Question: Is Imam al-Mahdi (af) mentioned within any Sunni books of Ahadith?

Question: Is Imam al-Mahdi (af) mentioned within any Sunni books of Ahadith?

Question: Is Imam al-Mahdi (af) mentioned within any Sunni books of Ahadith?

Concise Answer: The Prophet (s) is narrated to have said, in Sahih al-Bukhari[1], via Jaabir Ibn Samurah: ‘There will be twelve leaders, all of them from Quraysh.’

Detailed Answer: In Ṣaḥīḥ al-Muslim[2]

Narrated by Jabir ibn Samura: The Prophet (s) said: “This matter (the world) will not end, until twelve Caliphs come.” He then whispered something. I asked my father what the Prophet (s) said. He said, the Prophet (s) added: “All of them will be from Quraysh.”

The belief of the Ahl al-Sunna is that the al-Mahdi (af) will be born at the end of time and he will be of the lineage of the Prophet (s). There are many traditions in this regard in the Sunni Ahadith, including in the Sitah texts, for example:

“Even if a single day remains in time verily Allah will make a man from among my Ahlul Bayt rise to power and spread justice throughout the world, just as it has previously been filled with injustice” (Musnad of Ahmad and Sunan of Abu Dawūd)

Other Sunni books which mention Ahadith on the 12th Imam (af):

There are six Ahadith in Sahih Muslim and 26 in Musnad Ibn Hanbal as well as explicit mentions by Al-Tirmithi (one Hadith), Musnad Abi Dawud (two Ahadith), al-Haakim al-Nisaburi (three Ahadith), al-Albani (four Ahadith), al-Bayhaqi (five Ahadith), al-Tabarani (41 Ahadith), Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (three Ahadith), al-Dhahabi (two Ahadith)…

The Twelve Leaders have also been mentioned in Judeo-Christian Traditions[3]:

“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.”

[1] Hadith no. 6682

[2] Kitāb al-Imārā (Chapter of Government) 

[3] Genesis 17:20

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