In the last post, we looked closely at why the world is getting ready for Antichrist, and what he will be like. In this post, I want to look closely at the Islamic Mahdi- one who is Long awaited for by the likes of hard lined immams and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Official Iranian radio has completed broadcasting a lengthy series on the imminent appearance of a messianic figure who will defeat Islam's enemies and impose Islamic Shiite rule over the entire world, even speculating on specific dates the so-called "Mahdi" will be revealed.
English-language transcripts of "The World Toward Illumination" programs can be found on the website of IRIB, a public broadcast arm of Tehran.
"Contrary to the views of western theoreticians, who usually depict an ambiguous and dark future for mankind, Muslim experts believe human history, despite its many ups and downs, has a very auspicious fate," explains the program. "Muslims believe hopes for the realization of such a happy ending for the world are called 'Awaiting Redemption,' and means waiting for man's problems to be solved by the Savior at the end of time. This awaiting influences many, and inspired them with activity and enthusiasm in confronting darkness and oppression for changing the existing situation. …"
This messianic figure will be a direct descendant of Muhammad, according to the broadcasts.
"In short, when he reappears, peace, justice and security will overcome oppression and deceit and one global government, the most perfect ever, will be established," it said.
The Mahdi will appear suddenly, according to the report, in Mecca. Though no one can know the day, Shiites believe, the report actually suggests possibilities in the Muslim calendar.
The Mahdi will lead a cataclysmic battle against a descendant of Muhammad's archenemy, Abu Sofyan, culminating in the cities of Kufa and Najaf, in Iraq. His enemy, though, is destroyed later in Jerusalem.
"Another beautiful moment of the Savior's appearance is the coming down of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) from heaven," says the report. "Hazrat Mahdi receives him courteously and asks him to lead the prayers. But Jesus says you are more qualified for this than me. We read in the book Tazkarat ol-Olia, 'the Mahdi will come with Jesus son of Mary accompanying him.' This indicates that these two great men are (sic) complement each other. Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world. Jesus had himself given the tidings of the coming of God's last messenger and will see Mohammad's ideals materialize in the time of the Mahdi."
All Iran is buzzing about the Mahdi, the 12th imam and the role Iran and Ahmadinejad are playing in his anticipated return. There's a messiah hotline. There are news agencies especially devoted to the latest developments.
"People are anxious to know when and how will He rise; what they must do to receive this worldwide salvation," says Ali Lari, a cleric at the Bright Future Institute in Iran's religious center of Qom. "The timing is not clear, but the conditions are more specific," he adds. "There is a saying: 'When the students are ready, the teacher will come.'"
"Be joyous my heart, miracles of the Messiah will soon be here," reads a poem used to conclude the first broadcast. "The scent of breaths of the One we know comes from near. Grieve not of sorrow and melancholy, as assured I was last night that a Savior will come, it's clear."
: This is a partial transcript of the Nov. 20 and the complete : transcript of closing episode of the Jan. 1 of the radio : series titled "The World toward Illumination" : that is posted on the website of the governmental Islamic : Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). : This series prepares Iran citizens for the imminent arrival of : the Mahdi, the Twelfth or Hidden Imam, awaited by Shi'ites : as the Messiah.
: The World toward Illumination
: Monday November 20, 2006
: He will appear as a handsome young man, clad in neat clothes : and exuding the fragrance of paradise. His face will glow : with love and kindness for the human beings and because of : this reason a famous hadith from the Prophet of Islam : (SAWA) has referred to him as Inn-al-Mahdi Tavous ahl : al-Jannah, which means Indeed the Mahdi will be like a : Peacock among the People of Paradise. He has a radiant : forehead, black piercing eyes and a broad chest. He very : much resembles his ancestor Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). : Heavenly light and justice accompany him. He will overcome : enemies and oppressors with the help of God, and as per the : promise of the Almighty the Mahdi will eradicate all : corruption and injustice from the face of the earth and : establish the global government of peace, justice and : equity.
: Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) will appear all : of a sudden on the world scene with a voice from the skies : announcing his reappearance at the holy Kaâba in Mecca. : The cloak and other special belongings of Prophet Mohammad : (SAWA) will be with him. He is the essence of all good and : the mirror reflecting the characteristics of the 124,000 : Prophets sent by God for the guidance of mankind since : creation. He calls on all and says I am Baqiat-Allah or the : Repository of God on earth. The Prophet had said: Mahdi : will appear with a cloud moving above his head. From the : sky it will be announced that the hands of the oppressors : have been cut and the best of men from the progeny of : Mohammad has taken over the leadership. Then the birds will : lay abundant eggs and the fish will exceedingly reproduce, : the rivers will flow in all their glory and the springs : will gush forth from the earth, and the fruits will be : multiplied."
: In our discussion of the world in the last days of the earth : we had said in our previous editions of this programme that : no source has pointed to the exact date when the Savior : will appear and only God knows about the exact timing of : the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS). The Prophet had said: : He will certainly appear and if only a day were to be left : to the end of the world God will make that day so long for : Mahdi to appear and rise. There are various versions of the : exact day of his reappearance. Some say it would be Friday : and the date will be Ashura or the 10th of Moharram, the : heart-rending martyrdom anniversary of his illustrious : ancestor, Imam Husain (AS). Others say the date will be the : 25th of the month of Zil-Qadah and may coincide with the : Spring Equinox or Nowrooz as the Iranians call. A saying : attributed to the Prophets 6th infallible heir, Imam : Jafar Sadeq (PBUH) says the Mahdi will appear on the : Spring Equinox and God will make him defeat Dajjal the : Impostor or the anti-Christ as the Christians say, who will : be hanged near the dump of Kufa. The 6th Imam goes on to : add: There will be no Nowrooz when we will not be waiting : for him.
