Helping Imam-e-Zamana (peace be upon him)
The human tongue does not possess the strength and capacity to fulfill the rights of praising and glorifying Allah. It is His grace that He preferred human beings over other creatures with condition that ‘O Messenger, give glad tidings to our servants who listen to our word and act upon it to the fullest.’ Through this glad tiding, the Lord of the worlds has also mentioned his words of favor so that the heart of the human being should always be illuminated, and he must not be among those untrustworthy and negligent of the creator. Allah the Almighty says in in the Holy Quran:
“The Beneficent Allah. Taught the Quran. He created man, Taught him the mode of expression..”
(Surah Rahman (55): 1-4)
Our intellects would have remained bewildered, had Allah the Almighty not sent a teacher from His side to explain us the meaning of the verse along with its concepts and guide us through his character.
The life of a human being is a journey from cradle to grave. During this journey, we are unaware of the tragedies that will occur. No part of the earth is saved from the storm of sins and continuous attacks on human beings. There is no place where conspiracies of trampling honor are not hatched. Satan is hell bent on throwing these creatures of God into deviation. Satan has made firm intention to instill enmity amongst some of them and prevent them from prayers using intoxications and gambling as tools. Divine words have made this intention of Satan clear to our hearts, minds, and intellect. Moreover, He bestowed leaderships of the infallible leaders (peace be upon them). They are those upon whom Allah has bestowed his bounties.
It is a huge task for an infallible leader to overcome the obstacles and hindrances in guiding his nation. We have invited the attention of readers towards the strong relation between the leader and the nation at the beginning. The pre-requisite of this relation is that we should be at the beck and call of our leader and be the best of helpers. We present some traditions of the infallibles so that we fulfil some rights of helping the Imam.
In the book Al-Mahasin. Al-Barqi documents that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said to Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him):
“Your example is like that of Surah Tawheed. One who recites it once is like the one who reads one third of Quran and one who recites it twice is like the one who has read two thirds of it and one who recites it thrice is like the one who has read whole of the Quran. In the same way, one who loves you by heart is like one who has earned one third of the rewards of the servants of Allah, and one who loves you by heart and helps you by tongue is like the one who has earned two thirds of the rewards of the servants of Allah. And the one who loves you by heart and helps you by tongue and hand will have reward equal to the good deeds performed by all the servants of Allah.”
(Mahasin, vol. 1, pg. 153, Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, pg. 94)
In another tradition, Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) says:
“There are three grades in paradise and three levels in hell. The highest grade of paradise is for the one who loves us by his heart and helps us by his tongue and by his hand. And in the second grade will be the one who loves us by his heart and helps us by his tongue and in the third grade will be the one who loves us by his heart. The Lowest level in Hell is for those who bear our enemity in their hearts and through their tongue and hands, help our enemies. The second level in Hell is for those who bear our enmity in their hearts and through their tongue, help our enemies. the thrid level in Hell is for thos who bear our enmity in their hearts”
(Mahaasin, vol. 1, pg. 153, Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 27, pg. 93)
Ways of helping Imam (peace be upon him)
1. Helping by heart: How can an owner of faith call himself as believer when his heart does not have aspiration to help his Imam? Every second there should be an inner voice from his heart to help Imam. The heart of a believer is the possessor of such a strong feeling of helping Imam regarding which a poet has said:
Among the friends he is as soft as silk
In combat between truth and falsehood, he is as strong as iron
2. Helping by tongue: Piety, purification, and precautions create a strange effect on tongue. The words of the helper of Imam make the opponent shiver, else when Imam Husain (peace be upon him) said to Janabe Hur (mercy of Allah upon him) ‘May your mother weep over you’ Janab Hur (mercy of Allah upon him) with his fumbling tongue said ‘O son of messenger of Allah, I cannot utter even a single word against the position of your mother.’ As mentioned before, the knowledge and action of an Imam is required to create such an effect.
3. Helping by hand: A Poet has nicely said:
You are very proud of the dignity of the sword
You are unaware of the complaint of a pen
The empire of Jahangir is ruined but the book “Ehqaaqul Haqq” written by Shaheed-e-Saalis (mercy of Allah upon him) is inviting the scholars to truth even today.
We have heard that today the hands of our Imam of time (may Allah hasten his reappearance) are on the Zulfiqar for which we recite the following couplet daily in Dua-e-Ahad.
