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Section Twenty-Eight

The traditions that indicate he will have a long occultation until Allah, the Exalted, allows him to emerge

Comprised of one-hundred traditions

608. Kifāyat al-athar1: Aḥmad b. Ismā’īl, from Muḥammad b. Hammām, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, from Mūsā b. Muslim, from Mas`ada who said:

I was with (Imam) al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, when an old man—bent and leaning on his staff—came to him and greeted him. Abū `Abd-Allah replied to his greetings and the old man said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Stretch your hand for me so that I may kiss it.” So he stretched his hand and he kissed it (and) then started to cry.

(Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, said, “Why are you crying, O old man?” He answered, “May I be sacrificed for you [O son of Allah’s messenger]! I have been waiting for your Qā’im for the last one hundred years, saying [to myself that he will come] this month or this year. Now, I have become old, my bones have turned fragile [thin], and my death is approaching me, but I don’t see what I would like to see [and I see concerning you what I dislike]. I see you [Ahl al-Bait] being disdained and turned away. On the other hand, I see your enemies freely doing what they want. Why shouldn’t I cry?”

The eyes of Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, filled with tears and he said, “O old man! If Allah allows you to live until you see our Qā’im, you will be with us on the highest pinnacle. And if death comes to you, you will come on the Day of Judgment along with the weight (thiql) of Muḥammad, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family, and we are his weight. For indeed, he has said, ‘I leave amongst you two weighty things (thiqls); so fasten to them and you will never be deviated: the Book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahl al-Bait.’”

The old man said, “After hearing this tradition, I will no longer be concerned.” He said, “O old man! Our Qā’im will be from the loin of al-Ḥasan; al-Ḥasan will be from the loin of `Alī; `Alī will be from the loin of Muḥammad; Muḥammad will be from the loin of `Alī; `Alī will be from the loin of this son of mine—he then pointed to (Imam) al-Mūsā, peace be on him—and he is from my loin. We are twelve and all of us are infallible (ma`ṣūmūn) and purified (muṭahharūn).”

The old man asked, “O my master! Are some of you nobler than the others?” He answered, “No. We are equal in nobility but some of us are more knowledgeable than the others.” Then he said, “O old man! If nothing remains from the world except one day, Allah will certainly prolong that day until the Qā’im from us Ahl al-Bait emerges. Know that our Shias will be inflicted with a fitna and bewilderment during his occultation. Then, [Allah] will make the sincere ones steadfast in his guidance. O Allah! Help them in [being steadfast].”

609. Kamāl al-dīn2: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī al-Kūfī, from Isḥāq b. Muḥammad al-Ṣairafī, from Abū Hāshim, from Furāt b. Aḥnaf, from Sa`d b. Ṭarīf, from al-Aṣbagh b. Nubāta, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī, peace be upon him, who mentioned the Qā’im, peace be on him, and said: “He will certainly have an occultation [that will continue] until the ignorant will say, ‘The family of Muḥammad are unimportant for Allah.’”

610. Kamāl al-dīn3: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Shaibānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Kūfī, from Sahl b. Ziyād al-Ādamī, from `Abd al-`Aẓīm b. `Abd-Allah al-Ḥasanī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, from his father, from his forefathers, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on them all, who said:

Our Qā’im will have an occultation whose duration will be prolonged. It is as if I am seeing the Shias during his occultation who are wandering like livestock in search of pasture but will not find it. Know that whoever remains steadfast from amongst them in his religion, and his heart does not harden—due to the prolonged occultation of his Imam—then he will be with me in my rank on the Day of Judgment. When our Qā’im rises, he will not have pledged allegiance to anybody. Because of this, his birth will be concealed and he will be hidden.

The exact same tradition has been narrated to us by `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Mūsā, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Kūfī, from `Abd-Allah b. Mūsā al-Rūyānī, from `Abdul `Aẓīm b. `Abd-Allah al-Ḥasanī, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Riḍā, from his father, from his forefathers, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him.

611. Kamāl al-dīn4: Narrated to us my father, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, from Aḥmad b. Hilāl, from `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Najrān, from Faḍālat b. Ayyūb, from Sadīr, in a tradition from Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:

The brothers of Yūsuf were the grandsons and children of prophets, [yet,] they traded Yūsuf and sold him whilst they were his brothers and he was their brother. They did not recognize him until he said to them, “I am Yūsuf.” Then, why does this umma deny the fact that Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, might intend to conceal His Proof (ḥujja) at a specific time?

Indeed, Yūsuf, peace be on him, was the King of Egypt and the distance between him and his father was a journey of eighteen days. Had Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, intended to inform him of his place, He could have done so.

