As mentioned in the Ziarat of Imam (aj), he is the one who fulfills the needs of the universe. He is the one from whom people seek justice as mentioned in the case of Abul Wafa and as recorded in Biharul Anwar and other traditions. He is the solid refuge of the Ummah, and the last resort of the helpless, the backward, the shelterless people. He saves the people who are in terror. He is the guide of those who are in search of protection. The same thought is expressed in the supplication of Imam Zainul Abideen (as) for the month of Shaban, concerning his infallible forefathers.1 Also in Ziarat-e-Jamea we find the following words: One who attached himself to you was successful and he is safe from the misfortunes of both the worlds.2
There are many other proofs also for this, rather it can be said that the duty of the subjects as we see in the general life of the people, is to take the help of the leader in important matters and to defend themselves from the enemies in every time, as had been the manner and custom of the people of Wilayat and Gnosticism, that they used to present their complaints and needs to their Imams (as) as is clear in most of the traditions. Rather it can be said that: Among the benefits of the existence of Imam (as) and his duties is to help the helpless and to give refuge to the refuge seekers.
Rather, without any doubt if a person is having a leader who commands power, and if this person is oppressed and his friends direct him to the leader to complain to him about his afflictions, if that person does not do this, he will be chastised by his own people why he did not put forth his request. From this aspect it can be said: When we fail to put up our important matters and needs to the Imam of the Time (aj) we would have to face humiliation and censure, because we have ignored the duty that the Almighty Allah has made incumbent on us as is seen in the interpretation of the Imams (as) regarding the following verse:
انْتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ
Then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah’s grace. (Qur’an, Surah Jumua 62:10)
Thus it is the duty of all of us, that in all our problems we should not seek the help of anyone except the Imam of our time because if we fail in this duty we would have to face humiliation, become worthy of criticism and be from among the losers as mentioned in the verse:
قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا
Was not Allah’s earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein? (Qur’an, Surah Nisa 4:97)
Also we have been ordered to enter the houses through their doors and the Almighty Allah has made the Imam and Divine Proof His door in every period of time, to approach Him and we have been ordered to beseech the Almighty through the mediation of the Imam.
Now that you have understood this matter, I will say: It makes no difference whether the Imam is present or in occultation because he is having a perfect sight and hearing as alluded to in the Ziarat that is related from himself and no aspect of the people is concealed from him as mentioned in the most widely related traditional reports. Hence this is confirmed for us that walls, mountains and curtains do not serve as obstacles between the Imam and people as mentioned in traditions.
Apart from this the following tradition of Al-Kafi testifies to this meaning: Imam Hadi (as) was asked in a letter that a person desires to ask special favors from Imam (as) and tell him some of his secret matters just as he does Munajaat (beseeches) to the Almighty. Imam (as) replied, “If you need anything, just move your lips, you shall get response.”
The author of this book, Muhammad Taqi Musawi Isfahani – may the Almighty Allah keep his faith firm in the world and the hereafter – says: One year in the past I had accumulated many debts and was in very difficult circumstances. But soon the month of Ramadan approached; so at dawn I prayed to His Eminence (aj) and mentioned my problems and after sunrise when I returned from the Masjid and went to sleep, I heard His Eminence saying to me in my dream in Persian: You must observe patience for sometime, so that I may receive some money from my special friends and send it to you.
When I awoke, I found the atmosphere fragrant and my sorrow had gone away. After some days a brother in faith sent me an amount of money through which I repaid my loans. He delivered the money to me saying: This is from the Imam’s share. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and the giver of bounties.
Note: We should know that in the matter of seeking the Imam’s help there is no restriction of language and time. What is important however is the purity of the heart, full attention, regret from sins, perfect faith and correct belief. However it is preferable to use the patent supplications and codes that are prescribed for this purpose as they are most effective to gain the Imam’s attention and proximity. We shall mention them at the end of the books, Insha Allah.