Home | About Me | Links to My Articles | Info on My Books | Contact Me

Welcome to!

al-Mahdi is "the rightly-guided one" who, according to Islamic Hadiths (traditions), will come before the end of time to make the entire world Muslim.  Over the last 1400 years numerous claimants to the mantle of the Mahdi have arisen in both Shi`i and Sunni circles.  Modern belief in the coming of the Mahdi has manifested most famously in the 1979 al-`Utaybi uprising of Sa`udi Arabia, and more recently in the ongoing Mahdist movements (some violent) in Iraq, as well as in the frequently-expressed public prayers of former Iranian President Ahmadinezhad bidding the Mahdi to return and, in the larger Sunni Islamic world, by claims that Usamah bin Ladin might be the (occulted) Mahdi.  Now in 2014 Mahdism is active in Syria, as the jihadist opposition group Jabhat al-Nusra claims to be fighting to prepare the way for his coming; and in the new "Islamic State/caliphate" spanning Syrian and Iraqi territory, as its leadership promotes the upcoming apocalyptic battle with the West at Dabiq, Syria.  This site will track such Mahdi-related movements, aspirations, propaganda and beliefs in both Sunni and Shi`i milieus, as well as other  Muslim eschatological yearnings.
For a primer on Mahdism, see my 2005 article, "What's Worse than Violent Jihadists?," at the History News Network:; for more in-depth info, see the links here to my other writings, including my book on Mahdism.

Archive Newer       

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nancy Pelosi's Not the Only One Picking Out an Office...
According to "Iran Press News:"

احمدی نژاد و نصرالله با امام زمان ارتباط دارند، ولی بروی خود نمیاورند

"Ahmadinezhad and Nasrallah are in contact with the Imam-i Zaman....;" that is, with the Hidden Imam, soon to return as the Awaited Mahdi. 

Here's the link:

[Special thanks to Mr. Brian Kranick for alerting me to this!]

9:00 am edt          Comments

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jake, Elwood and...Mahmud?
Seems the Blues Brothers are not the only folks convinced they're "on a mission from Gahd," according to a new report from MEMRI:
Special Dispatch-Iran
October 19, 2006
No. 1328

Iran President Ahmadinejad: "I Have a Connection With God, Since God Said That the Infidels Will Have No Way to Harm the Believers"; "We Have [Only] One Step Remaining Before We Attain the Summit of Nuclear Technology"; The West "Will Not Dare To Attack Us"

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit: .
In an Iftar address to an audience of his supporters, including members of the Union of Islamic Engineers and supporters of the Khat-e Emam,(1) on October 14, 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that he had a connection with God, and promised that Iran would continue to develop nuclear energy, and would not give in to the West's demand to suspend its uranium enrichment "even for one single day."
8:54 am edt          Comments

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Militant Sufism: Fertile Ground for Mahdism
In the October 2, 2006 issue of "The New Republic," Andrew Lee Butters reports from Syria that Sufis (Naqshabandiyah order?) in eastern Syria/western Iraq  have turned their meetings into "forums for expressing anger at the U.S. occupation...."  ("Clerical Era. Syria Gets Religion").  
He expresses concern that this might bode ill for the al-Assad regime in Damascus (as if we should worry about that?!).  But the bigger issue is whether some branch of militant Sufism might transmogrify into a Mahdist movement, for historically Mahdism has often materialized within, and emerged from, a Sufi context (most notably Muhammad Ahmad's Mahdist movement in Sudan, 1880-1885).  Heretofore the yearning for the Mahdi in the Sunni world seems to have been limited to certain elements of the jihadist persuasion; but if even some Sufis converge with their non-mystical brethren and decide that they will go on jihad, an openly-proclaimed Mahdi becomes that much more likely.
3:37 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Maybe the Mahdi won't like the Islamic Republic

Critical cleric arrested in Iran - reports

Sun Oct 8, 2006 5:59 PM BST147

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric who has challenged Iran's system of clerical rule was arrested on Sunday after his supporters clashed with police outside his house in the Iranian capital, Iranian news agencies reported.

Ayatollah Mohammad Kazemeini Boroujerdi was detained with several supporters, Iran's student news agency ISNA quoted the deputy governor of Tehran, Abdollah Rowshan, as saying.

The Iranian authorities are wary of any challenge, particularly from top clerics, to the system of clerical rule that was established after the 1979 Islamic revolution by revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

More than 200 of Boroujerdi's supporters clashed with police using teargas on Saturday during a protest outside his house, newspapers reported. Some reports said his followers feared the cleric was in imminent danger of arrest....