By Allah! On hearing the good news, Ya`qūb and his sons traveled the distance in nine days from the time they started the [journey] to Egypt. So, why does this umma deny that Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, might do with His Proof what He did with Yūsuf; he will walk in their markets and set foot on their carpets and they will not recognize him until Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, allows him to introduce himself, just as He allowed Yūsuf who said to them, ‘Do you know how you treated Yūsuf and his brother when you were ignorant? They said: Are you indeed Yūsuf? He said: I am Yūsuf and this is my brother . . .’5

612. Kamāl al-dīn6: Narrated to us `Abd al-Wāḥid b. Muḥammad b. `Abdūs al-`Aṭṭār, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qutayba al-Nīsābūrī, from Ḥamdān b. Sulaimān, from Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Bazī`, from Ḥayyān al-Sarrāj, from al-Sayyid b. Muḥammad al-Ḥimyarī in a long tradition in which he said:

I asked al-Ṣādiq Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger, Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family! Traditions from your forefathers have been narrated to us about the occultation and that it will truly occur. Inform me for whom will this occur?” He replied, “It will occur for my sixth descendant and he is the twelfth guided Imam after the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family. The first of them is Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib and the last of them is the one who will rise with the truth, Allah’s remnant on the earth, and the master of the time. By Allah! If he remains in occultation equal to the time Noah remained in his nation, he will not depart the world until he appears and fills the earth with fairness and justice just as it will be filled with injustice and unfairness.”

613. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to us Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-`Aṭṭār, may Allah be satisfied with him, from his father, from Ibrāhīm b. Hāshim, from Muḥammad b. Abī `Umair, from Ṣafwān b. Mihrān al-Jammāl, from al-Ṣādiq, Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, who said: “By Allah, your Mahdī will become hidden from you to the extent that the ignorant from amongst you will say, ‘The family of Muḥammad are unimportant for Allah.’ Then, he will come like a shining meteor and will fill [earth] with justice and fairness just as it will be filled with injustice and unfairness.”

614. Al-Kāfī8: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad, from Mūsā b. Ja`far al-Baghdādī, from Wahb b. Shādhān, from al-Ḥasan b. Abī l-Rabī`, from Muḥammad b. Isḥāq, from Umm Hānī who said:

I asked Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Alī, peace be on him, about the saying of Allah, the Exalted: “I swear by [the planets] that disappear. Those that move in their orbits.”9 He replied, “[It is about] an Imam who will disappear in the year 260 AH. Then, he will appear like a meteor glowing in the dark night. If you reach his time, your eyes will be soothed (qarrat `ainuk).”

615. Kamāl al-dīn10: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Hāshim, from Muḥammad b. `Īsā b. `Ubaid, from Ṣāliḥ b. Muḥammad, from Hānī al-Tammār who said: “(Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, said to me, ‘The master of this affair will certainly have an occultation. Thus, [Allah’s] servant[s] should fear Allah and fasten to his religion.”

616. Al-Kāfī11: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad, from Isḥāq b. Muḥammad, from Yaḥyā b. al-Muthannā, from `Abd-Allah b. Bukair, from `Ubaid b. Zurāra, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said: “People will not find their Imam. He will be present during the Hajj season and he will see them but they will not see him.”

617. Al-Kāfī12: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā and al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad have both narrated from Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Kūfī, from al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Ṣairafī, from Ṣāliḥ b. Khālid, from Yamān al-Tammār who said:

We were sitting with (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, when he said to us, “The master of this affair will certainly have an occultation. The one who fastens to his religion during this period is like someone one who pulls the qatād (a plant full of extremely sharp thorns) in his closed fist like this.” Then, he showed with his hands and asked, “Who amongst you has grasped the thorns of the qatād tightly with his hands?” He then said nothing for a while said then continued, “The master of this affair will certainly have an occultation. Thus, [Allah’s] servant[s] should fear Allah and fasten to his religion.”

618. Kamāl al-dīn13: Narrated to me my father and Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with them, both from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah and `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī and Aḥmad b. Idrīs, who all narrated from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. `Īsā and Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. Abī al-Khaṭṭāb and Muḥammad b. `Abd al-Jabbār and `Abd-Allah b. `Āmir b. Sa`d al-Ash`arī, from `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Najrān, from Muḥammad b. al-Musāwir, from al-Mufaḍḍal b. `Umar al-Ju`fī, who said:

I heard (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, say, “Keep away from fame (tanwīh)14! By Allah, your Imam will disappear for many years and you will be sifted until it is said, ‘He has died or he has perished or no one knows where he is?’ The eyes of the believers will weep for him. You will overturn like ships which overturn in the waves of the ocean. No one will be saved except those whose covenant Allah has taken and has inscribed faith in their hearts and has assisted them by a Spirit from Himself. Indeed, twelve ambiguous flags will be raised, and you won’t know which belongs to who.”

