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In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi (Arabic: مهدي‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}},(or Imam Mahdi) ISO 233: mahdī "guided one") is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations)<ref name="Muslim World 2004 p.421">Martin 2004: 421</ref> before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection)<ref name="Glasse">Glasse 2001: 280</ref> and will rid the world of evil.<ref name=momen />

There is no explicit reference to the Mahdi in the Qu'ran, but references to him are found in hadith (the reports and traditions of Muhammad's teachings collected after his death). According to Islamic tradition, the Mahdi's tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the "false Messiah" or Antichrist).<ref name="S209">Sonn (2004) p. 209</ref> Differences exist in the concept of the Mahdi between Sunni Muslims and adherents of the Shia tradition. For Sunnis, the Mahdi is Muhammad's successor who is yet to come. For most Shia Muslims, the Mahdi was born but disappeared and will remain hidden from humanity until he reappears to bring justice to the world, a doctrine known as the Occultation. For Twelver Shia, this "hidden Imam" is Muhammad al-Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam.

Throughout history, various individuals have claimed to be the Mahdi. These have included Muhammad Jaunpuri, founder of the Mahdavia sect; the Báb (Siyyid Ali Muhammad), founder of Bábism; Muhammad Ahmad, who established the Mahdist state in Sudan in the late 19th century; and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya sect.

Mahdi sections
Intro  Historical development  Sunni Islam  Shi'ism  Other sects and religions  Persons claiming to be the Mahdi  See also  References  Bibliography  [[Mahdi?section=External</a>_links|External</a> links]]  

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