Imam Mahdi in the Verse (34:51) (1)

If thou couldst but see when they will quake with terror; but then there will be no escape (for them), and they will be seized from a position (quite) near.(1)

A- Tafsir Majma’ al-Bayan by Shaykh Tabarsi

For this verse, Shaykh Tabarsi reports traditions which interpret the verse as concerning the fate of the army of the Sufyani. (2) Indeed, Shaykh Tabarsi (3) reports from Abu Hamza Thumali who said: “I heard Ali ibn al-Husayn and Hasan ibn Hasan ibn Ali saying that they are the army of the desert of Bayda (4) where the earth will swallow them starting by their feet.” He added:“ ‘Amr ibn Marah and Hamraan ibn A’yan told me that they heard from Muhajir … who said that he heard from Umm Salama who said that the Prophet said: «He will take refuge in the House of God, then God will guide an army towards him until they reach the desert of Bayda’ and get swallowed up by the earth.”

Also Shaykh Tabarsi reports a tradition from Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman that the Prophet once reminded that: “Discord and unrest between the Westerner and the Asians will occur, and at that time of war between them, the Sufyani will come out with a big army from the valley of Yabes and will reach Damascus. Then he will raise two armies, one toward the East and the other one toward Medina. They (the army toward the East) will enter in the land of Babylon next to Bagdad. They will start killing more than three thousand people, and rape more than a hundred women, and will kill three hundred people from the nobles of Bani al-‘Abbas (Abbasids).

They will then move to Kufa and destroy the areas of Kufa and will move toward Sham. At the same time, a well-guided army will come out of Kufa and will reach them and kill them, and they will not even leave an informant and they will take their captives, goods and booty. The second army will attack Medina and will pillage the city for three days and nights. They will finally move toward Mecca until they enter the land of Bayda’. God will call Jibril (Gabriel) and tell him: ‘O Jibril, Go and destroy them!

Then Jibril will go and hit the land of Bayda with his foot and the army will be swallowed up by the earth and only two men among them will survive from Juhayneh.”(5) The author says that this tradition is reported by Tha’labi in his tafsir and similar traditions are also reported by the Shi’ites among the traditions concerning the Mahdi from Abi ‘Abdillah al-Sadiq (sixth Imam) and Abi Ja’far al-Baqir (fifth Imam).

B- Tafsir al-Mizan by Allama Tabataba’i

The author of al-Mizan (6) reports from the work al-Durr al-Manthur a tradition reported from Hakim (who considers the tradition as authentic) who reported it from Abu Hurayra who says that the Prophet of God said: “In the future, a man will come out from Damascus who will be called Sufyani, and the totality of his followers will be from the tribe of Kalb; he will start to kill and massacre, he will even open the women’s wombs, and will assassinate the children, until the tribe of Qays will rise against him, and he will end up killing Qays, and he will not leave a place free of his oppression and violence.

At that moment, a man from my Household will come out and will reach Sufyani and will send his army to suppress Sufyani and his army, and finally he will put him to flight, defeating him and his army. Sufyani and his followers will then travel to Bayda and, in that place, they will have an accident and be swallowed up by the earth and none of them will remain but one person among them who will describe for people what happened.”

Tabataba’i adds: “This tradition has been reported from the Sunnites many times whether in detail or briefly, and was reported from several chains of transmitters from ibn ‘Abbas, ibn Mas’ud, Hudhayfah, Abu Hurayra, the grandfather of ‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb, Umm Salama, Safiyya, ‘Aa’isha, and Hafsa (the Prophet’s wives), and Nufayra (the wife of Qa’qa’), and also from Sa’id ibn Jubayr”.

And, concerning the Shi’ite sources, Tabataba’i then reports from the Tafsir Qummi that it is written: “My father reported a tradition to me from ibn Abi ‘Umayr, who reported it from Mansur ibn Younus, who reported it from Abi Khalid Kabuli that Imam Abi Ja’far said: ‘ I swear by God! It is as if I am right now seeing the al-Qa’im who is leaning against the Hajar (al-Hajar al-Aswad = the black stone) and is inviting people in the name of God to maintain his Right, and then he is saying: ‘O people, whoever talks with me about God, I know the best about Him.

Continue in the next article: ( Imam Mahdi in the Verse (34:51) (2) )



1. The Quran 34:51.

2. Among the signs of the Mahdi’s reappearance in the traditions is the emergence of the Sufyani (a short time before the Mahdi’s appearance) from the region of Syria, who will massacre the Shi’ites, and whose army will be swallowed up by the earth in the desert on the way to Mecca where he planned to destroy the Ka’ba. See Ali Kurani, Asr-e Zuhur, p.90.

3. Majma’ al-Bayan, Vol. 20, p.294.

4. A desert between Mecca and Medina.

5. روي عن حذيفة ابن اليمان عن النبي (ص) :  ذكر فتنة تكون بين أهل المشرق و المغرب قال فبينا هم كذلك يخرج عليهم السفياني من وادي اليابس في فور ذلك حتى ينزل  دمشق فيبعث جيشين، جيشا الى المشرق و آخر الي المدينه حتى ينزلوا  بأرض بابل من المدينة الملعونة يعني بغداد فيقتلون أكثر من ثلاثة آلاف و يفضحون أكثر من مائة إمرأة و يقتلون بها ثلاثمائة كبش من بني العباس ثم ينحدرون الى الكوفة فيخربون ما حولها ثم يخرجون متوجهين الى الشام فيخرج راية الهدي من الكوفة فيلحق ذلك الجيش فيقتلونهم لايفلت منهم مخبر ويستنقذون ما في أيديهم من السبي و الغنائم و يحل الجيش الثاني بالمدينه فينتهبونها ثلاثة أيام بلياليها ثم يخرجون متوجهين الى مكة حتى إذا كانوا بالبيداء بعث الله جبرائيل فيقول يا جبرائيل اذهب و فابدهم  فيضربها برجله ضربة يخسف الله بهم عندها ولا يفلت منهم إلا رجلان من جهينة فلذلك جاء القول ‍ و عند جهينة الخبر اليقين. 

6. Al-Mizan, Vol.16, p.592.