I started crying [on hearing this] and he said to me, “Why are you crying, O Abū `Abd-Allah?” I replied, “Why shouldn’t I cry when you are saying that there will be twelve ambiguous flags and none will be distinguished from the other? What should we do [in these circumstances]?” [He] looked at the sunshine in the room and remarked, “O Abū `Abd-Allah! Do you see this sunshine?” I replied in the affirmative. He said, “By Allah, our affair is more apparent than this sunshine.”

619. Kamāl al-dīn15: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Ḥātim al-Naufalī—known as al-Kirmānī—from Abū l-`Abbās Aḥmad b. `Īsā al-Washshā al-Baghdādī, from Aḥmad b. Ṭāhir [al-Qummī], from Muḥammad b. Bahr b. Sahl al-Shaibānī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥārith, from Sa`īd b. Manṣūr al-Jawāshinī, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Budailī, from his father, from Sadīr al-Ṣairafī who said:

I, al-Mufaḍḍal b. `Umar, Abū Baṣīr, and Abān b. Taghlib went to meet our master Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him. We saw him sitting on the earth while he was wearing a Khaibarī cloak that was fastened to his neck that didn’t have a collar and had short sleeves. He was crying like someone whose child had died and whose heart was burning.

Grief was visible from his face, change was apparent in him, tears had filled his eyes, and he was saying, “My master! Your occultation has taken away my sleep, strained my resting place, and seized the comfort of my heart. My master! Your occultation has made my calamities reach proportions of eternal misfortune. The loss of one after the other has destroyed us all. I no longer feel the tears flowing from my eyes and the moaning sounds from my heart on account of past afflictions and bygone calamities. [All] I see is the great tragedy that is before me which is greater, more sorrowful, more severe, and inhospitable [than all tragedies]. [They are] harsh calamities that are mixed with your anger and afflictions that are mixed with your wrath.”

Our minds were terrified with perplexity and our hearts were cleft asunder with impatience about a great disaster and a terrible misfortune. We thought that a knocking calamity had struck him or a misfortune had afflicted him. We asked, “O Son of the best of creatures! May Allah not make your eyes weep! What has made your tears flow and your eyes rain teardrops? What tragedy has brought you this sorrow?”

(Imam) al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, took [a deep] breath which filled his stomach and intensified his panic and then said, “Woe to you! This morning, I looked in the Book of Jafr which is comprised of the knowledge about [the times] of death, examinations, and afflictions and the knowledge about whatever existed/occurred and will exist/occur until the Day of Judgment, which Allah specifically gave to [the Prophet] Muḥammad and the Imams after him.

I pondered over the birth of the one from us who will disappear, his occultation, his delay, his longevity, the examination/calamities of the believers during this time, the doubts that will arise in their hearts due to his prolonged occultation, and them becoming apostates and taking off the rope of Islam from their necks—which Allah, Holy be His Remembrance, says, ‘And We have made every person’s deeds cling to his neck,’16 which refers to [our] Mastership (al-wilāya). [On reading this,] I was filled with sympathy and overcome by grief.”

We said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! Please honor us and do us a favor by sharing with us some of what you have learned from this knowledge.” He said, “Surely Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, will repeat for our Qā’im three things which He had done for three of His prophets. He made his birth like the birth of Moses, peace be on him; He made his occultation like the occultation of Jesus, peace be on him; and made His delay like the delay of Noah, peace be on him. Then, He made his age like that of the Righteous Servant— meaning al-Khiḍr, peace be on him—as a proof of his long life.”

We asked, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! Uncover for us the aspects of these meanings.” He said, “As for the birth of Moses, peace be on him, when the Pharaoh found out that the downfall of his kingdom was at [Moses’] hands, he asked for the fortune-tellers who guided him to the lineage [of Moses] and [told him] that he would be from the Israelites. Then, he ordered his followers to rip apart the stomachs of the pregnant women from the Israelites until he killed more than twenty-thousand babies. But he did not succeed in killing Moses, peace be on him, because he was under the protection of Allah, Blessed and High be He.

The same thing happened with the Umayyads and the Abbasids; when they found out that the destruction of their kingdoms and the [destruction] of the government of the oppressors and tyrants from them would be at the hands of our Qā’im, they established enmity against us and drew their swords to kill the family [or Ahl al-Bait] of the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, and to destroy his generation in the hope of killing the Qā’im. But Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, has refused to make evident His affair to any of the oppressors and He will make perfect His Light even if the polytheists detest it.

