We should be eager for the Imam’s Zuhoor so that we get a chance to serve him. There are two points in this regard (1) Virtue of obtaining weapons (2) Arranging for troops etc.
Issue no. 1: Regarding the obtaining of arms and weapons, Imam Sadiq (as) says in a tradition, “If one of you prepares for the Zuhoor of Hazrat Qaim (aj) even with a weapon as little as an arrow, when Allah sees the intention, I am sure, He would prolong your life.”1
I say: The above tradition indicates that Allah shall prolong the life of such a person, whether he may live long enough to be physically present during the Imam’s Zuhoor or not.
Shaykh Kulaini (r.a.) in Rauda Kafi through the author’s own chain of narrators narrates from Abu Abdullah Jofi that he said: His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) asked me: What is the duration of Marabata in your view, in the last period of time? I said: Forty days. He said: But, Marabata for us is a Marabata forever; and one who puts at disposal in our path, one horse, he will get a reward two times of that. And one who proved a weapon for us would be rewarded equal in weight to it till the time it is with him. He would be rewarded once, twice, thrice and four times. Do not make haste in it [if you see that one Imam after another is being subdued, do not despair]. Indeed, our example is like that of the prophet of Bani Israel whom the Almighty Allah revealed to call his people to Jihad and said that He would help them.
So they all came together from wherever they were. But when they were faced with the weapons of the enemies they took flight. Again the Almighty Allah revealed to the prophet to call his people to Jihad and He assured him of His help. So they came again and when they once more faced the swords and spears they fell into doubts, gave fright and fled from there. Again the third time, the Almighty Allah asked the prophet to call the people to Jihad and said that He would help him. This time the people said: You promised us help but we were defeated. So the Almighty Allah revealed: If you don’t fight you would become eligible for the punishment of fire. The prophet said: Jihad with the infidels is better than punishment of fire. So the prophet called his people for Jihad. Three hundred and thirteen persons, equal to the fighters of Battle of Badr heeded his call and they hardly removed their weapons to fight that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime granted them victory.2
Majlisi (r.a.) says in explanation of the Imam’s statement: “Marabata for us is a Marabata forever” that it is Wajib on the Shias to dedicate themselves to the obedience of the Imam and await for the reappearance and prepare to help him. And the Imam’s statement that he would be rewarded twice that means he will be given the reward of one who spends two times that in its weight in gold or silver. And there is possibility that it is an appropriate simile; that is he will get two times the weight of that horse.
Issue no. 2: The second point indicating the virtue of military preparation can be illustrated from the following verse of Holy Qur’an:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُو
O you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful. (Qur’an, Surah Aale Imran 3:200)
The Arabic word for “remain steadfast” is “Raabetoo” Raabetoo is derived from R-B-T. It means to bind, tie up and make fast etc. The fuqaha (jurisprudents) have mentioned in the Book of Jihad that staying in a populated center, where there is a risk of the resurgence of infidels and danger to Islam, is Marabata. Marabata is at least for three days or more with a maximum limit of forty days. If it exceeds 40 days, the rewards equals that of the warriors (Mujahideen). There is also no difference in its permissibility whether the Imam is present or in Ghaibat.3 The Messenger of Allah (S) says, “One night spent in Marabata is better than a month of fasting during the days and praying during the nights. If that person dies, that action of his shall continue and so will his sustenance. He shall be safe from the interrogating angels of the grave.”
Another tradition on this subject says, “The scroll of deeds of all those who die is rolled up and sealed. Except for those who perform Marabata in the way of Allah. His deeds shall continue to multiply till Qiyamat and while in his grave, he shall be secure from the interrogating angels.”
In the third tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) it is mentioned: There are two pairs of eyes whom the hellfire will not reach; the eyes that weep in fear of Allah and the eyes that remain awake guarding in the path of Allah.
Explanation: It is that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “His sustenance will continue” perhaps it denotes the Purgatory (Barzakh) according to context of some reports and exegesis of some verses as is clear to the learned.
Two points: Here it would be appropriate to mention two points:
1. The Marabata referred to here is that which is performed on behalf of the departed souls. Just as other good deeds are performed on behalf of the dead.
2. Secondly, Marabata is Mustahab (recommended) when there is no actual risk of attack from the enemy infidels. Because if there is actual need it would be Wajib-e-Kifai (One of us is duty bound to fulfill it). But if we go into more details here, we would be straying from the main topic.
Second meaning: It is that the believer does Marabata for the Imam of the Time (aj) and makes himself attached to the relationship of his Wilayat, and follows and supports him. Such a type of Marabata is obligatory on all. And there is no proxy in it. It is one of the pillars of faith. And the Almighty Allah will not accept any deed without it.
