Philosophy Of Ghaybah 7/14 - The Role Of Imam Mahdi (AJ) In Ghaybah

A'udhubillahi min ash-shaytan ir-rajeem. Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdu lillaahi Rabbil 'aalameen, Al-Hamdulillahil ladhee hadaanaa lihaadha, wa maa kunna linahtadiya law laaa ann hadaana Allah, wassalaatu wassalamu 'ala ashrafil anbiyai wal mursaleen, khaatim in-nabiyeen, sayedin il-mumajjad, basheerin il-musaddaq, al-mustafal amjad mahmudil Ahmad, abil Qasimi Muhammad [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Wa 'ala ahli bayti at-tayyibeen at-tahireen al-ma'sumeen, wa la'natullahi 'ala al-dhalimeena, minal-awwaleena wal akhireen. Amma ba'ad, faqad qal Allahu subhana wa ta'ala fi Kitabih il-Majeed, wa Furqanih il-Hameed, wa qawluh ul-haqq, Bismillahir Rahmanin Raheem, "Wa lammaa jaaa'ahum Kitabum min 'indil laahi musaddiqul limaa ma'ahum, wa kaanoo min qablu yastaftihoona 'alal ladheena kafaroo falammaa jaaa'ahum maa 'arafu kafaru bih; fa la'natul laahi 'alal kaafireen"(2:89). Aamanallah billah. Sadaqa Allahu al-Ali ul-Adheem. Salawat ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Awaited Saviour of humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, alayhi assalam, my respected teachers, elders, brothers and sisters, assalam 'alaikum jamee'un wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh [wa aleykum assalam,wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu]. Our series is discussing the Philosophy of the Ghayba of the Awaited Saviour of Humanity, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad] and in the last two nights we have been discussing the examples of Mecca and Medina and specifically the way in which our master and noble Prophet, Rasul Allah Muhammad. Sallallahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad], commenced the course of liberation; liberating those two communities with their distinguishing challenges, distinguishing features, and thus the way in which we may see that as the archetype of thought, for the example of the Awaited Saviour, alayhi assalam.

We looked at Mecca and we specifically stated that it was a community that was chained intellectually by virtue of the shirk that they were performing. It was a community thus chained morally as a result of the intellectual chains, there could not be growth in the human sense. Both the individual and the society was being chained. And so as a community, they fell into darkened practices by virtue of the intellectual chains that were upon them. The Medinan community was a very plural society, a community primarily of the Jewish faith, but also had Christians, Zoroastrians in it. And as such, it was a very rich tapestry of a community in terms of faiths, sects, cultures, and the way in which they would thus practice their own religion.

Sometimes communities would become arrogant. This would be a challenge that Rasul Allah had to face. Sometimes the community would lie, despite what their own book is telling them - this would become a challenge for them. As such because of this, Rasul Allah had to deal with a community that professed belief and, through that belief, would be a challenge to the Prophet of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. He needed to find a way in which he could govern them and as such, they could be people that saw the truth for themselves.

Here, we want to find some conclusions and then go into that discourse on the juxtaposition between the methodology of Rasul Allah and that of the Awaited Saviour of humanity. What you find as certain conclusions in regards to the Meccan society: they were a community which were very superstitious in the way in which they used to practice things; they were a community that was very aggressive towards each other; they as a society were very much based upon the structure, a social order, of money and wealth and power. And so these things underscored the way in which that society was.

The conclusions for the Medinan society were different because they were believers in one God, but had become corrupted in their own message. They were people now that were insecure towards their own belief system. When something challenged their beliefs, they became insecure as to their reaction towards Islam. They were a people that believed they were on sirat ul-mustaqeem but they had been deviating by virtue of their own practices.

Based upon this, Rasul Allah had to continue that trajectory of growth we had talked about. They were down here in their various quarters, various reasonings in terms of their own community, their own practices. And so he needed to liberate them and bring them towards that human community that they eventually could become. There was that trajectory of growth. He took them from their own weaknesses and made them to a point of strength intellectually, spiritually and morally. This is the underlying mission of Rasul Allah in conjunction with the challenges in which they had.

If you think about it and the way in which Rasul Allah had to deal with them, of course, was very unique. There is a wonderful saying that comes from Harriet Tubman; many of us will remember for our studies in black history and actually the history of humanity and what a task this woman had in herself. Listen to this famous statement of hers and think about it in line of the mission of Rasul Allah in Mecca and Medina. Harriet Tubman famously says, 'I freed a thousand slaves but I would have managed to free another thousand had they realized they were slaves in the first place'. How amazing the statement.

