E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The supreme pontiff of the Shiites (2 syl.) Only twelve of these imaums have really appearedviz. 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 infidels.