Hope and fear are two forces, which keep man absorbed in his daily life. If he abandons them then he loses focus and has a feeling of worthlessness. On one hand the fear of failure keeps him away from laziness and lethargy, while on the other hand the hope of success and glory motivates him to strive for his goals. Thus, hope and fear have an amazing effect. The Holy Qur’an has proclaimed that these two forces were the very foundation of Prophetic missions:
وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِیْنَ اِلَّا مُبَشِّرِیْنَ وَ مُنْذِرِیْنَ
“And We have not send Messengers but as warners and as givers of glad tidings” (Holy Qur’an, 6:48).
The discussions concerning the belief in Mahadawiyat pertain to a future full of hope and optimism - an event that is inevitable. At that time tyranny, oppression and imperialism will be uprooted and humanity - under the leadership of a chaste and immaculate leader along with pious and virtuous soldiers - will reach the pinnacle of perfection.
The Divine voice has addressed all the eager hearts when it says:
وَلَقَدْ کَتَبْنَا فِیْ الزَّبُوْرِ مِنْ بَعْدِ الذِّکْرِ اَنَّ الْاَرْضَ یَرِثُھَاَ عِبَادِیَ الصَّالِحُوْنَ
“And indeed We have mentioned in Psalms after the first reminder that surely, Our righteous servants shall inherit the earth” (Holy Qur’an, 21:105).
وَنُرِیْدُ اَنْ نَّمُنَّ عَلَی الَّذِیْنَ اسْتُضْعِفُوْا فِیْ الْاَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَھُمْ اَئِمَّۃً وَّ نَجْعَلَھُمُ الْوَارِثِیْنَ.
“And We intend to favour those who were weakened on the earth. We will make them leaders and We will make them heirs (of the earth)” (Holy Qur’an, 28:4).
According to Shi’ite belief, if either of these promises of Allah has not materialized, then it is due to Divine Discretion. Hence, any time in the future it may actualize. And then in the shadow of this Divine religion and under the leadership of an impeccable leader, the Universal Islamic Government will be established.
Such glad-tidings and admonitions have become the cause of the Shi’as moving forward - steadfastly and relentlessly, in spite of the atrocities and oppression meted out to them and which have been recorded in the pages of history. Thus, the debate and discussion regarding Imam Al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is of paramount importance. The innumerable books and writing of Shias, on this subject, in the past twelve centuries support this fact.
Since hundreds of years, the enemies of Islam have been striving to remove the belief of Hazrat Al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) from the hearts of believers. In order to achieve their malicious aim, they have made a concerted effort. They have disgraced the believers as well as oppressed them and inflicted several types of tortures upon them. As a result, only a handful of the religious Muslims discuss this belief. They talk on this matter only superficially and move on further; in fact, they try their best from involving themselves in such (controversial) matters. Hence, it is imperative for the true believers to firstly recognize the significance of this belief and secondly make an all-out effort in spreading it among the people.
In the discussions that follow in the next few pages, we will try to elucidate the reality of this belief in the light of rational arguments so that those who deny this belief may come to the right path and those who already believe in it may remain steadfast on it. Thus, the soldiers of Imam Al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will be armed with the rational proofs.