Similarities between Imam Mahdi (as) and Hazrat Musa (as)

Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) bears the special characteristics and more from the previous prophets. He is the embodiment of their virtues and qualities. He carries their signs and is the inheritor of all that they stood for and what was revealed upon them. The following article mentions the similarity between Hazrat Musa (as) and Imam Mahdi (as).

Hidden birth

When the mother of Musa (as) was pregnant with him, her pregnancy did not become apparent on anyone.

The situation of Imam Mahdi (as) was also same. When his mother was pregnant with him, the pregnancy did not become obvious.

The birth of Hazrat Musa (as) was concealed. The birth of Imam Mahdi (as) was also concealed.

Occultation from people

Hazrat Musa (as) had two occultations from the people and one occultation was longer than the other. His first occultation was in Egypt and his second occultation was when he went to the Meeqat of his Lord. The duration of his first occultation was twenty eight years. Thus it is mentioned in Kamaluddin of Shaykh Sadooq, through the author’s own chain of narrators from Abdullah bin Sinaan that he said, Imam Sadiq (as) said, “In the Qaem (as) is a resemblance to Musa bin Imran. I asked, What is that resemblance to Musa bin Imran (as)? He replied, His concealed birth and his disappearance from the people. I asked, For how long did Musa bin Imran remain concealed from the people and his family? He replied, Twenty eight years.” (Kamaluddin volume 2 page 340)

And the duration of the second disappearance was forty days; Allah, the Mighty and the High says, “…so the appointed time of his Lord was complete forty nights…” (Chapter 7 verse 142)

Qaem (as) is also having two occultations – Ghaybate Kubra and Ghaybate Sughra of which Ghaybate Kubra is longer than Ghaybate Sughra.  (Read more)

Allah spoke to them

Hazrat Musa (as) was such that the Almighty Allah spoke to him. And He said to him, “Surely I have chosen you above the people with My messages and with My words, therefore take hold of what I give to you and be of the grateful ones.” (Chapter 7 verse 144)

Imam Mahdi (as) is also like this. The Almighty Allah spoke to him when they took him up in the sky. Thus it is narrated in Beharul Anwar from Imam Hasan Askari (as) that he said,  “When the Almighty Allah bestowed me with the Mahdi of this community he sent two angels who took him to the curtain of the Arsh (throne) till they conveyed him into the presence of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. The Almighty Allah said to him, Welcome to you, O My servant for your support of My religion, revealing of the affair and leadership of the people. I have sworn that I would take by you and give by you and by you I would forgive and by you I would punish.” (Beharul Anwar volume 51 page 27)

Hardships upon people due to occultation

Hazrat Musa (as) went into occultation from his people as well as others, due to the fear of his enemies. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says, “So he went forth therefrom, fearing, awaiting…” (Chapter 28 verse 21)

Imam Mahdi (as) has also gone into occultation as a result of the danger of the enemies from his people and others. When Musa (as) went into occultation from his people they fell into hardships, calamities and misery and they were disgraced much. So much so that their enemies slew their sons and spared their women (to enslave them).

In the same way during the occultation of Qaem (as) his Shiahs and followers would have to undergo untold hardships and calamities during his occultation and they would also become downtrodden. So that the Almighty Allah may purify those who bring faith and eliminate the disbelievers. (Chapter 3 verse 141)

In Kamaluddin it is quoted from Imam Baqir (as) that he said in the discussion about the resemblance of Qaem (as) to some Prophets as follows, “And as for the resemblance to Musa (as), it is constant fear and prolonged occultation and concealed birth and the hardships and trials of his followers after him as a result of the disgrace that they would have to bear at the hands of their enemies. Till the time Allah, the Mighty and Sublime permits the Imam (as) to reappear and helps and supports him against his enemies.” (Kamaluddin, volume 1 page 327)

Ameerul Momineen (as) said, “The Shiahs will be the like of goats that a grabber does not know which one of them should he put his hand on. They will neither have any dignity to be dignified with nor a source of support to refer to.” (Beharul Anwar volume 51 page 114)

