Yemen and its role at the Time of Appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)

Source: Chapter 7 from the famous book 'Asre Zahoor' [The Time of appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)] written by famous Lebanese scholar Allama Ali al-Korani which was first published in 1984
Yemen and its role at the Time of Appearance
Many narratives from Ahlul Bayt (A.S.)[The Family members of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)] have been reported about the Islamic revolution in Yemen and preparation of Yemeni Muslims for the appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.). Some of narratives are from authentic Islamic sources that emphasize the occurrence of this Islamic revolution in Yemen and describe it as a guiding flag, aiming to prepare for the Imam Mahdi's uprising. [1] Even some of the traditions consider the Islamic Revolution of Yemen as the most imminent and absolute guiding flag before appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and emphasize helping this Islamic movement in Yemen more than helping the flags that will rise in favour of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the east from Khurasan (Iran). These authentic Islamic narratives also mention the time of its occurrence in the month of Rajab concurrent with emergence of Sufyani in Syria which will be few months before the appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and mention Sanaa as the capital city of this Islamic movement in Yemen.

However, the name of its leader according to these narratives is ‘Yemeni’ and other narratives mention ‘Hasan’ or ‘Hussein’ and that he be from the progeny of Zayd, son of Imam Ali ibn Husain (A.S.).
Now the most important narratives about the Yemeni revolution:
From Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (A.S.), it has been narrated that he said:
قبل قيام القائم خمس علامات محتومات: اليماني ، والسفياني ، والصيحة ، وقتل النفس الزكية ، والخسف بالبيداء.
"Before the uprising of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) there will be five certain signs: Yemeni, Sufyani, the call from the sky, murder of Nafs Zakiyyah, a pure soul (a pious personality), and the rift in the desert". [2]*
And Imam Jafar al-Sadiq also said:
خروج السفياني واليماني والخراساني في سنة واحدة ، في شهر واحد ، في يوم واحد ، نظام كنظام الخرز يتبع بعضه بعضاً ، فيكون البأس من كل وجه ، ويل لمن ناواهم. وليس في الرايات راية أهدى من راية اليماني ، هي راية حق لأنه يدعو إلى صاحبكم ، فإذا خرج اليماني حرم بيع السلاح على الناس ، وإذا خرج اليماني فانهض إليه فإن رايته راية هدى ، ولا يحل لمسلم أن يلتوي عليه ، فمن فعل ذلك فهو من أهل النار ، لأنه يدعو إلى الحق وإلى طريق مستقيم.
“Emergence of Sufyani and Yemeni and Khurasani in one year, and one month and one day and they are consecutive like beads falling from string. Difficulty, hardship and distress will come from every side, Oh! On someone who disagrees and has enmity with them, among all flags, there is no flags like Yemeni flag for guidance, because this is the flag of just and truth and invites you to your leader Imam Mahdi (A.S.). When Yemeni uprises, selling arms and weapons will be illegal and forbidden for the people. And when he emerges, hurry towards him because his flag is the flag of guidance, and insubordination is not permitted to any Muslim and if someone does, he/she will go to hell, because he invites people to the righteous and straight path". [3]
From it is reported that Imam Reza (A.S.), when someone claimed to be Mahdi, said:
قبل هذا الأمر السفياني واليماني والمرواني وشعيب بن صالح ، فكيف يقول هذا هذا.
"Before this event, there will be Sufyani, Marwani, and Shu’ayb Ibn Saleh so how does he say this and that". [4]
Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (RA) says: أي كيف يقول هذا الذي خرج أني القائم ، يعني محمد بن إبراهيم ، أو غيره ‘That is how when Muhammad bin Ibrahim or other emerge will say I am the upriser’ and the meaning of Marwani that has been mentioned in this narrative, perhaps is ‘Abqe’ or is the one mentioned in the narratives about Khurasan and there is a mistake in the version by writers.
From Imam Sadiq (A.S.) it has been narrated that he said:
خروج الثلاثة الخراساني والسفياني واليماني في سنة واحدة في شهر واحد في يوم واحد وليس فيها راية بأهدى من راية اليماني يهدي إلى الحق.
"Emergence of these three men, Khurasani, Sufyani and Yemeni would happen in one year and one month and one day. And the flag of Yemani is the most righteous flag, because it invites to the truth". [5]
Hasham ibn Hakam has been quoted that he said:“When the ‘truth seeker’ emerged, Abu Abdullah (Imam Sadiq (A.S.)) was asked: "Do you hope this person is Yemeni? Imam (A.S.) said: لا . اليماني يتوالى علياً ، وهذا يبرأ منه “No, Yemeni is lover of Imam Ali (A.S.) and this person hates him". [6]
And in this narrative it has also been quoted thatاليماني والسفياني كفرسي رهان “Yemeni and Sufyani are like two racing horses, each tries to overtake from the other".