In my humble opinion, outside of the statements of the ma'soomeen, salamullah alaihim ajma'een, Sayyida Zainab, Abu Faadhil, Sayyida Umm Kulthoom salamullah alaihim and these grand personalities, this is one of the most profound statements from a non-ma'soom - I managed to free a thousand slaves. How? By talking to them, by planting the seed of realization that they were chained both physically and mentally. I would have managed to have freed another thousand had they only realized they were slaves. The fact was, because they couldn't understand what was being said to them, because they blocked the words that were coming to them, Harriet Tubman was unable to break those chains that were upon them. This is very interesting because here you see the way in which the Meccan and the Madinan community, some flocked to Rasul Allah and some heard the same message, but could not have their chains broken.

Why? Because they chose for their chains not to be broken. The message was the same. This interaction was the same, but they weren't willing to listen. It is very interesting here at that conclusion point of discussion that when Rasul Allah deals with the Medinan and Meccan community, so many of the Meccan community came forward willingly towards Rasul Allah. The Medinan community, however, were very interesting. They were sometimes harder to bring to a state of Islam because they used their faith in opposition of Rasul Allah. They believed in one God, they believed in Adam, to Nuh, to Ibrahim, to Musa, and to Isa, salamullah alaihim ajma'een. They believed in the divine scriptures, in the divine books. But this was the impediment to reaching Rasul Allah in itself.

Their own belief in their own scriptures were unable to convert them towards that final scripture and that final Prophet. Here, there is a verse that we can use to conclude these discussions on the examples of the Meccan and Medinan societies, and that comes to us from Suratul A'raaf, Chapter number seven of the Holy Quran, verse number one hundred and fifty seven. This is a wonderful verse to describe Rasul Allah and his mission and the way in which he dealt with people. 'Alladheena yattabi'oonar Rasoolan Nabiyyal ummiyyal'(7:157), 'those who obey the Messenger, the Prophet, the unlettered or the Ummi. Ummi may not be unlettered; it may, according to a narration, mean that he is from Ummul Qura, the central, the focal city of the Hejazan community, Mecca.

'Alladheena yattabi'oonar Rasoolan Nabiyyal ummiyyal lazee yajidoonahoo' (7:157), those who you find present with Rasul Allah, truly present with Rasul Allah, 'Maktooban 'indahum fit Tawraati wal Injeeli', - you find them present mentioned, written in the previous scriptures. 'Ya' muruhum bilma'roofi wa yanhaahum 'anil munkari'(7:157), what does Rasul Allah do? He calls them towards good and he disavows evil. 'Ya' muruhum bilma'roofi wa yanhaahum 'anil munkari wa yuhillu lahumul taiyibaati wa yuharrimu 'alaihimul khabaaa'Isa'(7:157), he gives allows for them all the goodness and he prohibits for them all of the evils. 'Wa yada'u 'anhum israhum wal aghlaal allatee kaanat 'alaihim' (7:157), and he removes from them the burdens and the shackles that had been placed upon them as a community.

This is the mission of Rasul Allah. His job is to remove the burdens and the shackles that are placed upon them. This is the burdens and the shackles that we have been talking about, the ones that would engulf their society, that would stop them from being free thinkers, free human beings. Now, think about this: if you were in that Meccan or that Medinan society, imagine now you are any part of the society. Think about all the various demographics of that society; you have, of course, the elite.

We mentioned the other day [the elite] would not want the idols to be broken because that was their method of keeping the social structure of oppression. But there were a number of other demographics in society. You had, for example, the slave community; the characteristics of the slave community were that they were people who, of course, were not just enslaved, but they were exploited to the maximum potential. There was no chance for them to become free. There was no education for them, so they could think and they could learn. There was prostitution for them: this isn't me, this is Quran that actually has ayaat that say do not prostitute out those slaves. Imagine where they got to this level in the action in the Meccan community. There were slaves that were treated in racist terms, if you were black: the Arabs had that superiority complex upon them - a black was inferior to them by virtue of the color of their skin. If you were a woman within that society, we mentioned that you were taken as property. They were no rights for you. You could not testify. You could not read or write. Your reason for existence was nothing more than procreation. You could even be given away by virtue of a debt that had to be paid off.