Ameerul Momineen (as) said,  “The earth would be fraught with injustice and oppression, so much that one would not utter the name of Allah except secretly. Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will bring a virtuous congregation, who will fill it with equity and justice, as it will be full of oppression and injustice.” (Beharul Anwar volume 51 page 117)

And in the same book, in the signs of the period of occultation in a lengthy tradition it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said,  “…and the believer would be seen as sorrowful, disgraced and humiliated. And see that the believer except in his heart is not capable to deny falsehood, and see that our Shiahs would be associated with falsehood. And their testimony would not be accepted. And see that the rulers would humiliate the believer for the sake of a disbeliever.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 pages 257-258)

And it is mentioned by Ameerul Momineen (as) regarding the conditions of the Shiahs in that period, “And by Allah it would not be as you wish, Till the mischief mongers are destroyed and the ignorant ones are broken off from each other and the observers of piety are secure. (The author says, The implication of destruction and security is in the religious sense and not worldly matters.) They are very few. Till the time that there would not remain for any of you a place to stand. And till the time that you would be considered of lesser value than a cadaver by its owner.” (Ilzaam an-Naasib page 229, New Edition, volume 2 page 303)

In another tradition it is mentioned that during that time the believer would wish for death all the time. (Ilzaam an-Naasib page 299, New Edition, volume 2 page 303)

And there are many traditions that state this matter. However, the worst of the conditions would be witnessed during the advent of Sufyani as mentioned in Beharul Anwar quoting from Ghaybat of Shaykh Tusi, through the author’s own chain of narrators through Umar bin Aban Kalbi from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said,  “As if I can see the Sufyani or a representative of Sufyani camped outside Kufa and his statements are being announced to the people, Anyone who brings a severed head of a Shiah of Ali (as) would be rewarded a thousand Dirhams. Then neighbor would attack his neighbor and say, ‘he is from them’, and he would cut off his head and collect a thousand Dirhams. And indeed the rulership and kingdom at that time would not be in the control of anyone except the illegitimate born. As if I can see the veiled one. I asked, ‘Who is the veiled one?’ He replied, ‘He is a man from you who would be talking just like you. He would be veiled and he would identify each of you so that you may be captured, he is not but a bastard.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 215)

The author says, The advent of Sufyani would be one of the certain occurrences before the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) as mentioned in numerous traditions regarding this matter. Sufyani would be a descendant of Bani Umayyah, curse of Allah be upon them. His real name would Uthman bin Uyyana. And it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said, “If you see Sufyani you would have seen the worst of men. His complexion is yellowish and reddish and his eyes are dark (blackish) blue.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 205)

And it is narrated from Ameerul Momineen (as) that he said, “The descendant of Hind, the liver-eater would emerge from the valley of Yabis. He is a man of medium height, terrible in appearance with a huge head and pockmarked face.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 205)

More details are available in Beharul Anwar.

Miracles after reappearance

When the people of Musa (as) were lost and wandering in the desert they remained in that condition for many years. When a son was born to them he would have a dress upon himself according to his size like the skin of his body. Tabarsi has mentioned this in Majmaul Bayan. (Majma al-Bayan, volume 1 page 117)

The Shiahs of Qaem (as) would also be such during the period of his reappearance as mentioned in Al-Muhajja from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said,  “When our Qaem arises the earth would be illuminated by the light of its Lord and the people would become needless of the light of the Sun. Nights and days would be same. People would have a lifespan of a thousand years during that period and every year a son would be born to them. And no daughter would be born to them. They would be born wearing a dress which will grow with them and it would change its color as per their wish.” (Al-Muhajjah page 748)

Awaiting relief through reappearance

The Bani Israel was waiting for the reappearance of Musa (as) as they had been informed that he would make them successful.

The Shiahs of Imam Mahdi (as) are also in anticipation of his reappearance because they have been told that their success and victory is at his hands. May Allah make us among the helpers, defenders, Shiahs and awaiters of Imam Mahdi (as).

O Allah, please hasten the reappearance of our Imam And this supplication is for the benefit of all humanity.

