Why hasn’t Quran covered any thorough and clear point about Imam Mahdi (the savior of the last era) so that people don’t fall into the trap of fake quotations?
From Quran’s point of view, throughout the history of human life, the earth has never been empty of a deputy of God and God has chosen a suitable individual for every nation to guide men in the way of achieving the suitable perfection. As the glorious god said: “You are only a warner, and there is a guide for every people.” (Ra’d 7)
Therefore, there is always a warner and a guide in human societies who is chosen by God. Imam Sadiq (PBUH), in the interpretation of the mentioned verse, said: “In each era, there is a divine leader from our house who guides people to what the messenger of God brought. (Islam)” (Bihar al-Anwar, v 23, p 5)
It has come in quotations that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever dies not knowing the Imam of their time has died like a death in the age of ignorance.” (Kamal ul-Din, Vol. 1, p 409/ Kafi, Vol.2, p 20-21/ Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 28, p 88-89)
Now we shall see that based on the hadith of death in the age ignorant and verse 7 of Ra’d Sura who is the proof and Imam of our time? Can the Imam of our time, Imam Mahdi (PBUH) be proven ONLY through Quran that is the source of revelation and the origin of divine teachings?
At first it should be pointed out that if the meaning of ONLY Quran in the question is that we don’t need quotations to understand Quran, this will be rejected by Quran itself, because Quran says: “We have sent down the reminder to you so that you may clarify for the people that which has been sent down to them.” (Nahl 44) That is why we will utilize verses of Quran and quotations simultaneously to prove Imam Mahdi (PBUH) in Quran.
Regarding the existence of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) we can refer to two sets of verses:
A. Verses that express the necessity of the existence of a deputy of God on Earth. Proving the fact that the existence of the deputy of God on Earth is necessary in each era, it is proven that today the earth is not empty of this deputy of God and this itself is a reason for the existence of Imam Mahdi (PBUH).
B. Verses that express the final dominance of right over wrong. This set of verses express that one day right will thoroughly dominate wrong and since such a thing has never happened therefore we should await someone with whom right will dominate wrong. In many quotations from Shias and Sunnis Imam Mahdi (PBUH) has been named as the one who fills the earth with justice and removes void.
A. Verses that express the necessity of the existence of the deputy of God on earth in each era:
The first verse: [O the Prophet] You are only a warner, and there is a guide for every people. (Ra’d 7)
Based on this verse of Quran, there should always be a guide for every nation to come. In Shia and Sunni quotations, Imam Ali (PBUH) is introduced as one of the instances of a guide.
It has come in Sunni sources: Ibn Abbas says: When this verse was delivered, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) put his hand on his chest and said: “I am the warner and there is a guide for every nation and then pointed to the shoulder of Imam Ali (PBUH) and said: O Ali, you are the guide and the guided after me will be guided by you.” (al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far, Jāmiʿ al-bayān ʿan taʾwīl āy al-Qurʾān, Vol. 13, p. 442)
It has come in Shia books as well: Fudhayl says: I asked Imam Sadiq (PBUH) about this verse and he said: “Every Imam is the guide of the time who lives among people.” (al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 191)
The second verse: “When your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed I am going to set a viceroy on the earth.” (Baqarah 30)
Since the subject noun implies continuity, here, too, divine setting is continuous and God will always set a viceroy on earth and the earth is never empty of the viceroy of God. Since God attributed this setting to itself and we said that this setting is continuous too, then God’s viceroy on Earth will always be chosen by God and the earth always has a divine viceroy.
