Sunday, August 23, 2009
AROMA OF SYAIDINA IMAM AL-MAHDI'S(A.S.)AL-HAJ
It is possible that the twelfth Imam went
into occultation in order to test us.
To believe in the
unseen is much more difficult than to believe in the
tangible and apparent.
Believing in an Imam who is in
occultation is a more profound and difficult test than
believing in an Imam who is seen and apparent to
Allah [swt] has established his proof by
sending 124,000 prophets and twelve Imams to
As Allah [swt] sent more prophets and
humanity was more exposed to divine messages, the
proof of Allah [swt] became stronger.
the divine test also became more difficult.
The test for
someone who was exposed to the message of Prophets
Abraham, Moses and Jesus [a] is naturally more
difficult than the test of someone who was exposed to
the message of Prophet Adam [a] simply because more
divine proofs have been established.
Thus, when it
came to the time of the twelfth Imam, Allah [swt] had
sent, in addition to the 124,000 prophets, eleven
Imams as well.
It was then natural for the test to be
greater for the people, as more proofs and pretexts
were presented to them throughout the course of
One of the ways of intensifying the test is to
have it require believing in the unseen. Believing in the
unseen represents the most difficult test one is
One may wonder what benefit a hidden Imam
There are many narrations by the Prophet
[s] and the Imams [a] which portray the benefit of the
hidden twelfth Imam [atf] by comparing him to the sun
that is sheltered behind the clouds.
Even though the
sun may be covered by the clouds, it nonetheless
carries out its task and offers its benefits.
while the Imam is hidden we are nevertheless
subjected to his rays of mercy, and he imparts us and
all of creation with his innumerable benefits.
through his mere existence and presence on the earth,
Allah [swt] continues to sustain us and avert
punishment away from us, just as the presence of the
Prophet [s] was a protection for the people from
Allah’s [swt] punishment (refer to 8:33 of the Qur'an).
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf], as he himself has
declared, protects his followers from all efforts to
destroy and eradicate them.
If we look at the history of
the Shias, it is indeed a miracle that till this very day they have survived despite the countless attempts by various governments and groups to eliminate them.
Even today, in many countries Shias are persecuted,
and there are deliberate attempts to squash them.
Third, Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] guides the scholars and
leaders of his followers.
For example, throughout history, there are many instances of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] rectifying the rulings (fatwas) of prominent scholars.
Fourth, the mere presence of a leader and
guide, although in occultation, serves to keep the
Our hidden twelfth Imam is a
source of inspiration for us to continue our efforts in
the face of difficult and modern challenges.
However, a valid question that might arise is why
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] has not reappeared yet.
As it is
with the reason why he went into occultation, the real
reason lies with Allah [swt], but it is possible to infer several reasons. First,
Allah [swt] generally allows the course of this life to progress naturally without much divine intervention in order to keep the test of this life valid to the fullest extent.
A possible reason why Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] has not appeared yet, as indicated by many narrations and the history of the Imams [a], is the lack of support.
Many narrations state that Imam
Al-Mahdi [atf] will reappear with 313 loyal
Allah [swt] can allow the Imam to
emerge victorious without needing the support of a
single person, but Allah [swt] wants to test humanity
so that the one who chooses the right path is discerned
from the one who chooses the wrong path.
Imam Ali [a], as he explains in Nahjul Balagha, did not rise and resist simply because he had no supporters.
Imam Al-Hassan [a] compromised with Mu’awiya, the Ummayd tyrant and dictator, because he had no supporters.
However, amongst the reasons why Imam Al-Hussain
[a] revolted against Yazid, the corrupt son of
Mu’awiya, is that he had supporters although they
Hence, it is possible that the lack of true and
sincere supporters for Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] has
delayed his reappearance.
Second, Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] has not appeared yet
because the world is not ready yet.
Further scientific and knowledge-based progress must be made in preparation for his reappearance.
Spiritual and psychological advancement is also required.
A more advanced global network must be developed in order for it to be conducive to the government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
Third, people must arrive at the
conclusion that he is the world’s only hope and savior.
People must reach complete despair in their
governments and believe that only Imam Al-Mahdi
[atf] will establish a just and upright government.
Before his reappearance, people will have tried
democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism,
dictatorship, autocracy, oligarchy, monarchy,
authoritarianism, theocracy, bureaucracy, fascism, etc.
But once the people will witness the failure of all of their political systems and the way in which they
implement them, their only hope will remain in the
government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
But of course,
the actual reason lies with Allah [swt].
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] and the concept of the savior
is not a creed confined to the Shias only.
whether divine or not, and many thinkers believe in the
savior and that he is the world’s only hope. In the New
Testament, in the books of Barnaba, Matthew, Mark
and Luke, the savior who will reappear at the end of times is mentioned many times.
who is referred to as “the son of man,” applies to Prophet Jesus [a] only several times, but most of the time it only applies to Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
In the Old Testament, there is a reference to Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] and that he would inherit the earth with his righteous companions in the books of Exodus, Isaiah, Daniel, and Habakkuk. In Hindu books there are also many references to the Imam.
