Category Archive 'Twelvers'

09 Aug 2006

Avoid Shopping Downtown on August 22

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Bernard Lewis in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal points out that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent references to “final answers” on August 22 may have a rather sinister significance.

In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time–Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as “by the end of August,” but Mr. Ahmadinejad’s statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to “the farthest mosque,” usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

16 Jan 2006

Iran & the Hidden Imam

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The Telegraph provides a report that reminds the reader of John Buchan’s classic Greenmantle (1916), a thriller on the theme of the threat to European civilization posed by a plot to rally the Muslim world to rise in Holy War on behalf of an Islamic messiah. The Telegraph story suggests that the Iranian regime’s quest to build nuclear weapons, and inclination to confront the West, are products of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s mystical belief in the return of the Twelfth Imam at the End of Days.

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