مهدويت | Mahdawiyat
Most of the world religions have faith in the future of humanity. They all believe, though in different forms, that a messiah will save the entire humanity and the world from all sins. The messiah will establish a society on the basis of true virtues.
The Hindu religious scripture Mahabharata says whenever there are sins and injustice in the world the God sends his messenger to earth to fight all evils and establishes an order dictated by justice, equality and peace. Ancient Hindu texts clearly state that at the end of Kalyug (period full of sins) a saint named Kalki will come to this world to fight all evils and to establish just order.
In the same conspectus Bible says that Jesus will come back to earth and after fighting enemies of humanity, establish rule of the Lord God.
Islam though recognizes Jesus as messiah and believers have faith in him that he will fight against rampant injustice and corruption in religion, but they categorically differentiate between Imam Mahdi and Jesus.
Though, throughout the history of Islam, a few individuals -- driven either by the desperate state of Muslims in their community or a selfish pursuit of power and prestige -- laid claim to being Mahdi. Somehow they found a following as well among the uninformed masses those were desperately looking for salvation from the heavens. For some of these individuals (like Bab of Iran or Mirza Ghulam Qadiani of India) made claim to being Mahdi was just a stepping stone to the development of heretic sects which broke away from the fold of Islam. Thus, it is at least prudent to visit the facts of this prophecy and avoid falling pray to false claimants that will appear from time to time.
According to hadith narrated by Abu Saeed Khudri (R.A.) Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: "...(regarding the rule of Imaam Mahdi) the skies will rain down in abundance and the earth will yield forth its crop in abundance, and those alive will desire that those who have already passed away should have been alive to enjoy this prosperity..."
This announcement which will be heard by all those present will establish his authenticity. Another sign which will indicate the authenticity of Imaam Mahdi will be that in the Ramadhaan prior to his emergence an eclipse of the sun and moon will occur.
It is strongly believed that when the believers are severely oppressed in every corner of the world. The saviour will fight the oppressors, unite the Muslims, bring peace and justice to the world, rule over the Arabs, and lead a prayer in Mekkah at which Isa(pbuh) (Jesus) will be present.
It is not just Islam which has faith in the saviour of God but other religions of the world also have mention of a messenger who they believe will save the humanity against all odds.
Savior in Christianity
The “New Testament is full of references to Christ’s return, more or less direct, and they offer a wide and highly interesting field for study. They are to be found in every one of the twenty seven books of the New Testament, except the Epistle to the Galatians (which had a special object) and the short Epistles, Philemon and 2 and 3 Johns “ . Here is a collection of the New Testament passages concerning the second advent of Jesus Christ, which will also serve as material for further study of the subject. Not all the passages about his return and the last things are quite easily intelligible, chiefly because it is difficult to interpret the symbols used in them and to decide whether a certain passage is to be taken literally or metaphorically. Particularly, the passages from the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, the last book of the Bible, are the most symbolical and, therefore, the least intelligible and the most difficult to interpret.
QUOTATIONS FROM THE BIBLE
(i) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalam, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathered her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
- St. Mathew 23: 37-39
(ii) “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things” Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another. That shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of they coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in dives places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be affected, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of al nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved and this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,. Stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand): Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before, you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For whosesoever the carcase is there will the eagles be gathered together? Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened; and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of that Son of man in heaven: And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is night: So likewise ye, when see al these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you. This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only. But as the days of Note were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage, until the day that Note entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this that if he Goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household to give them meat in due season blessed is that servant, whom his lord when t he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayed his coming: And shall begging to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of And shall cut him as under, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
- St.Mathew 24
This is not all but in Bible; there are other references as well where they explain the future existence of the messiah.
Above we have dealt with religious parallelism and the Messianic hope in relation to the Semitic religions all of which have risen in or near the Mediterranean region of the world although they have spread far beyond the borders of the lands of their origin. It is desirable to have a view of the Messianic hope (or millennialism) in non-Semitic religions also.
Zoroastrianism is the religion founded by Zoroaster in Persia around 1000 B.C. Its holy book is the Avesta (or Zend Avesta). Today there are about 20,000 Zoroastrians (Gabars) in Iran (mostly in Yezd) and about 120,000 Zoroastrianism (Parasees) in India (mostly in Bombay). “
The Messianic (or millennial) hope cannot be studied satisfactorily apart from other eschatological problems e.g. the doctrine of resurrection, the final judgment, dissolution of world and the life hereafter. They are all closely (though somewhat mysteriously) related to one another. According to Zoroastrianism “the world would end 3,000 years after Zoroaster’s death at which time a new prophet would arise:”
People of this religion believe that in the fourth period of the universe a saviour, Saoshyant, will appear, the dead will rise for their final reward or punishment, and good will reign eternally. Saoshyant “will bring about the final judgment, dispense the drink of immortality and usher in the new world. Thus, Finite Time, which had come forth from Infinite Time, merges with it again after the space of 12,000 years.
In the Judae-Christian religion (the Bible) “the figure of the Messiah, originally a future king of Israel who would save his people from oppression, evolved, in Deutero-Isaiash for instance, into a universal Saviour very similar to the Iranian (Zoroastrian) Saoshyant.”
Hinduism is generally believed to have originated in the second millennium B.C. Hinduism the oldest of the living religions of the world, claiming, as it does, the adherence of about four hundred million people, leaves the door open for future manifestations or incarnations of God. “The incarnations of Vishnu are innumerable, like the rivulets flowing from an inexhaustible take.
According to the Bhagvad-Gita no incarnation is final. It quotes Sri Krishna as saying: “Though unborn and immortal, and also the Lord of all beings, I manifest Myself through my own Yogamaya (divine potency), keeping My Nature (Prakriti) under control. Arjuna, whenever there is a decline of righteousness and unrighteousness is in the ascendant, (then) I body Myself forth. For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers, and for establishing Dharma (righteousness) on a firm footing, I am born from age to age.” The Messianic hope in Hinduism is direct corollary of its incarnation theory. The Sanskrit word “Avatar” etymologically means ‘descent’ of a deity; technically, it means an incarnation or manifestation of God.
“Vishnu (Sanskr, the “active one”), in the Indian Rig-Veda (is) a minor deity,... Vishnu in the Epic (Ramayana and Mahabharata) mythology developed into the preserver-god, one of the Hindu triad with Brahma, the creator; and Shiva, the destroyer; and as such he has saved mankind in ten incarnations” 1 whenever a great disorder, physical or moral disturbed the world, Vishnu descended ‘in a small portion of his essence’ to set it right, to restore the law, and thus to preserve creation....
. A tenth incarnation, Hindus believe, is reserved for the last day, when Vishnu is to return to earth to execute righteousness and judgment.
“Avatar is Hindu mythology (is), an incarnation of the Deity. Ten avatars are peculiarly distinguished, and four of them are the subject of Puranas, or sacred poems. These 10 are among the incarnations of Vishnu, the Supreme God. The Matsya avatar was the decent of the Deity in the form of a Matsya avatar was the decent of the Deity in the form of a fish; Kachyapa or Kurma, in that of a tortoise; Varaha, as a boar; Nara Sinha (Man Lion), as a monster, half man, half lion; Vamana, as a dwarf; Parasurama,as the son of Jamadagni. All these took place in the Satya Yuga, or Golden Age.
The seventh incarnation was in the form of the four sons of King Dasarath, under the names of Rama, Lakshmana, Bhart, and Strughana, in order to destroy certain demons that infested the earth... Rama forms the subject of the Ramayana. The eighth Avatar of Vishnu, in the form of Krishna, (is) the best known of all; forms the subject of the great ... Mahabharata. Its object was to relieve the earth from the Daityas, and the wicked men who oppressed it. The ninth was in the form of Buddha. The Kalki, or tenth avatar, is yet to come at the end of Kali Yuga.”
Kalki, or White horse. This is yet to come. Vishnu mounted on a white horse, with a drawn scimitar, blazing like a comet, will, according to prophecy, end this present age, viz., the fourth or Kaliyug, by destroying the world, and then renovating creation by an age of purity.” 1 “This incarnation of Vishnu is to paper at the end of the Kali or Iron Age, sated on a white horse, with a drawn sword blazing like a comet, for the final destruction of the wicked, the renovation of creation, and the restoration of purity….
It is clear from the above that Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Siva (the destroyer) are the three attributes (or forms) of one and the same primordial person. There is, therefore, no room for the popular misconception that Hinduism believes in three gods and not in the one true God. Unity underlies trinity: trinity (or multiplicity) is the manifestation of unity.
