An introduction to 14th Infallible Hazrat Imam Mehdi (A.S)
The Sun of the existence of the twelveth Imam (A.S.) cast its reflection and enlightened and brightened the hearts of the Shias with its light.
The Abbasade caliphs and government functionaries had heard that the Imams are twelve people and that the last and final of them is the son of eleventh Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) whose occultation will prolong, and he is the one who will form the world government.
The tyrant rulers were greatly and extremely alarmed and scared and wanted to stop it. But they were not aware that Pharos with his might and power and with all that barbaric massacre of the children and newly born babies could not stop the God's will to materialize. He was looking for and searching Musa/Moses [A.S.] from house to house but was bringing up; his wanted one in his own lap. Motamid, the Abbasade caliph, who was the Pharos of his age, was extremely vigilant and watchful about the Imam's house. When eleventh Imam (A.S.) was poisoned and taken from the prison to his house, in a feeble condition, he sent five of the courtiers along with him so that they may be vigilant and alert and inform him about any occurrence or incident taking shape at his house.
Then he sent a group of mid wives to the house of eleventh Imam (A.S.) so that they keep an eye upon the wife of Imam (A.S.).
Samarah immersed into disturbance and lamentations upon the martyrdom of eleventh Imam (A.S.). All the people by closing their places of work moved towards Imam's (A.S.) house. They carried the corpse upon their hands for the burial ceremonies in a much grand, splendid and magnificent way.
The Abbasade caliph got much harassed and bewildered at such movement of the masses. He was trying hard to cover up his crime and manifest the martyrdom of Imam (A.S.) as a natural death.
Motamid sent his brother to attend the burial rituals and take evidence, and make people a witness that nobody had killed the Imam (A.S.). On the other side, he took up the work of distributing the wealth of Imam (A.S.) so as to show that Imam (A.S.) has left over no son who could offer the funeral prayer and be the heir to his property.
But inspite of the entire efforts God's behest took place and the son of Imam (A.S.) was five years old when his father was martyred. He achieved the station of Imamate in that age, just as the Christ (A.S.) was appointed Prophet while he was in the cradle.
He, in the same age, when they laid the corpse of his father, and his uncle who was not a good man wanted to lead the funeral prayers, pushed his uncle aside and led the prayer assembly himself.
After the prayers he disappeared from the sights. From the very age of Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.), the Shias had seen him in his father's house and had heard the recommendations he did about his son. After the martyrdom of his father they kept in contact with him for a long time.
Circumstances of Imam's (A.S.) Birth
Hakima, the aunt of Imam (A.S.) says, "I had gone to the house of my nephew, on Thursday in the mid of shabaan's month. When I wanted to say good-bye and ask for permission to leave. Imam (A.S.) said, "Oh aunty do stay tonight with us because our son will come to the world." I was much overjoyed and happy and went to Narjis (mother of Imam-e-Zaman) but I did not find any clue and sign of pregnancy in her. Astonished and surprised as I was, I said to myself, I do not see any sign of child's birth. At this moment Imam (A.S.) came to me and said, "Oh aunty don't be sad Narjis is like the mother of Musa (A.S.) and the baby is like Musa (A.S.), who was born secretly and without any signs and symbols. Go to Narjis she will (bear) bring her child to the world at morning (Azzan time [dawn time]). I became glad and stayed with Narjis and the way Imam (A.S.) had said the signs of pregnancy appeared before sunrise. A sphere of light came into existence in between her and myself so that I could not see Narjis any longer. I got scared and came out of the room and contacted Imam (A.S.) and told him about the matter. He smiled and said, "Turn back, after a few moments so you will see him."
I returned to the room and saw that newly born baby was prostrating whereas he had raised his finger towards the sky, calling remembering his God with graciousness, grandeur and oneness and praising Him.