As for the thinkers and intellectuals, there is a belief in a utopia that will take place on the earth, which is the government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
For example, in his book of relativity,
Einstein speaks of a unified global government being
the only hope from global destruction.
also believes that without a unified global government
we must eventually accept the extinction of humans.
Plato believed in the creation of a utopia that is free
from poverty and oppression.
On Sundays at church,
Henry Corbin used to read Al-Sahifa Al-Mahdiyya,
which is a compilation of the supplications that have
been authored by Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
Thomas Campanella, a positivistic philosopher, spoke of the “city of the sun,” and he once said, “Today’s utopia is tomorrow’s reality.”
Thomas Moore believed in
paradise on earth, and Auguste Comte pictured a world
governed by intellectuals.
In essence, all of these philosophers and thinkers
believe in the unified and global government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
This belief that complete justice will
be established is part of our fitra, or innate nature that
Allah [swt] has created.
Allah [swt] has created us with
certain desires and needs, and He has created for us the
means by which we can fulfill these desires.
Allah [swt] has created hunger and thirst in us, but He has also created for us food and water. It would have been an injustice on Allah’s [swt] part to create us with hunger and thirst but deny us food and water.
sometimes we suffer from hunger and thirst it is due to
our oppression and mistakes.
Allah [swt] has created in
us the desire and love for justice.
Even the biggest tyrant and dictator will tell you that he or she desires justice.
It is an innate disposition that we all have.
Thus, Allah’s [swt] justice entails that at one point or another, complete justice is established on this earth to
fulfill our desire for justice.
Thus, these thinkers and philosophers believe in a utopia in which full justice is established due to their natural and innate disposition created by Allah [swt]. They are just simply ignorant of this utopia being the government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
Furthermore, the justice of Allah [swt] also
necessitates the existence of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] on
There are always four forces acting on a
human being, and there is a constant struggle between
Two are external and two are internal.
internal opposing forces are the Aql, or the intellect,
and the inner soul that is prone to evil (al-nafs al-
Allah [swt] has created Iblis, the devil. The
devil seeks to misguide the people. The devil is an
external force that is always pulling us to deviation.
The justice of Allah [swt] entails that there also must be an external force that serves to cancel out or defy the forces of the devil.
this role has been mainly assumed by the prophets of Allah [swt].
Now, the one who assumes this role is Imam Al-
The justice of Allah [swt] entails that if
the devil is present and misleading the people, there
must be a completely infallible being who represents
the source of full guidance.
That being is Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
One might wonder why Allah [swt], through
various divine religions and means, has informed us of
the savior in the first place.
So what if there is a reformer who will reappear at the end of times and establish peace and justice.
Our knowledge of the savior and world reformer serves at least four significant purposes.
First, it lends confidence and
faith to those who devote themselves to Allah [swt]
and preach His religion. Even though they may be
persecuted, belittled, or even mocked, they are certain
that their efforts will never go in vain. Their efforts
will yield fruition when the savior reappears.
it casts despair and anguish in the hearts of the enemies
of Allah [swt] and the unbelievers. It is a message to them that no matter how much they try to advance their own agenda, spread corruption in the world, and excel in this world, there will come a time in which a reformer will roll up their despotic governments and obstruct their activities.
Third, like the philosophy of
not knowing when we will die, it serves to prepare the
Finally, it gives us the honor to contribute to
Imam Al-Mahdi’s [atf] global revolution, for he will
succeed in part by the efforts of his sincere and diligent
companions who will prepare the grounds for him.
It has been over 1100 years since Imam Al-Mahdi
[atf] went into occultation.
There are copious traditions, narrated by Shias and Sunnis, to the effect that Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will reappear when the earth is filled with injustice and oppression, and he will come to fill the earth with justice and equity.
knows that exact timing of his reappearance, as this
knowledge is reserved solely for Allah [swt].
However, in the narrations of Ahlul Bayt [a], many
signs of his reappearance have been mentioned.
signs indicate that his reappearance is drawing closer
Some of these signs are definite and
indicate that he will reappear within a number of years
or months only, while others are indefinite and
generally state the pervasive condition of the world as
his reappearance draws closer.
These signs first serve to corroborate the veracity of
the holy Prophet [s] and the infallible Imams [a], and second to prepare us and raise awareness amongst us that once they do occur we are alert to them and know how to react.
When one knows what to expect, he or
she will generally be confronted with less problems,
and matters will go as planned.
Amongst the signs that address the general state of the world as his reappearance draws closer are those which speak about social corruption.