“As for the occultation of Jesus, peace be on him, the Jews and the Christians unanimously agreed that he had been killed. But Allah, Majestic be His Remembrance, falsified what they had said by His saying, ‘And they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so.’17 The occultation of the Qā’im is also like this and the umma will deny it due to its elongation. One will speak nonsense that he has not been born yet; another will say he has passed the age of thirteen or more, and yet another will disobey Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, by saying, ‘Surely, the soul of the Qā’im speaks from the body of someone other than himself.’

“As for the delay of Noah, peace be on him, when he sought punishment on his people from the sky, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, sent the Trusted Spirit (Rūḥ al-Amīn), peace be on him, with seven seeds. He said, ‘O Prophet of Allah, Allah, Blessed and High be He, says to you, “These are My creations and My servants. I will not destroy them with a thunderbolt from my thunderbolts except after emphasizing [My] call and establishing [My] proof. So, continue your struggles in preaching to your people and I will definitely reward you for it. Plant these seeds, for in their growth, maturity, and fruition is relief and salvation. Give glad-tidings by these to those believers who follow you.”’

When the trees grew, became [covered with leaves], grew stems and branches, and dates began to grow on them—and this was after a long period of time—Noah, peace be on him, asked Allah, Purified and High be He, to fulfill His promise. Allah, Blessed and High be He, ordered him to plant the seeds of these trees [that had fully grown] and to continue his patience and struggles and to emphasize His proofs upon his people. So he informed the groups who believed in him about this and [on hearing this], three hundred people became apostates, arguing, ‘If what Noah had claimed was true, His Lord wouldn’t have violated His Promise.’ Then, Allah, Blessed and High be He, continued to order him to sow the seeds [of the new full-grown plants] one after the other until he had sowed them seven times. And each time, a group from the believers became apostates until only a little more than seventy men remained from them.

So then, Allah, Blessed and High be He, revealed to him and said, ‘O Noah, dawn has pierced the night and the affair has become pure from filth by the apostasy of those who had wicked essence. Had I destroyed the unbelievers and allowed those groups from your nation who turned apostates—after having earlier believed in you—to survive, I would not have fulfilled My earlier promise to the believers from your tribe whose belief in monotheism was pure and who had fastened to the rope of your prophethood. [The promise I had made to them] that I would make them the successors on earth, establish for them their religion, and convert their fear into security, so they would purely worship Me with the removal of doubts from their hearts. How could I make them successors, establish [their religion], and convert their fear into security when I knew about the weak faith of those who had become apostates, the wickedness of their essence, the evilness of their hidden secrets and their deviation which was the consequence of hypocrisy?

Had they smelled the fragrance of My Kingdom which would be given to the believers when they become the successors [of my Kingdom] after I destroy their enemies, they would have taken away its serenity (lanaqishū rawā’iḥa ṣifātih), their secret hypocrisy would have become stronger, the ropes of their hearts deviation would have become eternal, they would have openly shown hostility towards their brothers, and would have fought against them to become the leaders and sole commanders and prohibiters. So, how can religion be powerful and the affairs be at the hands of the believers whilst there is unrest and war? It shall never be like this, “So, make the ark before Our eyes and [according to] Our revelation.”18

“The same thing will occur for the Qā’im. His occultation will be prolonged until the truth becomes clear and faith becomes purified from darkness (al-kadir) by the apostasy of all those from the Shias who have wicked essence; those whom might become hypocrites when they sense the succesorship, power, and widespread security during the Qā’im’s reign.” I said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! The enemies of the Ahl al-Bait (al-nawāṣib) think that this verse was revealed in favor of Abū Bakr, `Umar, `Uthmān, and `Alī, peace be on him.”

He answered, “May Allah not guide the hearts of these enemies! Has the religion which Allah and His Messenger were satisfied with which had power to spread security in the umma, dispel fear from their hearts, and remove skepticism from their chests, ever been present during the reign of any one of these [three Caliphs] or during the reign of `Alī, peace be on him, whilst so many Muslims became apostates, fitnas arose during their times, and wars took place between them and the infidels?” Then he recited the following verse, “Until the messengers despaired and thought that they were indeed told a lie, [then] Our help came to them”19

As for the Righteous Servant—meaning al-Khiḍr, peace be on him—then surely Allah, Blessed and High be He, did not prolong his life because of a prophethood that he had destined for him, nor for a Book that he wanted to send down unto him, nor for a religion that would abrogate the religion of the prophets that [lived] before him, nor because of an Imamate whose following He would make compulsory for His servants, nor for an obedience that He would make obligatory for him. Rather, Allah, Blessed and High be He, knew from His prior Knowledge that He would [prolong] the age of the Qā’im during his occultation and He also knew that His servants would deny [him] because of his age, therefore, He prolonged the age of the Righteous Servant without any obvious reason for this longevity except for the fact that it be used to prove the age of the Qā’im and to severe the arguments of those who opposed him so that the people will not have any argument against Allah.”

