73. Praying during the period of occultation is better than doing it in the time of reappearance
That which proves this is a tradition mentioned in Usool Kafi and other books quoting Ammar Sabati that he said:
“I asked Abu ‘Abdillah, peace be upon him: ‘Which is better, worship in secret with a hidden Imam from among you [in the time] of government by an illegal ruler, or worship in [the time of] the manifestation of the Truth and its government with the manifest Imam from among you?’ He said:
‘O ‘Ammar, [the giving of] Sadaqah, which is a form of worship in secret is better, by Allah, than [the giving of] the alms openly; similarly, by Allah, your worship in secret with your hidden Imam in [the time of] government of an illegal ruler, and your fear of your enemy in [the time of] government of an illegal ruler and in a state of truce [with your enemy], is better than that you should worship Allah, may remembrance of Him be made Mighty and Majestic, in [the time of] the manifestation of the Truth with the Imam of Truth which is manifest in [the time of] the government of Truth.
Worship while you fear in [the time of] government of an illegal ruler is not the same as worship and security in [the time of] the government of Truth. Know that [for] whoever of you now prays a prescribed prayers at its hour in congregation [with the others], thereby concealing [himself] from his enemy, and completes it [correctly], Allah will register [the rewards for having completed] fifty prescribed prayers in congregation; and that [for] whoever of you prays a prescribed prayers at its hour by himself, thereby concealing [himself] from his enemy, and completes it [correctly], Allah to Whom belong Might and Majesty, will register thereby [the reward for having completed] twenty-five prescribed prayers [recited] alone; and that [for] whoever of you prays a supererogatory prayers at its hour and completes it [correctly], Allah will register thereby [the reward for having completed] ten supererogatory prayers; and that [for] whoever of you performs a good deed, Allah to Whom belong Mighty and Majesty, will register thereby [the reward for having performed] twenty good deeds; and Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, will handsomely double [the reward] of the good deeds of the believer among you when he does good deeds and practices Taqayyah with regard to his religion, his Imam and himself, and keeps his tongue in check; for Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty is Generous.’
“I said: ‘May I be made your ransom, by Allah you have encouraged me to [do good] deeds, and spurred me on to them, but I should like to know how we shall be better in [our] deeds at this time than the companions of the manifest Imam from among you in [the time of] the government of Truth, since we are [both] of a single religion?’ He said: “Indeed, you outstrip them in involvement in the religion of Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, and in prayers, fasting, hajj and in every good deed and knowledge, and in worshipping Allah, may remembrance of Him be made Mighty and Majestic, secretly from your enemy, while [at the same time] concealing [the truth] about your Imam, being obedient to him and being patient with him, awaiting the government of the Truth, apprehensive about your Imam and yourselves before oppressive sovereigns. You see the rights of your Imam and your own rights in the hands of the oppressors: they take them away from you and force you to work hard on the land and struggle to make a livelihood, and [you must also] be patient about your religion, your worship, obedience to your Imam and fear of your enemy. For this, Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, will double [the reward for your] actions for you, may it be pleasing to you.’
“I said: ‘May I be your ransom, what do you think? That we should be companions of al-Qaim and [see] the Truth manifest itself, or that today, in your Imamate, obedient to you, we are better in [our] deeds than the contemporaries of the government of Truth and Justice?’ He said: “Good gracious! [subhan Allah!], do you not wish that Allah the blessed, the sublime, should make the Truth and Justice appear in the lands? That Allah should cause [people’s] speech to harmonize, and that Allah should unite the diverse hearts [of people]? That they should not rebel against Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, in His land?
That His restriction should apply among His creatures, and that Allah should return the rights to His people so that it may become manifest, so that nothing of the Truth might be concealed through fear of any one of [His] creatures? By Allah, O ‘Ammar, indeed no one among you will die in the condition you are in, but he will be more perfect before Allah than many of the martyrs of Badr and Uhud. May you rejoice!’”1
I say: We have quoted the complete text of this tradition from the point of view that it contains many important benefits, and the point proved from the statement of the Imam is that:
“Similarly, by Allah, your worship in secret…”
Because Dua is one of the best and one of the most important worship acts.2
Especially Dua for the Master of the Time (aj) and his early reappearance as will know those who study the chapters of this book carefully.