Table of Contents

The Author’s Introduction

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Sheikh Abul Faraj Muhammad bin Ali bin Ya’qoob bin Abu Qurra al-Qanani (may Allah have mercy upon him) narrated from Abul Husayn Muhammad bin Ali al-Bajali the clerk that Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ibraheem an-Nu’mani had said:

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, Who guides whomsoever He wills to the right path, Who deserves gratefulness from His people in return for deriving them out of nonexistence into existence, forming them into the best of images, granting them with innumerable blessings apparent and hidden as he has said:

وَآتَاكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَإِنْ تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗ إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

And if you count Allah's favors, you will not be able to number them.”1

He has guided them to know His Divinity and to acknowledge His Oneness with pure minds, excellent wisdom, perfect creation, pure nature, good tincture, marvelous signs and clear proofs. Then He sent for them the best of His people as prophets supported with the Holy Spirit armed with evidences; preaching, warning, guiding, reminding, informing with knowledge, defeating the oppressors with the divine signs and astonishing the intelligent with miracles. He preferred them to the rest of His people with the high excellences He granted them with, let them know His unseen and gifted them with some of His power as He said:

عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِنْ رَسُولٍ فَإِنَّهُ يَسْلُكُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ رَصَدًا 

“The Knower of the unseen! so He does not reveal His secrets to any except to him whom He chooses as a messenger; for surely He makes a guard to march before him and after him.”2

To glorify them and to raise their positions highly so that people would have no excuse before Allah after sending His messengers and that the proofs of Allah would be perfect before His people.

Praise be to Allah when He bestowed upon us His sending Muhammad; the last of His messengers, the most beloved one to Him, the most glorious prophet near Him and the closest one to him. He gifted him with all what He had gifted the other prophets and added to him doubles than what He had given them. He put him in the high position to prefer him to the all. He made him imam for them when he led them in offering the prayer in the Heaven. He made him the most honorable among the all and granted him alone with intercession from among the all. He raised him to the highest Heaven until He talked with him near His Throne when he passed the positions of the close angels and the standings of the Archangels.

He revealed to him a Book surpassing all the previous Books and including all the knowledge they had as He said:

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ ۖ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَىٰ هَٰؤُلَاءِ ۚ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

“We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything.”3

He did not neglect a bit.

Allah the Almighty has guided us by Muhammad (as) from deviation and obscurity and saved us from ignorance and perishment. He has sufficed us with Muhammad (as), the holy Book and the perfect religion and guided us to the guardianship of the pure guiding imams to be safe from personal opinions and interpretations (due to fancies) and He has guided us by Muhammad and the imams of his progeny to the right path.

Blessing and peace be upon Muhammad and his brother Amirul Mo’mineen4 (Imam Ali), his next in virtue, his supporter in distresses and ordeals, the sword of Allah against the unbelievers and His open hand with beneficence and justice.

It was Ali, who followed his brother’s path in any case, who turned with the truth wherever it turned, the keeper of his brother’s (Muhammad’s) knowledge, the depositee of his secrets.

Blessing and peace be upon the pure imams; the means of mercy, the object of blessing, the full moons in darkness, the light for people, the oceans of knowledge and the gate of peace, which Allah had asked His people to enter from and warned them not to deviate from when He said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ 

“O you who believe! Enter into submission one and all and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan; surely he is your open enemy.”5

Then:

We found that some of the groups ascribed to Shiism, who believed in the imamate, which Allah had made as mercy of His right religion, adopted different opinions and ramified thoughts, became indifferent to the obligations of Allah, hastened towards the prohibitions and they all, except a few, doubted the imam of their time, the guardian of their affairs and the proof, which Allah had chosen according to His exalted knowledge as he said:

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“Thy Lord does create and choose as He pleases: no choice have they (in the matter)”6

