In view of the writer, conditions were favorable for the appearance of the Imam in the days of the Ale Buye government and there existed also militarily possibilities. But on what ground was the Imam to make his appearance?
The answer to such a question lies in what Saduq has said, and that is the conditions were not secure enough as to ensure his appearance. There was no assurance as to how many people and whom he could actually trust. Was there any security in finding 313 people as associates or companions? I have said before that a number of 313 men absolutely perfect in belief, completely humble to the orders, totally resigned to the will of God, and whole heartedly ready for any sacrifice or ordeal cannot be expected among us.
In words all stand but in practice who stands? To give a test all will fail. Who knows how many agents there were in their guise. So on what tested ground is it said that conditions were favorable? It is only a pretext. It is a pretension. The time is only known to God alone. He knows and He decides the hour, because He is aware of even what is in concealed hearts. We have nothing but to resign to Him who is the Master mind of religion.
The matters written or told by Ibn Babway shows the scale of hesitation and the extent of surmise and the amount of doubt among the followers of the Shia school. This statement of the writer is not true. Why? He says or imagines that a majority of Shia was dubious not quite certain, that is, certitude missed them and doubt gained them.
Where there is a question, there is an answer. This does not mean that the question is the consequence of doubt. If a thing is answered by way of explanation, it is not that the society is drowned in doubts or it is overpowered by uncertainty, there is question and a question is espoused with reply. What Ibn Babway points out is a thing plain and common.
He says that the enemies, opponents and adversaries were creating doubts and pushing them by way of propaganda. They aimed at misguiding people who were poorly educated or had little knowledge and less information. It was such doubts that were used to be answered. In every society, in every religion it is a common thing. Anyone either a Shia or a Sunni can ask as to why the Imam is absent or as to when he will appear. This is a good symptom in a society. It indicates a mental awareness or a religious awakening or an uprising of spirit.
He wants to base his belief on the foundation of knowledge and the pedestal of cogency rather than on a track, which was paced by his forefathers. He asks, interrogates, inquires, and investigates but still does not change his course. This shows his staunch belief in the correctness of his path, which ascertains him of the destination he is heading to. To most questions the answer of the Prophet (S) applies: “This is God’s command and a secret among the Divine secrets”