The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

The Black Banners

What is the history of the Black Banners of the East?

In the Name of Allah the Abundantly Merciful, the Intensely Merciful

All Praises Due to Allah Lord of the Worlds 

O Allah, send Your Peace and Prayers upon Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad, the Imams and the Mahdis

After the appearance of the Hujjah Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan Al-Askari (pbuhahf) on Friday the 23rd of January 2015, the day the cursed King Abdullah of Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) perished, the blessed Black Banners of the East were raised on the 19th of March 2015.

The Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) said: “Hijaz will be ruled by a man whose name is the name of an animal, if you see him from far, you would think he’s crossed-eyed, and if you come close to him, you do not see anything (wrong) in his eyes. He will be succeeded by a brother of his, named Abdullah. Woe to our Shia (followers) from him!” – He repeated it three times – “Give me the glad tidings of his death and I give you the glad tidings of the appearance of the Hujjah (Imam Mahdi).” 

– 250 Signs, Muhammad Ali Tabatabaei, p.121, no. 88 (online book)

This is what the twelve men, led by Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (fhip), have verified. They met Imam Mahdi Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan Al-Askari (pbuhahf) in a place fortified by God on the same day Abdullah the ruler of Hijaz perished, as was mentioned above.

Abi Abdillah (meaning Imam Al-Sadiq pbuh) prophesied their meeting and said:

“The Qa’im does not rise until 12 men emerge, all of them gather upon the saying that they have seen him, but they are belied.” 

– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.285, hadith 58 (Online book: p.283) 

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.52, p.244, hadith 121

The Black Banner is the banner of the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) which Gabriel (pbuh) descended with on the day of Badr. The Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) raised it on the day of Badr and handed it over after the Battle of Badr to Imam Ali, the Prince of the Believers (pbuh), who in turn raised it on the day of Basra (the Battle of the Camel). This blessed banner was then preserved for the Qa’im (pbuh) for the day of his holy and blessed rise.

Abi Baseer narrated that Aba Abdillah (pbuh) said in a long hadith about the Qa’im of the Family of Muhammad (pbuhahf):

“Then he will shake the banner and will walk by it, so there will remain no one in the East or the West except that they will curse it, and it is the banner of the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf), Gabriel descended with it on the day of Badr. Then he said: “O Abu Muhammad, by Allah it is not cotton nor silk nor linen. So I said: “So what is it from?” So he said: “From the paper of paradise, the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) spread it on the day of Badr, then he wrapped it and pushed it to Ali (pbuh). So it remained with Ali (pbuh) until the day of Basra came, so the Commander of the Believers (pbuh) spread it so Allah opened for him (made him victorious). Then he wrapped it, and it is with us there. No one will spread it until the Qa’im rises, so if he rises he will spread it, and no one in the East or the West will remain except that they will curse it.”

– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.320, hadith 2 (Online book: p.318)

Abi Baseer narrated that Aba Abdillah (pbuh) said:  

“When the Prince of the Believers (pbuh) fought the people of Basra (i.e. in the Battle of the Camel), he spread the banner, the banner of the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf), so their feet were shaken and by noon they said: “We believe, O son of Abi Talib…” [until he said] “So when it was the day of Siffeen (the Battle of Siffeen) they asked him to spread the banner but he refused. So they beseeched him through Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain (pbut) and Ammar ibn Yasir. So he (meaning Ali pbuh) said to Al-Hassan: “My son, the people have to reach a specific time, and verily this banner will not be spread after me except by the Qa’im (pbuh).”

– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.319, hadith 1 (Online book: p.317)

So the texts confirm that the banner of the Qa’im (pbuh) is the banner of the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf). It was raised only twice before, once by the Prophet (pbuhahf) and another time by Imam Ali (pbuh). The banner was then preserved for the holy rise of the Qa’im (pbuh) who will raise it and fill the earth with justice and equity, just as it has been filled with injustice and tyranny.

As to why these banners were called “The Black Banners of the East”, it is because they will come from the East of the earth.

Thawban narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) said:

“The black banners come from the East, as if their hearts are pieces of iron, so whoever hears about them, go to them and give allegiance to them, even if crawling on ice!”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.51, p.84, hadith 33

Ahlulbayt Fe Al-Kitab Wal Sunna, Muhammad Al-Rishhary, 2nd ed., p.498, hadith 1200

From Thawban that the prophet of Allah (pbuhahf) said: 

“Three will fight at your treasure, all of them are the sons of a caliph, then it will not be to anyone of them, then the black banners will rise from the east, and they will fight a fight that no nation has fought before”. Then he mentioned something and said: “If you see him, pledge allegiance to him even if crawling on ice, verily he is the Caliph of Allah the Mahdi”.

– Al-Mostadrak A’ala Al-Saheehayn, Abi Abdillah Muhammad Al-Hakim Al-Naysabory, v.4, p.510, hadith 8432 (Online book: p. 464)

– Kanz Al-Ummal, Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, v.14, p.263, hadith 38658.

