Prophecy Circulated on Iranian Website
by Hayyan Nayouf for Al-Arabia
According to the text that is the foundation of modern Shiite Islam, a prophecy that a tall black man would rule the West portends the coming of the Islamic redeemer.
Ali Ibn Abi-Talib—the prophet's cousin and son-in-law and the most revered figure in Shiite Islam—prophesied that before the return of the Mahdi, the ultimate redeemer in Islam, a tall black man will rule the West and will carry a "clear sign" from the Third Imam, Hussein Ibn Ali, according to the report by Iranian-born, London-based journalist Amir Taheri.
Forbes magazine published a story about the Iranian pro-government website that published a hadith (saying or tradition) from the 17th century Shiite text Bahar al-Anvar (Sea of Light) setting off a string of rumors about the prophecy’s connection to Obama.
The link between this black man and the American presidential candidate started with his name. In Arabic and Persian, "Barrack Obama" means "the blessing of al-Hussein." When written in Persian alphabet, the word "O Ba Ma" means "he is with us."
Other coincidences contributed to establishing the theological link, including the view of the Iranian government that an Obama victory would signify the decline of the West and the triumph of Islam. Obama's relative lenience in pledging unconditional talks with Iran is also seen as a sign of American weakness.
The Mahdi (Arabic for "the guided one"), is supposed to return before Judgment Day to eliminate injustice and tyranny. The appearance of the Mahdi is not mentioned in the Quran or the Sunnah (Prophet's teachings), and many Sunni scholars view it as a Shiite invention.
The Mahdi figure is an essential part in the Shiite doctrine. For Shiites, Mahdi is believed to be the Twelfth Imam, a descendant of the prophet who went into hiding, but will return one day return to restore justice to the world.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)
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