O Allah! when our Imam reappears while we are not alive, raise us from our grave with shroud on our shoulders, spear in our hands attacking enemies.
Allamah Majlisi (mercy of Allah upon him) narrates that Hisham, when he was a youth, went into the gathering of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) while his revered companions were seated. Imam (peace be upon him) respected Hisham and asked Hisham to sit close to him. When Imam sensed that this action was very heavy for his companions, he (peace be upon him) said:
“He is our helper and our supporter through his heart, tongue and hands.”
Hisham deserved this honor as he always defended Imamat and Wilayat.
4. Helping by actions: The relation of actions with faith and love is indestructible. The love will prove the depth of the belief through actions. Actions will not be worthy with hesitation and wavering. Actions is the steadfastness, related to knowledge through which a person recognizes himself, one who recognizes himself has recognized the Imam (peace be upon him) and one who has recognized his Imam has indeed recognized Allah the Almighty and His prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny). Hence man is cautious at every step lest any of these is not in line with Imam’s pleasure.
Action adorns a personality. It illuminates our being from the light emanated from Imamat. Apparently, from the aspect of benefit, a person might compromise. However, if a person’s deeds enlightened the feelings, then Allah the Almighty gives him that period in which he will not be despair.
However he should not persist on sins after repentance. Self-introspection for people is necessary. But “do not despair from the mercy of Allah” pre-requisite is that we must not become despair of Allah’s mercy.
Actions give meaning to life. Through actions only a person can earn paradise and hell. Therefore, we should always be cautious and have an eye on our actions. If our actions are accompanied with belief in Imamat and are attached to his love, then he will, with manifestation of his leadership, forgive our mistakes and save us from deviation. Allah the Almighty gave us the opportunity of good deeds.
The helper is the one who helps his Imam through his actions. The most important source of proximity to Imam is to feel his presence in our ethical life and all our individual and social affairs.
The true propagation of Imam-e-Asr (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is not limited to teachings and writing books, but to all actions that make the people recognize the Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and is the cause of his pleasure. If anyone propagates through writing and his actions, but do not correspond to his writings, it will bear a negative effect. Therefore, in religious propagation, actions are more influential than words. People will be more attentive if actions reflect one’s words. Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) says:
“Call people towards goodness without your tongue. People should witness striving, truthfulness and piety in you.”
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 68, pg. 7)
A person with true faith and attachment to Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) will do such actions that please Allah the Almighty, else he is not devout. The pleasure of Imam is per the wish of Allah the Almighty.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said:
“Never do such actions by which we are reproached because the evil offspring becomes a cause of dishonor for his father. Be a source of adornment to the one you are associated with and not a cause of disgrace for him.”
(Al-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 219)
If a son does an improper action, his father is blamed, and his upbringing is questioned. Imams (peace be upon them) consider their Shias very close to them, and like a sympathetic father, pays attention to the actions of their children. Our bad actions sadden our Imam.He considers our bad actions as a cause of disgrace for him and expects our behavior to be a source of his honor.
Shias can introduce Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) through their character
Ameerul Momeneen Ali (peace be upon him) says:
“Every follower has an Imam whom he follows and takes light from his Knowledge. Beware that your Imam is sufficed with two old tattered garments and two loaves of bread from the world. Surely you cannot be like this but help us by piety, striving, chastity, and steadfastness.”
(Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 33, pg. 474)
We cannot achieve the level of Ameerul Momeneen (peace be upon him) but can follow him and try to be an immaterialist. This world is very attractive and distracts us from our aim.
Sayyed ibn Taoos (mercy of Allah upon him) said to his son:
“Many people believe in Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) but their actions are not proper. They believe in his existence and reappearance but have forgotten his remembrance and his reappearance through their actions.”
Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) says in a Tauqee:
“Surely we are neither negligent about your affairs nor forgetful in remembering you. Had it not been so, calamities would have surrounded you and enemies would have crushed you. Then fear Allah and help us so that we save you from the trials that have surrounded you.”
(al-Ehtejaaj, vol. 2, pg. 497)
One of the scholarly friends of Haj Shaikh Habibullah said:
In a journey by bus from Tehran to Mashhad, one youth dressed beautifully like a European was sitting by my side. When it was time for prayer, this youth insisted to the driver that he wishes to pray in the prime time (i.e. Awwal-e-Waqt). I was very much surprised because his appearance did not correspond to his actions. I asked him:
What is the reason for your insistence? He said, “I recently came from Europe where I was studying. While there, in short time, it was necessary for me to appear for two exams in two different cities. I was going by car from one city to another when my car broke down and as much as I tried, I could not fix it.