People will worship their desires,
life will be all about fun, and the Hajj (holy pilgrimage
to Mecca) will be for business and pleasure purposes.
People will spend money for music and signers, usury
and interest will spread and be applied everywhere,
divorce rates will rise and increase, and none of the
laws of Allah [swt] will be implemented.
With respect to moral corruption, people will resort to homosexuality and adultery, and prostitution will be so
widespread and will be treated as a business.
will abandon their motherly responsibilities and people
will delay their prayers, if they even pray.
One narration states that their stomachs will be their gods, their women their direction, and their money will be their religion.
Every dollar will be an idol.
these times, natural disasters, such as earthquakes,
hurricanes and pandemics, will be on the rise.
Prophet [s] was the savior of the first time of
and Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will be the savior
of the second time of ignorance.
Amongst the more specific and definite signs are
those that address different events that will be
concurrent or close to each other in terms of time.
Once these signs occur, the Imam will reappear within
months or several years.
There will be several divine
calls from the sky, one being on the night of the 23rd of
the holy month of Ramadhan which will announce the
reappearance of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
with a large army, will emerge and cause mischief in
many parts of the world.
He and his army will eventually be annihilated on their way to Mecca from
Media by a rupture in the ground which will swallow them.
The murder of the pure soul, who is a
descendant of the Prophet [s], will take place in Majsid
Al-Haram in Mecca.
Al-Sayed Al-Hasani will emerge
with a large group of followers and will pledge
allegiance to Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
Two eclipses will occur during the month of Ramadhan:
a solar eclipse during the middle of the month and a lunar eclipse at then end (which is abnormal).
There are many other signs as well.
Then Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will emerge
from Mecca, and he will establish his government on
the tenth day of Muharram, which marks the day Imam
Al-Hussain [a] was martyred in Karbala.
The government of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will be
one of justice, compassion, equality, mercy,
advancement, wisdom, and perfect leadership.
As for the religious state of his government, their will be an unprecedented unity amongst the people.
The Imam will also exercise religious tolerance. By observing the clarity of the truth, people will call that there is no god but Allah [swt] and that Mohammad [s] is His messenger everywhere around the world, day and night.
Economically, everyone will be financially well
off and rich to the extent that a person will bring his charity but he/she will not find anyone to take it or need it.
Scientifically, all sorts of advancements will
take place very rapidly.
Complete safety will dominate his government all around the world.
There will be no political division or any sort of oppression.
While everyone will enjoy economic comfort, Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will exercise the humbleness of his
grandfather Imam Ali [a].
He will eat coarse food and wear rough clothes. He will implement the system of the holy Prophet [s] and Imam Ali [a].
All the inhabitants of the earth and sky will love him.
There are two important reasons, amongst others,
why Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will exercise full justice.
First, as one supplication that is recited on Thursday
night states, only those who are weak are in need of
Human beings, because they feel insecure
and experience various inferiority complexes, resort to
oppression and injustice.
The one who does not lack any weakness does not need to oppress.
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] is the perfect creation of Allah [swt].
Thus, he does not need to oppress anyone, for he does not have any feelings of insecurity and inferiority complexes.
Second, Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] is infallible
and divinely guided. He always seeks his direction
from Allah [swt], and Allah [swt] will always protect him from making a mistake.
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] is the leader of all the angels, and as the holy Qur’an ascertains, the angels are infallible.
Hence, he also must be infallible since he is their leader.
For these reasons, amongst others, Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will never resort to violence and oppression.
He simply does not need to.
In the meantime, while the Imam is absent, we all have a grave responsibility that rests on our shoulders.
There are many narrations by the holy Prophet [s] and the Imams [a] to the effect that the most important responsibility during Imam Al-Mahdi’s [atf]
occultation is to wait.
It is the best way to prepare for his reappearance.
Unfortunately, many people take these traditions with a passive attitude.
The act of “waiting” can be done either actively or passively. Imagine that a very prominent or important figure, such as a prophet, a king, a CEO, an important businessman, a president, a leader, etc., is planning to visit your company.
Obviously you will be waiting for
this important figure. But how exactly will you wait?
Will you just sit behind your desk, support your head by your arms and simply wait? Of course, what is expected is that one would carefully prepare the
company. This means that first the place must be very clean and tidy. The proper foods must have been arranged. The appropriate persons must be invited to be there at the meeting or visit. You will have spent endless hours preparing to present something at the meeting. You will make the necessary charts, PowerPoint slides, and projector overheads if you are giving an overview of your company or presenting a future goal and objective. All sorts of other arrangements must be done. This is active waiting, and such waiting is expected from us.
We must prepare ourselves such that when Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] reappears we have nothing to worry about.
In order to prepare ourselves and “wait” actively,
just as the Prophet [s] has instructed us, we must first develop ourselves.
One must be keen on observing
piety, for it is the garment of righteous people. It keeps
one in check.
