Letters of the Imam of the Time (a.s.)
Narrators have recorded some of the letters that His Eminence (a.s.) addressed to Shia personalities. Some of them are replies to legal questions posed to His Eminence (a.s.). Here we present some examples of the same.
Ahmad bin Ishaq Ashari Qummi was the leader of the group of Qom pilgrims who went for the Ziyarat of the Purified Imams (a.s.). He is one of the important narrators of traditions. Once a Shia man met him and gave him a letter of Jafar, the son of Imam Hadi (a.s.). In this letter, Jafar had introduced himself and informed that after the passing away of his brother, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), he was the leader and chief of the Islamic world.
And Jafar claimed to possess what the people were in need of regarding the lawful and the unlawful matters of the Islamic Law. After he got this letter, Ahmad wrote to His Eminence, the Awaited Imam (a.s.), and also enclosed the original letter of Jafar. His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) replied to Ahmad as follows:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
“Your letter has been received, may Allah (SwT) protect you, and a letter attached to it, with the things mentioned in your letter. In spite of the fact that the words and imports of the letter were metamorphosed and confused and mistakes and errors were numerous, as I have understood; if you had paid close attention to it you would also have realized it.
Praise is only to the Lord of the worlds, a praise not shared by anyone else: Praise be to Allah (SwT) the Lord of the worlds and by that favor and kindness that is on us from Him. Allah Almighty (SwT) has perfected the truth and rendered falsehood invalid. And Him that I mention is the witness and there is no doubt in what I am saying, we shall collate these things now. And every fact about which questions shall be raised. And the writer of that letter to you and none from the creatures has the responsibility of Imamate, obedience and covenant. And soon we shall explain to you those matters that shall be sufficient to convince you.
O Ahmad! May Allah (SwT) have mercy on you. The Almighty Allah (SwT) has not created people in vain and He has not left them aimless and useless. Rather, by His power He created them and provided them with hearing, sight, mind and conscience. Then He sent towards them prophets, who were warners and givers of glad-tidings. They command the people for obedience of Allah (SwT) and restrain them from His disobedience. They introduce the divine command and religion to them. He sent down the Book on them and sent angels towards them so that they may be mediums and channels between the Almighty and the prophets.
Among the prophets there is someone for whom Allah (SwT) made the fire, cool and mercy and made him His friend and confidant.
Among them was one such that Allah (SwT) spoke with him emphatically and openly made his staff into a python.
Someone from them is such that enlivened the dead and cured the born blind and the leper.
Someone from them is such that Allah (SwT) taught him the language of the birds and he was given everything.
And after that He sent His Eminence, Muhammad (S) the mercy for the worlds. And by him He completed the favor and ended the series of prophets and sent him for all the people of the world. And (he) demonstrated and explained his truthfulness, his signs and his prophethood to the people. At last, he, who was a praiser of Allah Almighty (SwT), fortunate and successful, he also met his Lord.
On this point, he entrusted the affairs to his brother, cousin, legatee and inheritor, that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and after that to his successors from the sons of His Eminence one after the other. And revived His religion and perfected His light through them. He accorded them a clear distinction among their brothers, cousins and other family members so that they may be recognized as the proof of Allah (SwT) and leaders among the common people.
In such a way that He made them (Prophet and his legatees) free of all sins and defects and pure from impurity. And also, the Almighty Allah made them the custodians of His knowledge and wisdom and the center of His secrets and confidential matters and supported them with proofs and arguments. And if He had not done so, all the people would have been same from all aspects indeed; truth and falsehood, knowledgeable and ignorant would not have been distinguished.
Therefore, know that this false man has associated falsehood to the Almighty God. And that what he claims (in this letter) is falsehood and fabrication, I don’t know on what he relies to prove his claim? On his deep understanding of the religion of God? By Allah! He is not capable to discriminate between legal and illegal and incorrect from correct. And whether it is on his knowledge and know-how?
He is not able to distinguish a fact from a lie and the clear from the ambiguous, and the extent of ritual prayer and its time. Or is it that he relies on his piety and abstemiousness? Allah (SwT) is a witness that he omitted obligatory prayer for forty days with the false notion that by omitting prayer he would be able to acquire the art of deception. And may be this information has reached you also.
