Sheikh Muhammad Asif Mohsini is widely considered to be the most powerful Twelver shiite cleric in Afghanistan. The term Twelver, refers to its adherents’ belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imams, and their belief that the last Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, lives in occultation and will reappear as the promised Mahdi. According to Shia tradition, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Isa), who is to assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).
He is the founder of the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (Harakat-I Islami-yi Afghanistan). With strong links to Iran, he is a Shia ethnic Pashtun born in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mohsini was the former head and founder of Harakat-i-Islami (Islamic Movement of Afghanistan). He stepped down as head of the party in February 2005. The Islamic Movement of Afghanistan was one of the resistance groups opposing the Soviets and their client regimes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992.