…the matter of their ordeal during the absence of the expected Imam, of which the Prophet (S) had informed and Imam Ali (as) had mentioned and warned of its sedition in his traditions and speeches. The scholars narrated from the infallible imams, one after the other, the traditions talking about this matter and confirming it and that Allah would try His people by it. The doubt about it was still inside their hearts as Imam Ali (as) showed in his saying to Kumayl bin Ziyad:

… أو مُنقاداً لأهلِ الحَقّ لا بَصيرَةَ لهُ، يَنقَدحُ الشَّكُّ في قَلبِه لأوَّلِ عارِضٍ من شُبهَةٍ – حتىّ أدّاهُم ذلكَ إلى التّيهِ وَالحَيرَةِ والعَمى وَالضّلالَةِ، وَلم يَبقَ مِنهُم إلاّ القَليلُ النُّزرُ الّذين ثَبتوا عَلى دِين اللهِ، وتَمسّكوا بحَبلِ الله، ولم يحِيدوا عَن صِراطِ الله المُستَقيم.

“…or is led towards the people of truth unthinkingly, doubt comes into his heart since the first suspicion he faces, and that leads them to stray, confusion, obscurity and deviation. None of them will remain (on the right path) except a very few, who maintains on the religion of Allah, holds fast by the (rope) of Allah and do not deviate from the right path of Allah…”

This few was the group that would keep to the truth, that would not be shaken by wind, nor be affected by seditions, nor be cheated by the shine of mirage and would not have come into the religion of Allah imitating some people so that they would give up when those people gave up!

Imam Abu Abdullah Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq7 (as) said:

مَن دَخلَ في هذا الدّينِ بالرّجال أخْرجَهُ مِنه الرّجالُ كما أدخَلوهُ فِيه. وَمَن دخَل فِيه بالكِتابِ وَالسُّنّةِ زالَت الجِبالُ قَبلَ أنْ يَزولَ.

“He, who comes into this religion imitating the men, will be taken out from it by those men, who has taken him in, and he, who comes to it by the Book and the Sunna, mountains vanish before he gives up (his religion).”8

By Allah, no one goes astray, becomes confused, is seduced and deviates from the truth to cling to one of the deviant sects except if he does not pay any attention to knowledge, research and analysis. These people are the wretched, who never care for knowledge nor attempt to get it from its pure sources and if they narrate some of that knowledge without perceiving it, they will be as those, who do not narrate.

Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) said:

إعرِفوا مَنازلَ شِيعتِنا عندَنا عَلى قَدرِ رِوايَتِهم عنّا وفَهْمِهِم مِنّا.

“You know the positions of our followers near us according to the traditions they narrate from us and according to what extent they perceive from us.”9

Narrating a tradition requires perceiving it. One tradition you perceive is better than a thousand you narrate (without perceiving).

Most of those, who joined the different sects, were as the following:

Some joined them without thinking or being aware and when they faced a bit of doubt they went astray.

Some looked forward to this worldly life and its transient pleasures. When they were seduced by the seducers and the worldly-minded people, they gave up their faith and followed the deception of the devils, whom Allah had described in his Book when saying:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ 

“…the Shaitans from among men and jinn, some of them suggesting to others varnished falsehood to deceive (them).”10

He, who is deceived by the Satan, is like (those who disbelieve, their deeds are like the mirage in a desert, which the thirsty man deems to be water; until when he comes to it he finds it to be naught).11

Some adopted this matter hypocritically looking forward to authority without believing in the truth nor being loyal to it and then Allah deprived them of their ease, changed their conditions and promised to reward them (on the Day of Resurrection) with the worst of punishment.

Some adopted it with weak faith and weak soul, so when the try (the disappearance of Imam al-Mahdi), of which the infallible imams (as) had informed some hundreds of years ago, occurred, they became confused and did not know what to do. Allah said:

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ 

“Their parable is like the parable of one who kindled a fire but when it had illumined all around him, Allah took away their light, and left them in utter darkness-- they do not see.”12

And He said:

يَكَادُ الْبَرْقُ يَخْطَفُ أَبْصَارَهُمْ ۖ كُلَّمَا أَضَاءَ لَهُمْ مَشَوْا فِيهِ وَإِذَا أَظْلَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ قَامُوا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَذَهَبَ بِسَمْعِهِمْ وَأَبْصَارِهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“Whenever it shines on them they walk in it, and when it becomes dark to them they stand still.”13

We found many traditions narrated by the infallible imams talking about those, whom Allah had granted with acumen that led them to the truth, which was vague for the others, got them to the right path during that confusion and took them out of doubt to certainty.

