The traditions that indicate some of the benefits of his existence and how people benefit from him during his occultation and how he manages the affairs
Comprised of nine traditions
636. Nahj al-balāgha1:
Yes, by Allah! The earth will not become empty of a person who establishes Allah’s proof—either apparently [while they are] known or afraid [while they are] hidden; so that Allah’s proofs and clear arguments are not nullified. How many are they and where [are they]? By Allah, they are few in number but have great stature before Allah. Through them, Allah guards His proofs and clear arguments until they entrust them to others who are like themselves and sow its seeds in the hearts of those who are similar to them.
Knowledge has led them to real understanding and they have blended themselves with the spirit of certainty. They regard as easy what the extremely wealthy regard as hard. They find peace in what the ignorant have fright of. They live in this world with bodies whose souls are hanging in the highest place. They are the Successors of Allah on His earth and the callers to His religion. Oh, oh, how I yearn to see them!2
637. Yanābī` al-mawadda3: Citing Nahj al-balāgha:
From us is the Mahdī. He will move in the world while carrying a radiant lamp and will tread on the path of the virtuous, in order to unfasten knots, free slaves, divide the united and unite the divided. He will be in concealment from the people. The stalker will not find his footprints even though he pursues with his eyes.
Also in Nahj al-balāgha ([Egypt], vol. 2, p. 47, no. 146):
O people! This is the time for the occurrence of every promised event and the approach of things which you do not know. Whoever from among us will be during these days will move through them with a burning lamp and will tread on the footsteps of the virtuous, in order to unfasten knots, free slaves, divide the united and unite the divided. He will be in concealment from the people. The stalker will not find his footprints even though he pursues with his eyes. Then a group of people will be sharpened like the sharpening of swords by the blacksmith. Their sight will be brightened by revelation, the [delicacies of the Quran’s] commentary will be put in their ears and they will be given drinks of wisdom, morning and evening.4
638. Farā’id al-simṭain5: Informed us Abū Ja`far, ibn Bābawayh, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Simnānī, from Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā b. Zakariyyā al-Qattān, from Bakr b. `Abd-Allah b. Ḥabīb, from Faḍl b. al-Ṣaqr al-`Abdī, from Mu`āwiya, from Sulaimān b. Mihrān al-A’mash, from al-Ṣādiq Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, from his father Muḥammad b. `Alī, peace be on him, from his father `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, peace be on him, who said:
We are the leaders of the Muslims, Allah’s Proofs upon the worlds, the masters (sādat) of the believers, the chiefs of those who will have shiny faces [on the Day of Judgment], and the masters (mawālī) of the faithful. We are security for the inhabitants of the earth just as the stars are security for the inhabitants of the sky. We are those due to whom the sky is withheld from falling on the earth except with His permission; due to us, the earth is withheld from shaking its inhabitants; due to us it rains and mercy is spread and the blessings of the earth come out.
If someone from us didn’t exist on earth, the earth would have swallowed its inhabitants. Ever since Allah created Adam, the earth has not been empty of Allah’s Proof—[who has been] either apparent and known or hidden and concealed—and it will not become empty until the Hour [i.e. Judgment Day] is established. Had it not been so, Allah would not have been worshipped.
Sulaimān says, “I asked (Imam) al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, ‘How will the people benefit from a hidden and concealed proof?’ He answered, ‘Just like they benefit from the sun when the clouds cover it.6’”
639. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to me my father, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from Hārūn b. Muslim, from Sa`dān, from Mas`adat b. Ṣadaqa, from Abū `Abd-Allah [al-Ṣādiq], from his forefathers, from `Alī, peace be on them all, who said:
O Allah! There must exist on Your earth Your Proof upon Your creatures, who guides them to Your religion and teaches them [from] Your knowledge, so that Your argument is not negated and the followers of Your friends are not deviated after You guide them. [This proof must exist] regardless of him being apparent and not obeyed, or hidden and fearing [for his life]. Even though he is hidden from the people—while they are guided—his knowledge and his customs are firmly established in the hearts of the believers and they act upon them.
640. Kitāb Faḍl b. Shādhān8: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Abī `Umair and Ṣafwān b. Yaḥyā, from Jamīl b. Darrāj, from (Imam) al-Ṣādiq, from his father, from his forefathers, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on them all, who said:
Islam and a just ruler are two brothers who are always together. One will not be corrected without the other. Islam is the foundation and the just ruler is the protector. What is without a foundation will be destroyed and what is without a protector will be spoiled. It is because of this that when our Qā’im departs from this world, nothing will remain this world.
The following traditions also prove the above point: 245 and 609