The traditions that indicate he will not reappear except after intense examinations (imtiḥān), the falling of believers into intense difficulties, and the occurrence of great calamities
Comprised of forty-two traditions
748. Al-Muṣannaf1: `Abd al-Razzāq informed us, from Mu`ammar, from Abī Isḥāq, from `Aṣim b. Ḍamra, from `Alī who said: “The earth will certainly be filled with injustice and unfairness to the extent that no one will say ‘Allah, Allah’ . . . Then, it will certainly be filled with fairness and justice just as it was filled with unfairness and injustice.”
749. Ghaybat al-Shaykh2: Al-Ḥusayn b. `Ubaid-Allah informed us, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Sufyān al-Bazaufarī, from Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qutayba, from al-Faḍl b. Shādhān al-Nīsābūrī, from ibn Abī Najrān, from Muḥammad b. Manṣūr, from his father who said:
We—a group of people—were talking in the presence of (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah (al-Ṣādiq), peace be on him. He turned towards us and said, “What are you discussing? Alas! Alas! By Allah, whatever you are longing for will not occur until you are screened out. By Allah, whatever you are longing for will not happen until you are separated. By Allah, Whatever you are longing for will not take place until you are sifted. [By Allah,] whatever you are longing for will not happen except after despair. By Allah, whatever you are longing for will not happen until [those destined to become] wretched, become wretched, and [those destined to become] felicitous, become felicitous.”
750. Dalā’il al-imāma3: Abū `Alī al-Nahāwandī, from al-Qāshānī, from Muḥammad b. Sulaimān, from `Alī b. Saif, from his father, from al-Mufaḍḍal b. `Umar, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:
A person came to Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, and complained to him about the length of the government of injustice (dawlat al-jur). Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, said to him, “By Allah, what you wish for [will not occur] until the people of falsehood perish, the ignorant disappear, and the pious (muttaqūn) become safe. Once this happens, you [will be deprived] to an extent that you will not be able to set foot on the ground and you will be regarded as worthless as a dead body . . . You will be in this condition when the help and victory of Allah will come. This is the saying of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, in His Book, ‘Until when the apostles despaired and they thought that they were indeed told a lie, Our help came to them’ (Quran 12:110).”
751. Nahj al-balāgha4: Regarding the vicissitudes of time (the mischiefs that are to occur and the absence of lawful ways of livehood):
May my father and my mother be sacrificed for those whose names are well-known in the sky and not known on the earth. Beware! You should expect such things as adversity in your affairs, the breaking of relations, and the rising up of inferior people to befall you. This will happen when the blow of a sword will be easier for a believer than to secure one dirham lawfully.
This will happen when the reward of the beggar is more than that of the giver. This will be when you are intoxicated, not by drinking, but with wealth and plenty, when you are swearing [oaths] without compulsion and are speaking lies without compulsion. This will be when troubles hurt you as the saddle hurts the hump of the camel. How long will these tribulations be and how distant the hope [for deliverance from them]?
752. Ghaybat al-Shaykh5: Aḥmad b. Idrīs, from `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qutayba, from al-Faḍl b. Shādhān, from Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Abī Naṣr, from (Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan, peace be on him, who said: “By Allah! What you desire will not happen until you are separated and sifted; until no one remains from you except few.” Then, he recited, ‘Or do you think that you will be left [as you are] while Allah has not yet made known those of you who have struggled hard and those who have patience.’6”
753. Ghaybat al-Shaykh: From Jābir al-Ju`fī who said:
I asked (Imam) Abū Ja`far, peace be on him, “When will your relief (faraj) occur?” He answered, “It is far! It is far! Our relief will not occur until you are screened out, then you are screened out [again], and then you are screened out [again]—and he repeated it three times—until Allah, the Exalted, removes the impure (al-kidir) and keeps the pure.”7
754. Ghaybat al-Shaykh8: From him (meaning Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī), from his father, from Ayyūb b. Nūḥ, from al-`Abbās b. `Āmir, from al-Rabī` b. Muḥammad al-Muslī, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:
By Allah, you will be broken like the breaking of glass; glass can be restored and it takes its original form. By Allah, you will be broken like the breaking of earthenware and earthenware cannot be restored to its original form. [By Allah, you will be separated]. By Allah, you will be sifted. By Allah, you will be screened out like darnel is screened out from wheat.
755. Al-Kāfī9: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā and al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad [al-Ḥasan b. `Alī], from Ja`far b. Muḥammad, from al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Ṣairafī, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. al-Ṣaiqal, from his father, from Manṣūr, from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said:
O Manṣūr! Surely, this affair will not come to you except after despair. By Allah, [it will not come to you] until you are sifted. By Allah, [it will not come to you] until you are separated. By Allah, [it will not come to you] until [those destined to become] wretched, become wretched, and [those destined to become] felicitous, become felicitous.
The traditions with the following numbers also prove the above concept:
113, 245, 254, 286, 327, 337, 342, 407, 411, 427, 433, 456, 511, 527, 534, 538, 617, 618, 619, 641, 669, 908, 911, 912, 971, 1015, 1017, 1018, 1019, 1022, 1023, 1024, 1130, and 1195.
- 1. Al-Muṣannaf, vol. 11, chap. “al-Mahdī,” no. 20776.
- 2. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 335–336, no. 281; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 21, p. 112, no. 23; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, pp. 208-209, chap. 12, no. 60, with differences in wording and that he has recorded it from Muḥammad b. Manṣūr b. al-Ṣaiqal, from his father who said: “I went to Abū Ja`far al-Bāqir, peace be on him . . . (to the end of the tradition).”
I say: Manṣūr b. al-Walīd al-Ṣaiqal was a resident of Kūfa and his epithet was Abū Muḥammad. He has narrated from both of them (Jāmi` al-ruwāt). In Ṭabaqāt rijāl al-Kāfī—by our great teacher al-Sayyid al-Burūjirdī, may his grave be sanctified—it is written that he is Manṣūr b. `Abd-Allah al-Ṣaiqal who has narrated from Imam Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, and his son is Muḥammad b. Manṣūr.
- 3. Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat wujūb al-Qā’im,” pp. 251–252, no. 49; Ilzām al-nāṣib, vol. 1, p. 68, verse thirty-six, His saying, the Exalted, “Until when the apostles despaired and they thought that they were indeed told a lie, Our help came to them” (Quran 12:110); al-Maḥajja fī mā nazala fī l-Qā’im al-ḥujja, verse 37, p. 107.
- 4. Nahj al-balāgha, trans. Sayed Ali Reza (Iran: Sayed Mujtaba Musavi Lari Foundation), sermon 186.
- 5. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 336–337, no. 283; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 21, p. 113, no. 24.
- 6. This is a combination of verses 9:16 and 3:142 and is probably a mistake made by one of the narrators or scribes—Ed.
- 7. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 339, no. 287; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 21, p. 113, no. 28.
- 8. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 340, no. 289; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 21, pp. 101–102, no. 3; Ghaybat al-Nu`mānī, chap. 12, p. 207, no. 13, with the addition: “From Rabī`, from Mihzam and others, from Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him.”
- 9. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 141, p. 370, no. 3; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 33, p. 346, no. 32, with minor differences in wording, from Muḥammad b. al-Fuḍail, from his father, from Manṣūr.; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 21, p. 111, no. 20.