Friday, March 2, 2007

Absence of Imam Mahdi

Pious are who believe In the Unseen [1]

Although Imam Mahdi did not appear publicly to population at his childhood, but as mentioned before some trustworthy companions of Imam Askari and some of the Shiites who went to Imam’s house saw him sometimes. Because of some social conditions that told before, by God’s order he disappeared when he became Imam and started his secret life, doing his divine job in hidden. This means that he lives like us in society but cannot be recognized as who he is. He has two Absences, one of them called “Gheybat e Soghra” that means “The Shorter Absence” and the other: “Gheybat e Kobra” which means “The Longer Absence”. You can find several statements in Sunnite and Shiite books from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and other Imams about his Absence. Imam Sadegh said:

Imam Mahdi has two absences, one of them is long and the other is short. [2]

His first and shorter Absence started just after his leadership at his five and lasted for 69 years, until year 329 Hejri. Some of Shiite scientists calculate this Absence from his birthday and so it lasted 74 years rather than 69. After that his first absence finished, his second and longer Absence started, which has not finished yet and it will end by God’s order, so that’s why we pray every time and ask God to let him manifest as soon as possible.

There is a question: what is the most important difference between these two Absences? May be the main difference between these two Absences is that he had some deputies during the first one. They took people’s questions, mails, donations, and other things to Imam and brought back their answers. Imam had four deputies who lived in Baghdad and were buried there too. They were called “Novab e Arbae” which means four deputies, also they had lots of wonders and miracles. The first deputy was “Osman bin Saeed Amri” and he died around 265 Hejri. Before he became Imam Mahdi’s deputy, he was Imam Askari’s assistant. The second one was the first one’s son, “Mohammad bin Osman Amri”, who died on 304 Hejri, and he was one of Imam Askari’s assistant too. When a group of 40 Shiites came into Imam Askari’s house after his birth, Imam Askari told them about deputation of these two during Imam Mahdi’s Absence. The third one was “Abolghasem Hussein Bin Rooh Nobakhti” who died on 18th of Shaban 326 Hejri and his ancestors were from Iran. The forth and last one was “Ali bin Mohammad Samori” who died on 15th of Shaban 329 Hejri. Just six days before he passed away, Imam Mahdi sent him a letter and announced him about his death and starting of Longer Absence era.[3]

During the Longer Absence, which has come about eleven hundred years up to now, Imam has not had any deputy. So what should people do? Whom they should ask their questions? According to a statement which came through Imam, they should ask their questions from “Maraaje” (the referred scientists of Islam). That is why people call this group of Scientists as “Novabe Aam” that means General Deputies. Imam Mahdi wrote in a letter:

In new cases refer to trustworthy tellers, because they are my casts to you and I am God’s cast to them. [4]

Imam Mahdi leaves as a common person in society. He goes to Hajj ceremony every year, he is coming and going into populations, he conducts Muslim, helps poor people, and so on. According to a statement from Prophet Mohammad, he acts like sun, when it is behind clouds. People cannot see him, but they are still benefited by him. [5]

During this time, although most people do not have access to Imam and can’t see him face to face, but with God’s permission, some people have had chances to come over and visit him. We have lots of stories about the people who had this chance. “Mohades Haji Noori” brought hundred of these stories in the seventh volume of his book “Najm o Sabegh”.

O God! We believe in Imam Mahdi and his manifest weather or not we exist when he appears, we want you to be our witness, and let us recognize him and be one of his companions, Amen.
[1] Quran, Baghare, Ayah 3. [Back]
[2] “Algheyba”, Nomani, page 170, Statement 1 & 2; in Sunnite references: “Eghdol Dovar”, Moghadasi Shafeie, Page 133 &134. [Back]
[3] “Ehtejaj”, Tabarsi, Volume 2, Page 193. [Back]
[4]"Kamal al Din", Pages 484, Statement 4. [Back]
[5]"Kamal al Din", Pages 253, Statement 3. [Back]

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Leadership (Imamat) of Imam Mahdi

O believers! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. [1]

Imam Askari was murdered on 8th of Rabi ol Avval of year 260 in Sameraa. After him, the Imam Mahdi's leadership was started. As Prophet Jesus and Prophet John and also like Imam Javad and Imam Hadi, he was a child when became leader. But you must know that Knowledge and wisdom of God isn't acquired and nobody can earn them by studying but the one who God decides. So like mankind knowledge you don’t need to grow up and get some experience for it. We have an Ayah in Quran which says that Prophet Jesus spoke with the Jews scientist when he was only few days old and he was in Mary's arm:

I am indeed a servant of Allah. He has given me (Holy Book) revelation and made me a prophet. [2]

After Imam Askari, his brother Jafar who was famous as Liar Jafar, wanted to became Moslems' leader. He denied Imam Mahdi's leadership. There is a custom in Islam and that is when an Imam dies, the next Imam must pray over his body and bury him. Jafar wanted to use this Islamic rule and he stood in the first line of Moslems who wanted to pray on Imam Askari's body and decided to start praying. Some of Shiite and special friends of Imam shocked and looked at him, suddenly a youth came and took Jafar's clothes and told him: "Dear Uncle, go backward because I'm deserver than you to pray for my dad." Jafar went back while he was wan and Imam Mahdi started praying. Because of this act of Imam Mahdi, every body who were there found out Jafar's lie and also they understood that the next Imam is Imam Mahdi. [3]

Jafar became anger and reported it to governor which was Motamed and he ordered his commanders to go after Imam Mahdi. But Imam was finished praying and by order of God became absent to save his life.

