The announcement that the moral teachings of the Qur’an will reign in the world is good news given in the Qur’an, in the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and in the works of Islamic scholars. The Prophet (saas) has told us that Allah will use the Mahdi as the vehicle through which Islamic morality will be dominant in the world. In one hadith, the Prophet (saas) tells us that, with Allah’s permission, the Mahdi will appear in the End Times and establish the dominance of Islamic morality in the world:
If only one day of this time (the world) remains, Allah will raise up a man from my family who will fill this earth with justice as it had been filled with oppression. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 36, Number 4270)
We are told in the hadiths and in the interpretations by Islamic scholars that one of the most important stages in preparation for this dominance will be the establishment of unity throughout the Islamic world. The hadiths tell us further that, with the appearance of the Mahdi, the disorganization of the Islamic world will come to an end and Muslims will be allied with one another in the morality of the Qur’an under the Mahdi’s leadership.
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi speaks in his writings about the End Times and the dominance of the morality of the Qur’an and places much emphasis on the matter of Islamic unity. He says that the Mahdi will be the vehicle through which Islamic unity will be established and that it will be a day of celebration when this unity becomes reality and Islamic morality reigns throughout the world. Here is some of what Bediuzzaman says on this matter:
THE GREATEST obligation of this time is ISLAMIC UNION. (Khutba al-Shamiya, p. 90)
... inshaAllah, YOU WILL LIVE TO SEE A GREAT REJOICING in the Islamic world. There are MANY SIGNS that the rule of the Qur’an, the source of the sacred laws of the UNION OF ISLAMIC REPUBLICS, will PREVAIL IN THE FUTURE and bring great joy to all manKind. (Emirdag Addendum, p. 76)
As we see, Bediuzzaman says that it is a very important responsibility to firmly establish Islamic unity. He says that there are many signs relevant to the establishment of Islamic unity and the coming dominance of the moral teachings of the Qur’an. These signs are revealed in detail in the hadiths. And the blessed one on whom these signs will be manifested and who will be instrumental in bringing about the dominance of Islamic morality is the Mahdi.
The Irrefutable Sign of the Mahdi
The duty that the Mahdi will fulfill is one of the most important signs of this blessed person. As our beloved Prophet (saas) has reported, his being the instrument by which Islamic morality becomes dominant in the world will be his irrefutable sign.
In his works, Bediuzzaman has explained in detail the qualities that will be evident in this blessed person. While explaining what the Mahdi’s duties will be, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi says that one of his three most important duties will be the establishment of the Islamic Union. Bediuzzaman explains the Mahdi’s most important duty in these words:
THE THIRD DUTY OF THAT INDIVIDUAL (the Mahdi) is to build an Islamic Caliphate on an ISLAMIC UNITY AND TO SERVE ISLAM by allying himself with Christians. This duty can be fulfilled by A GREAT CALIPHATE and force and the sacrifices of millions. The first duty is three to four times more valuable then the other two. However, since the second and third duties will be in a very bright and broad sphere and in a glittering manner they will appear more important in the eyes of the people and the community. (Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybi, p. 9)
As Bediuzzaman says, the Mahdi will first establish the Islamic Union. Then, with the Union’s strength and support, the moral teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas) will have dominance in the world. While carrying out his duty, with Allah’s permission, the Mahdi will have great power, strength and might. Bediuzzaman Said Nursi speaks about this in these words:
THE GREAT MAHDI WILL HAVE NUMEROUS FUNCTIONS. HE WILL CARRY OUT DUTIES IN THE WORLD OF POLITICS, THE WORLD OF RELIGION, THE WORLD OF GOVERNMENT, AND IN THE MANY SPHERES OF THE WORLD OF ISLAM. … (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Risale-i Nur Collection, The Rays, The Second Station of The Fifth Ray, Nineteenth Matter)
As we see, Bediuzzaman says that the Mahdi will fulfill his purpose in many areas such as politics, authority and religion. According to information in the hadiths and in Bediuzzaman’s explanations, the Mahdi will carry out his duties in these broad areas, establish Islamic unity, intellectually defeat materialism and atheism, strengthen spiritual values, and will be instrumental in establishing the dominance of Islamic morality in the world. His basic sign, as Bediuzzaman says, will be the establishment of Islamic unity and making the moral teachings of the Qur’an sovereign in the world. There is no point in mentioning and concentrating on other signs besides this, or seeking only them. Other signs only have meaning in the fulfillment of this great sign.