Prophet according to Hinduism is not a messenger or apostle of God but God Himself, since He does not send anyone but Himself descends to execute His divine plan. Kalki, therefore, would be God Himself rather than a messenger of God.
Buddhism is the religion founded by Siddartha Gautam Buddha in the 6th century B.C. Like Christ, “Buddha had the courage to attack popular religion, superstition, ceremonial, and priest craft, and all the vested interests that clung to them. 25 and consequently came into clash with the institutional religion, with the priest and theologians of his day and was regarded as a rebel against the established faith.
And lastly, while Christianity predicts the second coming of Christ, Buddhism holds out the promise of the advent of the Maitreya Buddha.
Why the World Need a Messiah?
Justice of present international system may be questioned in which birthplace tend to play so large a role in life chances. One child may get a wonderful life where all the social and financial securities are guaranteed just because of born into an affluent/ developed state. While the other will be deprived even of the basic requirements of life and may have to struggle all his life to feed him and his family what to talk of right to education and dignified life as heralded by several constitutions of the world.
Why those born into some countries lived comparatively so well, while some born into less favored countries lived in absolute poverty, confronted by specters of disease, starvation and death. In this age of 21st century where we are discussing the avenues of having a residential arrangement on Moon or Mars, the humanity is also witnessing the food riot erupted in several countries. On one hand we see people of one country pouring millions of liters of milk and butter into sea just to maintain the global prices while on the other hand a son killing a father over a piece of bread or a father selling off his daughter for the medicine of his wife.
This situation demands action and not just a small increase in foreign aid, but sweeping structural change in the global system. There should be a system of distributive justice which is impartial, universal and accords the interest of all individuals regardless of citizenship or compatriot status, equal weight.
The present political conditions of the world show how a handful of people from the developed world are setting the agenda for the rest of the world by force and oppression. The world’s so called superpower is providing all the financial and strategic help to the fascist force of Israel. This evil force is using the money and support to kill the innocent people of Palestine. These oppressive powers are controlling the economy and polity to decide the fate of less fortunate.
The West as a result of their growing or advanced financial power, since the 1950s and also presently, have been dominating and colonizing the other countries. They claim to be peacemakers but they are monsters disguised in human fashion ready to kill by perpetrating injustice against the weaker ones.
We have been living in a complex world in which nations and political movements interact in intricate ways to formulate policies and handle conflicts. It is not difficult to imagine the sufferings of lacks of people of Palestine who are living as refugees in their very own homeland. The West should be reminded that ‘justice denied to any people means that a battle line has been drawn’.
The world is at such a juncture where only a Messiah can save the world and humanity from such rampant injustice. One of the first tasks before the messiah will be to encounter these evil forces and remove the double standard policies which are governing the world at the moment.
Here the question arises that could global government be the answer to global poverty and starvation? Do we owe equal to our co-citizens as much as to those in other countries? I argue that not only do we have strong obligations to people elsewhere, but that an accountable integration among nation-states will help ensure that all persons can lead a decent life. Our duties are equally strong to our fellow citizens as well as foreigners.
But the important question is who will be able to govern that global state in such an ideal manner where there is justice, fairness and opportunities for everyone belonging to the earth irrespective of the caste, creed, religion or race. I argue that Imam Mahdi, the imam in hiding, the ambassador of almighty is the only person equipped to bring peace and justice to this Universe.
He will have the ability to be the real crusader of the equality and world peace which is need of the hour. The world can rely only on his administration and dispensation of justice when he reappears which will finally create a world of peace and justice with no despair and oppression. Imam Mahdi, Allah's appointed ruler will be the only qualified person to form a society where people irrespective of their faith and gender will have everything which is socially desirable.
There will be no concept of nationalism but a global government based on moral principles of justice, fairness and equality. There will be a world without corruption, favoritism, nepotism and violence. It will be exactly the kind of world promised by Quran to the mankind.
The idea of an ideal global government is not wishful thinking but the aspiration of every individual, who always want better things: prettier view, better things to eat, and an ideal life with no social and economic problems. Imam Mahdi, the awaited saviour, will make the world a just and ideal system. He will conquer hearts of man and will form Dar-ul-Islam.