zeeshan.jpgBy Maulana Zeeshan Abidi

(Panel Ulema of AQYouth)


The benefits of Imam-e-Zaman’s existence from our view-point (i.e. Shi’ite view-point) are of two types:
Firstly, Hazrat like other people is alive and the common people derive benefit from his existence whether present or absent and whether apparent or concealed.
Secondly, the benefits which is derived from Hazrat’s occupation (of the earth) was previously reasoned that due to fear and insecurity it is not obligatory for Hazrat to carry out the second type. However benefits of the first type will necessarily be derived from Hazrat’s existence.

The simile which has come in the tradition of Jabir-ibn-Abdullah Ansari is as follows:
‘Imam is like a sun hidden behind the clouds’
This simile is one of the most elegant and beautiful kinds of simile.

Various benefits and effects are derived from the sun’s existence even though it may be covered by a cloud. Moreover, other benefits are derived from its rays if it is not covered by a cloud or rather anything else. Imam too is the same.

I believe, this comparison has been made from two aspects and there exists two reasons for this (one aspect when the sun is covered by clouds and the other aspect when the sun is not covered by any object and its light glimmers) Deriving benefit from the sun and making use of it by the living and rather the non-living creatures is something prevalent whether it is manifest or concealed under the clouds. Every creature derives its own pleasure and share from it with the difference that when it is manifest and glimmering, the benefit derived is more than when it is covered and concealed. Imam (A.S.) too is like the sun in these two afore-said cases.

This is the view of the Shia-Imamiyahs about Imam (A.S.). However the Sunnis believe that the benefits and effects derived from Imam’s existence is confined to the second type (i.e. non-absence of Imam).
To this, we reply as such:
Some of the Sunnis reckon Mahdi’s occultation to mean that he is invisible and cannot be seen. However, just as mentioned before, their reckoning is far from truth. Rather, his occultation means that he cannot be individually recognized and seen.
Thus, it has come down in some traditions that after Mahdi’s emergence people will say:- ‘We used to see him before too.’

Verily Mahdi is absent (amongst us) but attends the gatherings and meetings. He also speaks to the travellers and other people. Rather, very often he presents himself during the Haj season.

He wears the ‘Ehram’ (pilgrim’s garb), recites the call of ‘Labbaik’, performs the ‘tawaaf’ (circumbulation) and concludes his Haj by visiting his honoured grand-father and great fathers’ shrines especially at times of special ‘Ziarats’. Thus Mahdi is present amongst the Islamic community but is not physically recognized.

One the contrary, we say: Who can dare say that during the major occultation it is not possible to come in contact with Mahdi (A.S.) whereas historical and other books provide us with evidences that a section of people have received the honour of seeing and meeting him. This matter is not inconsistent with the tradition which says: ‘If anyone claims that he has seen Mahdi, they reject his saying’.

This is because by context of the first part of the tradition it only means that anyone who claims the special deputyship should be denied.Rather we can say: Mahdi is one of the members of society and rather the most important member. It is possible that he acts upon his responsibility even though it may not be obligatory for him.

Verily, it is possible that Mahdi may come in contact with the Kings, rulers, princes and ministers and make some recommendations to them about reforms, maintenence of order and running of the affairs whether they follow his recommendation or not.He sits with the Jurists, scholars, writers and the learned people and discusses with them such topics as divine theology, moral rectifications and literary matters. In every field, he guides them towards the truth and right way irrespective of whether they act upon his sayings or not. He meets the traditionists, historians, gene and scholars of ‘Rijal’ and guides them to the true saying, truthfulness of the concerned matter, authenticity of relation (of narration) and their incorrectness irrespective of whether they approve his sayings or not.

Talks takes place with the preachers, inviters (towards the Divine path), clergymen and guides too and he reveals to them the way of reaching their objective in an easier way be it they act upon it or not.

He visits the helpless, needy, sick and afflicted people and fulfills the wishes of the needy and cures the sick. Mahdi (A.S.) strives for all these affairs without being recognized and he is never stingy in doing good to others. So it’s absurd to say: How people benefit from the hidden Imam!?

Verily, very often Mahdi (A.S.) replies to matters having to do with principles and other secondary matters; very often he solves the religious or worldly affairs; very often he cures the sick; how often he delivers the poor; very often he helps the helpless; very often he quenches the thirsty and very often he holds the hands of the disabled.

This book and other books which have been written by reliable scholars (who were not recognizing each other and were living in different places and different times) contain such evidences which bear testimony to the truthfulness of what we have written. A person, after going through the particulars and contexts of these kind of evidences will gain certainty in the veracity of some of them.


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