Part 2: Significance and Obligations

1) The Creed of Imamate

The belief of Imamate is that important pillar of Islamic belief, without which the religious structure remains incomplete. The acceptance of all actions depends on the belief in Imamate. When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) commenced his mission with Daawat al-Zul Asheerah, along with the call for Divine Monotheism, proclamation of his own messengership, he (S) also announced the mastership and wilayat of Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s.).

He invited one and all for accepting this invitation. From then onwards, the Holy Prophet (S) kept informing and announcing the people about Imamate and Caliphate. Finally, on 18th Zilhajj, 10 A.H., in the vast plain of Ghadir al-Khumm, in front of a crowd of 1,24,000 pilgrims, he (S) not only announced the successorship and Imamate of Amir’ul-Mu’minin (a.s.) in clear terms, but, even ordered the people to pay allegiance to ‘Ali (a.s.). The Muslims duly obliged. Later, in the destruction of Harith Ibn No'man, people also saw the fate of him who denies ‘Ali's mastership.

Along with the announcement of the mastership of ‘Ali (a.s.), the Holy Prophet (S) also declared the Imamate and mastership of his eleven descendants. On various occasions, and in numerous ways, he made it clear that after him, till the Day of Judgement, the number of his successors and caliphs shall remain only twelve. The first of them will be ‘Ali (a.s.) and the last, Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

In a number of traditions, he has also mentioned the names, titles, agnomens, and characteristics of these twelve successors. Through his companion, Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari, he sent salutations to the fifth among the Imams, Imam Muhammad al-Baqer (a.s.). All these are practical testimonies of the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a).

The series of Imamate and guidance continues today and will go on till the dawn of resurrection. The Messenger of Allah (S) has underlined the significance of Imam al-Asr's (a.s.) recognition through the famous tradition,

"من مات ولم يعرف امام زمانه مات ميتة جاهلية."

"One who dies without knowing the Imam of his time, dies the death of ignorance (i.e. unbelief).

As is evident, the unbelievers will not attain salvation. They will go to hell and shall abide in it forever. Anybody who desires to save himself from the perennial chastisement of hell and gain the everlasting bounties of paradise, then it is for him to gain the recognition of the Imam of his time.

On the flip side, one who does not recognize the Imam of his time, his religion is not perfect, his bounties are not complete and Allah the Almighty is not satisfied with him.

Today, who is our Imam?

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s) has already mentioned that the chain of Imamate will continue after him till the Day of Judgement. Therefore, it is necessary that there should be somebody from that series who has been divinely ordained. Who is he? In the light of reliable and authentic traditions (narrated by Shias as well as Sunnis), the Imam of our time, is the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

2) The Importance in the Belief of Mahdawiyyah

If somebody believes and is certain about the Commencement of Prophethood of all the previous Prophets and Messengers (peace be on them) but denies the Messengership of the last Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (S), he is an unbeliever and his salvation, impossible.

Similarly, if someone believes in the Imamate of all the infallible Imams (a.s.) but refuses to accept the Imamate of the last Imam, Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), he is not a believer and his deliverance, unattainable. Renowned Sunni scholars like Shaykh al-Islam Hamveeni, in his book "Fara aedus Simt ain" and Shaykh Su layman Qundoozi in his famous work "Yanaabee' al-Mawaddah" have recorded that the Holy Prophet (S) said,

"من انكر خروج المهدي فقد كفر."

"One who denies the reappearance of Mahdi, is an unbeliever".

Imam's Life at a Glance

Name : M H M D

Title : Mahdi, Baqiyyatullah, Imam al-Zaman, Vali al-Asr, Qaem, etc.

Agnomen : Abul Qasim, Aba Saaleh al-Mahdi

Father : The Eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)

Mother : Narjis Khatoon , also called as Sosan.

Birthday : 15th Sha'baan, 255 A.H.

Birthplace : In the house of Imam Askari (a.s.) in the Iraqi city of Saamarra

Commencement : 8th Rabi-al-Awwal, 260 A.H.

Age : Still alive. Shall reappear on the command of Allah the Almighty

3) Occultation (Ghaibat)

One can find in reliable traditions narrated on the authority of the Holy Prophet (S) that when Mahdi reappears, oppression and tyranny will be eradicated from the face of earth, and unjust and tyrannical rulers will be uprooted. Therefore, every oppressive king, particularly the contemporaries of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), strove to prevent the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) and his advent in this world.

