Casting doubts over the longevity of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is a consequence of not pondering over the Holy Quran. If someone refutes the longevity of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) merely on the basis of the doubt that how can a person live for 1200 years, then our question to such people is whether they have recited the Holy Quran or not?
The incident of the People of Cave in Surah Kahf and their remaining in there till date is Allah’s reply to those who only claimed that “The Book of Allah is sufficient for us”. Along with the Holy Quran, belief in its true inheritor is needed in order to be guided.
The famous Ahle Tasannun traditionalist of the 7th century, Yusuf Ibn Yahya Shaafei writes in his book Iqd al-Durar Fi Akhbar al-Muntazar, p. 213, Hadith 224 that:
Abu Ishaq Sa’labi has mentioned concerning the exegesis of Surah Kahf that,
“The cave in which those people stayed was made their resting place and they will continue to remain therein till the end of time until the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) does not take place. When Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will reappear, he will greet the people of the cave and Allah will bring them back to life for (replying to) him.”
The people of the cave, upon learning about the secret of their 309-year slumber, prayed to Allah for death. Allah granted their prayer and caused them to sleep in the same place until the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and a mosque was also built there. The Holy Quran has itself testified this in Surah Kahf (18): Verse 21
لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مَسْجِداً
“We will certainly raise a mosque over them.”
Those people of the cave will be brought back to life only to reply to the greeting of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
We pray to Allah that He hastens the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and gives us the opportunity to greet our Imam and be among his helpers.
Aameen, O Lord of the worlds!