الْمَهْدِيُّ مِنَّا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ , يُصْلِحُهُ اللَّهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ
Translation: “The Mahdi is from us, the Ahl al-Bayt (Household of the Prophet peace be upon them). Allah shall rectify him in a single Night.” [Sunan Ibn Majah; H. 4085]
This Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihi wasallam) plainly indicates that the promised Mahdi shall have a direct relationship with Allah Most High, Who will rectify the promised Mahdi within a single night. This is clearly pointing towards the fact that in a single night the Mahdi shall receive some sort of Kashaf or Ilhaam (divine inspiration) from Allah Most High in which he shall become aware of his identity of being the Mahdi and what he has been divinely commissioned to accomplish.
However, the misguided Mawdudi has denied the purport of this Hadith by claiming that the Mahdi will not be a recipient of Kashaf or Ilhaam but rather a mere political leader as well as the founder of a new religious school of thought (!):
مجھے اس کے کام میں کرامات وخوارق، کشوف والہامات، اور چلّوں اور مجاہدوں کی کوئی جگہ نظر نہیں آتی۔ میں یہ سمجھتا ہوں کہ انقلابی لیڈر کو دنیا میں جس طرح شدیر جدّ وجہد اور کشمکش کے مرحلوں سے گزرنا پڑتا ہے انہی مرحلوں سے مہدی کو گزرنا ہوگا۔ وہ خالص اسلام کی بنیادوں پر ایک نیا مذہب فکر پیدا کرے گا۔
Translation: “I don't see any place for miracles, wonders, Kushoof (visions), Ilhaamaat (divine inspirations), spiritual retreats and labors in his [the Mahdi's] work. I think that just as a revolutionary leader has to go through the phases of severe struggle and strife, the Mahdi will also have to undergo these phases. He shall create a new school of thought upon the foundations of pure Islam.”
Reference: Tajdid-o-Ahya-i-Din; p.54