Allah, the Almighty raised the Prophets (a.s.) with clear proofs and also revealed with them the Scriptures and the Balance so that the people may live with justice and equity. Moreover, He also send down the iron wherein is mighty power as well as many benefits for mankind that Allah may test who it is that will help Him and His Messengers in the unseen.
It is known to one and all that when somebody performs an action with a purpose, till the aim and purpose is not achieved, the act remains incomplete. If the purpose remains unachieved, it is said that he was unsuccessful in his task.
Allah, the Almighty has raised the Prophets to establish truth and justice in the entire universe. Yet, till date humanity has never witnessed an era when truth and justice has been established. Then, God forbid, should we assume that the Prophets' mission has been unsuccessful? And that Iblis, who had taken an oath that he will deviate the entire humanity, was triumphant in his objective?
Certainly not! Iblis can never be victorious in his aim. Allah the Majestic has deemed all of Iblis' conspiracies, machinations and plots as weak and feeble. "Surely the plotting of Shaitan was indeed weak."
In numerous verses of the Holy Qur’an and prior to it, in other Heavenly Books, Allah the Almighty, has made it amply clear that:
أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ
'Surely My righteous servants shall inherit the earth. " (21: 105)
Moreover, Allah the Almighty has promised the believers and the good doers that He will certainly make them the caliphs and rulers of this earth. And it is clearer than daylight that Allah the Truthful is not a covenant breaker.
A question can arise in the mind that if the aim and purpose of the Prophets (a.s.) was to fill the earth with justice and equity, which has also been promised by Allah, then why the present state of affairs? Why this oppression, tyranny, mischief, corruption, killings, genocide, insecurity, anarchy, chaos, disorder, etc.? What is the reason for all these? And till when will these continue?
Allah, the Almighty, has created man free and independent, which implies that he can
select either of the two ways, good or evil, belief or disbelief, justice or oppression, of his own accord and free will. If he chooses the path of goodness, belief and justice, then of course, he will be surrounded with bounties and blessings.
But if he opts for the other course; its consequences will certainly be disastrous and harmful. If somebody consumes poison, no doubt, its damaging effects will manifest themselves. Unfortunately, mankind chose the path of evil, instead of goodness, and as a result, the world is engulfed with darkness and injustice. While indicating towards this reality, the Holy Qur’an declares,
ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ
"Mischief appeared in the land and the sea for what the hands of the people earned. " (30: 41)
The mischief and corruption rampant in the world is a result of our actions. And this is the case when Allah, the All-Forgiving, pardons most of our sins and transgressions. This is the consequence of only a few of our misdeeds. If Allah really punishes us for all of our actions, whatever little of goodness and virtue is observed in this world will also vanish and the entire universe will convert into a hell for mankind. Allah the Almighty informs in the Holy Qur’an,
وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ
"Whatever calamities afflict you is because of what your hands have earned, While He forgives most (of your sins)." (26: 30)
The present state of our world is because of our vices, transgressions and evils.
Come! Let's see what impressions our deeds and we have left on religion, morals, society and economics.
Although we claim to be Muslims because we happened to be Muslims by birth, true Islam implies complete submission before Allah, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and their laws and commands. Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) declares,
الإسلام هو التسليم
"Islam is submission."
Of course, today we are extremely obedient and compliant but not before Allah, His
Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and their laws, but in front of our carnal desires, western culture,
Imperialistic attitudes power and lusts.
Either we don't know how to recite the Holy Qur’an or if we do know, we don't read it. Even if we read it, we don't do so with regularity. Even if we recite it on a regular basis, we don't act on it. And even if we act on it, it's not a complete acquiescence before its commands and prohibitions. This is precisely the reason that today, although the Book of Allah apparently is present in our homes, offices, markets, shops, etc. yet, the Qur’anic thought and approach is conspicuously absent.
We have adorned the mosques with expensive embellishments and ornamentations, but not with Allah's fear, piety, godliness and devotion; thus, instead of being the propagation and dissemination centers of Islamic teachings, our mosques have been reduced as hubs of local politics.
The aim of our creation is Allah's worship and servitude. The essence of worship is divine recognition and sincerity. Unfortunately, everything is available in our worship but sincerity. We perform the prayer and other obligations not as a duty imposed by our Lord but as a ritual and a habit.
For a gain of a few pennies, we are willing to sell our faith and belief. To acquire a little more profit, we are prepared to fib and lie through our teeth.