Alusi, one of the Sunni scholars says following this verse: And forever and until the moment of Judgment Day, this deputyship exists in the perfect man. (Alusi al-Baqdadi al-Hanafi, Rūh al-Ma’ānī fī Tafsīri-l-Qur’āni-l-‘Aẓīm wa Sab’u-l-Mathānī, Vol. 1, p. 222)
It has pointed out in Shia quotations as well: Ishaq Ibn Ammar says: I told Imam Musa al-Kadhim (PBUH): Guide me towards whom I get my faith from. He said: He’s this son of mine, Ali. Indeed my father took my hand, brought me to the grave of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and said: My dear son, God Almighty said: Indeed I set a viceroy on Earth and when God promises something, fulfills it. (al-Kulayni, al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 312)
About this there are more verses that can be pointed out for example verse 41 of Nisa surah and verses 84 and 89 of Nahl surah.
B. Verses that bear the good news of the righteous and the faithful ruling on Earth and the dominance of right over wrong:
The first verse: “Certainly We wrote in the Psalms, after the Torah: ‘Indeed My righteous servants shall inherit the earth.” (Anbiya 105)
In this verse, God states that righteous servants will inherit the entire Earth and this promise was not only given in Quran, but it was given to the nation since Psalms’ time.
It has come in the interpretations of Ali Ibn Ibrahim: This verse was delivered about the Qaem of the house of Muhammad (PBUH). (Tafsir al-Qomi, v 1, p 14)
The second verse: “And We desired to show favor to those who were abased in the land, and to make them Imams, and to make them the heirs.” (Qasas 5)
This verse states that we make those who were abased Imams and heirs in the land and since God attributes this setting and making Imam to itself, this verse shows it very clearly that the one who will be Imam and heir in the land holds the dignity of divine Imamate and will not be chosen by people or religious decision makers.
It has come in Nahj al-Balaqa cited by Imam Ali (PBUH): “The world will bend towards us after having been refractory as the biting female camel bends towards its young. Then Imam Ali (PBUH) recited the verse: And We desired to show favor to those who were abased in the land, and to make them Imams, and to make them the heirs.” (Nahj al-Balaqa, utterance 209)
Qondoozi Hanafi, one of the Sunni scholars, after citing this hadith says: This quotation refers to the helpers of Imam Mahdi (PBUH). (al-Qondoozi al-Hanafi, Yanabi al-Muwadda, v 3, p 272)
Shaykh Saduq quotes from Imam Ali (PBUH) through Abi al-Sadiq who said: Imam Ali (PBUH) told me that this verse was delivered for and about us. (al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far, al-Amali, p 566)
Although Imam Mahdi’s name is not clearly mentioned in Quran, but what is perceived from the collection of mentioned verses and quotations is that based on God’s wisdom and mercy throughout the history of mankind, there have always been heavenly leaders who have warned people and brought good news to people and God has made the blessing of their existence on Earth everlasting. Imam Mahdi (PBUH), too, at this time holds the leadership and Imamate of the world and will one day reappear.
But why hasn’t Quran covered this very important point thoroughly and clearly so that people don’t fall into the trap of fake quotations?
Because there were interests that Imams were not mentioned by name and among those interests, Quran being protected from changing can be mentioned, the same reason that required religion’s Ikmal verse lie among Tahrim al-Khabaeth verse and the Verse of Purification among the verse of the Wives of the Prophet to both send a message to all right seekers and prevent from distortion of Quran. Who could guarantee that those who insulted and scorned the great prophet of Islam for deciding to introduce Ali (PBUH) as Imam (Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said at death: Bring me a pen and an inkwell to write you something to prevent you from being misled. The second caliph said: This person is hallucinating. The book of God is enough for us.) if Imam’s name was specified would not scorn Quran, too? Moreover, if someone does not want to accept right, they will not accept introduction by name as well and will bring countless poor excuses. Quran reminds us all of this reality that followers of old and new testaments knew Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) well as they knew their own child and in their Bible, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had been introduced even by name, but when they saw the great prophet who was familiar to them both by attributes and by name they still denied and didn’t accept: “so when there came to them what they recognized, they defied it.” (Baqarah, 89)
Introduction by name is not the only way to present and even if he were introduced by name, as it was precedented, the defiant and stubborn would not accept.