As stated above, the dominance of Islamic morality will be the Mahdi’s irrefutable sign. And, as long as this irrefutable sign does not happen, there can be no mention of Mahdi’ism being established. The hadiths tell us that when the blessed Mahdi appears with Allah’s permission, he will not claim to be the Mahdi. His great deeds will be the greatest proof of his appearance. As reported in one hadith:
THEY WILL PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE MAHDI AGAINST HIS WISHES. Later, the Mahdi will cause them to perform 2 rakats of salat and will ascend to the pulpit. (Ibn Hajar Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 23, pp. 34, 50, 44)
The fact that it says in the hadiths that the Mahdi will be revered against his wishes is a sign that he will not claim to be the Mahdi. Clear signs that are manifested in him and the great deeds that he does will show that he is the expected blessed one. He will make no attempts to influence people or make any claims about himself.
In addition to these facts found in the hadiths and in the words of Islamic scholars, there are many indications in the Qur’an that the moral teachings of the Qur’an will be dominant in the world.
Indications in the Qur’an that Islamic Morality Will Be Dominant in the World
The Qur’an is a Holy Book whose edicts are valid until the Last Day. It encompasses a believer’s whole life and records without error every command of our Lord. One of the most wondrous miracles of the Qur’an is that it contains signs for Muslims in every age since its first revelation came down. As the hadiths tell us, the dominance of Islamic morality in the world will be the most important sign to occur between the death of the Prophet (saas) and the coming of the Last Day. Verse 55 of Surat an-Nur tells us that Islamic morality will be dominant in the world:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. They worship Me, not associating anything with Me. Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)
In this verse we are told that the dominance of Islamic morality is an edict of Allah and a promise made to all faithful believers who do not associate any of His creatures with Him. With Allah’s permission, this edict will be carried out in the End Times by the Mahdi. There are many stories in the Qur’an about the prophets that indicate the dominance of Islamic morality, as well as the Mahdi—the blessed one who will be instrumental in the realization of this blessed event. There are many hadiths of the Prophet (saas) that refer to signs in the Qur’an about this important happening. Here is one of these hadiths:
The Mahdi will rule the world just like Dhu’l Qarnayn and Sulayman. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 32)
We see in this hadith that we must think of the stories in the Qur’an about Dhu’l-Qarnayn and the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh) as being connected the Mahdi and the establishment of the dominance of Islamic morality.
In the following hadiths, we are told that there are important signs in the stories of the Companions of the Cave and Talut that refer to the Mahdi and the End Times:
The People of the Cave will be the Mahdi’s helpmates. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 59)
The Mahdi will have as many followers as those who crossed the river with Talut. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 17)
The Prophet (saas) could refer to the Mahdi and his companions in different ways, but it is very important that he related them especially to stories in the Qur’an—which is also one powerful corroboration that many verses in the Qur’an relate to the End Times. According to what is said in the hadiths and indicated in the Qur’an, the Mahdi, like the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn before him, will have great power and authority. Just as Dhu’l-Qarnayn brought the strife of Gog and Magog to an end, he will bring an end to the great problems of violence and terror. As in the time of the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh), in the Mahdi’s time also much importance will be given to art and beauty and the earth will be graced with artistic architecture.
Below are some other characteristics of the time when the Mahdi appears as recorded in the Qur’an and in the hadiths.
The Mahdi and the Golden Age
Islamic scholars refer to the time when Islamic morality will be dominant under the leadership of the Mahdi as the “Golden Age.” According to the hadiths, the Golden Age will last for more than 50 years and will be like the Age of Happiness—the era of the Prophet (saas). In the Golden Age poverty and hunger will be completely eradicated; there will be great material abundance; injustice and cruelty will come to an end; true justice will reign in the world; misunderstanding, violence and conflict will be replaced by peace, well-being and security; technology will reach the pinnacle of its development and people will benefit greatly from what it offers.
In accordance with the moral teachings of the Qur’an, people will be obedient to the government and its bodies and thus there will be well-being and tranquility in society.