Regarding Musa (as) the Almighty Allah says, “And certainly We gave the book to Musa, but it was gone against…” (Chapter 11 verse 110)

Dispute relating to The Book

Tabarsi says in Majma Al-Bayan, It implies that the people disputed about it. That is they disputed the veracity of the book that was revealed on him. (Majma al-Bayan, volume 5 page 198)

Imam Mahdi (as) is also in the same way, such that the Quran that Ameerul Momineen (as) had compiled would be in the possession of Qaem (as) and there would be dispute regarding it. That which proves this is a tradition quoted in Rauzat Al-Kafi from Imam Mohammed Baqir (as) that he said regarding the verse, “And certainly We gave the book to Musa, but it was gone against…” (Chapter 11 verse 110)

They disputed about it like this Ummah disputed about the book. And there would be dispute also regarding the book that is in the possession of the Imam (as). So much so, that the majority of the people would reject it. They would be brought and he would eliminate them. (Rauzat Al-Kafi page 287)

Test of companions

And it is mentioned in Beharul Anwar from Shaykh Tusi through his own chain of narrators that Imam Sadiq (as) said, “The companions of Musa (as) were tested by the stream and it is that which the Almighty Allah has said, “Surely Allah will try you with a river…” (Chapter 2 verse 249)

The companions of Qaem (as) would also be tested in the same way. (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 332)

Legacy of Prophets

The Almighty Allah bestowed Musa (as) with a staff and made it a miracle for him. The Qaem (as) is also having that same staff as mentioned in Kamaluddin from Imam Baqir (as) that he said, “The staff of Musa (as) actually was one that Adam had. Then it reached to Shuaib and at that time it reached Musa (as). That staff is in our possession and even now when I see it, it is as green and fresh as it was when it was broken from the tree. If it is spoken to, it talks. It has come for our Qaem. He would perform all the tasks through it that Musa (as) had performed. It does whatever it is ordered. And wherever it is cast, it snaps up with its tongue the deception of the enemies.” (Kamaluddin, volume 2 page 673)

Allamah Majlisi has quoted the same narration in the thirteenth volume of Beharul Anwar from the book of Basairud Darajaat. And it is mentioned therein that, “It is kept for our Qaem (as). He would perform all the tasks through it that Musa (as) had performed. And it would do whatever it is appointed to. When it moves forward it devours all the deceptions. Its two lips would be so huge that when it opens its mount one lip touches the floor and the other lip touches the ceiling. There is a distance of forty hands between the two lips. It would devour anything that comes before it.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 318)

A tradition similar to this is mentioned by Shaykh Kulaini in Al-Kafi. (Al-Kafi volume 1 page 231)

And in the book, Tazkiratul Aimmah attributed to Allamah Majlisi – as its authorship has yet to be determined – it is narrated from Mohammed bin Zaid Kufi that Imam Sadiq (as) said, “A Persian man would come to Imam Mahdi (as) and ask him to show the miracle of Musa (as). So the Imam (as) would cast the staff and it would assume the shape of a python. That man would say, This is magic. The staff, due to the fact that it resembles that of Musa (as) would devour that man.”

Reminder:  It would be appropriate to say something about the staff and its qualities. The great respected scholar, Allamah Majlisi in the fifth volume of Beharul Anwar has quoted from Thalabi’s Araaisul Majaalis as follows,  There is difference of opinion regarding the name of that staff. Ibne Jubair says, Its name is Maashaa Allah. And Maqatil says, It is named Nafa And some have said that it is Ghayaath and yet others say it is Aleeq.