Also, as the Messenger of Allah (S) had prophesied that the number of Imams will be twelve, and that Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) will be the eleventh Imam, (and Mahdi the twelfth), they were sure that Mahdi will be born in his house only. Consequently, tight security and strict surveillance was imposed.

But just as Firaon had failed in his machinations to prevent the birth of Hazrat Musa (a.s.), which ultimately did occur, in the same way, despite all their efforts, the oppressors could not stop the birth of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). As there was a great danger to the life of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), the news of his birth was not announced to all and sundry. Only those who could be relied upon were informed about this holy occurrence.

After the martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), when the Imamate and leadership of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) began, the perils to his life increased. His residence was raided umpteen times by the king's army. Hence, on divine command, Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) went into occultation. On the one hand, conditions were threatening and danger loomed large.

While on the other, the masses had their queries and posers for which contact with Imam (a.s.) was necessary. Considering this necessity, Imam (a.s.) appointed four special deputies, through whom contact with Imam (a.s.) could be possible. These four persons were called as Special Deputies (Nuawwaab al-Arba' or Naaebeen al-Khaas).

The names of these Special Deputies were as follows (in chronological order):

1) Usman Ibn Saeed Amri

2) Muhammad Ibn Usman Ibn Saeed Amri

3) Husayn Ibn Rauh Nawbakhti

4) ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Seymouri

The series of special deputyship started from 260 A.H. and terminated in the year 329 A.H. (i.e. 69 years). This period is called as Minor Occultation (Ghaibat al-Sughra). The year 329 A.H., with the death of the fourth deputy, ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad Seymouri, marked the end of minor occultation and the beginning of the Major Occultation (Ghaibat al-Kubra).

Till Allah the Almighty does not permit Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) to reappear, the major occultation will continue. Today, we are living in the era of the major occultation in which, Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) has not appointed any special deputy. But he has also not abandoned us.

For our religious problems and questions, he has appointed jurists (mujtahideen), bearing all the necessary conditions, as his proof upon us and has ordered us to refer to them. As per his command, it is essential that our lives should be in conformity with the edicts of the living mujtahid.

4) Benefit of Imam al-Zaman's (a.t.f.s.) Existence in Occultation

Presently, our Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is in occultation. But it does not mean that he is living in an isolated place, far away from inhabitation. Occultation means that people are not aware of his place of abode. Even when they see their Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), they do not recognize him. Imam Sadeq (a.s.),

يرونه ولا يعرفونه

"They see him but do not recognize him."1

But Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) sees the people and recognizes them too. He himself declares,

"None of your news is hidden from us. We are not negligent in your protection nor are we forgetful of your remembrance. Had it not been so, calamities would have descended upon you and enemies would have annihilated you." 2

This proves that although Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is hidden from the eyes of the people, he is aware of their conditions. Now, we can benefit from his existence just as people draw advantage from the sun when it is concealed behind the clouds. We can relate all our difficulties to him.

At every step, we can reach out to him through our cries for help. Just let us give it a try, and feel his hand reach unto us, notwithstanding the veil of occultation. One can find thousands of such incidents in reliable books when people have called out to Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) for help and he has come to their rescue.

5) Longevity

Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) was born in 255 A.H. Today the age of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) exceeds 1150 years. This is just his present age and his reappearance is still pending. The years after reappearance have also been discounted.

Perhaps some minds might pose the query, 'Is it possible for a man to live so long?'

The answer is a definite yes. Man can certainly attain longevity for the following reasons:

1) Till date, no limit has been fixed for human age, that after such and such age, man cannot or should not live.

2) There have been people who have lived even more than the present age of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), like Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) who propagated for 950 years before the famous deluge and his total age exceeded 2500 years.

3) Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) and Hazrat Ilyas (a.s.) continue to live till date.

4) Shaitan preceded Hazrat Adam (a.s.) in existence and is still alive.

Imam Zain al-Abedeen (a.s.) says,

"In our Qaem, is the tradition and sign of Hazrat Nuh (a.s.) and that is his longevity."3

6) Awaiting (Intezaar)

In the major occultation, an important duty is to await the reappearance of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Imam Sadeq (a.s.) relates from the Holy Prophet (S),

افضل اعمال امتي انتظار الفرج

"The best act of my nation is to await the reappearance."4

Awaiting is an inner condition that we experience vis-à-vis our beloved. Our restlessness for the meeting with the beloved is directly proportionate with the presence of love in our hearts for him. If you are waiting for a guest, you will prepare yourself for his arrival by cleaning up the house and providing the necessities of his comfort. You will inform the people about his arrival and will exhort them to join you in welcoming him. More than the house, you will prepare your heart for his comfort, leisure and ease.

If such preparedness and restlessness is found in us, then we are truly awaiting for the guest. But if I am simply sleeping lazily, without feeling the need for any preparation and readiness, then such an awaiting is nothing more than lip service.

Those who are waiting for Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) are restless for his reappearance. They are preparing for his arrival by improving themselves and inviting others to change for the better. They are themselves learning religious laws and injunctions while making others also aware of their religious obligations. They are restless due to the delay in the reappearance. The occultation of their beloved Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) has snatched sleep from their eyes.

Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) has described the characteristics and importance of the one who awaits the reappearance thus,

"O Abu Khalid (Kabuli)! In the period of his occultation, those who believe in his Imamate, await his reappearance are the best people of all times. Allah the Almighty has endowed them with intellect, understanding and cognition to such an extent that occultation (of Imam) for them is as good as his presence.

They are equal (in status) to those who are fighting alongside the Prophet of Allah (S) with their swords. Certainly, these are the real believers and our true Shias and they call towards the path of Allah, openly and secretly."5

7) Duties and Responsibilities

It is clear now as to how important it is to await for the reappearance of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and how great is the status and position of those who await. Also, it is a reality that as the level increases, responsibilities and duties increase too. Although there are a number of responsibilities of a believer during the major occultation, we shall mention a few important ones hereunder, keeping brevity into consideration.

a) Recognition of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)

By recognition, historical knowledge and information is not what is implied. Rather, it means to be aware of those levels, perfection and authority that has been granted to Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) by Allah the Almighty.

If we believe in these, then we will be sure that he is definitely keeping a watch on all our actions, every single one of them. He rules on each and every particle of this world. The entire universe is subject to his command. Only then will we refrain from sins and seek refuge and help from him for all our difficulties.

b) Improvement in deeds

We cannot see Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) with our sinful eyes but he, definitely, is observing us . If somebody really believes that he is constantly being watched by Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.), he will keep away from quite a few sins. Good deeds are the only way to gain proximity and nearness to Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). And who does not desire to be nearer to his Imam (a.s.)? He (a.t.f.s.) himself has admonished us,

"Then each one of you should act in such a way that your deeds bring you closer to our love, and refrain from all those actions that will bring you nearer to our wrath and anger."6

c) Reformation of the Society

To rectify and improve our society, i.e. our children, brothers, sisters, relatives, friends, acquaintances, etc. is also our responsibility. For, it is essential that the ground be prepared for the reappearance. Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) says,

"An orphan is he who loses his father. But greater than him is he who has become distanced from his Imam and does not have access to him. He is not aware of his responsibilities and obligations.

Among our Shias, one who is knowledgeable of our traditions and knowledge, should teach this Shia who is ignorant and unaware, and guide him. It is as if he has sheltered and nourished an orphan. Yes, the one who guides him and teaches him our religious laws, will be with us in the highest grades of paradise."7

d) Supplication (Du’a)

Supplication is a weapon of the believer through which he repels calamities and encounters difficulties. He attains his desires with its help. The reappearance of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and his being safe from all evils and calamities is the heartfelt desire of every believer. One of the rights that he (a.s.) enjoys upon us is that we should pray for him, first and foremost, in our supplications and invocations.

Naturally, we always pray for that thing first which enjoys utmost significance in our eyes. Nobody is greater than Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) nor is anything more important than his reappearance. It is necessary that after every namaz, our first supplication be in favour of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). We must begin and end our day with the prayers for the reappearance of our beloved Imam (a.s.).

Although there are a number of invocations for Imam -e -Zaman (a.t.f.s.) like Du’a al-Nudbah, which should be recited on Fridays, etc. we shall suffice here with only two important supplications for him.

a) In every Salat, especially in obligatory prayers, we should recite the following invocation in the Qunoot. This is also called Du’a al-Faraj.

اللهم كن لوليك الحجة بن الحسن صلواتك عليه وعلى ابائه في هذه الساعه وفي كل ساعه وليا وحافظاو قائدا وناصرا ودليلا وعينا حتى تسكنه ارضك طوعا وتمتعه فيها طويلا

b) After Salat al-Subh (morning prayers), we must recite the brief Du’a al-Ahd. It is a salutation, a covenant and a supplication, all put together.8

اللهم بلغ مولاي صاحب الزمان صلوات الله عليه عن جميع المؤمنين والمؤمنات في مشارق الارض ومغاربها وبرها وبحرها وسهلها وجبلها حيهم وميتهم وعن والدي و ولدي وعني من الصلوات والتحيات زنه عرش الله ومداد كلماته ومنتهى رضاه وعدد ما احصاه كتابه واحاط به علمه اللهم اني اجدد له في هذا اليوم وفي كل يوم عهدا وعقدا وبيعه في رقبتي اللهم كما شرفتني بهذا التشريف وفضلتني بهذه الفضيله وخصصتني بهذه النعمه فصلي على مولاي وسيدي صاحب الزمان واجعلني من انصاره واشياعه والذابين عنه واجعلني من المستشهدين بين يديه طائعا غير مكره في الصف الذي نعت اهله في كتابتك فقلت صفا كانهم بنيان مرصوص على طاعتك وطاعة رسولك واله عليهم السلام اللهم هذه البيعه له في عنقي الى يوم القيامه

O Allah, convey to the master, the Master of the Time, from all the believer men and women in the easts of the earth and its west. In its lands and its seas, in its plains and its mountains, their living and their dead, and from my parents and my children and from me, from the blessings and greetings, which are the weight of Allah’s throne and ink on his words, and whatever His knowledge enumerates and his book encompasses.

O Allah renew for him my covenant, pledge and allegiance on my neck on this day and whatever days (of my life) I live.

O Allah, like You honored me with this honor, and gave me this excellence and bestowed this bounty to me especially, bless my master and chief, the leader of the time and make me from his helpers and followers and protectors and make me of those who seek martyrdom in his presence, with full eagerness, without any hesitation put me in that row of the army of those whom You have described in Your Book and said: “in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall” on Your obedience and the obedience of Your Messenger and his progeny, peace be on them.

O Allah, indeed, this allegiance is upon my neck till Judgment Day.

e) Sadaqah

When a person knows and likes somebody from the depth of his heart, he wishes him well and desires his safety from all evils and calamities. He prays for his wellbeing and health. He gives sadaqah for his safety and protection. Praying or giving sadaqah does not mean that the concerned person is afflicted with calamities. Rather, it is an expression of our love for him. The more we love him, the more will be our invocations and sadaqah in his favour.

Today, who is more deserving to be loved and be attached with than the holy person of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.)? Can a believer’s heart love anybody else more than him? To pray for Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and to give sadaqah for his safety is an expression of our love for him. In the ta’qeebaat of the obligatory prayers, it has been emphasized to recite Ayat al-Kursi for the safety and security of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).

f) Seeking of Desires

Allah the Almighty has appointed the infallible Imams (a.s.) as the media and doors for approaching Him. Presently, Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is that door through whom Allah is approached. The Holy Quran says,

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا

"And all the good names are for Allah, then call Him through them."(Surah A'raaf, 7:180)

In the interpretation of this verse, traditions say that good names in the verse implies the infallible Imams (a.s.) and that we should call Allah through them. (Al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 618, H.2)

Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is the Door of Allah and His Name. If we plead to Allah through this all-important medium, our supplications will be accepted. Besides, it is the sincere desire of every father or every elder that the youngsters of the family approach him for their needs and that he fulfills them. Particularly, when he is in a position of power and authority. The elders feel great joy in fulfilling the needs of the youngsters.

Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is our father, elder and the master of all bounties. Today, it is an important duty for us that we present our difficulties to him for their solution. Unfortunately, we speak of our problems to everybody but to that Imam who is able to provide its remedies within no time.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.) says,

"Whenever you get entangled in some difficulty, then seek refuge in the presence of Hazrat Hujjat (a.t.f.s.) and invoke him. He will save you and grant you salvation. He answers the needy. He is the refuge of anybody who seeks refuge in him."9

8) Meeting

Today, we are living in the times of the major occultation but it does not imply that all the doors leading to Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) have been shunted. Direct visitation is possible only on account of his grace. Nobody can arrange a meeting with him unilaterally (without Imam's consent). There have been some extremely fortunate people who had the honor and grace of a direct meeting with their master, Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Consequently, their problems were solved.

