A Short Biography of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Hazrat Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is the twelfth and last of the chain of the Purified Imams (A.S.) and the divine successors. He was born at the time of dawn, on Friday the 15th of Shaban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarrah (Kamaaluddin vol. 2, Pg. 428, 433 424, 430). His respected father is Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.). His beloved mother is Janab-e-Nargis Khatoon (R.A.). She was the descendant of the Caesar of Rome from her father's side and from her mother's side she had descended from Shamoon the vicegerant of Hazrat Isa (A.S.) (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg. 420, 424,).
This exalted personality has the same name and kunniyat (agnomen) as the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.). His titles are Mahdi, Hujjat, Qaem, Montazer, Sahibuzzaman and Khalaf-e-saleh. His most famous honourific however is Al-Mahdi (A.S.)(Al Fusoolul Muhimma Pg.292, Nurul Absaar Pg. 168)
Ibn Khallikaan writes; "His well-known title is Hujjat. The shias know him by the titles, Montazar, Qaem and Mahdi" - (Wafayatui Ayaan vol.4 Pg 176).
The great scholar Mohaddith-e-Noori has collected 182 titles of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) from the Islamic texts. Each of these titles signify each of his virtuous qualities - (Najm-us-saaqib Pg. 41-98).
The tyrant Abbasid rulers were aware of the prophecies of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.). That the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) by the name of Mahdi will appear to remove all kinds of corruption and tyranny. Hence they planned to eliminate the child when he is bom. Due to this the birth of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) was kept a secret like that of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). So much so that except for the most trusted of the shias and his own family, no one knew of the existence of Hazrat (A.S.). Inspite of this whenever there was an opportunity, Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) showed his son to his trustworthy followers; that in future they may follow him. This was in order that the shias may remain firm upon the right path, and not be led astray.
A servant Abu Ghanim says: "Abu Mohammed (A.S.) has a son whose name is Muhammed." On the third day of his birth he brought him before his companions and said: "After me he is your Master of the affair, he is my successor, he is the same 'Qaem', who is awaited by alt When the earth will be fraught with injustice and oppression then he will reappear and fill the earth with justice and righteousness." - (Kamaaluddin Vol. 2 Pg. 431)
The early years of his life were spent in the usual way. When he was in his fifth year, he lost his respected father. - (Al Kaft Vol. 1 pg. 503)
After this tragic event the responsibility of guiding the shias was transferred upon him. At this time, Hazrat (A.S.) possessed all the qualities and the divine knowledge that was bestowed upon the previous Imams (A.S.), by the Almighty. In the same way as Hazrat Yahya (A.S.) in his childhood and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) in his infancy was favoured with the divine office of Prophethood by Allah. - (Quran: sura Maryam, Ayat 12 and 30)
Although all the Imams (A.S.) were holding the divine office of wilayat, the efforts of the enemies to eliminate the twelfth Imam (A.S.) were maximum. Hence Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.) was entrusted to ghaibat and being away from the sight of people, he had to fulfill all the duties of an Imam.
It is said that the concealed life of Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is not something extraordinary. Rather, in the life of so many Prophets (A.S.) and even Imams (A.S.) it is seen, that they were at some time, in concealment from the people. The Holy Quran records the concealment of various prophets (A.S.) like Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) (Sura Maryam: 48-49), Hazrat Musa (A.S.) (Sura Qasas:21-22) and Hazrat Isa (A.S.) (Sura Nisa: 157).
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) and the Imams (A.S.) had pointed out to the people the imminent occultation of their last proof (Imam Mahdi A.S). So that no doubt or misunderstanding should remain, regarding this problem.
The occultation (Ghaibat) of the twelfth Imam consists ,of two phases. One is Ghaibat-e-Sughra (The lesser occultation) and the second is Ghaibat-e-Kubra (The greater occultation).
Imam Jaffar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: 'There are two occultations for Qaem. One is short and the other prolonged. In the short occultation only the special shias will know of his whereabouts. And in the longer occultation only his trustworthy servants will know where he is" (Al Kafi Vol. 1 Pg. 340. Ghaibat Nomani Pg. 180)
According to the well-known reports, the lesser occultation (ghaibat-e-sugra) commenced from the year of his Imamat in 260 A.H and continued for 69 years. Some of the scholars like Shaykh Mufeed and Syed Mohsin Amin Amili maintain that ghaibat-e-sugra began right from the time of his birth. (Al Kafi Vol. 1 Pg. 340. Ayan ush shia Vol. 2 Pg. 46)
Because, even in those early years, Hazrat (A.S.) was concealed from the common people. According to this method, the period of ghaibat-e-sugra comes to seventy four years.