His Mother Narjis's Matter
One of the servants of Tenth Imam Hadi (A.S.) "Busher Ansari" narrated in this connection that, one day Imam Hadi (A.S.) called me and said to me, "I want to allocate a job to you, the performing of which will have a great worth for you". He gave me a letter along with a sack containing two hundred and twenty golden dinnars and said, "Take these and go to Baghdad and wait on the passage and course of river Euphorates as, a ship arrives tomorrow". There are plenty number of maids on it, which have been brought for sale. Most of the buyers and purchasers are from the Bani Abbas and a few other youths. There is a girl on that ship so when they ask her to show herself to the customers she does not do it. One of the youth comes forward and says to his master "I buy her for two hundred golden dinnars". But that lady does not agree. Then his master says, "There is no alternative except your being sold, so you must submit." But she replies, "Wait, my purchaser will come". Then you go ahead give her the letter and say, "If this lady be inclined to the one who sent this letter, I purchase her." She becomes glad after reading the letter thus you purchase her from her master and bring her."
Busher says, I did what Imam had ordered and purchased her form her master. On the way she narrated to me an amazing and astonishing story and said, "I am the daughter of the king of Rome". My grandfather was a close one to Christ (A.S.). My father wanted to get me married to his nephew. One day, he organized a grand congregation in the palace and made his nephew sit with me upon the throne. All the Christian dignitaries and chieftain gathered to get me married to him.
All of a sudden the palace shook, which scattered every thing and my cousin, fell down from the throne. They again organized an assembly but again the same thing reoccurred. The Christian dignitaries and nobles took it for a bad omen and all of them left the palace.
On the same night, I slept sad and uncomfortable. I saw in the dream that lightened men came to the palace. Some were saying one of them was Christ (A.S.) and the other one was the Prophet of Islam (P.B.U.H.). The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) of Islam facing the Christ (A.S.) said, "I ask you the hand of this granddaughter of yours for my (grand) son in marriage".
Christ (A.S.) was overjoyed and happy and accepted it (the proposal).
I got up from the bed and did not tell anyone about this matter. Till such time that one-day, I fell ill and my father summoned the entire physician and made them present near my bed. But none of them could treat me. I requested my father to free those Muslims who were in prison. He agreed to my demand and freed them and I was cured.
On the same night, I again saw lightened women. They were saying she is the mother of Christ Mary (Marriam [S.A.]) and Fatimah (S.A.) the daughter of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.). Fatimah (S.A.) who came ahead and said to me, "If you are inclined to be the wife of my son you should become a Muslim."
I embraced and accepted Islam at her hands in the dream. Then she took me along with her to her son Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.).
His love captured my heart very strongly and thoroughly so I became restless both days and nights till one night, I saw Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) in my dream. I asked him, "How can I become your wife?" He said, "very soon your father will send an army to fight the Muslims and you will be at the rear of that army. The Muslims will win the battle and you will be held prisoner and brought in to Baghdad for sale. The ship stops in the course of Euphorates and they bring you out for sale".
The customers come to purchase you. But wait, the one who will come to buy you will come along with a letter from my father. He will buy you and bring you along with him.
I awoke from the dream and was happy and after a certain time, the same thing happened what Imam (A.S.) had said. Oh Busher! Till this moment no one is aware of this secret, and recognize me. Beware, do not reproduce this affair, which I narrated to you to anybody, and keep it to yourself.
"Busher" says as she described her story to me I trembled all over and from then onwards I respected her more and accompanied her like a servant. Then I brought her to my Lord Imam Hadi (A.S.). He asked her, "How is it that you embraced (adopted) Islam?" She replied, "You are asking me something, about which you know better than myself."
Then he said, "Good tidings to you regarding a son who will fill the world with justice and legality, the son who is being awaited by all."
Then he, turning his face towards his sister Hakima said, "Oh Sister! this is the same lady you were waiting for. Take her along with you and teach her the commands of Islam." Hakima hugged her and graciously and honorable took her along."
Imam's (A.S.) Life Period
Imam's (A.S.) life can be divided into three phases.