While Islam emphasizes having good relations with our relatives (sil ar-rahm), we take
Pride in breaking relations with them (qat' ar-rahm). Dignity despite poverty was the
Adage of the old-timers; today, our motto is to acquire worldly wealth, regardless of the degradation that we have to encounter. We don't care for the way that we adopt to earn our livelihood, whether it's permissible or prohibited.
We bring the instruments of sins to our homes and deem it as our duty to use them and as a pre-requisite of our advanced thinking. While wearing the hijab is the sign of backwardness and regress, moving around semi-nude is the mark of progress and advancement.
Lie, slander, false accusation and backbiting have become the norm of the day.
Stealing in weights and measures, breach of promises, anger, dissatisfaction, tongue-lashing, rudeness, misbehavior, etc. are the essential elements of our lives today.
Earlier, we had joint families. No doubt, the system had some flaws and shortcomings but it had a number of pluses like love, attachment, fraternity, sacrifice, sincerity, helping each other in times of need, sharing of joys and sorrows, apportionment of difficulties, etc. Mutual trust and sincerity were the norms and closeness prevailed despite problems.
But today, personal benefits and advantages rule the roost. Worldly gains are favored to family kinship, while personal benefits are preferred to close relations. This is precisely the reason that divine blessings have left our homes. Despite the abundance of all sorts of provisions, we are afflicted with an endless series of anxieties and worries. In this regard, there is a quote of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) that goes as follows,
"There are three things, the effects of which will be seen by man in this very world, before his death: Rebellion, breaking of relations and false oaths.
The act fastest in recompense is patching of relations. Those who patch relations will see their wealth multiply even if they are sinners.
False oaths and breaking of relations ruin homes. "
Earthquakes, heavenly calamities, new illnesses and diseases, famine, etc, are all due to our misdeeds and vices.
On the one hand, a large portion of humanity is deprived of basic needs like bread, clothes, housing, health, hygiene, etc.; while on the other hand, arms and ammunitions are being stockpiled. Trading in destructive weapons and genocide of the poor and the innocent has become the favorite pastime of the so-called developed nations.
In today's world, with the transformation in conditions, implications of words have also changed dramatically. Destruction and annihilation are called as 'progress', nudity is termed 'culture', immorality is named 'ethicality', and ostentation is regarded as 'art' and so on and so forth.
Our deeds (rather misdeeds) have transformed the very face of the world. Due to our actions, rains are becoming scarce and the earth is becoming dry. Crops and cultivation are receding to pathetically low levels. Perhaps, to maintain our bank balance and to preserve our artificial standards, crop outputs are deliberately being reduced. By creating artificial shortage and sucking the blood of the poor, we are trying to become healthy.
Excessive desires and expenditures exceeding incomes lead to worries, tension and nervous disorders. Consequently, bribery is rampant and inflation is touching the skies. Everybody is in a state of anxiety, holding others responsible for his own sorry state of affairs in an attempt to exonerate him of the blame. By censuring others, he wants to give himself a clean chit.
But the truth is that we cannot separate ourselves at this state of affairs at any cost. If we are not happy with the present conditions, and certainly we are not, and would like to see divine promise being fulfilled in this earth, and the government of justice, equity, fairness, fraternity, Islam and belief, established, then first and foremost, we have to change ourselves. Allah, the Mighty, informs clearly,
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ
"Surely Allah will not change (the conditions) of the people till they transform it themselves." (13: 11)
Never get scared of the conditions because despair is disbelief. Don't fear on account of your weaknesses and ignorance. Take a step towards Allah in His Name.
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا وَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
"Surely those who struggle for Us, We will certainly guide them to Our ways. And most surely Allah is with the good doers." (29:69)
All the paths of Allah are that of goodness and righteousness. Divine mercy is restless to welcome us. Come! Let's move ahead!
Let us take a glance at our responsibilities today.
Today, our greatest anxiety is the occultation of our beloved Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
The remaining worries are tolerable to a certain extent but the separation with our most adored and dearest Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is simply insufferable. We recite in the Dua an-Nudbah,
"It is very difficult and unbearable for me that I see everybody but cannot have a glimpse at your resplendent visage. That I listen to everybody but am deprived of your ever-comforting voice."
If we try to transform ourselves and prepare the ground for t h e reappea rance of Imam az-Zaman (a. t .f .s.) and fulfil our responsibilities vis-à-vis him (a.t.f.s.), then most of our difficulties will be resolved. And when he (a.t.f.s.) himself arrives, then Insha’Allah all our problems will be dispelled with immediate effect.