During the period of ghaibat-e-sugra. Imam Mahdi (A.S.) himself appointed his deputies from among the righteous shias. Four of them succeeded each other and continued to fulfill the duty of intermediaries. These four personalities conveyed the questions and problems to Imam (A.S.) and brought back the Imam's (A.S.) answers for the people.
The first of these deputies was Janab Abu Amroo Usman Bin Saeed Amri. Before this he was a representative of Imam Hasan al Askari (A.S.) - (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 353)
Shaykh Tusi writes: On the fortieth day the shias were sitting in the company of Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.), when Imam Askari (A.S.) wished that they recognise his Hujyat after him.....
Suddenly a handsome child was brought before them. He resembled Abu Mohammed (A.S.). Then Imam al-Askari (A.S.) said: "He is your Imam after me. And my successor upon you. Obey him, and do not go astray after me (after my death), otherwise your religion shall be destroyed and you will be annihilated. Know that, after today you shall not see him, even if you spend your whole life for it. Hence, accept what Usman tells you, obey his commands and listen to what he says. Because he is the representative of your Imam and holds the responsibility. - (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 357)
After the death of Usman bin Saeed, his pious son, Muhammad bin Usman succeeded his father upon the post of the deputyship of Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.) (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 362). Shaikh Tusi has recorded the letters sent by Imam Hasan al Askari (A.S.) and Imam Mahdi (A.S.) to Usman bin Saeed and his son Abu Jafar Mohammed ibne Usman for the shias. These letters consists of commands, prohibitions and replies to the questions of the shias. - (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 356).
Mohammed ibne Usman passed away from this world at the end of Jamadi-ul-Awwal in the year 304 or 305 A.H. - (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg.366)
During the time of his illness, as he laid on the sick-bed, the shias and their children came and surrounded him. They asked: "If something happens, whom should we consult instead of you?" He answered, " This Abul Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh ibne Bahr Nawbakhti is successor. And he is the intermediery between you and the Master affair (Imam Mahdi a.s.), and his agent. He is trustworthy and reliable. Consult him, and in case of important matters, rely upon him. I have been ordered to announce this, and I have announced it" (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 371-372)
Husain Ibn Ruh Nawbakhti was. one of the agents of Muhammed ibn Usman in Baghdad. He had been working closely with him for a long time. These agents used to be in contact with the people and when ordered they handed over the goods to them (Gaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 369/372). Husain ibn Ruh died in Shaban 326 A.H (Ghaibat-e-Tusi Pg. 387).
The last safir was Abul Hasan Ali Ibn Mohammed Seymoori. He became the deputy of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) according to the will of Husain ibn Ruh. He died after three years on the 15th of Shaban 329 A.H, - (Ghaibat -e- Tusi Pg. 394)
The graves (tombs) of these four respected deputies (Nawwab al -Arba, as they are commonly known) are situated in Baghdad - (Ghaibat -e- Tusi Pgs. 358, 366. 376, 396).
The most sensitive and crucial period of ghaibat-e-sugra was when Ali Ibn Mohammad died. Because till his death the people were is contact with Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.) through him. After his death, it was the commencement of Ghaibat-e-Kubra.
Six days before his death, Ali ibn Mohammed Seymoori received a communication from Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.): "...so be prepared, but appoint no one in your place, because from the day of your death, the period of my major occupation (Gaibatui Kubra) will begin. Henceforth, no one mil see me, unless and until Allah makes me appear. My reappearance will take place after a very long time, when the world will be full of injustice and violence". - (Kamaaluddin Vol.2 Pg.516 Ghaibate Tusi Pg.395)
Ultimately, the shining sun of the divine proof went behind the curtain of Ghaibat, completely. And the period of communication with Hazrat (through Nawab-e-Arba) came to an end. Inspite of this (his Ghaibat) Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) is the Imam of the time and Imam of the world. He is the Divine Proof. Even though his person may be hidden from our eyes but his commands are clear.
