PARIS — It is argued that “Presidential obsession” with 'mahdaviat' leads Mr. Ahmadinejad to “a conviction that leaves little room for compromise. He thinks that the Mahdi will come in near future as his knight in shining armour? The only missing link that in Presidents opinion delays Mahdi's arrival is that world is still far too peaceful, the degree of clash and disasters that will set the chain of celestial events of 'mahdaviat' have to gather speed.
The recent mess in Lebanon by his proxies was a component of that uncompromising ideological fixation. The altercation with America and Israel and wish to empower Iran with nuclear programs are all designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi's return.” Creation of universal strife and commotion is very much a part of mahdaviat. Peace and cohabitation in the world means 'mahdaviat' becomes superfluous. Iranian President is duty bound to help create environ which is conducive to Mahdi return, unfortunately 'universal peace' does not help the prophecies that are integral part of his understanding of the scriptures.
The President does puts his money where his mind is, in 2004, as mayor of Tehran, Mr. Ahmadinejad clandestinely instructed the city council to construct a magnificent boulevard to orchestrate and prepare for the Mahdi arrival, as a President he has allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with mahdaviat in Jamkaran, south of the capital.
Present insanity, psychosis, wars and craftiness in politics of the Middle East has religious historical conjecture; higher the chaos and bigger the noise, the greater the chances of a divine intervention. Very few in the West can understand the undercurrents of self- obliteration so evident in Nasarullah's cult and multitude of suicide bombers. The question is to analyze events in context of the prophecies of 'doom and gloom' for the infidels as firmly believed by the leadership in Iran. Professor Lewis, in my opinion, overstated the importance of 22nd August.The night of 'Mairaj'is an annual celebration had no greater significance this year, the President I doubt, was expecting the emergence of 'Mahdi' on 22nd Aug.
In opinion of the present 'Hujjati leadership' the higher the level of 'expectation' greater is the degree of their devoutness. To hasten coming of Imam they consider their right to further the mayhem and bedlam, after all the global level of chaos has to increase in frequency and intensity so that Imam finally decides to appear. The bloodier the earth becomes, the higher the chances of emergence of Imam are from greater Occultation, lesser the civility the better are the chances, so the 'leadership' is sincerely bound by their ideological belief to create problems. In effect 'increased expectations of coming of Imam' have justified their inclination of intensified wicked doings. Ideology has helped 'global chaos creation' as a corner stone of the state policy.
Two questions are important to understand!!
Q-1. Has Nasrallah's apology to the Lebanese, seems to have created a scenario where Ahmadinejad and the “Supreme Guide” has suffered a tremendous loss of face?
The 'apology' has cost Lebanon 50 billion$-plus in real and lost opportunity terms for a period of next 5 years at least, rather, in terms of 'what-could-have-been.' The recent conciliatory statements from the Iranian President are just indicative of a way out or a face-saver from a self-destructive streak he got engaged in through his proxy. The anarchy it appeared was not big enough to help Imam appear from the greater Occultation! May be they now need to prepare for the bigger chaos! What next? May be nuclear tipped Zalzals may help tip the balance and generate sufficient universal anarchy for Imam to finally come out of the heavenly shroud.
Q-2. Was Ahmadinejad actually under the impression that the Mahdi was going to reappear this year on 22nd Aug and when that date came and gone, he was forced to back down in humiliation?
In a 'hadith' widely regarded as authentic, Prophet Muhammad stated:
“Even if the entire duration of the world's existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before the Day of Judgment, God (Arabic: Allah) will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person out of my Ahl al-Bayt who will be called by my name. He will then fill the Earth with peace and justice as it will have been filled with injustice and tyranny before then.” — Sahih Tirmidhi, V2, P86, V9, P74-75.
Muhammad al Mahdi ((868- ?- the guided) is the 12th and last Imam of the Twelver Shi'i, and is also known as Muhammad al Muntazar (the awaited). The Twelver Shi'i believe that he was born to a Byzantine slave named Narjis Khatun, and that his birth was kept quiet by his father, the Eleventh Imam, Hassan al Askari, because of the intense persecution of the Shi'is at that time. Mahdi is a 'Myth'; all non-secular societies expect help from heavens when they make an error of judgment in earthly affairs. Two recent examples are, that of Ahmadinejad and Muttawakil (Taliban FM), both looking to lead the 'kingdom of justice' with heavenly help before the Day of Judgment that 'Mahdi' will institute.
The Taliban's preoccupation with heavenly help is well known- their FM; Muttawakil expected the heavenly forces to protect Taliban from destruction of the US forces: the birds will appear from heavens and destroy the planes and attackers like they did in times of Abraha. He invoked this passage from Quran in a pre-Afghan war interview; ( Surat al-Fîl): 'Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant? Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? And He sent against them flights of Birds Striking them with stones of baked clay. Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw (of which the corn) has been eaten up.'[Qur'ân: 105]
The Mahdi, according to majority Sunni and Shi'ite tradition, will arise at some point before the Day of Judgment, institute a kingdom of justice, and will in the last days fight alongside the returned Jesus against the Dajjal (Antichrist or false Messiah). Mahdi hidden since birth, reappeared at age of 6 to assert his claim to the Imamate, only to then disappear down a well to avoid the sad fate of his father and grandfather. For the next seventy years he maintained contact with his followers through a succession of four assistants, each known as Bab (Gate), Uthman al Amir; his son Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman; Abu'l Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh an Nawbakhti; and Abu'l Husayn Ali ibn Muhammad as Samarri. The period when he used the 4 Babs as his form of contacting the Shi'is is known as the Lesser Occultation.