Supporting this is all that we have mentioned in the discussion of obligatoriness of awaiting. Ali bin Ibrahim Qummi has through correct chain of narrators reported from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said: Be patient on calamities, co-operate with each other in being patient on obligatory duties and be connected to each other through belief in us.4
In Tafseer Burhan, it is mentioned from Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) that he said regarding the verse:
O you who believe! be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful.
Be patient on fulfillment of obligatory duties; and be steadfast against your enemies and do Marabata for the awaited Imam.5
In the same book, through correct chain of narrators it is mentioned that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: Be patient on obligatory duties; advise each other to be patient in calamities and do Marabata with the belief of the Imams.6
It is narrated from Imam Musa Kazim (as) that he said: Be patient on calamities, and co-operate with each other in doing Taqayyah and do Marabata for one you follow; and fear Allah, perhaps you may succeed.7
It is narrated from Yaqoob Sarraj from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) in the meaning of this verse that he said: Be patient in the trouble that you have to face because of us. I (the narrator) asked: What does ‘Saabiroo’ mean? He replied: Co-operate with each other on your enemies with your Wali. I (the narrator) asked: What does ‘Rabitoo’ means? He replied: Remaining steadfast on your Imam and fear Allah perhaps you will be successful. I (the narrator) asked: Is it the interpretation of this verse: He replied: Yes.8 In another tradition it is mentioned that he said: Do Marabata with your Imams in what they have made compulsory on you.
I say: From this aspect Marabata is a principle of faith. On the basis of this there is no need to bring proofs for it. In addition to this the proof of traditional reports and verses of Qur’an is as clear as the day.
Third meaning: It is that we should keep a horse etc ready so that we can go and fight the enemies of the Imam with it. Marabata is recommended with emphasis in this way; and its excellence in addition to that which is mentioned in Rauda Kafi is that which is mentioned in Furu Kafi through the author’s own chain of narrators from Ibne Taifoor that he said: His Eminence, Abul Hasan (as) said to me: Which is the beast that you ride? I said: On a donkey. His Eminence (aj) said: How much have you purchased it for?
I said: Thirteen dinars. His Eminence said: This is wasteful expenditure (Israaf) that you purchase a donkey in thirteen dinars and leave a Tartary horse? I said: My chief, indeed the cost of a Tartary horse is more than that of a donkey. He said: Indeed, one who can pay for a donkey can also pay for a horse, do you not know that one who keeps a horse and awaits for our matter, makes the enemies angry. And the Almighty Allah gives widening in sustenance to one that is related to us, and He expands his breast and fulfills his hopes and is a helper in his needs.9
In Burhan etc. quoting from Tafseer Ayyashi through the author’s own chain of narrators it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) in the interpretation of the verse of Marabata that: Have patience. And he said: From sins, and advise each other patience in fulfilling the obligations and adopt patience. The Almighty Allah says: Enjoin good and forbid evil. Then he said: Which evil is worse than that this Ummah should oppress and kill us? And do Marabata: [The Almighty Allah] says: Do Marabata in the path of Allah. And we are the path between God and His creatures. And we are the links. Pay attention one who fights in our defense; he has indeed fought Jihad on behalf of the Holy Prophet (S) and what has come from the Almighty Allah.10
In the same book it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) regarding this verse that he said: It was revealed with regard to us and the Rabat that we are ordered in it has not yet come about and it would be there in our progeny.11
Explanation: This Marabat means same as is revealed to us through his statements in the same awaited Imam (aj) and the aspect of naming His Eminence thus is clear
Note: The actual aim here was to mention the second and third type of Marabata. The first type is also explained for additional benefits. This date in 1340 A.H. I am going for Ziarat to the tombs of the Holy Imams (as) in Iraq and pray to Allah to give me Taufeeq in my aim; and after I return from the journey, I may be able to conclude this book.
According to his son, the author returned from Ziarat but passed away within a month of it.
- 1. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 173
- 2. Raudatul Kafi; Pg. 381, Tr. No. 576
- 3. Jawahirul Kalaam, Vol. 21, Pg. 40
- 4. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 334, Tr. no. 6
- 5. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 334, Tr. no. 4, Surah Aale Imran 3:200
- 6. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 334, Tr. no. 2
- 7. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 334, Tr. no. 3
- 8. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 335, Tr. no. 12
- 9. Furu Kafi, Vol. 6, Pg. 535, Tr. no. 1
- 10. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 335, Tr. no. 10
- 11. Tafseer Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 335, Tr. no. 13