Skip to comments.Ahmadinejad Awaits the Hidden Imam (Interesting perpective!)
Posted on 01/25/2006 12:16:35 PM PST by Dark Skies
At the end of his speech at the United Nations in the fall of 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an invocation to Allah to bring about the speedy reappearance of the Hidden Imam.
The media and, sad to say, many academic persons were at a loss to explain this eschatological reference. The situation was complicated by later interviews in which Ahmadinejad reported that many of his co-religionists claimed that while he was making those remarks, they could see about him an aura of light. He recalled that he too was aware of a celestial light at that time. He also pointed to the fact that the leaders of the world were watching him at that time with a fixed gaze, apparently unable to look away.
The immediate question: who is this Hidden Imam to whom he referred?
The American media, whose talking heads appear so authoritative on every subject, had no immediate answer. Many of these same pundits watched in February, 1979, as over two million lined the road leading from Mehrebad airport into Tehran during the return of the Ayatollah Khomeini, chanting al-Muntazar.
Khomeini immediately explained in a series of speeches that he was not al-Muntazar, one of the designations of the Hidden Imam, but that he had come to prepare the way for his appearance. In fact, Article Five of the constitution for the Islamic Republic of Iran, promulgated that same year, 1979, proclaimed that the basis for the constitution and its government was the authority of the Hidden Imam.
Moreover, the constitution promised that it would dissolve in his favor, following the Hidden Imams re-appearance.
The IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran) is, in actuality, an eschatological construct based on a messianic figure known as the Hidden Imam. With the ongoing pronouncements about the destruction of Israel and the war against the United States, all in the name of the Hidden Imam, it suddenly seems more important to know something about this whole concept.
To begin our overview of the theology behind the Hidden Imam, we have to recognize that the umma, the worldwide body of Muslims, is divided into two main sects, the Sunni and the Shia. The roots of this division go back to the period directly following the death of Muhammad and the conflict over who should be his successor, or caliph. The Sunni basically accept all the caliphs who have ruled as legitimate, no matter their genealogy, how they achieved the office, or how good a Muslim they were.
The Shia differ. They posit that the true successor to Muhammad has to be a descendant of the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, an enormously important figure known to all Muslims, Ali. As a result, they are called the shiatu-Ali, or the party of Ali.
To complicate things further, the Shia are further subdivided into three main groups.
These three groups are known by the number of Imams they accept. In the case of the Shia, the word for the designated prayer leaderimam with a lower case i is also used to designate the descendants of Ali who were legitimate successors to Muhammad. Of course these select successors are marked with the capital letter: Imams.
This, the group of Shia which accepts four Imams is called the Fourers or Zaydis after the fourth Imam in their listing. The Seveners or Ismailis are known as such for the same reason. The Twelvers are the group which constitutes over 90% of the population of Iran and around 60% of the population of Iraq.
Now unlike the Sunni caliph, the Shia Imam inherited from Muhammad not just his civil rule over the umma but also his prerogative of interpreting the Quran, his infallibility, and his sinlessness (that connotation of impeccability seems far lost today). The eleventh Imam, al-Hassan al-Askari, died in 874. He was succeeded by the twelfth Imam, the youthful Muhammad, who disappeared in 274/878 in the cave of the great mosque at Samarra without leaving progeny.
He is now known as the expected one, (al-Muntazar), the promised one (al-Mahdi), or the hidden one, (al-Mustatir). The theology of the Hidden Imam is that Allah realized at last that the rightful successor to Muhammad was not going to be accepted by Islam at large so he had to be taken into hiding and kept there until he would re-appear to purify the umma and take the world for Islam.
The period of the Twelfth Imams hiding was in two parts. The period from 878 until 941 would be known as the Lesser Occultation, a time when the Hidden Imam was still active in this earthly realm, communicating by messengers. The Great Occultation began in 941, when all contact with the world was broken off. This date has been misinterpreted by some authors as the date of his disappearance. The Great Occultation continues to present and will end when he re-appears.
Media commentators and a great many academics mostly are not people of faith. For such intellectuals, the operational worldview of a people who believe in a messiah-like Mahdi, to the point that they are willing to base their government on that belief, is utterly alien and incomprehensible. Accordingly, the experts have little to say to the non-expert public about the characteristics and implications of a government predicated on such beliefs.
Today, the incumbent leader of a modern nation-state is making warlike and virulently anti-Semitic pronouncements with almost no knowledgeable comment from the visible pool of experts in the mass media.
When Hitler wrote of his intentions, the leaders of the Europe at that time could not comprehend someone saying and meaning the things he said. Our leaders at present seem similarly stultified in their thinking.
I suggest that we have to take Ahmadinejad seriously. I believe that he means what he says, and if given the opportunity will try to carry out his murderous plans. I furthermore suggest that we need to look around for the moral courage (the ability to make a stand on principle) to censure and punish those who call for the killing of Jews and the destruction of Israel.
Have we no memory? Have we no courage?
Am I the only one who believes that Mahmoud, when he refers to the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, is referring to himself? And that he is just waiting for his countrymen to recognize this, and to acclaim him as their long promised savior?
How long will it be before Mahmoud starts asserting that he is of the proper family lineage, etc? Not long, I'd bet.
I can't quite decide whether Mahmoud is one of the great snake-oil salesmen of his day, or if he is just unhinged.