A senior police officer was quoted as saying Boroujerdi had said he was a representative of the "hidden" 12th Imam, who Shi'ite Muslims revere, and this prompted some people to make donations.

"This is misinterpreting religion and is sheer lies," the police officer was quoted by Seday-e Edalat as saying.

(Thanks for the Free Republic folks for alerting me to this!)

7:09 am edt          Comments

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Mahdism: It's Not Just for Ahmadinejad Anymore

Intl. Conference of Mahdism Doctrine opens in Tehran  

TEHRAN, Sept. 6 (MNA) – The Second International Conference of Mahdism Doctrine (belief in reappearance of Imam Mahdi (AS) as the savior of the world) opened at the conference hall of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) in northern Tehran Wednesday.


President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Iranian officials, and over 110 foreign guests participated in the opening ceremony.


Promoting culture of Mahdism, teaching Mahdism, Mahdism and political and social doctrines, Mahdism and modernism, Mahdism and morality, as well as Mahdism and mysticism are the main topics of the two-day conference.

Had I found out about this conference sooner, I would have submitted a paper and attended (hey, I'll go to Tehran on the ayatollahs' tab).  This sounds very much like a conference I attended, and presented at, in London in 2004:


Bottom line: The coming of the Mahdi/Return of the Hidden Imam is NOT some fringe belief, but mainstream.
11:02 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Ahmadinejad's U.N. Prayer
In case anyone missed it: President Ahmadinejad of Iran prayed for the coming of the Mahdi at the U.N. on September 19, 2006 (referring to the Mahdi as the "Perfect Man"):
"[T]oday's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity; and above all longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet. 0, Almighty God, all men and women are Your creatures and You have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause."
10:09 pm edt          Comments

If the Dajjal is here, can the Mahdi be far behind?
Ayman al-Zawahiri last week is said to have referred to Pope Benedict XVI as al-Dajjal, "the Deceiver"--the Islamic equivalent of the Antichrist who, according to the Hadiths (traditions), will lead the forces of evil and battle both the Mahdi and Jesus before the end of time.
Is this just al-Zawahiri pushing propaganda buttons for his jihadist brethren, or does al-Qa`idah's number two man have an eschatological mindset? My money's on the latter, since as I point out in my book Holiest Wars there are jihadists convinced that Usamah bin Ladin is the Mahdi. 
8:41 pm edt          Comments

George Bush knows the Mahdi is Coming?

From The Times of London this morning:


THE followers of Moqtada al-Sadr believe that the US invaded Iraq to prevent the return to Earth of their sect’s messiah-like figure, the Mahdi, or 12th imam.


Hojatoleslam al-Sadr claims that his militia is preparing for the day when the Mahdi, the last direct descendent of the revered Shia figure Ali, reappears. Shia believe that the Mahdi, who disappeared in 868, will bring justice to Earth.


At a prayer service in the central Iraqi city of Kufa on September 15, the cleric told a crowd of thousands that the Americans were collecting a dossier on the Mahdi to prevent his return. “Did you ever ask yourself about why all of this, the bloodshed and the prisons? Why are the brothers fighting each other for a political game planned by the Americans? This all happened because they (the Americans) are waiting for the Mahdi. This planning started ten years ago. They have a big file for Imam Mahdi and they just need his picture to complete it.”


Hojatoleslam al-Sadr and his advisers are convinced that the Americans want to destroy Islam and stop the Mahdi. “The Americans are trying to hijack Islamic movements. They think that these are serving the Mahdi’s interests. Whatever they did in Afghanistan and Iraq are all attempts to hijack the Mahdi’s return.”


Sound familiar?  Check out my opinion recently featured here from FrontPageMag, in a symposium entitled "Ahmadinejad's Armageddon:"
10:47 am edt          Comments

Archive Newer       

Jamkaran Mosque near Qom, Iran (during my trip there Aug. 2008)

Mahdi, Mahdism, Eschatology, Usama bin Ladin, Dajjal, Ahmadinejad, al-Sadr, Hizbullah, Yajuj wa-Majuj, Dabbah, Jesus, `Isa, Holiest Wars, Nasrallah, End of Time, Twelfth Imam, Middle East Politics, Iran, Iraq, al-Sistani, Awaited Mahdi, al-Mahdi, the Mahdi, Hojjatiyeh, Armageddon, Dabbah, Muhammad, Hadith, Jihadists, Apocalypse, Consultant, Islamic Mahdis, Osama bin Ladin, al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda, al-Qa`ida, Azzam, Muhammad Ahmad, Ibn Tumart, al-Utaybi, Islam, Islamic, Muslim, Messiah, Ahmadinezhad, Khamanei, Ayatollah