Waging War To Prepare The Way For The Mahdi
The 15% of Muslims who are Shiites are preparing for the return of “the Mahdi”. To the Shiites, the Mahdi is the last Imam, the twelfth Imam, and though he has been hidden for the past twelve centuries, they believe his return is imminent.
When he was asked what the Mahdi will do upon his return, the Ayatollah Hadavi Tehrani quoted the ancient text of Imam Ali al-Baqir, stating, “For a full eight months, he will have his sword unsheathed and will kill the enemies of God until God is satisfied.”
After becoming Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad said that he believed his main mission as Iran’s leader is to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.”
Ahmadinejad’s views are said to be shaped by a group known as the Hojjatieh, currently led by Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi.
In an article written by Mohebat Ahdiyyih in the Middle East Quarterly, Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi states frankly that the concept behind the Twelvers’ end-times theology is that the “superiority of Islam over other religions is stressed in Qur'an, which calls on believers to wage war against unbelievers and prepare the way for the advent of the Mahdi and conquering the world.”
To the Twelver Shiittes like President Ahmadinejad and the Shiite ayatollahs, waging war, is therefore, not an unfortunate side effect of differing beliefs, but rather is a requirement which they must follow in order to “prepare the way for the advent of the Mahdi and conquering the world.”
The goal of the Twelver Shiittes is to rid the world of “Kufr”, which means a rejection of Islam, or the Quran, or the Mahdi. “Taghut” means rebellion to Allah, idolatry.
The Ayatollah Rudollah Khomeini, whose Madhist ideas led Iran through its Revolution and up until his death in 2008, has stated, “First, the existence of a non-Islamic political order necessarily results in the non-implementation of the Islamic political order. Then, all non-Islamic systems of government are the systems of kufrsince the ruler in each case is an instance of taghut,and it is our duty to remove from the life of Muslim society all traces of kufr and destroy them. … This is a duty all Muslims must fulfill in every one of the Muslim countries, in order to achieve the triumphant political revolution of Islam.”
Iran actively supports and exports Khomeini’s view of the universal duty of all Muslims to destroy all traces of any non-Islamic life.
Hezbollah is Arabic for “party of God”. That Lebanese group was created by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. In fact, the children in the Mahdi Scouts of Lebanon each wear a small picture of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on his chest.
Hezbollah’s former director of Mahdi Scouts, Bilal Naim, said, “After age 16, the boys mostly go to resistance or military activities.” That outcome is not surprising since Mahdi Scout leaders must adhere strictly to the pre-printed lessons for each age group. The chapter titles for the 12- to 14-year-old age group, include “Know Your Enemy,” “Loyalty to the Leader” and “Facts about Jews.” In those chapters, Jews are described as cruel, corrupt, cowardly, deceitful, and the killers of Islamic holy men.
These are all items we will want to keep in mind as we negotiate and discuss methods for deterring Iran from completing its nuclear weapons program.