Amirul Momineen Ali (A.S.) announced from his pulpit at Kufa: "Even if the person of the Divine Proof is hidden while he guides the people, his knowledge and manners will be clear for them to follow" - (Kamaaluddin vol. I Pg.302)
It is clear that the knowledge and practice of Imam Asr (A.S.) is impeccable like the Quran. As was the sunnat of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.). It is obligatory for the people of faith (muslims) to act upon the Quran and sunnat, and to refrain from what they prohibit. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said: - "I leave behind two weighty things among you: The Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahlul Bayt If you adhere to those two you shall not go astray. And know that these two shall not separate till they meet me at Hauz (Kauthar)" - (Yanabiul Mawaddah Pg. 35)
During the period of Ghaibat-e-Kubra, when it is not possible to establish communication with Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.) at will, the people have been ordered to follow the true teachings of the Quran and Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) through the pious and religious scholars and the just jurists. The people must follow them to know what obligations they are supposed to fulfill.
Imam as-Sadiq (A.S.): "And among jurists (Fuqaha) are those who protect their selves (from sins) guard their religion, defy their carnal desires and are obedient to their master. It is incumbent upon the people to follow them. Such characteristics are found only in a few of them (Shias) and not all". - (Tafsir Al Imam Pg. 300)
The jurists issue decrees for the people and explain to them truth about faith. They endeavour to fulfill the exalted duty of preparing the grounds for the reappearance of their master, Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). So that by the coming of Hazrat (A.S.) the Islamic faith may strengthen and that he may fill the earth with justice and equity.
The Earth Will Never Be Devoid of the Divine Proof
Amirul Momineen Ali (A.S.) said, "The earth shall never be devoid of the Divine Proof, He may be apparent and prominent or he may be concealed and hidden. And it is because of him that the proofs and signs of Allah are not wasted." - (Kamaaluddm Vol.1 Pg. 291)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "The (Divine) Proof was existing before creation (of other things), during creation and after creation". - (Kamaaluddm VoL I, Pg.23J.232)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "Because Allah is great and mighty, He has never made the earth devoid of a just Imam". - (Kamaaluddin Vol. 1 Pg.229 and 234)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said, "Even if two people remain on the earth. One of them shall be a Hujjat upon the other. And if one of them dies, it will be the Hujjat that remains". - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1 Pg.233)
Imam Raza (A.S.) said, "Certainly, the earth shall never be devoid of one of us. Imams". - (Kamaaluddin VoU Pg.229)
Necessity of Recognising the Imam of the Time
Usman Al Amri says: "I asked Abu Mohammed Al Hasan bin Ali (A.S.) when I was in his presence, regarding the saying of his forefathers (A.S.) that, 'The earth shall never be devoid of Allah's proof upon His creatures till the day of quiyamat. And certainly one who dies without recognising the Imam of his time, dies the death of Ignorance".
He (A.S.) said, "This is as true as the bright morning".
It was asked to him (A.S.), "O son of the Prophet (S.A), then who is the Hujjat and the Imam after you?".
He (A.S.) said, "My son, Muhammed. He is the Imam and the Hujjat after me. One who dies without recognising him, dies the death of Ignorance". - (Kamaaluddin Vol.2 Pg.409, Kifayatul Asar Pg.292)
According to Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.)the death of ignorance is the death in a deviated and astrayed condition. - (Al Kafi Vol.1 Pg.376)
The importance of recognising the Imam of the time is also clear from the following tradition. When Zurarah asked Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.), "What should I do if I reach the time of his ghaibat ?".
Imam (A.S.) replied, "Recite this Dua:
'O Allah, make me recognise Your Self.
Certainly if You do not make me recognise Your Self, I will not recognise Your Messenger.
O Allah make me recognise Your Prophet.
Certainly if you do not make me recognise Your Prophet, I will not recognise Your Hujjat.
O Allah ! make me recognise Your Hujjat.
Certainly if You do not make me recognise Your Hujjat I mil go astray in my religion."
