AN EXAMPLE FOR THE STUDENTS OF NUR WHO CLAIM THAT THE TIME OF THE COMING AND NAME OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IS NOT KNOWN
EIGHTH PRINCIPLE: In this arena of trial and realm of examination, Almighty Allah, the Absolutely Wise One, conceals most important things in the midst of numerous others, and this is tied to many purposes, benefits, and instances of wisdom. For example, He has hidden the Night of Power in the whole of Ramadan, and the hour when prayers are answered in the whole of Friday, and well-accepted saints among the people generally, and the appointed hour in a person’s life-time, and the time of the Judgment Day in the life of the world. For if the time of man’s death had been specified, the first half of his life would be passed in absolute heedlessness and the second, in terror, like going step by step to the gallows. Whereas for the balance between this world and the next to be preserved, and to remain perpetually between hope and fear, living and dying have to be possible every moment. In which case, twenty years of uncertain life are preferable to a thousand years of life that are specified.
Thus, the Last Day is the appointed hour of the world, the macroanthropos. If the time had been specified, all the early and middle ages would have been plunged into absolute heedlessness, and the latter centuries, into terror. Just as in his personal life man is concerned with the continued existence of his home and village, so in his social life and as a member of mankind he is concerned with the continued existence of the earth and the world. The Qur’an says, The Hour has drawn nigh. (Surat al-Qamar, 1) That is, the Judgment Day is near. It still not having come after a thousand or this many years does not negate its closeness. Because the Judgment Day is the appointed hour of the world, and in relation to the life of the world one or two thousand years are like one or two minutes in relation to a year. The Hour of the Judgment Day is not only the appointed hour of mankind that it should be related to it and seen as distant. It is because of this that the Absolutely Wise One conceals the Judgment Day in His knowledge among the ‘Five Hidden Things.’ It is due to the mystery of this vagueness that every age including the Age of the Bliss, the Age of the Prophet, people have been frightened of the end of the world. Some of them even said that the conditions had all but appeared.
Thus, unfair people who do not know this truth say: “Why did the Companions of the Prophet with their vigilant hearts and keen sight, who had been taught all the details of the hereafter, SUPPOSE A FACT THAT WOULD OCCUR ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED YEARS LATER TO BE CLOSE TO THEIR CENTURY, as though their ideas had deviated a thousand years from the truth?”
The Answer: Because, through the effulgence of the Prophet’s conversation, the Companions thought of the hereafter more than anyone, and knowing the transience of the world and understanding the Divine wisdom in the hour of the Judgment Day being vague, they assumed a position of always awaiting the world’s appointed hour and worked seriously for the hereafter. Allah’s Noble Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him) repeating: “Expect the Judgment Day. Wait for it” was prophetic guidance arising from this wisdom, it was not a pronouncement of revelation concerning the specific time of its occurrence and far from the truth. The cause is one thing and the wisdom is another. Thus, sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) of this sort arise from the wisdom in certain things being indefinite.
It is also due to this mystery that they expected the individuals who will come at the end of time like the Mahdi and Sufyan long beforehand, and even in the time of the generation succeeding the Prophet, and hoped to live long enough to see them. Some of the saints, even, said that they had passed. Like the end of the world, Divine wisdom requires that the times of these individuals are not specified either. Because every age is in need of the Mahdi’s meaning, for he strengthens morale and saves the people from despair. Every century has to have a share of this meaning. In order that people should not heedlessly follow evil and the reins of the soul should not be left free in indifference, every century the fearsome individuals who come to lead strife must be shrunk from and feared. If they had been specified, the benefits of general guidance would have been lost.
Now, the difference in the narrations about individuals like the Mahdi, and their meaning, is this: those who expounded Hadiths applied the text of the Hadiths to their own interpretations and commentaries. For example, since the centre of power at that time was Damascus or Medina, they imagined the events connected with the Mahdi and Sufyan in places like Basra, Kufa, and Syria, which were in the region of those centres, and expounded them accordingly. Moreover, they imagined the mighty works belonging to the collective identity or community which those individuals represent to be in their persons and expounded them in that way, so that they ascribed a form to them whereby when those extraordinary individuals appear, everyone will recognize them. However, as we said, this world is the arena of trial. The door is opened to the reason, but the will is not taken from the hand. So, when those individuals, and even the terrible Dajjal, appear, many people and himself even will not know to start with that he is the Dajjal. Those individuals of the end of time will be known through the insight and the light of belief.
