The cult of the 12th imam

From Iran’s Nuclear Nutter: Profile of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s combustive rhetoric about wiping out Israel, denying the Holocaust, and asserting Iran’s inalienable right to nuclear power – a potential cloak for developing nuclear weapons – have triggered alarm bells around the world. The president is believed to be devoted to the cult of the 12th Imam, the Shi’ite savior better known as the Mahdi, whose return would usher in an apocalyptic revolution of the oppressed over the forces of injustice.

In September, he told Newsweek: “Our religion prohibits us from having nuclear weapons.” After his recent outbursts, nobody takes him at his word any longer. We have been here before. History would have been different if Hitler had stuck to painting and Pol Pot to teaching. Once again, it’s three minutes to midnight.

The Mahdi (translated as: guided one), in Islamic eschatology, is a prophecy about the redeemer of Islam, who will change the world into a perfect society before Yaum al-Qiyamah (the “Day of Resurrection” or the end times).

In a hadith widely regarded as authentic, 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, 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.

So what we learned here is that Islam has its own little-known version of a Messianic era. What we already knew is that to get there – to get anywhere – they must create chaos first.

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