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
    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 17 hours ago

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Fund in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. 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