Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Twelver Shi'a Mahdism and President...

Email:

Twelver Shi'a Mahdism and President Ahmadinejad of Iran

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Twelver Shi'a Mahdism and President Ahmadinejad of Iran

Country/Region: IRAN

Speculations on the return of the Mahdi are extremely popular in contemporary Shi'a communities, especially in Iran. In Shi'a history, there have been two alternate views on the attitude of the community during the period of waiting:

1. A passive wait, believing that God would send the Mahdi at the preordained time.

2. An activist attitude of wanting to prepare for his return and hasten his coming.

At this time, the activist mode is in the ascendancy, and seemingly bizarre aspects of Iranian policy can be attributed to the conviction that we live in the end times, the Mahdi's appearance is imminent, and with it the final triumph of Islam.

For Twelver Shi'a, the expected Mahdi is their Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, who was born in 869 and disappeared in 873 in Samarra when still a child. He is called the Hidden Imam, as it is firmly believed that he did not die, but lives on in a spiritual invisible mode (occultation) and will return as the Mahdi at the end of days when the world is full of oppression and injustice to take up the leadership of Islam, defeat all its enemies, and initiate a kingdom of universal peace, justice and prosperity in which all humanity accepts Islam.

The success of establishing an Islamic state in Iran in 1979 inspired many to believe they were living in the end times and some to view Ayatollah Khomeini as the promised "Hidden Imam" himself or his representative sent to prepare the way for his soon return. Khomeini rejected the attitude of passively waiting for the Mahdi, replacing it by an activist Mahdism which stressed that humans can help prepare for the Mahdi's coming by Islamising society, implementing Shari'a and setting up an Islamic state that will spread true Islam and serve the Mahdi as a tool for implementing his programme.

In contemporary Iran, conferences are held to discuss the return of the Mahdi and develop a strategy to prepare for it, and a vast amount of books is being published related to it. According to statements by leading clerics, at least 446,000 books relating to the Mahdi were published in Qom in 2005.

The election of Ahmadinejad as President served as a catalyst to Mahdist expectations. He advocates the activist type of belief that wants to hasten the return and has placed this belief at the centre of Iran's domestic and foreign policy.

In his speeches President Ahmadinejad has urged Iranians to work hard for the return of the Hidden Mahdi. In a speech to senior clerics on November 2005 he stated that his government's main mission was to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance)". There are also persistent rumours that Ahmadinejad's cabinet has drawn up a contract with the Mahdi promising to work for his return in exchange for his support.

Ahmadinejad finished his speech at the UN General Assembly on 17th September 2005 with a prayer for the return of the Mahdi. Following the speech, Ahmadinejad claimed that he felt a light surrounding him until the end of the speech.

Ahmadinejad's pronouncements and actions show that he is an activist mahdist who believes that creating a strong Islamic Iran armed with the most modern (including nuclear) weapons will both prepare for the Mahdi's return and be a tool the Mahdi can use to implement his programme of world dominion. In this view, chaos on an international scale is a precursor to the return of the Hidden Imam. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran would seem to be an ideal tool for encouraging such chaos and for proffering to the Mahdi to ensure his victory.

Ahmadinejad's reckless statements and policies can be linked to his belief that a war with Israel and America would speed the return of the Mahdi, who will appear to save the Muslim nations and judge all unbelievers, especially Jews and Christians. These beliefs may encourage him to ignore pragmatic and rational considerations in his confrontation with the infidel West (including Israel) which in his view will soon be wiped away by the cataclysmic end-time events of the Mahdi's return.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Twelver Shi'a Mahdism and President Ahmadinejad of Iran

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

No related articles found

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks