39. The Ghaybat of the 12th Imam- Two kinds
Earlier to Nomani in the books of the Prophet’s sayings and conversations (Ahadith) both types of the Imam’s disappearance (Ghaybat) has been mentioned. There are some who have been written before the end of the short Ghaybat. The writer now tells us in a way to suggest that when the Ghaybat happened these books too appeared. Since he has no belief in the invisible or unseen (Ghayb) he should say so. He can even suggest that whatever is written is after the happenings although the Prophet might have foretold then.
He wants to accuse the great scholars who were great authorities such as Saduq, Nomani and others of fraud and fabricating traditions. May God guide him.
The Nomani was split into two periods - one a short duration, the other with an indefinite duration. The lengthy Nomani was anticipated. Ali Bin Mohammed Al-Samri and others were having a mental preparedness. Nomani and others consider the Nomani as a sign attesting the Imam-hood of Mahdi.
The writer says that both kinds have had a root in the recent narration. The narration cannot be new or recent. All of them are old because they relate to the time of the Prophet (S). If the writer knows let him specify which are the new ones and which are the old narration?
We can make not such that the narration of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (as) are older than those by Imam Hasan (as) Imam Husayn (as) or Imam Zainul Abideen (as). Likewise what Imam Baqir (as) has told is older than that which Imam Sadiq (as) told. So this should be his sense, divided among the Imams in accordance to their order and periods.
But, actually the fifth Imam, Baqir, is the first Imam who started a school in which he told many things explaining the legislation and other issues. The narration that hailed newly or recently relates to the period after the period of Imam Baqir (as).
This issue is useful in distinguishing the dates or locating the duration of period with regards to narration and other religious jurisprudence. This standard cannot be maintained after the period of Imam Askari. Usually the narration can be considered false if they come after the duration of the period of Imam Askari.
But such a supposition cannot be given to the narration that pertain to the Ghaybat of the twelfth Imam because they were told in every age right from the Prophet’s (S) time down to Imam Askari (as). There was nothing to be added thereon or to be deducted there from. Whatever the new authors have written they have depended upon the old authors. The interpretations and comments made thereon are all in uniformity because of the pedestal being one. There can be a difference in synonyms, such as short absence, little absence, long absence, lengthy absence, continued absence and so on.
These terms Ghaybat Sughra (short Ghaybat) and Ghaybat Kubra (long absence) were not invented in the era of Safavids. They have no bearing on the reality. There had been two periods. The narration cannot be changed by the marginal diameters or spaces down by suppositions. Furthermore, belief cannot be shaken as well. Any other interpretation would only show one’s own mind and the extent of its listing to falsity the fact.
To invalidate a narration one should search the ground of that particular narration. If the narrators of that particular narration have any credibility, reputation or any reliability that could creep in a catena of continuity up to the authority of Imam Sadiq (as) reason would not approve its repudiation.
What Nou Bakhti has written of the Shia sects should be something of prediction about the unseen future. To foretell what will happen in the future no one would claim, unless he should have prophecy, which no one has. So, it is quite easy to tell what this imagination might bring to his mind. In such an event he has rejected the established traditions and acknowledged the realities of history.