Name: Muhammad.

Title: al-Mahdi, al-Qa’im, al-Hujjah, al-Gha’ib, Sahibu’z-Zaman, Sahibu ‘l-Amr.

Agnomen: Abu’l-Qasim.

Father’s name: al-Hasan al-’Askari.

Mother’s name: Narjis.

Birth: In Samarra’, on Friday, 15th Sha’ban 255 AH.


The highlight of the month of Shabaan – rather of the entire year – is the birth anniversary of the saviour of all of humanity. This noble personality is one whom the various faiths and traditions of the world are awaiting and expecting to arrive for one main purpose – to establish the kingdom and rule of Allah upon this Earth. Through his rule, all forms of tyranny, oppression, injustice and inequality will be removed. Whereas he may be known by various names and titles in various languages, we know him as Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return).

Born in the city of Samarrah in the year 255 A.H., his life was immediately in danger. Rather, even before his birth the ruling parties sought to prevent his coming into this world. The `Abbaside rulers knew well the ahaadith of the Prophet of the one who would come in the last days to remove all despotic governments and thus, they did all that they could to prevent his birth. However, they planned and Allah too plans and He is the best of planners and no matter how hard they tried to extinguish the Light of Allah, they were not able to!

The Shia and followers of this Imam have many responsibilities on our shoulders in regards to him – the foremost being that of having a Marifat of the Imam. The Prophet has told us that, “The person who dies and does not have a Marifat of the Imam of his time has died the death of those of the days of Ignorance (those who did not accept the message of the Prophet).” However, what does Marifat entail – is it not the same as having “Ilm” or knowledge of the Imam?

To sum this discussion up in one sentence “Ilm” and “Marifat” are two different things. The teachers of ‘Irfan tell us that “Ilm” or knowledge refers to the removal of our ignorance in regards to something through understanding the ‘essence’ of that thing. Thus, to have “Ilm” of the Imam would mean to know his physical being, creation and all other incidental features of the Imam – something which really has no benefit to us. However, to have “Marifat” of the Imam means to know his mission, how he will carry it out, what our responsibilities are and other such topics.

Thus, as we gear up to celebrate his 1,170 birth anniversary this week, let us try and gain maximum knowledge of what he expects from us and what we need to do to live up to the title of being a Shia or follower of Imam al-Mahdi. 

Ziyarat of Imam Mehdi (a.s.) the awaited saviour

imam mehdi

Ziyarat Warisa (Imam Hussain) with English Subtitles


Imam Hussain Roza (Shrine) , Karbala, 2006


Imam Hussain & Hazrat Abbass Shrine, Karbala




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