55: Enjoining Patience During Ghaibat
It is one of the most important duties and has been greatly emphasized. All the proofs in favor of Amr bil Maroof apply to this as well. Secondly, we must follow the example of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (as) as is evident from the study of their traditions. The third proof is the sermon of Ghadeer quoted by Ali Ibne Tawoos in his book Iqbal. He says that Surah Asr was revealed in connection with Hazrat Ali (as). Its interpretation is as follows: “I swear by the time (Qiyamat), Most surely man (enemies of Aale Muhammad) is in loss, Except those who believe (in their Wilayat) and do good (towards their brothers), and enjoin on each other truth (during the Ghaibat of their Imam) and enjoin on each other patience (in these times).”1
I say: Enjoining patience means that we should explain to our near and dear ones the virtues of being patient in bearing the difficulties during the Ghaibat of Imam az-Zaman (aj), so that they may not despair due to its prolongation. That by seeing the prosperity of their enemies they do not fall prey to doubts. We must also remind them that the affluence of the wicked was foretold by the truthful Imams (as) and similarly they had also predicted the establishment of a just government. Thus when the first prophecy has been fulfilled the second one shall also be certainly fulfilled, Insha Allah.
They should know that one who remains patient and awaits, reaches to Faraj and success, to a great Faraj or to the minimum type of Faraj; rather awaiting itself is a kind of Faraj. Don’t you see that when one becomes too much indebted, but he knows that soon he would get help, he would always be in anticipation of that person who is going to bring this relief? And he will assure himself so that the burden of debts is lifted for him.
Or if someone falls ill and remains in that condition for many days; but he knows that there is an expert physician in a particular place who will come to him after some time and cure him, such a person is all the time in anticipation of that physician. This anticipation accords him assurance to bear the illness and ward off grief and sorrow. It was from this aspect that Abu Baseer asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): May I be sacrificed on you, when will Faraj occur? His Eminence replied: O Abu Baseer, are you also of those who are inclined to the world? One who recognizes this matter his Faraj has taken place due to his anticipation.2
It is narrated from Muhammad bin Fudail that he asked Imam Ali Reza (as) something about Faraj and he said: Is it not but that awaiting for Faraj is also Faraj? The Almighty Allah says:
Wait then, I too with you will be of those who wait.3
It is narrated from Husain bin Jaham that he said: I asked His Eminence, Abul Hasan Musa bin Ja’far (as) regarding Faraj. He replied: Don’t you know that waiting for the Faraj is Faraj? I asked: I don’t know anything except what you have taught. He replied: Yes, waiting for the Faraj is a kind of Faraj.4
In Ghaibat Nomani it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) that he said: “The hasteners will perish and those nearest to Allah will be saved! After distress there will be wonderful deliverance!”5
Ali Ibne Yaqteen has narrated from Imam Kazim (as) that he said, “The Shias are being trained through hope for the past 200 years.” The narrator says that Yaqteen asked his son, Ali, “How is it that whatever had been said about us (the kingdom of Abbasides) has come to pass but whatever was said regarding your just government, hasn’t?” Ali replied, “The source of both the prophecies is the same.
The only thing is that the time for whatever was said about you had arrived, so everything happened exactly as predicated. While the time for whatever was said about us is not yet ripe. So we are subsisting on hope. If they had been informed at the outset that this will happen after 200 or 300 years then hearts of the people would have hardened and the common people and those of weak faith would have renegaded from Islam. Thus it was said to them that soon they shall be relieved and that the appointed hour is near, so that they may not despair till the actual event.”6