The webinar titled “The Role of Mahdism in Islamic Civilization” with a speech by Dr. Gholamreza Behrozi Lak was held.
According to the public relations department of Baqir al-Olum University, in this webinar which was organized by the International Affairs and Non-Iranian Students department of Baqir al-Olum University in cooperation with Islamic Culture and Communication Organization, Dr. Gholamreza Behrozi Lak gave a lecture with regard to “The Role of Mahdism in Islamic Civilization” in English.
At the end, some questions were raised by the participants and Dr. Gholamreza Behrozi Lak answered them.
Here are the most important parts of the lecture:
Generally speaking, civilization signifies a type of social life for all aspects of human being. In other words, civilization can be understood as an achievement both in spiritual and material side of life and the result of such civilization is the salvation of all the individuals who live under the power and authority of the civilization. In fact, civilization can be understood as a real Utopia for human being.
Mahdism is an Islamic term but not confined to Islamic culture, rather some similar concepts under the title of missionism can be found in other cultures such as Christianity and Judaism.
Two aspects are applied to study or believe in Mahdism. The first one in negative way is that you want to reject the current situation. In other words, individuals are not satisfied and contented with what they have presently. The second side of belief in Mahdism is to believe in possibility of a complete and perfect society which can be found on the earth, and we are going towards this perfect and complete society which all the members are contented with.
There are many ways for futurology such as forecasting and backcasting. In forecasting, scientists tend to study the history and what has happened throughout the history and based on the results and findings the plan of a better future can be drawn.
In backcasting, there are at least three steps. In the first step, a bright future is tried to be imagined and drawn.
Then there’s a return from that imaginary bright future to the present times in order to to find out the differences between what we have now and that drawn future. The third step is the movement from the current time towards that bright imaginary future. Subsequently, different suggestions can be offered and the best one should be selected in order to go towards that future.
There’s a vital difference between the topic of Mahdism and other topics based on backcasting in Mahdism. There’s no need to refer to our own imagination because extremely rich and reliable sources including the traditions and Islamic verses are available for us to draw and give the plan and picture of that future.
The promised society of imam Mahdi (PBUH) has three foundations.
The first one is about how we consider the rule of Allah, whether we consider him only as the creator of the world or we consider Allah as the lord of this world who manages the world and the life of human being and other creatures is under his rule. It goes without saying that in divine government, Allah is considered both creator and the lord, the owner and the raiser of this world who has presence and power in ruling the society.
The second criteria is the rule of human being as the successor of Allah. He says in the Holy Quran:
وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَنْ يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَك ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
When your Lord said to the angels, ‘Indeed I am going to set a viceroy on the earth,’ they said, ‘Will You set in it someone who will cause corruption in it and shed blood, while we celebrate Your praise and proclaim Your sanctity?’ He said, ‘Indeed I know what you do not know.’
Human being as the successor of Alllah has the role of managing the world and society without any corruption, tyranny or bothering people. The third criteria refers to rationality and the rule of intellect. Although secular societies claim that they are the defender of rationality and intellectuality, there is still a big gap and difference between Islamic version of intellectuality and the secular one because in western and secular rationality human being is considered as the center of the world and everything goes around him. However, in divine intellect the society is ruled by Allah or under his guidance and instructions.