In the Golden Age, people will be so happy with their lives that, as the hadiths say, they will ask Allah to prolong their lives so that they can enjoy its benefits even more. One hadith says:
The younger ones wish they were grown-ups, while the adults wish they were younger... The good become even better, and even the wicked ones are treated well. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-zaman, p. 17)
The Mahdi Will Establish the Dominion of Islamic Morality Lovingly and Peacefully
The hadiths tell us that the Mahdi will establish the dominance of Islamic morality lovingly and peacefully. With patience and tolerance, mercy and love he will invite people to accept Allah as the One and Only God and to live according to the moral teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saas). The hadiths tell us in the following words that the reign of Islamic morality in the world will be in peace:
In his [the Mahdi’s] time, neither a man will be awoken from sleep, nor will a person’s nose bleed. (Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 44)
The Mahdi will follow in the path of the Prophet, he will not awaken the sleeping man and no blood will be spilt. (Signs of Qiyamah, p. 163)
As the hadiths say, the Mahdi will establish Islamic morality peacefully in the whole world without war and violence. His way will be a great cultural advance in the world which will lead people to the practice of Islamic morality.
Our beloved Prophet (saas) indicated that the Mahdi would be similar to the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn in this regard. We are told in the Qur’an that the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh) established a superior civilization in his time and secured his rule with diplomacy, art and culture. Despite the fact that he possessed a mighty, irresistible army, he did not use military strength.
As we are told in the Qur’an, Dhu’l-Qarnayn was recognized as the person who opposed corruption and strife in the world, and was a leader who brought peace and well-being to the people. From this point of view, the times of the Prophet Sulayman (pbuh) and Dhu’l-Qarnayn show great similarities to the time when the Mahdi will establish the dominance of Islamic morality in the world.
The Mahdi Will Bring An End to Cruelty, Violence and Terror
Our Prophet (saas) tells us that the Mahdi, besides making Islamic morality dominant in the world, will also bring an end to chaos, conflict, violence, war, injustice and cruelty—some of the signs of the End Times. Our Prophet (saas) announces the great and joyful change that will happen when the Mahdi comes:
With his [the Mahdi’s] coming the world will be filled with justice, in the same way that it was formerly filled with cruelty and injustice… (Maktubat al-Rabbani, Vol. 2, Letter 380, p. 1162)
Allah tells us in the Qur’an that He calls people to peace:
Allah calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path. (Surah Yunus, 25)
In keeping with the moral teachings of the Qur’an, the Mahdi will call people to be peace-lovers; he will show people how to agree and make peace with one another. The hadiths say that hostility and resentment will cease in the world in his time, and violence and terror will come to an end. Here are some hadiths that are relevant in this regard:
Mutual enmity and hatred will disappear. Every harmful animal will be made harmless, so that a small boy will be able to put his hand into a snake's mouth without being harmed, a small girl will be able to make a lion run away from her, and a wolf will go among sheep as if he were a sheepdog. THE EARTH WILL BE FILLED WITH PEACE AS A CONTAINER IS FILLED WITH WATER. People will be in complete agreement, and only Allah will be worshipped. WARS WILL CEASE… (Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Fitan, Tradition No. 4077, 2: 1363)
Then the Earth will become safe so that LIONS MAY GRAZE WITH CAMELS; TIGERS WITH COWS, WOLVES WITH SHEEP; and so that children may play with snakes without being harmed. (Ibn Ahmad Hanbal)
We see from the hadiths that brotherhood will replace enmity among people and peace, friendship and love will replace strife. The balanced, contemporary, intelligent model of Islam that will be established in the time of this blessed person will be a light for the whole world.
The Mahdi’s Time Will Be One of Abundance and Blessing
The hadiths tell us that, in the Mahdi’s time, there will be an abundance never seen before of crops and material things, and that the Mahdi will be very generous:
The Mahdi among my ummah will appear. ALLAH WILL SEND HIM TO RENDER PEOPLE WEALTHY. Then will my ummah receive BLESSINGS, animals will be in ABUNDANCE and the Earth’s plants will be AMPLE. The Mahdi will distribute to people LOTS OF GOODS evenly. (Ibn Hajar Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 23)
... In that time, the ones in the heavens and earth, all predators, birds, and even fish in the oceans will be pleased with his caliphate. In his time, EVEN THE RUNNING RIVERS WILL ADD TO THEIR WATERS. ... THE MAHDI WILL EXTRACT TREASURES... (Ibn Hajar Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 31-33)
We see from the hadiths that, in the Mahdi’s time, there will be great abundance and blessing in everywhere and anxiety and poverty will come to an end.