Now, if you were a member of these societies, if you were a member of a tribe that was forced to go to war every other year because they were a society that were acquainted with war, you had no choice to it. If now Rasul Allah comes to you with a message that is going to free you in the sense of your own challenges, you as a demographic within society, you would gravitate towards that message so quickly. If you were a slave and you hear this religion from this man, from amongst your own society, from a noble lineage claiming to be a Prophet, claiming to have scripture, and instead of you being a slave that could not earn, a slave that could never be free, a slave that could be prostituted, a slave that could be exploited. This man comes and says now slaves should be freed, give them orchards; slaves should be taught to write; slaves should be allowed to marry and look after their own property. If you were a slave, would you not run towards that message of Rasul Allah? If you were a woman that previously did not have any rights for herself and all of a sudden Rasul Allah is coming and saying, 'a mother, heaven lies under her feet', can you imagine being a woman how you would gravitate towards that society? If you were part of a society that continuously warred with each other and Rasul Allah brought a movement to bring peace between you - would you not be gravitating towards that message?

Here you understand how Rasul Allah managed to bring every facet of society towards him. It was the elites, it was the most oppressive that from their perspective had the most to lose that sought to stop the slaves, the women, the normal people of society gravitating towards that message.

Now, if you've understood that these are the conclusions of the way in which Rasul Allah dealt with people and the way in which he managed to free his society: he was a person that when he liberated, every demographic of society gravitated towards that message. We can now go into the juxtaposition and look at these three aspects in light of the Awaited Saviour of humanity Imam Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

The first aspect was, what did a Rasul Allah do during his period prior to mab'ath, before he was to announce his Prophethood. According to the Shi'a school of thought, we are in agreement that Rasul Allah was a Prophet from the time which he was born. Other sects within Islam may not agree with this, and so the discussion becomes watered if you bring other sects in. Our school of thought is universal - Rasul Allah was a Prophet from the outset.

There are two ways in which we prove this. No one from Quran and no two from ahadeeth. When it comes to Quran, our theologians and scholars highlight the verses in regards to Prophet Isa, alayhi assalam. That when he was born, he was born a prophet and from his cradle would speak in regards to prophethood. He would say, I am a prophet from birth. I have been given a book and responsibility. And so we see from here that if Rasul Allah is greater as a Prophet than Isa, alayhi assalam, whatever is present in the positive characteristic of Isa, alayhi assalam, as a minimum, should be applied towards Rasul Allah.

And that's not analogical reasoning in a weak sense, because here, if we say that Ibrahim, alayhi assalam, is an imam [guide] and not just a prophet, then we must also say that Rasul Allah must also be an imam and not just a prophet over mankind. And so here this is not analogy in the weak sense of analogy. There is a construct within theology, number one. Number two, we find he himself giving this statement; as an example, Rasul Allah law says that I was a prophet before Adam and whilst Adam was still between water and clay. So if I was a prophet before Adam alayhi assalam, Adam alayhi assalam being the first human being of intellect and full faculty, then Rasul Allah is a prophet prior to his presence on Earth. That means we start with this point: Rasul Allah, though he may not have announced his leadership of humanity to humanity, he was a prophet of humanity nonetheless. But it may be that he could not implement his methodology. Why? Because Revelation had not yet come.

We are asked, well, if he is not yet starting the mission, the fiqh, the theology, the expansion of his own message, what message was he following amongst the people? The scholars respond by saying, as per the Quran says, he was ''Ala millati Ibrahim,'(6:161), he was on the path of Prophet Ibrahim, alayhi assalam. Here we have to understand what he was doing. He was, as we stated, observing his community, reflecting on his community, understanding the demographics of his community. If I am to announce, who would be with me, who would be against me and so on and so forth. Here, we want to apply this to the Awaited Saviour.

Think about these things for yourself. if the Awaited Savior was to have come during World War One, what type of world would he have come to? Who might have been in his alliance, who might have been in that axis of opposition to him? You notice i switched that there haven't I? Because there are others who will say, no, there's an alliance with us and an axis of evil elsewhere. We switched it. Who would be in his alliance and who would be the axis against him? In the era of World War One, what would the weapons be like, what would be the intel be like? Who would he seek to be representative of him? How would he bring that community that has certain aspects that are akin to Mecca and certain aspects that are akin to Madina to a glorious state of living? If he were to have come during World War Two, how significantly have the aspects changed?

