The Great Enemy We Face As Infidels is Islam – Part 4






January 31, 2010

The following Excerpt is from The Middle East Media Review, “The Doctrine of Mahdism: In the Ideological and Political Philosophy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Mesbah-e Yazdi.

May 31, 2010

Inquiry & Analysis Series

Report Number 357

Reformist Intellectuals Criticize the Politicization of Mahdism

Intellectual Mohsen Kadivar: “Hasn’t the Time Come for [the Ayatollahs] and the Clerics to Clarify Their Position on These Claims?”

The intellectual and cleric Mohsen Kadivar pointed to the danger posed to Islam by Ahmadinejad’s messianic leanings. In a speech on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr, Kadivar criticized the incorporation of the Mahdist doctrine in Ahmadinejad’s political platform. The report was originally published by the ILNA news agency, and is cited on Kadivar’s website:

“[Kadivar said:] ‘We can point to the past year as the heyday of religious nonsense.’ [He] sharply criticized the proud declarations by [government officials] that ‘the number of visitors to the fictitious place (i.e. the well at Jamkaran Mosque) is several times larger than the number of pilgrims [visiting] the grave of the eighth Imam [Reza, in the city of Mashhad].’ [Kadivar] described this calamity as ‘the result of propaganda for false beliefs,’ saying that ‘as long as the regime propagates false beliefs, we should naturally expect [these beliefs] to become more and more prevalent in the country.’ Kadivar declared that ‘[claims that the Hidden Imam] gives special attention to the Ahmadinejad government are a sign of the propagation of false beliefs… Hasn’t the time come for [the ayatollahs] and the clerics to clarify their position on these claims?’”[xxxiii]

Intellectual Hashem Aghajari: “In the Era of the Mahdi’s Occultation, No One Can Claim to a Have Prophetic Mission or to Represent Him”

Hashem Aghajari, the academic who has twice received a death sentence for challenging the religious establishment in Iran and calling for religious reform, criticized Ahmadinejad for his professed connection with the Hidden Imam. In a speech to students at Amir Kabir University in Tehran on marking Laylat Al-Qadr,[xxxiv] Aghajari said: “… We are today in the era of [the Hidden Imam’s] occultation, and since the Prophet [Muhammad] was the Seal of the Prophets, and the Mahdi is the last of the Imams – and he is in occultation – no one else can claim [to have] a prophetic mission or to represent [the Hidden Imam], nor can they base themselves on such a prophetic mission… in order to rule over the people…”[xxxv]

Spokesman for the Reformist Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami Party: “When Some in the Government… Say That the Hidden Imam Will Be Revealed in the Coming Two Years, This Has No Result Other Than to Weaken the Faith of the Masses”

Mohsen Armin, former member of the Sixth Majlis and speaker for the reformist Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami Party, came out strongly against statements attributed to Ahmadinejad that the Hidden Imam will be revealed in the next two years: “When some in the government are planning to prepare the ground [for the Mahdi’s coming] and say that the Hidden Imam will be revealed in the coming two years, this has no result other than to weaken the faith of the masses. The propagation of such statements by private parties endangers our future…”[xxxvi]* A. Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project; Y. Mansharof is a research fellow at MEMRI.


[i] The Twelfth Imam, the Shi’ite messiah, is also called Muhammad Al-Muntazar (“the expected”), Imam Al- Zaman (“The Imam of the Age”) and “the Hidden Imam.”

[ii] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), April 30, 2007.

[iii] For details about Ahmadinejad’s rise to power and about the “Second Islamic Revolution,” see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 253, “The ‘Second Islamic Revolution’ in Iran: Power Struggle at the Top,” November 17, 2005,

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[iv] Aftab (Iran), November 16, 2005, quoted in Rooz (Iran), December 12, 2005.

[v] Emrooz (Iran), December 20, 2006.

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[vi] This refers to a Koranic verse (7:73).

