(redirected from Imam Mehdi)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Imam Mehdi: Imam Mahdi


(mä`dē) [Arab.,=he who is divinely guided], in Sunni IslamIslam
, [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim [Arab.,=one who submits].
..... Click the link for more information.
, the restorer of the faith. He will appear at the end of time to restore justice on earth and establish universal Islam. The Mahdi will be preceded by al-Dajjal, a Muslim antichrist, who will be slain by Jesus. This belief is not rooted in the Qur'an but has its origins in Jewish ideas about the Messiah and in the Christian belief of the second coming of Jesus. Among the ShiitesShiites
[Arab., shiat Ali,=the party of Ali], the second largest branch of Islam, Shiites currently account for 10%–15% of all Muslims. Shiite Islam originated as a political movement supporting Ali (cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam) as the
..... Click the link for more information.
 the concept of the Mahdi takes a different form (see imamimam
[Arab.,=leader], in Islam, a recognized leader or a religious teacher. Among the Sunni the term refers to the leader in the Friday prayer at the mosque; any pious Muslim may function as imam.
..... Click the link for more information.

In the history of Islam, many men have arisen who claimed to be the Mahdi. They usually appeared as reformers antagonistic to established authority. The best known of these in the West was Muhammad Ahmad, 1844–85, a Muslim religious leader in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He declared himself in 1881 to be the Mahdi and led a war of liberation from the oppressive Egyptian military occupation. He died soon after capturing Khartoum. In his reform of Islam the Mahdi forbade the pilgrimage to Mecca and substituted the obligation to serve in the holy war against unbelievers. His followers, known as Mahdists, for a time made pilgrimages to his tomb at Omdurman. The final defeat of the Mahdists in 1898 at Omdurman by an Anglo-Egyptian army under Lord KitchenerKitchener, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl
, 1850–1916, British field marshal and statesman. Trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (1868–70), he had a brief period of service in the French army
..... Click the link for more information.
 gave Great Britain control of Sudan.


See P. M. Holt, The Mahdist State in the Sudan (2d ed. 1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the Muslim messiah or savior.

Among the Shiites, the Mahdi is the “hidden” imam. The teachings about the Mahdi attracted the oppressed and exploited masses who believed that the Mahdi would appear before the end of the world and would restore justice on earth. In medieval and modern times, belief in the Mahdi has been widespread in antifeudal and national liberation movements.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. the title assumed by Mohammed Ahmed. ?1843--85, Sudanese military leader, who led a revolt against Egypt (1881) and captured Khartoum (1885)
2. Islam any of a number of Muslim messiahs expected to forcibly convert all mankind to Islam
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Analyze the differences of Solim book quotations and others in prediction of imam Mehdi coming and related event:
[13] ameli nabati in his book (serat mostaghim ela mostahghi altaghdim) about this quotation said (these two quotation mentioned a government after imam Mehdi) [24].
This quotation confirm the governing of 12 Mehdi of imam Mehdi (p) sons but in document we see some like Ahmad Mohammad ibn Khalil and jafar ibn Ahmad mesri and they are unknown, beside Shiite believes imam Mehdi (p) is the last sign of god on the earth and after him we have no imam and we don't use them.
Chairman Markazi Imam Hussain Council Dr Ghazanfar Mehdi, said that Hazrat Ayatullah Bashir Hussain Najfi has elaborated that all predictions which were made for the birth of Imam Mehdi (AS) are now visible.
Therefore, to celebrate this occasion, such procession was taken out under the command of Shahbaz Ahmed, who solely claimed himself as Imam Mehdi, being under some spiritual power.
The case against the petitioners was that they had proclaimed one of them, Shahbaz Ahmed, as Imam Mehdi and had invited the people to follow him and warned that if he was resisted, the country as a whole and the City of Faisalabad in particular would face destruction.
But he devoted most of his speech to long philosophical and religious considerations, predicting lyrically the imminent arrival of a "Supreme Saviour," the Imam Mehdi. His appearance "with Jesus Christ the righteous" will provide humanity with a "bright future forever," assured Ahmadinejad.
While talking to representatives of electronic and print media during the procession, Agha Moosavi said power (rule) was not durable, but Azadari (traditional mourning) for Imam Hussain (AS) would continue till appearance of Imam Mehdi; neither we have ever accepted any restriction on Azadari in past nor will do so in future and nor will allow anyone to fix its limits, he resolved.
Police said those involved in the clashes in Basra and Nasiriyya were members of a cult who believe Imam Mehdi would reappear Friday and they had to take up arms against "infidels."
Little is known about Yamani and his followers except that he claims to be an ambassador rather than a descendant of Imam Mehdi.