I looked forward to be close to Allah by collecting the traditions narrated by the infallible imams of the Prophet’s progeny (as) talking about the disappearance of Imam al-Mahdi to show the truth, which had been confirmed by all of the Prophet’s progeny and which had been neglected by those, who had been deprived of knowledge and guidance.

If he, whom Allah has granted with acumen, illuminated his heart, gifted with good genius and ability of distinguishing, ponders on the traditions of the imams (as) mentioned in this book one by one and thinks deeply over them, he will be certain that Allah has confirmed the sayings of the infallible imams (as) (about the disappearance—al-Ghayba) age after age, has bound the Shia to believe in it and to keep to it an has strengthened the certainty in their hearts about the validity of what they have narrated from their imams.

The imams (as) had warned their Shia to be affected by the fancies and to be deviated by the seditions. They had cleared for their followers that Allah would try His people with seditions when the disappearance would occur and would try them with its long period. Allah said:

إِذْ أَنْتُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ بِالْعُدْوَةِ الْقُصْوَىٰ وَالرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنْكُمْ ۚ وَلَوْ تَوَاعَدْتُمْ لَاخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِي الْمِيعَادِ ۙ وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَقْضِيَ اللَّهُ أَمْرًا كَانَ مَفْعُولًا لِيَهْلِكَ مَنْ هَلَكَ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ وَيَحْيَىٰ مَنْ حَيَّ عَنْ بَيِّنَةٍ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَسَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“…that he who would perish might perish by clear proof, and he who would live might live by clear proof.”14

Muhammad bin Hammam narrated a tradition from Hameed bin Ziyad al-Kufi from al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Suma’a from Ahmad bin al-Hasan al-Maythami from one of Imam as-Sadiq’s companions that Imam as-Sadiq had said:

نَزَلتْ هذِهِ الآيَةُ الّتي في سورَةِ الحَديدِ

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

في أهل زمان الغيبة. ثمَّ قال عزَّ وجَلَّ:

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ 

وقال: إنمّا الأمَدُ أمَدُ الغَيبَةِ.

This Qur’anic verse “…and that they should not be like those who were given the Book before, but the time became prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened, and most of them are transgressors”15 has been revealed about the people of the time of al-Ghayba.

Then Allah has said: “Allah gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand.”16 The time is the time of al-Ghayba.

Allah has meant: O nation of Muhammad, or O people of Shia, do not be like those people, who were given the Book but the time became prolonged to them! The interpretation of this verse shows that it concerns the people of the time of al-Ghayba and not the other times. Allah has prohibited the Shia from doubting His Hujjah (Imam al-Mahdi) or thinking that Allah may leave the world without a Hujjah for a while as Imam Ali has showed through his saying to Kumayl bin Ziyad:

لا تخْلو الأرضُ مِن حُجَّةٍ للهِ إمّا ظاهِرٍ مَعْلومٍ أو خَائفٍ مَغمورٍ لِئَلاّ تَبطُلَ حُجَجُ اللهِ وَبيِّناتُهُ.

“The earth does never remain without a Hujjah; either apparent and known or afraid and unknown lest Your proofs and signs will be invalid.”

He warned the people of suspecting and doubting in order that the time would not become prolonged to them and then their hearts would become hard. Do you not see that Allah has said:

اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ 

“Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand.”17

It means that Allah gives life to the Earth with the justice of al-Hujjah (Imam al-Mahdi) after its death because of the injustice of the deviant oppressors.”18

Interpreting each verse confirms the other and the sayings of the imams (as) are definitely true when talking about the sedition that will occur and that some of the Shia will apostatize and separate after being tried and tested through seditions and ordeals.