620. Kamāl al-dīn20: Narrated to us Aḥmad b. Ziyād b. Ja`far al-Hamdānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Hāshim, from his father, from Muḥammad b. Khālid al-Barqī, from `Alī b. Ḥasan, from Dāwūd b. Kathīr al-Riqqī who said: “I asked Abū l-Ḥasan Mūsā b. Ja`far, peace be on him, about the Master of this affair. He replied, ‘He is the exiled, the lonely, the stranger, the one who will be absent from his family, and the one whose father has not been avenged.’”

621. Kamāl al-dīn21: Narrated to me my father, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥasan b. Faḍḍāl who heard al-Rayyān b. al-Ṣalt say: “(Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan al-Riḍā, peace be on him, was asked about the Qā’im. He replied, ‘He will not be seen and he will not be called by his name.’”

622. Kamāl al-dīn22: Narrated to us al-Muẓaffar b. Ja`far b. Muẓaffar al-`Alawī al-`Umarī al-Samarqandī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from his father Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from Ja`far b. Aḥmad, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Faḍḍāl, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Mūsā al-Riḍā, peace be on him, who said:

Al-Khiḍr, peace be on him, drank from the water of life (mā’ al-ḥayāt) and he will live and not die until the Trumpet is blown (ḥattā yunfakh fī l-ṣūr). He comes to us and salutes us. We hear his voice but we don’t see him. He appears wherever he is mentioned and whoever from you mentions him should salute him. He is present during the [Hajj] season every year and performs all the [Hajj] rituals. He stands in `Arafa and says amen to the supplications of the believers. Through him, Allah will soothe our Qā’im’s solitude during his occultation and dispel his loneliness.

623. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī23: Narrated to us `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, from Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from Muḥammad b. Ḥasan al-Rāzī, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Kūfī, from `Īsā b. `Abd-Allah b. Muḥammad b. `Umar b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, from his father, from his grandfather, from his father Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, who said: “The master of this affair is from my descendants. He is the one about whom it will be said, ‘He has died or perished. No one knows where he is.’”

624. Kamāl al-dīn24: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Alī b. Ibrāhīm, from his father, from `Abd al-Salām b. Ṣāliḥ al-Harawī, from (Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Mūsā al-Riḍā, from his father, from his forefathers, from `Alī, peace be on them all, from the Messenger of Allah, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, who said:

By the One Who raised me with the truth as a giver of glad-tidings! Certainly, the Qā’im from my progeny will have an occultation because of a covenant between me and him. [His occultation will continue] until most of the people will say, “The family of Muḥammad are unimportant for Allah!” Others will doubt he was born. Whoever reaches his era should fasten to his religion and must leave no path for Satan to reach him by being skeptical [about the Qā’im]. [If Satan reaches him] he will put him aside from my nation and bring him out of my religion, for he previously brought out your parents from Paradise. Surely, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, has made the devils the guardians of those who do not believe.

625. `Ilal al-sharā’i`25: Narrated to us al-Muẓaffar b. Ja`far b. al-Muẓaffar al-`Alawī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Ja`far b. Mas`ūd and Ḥaidar b. Muḥammad al-Samarqandī, both of them from Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from Jabra’īl b. Aḥmad, from Mūsā b. Ja`far al-Baghdādī, from al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Ṣairafī, from Ḥanān b. Sadīr, from his father who said:

(Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, said, “The Qā’im from us will have an occultation whose duration will be long.” I asked, “Why is it so, O Son of Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “Surely, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, has wanted naught except to carry out in him the customs of the prophets, peace be on them, during their occultations. O Sadīr! It is necessary that the periods their occultations are completed. Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, says, ‘You will most certainly embark one stage after another’26 meaning tradition upon tradition of those before you.”

626. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī27: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Hammām, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik, from Isḥāq b. Sinān, from `Ubaid b. Khārija, from `Alī b. Uthmān, from furāt b. Aḥnaf, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah Ja`far b. Muḥammad, from his forefathers, peace be upon them, who said:

The river Euphrates overflowed during the reign of Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him. He and his two sons—al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn, peace be on them—mounted and passed by [the neighborhood] of al-Thaqīf. The [locals] said, “`Alī has come to drive away the water.” `Alī, peace be on him, answered, “By Allah, I and these two sons of mine will be killed. Then, Allah will definitely raise a person form my progeny in the end of times who will demand our blood. He will go in occultation until the people of deviation are distinguished from the [rightly guided]. [This situation will continue until] the ignorant will say, ‘The family of Muḥammad are unimportant for Allah.’”

627. Ghaybat al-Shaykh28: Abū Baṣīr narrated: “ (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, said, ‘The Qā’im has a similarity with [the Prophet] Yūsuf.’ I asked, ‘And what is it?’ He replied, ‘Bewilderment and occultation.’”

628. Kitāb tārīkh Qum29: From Muḥammad b. Qutayba al-Hamdānī and al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Kashmārjānī [al-Kamshārjānī], from `Alī b. al-Nu`mān, from Abū l-Akrād `Alī b. Maimūn al-Ṣā’igh, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:

Surely, Allah has used [the city of] Kūfa as an argument over all other cities and the faithful from its inhabitants over the inhabitants of other cities. [Similarly,] he has used Qum as an argument over all other cities and its inhabitants over the inhabitants of the East and the West from the Jinn and the humans. Allah has not left Qum and its inhabitants as weak. Rather, he has made them successful and assisted them.

The religion and its followers in Qum are lowly. Had it not been so, people would have hurried towards it [to inhabit it] and consequently, Qum would have been spoilt and its inhabitants would have become the people of falsehood, resulting in it not being an argument/proof over all other cities. If this happened, then the heavens and the earth would have become dislocated and they would not have been reprieved—even a moment.

Verily, calamities have been warded off from Qum and its people. Soon, there will come a time when the city of Qum and its inhabitants will be an argument over the creatures. This will occur during the occultation of our Qā’im, peace be upon him, until he reappears. Had it not been so, the earth would have swallowed its inhabitants.

Surely, the angels dispel the calamities from Qum and its inhabitants. No tyrant ever intends something bad for Qum but that the destroyer of tyrants [i.e. Allah] destroys him and keeps them away from it either by a disaster or a calamity or an enemy. The tyrants forget about Qum during their rein just as they forget [the remembrance of] Allah.

629. Al-Kāfī30: `Alī b. Ibrāhīm, from his father, from ibn Abī `Umair, from Abū Ayyūb al-Khazzāz, from Muḥammad b. Muslim, from Abū `Abd-Allah (al-Ṣādiq), peace be on him, who said: “If you hear that the master of this affair is in occultation, don’t deny it.”

630. Al-Kāfī31: A group of our companions, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Washshā, from `Alī b. Abī Ḥamza, from Abū Baṣīr, from Abū `Abd-Allah (al-Ṣādiq), peace be on him: “The master of this affair will definitely have an occultation and he will definitely have an isolation during his occultation. Ṭībba is a great dwelling and thirty people will not feel lonely.”

631. Ghaybat al-Shaykh32: A group narrated to me from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Sufyān al-Bazaufarī, from Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qutayba, from al-Faḍl b. Shādhān, from `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Najrān, from Ṣafwān b. Yaḥyā, from Abū Ayyūb, from Abū Baṣīr, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said: “If the news of the occultation of your master reaches you, don’t deny it.”

The following traditions also prove the above concept: 205, 242, 244, 245, 254, 257, 261, 305–308, 317, 465, 497, 498, 499, 511, 535–539, 541, 547, 549–557, 559–564, 574, 575, 580, 589, 595, 599–607, 632–635, 637, 641, 643, 644, 645, 647, 649, 653, 669, 685, 686, 688–691, 806, 810, 1104, and 1105