This author has written the best analysis I've seen of this "hidden Imam" apocalyptic Islam. He writes that he takes Amendinjad at his word. All his murderous words
BTW, like your new tag line. One of my favorite movies.
I thought Ahmadinejad thinks he is the MAHDI.
Please note the author is a professor of religion at Oral Roberts University.
Thanks on the tag line:)
I agree. The man is extemely dangerous and should be taken out!.
I am the Hidden Imam. Boo!
Khedive ISMAIL PASHA had been deposed in 1879; his successor TAWFIQ was perceived as weak, under the influence of URABI PASHA.. Following political intrigues at the court in Cairo, Urabi Pasha was ousted and the British government used the inability of the Egyptian administration to pay interest on her national bet to declare Egypt a BRITISH PROTECTORATE.
In the KORDOFAN region of the Sudan, MUHAMMAD AHMAD declared himself to be the MAHDI, the expected one, a mouthpiece of the prophet, and assembled a community of followers. While the Egyptian administration during the preceding 6 decades had not been resented per se, many reforms introduced by her - the modernization of the army, the limitation of the application of the Sharia, the implementation of taxation, the abolition of slavery - were, all the more if they were perceived as alien to Islamic tradition, as due to Western pressure or influence.
The presence of christian missionaries, the fact that Westerners such as Samuel White Baker, Charles Gordon, Eduard Schnitzler (Emin Pascha) occupied leading positions in the Egyptian administration of the Sudan personified this western influence.
Historian P.M. Holt stresses that the Mahdiyya originated in the Kordofan, began as a regional phenomenon, in 1881. The Mahdi called on his followers to refuse taxation and to fight the 'Turks'. Attempts by Governor MUHAMMAD RA'UF to arrest the Mahdi, to contain the rebellion failed; soon Kordofan, except her garrisons, was under the control of the Mahdiyya.
In Jan. 1883 the garrisons of Bara and El Obeid surrendered. The Egyptian administration sent an army commanded by a British officer, WILLIAM HICKS; it was annihilated on Nov. 5th 1883. In the BATTLE OF SHAYKAN the Mahdiyya acquired modern weaponry and ammunition.
While British Prime Minister sent General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, who was appointed Governor General by the Khedive, to Khartoum, with the order to evacuate the Edyptian residents of the city, the Mahdi had established his control over much of the Sudanese countryside; Khartoum and a few strongholds along the Nile were still held by Egyptians, as was the south - the Bahr-el-Ghazal and Equatoria. The Governor of Bahr-el-Ghazal, Englishman F.M. LUPTON, surrendered to a Mahdist expedition in April 1884; Governor of Equatoria EMIN PASCHA (German Eduard Schnitzler) rather than awaiting a Mahdist force he could not possibly resist, moved south and established residence at WADELAI on Lake Albert. At Suakin (Port Sudan) on the Red Sea the Egyptian garrison also held out.
The Mahdist forces established their camp at OMDURMAN, opposite Khartoum, and laid siege to the latter, which held out until January 26th 1885; Governor Gordon was killed in the attack. A British relief force arrived on British steamers two days later. The MAHDI died of disease June 22nd 1885.
The administration fell into the hands of the Mahdi's chosen successors, the 4 Caliphs, most notably Abdallah ibn Muhammad. The Mahdiyya administration followed the model of the early Caliphate, restored the Sharia to universal application and reduced taxation. Christians faced persecution. In one aspect the Mahdi diverted from the tradition of Sudanese governors - he had coins struck. Abdallah ibn Muhammad quickly consolidated his position; a feared British invasion did not materialize; expansion continued as the garrisons of KASSALA and SENNAR fell in July/August 1885. DARFUR (the Sultan of which had lead an army against Khartoum in 1886) was brought under control, a border war with christian ABYSSINIA fought - King John of Abyssinia was killed in a March 1889 battle. Another war was fought on the border with Egypt.
The military events in 1889, which, besides the battle with the Ethiopians included the crushing of a revolt in Darfur and a defeat the defeat of an expedition sent against Egypt, marked the climax of Mahdist expansion. A misharvest caused severe famine; the privileged treatment given to the Khalifa's tribe, the TA'AISHA, caused general resentment; an 1891 rebellion was suppressed. A Mahdist expedition into Italian Eritrea was defeated in 1893; Italian forces took Kassala in 1894. The same year a Belgian force established a stronghold at REJAF in what was to be called the LADO ENCLAVE.
While the Khalifa's rule became more and more despotic, the French (1895) planned an expedition to the Nile, under COLONEL MARCHAND. Now the British administration realized that her claim on the central Nile valley was questioned by the Italians, Belgians and French; in 1896 a British force commanded by SIR HERBERT KITCHENER was dispatched to occupy Dongola; it occupied Berber in 1887, defeated the main Mahdist force at Atbara on April 8th 1898; Omdurman fell on September 1st 1898.
Now that's a leader that I could follow. WOW! Not much hidden, though.
If this was all he was doing, I say leave him alone. But in light of his threats to Israel, The US and Europe, it adds perspective to his madness....and dangerous volitility.
There is a great need for some "wet work" on this guy.
Ignore someone obsessed about the Mahdi concept...and you might just
end up dead...
The way this film has been ignored since 9-11 is simply amazing.
I think the hidden Imam is Bush and when he comes over there they will have to suspend their political establishment.
now wouldn't that be the funniest thing ever!!
Unfortunately, it will probably take another 9/11 incident before we take this nutball out.
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