|Born||Ahmad bin Ismail
|Home town||Basra, Iraq|
|Parent(s)||Ismail bin Saleh bin Hussain bin Salman|
Ahmad bin Ismail bin Saleh bin Hussain bin Salman (Arabic: احمد اسماعيل صالح الحسين سلمان, born in Basra, Iraq) is the leader of the Shia Iraqi movement Ansar Imam Mahdi who claims to be the savior of mankind. He started claiming to be the messenger of the messianic figure the Imam Mahdi, after he had a vision in which Imam Mahdi told him to enroll in the religious institute Hawza Ilmiya in Najaf, Iraq. Ahmad al-Hassan isolated himself at home to learn the sciences of the Hawza with an attempt of reforming it as he claims it to be disordered. He later formed a group called the Ansar. After the Battle of Najaf at Muharram, 2008, he went into a 6-year occultation. His followers believe him to be al-Yamani, the eschatological Yamani leader who will precede the return of the Imam due to his claim of being al-Yamani.
He later started claiming to be the son of Imam Mahdi. According to Iraqi Basra police, investigations conducted revealed that his ancestry doesn't go back to the prophet. Later on, he started claiming to be an infallible Imam as well as being some notable figures. He has been called the Dajjāl (deceiver) of Basra by a number of his opposition. He uses the Star of David as his logo.
Among his claims are that he is the son of Imam Mahdi, his messenger, his vicegerent, the executor of his affairs, al-Yamani, an infallible Imam, the first of 12 Mahdi, a messenger of the prophets Isa and Elijah and the mystical figure al-Khidr.
Ahmad al-Hassan first started his religious call privately and then later publicly announced it, after his attempted Hawza reformations, in 2002 during the last months of Saddam’s rule.
Regarding the purpose of his movement, he claimed:
The goal of my message is the goal of the Prophets: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, which is to spread the true monotheism with which God is satisfied, and for the earth to be filled with peace and justice after it had been filled with oppression and injustice.
The adherents of Ahmad Al-Hassan collectively identify themselves as Ansar Imam Al-Mahdi ("Supporters of the Imam Mahdi") or Ansars. While many of his supporters are in Iraq, he has followers outside of Iraq largely due to dissemination of his teachings through English websites.
Middle East Research and Information Project has reported that "the majority of his public affrays—they often take the form of theological duels known as munazarat—have been with Sadrist followers." He was claimed to have been involved in the Najaf clashes,[clarification needed] though he denied any such involvement.
He has written some books as well as has a section on his website dedicated to answering questions sent to him through it.
He claims that Shia Muslims are being deceived by the Marja'. He claims that imitating a scholar is not obligatory for Muslims, and it is considered Shirk to blindly follow a scholar.
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (August 2015)|
The Yamani is one of the major signs that is awaited by Shi'a Muslims before the appearance of the 12th Imam Mahdi. Ahmad al-Hassan claims to have challenged scholars of any religion for either a public debate or to stage a mubahala (a mutual prayer by two disputing parties for God to curse the liar). The Shia clerics that are informed about Ahmad al-Hassan's call have largely condemned him and issued corresponding fatwas classifying Ahmad al-Hassan as an impostor, a fabricator, a deceiver, an innovator and a liar. Shi'a Muslim scholars like Sheikh Ali al-Korani and Jalal al-Din Ali al-Saghir have expressed in numerous TV broadcasts their negative views of al-Hassan's claims. According to Sheikh Ali al-Korani, Ahmad al-Hassan was the one who declined going to Iran to have a public date as well as avoided presenting a miracle after he was challenged with presenting one. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah has also expressed his negative views on a broadcast from al-Manar channel. Sheikh Kamal al-Haydari has also expressed his negative views on his TV program. Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib has also expressed his negative views on his website as well as on a TV broadcast.
Battle of Najaf
Shortly after the January 2007 Battle of Najaf, conflicting reports and news coverage emerged as to exactly who was involved in the clashes. The Los Angeles Times and RFERL stated the leader of the Soldiers of Heaven group as Dhiyaa' Abdul Zahra (who was killed in the clashes). However, the New York Times reported after an Iraqi Conference, which was supposed to clarify details about the clashes, that Iraqi officials had named the group to be Soldiers of Heaven (Jund al-Samaa’); but gave several names for the leader of the group including Ahmad Ismail and Diyah Abdul Zahraa Khadom. The NY Times article later claimed that Diyah Abdul Zahraa Khadom was the same person as Ahmad Hassan al-Yamani, whose role was allegedly the deputy of the group (and not the leader).
Ahmad al-Hassan himself and representatives of his group (Ansar Imam Mahdi) have denied any involvement in these clashes and claim they have no links to the group Soldiers of Heaven.
Regarding the difference in official reports, Timothy Furnish of mahdiwatch.org wrote, "Security officials say that Ansar Ahmad [al-Hassan] al-Yamani and the Jund al-Samaa [Soldiers of Heaven] are one and the same, while National Security Minister Shirwan al-Waili denies any relation between the two [groups]." [Unreliable fringe source?]
Sayyed Hasan bin Muhammad Ali al-Hamami (son of the late Marja Sayed Muhammad Ali Musawi al-Hamami) states that the Soldiers of Heaven was led by Dhiyaa' [Abdul-Zahra] Al-Qara'wi who had rejected the 12 Imams of Shia Islam, claimed to be the 12th Imam Mahdi himself and had died in the battle.
- "Investigations conducted by Basra police revealed that Yamani's ancestry doesn't go back to the prophet.". Al-Arabiya.net.
- "the group made the Star of David their logo". Al-Arabiya.net.
- "Interview with Ahmad al-Hassan by independent journalist Zyad Qasim Al-Zubaidi". http://the-savior.com. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- الحسن, احمد (1427هـ). بيان الحق والسداد (PDF). p. 16. Check date values in:
- "Questions sent to Ahmad al-Hassan followers (Ansars)". Dr. Timothy Furnish. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- "MERIP Basra analysis". Dr. Reidar Visser. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- "Article name: Bloody Ashura and a Shia Group which denies having a connection to the Battle of Najaf. Translation of second paragraph under 'Battle of Najaf'(in bold): The adherents of Ahmad Hassan AlYamani - who describes himself as the Messenger of awaited Imam Mahdi - say that their movement is peaceful and has no connection with the group known by the name "Soldiers of Heaven" which participated in the battle; and that the Iraqi authorities falsely accused their leader (Ahmad AlHassan) of being involved in the fight.". AlJazeera. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Los Angeles Times reporting on the Battle of Najaf". Saad Fakhrildeen and Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times. 2007-01-31. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
- "Reporting on the Battle of Najaf". RFERL free press. 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
- "Mystery Arises Over Identity of Militia Chief in Najaf Fight". Damien Cave, New York Times. 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
- "Analysis of what happened in the Battle of Najaf". Dr. Reidar Visser. 2008-03-13. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
- "Dr. Timothy Furnish reporting on Battle of Najaf". Dr. Timothy Furnish. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2012-05-19.
- "Interview with the son of the late Marja Sayed Muhammad Ali Musawi Alhammamy". Ansar Imam Mahdi. Retrieved 2012-05-19.