نحمده ونصلى ونسلم على رسوله الكريم
Unlike Ahlus Sunnati wal-Jama’ah, Mr. Ghamidi and his followers of al-Mawrid Institute do not hold to the belief in the coming of the Mahdi, a concept they regard as spurious and imported into Sunni tradition from the Shi’a. Ghamidi writes:
“Besides these, the advent of Mahdi and that of Jesus (sws) from the heavens are also regarded as signs for the Day of Judgement. I have not mentioned them. The reason is that the narratives of the advent of Mahdi do not conform to the standards of Hadith criticism set forth by the muhaddithun. Some of them are weak and some fabricated; no doubt, some narratives, which are acceptable with regard to their chain of narration, inform us of the coming of a generous caliph; however, if they are deeply deliberated upon, it becomes evident that the caliph they refer to is ‘Umar Ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz who was the last caliph of the early history of the Muslims. This prediction of the Prophet (sws) has thus materialized in his personality word for word. One does not need to wait for any other Mahdi now. As far as the narratives which record the advent of Jesus (sws) are concerned, though the muhaddithun have generally accepted them; however, if they are analyzed in the light of the Qur’an, they too become dubious. (Faith and Beliefs; pp.119-120)
Ghamidi considers the prophecy of a “generous caliph” as having been fulfilled in the person of Umar b. Abdul Aziz (a righteous Umayyad ruler), and asserts that “one does not need to wait for any other Mahdi now”, despite the fact that if there was ever a necessity for a Mahdi-like figure, it is now in the latter days, when there is such rampant injustice and cruelty, and the rich and powerful lord it over the poor and the weak.
So while Ghamidi considers Umar bin Abdul Aziz as having fulfilled the “role” of the Mahdi, the contemporaries of Umar bin Abdul Aziz themselves denied this:
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " يَكُونُ فِي آخِرِ أُمَّتِي خَلِيفَةٌ يَحْثِي الْمَالَ حَثْيًا لاَ يَعُدُّهُ عَدَدًا " . قَالَ قُلْتُ لأَبِي نَضْرَةَ وَأَبِي الْعَلاَءِ أَتَرَيَانِ أَنَّهُ عُمَرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَزِيزِ فَقَالاَ لاَ
He (Jabir b. Abdullah) kept quiet for a while and then reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) having said there would be a caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give handfuls of wealth to the people without counting it. I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-'Ala: Do you mean 'Umar b. 'Abd al-Aziz? They both said: No (he would be Imam Mahdi). (Sahih Muslim)