The containers of wine are present for him and signs of his sins and disobedience of Allah Almighty (SwT) are obvious for everyone. Does he intend to prove his claim by a sign and miracle? Then he should put forward his argument and miracle. Does he rely on any argument? Then he should mention his argument. The Almighty Allah (SwT) says:
تَنْزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ مِنَ اللَّهِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ
مَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ۚ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَمَّا أُنْذِرُوا مُعْرِضُونَ
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِي مَاذَا خَلَقُوا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ ۖ ائْتُونِي بِكِتَابٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ هَٰذَا أَوْ أَثَارَةٍ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنْ يَدْعُو مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مَنْ لَا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَهُمْ عَنْ دُعَائِهِمْ غَافِلُونَ
وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُوا لَهُمْ أَعْدَاءً وَكَانُوا بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَافِرِينَ
“Ha Mim. The revelation of the Book is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise. We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them two save with truth and (for) an appointed term; and those who disbelieve turn aside from what they are warned of. Say: Have you considered what you call upon besides Allah? Show me what they have created of the earth, or have they a share in the heavens? Bring me a book before this or traces of knowledge, if you are truthful. And who is in greater error than he who calls besides Allah upon those that will not answer him till the day of resurrection and they are heedless of their call? And when men are gathered together they shall be their enemies, and shall be deniers of their worshipping (them).”(Surah 46, Verse 1-6)
O Ahmad! May Allah (SwT) give you divine opportunity to test and ask this transgressor about those matters I have explained to you. And ask him about a verse of Quran so that he may explain its meaning and ask him about an obligatory prayer to explain its extent and its obligatory rituals. At that time you would know his condition and limits, understand his defect and ignorance. May Allah (SwT) make him accountable.
Although the Almighty Allah (SwT) has not appointed Imamate on any two brothers, except Imams Hasan and Husain (a.s.). And in the same way has accorded us permission in some matters. Truth is manifested and falsehood, destroyed. And I am hopeful of the favors and sufficiency. Allah (SwT) is sufficient for us and the best of helpers. And may Allah (SwT) bless Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (S).”
This letter proves that the personality of Jafar who claimed Imamate was questionable and in fact, the Imam (a.s.) considered him to be bereft of all the qualities necessary for the high position of Imamate. So much so that he has introduced Jafar to be absolutely ignorant and foolish. Not only was he incapable to interpret the law of Shariah and other religious matters, he could not even discriminate between his right and left hand. Therefore, how could he claim the lofty status of Wilayat?1
Uthman Ibn Saeed Amri and his son Muhammad wrote a letter to His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) stating that Mithami, a Shia, has informed them that Mukhtar, a deviated person, has called the Shias to the Imamate of Jafar. In reply to that letter, His Eminence (a.s.) wrote as follows:
“May Allah (SwT) make you successful in His obedience and steadfast in His religion and may He make you fortunate by His pleasure. I have learnt of what you have mentioned about Mithami and what he has stated about Mukhtar. And the one who met Mukhtar and spoke to him and concluded that the sole successor of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) is only Jafar, the son of Imam Hadi (a.s.), and that he considered his Imamate to be valid.
We have taken note of the whole matter that you had received from the friends and companions (Shias). And I seek refuge of Allah (SwT) from blindness after light and vision, and from deviation after guidance and from evil deeds and dangerous mischiefs, while the Almighty Allah (SwT) says:
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يُتْرَكُوا أَنْ يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
“Do men think that they will be left alone on saying: We believe, and not be tried?” (Surah 29, Verse 2)
And it is indeed surprising! How people fall into mischief and step into bewilderment and lean towards left and right and separate from their religion. Are they victims of doubt? Are they inimical to truth? Are they ignorant of the message and import of authentic traditions and correct reports? Or is it that they are aware of it but they have made themselves forget it?
Indeed the earth is never devoid of the proof, whether apparent or hidden. They have not seen and do not know that the Imams have arrived one after the other after their Prophet (S) till the position reached Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and he sat on the seat of his respected father by the leave of Allah (SwT) and guided towards the true path. He was the luminous star and the brilliant moon.
Then the Almighty Allah (SwT) summoned him to His presence and took him in His mercy. He, like his respected forefathers, made a bequest and entrusted his successorship and the covenant and last Imamate to his successor and his legatee. The Almighty Allah (SwT), by His predetermined will, concealed his location and His elevated rank is with us, Ahlul Bayt and His favor is for us.
If the Almighty Allah (SwT) permits me to reappear, I would present truth in the best form and the most illuminated argument and sign, and I would have made myself apparent and established the proof. But the will of Allah (SwT) is more dominant and cannot be subverted and His decision does not change. And the time decided by Him does not become apparent.
