QATIF: A Saudi man in Qatif has been taken to a local mental health hospital after claming that he was the “Awaited Mahdi’ during Sunday’s maghreb prayers at a mosque on Tarout Island, Al-Hayat Arabic daily reported, making him the third such case in under a month.
Al-Hayat said that worshippers at the mosque restrained the 29-year-old after he announced his claims and waited for police to arrive. A police spokesman said the individual “suffered from mental illness” and that he had traveled to the site from Jeddah.
A witness to the scene described the man as “of weak build and clearly not from this area”.
“He looked suspicious, but nobody paid him any particular attention at first,” he said. “But then he didn’t carry out his prayers with everyone else, and when someone asked him why he was there he said he wanted to meet the imam. He said he had come from Jeddah to meet the imam.”
Two other cases of persons declaring themselves to be the mahdi occurred last month, one when a foreign man snatched the microphone from Sheikh Abdullah Al-Juhani, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, during Asr prayer to make his declarations, and another in Madina where an Egyptian was arrested at a hotel which he used as a base to acquire followers. Both men were arrested and described by officials as “mentally disturbed”.
– Saudi Gazette