Reliable books have mentioned the incidents of these fortunate ones. This was regarding apparent, physical visitation. As far as heart to heart rendezvous is concerned, the possibility always exists for everybody. The heart is aware of the path to the sought one. For heartily contact, words are not required. Rather, its beats translate into the most effective of words. A broken heart narrates a thousand incidents in a few seconds. In Du’a al-Nudbah, we cry,

بنفسي انت من مغيب لم يخل منا بنفسي انت من نازح مانزح عن

"May our lives be sacrificed on him who is distanced from the eyes but the hearts are not devoid of him. He is physically far from us but his remembrance and memories are not distant from our gatherings."

9) Time of Reappearance

There is no doubt that one day certainly Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will reappear from the Holy Ka'bah. A heavenly voice will announce his advent to one and all. There will not be any place on earth where the voice of this announcement will not reach. Of course, none knows that when this reappearance will actually occur. Its knowledge is only and only with Allah and none else. The holy Prophet (S) says,

"The reappearance of Mahdi will be like resurrection which will be very heavy for the heavens as well as for the earth. It will be sudden, unexpected."10

We cannot fix the time of reappearance but can advance it with our incessant and unceasing invocations and supplications. Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) exhorts,

"Pray more for the reappearance for in it lies your salvation."11

10) The Companions of Imam al-Zaman

We all desire earnestly and fervently to be included among the companions of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Every believer aspires to help the Imam of his time. There is no status or fortune higher than this for him.

More than nearly fourteen hundred years after his friends achieved martyrdom in Karbala while defending the Imam of their time, Imam Husayn (a.s.), Prophets, Messengers, successors, angels, martyrs, witnesses, the truthful ones, and even the Almighty Allah Himself, continue to send incessant blessings and salutations on them.

The door of helping and assisting the Imam of the time is not closed. We too can be among the helpers and supporters of the Imam of our time. Traditions have talked about the characteristics of Imam al-Zaman's (a.t.f.s.) helpers.

If these attributes and traits are found in us, then a million thanks to the Almighty, and we should pray for their betterment and improvement by the day (both quantitatively as well as qualitatively).

But if these characteristics are not found in us, or if some are found and others are not, then we should supplicate to Allah the Mighty and the Wise that He adorns us with these attributes, for the sake of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Some of these characteristics and attributes are as follows:

• They are devout and highly religious individuals;

• Their hearts are overflowing with the love of their Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.);

• They are nice and decent;

• They are concealed like mines of treasures in the earth;

• In their certitude, they are stronger than steel; if they pass by mountain, they will render it into pieces;

• They fight only for divine pleasure; any opponent who stands against them, bites the dust;

• They are not cowed down by criticism and censure.

11) Advent and Government

When Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) arrives, the world will be a completely different place. Every particle will rejoice at his advent. Hazrat Eesa (a.s.) will descend from the fourth heaven and perform namaz behind him. Self-sacrificing, pious, devout, religious and sincere believers will gather around Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.).

They will form circles around him, with him sitting right in the middle, like a moon encircled with stars. He will reappear from Mecca and make Kufa his capital. The entire world will be under the rule of true Islam and the standard of Tawhid will be hoisted in the universe.

Polytheism, disbelief, hypocrisy and their like will be uprooted from the face of the earth. Justice, equity, brotherhood and fraternity will be the order of the day. Traditions have painted the picture of his reappearance beautifully. We shall mention a few special characteristics of his reappearance hereunder:

Justice and Equity

Numerous traditions contain the following sentence,

يملا الارض قسطا وعدلا بعد ما ملئت ظلما وجور

"He will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression."12

Today, whatever oppression or injustice we are witnessing in any form whatsoever, will be totally annihilated. Justice, and sheer justice, will prevail. The deeply felt prayer of humanity will be actualized with the reappearance. The efforts of the Prophets (a.s.) and the Messengers (a.s.) will yield fruits with the establishment of justice.