(Kamaaluddin Vol.2 Pg.342.343; Ghaibate Nomani Pg.166:Al Kafi VoU Pg137)
Censure of Disbelief in Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said, "One who disbelieves in the Qaem from my sons, disbelieves in me." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.2 Pg.412)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said, "The Qaem is from my Progeny (sons). His name is my name. And his kunniyat (agnomen) is my kunniyat. And his appearance is (like) my appearance. And his behaviour is (like) my behaviour. He will establish among the people my practice and my shariat. And he will call them towards the book of his Lord, the High and the Mighty. One who obeys him has obeyed me. And one who denies his 'ghaibat' has denied me." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.2. Pg.411)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "One who believes in all Imams (A.S.) from my forefathers and my sons, but denies Al Mahdi from my sons. He is like the one who believes in all the Prophets and denies Muhammad, sallallaho Alaihe wa Aalehi." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.2. Pg. 338 and 411)
Lineage of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (SA.W.S.) said, "Al Mahdi is from us, Ahlul Bayt." - (Sunan Ibne Majah .VoL2 Pg.23, Al Mustadrak Vol. 4 Pg. 557)
The Holy Prophet (SA.W.S.) said, "Certainly, Ali Ibne Abi Talib Alaihis salaam is the Imam of my ummat and my vicegerant upon them after me. And of his sons is Al Qaem, Al Montazar. One, through whom Allah will fill the earth will justice and equity like it would have been filled with injustice and tyranny." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1 Pg.288. Faraidus simtain Vol.2 Pg. 335/336)
"Al Mahdi is from the sons of Fatima." - (Sunan Ibne Majah Vol.2 Pg.24)
Huzaifa says The Holy Prophet (SA.W.S.) has said, "Even if one day remains for this world (to come to an end) Allah will prolong that day until he sends a man from my progeny (sons). His name shall be (like) my name." Salman asked, "From which of your sons, O Prophet of Allah?"He (SA.W.S.) replied, "From this son of mine", and thumped his hands upon Husain (A.S.)" - (Zakhaerul Uqba Pg.136 & 137: Faraidus Simtain Vol.2 Pg.326)
A Jew, named Nathal asked the Holy Prophet (SA.W.S.), "Inform me as to who is your successor? Because every Prophet had a successor and our Prophet Musa Ibne Imran (A.S.) had designated Yusha Bin Nun as his successor."
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) replied, "Yes my Vasi and the caliph after me is Ali bin Abi Talib and after him my grandsons Hasan and Husain, followed by nine of the offsprings of Husain. They are the holy Imams."
The Jew said, "O Muhammed, tell me their names."
'Yes,' said the Prophet (S.A.W.S.), "When Husain will pass away, then his son Ali, and after Ali his son Muhammed and after Muhammed his son Jafar and after Jafar his son Musa and after Musa his son Ali and after Ali, his son Muhammed and after Muhammed his son Ali after Ali his son Hasan and after Hasan his son Hujjat Ibnul Hasan. These are the twelve Imams. Their number is equal to the chiefs of Bani Israel" - (Faraidus Simtain Vol.2 Pg.133, Kifayatul Asar Pg.13 & 14. Yanabiul Mawaddah Pg. 441)
Similarity of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) To the Prophets (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said, "Al Mahdi is from my progeny. His name is the same as my name. And his kunniyat is the same as my kunniyat. In his physique and character he looks exactly like me. He will be in a state of occultation and there will be confusion (Hayra) in which people will wander about (deviate). Then he will come forth like a sharpy shooting star to fill the earth will justice and equity as it was filled before with injustice and inequity." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1 Pg.286. Faraidus Simtain Vol.2 Pg.335)
Imam Muhammed Al Baqir (A.S.) said, "Certainly in the Qaem of the Progeny of Muhammed (S.A.W.S.) is the similarity to five prophets, Yunus bin Mutah, and Yusuf bin Yaqoob, and Musa, and Isa and Muhammed, salawatullahe Alaihim"
Thus, his similarity to Yunus bin Mutha is his reappearance after Ghaibat. He looked like a young man inspite of his advanced age.
And, his similarity with Yusuf bin Yaqoob (A.S.) is his ghaibat when he was away from the sight of the general, as well as the special people; due to the fear of his brothers.
His affair was hidden from his father. And in such a condition when there was no distance between his father and family and his friends.
And his similarity with Musa (A.S.) is persistent fear, and his prolonged ghaibat and a secret birth, and the feverent pleas of his shias after him, and his return by the permission of Allah, and his assistance by the people in subduing of the enemy.
