The belief in “Mahdi” (PBUH) originates from the divine nature of mankind. This belief causes hope in the hearts of people. Furthermore, even though there have been differences in the belief of the existence of a savior, this belief however existed amongst many of the ancient communities. Due to the divine law of Allah sending prophets to promise the arrival of a savior, the belief in a savior has been mentioned in other holy books. Though the narrations regarding to savior in other beliefs do not all coincide exactly with the Shiite faith, they at least prove the existence of such a belief. This article will be elaborating and presenting the different beliefs of previous faiths about the existence of a savior.
Mahdi (PBUH) in the Old Testament
The promise of the Savior has been mentioned in 35 section of the 150 part Muzamir of Prophet David’s Gospel (Holy book). “For oppressors will be eradicated, but the waiters of God inherit the earth. After a while there would be no oppressors and …”
“And a stem has grown from its roots; a branch will spring from its roots. And on it will the ghost of God be placed and …will judge the poor fairly and will judge truthfully toward the oppressed.”
In this book there is a brief explanation about reappearance era:
“A Wolf will live with a sheep, a leopard will sleep with a goat, a calf will be tamed with a lion, and a small kid will operate upon them. And there won’t be a single loss or corruption within any of my holy mountains because the world will be filled with the insight of God.” And further He emphasizes upon this holy occultation, “Though the result of this may delay, await for it, for it will truly come without hesitation.”
Mahdi (PBUH) in the New Testament (The Gospels and their additions)
It has been talked about him in different Gospels: "The appearance of Human's Son is like light that spreads from east to west ... and then his signs will appear in the sky, and all the people will beat their breast at that time, and will watch him come down on clouds majestically."
And this same Bible (New Testament) speaks of awaiting (during occultation) as such, “Thus you to be prepared, for the son of Man will come at a time you do not expect.” (Chapter 24, verses 37 and 45).
Marcus talks about awaited people: “But Father, no one knows of that day and hour, not the angels and not even the Son. So stay alert and supplicate, because you do not know when that time will arrive” (The Bible of Marcus, Chapter 14, verses 26-27, 31 and 33).
An interesting point about the Bible: According to American writer Max, the word ‘Son of Human/Man’ has been mentioned 80 times in the Gospel and the new additions. However, only 30 of them are about Jesus (PBUH) and the 50 other are regarding the savior who will reappear near the ends of time. Jesus (PBUH) will come with him, and will respect him greatly. And no one knows of the hour and day of the reappearance but the Almighty creator.
Mahdi (PBUH) in Hindu's holy books
Let it be emphasized that from the point of view of the Shiite belief, these books are not considered holy. Rather these excerpts are collected from previous holy books and/or from noble people. Also these specific predictions must be somehow related to sacred works and revelations.
It has been narrated in one of the Hindu books known as “Bask” that: “a just commander near the ends of time will end two worlds. This commander is the leader of angels and mankind. The truth is with him. And he will get hold of what are hidden within the seas, earth, and skies.”
In "Shakmoni", an accredited Hindu book, it has been mentioned that: “Monarchy in this world will end by the son of the best creature, "Koshen"(name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP)). He will rule on the mountains of the east to west and will ride upon the clouds...”
Furthermore, we read in "Vashen-Jool" about the end results of the world: “Eventually, the world will turn toward the one whose name is “Auspicious”, he loves God and is of God’s special servants."
We may find texts about The Savior in other Hindu books such as:
Dartek, Dideh Patkil, and Shaboohergan.
Mahdi (PBUH) in Zoroastrians references
In “Zand”, one of the holy books of Zoroastrians, the end of the world is discussed in this way, “Then, Izadan will be aided by Ahoora Mazda and will gain a great victory against Ahrimans. It is after Izadan victory that human beings will become prosperous.”
The book of Jamasb, one of the Zoroastrian scholars, describes the characteristics of Mahdi (PBUH) as such, “Someone will come from the Tazian Land of Hashem descendants with the religion of his ancestors; he will come towards Iran with many troops; he shall civilize and fill the earth with justice.”
And somewhere else he says, “From the last prophet’s descendants, someone will come who follows his ancestor’s religion. “From the justice he practices, the entire world will become ‘Mehr Azmay’ (Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP)) followers.”
“Bahman” contains Zoroaster foretells. In the book of Zand and HooHooMan Lisen the arrival of Socians, the great savior of the world has been foreteller as, “Signs for the arrival of the savior will be seen as marvelous signals appear in the sky and some angels will carry his messages from the east and the west to the whole world.”
The ancient Iranians believed so strongly in the arrival of “Socians” that when their empire was defeated decisively in “Qadesieh war” the third Yazdgerd turned to his great castle, “Mada’in”, and said “Bless you; I will leave now and shall return with one of my descendants who has not reappeared yet” (Book of Jamasb, pages 121-122). However, the Shiite believes Mahdi (PBUH) is of the descendants of Yazdgerd’s daughter. She was the wife of the third Imam of Shiites, Imam Hussein (PBUH), who is the ancestor of Imam Mahdi (PBUH).
Mahdi (PBUH) in different nations
Below is a brief description on a few beliefs of different nations:
1) The ancient Iranians believed that “Garzas,” their historical hero, is alive and that a hundred thousand angels will keep him until the day he will come and fill the world with justice.
2) The Slovakian believe that someone will reappear from the east, unite all the Slovakian tribes and will set them over the world.
3) The Germans believed that one of them will come and set Germans over the world.
4) Residents of “Sebastian” waited for the return of “Marco Karliowich”.
5) The Jews believe that”Messiah” (the great savior) will come and rule the world forever. But they know him as the descendants of Is’haq. However, the Old Testament regards him as the descendant of Isma’il, obviously.
6) People of “Scandinavia” believe that the world will receive some misfortunes. World wars will ruin most of the nations, then “Oodin” or the divine help will come and defeat the entire world.
7) The Greek believe “Kal”, the great savior, will come and save the entire world.
8) Central America tribes believe that the savior of the world will gain victory after some events in the world.
9) The Chinese know someone called “Keresna” to be the savior of the world.
10) The central Europe tribes wait for the coming of “Bokhes”.