Come! Let us take a step to discharge these duties in order to do away with our problems and difficulties. For, our existence and that of the entire universe, is indebted to Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).
Therefore, he (a.t.f.s.) enjoys a right over each and every thing. Keeping brevity in consideration, we will mention four duties over here related to the heart, tongue, limbs and wealth.
Allah the Almighty has deemed the love and affection of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) as the recompense for Prophethood. Today, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) represents the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Besides, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,
"A person's faith cannot be complete till
he does not love me more than his own self and
my progeny more than his own children and
offspring." Obviously, who is more of a
descendant of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and
closer to him in lineage than Imam Mahdi
When one's most beloved goes into hiding, the lovers hold their hearts in grief and sorrows afflict them greatly. In this case, our beloved is the one who, despite being in occultation, prays for us and repels our difficulties. 'Master! Till when should we be beleaguered and hassled due to your separation? O son of Allah's Messenger!
Is there a way to meet you?' This grief is augmented when we observe that the oppressors and tyrants have deposed the Real Emperor, seizing the reins of power.
Love and pain are the inevitable consequences of separation. It is the most important duty of every believer to wait for the one whose occultation is the cause of difficulties and problems and in whose reappearance are their solutions, and whose arrival is certain. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,
"The best action of my nation is to await the reappearance. " Imam Sadeq (a.s.) gives glad-tidings, "He who departs from the world while waiting for the reappearance of Imam (a.t.f.s.) is like the one who is with him (a.t.f.s.) in his tent. Nay! His status is even higher. As if he is fighting alongside the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) in the battlefield. " In other words, waiting for Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is fighting in the way of Allah and the one who waits is a Mujahid.
1. To pray for the safety of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). For instance, in the qunoot of our prayers, we must regularly recite Dua al-Faraj, 'Allahumma Kun Le…'. In Mafaateeh al-Jenaan, a number of supplications are mentioned.
2. To pray for the protection of our religion, faith and belief. Abdullah Ibn Sinaan narrates from Imam Ja'far Sadeq (a.s.), "There will come a time when the standard of leadership cannot be seen and the Imam of guidance will be in hiding. In such a situation, only he will find salvation who recites the Supplication of the Drowning One (Dua al-Ghareeq)." I (Abdullah) asked, 'What is this supplication?' He (a.s.) replied,
يا الله يا رَحْمنُ يا رَحِيمُ يا مُقَلِّبَ القُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلى دِينِكَ
"O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O Changer of hearts! Keep my heart steadfast on Your religion. "
This supplication can be recited in the Qunoot as well as after the prayers (ta'qeebaat).
3. To pray morning and evening, and after every prayer for the early reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and to give preference to it over all other supplications.
4. To invite the people towards Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), to instill his love in their hearts, to draw their attention towards him (a.t.f.s.), to answer queries raised concerning Imamat and Occultation, etc. Proclaiming the Imamat of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and to invite the people towards it is the greatest tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.).
1. Obey the instructions of the Shariah.
2. To organize gatherings and assemblies to discuss the merits and virtues of the Ahle
Bait (a.s.) and to participate in such congregations.
3. To keep away from the prohibitions. In a signed letter (tauqee'), Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) informs,
"The thing that has distanced me from you (Shias) are your undesirable acts that reach unto us and which we don't expect from you." In this regard, there is a fantastic supplication provided by Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) himself and which goes as follows, "Allahummarzuqna taufeeq al-taa'ah… "
In today's world, wealth is dearer than life and life more loved than faith. True faith demands that one should sacrifice in the way of Allah the thing that he loves the most.
Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) being the representative of Allah among His creatures, we must sacrifice all that we have in his way. Therefore, we must,
This, by no means, implies that he (a.t.f.s.) is engulfed in some difficulties, God forbid. Certainly, this is not the case. Rather, it is the sign of our love towards him (a.t.f.s.). Moreover, sadaqah is the medium for the acceptance of our supplications and the channel to acquire the grace of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).
