The Twelfth Imam disappeared over 1100 years ago, and hasn’t been heard from in over 1,050 years. After his disappearance in 874, the Twelfth Imam communicated through three messengers. In his last communiqué to the world, via one of these messengers in the year 941, this mysterious figure consoled his followers with prophesies regarding his eventual reappearance. The circumstances of that reappearance could, in the hands of Iran’s mad mullahs, visit upon the world calamities of a scale never before seen. And Israel and America will bear the brunt.
“Hearts,” warned Mohammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam, in his last message, “will become inaccessible to compassion. The earth will be filled with tyranny and violence.” He was speaking of the time of his reappearance, explaining that he would only come back to the world when the evil that Muslims were suffering was at its absolute apex. In this he echoed a Shi’ite tradition of the words of the prophet of Islam himself, Muhammad, who prophesied that the Twelfth Imam would be “the Resurrector” and explained: “He will fill the world with peace and justice as today it is filled with violence and tyranny.”
That violence and tyranny is not incidental to the theology of the Twelfth Imam, which has revenge as its core and essence. The dispute between the majority Sunnis and the Shiat Ali (Party of Ali) began upon the death of Muhammad in 632. The Sunnis contended that the prophet of Islam had made no provision for a successor as political, military, and spiritual leader of the Muslim community, and that therefore the Muslims should choose the best man among them as their leader. The nascent Party of Ali, on the contrary, claimed that Muhammad had designated his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor, and that the successor of Muhammad had to be a member of the prophet’s household.
What’s more, far from being a mere functionary, this successor would bear some of Muhammad’s prophetic spirit, as well as infallibility in deciding disputed questions. Ali was finally chosen as the fourth caliph in 656, but in 661 was assassinated. Hassan, his eldest son (and successor, as far as the Shi’ites are concerned), was murdered in 670 on the orders of the Sunni caliph Muawiya. Then the Sunni/Shi’ite split became definitive and permanent when Ali’s younger son, Husayn, was killed in the Battle of Karbala in 680.
The Shi’ites were, thus, founded in loss and defeat, and these became the ongoing distinguishing features of Shi’ite history and piety. After the beheading of Husayn, the Shi’ites continued a succession of Imams, members of Muhammad’s household and his prophetic heirs. Each one in turn, over two centuries, was poisoned on orders of the Sunni caliph. According to the traditions of Twelver Shi’ism, the official religion of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the twelfth of these Imams, a boy of five years old, disappeared from sight under mysterious and disputed circumstances in the year 874. After that, he communicated to the world through four agents, the last of whom died in 941. At that point the Twelfth Imam went silent, entering the period of “Great Occultation.”
An unbroken record of setback – but the Shi’ites dreamed of revenge. The Twelfth Imam, they began to teach, would return at a time when the Muslims were oppressed as never before, and suffering worse than ever. The Imam, in the company of Jesus (re-imagined, as in Sunni Islam, as a Muslim prophet), would finally end the horrific persecution of the true believers, taking up arms against their enemies and conquering and Islamizing the world.
This eschatological revenge fantasy would be of no concern to anyone but pious Shi’ites and religious anthropologists were it not for the element of Shi’ite tradition that requires that the earth be “filled with tyranny and violence” before the Twelfth Imam can return. There is no requirement that non-Muslims must be responsible for that violence; Shi’ites filled with religious fervor, like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs behind him, could hasten the Twelfth Imam’s return and the consummation of all things by, say, launching a nuclear strike against Tel Aviv or some other Infidel outpost, knowing that by doing so they would almost certainly be provoking a retaliatory strike that would subject the Muslims in Iran to more defeat and repression than even the Shi’ites had previously suffered.
That would be enough to bring the Twelfth Imam out of the well where he is said to be hiding. But that is a matter of religious hope and speculation; the devastation that would supposedly lead to his reappearance, however, would be all too real. The two powers that the Iranian mullahs have long designated as the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan” – America and Israel – would be the only targets of an Iranian attempt to hasten the Twelfth Imam’s coming.
A nuclear strike from Tehran into Israel could kill, estimates say, upwards of twenty million people, completely destroying the Jewish State.
With new video surfacing in Iran claiming that the return of the Twelfth Imam is imminent, it is imperative that America and Israel understand and act upon the implications of these revenge fantasies, based on a sober realization that Iran’s mullahs take the prophesies of the Twelfth Imam very seriously indeed – seriously enough for them to bet the entire world upon them.
"Khamenei Rep: ‘Bahrain Primed To Spur Return of Twelfth Imam,'" by Reza Kahlili for Pajamas Media, April 18 (thanks to David):
During a speech at Tehran University on April 13, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative to Iran’s universities, Hojatolislam Ali-Reza Panahian, stressed that the Muslims of Bahrain and elsewhere who are involved in the uprisings have been living under oppression and deserve to be recognized.
We are one and all duty-bound to incite and encourage the people of Bahrain and other countries of the region; they should resist and know that no drop of blood is fruitless.
He continued with a quote from the Quran [47:4]:
And those who are killed in the cause of Allah — never will he waste their deeds.
That same verse, by the way, contains that famous bit about beheading unbelievers.
Further, he said:
One can say that this is the best opportunity to establish and prove Islam’s legitimacy to the world. And side by side with those oppressed people, it is also the best opportunity to begin setting the stage for the emergence of the Twelfth Imam, our Mahdi. The situation in Bahrain alone could be a catalyst for the United States to strike out on their own and cause the downfall of that straw empire.
Also, those European governments, and that of the Saudis, are much weaker than you imagine. Their houses are nothing more than spider houses. Who do you think stood up to Israel’s oppression? Only a few thousand young and pious Lebanese youths. You are all witness to those events. Until a few years ago, who would have imagined that the government of Israel could be defeated?
And the ruling straw power of the U.S. is also a lie. What kind of power do you think they possess? Don’t believe what you see with the guns; their apparatus and media are not believable. Their movies and advertising are poison and not to be believed. The Quran [17:81] says: “Truth [The Quran or Jihad against polytheists] has come and falsehood [Satan] has vanished. Surely! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish.”
Like all Misunderstanders of Islam, Hojatolislam Ali-Reza Panahian quotes the Qur'an copiously.