Here we mention a tradition or two lest someone denies the existence of such different sects, which goes after fancies and pleasures of this worldly life.

Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Sa’eed bin Oqda al-Kufi, who was trusted, reliable and certain about the ones he narrated from, narrated from Ali bin al-Hasan al-Taymaly from his brothers Ahmad and Muhammad from their father from Tha’laba bin Maymoon from Abu Kahmas from Imran bin Maytham from Malik bin Dhamra that Amirul Mo’mineen (Imam Ali) had said to his Shia:

كُونوا في النّاسِ كالنّحلِ في الطّير؛ لَيسَ شَيءٌ مِن الطّير إلاّ وهُو يَستَضعِفُها، وَلو يَعلمُ ما في أجوافِها لم يفعَل بها كما يَفعلُ. خالِطوا النّاسَ بِأبدانِكُم وزايِلوهُم بِقلوبِكُم وأعمالِكُم، فإنَّ لِكُلّ امرئٍ ما اكتَسَب، وهُو يومَ القِيامَةِ مَع مَن أحَبَّ. أمَا إنّكُم لنْ ترَوا ما تحِبّونَ وما تأمَلونَ يا مَعشَر الشّيعةِ حَتىّ يتْفِل بَعضُكُم في وُجوهِ بَعضٍ، وحَتىّ يُسمّي بَعضُكُم بَعضاً كذّابينَ وَحَتىّ لا يَبقى مِنكُم عَلى هذا الأمْر إلاّ كالكُحلِ في العَينِ وَالمِلحِ في الطّعامِ، وهوَ أقَلُّ الزّاد.

“Be among the people like the bees among the birds. All the birds deem them weak but if they know what there is in their interiors, they will not treat them so. Mix with people with your bodies and be away from them with your hearts and doings because every one (on the day of Resurrection) will be rewarded according to his doings and will be gathered with the ones, whom he loves. O people of Shia, you will not see whom you love and what you hope until you spit at the face of each other, until you call each other as liars and until no one of you will keep on this matter (the true faith in the reappearance of Imam al-Mahdi) except like the kohl in an eye or like the salt in food and what little it is!”19

I give you an example. A man had some wheat. He winnowed, sifted, purified, put it in a store and closed the door until some period. Then he opened the door. He found that some of the wheat was worm-eaten. He took out the wheat, winnowed, sifted, purified, put it in the store and closed the door. After sometime he opened the store and found that some of the wheat was worm-eaten. He took it out, winnowed, sifted, purified, put it in the store and closed the door. He repeated that many times until nothing remained from the wheat except a very little, which would not be harmed by the worms. So are you! You will be tried and tested by the seditions until a very few of you will remain, who will not be affected by the seditions.”20

It was mentioned that Imam as-Sadiq (as) had said:

وَاللهِ لَتُمَحَّصُنَّ! وَاللهِ لَتَطَيَّرُنَّ يميناً وَشمالاً حَتىّ لا يَبقى مِنكُم إلاّ كُلّ امْرِئٍ أخَذَ اللهُ مِيثاقَهُ وَكَتبَ الإيمانَ في قَلبِهِ وَأيّدهُ بِروحٍ منه.

“By Allah, you will be tested. By Allah, you will be flown right and left until no one of you will remain except he, whom Allah has promised, fixed faith into his heart and assisted with a power of His.”

In another tradition narrated from them (the infallible imams) it was said:

…حَتىّ لا يَبقَى مِنكُم عَلى هذا الأمرِ إلاّ الأندَرُ فالأنْدَرُ.

“…until no one of you will keep on this matter except the fewer and the fewest.”21

These people, who keep on the faith and cling to the truth, have been ordered to be patient during the absence of the Hujjah.

