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Mahdi

(The). The supreme pontiff of the Shiites (2 syl.) Only twelve of these imaums have really appeared- viz. Ali, Hassan, Hosein, and the nine lineal descendants of Hosein. Mohammed, the last Mahdi, we are told, is not really dead, but sleeps in a cavern near Bagdad, and will return to life in the fulness of time to overthrow Dejal (anti-Christ).

The Mahdi which has of late been disturbing Egypt is hated by the Persians, who are Sunnites (2 syl.); but

even the Turks and Persians are looking out for a Mahdi who will stamp out the “infldels.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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