And in some traditions about Imam Mahdi (A.S.), it has been narrated: يخرج من اليمن من قرية يقال لها كرعة "He [Yemeni] would emerge from Yemen and from a village named Kar’ah." [7]*
It may not be unlikely that this person is the same Yemeni and his followers that will uprise from this region, because what is frequent and constant in these narratives is that Imam Mahdi (A.S.) will appear from Makkah and holy Masjid al-Haram located in Hejaz.
In the book of ‘Bashara al-Islam’ it has been narrated that:
ثم يخرج ملك من صنعاء اسمه حسين أو حسن ، فيذهب بخروجه غمر الفتن ، يظهر مباركاً زاكياً ، فيكشف بنوره الظلماء ، ويظهر به الحق بعد الخفاء.
“Then a commander from San’aa [present capital of Yemen] called Hassan or Hussein will uprise and with his uprising all seditions will end, he will appear blessed and pure and under his light, the darkness will disappear and the truth will appear and reveal". [8]
Now let us mention few important points about the Yemeni's revolution
It’s not unusual that since those involved in supportive activities for Imam Mahdi’s (A.S.) revolution from Yemen will have major role in revolution of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) in Hijaz, their names or exact roles are not mentioned in narratives. This could be for the purpose of protection of Yemeni's Islamic revolution and as preventive measure to avoid destructive harm to it. We will soon mention in the chapter of Imam Mahdi’s revolution that the human forces (soldiers) that will revolt in Makkah and Hejaz and will establish Imam Mahdi (A.S.) army there will be mostly his supporters from Hejaz and Yemen.
1. The role of Yemenis in Iraq
According to some of the narratives in order to chase and fight with Sufyani, Yemeni will enter Iraq with his army. Yemenis and Iranian forces will enter Iraq to face Sufyani and from these narratives we can interpret that the Yemanis troops will have supportive the role under the command of Iranian forces in Iraq, because apparently the side which will be involved with Sufyani are the Orient i.e. they will companions of Khurasani army and Shu’ayb and looks like the Yemenis will go back to Yemen after helping them.
On the other hand, in addition to the Hejaz, Yemenis will play major role in the Persian Gulf region. However, the narratives have not mentioned it precisely but naturally by succession of the events at the time of appearance and considering geopolitical situation of region, the control and sovereignty of Yemen, Hejaz and Persian Gulf countries will be mainly in Yemenis forces and Imam Mahdi’s (A.S.) followers' hands.

2. Why Yemeni's flag is the more guided than the Khurasani flag?
While the flags from Khurasan and East in general described as a flags of guidance and their dead are considered martyrs and God aids and assist his religion by the army from Khurasan or although a relatively large number of Iranians will be ministers of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and also his companions, including the commander of Iranian forces named Shu’ayb Ibn Saleh whom Imam Mahdi (as) will select him as the Commander-in-Chief of his army and although the roles of Iranians for the preparation of Imam's uprising is considered broad and active and their uprising, sacrificing and their revolution is beginning of Imam's movement but why is Yemeni's revolution and their guidance flags is considered to be more important and guided than Iranians and their flags?
Maybe this is because the administrative system that the Yemenis political leadership will use to control Yemen is more accurate and simple and closer to Islam's style, so the difference between these two experiences goes back to the nature and simplicity of Yemeni society and the cultural inheritance and social makeup of the Iranian community. Perhaps the other reason that Yemeni's revolution is considered more guiding is because of their executive power is more direct and have more abiding and loyal forces that pay intense and continuous attention to the authorities.
These are the same instructions that Islam gives to its authority and personnel and employees as we can see in the Charter of Imam Ali (A.S.) that he gave to Malek al-Ashtar, his appointed governor of Egypt. [9]* And it is mentioned about the attributes of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) “He is tough on his officers and employees and kind to the poor people” while Iranian policy is not based on this principle and are not punishing their irresponsible, negligent or traitor leaders to the interests of Muslims in public as a lesson for observers. The reason is they are afraid of weakening of Islamic state that is the only living example of existence of an Islamic government.
And perhaps the flag of Yemen is more guided because for pursuing the global Islamic movement, it will not observe the prevalent international laws, protocols and treaties while the Islamic revolution of Iran is following the prevalent international laws, protocols and treaties. However, what is likely to be the main reason for Yemeni's revolution to be more rightly guided is because of its direct guidance from Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and Yemen will be the part of Imam Mahdi’s territory and lead the planning of his movement. Additionally, Yemeni himself will meet Imam Mahdi (A.S.) and directly obtain guidance from him. The proof of this matter is in the narratives about Yemeni's revolution that praises its leader, i.e., the Yemeni himself and describes him with this sentence: ”Yemeni will guide to the right path” and "calls you to your master” and that "disobeying him is not permitted for any Muslim and who does so goes to hell".
However, the narratives about Islamic revolution in Iran that consider preparation for Imam Mahdi’s (A.S.) movement mostly praise people more than their leaders as the companions of black flags or people from the Khurasan and East and group of the people from the East. However, Shu’ayb ibn Saleh is specially praised in narratives compared to the other commanders of the Black Flags army from Khurasan and after him the Seyyed Khurasani and then a man from Qom had been praised.