On the basis of this they should keep aloof from their sensual desires and remain steadfast on the path they were on before this. And they must not try to search out needlessly that, which Allah (SwT) has kept concealed as they would become sinful and they must not try to expose the divine secret, as they would regret it.
Although they should know that the truth is by us and with us and no one except us would claim thus, but that he or she would be a liar and fabricator. None except us can claim thus, except that he or she be deviated. Therefore, what we have stated here should suffice for them, rather than seeking further clarifications. Rather than desiring more explanation and details, they should rest content with this much, if Allah (SwT) wills.”2
Jafar had spread deviation and misguidance among the Shias and had become a denier of His Eminence, the Awaited Imam (a.s.). In this letter, His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has exposed him and due to their deviation from truth and because of their own misguidance he has denounced his followers. In the same way he has justified his occultation and lack of reappearance to divine will and says that His Eminence (a.s.), had no say in it.
Ibn Abi Ghanam Qazwini along with some Shia people had a difference of opinion regarding the successorship of His Eminence, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). So much so that Qazwini denied the existence of His Eminence, the Awaited Imam (a.s.). However, others stressed that the successor of His Eminence (a.s.) was present and he is His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.). They wrote a letter to the Awaited Imam (a.s.) and related their discussion with Qazwini. His Eminence (a.s.), wrote in reply as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
May the Almighty Allah (SwT) keep you and us safe from the mischiefs and may He bestow you and us with certainty and may He also protect you and us from bad consequences. Information regarding the doubt and denial of a group from you in religion and the matter of guardianship (Wilayat) has reached us. Our sorrow and anger is for you and not for our own selves, as the Almighty Allah (SwT) is with us, therefore except for Him we are not needful of anyone else and the truth is with us.
Therefore I am not afraid if someone turns away from us. And we are the first creations of our Lord and (other) creatures and people were created afterwards. And you O People! Why have you fallen into doubt and bewilderment? Have you not heard the statement of Almighty Allah (SwT) that He said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” (Surah 4, Verse 59)
Don’t you know that it has come in traditional reports that unforeseen events had befallen the past and would befall the remaining Imams? Have you not seen how in all the times, the Almighty Allah (SwT) had made a refuge for you to seek protection in? He appointed torches of guidance from the time of Adam (a.s.) till the time of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that you may obtain guidance and direction, in such a way that whenever a guide went away, another one took up his place and torch.
When the Almighty Allah (SwT) took away Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), do you think He has rendered His religion invalid and severed His relation with the creatures? Never! Till the Day of Judgment and the time of the exposure of Allah’s command, which is not in favor of the people, it cannot be thus.
Indeed, His Eminence, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) passed away with success and good fortune like his respected forefathers and in such a condition that his knowledge and will is present with us. And his successor would perform his functions. And except for an unjust criminal, no one has a dispute with us in this matter. And except for a denier disbeliever, no one claims this our divine position.
And if it would not have rendered the command of Allah (SwT) to be subverted and His secret had not been exposed, our right upon you would have become so clear that your intellects would have become astonished and your doubts and uncertainties would have disappeared. However, what Allah (SwT) had willed, predestined and written would surely happen and nothing except that.
Then fear Allah (SwT) and submit to our affair, and leave this matter with us. And do not persist in acquiring that which Allah (SwT) has concealed and do not get deviated to the left and right. And make our right and illuminated path as the aim. Indeed I wish your well-being and Allah (SwT) is witness upon you and me. If I had no affection for you and had not desired mercy and good for you, I would not have said anything to you.
It is by way of trial and divine test for us that a misguided oppressor, without any right has become a prisoner of his selfish desires and usurped the right of others. Like the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (S) it is obligatory I should be patient and in the end the ignorant and tyrant would see the consequences of his deeds. May Allah Almighty (SwT) protect you and us from perditions, calamities and evils. And Allah (SwT) is having authority and power on them and blessings and mercy of Allah (SwT) be upon all the successors, saints and believers. And may Allah (SwT) bless Muhammad (S), the Prophet, and his progeny and peace be upon them.3
Muhammad bin Jafar wrote a letter to His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) asking him about some religious problem. His Eminence (a.s.) replied as follows:
As for a question you asked about the prayer at the time of sunrise and sunset its reply is as follows: It is so that they say that the sun rises and sets between the two horns of Shaitan, then what is better than prayer that it may rub the nose of Shaitan on the earth? Therefore recite prayer at this time and rub the nose of Shaitan (humiliate him).
