The Teachings of Mahdism and Environmental Rights
By: Doctor Bahram Akhavan Kazemi, Translated by: Zeynab Saghaye Biria
Source : The Scientific Committee of the International Conference of Mahdism Doctrine
A Retrospect to Environmental Rights in Today’s World
The “environment” has been one of the main concerns of man and the modern world in the last few decades until now. On this basis, establishing and transforming rights and responsibilities relating to the environment, whether domestic or international, is one of the very important issues that has drawn the attention of and occupied the minds of many experts, government officials, and numerous international organizations and treaties.
However, the term, “environment” at least in its current usage, is a new expression in many languages. Its usage in French dates back to the 12th century, although this expression’s consistent usage began in the early 1960s.
The environment was respected by early civilizations and cultures in the far past and was of special sanctity. For example, Iranians worshipped Mitra, or the sun; the Indians and the Egyptians considered the Ganges and the Nile rivers holy, while worshipping stars was prevalent among Babylonians. Books such as the Rig Veda (Hindus’ holy book), the Torah and Hamurabi’s Code of Law contain issues related to the preservation of natural resources, in general, and the pollution of the environment, in particular. Other tribes such as the Phoenicians, Lydians, Haitians, the Mayans and the Incans also believed in the sanctity of natural phenomena, which is a sign of the appearance of concern regarding nature and the preservation of the environment in the past ages.
With the appearance of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, environmental damages became more concrete, especially in the western industrial world. Following that in the 20th century, environmental damages became a more visible and critical problem, after such happenings as the “Trial smelter” in 1941, the “Corfu Channel case” in 1946, the Lake Lanoux Arbitration in 1957, the Gut Dam Arbitration in 1968, the “Soviet satellite cosmos 945 case” in 1978 in space, the chemical company disaster in Bhopal , India in 1984, the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster on the 26th of April, 1987, and the pollution caused by the intentional fires in Kuwait’s oil wells by Iraq in the second Persian Gulf war. These incidents made evident that in order to overcome these dangers, humans need a worldwide determination, a precise programming, and decisive measures taken domestically, regionally, and internationally. Other than in this case, human life will be encountered by increasing damage and will be destroyed.
Today, environmental threats encompass a wide scope including water, air, temperature, global warming, the rising of sea levels, the preservation of various species specially rare plants and animals, the depletion of the ozone layer, the effects of industrial activity resulting from human actions, the destruction of forests, pollution of bodies of water, acid rain, and sound, military, and atomic pollution.
Some of these environmental damages have themselves been a source of more widespread damage. For example, experts believe that the mass cutting down of forest trees and the constant spreading of industrial waste in the atmosphere cause extremely negative changes in the condition of water and air, the rising of sea levels, and consequently the erosion of shores, and the spreading of heat waves;. In just the same way, fossil fuels and their unbalanced and vast usage have caused an increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide and have resulted in the formation of greenhouse gases. The presence of poisonous gases disseminated by human industrial activities has caused the rain to become acidic, thus poisoning the usable waters and endangering marine life and human health.
“Today, the belief exists that although environmental issues from an international relations perspective are not new phenomena, given their critical situation, world leaders are increasingly elevating environmental issues from peripheral and secondary issues to their main political tasks.”
This same pattern is also seen about the agendas of international and global organizations in their measures for the prevention of environmental pollution. The ratification and agreement of tens of treaties and environmental conventions expresses its increasing importance.
It should be noted that the expression “environment” could be attributed to one region only or to all the planets and even to the outer space which surrounds them. UNESCO has used the expression “biosphere” for the environment, which is an expansive definition consisting of the human living environment, or that part of the world in which according to present human knowledge all of life is present. The biosphere, or layer of life, is the same thin layer and crust which surrounds the earth and is inclusive of the earth, a thousand meters above it, and the oceans and the deep parts of the earth.
The environment also includes the water, air, soil, and the outer and inner life factors relating to any living being. In reality, human, animal and plant life is influenced by this environment. According to some environmental conventions, the environment is inclusive of the following parts:
a. Natural resources, including nonrenewable and renewable resources, such as air, water, soil, and all the animals and plants and the effects they have on each other.
b. Property and wealth that is part of cultural inheritance
c. Special landscapes and sights
From this perspective, the manmade environment consisting of monuments, historical landmarks, various buildings or special landscapes and sights should also be protected against destruction as part of the environment . In the same way, the earth’s natural resources including air, water, soil, plants, and animals and especially the known kinds of natural ecosystems have to be protected through a precise programming and management in order to settle the contradictions between development and the environment according to the needs, for the good of present and future generations. The management of production and resources has to be made reasonable, but it is quite clear that unfortunately, the man of post industrialism and of today’s “bio-techno-electronic” period has not been able to overcome the problem of the environment’s destruction and ruin by his own hands and every day, he is faced with more and more destruction of forests, the increasing of desert lands, the pollution of air, water, soil, and the environment, and the extinction of certain species of animals and plants. This process is constantly being repeated in a closed and regressive cycle and again, unfortunately the speed of destruction is day-by-day becoming more than the speed of restoration.
Environmental Rights in the Conduct of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Infallibles (PBUT)
In the discussion regarding the teachings of Mahdiism, it is necessary and guiding to look on to the conduct of the rest of the Infallibles-from the Seal of the Prophets to the eleventh Imam – because the jurisdiction and leadership of Imam Mahdi will be the concluding point and complementary to the mission of the Prophet and the rest of the infallible Imams. Evidently, this conduct is interpretive and explanatory of the teachings of Mahdiism, just the way Mahdavi teachings are complementary and explanatory to the Prophet’s and the Infallibles’ conduct.
Thus, we will hereby briefly discuss the status of the rights of living beings, including animals and plants and the environment as an introduction explicating the discussion regarding the teachings of Mahdiism.
First, it has to be mentioned that the honored Prophet of Islam gave a lot of importance to this issue. For example, in Nahj Al-Fasaha, numerous sayings have been narrated from him which are about the importance of trees, planting trees, and the development and improvement of the environment. From among those sayings are the following:
a. What a good property is a palm tree that is made firm in soil.
b. If on the day of resurrection, one of you has a young tree in your hands, you must plant it if you can.
c. Whoever plants a tree, God will record for him as much reward as the fruits of that tree.
d. Whoever plants a tree, every time a human or any one of God’s creatures eats from the fruits of that tree, it will be counted as charity from him.
In another fine saying, the Prophet considers the reward of planting a tree, making a stream flow, and digging a well as three kinds of continual charities equivalent to the effect of “righteous children” and “building a mosque,” the rewards of which will always last for its doer. In his words, “There are seven things that their reward will last for its doer in the grave and after his death: the one who teaches someone knowledge, or makes a stream flow, or digs a well, or plants a palm tree, or builds a mosque, or leaves a written text, or departs an offspring who will ask forgiveness for him after his death.”
There are numerous advices from the Prophet about the protection of animal rights and having a kind attitude toward them. In addition to prohibiting the bothering and unreasonable killing of animals, he emphasized on their complete care. Among these sayings are:
- Any animal, whether bird or other, which has been wrongfully killed, will oppose its killer on the Day of Judgment.
- Whoever uselessly kills a sparrow, on the Day of Judgment, it will come and shout in front of the throne and say, “Oh my Lord, ask this person why he uselessly killed me.”
- Whoever unjustly kills a sparrow, God will put him to account on the Day of Judgment.
- A woman was sent to hell because she had tied up a cat and had not fed it and kept it from eating anything from the ground until it died.
In Prophetic sayings, much emphasis has been put on building and improving the environment. Also he has refrained the people from staying in ruined houses and has said that these people’s supplications will not be fulfilled, like a person who is negligent toward caring for the animals he owns. He has said:
“There are three persons who God does not accept their supplications: a man who lives in a ruined house, a man who live in the way of others, and a man who releases his animals and prays for God to keep them safe.”
In many other sayings, the Prophet has considered spending on one’s horse like giving necessary maintenance costs, and while counting it equivalent to charity, he has ordered against refraining from such expenditure and has advised the owners of this animal to caress its forehead in order to increase the horse’s blessings . It is evident that given the vast usage of animals such as horses for military and transportation purposes, the Prophet’s emphasis on the horse is symbolic and is applicable to protecting the rights of other animals as well, just the way he advised people to honor the cow as the best among quadrupeds . It is also narrated from Imam Sadiq that the Prophet ordered people against whipping the face of quadrupeds and killing honeybees . In another saying from Imam Sadiq, it is pointed out that whipping animals on their face is disallowed because animals praise God with their face . Also in this regard, Imam Hussain has said, “A respect has been placed for everything, and the respect of quadrupeds is hidden in their face.”
In Islamic sayings, humans lacking wisdom are counted in the rank of quadrupeds , and humans who let their passion rule over their wisdom are considered even worst than quadrupeds . In this order, animals are placed in a level lower than humans, because of their lack of wisdom, but this matter is not a reason for disregarding their rights. In some sayings, living beings have been divided into four groups: first are the humans who are the most complete beings, next are the quadrupeds with the cow being their best, the third group are the birds with the vulture being their best, and the fourth kingdom and class belongs to wild animals with the camel being the best among them. In this saying, Imam Ali has specifically said that the cow, eagle, and lion through supplication ask God for sustenance and intercession for their subgroups. In this way it has been said that all animals praise God and perform the worship of God in their own method and style. With attention to this perspective of Islam on animals and even plants, the reason for this moral religion’s advice to a kind, respectful, and cordial attitude becomes clearer.
Imam Ali’s conduct is also filled with the protection of environmental rights and the observance of animal rights. The second part of the twenty-fifth letter of Imam Ali, which is a direction for the collection of taxes, is one of the best Islamic charters regarding animal rights. This part of the letter, which was written to the public officers and agents, reminded the method of collecting taxes, which were to be taken from animal owners, and described the way of treating and caring for these animals until delivery to the Muslims’ public treasury in the following way. He writes that carrying out these directions will be a source of guidance and a great reward from God.
“For delivering the animals, entrust them to a benevolent, kind, trustworthy, and retentive shepherd, one who does not herd them too fast or tires them, not to a harsh and oppressive shepherd. Then send what you have collected from the public treasury for us, to use towards the needs God has allowed us to use for. When you entrust the animals to a trustworthy person, tell him not to separate the camels and their kids. Be just in riding on the camels; don’t ride on the back of a tired or injured camel, for it is difficult for it to carry someone. Take them to the water on the way, and don’t drive them from roads which have grasslands on both sides to roads which have no grass. Let the camels rest every once in a while, and whenever they reach water and grassland, give them time to eat grass and drink water so that by the will of God, when they reach us, they are fat and healthy, not tired and exhausted. Then we will distribute them according to the directions of the Quran and the Prophet’s conduct. Acting upon the mentioned directions will be a source of great reward and of guidance for you.”
Environmental Rights in the Time of Imam Mahdi
With a short deliberation on the narrations specifically about the era of reappearance, it can be well understood that, in this realm, the environment and the living beings will enjoy the gifts of Imam Mahdi’s government in their utmost perfection and will taste the flavor of tranquility, peace, and a goodly life based on justice. At this point, we will embark upon brief indicators from narrated sayings, along with the necessary evidence. In other words, the following issues are some of the features of the environment during the time of the reappearance and the complete observance of the mentioned rights in that period. The recounting of these features is not exhaustive; instead, it is just a brief indication.
1. The Purification and the Luminosity of the Earth
During the time of Imam Mahdi, by the grace of God, the earth will be purified from any kind of injustice and oppression and will be illuminated and shining with divine light. The words injustice and oppression are similar in meaning with words such as rebellion, desire, and deviation. Evidently, any kind of impurity and pollution falls under the category of the meaning of injustice and oppression. This is because any kind of impurity denotes a deviation from God’s natural creation and denotes a violation of right and movement toward the wrong; so that any kind of violation of a right, whether great or small, is called oppression. Oppression literally means darkness and also a gap which forms in the earth. It also means “trespassing the limits and placing something in an unsuitable place” . In his dictionary, Ibn Fars acknowledges that oppression has two meanings: first it means the opposite of light and the second is placing something in a spot that is not suitable for it.
It is clear that, according to these descriptions, the anti-oppressive and justice-based Mahdavi Government will be based on purifying the environment from any form of impurity and deviation. It will return this environment to an ideal condition and will protect its purity and goodly life.
In confirming the above matter, Imam Reza has said:
“Through him, God will purify and make the earth free of any kind of injustice and oppression. So when he (Imam Mahdi) rises, the earth will be illuminated with the light of God and the scale of justice will rule among the people. After that, not a single person will oppress another, and he is the one who the earth rapidly moves under his feet.”
2. The Satisfaction and Joy of all the Creatures and the Environment
Countless sayings describing the Mahdavi era indicate the ultimate satisfaction of all the inhabitants and creatures on the earth and in the skies from the government of the Promised Mahdi. It is very clear that this satisfaction and joy cannot be without safeguarding the environmental rights and the rights of all its inhabitants. In numerous sayings, especially the ones from the Prophet, this implication has been stated in this way:
“The earth will be filled with justice the same way it was filled with injustice before. During his rule, the inhabitants of the earth and the sky and the birds in the air are content and happy with this government.”
Imam Ali has also said:
“From the time of his rise, the inhabitants of the sky and the Earth will become joyful. He will fill the earth with justice just as it had been filled with injustice and oppression.”
3. Security, Peace, and Friendship in the Human, Animal, and Plant World
The outcome of spreading justice and fighting oppression by the Mahdavi government and observing the rights of the environment and its inhabitants can be nothing but security and the establishment of peace and friendship in the entire extension of being. According to the sayings, just as the hatreds and oppositions will depart from the human society, these grudges and agents of dispute will also disappear from the animal world, and even the animals which were known for their vengeance and opposition will live a friendly life next to each other, in maximum tranquility and peace . Also, in a famous narration, which is a sign of an unprecedented security in the time of reappearance, the trip of an ornamented lady from Iraq to Damascus in full peace and tranquility, without any human or animal obtrusiveness is described. This saying states that, “In this age, wild animals and other quadrupeds live together in full peace and tranquility. For this reason, wild animals are not frightening anymore and they don’t attack other animals and this lady. In another saying it is said, “Wild animals will attain such security that, like other quadrupeds, they travel on the earth’s roads and become busy grazing”.
In another saying from an Infallible, this condition is described in this way:
“His name is the Prophet’s name. He will order to justice and act upon it himself. He ordered against the bad; through him, God will prevent oppression. He will do away with doubt and the lack of insight. During his time, sheep and wolves will graze together and the inhabitants of the sky, the birds in the air, and the snakes in the seas are content and happy with him.”
Also, in Kanz Al-Fawaed by Ibn Abbass, the features of the time of reappearance are written and one of them is as follows: “The life of wolves, ewes, cows, humans, and snakes are secure.” Also in describing the bountifulness of the sky and the earth in this time, Imam Sadiq says, “All the wild animals and predators will be in complete security.” So, just as the Prophet has said, in the global government of Imam Mahdi, “people will be in welfare and the quadrupeds will be in tranquility.” In another saying from the Prophet, which is expressive of the highest level of environmental rights’ protection in that great age, he says:
“His name is my name. In the time of his reappearance, the birds in the nests and the fish in the seas reproduce (with maximum freedom and without any kind of fear and any intrusion from the enemy). The streams will be stretched and the springs will boil and the earth will produce twice its crop.”
4. The Actualization of all Environmental
Capabilities to their Highest Degree
Given that in the most authentic religious sources justice is defined as the setting of everything in its own place and the fulfillment of capacities and the observance and vindication of all rights, thus in the Mahdavi government, any creature, whether human, animal, or plant, must reach its highest status and actualize all of its talents and capabilities.
It is so that in the Mahdavi age, in addition to the human society, the earthly and heavenly environment and all the creatures living in it, will reach the realization of their capabilities to their highest and utmost level. In clearer words, they too will regard evenhandedness in their actions. Because of this, with the assistance of the Beneficent God and the gifts of the Mahdavi government, the sky and the earth will throw out their hidden treasures and will get rid of any kind of impurity. Vegetation will enfold all the earth; as it is mentioned in the saying about the fully secure trip of a lady who travels from Iraq to Damascus, “she doesn’t step on anything other than the plants and greenery on her way”.
This is a sign of vast plant coverage all over the earth, in a way that Damascus and Iraq, two almost dry and half barren areas, will be covered with plants in the age of reappearance. Some of the sayings describing the realization of all the potential capabilities of the environment during the period of reappearance give such an account. An infallible has said:
“So Imam Mahdi will address the people and then give the earth the glad tiding of justice. At this time, the sky will grant its rain and the trees will send down their fruits. The earth will bring forth all of its plants and will ornament itself for the citizens of the earth with these plants; just so the earth will emit its treasures for the people of the earth.”
“God will reveal all the earth’s treasures and mines for him and will assist him with His own intimidation.”
Mentioning two narrations from the dear Prophet of Islam in this regard will also help in further enlightening the issue:
“A man will rise from my household and will act upon my conduct. God will descend his blessings from the sky unto him and the earth will emit its blessings too. In his time, my people will enjoy blessings that they did not have before, and the righteous and the sinner will both be among the ones who enjoy these blessings. The sky will send down its rains upon them. The earth will not leave any of its plants unless it grows them out and will not allow any delay in this regard. ”
5. The improvement, development, and the well proportioned expansion of the environment
The aforesaid issues clearly express the peak of improvement and development of the environment during the time of reappearance. In spite of this, in part of the narrations, this development has been pointed to in a more exact and detailed way and it has even been said that all the ruins of the world will be reconstructed. As Imam Baqir has said:
“Through him, God will make His religion victorious over all of the world’s schools of thought, although the polytheists are unhappy and disagreeing. The ruins of the earth will be flourished…”
Also, in the Quranic commentary on the Aya of “Mud’hammatan”, it is narrated from Imam Sadiq, “During the age of reappearance palm trees will join Mecca and Medina with each other”. Also, in part of his words regarding this age, Imam Sadiq says, “Imam will build a mosque outside of Kufah which has a thousand doors, and the houses of Kufah will be connected to the rivers of Karbala and “Heyra”, in such a way that on Friday, a man rides a speedy mule in order to reach himself for the prayers, but he can’t reach it.”
By narrating some sayings in the book of Tazhib, Sheikh Toosee writes: Ameer Al-Mo’meneen went to Heyra and said:
“There will come a day when Kufah will be connected to Heyra and it will gain such a value that one cubit of its land will be sold for a few gold coins and a mosque will be built in Heyra which has five hundred doors! The representative of the Qaem will perform prayers inside it; for the mosque of Kufah will be too small for them. Twelve just prayer leaders will perform prayers there.”
These sayings signify the global improvement, development, and well proportioned expansion of the human, animal, and plant environment. This is the outcome of the complete protection of environmental rights in that shining age. The result of such a condition is that even the earth is boastful of its best condition and of being under the footsteps of Imam Mahdi’s companions, and feels proud and honored. Regarding this, it is narrated from Imam Sadiq:
“It is as if I see the companions of the Qaem who have surrounded the east and the west of the world and everything is under their control. Even the earth’s predators and the sky’s predatory birds are after gaining their satisfaction. Everything, even this point of the earth shows pride and boasts to another part of the earth and says: Today, a man from the companions of the Qaem stepped on me and passed.”
6. Confronting Pollutants and Observing the
Limits of Public and Private Civil Life
Not only are these cases exact examples of the observance of environmental laws, but also the slightest pollution of the environment will be confronted by the government’s measures even if it is limited to the overlooking of a house or the pouring down of water from house rain pipes into a public area, or if a mosque overlooks people’s houses or even if part of a structure is built in a public passageway. These problems will be solved, even by demolishing a mosque if necessary. In the book of Irshad, Abu Baseer has narrated a lengthy saying regarding this matter from Imam Sadiq, who said:
“At the time when our Qaem rises, he will destruct four mosques in Kufah, and he will not leave any mosque which overlooks (other people’s houses) other than he will break down its overlooking pinnacles and will leave it in a plain and non-overlooking way. He will expand the main roads and will fix any corner of a house which is situated in public way, and will remove the rain pipes which are in people’s way. He will get rid of any innovation in religion and will retain the original practices.”
7. Using New Techniques and Technologies in the Environment
A noteworthy point here is that in the time of reappearance, the growth and progress of science and technology will reach its climax. According to some sayings, the two present parts of knowledge will become twenty-seven parts. In addition, we will be encountered with the growth and perfection of the human mind and an increase in the understanding and intellect of human society, which is one of the God-given gifts of the time of reappearance. It is very clear that in such a boastful condition which is full of new technologies, thousands of modern devices for confronting industrial pollutants will be within human reach, and the earth will get rid of all pollution. Also in that time, with the perfection of the society and the people, humans as the main environmental pollutants will abstain from these kinds of actions, based on their wisdom and practical religious beliefs.
8. The Expansion of Environmental Protection
to Areas beyond the Earth
Some of the contemporary experts in the discussion of Mahdiism believe that according to numerous sayings, there exist many planets in the skies that are populated and contain societies of creatures other than humans, angels, and jinns. Allameh Majlesee has compiled a series of these sayings in Behar Al-Anwaar. Professor Ali Kooranee and a number of others believe that there are some ayas of the Quran that are also indicative of this reality, including this holy aya:
“Oh jinns and men, if you can penetrate the bounds of the heavens and the earth, do so, but you cannot unless you have the power and authority (knowledge of the laws made by us).”
In the continuation of this aya, Kooranee writes, “This means that soon, in the time of Imam Mahdi, life on earth will enter a new phase which is totally different from the past.” By this he means that during the age of reappearance, humans will be faced with the conquest of other appointed inhabited planets by Imam Mahdi and his government.
What can be obtained from this discussion is that, in that luminous age, both the environment and its protection and preservation will gain broader dimensions compared to the current world, and their realm will be extended to all the planets under the rule of Imam Mahdi’s government.
9. The Spiritual Advancement of the Environment and its Accompaniment with the Goodly Mahdavi Life
It was said that under the Mahdavi government even the wild animals will advance and put aside their savagery, will become tame, and will gain perfection by completely putting aside their fierceness. It is interesting that, in some sayings, normal animals too will put aside their destructive actions so that, according to Ibn Abbass, an animal such as a mouse “will no longer tear a leathern bag”. But this need for perfection will not be limited to animals and plants; instead, all other creatures will want to enter this goodly life and assist and accompany the global movement of the Imam of the time. Regarding this matter, it is narrated from Abu Baseer that Imam Sadiq said:
“When by God’s will, the Qaem rises and reappears, the disbelievers and polytheists are discontent and worried of his rise; for if a disbeliever or polytheist hides behind a rock, the rock will speak out and say, ‘Oh Muslim, a disbeliever or polytheist is hiding in my refuge, kill him’ and he will take action and kill him.”
10. Lack of Environmental Destructions in the
Mahdavi Rise and Battles
All of the sayings regarding the rise of Imam Mahdi specify the point that, during the Imam’s reappearance, his companions will punish, kill and destroy the oppressors. Just like a necessary operation, they will clear the Islamic society and the other societies of the world from impurity and the presence of unruly and oppressive people. Without these measures, the injustice of oppressors will never be done away with and justice will not gain rule. If the Imam acts with softness and generous disposition towards them, the new plots and conspiracies of the tyrants and the corruptors of the world will never be done away with.
According to the saying, during the time of his rise, the Imam will not accept the outwardly repentance of any criminal. In addition to following the holy Prophet’s conduct in going to war and killing the disbelievers in order to overthrow the system of ignorance, the Mahdavi rise will replace the Prophetic compassion with severity towards the oppressors.
It has been narrated from Imam Baqir that:
“The similarity of Mahdi to his honored ancestor the Prophet of God: his rise and reappearance will be with the sword and by killing the enemies of God and His Prophet, and the oppressors and the tyrants. He will become victorious through his sword and by causing fear in the hearts of his enemies. His army will never be defeated.”
Unfortunately, some of the enemies or even unaware friends have exaggerated the extent of violence and killing in the Mahdavi government and determinedly say that, “in encountering his enemies, Imam Mahdi will engage in an atomic war and will destroy them with this dreadful weapon!!” The author believes that not only is there no need for atomic weapons during the time of reappearance, but also the battle of the Mahdavi government and its companions against the enemies will cause no environmental damage or disaster, similar to what is happening today. Some of the proofs for this claim are as follows:
a. According to some evaluations, at least 1.5 billion humans will be killed as a result of an ordinary atomic war in today’s world. Atomic clouds which form after the first explosion will cause a long winter, with the temperature dropping to fifty degrees Celsius below zero. The earth will be deprived of sunlight for a long time while the plants stop growing and perhaps many of them alongside many animals will be destroyed. Now this question can be formed that according to the previous sayings, how is it possible that a rise will bring about the consent and happiness of all the inhabitants of the sky and the earth and, at the same time, destroy them and the environment in the worst way possible?! Besides this, the effects and radiations of such a war are long-lasting and will have deadly effects for tens of years; this is incompatible with the nature of the goodly Mahdavi life. Is it not so that in the narrations it has been said that under the Mahdavi government, even a sleeping person will not be reasonlessly awaken? So how is it possible that in Imam’s rise, such destructive weapons will be used, in a period when security overtakes the world and the earth is filled with the blessing of safety?
b. With attention to the aforementioned sayings about the increase of human understanding and the expansion of knowledge from two parts to twenty seven parts during the time of reappearance, it is evident that Imam can fight the destructive weapons of the oppressors and can make their weapons inoperative and ineffective and disarm them using modern tools and an encounter based on modern technologies. Thus by using the knowledge of his own time, Imam can turn the sword, which has been mentioned in the narrations as his symbolic weapon, into weapons and tools known and useful to his time; tools which, while being effective, lack environmental pollutants and destruction.
c. According to narrations, Imam Mahdi’s battle is not like today’s aimless killings. Using his divine knowledge, Imam will only kill the ones who are not in any way correctable, and will leave the rest of the bad-doers who are correctable alone, for them to repent and be corrected; just as mentioned in the sayings, the blessings of the time of reappearance are kept for both the good-doers and the bad-doers.
From another perspective, according to sayings, no destruction of a considerable part of the human society will be done by the Mahdavi government; thus, such presumable destruction cannot be considered the outcome of Imam’s military and destructive actions. Rather, this will happen prior to Imam’s reappearance, by the humans themselves, as a result of disputes in the human society; and in this way, the cry for a savior will raise all over the world, asking God and His apostle for rescue. Thus, this kind of human and environmental disaster is the product of a period before the reappearance. Regarding this, Imam Sadiq says:
“Before the reappearance of the Qaem, two kinds of death will befall people; one is white death and the other red death. Red death is by sword and white death is by plague. Out of every seven people, five will die and two will remain.” Imam Ali has also said:
“Imam Mahdi will not rise until before him, one-third of the people get killed; one-third die and one-third remain.”
d. According to many sayings, the Mahdavi rise will be along with divine assistance and intimidation, and with the help of the angels, even Gabriel and Michael. Therefore, Imam Mahdi will not need to use destructive weapons such as atomic ones. In the case of his resort to modern weapons, it is evident that such an encountering measure will rely on divine assistance and the help of the angels, away from any kind of environmental destruction or human disasters. This belief is impossible and is even paradoxical. Some of the sayings which are indicative of divine assistance in the Mahdavi rise and government are as follows: The Prophet has said, “The Qaem is in the shelter of Gabriel and Michael’s support.”
In the book of Irshad, Sheikh Mufeed narrates from Abu Bakr Hazramee that Imam Mohammad Baqir said:
“It is as if I see the Qaem standing on the height of Kufah (the city of Najaf) who has come there with five thousand angels, while Gabriel is on his right and Michael on his left side and the believers are situated in from of him, and he dispersed his armies within the city.”
It is also narrated from Imam Sadiq who said:
“God will aid the Sahib Al-Amr with three armies of angels and believers and an intimidation (which will frighten the kings and the tyrants).”
Also in a long statement describing the characteristics of Imam Mahdi and his rise, the Prophet says:
“He will make the religion of God prevalent over all other religions and will be aided with God and the angels’ assistance. So he will make the earth full of justice, just as it had been filled with oppression and injustice.”
With these explanations, it is completely clear that Imam Mahdi’s divine rise which is directed at the goodly Quranic life, is away from any kind of impurity and pollutants, and contrary to the mentioned exaggeration, it is the boiling spring of purity, peace, sincerity, cleanliness, and cordiality in the human, animal, and plant world and even areas beyond this earth.
To elucidate the state of the environment in the Mahdavi teachings and goodly life, the present writing first previewed the condition, significance, and critical status of environmental rights in today’s world. Then with the purpose of further elaboration on the present subject in the awaited global government, this issue was briefly studied from the Prophet and Infallibles’ conduct. The result of this study showed that the special attention of the Mahdavi government to the issue of the environment very clearly has its roots in Islamic thought and in pure Prophetic and Alavi conduct. Then, the current discussion, in particular, scrutinized the teachings of Mahdiism and came to the conclusion that during the time of reappearance, environmental rights will be completely observed. The creatures and their environment will reach perfection and completeness in their material and spiritual life, in areas as vast as the entire universe, and beside accompaniment with full consent, and perhaps based on intellect, they will reach the ultimate realization of their talents and potential capabilities. The world will be purified and cleansed of all impurity, dirtiness, and material and spiritual pollutants, and will become luminous and brilliant with divine light. With the destruction of Satan and all satanic temptations, all the creatures and even lifeless objects will chant God’s glorification and praise, along with the perfected human of this new and prosperous age. In the end, some of the environmental characteristics of the goodly Mahdavi age are reiterated:
1. The purification and luminosity of the earth
2. The satisfaction and joy of all the creatures and the environment
3. Security, peace, and friendship in the human, animal, and plant world
4. The actualization of all environmental capabilities to their highest degree
5. The improvement, development, and the well proportioned expansion of the environment
6. Confronting pollutants and observing the limits of public and private civil life
7. Using new techniques and technologies in the environment
8. The expansion of environmental protection to areas beyond the earth
9. The spiritual advancement of the environment and its accompaniment with the goodly Mahdavi life
10. Lack of environmental destructions in the Mahdavi rise and battles
Therefore, with this compulsory transformation and change, the environment and the living beings will return to their original, natural and divine state and according to the definition of justice (the settlement of everything in its own place and the fulfillment of capacities and rights), justice would be carried out in their case and they will reach the highest level in their capacities and worth and will realize their hidden talents and capabilities.