It means observing the limits Allah [swt]
has put for us.
Avoiding sins, whether big or small, is a
central component of piety.
As the Qur’an asserts
(9:105), Allah [swt], the Prophet [s] and the believers,
who are the infallible Imams [a], watch every action
In order to succeed in this life and the
hereafter, and in order to be immune and protected
from the evil traps of the devil, one must constantly
Humbleness is also fundamental to the
development of one’s inner self. Arrogance was the
first sin ever committed, which led the devil to eternal
Allah [swt] loves those who are humble
and wear the garment of humility.
or later, simply devours ones deeds and destroys ones actions.
Sincerity is the foundation upon which
everything is built. Without sincerity, one is fooling
Since only Allah [swt] is really eternal
and independent, to Him all of our actions must be
Otherwise, all of our efforts will prove futile
because they would be aimed at something temporary and diminishing. What really adorns our actions and lives is genuine worship.
Amongst the descriptions of the companions of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] is that they spend their nights engaging in prayer and supplication.
However, worship also requires knowledge and
One must know, to the greatest extent
possible, whom he or she is worshipping.
This is why
one must seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave
and frequently engage in deep contemplation.
what restrains us all from quitting, giving up and
despairing is the virtue of patience.
As the reappearance of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] draws closer, the more difficult our test will be, and the more challenges the believers will be confronted with.
The enemies of Allah [swt] and Islam will exert all of their efforts to mock and destroy the believers. They will be persecuted wherever they go around the world.
All of this demands strong patience.
Therefore, developing the self is imperative for success and genuine preparation for the reappearance of our Imam.
should prepare ourselves such that if he reappears at
any time, we have nothing to worry about nor will
anything hold us back.
For example, before going in
the presence of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf], who knows all
of our actions, we must be on good terms with our
parents, relatives and friends.
We should observe the rights of everyone.
Our religious obligations, such as our prayers, fasting, charity, etc., must all be fulfilled.
As for specific duties, one must serve his or her
Imam in accordance with the area in which they
But before proceeding to one’s
specialized field, one must always have a clear goal in
Lack of a goal will not yield any progress for the
To lack a clear goal is a waste of time,
money and energy.
In this age of motion pictures,
numerous satellite channels are necessary to spread the
message of Islam and Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
thousands of corrupt and misguiding television stations
that fight the religion of Islam in one way or another.
The internet is expanding by the second, and more and
more people are getting access to it.
Almost two-thirds of the internet is dedicated to pornography and corrupt websites.
There are tens of websites alone that fight the
concept of the savior and Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
thousands of websites are needed to educate the
masses about Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
books, pamphlets, and journals must be dedicated to
If one has the ability to write well, it is
his/her responsibility to write about the Imam.
Weekly discussions and monthly gatherings should be
conducted in order to address facing modern
challenges and how to satisfy Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
It is very important and beneficial to conduct educational and commemorative conferences during the middle of the month of Shaaban, which marks the birth of our Imam.
Amongst the most important obligations,
especially for mothers, is to raise children that grow to
be true supporters of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
So everyone should serve the Imam according to their area of expertise and capacity.
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] has so much love and
compassion for his followers.
In a letter he wrote many
centuries ago to a great scholar, he stated that he never
neglects looking after his followers, nor does he ever
forget their mention.
How much do we remember our Imam?
Despite his greatness and exalted status, he is
so loving and humble to treat us in such a kind way.
However, do his followers ever reciprocate to him a
fraction of the consideration he gives us?
Certain ahadeeth indicate that every Monday and Thursday Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] examines our deeds.
If he comes across a good deed he smiles and becomes pleased.
But if he comes across a bad, sinful deed, his heart
aches and tears flow from his eyes.
Every year Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] lives the tragedy of his grandfathers, and he is pained by the heartrending events that befell them.
On top of it all, many of his followers continue
to increase his pains constantly.
Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] is the Imam of our time, the continuation of Ahlul Bayt [a], and the representative of Allah [swt] on this earth.
We will be asked about him on that first, dark, and
lonely night of our grave.
We must seek his
satisfaction and implore him to be subjected to his
special mercy. Otherwise we will harm no one but
Since Imam Al-Mahdi [atf] will reappear to
establish justice and eliminate depravity and
oppression, he is a threat to the despots, corrupters, and
the enemies of Allah [swt]. Thus, it is natural that
throughout history many have tried to attack the
concept of the savior and the personality of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf].
Many have attempted to paint a very
violent and nasty image of his approach and
government in order to instill contempt in the hearts of
people against him.
Many are also afraid of him
because he will terminate their evil interests, so they
have propagated lies against him to distort the truth.
We ask Allah [swt] to make us amongst the sincere
and devoted servants of Imam Al-Mahdi [atf], and may
He hasten his reappearance.