In the Mahdi’s Time, Advantage Will Be Taken of All the Possibilities Offered by Technology
The great blessing and abundance that will be enjoyed in the Mahdi’s time will be founded on the effective use of the possibilities made available by technology. One hadith describes the abundance in his time:
People will reap seven hundred measures of wheat for each measure they sow… Although much rain will fall, not a drop will be wasted. (Ibn Hajar Haytahami, Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi'alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 24)
This tradition may refer to the great increase in products as the result of technological developments in the End Times such as the development of modern farming and production techniques, improvements in seed quality and the building of dams and pools for the collection of rain water. And Allah knows best. All these things are the result of techniques and methodology made possible by the development of technology.
In our century, we have witnessed a speed in technological development that has never been seen before in world history. Today we have many technological devices that are indispensable to human life but which were unheard of 100 years ago. Even five years ago technology was quite different than it is today. It is clear that this is an indication that the period we live in is special. We understand from the hadiths that, when the Mahdi comes, all these developments will speed up and things made possible by technology will be offered equally to everyone. Developments in such areas as medicine, transportation, communication, agriculture and energy will make it possible for people to live their lives in the greatest ease and comfort.
All this shows that the time of the Mahdi, like the time of our Prophet (saas), will be one of the most contented, secure, splendid, easy and comfortable periods in the history of the world.
As revealed in verse 49 of Surat al-Qamar “We have created all things according to a fixed decree" (Surat al-Qamar, 49), Allah has created everything with its special destiny. As is the case with the fates of all animate and inanimate beings, the Mahdi’s fate is known in Allah’s Sight. The identity of this blessed person, the signs which precede him, his coming into the world, his establishment of Islamic unity and the dominance of Islamic morality on earth has already happened and come to an end in Allah’s Sight.
Allah is above time and space. Human beings live in a dimension connected to time and space and, apart from the information put into their memories, they would know nothing. For example, events that people think of as being in the “future” are events that Allah has not put into our memories and therefore we do not know about them; this is a part of the nature of this world as an arena of testing. And, as far as human beings are concerned, future events have not happened. But Almighty Allah is not bound by time or space; He has created these things from nothing. To Allah, past, present and future are one and have already happened. In His Sight, time is a single moment; and we learn from the way it is expressed in the Qur’an, that there is no past or future to Him. For instance, the verses that describe the account that people are to give to Allah in the Hereafter are related as events which have already occurred long ago:
And the trumpet is blown, and all who are in the heavens and all who are in the earth swoon away, save him whom Allah wills. Then it is blown a second time, and behold them standing waiting! (Surat az-Zumar, 68)
All that has happened and is yet to happen in the world has already come to pass in a single moment in the destiny that Almighty Allah has determined for every event. Therefore; all those signs that the Prophet (saas) has reported concerning the End Times have already happened in that period. That is, the Mahdi came to the world in the time of the Prophet (saas); all his activities were completed and he died. Further, every moment of the Mahdi’s life occurred in the time of the Prophet Adam (pbuh); the Mahdi carried out his duties in the times of the Prophets Musa, Yusuf, Nuh and ‘Isa (peace be upon them all). In the time determined by Allah, people living in the End Times will witness these blessed events.
We must remember that, the Mahdi is the person whom Allah has foreordained. He is that blessed one whom Almighty Allah revealed to the Prophet (saas) 1400 years ago and whose physical and other qualities, activities, service, and influence on the world he reported. Just as it is impossible to imitate these qualities and to achieve them by effort, so it is impossible, by Allah’s leave, to stop the Mahdi’s works. As our beloved Prophet (saas) has told us, the Mahdi will perform all his works of service and, with Allah’s permission, establish the dominance of the moral teachings of the Qur’an in the world. This is a destiny that Allah has determined.