And his similarity to Isa (A.S.) is the controversy among the people with regard to him. A group of them says; 'He is not yet bom.' Another group says, "He is dead* and some say: "He was killed and crucified,"
And his similarity with his own grandfather, Mustafa (S.A.W.S.), is his advent with the sword. He shall slay the enemies of Allah and the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.), and the unjust, and the tyrants." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1 Pg.327)
Imam as-Sajyad (A.S.) said, "In the Qaem is a similarity to Nuh (AS.) and that is his long life." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1, Pg.322. & Vol.2. Pg.524)
Reasons for the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
1. Free from Allegience of Every Tyrant
Amirul Momineen Alt (A.S.) said, "Certainly', when the Qaem from among us shall arise, he will not have the allegience of any one upon his neck. It is for this reason that his birth is secret and his person is in Ghaibat." - (Kamaaluddin Vol.1. Pg.303)
It must be mentioned that all of our Imams had to pledge allegience to every tyrant ruler except for a short period during the rule of Umar ibne Abdul Aziz. This was because, on the face of it, it would seem that they are not against the ruler, In this way they could protect Islam. In the absence of popular support, the Imams were left alone and thus they entered into an understanding with the rulers. Thus even Imam Husain (A.S.) for a particular period did not find it necessary to revolt against the regime of Muawiya.
In this regard Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) says: "Verily each of my ancestors had the oath of allegience, upon their necks, of their contemporary tyrant rulers. But I will reappear at such a time that I will not have any tyrant's allegience upon my neck." - (Ghaibat Tusi Pg.292, Kamaaluddin VoL2. Pg.485)
2. Test Of The People
Imam al Kazim (A.S.) said, "My son ! when the fifth descendant of the seventh of the Imams is not visible to you ! It is when Allah will test your belief. Ghaibat is inevitable for the Master of this affair. Till the time when the religion is completely transformed, and only a few people will have belief in him. My son ! That Ghaibat, It is a trial through which Allah, the Almighty tests His servants." - (Ghaibat-e-Toosi Pg.166 & 337. Al Kafi vol.1 Pg.336. Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.359 and 360. Kifayatul Asar Pg.264-265)
3. Fear of the Enemy
Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) said, "The Qaem is the one who will purify the earth from the enemies of Allah, the High and the Mighty. And he will fill the earth will justice and equity just as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He is the fifth of my descendants. He will go into occultation due to the fear of his own (life)." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.361. Kifayatul Asar Pg.265-266)
According to common sense it is necessary for man not to throw away his precious life without a legitimate aim. Thus, the prophets (A.S.) and the Imams (A.S.) have taught the people that it is their duty to protect their life under every circumstance and should never put their life in danger. Therefore it is the duty of the last of these exalted personalities to protect himself till the time of his reappearance when he will establish the new world order.
4. Weakness and Lack of Co-operation of the People.
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) said. "If our shias; may Allah help them in His obedience; would have fulfilled their covenant with united hearts then there would have. been no delay in our meeting, and they would have been blessed with our visitation at the earliest, along with the recognition of truth and confirmation of our rights." - (Al Ihtejaj vol.2 Pg.602)
Benefits of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) During His Ghaibat
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) said, "As for deriving benefit from me in my occupation, (it) is like deriving benefit from the sun when it hides behind the clouds." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.485. Ghaibat-e-Toosi Pg.292)
Favours of Imam Mahdi (A.S.) Upon His Shias.
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) says, "Surely, we do not neglect your condition nor are we forgetful of your remembrance. Had it not been so, then, terrible calamities would have struck you and your enemies would have destroyed you." - (At Ihtejaj vol.2 Pg.598).
Awaiting For the Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said, "The best worship is to await for the reappearance." - (Kamaaluddin vol.1 Pg.287, Faraidus Simtain vol.2 Pg.335)
Amirul Momineen Ali (A.S.) said, "Await for the reappearance and do not despair of the divine mercy. Because the best deed in the eyes of Allah, the Great and the Mighty is to wait for the Reappearance. It is the duty of those who are believers." - (Al Khisaal vol.2 Pg.616)
Imam as-Sajjad (A.S.) said: "The greatest success is to wait for the reappearance" - (Al Ihtejaj vol.2 Pg.154. Kamaaluddin vol.1 Pg.320)
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A.S.) said: "Those of you who die on this affair (shia faith) while you are in a condition of awaiting, are like those who has served the Qaem (A.S.) in his tent." - (Ghaibat-e-Nomani Pg.200)
Imam Al-Jawad (A.S.) said: "Certainly the Qaem from among us is the Mahdi. Awaiting for whom is obligatory during (his) ghaibat and obeying him is obligatory after his reappearance. And he is the third of my descendants." - (Kamaaluadw vol.2 Pg.377)
Imam as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "One who desires to be among the companions of the Qaem, must await, adopt piety and behave courteously. If he dies in such a condition before the advent of Qaem, then his reward will be similar to the one who attains his era. Hence, congratulations to you all for your relentless awaiting." - (Ghaibat-e-Nomani Pg.200)
Be Prepared For Being among the Helpers of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
"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". - (Ale Imran 3:200)
Hazrat Imam Baqir(A.S.) explains the tafseer of this ayat: "Have patience in fulfilling the religious obligations, Excel in patience in facing your enemies. And be in contact with your Imam who is awaited". - (Ghaibat-e-Nomani. pg.27, Yanabiul Mawadda pg.421)
In Service of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "If I am able to reach him, I shall serve him for my whole life." - (Ghaibat-e-Nomani Pg.245)
Religiousness during the Occultation of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said: "O Ali know that the most strangest of the people of Imaan and the greatest of them in certainty are those people who will be in Aakheruzzamaan (the last period of time). They will not meet the Prophet. And their Imam will be hidden from them. But they will believe (only) due to black upon white." - (Kamaaluddin vol.1 Pg.288)
The "black upon white" means the writings on paper. It means that these people will believe in the Quran and the sunnat as recorded in the books, even though they may not see their Imam (A.S.).
