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Waiting for the Appearance of Imam Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation)

Since the start of the great absence of Imam Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation) in 329 of immigration, the Shiite have been counting the minutes, hours, days, and years in awaiting for his promised with blessing appearance in order to fill the earth with justice and equity as it has been filled with oppression and injustice. The Most High God says, And indeed We have written in Al-Zabur (The Psalms) [i.e. all the revealed Holy Books Al-Tawrah (The Torah), Al-Injeel (The Bible), and the Qur’an] after (We have already written in) that My righteous slaves shall inherit the land (i.e. the land of Paradise).﴿1 And they have been asking God that they be with him (May God hasten his honorable revelation) and from the soldiers who are going to fight with him for God’s sake and to martyrize with him.

But the duration of the period of absence is not known, and the Imams (God’s peace bestowed upon them) accused of lying everybody who has appointed a time for it. It is related in a narrative ascribed to Imam Mohammad Al-Baker (God’s peace bestowed upon him) when one of his companions asked him, “Is there a time for this issue?” that he (God’s peace bestowed upon him) answered, “Those who appoint a time for it [the appearance] are liars. Those who appoint a time for it are liars. Those who appoint a time for it are liars…”

The time of appearance is unknown, and the absence has not been restricted to one or two days. It has, therefore, been long as is indicated in the narrative ascribed to Imam Jaafar Al-Sadik (God’s peace bestowed upon him): “By God! Your Imam will disappear for years from your time, and you will be tried to the extent that it will be said, ‘He [wanting Imam Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation)] died, was killed, perished and what valley did he pass through?’ Moreover, the eyes of the believers will weep on him.”

During this period will be living generations and believers who will be assigned with religious rules and will carry out their role along this blessed divine process. Then, what is the role of the believer during the period of the absence of The Master of This Time Imam Al-Houjja Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation)?

Waiting for the Revelation

The religious responsibility of the believer during the period of absence is summarized with one phrase which expresses the state which he lives and which expresses what is demanded from him during the period of absence; this phrase is “waiting for the revelation”.

It is related that with the approach of the day of the great absence of Imam Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation), he (God’s peace bestowed upon him) determined the religious responsibility with: “You have to be patient and to wait for the revelation, for The Prophet (God’s prayers and peace bestowed upon him and his Household) said, ‘The best deeds of my nation is the wait for the revelation.’”

Then, what is meant by waiting for the revelation?

A- The Negative Wait

The human being may naively conceive that the meaning of the wait is to stay without any movement or any action to cause a change, as is the case of the drowned who waits for the rescue team and lives the hope of the arrival of the team before drowning yet does no fight for salvation.

This means that the major job of the believers during the period of the absence is to live the hope of the appearance of The Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation) without attempting at changing the social and political state of affairs. Then, they, so that the hope will remain in them, suffice with watching the signs of the appearance which are mentioned in the texts. When they sense the conformity of a certain sign with a certain event, their hope greatens and they go on waiting without any act of change.

B- The Positive Wait

On the other contrary of the negative wait is the positive perception of the wait, as is the case of the fighters’ wait in the battle fields for the support of a big army. They fight, and they may even achieve victories in certain locations. While fighting the enemies, they live the hope of the arrival of the big army which is going to achieve the sweeping victory over the enemies.

They believe that they, by means of their fight, are paving the area for the arrival of that waited for army. Even more, they believe that their fight helps in bringing that army. When they sense some omens which harbinger the soon arrival of that army, this makes them insist on going on fighting.

This is the state of those who are waiting for their absent Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation) and who are working during his absence to pave the land for his blessed appearance. Verily, they are the pavers for the appearance of Imam Al-Houjja Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation), and this is indicated by some narratives like the one which tells about the banner which fights the enemies of Imam Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation), “…till it [the banner] arrives at Jerusalem where it establishes for Al-Mahdi his reign.”

Preparation of Those Waiting

Those who are waiting for Imam Al-Mahdi have been preparing their own selves to be qualified to pave the way for their great Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation) who is going to achieve the dream of the prophets and the authorities throughout history. When they invoke God, they repeatedly say, “…and make me form his supporters.” And when they visit their Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation), they say, “…and my support for you is prepared.”

