Saturday, June 6, 2009
The Return Of The Imam Mahdi
“The Mahdi, (the name of the last of the twelve imams, the first being Ali, son-in-law of Mohammed) according to Islam, and in particular its Shiite branch, is the Savior to come at the time of the Last Judgment to save the world. It is interesting to recall that Mahdi, in Sanskrit, is the contraction of Ma Adi (Primordial Mother) in the same way that the returning Savior according to Buddha, Maitreya, is a contraction of Ma Treya (Mother threefold, trimorphic protonnoia or trigunatmika).
The function of the Mahdi is similar to those attributed to the Kalki of the Hindus, the Maitreya of the Buddhists or the Christ King of the Christians. The return of the Mahdi constitutes the most frequent prediction of the imams. Al-Kultani and Al-Nu'mani consecrated an entire chapter and Ibn Babunye passed down in thirteen chapters the predictions of the Prophet, Fatima and of the eleven imams on the subject of the Twelfth imam.
The obscure presence of the Mahdi dominates totally the religious conscience of imamism during the period of the disappearance of Ali until the return of the awaited Savior. But here and there, throughout the prophetic texts, there are hints of an esoteric knowledge. "At the moment of birth a light pierced the top of the child's head (a possible reference to the opening of the seventh chakra) and reached into the depth of the sky. This child is the Mahdi, He who will fill the earth with equality and justice just as it is now filled with oppression and injustice." 2
The universal precursory Sign of the return of the Mahdi, "He who Guides," consists of the general invasion of the earth by Evil and the victory of the forces of Evil over those of Good. Without such a manifestation, the entirety of humanity would be engulfed by darkness.
Here we find extracts from the eulogies of Ali Talib describing various components of the sign announcing the return of the Mahdi. The Sign consists of the following traits: the people will neglect prayer, squander the divinity which is conferred on them, legalize untruths, practice usury, accept bribes, construct huge edifices, sell religion to win this lower world, employ idiots, consult with women, break family ties, obey passion and consider insignificant the letting of blood. Magnanimity will be considered as weakness and injustice as glory, princesses will be debauched and ministers will be oppressors, intellectuals will be traitors and the reader of the Koran vicious. False witness will be brought openly and immorality proclaimed in loud voices. A word of promise will be slander, sin and exaggeration.
"The sacred Books will be ornate, the mosques disguised, the minarets extended. Criminals will be praised, the lines of combat narrowed, hearts in disaccord and pacts broken. Women, greedy for the riches of this lower world, will involve themselves in the business of their husbands, the vicious voices of the man will be loud and will be listened to. The most ignoble of the people will become leaders, the debauched will be believed for fear of the Evil they will cause, the liar will be considered as truthful and the traitor as trustworthy… They will resort to singers and musical instruments … and women will horse ride, they will resemble men and the men will resemble women. The people will prefer the activities of this lower-world to those of the Higher-World and will cover with lambskin the hearts of wolves." 3
The Qaim (Mahdi) comes to re-establish the lost sense of sanctity. Firstly He will re-establish Islam to its original purity and integrity. 4 The imam is described also as energy-giving. The imam says: "As to the way of benefiting from my presence (literally – "to benefit of me") during my disappearance, it is similar to the profit we gain from the sun while it is hidden from sight by the clouds." 5
"Fundamental Principles of Qiyamat by Jamshid
Qiyamat is the spiritual resurrection. It is to resurrection before dying. The world is a world of birth and death, it is samsara. To resurrect in this life is a gnostic event. It is nirvana in this life. Though the body goes on to die, one's consciousness does not go on to rebirth.
All beings have a spark of the Real inside of them. This is what goes on from birth, death and rebirth. It is pure consciousness.
This spark of the real within is the imam-of-one's-own-being. When the internal imam comes into contact with the Imam of the Time and puts into practice his teachings, then the spark within lights up. This is a gnostic awakening and is the Qiyamat.
The Imam brings beings to Qiyamat and no one is exluded, save those who exclude themselves. Even those given time will come to Qiyamat.
When one awakens one realizes the fundamental unity between the Imam of the Time and the imam-of-one's-own-being.
Qiyamat is practiced in the life of the momin [follower] by faith in the Imam's word and guidance. It is not based upon external laws or ritual. Though many who are brought into Qiyamat do so to provide moral examples for the community. The person of Qiyamat recognizes that liberty is not license.
People of Qiyamat do not put down other faiths and ways. They know that the Real can bring others to into union with Reality by other ways. Since all gnosis is one, people of Qiyamat learn from the gnostic ways of other peoples and teach others about their faith.