As for its qualities and utilities for Musa (as), The knowledgeable ones from the past have said, “The staff of Musa (as) had two heads and each of its root was curved and there was also an iron pillar at its end. Thus whenever Musa (as) used to go into a wilderness at night when there was no moon, the two heads of the staff used to give light as far as the eye could see. Whenever there was shortage of water he used to put it in the well till it reached to the bottom of it and its head used to become like a bucket. Whenever he was hungry he used to beat it on the ground and eatables came out. It so happened that whenever he had desire for fruits he used to make a sketch of it on the ground, then buds of that same tree that Musa (as) wanted, used to appear and fructify at that same time. It is said that the staff of Musa (as) was a stick of almond. Whenever he felt hungry he used to put it on the ground and it used to bear fruits and he used to eat almonds from it. When he used to fight with the enemies a serpent used to appear from each of the two branches of the staff with which he used to fight. Musa (as) used to cast it on difficult mountainous terrains and also through woods and forests he made his way clear through it. Whenever he wanted to cross a river without a boat he used to cast the staff upon it, it used to open up a wide path for him on which he used to walk.  And he (as) sometimes used to drink milk from one of its branches and honey from the other. When he became tired he used to sit on it so that wherever he wanted he could reach it without hands and legs. And it also used to show the way and fight with the enemies. When Musa (as) wanted to smell fragrance a pleasant odor used to emanate from the staff till it perfumed his clothes. If he were on a route that was infested with robbers that terrorize the people, the staff used to speak to him saying, Change your route in that direction. With the help of this staff Musa (as) used to break the leaves of the tress for his sheep. With it he used to deflect from himself wild beasts, serpents and crawling creatures. When he used to go on a journey he used to fix it on the beast and hang on it rations, water and clothes…” (Beharul Anwar volume 13 page 60)

It is not necessary to quote the full text of the above, and this much that we have quoted shows that this staff, during this time is related to our lord and master, Imam Mahdi (as) as indicated by the traditions.

In the thirteenth volume of Beharul Anwar it is narrated from Nomani through his own chain of narrators from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said, “The Staff of Musa (as) was a myrtle stick from the tree of Paradise which Jibraeel (as) brought to him when he wanted to move to Madaen; and that Staff with the coffer of Adam is in the hatch of Tiberia; it neither decays not changes, till the time Qaem (as) brings it out during his reappearance.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 351; Al Ghaybah by Nomani page 238)

Fear of people

Musa (as) fled from Egypt in fear, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime quotes him thus, “So I fled from you when I feared you…” (Chapter 26 verse 21)

Imam Mahdi (as) has gone away from the towns due to the fear of mischiefs and he lives in wilderness devoid of water and greenery; despite that he comes to the people and walks among them and becomes aware of their conditions while they do not recognize him.  During the time of his reappearance also he would go away from Medina due to the risk of the mischief of Sufyani.

That which proves this matter is a tradition recorded in Beharul Anwar and other books from Imam Baqir (as) that he said regarding the Sufyani (may Allah curse him), “Sufyani would send a battalion to Medina. Then Mahdi (as) would leave Medina and travel towards Mecca. The commander of Sufyani’s army would learn that Mahdi (as) is heading to Mecca. He would dispatch a force in his pursuit but it would not be able to apprehend him. Till finally, in a condition of fear and apprehension, resembling that of Musa bin Imran, he would enter Mecca and the commander of Sufyani’s army would arrive at the Baida desert. A caller from the sky would address that desert, O Baida, swallow the people. Thus the ground of that desert would swallow them and only three persons from them would survive, whose faces the Almighty Allah would turn to their backs; and they would be from the Kalb tribe. The following verse is revealed about them, “O you who have been given the Book! believe that which We have revealed, verifying what you have, before We alter faces then turn them on their backs…” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 238)

Destruction of enemies

Musa (as) was such that the Almighty Allah made the earth swallow up Qaroon, his enemy, as Allah the Mighty and Sublime says, “Thus We made the earth to swallow up him and his abode…” (Chapter 28 verse 81)

Imam Mahdi (as) also, as mentioned before, would be having such circumstances that the Almighty Allah would cause the earth to swallow up his enemies, that is the army of Sufyani.

Radiance – The Miracle

When Musa (as) used to raise up his hand it used to gleam in such a way that its whiteness astonished the onlookers.