Similarly, we must also perform other recommended actions on behalf of our beloved Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
We must try to help those organizations that are truly striving for his purpose. In a tradition, Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) states,
"As compared to other good deeds, to expend one dirham for the cause of the Imam of the time is equal to spending two million dirhams (for other causes). "
Today, it is our duty to elevate the name and cause of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and spread it far and wide. We must acquaint the people with him (a.t.f.s.), strive to make them more familiar with him (a.t.f.s.) that they may recognize him (a.t.f.s.). In this aim, let us leave no stone unturned. Insha’Allah, this very sincerity will help us tomorrow at the time of reappearance and when the seeds of our supplications will yield fruit. Allah the Gracious commands,
"You invoke, I will fulfill your prayers."
The more we act on our obligations, transform ourselves and dye ourselves in the colour of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), the faster will our supplications be accepted. The promise of Allah will be fulfilled and all the conspiracies and machinations of the Shaitan will be quashed. Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will certainly reappear. He (a.t.f.s.) will come for sure.
Come! Let's see what will happen after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
It should be borne in mind that there will not be a nook or corner of life that will remain untouched with the effects of Imam Mahdi's (a.t.f.s.) reappearance.
Then, not only the earth, but the shape of the entire universe will undergo visible and tangible alteration. Everything will appear new. For details, a separate book is required. Again, being brief, we will indicate just a few of the changes that will occur.
The earth will be filled with justice and equity, as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression. In the government of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), none will oppress another.
Everybody will receive their dues.
People will be appointed in their respective posit ions as per their perfections and qualifications.
The true and real standards of respect and disgrace will be set.
• The earth will manifest its bounties.
• The earth will throw up the treasures concealed within it.
• It will pour from the skies, the trees will be laden with fruits, the earth will be lush green and fruits will be ripe. Each seed will yield seven hundred crops.
Immeasurable wealth will be distributed. Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will distribute wealth in an unprecedented fashion.
Welfare and prosperity will attain such heights that there will not be a single person on the face of the earth eligible for poor-rate.
Abundance of provisions will make people needless of hoarding.
People will be rich with various kinds of wealth.
All the roads will be vast and expansive.
Rivers will overflow and will be found everywhere. No nook or corner of the earth will be denied water.
Sewerage and gutter water will not flow on roads and in public places. Uncleanness will be completely wiped out.
Due to the blessings of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), the colour of the earth will change.
Only and only Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will rule on the entire universe.
Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will propagate religion in such a beautiful manner that people will accept it willingly and with the depth of their hearts. They will worship Allah with utmost sincerity. Those who are far from religion will return to it like birds return to their nests.
All the innovations and deviations will be destroyed.
Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will invite the people towards Allah's Book, the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), the mastership of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and hatred towards his enemies.
The entire world will unite on the covenant of Ahlul Bayt's (a.s.) love.
Due to the grace of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), people's hearts will be enlightened with knowledge.
Housewives will be acquainted and familiar with the Holy Qur’an and traditions of the infallibles (a.s.).
Allah the Almighty has divided knowledge into twenty-seven parts. Till now, only two parts have been conferred on humanity. After the reappearance, the remaining twenty-five parts will be manifested as well.
Vision and hearing will attain such levels that the people of the East can see and listen to the people of the West without the means of any instrument or equipment.
• The blind will become seeing.
• The sick will receive cure.
• By the grace of Allah, the believers will never be afflicted with any illness.
All the roads will be safe and secure. Hooliganism will be put to an end.
Mischief and corruption will be completely destroyed.
Even the wild beasts will not harm the humans.
The earth and its inhabitants will be free of all afflictions and calamities.
Intellects of all humans will be perfected. Hearts will be cleansed of desires and lusts, while being filled with needlessness.
Ostentation and show-off will be annihilated.
Trustworthiness will prevail.
The young will respect their elders, while the elders will have mercy on the young.
Lies and backbiting will be cleaned out.
None will be busy thinking about raising or pulling down others.
Friendship will be true and sincere.
Hearts will be abundant with love, and free from jealousy, malice and enmity.
In short, that era will be a completely different age. Everything will change, earth, skies, seas, jungles, mountains, trees, birds, beasts, animals and humans.
All these will take place only and only on account of the golden and resplendent reappearance of the real proof of Allah on His earth, the friend of Allah, the infallible leader, divine guide, the beloved of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), the apple of Hazrat Zahra's (s.a.) eyes, the dearest of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), the darling of Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) and the hope and desire of Sayyid ash-Shuhada Imam Husayn (a.s.), the last divine proof, al-Hujjat Ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
If we are truly waiting that momentous day, we should pray for his early advent from the depth of our hearts, and prepare ourselves, along with others, for helping and assisting him in his cause.