You see, it's not like we weren't saying O Allah send Imam Mahdi alayhi assalam in 1945; we were - the Shi'a community was making that dua. What if Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala, had decided that is the time for Mahdi, salamullah alayh, to come? What would the world have been like? Now, if he is to come today. Who would be in his alliance and who would be in the axis against him? Think about this, where would Russia be? Where would Australia be? Where would the people, forget the governments, where would the people be?

What weaponry would be present against him? What tools of social media would he use today to convey his own message? Because that's the way the world is operating today - within that framework. Now, can he ignore those things? Or does he understand intellectually and rationally that those are tools for him to be able to achieve his ultimate goals? Now, think about it this way, if he was to come in 2100, because there's no guarantee he's already been gone for 1400 hundred years, what makes me think he's going to come in my lifetime? May Allah hasten his appearance and make it. 'Inaahum yarawnahoo ba'eedaa; Wa naraahu qareebaan'(70:6-7) - others, they see his coming as far; we see it in absolute proximity.

So may he come this Friday. But if he is to come in 100 years or even a thousand years, can you imagine the way the world will be in 100 years time? Who will be the superpower? Possibly China. Who will be in its weakness? How will the structure of the world be? What will the technology be? Where will the alliances be? What will the Shi'a or the state of the Shi'a be like?

Here, this shows inherently the world is not stagnant. It is constantly in flux. The situation in the world is ever moving, therefore, even the Awaited Savior of humanity's reflections must be ever moving. Because tomorrow the world will change and it will change again, and so his understanding and calculations of that world must also be moving in accordance. Now, here you have two choices, you can say, well, but he's just magnificent and he's a ma'soom and, you know, he's like a puppet on a string and and he just follows the command of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. Or you can look at the way the Quran describes Rasul Allah and understand that he is a rational, intellectual human being that is also divine within himself.

There is a balance of his divinity and there is a balance of the way in which he uses his intellectual acumen. And this runs through all of the A'imma, salamullah alaihim ajma'een. It is based upon how you perceive the Imam himself. Let me give you a simple question for you to ponder over, and you'll understand Inshallah. Dua Kumayl: yes, it was given to us by Nabi Khidhr, alayhi assalam but attributed to our master, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali ibn abi Talib salawatullah wa assalamu alayh [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]

When he recited that dua, did he recite it for yours and I's sake or did he recite it because truly that's the way in which he was communicating to his Lord? Here, one person will say he did it for you and I, this is not correct. He does not primarily act for you, and I. That is a secondary function of the Imamate. The first function of the Imamate is himself. He has to make sure his own destiny is secure before himself and Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. There's a very famous story. Muawiya ibn abi Sufyan calls one of the great companions of the Commander of the Faithfuls after his martyrdom. This was a companion that fought in the war in Siffeen. Elderly, great companion of Amir al-Mu'mineen. He calls him to his palace and says to him, I want you to denigrate, I want you to completely disavow, speak ill of Ali ibn abi Talib, alayhi assalam.

He says, I can never do this. Threatens him with everything he can possibly threaten him with; the companion says, I will not do this, I'll never disavow my master. He says, I don't understand. You sent three of your children to war in Siffeen against me. All three of your children were martyred. You are now left as an elderly man with no one to look after you. Ali ibn abi Talib left you in this state, yet you praise him whilst I'm willing to pay you anything and everything for you to be able to switch your allegiance.

The hadith says this old man had a bent back. He had tied a rope around himself, and in doing so, in order to give his response to Muawiya ibn abi Sufyan, he tied that rope and straightens his back in order to show his valor: I am not bowing to you. I am going to stand straight and tell you what I think of Ali ibn abi Talib. He stands straight, and say, 'Should I tell you why I love Ali ibn abi Talib and why I will never be on your side? He looks at him and says, 'One night I went in to Masjid al-Kufa in the darkness of the night. None else were there. And I saw him in his mehraab, in his Salat ul-Layl, praying, crying out to his Lord, Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala. He was crying in such a way that the tears streaming down his eyes. He was holding his beard and he was shaking a violent shake. And he was saying, 'Ah, Ah min 'illati Zaad - Ah Ah, how lengthy the path is, the journey of the next life, and how little provision I bring with me to the next world'.

Did Ali ibn abi Talib, alayhi assalam, do that for you and I? No, he did it for himself, that was his worship of his Lord, that was his human experience that God had granted him on this world. To serve his Lord the way he sought to serve his Lord spiritually, morally and intellectually. All of the A'imma are doing this. They are practicing for themselves primarily so that they do not enter into the Hellfire and are always in the proximity of Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.

