48. Primary sources and the extend of the Ghaybat (Absence)
The writer is again wrong in assuming that the twelfth Imam, according to the primitive and primary sources, was supposed to appear in the near future. The sources, which he is titling as primary or primitive have already said that the period of the absence (Ghaybat) would be long and indefinite and that it would be gestate with ordeals.
Jaber Ansari narrates the Prophet’s (S) words: “He is that who remains hidden from Shias and his friends. His ‘Imamate’ (Imam hood) would be difficult for words to confirm unless God tests the hearts against the belief.” Jaber says that the Prophet (S) spoke this when he first introduced the name and the pedigree of Imam Mahdi.
Ali Bin Abi Talib in Nahjul Balaghah says: “There is no ordeal longer than this and so hope remoter than this.” There are several narration in this regard. But none is there to indicate a hope of his appearance in the near future. There are a few sayings which do not have a ground and which are before the Imam hood of the eighth Imam, Imam Reza (as), that the appearance of the Imam was procrastinated due to the deeds of the Shia. The reason for the delay is a deed. This is groundless.