1. From birth up to the martyrdom of his father till he was five years of age. During this period many of the Imams (A.S.) companions and the notables and jurisprudents who came from all over the nooks and corners of the world to see Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.) had met this son of his and had enquired the solution to out numbered problems from him. Imam (A.S.) had shown them his son and made recommendations to them about him.
2. The minor occultation (incubation), which started at the age of six years and continued up to 76 years. During this period, the government officials and agents were deprived of his meeting but the friends and associates did go to see him and ask him the solution to their problems.
During this period there were four persons, who were the special friends of Imam (A.S.) and were the medium between people and the Imam (A.S.). They carried and delivered the letters and money of the people to Imam and deliver them the answers of Imam.
Four of those include.
i) Usman bin Saeed
ii) Mohammad bin Usman
iii) Hussain bin Raoh
iv) Ali bin Mohammad Sumairi
These were out of those friends, who were the object of confidence of Imam (A.S.) and each one of them did perform his deputation and duties one after the other.
3. The major occultation (incubation) started from 329 Hijrah onwards and is currently running. He, during this period, which only God know how long it would last, attends the gatherings and congregation of the people and presents himself among them in an unknown guise, without being recognized. Nobody can recognize him and those who see him they see him as a stranger and when he leaves then they, from the signs and symbols, which they saw, know that he was Imam himself.
In the age, when Imam is spending his life in the major occultation and does not introduce himself to people jurisprudents who are capable, talented and well equipped in Islamic problems solve the difficulties of people and the Islamic society on behalf of the Imam (A.S.). They, keeping in view the people's welfare expedient of world and hereafter, provide the grounds for the revolution of the infallible Imam (A.S.).
People in this age, are waiting for him but it does not mean that they may sit idle, immobile and indifferent and stay their hands from endeavor, efforts and paving the way for his (Imam's [A.S.]) arrival. Instead, the waiting man is a person hopeful, endeavoring, dashing and moving, intelligent and aware, having faith and belief in Imam (A.S.), and finally leveler and pave of the ground for the appearance and advent of Imam (A.S.).
He is exactly like that mountaineer, who is waiting for the conquest of mountain peak and struggles and endeavors to lay hand upon his aim, and gets ready whatever is necessary to reach the peak. Obviously, having the plan of conquering the peak of success and sitting idle laying hand on hand will not make him reach the aim.
Therefore, waiting gives to the human beings movement, struggle and endeavor, though ideas, invention and discovery. If this vital principle is finished in the society human beings would become cold and frigid, immobile, hopeless and disappointed and would no more be optimistic about a brilliant future.
The principle of waiting in Islam is a principle un-detachable and un-segregatable from the religion, which gives the happy news of a bright future and the implementation of the total and complete social justice. Thus he trains himself for the sake of materializing this ideal and aim in such a way that he may be able to fight and combat against the darknesses, antagonist of Mehdi (A.S.) (Islamic antichrist) and Sufians and by virtue of his uninterrupted movement set the atmosphere ready for the formation of single universal government. So that by the time of the appearance of a Gad made personality all the aims and objective of Islam take their practical shape. (Insha Allah)
Imam's (A.S.) Miracles
Although there are a plenty number of the miracles of Imam-e-Zaman but we point out two of them as under:
1) Shiekh Tusi has narrated it from a man named Rashiq, who was the agent of Abbesade caliph "Motazid." One day Motazid summoned me and said, "I have learnt that there is a son in the house of Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.)". He escorted me with two of his agents saying, "Go to Samara as soon as possible and get into the house of Imam Askari (A.S.) if you find a young man kill him and bring his head for me. We swiftly proceeded till we reached Imam's (A.S.) door. We saw a slave sitting at the door. We paid no heed to him and entered the house. We saw a much beautiful house and a room in a corner attracted our attention. We drew the curtain up, saw a big room full of water and there was a carpet spread over it and a youth was busy offering prayers. One of the agents entered the room and at once sunk into the water. We saved him with a great deal of trouble. He lost his senses.
