- Category: Mahdism
- Written by Ayatullah al-Uzma Nasir Makarim Shirazi
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Mahdi the Twelfth Successor of the Prophet (S)
What has been analyzed until now in this book about “great universal peacemaker” and “revolutionary programs of Mahdi” was in two parts, one part in a general rational form and another part in a general Islamic form; but belief of Shiites
which is being fed from the school of Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet (S) has some characteristics which will be studied in this chapter; these characteristics are:
1) Shiites believe that Mahdi is the twelfth successor of Prophet (S) and son of Imam Hassan Askari (as); His name is “Muhammad”, his Kunya (honorific) is “Abolghasem” and his Laqabs are “Mahdi”, “Sahib Al-Zaman” and “al-Qa’im”.
2) “Mahdi” is alive now and according to the fact that he was born in the year 255 after Hijrah, now he is more than thousand years old.
3) “Mahdi” is hidden from the eyes while he is alive; which means, while he has a natural life but lives in this world unknown.
But other Islamic sects - except some of them - believe that he will born in End of Days, although he is from the dynasty of prophet; therefore, they don’t consider an age with this long occultation for him; albeit, few Sunnis also consider him as son of Imam Hassan Askari(as).
Anyway, special belief of Shiites arise three questions:
It is the famous question of “longevity” which has been introduced from the past that how is it possible for a human to live this much longer, while we have never seen that a person’s age exceeds one hundred to one hundred and twenty years! How this old age can be proper to maximum ages, which we see around us?
It is about the philosophy of this long occultation that why Imam and leader of Islamic society should be absent this much time, what is the secret of this matter?
Which has close relation with the second question - although it is separated from that - is about the philosophy of existence of Imam (as) during the occultation; when the leader has no connection with his followers and the people of the world cannot see him and gain benefits of his leadership then which role can be considered for him? And in other words, during this time, his life is a personal and private life not social and in the position of a leader!