(Istanbul, December 14th, 2008)
TIMOTHY FURNISH: Again when I was in Iran at that conference a few months ago. I heard one paper given by an Iranian scholar discussing seriously the question whether the Mahdi and the twelve Imams, of course according to the Iranian view. When the Mahdi and the twelve Imam come, and I am asking the question in this paper by the Iranian scholar, will the Mahdi kill Jews and Christians or simply convert them? And he did say that would probably convert them but he wasn't sure. And then at the end of the conference Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, gave a speech in which he quoted one of the Imams, I believe it was the sixth imam, that the Mahdi's rule will only come about through bloodshed and violence. Now I know you have already spoken about the wrong views of the Hizb ut-Tahrirs and the Al-Qaidas of the world, but would you respond in the same way, I guess is my question, to the Iranian viewpoint, at least the viewpoint that I saw expressed in Iran when I was there among some scholars?
ADNAN OKTAR: Of course, this are not statement that are based on hadith, or based on the Qur'an. These have gradually altered over the course of time, and are accounts that are not truly reliable hadith. The main characteristic of the Mahdi (pbuh) is that he does not shed blood, but is affectionate and compassionate and acts in a rational manner. He says that the Mahdi (pbuh) will even conquer Istanbul, but with the takbir, in other words by calling on Allah. No mentioning of shedding blood there. Said Nursi says that the materialist, Darwinist system will grow as he describes the Mahdi (pbuh). He says the Mahdi (pbuh) will entirely eradicate the materialist-Marxist system. He says he will eliminate the materialist-Darwinist system intellectually and scientifically. He says that books will be prepared to that end, he will prepare them and the books will fully discharge that function. He will be active in that respect, in summary. And he says he will start doing this in the year 1400 (hegira style). But he says that not even the Mahdi (pbuh) will know himself. He says his close disciples will recognize him through the light of faith. The same is also valid for Jesus (pbuh). He will not be aware of himself when he first returned but the close disciples of the Jesus will recognize him through the light of faith. That is why the description of the Mahdi there is rather more appropriate to that of the dajjal. I mean the Mahdi (pbuh) is not someone cruel, a shedder of blood, loveless and ruthless. We are told he will not waken the sleeper nor spill blood. Imagine the sleeping man; he will take great care to let him sleep. Don't touch him, let him sleep, he will say. That is the kind of scrupulous person he is. We are told even the birds in the air and the fish in the sea will be happy with him. It is wrong to depict such an affectionate person as violent. There is no account to that effect. The Prophet (saas) has made no such statement. And it is incompatible with the spirit of the Qur'an. In addition, violence leads only to hypocrisy. It results in insincere people. Nobody can be forced to be a Muslim. That is done through love, and affection, and moderation. A person will either accept it or not. If not, that is his decision. That is how Allah has created him, and that, too, is for the best.