This might sound like a stupid question to the knowledgable brothers and sisters, but i'd like to know what makes imam mahdi(r.a) different from the prophets(pbut)?. To me they seem very alike for the following reasons:
1) Imam mahdi will be sent by God and this is the same as the prophets because they were also sent by God.
2) Imam mahdi will be inspired over night by Allah to take on the role of the mahdi. The prophets were also inspired by God. Doesn't that mean imam mahdi will recieve revelation, or am i mixing up the concept of revelation with inspiration. I am confused, please help me.
I have given some thought as to what differentiates the mahdi(r.a) with the prophets(pbut) and have come to the following conclusion:
1) The prophets have to (it is obligatory for them) preach Allah's religion and that is why they have been sent. Where as the mahdi doesn't have to preach Allah's religion and has been sent for a different mission i.e. to lead the muslims out of oppression and help the muslims defeat the kuffar in battle.
Am i right about this difference, please enlighten me brothers and sisters.
The reason i ask is because muslims believe prophethood ended with Muhammad(s.a.w). So if Imam mahdi is identical to the prophets then that means he is a prophet, only he's not called a prophet but instead called the mahdi. But if they are the same then that makes a mockery of the islamic concept of "seal of the prophets". Please help me with your knowledge.