Two weeks ago Iran watcher Amir Taheri published an article in which he alleged that there exists a Shi`i hadith stating that "a tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West...commanding the strongest army on Earth" and carrying a "clear sign" from the Third Imam, Husayn and that "Shi`is should have no doubt that he is with us" (B a h r a m e r a d: Obama and Ahmadinejad : By Amir Taheri 10.26.08
This hadith was said to be contained in the collection Bahar al-Anvar by Mollah Majlisi and date to the 17th c. CE. Taheri spun an entire web of geopolitical analysis around this point, claiming that "the Khomeinist establishment sees Obama's rise as another sign of the West's decline and the triumph of Islam."
Problem is: it's not true. According to my contacts in Iran, including Professor Abolfazl Nurmuhammadpour at the Bright Future Institute--dedicated to teaching the world about the coming of the Mahdi, and the organization which sponsored the Mahdism Conference which I attended this past August in Tehran and Qom--and other ranking clerics at the Dar al-Hadith in Qom, this hadith is NOT authentic.
Another myth about President-Elect Barack Obama bites the dust.