Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions are products of Imam. One can witness the hand of Imam in managing it," said Ahmadinejad, wearing his trademark jacket.
One question I am mostly asked is why nations and ideologies implode.
One of the main reasons nations implode is the kind of ideological nonsense that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad articulated on Friday – that a new Middle East is being created which would be free of the United States and Israel. This was okay, as he calls for these ‘annihilations’ most of the time, but Ahmadinejad in his fiery style revealed his messianic beliefs on Friday, saying the world was witnessing a revolution managed by Imam Mahdi, the 12th Shiite Imam who disappeared as a five-year-old in the 10th century and who Shiites believe would return on Judgment Day.
"The final move has begun. We are in the middle of a world revolution managed by this dear (12th Imam). A great awakening is unfolding. One can witness the hand of Imam in managing it," said Ahmadinejad, wearing his trademark jacket.
The contemporary events in 2006 in Lebanon by his proxies were a component of that uncompromising ideological fixation. The altercation with America and Israel and the 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 makes it superfluous. Iranian President is duty bound to help create environs which is conducive to the Mahdi’s return; unfortunately, 'universal peace' does not help the prophecies that are an integral part of his understanding of the scriptures.
Present insanity, psychosis, wars and craftiness in politics of the Middle East have religious historical conjecture; the higher the chaos and bigger the noise, the greater the chances of divine intervention. Very few in the West can understand the undercurrents of self-obliteration so evident in the cult of Mahdaviat.
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 the near future as his knight in shining armour. The only missing link in the President’s opinion that delays the Mahdi's arrival is a still far too peaceful world. The degree of clashes and disasters that will set the chain of celestial events for 'mahdaviat' have to gather speed. Ahmadinejad finds 'global chaos' that roots in mythical ideology’ – this is the corner stone of Iranian state policy.
Ahmadinejad is an ideological demagogue so is his mullah-infested regime, they were actually under the impression that the Mahdi was going to reappear in 2006 on 22nd Aug, and when that date came and went, he was forced to back down in humiliation.
In 2006, miscalculation of the Mahdi’s appearance cost his Hezbollah proxies in Lebanon 50 billion$-plus in terms of real and opportunity losses for a period of next 5 years. The anarchy in Lebanon it appeared was not big enough to help the Imam appear from the greater Occultation! Maybe they now need to prepare for a bigger chaos! If the whole Middle East is involved in a chaotic turn of self-destruction, Mahdiviat becomes faster to manifest. What next? Maybe nuclear-tipped Zalzals might help tip the balance and generate sufficient universal anarchy for the Imam to finally come out of the heavenly shroud.
These kinds of statements prepare the ground for possible annihilation at a mass scale in the Middle East; this is exactly the kind of thinking that is embedded in a society as a result of a deficient intellect and reliance on miracles from a higher concourse.
Iran, which has no diplomatic ties with Egypt, has expressed its support to the uprising there, with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for installing an Islamic regime in the world's most populous Arab nation. Installation of an Islamic regime a la Muslim Brotherhood will have its own far-reaching consequences and Khamenei knows that a Sunni-led Muslim Brotherhood government will not help bridge the ideological schism with Shiite Iranian regime; it will only increase the polarization in the Middle East. The Islamic world needs to learn from the 'past' to move forward. The biggest threat from Iranian nuclear weapons is felt by the Saudis. The Muslim Brotherhood alignment with Iran will be a major tragedy in the offing for Saudi Arabia. Egypt at the heart of the Sunni school of philosophy is considered the Vatican of Islam, an alignment of Muslim brotherhood a la Hamas and Hezbollah with Iran is a new reckoning for global political pundits.
On the contrary, debkafile's intelligence sources reveal that Riyadh is raising diplomatic and military ties with Tehran. Invitations had gone out from Riyadh for Iranian delegations to visit the main Saudi cities. King Abdullah stressed he had more than one bone to pick with Obama. The king accused the US president of turning his back not only on Mubarak but on another beleaguered American ally, the former Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, when he was toppled by Iran's surrogate Hezbollah.
