Imam Mahdi in the Verse (4:159) (3)

Again, according to the author, this is narrated in the same book from ibn Marduwayh who reported from Abu Hurayra that he said: “The Prophet said: “Soon the son of Mary will descend among you and will kill the Antichrist and the pigs (that Christians consider as lawful from a religious point of view)– the meaning here may be that he will prohibit them from consuming pork - and he will break the Cross which is one of the Christians' religious symbols  (he will annihilate those symbols) and re-introduce the taxes (that had been abandoned) among the People of the Book, so that they pay taxes to the Islamic government; at that time wealth will increase and only God, the Lord of the Worlds, will be worshipped.”

Abu Hurayra then said: “If you wish, recite the verse: “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death”,(1) which means ‘before the death of ‘Isa’” and he repeated ‘the death of ‘Isa’ three times.”(2) Tabataba’i comments that the traditions concerning the descent of Jesus at the time of the appearance of Mahdi are numerous both from Shi’ite and Sunnite sources, and reported either from the Prophet or from the Ahl al-Bayt.

Allama then reports another view concerning the Prophet apart from the one mentioned above. He reports from the tafsir al-‘Ayyashi, a tradition reported from Harith ibn Mugheerah who reported from Imam Sadiq who said that the following verse “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death ; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them” (3) is about the Prophet.

The author comments that although this tradition seems to be in contradiction with the verses concerning ‘Isa, however it is possible to say that the aim of these traditions may be to clarify that when the Prophet was appointed and brought a Book and a Divine Law (Shari’a), which abrogated the Law brought by Jesus, it became compulsory for the People of the Book to believe in the Prophet Muhammad as well as in Jesus and the Prophets who came before Jesus.

Also, if one of the People of the Book lived after the prophetic mission of the Prophet, and at the moment of his death when the truth is being unveiled, he finds out that Jesus was the truth, he will obviously at the same time realize the truthfulness of the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, the belief of the People of the Book in Jesus will be considered as true, only if they also believe in Muhammad.

(In other words, they will understand that during their life, they were supposed to follow the religion of Muhammad as it is an abrogating religion, whereas the religion of Jesus is an abrogated one). Therefore, the Prophet who will be accepted truthfully by the People of the Book and who will bear witness against them is the Prophet Muhammad, who is the absolute proof for people living after his prophetic mission, although Jesus had the same position and there is no contradiction in considering one of the two Prophets in this verse.

In the same book, says the author, it is reported from ibn Sinan who reported from Imam Sadiq concerning the commentary of the verse, that: “The faith of the People of the Book is only valid once they believe in the prophethood of Muhammad.”(4)

Again, Tabataba’i reports from the same book that it is reported from Jabir who reported from Imam Baqir (the fifth Imam) that the latter said for the meaning of the above verse that: “No one from among any of the religions, from the very first to the very last, will die unless he contemplates the truthfulness of the Prophet of God (Muhammad) and the Commander of the Believers (Amir al-Mu’minin Ali)”.(5)

Concerning this view, Allama Tabataba’i comments that “It is not sure that the Imam’s purpose was to give a commentary of the verse or even to adapt his word to the verse because it is likely that these words were merely the continuation of other words that the Imam might have said regarding the verse, and such (fragmented) traditions are numerous.”

He finally reports from the same book, a tradition from Mufadhdhal ibn ‘Umar who said: “I asked Imam Sadiq about the meaning of the verse “And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death”, and he answered: ‘This verse has been revealed for us, the People of the House; any of the children of Fatima will not die and leave this world unless they testify in favour of the Imam and his Imamate in the same way that the children of Ya’qub testified in favour of Yusuf...”.(6) Concerning this tradition, the author comments: “This tradition is among the traditions that have a unique transmitter (which is not valid except in Ahkam). Besides, the source of this tradition is not mentioned.”



1. The Holy Quran 4:159.

2. عن أبي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله (ص): يوشك أن ينزل فيكم ابن مريم حكما عدلا يقتل الدجال و يقتل الخنزير و يكسر الصليب و يضع الجزية و يقبض المال و تكون السجدة واحدة لله رب العالمين و اقرأوا إن شئتم : و إن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته، موت عيسي ابن مريم. ثم يعيدها أبو هريرة ثلاث مرات.

3. The Holy Quran 4:159.

4. عن أبي عبدالله في قول الله في عيسى : و إن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته و يوم القيامة يكون عليهم شهيدا. فقال: إيمان أهل الكتاب إنما هو لمحمد صلى الله عليه وآله.

5. عن أبي عبدالله في قوله : و أن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته و يوم القيامة يكون عليهم شهيدا. قال ليس من أحد من جميع الأديان يموت  إلا  رأى  رسول الله (ص) و أمير المؤمنين (ع) حقا من الأولين و الآخرين.

6. عن المفضل بن عمر قال سألت أبا عبدالله (ع)  عن  قول الله: و إن من أهل الكتاب إلا ليؤمنن به قبل موته.  فقال : هذه نزلت فينا خاصة, إنه ليس رجل من ولد فاطمة  يموت و لا يخرج من الدنيا حتى يقر للإمام و لإمامته،  كما أقر ولد يعقوب ليوسف حين قالوا: تالله لقد آثرك الله علينا.