Friday, November 18, 2005

Letter to The Guardian

In response to a text box accompanying an article in today's Guardian:

Dear Sir

The information box outlining the Iranian President's 'devotion to a mystical religious figure' (Second coming - The president's beliefs, November 18) implies that the belief in the Mahdi is a cultish and exclusively Shi'a construct. In fact, the Mahdi is an integral figure in Islamic eschatology such that several individuals have laid claim to the title for various ends. The main difference between the Shi'a and Sunni perspectives is whether the Mahdi has been born or not. The former believe he has, is in a period of occultation and await his reappearance.

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