– Sunan Ibn Maja, Muhammad ibn Yazeed Al-Qozweeny, v.2, p.1367, hadith 4084

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) said:

“While we were with the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf), some youth from Banu Hashim approached. When the Prophet (pbuhahf) saw them, his eyes filled with tears and his colour changed. I said: ‘We still see something in your face that we do not like (to see).’ He said: ‘We are members of a Household for whom Allah has chosen the Hereafter over the dunya (this world) and verily, my Ahlulbayt will face calamity, expulsion and exile after me, until a group of people will come from the East and with them are the black banners. They will ask for the truth/right but will not be given it, so they will fight and will be victorious. Then they are given what they have asked but they do not accept it, until they push it to a man from my Ahlulbayt so he fills it with justice and equity just as they filled it with oppression. Whoever lives to see that, let him go to them even if crawling over ice”.

– Sunan Ibn Maja, Muhammad ibn Yazeed Al-Qazweeny, v.2, p.1366, hadith 4082 

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.51, p.82-83, hadith 27

During the rise of the Qa’im (pbuh), the blessed Black Banners of the East will emerge from a land which the Ahlulbayt (pbut) called “Khurasan”.

From Jaber that Aba Ja’far (meaning Imam Al-Baqir pbuh) said:

“A youth from Bani Hashem, with a mark in his right palm, emerges from Khurasan with Black Banners, in front of him is Shuaib ibn Saleh fighting the companions of the Sufyani and defeating them”. 

– Al-Malahim wal Fitan, Ibn Tawoos, 1st ed., p.120, hadith 115  (Online book: p.117)

The Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) said: 

“Black banners will come out of Khurasan, nothing will return them until they are set up in ‘Ailiya’, meaning Bait Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)”.

– Kitab Al-Fitan, Na’eem ibn Hamad Al-Marouzi, 1st ed., p.213, hadith 584  (Online book: p.122)

From Jaber that Aba Ja’far (pbuh) said:

“The black banners that come out of Khurasan reach Al-Kufa, and when the Mahdi appears in Mecca, he sends him the pledge of allegiance”. 

– Kitab Al-Fitan, Na’eem ibn Hamad Al-Marouzi, 1st ed., p.314, hadith 909  (Online book: p.190)

From Dawood Al-Dajaji that Aba Ja’far (pbuh) said:

“The Prince of the Believers (pbuh) was asked about the saying of Allah {Then the factions differed among themselves} (Holy Quran, Maryam verse 37), so he said: 

‘Wait for the relief from three matters’. So it was said: ‘O Prince of the Believers, what are they?’  

He said: ‘Disputes amongst the people of Sham, the Black Banners from Khurasan and the panic (referring to the shout or ‘Sayha’) in the month of Ramadan’ …” 

– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.260, hadith 8 (Online book: p.258)

How can we recognize those Black Banners appearing from the East, from Khurasan?

Al Asbagh ibn Nabata narrated that the Prince of the Believers (pbuh) said in a long narration:

“Banners will approach from the East of the Earth with no signs, they are not cotton, nor linen, nor silk. They are sealed on the head of the spear by the seal of the Greater Sayyed (Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf), led by a man from the Family of Muhammad (pbuhahf), they will appear in the East and their scent will be present in the West like strong musk. Horror will be in front of them for a month until they reach Al-Kufa, demanding the blood of their fathers. While they are at that, the horses of the Yamani and Khurasani appear racing, like two horses on a bet. Dusty, sandy faces, condemnable people, if you see them they would say: “There is no goodness in us sitting after today, O Allah we are the repenters” (Holy Quran, Al-Baqara verse 222), and they are the Abdaal that Allah described in His book “Allah loves the repenters and those who purify themselves” and their likes from the Family of Muhammad…” 

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.52, p.274, hadith 167

From Musaada ibn Sadaka, from Aba Abdillah (pbuh) that the Prince of the Believers (pbuh) said in his sermon called ‘Al-Makhzoon’:

“Banners will approach from the East of the Earth, they are not cotton, nor linen, nor silk. They are sealed on the head of the spear by the seal of the Greater Sayyed (Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf), led by a man from the Family of Muhammad (pbuhahf), they will appear in the East and their scent will be present in the West like strong musk. Horror will be in front of them for a month, and the sons of Saad will succeed the ‘water carriers’ of Kufa demanding the blood of their fathers, and they are the sons of the immoral ones. Until the horses of Al-Hussain (pbuh) attack them, racing like two horses on a bet. Dusty, sandy faces, people of grief and joy. They would stomp their feet crying and saying: “There is no goodness in us sitting after today, O Allah, we are the repenters, the submissive, the bowing and prostrating ones”, and they are the Abdaal whom Allah described in His Book “Allah loves the repenters and those who purify themselves” and the purified ones are their likes from the Family of Muhammad…”  

– Mukhtasar Basa’er Al-Darajat, Al-Hassan Al-Helli, 1st ed., p.200

These narrations also clarify that the horses of the Yamani are the horses of AlHussain (pbuh), meaning that the Yamani is Imam AlHussain (pbuh) in his return. He is the first one whom the earth splits open for and returns back during the age of the appearance of Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuh), as his Messenger and successor.

