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Exegesis of Ziarat of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) on Friday

(Continued from the previous Shabaan issue of 1431 A.H.)

“Today is Friday and it is your day in which your reappearance is expected, the salvation of the believers at your hands and the killing of the unbelievers by your sword.”

Three conclusions can be derived from the above sentences of this ziyarat:

1.     Friday is the blessed day when the reappearance of Hazrat Hujjat (a.t.f.s.) can be expected.

2.     The believers will be overjoyed after the reappearance of Imam (a.s.).

3.     The enemies of Allah shall be destroyed at the hands of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.).

Let us try to study and analyze this sentence.

1.     Prohibition of fixing a time for Imam’s (a.t.f.s.) reappearance

It has already been discussed previously that fixing a time for the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) has been strictly prohibited. It has been narrated from Fuzail Ibn Yasaar that he asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.), “Is there any appointed time for this affair [reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.)]?” Imam (a.s.) replied:

“Those who fix a time for it are liars! Those who fix a time for it are liars! Those who fix a time for it are liars!”

[Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 368, Baab-o-Karaahiyat al-Tawqeet; Al-Ghaibah by ShaikhTusi (r.a.), p. 425-426, H. 411; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 103, H. 5]

All such traditions are consecutive (mutawaatir) – literally as well as conceptually. If we refer the aforementioned books, we will find that most of the traditionalists have brought independent chapters regarding the prohibition of fixing a time for reappearance (tawqeet). It is because only Allah knows the time and none should be allowed to play with the emotions of people on this sensitive subject. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says:

“One who fixes a time for our Mahdi has indeed considered himself to be Allah’s partner in His knowledge.”

[Al-Hidaayah by Husain bin Hamadan, p. 172]

2.     If fixing a time has been prohibited then why is it mentioned in various supplications, ziyaraat and traditions that Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) shall reappear on a Friday?

Before replying to this question it is necessary to mention that not only Friday but traditions have also spoken about the month and year of the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). For instance, Muhammad bin Muslim narrates that a person once asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “When will your Qaem (a.s.) reappear?” Imam (a.s.), after narrating some of the signs of reappearance, said in his reply:

“Then the Qaem (a.s.) shall be called out by his name. It will be the 23rdnight of the month of Ramazan and he shall rise on the day of Aashura.”

[Kifaayat al-Muhtadi by Mir Muhammad bin Muhammad Mirlauhi Husaini Isfahani, who was a contemporary of Allamah Majlisi (a.r.), p. 217, H. 39; Al-Arbaoon by Al-Khatoonabadi, p.169-170; Isbaat al-Hudaat by Shaikh Hurr al-Aameli, p. 570, chp 32, part 44, H. 687]

It means that the reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) will take place on the 23rd night of the month of Ramazan (Shab-e-Qadr) and he (a.t.f.s.) shall rise on the day of Aashura.

It is found in the books of Ahle Sunnat that Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) shall reappear on the 17thMoharram between Rukn-e-Yamaani and Maqaam-e-Ibrahim (at the Holy Kaaba), Jibraeel (a.s.) will be on his right and Mikaeel (a.s.) on his left.

[Iqd al-Durar, p.65, chp 4, part 1; Al-Burhaan fi Alaamaate Mahdi-e-Aakhir al-Zamaan, p. 145, H. 14]

Shaikh Mufeed (a.r.) in his book al-Irshaad has narrated a tradition from Abu Baseer quoting from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who said:

“The Qaem shall not reappear except in one of the odd years: like one, three, five, seven or nine.”

