|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, and says that he is the messenger of the messianic figure the Imam Mahdi. Ahmad al-Hassan says that he had seen Imam Mahdi in a vision while sleeping, ordering him to enroll in the religious institute Hawza Ilmiya in Najaf, Iraq. During his attempts at reforming the Hawza, Ahmad al-Hassan isolated himself at home to learn the sciences of the Hawza, which he saw as disordered. He later formed a group called the Ansar. Ahmed al-Hassan later entered into a six year occultation after the event of 2008 Muharram.
He is known to his followers as al-Yamani, referring to the eschatological Yamani leader who will precede the return of the Imam.
While studying at the Hawza, Ahmad al-Hassan initiated several reformations based on two areas:
Al-Hassan advocated commanding the good deeds and forbidding the bad deeds. He openly criticised president Saddam Hussain’s act of writing the Quran with his own blood, arguing the act is forbidden in Islam as blood is impure. Note, there is absolutely no proof Ahmmad al-Hassan openly criticized Saddam Hussein's writing of the Qur'an in blood. In fact, the reference cited (Guardian article)has absolutely nothing to do with Ahmad al-Hassan.
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 states:
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.
Since the beginning of his call he wrote many books - most on religious topics; with some books dedicated to answering questions that are sent to him through his website. He has also written a book about the deceit of atheism, which has been described as a very powerful response to atheism.
Ahmad al-Hassan states, "I am the Messenger of Imam Mahdi and I am his viceregent, and I am the first of the twelve Mahdis from the sons of Imam Mahdi." He says that Shia Muslims are being deceived by the top scholars and mujtahids, or maraji'i. 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. (December 2012)|
The Yamani is one of the major Signs that is awaited by Shia Muslims before the appearance of the 12th Imam Mahdi. Since the beginning of his call, Ahmad al-Hassan has 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 Ahmad and issued corresponding fatwas classifying Ahmad al-Hassan as 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.
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 state 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 AlHamami (son of the late Marja Sayed Muhammad Ali Musawi Alhammamy) 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.
- "Interview with Ahmad al-Hassan by independent journalist Zyad Qasim Al-Zubaidi". http://the-savior.com. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "Qur'an etched in Saddam Hussein's blood poses dilemma for Iraq leaders by Martin Chulov". The Guardian. 2010-12-19. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
- "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.
- الحسن, احمد (1427هـ). بيان الحق والسداد (PDF). p. 16. Check date values in:
- "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.