The traditions of Imams (as) are clear as regards the fact that Imam (aj) is a witness of our deeds and he is informed of all our activities. Wherever we might be and in whichever condition, we are within the vision of Imam (aj).
He is the watchful eye and the alert ear of Almighty Allah. Once you are convinced of this, you shall see him with the inner eye and his vision shall always exist in your thoughts. Then it is incumbent for you to feel yourself in his presence. Everyone should have this perception unless he is blind in the heart.
Once a person is convinced of this he would act in a way befitting this situation. Like the visually handicapped person who himself cannot see anything. But when he is in the presence of a ruler he will act with utmost respect, just like those who are not blind. This is so, because he is certain that he is in the presence of the ruler, even though he might not see him with his eyes. The situation of a Momin is same during the period of occultation. On the basis of his faith he is sure that Imam (aj) sees him and he behaves accordingly.
Shaykh Sadooq has quoted Masada bin Sadaqah from Abi Abdullah from his forefathers from Ali (as) that he said from the pulpit of Kufa Masjid: “O Allah, it is necessary that Your earth does not remain devoid of Your Proof on Your creatures, who may guide the people to Your religion and who teaches Your religion, so that Your argument is not rendered invalid and those who follow Your saints may not be misguided after having received guidance, whether this Proof be seen and not be obeyed or be hidden and the enemies are lying in ambush for him and himself he is hidden from the view of the people while his knowledge will not be hidden from the people and his laws are firm in the hearts of the believers and they act upon them.”1
I say: This well-known tradition has also been recorded in Al-Kafi2 and Ghaibat of Nomani with minor differences. It mentions knowledge, recognition (Marefat), attention and remembrance. Therefore, we must ponder upon it carefully in order to achieve the aim, if Allah wills.
It is that different people have different levels of Marifat and remembrance of our master (as). Some of them remember His Eminence (aj) in the way a poet has versified as follows:
Allah knows that I don’t remember you; because how can I recall you when I have never left your remembrance?
In another verse the poet says:
By the one, Who, if He wanted, would not have brought me into existence. Even though he may be away from my sight, he is not absent from my heart.
Such a person is not unaware of his master and he always keeps in mind the manners and conditions of His Eminence (aj). Thus congratulations to these people for the wisdom bestowed to them, for their knowledge and actions and Marifat. We pray to the Almighty Allah to bless me and make me of those who are mentioned in the following couplet:
I love the righteous, even though I am not from them. Perhaps Allah would bestow righteousness to me.
But here another point is worth mention, which would be a reminder for ourselves and other believers, from the barakah of what we have understood about our Master (as).
It is that you must know with certainty that you are not away from the sight and hearing of your master (as); he knows your position and is aware of your circumstances. Thus if you are one who is such that you follow the manners approved by him you would able to earn his love and blessings. And if you are from those who are unaware and aloof of that leader, it is regretful. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَنْ ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنْكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ قَالَ رَبِّ لِمَ حَشَرْتَنِي أَعْمَىٰ وَقَدْ كُنْتُ بَصِيرًا.
قَالَ كَذَٰلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَاتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا ۖ وَكَذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَىٰ
And whoever turns away from My reminder, his shall be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind. He shall say: My Lord! Why have You raised me blind and I was a seeing one indeed? He will say: Even so, Our communications came to you but you neglected them; even thus shall you be forsaken this day. (Qur’an, Surah Taha 20:124-126)
Which hardship is worse than the darkness of unawareness and ignorance, and which regret is greater than blindness of Judgment Day? And which fear is as bad as the terror of that regret and which calamity is greater and more painful than it? Thus you must make haste to free your neck, and this cannot be achieved except if you keep up the remembrance of your master in the world and the hereafter as the Almighty Allah says:
يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ
(Remember) the day when We will call every people with their Imam. (Qur’an, Surah Isra 17:71)
When it is morning, you must thank the Almighty for the blessings He has bestowed you for the sake of His Eminence (aj) and you must do this regularly lest the bounties you are given may be taken away from you due to your sins. And you should know that your master sees all that you do. So as a mark of respect for him, avoid such shameless deeds and if you get a chance to perform a good deed, you must give precedence to it, as it is a divine bounty that Allah has bestowed you with through the Barakat of your master. And be thankful to Allah for that and gift it to the Imam of the Time (aj) and say verbally and with your heart:
يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا
O chief! distress has afflicted us and our family and we have brought scanty money, so give us full measure and be charitable to us; surely Allah rewards the charitable. (Qur’an, Surah Yusuf 12:88)
Be humble and sincere in all circumstances, just as a slave behaves before his master; and salute him every morning and evening; greeting of a slave who is eager to see him and is sad in his separation; greetings of a sincere one whose tears flow on his cheeks and who believes that he is standing in the presence of his master. When it is time for the ritual prayer, remember the condition of your master when you stand in the court of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.
With presence of mind and humility of the body and ignore everything except the Almighty Allah, knowing that this Taufeeq is also given to you for the sake of the Imam (as) and that this worship is of no use without the Marifat of the Imam. As much you are deep in recognition as much Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would reward you for your worship acts. When you finish your prayers, make the Imam as your intermediary with the Almighty Allah so that it may be accepted.
Begin every supplication with a request in favor of the Holy Imam (as) due to his priority and his right upon you. Whenever you have a need or some problem troubles you, you must first of all present it to your Imam and earn his pleasure so that he intercedes for us with the Almighty Allah as he is only the intermediary with God and he is the door of Allah through which He must be approached. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:
وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا
And go into the houses by their doors. (Qur’an, Surah Baqarah 2:189)
There are numerous points in this topic.
One year in the past, I was faced with an important matter and I was worried about it all the time. One night I saw in dream, grandfather of my mother (r.a.) who was a pious Sadaat. I saw him in the most beautiful garden that I could have imagined. He was in the best condition and very elegant shape. I greeted him and he replied to me and a conversation ensued between us: I said to him: Ask the Almighty Allah to solve that problem of mine.
He spoke to me in Persian: Our Dua is not higher than the Dua of the Imam of the Time (aj); thus whenever we have a problem we mention it to him. If he permits we make changes in that Dua, otherwise not…on the basis of this we come to know that His Eminence is a point of refuge in all circumstances, thus it is your duty to refer to him, supplicate to him and seek his mediation to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime because it is one of the duties of the Imam to pray for the believers as mentioned in traditional reports in the same way as the believers are obliged to pray for the Imam of their time as proved in this book through reason and texts.
Since most people are such that they are ignorant of this, we must mention that it is a situation which takes one closer to Satan. So you must pray to the Imam and make him pleased so that he may keep the Satan away from you. You must beseech with sincerity, the Almighty Allah to forgive your sins and give you Taufeeq to remember your master all the time; He gives Taufeeq to anyone He likes. You are under obligation to practice with regularity all the rituals that have been mentioned so far, and will be mentioned in the coming pages and also study the manners concerning your master. I pray Allah to give me and you Taufeeq for knowledge and action that He may protect us from mistakes and deviations; He is proximate and the hearer of prayers.