Imam Mahdi (as) would be casting such an effulgence that in his presence, people would become needless of the Sun and the Moon. (Chapter 7 verse 108)

Emergence of springs

Twelve springs of water gushed out of the stone for Musa (as). Similar would be the situation of Qaem (as) as mentioned in Beharul Anwar quoting from Nomani through his own chain of narrators that Imam Baqir (as) said, “When Qaem (as) reappears he would do so with the flag of the Messenger of Allah (sawa), the ring of Prophet Sulaiman (as) and the staff and stone of Musa (as). Then he would command an announcer to say that none of his men must carry with themselves rations and fodder for their beasts. His men would comment, It seems he wants to starve us and our animals. But when they halt at the first station, he would strike at the stone and out of it will gush forth food, water and fodder. So they would all eat and drink from it and also feed their animals. In this manner they would cross each stage of the journey till they arrive at the rear of Kufa.” (Beharul Anwar volume 52 page 351; Al Ghaybah by Nomani page 238)

And it is mentioned in Kamaluddin that Imam Mohammed Baqir (as) said, “When Qaem (as) sets out from Mecca, his caller would announce, ‘None of you must carry any food and water.’ Imam Mahdi (as) would be having with himself the stone of Musa bin Imran that weighs a camel load. Thus he does not halt at any stage but that streams burst forth from that stone and anyone that feels hunger eats from it and any that felt thirsty drinks from it. The beasts of burden also get their feed from that till they reach Najaf at the rear of Kufa.” (Kamaluddin volume 2 page 670)

The author says, Shaykh Kulaini (ra) has mentioned a tradition like the above in Usool Al-Kafi with slight difference in wording on the authority of Imam Sadiq (as) through his forefathers. (Al-Kafi volume 1 page 231)

It is also mentioned in Kharaij on the authority of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) through his forefathers that,  “When Qaem (as) camps in Mecca and intends to move to Kufa, an announcer would say, None of you may carry any food or water on the journey. Imam Mahdi (as) would carry with himself the stone of Musa bin Imran from which had gushed out twelve streams. Then he did not halt at any stage but that he fixed it and streams burst forth from that stone and anyone that felt hunger ate from it and any that felt thirsty drank from it. Thus it would be their only source of food and water till they reach Najaf which is before Kufa. When they arrive there, water and milk would continuously flow out of it. Anyone that feels hunger satiates himself from it and any that feels thirsty drinks from it.” (Al-Kharaij page 110)

Protection through Allah

Musa (as) survived the attempts of Firaun to apprehend him even though the latter slew innumerable souls; and what Allah willed, happened. A hundred thousand infants were beheaded Before Kalimullah (one with whom Allah spoke) was born.

In the case of Qaem (as) also the Firauns of that time put to death innumerable descendants of the Holy Prophet (sawa) in order to eliminate Imam Mahdi as mentioned in a lengthy tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) in Kamaluddin regarding resemblance of Imam Mahdi (as) to Hazrat Musa (as), “When Firaun learnt that his downfall and destruction was going to be at the hands of Musa (as) he summoned the soothsayers and they predicted the downfall of his kingdom at the hands of a youth of Bani Israel. So Firon issued orders that the bellies of pregnant ladies of the Bani Israel be slit open, till more than twenty thousand newborns were killed. But he was not able to get Musa because Allah, the Mighty and the High protected him. In the same way when the Bani Umayyah and the Bani Abbas came to know that the downfall and destruction of their kingdom and tyrant rulers was to be at the hands of our Qaem, they began to wreak their enmity on us and swords were drawn out to slay the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and to destroy his descendants so that through it they may be able to eliminate Qaem (as). But the Almighty Allah did not accept that His affair be divulged to anyone of the oppressors. But that His light may be perfected even though the polytheists may despise it.” (Kamaluddin volume 2 page 354)

Reformation of matters overnight

Almighty Allah reformed the affairs of Musa (as) overnight. Qaem (as) is also such that the Almighty Allah would also reform his affairs overnight as mentioned in the tradition of Kamaluddin reporting from Imam Baqir (as) who describing the qualities of Imam Mahdi (as) says, “Indeed the Almighty Allah would reform his affairs overnight in the same manner as He reformed the affairs of His Kaleem (Musa as) when he went to get fire for his wife but he returned graced with prophethood and messengership.” (Kamaluddin volume 2 page 377)

Long occultation – Test for people

In the case of Musa (as) the Almighty Allah delayed his advent in order to test the people of his community till those who worshipped the calf were distinguished from those who worshipped Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.

In the case of Qaem (as) also, the Almighty Allah has delayed his reappearance with this same intent.

(The above article was taken and adapted from the book Mikyalul Makarim Fee Fawaedid Dua Lil Qaem)