07 May Ghaibat — an era of waiting for Imam (a.s.)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In traditions the present time is also referred to as a period of the Awaited One (منتظَر). Muntazar (Awaited One) is also one of Imam’s (a.s.) title and that is because the hearts of the believers are restless with regards to his reappearance and his imminent arrival. The Imam (a.s.) is himself eager and waiting for Allah’s command to reappear and to help the friends of Allah and remove the difficulties of his followers. In this regard there is a dua which is recited when one leaves the house on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
اللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلٰى وَلِيِّكَ المُنْتَظَرِ امرَكَ المُنْتَظَرِ لِفَرَجَ اَوْلِياَئِكَ
O Allah, salutations be on your vicegerent who is waiting for your command and the one who is waiting for the happiness of your friends.
It is clear from this that every moment of Occultation is harsh on Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) and is life threatening. Particularly because Imam (a.s.) is aware of whatever transpires in the world and is also informed about the state of Shias. He’s alert towards the threat from the oppressive, tyrannical, disbelieving hypocrite rulers. On the other hand, during the era of occultation, his hands are not even free to establish justice and equality and wipe out oppression and cruelty. It is but natural that Imam (a.s.), at any moment, is waiting to hear from Allah to execute the tasks which he has been assigned because the basic condition for reappearance is the preparedness of the masses and alertness and prayers regarding him. Thus, it can be said: Imam (a.s.) is waiting for his Shias to be alert, wakeful and cautious during occultation.
Regarding the lengthening of occultation and Imam (a.s.) living a hidden life, the Ameerul Momeneen (a.s.) was saddened and hence Imam would invocate avidly:
يَابْنَ خِيَرَةِ الاُمَاءِ مَتٰى تُنْتَظَرُ
O the son of the best of mothers, till when can one wait?
Yanabi al Mawwadah (Published by Daarul Uswah) 3-434 (chapter 99, tradition 4) The author of Yanabi al Mawwadah has narrated from the book of Siffin (Abul Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad Madaeni) and he narrates from Bashratil Islam (printed in Najaf Ashraf) page 80 (last of chapter two).
Chashme Andaaz (printed Afaaq, second edition) 109 narrated from Sharh ibn Abil Hadeed