  • 1. Kifāyat al-athar, chap. 34, pp. 260–262, no. 3; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 36, chap. 46, pp. 408–409, no. 17; al-`Awālim, vol. 15, chap. 7, pp. 280–281, no. 17; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 1, chap. 9, p. 603, no. 586; Tabyīn al-maḥajja, pp. 336–337, no. 31; al-Inṣāf, chap. on the letter al-Mīm, pp. 294–296, 269.
  • 2. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 1, chap. 26, p. 302, no. 9; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 340–341, no. 290; Taqrīb al-ma`ārif, p. 189; I`lām al-warā, chap. 2, sect. 2; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat man shāhad al-Ṣāḥib al-Ẓamān, `alayhi al-salām,” no. 14; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 2, p. 119, no. 19, and vol. 52, chap. 21, p. 101, no. 1; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 463, no. 110, and p. 464, no. 116, and p. 510, no. 333.
  • 3. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 1, chap. 26, p. 303, no. 14; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 2, pp. 109–110, no. 1; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 464, no. 115.
  • 4. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 341, no. 21; `Ilal al-sharā’i`, chap. 179, p. 244, no. 3; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Mā warada min al-akhbār fī wujūb al-ghayba,” p. 290; al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 138, p. 336, no. 4; Mir`āt al-`uqūl, vol. 4, pp. 37–39, no. 4; I`lām al-warā, chap. 2, sect. 2; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 6, p. 142, no. 1.
  • 5. Quran 12:89–90.
  • 6. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 342, no. 23; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, sect. 5, pp. 458–459, no. 96.
  • 7. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, pp. 341–342, no. 22; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 472, no. 149; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 6, p. 145, no. 11.
  • 8. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 341, no. 22, and similar to it no. 23; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, p. 150, no. 6, from one of his two chains and no. 7 citing al-Kulainī, similar to it using another chain in chap. 10, p. 149, no. 6; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 159, no. 116, similar to it; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 430, similar to it; al-Ṣadūq has recorded in Kamāl al-dīn vol. 1, p. 330, no. 14: “Through his chain of narrators from Ibrāhīm b. `Aṭiyya, from Umm Hānī al-Thaqafiyya who said, ‘One morning, I went to my master, Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Bāqir, peace be on him, and said to him, “My master! A verse from the Book of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, came to my mind and made me restless to the extent that I did not sleep the whole night.” He said, ‘Ask, O Umm Hānī.’ I said, ‘My master! It is the saying of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, “I swear by [the planets] that disappear. Those that move in their orbits” (Quran 81:15–16).’ He said, ‘Yes. The question you have asked, O Umm Hānī, is about the one who will be born in the end of times. He is the Mahdī from this progeny. He will have a bewilderment and an occultation in which some groups will be deviated and others will be guided. Salvation is for he who reaches him.’”
    Ithbāt al-waṣiyya, p. 201: “Through his chain of narrators from Umm Hānī who said, ‘I met Imam Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, and asked him about this verse, “I swear by [the planets] that disappear. Those that move in their orbits.”’ He replied, ‘It is about an Imam who will disappear in the year 260 AH, then he will appear like a glowing meteor. If you reach his time, your eyes will be soothed.’”; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 469, no. 136; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 5, p. 51, no. 26; Ta’wīl al-āyāt al-ẓāhira, citing the Tafsīr of Muḥammad b. al-`Abbās, Tafsīr nūr al-thaqalain, Tafsīr al-burhān, al-Maḥajja, Tafsīr al-Ṣāfī, and etc. under the verse.
  • 9. Quran 81:15–16.
  • 10. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 343, no. 25.
  • 11. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 138, p. 337, no. 6; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, p. 175, no. 14; Mir`āt al-`uqūl, vol. 4, p. 42, no. 6; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 346, no. 33; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat wujūb al-Qā’im,” p. 259, no. 64, and chap. “Ma`rifat mā warada min al-akhbār fī wujūb al-ghayba,” p. 290, no. 6; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 161, no. 119; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 23, p. 151, no. 2; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 11, p. 546, and chap. 29, p. 606; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 1, p. 485, no. 205, and sect. 12, p. 500, no. 279. Al-Nu`mānī has recorded through another chain of narrators from `Ubaid: “The people will not find the Imam who will be present during the Hajj season. He will see them but they will not see him.”
  • 12. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 138, pp. 335–336, no. 1; Mir`āt al-`uqūl, vol. 4, p. 33, no. 1; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 346, no. 34; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 10, p. 169, no. 11; Ithbāt al-waṣiyya (al-Maktabat al-Murtaḍawiyya), p. 226; Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 290, using another chain; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 6, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 411, no. 153, with minor variations.
  • 13. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 347, no. 35; al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “Fī l-ghayba,” pp. 338–339, no. 11, similar to it from where he says: “. . . he will definitely have an occultation”; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 10, pp. 151–152, no. 9, similar to it with the difference that it says: “By Allah! He will go into occultation for a period of time,” instead of “years” or “some time,” which seems more probable and appropriate; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 204–205; Ithbāt al-waṣiyya, p. 200; Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 292.