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A.S.) said: "Certainty, the master of this affair has an occupation. Then those who are the pious servants of Allah, will hold firmly to their faith". - (Al Kafi vol.1 Pg.335 and 336, Ghaibat-e-Toosi Pg.455. Ghaibat-e-Nomani Pg.169)
Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) said: "Blessed are our followers (the shiites) who during the time of occupation (Ghaybah) of the Imam of the Age, identify themselves with our Authority (wilayah) and keep away from our enemies. They belong to us and we belong to them. They have accepted our leadership and we are pleased with their adherence. Therefore, blessed are they. I swear to Allah that they will be with us in our rank in Paradise". - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.361. Kifayatul Asar Pg.265-266)
It is related from Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A.S.) that the following dua must be recited during the time of ghaibat.
"O Allah ! O Beneficient ! O Merciful ! O the knower of the thoughts (of the hearts) ! make my heart firm upon your religion." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.352)
Longing For Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Hazrat Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) said, regarding his son Imam Mahdi (A.S.) "And know that! Those who are obedient and pious will rush towards him like the birds head for their nests." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.448)
Sorrow and Grief of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Imam Reza (A.S.) said: "The most pious of believing men and women are those who are sorrowful for the (time of) flowing water (Imam Mahdi A.S)"
Flowing water indicates that it is a part of the ayat: "Say ! Have you considered if your water should go down, who is if then that will bring you flowing water?" - (Sura Al Mulk 67 : 30)
According to Imam as-Sadiq (A.S.) "the flowing water" in this Ayat means Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.). Hence the exegesis of this Ayat is as follows: "Say, if your Imam (A.S.) goes into ghaibat, who is it that will bring back your Imam to you. Who, like a gushing spring will teach you what is haraam and what is halal, and quench you thirst with good tidings (news) of the sky and the earth." - (Refer Kamaaluddin Pg.325-326)
Weeping For Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A.S.) said: "Know him ! The one who would be hidden from you in your time until it would be said, He is dead! He is killed ! He has gone into wilderness. And the eyes of the believers will be tearful." - (Ghaibat-e-Nomani Pg.152. 153)
Praying For The Early Reappearance Of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) said: "By Allah they do not truly wish for his reappearance, and do not attain salvation. Except those, whom Allah the High and the Mighty, has made firm upon the sayings of their Imams, and gave them the tawfeeq (opportunity) to pray for the hastening of the reappearance." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.384)
Imam Mahdi (A.S.) says: "And pray more for an early reappearance. For certainly, in it, is your success." - (Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.485, Ghaibat-e-Toosi pg.292-293)
Advent of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.S.) said: "Even if a single day remains for quiyamat, Allah will send a man from my Ahlul'Bayt. He will fill the earth with justice just like it is filled with tyranny." - (Sunan Abu Dawood vol.4 Pg.107)
Dibil Ibne Ali al-Khuzai says: When I was reciting the Qasida (Panegeric) before my master, Raza (A.S.), I reached to the following lines:
“I hope in the advent of my Imam. Who will rise up with the name of Allah and the divine blessings will accompany him.
He will separate the truth from falsehood (for us) and he will reward and punish.”