(The Words / Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch - pp.353-354)
However, the fact that the signs that our Prophet (saas) revealed regarding the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) have taken place one after the other in this (Hijri) century shows that we are living in the End Times, and that it is in this century that the personages of the End Times, and especially Hazrat Mahdi (as), will appear. It is clear from the Master’s explicit declarations and datings that we are living in the End Times.
Our Prophet (saas) reveals in the hadiths that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear in the 1400s, according to the Hijri calendar.
People WILL GATHER AROUND THE MAHDI IN 1400.
(Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, p. 108)
Statements made in the light of the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) by the great Sunni scholar Suyuti also suggest that Hazrat Mahdi (as), and therefore the other individuals of the End Times who will live at the same time as him, will come in the 1400s, by the Hijri calendar, the time we are living in now. In the original Arabic edition of the work Alkashfu An mujawazati Hazihilumme al Alf ve Alluma fi Ajwibati al'-Asile (Imam Jalaladdin Suyuti, interpretation and commentary: Said Muhammad Lahham, Beirut-Lebanon) Suyuti discusses the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), and he narrates the following two hadiths on page 10 of the book in which the Prophet (saas) says that the life span of the Earth is 7000 years.
Amr ibn Yahya, we informed ibn Zayd about the existence. May Allah be pleased with him, he said: The Messenger of Allah (saas) said: THE LIFE SPAN OF THE WORLD IS SEVEN DAYS IN THE AFTERLIFE DAYS. Almighty Allah said that a day in the sight of the Lord is like a thousand of your years.
In one hadith cited by many Islamic scholars, such as Ahmad Ibn al-Hanbal, the founder of the Hanbali school, our Prophet (saas) provides important information about the history of man by saying that 5600 of the life span of the Earth has already passed:
They narrated from Daqqaq Ibn Zaid Al-Juhani:
I told the Messenger of Allah (saas) of a dream I had had. In that dream the Messenger of Allah (saas) was at the top step of a seven-stepped pulpit. He said: THE SEVEN-STEPPED PULPIT YOU SEE IS THE SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS OF AGE OF THIS WORLD.
(Al-Burhan fi 'Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 89
The great Sunni scholar Barzanji says that, by Allah’s leave, the Day of Reckoning is expected to take place in the 1500s by the Hijri calendar. (Allah knows the truth.)
THE LIFE OF THIS COMMUNITY WILL EXCEED 1,000 YEARS, YET BE LIMITED TO 1,500 YEARS....
(Muhammad ibn `Abd ar-Rasul Barzanji, Al-Isha`ah li Ashrat as-Sa`ah, The Portents of the Judgment Day, p. 299)
On the basis of the hadith handed down from our Prophet (saas), Suyuti makes the following statement:
THE LIFE OF MY COMMUNITY WILL NOT EXCEED 1,500 YEARS.
On the basis of the hadiths in question and the analyses made in the light thereof by Sunni scholars, it is clear that the life of the Ummah of Islam after our Prophet (saas) will come to an end between 1400 and 1500, by the Hijri calendar.
Master Bediüzzaman Said Nursi states, in the light of all this analysis, in his Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gaybi (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen):
"... The first sentence refers to the last period of a community striving on the path of Allah in the End Times in ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED - (1500) and the second sentence to the victory of the struggle (waged on the path of Allah) in ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDED AND SIX (1506). (...)It suggests it will continue in a visible and manifest, and perhaps victorious form, until this date (1506)."
(The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 46)
This statement by Bediüzzaman is extremely important because it fully corroborates the hadiths of our Prophet (saas) and the analyses made by earlier Sunni scholars on the basis of the hadiths. With this statement by the Master, Suyuti’s comment that the life of the Ummah of Islam will not extend much past the 1500s becomes much clearer. Because, like Suyuti, the Master says that the Islamic Ummah, and therefore Islamic moral values, will be victorious over the world until around 1506, by the Hijri calendar. In his Kastamonu Addendum, the Master states that the Day of Reckoning may be expected as of the 1500s (Hijri 1545, 2120 AD), and that statement is a second piece of evidence corroborating the above accounts:
“A group from my community will remain in truth until Allah’s command.”
The abjad calculation of the clause “A group from my community...” which is 1542 (2117) implies its (the community’s) time of survival. The abjad calculation of the clause “will remain in truth” (when the gemination mark is counted) gives 1506 (2082); it indicates until that date (2082) it will continue its work of enlightenment evidently and obviously, and maybe victoriously; then until 1542 (2117) in secrecy and defeat. The abjad calculation of the clause “until Allah’s command” (when the gemination mark is counted) suggests that THE JUDGMENT DAY WILL BEFALL the unbeliever in 1545 (2120).