I felt disappointed that if I do not reach the examination hall, a years’ efforts will go waste. I then remembered my mother who often said: “Seek help from Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) as he surely bestows.” I sought help from Imam-e-Zamana (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and made a covenant with myself that if Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) helps me in reaching the examination hall, I shall always offer prayers at the prime time. Suddenly a person arrived, raised the bonnet, and did something after which the vehicle was fixed. He also accompanied me for some distance. When he was about to alight, he looked at me and said: “Fulfill the covenant that you made with your Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and disappeared from sight. Hence, I am duty bound to offer prayers at the prime time.
Every person, from east or west, is helpless and is complaining about his worldly conditions. Bad characters have taken the garb of law. Evil actions are taken as goodness. Society is leaping towards obedience to carnal desires. The path for righteous has straitened. Everything is correct, but our Imam is in occultation and present, as well. May Allah the Almighty help us to follow his path so that people interrupting the path of righteousness are kept at bay and the path towards the tent of our Imam (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is cleared.
The government of Imam Mahdi (peace be upon him) – viewpoint of other Imams (peace be upon them)
The ancient history of the rulers and the ruled ones helps us to have a deep insight into the historical aspect of kingdom and rulership. It also prepares a record of the various incidents that have occurred in the corresponding eras. In short, such eras have imbibed oppression and tyranny as one of the essential aspects to establish a strong rule.
In all such ages, the oppressed ones kept on enduring the oppressions inflicted by the rulers and eventually got used to it. History refers to such people as ‘the people of the third world.’
Question: Has Allah the Almighty not ordained any kind of provision for justice and guidance for the people of the third world?
Answer: The history of the chain of Prophets (peace be upon them) is enough to enlighten us on this aspect. One of the finest examples is that of Bani Israel.
Oppression and tyranny are widespread all around the world since ages but the promise of Allah, in the form of His book still gives us hope for the establishment of divine justice. Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) says:
“After me, I shall have twelve caliphs and the last one of them would be the one who will fill this earth with justice and equity just as it would be fraught with oppression and injustice.”
This tradition is considered as authentic and free of any doubts and vices by all schools of thoughts of Islam. Despite its wide acceptance, Allah the Almighty continuously reminds us about His promise to complete the argument on the day of resurrection.
We would like to draw attention of our esteemed readers towards the eloquent sayings of the Holy Infallibles (peace be upon them). As informed by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), his eleven successors enlightened the world with the promise of Allah the Almighty. The establishment of divine rule is certain, and the last era will be the one filled with justice and equality. This will be achieved by our twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) whose signs of mastership are as visible as a bright day.
Let us see how the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) and other Imams (peace be upon them) have highlighted the authenticity of this promise of Allah the Almighty with their narrations. These narrations do not allow the ignorant souls to dwell in ignorance.
Saeed Ibn Jubair narrates from Ibn Abbas that Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“Surely Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon both) is my caliph and my successor over my nation. From his lineage will be the Qaem (may Allah hasten his reappearance) who would be awaited. He will fill the world with justice and equity in a manner as it would be filled with injustice and tyranny. By the one who sent me as a warner and as a conveyer of glad tidings, surely during his occultation, those who stay firm on the belief of his Imamat would be amongst the most honored people.”
Jabir ibn Abdullah (mercy of Allah upon him) asked Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) whether there would be occultation for Qaem, to which the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) replied:
“Yes, by Allah, so that He separates the believers and destroys the non-believers.”
Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) then continued:
“O Jabir! Surely this is one of the decrees from the decrees of Allah and one of His secrets. Beware, never doubt about it for most surely doubting the decree of Allah is infidelity.”
(Ithbaat al-Hudat vol. 5, pg. 272)
If we ponder on this tradition of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), we realize that he (peace be upon him and his progeny) has pointed out to a number of important aspects. Some of them are as follows:
1. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) is the caliph and the righteous Imam after the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny). So, if anyone does not accept Ali (peace be upon him) to be the immediate successor of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), then he has disobeyed Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny). Rather he has disobeyed Allah since He has commanded the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) to convey the mastership of Imam Ali (peace be upon him).
2. Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is from the progeny of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), for him there will be occultation and he will be awaited. Like in the present era, the Shias of Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon both) believe in the occultation of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and await his reappearance.
