And when Jesus came with the Clear Signs, he said: “I have come to you with Wisdom and to clarify for you some of the things about which you have differed. Therefore, be aware of God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path.” (Surat az-Zukhruf, 43:63-64)
Imam Rabbani states that the Mahdi will come 1,000 years after our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) death, within 2000s:
"It is expected that, after 1,000 years , this secret administration will be renovated. It will be granted with superiority... This way, genuine virtue will emerge and cover the degradation… And it is expected that the Mahdi, the supporter, will come. May God be pleased with him." (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 569)
The confirmation of the religious law, the renovation of people takes place in this second thousand . The just witnesses of the truthfulness of this cause are the existence of Prophet Jesus [pbuh] and Mahdi in this period (the second thousand years). (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 611)
Those among the nation of Allah's Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace) are highly perfected in faith. It does not matter whether they are few in number, even a thousand years passes after the death of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace). Their being perfected in faith serves to the following end: strenghtening the Islamic law in its true sense.
The coming of the Mahdi after 1,000 years serves this purpose. Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), the last Messenger, gave the glad tidings of his coming. Prophet Jesus (pbuh), on the other hand, will come down after 1,000 years. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 440)
A little more than 1,000 years pass over the passing of God's Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace) from this life, a time comes and the true Islam rises from its own ranks and unites with the truth of the Ka`bah. Then, on behalf of the true Islam, the name of truth of Ahmad emerges… From the two names comes a name into effect; and the place of true Islam is left unoccupied until the coming of Prophet Jesus [pbuh]. Ultimately, Prophet Jesus [pbuh] comes and performs his religious duties in conformity with the religious laws of Islam. Then, true Christianity rises from its own ranks and rules in the realms of true Islam. (Imam Rabbani, Letters of Rabbani, vol. 1, p. 470)
A thousand years after the death of our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace), people will enter the second millennium. According to Imam Rabbani, quoted above, the Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will come during that time.
Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti wrote that:
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, p. 299)
Thus, as-Suyuti draws attention to Hijri 1000-1500, during which some glad tidings (e.g., the Mahdi's appearance, Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming, and the prevalence of Islam's morality) will come true. We are now in the fifteenth Islamic century. Thus Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) return is very near. (God knows best)
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi also confirms this glad tiding and calls attention to the events that will take place until Hijri 1506:
"The first statement, with reference to 1500, indicates the last times of those who struggle for religion in the End Times; the second statement, with reference to 1506 calls attention to the date of the victorious struggle. (…) until this date (1506), it hints that it will, evidently and clearly, continue in a victorious manner." (Sikke-i Tasdik-i Gayb, p. 46)
3. Our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) Indicated That the Mahdi Will Come during the Fifteenth Islamic Century
In one of his hadiths, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) draws attention to the significance of a new century's beginning, as follows:
Since the world came into existence, at the beginning of every century an important event occurred. At the beginning of one century, the Dajjal will emerge and Jesus [pbuh], the son of Mary will ascend and kill him. (Ibn Abi Hatem)
As the above hadith states, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) will appear at the beginning of the century. This aside, giving the date 1400, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) made the date of this event clear. One of these hadiths is as follows:
People will gather around the Mahdi in 1400. (Risalat al-Khuruj al-Mahdi, p. 108)
In another hadith, the Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said:
Count two or three decades after the decades of Hijri 1400. At that time, the Mahdi emerges… (Asmal Masalik Lieyyam Mahdiyy Maliki Li Kull-id Dunya Biemrillah-il Malik, Qalda bin Zayd, p. 216)
We made them leaders, guiding by Our command, and revealed to them how to do good actions, perform prayer, and give alms. And they worshipped Us. (Surat al-Anbiya', 21:73)
As seen earlier, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) has provided a lot information about the signs of the End Times, especially aboutwhat will happen before the Mahdi and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) come. The related hadiths transmitted from Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Umar ibn al-Khattab, and Hudhayfa, Ibn Ahmad Hanbal, and Muslim Abu Zayd ibn Amr ibn Ahtab al-Ansari are as follows:
"The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace)… informed us about the events that will happen from then on, and he taught them to us and made us memorize them."(Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
On this subject, Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman said the following:
Hudhayfa reported: The Messenger of God took a stand among us in which he did not omit anything that will occur in that place of his up to the occurrence of the Hour without narrating it. Whose got it to memory remembered it, and whose did not remember it forgot it. These companions of mine learnt it, and there will occur something there from which I forgot. When it was shown to me I remembered it just as a man remembers the face of a man when he remains absent from him, and when afterwards he sees him, he remembers him. (Mishkat-ul-Masabih, vol.4, p.3)
Given that these eventstake place one after another and that they are currently continuing to occur means that we are living in the End Times. (God knows best.) Indeed, our Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) reconfirms this by giving us the year Hijri 1400 as the date of the Mahdi's advent. This being the case, Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) second coming is, by God's Will, very close.