This preparation is manifested in certain points, among which are the following.

First: Loyalty to The Most High God

This is at the top of the list of preparation. Anybody rather than the one who is loyal to God is not qualified to be waiting for the appearance. Imam Mohammad Al-Jawad (God’s peace bestowed upon him) referred to loyalty as being a basic characteristic for the ones waiting; he (God’s peace bestowed upon him) said, “…The loyal ones will wait for his appearance.”

Second: The Might

Imam Jaafar Al-Sadik (God’s peace bestowed upon him) clearly said that his grandson [the waited for Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation)] “will not appear but with mighty men.” In spite of the fact that this might is attained through the training to use weapons and to fight, its base lies in the power of the heart which brings about steadfastness in front of all the afflictions.

From here, it is related in the description of those honored with belonging to The Concluding Authority in the comprehensive change process that “the heart of one man from them is harder than the iron is. If they pass by the ironic mountains, they will be devastated. They do not draw back their swords till The Most Glorious and Reverent God is pleased.”

Third: The Hope of Martyrdom

Those who are waiting for their Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation) live the true belief in the hereafter which is made up of what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no mind has ever thought of. They yearn to catch up with the procession of the martyrs that will walk gravely in the yard of the Day of Judgment. The Prince of the Believers (God’s peace bestowed upon him) described them by saying that their scene will drive the prophets to dismount when they see them because of their splendor.

Accordingly, Imam Al-Sadik (God’s peace bestowed upon him) described the ones who are walking in the procession of the wait for the appearance of Imam Al-Houjja Al-Mahdi (May God hasten his honorable revelation) by saying, “They invoke God to grant them martyrdom, and they hope to be killed in God’s Cause.”

Fourth: Obeying the Guardian during The Imam’s Absence

The ones who are verily waiting for The Imam (May God hasten his honorable revelation) are those who are walking on the path of his authority which is represented by the guardianship of the guardian whom Al-Houjja (May God hasten his honorable revelation) called us to obey in his saying, “As regards the current happenings, refer to the narrators of our discourse, for they are my authority on you and I am God’s authority.”

It is, therefore, ascribed to The Noblest Prophet (God’s prayers and peace bestowed upon him and his Household) that he said, “Blessed be he who meets Al-Qa’em of my Household and who obeys him even before his appearance by taking his authority as a guardian and by disavowing his enemy.”

For Reading

It is related that Imam Al-Jawad (God’s peace bestowed upon him) said, “O Aba Al-Qassem, every one of us is fulfilling the order of The Most Glorious and Reverent God and is guiding to God’s religion. But Al-Qa’em, by means of whom The Most Glorious and Reverent God will purify the earth from the atheists and the renegades and will fill it with equity and justice, is the one whose birth will be hidden from the people, whose person will disappear from before them, and whom they will be forbidden to give a name. He is the one who will carry the name and the title of God’s prophet (God’s prayers and peace bestowed upon him and his Household). He is the one for whose sake the earth will be folded and every hardship will be facilitated. He will be accompanied by companions whose number is equal to that of those of Badr i.e. three hundred and thirteen men from the different regions of the earth, and this lies in the Saying of The Most Glorious and Reverent God: …Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is Able to do all things﴿1

When this number of the loyal men gathers for him, God will reveal him. And when ten thousand men gather, he will get out with the Will of The Most Glorious and Reverent God. Then, he will be still fighting God’s enemies till The Most Glorious and Reverent God will be pleased.” Abdul Azeem said, “Then, I asked him, ‘O my master! How will he know when The Most Glorious and Reverent God is pleased?’ He (God’s peace bestowed upon him) answered, ‘God will drop mercy into his heart.’”

It is related to Abou Jaafar (God’s peace bestowed upon him) that he said, “More than three hundred men, equal in number to those of Badr, will pledge allegiance to Al-Qa’em between Al-Rokon and Al-Maqam [The Sanctuary]. They include the courageous ones from Egypt’s people, the sacrificing ones from Sham’s people, and the righteous ones from Iraq’s people. Then, he will establish what God wants to establish.”


1- The Noble Qur'an/ Al-Ba’qara [The Cow] Chapter/ Verse 148

4144 View | 06-04-2013 | 11:18


 
 

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