The initiation of dialogue between Riyadh and Tehran is the most dramatic fallout in the region from the crisis in Egypt. It is a boon for the Ayatollahs who are treating the sight of pro-Western regimes either fading under the weight of domestic uprisings, or turning away from the US, as Saudi Arabia is doing now. This development is also of pivotal importance for Israel. Saudi Arabia's close friendship with the Mubarak regime dovetailed neatly with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's alignment with Egypt and provided them with common policy denominators. The opening of the Saudi door to the Iranians push toward the Red Sea and Suez Canal tightens the Iranian siege ring around Israel.
These rumors fly in face of what I believe is an ideological schism between Saudis and Iran that is hard to bridge. In Wiki leaks King Abdullah is reported to have "frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program." "Cut off the head of the snake," the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, quotes the king as saying during a meeting with General David Petraeus in April 2008.
It is brilliant as far as Iranians support the freedom in Egypt. Massive crowds of Iranians, waving flags and chanting "Death to Mubarak!" and "Death to America!" descended on Tehran's Azadi Square (Freedom Square). However, instead of leading his flock to constructive relationships post despotic era, the hardliner lashed out at the West and Israel in a speech marking the 32nd anniversary of the Islamic revolution. Crowds of Iranians chanted pro-Egypt and anti-US slogans as they participated in the regime-organised anniversary celebrations -- a yearly rallying point for the Islamic regime. Chants of "Marg bar Mubarak (Death to Mubarak)", "Egyptians, Tunisians, your uprisings are just and we are with you" and "Hosni Mubarak 'mubarak' (congratulations) on the uprising of your people!" were heard in streets of Tehran.
"We will soon see a new Middle East materializing without America and the Zionist regime and there will be no room for world arrogance (the West) in it," Ahmadinejad told the cheering crowds who gathered despite the cold and cloudy weather. In a speech directed in good part at the Arab uprisings, Ahmadinejad said Egyptians need to be careful of the United States. This is ideological menace that is rearing its ugly tentacles and could result in disasters of far higher proportion than one could imagine. There is no short supply of baloney and gross drivel in the world of Political Islam.
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 the Imam, this sells very well politically. The myth has to linger on; it is the very 'veiled nature' of the passion that gives momentum and strength to political grandstanding, rather, maybe political grandstanding finds its roots in the divine assurances of the deliverance from shackles of the infidels.
Any belief employing "guardians of truth'' on shaping of landscape of intellect will implode. It is said that ‘crutches of faith are introduced when reasons sink exhausted.’ It is paradoxical that when the curtain of dogma was descending within the Islamic lands killing free thinking, it was slowly and steadily rising in Italy and northern Europe. The Islamic world was being eclipsed because of the internal philosophical challenges of orthodoxy and dogma were gaining. The utterance of these messianic beliefs is a pattern of dangerous ideology that the Iran clergy by virtue of its holy leanings continue to patronize. Ahmadinejad, who has often denied the Holocaust, said the United States is an "accomplice to the oppression of the Zionist regime."
The President does put 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’s arrival. As President he allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with ‘Mahdaviat in Jamkaran’ south of the capital.
The Islamic world today is capable of sublime creativity, truth and reason as its own history evidences. However, as always, Muslims have to take charge of their destiny and pierce through the recrimination to find the key to civilization renewal. Truth, tolerance, responsibility and the primordial nature of love once again have to be the founding values of the Muslim world for a renaissance to once again come about. Al Farabi wrote Kitab al Musiqa patronising music; later, orthodox schools thought music as the destroyer of soul, a side tracker of faith and disbanded it, making soul meaningless and devoured the Muslim soul of its very soul. Contentment was considered wicked; one could only be joyful in heavens! The choices became too narrowed; for heavenly pleasure, worldly pleasures became empty, life came to rust, stagnation became part of the mindset. Once the decay sets in, it takes innovation out of societies; it is the madness and rush for invention that bring societies to flourish.