Here you see the example of our third Imam, Sayyid ash-Shuhada Aba Abullah al-Husayn, salawatullah wa assalamu alayh [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]. According to our history, when Imam alayhi assalam is in Medina and then goes to his lapsed Hajj in Mecca, he receives letters in the hundreds on a daily basis, begging him from around the ummah in order to overthrow the tyrannical government of the son of Muawiya, Yazeed ibn Muawiya. Narrations state that he received a bag of letters up to several hundred. Now, any celebrity today that received several hundred in fan mail even today, that's a lot. But imagine then, fourteen hundred years ago, when you would receive hundreds of letters in bags, on horses and on camels reaching you from Egypt and from Syria and from Iraq and around the Ummah. Where was he getting called from? Kufa. Where does he send his great ambassador, Muslim ibn Aqeel, alayhi assalam? Kufa. When in the earliest movement, Muslim ibn Aqeel, alayhi assalam, makes his movement and writes towards Abu Abdullah, alayhi assalam: we have Kufa with us. We have ten thousand swords at your disposal. Come towards Kufa. We now have it as a Shi'a center for you. He receives that letter even though he knows he's going to be martyred in Karbala, where does he head towards? Kufa.

It is only later that he is diverted from Kufa, having heard that Muslim ibn Aqeel alayhi assalam has been martyred. What does that show you? It shows you that even though the divine in him knows he is destined for Karbala, his aqal told him right now I am receiving hundreds of letters. I have tens of thousands of Shi'a and ready swords in Kufa. My ambassador and representatives is in Kufa. Where should I go? To Kufa. Do you not think that he knew that he was going to be martyred? Of course he did. Yet he went towards Kufa because he is also bound by his aqal and the world that he sees in front of him. If he is only based on the divinity and he is nothing more than a puppet, acting what Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala tells him, you and I cannot be following him because he cannot be an example to you and I, because we are not directly puppeted by Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.

We must use our 'aql in order to come to our conclusions. If the Imam does not demonstrate how he uses 'aql, he is not an example for you and I. He has to be also rationally based. Rasul Allah would ponder, he would see the world for what it is. The Awaited Savior of humanity must therefore be doing the same as well. He must be observing this world. He must be thinking that's his pondering. That's his reflection. That's his servitude towards Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala.

The difference is he is not able to do these things in front of the eyes of the people because he's enveloped by the veil of ghayba. One might say the example of the 40 years of Rasul Allah being amongst his people, reflecting, preparing them, adjusting them to think in a certain way. The Awaited Savior is doing the same thing in these years of his ghayba, except that he is doing it behind the veil of the ghayba.

He must be interacting with this world. He cannot simply be going from one maqaam to the other to the other every Tuesday and Thursday night and just spending his entire time in salat. That's not consistent with what we understand from the examples of our imams. This makes you and I think about our Imam in a slightly different way. Because instead of him being an abstract notion, it means that he is part and parcel of our society, part and parcel of the world that we live in.

Now from this pulpit, I've had the blessing of being able to tell you the story before, but I will repeat it and bear with me and inshaAllah, you will understand why I want to tell it to you again. There was a great scholar who lived during the time of the revolution of Iran by the name of Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani. May Allah bless his soul. Sayyid Hadi Milani is the uncle of the great scholar in London today, Ayatollah Sayyid Fadhel Milani. Sayyid Hadi Milani present during the revolution, was a great teacher in the hawza and he observed a particular challenge within Iran, and he said, I need to help overcome this challenge. He said that within the cities I see many ulema, many tullab, many resident ulema, many imams of jama'a. And so there is guidance greatly there. However, within smaller villages, I have not seen enough presence in order to guide.

And so he went about it himself to recruit hundreds of tullab, students for the sole purpose that when they graduate, they would be sent into those areas where there is a lack of religious guidance. After a few years of their training, it comes to their graduation day. And just like any time there's graduation day here at any university, what is there? There is a speech given to conclude your three or four years, and that's supposed to set the tone for your time going out into the world of education and work, further education and work.

