In Islamic eschatology the Mahdi (مهدي transliteration: Mahdī, also Mehdi; “Guided One”) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam. The advent of Mahdi is not a universally accepted concept in Islam, there are basic differences among different sects of Muslims about the timing and nature of his advent and guidance. Most Muslims believe that the Mahdi will change the world into a perfect and just Islamic society alongside Jesus before Yaum al-Qiyamah (literally “Day of the Resurrection” or “Day of the Standing”). The “hdi” of “Mahdi” refers to the Arabic root “هدی” which means “to guide”. “Mahdi” is also an Arabic name.
The exact nature of the Mahdi differs according to Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. For a more in-depth Shi’a account of the Mahdi, see Muhammad al-Mahdi. Despite modern popularity, the Mahdi is not mentioned in the Qu’ran.
Shi‘ites claim the Mahdi is their 12th Imam, as evidenced in a hadith from the Shia text (Kitab Al-Kafi) containing a conversation between the first Shia Imam; Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib and a man named al-Asbagh ibn Nubata. 
Even if the entire duration of the world’s existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left before the Day of Judgment, God (Arabic:Allah) will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person out of my Ahl al-Bayt who will be called by my name. He will then fill the Earth with peace and justice as it will have been filled with injustice and tyranny before then.
― Sahih Tirmidhi, V2, P86, V9, P74 – 75.
The Mahdi, according to Shi’ite tradition, will arise at some point before the day of judgement, institute a kingdom of justice, and will in the last days fight alongside the returned Jesus against the Dajjal, the Antichrist.
However, like most religious concepts, various Muslim traditions have ascribed different characteristics to the Mahdi. Also, as Mahdiism is closely related to the leadership of the Ummah, it has had the potential to be abused as some leaders of secularly focused politico-religious movements in the name of Islam who have claimed to be the Mahdi. Continue reading ‘Mahdi’