IMAM MUHAMMAD AL-MAHDI (A.J.)
"And We desired to favour those who were weak in the land, and make them Imams (Guides) and make them heirs; and grant them power in the land..." (28:5/6)
Although the above verse is in immediate reference to the plight of Bani Israel under the rulership of Firo'un and their eventual liberation by Prophet Musa (as), it is the general policy of Allah (SWT) to eventually raise the weak people in the land to the level of leadership and empower them over others. Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) says, "The world will bend towards us after having been refractory just as the biting she-camel bends towards its young". Then the Imam (as) recited the following verse, "And We desired to favour those who were weak in the land, and make them the Imams, and make them the heirs". (28:5) Thereafter, he (as) also said, "They are the progeny of Muhammad (saww). After their hardships and difficulties, Allah (SWT) will send MAHDI from them who will bring honour to them and humiliate their enemies". (Nahjul-Balaghah)
Although some Sunni Muslims are of the opinion that Mahdi will be born in future, some very prominent Sunni scholars have written that al-Mahdi was born on the 15th of Sha'ban in the year 255, or 256, or 259 AH. His name is Muhammad and he is the only son of Hasan al-'Askary and Narjis.
Shablanji writes: Muhammad is the son of Hasan al-'Askary (as). His mother was a slave-girl by the name of Narjis or Sayqal or Sawsan. His Kunya is Abul-Qasim. The twelver Shiites know him as al-Qaim, Khalaf as-Saleh, al-Mahdi, al-Hujjah, Imam al-'Asr and al-Muntadhar. (Noor al-Absaar)
Yusuf bin Qazooghli writes about Imam Hasan al-'Askary (as): His son's name is Muhammad and his kunya is Abu 'Abdillah and Abul-Qasim. He is the proof of God's existence, the Master of the age, the Qaim and the Muntadhar. The Imamate has come to an end with him. (Tadh-kirat Khawaas al-Ummah)
We Shia'hs believe that "al-Mahdi" was not only born but also introduced by Imam Hasan al-'Askary (as) to some of his prominent followers. A person called Ya'qoob relates that one day he went to visit Imam al-'Askary (as). On the right side of the Imam (as), he saw a room with a curtain hanging on its entrance. He asked the Imam (as) as to who was the Master of the Age? The Imam (as) said, "Raise the curtain!" When he raised the curtain, a boy appeared and sat on the Imam (as)'s lap. At that time, The Imam (as) told Ya'qoob: "This is your Imam".
On the auspicious occasion of the Meelad of our 12th Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (AJ), we extend to him our heartiest greetings and felicitations and pray to Allah (SWT) to hasten in his re-appearance – ilaahi aamin.