The other one entered the room he too got sunk into the water. We dragged him out. He too lost his senses. After an hour both of them regain their lost senses. While we were trembling with fear, we rode off upon our homes and moved towards the residence of the caliph.
We approached him at the mid of night. He was waking and waiting for us. We explained the matter to him. He too trembled with fear as we had and said, "Nobody should know about this matter. Keep this secret to you and don't tell it to anyone. If I come to know that you have mentioned it to someone I will kill you". So till such time "Motazid" was living we did not pluck the courage to say a word about it.
2) Ali bin Sinan narrates, a group of people of Qum proceeded towards Samarah, along with some money, to visit Imam Askari (A.S.). When they reached there they discovered that Imam (A.S.) had passed away. They remained uncertain and wandering around for a while to find out what to do, till such time they were introduced to "Jaffar" the brother of Imam Askari (A.S). When they described the aim and object of that journey. He said to them, "Hand me over the money as I am his successor. But they said, "Imam (A.S.) must tell us how much money we have along with us and that whose property is each of the sacks?"
This thing had occurred before as well, therefore, "Jaffar" got flared up and said, "You are telling a lie that my brother used to inform about these things. Because this is prescience and omniscience and oracle, and divination belongs to God only and none else".
But they insisted and asserted so that Jaffar made a complaint against them to the caliph. He summoned them and ordered them to surrender the wealth to Jaffar. They pledged that, "This is not our money and all are deposits of the people and we have no way except handing them over to somebody who may be the successor of Imam (A.S.) and if otherwise, then return them to their owners".
The caliph accepted their word and let them go free. When they decided to leave the city a young man came to them and said, "Imam has summoned you all."
All of them were happy and followed him to the house of Imam Askari (A.S.). There they found a young man, the effects and signs of Imamate were apparent upon whose face. They repeated the same words, which they had told Jaffar.
Imam smiled and said, "Sit down, so that I inform you about each one of these (sacks)". Thereafter, he took the name of the owner of each of the sacks one by one, the amount and their quantities and numbers.
We were pleased and overjoyed for the fact that we had discovered our lost object. We took out the sacks and handed those over to Imam (AS.) and enquired and put questions to him about our problems. He replied all of them. Then he ordered that from that time onwards we must not bring the money over there and instead; contact the representative, which he had appointed in Baghdad. Whenever we have questions to be asked we must send those to him and he will send the answers to us.
All of us said good-bye to him and came out. We thanked God upon that blessing and benediction.
Those who reached the Imam (A.S.)
Although Imam (A.S.) has not shown himself to anyone during the major occultation period and people have been deprived of seeing him but the pure and pious lovers have sometimes been able to see and talk to him and we point out a few occasions out of those, as specimens.
1. Shamsuddin the son of Hirqili: says about his father, "one day my father narrated to me the story of his leg which was wounded and then cured." In the youth time my thigh got injured and infected. It troubled me. One day I visited a friend "Syed Raziuddin Taus" in Hila Iraq. He gathered the physicians to examine my infected wound and to treat that but when they examined it, they gave a negative response because as per their opinion if they operated upon it, the risk of the vein being cut and consequently my death existed. The next year that Syed (friend) took me to Baghdad and got me inspected and checked by the physician of that place. All of them said the same that the physicians of Hila had previously said.
One of those days, sad, disappointed, and dismayed as I was, I visited the Shrines of my Imams (A.S.) in Samara and stayed there overnight and yearned seeking the help of Imam-e-Zaman (Imam of the age). When the morning dawned I went towards the river Dajla and washed my clothes and took a bath to turn back for Ziarat (visiting Imam's shrine). On the way back two horse riders met me. I thought they were the desert dwellers (nomadic). They saluted me. One of them said, "Come near me." Since, I had cleaned my clothes and did not consider the desert dwellers (Arbs) as clean, I did not go near them. I was afraid that their hands would contaminate my dress, which was still wet. I was thinking about it when suddenly he dragged me towards himself and put his hand upon the wound of my leg so that I yelled with pain. He took his hand off and said, "Ismail you are relieved, now do not be sad and distressed because you will bear no more of pin."
