On the day We gather them together – when it will seem if they had tarried no more than an hour of a single day – they will recognize one another. Those who denied the meeting with Allah will have lost. They were not guided. (Surah Yunus, 45)
The People Promised Dominion in the Torah is the Community of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)
The attributes of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) who will appear in the End Times, and of his community, and of the glorious period they will usher in are described in considerable detail in the holy scriptures of the Abrahamic religions. These descriptions are surprisingly similar in all three faiths. Today, the appearance of hundreds of proofs, of an environment described many centuries in the past, shows that the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) is now very close at hand.
According to the hadiths of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will perform very important actions, highly beneficial for the future of all humanity. But initially, he will not be recognized and will have no supporters, apart from a very small community of believers. However, those able to seeing with the eyes of faith will recognize Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) and his community through the excellent impression they make. His success in spreading the faith of Allah will manifest itself that he possesses the true rank of Mahdi.
One verse says that the People of the Book will recognize our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as they recognize "their own sons":
Those We have given the Book recognize it as they recognize their own sons. Yet a group of them knowingly conceal the truth. (Surat al-Baqara, 146)
In figurative terms, this verse also indicates that Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), too, will be recognized (Allah knows the truth). When Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) appears, people will recognize him as they do their own sons, in the light of our Prophet's (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) descriptions. Yet some people will nevertheless fail to recognize this holy personage and will persist in their denial.
Pure Faith is the Measure in Allah's Promise of Dominion
The rule of true faith referred to in Holy Scriptures and to be established in the End Times will be the result of sincere faith and moral rectitude. Neither genealogy nor any material criterion can substitute for pure faith. Some Jews maintain that the society promised dominion in the Torah is the Jewish people regardless of their devotion and sincerity. However, this view is not accepted by devout Jews, but even criticized and condemned by them.
Clearly, whoever possesses the qualities of the sincerely believing society promised dominion in the Torah, Allah will make them the means whereby the faith in Allah and moral values prevail. To put it another way, those who will bring about the dominion of religious moral values are believers of sincere faith, who fear and respect Allah, who maintain the moral virtues He has commanded, who are obedient to Him, and who live by love and compassion. Dominion is promised to true believers, not to any particular community or descent.
It is a grave error for any to imagine that they have been promised dominion solely on the grounds that they were simply born Jewish or Christian. What matters is not his birth, but his devotion to Allah, to His Prophets and the moral values of the faith, and his obedience and submission. If anyone denies the existence of Allah or fails to appreciate His might properly; if he fails to abide completely by religious moral values; if he does not believe in the Prophets or does not comply with their Sunnah, then his race or line of descent is to of no advantage at all. If someone who does not believe in Allah and has not truly surrendered to Him, it is irrelevant whether that person is descended from the Prophets Abraham, Jacob or Moses (peace be upon them). In any case, such a person has rejected the Prophets from whose very line he is descended. Merely being descended from the Prophets does not confer holiness on a person in the absence of true faith. The ancestry of someone who rejects the Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses (peace be upon them), who does not love and fear Allah, is of no importance in Allah's sight.
Allah has revealed in the Qur'an that fear [and respect] of Allah is the only measure that confers any value on someone in His sight:
The noblest among you in Allah's sight is the one who most fears [and respects] Allah. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hujurat, 13)
Another verse reveals the finest outcome that awaits those who fear and respect Allah:
... So be steadfast. The best end result is for those who fear and respect Allah. (Surah Hud, 49)
Those who fear and respect Him are those who hope for such an outcome from Allah by striving on His path, who hope for no other reward than His good pleasure, who have dedicated their lives and belongings to Allah, who have a great fear of and passionate love for Him. They are the true heirs of Allah for the dominion of the moral values of the true faith.
In conclusion, the fundamental requirement in Allah's promise of dominion is true faith. The accounts of and references to dominion in the Torah are not limited to any one particular nation. Muslims–in other words, those who have surrendered to Allah–and anyone who truly believes without ascribing any equals to Him, becomes part of the community of believers. "The People of Israel" was the name for this community in the Torah. To put it another way, the "People of Israel" includes the sincere, devout descendants of Jacob, and the true Muslims (who have surrendered themselves to Allah) regardless of their descent.
