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The tradition comes from Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light) by Mullah Majlisi, a magnum opus in 132 volumes and the basis of modern Shiite Islam.
Obama, Vice-Mahdi? Two weeks ago Iran watcher Amir Taheri published an article in which he alleged that there exists a Shi`i hadith stating that "a tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West...commanding the strongest army on Earth" and carrying a "clear sign" from the Third Imam, Husayn and that "Shi`is should have no doubt that he is with us" (bahrameradblg.blogspot.com...). This hadith was said to be contained in the collection Bahar al-Anvar by Mollah Majlisi and date to the 17th c. CE. Taheri spun an entire web of geopolitical analysis around this point, claiming that "the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama's rise as another sign of the West's decline and the triumph of Islam." Problem is: it's not true. According to my contacts in Iran, including Professor Abolfazl Nurmuhammadpour at the Bright Future Institute--dedicated to teaching the world about the coming of the Mahdi, and the organization which sponsored the Mahdism Conference which I attended this past August in Tehran and Qom--and other ranking clerics at the Dar al-Hadith in Qom, this hadith is NOT authentic. Another myth about President-Elect Barack Obama bites the dust.
Hadith (or tradition) from a Shiite text of the 17th century. The tradition comes from Bahar al-Anvar (meaning Oceans of Light) by Mullah Majlisi, a magnum opus in 132 volumes and the basis of modern Shiite Islam.
According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet's cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a "tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West." Commanding "the strongest army on earth," the new ruler in the West will carry "a clear sign" from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: "Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us."
"The question has made the rounds in Iran since last month, when a pro-government Web site published a Hadith (or tradition) from a Shiite text of the 17th century. "