This is one of the main pillars that keeps Muslims’ hopes alive for the future of the world.
The end time refers to a period that according to religious literature, the human age will come to an end. Different religions have portrayed the characteristics of the promised savior in a special way and the result is the creation of increased hope for humans.
The Quran refers to the topic of the end time in several verses, describing the features of this period. “We have written in the Psalms, after the Remembrance: 'The righteous among My worshipers shall inherit the earth.” [21:105] “But We have decided to grant a favor to the suppressed ones by appointing them leaders and heirs of the land.” [28:5]
The term “suppressed” in this verse refers to those who have been weakened by the oppressors but they themselves have no role in this and are constantly trying to get rid of the oppressors.
Mahdi is the name of the promised one that Muslims expect to come and establish global peace and justice. The Quran uses the expression “Baqiat Allah” [which is left you by Allah] to refer to him: “That which is left you by Allah is best for you, if ye (but) believed! but I am not set over you to keep watch!” [11:86]
Based on Quranic verses and valid narrations, all Islamic Madhhabs believe that Mahdi is a righteous human from generations of Hazrat Fatemeh Zahra (SA), the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported in one hadith to have said: "Mahdi is a man of my descendants. The color of his body is the color of the Arab race and his body is like the body of Israelites with a mole on his right cheek. He will shine like a star, spreading justice in the world when it is full of oppression; the inhabitants of the earth and the sky will be pleased with his government."
According to a narration, Mehdi, the son of Hassan, was born in Samarra in the middle of Sha'aban of the year 255 AH (869 AD), and was disappeared upon the command of God as a protection from the danger of revenge by the ill-wishers. This absence has occurred in two short and long periods; the first period lasted for nearly 69 years and during this time, he was in contact with the believers through four intermediaries who conveyed religious and social commands and recommendations to them. A longer absence began since 329 AH (941 AD) and continues to this day. However, based on Quranic verses, interpreters believe that Mahdi’s emergence and the start of his confrontations are definite. “It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).” [61:28]
Various Islamic Madhhabs stress the importance of this concept as one of the main pillars of hope for the future as they believe in the ultimate victory of the righteous and realization of justice despite the expansion of corruption and destruction in the world. Narrations introduce dimensions of this justice in a manner that it seems this was what all humans have lost.
Another interesting point about this end-time view is that not only does it raise hope, but also makes the audience strive for reform, dialogue, and loyalty to principles of justice.
Mahdi is absent until a day when a group of the purest people is ready to help him and besides being interested in this ideal, they strive for that goal and prepare the ground for it.