As for a question about that which has become endowed about us and that which is fixed for us, but inspite of this if its owner becomes needful of it, its reply is as follows: Till it has not been accepted, a transaction is allowed to be made invalid and one could spend from it. If it has been accepted it cannot be made invalid, whether he is needful of it or not.
As for that which you asked: that if someone is having something from our property and he spends it without our permission as if he is himself the owner and considers it permissible for himself. The reply to it is as follows: One who does thus is accursed and on the Day of Judgment we would be displeased with him. The Holy Prophet (S) has certainly said: “Anyone who considers a prohibited thing of my progeny as permissible is eligible for my curse and that of all the prophets. One who encroaches upon our rights is among those who are unjust upon us and the curse of Allah (SwT) is upon him. The Almighty Allah (SwT) says:
“Know that! The curse of Allah is upon the oppressors.”4
His Eminence, the Awaited Imam (a.s.) has replied to some queries regarding the Islamic practical law:
Prayer at the time of sunrise and sunset is considered lawful. And one, who says against it, is saying so without any proof. In the same way the saying that “The sun rises and sets between the two horns of Shaitan” has been told to be a joke because these things are nothing but a part of baseless and useless views and statements.
Regarding endowments, especially for the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), before it is accepted, the endowment maker is allowed to retract it in the circumstances that he has not yet entrusted to them, he can spend from it and take it back. But if the endowment has already been accepted by them, he is not allowed to annul it and take it back, because he has made it a necessity and taking back a necessity is not correct and the Imamate jurisprudents have issued a decree based on this.
It is not lawful to spend from the property that belongs exclusively to the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Then if someone considers it lawful he is an oppressor and usurper.
Ishaq Ibn Yaqub wrote a letter to His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) containing numerous religious questions that were difficult for him. He sent this letter to His Eminence (a.s.) through Muhammad Ibn Uthman, who was one of the trustworthy and pure persons. His Eminence (a.s.) wrote the following replies:
O Ishaq! May Allah (SwT) guide you, make you steadfast and keep you safe. As for what you asked me regarding some of your family and cousins and their denial about me, you should know that there is no proximity and relationship between Allah (SwT) and anyone, and anyone who denies me is not from me and his path is like the path of Prophet Nuh’s son.
And as for the path of my Uncle, Jafar, it is like the path of Prophet Yusuf’s brothers. As for “Fuqaa” (A drink prepared from barley extract) it is unlawful to drink it. And as for “Shilmaab” (A non-intoxicant drink and its use in the present age is common); it is not doubtful. And as for your property, till you do not purify it, do not use it. Then anyone who wants to send it to me and anyone who does not want to be separated from it, then what Allah (SwT) has bestowed to us is better than what Allah (SwT) has given you.
As for the reappearance and advent, it solely depends on the will of Allah (SwT) and those who fix a time for it are liars.
As for the saying of those who think that Imam Husain (a.s.) has not been slain is a kind of disbelief, denial, deviation and misguidance.
“But as for the problems which will occur in the future, you should refer to the narrators of our traditions for their verdicts as they are my proofs to you, and I am Allah’s proof to them.”
As for Muhammad bin Uthman Amri, may Allah (SwT) be pleased with him and his father, he is trustworthy and reliable one of mine and his writing is my writing.
As for Muhammad bin Ali bin Mahziyar Ahwazi, then very soon, Allah (SwT) would reform his heart and remove his doubt.
As for the money that you sent for me is not acceptable to me, except that money which is pure. And the compensation for a singing girl is unlawful.
As for Muhammad bin Shazan bin Naeem, he is from the Shias of us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
As for Abul Khattab Muhammad bin Ali Zainab Ajdaa, then he and all his associates are accursed and you do not cultivate the company of those who harbor their beliefs. And my forefathers and I are aloof from them.
As for those who are in possession of our funds, in a way that they consider it lawful for themselves and spend it, have in fact devoured (Hell) Fire.
As for Khums, it is lawful for our Shias till the time of reappearance, so far as their children are pure and not involved in sinful activities.
As for the funds that are sent to us and after which they fell into doubts and became regretful of having paid it to us, then anyone who wants we would return to him and we are not needful of the money of those who harbor doubt with regard to Allah (SwT).