Ali bin Ahmad al-Bandaneeji narrated from Obaydillah bin Musa al-Alawi al-Abbasi from Haroon bin Muslim from al-Qassim bin Orwa from Burayd bin Mo’awiya al-Ijli that Imam Muhammad al-Baqir22 (as) had said when interpreting the Qur’anic verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful23

إصْبِروا عَلى أداءِ الفَرائِضِ وَصابِروا عَدُوّكم وَرابِطوا إمامَكُم المُنتَظَرَ.

Be patient in offering the obligations, be patient before your enemy and station yourselves in waiting for your expected imam!24

It is this few people, whom Imam Ali (as) has addressed when saying:

لا تَسْتَوحِشوا في طَريقِ الهُدى لِقِلّتِها.

“Do not feel desolate in the way of guidance when there are very few people walking in it.”

Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Sa’eed bin Oqda al-Kufi narrated from Abu Abdullah Ja’far bin Abdullah al-Muhammadi from his book in Muharram 268AH. He said that Yazeed bin Iss’haq al-Arhabi had told them from Mukhawwal from Furat bin Ahnaf that al-Asbugh bin Nabata had said: I heard Amirul Mo’mineen from above the minbar of Kufa saying:

أيّها النّاسُ! أنا أنفُ الإيمَانِ، أنا أنْفُ الهُدى وَعَيناهُ. أيّها النّاسُ! لا تَستَوحِشوا في طَريقِ الهُدى لِقِلّةِ مَن يسلُكُه. إنّ النّاسَ اجتَمعوا على مائِدةٍ قَليلٍ شَبعُها كَثيرٍ جوعُها، وَاللهُ المُستعانُ، وإنمّا يجمَعُ النّاسَ الرّضا والغضبُ. أيّها الناسُ! إنمّا عَقرَ ناقَةَ صالحٍ واحِدٌ فأصابهُمُ اللهُ بعذابِه بِالرّضا لِفعلهِ. وآيَةُ ذلِك قَولُه عزّ وَجَلّ:

فَنَادَوْا صَاحِبَهُمْ فَتَعَاطَىٰ فَعَقَرَ 

فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمْدَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِذَنْبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا 

وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقْبَاهَا

ألاَ وَمَن سُئِلَ عَن قاتِلmuي فزَعمَ أنّه مؤمِنٌ فقَد قَتلَني. أيّها النّاسُ! مَن سَلكَ الطّريق وَردَ الماءَ، ومَن حادَ عَنه وقَعَ في التّيه.

O people, I am the nose of faith. I am the nose and the eyes of guidance. O people, do not feel desolate in the way of guidance when there are very few people walking in it. People have gathered at a table, whose satiety is little and whose hunger is much. Allah is the helper! That, which gathers people, is either contentment or anger.

O people, who killed the she-camel of Prophet Salih was one person but Allah afflicted all the people with torment because they became pleased with that person’s doing. Allah said: “But they called their companion, so he took (the sword) and slew (her). How (great) was then My punishment and My warning.”25 And He said: “…and (they) slaughtered her, therefore their Lord crushed them for their sin and leveled them (with the ground) and He fears not its consequence.”26 He, who is asked about my killer and alleged that he (the killer) is faithful, (as if he) has killed me.

O people, he, who walks in the (right) way, will get to the water (source) and he, who deviates from it, will get lost.

Then he descended from the minbar.”

The same was narrated by Muhammad bin Hammam and Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Jumhoor from Ahmad bin Noah from ibn Olaym from somebody from Furat bin Ahnaf.27

In the saying of Imam Ali (as) “He, who walks in the (right) way, will get to the water (source) and he, who deviates from it, will get lost” there is a clear meaning and a sufficient evidence leading to keeping to the path of the infallible imams (as) and a warning of getting lost when deviating from their path or straying left or right and listening to the raving of the fabricators, whose sayings are like scattered dust or vanishing mirage as Allah says:

أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ 

وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ

“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, We believe, and not be tried. And certainly We tried those before them, so Allah will certainly know those who are true and He will certainly know the liars.”28

Abdul Wahid bin Abdullah bin Younus narrated from Muhammad bin Ja’far al-Qarashi from Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin Abul Khattab from Muhammad bin Sinan from Abu Muhammad al-Ghifari from Imam as-Sadiq from his fathers (as) that the Prophet (S) had said:

إيّاكُم وجِدالَ كُلّ مَفتونٍ فإنّهُ ملقّن حُجتّهُ إلى انقِضاءِ مُدّتِه، فإذا انقَضَت مُدّتُهُ ألهَبَتهُ خَطيئَتُه وأحْرقَتهُ.

