Prophets possess the attribute of being instrumental in people’s guidance. They lead them to guidance through the miracles and marvels bestowed on them by Allah and their spiritual depth and states revealing the strength of their faith. Like the prophets, the mujaddids and mujtahids who have lived during the course of history have also possessed the attribute of leading people to guidance. One such individual is Bediüzzaman Said Nursi. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will possess the same spiritual state and qualities. The name "Hazrat Mahdi" means "he who leads to guidance.” Allah's title of "Hadi," meaning "He Who bestows guidance, He Who leads to the true path," will be powerfully manifested in Hazrat Mahdi (as). Hazrat Mahdi (as) will embody the fertility of Allah’s title of “Hadi,” or “He Who leads to guidance,” and it is revealed in the hadiths that he will lead all people to guidance in the End Times in which we are living:
Hazrat Mahdi (as) WILL TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH A TORCH OF GUIDANCE AND WILL LIVE LIKE THE CHASTE. (Al-Mahdi al-Maw'ud, Vol. 1, pp. 281-282 and 266 and 300)
After reading all his famous poems when he was with Imam Reza (as), Di’bal said:
“Hazrat Mahdi (as) will definitely appear: He will appear with Allah’s name and bounty. [In other words, the coming of the imam is certain.] He will come with Allah’s name and bounty. (Yanabee’-al-Mawadda, Vol. 2, p. 197)
HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL COME AFTER LOVE OF ALLAH BECOMES LOVE OF LOWER SELVES, AND HE WILL TURN LOVE OF LOWER SELVES INTO LOVE OF ALLAH; HAZRAT MAHDI (AS) WILL COME AFTER THE QUR’AN HAS BEEN FORCED TO MATCH OPINIONS AND IDEAS, AND WILL MAKE OPINIONS AND IDEAS TO MATCH THE QUR’AN.... (Nahj al-Balaghah, Fayz al-Islam edition, pp. 424, 425)
A great many scholars and teachers in the End Times will adopt an attitude aimed at maintaining people’s existing situations. Some will like only their own ideas and opinions and adopt a language that merely criticized Muslims and does nothing to show them the truth. But Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not preserve people’s existing situations; he will be instrumental in their guidance. Allah will manifest His title of Hadi in him in the most intense form and make him His instrument in even Darwinists, atheists, materialists and the irreligious coming to believe.
Bediuzzaman also described this superior aspect of Hazrat Mahdi (as) and listed one by the one the qualities that he will possess. He referred to him as both a ruler, the Mahdi, a saintly figure, a mujaddid and a qutb-al azam, and discussed his knowledge and spiritual strength. He said that Hazrat Mahdi (as) would embody each of these attributes in the most perfect manner. Hazrat Mahdi (as) will discharge his duties as ruler, the Mahdi, being instrumental in people’s guidance, being a saintly figure and a mujtahid separately and one by one:
Since His custom has proceeded in this way, certainly, at the time of the greatest corruption at the end of time, He will send a mujtahid, a mujaddid [reviver], and a judge, and ruler, and a Mahdi, and a guide to the true path, and a Qutb al-Azam [a great saint to whom Muslims adhere], and A RADIANT INDIVIDUAL, and THAT PERSON will be from the Family of the Prophet (saas). Almighty Allah, Who fills and empties the world between the heavens and earth with clouds, and in an instant stills the storms of the sea, and in an hour in spring creates samples of the summer and in an hour in summer creates a winter storm, such an ALL-POWERFUL ONE OF GLORY CAN ALSO SCATTER THE DARKNESS OF THE WORLD OF ISLAM BY MEANS OF HAZRAT MAHDI (AS). HE HAS PROMISED THIS, AND CERTAINLY HE WILL CARRY OUT HIS PROMISE (Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Letters / Twenty-Ninth Letter - Seventh Section, p. 514-515)
In the above extract Bediuzzaman says that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will "scatter the darkness of the world of Islam.” By that he refers to Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) struggle against the antichrist and that he will inevitably emerge victorious from it. The struggle against the system of the antichrist will be one of Hazrat Mahdi (as) most important characteristics. The great majority of Islamic scholars and teachers in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will lack that quality. The majority of these people will be unable to identify the system of the Mahdi or to campaign against it. The main general distinguishing feature of most scholars and teachers other than Hazrat Mahdi is that they merely assume the task of describing the religion in he End Times but are not involved in the struggle. But Hazrat Mahdi (as) will accurately identify the system of the Mahdi and, as a result of his great intellectual struggle, will literally neutralize the antichrist and be instrumental in people’s attaining guidance.