On his deathbed in 941 CE, the fourth Bab, as Samarri produced a letter from the Imam stating that there should be no successor to as Samarri and that from that time forward the Mahdi would not be seen until he reappeared as champion of the faithful in the events leading to the Judgement Day. Therefore, after 941 CE there has been no earthly expression of the Imamate. This period is known as the Greater Occultation.
Titles of the 12th Imam include: Sahib az Zaman (Master of the Age), Sahib al Amr (Master of Command), al Qa'im (the one to arise), Bagiyyat Allah (remnant of Allah) and Imam al Muntazar (the awaited Imam). – anyone who has professed to be the Mahdi so far has been cruelly dealt with, killed or banished, so this myth is likely to continue; a legend for time immemorial; a cultish folklore religious chronicle which will never end because the hero, i.e., 'The Mahdi,' as soon as one claims to be so, will face charges of apostasy.
I don't think that “Khomienites' “expected Mahdi” and 'Wahhabis' “return of Christ,” short of Allah climbing down on earth from his heavenly throne can be easily agreeable as authorities vested in a mortal completely wrest controls from the present rulers of these countries. How can these self appointed leaders and despots give control to someone who appears new and claims authority from Allah, even his is the one he will be dealt the way previous appearances have been handled. 'Mahdi' and 'return of Christ' within the orthodoxy of Islam is like their faith in 'Allah' as far as the omnipotent and omnipresent remains hidden and without a physical form the conviction is crystal-clear, however a 'corporeal existence' would breed scorn. The Shiites and the Sunnis universal acceptance is implausible as scripture based verification processes are at two extremities.
The present divisions within Islam are so wide apart that they cannot agree on a 'set' of claimants for such a holy title. One should not forget that these holy figures will carry the combined authority of the Prophet and Allah, so 'Saudis and Khomienites' will have to give up the key of 'oil and treasury' to the claimant; the temporal and the sacred power will be invested in these expected manifestation who would lead them to ultimate victory.
Anytime any manifestation made such a claim in Saudia and Iran, he has been dealt with an iron fist. Many people through history have claimed to be the Mahdi, a messianic figure expected in Islam. These have had varying degrees of success in convincing fellow Muslims of their station.
However, the predominant set of Muslims regards them as false claimants, or pretenders. These claimants were often at the centre of political intrigue or radical social upheaval. In the 8th century was Salih ibn Tarif – 10th century-Said ibn Husayn-12th century Muhammad ibn Abdallah ibn Tumart-15th century Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri -19th century Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad (The Báb)- Muhammad Ahmad, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 20th century- Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan Juhayman ibn-Muhammad ibn-Sayf al-Utaibi.
Ahmadinejad as well as King Abdullah and Ummah as a whole will make sure to behead any impostor who would have dared announce such a ' undertaking' on 22nd August.
Belief is one thing, acceptance in him is quite a different matter, they all sincerely belief in the holy arrivals rather it is a cardinal sin to question, who will certify them from 'Allah' is something that has so far remains unanswered. I am sure that someone appearing on 22nd Aug would have met the fate of others that were considered as heretic and impostors. Even a fair hearing is not accorded to any claimant; he starts from the unenviable station of falsehood. The barrier to meet the criteria of 'Allah appointed' is too towering. Egyptians refused Moses, Jews thought of Christ as superfluous, Qurayyash rebuked Mohammed, how would have Ahmadinejad accept someone appearing on 22nd Aug as ordained from Allah?
It is satisfying for Ahmadinejad to expect deliverance from Allah for his nation that is falling behind in keeping in progress with the world, the notion of a divine leadership that will take them to the top is very intoxicating and opiate. The 'failures' of today can be postponed on 'deliverance' expected from appearance of Imam, this sells politically very well. The myth has to linger on it is the very 'veiled nature' of the passion that gives momentum and strength to the political grandstanding, rather may be political grandstanding find its roots in the divine assurances of the deliverance from the shackles of the infidels.
This whole 'Mahdi' thing is a cerebral fascination; it definitely helps the society that links clash and chaos to unfolding of a greater goal. A legendry saga has become a pseudo truth that might never come to pass but the hope that Islam will recoup the splendor of the past gives glimmering anticipation to the faithful. Ahmadinejad and Nasarullah believes that this defeat and this apology is an intermission one day the Imam will lead him to the obliteration of his entire class of enemies, eventually the faithful will reign supreme.
The hurdles for any claimant are too high to surmount. It is a great feeling to have a Mahdi, but no good enough a mortal will satisfy the expectations. President Ahmadinejad for sure will cast the first stone to bury the man.