Syrian civil war has been interpreted as the starting point of the “golden age” by many groups throughout the world. Especially many Shiites believe that the current Syrian civil war and the destruction of Syria as the main sign of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) who will be establishing Islamic/Shiite golden age. For that reason, many of the Shiites have followed the events in Syria with curiosity and some of the Shiites got into the Syrian conflict fiercely to pave way for Imam Mahdi (a.s.). However, the Syrian conflict is not only a sign of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) but it is also a sign of the Sufyani, who is an evil person and the archenemy of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Shiite sources have provided abundant of details about Sufyani’s physical appearance, family lineage, expeditions, wars, death etc. Indeed it can be guessed who the Sufyani is/are based on these prophecies.
Unanimously Shiite sources have indicated that Sufyani will rise from Syria and that will be a prerequisite matter for the arrival of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Moreover Shiite sources point out that the rise of Sufyani is inevitable and certain. (From Imam Ali Riza a.s.). Sufyani will be from Abu Sufyan’s generation and he will emerge before Imam Mahdi (a.s.) which will be from the depths of Damascus in Syria. Sufyani’s name will be Uthman (عثمان ) and his father’s name will be Anbasa. (عنبسه ). (From Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.). He will be from Utbah bin Abu Sufyan’s genaration and when Sufyani appears, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will hide himself, and then he will reappear again. (From Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.).
Sufyani will have mischievous and evil personality and an ugly appearance. The physical appearance of Sufyani is fat, horrible, and he has pockmarked face. His one eye will be with a scar and he will be one-eyed. He is red, blond and blue (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq). He will never worship Allah at all and he will be never seen neither Mecca nor Medina (From, Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.).
Before Sufyani’s appear there will be a terrible earthquake, anarchy and civil war in Syria. A voice will call from the sky; from one of the villages of Syria called Jazira; the Romans Byzantines will attack Ramla; at that time there will be more conflict throughout the area until Syria is destroyed. The cause of its destruction will be the occurrence of three standards there; the standard of the Red, the standard of the Spotted and the standard of the Sufyani. (From Imam Muhammad Baqir). İmam Baqir a.s. mentioned more details about the signs for the arrival of the Imam Mahdi (a.s.); a call from the heavens, a cry comes from the direction of Damascus, one of the villages of Shaam called Jabiya gets destroyed, a part of the mosque of Damascus falls down. (From Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.).
Three groups or armies, named differently in some sources, will fight or struggle with each other in Syria before the arrival of Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) mentioned these three armies as piebald army, red army and army of the Sufyani. He also mentioned, Hasanide, Umayyad, the Qaisiya and Sufyani (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.) which will fight in Syria. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) indicate these groups as Ashab, Abqa, Abras and Sufyani. (From Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.).
Before the arrival of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) there will be a terrible earthquake in Syria and army mounted on red horses will be seen coming from the west, waving a yellow flag and entering into Syria. When this happens, Kharashna, (Kharasta) a village of Shaam, will collapse into the earth and people will witness the rising of (Sufyani) the son of Hind, the liver-eater from the Yabis Valley (From İmam Ali bin Ebi Talib a.s.). Sufyani will rule for a limited and short period of time, similar to the duration of pregnancy of human beings or little more (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.). The second sign is the rise of Sufyani with crucifix of gold and green flags. His chief will be a man from Bani Kalab (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.).
After the rise of Sufyani, in the month of Rajab, he will defeat other two groups and conquer the Levant (Shaam, Hams, Palestine, Jordan and Qanassireen) (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.) Sufyani will fight the spotted one first and he will kill him with his followers and then he will fight the red one and he will kill him, too. Bani Kalab will accompany Sufyani as they will be related to him from the maternal side. Then Sufyani will move towards Iraq and pass over by Qarqeesiya where a fight will break out. Sufyani will kill about hundred thousands of arrogant people in this fight. Then Sufyani will send around seventy thousand warriors towards Kufa. Sufyani army will kill, crucify and capture many of the people of Kufa. While they are doing this, an army will come from the direction of Khurasan. Along with this army there will be some companions of the Qaim. A faithful man from Kufa with weak followers will revolt, but he will be killed by the leader of Sufyani’s army between Kufa and Heera. Sufyani will send troops to Medina. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will flee from Medina to Mecca. The leader of the army will be informed that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has gone to Mecca so he will send a troop to follow him, but with no use. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will enter Mecca frightfully and cautiously like Prophet Musa (a.s.). Sufyani will send an army to the east and another to Medina and they will camp in Baghdad, the unlucky city of Babel and they will slay more than three hundred men and rape hundred ladies. They will also eliminate three hundred men from Bani Abbas. (From Imam Muhammad Baqir a.s.).
Shia sources have informed that Sufyani will rule Kufa/Najaf area. According to the authentic sources Sufyani will camp in land of stability (Najaf or Kufa) and he will sit on a pulpit there (From Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.) A large number of people will gather in Kufa and pledge allegiance to Sufyani (From Imam Zainul Abideen a.s.).
