Which method is Al-Mahdi (as) likely to adopt in order to achieve the final victory of justice?
A definite answer to this question depends not only on the knowledge of the timing and the stage at which Al-Mahdi (as) will reappear but also on the possibility of imaginating what particular circumstances will be prevailing at that time. It is only in the light of these circumstances that a picture of his possible strategy can be drawn. So long as we do not know at what stage Al-Mahdi (as) will reappear and what will be the prevailing circumstances at that time, it is not possible to make any prediction along scientific lines. Any presumptions made in this connection will be based mostly on fiction and not on facts. Anyhow, there is one basic presumption, which can be accepted in the light of the traditions and the historical experience of the great changes. The Awaited Savior will appear when the stage for his appearance is set, neither earlier nor later. This stage will come when there is a general decline in man's moral life, when oppression and tyranny will be rampant and when mankind has fallen into the abyss of crime and immorality.
In addition, conditions prevailing in the world will create the necessary psychological atmosphere for the reception of a savior. Mankind will be exhausted with the state of affairs and naturally look toward a savior for liberation. There will be a great upheaval, a great conflagration that would seem to spell the end of this world. In the darkness that will then prevail, there will dawn a new sun in the form of Al-Mahdi (as), spreading light and luster. Having liberated mankind from its misery and curse, Al-Mahdi (as) will then bring a transformation of life in which justice, peace, virtue and righteousness will abound.
There are some ahadeeth which indicate that, before the coming of Al-Mahdi (as), there will be a righteous government that will last until he reappears. Many Shi'ah scholars have used these narrations to justify their contemporary rulers. But in any case, we see from the Qur'an and ahadeeth that the rising of Al-Mahdi (as) will be the last in the series of struggles between good and the evil, which has continued from the very inception of the world. It will be Al-Mahdi (as) who will give a concrete shape to the aspirations of all the prophets, the saints and fighters in the way of Allah (swt).209
One is very much in favor of the belief that Imam Al-Mahdi (as) is likely to adopt a balanced method that shall allow him to both mobilize the already existing decent powers to bring into being his plan, as well as to let them act due to their nature so as to achieve the highest level of perfection. He may also encourage and promote others to work actively so long as they function in dynamic harmony with his movement. There is no reason to rule out this possibility as long as we understand that he is a man of the highest perfection. As the African proverb says:
When a palm-branch reaches its height, it gives way for a fresh one to grow.
209. As-Sadr, Sayyid Muhammad Baqir, The Awaited Saviour, pp.57-58, London: Al-Khoi foundation, 1996
Adapted from the book: "The Awaited Saviour; Questions and Answers"
Share this article