The community chosen and promised dominion by Allah, as revealed in verse 55 of Surat an-Nur, will possess the following qualities:
1) Believing in Allah,
The dominion promised by Allah is directed towards such a community. Otherwise, it could hardly be expected that a people descended from the People of Israel, but lacking any devout belief, could rule the world. Moreover, it is out of question for ethnic groups to have lived in close proximity over the course of centuries without intermixing. Nor is it possible for the lines of the Prophets Isaac and Ishmael, sons of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon them), to have survived in pure form. Obviously, what is being referred to is unity of belief, not genealogy.
In the Book of Genesis (28: 7-10), it is revealed that the son of the Prophet Isaac (pbuh) married the Prophet Ishmael's (pbuh) daughter. This event described in the Torah represents a clear example of how lines of descent became intermingled right from the outset. Furthermore, descendants of the Prophets Isaac and Ishmael (peace be upon them) who lived in areas very close to one another, have close family ties. Therefore, the community that will be given dominion is not any specific line, but a group that will adhere to the pure moral values of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh)–or to give it its contemporary name, Islam.
In addition, Allah has revealed in the Qur'an that all messengers represent one single family:
Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of 'Imran over all other beings–descendants one of the other. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Surah Al 'Imran, 33-34)
In Surat al-An'am, Allah refers to messangers coming from each others' lines:
Those who believe and do not mix up their belief with any wrongdoing, they are the ones who are safe; it is they who are guided. This is the argument We gave to Abraham against his people. We raise in rank anyone We will. Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. We gave him Isaac and Jacob, each of whom We guided. And before him We had guided Noah. And among his descendants were David and Solomon, and Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron. That is how We recompense the good-doers. And Zaccariah, John, Jesus and Elijah. All of them were among the righteous. And Ishmael, Eljada, Jonah and Lot. All of them We favored over all beings. And some of their forebears, descendants and brothers; We chose them and guided them to a straight path. (Surat al-An'am, 82-87)
All the Prophets are related to one another. Any reference to the line of the Prophet Jacob, or the Prophet Solomon, or the Prophet David (peace be upon them) also encapsulates the line of the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), and dominion is promised to the Prophet Abraham (pbuh), of the line of the Prophets. The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is also a member of this holy line. The hadiths also state that Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will come from that same line. Everyone who can trace his lineage back to this line is popularly known as a "sayyid." Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will be a sayyid.
In those hadiths of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), it is revealed that:
Abu Dawud reported a hadith from Abd Allah ibn Masud: The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "If there were only one day left for the world, that day would be lengthened until a man from among my descendants or from among the people of my household [Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)], was sent."
Days and nights will not come to an end until a man from the People of my House [Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh)] will prevail. (Al-Uqayli, An-Najmu's-saqib)
Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) and His Community are Predetermined in Destiny
A human being is no more than a spectator of his own destiny and the world's. No one can change the course of that destiny. Similarly, making judgments about that destiny, submitting to or objecting to it, can in no way alter the promises Allah has set out in destiny. Whomsoever Allah chooses in destiny and determines as a vehicle whereby religious moral values are brought to rule the world, that individual will be Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh).
Otherwise, nobody can stand up and claim to be the Mahdi. The rank of the Mahdi is not based upon claims to be him. Neither is it a rank that can be attained through hard work. In order for someone to be the Mahdi, that must be written in his destiny; he needs to have been created as the Mahdi.
As set out in the hadiths and in analyses by Islamic scholars, Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will be known more by his actions than by his lineage. Hazrat Mahdi's (pbuh) and his community's main activity will be waging an intellectual struggle against atheism and spreading the true faith all over the world. Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) is the one who will inflict an intellectual defeat on atheism, who will reveal the proofs of Allah's existence, and who, (by Allah's leave) by spreading moral values across the world, will be a means whereby people turn to faith. In the absence of these activities and phenomena, it is meaningless for any individual or group to make any claims about the identity of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh).