Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Islam The messiah who, it is believed, will appear at the world's end and establish a reign of peace and righteousness.
  • n. Islam A leader who assumes the role of a messiah.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Among Mohammedans, the last imam or leader of the faithful. The Sunni, the largest sect of the Mohammedans, believe that he is yet to appear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. According to Mohammedan belief, a spiritual and temporal ruler destined to appear on earth during the last days.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Islam) a messianic leader who (according to popular Muslim belief) will appear before the end of the world and restore justice and religion

Etymologies

Arabic mahdī, rightly guided one, Mahdi, passive participle of hadā, to lead; see hdy in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Arabic مهدي ("guided one"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • AL MAHDI, H.E. IMAM SAYYE. AL SADIQ SUDAN Lineage p. 121 Uniquely situated on this list as the single most influential Sudanese leader who derives influence from his lineage-his great grandfather, Muhammad Ahmad, claimed to be the Mahdi, or messianic figure in Islamic eschatology-Imam Sayyed al Sadiq al Mahdi is also Imam of the al Ansar sufi order and president of the moderate Islamic Umma Party.

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  • To Sunnis and Shiites alike, the Mahdi is the ultimate savior of mankind, equivalent to the Messiah.

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  • The Supreme Council, the once dominant religious Shiite party with roots in Iran, refused to join the Maliki/Sadr alliance, and its leading candidate, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, is still competing against Maliki for the prime minister's job.

    Future Of Iraqi Government Remains Unclear

  • Five minutes ago I'd been carelessly eyeing a jaunty backside while Fred or Ginger looked for my luggage - and now I was being dragooned into God knew what horror by this arrogant zealot - and they called the Mahdi a fanatic!

    Watershed

  • Hazzard converted to Islam in 1971, according to the Los Angeles Times, and was known as Mahdi Abdul-Rahman in his second stint with the Sonics.

    The Seattle Times

  • During an interview with the BBC he said he would unleash his militia, called the Mahdi Army, on American forces if they do not withdraw.

    Five U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq

  • Today, throughout the Islamic world, the masses are yearning for and longing for a populist messiah figure known as the Mahdi who, according to their very own prophecies, will employ precisely the same methods as Obama.

    Terry Krepel: The 2010 Slantie Awards

  • • Muslims believe in a messiah called the Mahdi, but Christians say the Messiah is Jesus.

    Can America Survive?

  • Conflation of the "special groups" -- trained and supported by the Iranian Qods force -- and the Jaish al-Mahdi, which is the main Sadrist Iraqi nationalist militia.

    Too Many Kagans, Too Little Knowledge - Swampland - TIME.com

  • Some Shiites believe the Mahdi will be a reincarnation or reappearance of a former leader.

    Terry Kelhawk: WikiLeaks Expose Cracks in Islamic Unity

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