Manner of Awaiting the Hidden Imam, Imam al-Hujjah, al-Qa’im, Imam Mahdi (aj)

Inviting the People towards Imam of the Age
The divine duty of every human being is to save his fellow creatures from perversion and wretchedness. And as certified by Imam Askari (a.s.), anyone who dies while not having recognized the Imam of his time has died in ignorance.1
Thus, those who have recognized their Imam and have faith in him have another duty of introducing Imam (a.t.f.s.) to others. Sulaiman-ibn-Khalid says:
I informed Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that my family members are people who accept my talks. I asked: Should I invite them to this affair? Imam (a.s.) replied: ‘Yes, for Allah, Exalted be He, mentions in His Book:
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel are men and stones” (Surah Tahrim, 66:6)
The scholars serving the Ahl al-bayt (a.s.) too have a heavy mission to bear on this path, as they are responsible for leading the people during the period of occultation.
The divine scholar and jurist Ayatullah Mirza Mahdi Esfahani (1365 A.H.) a great lover of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) in his letter to his student, Ayatullah Shaikh Muhammad Baqir Maleki Miyanji (1419 A.H.)2 Pinpoints that the first duty of scholars is to open the door of the house of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) before the Shias. He recommends them to talk about the Imamate and perfection of Imam of the age (a.t.f.s.) so that the people remain immune from the evil. In one part of this letter, he writes:
‘O brother, I advise you; and once again I advise you to invite the people towards the Imam (a.s.) of the time, their refuge and shelter and direct their hearts and tongue towards him.’3
1. Kamaluddin; 2/409 and Kifayatul-Athar/292
2. A scholar and researcher of our time in the theological school in Qum. His honourable teacher Ayatullah Mirza Mehdi Esfahani bestowed him with the title of jurist. Among his published works, the most important ones are“Menahij al-Bayan Fi Tafsir al-Quran”, “Tauhid al-Imamiyah” and “Badayeh al-Kalam Fi Tafsir Ayaat-ul-Ahkam”. I thank his son, Mr Ali Maleki, a learned and prolific personality who has kept at my disposal a copy of the aforesaid letter.
3. Al-Kafi; 2/211
Serving the Imam of the Age
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was asked: ‘Has the Qaem been born?’ Imam (a.s.) replied:
“No. If I were to meet him I would serve him all my life.”1
Ayatullah Sayyed Muhammad Taqi Musawi Esfahani says: This tradition signifies that serving the Imam (a.t.f.s.) is the highest form of worship and the most beloved form of obedience. This is because Imam Sadiq (a.s.) who has spent his noble life only on the path of divine worship and obedience says that if he met the Qaem, he would serve him all his life. Thus, it becomes clear that striving to serve the Qaem is the highest form of obedience and the noblest way of gaining proximity to Allah as Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has preferred this to all other forms of worships and obedience.2
1. Ghaibah-Nu’mani/245
2. Mikyal al-Makarem; 2/220
Preparedness for Assisting the Imam of the Age
Allah, the Almighty says:
“O you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, that you may be successful.”(Surah Ali- Imran, 3:200)
Imam Baqir (a.s.) interpreted this verse as follows:
“Adopt patience while following the religious laws and forbear the harms inflicted by your enemies and be ready for serving your Imam for whom you are awaiting.”
The necessity for preparing oneself for assisting the Imam of the age (a.t.f.s.) at the time of his advent arises from his armed uprising by which he shall cleanse the earth of tyranny and oppression. For this reason, a Shia is supposed to mobilize himself for that day which would occur all of a sudden. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says:
“Every one of you must make ready something for the uprising of the Qaem even though it may be an arrow.”1
Praying for Imam of the Age
Prayer for hastening Imam’s advent is a command from Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) himself. As he (a.t.f.s.) says:
“And pray abundantly for hastening the ‘faraj’ (respite) [i.e. Imam’s advent], for that is your very respite and deliverance from entanglements.”1
The divine ‘faqih’, Mirza Husain Nouri writes:
“Among the duties is to pray for the safety of the blessed life of Imam (a.t.f.s.) from the satanic evils of men and jinn and to earnestly call for his quick victory and triumph over the unbelievers, atheists and hypocrites. This it is a kind of manifestation of servitude and one’s consent to Allah’s promise that such a precious figure that is nourished in the reservoir of His Power and Mercy and covered by the curtain of greatness and splendour will be made manifest and the world will be lightened by his rays.”2
About the stimulus of praying for Imam (a.t.f.s.) of the age, Ayatullah Sayyed Taqi Musawi Esfahani writes:
“Praying for someone is the outcome of love for that person. And the main motive behind love and friendship is that one reckons that person’s existence to be a blessing. In fact, goodness in anyone is expedient and is the cause of love towards him. Thus, the more perfect one’s personal acquaintance of a person’s blessed existence and the more perfect his love for him, the greater would be his attachment in prayers to his existence….The more a believer’s knowledge of Imam (a.t.f.s.) and the more his perception that Imam’s existence is a blessing, the more perfect would be his love too. And the more perfect is one’s love, the more would be his endeavours in praying for Imam (a.t.f.s.).”3
1. Kamaluddin; 2/85& Ghaibah-Tusi/292&293
2. Najm-Saqeb/508
3.Kanz-ul-Ghanaem/52 & 53

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