The traditions that indicate he will have two occultations and one will be shorter than the other
Comprised of ten traditions
599. Al-Kāfī1: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn, from ibn Maḥbūb, from Isḥāq b. `Ammār, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said: “The Qā’im will have two occultations: one of them will be short and the other long. In the first occultation, no one will know his whereabouts except his special followers (khāṣṣatu shī`atih). As for the other, no one will know his whereabouts except his special servants (khāṣṣatu mawālīh).”
600. Yanābī` al-mawadda2: Citing al-Maḥajja fī mā nazala fī l-Qā’im al-Ḥujja, concerning the saying of Allah, the Exalted, “And he made it a firm word in his future generations so that they may return” (Quran 43:28). From Thābit al-Thumālī, from Imam `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, from his father, from his grandfather Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, may Allah be satisfied with him, who said:
This verse was revealed about us. Allah has put Imamate in the generation of al-Ḥusayn until the Day of Judgment. Our Qā’im will definitely have two occultations: one of them will be longer than the other and no one will remain steadfast in his Imamate except those who have strong certitude and correct recognition.
601. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī3: Narrated to us Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sa`īd, from `Alī b. al-Ḥasan, from `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Abū Najrān, from `Alī b. Mahziyār, from Ḥammād b. `Īsā, from Ibrāhīm b. `Umar al-Yamānī who said: “I heard (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, say, ‘The master of this affair will surely have two occultations.’ I also heard him say, ‘The Qā’im will not rise while having anybody’s allegiance on his neck [i.e. The Qā’im will rise while he will not have pledged allegiance to anyone].’”
602. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī4: Informed us Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sa`īd, from al-Qāsim b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Ḥāzim, from his book, from `Ubais b. Hishām, from `Abd-Allah b. Jabala, from Ibrāhīm b. al-Mustanīr, from al-Mufaḍḍal b. `Umar al-Ju`fī, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ṣādiq, peace be on him, who said:
The master of this affair will surely have two occultations: one of them will be prolonged to such an extent that some of them will say, “He has died,” some will say, “He has been killed,” and some of them will say, “He has gone.” No one from his companions [i.e. followers] will remain [steadfast] in his affair except for very few. No one will know his whereabouts from his friends or anybody else except a servant who looks after his affairs.
603. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī5: Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sa`īd b. `Uqda, from Muḥammad b. al-Mufaḍḍal b. Ibrāhīm b. Qays and Sa`dān [Sa`d] b. Isḥāq b. Sa`īd and Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn [al-Ḥasan] b. `Abd al-Malik and Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan al-Qaṭawānī, all of them from al-Ḥasan b. Maḥbūb, from Ibrāhīm [b. Ziyād] al-Khāriqī, from Abū Baṣīr who said:
I said to (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, that (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, used to say, “The Qā’im from the family of Muḥammad will have two occultations and one of them will be longer than the other.” He said, “Yes, and this will not occur until the family of so and so clash with each other, war rages (taḍīq al-ḥalqa), the Sufyānī appears, calamities intensify, death and killings engulf the people, and they seek refuge in the Sanctum of Allah (ḥaram Allāh) and the Sanctum of His Messenger (ḥaram rasūlih), Allah’s blessings be on him and his family.”
604. Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī6: `Abd al-Wāḥid b. `Abd-Allah, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Rabāḥ, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Ḥimyarī, from al-Ḥasan b. Ayyūb, from `Abd al-Karīm b. `Amr, from al-`Alā b. Razīn, from Muḥammad b. Muslim al-Thaqafī, from (Imam) al-Bāqir Abū Ja`far, peace be upon him, who said: “The Qā’im will have two occultations. In one of them, [some will say] ‘he has perished’ and [others will say,] ‘No one knows where he is.’”
605. Al-Kāfī7: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā and Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Kūfī, from `Alī b. Ḥassān, from `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Kathīr, from al-Mufaḍḍal b. `Umar who said:
I heard (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, say, “The master of this affair will have two occultations: in one of them, he will return to his family. As for the other, [some will say] ‘he has perished’ and [others will say,] ‘No one knows where he is.’” I asked, “What should we do when this happens?” He replied, “When somebody claims [to be him], ask him about matters that only someone like him can answer.”
606. Al-Kāfī8: Al-Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad from al-Qāsim b. Ismā’īl al-Anbārī, from Yaḥyā b. al-Muthannā, from `Abd-Allah b. Bukair, from `Ubaid b. Zurāra, from Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said: “The Qā’im will have two occultations. In one of them, he will be present during the Hajj season; he will see the people but they will not be able see him.”
607. `Iqd al-durar9: From (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī, peace be on him, who said: “The master of this affair—meaning the Mahdī, peace be on him—will have two occultations. One of them will become so elongated that some will say, ‘he has died,’ others will say, ‘he has been killed,’ and others will say, ‘he has gone.’ No one will be aware of his whereabouts, not his friends nor anybody else, except the servants who look after his affairs.”
The following tradition also proves the above concept: 254.
That the master of this affair will be not be found and will become unseen
Hidden, like he who is fearful and waiting
Then the wealth of the lost one will be distributed as if
. . .
He will live for some time then will rise
Like the rising of a Star in the horizon
I hold my Lord as a Witness that your saying is a proof
Upon all the creatures, obedient and sinners
That the Master of the Affair and the Qā’im
Is the one whom my soul flies to with delight
For him is an occultation which is inevitable
And Allah sends salutations upon this concealed person
He will stay thus for a while and then appear
And fill with justice the East and the West