4. According to Bediuzzaman, the Mahdi Will Be on Duty during the Fifteenth Islamic Century
In his explanations, Bediuzzaman pointed to the beginning of the fifteenth Islamic century as the time of Mahdi's advent. In one of his explanations, Bediuzzaman relates that Mahdi will come 1,400 years after the Blessed Period.
"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 Words, 'The Twenty-fourth Word: Third Branch)
As Bediuzzaman stated: "one thousand four hundred years later to be close to their century" is the beginning of the fifteenth century, that is, the years 1979-1980 (of the Gregorian calendar).
In his address to 10,000 people in a mosque in Damascus (Hijri 1327), Bediuzzaman explained the future of the Islamic world after Hijri 1371. In this address, he gave some dates about the End Times and called attention to the Mahdi's struggle. Bediuzzaman gives the following dates regarding Mahdi's taking up his task and defeating the disbelieving mentality ideologically:
The facts revealed in the address of Damascus that glance at the destiny of the Islamic world after the Hijri 1371… may be not now but 30-40 years later, in order to fully equip science and, knowledge acquired through arts, science and skills, the goodness of civilization and those three forces, and to overcome the nine obstacles, he sent inclination for investigating the truth, moderation and love for human beings to the fronts of those nine foes. By God's Will, he will demolish them after half a century. ("The Damascus Sermon," p. 25)
In this speech, Bediuzzaman draws attention to developments that will take place after Hijri 1371 , and informs us that the Mahdi will launch his efforts 30-40 years after this date. This date is the period between Hijri 1401-11 (Gregorian calendar: 1980-90 ).
He is the Knower of the Unseen to anyone – except to a Messanger with whom he is well pleased, and then he Posts sentinels before him and behind him. (Surat al-jinn, 72:26-27)
In the latter part of his speech, Bediuzzaman said that the Mahdi will silence the ideology of disbelief via the benefits of science and civilization. The date of this ideological superiority will be half a century later: Hijri 1421 . (Gregorian calendar: 2001 )
"Maybe not now ( 1371 ), but 30-40 years later…"
By God's Will, he will demolish them after half a century.
1371 + 50 = 1421 (Gregorian calendar: 2001)
Bediuzzaman calls attention to Hijri 1400 as the beginning of Mahdi's ideological struggle against disbelieving philosophies. He further points out that between the years 1401-11 (1981-91) , he will unite the benefits of science, skills, and the goodness of civilization to be used in his struggle, and discloses Hijri 1421 (Gregorian calendar: 2001) as the date when the Mahdi will ideologically destroy the disbelieving philosophies.
Another of his explanations related to the End Times is as follows:
"In 71, the Sun began to rise or will rise. Even if this is only the initial redness in the horizon, in 30-40 years the second enlightenment will appear ." ("The Damascus Sermon," p. 23)
1371 + 30 = 1401 = 1981
1371 + 40 = 1411 = 1991
Bediuzzaman likens the rise of the Sun to the prevalence of Islam's moral values in the world. Just as the Sun rises again after it sets, he indicates that Islam's moral values also will rise and shine again. The expressions of "initial redness" and "second enlightenment" indicate the beginning years of this time.
Accordingly, he points to 1981-91 as the time when the Mahdi begins to disperse atheism and materialist philosophy, as well as the unjust ideologies that oppose the true religion. He also calls attention to 2001 as the year when these ideologies will be totally silenced and dispersed. (God knows best.)
In this period there are such prevalent movements so that may the expected person who is due to come after a century emerge… (Kastamonu Letters, p. 57)
In this statement, the phrase "the expected person who is due to come after a century" means that the Mahdi had not come yet in his time, that he had been awaited by Muslims, and that he is due to come after a century - in the fifteenth Islamic century.
For this We sent a Messenger to you from among you to recite Our Signs to you, purify you and teach you the Book and Wisdom, and teach you things you did not know before. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:151)
In his Risale-i Nur Collection , Bediuzzaman provided related evidence regarding the Mahdi's period of struggle and his dominance:
"They desire to extinguish God's Light with their mouths. But God refuses to do other than perfect His Light, even though the unbelievers detest it." (Surat at-Tawba, 9:32)
Writing about "But God refuses to do other than perfect His Light," Bediuzzaman makes the following comment:
"It now occurs to [my] mind that if each of the letters "mim" and "lam" bearing the gemination mark are counted as two, the people who will dissolve the oppressions a century later may be the disciples of the Mahdi." (First Ray, p. 85)
The abjad (numeration of the verse by alphabetical Arabic letters) is Hijri 1424 and 2004 (Gregorian calandar). Bediuzzaman points to the prevalence of Islamic morality in the Mahdi's leadership.
In the verse "But those who disbelieve have tagut as protectors" (Surat al-Baqara, 2:257), Bediuzzaman calls attention to the numeration of tagut (the ideology opposing the true religion) by alphabetical Arabic letters. This is 1417 (1997 Gregorian calendar), the date when tagut will experience a collapse within itself.