12th Imam, al Mahdi, Ahmadinejad, and the Antichrist

QUESTION: 12th Imam, al Mahdi, Ahmadinejad, and the Antichrist

ANSWER:

According to one Shia version of eschatology (Iran is overwhelmingly Shia although Shiites constitute only 10 percent of Islam), history will come to an end with the rise of the 12th Imam (Twelfth Imam or al Mahdi), who is regarded as Islam’s messiah. Al Mahdi in Islamic eschatology is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will change the world into a perfect Islamic society before Yaum al-Qiyamah (literally, “Day of the Resurrection”).

The idea of a man who would arise to right the injustices in the world of Islam is now widely held. Al Mahdi, according to majority Sunni and Shiite traditions, will arise at some point before the day of judgment, institute a kingdom of justice, and will in the last days fight alongside a returned Jesus against the Dajjal (antichrist or false messiah). He will ascend after a season of chaos on the earth (a season of seven years) and then bring the world into submission to Allah.

12th Imam, Ahmadinejad, and the Antichrist
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ultra-radical Islamic president of Iran, has expressed his intent of fomenting such chaos on the earth in order to usher in the 12th Imam (al-Mahdi). Al Mahdi is said to be joined by Jesus (who never died) at Mecca. The Mahdi will instruct the restored prophet Jesus to pray properly, and Jesus will then instruct his mistaken followers to acknowledge and submit to Allah and Mohammed as his prophet. Ralph Stice, in his gripping study of Islamic eschatology, From 9/11 to 666, presents a sobering case for the rise of an Islamic antichrist within the next twenty years. Even secular news commentators are beginning to connect the dots: “Men like Ahmadinejad are no mystery. They are awake at the apocalypse....What are we to make of [his] millenarianism belief expressed in the return of the Hidden Imam, the apocalyptic moment in history when the wicked are punished and the lowly inherit the earth?...What is one to make of the man’s threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’?”1

By many accounts, Ahmadinejad and his circle of “Twelver Shia Muslims” (followers of the 12th Imam) are in an apocalyptic mood. It seems the use of nuclear weapons would not bother them,2 and now Iran claims to have nuclear capability. Stay tuned…

Rendered with permission from the book, Navigating Your Perfect Storm, Dr. Bob Wenz (Biblica, 2010). Compliments of Dr. Bob Wenz and his ministry, Renewing Total Worship. All rights reserved in the original.

Footnotes:
1 Fouad Ajami, “The Son of Ayatollah,” U.S. News and World Report (May 22, 2006): 36.

2 Jay Tolson, “Special Report: Aiming for Apocalypse,” U.S. News and World Report (May 22, 2006): 35.

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