[Al-Irshaad, p. 389; Kashf al-Ghummah by Abul Fath Ali bin Isa al-Irbili, vol. 2, p. 462]

Now let’s try to reply the above question i.e. if fixing a time for reappearance is not allowed, then how can we say that Imam (a.s) will reappear on a Friday? To speak about the time of reappearance is specifically for Allah or those personalities whom He has chosen to propagate His Knowledge. No doubt that the Holy Imams (a.s.) have mentioned the day, month and year of reappearance but at the same time they have also maintained that we should expect the reappearance of our Master and Imam (a.t.f.s.) day and night and at all times. In order to resolve this apparent contradiction through the principal of reconciliation (al-ta’deel wa al-tarjeeh), it can be said that although such traditions are found (about Friday), yet Allah has the authority to change it i.e. alter the time of reappearance. We should not be afraid of the belief in alteration of destiny (badaa) because the Holy Imams (a.s.) have said that Allah is not worshipped better through anything except (the belief in) badaa. Allah is not honoured better through anything but badaa. Just as there is abrogation, an abrogator and the abrogated in the world of Shariah (Aalam-e-Tashreei), similarly there is alteration in the world of creation (Aalam-e-Takveen). It is astonishing that Muslims are prepared to accept the concept abrogation but deny the concept of alteration.

[For details refer Usul al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 146, chp of Badaa; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 4, p. 92, chp 3, Al-Badaa wa al-Naskh.]

3.     Salvation and deliverance from all problems is only after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)

It is certain that the believers shall receive salvation and happiness in the true sense only after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). It is the duty of the believers to obey and follow the actions and words of the Infallible Imams (a.s.) during the occultation of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). It is the responsibility of every believer to ensure (personally and collectively) that Imam (a.t.f.s.) is not disobeyed. We should not try to relate our selfish interests and aims to the sayings of the Infallible Imams (a.s.).Rather, we should consider their commands as the axis and the purpose of our life. God forbid, it should not happen that we use our explanations as a pretext for his (a.s) disobedience.

4.     The destruction and annihilation of Allah’s enemies is only at the hands of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.)

The prayer of Prophet Nuh (a.s.), “My Lord! Leave not upon the land any dweller from among the unbelievers.” [Surah Nuh (71), verse 26] shall be truly accepted only after the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

[For details, refer Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 89, p. 340, Aa’maalo Yaum al-Juma’h wa Aadaabehi wa Wazaaefehi]

“O my master! Today I am your guest and in your refuge. O my master! You are noble and a descendant of noble ancestors. And you have been commanded (by Allah) to be a gracious host and a sanctuary (for His creatures).So, accept me as your guest and grant me asylum. May Allah send His Blessings upon you as well as your noble and pure progeny.”

1.     Terminology: ‘Fee’ in ‘feehe’ is Harf-e-Jar and ‘hey’, which is a pronoun (zameer), refers to ‘Yaum’ meaning day. ‘Zayf’ means guest, ‘jaar’ means neighbor and ‘keraam’ is the plural of ‘kareem’. ‘Ma’moor’ is the ‘Ism-e-maf’ool’ of ‘Amr’ which means the one who is ordered. ‘Fa adhifni’ is comprised of three words. ‘Fa’ means then, ‘adhif’ is the imperative tense in second person of ‘Baab-e-If’aal’ whose root word is ‘dha-ya-fa’. The ‘ya’ has been dropped due to the coming together of two ‘saakin’ alphabets (Ilteqaa-e-Saakinain).The ‘noon’ is called ‘noon-e-weqaayah’ and ‘ya’ is a personal pronoun in first person. Hence, ‘faadhifni’ would mean “accept me as a guest”. ‘Ajirni’ is also on similar lines.

2.            This is the last sentence of this ziyarat and extremely amazing and astounding. Friday belongs to and is attributed to Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). When we begin our day on a Friday, we should bear in mind that we are the guests of the master of this day. A well behaved and a civilized guest is he who does not perform any act against the wishes of his host. Hence, on a Friday we should be extremely particular about the fact that we shouldn’t do anything against the will of our master. If we remain good guests then rest assured that there is no better host – in this world and the hereafter – than Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Let us all pray that “O our master, we are all sinners and have disobeyed. But we are your lovers. O master, we know that we have not fulfilled the rights of your mastership but you are the most gracious. Please bestow us with your grace and pray for our forgiveness in front of Allah. Please intercede for us in this world and in the hereafter. O Lord! For the sake of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.), hasten the reappearance of our Imam (a.s.). O Lord! For the sake of the pure blood of the martyrs of Karbala, include us among the helpers and companions of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). Aameen!”