As for the cause of occultation, the Almighty Allah (SwT) has said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِنْ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ
“O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you…”(Surah 5, Verse 101)
Each of my forefathers in his time was compelled by the oath of allegiance to the tyrant ruler and when I reappear I would not be having the allegiance of any tyrant on my neck. As for how people would benefit from me during my occultation, it is like getting benefits from the sun, which is concealed by the clouds. And I am the security for the people on the face of the earth just as stars are security for the inhabitants of the heavens. Therefore do not ask what you are not in need of and do not put yourself into undue trouble. And pray more for an early reappearance as in it lies your success. Peace be on you O Ishaq Ibn Yaqub and peace be on all those who follow the guidance…5
This letter, in addition to legal problems also contains various other matters:
Firstly: Some of the Sadat (Sayyids) among the cousins of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) denied the existence of His Eminence, inspite of so many signs and proof for it. In this letter, His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has introduced them to be deviated and misguided people and the Almighty Allah (SwT) would interrogate them regarding their denial and deviation.
Secondly: The reappearance of His Eminence (a.s.) for the establishment of truth and justice is not at his own discretion, but it is at the discretion of someone else. Rather it is solely at the discretion of Allah (SwT), the Wise. It is He alone, who would fix the time of the reappearance of his Wali (Vicegerent).
Thirdly: Some people started a false propaganda that His Eminence, the chief of the martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.) is not martyred and the killers of His Eminence are wrongly accused. Rather someone resembling His Eminence, Imam Husain (a.s.) had been murdered. His Eminence, the Master of the Age (a.s.) in this letter, has denounced this false propaganda and labeled it to be a fraud, deviation, falsehood and an invalid claim.
Fourthly: In this letter, His Eminence (a.s.), has praised and supported Muhammad bin Uthman Amri so much so, that he has designated his writing as his own writing. Similarly he has described Muhammad bin Shazan to be of the Shia personalities and considered him trustworthy in his religion and piety.
Fifthly: In this communication, His Eminence (a.s.) has prohibited his Shias from cultivating the company of the group of Abu Khattab Ajdaa, who are misguided and perjurers, because they have gone out of the religion of Islam and they have made the lawful as unlawful and the unlawful as lawful. And having any connection with them is misguidance and ignorance.
Sixthly: One who unlawfully usurps the property of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is denounced herein; because of this usurpation of their property very soon that property would become a burning fire.
Seventhly: His Eminence (a.s.) has prohibited from the pursuit of finding out the wisdom behind occultation and the lack of reappearance, because the reappearance of His Eminence (a.s.) is not at his own discretion. It is solely at the command and will of Allah (SwT). And the Almighty Allah (SwT) is aware of all the aspects of His creatures.
Eighthly: In this letter of his, the Imam (a.s.) has introduced himself to be the source of benefits and favors for the people during the period of occultation, because the Almighty Allah (SwT), by the blessings of the existence of His Wali and Proof keeps away punishment from the people and he is the security for the people of the earth like the stars are security for the inhabitants of the sky.
Ninthly: His Eminence (a.s.) has commanded his Shias to pray more for his reappearance so that he may establish truth and justice on the earth. These are some of the important things discussed in the letter.
His Eminence, the Promised Imam (a.s.) sent some letters to the Trustworthy one of Islam, the Shaykh al Mufeed. May Allah (SwT) purify his burial place of whom Shaykh Tabarsi has quoted two letters. They are as follows:
1. This letter is for the worthy brother and righteous friend, Shaykh Mufeed Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Numan, may Allah (SwT) always maintain his honor, it is from the position achieved due to the covenant taken from the people:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
So to say: Peace be on you, O friend who is sincere in the religion of Allah (SwT) and is successful in certainty in us. We are thankful for our existence to Allah (SwT), except Whom there is no God. And we ask Allah (SwT) for blessings and mercy upon our Prophet Muhammad (S) and the Progeny of Muhammad (S). And may He always give you divine opportunity to help the truth and increase your rewards for speaking up in our favor.
We announce that we have been permitted to honor you with our letter and entrust you with responsibility of our friends who are present around you. May Almighty Allah (SwT) befriend them due to His obedience and may He suffice them in their important matters. May the Almighty Allah (SwT) help you against the pledge-breakers who have gone out of the religion of God. Then consider what I am explaining to you and convey it to those whom you trust, if Allah (SwT) wills.
