“O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one who will fill this world with justice and peace. Make us worthy to prepare the way for his arrival, and lead us with your righteous hand. We long for the Lord of the Age. We long for the Awaited One. Without him – the Righteously Guided One – there can be no victory. With him, there can be no defeat. Show me your path, O mighty Lord, and use me to prepare the way for the coming of the Mahdi.”
Excerpt from The Twelfth Imam
The Mahdi is, of course, The Twelfth Imam and the harbinger of the end of the world for many Muslims. This novel is a classic good versus evil book set in present day Iran where extremist leadership is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. The Iranian leaders all happen to believe in the coming of the Mahdi and are convinced that they must prepare the way via destruction and killing the “Great Satans,” Israel and the United States. I repeat that this is a novel though an interesting look inside the “Twelfther” movement.
The Twelfth Imam is an engaging thriller and author, Joel C. Rosenberg, probably took a great risk presenting the Muslim faith in this context. I have not heard whether a fatwa has been called seeking his death. The only disappointing aspect of the book is that, while the initial conflict is somewhat resolved, the story is just beginning. Based on the ending I would expect at least one more in this series. I am not a fan of the open ended tactic, though the quality of the writing and the intriguing story-line will compel me to read more.
I found this passage interesting about the United States;
“Their Congress is focused on jobs and health care and reengineering their economy. [the President] is committed to pulling U.S. forces out of the region as rapidly as possible. And he has signed an executive order declaring that the U.S. will never use nuclear weapons against any other nation – even if attacked first. Believe me, Your Excellency, regardless of what they are saying about keeping their military option ‘on the table’ with regard to ‘the Iran issue,’ we needn’t worry about a preemptive strike from the Americans. It is never going to happen. Not under this president. Not under this Congress.”