One of the distinguishing features of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is his determination. This will immediately become apparent through the hardships he undergoes, his imprisonment and his campaign against the system of the antichrist.The hadiths describe how Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be subjected to the same slanders as the prophets and, like them, will be subjected to accusations of madness, seeking his own advantage and sexual impropriety:
In Abu Said Al-Khudri's account, the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: When the antichrist appears, a man [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] from among the believers will oppose him. MANY PEOPLE CARRYING ARMS, PEOPLE BEARING ARMS IN THE CENTERS OF SURVEILLANCE OF THE ANTICHRIST, WILL MOVE AGAINST THAT BELIEVER. (Ibrahim Suleymanoglu, Mehdilik ve Imamiye [The System of the Mahdi and Imamate], 37; Sahih Muslim, 11/393)
Imam Zayn al-Abidin said: "THERE WILL BE MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OUR QAIM [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] AND THE MESSENGERS OF ALLAH. HE FULLY MATCHES EACH ONE OF THE PROPHETS NOAH (AS), ABRAHAM (AS), MOSES (AS), JESUS (AS), JOB (AS) AND MUHAMMAD (SAAS). He resembles the Prophet Noah (as) in being long-lived; the Prophet Abraham (as) in the secrecy of his birth and his keeping away from people; the Prophet Moses (as) in his state of fear [intensity of the dangers facing Hazrat Mahdi (as) and his facing such threats as being killed, traps, arrest, detention and exile] and his living in constant hiding; the Prophet Jesus (as) in people falling into dispute regarding him [as some people say, ‘Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come’ and others say, ‘He will not come.’]; the Prophet Job (as) in finally being saved after tribulations [Hazrat Mahdi (as) will suffer many difficulties, sickness and woes but, like the Prophet Job (as), he will escape them all through Allah’s mercy] and the Prophet Muhammad (saas) in appearing with a sword [Hazrat Mahdi possessing the sacred relics of our Prophet’s (saas) holy standard, sword and shirt].” (Sheikh al-Saduq, Kamal al-Din, p. 322, 31st ch., 3rd hadith)
... We are such a household that, for us, Allah preferred the Hereafter over this world. After me, my Ahl al-Bayt will surely be subjected to trouble, abduction and banishment. After me, my Ahl al-Bayt will meet trouble and torment, and be subjected to expulsion. (Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman, p. 14)
From Abdurrahman ibn Salid; Imam Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib narrated “... IT IS HE [HAZRAT MAHDI (AS)] WHO WILL APPEAR WITH THE TRUTH. ALLAH WILL BRING THE EARTH BACK TO LIFE, BY MEANS OF HIM, AFTER IT HAS DIED, AND ALLAH WILL MAKE HIS RELIGION VICTORIOUS OVER ALL OTHER RELIGIONS, WHETHER THE IDOLATERS WISH IT OR NOT... THEY WILL BE OPPRESSED AND TOLD, “IF YOU ARE TELLING THE TRUTH, WHEN WILL THIS PROMISE BE MADE GOOD?” Know that, DISPLAYING FORTITUDE IN THE FACE OF OPPRESSION AND WOES DURING HIS OCCULTATION IS LIKE STRUGGLING WITH THE SWORD (KNOWLEDGE) ALONGSIDE THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH (SAAS).” (Ibn Qutaybah, Uyun al-akhbar, vol. 1, p. 68)