The concept of the Awaited Saviour is a fundamental belief in Islam.
Some Muslims believe that he is yet to be born and so await his birth. In the Shi’a belief, we acknowledge that the Awaited Saviour, the Mahdi (ajfs) has already been born as the twelfth prince and direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), but remains hidden from our current reality, and hence await his reappearance.
Here are four beliefs about the concept of the “Awaited Saviour”:
1. The Awaited Saviour does not only exist in Islam, but is shared with other faiths.
In Christianity, the Awaited Saviour is believed to be the Messiah Jesus Christ. In Judaism he is a future Jewish king and leader who is believed to be the direct descendant of King David. Buddhism also embraces the concept of an Awaited Saviour; Buddhists await the arrival of the next Buddha, also known as Maitreya, or “awakened one”.
2. The Awaited Saviour will bring order in a world of chaos.
Regardless of the notion of whom this personality will be, the Awaited Saviour is a concept that unites faiths under the belief that his arrival will be a catalyst for the creation of the ideal human society. The Awaited Saviour will arrive in the world at a time of chaos to bring order. He is believed to do so by establishing one global government with universal laws of righteousness, through which wars, corruption, and poverty will be eradicated, and justice and equality will be upheld.
3. The Awaited Saviour is a symbol of hope.
By way of bringing justice, truth, and harmony at a time when injustice and chaos permeates the world, the concept of the Awaited Saviour is integral in all faiths because it instills hope in humanity. It assures humanity that there is an end to suffering and that those who are perpetrating wrongdoings will be held accountable. Hope is not only a meaningful part of the human experience, but is essential as part of one’s faith; in Islam, despair is considered to be a major spiritual shortcoming.
4. Awaiting the Saviour does not mean to wait passively.
Rather, it means an active awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the current state of the world and all the injustice and corruption it houses. It means an active pursuit of truth and embodiment of the values that the Awaited Saviour represents. It means to work as a collective society towards the betterment of humanity, which is ultimately the goal of the Awaited Saviour.
As we await the reappearance of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam (ajfs), we aspire to follow in the example of the holy Ahlul Bayt in modeling the ideal society by alleviating the suffering of others, living with compassion, and working towards justice and equality for all. To learn more about Imam Mahdi (ajfs) and why we want his return check out our previous blog post here!