To pray regularly for the well being of Imam az-Zaman (aj) is an important duty of the Shia Ithna Asharis. Various traditions have been recorded emphasizing this duty. The great scholar Shaykh Kulaini in Al-Kafi,1 Nomani in his book Ghaibat2 and Shaykh Tusi in Ghaibat state that Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (as) said, “This youth will have Ghaibat before the advent of Qiyamat.” “Why?” asked the narrator. “For the fear of his life”, replied the Imam (aj) pointing towards his belly.
Then said, “O Zurarah! He is the awaited one (Muntazar), one whose birth will be doubted. Some will even say that his father departed from the world without leaving any heir. Others will say that he was not yet born when his father expired.
Some will say that he was born two years prior to the martyrdom of his father. He is that same Awaited one. But the Almighty shall test the Shias. Immediately after this begins the period of doubts of the deviated people. O Zurarah! If you are alive in such a time, recite the following Dua:
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. O Allah! Grant me Your recognition, for if I do not recognize You I will not recognize your Messenger. O Allah grant me the recognition of Your Prophet. For if I do not recognize Your Messenger, I will not recognize Your Hujjat (Proof). O Allah! Grant me the recognition of Your Hujjat. For if I don’t recognize Your Hujjat I will deviate from my religion. O Allah, bless Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad.
It is mentioned in Kamaluddin that Zurarah bin Ayyan said: I heard Abi Abdullah (as) say: “There is an occultation for the Qaim before his reappearance.” I asked: “Why is it so?” He replied: “He is fearful.” And he pointed towards his belly, implying that the Qaim fears for his life. Then he said: “O Zurarah; and he is that awaited one and he is the one in whose birth they shall doubt.
Thus some will say: His father died heirless and some will say: He was in the womb of his mother when his father died. Some others will allege that he was born two years before the passing away of his father. And he is the Awaited one; but the Almighty Allah likes to test the Shias. It is the time when people of falsehood will fall in doubts.” Zurarah says: I asked: “If I am able to live till that period, what action I should perform?” He replied: “O Zurarah if you live till that time you must recite the following supplication:
اللهم عرفني نفسك.
O Allah! Introduce Yourself to me…3