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

Sorrow and Grief for Imam of the Age
Among the signs of love and affection for something or someone is that after missing or losing that thing or person, a person is overtaken by grief and sorrow and farther up, tears roll down his cheek.
If we reflect nicely, we shall perceive that from the viewpoint of faith, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is the most beloved personality to be loved and his absence a great calamity.
Didn’t the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) say:
“A slave (of Allah) has no faith unless his love for me is more than himself and his love for my Ahl al-bayt is more than his family members.”1
Sayyed-ibn-Taoos says to his son, Sayyed Muhammad: “O my son, Muhammad! I advise you, your brother and anyone who reads this book to deal correctly with the Almighty Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a.) and to follow their recommendations and glad tidings about the advent of our master, Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). For, I have witnessed a plenty the words and deeds of numerous people in opposition to what Allah and His messenger wish so.
For instance, if he loses someone, a horse, a dirham or dinar, his thought will at once focus on them and he will earnestly strive to find them. But I have not found anyone so engrossed over the matter of delay in Imam’s advent as they are over such petty issues. Besides, they are not disturbed by Imam’s absence as they are by losing such petty things. So, how can such a person claim that he has recognized the right of the Almighty Allah and His messenger (s.a.w.a.) and that he believes in the Imamat of Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)?”2
Those who sincerely await Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) and are in grief and sorrow until his reappearance should manifest their grief by heart and shed tears of blood for his separation.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says:
“Know that he would remain in concealment for a while and he would be un- remembered (by the people) until they would say: he has died! He has been killed! To which valley he has gone?! And O the eyes of believers, shed tears for him.”3
In this connection, Agha Hamadani recommends recitation of Dua al-Nudba. He says:
“It is recommended that every Friday, the friends of Hazrat, men and women gather in a mosque or other holy place and recite this dua with utmost grief and sorrow and lament for the occultation of this radiant sun and separation of this dearest soul on earth.”4
1.Bihar al-Anwar; 17/13. Also, refer to same; 27/86 & 112.
2.Kashf al-Muhajah / 206, chapter 150.
3. Ghaibah-Nu’mani /152 & 153.
4.Takaleef al-Anaam/189.
Patience and Resistance against the Enemies
Considering that the period of occultation has stretched too far, the enemies take undue advantage of the situation and taunt and vex the followers of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Some say: He has not been born. Another group writes: He has come and left! Yet, some consider the Shias to be liars and label them as superstitious and ignorant people!
As we truly know and conceive that Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) is alive and present, we should adopt patience and not allow the least doubt to enter our hearts.
Imam Husain (a.s.) says:
“From us are the twelve guided ones. The first of them is Amir-ul-Mu’minin, Ali-ibn-Abi Talib and the last of them is the ninth from my progeny who is the Imam establishing the truth. Through him, the Almighty Allah will make alive the earth after its death and will make the righteous religion to prevail over all religions, though the enemies may averse. For him is the‘ghaibah’ (occultation), due to which a group will forsake religion while another group would remain steadfast and consequently vexed. They would be scorned and sarcastically addressed: ‘If you tell the truth, then when will this promise turn out true?’1
Know that anyone who forbears and tolerates the teasing of the enemies during occultation is like one who participates in the holy Jihad accompanying the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).”2
1. Yasin (36)/48
2. Kamaluddin 1/317
Unanimity for Assisting Imam az-Zaman
Numerous reasons have been mentioned for the occultation and concealment of Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.). Among them, we may mention the fickle and unfaithful attitude among the people. About Imam az-Zaman, Khwaja Nasir- uddin Tusi writes: “His existence is grace and his domination yet another grace; his occultation and concealment is due to us.”1
If the people desire their Imam’s advent, they must get united by heart in this respect and must manifest this holy union in their deeds too. In the case of past nations too, if a prophet would voluntarily go into hiding and the people would sincerely and unitedly pray to Allah for the return of the said prophet, Allah would grant their wish.2 In this regard, Imam az-Zaman (a.t.f.s.) has recommended us to follow the same path. In his lofty address to Shaikh Mufid (413 A.H.), Imam (a.t.f.s.) says:
“If our Shias (may Allah give them the opportunity of obedience) would be firm on their promises whole-heartedly, our meeting would not be delayed and they would see us much sooner; a seeing that is accompanied with true recognition with respect to us. Thus, nothing keeps them far from us save their unpleasant actions that we become aware of and which we don’t reckon to be worthy.”3
1. Kashf al-Merad / 388
2.Kamaluddin /130 & 132
3.Kamaluddin 2/85; Ghaibah –Tusi/292 & 293
Guarding the Creed
The Shiite creed, right from its expansion at the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Imams (a.s.) was subject to attack by the enemies and more so during the time of occultation. This is because by the twelfth Imam’s absence, they find the arena empty and thus utilise this opportunity by misguiding and deviating the people.
Those who truly and sincerely await the Imam of the age (a.t.f.s.) are responsible for defending the creed and ideal of Imam and answering the satanic doubts and inspirations of the enemies with all their might. Imam Hadi (a.s.) says:
“If during the absence of your Qaem, there remains no scholars who invite the people towards him and defend his religion with divine proofs and arguments and free Allah’s helpless slaves from the trap of Satan and the enemies…, none would remain except those who turn their backs to Allah’s religion and become apostates.”1
1.Tafsir al-Askari (a.s.) / 345.

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