The army of Sufyani will sink in the desert at Baidah, located between Makkah and Madinah and none of them will escape death except one who will announce the news. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will pray between Rukn and Maqam and his assistant will be with him. Then he will address to the crowd and the people will pledge allegiance to Imam Mahdi (a.s.). Sufyani will be in the Ramla valley at that time. Sufyani will take action against Imam Mahdi (a.s.), numerous amount of people will join Imam’s army and Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will move to the north. When the two armies meet, it will be a day of exchange. Those Shiites who are in the army of Sufyani will come out and join the forces of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and those Sufyanis who are there in the army of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will also come out and join Sufyani. Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: “Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will defeat Sufyani in Hira, under a thick tree.
It is obvious that prophecies can be applied to current events in Syria for guessing who Sufyani is or are? Moreover there are strong possible connections between current occurrences in the Middle East and prophecies about Sufyani. Kharasta/Harasta and Jabiya have almost sinked to the earth because of air strikes and the war that is going on there. Syria has been destroyed and there is “crying coming from Syria” because of the sufferings and crimes against humanity. There are severe man-made hunger in Syria because of siege of Shiite militias and regime in some rebel held areas. Interestingly golden/yellow flag army (Hezbollah-Shiite militias) has come to Syria from west and joined the Syrian civil war. Moreover three main groups (Regime and allies, ISIS –possibly Ashab- and other opposition-possibly Abqa-) have emerged in Syria. For that reason, it is worth to study to predict Sufyani because of strong similarities with the prophecies mentioned before.
The closest group to the Sufyani looks like the regime and the allies based on Shiite prophecies. Firstly tribal name (Kalbiyya), the name (Uthman) and the father’s name (Anbasa) of the Sufyani point out that the Assad family is a possible Sufyani or one of the leading member of the Sufyani movement. The meaning of the “Anbasa” in Arabic is the lion just as the Asad which is the surname of the Asad family. Moreover the meaning name of the Uthman, has similar meaning ‘wahhish’, (وحش) real surname of the Assad family until 1920s. The meaning of the Uthman is a baby snake or dragon which has a similar meaning to the Wahhish, monster and the beast. Remarkably, surname of the new Iranian IRGC commander in Syria, Mohammad Ja’far ‘Assadi’, also has the same meaning with Anbasa. In addition, Shia sources indicate that Bani Kalb (tribe) will support Sufyani. Surprisingly the Asad family comes from Bani Kalb/Kalbiyya Clan.
Secondly, as mentioned before, Sufyani will rise with crucifix of gold and green flags. Surprisingly, Syrian Arab army flag and the seal of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army have similar features with the Sufyani’s flag. Furthermore, flags of all the Shiite militias in Syria, shown in Table II, have gold-yellow and green colors.
Table II: Flags And Seals Of The Armed Groups, Ally With Assad Regime İn Syria
Thirdly, massacres of the Abbasids-Sunnis in Baghdad have been committed by Shiite militias which are the ally of the regime in Syria.
Fourthly, the regime and allies are the only group which have Shiites in their ranks. According to the Shia sources, as mentioned before, (some) Shiites will fight for Sufyani until the final war between Sufyani and Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
Fifthly, most of the areas (Damascus, Aleppo, Hıms, Jordan and Palestine) which are supposed to be controlled by Sufyani are still controlled by the regime and its allies.
Sixthly, “the regime and its allies” in Syria is the only group which has intention, cause and ability/capability to attack Makkah and Madinah (Current Saudi Arabia).
Finally, many groups or regions which will fight against Imam Mahdi (a.s.), are now on the side of the regime and its allies such as; Syria (Sham), Iraq (Basra and Maisan), Iran (Rayy- Tehran) and YPG-PKK and PUK (Kurds).
In conclusion, based on Shiite sources it can be concluded that Sufyani or Sufyani movement will be the Syrian regime and its allies. For that reason the regime and its allies can be named as Sufyani movement and Sufyani army. It is obvious that current occurrences in Syria are explaining why Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will fight against “Syria, Iraq (South Iraq) and Iran” because of their Sufyanic attitudes such as destroying the cities, causing intended hunger and suffer in Syria. To put it in a nutshell, Imam Mahdist groups and Shia militias which they believe that they are standing with Imam Mahdi (a.s.), in reality they are not paving the way for Imam Mahdi (a.s.) but the Sufyani.
 Al Majlisi,( Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi) The Promısed Mahdi, Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi,
English Translation oi Bihar ul Anwar, Volume 13 (Old Edition)/Volumes 51-52-53 (New Edition) Kitabul Ghaibah – Book of Occultation, p. 80
 Al Majlisi, p. 102
 Al Majlisi, p. 110
 Al Majlisi, Bihar Al Anvar, From Jafar Sadıq, p. 102-103
 Al Majlisi, p. 147
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 Al Majlisi, p. 118, 162
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 Al Majlisi, p. 101, 103
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 Al Majlisi, p. 84, 118, 119, 132
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 Al Majlisi, p. 280
 Thomas Grove And Steve Gutterman, http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/mideast/2013/02/26/syria-ready-to-negotiate-with-rebels–foreign-minister, 4 January 2016
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 Patrick Seale,Maureen McConville, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East, p. 4.
Leith Fadel, Syrian Arab Army Officially in Full Control of Homs, Syria’s Third Largest Syrian City,
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 Iraq death squads target Sunni victims by name, http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/iraq/article4139337.ece, 4 January 2016