To find out who is the ‘Greater Sayyed’ (Master) mentioned in the above narrations, let’s take a look at the following:

“O Allah, send Your blessings upon Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad. And send blessings upon Muhammad, his grandfather and Your Messenger; the Greater Sayyed, and upon his father, the Younger Sayyed, and upon his grandmother, the grand veracious lady, Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad, and upon whom You have chosen of his righteous fathers, and upon him with the most favorable, most perfect, most complete, most permanent, most abundant, and most plentiful blessings that You have ever sent upon any of Your elite ones and best chosen ones among Your creation …”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.99, p.109

Thus, the ‘Greater Sayyed’ is the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf). So when it was mentioned in the previous narrations that the banner of Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuhahf) is sealed at the top by the seal of the Greater Sayyed, it means with the words “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”.

It is also written on this black banner ‘Allegiance is to Allah’, which distinguishes it from the rest of the banners.

Abi Is-haq narrated that Noaf Al-Bukali said: “It is written on the banner of the Mahdi ‘Allegiance is to Allah’.”

– Al-Malahim wal Fitan, Ibn Tawoos, 1st ed., p.144, hadith 171  (Online book: p.141)

– Kitab Al-Fitan, Na’eem ibn Hamad Al-Marouzi, 1st ed., p.356, hadith 1026  (Online book: p.220)

It was narrated from the Ahlulbayt (pbut): 

“Verily, we Ahlulbayt have a banner, whoever goes ahead of it has renegaded, and whoever is late to it has perished, and whoever follows it has followed [us], it is written on it: ‘Allegiance is to Allah!’”

– 250 Signs, Mohammad Ali Tabatabaei, 1st ed., p.19

Allegiance is to Allah’ conveys that any allegiance to other than God, the High, the Exalted, would be an allegiance of disbelief and hypocrisy, and that rulership belongs to God alone. Whoever pledges allegiance to Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuh), pledges allegiance to Allah, because he is His appointed vicegerent on earth, and His hand and the door through which He is approached.

So the banner of Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuhahf) is distinguished by the slogan of ‘Allegiance is to Allah’ which refers to the supremacy of Allah on earth after the entire Ummah has abandoned the rule of God on earth and turned to the rule of people, and that is why this banner will be cursed by the people in the East and the West.

Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: 

“Then he will shake the banner and will walk by it, so there will remain no one in the East or the West except that they will curse it, and it is the banner of the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf), Gabriel descended with it on the day of Badr …. [until he said] No one will spread it until the Qa’im rises, so if he rises he will spread it, and no one in the East or the West will remain except that they will curse it.”

– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.320, hadith 2 (Online book: p.318)

The Ahlulbayt (pbut) warned their Shia, in several narrations, not to desert this banner. Rather, they are to hold on to it and not go ahead of it, nor fall behind it.

In the book of Sulaym ibn Qais Al Hilali: Aban narrated that the Prince of the Believers ascended the Minbar and gave a long speech and said:

“Verily me, and the pious of my family and the best of my progeny, are the most gentle when young and the most knowledgeable of adults. We have the banner of truth and guidance, whoever goes ahead of it perishes, and whoever deserts it is destroyed, and whoever holds on to it, has followed [us].”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.34, p.262, hadith 1006

The Prince of the Believers (pbuh) said in a long hadith:

“We have the banner of truth, whoever takes shade in it is protected by it, and whoever races to it, wins, and whoever falls behind it, perishes, and whoever leaves it, falls, and whoever holds on to it, is saved.”

– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.10, p.111, hadith 1006

It is evident from the above narrations that this banner is a banner of infallibility, that is only raised by its companion. Meaning, it is impossible to be claimed by a liar, otherwise it would be a banner of misguidance and would not be described by the Ahlulbayt (pbut) as a banner of truth and guidance.

In addition, the Ahlulbayt (pbut) commanded us to hold on to it and not to go ahead of it, nor fall behind it. This means that if it is raised, then without a doubt it is the true banner, the banner of Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuhahf), and its infallibility is from the infallibility of its companion.

Abi Al-Tufail narrated that the Prince of the Believers said to him:

“O Amer, if you hear the black banners coming from Khurasan and you were in a box locked up, then break that lock and that box, in order to be killed underneath them! And if you couldn’t, then roll until you get killed underneath them.”

– Kanz Al-Ummal, Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, v.11, p.278, hadith 31514.

And here we, the soldiers of God and the companions of the blessed Black Banners of the East, are calling you to give victory to the truth that is present in Imam Al-Mahdi (pbuhahf) and to join his blessed banner. 

God has answered you and Imam Al-Mahdi, Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan Al-Askari (pbuhahf), has appeared and his occultation has ended. 

Will you respond to God and His Messenger (pbuhahf)?

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