Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad his family and companions.
Excerpt from Ibn Arabi’s Al Futuhat Al Makkyya (Meccan Revelation):
Inspired Knowledge and Divine Governance: The Mahdi’s “Helpers”
Al Futuhat Al Makkiyya: Chapter 366: Concerning Inner Knowledge of the Stage of the Helpers of the Mahdi (Who is to) Appear at the End of Times:
…Know–may God support us!–that God has a viceregent (khalifa) who will come forth when the earth has become filled with injustice and oppression, and will then fill it with justice and equity. Even if there were only one day left for this world, God would lengthen it so that he (i.e., the Mahdi) could rule.
…He will wipe out injustice and its people and uphold Religion (al-Din), and he will breathe the spirit back into Islam. He will reinvigorate Islam after its degradation and bring it back to life after its death
He will levy the poll-tax and call (mankind) to God with the sword, so that whoever refuses will be killed(Example:*Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)), and whoever opposes him will be forsaken. He will manifest Religion as it (really) is in Itself, the Religion by which the Messenger of God would judge and rule if he were there. He will eliminate the different schools (of religious law) so that only the Pure Religion (Kor. 39:3) remains,and his enemies will be those who follow blindly the ‘ulama’, the people of ijtihad,
because they will see the Mahdi judging differently from the way followed by their imams (i.e., the historical founders of the schools of Islamic law). So they will only accept the Mahdi’s authority grudgingly and against their will, because of their fear of his sword and his strength and because they covet (the power and wealth) that he possesses. But the common people of the Muslims and the greater part of the elite among them will rejoice in him, while the
true Knowers of God among the People of the (spiritual) Realities will pledge allegiance to him because of God’s directly informing them (of the Mahdi’s true nature and mission), through (inner) unveiling and immediate witnessing.
He will have divine men upholding his call (to the true Religion) and aiding him in his victory; they are the Helpers (wuzara’). They will bear the burdens of (his) government
and help him to carry out all the details of (the duty) God has imposed on him. […10] God will appoint as his ministers a group (of spiritual men) whom He has kept hidden for him in the secret recesses of His Unseen (i.e., the spiritual world). God has
acquainted (these Helpers), through unveiling and immediate witnessing, with the (divine) realities and the contents of God’s Command concerning His servants. So the Mahdi makes his decisions and judgments on the basis of consultation with them, since
they are the true Knowers who really know what is There (in the divine Reality). As for the Mahdi himself, he has a sword (in the service of the) Truth and a (divinely inspired) political policy (siyasa), (since) he knows from God the exact extent of what is required
by his rank and station; for he is a rightly guided Viceregent (of God), one who understands the language of animals, whose justice extends to both men and jinn. Among the secrets of the knowledge of the Mahdi’s Helpers whom God has appointed as ministers for him is His saying: “The victorious support of the men of faith is obligatory for Us” (Kor. 30:47), for they follow in the footsteps of those men among the the Companions (of the Prophet) who sincerely fulfilled what they had pledged to God. These Helpers are from the non-Arab peoples; none of them is Arab, although they speak only Arabic. And they have a guardian, not of their kind, who never disobeys God
at all; he is the most elect of the Helpers and the most excellent of (the Mahdi’s) Trusted Ones.
Now in this verse (30:47)–which the Helpers take as their constant prayer (by day) and their inseparable companion at night–God has given them the most excellent knowledge of true sincerity (sidq), as their inner state and direct experience. So they know that true
sincerity is God’s sword on earth: God always gives His victorious support (nasr) to whoever stands up for someone (in the divine cause) while being distinguished by this true sincerity….truly sincere of the people of his time. So his Helpers are the guides (al-hudat), while he is the rightly-guided one (al-mahdi). And this is the extent of what the Mahdi attains of the knowledge of God, with the aid of his Helpers. But as for the Seal of Muhammadan Sainthood, of all the creatures he is the one who knows God best: there is no one in his own time nor after his time who better knows God and the details of His Judgment (mawaqi’ al-hukm minhu). For he and the Qur’an are brothers, just as the Mahdi and the sword are brothers. You should know that I am uncertain about the length of this Mahdi’s rule, because as far as this world is concerned I have not sought God’s verification of that, nor have I asked Him to specify that or any other temporal happening among the engendered.
Now I do know what (spiritual qualities) are needed by the Mahdi’s Helper. So if there is only one Helper, then everything he needs is united in that one person, and if they are more than one, then there are not more than nine of them, since that was the limit of the uncertainty the Messenger of God expressed in his saying concerning the rule of the Mahdi, that it was “for five, seven or nine years.”22 And the totality of what he needs to have performed for him by his Helpers are nine things; there is not a tenth, nor can they be any fewer….
As for those things where he sees that (God) will not (ordinarily) respond to his prayer, he prays to Him, without any special pleading, to carry out (for him) the divine Argument (hujja) in this special case.since the Mahdi is God’s Argument for the people of his
time, and that (i.e., his function as hujja) is part of the rank of the prophets and participates in that rank. God said: “[Say: ‘This is my path:] I pray to God with inward vision, I and whoever follows me’” (Kor. 12:108). (God) reported that (to us) through His Prophet, and the Mahdi is among “those who follow him,” because the
Prophet does not err in his praying to God, nor does the person who follows him,since he follows the trace of (the Prophet’s) footsteps. And that is what appears in the (hadith) report describing the Mahdi, that the prophet said: “He follows in the trace of my footsteps, and he does not err.” This is the (inner state of) immunity from error (‘isma) in praying to God, and it is attained by many of the saints, or indeed by all of them.Among the attributes of this “penetrating vision” are that the person possessing it sees the luminous and fiery spirits (i.e., the angels and the jinn) without those spirits themselves
wanting to appear or take on a form (for that person)….
