The traditions that indicate the reason behind his occultation
Comprised of nine traditions1
632. Kamāl al-dīn2: 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 al-Nīsābūrī, from Aḥmad b. `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Madā’inī, from `Abd-Allah b. al-Faḍl al-Hāshimī who said:
I heard al-Ṣādiq Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, say, “The master of this affair will definitely have an occultation in which every liar will become doubtful.” I asked, “Why, may I be sacrificed for you?” He replied, “Because of an affair that we have not been given permission to disclose to you.” I asked, “What is the rationale behind his occultation?” He answered, “The rationale behind his occultation is the same rationale behind the occultations of the Proofs of Allah, High be His Remembrance, who preceded him; Surely, the rationale will not be disclosed until he reappears, just as the rationale behind al-Khiḍr’s acts of drilling a hole in the ship, killing the boy, and erecting the wall were not disclosed to Moses, peace be on him, except at the time of their separation. O son of Faḍl! This affair is from the affairs of Allah, the Exalted, a secret from Allah’s secrets, and an unseen from Allah’s unseens. Once we know that He, Mighty and Majestic be He, is wise, then, we will acknowledge that all His actions are wisdom even if their reason is not disclosed [to us].’”
633. Kamāl al-dīn3: Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. `Iṣām al-Kulainī, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb al-Kulainī, from Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb, from the Master of Time (Ṣāḥib al-Zamān), Allah’s blessings be on him, in his last signed letter (al-tauqī`) which was in reply to a question asked from him by Muḥammad b. Uthmān b. al-`Amrī:
As for the reason behind the occultation, then surely Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, says, “O you who believe! Do not ask about things which if disclosed to you will upset you.”4 Verily, all my forefathers had the allegiance of the tyrant of their time on their necks [i.e. were forced to pledge allegiance to them] but when I reappear, I will not have the allegiance of any oppressive king on my neck. As for benefiting from me during my occultation, then indeed, it will be like benefiting from the sun when the clouds conceal it from the eyes. I am security for the inhabitants of earth just as the stars are security for the inhabitants of the sky. So, don’t ask about things that you don’t need and don’t strain yourself in learning the knowledge of things that you will not be questioned about. Pray as much as you can for the hastening of the relief (al-faraj) because it is your relief. Peace be on you, O Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb, and [on] whoever follows guidance.
634. `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā5: Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Hamdānī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Faḍḍāl, from his father, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Mūsā al-Riḍā, peace be on him, who said: “It is as if I am with the Shias who are [wandering] like livestock—during the occultation of my third descendant—in search of pasture, but will not find it.” I asked, “And why will it be so, O Son of Allah’s Messenger?” He answered, “Because, their Imam will be concealed from them.” “Why?” I asked again. He answered, “So that he will not have the allegiance of anyone on his neck when he rises with the sword.”
635. Ghaybat al-Shaykh6: Al-Ḥusayn b. `Ubaid Allah, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Sufyān al-Bazaufarī, from Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qutayba, from al-Faḍl b. Shādhān al-Nīsābūrī, from al-Ḥasan b. Maḥbūb, from `Alī b. Ri`āb, who said: “Zurāra said, ‘The Qā’im will have an occultation before he appears.’ I asked, ‘Why?’ He replied, ‘He will fear for his life.’”
The following traditions also prove the above concept: 337, 626, 654, 656, and 669.