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Physical Signs of Imam Mahdi (a.s)

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Imam Mahdi (AS) stands as a pivotal figure, heralded across centuries in prophetic traditions. His advent is eagerly awaited as a beacon of justice and peace, foretold through numerous Hadiths which elaborate on both his lineage and distinctive physical features. These narrations, drawn from the profound depths of Islamic theology, paint a vivid portrait of a leader whose appearance is as symbolic as his mission.

According to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny), Imam Mahdi is described as emanating radiance, “his face like the shining full moon,” a metaphor that underscores his divine purity and the light he is expected to bring into a world riddled with darkness and despair. Complementing this celestial imagery, Imam Ali (peace be upon him) speaks of a ‘beautiful mole on his face,’ a mark distinguishing him amidst the multitude.

Further enhancing his described visage are ‘kohl-marked eyes,’ a traditional embellishment that signifies not only his noble heritage but also the depth and intensity of his gaze. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) further assures that Imam Mahdi fits perfectly the divine role ordained for him, a testament to his destined path.

Centuries of anticipation accumulate in the insights shared by Imam Sadiq and Imam Reza (peace be upon them), emphasizing that time itself conspires to facilitate his emergence. They remark on the spiritual lineage and the collective support of the believers that will bolster his divine mandate.

As the world teeters on the brink of moral and social decay, the figure of Imam Mahdi (AS) embodies hope, promising a future replete with equity and righteousness under his wise and just leadership. The collective yearnings for his arrival are more than just a wish for redemption—they are a clarion call for the restoration of balance and harmony in the world.


Today, there is a discourse about what makes a person popular in a society. Various theories might be proposed: some believe that beauty and physical attractiveness are the keys to an individual’s popularity, others might attribute it to physical strength and power, similar to heroes, while another group considers kindness, benevolence, forgiveness, and compassion as the foundations of a person’s appeal. There are those who think that a person’s academic excellence draws others’ affection towards them, as is often seen with scholars and scientific elites; or they believe that the strength of faith, spirituality, and connection to the divine greatness are the main reasons for love and popularity, a view that is especially emphasized in religious cultures, particularly the Quran. But we, the Shiites:

Have a charmer who steals the hearts of the sincere, With a gaze that resolves the most challenging problems. If that exquisite beloved unveils her face, The radiance of his countenance captivates willing hearts. And we have an Imam who possesses both beauty and perfection, His face radiant and bright, his character profound and enlightened, Hands ever extended in service and kindness, And a faith deep and brimming with spirituality, rooted in the Almighty, both Majestic and Beautiful.

What follows is a look into some aspects of the physical beauty of Imam Mahdi (AS).

In the garden of gathering beauty and perfection, Imam Mahdi is without parallel.

Radiant Beauty

Imam Mahdi (AS), the Master of the Time, is among those rare individuals endowed with ultimate facial and bodily beauty, to the extent that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) described him saying:

المهدي طاووس اهل الجنة عليه جلابيب النور;

Mahdi is the peacock of the inhabitants of Paradise, cloaked in garments of light.”[1]

Regarding his appearance, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) stated:

المهدي من ولدي وجهه كالقمر الدري اللون لون عربي;

Mahdi from my lineage has a face shining like the full moon, and his complexion is Arab (wheatish).”[2]

Imam Ali (peace be upon him) remarked:

حسن الوجه حسن الشعر يسيل شعره على منكبيه و نور وجهه يعلو سواد لحيته;

Handsome of face, with beautiful hair flowing over his shoulders, the radiance of his face outshines the darkness of his beard.”[3]

The Beautiful Mole on the Face

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) declared:

اكحل العينين كث اللحية على خده الايمن خال;

His blessed eyes are kohl-lined, his blessed beard is thick, and on his right cheek is a mole.”[4]

And Imam Ali (peace be upon him) said:

“Mahdi has black eyes, thick hair, a face as radiant as the full moon, a broad and shining forehead, a mole [on the right cheek], and a mark [like the seal of prophethood between his shoulders].”[5]

I admire the mole that captivates hearts, and the scent of the dust under your feet. Oh purity of the purified, Mahdi, the beauty of Zahra, I speak of the purity of your heart. I am but a beggar at your beggars’ door, I admire the dignity and glory of each of your beggars.

Proportionate Stature

Another sign of his beauty is his well-proportioned body and stature. Imam Mahdi (AS) is also blessed with this grace.

Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) stated:

ليس بالطويل الشامخ و لا بالقصير اللازق بل مربوع القامة مدور الهامة واسع الصدر صلت الجبين مقرون الحاجبين على خده الايمن خال كانه فتات المسك على رضراضة العنبر;

He is not excessively tall nor distressingly short, but of medium stature, with a round head, broad chest, clear forehead, joined eyebrows, and on his right cheek is a mole as if it were a grain of musk upon a piece of amber.”[6]

Youthful Face and Unchanging Appearance

 Another aspect that enhances his appearance is that despite centuries in major occultation, when he reappears, he will look like a young man whose appearance is youthful and unaffected by the passage of time.

Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) declared:

انه من اعظم البلية ان يخرج اليهم صاحبهم شابا و هم يحسبونه شيخ كبير;

It is one of the greatest trials [from God] that their leader will appear young while they think of him as an old man.”[7]

And in another narration, he said,

“There is a sign of Prophet Yunus in the Master of the Time; he will appear young after his disappearance.”[8]

And Imam Ali al-Ridha (peace be upon him) stated:

علامته ان يكون شيخ السن شاب المنظر حتى ان الناظر اليه ليحسبه ابن اربعين سنة او دونها و ان من علامته ان لا يهرم بمرور الايام و الليالي عليه حتى يأتي اجله;

 One of his signs is that he will have the appearance of youth in old age, such that anyone who sees him will think he is forty years old or younger, and one of his signs is that he will not age with the passing of days and nights until his time comes.”[9]

Indescribable Physical Strength

A global leader, in addition to having a well-proportioned and beautiful body, must possess corresponding physical strength. Imam Mahdi (AS) is supported by divine providence, endowed with a stature and strength akin to that of Imam Ali (AS), and backed by divine power and grace which grant him the ability to manipulate creation. Imam Sadiq (AS) stated:

إنّ القائم إذا خرج كان في سنّ الشيوخ و منظر الشباب قويّاً في بدنه لو مدّ يده إلى أعظم شجرة على وجه الأرض لقلعها ولو صاح بالجبال تدكدكت صخورها لا يضع يده على عبدٍ إلا صار قلبه كزبر الحديد;

When the Qa’im appears, he will be of old age but appear youthful and will be so physically strong that if he extends his hand towards the mightiest tree on Earth, he would uproot it, and if he shouts at the mountains, their rocks would crumble. He would not lay his hand upon a servant but that their heart would become as firm as a piece of iron.”[10]

This narration clearly illustrates Imam Mahdi’s (AS) divine authority over the cosmos. Another narration extends this divine power to his gaze and eyesight. Imam Ali (AS) said about this:

يؤمي للطير فيسقط على يده و يغرس قضيبا في الأرض فيخضر و يورق;

He gazes at a bird and it falls into his hand. He plants a stick in the ground, and it turns green and sprouts leaves.”[11]

Two Other Signs

Imam Ali (AS) mentioned:

بظهره شامتان شامة على لون جلده و شامة على شبه شامة النبي صلى الله عليه و آله;

On his back are two moles, one the color of his skin and the other resembling the mole of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny).”[12]

And Imam Baqir (AS) stated:

بالقائم علامات … شامة تحت كتفه الأيسر، تحت كتفيه ورقة مثل الآس;

In the presence of Al-Qa’im there are signs… a mole [like the seal of prophethood] under his left shoulder, and under both his shoulders a mark like the leaf of a poplar tree.”[13]

Fragrant Scent

Another sign of his presence is the fragrant scent emanating from his noble being, similar to that perceived from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny). When Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, and Imam Ali (AS) entered in succession, they recognized the fragrance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny). Imam Mahdi (AS) is also the inheritor of such a person.

Imam Reza (AS) said:

و تكون رائحته أطيب من رائحة المسك;

His scent will be more fragrant than musk.”[14]

Abu Na‘im Muhammad bin Ahmad Ansari narrates from Kamil bin Ibrahim, who belonged to the Mufawwidha group: “I went to Imam Hassan al-Askari (AS) thinking no one would enter Paradise unless they shared my belief and spoke my words. After exchanging greetings and discussing some issues, I sat near a curtain that hung there. فجاءت الريح فكشفت طرفه فإذا أنا بفتى كأنه فلقة قمر من أبناء أربع سنين أو مثلها…; The wind blew and lifted the curtain, and suddenly I saw a boy as if he were a piece of the moon, about four years old or so…” He continued:

He said: “O Kamil bin Ibrahim! At his words, my body trembled, and it was inspired in me to say: ‘Labbaik, Ya Sayyidi (Yes, my Lord)!'” Then he asked: ‘Have you come to inquire from God’s proof whether anyone besides those who share your path will enter Paradise?’ I replied, ‘Yes, by Allah!’ He then said: ‘In that case, the inhabitants of Paradise will be few. By Allah! The Haqqis will not enter Paradise.’ I asked, ‘My Lord, who are the Haqqis?’ He replied: ‘Those who [think they] love Ali and swear by his right, yet they do not recognize his truth, merit, and superiority…’ Then the curtain fell back into place in such a way that I could not move it aside.

Imam Hassan al-Askari (AS) smiled at me and then said: ‘Why do you sit when the Proof of God has informed you of your heart’s desire and shown you who will be the Proof after me!’ I then left and from that day forward, I did not see him (Imam Mahdi (AS)) again.”[15]

[1] “The Era of Liberation,” Kamil Sulayman, translated by Ali Akbar Mahdipour, Afaq Publishing, third edition, 1376, Vol. 1, p. 122; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” Safi Golpaygani, p. 147; “Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah,” Vol. 3, p. 164; see also: “Mikyal al-Makarim,” Mohammad Taqi Musavi Isfahani, Imam Mahdi Foundation, 1404 AH, Vol. 1, p. 67.

[2] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 121; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 185; “Kashf al-Ghummah,” Vol. 3, p. 259; “Mikyal al-Makarim,” p. 67.

[3] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Mohammad Baqir Majlisi, Dar Ihya al-Turath, Vol. 51, p. 36; “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 123.

[4] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 122; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 166.

[5] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 122; “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 52, p. 51; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 186.

[6] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 51, pp. 3 and 19; “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 128.

[7] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 126; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 258.

[8] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 52, p. 287; “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 126; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 285.

[9] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 52, pp. 285 and 322; “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 129.

[10] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 127; “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 52, p. 322; “Muntakhab al-Athar,” p. 221.

[11] “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 123.

[12] Ibid., p. 124; “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 51, p. 35; “Mikyal al-Makarim,” p. 67.

[13] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 51, p. 41; “The Era of Liberation,” Vol. 1, p. 126.

[14] “Bihar al-Anwar,” Vol. 25, p. 116.

[15] “Mikyal al-Makarim,” Vol. 1, p. 68.

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