“Beware of arguing with any infatuated one because he is prompted (by the Satan) to a certain period and when his period passes, his sin will burn him.”29

I have collected in this book the traditions narrated by the liable narrators from Imam Ali and the other pure imams (peace be upon them all) talking about al-Ghayba (the disappearance of Imam al-Mahdi) and other subjects. I may have not mentioned all the traditions talking about the subject and what people have of such traditions is much more than what I have mentioned in this book.

I divided the book into chapters beginning with talking about keeping the secret of the Prophet’s progeny, imitating their manners and keeping secret what they had been ordered to keep secret from the enemies of the religion and from their enemies and opponents of the different sects of heretics, suspectors and Mu’tazilites,30 who denied the virtue of Imam Ali (as) and permitted to prefer the ma’moom31 to the imam and the imperfect one to the perfect one. By doing that they opposed Allah where He said:

قُلْ هَلْ مِنْ شُرَكَائِكُمْ مَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ ۚ قُلِ اللَّهُ يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ ۗ أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لَا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَنْ يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

“Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge.”32

They were conceited of their own opinions and blind hearts as Allah said:

أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَا أَوْ آذَانٌ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ۖ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعْمَى الْأَبْصَارُ وَلَٰكِنْ تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِي فِي الصُّدُورِ

“For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts.”33

Also, He said:

قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالًا الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا

“Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds? (These are) they whose labor is lost in this world’s life and they think that they are well versed in skill of the work of hands.”34

They denied the virtues and the imamate of the infallible imams (as) after Allah had bound them with the clear proof when saying:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited.”35

And after the Prophet (S) had confirmed that his progeny were the guides and the ship of safety and that they were one of the two weighty things he had left for us to keep to them when saying:

إنيّ مُخلّفٌ فيكم الثّقَلينِ كتابَ اللهِ وعِترتي أهلَ بيتي: حَبلٌ ممدودٌ بَينَكم وبَين اللهِ، طَرفٌ بِيدِ الله وَطرفٌ بأيدِيكُم. ما إنْ تمَسّكتُم به لَن تضِلّوا.

“I have left to you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my progeny. They are (as) an extended rope between you and Allah. One end of it is in the hand of Allah and the other is in your hands. If you keep to them (the Qur'an and the progeny), you will never go astray at all.”

But when they became indifferent and preferred blindness to guidance, Allah rewarded them with disgrace. Allah said:

وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّوا الْعَمَىٰ عَلَى الْهُدَىٰ فَأَخَذَتْهُمْ صَاعِقَةُ الْعَذَابِ الْهُونِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“And as to Thamood, We showed them the right way, but they chose error above guidance.”36

And He said:

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَنْ يَهْدِيهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ اللَّهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge.”37

They opposed the truth intendedly and kept on doing wrongs and became pleased with that; therefore Allah afflicted them with torment “Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves.”38

They themselves were the opponent of the true Shia, who loved the pure and truthful progeny of the Prophet (S), and they themselves denied what the reliable believers narrated from the Prophet’s progeny. They criticized the infallible Prophet’s progeny and spread their opponents’ traditions. They made their fancies, idiotic minds and deviant opinions as their imams whereas Allah had said:

وَلَقَدِ اخْتَرْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ

“And certainly We chose them, having knowledge, above the nations.”39

Then we talked about the “rope” of Allah that He ordered us to keep to and not to separate when He said:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

“And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited.”

