25 Apr Isolation in Ghaibat
Given Imam’s (a.s.) heartache, which is expressed in the letter to Shaikh Mufeed (r.a.), it is evident that the ways to reach Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) in the major occultation were not been put into practice and continues to be the same till date. As a consequence, the grief, sorrow and the sufferings on this honourable being keeps increasing by the day. The feeling of loneliness, oppression, alienation, negligence from others and the lack of recognition on part of the Shias towards the Divine Proof has prepared the residents of the heavens and earth to weep over Imam Zamana (a.t.f.s.). It is true that many Infallible Imams (a.s.) were mourning over his isolation, innocence and occultation years or even centuries before the birth of this honourable being.
Imam Sadeq (a.s.) was indeed seen sitting on the ground, lamenting like a mother who has lost her son. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he said: My dear! Your occultation has stolen my sleep and has troubled my heart. It has ruined the tranquility of my heart…My dear! Your occultation has brought on my being a life threatening catastrophe from which releasing oneself is difficult.
Do you know that in the traditions of the Infallibles, the Shias and the lovers of Ahle Bayt (a.s.) have been encouraged to pray for the promised reappearance of Aale Muhammad (a.s.)? In the 1200 hundred long years of this major occultation, the world is seeing oppression, injustice, sins and rampant innovations taking place. For every innocent blood that is being shed, or every drop of tear trickling down an orphan’s eye or from the eyes of the oppressed or for every sigh that comes out from the heart of an afflicted one — all these is under the gaze of Imam (a.s.) and all these things are all the more disturbing for his already gloomy heart. Isn’t this the case? Isn’t it true that the sufferings, oppression and bloodletting of the Last Proof of Allah is more than the sorrows of all Ahle Bayt (a.s.)?
The pain, torture and tears of his respected mother who grieved in the house of sorrow (Baitul Huzn) following the death of her father Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) are indeed shattering and heart-rending. But it lasted no more than couple of months. Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) loneliness and staying put in house too was restricted for a quarter of a century. The time Hazrat Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) spent in the prison, as documented, was at the most 21 years. But 1173 years have passed since the birth of Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) and this most capable and most courageous person is left wandering in occultation.
What patience! What perseverance and what great strength does he possess! How long and agonizing is this wait.
It is natural that when an individual from a family is arrested in difficulties then you will find that those associated with him or the people of his nation willing to help him at every step. They are worried and run from pillar to post to help him. They sacrifice their status and riches purely with the intention to rid him of his difficulties. These things, indeed have been regularly witnessed.
But doesn’t the Shia teachings and belief tell us that the Imam of the era is dearer than the near and dear ones? Don’t we recite this in Ziyarat-e-Jamea Kabeera?
بِاَبى أَنْتُم وَ اُمّى نَفْسِى وَ أَهْلِى وَ مَالِى
May my father, mother and my entire family be sacrificed on you Ahle Bayt (a.s.).
So, come let us vow to give up sinning and pray for the reappearance of Imam (a.t.f.s.) so that the lock on the prison of occultation is broken and it frees our Master, who is more dearer to us than our lives, from the miseries we have brought upon him.
It is often seen that when a child or a traveler is slightly late to reach home, the relatives and friends are left worried and restless with the fear that perhaps he or she has met with an accident. They set out to search for the person. Pause for a while and ponder, that how distressed or restless are we and the Shia community at large over the long delay in the arrival of the Last Proof of Allah (a.t.f.s.) and what have we done to find him? Have we ever thought on these lines?
We have been witnessing and hearing that if a person is oppressed and killed while he is innocent, then the only thing the family members seek is quick revenge so that they find some solace. And if this innocent whose blood has been spilled, happens to be the Blood of Allah, the beloved of Noble Messenger (s.a.w.s.), part of the Chief of ladies of the universe Janabe Zahra (s.a.), the Chief of the Youth of Paradise and if it is the blood of his sons, relatives and friends, then what are we supposed to do?
Don’t we read in Dua-e-Nudba that our Master Hujjatul ibn Hasan (a.s.) will seek revenge for the martyrs of Karbala and Janabe Zahra (s.a.).
