Muslim Prophecies and the Appearance of Imam Mahdi
A central tenet of the Muslim faith is the future coming of Imam Mahdi or the Imam at the end of time. He is also known as Q'aim or the promised one. Though the concept of Imam Mahdi is common to all branches of Islam, there is far more emphasis and importance attributed to his coming, in the Shia sect as opposed to the majority Sunni branch. It is in the Shia Islam that we find the most heightened state of expectation for the imminent arrival of Imam Mahdi.
Though Shiites make up around 15% of total Muslim population Worldwide the proportion is far higher in the Middle East where they make up over a third of the total. Two important countries where Shiites make up the majority are Iran and Iraq.
It is an interesting but not widely known fact that the official head of state of Iran is actually Iman Mahdi, or will be when he arrives. The most power politicians in Iran are really temporary stand ins for Imam Mahdi. Ayotollah literally means 'place holder'. The current President of Iran, at the time of writing, Mahmoud Armhedhinajad is a firm believer in the imminent arrival of Imam Mahdi. Almost everyone of his major speeches make references to the Mahdi and has even said that he expects his arrival within a matter of a few years. It is alleged that Armhedhinajad has connections with the banned Hojjateah sect who believe that by doing things to create more chaos in this World, and encouraging such actions, one can hasten the coming of Iman Mahdi. The Hojjateah sect was banned and made illegal in 1983 by Ayotollah Khomeini for being too subversive, radical and dangerous. They went underground and are believed, in what some Irans see as a silent coup, to have infiltrated the Iranian government at the highest levels and so form effectively a secret society working towards hastening the coming of the Mahdi.
In Iraq, among the Shiites, there is also a strong sense that the coming of Imam Mahdi is imminent. A lot of Iraqis believe that '[The Americans] will not leave until [Imam Mahdi] appears'. One of the biggest Shiite militias in Iraq, the so called 'Mahdi Army' is waiting to be led by the Imam at the End of Time when he announces himself. The acting head of the Mahdi Army, Moqtada Al Sadr has said that, 'The Mahdi Army does not belong to me, but it is the base of [Imam Mahdi]. All those who are in Iraq are [Imam Mahdi's] army.'
In the August of 2009, Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei called on Muslims around the world to unite in response to the imminent arrival of the Mahdi. However the schism that exists within Islam between the Sunni and Shiite sects is deep and this may not happen. But what could quite possibly happen is a charismatic individual may be able to unite the Shiites of the World especially those located in the Middle East to form a Shiite Superstate and create America and Israel's worst nightmare.
what follow are a selection of prophecies describing the role and attributes of Imam Mahdi and also the conditions of the World around the time of his arrival.
The role and attributes of Imam Mahdi
"The Imam who will create a world state will make the ruling nations pay for their crimes against society. He will bring succor to humanity. He will take out the hidden wealth from the breast of the earth and will distribute it equitably amongst the needy deserving. He will teach you simple living and high thinking. He will make you understand that virtue is a state of character which is always a mean between the two extremes, and which is based upon equity and justice. He will revive the teaching of the Holy Qur'an and the traditions of the Holy Prophet after the world has ignored them as dead letters.... He will protect and defend himself with resources of science and supreme knowledge. His control over these resources will be complete. He will know how supreme they are and how carefully they will have to be used. His mind will be free from desires of bringing harm and injury to humanity. Such a knowledge to him will be like the property which was wrongly possessed by others and for which he was waiting for the permission to repossess and use. He, in the beginning, will be like a poor stranger unknown and uncared for, and Islam then will be in the hopeless and helpless plight of an exhausted camel who has laid down its head and is wagging its tail. With such a start he will establish an empire of God in this world. He will be the final demonstration and proof of God's merciful wish to acquaint man with the right ways of life." - Islam. Nahjul Balagha, Khutba 141, 187
'The Apostle of Allah said, "Were there remaining but one day of the duration of all time, God would send forth a man from the people of my house, who will fill the earth with equity as it has been filled with oppression.' - Hadith of Abu Dawud
The conditions of the World around the time of the coming of Imam Mahdi
'Society will be engulfed by ravaging wars, overflowing with havoc and devastation. In the beginning the conquerers will feel very happy over their success and booties gathered therein, but it will all have a very sad end. I warn you of wars of the future; you have no idea of the enormity of evil which they will carray.' - Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 141
'And when the Word is fullfilled against the unjust, We shall produce from the earth a Beast to face them: he will speak to them, because that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our signs.' - Quran 27.82
'The time is near in which nothing will remain of Islam but its name, and of the Qur'an but its mere appearance, and the mosques of Muslims will be destitute of knowledge and worship; and the learned men will be the worst people under the heavens; and contention and strife will issue from them, and it will return upon themselves.' - Islam. Hadith.
'There is no prophet who has not warned his people about the one-eyed liar [the Anti-Christ]. I tell you that he is one-eyed, but your Lord is not one-eyed. On his forehead are the letters k, f, r (infidelity)... The Dajjal will come forth having with him water and fire, and what mankind see as water will be fire which burns and what they see as fire will be cold, sweet water. Any of you who live till that time must fall into what they see as fire, for it is sweet, fresh water.' - Hadiths of Bukhari