malicious tales on the path of Allah. (Sunan Ibn Majah,10-259)

It is related from the blessed Ali that:

“…they are people who truly know Allah, and they will be the Mahdi’s helpers in the end times.” (Abu Naim Al Qufi)

By Allah’s will they are not going to be defeated

One of the distinct  qualities of these ministers is that they will never be defeated.”  (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

According to Nuaym, related from Abu Jaffar:

Allah will grant success to the army of the Mahdi and his helpers...” (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)

They are the most trustworthy among people

The Mahdi will remain hidden until the time comes, he will appear at the promised time. Those whom he trusts, his viziers are the most trustworthy. (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

His (the Mahdi’s) commanders are the most auspicious of people.” (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 49)

They feel no sorrow for those who leave, nor joy for those who join them

It is related from Muawiya b. Qurra that:

Neither will the desertion of those who abandon them will do them no harm. (Ramuz al-Ahadith, 472)

It is related from Muhammad bin Hanafi that:

…As the clouds gather around the skies, so Allah will gather a community around him. He reconciles their hearts. They do not grieve for the martyred nor rejoice for who join them. Their number will be as many as the People of Badr (313). In the same way that those before them can not equal them, neither can those who come after and their number is as many as those who crossed the river with Talut (Book of sayings on the portents of the Mahdi of the End Times-57)

Allah has concealed them

Allah has appointed a group to them as viziers. Allah has concealed these individuals. (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, M. Arabi p. 36, Kopru Publishing)

Allah creates a community for the Mahdi. They are concealed by Allah. (Prophecies of the Mahdi. p. 129)

They will be true to their word

They will act in the vanguard like leaders… In the same way that leading believers kept their word to Allah, so they will confirm their words. (M. Arabi) (Hayrettin Gumusel, The Awaited Mahdi, p. 37, Kopru Publishing)

In his commentary, Ibn Marduya relates a hadith from Ibn Abbas: He stated that:

The Companions of the Cave will be the Mahdi’s helpmates.” (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)

In his commentary on the Qur’an, Imam Abu Ishaq Salam states that:

When the Mahdi appears he will go to the Companions of the Cave and greet them, and Allah will resurrect them and they will take their places at the Mahdi’s side. Afterwards, they will return to the place where they lie and not rise again until the day of Resurrection. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman)

Imam Suyuti states:

The slumber of the Ashab al-Kahf is a grant them by Allah. Because they will be the Mahdi’s helpers and will have the honor of being included in the community of Muhammed (saas). (Hadiths from the commentary by Jalaladdin Suyuti, Portents of the Mahdi of the End Times, p. 59)

The Mahdi’s Helpers in Various Islamic Sources

As revealed by our Prophet (saas) 1400 years ago, the Mahdi, one of the chosen servants of Allah, by the will of Allah, will prevail the moral values of the Qur’an to all over the world. He will fulfill that duty as written in his destiny, even if he has to do it alone. It is a mercy and blessing from Almighty Allah to be supported by helpers during the period of his transmission. Our Lord’s support for His emissaries is revealed in the Qur’an as follows:
“If you do not help him, Allah did help him...” (Surah At-Tawba: 40)

The Ashab al-Kahf Will Join the Mahdi’s Helpers

According to the blessed Huzayfa:

The Prophet (saas) stated: “My community will not be raised before the Mahdi appears. Allah will support him with three thousand angels… The Ashab al-Kahf will be with him and be his helpers.”

They Will Pray by Night and Work by Day

Abu Nuaym related from Abu Jaffar:

“Upon this call, 313 people, as many as the People of Badr, who were not previously allied together will immediately appear, and worship by night and act as lions by day (Fera Idu Fevaidi'l Fiqr Fi'l Imam al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar)


The Mahdi will be a holy individual, whose moral values, physical features, activities, services and effect on the world were described by our Prophet (saas) 1400 years ago, and which are written in his own destiny. Those features cannot be imitated, nor acquired by effort, so, by the will of Allah, the Mahdi’s work cannot be prevented or rejected by any kind of pretext. By Allah’s will The Mahdi will serve, together with Prophet ‘Isa who will return back to Earth for the second time in the end times to prevail the moral values of the Qur’an to all over the world as reported by our Prophet (saas). This is a destiny determined by Allah. The domination of the moral values of Islam is described in the Qur’an as follows: 

It is He Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth to exalt it over every other religion, though the idolaters hate it. (Surat As-Saff: 9)

2008-05-19 16:32:02

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