Responsibility 49: Assisting the Imam Part 1
Another responsibility is to help the Imam as in essence, this is equivalent to assisting Allah. The meaning of assisting Imam al-’Asr (ajtf) is that a true believer must accept and follow whatever the Imam himself has put into place and must struggle to bring the wishes of the Imam into being.
Helping the Imam takes on various forms according to the time, place, situation and events that one is surrounded in. However it must be noted that helping the Imam during the period of occultation is different than helping him during his advent.
Helping him during the occultation means that a true believer should spiritually purify himself and observes awareness of Allah (taqwa). He must not abandon dissimulation (taqiyyah) when it is required, and must supplicate on behalf of the Imam and his Shi’a.
During the occultation, a believer must also mention the greatness and qualities of the Imam, and convey the importance of helping the Imam to his friends and Shi’a. One must also write and spread whatever knowledge one has to help keep the religion alive. It goes without saying that these are all to be done according to one’s ability.
As for helping the Imam during his advent, it includes things such as struggling (jihad) on the side of the Imam; bearing difficulties with patience, and giving up one’s life and property for the sake of the Imam.