People of Qiyamat do not expose themselves to those who are of little understanding. People who delight in the laws and rites are like those who mistake the finger pointing towards the moon with the moon. They mistake the outer forms of faith [laws and rites] with the object of faith. These people feel that gnostics are heretics and oppress them. Therefore, people of Qiyamat conceal themselves from situations which could lead to oppression and create their own free spaces to practice. As a means of compassion for others, gnositics carefully bring in others who they feel are ready. And when one is ready the Real brings them into contact with teacher who will teach them according to their level (ultimately leading to Qiyamat)."
Fundamental Principles of Qiyamat by Jamshid
According to Majid Golpur, a scholar who reviewed the relationship between ancient Muslim writings and new revelations, some language seem to refer to new cognitive powers that may be associated with the rise of the Kundalini. All the faithful joining the ranks of the Mahdi will be gifted with special miraculous powers, in particular those of super sensitive communication with the imam. "At the time of Advent of our Qur'an," says Ja'far, "God, may He be exalted and glorified, will develop the hearing and sight of our faithful in such a manner that, without there being a messenger between the Qa'im and themselves, He will speak with them and they hear Him and see Him without Him having left the place where He is." 6
This text probably refers to the dawn of collective consciousness, whose property is the connectivity described in the previous chapters. More specifically, we can recognize a mention of the vibratory consciousness of the chakras, which correspond to specific locations in the hands. "For decisions which they have difficulty in taking, they will receive instructions and direction from the imam who will write on the palm of their hands, they need only look and then execute the orders." 7
The following language could possibly indicate a succession of imams or the collectivity of realized souls, through the reference of the wind. But, without subtler the subtler spiritual experience, it can easily feed the delusion of self-appointed elect fanatics. God speaks: "O Mohammad. These are My friends, My pure elect, and My proof after you for mankind. They are your legatees and your priests and the best of My creatures after you. By My Glory and My Majesty I will manifest through them My Religion and I will raise through them My Word; by the last of them (Mahdi) I will make the earth pure of My enemies. I will establish him from the sunrise to the sunset throughout the entire earth; I will confer to his power the wind and will lower for him the stubborn clouds. I will help him with My Army and aid him with My Angels until he raises My Name and the creatures acknowledge My uniqueness, and then I will prolong his reign and I will ensure the succession of My Friends over the time until the Day of Resurrection." 8
In this way the awaited Imam (al-Muntazar) Mad-dhi, Qaim, will prepare the earth for the Last Judgment and the Resurrection. The battle of Qa'im will mark the ultimate victory of the 'believers' against their 'enemies' and the universal and final establishment of the 'religion' of the imams. The community of the faithful is a familiar theme of all eschatology.
It is interesting to know that these texts imply a profound criticism of Islam as some parts of the Arab world seem to know it. The returned Mahdi will do as did the Prophet, destroying that which was before, just as the Prophet destroyed the rituals of the period of ignorance, and He will establish once again Islam. Our Qa'im will repair the Mosque and will reconstruct His Mecca. The Qa'im will bring a new Order, a new Book, a new Legislation and a New Tradition. 9
Of course the primary ambiguity of these prophecies is that they may refer to more spiritual and ethical realities or be understood as a militant call for a violent upheaval. But there are texts indicating that these prophecies do not invite the fight of Islam against other religions but rather, the fight of all religions for their inner renewal. Mahdi will equally re-establish the other religions, also abandoned and disfigured, in their original Truth and Purity.
Indeed: "The Mahdi will extract the Torah and the other Divine Books from their caverns and will judge amongst the faithful of the Evangiles according to the Evangiles, amongst the faithful of al-Zabur (The Book of David) according to the al-Zabur and amongst the faithful of the Koran according to the Koran." 10
It is the universal initiation by the imam of all men into the secrets of existence and of their own religions, and this is without doubt the meaning which must be understood by the term Mahdi given by the fifth imam al-Bagir: Mahdi (the Guide) is named as such because it is he who will guide (Yahdi) us in the secret teachings." 11
If so, the prediction of the Mahdi does not announce the victory of zealot warriors who will wipe out non-believers, understood to be other races or religions. Rather, the prophecies talk of the power of love, not the might of hate. They would then refer to the fight against ignorance, no doubt the most formidable of all battles. But if Allah is indeed the Merciful and Compassionate, such is the most likely meaning of the predictions of the imams. The real jihad is an internal fight for our own purification, so that out full spiritual potential might finally manifest. Consequently, even in the stern Muslim prophecies we can read the hopeful and promising light of mankind's renewal. This may or may not combine with events of massive destruction that can still manifest. But let us focus on the hopeful dimension of this momentous period.”