Is Ahmad al-Hassan the Yamani?
After writing an article about the Shia perspective on the Yamani and his movement being one of the definite signs of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a), many comments were received surrounding the personality of Ahmad al-Hassan. Some people were thankful for reading an article about the Yamani without mentioning this person and others critiqued the article stating that the Muslim ummah should be aware of him.
Many people aspire to be leaders and recognise a position of authority or leadership to be the ultimate goal of life. Hence, they strive to achieve this position by any means necessary, even if it means breaking the commandments of God. There are many traditions regarding religious leadership in the end of times. Imam Mahdi (a) will be the ultimate leader of mankind, but before him there will be the Yamani and the Khurasani who will have religious and political leadership of movements leading to the return of the Imam (a).
Hence, one can mislead the simple-minded and obtain a position of religious leadership through deception by claiming to be the Yamani, for instance. This would also serve to cause much disunity and internal fights within the Muslim ummah. Hence, making such a claim would be one of the worse sins that one can imagine. The majority of people who make such claims also decide to fight against Shia authority, namely the maraja’ and the Islamic seminaries, because they are seen as competitors.
Ahmad al-Hassan was born in Basra, in 1973, studied engineering in the University of Basra, and then entered the Islamic seminary of Najaf in the year 2000. Since then, towards the end of Saddam’s reign, he has made a few huge claims. He claims to be the guardian and son of Imam Mahdi (a), although he is not a sayyid and his tribe, Sayamir is well-known. He started wearing a black turban and presenting himself in public places.
He has made statements such as: “I am a source of mercy for Islam, rather for the entire globe. Anywhere I go the Ahl al-Bayt (a) are always with me. I am clearly stating that Allah has chosen me. The one with nafs-mutma’inah is connected to me and I have achieved that station. I want to unify the Shia, the scholars and laymen. I am prepared to clarify reality for the people in black and white. Allah is light and his words are light. At the same time, I make no claims.”
His claims have been made in stages. This is a process that many deceptive people take. They start by claiming to be divinely inspired, then they gravitate to claiming to be an important person, than the Imam himself, and finally some even claim to be Allah incarnate.
First, he claimed that he saw Imam Mahdi (a) many times in his dreams and in the shrine of Sayyid Muhammad, the son of Imam Hadi (a). Then he moved forward and stated that he met the Imam (a) in person, who taught him about the problems of the Islamic seminary. Second, he moved on to the next step and said that Imam Mahdi (a) has ordered him to enter the Islamic seminary and mention the problems that are happening there. As a side note, there are many traditions which state that one who claims to have met or taken orders from Imam Mahdi (a) is a liar. Third, in the month of Sha’ban, 1420, he claimed to have met Imam Mahdi (a) next to the shrine of Imam Husayn (a). He said that the Imam ordered him to go to Najaf and openly make his invitation. When he did this many people rejected him and considered him to be crazy. He then returned to his hometown.
When Saddam fell in 1424, he repeated his claim and was successful in deceiving some people. He stated in the month of Ramadan that year that the Imam (a) told him to address the people of the world and invite them to his movement against falsehood. He clearly stated in this address that the scholars would not support him because they are at war with Imam Mahdi (a).
He uses a few arguments to support his claim. The first argument are his dreams. He has also stated that he predicted the fall of Saddam, that he is prepared to debate Islamic, Christian, and Jewish scholars, and that he is prepared to perform mubahilah.
Although the Islamic seminaries are not perfect, the scholars who spend their lives protecting it and trying to enhance the seminary experience are as sincere and religious as they come. These people are not the “idols” that Ahmad al-Hassan describes and they will be the people leading the movement that will lead to the true Yamani and the reappearance of our Master (a). One other point regarding the Yamani, there are traditions that he is a sayyid from the line of Zayd bin Ali bin al-Hussayn and will rise from Yemen, not Iraq. Hence, he is definitely not the Yamani.