28 Apr Why Occultation? – PART II
WHY OCCULTATION? – PART II
CONTINUED FROM PART I….
Occupation a divine plan
If we study the aspects of the occultation and reflect upon it, we can easily understand it as a divine plan. After this the reappearance of the Imam shall be the last part of this divine plan. It is mentioned in a tradition:
“There is no miracle of the Prophet which Allah will not manifest through Our Qaem so that he proof will be complete for the enemies and they have no avenueor excuses.”(Muntakhabul Athar, pg. 313)
As time progressed and the numerous human schools of thoughts came into existence, the nefarious plans of the unjust authorities also evolved. After the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a time came when during the occultation; different types of conspiracies were hatched. Different types of wrong beliefs led astray the gullible public away from the right path. Instead of the true guides there was now an excess of the false ones-the Kaisaniyas, the Kazemiya, Ismailiya, Wahabism, Bahaism and Qadianism the list of the false movements seems endless. After suppressing the constructive missions the unjust and tyrannical instances began to fill the pages of history. Even after 12 centuries, all these are still rampant.In the end the savior will arrive to put an end to all this. The rule of Allah will stretch from the east to the west. No one would be qualified to oppose him and neither would anyone have any complaints.
The divine promise throws light upon the reasons of the occultation which is an inseparable part of the plan. There is always an interval of time between a promise and its fulfillment. These are a few examples of the divine promises in the miraculous book (the Quran):
• In Surah Noor, Verse 55
“Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth…”
• In Surah Anbiya, Verse 105
“And certainly We wrote in the book after the reminder that (as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.”
• In Surah Aale Imran, Verse 200
“O those who believe remain steadfast, have patience, maintain co-operation anid fear Allah. Perhaps you be successful.”
• When the earth dies Allah again rejuvenates it by His power.”
From the afore-mentioned verses, we conclude that Allah will make His representative and
successor inherit the earth and bestow upon him a just and equitable Kingdom.He will revive the earth after its death and in the rule of this government there would be no difference between the strong and the weak. And those who have power will not be able to exploit the down-trodden people. The promise of Allah is true. It would be surely fulfilled. But the various factors of the re-appearance are being accomplished, which are going to be instrumental in the establishment of the divine government. Allah has bestowed a prolonged occultation to His Last Proof (Hujjat) so that the belief of the believers could be put to a test, and all the opponents can try all their designs.It is a naked truth that the floods of injustice and oppression is increasingly engulfing the whole world. But the seas of injustice and oppression has not yet developed the power enough to break the boundaries and surround the earth. Or we can say that the caravans of utter darkness, along with their blackness,have yet to descend upon the earth. And only when the wrong¬doers would have completed their oppressions to the utmost, that the secret aim of occultation would be revealed.What would have happened if there had been no occultation? The reply is simple. Hazrat Wali Asr (a.s.) would have become manifest and just like the previous Imams he also would have been martyred. The light of Allah was in the form of human creation and the evil ones were on its look-out. The result would have been that even the last proof of the Prophets and the Imams would not have remained on the earth. The result would have been either of the two. One, the earth would have perished. Or, the future generations would have complained that the argument of Allah has not been completed. Hence, the Almighty Allah has kept His proof in
occultation so that on one hand the continuity of the world is maintained and on the other hand all the corrupt and evil people have an open field so that there is no scope for the complaint that the proof of Allah is not complete. At the time of the reappearance they will not have any arguments. And the propriety of divine justice shall be maintained. Another reason for occultation as stated in the traditions of Ahle Bait (a.s.) is if Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) had been manifested, then he would have had to live under pressure of some unjust ruler like his predecessors. The agents of the ruler would keep him constantly under surveillance. The open enforcement of the shariat was almost impossible. Thus Allah has appointed such a time for his reappearance where there does not remain any power to obstruct the Imam in his
mission. He would have collected the necessary -strength to subdue all opposition and every corner of the world would be clear of the evil elements.
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says in one of his utterances:
“The master of this divine government has a concealed birth so that when he is to reappear he will not have any pressure from any oppressor.”
(Muntakhabul Aihar, pg. 288)
As far as the necessary preparations of this government are concerned Allah will create the favorable conditions overnight. For it is actually the government of Allah. Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is only the representative of Allah in this regard.
One of the reasons that is evident from the traditions of Ahle Bait (a.s.) is that the occultation is to be prolonged till all the practices of the prophets and their methods are accomplished in Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.).