[vii] Iran News (Iran), October 15, 2006. For more information on Ahmadinejad’s claims regarding his connection with God, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1328, “Iran President Ahmadinejad: ‘I Have a Connection With God, Since God Said That the Infidels Will Have No Way to Harm the Believers’; ‘We Have [Only] One Step Remaining Before We Attain the Summit of Nuclear Technology’; The West ‘Will Not Dare To Attack Us,’”

[viii] Fars (Iran), April 1, 2007.

[ix] Rooz (Iran), October 1, 2006.

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[x] For examples, see Kayhan, September 29, 2005; Fars news agency, October 11, 2005; Sharq, November 12, 2005; ISNA news agency, November 16, 2005; IRNA news agency, April 16, 2006; Kayhan, November 23, 2006; Emrooz, December 20, 2006; Jomhouri-ye Eslami, December 24, 2006.

[xi] Aftab, (Iran), May 10, 2007

[xii] ILNA (Iran), October 17, 2005.

[xiii] Shi’ite scholars are divided regarding the status of this mosque.

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The daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami, which is affiliated with the religious seminaries in Qom and which represents the views of important Ayatollahs from the seminaries, stated that the mosque is no different than any other (September 13, 2006), while the weekly Parto-ye Sokhan, affiliated with Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-e Yazdi, cited the traditional belief that the mosque had been built at the order of the Hidden Imam and that it holds special importance for him (September 20, 2006).

[xiv] The Shi’ites celebrate the birthday of the Hidden Imam on the 15th day of the Muslim month of Sha’ban, which, in 2006, coincided with September.

[xv] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 1436, “Waiting for the Mahdi: Official Iranian Eschatology Outlined in Public Broadcasting Program in Iran,” January 5, 2007,

[xvi] The reports stated that “the distribution of a distorted map… showing the route [that will be taken] by the Mahdi [upon his return] has been stopped [following critical] reactions from political and religious circles. The map was distributed by Tehran municipality… but the copies were soon recalled following [criticism] by senior officials in the regime.” (Hatef website – apparently the website Hatef News, associated with supporters of Rafsanjani – December 5, 2005,

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quoted in Rooz, December 5, 2005).

[xvii] ISNA (Iran), September 6, 2006.

[xviii] Parto-ye Sokhan (Iran), October 11, 2006.

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[xix] ISNA (Iran), September 6, 2006, .

[xx] Rooz, October 16, 2006, as cited by the Entekhab website on October 16, 2006,

[xxi] Kayhan (Iran), September 10, 2006.

[xxii] Parto-ye Sokhan (Iran), October 11, 2006.

[xxiii] Parto-ye Sokhan (Iran), March 1, 2006.

[xxiv] Parto-ye Sokhan (Iran), October 9, 2005.

[xxv] ILNA (Iran), August 9, 2005.

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[xxvi] Ruidad, September 25, 2005, as quoted in Rooz, December 5, 2005.

[xxvii] Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), September 13, 2006; On September 20, 2006, Qassem Ravanbakhsh published an article in Parto-ye Sokhan in which he denied Jomhouri-ye Eslami’s accusations.

[xxviii] The reference is to Ahmadinejad’s claim that he felt that he was surrounded by a halo of light when he spoke at the U.N. General Assembly in September, 2005.

[xxix] Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), October 11, 2006.

[xxx] Ruidad, August 13, 2005, as reported in Rooz, December 5, 2005.

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[xxxi] Ayatollah Montazeri was removed from the line of succession by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989, following his expression of criticism of the regime’s violations of human rights.

[xxxii] From Montazeri’s
website: .

[xxxiii] From Kadivar’s website, .

[xxxiv] According to Muslim tradition, Laylat Al-Qadr marks the beginning of Muhammad’ s prophetic revelation.

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[xxxv] ISNA, October 23, 2005.

[xxxvi] Rooz, October 18, 2005.

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In addition, in a Rooz article from January 30, 2006, the intellectual ‘Abd Al-Karim Soroush accused Ayatollah Mesbah-e Yazdi of “educating [people] to an extremist and incorrect use of [the name of] the Hidden Imam, and in general of using religion as an instrument.”

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