: Monday January 1, 2007 Imam Hasan Askari (PBUH), who was martyred at the young age of : 28 years in the year 260 AH by the enemies of humanity, had : told his 5-year old son Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his : reappearance): God will break the back of the oppressors : with your hand, revive the principles of religion, brighten : world horizons, and establish peace from coast to coast. : Even the child lying in his cradle will wish to run toward : you. The savage ones in the desert will wish to find their : way to you. Every part of the world will become green and : fresh.
: Security is one of the primary needs and the cherished wish of : the human community, for in its light the flourishing of : talents and creativities as well as growth of civilizations : becomes possible. Man needs to establish a legal peaceful : government in the light of security. According to the Holy : Quran, security covers all individual, social, political : and economic fields. Prophet Abraham (PBUH) had prayed to : God for security. Ayah 126 of Surah Baqara has preserved : his words: "and when Abraham said: My Lord, make it a :secure town and provide its people with fruits."
: The Prophets cousin, son-in-law and first infallible : successor, Imam Ali (PBUH), says there is no blessing : better than security. He believes the worst city is one : without security and greenness. He says qualified rulers : are needed to establish this security. Imam Ali (PBUH) is : quoted as saying in the famous book Nahj al-Balagha that : people need a ruler under whom the faithful could go about : their work peacefully and under secure conditions. It is : the duty of the government to set up the treasury and use : to thwart the plots of the enemies, so that roads will be : safe and the rights of the weak will be taken back from the : powerful.
: Thus the creation of a legitimate and qualified government is : the most important source for creating social security. But : if the government has weaknesses, security will be : endangered. In our world governments are run by people who : have expansionist designs. They have not been brought up : well and not benefited from religious teachings. Thus they : are not committed to social justice and they create : insecurity in the society. Islam believes that true : security is provided in the light of faith. God Almighty : says in ayah 82 of Surah Anaam "those who believe and : do not mix up their faith with iniquity those are they who : shall have the security and they are those who go : aright."
: As could be gauged by the verses of the Holy Quran, Imam : Mahdi (AS) will establish security throughout the world. He : will uproot lawlessness, remove anarchy and establish new : social relations based on justice, law and respect for : human rights. Everything will be precise and calculated, : and as the holy Quran says at that time fear will turn into : security. Young women will be able to travel alone, even on : highways, without the least fear of being harassed. No one : is afraid of his or her right being trampled. Theft and : swindling will no longer exist and there will no longer be : any grounds for the corrupt and oppressors to move about. : The Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), says: the : time of difficulties and thirst will end by our hand. And : when the Promised One appears, hatred will leave hearts and : animals will also live in coexistence. Women can travel : from Iraq to Syria with all their jewelry without fear of : anything.
: Imam Mahdi (PBUH) says: I am the cause of tranquility and : peace for those on earth as the stars are the cause of : security in the skies.
: Although in occultation by Gods Will, it is because of the : existence of the Imam that the todays world exists, : despite the rampant corruption and aggression. As a matter : of fact, like the sun when it is behind the cloud, Imam : Mahdi (PBUH) continues to inspire hope in the hearts of the : faithful of his eventual appearance to fill the earth with : peace, security and justice. There are many places around : the world that are associated with the hidden Imam, who had : appeared there or instructed the building of a site of : worship at some specific spots.
: The holy mosque of Jamkaran in Qom is a renowned place. A few : kilometers from Qom the turquoise dome beckons the : faithful. The people's huge gatherings and the sound of : prayer draw the attention of those who just arrive. The : mosque was built on the instructions of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) : over a thousand years ago. Devotees gather at this place to : beseech God and they come from all over Iran and even from : other parts of the world. Some regularly visit the Jamkaran : Mosque every Tuesday of the week. Here we see a special : spirituality. Looks are filled with kindness, and faith is : seen among the waves of people." A female university : student says" When you enter the mosque you are like a : drop in a big sea, you feel that everyone has come for love : of the Mahdi and is impatiently awaiting his beautiful : world."
: The atmosphere is same every Tuesday in Iraq where on the : skirts of the city of Kufa stands the sprawling Sahla : Mosque, which was the home of Prophet Idris or Enoch : centuries before the great deluge of the days of Prophet : Noah. In the courtyard of the mosque is the Maqaam Saheb : oz-Zamaan or the Place of the Imam of the Age, that is, : Imam Mahdi. Like the Jamkaran Mosque, prayers are speedily : answered here as well, where despite the persecution of the : successive tyrannical minority regimes ruling from Baghdad, : the faithful have not stopped coming to this sacred site. : Now after the overthrow of Saddam, the masses have : considerably increased, for when the Imam reappears, he will make Kufa the capital of his world government of : peace, security, justice and equity, while he will deal : with world affairs from the Sahla Mosque.
In my next post, I want to compare certain points in the above verses with those from the Bible about the Antichrist and also about Jesus Christ. Please stay tuned!