Allah has called all of His creation to obedience to Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return), since obedience to him is obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family), and obedience to the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) is obedience to Allah, and Allah has created the entire universe to obey and worship Him.
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنُّ وَالإِنْسُ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ
“And I have not created the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Surah Adh-Dhariat, 51:56).
In order to “obey the Mahdi (peace be upon them)” one must carry his guardianship and love in the heart; and to attain his love, one must recognize him.
Without recognizing the Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return), his love cannot take hold in the heart. And without loving him, obeying and following him do not come about. And without following him, devoutness is not possible. And without devoutness, perplexity and misguidedness and wandering in the darkness will result; it is as we have been taught in the form of supplications:
اّللَّهُمَّ عَرِّفْنِي حُجَّتَكَ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ لَمْ تُعَرِّفْنِي حُجَّتَكَ ضَلَلْتُ عَنْ دِيْنِي
“O’ Allah, make me recognize Your authority, for if You don’t make me recognize him, I shall go astray in my religion.”1
And they have said:
مَنْ أَنْكَرَ الْمَهْدِي فَقَدَ كَفَرَ
“One who denies the Mahdi (peace be upon him) has become a disbeliever.”
مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْرِفْ إِمَامَ زَمَانِهِ مَاتَ مِيْتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةٍ
“One who dies without recognizing the Imam of his time dies the death of the Age of Ignorance.”2
It is on this basis that the religion of Islam does not take form except within the limits of “Shi’aism”—which is the true conformity to religion.
And obedience to the religious commands has no meaning except on the basis of “Imamah”—which is the Divine leadership.
And belief in “Imamah” and leadership in the era after the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) does not take shape except with accepting the principle of the “Mahdi”—which is the universal dissemination of the guidance.
“Shi’aism” is nothing other than the reality of the pure Muhammadan Islam.
“Imamah” is nothing other than the continuity of the mission of the Noble Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his family).
And “Mahdism” is nothing other than the life and vitality of “Imamah” in the era of the concealment and the worldwide rule of Divine unity and justice in the era of the reappearance.
It is this very way of thinking that has compelled the enemies of Islam to make all kinds of plots and conspiracies to obliterate Shi’aism, Imamah, and belief in the Mahdi.
Always, the Shi’a have been put under pressure in order for the non-believers and hypocrites to be able to pursue their activities.
In order to strengthen the Islam of the caliphs and justify the expediency-based rulings of the apparently Muslim rulers, objections have been raised regarding the issue of Imamah.
And in order to crush the combatants and make reformers despair, the very principal of the Mahdi has been subject to denial.
In spite of all this, it is only the “authenticity of Shi’aism,” the “majesty of the Imamah,” and the “integrity of Mahdism” that guaranteed the preservation of the true prophetic traditions, the becoming reality of the Qur’anic guidance, and the progress of the revolutionary and ideal teachings of the Divine leaders.
The book in front of you is one of the valuable works of the eminent teacher and well-known researcher, Ayatullah al-’Uzma Safi Gulpaygani. It has been written in the form of questions and answers—which is one of the most influential ways of research and writing—about the three main topics of “Shi’aism,” “Imamah,” and “Mahdism.” It has answered the existing objections according to what is necessary and possible in the limits of this brief book.
Allah is the provider of tawfiq
Research Unit of the Holy Masjid of Jamkaran,