Bediuzzaman dealt a major intellectual blow to irreligion through his faith-related activities. However, that intellectual blow ONLY DIMINISHED THE INFLUENCE OF UNBELIEF, it did not eliminate it entirely.
In his sermon at the Damascus Mosque, our Master described developments that would take place in the Islamic world after Hijri 1371 (1952 AD). He said in that sermon that unbelief would be neutralized entirely in the time of Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) and cited such explicit timings as “30 to 40 YEARS” and “HALF A CENTURY” after Hijri 1371 to say that the definitive defeat of unbelief would come in the Hijri 1400s.
For sure, maybe not now (AFTER H. 1371) but IN THIRTY TO FORTY YEARS’ TIME, in order to fully equip to perfection the three forces of science, true knowledge [acquired through arts, science and skills] and the virtues of civilization, and TO OVERCOME THOSE NINE OBSTACLES, the desire to search for the truth, equity, and love of humanity will be dispatched to the fronts of those nine enemy squadrons. They have already started to drive them back. Allah willing, IN HALF A CENTURY they will scatter them completely. (Bediuzzaman, The Damascus Sermon, p. 25)
Maybe not now, but in thirty to forty years’ time..
Bediuzzaman gives the date when unbelief will be defeated. “NOT NOW,” not in my time, in other words, “BUT IN THIRTY TO FORTY YEARS’ TIME,” in other words, 30 to 40 years after Hijri 1371.
Hijri 1371 + 30 = Hijri 1401 = 1981 AD
Hijri 1371 + 40 = Hijri 1411 = 1991 AD
... in order to fully equip to perfection the three forces of science, true knowledge [acquired through arts, science and skills] and the virtues of civilization...
This means that Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will make full use of all aspects of science and technology.
... to overcome those nine obstacles...
Bediuzzaman uses the term “to overcome.” Breaking the back of unbelief is not the same as scattering it intellectually. Scattering and defeating it means, in the same way that the Prophet Moses (pbuh) burned the golden calf and scattered its ashes into the sea, intellectually neutralizing unbelief, removing all the scourges that give rise to irreligion, and putting an end to suffering, oppression, injustice and wrongs.
Unbelief did not come to an end in the time of our Master Bediuzzaman; the scourges leading to irreligion were not eliminated and suffering, oppression and injustice did not come to an end.
By Allah’s leave, Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will accomplish all these things, together with his followers.
... the desire to search for the truth, equity, and love of humanity will be dispatched to the fronts of those nine enemy squadrons.,
This means that Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh) will wage his intellectual struggle with love and affection, and he will eliminate irreligion with the true and concrete proofs of religion.
... Allah willing, in half a century they will scatter them completely....
Bediuzzaman again gives a date. IN HALF A CENTURY, in other words, 50 years after Hijri 1371. That makes Hijri 1421, or 2001 AD.
IN HALF A CENTURY: 1371 + 50 = 1421 = 2001
Our Master Bediuzzaman points to another important fact in this passage when he refers to “...scattering them completely.”
A thing being scattered completely means it is broken beyond repair. In other words, by saying “...in half a century, they will scatter them completely,” Bediuzzaman is saying that through Hazrat Mahdi (pbuh), irreligion will be completely neutralized half a century after him.2012-04-10 16:18:54