The horrific Hamas attack on Israel was the first phase of a long-term plan by Iran to wipe out the Jewish State. Iranian leaders believe Israel must be eliminated before the return of an Islamic “messiah-like” figure known as the Mahdi. For years, Iran has been indoctrinating its fighters in the belief that there must be an apocalyptic war that destroys both Israel and Jews around the world in order to usher in the Mahdi’s return. Islamic expert Raymond Ibrahim says, “The Mahdi basically means ‘guided one,’. ‘ He takes on different guises, depending on which sect of Islam you ask, Sunni or Shia.” Islamic writings say his name will be Mohammed Ibn Abdillah. Sunnis, the majority of the world’s Muslims, believe the Mahdi has not yet been born. Shia Islam, which Iran dominates, teaches that the Mahdi is already alive, and has been hiding for over a thousand years. Brother Rachid, a former Muslim who hosts a Christian program for Muslims called “Daring Questions,” says, “Shia Muslims, especially the ‘Twelver Shia’ believe he is the 12th Imam, and that he was born around 868. He’s still alive today. His age is 1,155. So, he’s still living somewhere and one day he will show himself.”
Muslims in Iran believe the Mahdi is hiding in a well in the small village of Jamkaran. Pilgrim’s peer down the well with flashlights, leave prayer requests for the Mahdi, and hope he will reappear. Muslims believe that when the Mahdi returns, he will be accompanied by Jesus, who is referred to in Islam as the Prophet Isa, to rid the world of evil. Iranian leaders have seized upon belief in the final battle before the Mahdi’s return to motivate its military and allies to fight harder to destroy Israel. Ibrahim says, “A lot of the Islamic schools or jihadists are being indoctrinated by Iranian propaganda into Mahdism. It always centres around Israel and attacking and destroying Israel.” Some believe in the next phase of its plan to wipe out Israel, Iran might initiate a multi-front attack through its heavily armed proxy armies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Ibrahim and Brother Rachid say the doctrine of the Mahdi’s return means that any attempts by Israel to make peace with the Muslim world will ultimately prove futile. “Israel is a threat to Muslims, to the coming of the Mahdi,” says Brother Rachid. “So, they have to be eliminated. There is no other solution. You cannot do peace with Israel.” Ibrahim says.
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