Al-Mahdi - Gestalt och budskap: En litteraturstudie jämförande sudanesisk Mahdi och indisk Mahdi inom islam
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Followers of three world religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are waiting for the Messiah. Muslims are even waiting for aspiritual leader al-Mahdi. Two different persons claimed the title of al-Mahdi, at the end of the nineteenth century. Theyappeared almost at the same time, at the totally different places of the earth, with a completely different message and underthe rule of the British colonial power. The aim of the study is to compare the both religious figures, Mirza Ghulam Ahmadfrom India and Muhammad Ahmad from Sudan regarding their different messages, to illustrate the social, political andreligious factors that lead to the entirely different profile and image of these two men and how their organizations havedeveloped after their death up till today. The result shows that the Sudanese Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad claimed hisMahdiship in the year 1881. He became a political leader in a time when Sudan was under the rule of a colonial power. Hetook advantage of the religion for personal purposes and tried to liberate his native country Sudan. The contemporaryMuslim clergy criticized him for his claim because the content of the Hadith traditions did not support his claim ofMahdiship. He maintained his sole right for the interpretation of religion and of the laws of Sharia. He made changes even inthe chief pillars of Islam by asserting that Jehad with sword was more imperative than the pilgrimage journey to Mecca. Heasserted that the Prophet Muhammad himself had entrusted him to launch the holy war against the non-believers. He hadimmense ambitions which were never fulfilled since he suddenly died four years after his claim for Mahdiship, in June 1885.This day his followers are organized as a political party in Sudan with a modest roll in the Sudanese politics. The IndianMahdi Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed in 1889 to be Mahdi, Mujaddid, Muhaddas, Messiah and a Prophet at a time of socialand political peace, though Islam as a religion was firmly pushed by the Hindu and Christian missionaries. He had no politicalambitions at all and was utterly loyal to the British colonial power. His mission was to crush the Cross and to demonstrateIslam’s excellence over all the religions of the world through overwhelming arguments. He proclaimed that Jesus was humanand a Prophet and not the son of God. Jesus survived from the cross and died a natural death after he had lived for manyyears. Ahmad claimed that God had commanded him to put stop to the religious wars. The contemporary Muslim clergyblamed him for being an imposter, melancholic and hypochondriac who had self invented the divine revelations. He died year1908, nineteen years after his claim and the communion he found is established today in more than hundred countries of theworld. Reasons for the breakdown of mission of the Sudanese Mahdi were that his objectives were political and he challengedthe colonial power with the sword. Another decisive factor was his sudden death merely four years after the beginning of hismission. Reasons for the success of Indian Mahdi were that his objectives were purely religious and he was wholly loyal to theforeign government. He survived nineteen years after the beginning of his mission which made it possible for him to create acommunion based on solid grounds. His followers continued on the same path and never engaged in local politics where everthey lived. For further studies it will be of great interest to study the life of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and objectively examine thearguments he presented in support of his divine appointment. Furthermore it is enriching to study the organization andactivities of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community to explore if they are in accordance with the basic principles of Ahmad.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 40 p.
Islam, Ahmadiyyat, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, Ansar, Mahdiyya
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:du-11957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-11957DiVA: diva2:609901