  • 14. Al-Majlisī writes in Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, p. 282: “Al-tanwīh means fame. That is, don’t make yourselves famous and don’t invite people to your religion. Or, don’t expose what we say to you about the affairs of the Qā’im, peace be on him, and other issues that must be concealed from those who oppose [us]. ‘You will be sifted’ means you will be tested and examined . . . ‘Those who Allah has taken their covenant’ might mean those who accepted him on the Day that Allah took the covenant about His Prophet, Allah’s blessings be on him and his family, and his Ahl al-Bait along with the covenant of His Lordship which has been mentioned in the traditions. ‘Written faith in his heart’ is a referral to the verse, ‘You will not find a group of people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, whilst they love those who have enmity towards Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their [own] fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk. These are those into whose hearts He has inscribed faith, and whom He has assisted by a Spirit from Himself’ (Quran 58:22). ‘Spirit’ refers to the ‘Spirit of faith’ as we already mentioned. They will be ‘ambiguous’ for the people’ or they will be ambiguous because some . . . of them will resemble others and it will not be known which one is the truth and which one is false; and this is an interpretation for ‘ambiguous.’ Some have suggested it means that it will not be understood which side these flags belong to: truth or falsehood. Others say it means ‘it will not be understood which man belongs to which flag . . .’ The first interpretation is more probable.”
    Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 6, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 411, no. 154 (short version).
  • 15. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, pp. 352–357, no. 50; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 167–173, no. 129; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 13, pp. 219–223, no. 9; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 444, short version citing al-Manāqib; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 475, no. 162 (only a part of it has been mentioned). It has also been recorded partially or wholly in al-Ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, Tafsīr nūr al-thaqalain, I`lām al-warā, al-Īqāẓ min al-ḥaj`a, Ghāyat al-marām, Ḥilyat al-abrār, and etc.
  • 16. Quran 17:13.
  • 17. Quran 4:157.
  • 18. Quran 11:37.
  • 19. Quran 12:110.
  • 20. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 34, p. 361, no. 4; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, pp. 476–477, no. 167.
  • 21. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 35, p. 370, no. 2; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 13, p. 33, no. 12.
  • 22. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 38, p. 390, no. 4; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, pp. 480, no. 181 (short version).
  • 23. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 10, p. 156, no. 18; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 425, no. 409: “From Faḍl b. Shādhān, from Aḥmad b. `Īsā al-`Alawī, from his father, from his grandfather, from Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī, peace be on him, who said, ‘The master of this affair is from my descendants about whom it will be said, ‘He has died or he has been killed or he has perished or to which land has he gone’”; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 2, p. 114, no. 11; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 27, p. 533, no. 468.
  • 24. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 1, p. 51; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 1, p. 68, no. 10; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 459, no. 97.
  • 25. `Ilal al-sharā’i`, vol. 1, chap. 179, p. 245, no. 7; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 487, no. 212, citing Kamāl al-dīn and `Ilal al-sharā’i`; al-Maḥajja, p. 246 (short version).
  • 26. Quran 84:19.
  • 27. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 10, p. 140, no. 1; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 532, no. 462.
  • 28. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 163–164, no. 125; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, sect. 5, p. 501, no. 284.
  • 29. Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 57, chap. 36, pp. 212–213, no. 22.
  • 30. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 138, p. 338, no. 10, and chap. 138, p. 340, no. 15: “From a group of our companions, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad, from `Alī b. al-Ḥakam, from Abū Ayyūb al-Khazzāz, from Muḥammad b. Muslim . . .” ; Mir`āt al-`uqūl, vol. 4, pp. 46 & 50, no. 10 & 15; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 444, no. 22.
  • 31. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 138, p. 340, no. 16; Mir`āt al-`uqūl, vol. 4, p. 50, no. 16. Al-Majlisī writes: “In some versions [it has been narrated like this]: ‘During his occultation, he will not be away from the people. Rather, he will be amongst them but they will not recognize him.’ The first is more probable and is in accordance with what is found in other books. ‘Ṭībba’ is the name of Medina and ‘Thirty people won’t feel lonely’ means that thirty of his close followers and special companions will be with him.” Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 23, p. 157, no. 20. He also writes: “‘Ṭayyiba’ is the name of a city. It indicates that he will mostly be there or around it and that there will be thirty of his special followers and companions with him. If anyone from them dies, he is replaced with another.”; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 10, p. 188, no. 41; Similar to it in Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 162, no. 121, through his chain of narrators from `Alī b. Abī Ḥamza, from Abū Baṣīr, that he, peace be on him, said: “The Master of this affair will definitely have [a period of] isolation and there will definitely be strength during his isolation. With thirty people, there will be no loneliness and Ṭayyiba is a great dwelling.” Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 445, no. 27.
  • 32. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 160–161, no. 118; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 6, p. 146, no. 15, a similar narration has already been mentioned from Muḥammad b. Muslim.

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