Let’s deliberate on a few things about our Imam (a.s.). But before we discuss as to what our Imam (a.s.) expects from us, let us understand and comprehend the status of our Imam. Who is he and what is his position? What is the magnitude of his lofty position? Though he is staying on the earth, what is his relation with the skies? What are his powers? Here, our discussion will centre on his authority and power in the sphere of religion rather than his powers in the domain of the universe. We shall initiate our discussion on Imam (a.s.) from the general conversations that people have in their daily lives about him (a.s.). Imam Literally, Imam means “leader”. Here, Imams imply the twelve infallible guides (a.s.) who are the protectors of the religion of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) after him. The first among them is Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and the last is Imam Mahdi (a.s.), who ascended to the seat of Imamate in the year 260 AH after the martyrdom of his venerable father, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). Presently, he is the divine guardian of Islam and the master of all affairs. He is the Proof of Allah on the earth. He is the Wali and Caliph appointed by Allah. He is infallible and possessor of authority. He is the living Imam and our leader, who loves his followers. He is the sign and manifestation of the power, perfection and glory of Allah, the Most High. Enumerating his authority is beyond human intellect, imagination and thinking. Our duty is just to ponder over his perfections and glory as narrated by our great scholars and the prophecies of our Imams (a.s.) about him. We must recite the various supplications and salutations that bring us closer to him and this is a path through which his recognition can be acquired. By reciting them regularly, we seek refuge in him (a.s.) from the scorching heat of deviation. We present a salutation for our readers through which we can comprehend the greatness, grace and glory of our Imam (a.s.) and his holy existence which has authority over the entire universe. His existence is the cause of the continuation of the worlds and the axis of order in the universe. The salutation is available in Mafaatihul Jinan and is as follows:
Allah - The One sans partner - is the Creator of all creatures. His Being is Unique and Needless. He is the One before whom every particle of the universe is subservient and indigent. From eternity, He is Generous upon the world of creation. He showers His bounties upon His creatures, morning and evening. He does not withhold the flood of His bounties. His is the creation, His are the bounties. He is the fountainhead of all endowments. He is the One Who adorns the dawn. He is the Provider of light to the day and the shade in the blistering afternoon heat. He owns everything. Then why is He displeased with His servants? Why does He - the Blessed and Merciful One - repeatedly warn His servants about the refutation of His bounties? There is reason for this. The moot cause is that the Creator bestowed intellect and reasoning upon his creation, the children of Adam (a.s.). Then He sent His apostles, prophets and their successors for the propagation of knowledge and shariah. He thus illuminated the paths of guidance among mankind. Subsequently, He gave them a choice – Be among the thankful ones or be among those who deny the bounties. His anger is directed to the second group, to those who refute His bounties. Hence the tone of the verses reflects Majesty and Dominion. The verse thunders: Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny? (Surah Rahman)
Introduction The belief of Raj’at is one of the hotly debated topics in Islam and religious scholars as well as Quranic commentators have put forth their views and opinions concerning it. They consider Raj’at to be an extension of the “theory of reincarnation” or the “theory of the cycle of human life”. They have pushed the limits of their intellect and have exhausted all their arguments and reasoning in order to justify and explain the belief of ‘Raj’at’. After being submerged in the whirlpool of views and counter views, the belief in Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has emerged as a universal principle. It has soothed the heart of a distressed world and is proving to be a beacon for the survival of human race. It is proving to be the source of strength for facing insurmountable challenges and for making things possible. The honest and conscientious ones are inching towards this light.
Peace be upon you. May Allah hasten the covenant He has made with you concerning (His) help and the establishment of the affairs! (Ziarat of Imam Zamana (a.s.) on Friday) Even though the word “ajjil” over here is used in the past tense, yet its meaning is similar to the word “swalle” which has been used in the preceding sentence in the form of a supplication. The word “ajjil” is derived from the root “A-j-l”, which means ‘to hasten,’ or ‘to hurry.’ Further, “ajjil” is the first seegah of the past tense in ‘Bab-e-Taf’eel’. Raaghib Isfahani mentions in his book Al-Mufradaat that its meaning is ‘to intend or seek resolutely for a thing before its fixed time.’
Occasionally, there are questions that arise in some minds – “Can one seek our desires directly from the Imam?” or “Isn’t the seeking of one’s needs directly from the Imam tantamount to associating aught with Allah and polytheism?” or “Is it not against the concept of monotheism if we ask for our needs directly from Imam (a.s.)?” Here is a review of these questions and also their appropriate replies. This world - A system of ‘means’ and ‘end’ Allah, the Almighty, has fashioned the world in such a way that everything is achieved through some ‘means’ and ‘causes’. None of our needs are fulfilled directly. Thirst is not quenched by itself. It is done through the medium of water. A child does not come into existence by itself. He is born through its parents. This is true for all other things as well.
A true Shia – who comprehends the reality of his faith, and tries to dispel the worries and difficulties of those around him in the in the light of his belief and faith - will never miss an opportunity to gain proximity to Imam-e-Asr (a.s.). It is impossible to convey the severity of his trials and tribulations in this era. It is as if someone has placed a blistering coal on his palm and has asked him to close his fist. This is also one of the most astonishing prophesies of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) concerning the last era. As someone rightly said, “Today, Islam is facing an open onslaught from external foes, while internal enemies are attacking and sabotaging it, through apparent and concealed strategies.” Malicious and vile strategies are raising their heads everywhere and inimical agents are working overtime. Things have reached to such a stage that now people have brazenly and shamelessly opened factories and centers of misguidance and deviation.