Now, Sayyid Milani gives the outgoing speech to hundreds of tullab that he has spent years focused on training. He says, I'm going to give you two pieces of advice. If you do not follow them, come back to me for further training. Look at the seriousness of what he's about to tell you. I spent years training you, but it is all underscored by this particular statement. It is akin to the day of Ghadeer where Allah, Subhana wa Ta'ala has already said, I have taught you salat, I have taught you saum, I have taught you Zakat, I have taught you Khums, I have taught you Haj. Now I'm going to tell you something and if you do not deliver this one message, its going to be as if the rest of the message hasn't been delivered. It's underscoring, its underpinning everything I've taught you. Of course, that was nothing more than Wilayat.

Now, he stands in front of his community, in front of that audience of graduates. I'm going to give you these two pieces of advice. What are they? Number one: whatever I have taught you - yes, I taught you my understandings and my opinions and jurisprudence - but I did not train you for fame. I don't want you ever to use my name. When you teach any book of Fiqh, the risala, teach from a different person, teach from another Marja. I do not want my name to go forward in these places.

Look at the humility within himself. I've spent years teaching you, but don't quote me, quote someone else. One. Number two, in regards to the Awaited Savriour. What he is doing in this world present, he is not an abstract figure. He is part and parcel of your community, the same way Rasul Allah was part and parcel of his. What was that second piece of advice? I advise you, O my tullab, every night before you go to sleep, sit on the musalla and spend a few minutes talking to the Imam of your time. That's what I want you to do. Just talk to him. What should we say? Tell them anything you want. Tell him about your own personal weaknesses and ask him to help remove the shackles and the burdens from you, like Rasul Allah's mission was to remove the burdens and the shackles upon the Meccan and Medinan community.

We quoted Suratul A'raaf verse 157. The mission of Rasul Allah was to remove the burdens and the shackles from the community. Sit on the musalla, prop your pillow up on your bed and speak to the Imam and tell him what's happening in your life. Tell him what's happening in your community. Tell him about the strengths and weaknesses here; tell him about what's happening in the United States of America; complain to him and ask him to help alleviate those burdens and shackles to improve the situation of the community. Tell him about what's happening in Iraq and in Syria. Tell him about what's happening in Bahrain and in occupied Arabia, in occupied Palestine.

Ask him to come quickly. Why? This builds that relationship between you and him. He is no more an abstract figure that is between you and some mist. He is demystified to become a real Imam, present within your world, present within your lives. What a wonderful piece of advice from Ayatullah Hadi Milani in regards to the Awaited Saviour, Imam al-Hujja, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Here, we think about these two things: the conclusions of what Mecca and Medina were like and how he had to remove the shackles from them. This is present for the Imam of our time in that just the way in which Rasul Allah was present amongst his own community for 40 years, in these twelve hundred or fifteen hundred or two thousand years, that is ghayba, the Awaited Savior is the same, but that it is the cloak of ghayba that is present over him. That physical interaction may not be there as the way in which we like it. That doesn't mean that his job description and responsibility is not the same as that was with Rasul Allah.

For you and I, our relationship hinges upon this because when I begin to truly, consciously believe and factor him into my daily life, that is when he can be present to remove the burden from me. There were those in Mecca and Medina that Rasul Allah was present with, but because they did not allow him into their hearts, they could not be freed. What did Harriet Tubman say? I have freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves, if only I realized the shackles that are holding me and turn to that one human being whose presence is there to help remove my shackles. Can you imagine what individual I can become? Can you imagine what community we can become during his ghayba and before the zuhoor of the Awaited Savior of humanity? Wal hamdulillah Rabbal Aalameen, wasallahumma ‘ala Sayedina wa Nabiyyina Muhammad wa ‘ala alyh at-Tahireen [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad].

Please raise your hands. Let us join each other in du'a: we ask Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, sincerely to hasten the reappearance of the Awaited Saviour; to allow us to be alongside him at all times in our life and in our death; if we are to pass away from this world before his coming, to raise us from our graves so that we may partake in the victory of Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. We ask you Ya Allah, there are many people around the world going through such desperate times grant them all safety, security and victory for the sake of Muhammad wa aali Muhammad.

And we ask you Ya Allah, in the final moments of our life, allow us to die in the love of Muhammad wa aali Muhammad. Wassalam alaikum jamee'an wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuhu. May I ask you to conclude this discussion with three loud salawaats in honor of the Awaited Savior of humanity, the master and Lord of our age, Imam al-Mahdi, ajjalallahu ta'ala faraja shareef [Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, Allahumma Salli alaa Muhammad wa aali Muhammad]