And we mentioned the traditions evidencing this matter. Then we discussed the matter of imamate by mentioning the traditions confirming that it had been determined by Allah. Allah said:

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; to choose is not theirs.”40

So imamate was a covenant by Allah and a deposit that an imam was to deliver to the next imam.

Then we mentioned the traditions confirming that the imams were twelve and the evidences on that were derived from the holy Qur'an, the Torah and the Bible. Then we mentioned the news talking about those, who pretended that they were imams but they were not and that every banner raised before the banner of Imam al-Mahdi (aj), would be of a tyrant.

Then we specified individual chapters with various subjects concerning different sides of the matter of the Expected Imam evidenced by Qur’anic verses and true prophetic traditions.

We pray Allah the Almighty to bless the best choice of His creation, the purest of His people, His perfect covenant, the firmest handle, which shall not break off; Muhammad and his pure progeny. We pray Him to assist us in keeping to the truth in this life and in the afterlife, to make our life, death and resurrection on His pure religion and on the loyalty to the choice, whom He has favored with the highest of excellences, whom He has made as mediators between Him and His people and whom He has made the argument over the humanity, to make us succeed in submitting to them by doing what they have ordered to do and refraining from what they have prohibited to do and not to make us among those, who doubt anything of their sayings or suspect their truthfulness.

We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.We pray to Allah to make us among the assistants of His religion, who fight with His guardian against His enemy in order to be with the pure choice; the Prophet and his progeny (peace be upon them), and not to separate between them and us in the twinkle of an eye, no more no less…He is the Most Generous, the Most Compassionate.

  • 1. Qur'an, 14:34.
  • 2. Qur'an, 72:26-27.
  • 3. Qur'an, 16:89.
  • 4. Amirul Mo’mineen: the commander of the believers.
  • 5. Qur'an, 2:208.
  • 6. Qur'an, 28:68.
  • 7. He is the sixth imam of the Shia.
  • 8. Biharul Anwar, vol. 2 p.105, Awalim al-Uloom, vol. 3 p.400.
  • 9. Biharul Anwar, vol. 2 p.148, Awalim al-Uloom, vol. 3 p.464.
  • 10. Qur'an, 6:112.
  • 11. Qur'an, 24:39.
  • 12. Qur'an, 2:17.
  • 13. Qur'an, 2:20.
  • 14. Qur'an, 8:42.
  • 15. Qur'an, 57:16.
  • 16. Qur'an,57:17.
  • 17. Qur'an, 57:17.
  • 18. Ta’weel al-Aayat, vol.2 p.662, Ithbat al-Hudat, vol.3 p.53, Tafseer al-Burhan, vol.4 p.291, al-Mahajja, p.219-220.
  • 19. Biharul Anwar, vol.2 p.79, Awalim al-Uloom, vol.3 p.304.
  • 20. Biharul Anwar, vol.52 p.115.
  • 21. Biharul Anwar, vol.52 p.115.
  • 22. He is the fifth imam of the Shia.
  • 23. Qur'an, 3:200.
  • 24. Biharul Anwar, vol.24 p.219.
  • 25. Qur'an, 54:29-30.
  • 26. Qur'an, 91:14-15.
  • 27. Biharul Anwar, vol.70 p.108, vol.100 p.95.
  • 28. Qur'an, 29:2-3.
  • 29. Biharul Anwar, vol.2 p.131,135, vol.71 p.289, Awalim al-Uloom, vol. 3 p.435.
  • 30. The followers of an Islamic school of speculative theology that flourished in Basra and Baghdad (8th–10th centuries AD).
  • 31. Ma’moom is one, who offers prayer behind an imam or is led by the imam in other affairs.
  • 32. Qur'an, 10:35.
  • 33. Qur'an, 22:46.
  • 34. Qur'an, 18:103-104.
  • 35. Qur'an, 3:103.
  • 36. Qur'an, 41:17.
  • 37. Qur'an, 45:23.
  • 38. Qur'an, 10:44.
  • 39. Qur'an, 44:32.
  • 40. Qur'an, 28:68.