Many Muslims cite the excuse they are 'waiting for the Mahdi' (since he will come before Isa) before they work to sort out the problems of the Muslims and re-establish the Islamic ruling (Khilafah). However, none of these individuals has any idea how this will happen.
According to the Sunni understanding, the Mehdi will have no special powers or miracles. So how will anyone recognise the mahdi when he arrives? Let's examine this rationally.
If we will know someone is the mahdi, because he appears pious and calls himself the mahdi, then many such people have claimed this throughout history and there are many such people today. Which one of these people is the mahdi?
If he will be recognised because he is in power, establish the Caliphate and rules justly. Then how will he get this power in the first place? If he will get into power by starting out amongst the common people and begins working to re-establish Islam, how will he be successful? His followers will not help him to achieve this because they will say to him 'Its great what you are doing, but we will only wait for the mahdi. We will only support you if you are already in power and demonstrate that you are the mahdi'.
If he gets into power via elections, but the system he is in, is secular and controlled by Secularists, how could he ever establish Islam without getting deposed? (e.g. FIS, Rafah and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood).
If he is born to a puppet dictator and is the heir, how will his family choose him for rulership, knowing that he stands for and believes in re-establishing the Caliphate - which will uproot their dynasty? And how will the U.S.A not depose him before he inherits power, if the family doesn't do it first?
The only rational conclusion is, the mahdi can only get into power either due to Muslims being ready to support and work for any Muslim leader who wants to establish Islam, OR the Islamic State (Khilafah - Caliphate) has already been established by the time the Mahdi arrives. And once one Caliph is dead or retires, the people pick a known pious and wise man to become the leader, who then turns out to be the Mahdi (which matches the Hadith prophesy of Muhammed (saaw)).
In either case, the Muslims ALONE were willing to work to re-establish Islam, or had already established Islam by the time the Mahdi arrived.
The lesson we learn from this is simple: If you are not ready or willing to work to re-establish the ruling of Islam and support leaders or groups to attain power to implement it - you are working against the Mahdi's return, not for it.
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