As for “mercy in anger,” that is only in the divinely prescribed penalties (al-hudud al-mashru’a) and punishment, since in everything else (i.e., in merely human affairs) there is anger without any mercy at all…. For if a human being gets angry of his own accord, his anger does not contain mercy in any respect; but if he becomes angry for God’s sake (i.e., in fulfilling the divine commandments), then his anger is God’s Anger–and God’s Anger is never free from being mixed with divine Mercy. …Because (God’s) Mercy, since it preceded (His) Anger, entirely covers all engendered being and extends to every thing (Kor. 7:156)….Therefore this Mahdi does not become angry except for God’s sake, so that his anger does not go beyond (what is required in) upholding God’s limits48 that He has prescribed; this is just the opposite of the (ordinary) person who becomes angry because of his own desires or (something happening) contrary to his own personal aims. And likewise the person who becomes angry (only) for God’s sake can only be just and equitable, not tyrannical and unjust.
Now a sign of whoever (rightfully) lays claim to this spiritual station is that if he becomes angry for God’s sake while acting in judgment and upholding the (divinely prescribed) penalty against the person with whom he is angry, then his anger disappears once he has finished fulfilling (that religious duty)–(to the extent that) sometimes he may even go up to the (condemned) person and embrace him and be friendly with him, saying to him “Praise be to God Who has purified you!” and openly showing his happiness and pleasure
with him. And sometimes (the condemned man) also becomes friendly with (his judge) after that, for this (inner fulfillment and realization of the divine commands) is God’s Scale (of Justice), and all of (God’s) Mercy comes back to that condemned man..
So you must know that God has not appointed anyone but the judge to carry out the penalty against (the guilty person). Therefore no one (else) should be angry with the person who transgresses God’s limits, since that (i.e., the responsibility of anger in imposing the divine penalties) only belongs to the judges in particular, and to God’s Messenger insofar as he is a judge. For if (the Messenger) were only communicating (the divine Message)52 and not judging, then he would not carry out the (divine) Anger against those who reject his call. That matter (i.e., their response, insofar as he is simply a Messenger) does not involve him at all, and he is not responsible for their being rightly guided (Kor. 2:272).
As for those of them who cunningly hide themselves in (the guise of) Religion (al-din)–those who hunch their shoulders and look at people furtively, with a pretense of humility; who move their lips as though in dhikr,so that the person looking at them will
know they are performing dhikr; who speak obscurely and in an affected manner–they are dominated by the weaknesses of the carnal soul and “their hearts are the hearts of wolves,” (so that) God does not [speak to them nor] look at them (Kor. 3:77-78).
This is the condition of those among them who make a show of religion–not those who are the companions of Satan (cf. Kor. 4:38; 43:36). These (outwardly pious hypocrites) “dressed up for the people in the skins of gentle sheep”: (they are) brothers outwardly and enemies inwardly and secretly. But God will examine them and take them by their forelocks (cf. Kor. 55:41; 96:15-16) to that (level of Hell) which contains their happiness.
Thus when the Mahdi comes forth (to establish justice in the world) he has no open enemy (Kor. 2:188; etc.) except for the jurists in particular. For then they will no longer have any power of domination and will not be distinguished from the mass of common people, and they will only keep a slight knowledge of (the divine) commandment, since the differences concerning the commandments will be eliminated in this world because of the existence of this Imam.
However, if the Mahdi did not have the sword (of worldly authority) in his hand, then the jurists would all deliver legal opinions (demanding) that he be killed. But instead (as stated in the hadith) “God will bring him forth with the sword and noble character,” and
they will be greedy (for his support) and fearful, so that they will (outwardly) accept his judgment without having any faith in it; indeed they will grudgingly conceal their disagreement, just as do (the two legal schools of) the Hanafites and Shafiites concerning those matters where they disagree. For in fact it has been reported to us that the followers of these two schools in the lands of the non-Arabs are constantly fighting one another and that a great many people of both groups have died–that (they go to such extremes that) they even break the fast during the month of Ramadan in order to be stronger for their battles. So people like this, if the Imam-Mahdi did not conquer with the sword, would not pay any attention to him and would not obey him (even) in their outward actions, just as they
do not obey him in their hearts. In fact what they (really) believe about him if he makes a judgment involving them that is contrary to their school is that he has gone astray with regard to that judgment, because they believe that the period of the people of ijtihad has ended (long ago), that there remains no mujtahid in the world and that after the death of their (founding) imams God has not brought anyone into existence in the world with the rank of ijtihad
And as for the person who claims to be divinely informed about the judgments prescribed by the Shar’, for (these jurists) such a person is a madman whose imagination has gone wild, and they would pay no attention to him. But if such a person happens to possess wealth and worldly power (sultan), then they will submit to him outwardly because of their coveting his wealth and their fear of his power, although inwardly they have no faith in him at all