I was surprised how was it that he called me by my name. I was still thinking about it and he went. I said to myself perhaps he might be my Imam-e-Zamana. I followed him and appealed him to stop. Suddenly he turned his face back and said, "Ismail turn back."
I would not listen and continued running after him as before. The other person who was with him said, "Oh Ismail turn back are you not ashamed of it that you do not obey the command of your Imam-e-Zamana?"
Then I was positive that he was the Imam (A.S.) and the guardian of the Ummah.
I stopped and had a look upon him watching him go and after a while they disappeared from my sight.
Shamsuddin says, "From that day onwards my father would frequently and consecutively visit Samarah but he did not see the Imam (A.S.) again and left this world with the aspiration and longing to see him.
2. Syed Mohammad Jabal Amili: described the affair of his journey to his friends saying, "one year I traveled to Mashad and since I did not have sufficient money it was hard and difficult time. Till the time that I learnt a caravan was moving. But as I even did not have money enough to buy one time meal to fill my belly, I went to the (Haram) Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) and wept there. Then I decided to reach the caravan, even though I was hungry. Because, if I was left back the winter would set in and I would die of cold.
I was proceeding in the same condition upon the way but I lost my way and found myself in a dry burning and scorching hot desert. I was not able to move on account of hunger. Inspite of wandering in search of any grass or vegetation to eat I could not procure any. Night fell and it became dark. The noise of beasts and desert animals had harassed and frightened me. I was weeping and got prepared to submit myself to death. Not very long after the moon appeared and the voices of roaring of the beasts stopped.
Suddenly my eyes caught the sight of a hillock, the height of a dune, I went there I saw a spring. I was very much happy. I took some water drank it and made ablution and offered my prayers. Thereafter, I did not have the energy to move any more because of hunger. I went to sleep right there and got ready for death.
All of a sudden I saw a person riding a horse, moving towards me. I thought perhaps he may be one of the robbers and since, I did not possess a thing he might kill me, out of anger.
When he reached there he saluted me.
I answered his salutation then I knew he was not one of the robbers.
Then he said, "What are you up to?"
I replied him in a great deal of weakness and handicapped condition that "I am hungry and have lost my way."
He said, "you have a number of melons lying besides you, why are you hungry?"
I who had searched all the places around had not found a thing, thought he was just joking. I said to him "do not make fun of me, and leave me alone to die."
He said, "I am not joking look at the back of you."
When I had a look I saw three melons.
He said, "Eat one of those and keep the other two with you and go straight upon this way. Near about the sunset you will reach a tent, they will guide you to the caravan".
Then he disappeared.
I came to my senses at once and knew that he was the Imam-e-Zamana.
According to his order I ate one of the melons and when I was fit enough I picked up the other two and proceeded on my way.
On the noon of the next day I ate the other melon and proceeded again and as he had said, I reached a tent, near the sunset time. They showed me in to the tent and treated me well and then made me connect the caravan.
Can a man, have such a long life?
On the basis of the science of physiology the human body is composed of Billions of cells and tissues. With the passage of time, the cells get old and worn out and wither away and young cells take their place. This is how the schedule of life goes on.
That thing which worn the man out and stop the cells from performing their activity and work and brings the gift of death to man are the harmful microbes which enter the human body from various ways and start a combat against the cells and annihilate them.
The knowledge of medicine (prevention and cure of disease) is a witness to it that if man commands the perfect knowledge and acquaintance with the condition of body, diets and the perilous and harmful substances and completely looks after his health and is careful about his food his life will prolong. He will not meet an early approaching old age.
From this point of view the scholars and scientists have been able to prolong the lives of a few animals to many times their (natural) length, through experiments. In this way, man can, by virtue of vast knowledge and respecting the rules and regulations of health, live for a number of centuries.
A scholar must search for many long years to reach and lay his hand upon a secret of the knowledge, to get acquainted with only a piece of it. But Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.) all the stocks of whose knowledge are bestowed upon him by the God does not need to traverse all that long way and he can travel the length of centuries in one moment and reach the result.
