There are two major Islamic sects, i.e. the Sunnis and the Shiites. One of the major differences between the two sects is the identification of the Islamic Messiah, or al Mahdi. The Shiites believe very strongly in what is termed the 12th Imam. According to Islam, an Imam is an appointed leader or ruler. Shiites believe that only Allah can appoint an Imam and they further believe that the final, or 12th Imam will be their Messiah. The 11th Imam had a son named Abu al-Qusim Muhammad. The son was born in 936 AD and disappeared when he was a child. The Shiites believe that the son, i.e. Abu Muhammad will reappear near the end of the age as their Messiah and set the world straight under Islamic rule. He will rule on earth for seven years and at the end of the seven year period he will usher in the final judgment before he dies.
The self proclaimed prophet Mohammed spoke of their coming Messiah, or Mahdi.
“The world will not come to pass until a man from among my family, whose name will be my name, rules over the Arabs. The Mahdi will be of my family, of the descendants of Fatima.”
Islamic tradition holds that the Mahdi will not appear until the world is in a state of unrest. That will set the stage for the Mahdi to come and remove the chaos and establish world peace under Islamic control.
Now, Iran is composed of over 90% Shiites. And their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinajab is a very strong believer in the traditional 12th Imam, Messiah, or Mahdi. He in fact believes very strongly that Allah has appointed him to usher in their savior. In addition, when he spoke the first time before the United Nations in September, 2005 after his being elected Iran’s president he claimed that he felt the presence of Allah during that speech as if he were basking in an aura of light. He commented that during his speech his audience was so moved that none could even blink their eyes. In this UN speech he also called to the “mighty Lord” to hasten the emergence of “the promised one,” the one who “will fill this world with justice and peace.” While some in the audience might have naively thought that this was in reference to the return of Christ, it was actually a call for Allah to hasten the arrival of the Mahdi.
He was quoted in a later speech in Tehran saying he considers his main mission is to “pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance.” Islamic teachings include the supposition that Jesus will also return at that time as a convert to Islam.
So then, how would Ahmadinejad pave the way for the Mahdi? Well he needs to develop an environment of unrest and chaos. It appears that he is fulfilling his self appointed mission admirably. Iran is presently perhaps America’s number one threat. Of course they are most assuredly Israel’s number one threat. Ahmadinejad proclaimed to the United Nations that Israel should either be wiped off the face of the earth or deported to Alaska or the like. Ahmadinejad also refers to the United States as the “great Satan.”
Iran is deeply involved in the terror groups associated with the Palestinian opposition and the Palestinians have absolutely no intention of living in peace with Israel. The only treaty they will sign with Israel is the false seven year treaty that will signal the end of the age. Islamic teachings state that the Mahdi will set up headquarters in Jerusalem. And just as the Palestinians have no intention of peace with Israel; it is not even an option that Iran will consider halting or slowing their nuclear program. The United States needs to recognize that fact and consider the futility of further negotiations on the matter.
The Bible is not silent about a future invasion of Israel that will include Iran (ancient Persia) and other nations from both the north and south of Israel. This coalition will join together in the latter days.
“Set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog…Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them…Behold I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel…” Ezekiel 39:1-4
It is not known with certainty whether Magog includes the present Russia or just the northern Islamic countries that were former Soviet Republics. In either case, Russia is presently an enabler to Iran which is currently the undisputed center for the doctrine of the 12th Imam. Relations between the United States and Russia have been deteriorating very quickly in recent years as evidenced by the tension caused by the controversial proposed missile defense system that the United States wanted to install in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Thus it can be seen that Iran’s president is preoccupied with fostering a climate of unrest in the Middle East which he believes will hasten the arrival of the Shiite’s 12th Imam, the Islamic savior of the world.
The foreign policy makers of the United States need to consider that Iran and its present leaders do not deal in rationality and our dealings with them need to reflect that fact.
Biblically speaking, it would be much more profitable for the United States to spend more time befriending Israel than coddling their enemies.