Another responsibility is to give a gift1 to the Imam through our wealth or whatever we possess from the material world. It goes without saying that this must be done according to one’s own ability without going to extravagance and that this should be carried out every year, month, week and every day if possible!
Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has said:
دِرْهَمٌ يُوْصَلُ بِهِ الإِمَامُ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَلْفَيْ أَلْفِ دِرْهَمٍ فِيمَا سِوٌاهُ مِنْ وُجُوهِ الْبِرِّ
“One dirham which reaches the Imam is better than two million dirham’s (spent) in all other good deeds.”2
During the advent of the Imam, this wealth will be given directly to the Imam, however during the time of the occultation of the Imam the wealth or whatever we have from this world which we wish to offer to him can be spent in ways which would earn his pleasure. Of course the intention for this act would be to offer the gift to the Imam (directly).
Our money can be used to print much needed books to uphold the faith; or the money can be spent in holding gatherings (majalis) and programs in which the Imam or his close friends are remembered.
In addition, the fellow Shi’a can be given this money so that they are able to fulfill their own needs and material requirements especially if they are the children and offspring of the Noble Prophet, or are scholars, propagators and missionaries of the faith!
Imam Musa b. Ja’far al-Kadhim (as) has said:
وَ مَنْ لَمْ يَقْدِرْ عَلـى صِلَتِنَا فَلْيَصِلْ عَلـى صَالِحِي مَوَالِينَا يُكْتَبُ لَهُ ثَوَابُ صِلَتِنَا
“A person who is not able to present us with a gift should give it to the righteous ones from among our followers and through this, a reward will be written for him as if he had given this gift to us.”3