reply to post by Dark Ghost
Hello again Dark Ghost!
As to your first question (about the Mahdi), I'll first have to admit freely that I'm not an expert in it, mostly because the major scripture of
Islam (as encapsulated by the Quran and Authentic Hadith) has very little to say about it. The Quran says nothing at all, and as for the authentic
Hadith, out of the major collections, there is no reference to Al-Mahdi in Sahih Bukhari.
In the Sahih Muslim collection of Hadith, I can only find 1 in relation to the Mahdi, which basically says that he'll be in the end times, and will
distribute his wealth freely.
In the Sunan Abu-Dawud collection, there are a couple that all basically say the same thing: That a man (not actually specifically labelled
'Al-Mahdi') will come who will be from the family of Muhammad (and will share his name), who will rule the arabs, and who will bring equity and
justice as before there had been tyranny and oppression.
Once again, I stress, I'm not a hadith scholar either, so I can make no claims as to the authenticity or the chain of narration of these hadith. I do
not have a complete collection with me at the moment, so all I'm giving you is stuff gleaned off the collections on the internet.
Shi'a doctrine has many more hadith about Al-Mahdi, and he is figured much more in their chronology of the end-times, but I apologise, as I do not
know them. I am sure some Sh'ia person could help you there (are there any on ATS)?
As for a better explanation of Surah 28, perhaps it can be worded thusly:
"to show Pharaoh (the King) and Haman (the Chief Adviser and High Priest) and their troops what they feared from the Israelites (rebellion)."
As for your final question, I dunno about "inferior". The very fact that Jesus has this duty (along with so many of the miracles he was blessed to
perform) seems to show that he is certainly not inferior. Each prophet/messenger had a duty. Muhammad (PBUH) died after completing his. The prophets
before that were mostly sent to deal with their own people, Muhammad is considered the "final" or the "seal of the prophets" because the final
message was universal.
[edit on 20-10-2009 by babloyi]