PRAYER ALERT: Muslims differ over how and when their “Messiah”—the Mahdi—will rise to power. But most of them agree that his coming will be the first sign that the Last Day is near. And many extreme Muslims are motivated by the belief that jihadist warfare will precipitate the Mahdi’s long-awaited conquest of the world.
That is one reason why more than 90% of the violent conflicts and wars around the world involves Muslims. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Shabaab are now going to atrocious extremes to hasten the agenda of world conquest, even beheading or setting fire to their victims. These extremist movements are growing in numbers and seeking ways to consolidate their forces. But they are facing growing opposition. More moderate Muslims are resisting them. Most of the governments in Muslim-dominated Middle Eastern and North African nations actively at work to stop their rise.
A divide is opening up between more extreme Muslims and more moderate Muslims. A third kind of Muslim is truly moderate in the sense that they are willing to live and let live, to let Islam increase by persuasion and birth rate instead of by force. I call the second kind of Muslims not “truly moderate”, but “more moderate” than the “more extreme Muslims”. Because many of the more moderate Muslims still hold radical views about Islamic domination of the world.
More extreme Muslims want to achieve world domination by conquering more lands and imposing shariah law now. More moderate Muslims are willing to wait until their nations gain more influence and more weapons. That will make their conquests all more successful. But both the more extreme camp and the more moderate camp are divided from within. In the more extreme camp the question is, which extremist group will take control of the Muslim world? Will it be ISIS, which already has a self-proclaimed caliph? Or will it be another extremist group? In the more moderate camp the question is, which nation will take control of the Muslim world? Will it be a Sunni nation, like Turkey or Saudi Arabia or Egypt? Or will it be a Shiite nation like Iran?
Sunnis who believe in the Mahdi say he is Muhammad’s successor, who is yet to come. Shiites believe that the Mahdi is the Twelfth Imam who disappeared in about 873 AD but will return before the day of Judgment. Both Sunnis and Shiites believe the Mahdi will abolish all other governments and religions. He will lead a global military campaign of conquest, and establish a new world order of truth and justice.* But it would be “truth” according to the Quran, and “justice” according to shariah law. Most Westerners consider shariah extremely unjust, especially to non-Muslims and women.
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*”He will reappear on the appointed day, and then he will fight against the forces of evil, lead a world revolution, and set up a new world order based on justice, righteousness, and virtue…Islam will be victorious over all the religions” (Al-Sadr and Mutahhari, The Awaited Savior, prologue, 4, 5). “He is the precursor of the victory of the Truth and the fall of all tyrants. He heralds the end of injustice and oppression and the beginning of the final rising of the sun of Islam which will never again set and which will ensure happiness and the elevation of mankind…The Mahdi is one of Allah’s clear signs which will soon be made evident to everyone” (Izzat and ‘Arif, Al Mahdi and the End of Time, 4).