Honour For Religion

Religion will be honoured in the government of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). It will be implemented with all its minute details. The Holy Quran will dominate the universe. All those religious injunctions that have been forgotten or distorted will regain their original practical form and every one will act on them. In the salwaat of Friday, we find,

"O Allah! Enliven through him those laws of Your religion that have been destroyed. Grant a fresh lease of life to those sciences of Quran that have been forgotten. Manifest through him those laws that have been distorted. Till Your Religion appears in its original and pure form at his hands."13

Unity and Harmony

One of the most serious maladies of our society is maladies of our society is mutual discord and disharmony. Capabilities are destroyed. Assets are rendered useless. Respect and honour are grounded to dust. Houses are divided and families are torn to shreds. All because of a single ailment - disunity and factionalism. But after the reappearance, all this will change. Factions will unite on one platform. In Du’a al-Nudbah, we read,

اين جامع الكلمه على التقوى.

"Where is the one who will gather the people on piety and devotion?"

Freshness and Greenness

Traditions have prophesied that when Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) reappears, the earth will throw up all its treasures. It will be green and vibrant. There won't remain any piece of land that will be dry and barren. The earth will gain new life and there will be vitality and vigour everywhere. Grains and fruits will be in immeasurable abundance. In one ziyarat, we salute Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) with the following sentence,

السلام عليك ياربيع الانام ونضرة الايام

"Peace be on you, O spring of creation and brightness of days."

e) Perfection of Intellect

Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will not only enliven the earth and extricate its hidden treasures but he will infuse new life into hearts, restore capabilities and perfect intellects. Traditions have prophesied,

"When Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) reappears, he will gently stroke the heads of the people by which their intellects will become complete and perfect."14

Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), in the first sermon of Nahjul Balagha, while explaining the aim of sending the Prophets and Messengers (a.s.), states,

".. .that they may extricate the hidden treasures of the intellects..."

Therefore, the advent of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) will mark the realization of the aim of sending of divine emissaries (a.s.). Moreover, he will also avenge the blood of Imam Husayn (a.s.). All those who killed him, oppressed him or were satisfied at these oppressions will be the targets of his sword.

12) A Final Request

Come, let all of us make a covenant that we shall not attach ourselves to any other door except that of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). (They are the strong rope of Allah (Hablallah), without fastening unto them, salvation is impossible). We shall pray for the safety and security of Imam al-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). We will always remember him and narrate our difficulties to him. We shall plead to him from the depth of our hearts and seek cure from him for our ailments. O Master! We are ill, weak, poor of memory, backward, harassed, in debts, etc. Master! Your Shia and in such a bad state!

We know that our deeds are presented to you due to which your heart bleeds. You are unhappy and unsatisfied with our actions. We are very, very sinful. We confess to all these but Master! If unworthy children will not find refuge in the house of their father, where will they go? Where shall the subjects go but to the court of the king? If sinners will not go to their Imam, whose door will they knock? Master! We are disgraced, ignorant and disobedient. But we do not have anybody besides you. You are our refuge, our solace, our shelter. We shed tears for your ancestors and seek apologies from you.

We shall end our brief discussion with the following statement:

The brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) were the ones who had thrown him in the well and sold him. Whatever difficulties Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) had to face was on account of his brothers. Yet, notwithstanding all these atrocities and crimes which they had committed against their own brother, when they came to Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.), who by then had become the King of Egypt, they said,

يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ

"O King! Calamity has afflicted us and our families. We have come with a handful of provisions. But you repay us in full measure and be charitable towards us. Surely Allah loves the charitable." (Surah Yusuf, 12: 88)

Accepting their brief apology, Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) excused them.

We repeat the same apology in your presence, O Yusuf al-Zahra, Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). O Master! Difficulties and calamities have surrounded us. We have come to you with very few good actions. But please have mercy on us and grant us in full measure.....

  • 1. Muntakhab al-Asar, Part 2, Ch. 38, p. 301
  • 2. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 53, Ch. 31
  • 3. Kamaal al-deen, vol. 2, p. 524
  • 4. Kamaal al-deen, vol. 2, p. 644
  • 5. Kamaal al-deen, Ch. 31, H. 2
  • 6. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 53, p. 181
  • 7. Tafseer Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), p. 114, 115
  • 8. Biharul Anwar, volume 99, page110 (Arabic version), Mikyalul Makarim, vol.2.
  • 9. An-Najm al- Saaqib, p. 787
  • 10. Muntakhab al-Asar, Part 1, Ch. 1, p. 30
  • 11. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 53, p. 181
  • 12. Muntakhab al-Asar, Part 6, Ch. 1, p. 421
  • 13. Mafaateeh al-Jinaan, A'maal for Friday
  • 14. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 336