... A MAN OF AVERAGE HEIGHT, DARK, WITH A LIGHT BEARD, THIN AT THE SIDE AND LONG IN THE FRONT; ... WHO WILL BE KNOWN AS SHUAYB IBN SALIH. HE WILL HAVE WHITE CLOTHES, A BLACK BANNER AND 4000 PEOPLE UNDER HIS COMMAND ...**.
(Al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyyah, Abul Abbas Shahabuddin Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-Haytami -41)
** This name in the hadith is not this person’s real name, it is that of a title. In the same way, name such as “Mahdi”, “jahjah”, “dajjal” and “sufyan” are also titles. It does not mean they will come bearing those names. For example, our Prophet (saas) appears as “Ahyed, Ahmad, Paracletos and Munhamanna” in the Torah and the Gospel. Although the Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) father’s name was “Taruh,” the Qur’an calls him “Azar.” Allah knows the truth, since that person emerging from the East will have only a small army to oppose all the armies of the world, he has been given the name of Shuayb, meaning small division. His being called “Ibn Saleh” is because, like his father, this individual is a pure man...
In this hadith, another name of that individual is “Haris ibn Harras,” Haris meaning lion. This name is the equivalent of this person’s name .
“A man [Hazrat Mahdi (as)] will come from Mawaraun nahr, and he will be called Al-Haris Ibn Harras**.
(Abu Dawud, Mahdi 1, (2452))
Narrator: Hazrat Hilal Ibn Amr (ra)
(At-Taj, Ali Nasif al-Husayn, Vol. 5, p. 617)
(Sunan Abu Dawud Translation and Commentary, Samil Press: 14/410)
Haris means lion.
There is a man in command of his troops who is called Mansur. Al-Haris Ibn Harras will prepare the way for Al-i Muhammad in the same way the Quraysh prepared the way for Rasulullah (saas). Every believer has an obligation to help him or obey his call.” (At-Taj, Ali Nasif al-Husayn, Vol. 5/p. 617)
** Haris means lion. That person’s name means the same thing. The hadith allude to that person.
Looking the hadith revealed by our Prophet (saas), he has provided and great deal of information about Hazrat Mahdi (as). Our prophet (saas) refers to both the physical and psychological characteristics of Hazrat Mahdi (as), just as if he had seen him, and also provides information about the structure of the society he will inhabit, his political and economic power and authority and the technological means at his disposal. In this hadith, our Prophet (saas) describes Hazrat Mahdi (as) very clearly, supplying certain physical characteristics and various important details about the small group under his command.
One of the details our Prophet (saas) supplies about Hazrat Mahdi (as) is to do with his beard. Our Prophet (saas) has said in several hadith that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be bearded, and in this hadith he provides detail about the shape of that beard. He says that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) the texture of his beard will be light, and that the sides will be thin while the lower part is long.
In the same way that the Prophet (saas) has revealed in other Hadith how Hazrat Mahdi (as) will be of average height and dark in other words he reveals that he will have a pinkish skin.
Another important detail our Prophet (saas) supplies about Hazrat Mahdi (as) here is that he will have a very small number of followers, as also revealed in other hadith.
Our Prophet (saas) has stated this in several hadith. For these reasons, Hazrat Mahdi (as) will have no army or community that will later join his spiritual forces and raise their numbers to the thousands. The army that engaged in an intellectual struggle against unbelievers alongside Hazrat Mahdi (as) will always be a very small one.
In this hadith our Prophet (saas) addresses Hazrat Mahdi (as) as Shuayb ibn Saleh. In interpreting this hadith, the great Islamic scholar hazrat Haytami said that the word Shuayb used for Hazrat Mahdi (as) means a small division, meaning that the number of Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) friends waging an intellectual struggle against unbelievers with him will be very low. He also explained that term Ibn Saleh notes that Hazrat Mahdi’s (as) father will also be a very pure person. On the basis of the trustworthy hadith about Hazrat Mahdi (as), who the Prophet (saas) says will wear white clothes in the hadith, Haytami has provided a further piece of information, saying that Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also bear the name of Haris, meaning lion.