3. Those who are firm in belief of occultation of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) are the noble ones.
4. During the occultation of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), people would go through difficult and testing times. The successful ones would only be those who stay firm in their belief of Imamat of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance).
5. The occultation of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) is a decree and from the affairs of Allah, hence anyone rejects it is a disbeliever.
To strengthen the emphasis, the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:
“I am giving you glad tidings about Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), who will rise from my progeny when people would be in excessive conflict and disagreement. He will fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would be filled with oppression and injustice.”
(Ghaibah of Shaikh Tusi (r.a., pg. 178)
This era brings forth several instances where the shadow of conflicts seems to be looming over the aim of creation.
An invitation from the palace where
Multitudes of listeners present there
The last son of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance), is aware of the eagerness of the Shias. Hence, it is important that we stay cautious of our actions. We must avoid those words that might cause displeasure of our Imam (peace be upon him).
Keeping brevity in mind, let us draw attention of our readers to the traditions of other Imams (peace be upon them).
Ameerul Momineen Ali ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon both) said to Imam Husain (peace be upon him):
“O Husain! The ninth from your progeny will stand with the truth and make Islam overpower (all other religions) and will spread justice in this world.”
Imam Husain (peace be upon him) says that he asked:
“O Ameerul Momeneen! Will this happen for sure?”
Ameerul Momeneen (peace be upon him) replied:
“Yes. By the one who raised Muhammad with prophethood and appointed him over all his creations. But only after his occultation, during which people will be distressed and anxious. During this period of occultation nobody will be steadfast on their religion except those who are true believers and from whom Allah has taken the pledge of our mastership and has inscribed faith on their hearts and has helped them through His special mercy.”
(Kashf al-Ghumma, vol. 2, pg. 521)
When Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) entered in a peace treaty with Muawiyah, some of his followers came to him and expressed their dissent and agony, to which Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) said:
“How would you know what I have done! By Allah whatever I did is best for our Shias and better than anything on which the sun rises and sets. Do you not know that I am your Imam and my obedience is obligatory upon you? According to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny), I am one of the two youths of paradise.”
And then everyone said: “Yes.”
Then Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) narrated the incident of Janabe Moosa (peace be upon him) and Janabe Khizr (peace be upon him) and explained that the acts of Janabe Khizr (peace be upon him) apparently appeared unacceptable to Janabe Moosa (peace be upon him) due to the hidden wisdom. Then Imam (peace be upon him) discussed about Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and said:
“He will not be under the rule of any tyrant, Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) will pray behind him. His birth would be a secret affair and he will have occultation. Allah will grant him a long life and when Allah will command him to reappear, he will look like a forty-year old man of honor.”
(Kifayat al-Asar, pg. 225)
On similar lines, Imam Husain (peace be upon him) mentions in one of the traditions from Kamaluddin, the famous book of Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.), in volume 1, page 318, that Imam (peace be upon him) said:
“If there remains only a day for this world to end, Allah will prolong that day to an extent that a person from my progeny will rise and will fill the earth with justice and equality just like it would be filled with injustice and inequality. I have heard thus from Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny).”
The aforementioned tradition clearly explains that the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) and his act of establishing justice and equality are most certain events. While referring to ‘if there remains only a day for this world to end’, it is implied that if there remains only a day for the arrival of judgment, then it would not occur unless Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) reappears and fills this world with complete justice and equity.
Imam Zainul Abideen (peace be upon him) remembers the era of reappearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) with the following words:
“When our Qaem (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will reappear, Allah will remove the agonies of the people through his blessings and will strengthen their hearts. Each of them will possess the strength of forty men.”
To conclude this discussion, let us refer the tradition of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him):
“When Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was martyred, the angels pleaded to Allah: O Lord! Imam Husain (peace be upon him) was killed with such cruelty while he is your appointed servant and the son of your messenger (peace be upon him and his progeny). Allah showed the effulgence of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) to the angels and told them that the blood of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) would be avenged by him (Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance)).”
(Behar al-Anwaar, vol. 45, pg. 221)
Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) will avenge the blood of Imam Husain (peace be upon him) and will burn those accursed people who burned the door of Janabe Fatema Zahra (s.a) which led to her martyrdom.
O Allah! We beg to you with the right of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) and his Holy Progeny (peace be upon them), to hasten the reappearance of your last proof and include us amongst his faithful servants.