QUESTIONS ABOUT MAHDI’S FEAR»


zeeshan.jpgBy Maulana Zeeshan Abidi
(Panel Ulema of  AQYouth)

With regards to Mahdi’s fear and occultation and in the light of what we have mentioned before, there remain a few questions which is worth mentioning:

First Question: Why Allah, the Powerful doesn’t hinder Hazrat’s enemies from killing him!?
answer: God has commanded the Creation of hindrance which is not incompatible with duty and responsibility i.e. the commandment for obedience, assistance and submissiveness and forbiddance from disobedience and enmity of Hazrat Mahdi. However not forming any hindrance between Mahdi and his enemies is because it is incompatible with duty and renders the reward and punishment as null and void. Rather, such a hindrance will give rise to mischief and this cannot be the consequence of God.

 Question: Why is Mahdi (A.S.) absent amongst the people and why has he isolated himself from them considering that his great fathers were present amongst the people!?
Reply: Mahdi’s very foundation is based on emerging with the sword and revolting for God’s sake but such was not so in the case of his great fathers. Presence of Mahdi would expose him to danger especially when it is well-known and famous that Hazrat is waiting for an opportunity. Also it is a well-known fact that whenever Mahdi passed away there was another to succeed him as against Mahdi who if killed there would be no one to succeed him.

 Question: I f Mahdi’s occultation is due to fear of his enemies, then why has he concealed himself from his friends!?
Answer: If there existed for Hazrat’s friends and companions a channel to meet and visit him then, as a rule it was certain for his whereabouts to be discovered.

 Question: Reply to the third question is true only if the entire Shias are successful in meeting Hazrat. However if such a meeting is possible for only a particular group amongst Imam’s friends, then his whereabout will not be discovered.
Answer: Any secret which becomes known to more than two will no longer remain a secret.

Question: Why didn’t Hazrat’s minor occultation continue in the very manner in which the special deputies used to serve him!?
Answer: The non-continuation of Hazrat’s minor occultation may have been for two reasons:
Firstly that deputyship from Imam’s side is especially the post of special deputyship is a very high and lofty position. Since a group amongst the power-seekers falsely claimed the position of deputyship during the last days of Hazrat’s occultation, the door of special deputyship was hence closed.
Secondly the special deputyship too at that time was kept secret and hidden and except for some specific people, none were aware of it. If the minor occultation had continued and the position of special deputyship would become known, Hazrat’s deputies too would have been exposed to danger.


«MAHDI’S MINOR AND MAJOR OCCULTATION»

For our Master, Mahdi – the Expected one, there has been two occultations: The minor occultation and the major occultation.
The minor occultation started from the time of Hazrat’s birth and continued till the end of the special deputyship which lasted for seventy-four years.

The major occultation commenced after the minor occultation and will continue as long as God Wills Hazrat to emerge and revolt with his might.

In the book of «Esbath-ul-Wasiyah», Ali-ibn-Hussein-ibn-Ali Masoudi says:
‘It is narrated that Imam Ali an-Naqi (A.S.) disappeared from the Shias’ views but for a small group of his special Shias. When the affairs of Imamate were entrusted to Imam Hassan Askari, he used to converse with his special circle of Shias and others from behind the curtain except when he was mounted and would travel towards the Kings house.
Imam Askari (A.S.) and his father were acting in this manner so as to prepare the ground for Hazrat Mahdi’s concealment. This was so that the Shias would become familiar with the matter of occultation and would not deny it and would become habituated with Imam’s absence and concealment.

Verily, right from the time of Amir-ul-Mumineen Ali (A.S.) till the period of Imam Ali an-Naqi (A.S.) and Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) it was customary for the Shias to meet their Imam whenever they wished. If they were deprived of this bounty all at once then doubt and hesitation would have overtaken them. Rather the faith of some of them would have become shaky. Thus Imam Ali an-Naqi (A.S.) and Imam Askari (A.S.) adopted this path as mentioned by Masoudi so that the Shias would gradually and gradually become

 acquainted with Imam’s concealment.

Imam Ali an-Naqi (A.S.) and Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) took up this excellent path for this very reason. Strict alertness of the rulers who were contemporary to the afore-mentioned two Imams confirm this matter. This resulted in fewer meetings and contacts with them especially so in the case of well-known Shii’tes.

The apparent glory and magnificience of the afore-said two Imams (A.S.) and the great number of servants and slaves and their greatness and eminence (which would naturally become the cause of fewer meetings of the common Shias and rather their special Shias except at fixed and special times) too confirms the matter of occultation.

Later on, the policy of Bani-Abbass changed with regards to the twelve Imams and their policy demanded respect and honour of the Imams and this path was first put into practice by Ma’mun Abbassid.

Those who cast a glance over history of Hazrat Ali-ibn-Musa ar-Ridha Imam Muhammad Taqi, Imam Ali an-Naqi and Imam Hassan Askari will realize the way of association of the Caliphs with Imams. This is because they believed in the greatness and magnificience of Imams (A.S.) and had kept at their disposal house, goods, feather, dress, servants, slaves and wealth for such motives which they had in mind. The main motive of the Caliphs, as per their own imagination was to receive more ease and attention when in the company of the the Imam especially so in the case of the afore-said two Imams.

The reason why Imam Ali an-Naqi concealed himself from the views of the Shias on much lesser occasions than Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) was that there was to be two occultation for our master Mahdi – One was the minor occultation during which period the deputies and special representatives of Mahdi (A.S.) were having access to Hazrat until the time when the Shias became familiar with the absence and concealment of Imam (A.S.) and the period of major occultation started wherein the special deputyship was cut off and unlike the Shias who had the privilege of meeting Hazrat’s great fathers, none have the opportunity of meeting the Imam officially.

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