Based on what is mentioned above, the Yemeni's revolution will be closer in time to the appearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) than the Islamic revolution in Iran, even if we assume that the Yemeni uprises before the Sufyani or perhaps another Yemani will prepare the movement of the promised Yemeni. The Islamic revolution in Iran founded by ‘a man from Qom’[Ayatullah Khomeini] which is a beginning of Imam Mahdi’s (A.S.) movement and uprising that will "start from the Eastern region [Khurasan]” and the time interval between their revolution and between Khurasani and Shu’ayb is perhaps twenty or fifty years or what is willed by God, will happen. This will be such revolution, started and based on Ijtihad of religious scholars and their political representatives. However, does not enjoy sincerity of Yemeni revolution that will be guided directly from Imam Mahdi (A.S.).
3. Possibility of having more than one Yemeni
The other point is about the possibility of being more than one Yemeni and that the second Yemeni will be the promised one. The traditions mention his emergence at the same time with Sufyani from Syria, i.e. in the same year as of Imam Mahdi’s (A.S.) appearance. There is another authentic narrative from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) that says:
يخرج قبل السفياني مصري ويماني.
"An Egyptian and a Yemeni will uprise before the Sufyani.”[10]
According to this narrative, this person should be the first Yemeni who will prepare the way for the promised Yemeni, like "A man from Qom” [Ayatullah Khomeini] and others from the East [Khurasan] will prepare the way for both promised Khurasani and Shu’ayb.
But only this narrative determines the time of emergence of first Yemeni that is before the Sufyani. Of course may be this is a short interval of time before or very long years before him. And Allah knows best.
4. A tradition from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) about the one with blind eye
Obayd bin Zararah has narrated from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) that he said:
ذكر عند أبي عبدالله عليه السلام السفياني فقال: أنى يخرج ذلك ولم يخرج كاسر عينه بصنعاء.
"I was with Abu Abdullah (Imam Sadiq (A.S.) when the name of the Sufyani was mentioned, he said: how can he emerge while his eyes blinder has not emerged yet". [11]
This tradition is from the noteworthy narratives and comes from some most authentic book named ‘Ghaybah al-No’mani’ that could have correct reference. It is likely that this man that appears before the Sufyani and would be probably the first Yemeni who paves the base for the promised Yemeni. There can be a few more interpretations in the narrative of "his eyes blinder” and the best one is that it could be an encrypted sentence from Imam Sadiq (A.S.) and its meaning would not clear except at its own time.
Notes and References:
Yemeni in Ahadith is mentioned as Yemani
[1] Authentic tradition is the one reported by all the trustworthy narrators.
[2]* Bihar al-Anwar v. 52 p. 204.
[3] Bisharah al-Islam, p. 93.
[4] Bihar al-Anwar v. 52 p. 233.
[5] Bihar al-Anwar v. 52 p. 210.
[6] Bihar al-Anwar v. 52 p. 75.
[7]* Bihar al-Anwar v. 52 p. 380. *Kar’ah is a city in the north of Yemen.
[8] Bisharah al-Islam, p. 187.
[9]* Nahjul Balagha, letter 53. *Malik al-Ashtar was companion of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and one of the commanders of Imam Ali (A.S.). He was from Nakhaei tribe in Yemen and was appointed as the governor of Egypt by Imam Ali (A.S.). However, he was poisoned by the agents of Mu’awiya on his way to Egypt in 38 A.H. (658 AD). Imam Ali (A.S.) praised Malik al-Ashtar after his martyrdom which is reported in saying 443 of Nahjul Balagha.
[10] Bihar al-Anwar, v. 52 p. 210.
[11] Bihar al-Anwar, v. 52 p. 245.
Index of important places mentioned in Hadith
Al Kar‘ah, is a town in northwestern Yemen located in Saada province, north of the Yemeni capital San’aa. This region has complete Zaydi Shia population whose present leader is Abdul Malik Houthi. The Zaydi Shia majority and other Muslims in Yemen under the umbrella of Ansarullah Islamic movement are resisting oppression and armed aggression of the Wahabbi Zionist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for last several years. Thousands of Yemeni Muslims who are the poorest among the Arab countries have been killed and millions displaced since 2004. In 2004 a major uprising occurred in Saada by Zaydi Shias against the Wahabbi Zionist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that spread to neighbouring provinces of Hajjah, 'Amran, al-Jawfand and the Saudi province of Jizan. The Zaydi Shias in 2004 uprising defeated the invading powerful Saudi army which was fully assisted by US and NATO air force. Since last one week the air force of the Wahabbi Zionist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have once again launched a massive aggression against Yemen who are struggling to liberate themselves from the occupation of Yemen from the puppets imposed by the Wahabbi Zionist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the assistance of USA and NATO [the armed wing of Judeo-Christian Zionist alliance]