In this way, it would not be anything difficult, from the scientific point of view that he (Imam [A.S.]) by the vast knowledge, which has been gifted to him by the God, may lead his life for hundreds of years with health and safety of his youth and old age and wearing off does not approach him.
On the other hand, the length of the life of Imam-e-Zamana is not more surprising and amazing than the extinguishing of the fire (of Namrod) for Ibrahim/Abraham (A.S.), the bifurcating and division of the river Nile for Musa/Moses (A.S.) to cross over and turning of a pole into a serpent, which are the show and manifestation of the power of God.
Quran and history with reference to these problems narrate the examples and specimens of the length of lives of the Prophets and the ordinary people in the past times. For instance, Noah (A.S.), Luqman (A.S.) lived as long as 950 years and 400 years in this world respectively.
Similarly "Bukht Nasr" lived 1507 years and Suleman/Solomon (A.S.) lived 712 years and Firoze Rai a king of India lived nearly 537 years.
All of these examples are a witness to the fact that the longevity of man's life is not against science and knowledge and it is possible to occur in all the ages.
How will the Imam (A.S.) achieve success and Victory over the World Powers?
In an age when the thinkers and wise men of the world are busy in a race of the production of destructive and harassing weapons there would be no sign of peace and tranquility and the world will continue to bum and smolder in the fire of war and injustice. The power poles would continue to think of expanding their governments and lands trough war and martial intervention. Given these circumstances and conditions disappointment and distress will overwhelm the human lives and the spectrum of sin, evil and aggression will expand.
In this condition the ground and scenario for the acceptance of a just government free of war and aggression will come into existence. All the nations will get fed up and tired of their egoist and tyrant governments and the expansion and progressing evil and injustice will make the world ready for an explosion. Just similar to the appearance of the bright star of Islam in the area of Hijaz. So that after five centuries of ignorance tyranny and cruelty a suitable scenario got provided for the advent of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) of Islam.
The afflicted and deprived masses got so prepared and ready to accept Islam that they responded positively and quickly to the call of Tawhid (oneness of God) and Justice of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and group wise embraced it and accepted its manifesto.
If we observe the revolutions of the world, we will find and discover that the best parts of the success of the leaders of revolutions was on account of the materialization and appearance of the suitable scenario in those societies which was caused by the extreme unhappiness of the people from the tyranny of their brutal governments and the same led their leader towards achieving power.
On the basis of this (theory) the upraise and revolution of Imam Mehdi (A.S.) will materialize on a natural ground which is the same appearance of suitable scenarios in the society and since the revolution of Imam (A.S.) would be global and not restricted to an area. Therefore, all the people of the world must get prepared to accept the revolution and this would be possible in a time that according to the saying of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), "cruelty, brutality and evil and destruction shall have over whelmed the total world." The extreme and severe pressures of the governments shall have put all the masses of the nation upon the course of an explosion, so that all stretch their hands towards it. And accept its invitation from the core of their hearts. Just like a fruit, which ripens upon the tree and with only a jerk or movement falls down to the ground.
In these conditions all the powers of the world, howsoever they may be equipped with marshal and military hardware, cannot stop and put a restraint upon that upraisal and revolution, through killing and massacres.
In this age the world is confronted with a defeat, and restlessness of souls and needs an unusual leader. A leader who may be fully equipped with the knowledge and awareness of the history and all the stages and degrees of the human culture very closely and who have touched all those and been an expectator and minute observer of all the historical changes and all the crimes of the past times.
He is the one who after the behest of and deputation order from the God yells out the slogan of justice and humanity and having gathered the historically subjugated and suppressed masses of the world around him put an end to the governments of the criminals. Unity will make those people, who spent their energies on the way to the annihilation and destruction of each other, get their energies and resources used for the welfare and prosperity of each other.
Thus bring into existence a world, far from fear, anxiety and full of boon and benediction.