Iranian Rumblings

Posted: August 20, 2009 by April Watkins in Iran, Islam
Tags: , , ,

In a chilling pronouncement on Monday, August 17, Ali Saeedi, the spokesman for Iran’s Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a Shi’a Muslim) called on Muslim countries to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi.  The Mahdi is the prophesized savior of Islam who is believed to return at the end of time to bring a new era of peace. 

Ayatollah Khamenei

Ayatollah Khamenei

Saeedi’s statement asserts that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the direct representative of the Mahdi and that other Islamic countries should join forces under an Iranian command.  He asserts, “We have to train honest forces that can stop the obstacles that may hinder the coming of the Mahdi like the United States and Israel.”

“Since the armed forces are commanded by the Supreme Leader, they are thus obeying the orders of the Awaited Mahdi.” He continues with an announcement of supremacy stating, “The [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards and the armed forces in Iran hold religious authority to prepare for the appearance of the Mahdi.” 

These statements were not received well by all Muslims, especially within the Sunni camp where emphasis is placed on other religious figures such as Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Islam and a cousin of Mohammed.  Even Iranian scholars have called for more focus on Iranian domestic problems rather than on prophesy. 

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a staunch follower of the Mahdi theology and has been chastised by fellow Iranians for mixing religion into the running of the government.  

President Ahmadinejad

President Ahmadinejad

In a speech given last month, Ahmadinejad made an unprecedented admission that he believes the Mahdi is directing “all the affairs of the country” including its day-o-day politics. 

“We must solve Iran’s internal problems as quickly as possible,” Ahmadinejad states.  “Time is lacking. A movement has started for us to occupy ourselves with our global responsibilities, which are arriving with great speed.”

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