Imam (A.S.) said to me: “O Khuzaee ! Ruhul Qudus (the angel) has made you recite these two couplets. Do you know who this Imam is? One who will rise?”
I replied, "No my master, I only know that one of you, Imams will rise up and clear the earth of all injustice and fill it will equity."
Imam Reza (A.S.) said: "O Dibil after me my son Muhammad shall be the Imam and after him his son Ali, and after him his son Hasan al Askari, and after him his son Al-Qaim who shall be the awaited one during the period of his ghaibat. And when he shall be revealed, all the world shall bow down to him. Even if a single day remains for this world, Allah the High and the Mighty shall prolong this day till he will appear and fill the earth with justice as it has been filled with tyranny. And who knows when it will come to pass! I have heard it from my father, (who had heard it) from his father, and they had heard it from the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.S.) when he was asked, "O Prophet of Allah (S.A) when will the Qaem of your progeny arise?
He (S.A.W.S.) had replied, "His likeness is to the Hour (Quiyamat), '.....none but He shall manifest it at its time; it will be momentous in the heavens and the earth; it will not come on you but of a sudden'." - (Sura Araf 7 : 187)
(Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.372-373, Faraidus Simtain vol.2. Pg.337-338. Al Fusool al Mohimma Pg. 250-251)
Universal Government of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, "My Caliphs are my legatees and the proofs of Allah upon the creatures, after me they are twelve. The first of them is my brother and the last of them is my (grand) son"
He was asked, "0 Prophet of Allah, which brother of yours"
He replied, "Ali Ibn Abu Talib"
Again he was asked, "And which Son?"
He said, "Al Mahdi is the one who will fill the earth with justice and equity just like it had been filled with injustice and tyranny. I swear by the one who has sent me as the giver of good tidings, even is a single day remains for the world (to end), Allah shall prolong that day till he sends (to it) my son Mahdi. Then Ruhullah (spirit) Isa ibne Maryam will descend and perform prayers behind him. The earth shall be illuminated by his radiance and his authority shall stretch from the east to the west." - (Faraidus Simtam vol.2 Pg.312)
Merits of the Rule of Imam Mahdi (A.S.)
Amirul Momineen Ali (A.S.) said: "He will direct desires towards (the path of) guidance while people will have turned guidance towards desires, and he will turn their views to the direction of the Quran while the people will have turned the Quran to their views." - (Nahjul Balagha, sermon no, 138)
According to the submission of Ibne Abil Hadid, this saying refers to Hazrat Mahdi (A.S.) - (Sharhe Nafyul Balagha vol.9. Pg.40)
Imam Jafar as-Sadiq (A.S.) said: "When the Qaem shall arise, he will rule with justice, the tyrants of his time shall fear him, the righteous will be safe, the earth shall reveal its treasures, all the truth-seekers will seek his company and no follower of any religion would remain except that they see Islam and declare their faith in it." - (Kashful Ghumma vol.3. Pg.255)
Imam Raza (A.S.) said, "The fourth of my descendants is the son of the chaste maid. Allah shall purify the earth from every atrocity through him and rid it of every injustice. He is the one whose birth shall be doubted. He will have an occupation before his reappearance. When he reappears, the earth will light up with his brilliance. And he will establish the scales of justice among the people. Then, (among men), one will not oppress the other." - (Faraidus Simtain vol.2. Pg.336)
- The Holy Quran
- Ibne Abil Hadid - Sharh Nahjul Balagha
- Ibne Majah - Sunan
- Ibne Khallikan - Wafayat-Ul-Ayan
- Ibne Sabbagh - Fusulul Muhimma
- Abu Dawood - Sunan Abi Dawood
- Arbili - Kashful Ghumma
- Amin Amili - Ay anus Shia
- Hakim Nishapuri - Mustadrak Ala Sahiain
- Humuyi - Faraidus Simtain
- Khazzaz - Kifayatui Asar
- Syed Razi - Nahjul Balagha
- Shablanji - Nurul Absar
- Shaykh Sadooq - Khisaal And Kamaaluddin
- Tabarsi - Ditejaj
- Tabari - Zakhaerul Uqba
- Tusi - Ghaybah
- Imam Hasan Al Askari - Tafsir
- Qandoozi- Yanabiul Mawaddah
- Kulayni - Al Kafi
- Mufeed - Al Irshad
- Nomani - Kitabul Ghaybah
- Muhaddith-E-Noori - Najmus Saaqib.