(Kastamonu Addendum, p. 33)
Reflecting on these hadiths, it appears we are told that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear immediately prior to the Day of Reckoning. As we have seen, it is clear both from the hadiths revealed by Allah to our Prophet (saas) and from the statements made by Sunni scholars that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear in the century 1400-1500 by the Hijri calendar. Master Said Nursi declared several times that Hazrat Mahdi (as) would appear 1 century after his own, in other words in the 1400s:
... SUPPOSE A FACT THAT WOULD OCCUR ONE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED YEARS LATER TO BE CLOSE TO THEIR CENTURY.... (The Words / Twenty-Fourth Word - Third Branch - p.353)
It now occurs to mind that if each of the letters "mim" and "lam" bearing the gemination mark are counted as two, THE PEOPLE WHO WILL DISPERSE OPPRESSION A CENTURY LATER FROM NOW, CAN BE THE DISCIPLES OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS). (Rays, 1st Ray, p. 605) (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 90)
“…In this period there are such unusually prevalent movements that take everything into its own account, even if THAT PERSON TRULY AWAITED AND EXPECTED TO COME AFTER A CENTURY came at this time ... (Kastamonu Addendum, p. 57)
UNTIL THE TRUE LORDS OF THE BROAD SPHERE OF LIFE, THE MAHDI AND HIS STUDENTS COME IN THE END TIMES, BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH’S LEAVE, AND BROADEN THAT SPHERE AND CAUSE THOSE SEEDS TO FLOURISH... (Kastamonu Addendum, p. 72)
I BELIEVE I AM A SERVANT OF THIS WONDROUS PERSON WHO WıLL APPEAR IN THE FUTURE, A REAR-GUARD TO SET A BACKGROUND FOR HIM, AND A PIONEERING SOLDIER OF THAT GREAT COMMANDER. (Barla Addendum, p. 162)
It appears from this truth that; THIS BLESSED PERSON WHO WILL COME LATER WILL DISSEMINATE AND IMPLEMENT THE RISALE-I NUR AS A PROGRAM … (The Ratifying Stamp of the Unseen, p. 9)
Imam Rabbani’s statement in the 381st letter is also highly important evidence regarding the TIMING of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as):
... THAT IS BECAUSE HIS APPEARANCE WILL BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY....
(Imam Rabbani, The Letters, Letter 381, p. 1184)
Imam Rabbani stated that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) coming would take place at the start of the century. This statement by Rabbani has to be interpreted together with statements by our Prophet (saas) to the effect that the life of this world is 7000 years, of which 5600 had gone by up to his own day, and that the life of the Ummah of Islam would not much exceed 1500 years, and this again leads us to a date of the beginning of the 1400s by the Hijri calendar. Because since the life of the Ummah of Islam will come to an end in 1500, then the only century that Hazrat Mahdi (as) can appear at the beginning of is the 1400s. Since Hazrat Mahdi’s disappearance, his struggle against slanders, plots and pressure from those people made uneasy by the spread of the moral values of the religion and who want to put an end to those activities of his, his struggle against irreligious movements such as Darwinism, materialism and atheism and his complete intellectual neutralization of them, his valuable work in being instrumental in people coming to have faith and the moral values of Islam coming to rule the world as a consequence, his building of the Turkish-Islamic Union, and forging an alliance with the people of the Book will all take a long time, it is clear that his coming will take place at the beginnings of the 1400s, by the Hijri calendar.
Imam Rabbani also reveals that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come 1000 (one thousand) years after the death of our Prophet (saas) and that he will come “in between 1000 and 2000 years:”
However, what is anticipated is this; the renewal of this concealed state AFTER ONE THOUSAND YEARS HAVE PASSED. His being given superiority, finding water and increase... The original of such virtues (perfections) will appear and cover its abasement… AND LET HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) who values devotion to might COME. May Allah be pleased with him.
(Letters of Rabbani, 1/569)
The strengthening of the Qur'anic law, the renovation of people takes place in this SECOND THOUSAND. The just witnesses of the truthfulness of this cause are the existence of the Prophet 'Isa (as) and the MAHDI IN THIS THOUSAND.
(Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 611)
Those among the nation of Allah's Messenger (saas) are highly perfected in faith. It does not matter whether they are few in number after the passing of one thousand years of the Messenger of Allah's (saas) death. THE COMING OF THE MAHDI AFTER 1,000 YEARS SERVES THIS PURPOSE. Our Prophet (saas), the last Messenger, gave the glad tidings of his holy coming. The Prophet 'Isa (as), on the other hand, will come after 1,000 years.
(Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 440)
One thousand years after the death of our Prophet (saas) we enter a second millennium. According to Imam Rabbani’s accounts above, it is clear that the Prophet Jesus and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear between these 1000 and 2000 years. (Allah knows the truth.)
In addition, the signs of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) taking place one after the other is another very important proof of the time of his coming. The fact that the portents of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) revealed by the Prophet began with the attack on the Kaaba on 1 Muharram 1400, the first day of 1400 (Hijri), and that the other signs began taking place one after the other before and after that proves that the century we are living in is the century of the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the other personages of the End Times. (Allah knows the truth.)
In the light of all these proofs and analyses, one fact emerges very clearly, which is that the claim made by certain brothers of the Nur, that “Only the qualities of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and the other personages of the End Times have been revealed, and no information is provided about the timing of their coming” in no way reflects the truth, and is obviously mistaken and misleading.
2. THE CLAIM THAT OUR PROPHET (SAAS) DID NOT RELATE THE NAME OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) IS ERRONEOUS
Our brothers of the Nur who make this claim say that the fact that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) name has not been revealed is a sign that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come as a collective personality. But they express this idea only very indirectly. By saying that Allah has not revealed Hazrat Mahdi’s name and the time of his coming in order to keep Muslims in a state of expectation they are in fact trying to suggest there is not such person at all. But these claims are definitely untrue. In several hadiths our Prophet (saas) says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be someone from his own ahl al-bayt, descended from his own line, one of his own children, and that he will resemble him in character, but that physically Hazrat Mahdi (as) will resemble the People of Israel in having a powerful and majestic appearance. He says he will have the mark of the prophethood on his back and another mole in the mark of a myrtle leaf, that his teeth will be as white and bright as pearls, that there will be a furrow between his eyebrows, that his thighs will be broad, that he will be majestic, that there will be a slightly concave mark on his forehead, that his hair will be thick and his nose small, along with hundreds of physical characteristics, and that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will appear in the 1400s as an individual, not as a collective personality. In addition, he says that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) name will be compatible with his, and his father’s name compatible with his father’s, in other words, they will resemble one another.
According to Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi’s accounts from Ibn Masud, Rasulullah (saas) said: “His name will be compatible with mine, and his father’s name with my father’s name...” 
“Even if only one day is left to the life of this world, Allah will certainly prolong that day until the coming of a man [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] from the Ahl al-Bayt whose name is compatible with mine.” –narrated in Ahmad Ibn Hanbal’s Musnad.
According to Abdullah Ibn Umar’s (ra) account;
Rasulullah (saas) said: “The world will not come to an end until a man from my Ahl al-Bayt [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] whose name is compatible with mine imposes his rule over all the Arabs.”
According to another account, he said:
“Even if only one day remains from the life of this world, Allah will certainly prolong that day until He sends a man from my Ahl al-Bayt [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] whose name is compatible with mine. He will fill the world that was previously filled with cruelty and oppression with truth and justice instead.” –related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasai, Bayhaqi and Abu Amr Ad-Dani.
Again according to Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) he said:
“The world will not come to an end until a man from my Ahl al-Bayt whose name is compatible with mine establishes dominion (on earth). He will fill the world that was previously filled with cruelty and oppression, with truth and justice instead.” – Related in Abu al-Qasim Sulaiman ibn Ahmad ibn At-Tabarani “al- Mu’jam As-Saghir.” In addition, Tirmidhi’s “Al-Jami” and Abu Dawud’s “Sunan” by and large repeat this account, with a few minor alterations.
 Portents of the Judgment Day, Expanded 9th Edition, pp. 159-160
These statements by our Prophet (saas) concerning Hazrat Mahdi (as) are extremely informative. Since however, as a result of our testing in this world, a period of time has to pass in order for something to become completely clear, it is impossible for us at the moment to know what our Prophet (saas) is referring to. But this information is fully established in the Sight of Allah. But since we are subject to Allah’s destiny we will be unable to learn this name until the time has come. But when the time does come, Allah will bring forth the wisdom in these hadiths, and people will see just how clearly Allah has revealed the name of Hazrat Mahdi (as) in these hadiths.