If we are in such a position that we are away from the habitations of the oppressors and it is due to hidden wisdom that the Almighty Allah (SwT) has considered best for us and the believer followers of us, till the material wealth is in control of the transgressors. Inspite of all this we are perfectly cognizant of all your affairs and problems and nothing regarding you is hidden from us.
We have received information about the disgrace and humility suffered by you all due to most of you acting in opposition to the ways of your predecessors, regarding which you may not have received any information. And that we are concerned about you and we do not forget you and if this attention and favor had not been there, poverty and tension would have befallen you and your enemies would have destroyed you.
Therefore fear the Almighty Allah (SwT) and help us to save you from this mischief. Anyone whose death is near shall be killed in this mischief and one who has obtained his desire shall remain safe and this mischief is a sign of distance and proximity of our commands and prohibitions. Although the Almighty Allah (SwT) would perfect His light even if it is detestable to the disbelievers. Remain attached to dissimulation and keep away from stoking the fire of ignorance…
At the end he writes: This letter is for you, O sincere brother and friend. O loyal friend. May Allah (SwT) protect you. Keep this letter in safe custody and do not show it to anyone. Though you may convey the points mentioned therein to those whom you trust. And persuade them to act upon it, if Allah (SwT) wills.
And may Allah (SwT) bless Muhammad (S) and his Purified Progeny.
This blessed letter contains many important matters:
Firstly: Shaykh Mufeed is considered great and is praised. He is one of the pillars of Islam in knowledge, merits, piety and steadfastness in religion and its propagation. He was one who had been permitted to remain in contact with the Imam of the Age (a.s.) and that in fact, he should be an emissary of His Eminence (a.s.) among his Shias.
Secondly: In this letter, His Eminence (a.s.) has indicated that the place of his residence is away from the area of the oppressors, and that his uprising has been concealed from them. And it is only known to the Almighty and depends on His will, till the time the oppressors rule the earth, His Eminence (a.s.) would not reappear.
Thirdly: From the whole letter it becomes apparent that His Eminence (a.s.) is aware of all the aspects and conditions of his Shias and no matter is concealed for him. Then His Eminence (a.s.) is concerned for them and helps them and by the permission of Allah (SwT) keeps harm away from them. Such that if the care of His Eminence (a.s.) had not been there for the Shias they would have been surrounded by their enemies from all sides.
The second letter of His Eminence (a.s.) was received by Shaykh Mufeed (a.r) on 23 Zilhajj 412 A.H. It is as follows:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and mercy of Allah (SwT) be upon you, O helper of religion. O one who invites to Allah (SwT) with the word of truth. We thank Allah (SwT), except Whom there is no deity, for your existence and invoke His blessings for our master and chief, Muhammad (S), the seal of the prophets and his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). The letter inter alia says:
O sincere friend and struggler, may Allah (SwT) help you as He had helped His chosen servants in the past. I promise that if anyone from your brothers in faith acquires the fear of Allah (SwT) and pays that amount which is obligatory on him to the eligible recipient, would be safe from sorrow and calamities. But if anyone is miserly in giving away the wealth that Allah has given him temporarily he has made a loss for his children and his hereafter.
This letter written on the 1st of Shawwal in 412 A.H. by His Eminence (a.s.) contains the following in the end:
This is my letter to you; O friend the truth is inspired upon you. Keep it secret from everyone and only convey the points mentioned in it to those of our friends whom you trust. If Allah (SwT) wills, the blessings of Allah (SwT) would be in their share. Praise be to Allah (SwT) and blessings be upon our chief Muhammad (S), the Prophet and his purified Progeny.6
This letter contains some remarkable points:
In this letter, His Eminence, the Master of the Age (a.s.) has addressed Shaykh Mufeed as the helper of truth and the caller to Allah (SwT) with truth, which are some of the loftiest qualities of righteous people.
In this letter he has announced that his Shias should recite the supplication for the safety and release of His Eminence (a.s.) from oppressors and nothing would come in between the supplication from reaching the Almighty.
In this letter, His Eminence (a.s.) has commanded his Shias to observe piety and to keep away from disobedience of Allah (SwT). They must pay up their religious taxes. In the same way they should cultivate fear of Allah (SwT) and obey Allah (SwT) in the true sense. If they do thus no barrier would remain between them and His Eminence (a.s.) and they shall be endowed with the good fortune of seeing the Imam (a.s.). But their sins are barriers between the Shias and His Eminence (a.s.) and they do not allow them to have the honor of meeting the Imam.