During the period of Ghaibat it is the duty to help Imam az-Zaman (aj).
Because one who has helped Imam (as) has actually helped Allah. As Allah says:
وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Indeed Allah helps those who help Allah. Certainly Allah is all powerful, the mighty. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:40)
Elsewhere, Allah says:
إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ
If you help Allah, He shall help you and make you firm-footed. (Qur’an, Surah Muhammad 47:7)
Three points are worth noting here:
Issue 1: There is no doubt that Allah is All-Powerful and He does not have any kind of need because He is the absolute cause and Himself is Self- sufficient and all the creatures are in need of Him, whereas He Himself says:
أَنْتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
You all are poor in relation to Allah while Allah is the self- sufficient, the praised one. (Qur’an, Surah Fatir 35:15)
Commentators of Qur’an state that ‘helping Allah’ means helping the Holy Prophet and the Imams (as).
Issue 2: Also, helping them means taking every step that is in compliance of their commands. Therefore the method of helping them depends upon the time and place. There is a difference between the help at the time of reappearance and help during his Ghaibat. If he is present among us we help him by fighting Jihad in his company and when he is in Ghaibat we sometimes help him by praying for his reappearance, sometimes by mention of his excellence and qualities and miracles and signs; sometimes by helping his friends and devotees, sometimes by compiling and distributing books. There are many ways of rendering help as is clear to every enlightened person.
Issue 3: In the discussion of the value of helping Allah, it is mentioned that it is a part of helping the Awliya of Allah, helping His religion and His prophets on the basis of what traditions have mentioned.
I say: As evident from traditions it is possible that Allah helps His creatures in ease and in difficulty, in trials and prosperity by keeping them safe from those things that distance him from His Mercy. However, in this life their success over their enemies depends upon the time and circumstances. Thus sometimes our friends are in power and sometimes they are overpowered. The phrase:
And makes them firm-footed… (Qur’an, Surah Muhammad 47:7)
May imply that in the end Allah would make them march on Siraatul Mustaqeem (the Right Path).
Note: It is that in our leader and master His Eminence, the Imam of the Time (aj) all such virtues and excellences have come together, that each of them alone would justify our efforts in his help and assistance. Helping the Imam is helping an oppressed one, helping him is helping a person in alien land, it is helping a scholar, assisting the near kindred of the Prophet, support of one for whose sake we have received a bounty, it is helping one who is medium for blessings to reach us, it is helping one whom Allah helps, and helping a noble, a munificent one…And if you think upon it you will be able to derive many more points if you are devoted to the Imam and are inclined to him.
May the Almighty Allah make us a shield of every type of hardship for the Holy Imam (as). Reason is the best support of this. If we bring together all the textual proofs for this we would have to write a separate book on this. When I (the author) reached this point I decided to perform an Istikhara to ask the Almighty whether I should present some traditional report of the Holy Imams (as) to illustrate this point further, but when I opened the Holy Qur’an the following verse appeared:
ۗ وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ.
الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ.
And surely Allah will help him who helps His cause; most surely Allah is Strong, Mighty. Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and enjoin good and forbid evil; and Allah’s is the end of affairs. (Qur’an, Surah Hajj 22:40-41)