Society is the name of living in totality with all facets of human life that includes erotica, music, art and culture. It is either all together that a free mind progresses within, or it is a devastatingly destructive intellectual black hole a society gets sucked in. Guardians of truth like Ahmadinejad are always able to destroy efforts of enlightenment in the name of the holy message’s sanctity and legislation of morality. The choices are free and clear – either adapt to the heavenly bliss and wait for life after death or assume present life to new more acceptable and tolerable ways; one needs to achieve a minuscule part of the heavenly deal here in this world. The day Muslims started postponing everything for 'life after death,' progress and enlightenment escaped past them. Islamic romanticists and philosophers should come out of hibernation and condemn this madness of self-destruction that will lead Islamic nations to obliteration.
The hyper-orthodox in Iran may need to closely look at the message of Shaykh al-Akbar Mohiyoddin Ibn 'Arabi today; they consider him somewhat dangerous and chancy, but his message of love undoubtedly will shape the foundation of an innovative and a charitable version of thinking in the forthcoming Islamic societies. The future belongs to the great Ibn 'Arabi and heretics like him; they were well ahead of their times but today the time of orthodoxy is dead and in modern day their message of love and hope is the only hope. No 'Golden age' is possible without free minds and no renaissance shall ever materialize without Vince's and Bach's, lets rediscover our Kindi's and Ibn Arabi's.
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 in 2006. The night of 'Mairaj 'is an annual celebration that had no greater significance that 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' the greater is the degree of their devoutness. To hasten the 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 the Imam finally decides to appear. The bloodier the earth becomes, the higher the probability of the emergence of Imam from greater Occultation; the lesser the civility the better the chances, so the 'leadership' is sincerely bound by its ideological belief to create problems. In effect, 'increased expectations of the Imam’s coming' have justified their inclination of intensified wicked doings. Ideology has helped 'global chaos creation' as a cornerstone of the state policy.
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 Foreign Minister), both looking to lead the 'kingdom of justice' with heavenly help before the Day of Judgment that the 'Mahdi' will institute.
The Taliban's preoccupation with heavenly help is well known – their Foreign Minister Muttawakil expected 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 the 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 the 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 ‘Khomeinites’ expected “Mahdi and the Muslim Brotherhood and the ‘Wahhabis' expected return of Christ will have an easy universal acceptance." Short of Allah climbing down to earth from his heavenly throne, the identification of a single man as the redeemer of Islam would be a most difficult proposition.
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 the Ummah as a whole would have made sure to behead any impostor who dared announce such an 'undertaking' on 22nd August. President Ahmadinejad for sure will cast the first stone to bury the man.
Belief is one thing, acceptance in him quite a different matter. They all sincerely believe in the holy arrivals, rather, it is a cardinal sin to question, but who will certify them as being “from Allah” is something that has so far remained 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 by Allah?
Many a Mahdi has appeared and been destroyed as an imposter; the present priestly authorities would hate to pass the controls to someone descending from skies. How can these self-appointed leaders and despots give control to someone who appears new and claims authority from Allah? Even if ‘he’ is the one, he will be dealt with the way previous appearances have been handled. 'The 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 Khomeinites' will have to give up the key of ‘oil and treasury’ to the claimant; the temporal and sacred power will be invested in this expected manifestation who would lead them to ultimate victory.
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 legendary 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 Nassrullah believe that 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.
One counter-revolution that will make everyone most happy is the destruction of the medieval rule of clergy in Iran. Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are seeking to hold a rally on Monday in support of Arab uprisings in the region. Mehdi Karroubi can be the ‘Mahdi’ if he can ignite the struggle to overthrow this draconian regime from its saddles.
During last year's anniversary rally, Iran's opposition had attempted to stage anti-government demonstrations which were crushed by security forces and the Basij militiamen. Since then the opposition supporters have stayed off Tehran streets; their plan is to garner their supporters and attempt to stage anti-government demonstrations. Hopefully the Azadi square in Tehran will become the focal point of the next revolution for freedom of mind and soul. Release the chains and free the minds is the voice of people today.
One thing intrigues me: will it be the hand of the 12th Imam when ‘Khomeini initiated’ tyranny is replaced by freedom and democracy by the valiant people of Iran soon? 12th Imam most likely will not be a very happy man by the looks of it.