We find in the speeches of Allama Amini (r.a.) that when the burning door was felled on Janabe Zahra (s.a.) she let out a cry, ‘Oh My son Mahdi!’ Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “The remains of the wood which was used to burn the house of Siddiqae Tahera (s.a.) is in our possession. It will be passed from one hand to other till it reaches the hands of our Qaem (a.s.).
Imam Sadeq (a.s.) says: That one of the rights we have upon our Shias is that after every namaz they should raise their hands and say:
يَا رَبَّ مُحَمَّد عّجِّلْ فَرَجَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ
‘O Lord of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) hasten the reappearance of Aale Muhammad (a.s.).’
يَا رَبَّ مُحَمَّد اِحْفِظْ غَيْبَةَ مُحَمَّدٍ
‘O Lord of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) protect (the religion) in the occultation of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).’
يَا رَبَّ مُحَمَّدٍ اِنْتِقِمْ لِابْنَةِ مُحَمَّدٍ
‘O Lord of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) avenge (the martyrdom) of the daughter of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
Dibil Khuzaei, who is considered to be a brave and renowned poet in the history of Shia faith, presented an elegy in front of Imam Raza (a.s.) which would end in the Arabic letter of ‘Ta’. When he reached on these verses:
وَ قَبْرٌ بِبَغْدَادٍ لِنَفْسٍ زَكِيَّةِ
تَضَمَّنَهَا الَّحْمَانُ بَالْغُرِفَاتِ
The grave of one among the Aale Muhammad (a.s.) is in Baghdad which is purer then breathing [The blessed tomb of Imam Moosa ibn Jafar (a.s.)]. Allah has granted him a place in heaven.
Imam Raza (a.s.) said: Will you like it if I add a couple of couplets to your elegy, which will make it complete?
Dibil said: Why not, O Son of Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.s.).
Then Imam (a.s.) said:
وَقَبْرٌ بِطُوْسِ يَالَهَا مِنْ مُصِيْبَةِ
تَوقَّدَ فىِ الاَ حَشَاءِ بِالْحَرَقَاتِ
اِلى الْحَشَرِ حَتّى يَبْعَثَ اللهُ قَائِمًا
يُفَرِّجُ عَنَّا الهمَّ وَالْكُرُبَاتِ
One grave is in the city of Toos, too, which has been engulfed by a great calamity. It is a calamity of such proportion which can set a person alight from inside till the time when Allah will send the Qaem from among us. He will bring to an end the sorrow and grief in us.
This narration tells us why an early reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) is of great importance to Imam Raza (a.s.).
Addressing Aba-Abdillah al-Husain (a.s.) in Ziyarate Nahiya-e-Muqqadasa, Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) says:
Oh my lonely grandfather! As I have been hindered by the course of time and as (Allah’s) decree has prevented me from helping you, and as I could not fight those who fought you, and was not able to show hostility to those who showed hostility to you, I will, therefore, lament you morning and evening, and will shed blood in place of tears, out of my anguish for you and my sorrow for all that befell you.
Today almost 1400 years have passed since the heart-wrenching events of Karbala but even now the tribulations and martyrdom of the sons of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the consequent imprisonment of the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) particularly that of princess of patience and courage, Janabe Zainab Kubra (s.a.) continues to draw tears and blood from the eyes of our master. If our blessed master weeps incessantly for the Chief of Martyrs (a.s.) then what is our responsibility?
Then shouldn’t we do something to stop the tears of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.)? Shouldn’t we fervently pray for the early reappearance of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) so that he can seek avenge from the killers and enemies of Aale Muhammad (a.s.)?
The author of Mikyalul Makarim writes: Even if there may not be much reward in praying for the early reappearance of our Master Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) nonetheless it carries lot of honour and virtue. For that, it is enough that the revenge for the killing of Sayyedus Shohada (a.s.), which is the responsibility of every believer, will be fulfilled through Imam Mahdi (a.s.), of whom the Chief of Martyrs (a.s.) is the real father.