04 Dec Occultation( Ghaibat) Of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s)
When Imam Hasan Askari became cognizant that his death and martyrdom was near he clearly announced the Imamate of His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s) and he introduced him to his close confidants and reliable followers. Ahmad bin Ishaq Ashari, a trustworthy, pious and god-fearing man was one of these persons. It has come in narrations that he said: I went to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) and wanted to inquire about his successor. His Eminence, preceded me in the matter and said as follows:
“O Ahmad bin Ishaq! The Almighty Allah has not left the earth without a Divine Proof since the creation of Adam (a.s) and would not leave it without a Divine Proof till the hour shall be established (Day of Judgment). Through the Divine Proof calamities are repelled from the inhabitants of the Earth, rain falls and the bounties of the earth come out.”
After hearing these words Ahmad asked His Eminence: “Who is the Imam and Caliph after you” Imam Hasan Askari arose from his seat and hurried inside his house and returned after a short while in such a way that upon his neck on his shoulders sat a boy, whose face seemed to be like the full moon and it seemed that he was three years old. After that, His Eminence, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) said:
“O Ahmad! If you were not having a special and exalted position before Allah and the Proof of Allah, I would not have shown this son of mine to you. His name and patronymic is the same as that of the Messenger of Allah (a.s). He would fill the earth with justice and equity, as it would be fraught with injustice and oppressions. O Ahmad! In this community his example is like that of Khizr and Dhulqarnain. By Allah! He will have an occultation and none shall be safe from destruction but one whom Allah has kept steadfast in the belief of his Imam and given the divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) to pray for his reappearance.”
Ahmad immediately asked, “Is there any sign or symbol so that it may satisfy my heart ?”
Just then the boy, who looked like a full moon, began to speak and he said:
“I am the remnant of Allah on His earth and the revenge- taker from His enemies and do not demand proof after what is before you…”
After hearing these words of the Proof of Allah, Ahmad went out of the house of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) in such a condition that his complete being was surrounded by joy. When again he came to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) after that he said: “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I was very much pleased with the favor you bestowed me that day. Thus what is the continuing practice of Khizr and Dhulqarnain ?”
His Eminence, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) said in reply,
Ahmad at once said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, would the occultation of the Promised Imam (a.s) be also prolonged ?”
His Eminence, Imam (a.s) replied,
“By my Lord! Yes, so much so, that even those who had accepted him, would turn away from their belief and none shall remain except one from whom Allah has taken the covenant of our guardianship and in whose hearts is rooted our love and those who support it with their hearts.
O Ahmad! This is the command of Allah and one of the divine secrets and one of the Unseen matters of Allah. So remember what I am telling you and keep it confidential and be of the thankful ones so that you may reside in the position of Illyeen with us.”
(Ref : Kamaluddin, Pg 216)
This tradition contains some very important points as follows:
- Firstly: Since the Almighty Allah created man on the earth, He considered it necessary for their needs to establish His proof on them. So He sent prophets and successors towards them that they may convey the message of their Lord and complete the proof upon them. And this is due to the kindness of the Lord. And divine grace is having a logical base which the scholars and experts of scholastic theology in their discussions present their arguments through it. And they say that it is incumbent on Allah according to rational arguments to establish and complete His argument on the people so that one who intends to awaken himself, his awakening should be on the basis of proof and logical arguments. And one who desires to destroy himself, it should also be on the basis of proof and argument. And apart from this, the existence of the Proof of Allah is itself a cause of His innumerable fruits and blessings. Some of them are repelling of calamities from the creatures of the earth and the coming down of rain etc.
- Secondly: When the Almighty Allah favors His creatures with the reappearance and advent of His great reformer, His Eminence, the Awaited Imam (a.s), they would establish the loftiest values, chief of whom is the establishment of political and social justice in the world and destroy the various forms of oppressions that shall be present there.
- Thirdly: The Almighty Allah shall prolong the age of the Awaited Imam (a.s) like the age of Khizr (a.s) and Dhulqarnain. And this is not difficult for the All-powerful and All-wise Lord. It is the same way as the Almighty has made the stars and the planets fixed in their orbits and which continue to exist on the face of the earth. Thus for such a wise Lord it is not difficult to prolong the age of His reformer saint in view of those hidden wisdoms that only He is aware of.
- Fourthly: The Almighty Allah tests His servants through the prolonged occultation of His Saint and helper, the Awaited Imam (a.s). And only those shall remain steadfast on his Imamate who are firm in their belief about him. These were some important points mentioned in the blessed tradition.