Sudair asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) “O son of the Prophet ! why it is like that (the occupation is prolonged) ?” Imam replied, “Allah will not order the reappearance till all the practices of the Prophets, which the prophets had during their occultation are not acted upon fully. O Sudair it is obligatory for him (Qaem) to fulfill all these things. Allah says:
“That you shall most certainly enter one state after another” (Surah Inshiqaq, Verse 19)
(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 52, pg. 90)
That means all those practices were before you when will all this be accomplished is known
to none except Allah. That is why to predict the time of reappearance is prohibited. Some other reasons of the occupation are deduced from the traditions of Ahle Bait (a.s.). But to go into the details and the depths of these and to say anything for sure would be nothing but to deceive ourselves. The actual causes of the occultation and the wisdom behind it is known only to the Creator and those divine personalities who have been bestowed with divine knowledge. The infallibles (a.s.) have been ordered not to explain these divine secrets. This could be explained by the example of the incident of Hazrat Musa (a.s.) and Hazrat Khizr (a.s.). When Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) made the hole in the boat, killed the boy and repaired the wall he did not inform of his main intention behind his actions, till it was time for Hazrat Musa (a.s.) to separate from him. At the time of departing he told Hazrat Musa (a.s.) the actual reasons. This concept could be explained in the light of the tradition related from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) by Al-Fazl Hashmi which is as follows:
“The occultation of the master of this affair is a must, during which the sinful people will be involved in doubts.”
I asked Imam, “May my life be sacrificed for you, why is it ? He said: “Even we have not been permitted the exposition of this affair.” I enquired, “What is the wisdom behind the occultation?” He said, “The wisdom behind this occultation is the same that was for the occultation of the previous prophets. The actual reason will be revealed only after the
reappearance. Like Hazrat Khizr (a.s.) did not explain the reason for making a hole in the boat and killing the boy and repairing the wall till it was time for Hazrat Musa (a.s.) and him to separate.”
O Son of Fazl, this affair is one of the affairs of Allah. And its secret reason is one of the secrets the knowledge of which is exclusive to Allah only. When we have expressed the belief in the wisdom of Allah we have to agree that whatever he says or does is also having wisdom. Even though the actual reasons and the cause may not be evident upon us.”
(Behaarul Anwaar vol. 52, pg. 91)
As far as the obvious reasons of occultation as given in the traditions are concerned one is that during the occultation the belief in Imam (a.s.) and his obedience is put to test. In a lengthy tradition Imam Jafar as Sadiq (a.s.) tells about the signs of reappearance and concludes thus:
“And these signs will appear after a long occultation so that Allah could test as to who believes in him and obeys him during it (the Ghaibat).”
(Muntakhabul Athar Chap.35,Tradition 1)
Another reason of occultation is also our bad deeds and the atmosphere of irreligiousness. Our society is satisfied upon the prevailing un-Islamic conditions and considers them to be truly Islamic. Then where is the scope for any prophet or Imam in such a society. It would not be inappropriate to compare this with the situation of Kufa. Imam Ali (a.s.) was calling the people to Jehad against Moawiya and the people were exhibiting their cowardice by making
excuses of the summer and winter seasons and looking for a favorable season. The result of this was that the Master of the most pious had to accept the cup of Martyrdom. The same is the condition of our society which, Imam Baqir (a.s.) states in his tradition. Marwan Anbari says that a letter from Imam Baqir (a.s.) arrived where Imam had written:
“When Allah disliked the company of the people for us he removed us away from them.”
(Behaarul Anwaar vol.52, pg. 90).
Finally, it is to be mentioned that Imam-e-Zaman (a.s.) himself does not like, that the people should insist upon knowing the reasons for occultation because it is one of the divine secrets. According to Imam-e-Zaman (a.s. ), Allah the High and Mighty does not wish that we question about the (causes of) Ghaibat because it would be detrimental for us. if we know of the reason we would be aggrieved. One tradition in this connection is presented thus: Imam Mahdi (a.s.) in a ‘tawqee’ (epistle) through his second special deputy, Muhammad bin Usman (a.r.) says:
“As far as the cause of occultation is concerned Allah, the Almighty says, “O you who believe! do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you…”
(Behaarul Anwaar vol. 52, pg. 92)
It is clear from the above tradition that we should not indulge conjectures about the causes of occultation. However, we should accept as truth all that is informed to us by the infallible Imams and we should be satisfied with it. Only Allah is aware of the divine affairs. Hence we should consider this occultation as a bounty and a respite which is given to us, so that we can perform good deeds and correct our mistakes. Then, when the reappearance of Imam is ordered by Allah our love for the Imam would benefit us. If the reappearance occurs during
our lifetime we would then be given the honor to be among the helpers of Imam (a.s.) in his mission against the enemies of Islam. We could accompany the Imam (a.s.) when he avenges the death of the martyrs of Karbala, for whom we mourn and shed tears, year after year.
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