He is the last Imam (Khatam ol Osiaa) and like other holy leaders, he has special power and science which came through God. We have lots of stories about his miracles in our books, Just in Esbat ol Hoda which was written by Sheykh Hor Ameli, on volume 7, chapter 33, he brings 170 stories. These miracles are reason for his leadership too. Most of them are about curing sick people, help to poor ones, conduct people, direct people who lost their ways, foretelling future events and so on. These mean that his absent didn't affect on his leadership and he does what he must do. His absents is bad for us and its like when we want use sun, while it is behind clouds.

O God! During his absents and also his manifest, in this world and other world, put us as his companions, Amen.
[1] Quran, Nesaa, Ayah 59. [Back]
[2] Quran, Maryam, Ayah 30. [Back]
[3] "Kamal al Din", Pages 475, Statement 25. [Back]

Friday, February 16, 2007

Imam Mahdi's Birthday

And say: "Truth has (now) arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish." [1]

Imam Mahdi was born 15th of Shaban in year 255 Hejrah early in the morning at the Azan time in Sameraa. "Motamed Abbasi" who was the ruler of that time heard a lot about 12th Imam and his revolution which would eliminate cruel kingdoms and replace them with a divine government and he also knew that this Imam would be Imam Askari's son. So he put some spies in his house to report him Imam Mahdi's birthday and kill him. His act was like what Nimrod and Pharaoh wanted to do with Prophet Abraham and Prophet Moses and like both of them he couldn’t do it either. That was because God wants him alive, like those Prophets, his mother didn't look as a pregnant woman during her pregnancy period so his birth was clandestinely and he grew up in secret.

His birth story was written in both Shiite and Sunnite books [2] as this:
"Hakima Khatoon", who was Imam Askari's sister, was in Imam's house as a guest and prepared herself to leave there. Imam Askari told her to stay over and said: "Dear Aunt, Stay here tonight, because tonight a baby will be born who is darling near God and he'll bring dead earth to life". She asked who is his mother and Imam replied Narjes Khatoon. She went into house again and when saw Narjes Khatoon didn't seem as a pregnant woman, surprised and went back to Imam and told him about her wonder. Imam smiled at her and said: "Her pregnancy manifest to you by the morning, because Narjes is like Moses' mother who nobody find out that she was pregnant until the birth time, because Pharaoh incised and killed pregnant women to kill him. This boy is like Moses".

In the middle of the night Hakima woke up for Night Praying. After praying she found out that Narjes was sleeping and she made doubt about Imam's word, suddenly she heard Imam's telling her: "Don't be hurry! Fate is imminent!" She shied and started reciting Quran. A little bit later Narjes Khatoon woke up and performed ablution and start praying. Just before morning Azan, she found out about labor pain then Imam Mahdi who is promised of all Prophets and Imams and he would do what ever God has promised, was born with out any contamination. There was an Ayah writing on his right arm which came before at the beginning of this post.

He put his knee over ground and his face on the soil and while pointed to sky by his forefingers told:

I witness that there is no divinity except God who has no mate.

So he called Prophet Mohammad and all his grand fathers from Imam Ali till he reached his name and then told: "O God! Do what ever you promised me before and finish my job, determine me in my fight and make the Earth full of trust and justice by me."

Imam Askari told to his sister to cuddle the baby and brought him. The baby said Hello to his dad while he was in her aunt's arm. Imam took him and patted him and put his tongue in to his mouth and asked him to speak. Imam Mahdi replied with this Ayah:
And we wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs. [3]

So start to confession to God's unification, Prophethood and all Imams until his dad. Hakima saw some birds flying over his head and one of them -with Imam's order- took him to sky and returned him after few days. She asked Imam about this bird and he replied: "He was Roh ol Ghodos who is the greatest angel and God order him to be with Imams and help them to success and train them knowledge". After his birth Imam Askari, base on Islamic tradition, dedicate [Aghighe] some sheep and distribute them with lots of bread in the Bani Hashem. [4]

Because Imam Mahdi's birth was in secret, Imam Askari wrote some letters to his Shiite and his deputy in different area and announced them his Birth. In a letter to "Ahmad bin Isaac Qomi" who was Imam's attorney in Qom, Imam wrote: "My son was born. Keep this news by yourself and don't tell to any one. We didn't tell this to any body but our family because of kinship and our friends because of friendship. We wanted to announce this to you, so you become happy like us." [5]

Also in several times while there was no spies at his house, Imam showed this baby to Shiites and introduce him as upcoming Imam. One time when about 40 Shiites went to visit him, Imam Askari went into house and brought out a handsome child and said he is your Imam. [6] And sometimes Imam committed him to answer their questions, thus they know him and believe him as Imam. In a case "Kamel bin Abraham" that was Imam's attorney in Medina went to Imam's house to ask some questions, Imam Mahdi who was 4 years old on that time and looked so handsome, told him his name, answered to his questions, before he asked them. [7]

O God! Assist his companions and despised his enemy, Amen.
[1] Quran, Asraa, 81. [Back]
[2] "Kamal al Din", Sheykh Sadoogh, Chapter 42, also "Shavahed Al Nabova", Abdol Rahman Jami [Back]
[3] Quran, Ghesas, Ayah 5. [Back]
[4] "Kamal al Din", Pages 433 & 433. [Back]
[5] "Kamal al Din", Pages 434, Statement 16. [Back]
[6] "Esbat ol Hoda",Sheykh Hor Ameli, Pages 7, Statement 20. [Back]
[7] "Al Gheyba", Sheykh Toosi, Page 148. [Back]

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More knowledge about Imam Mahdi

That which is left you by Allah (Hojat) is best for you, if you believed. [1]

We have lots of statements from other Imams about Imam Mahdi which describe about him. Here are some of his properties:

Name: His name is same as Prophet Mohammad's Name. In lots of statements we prohibit calling him by this name, that's why some writers write his name with separate alphabets or use his nicknames or cognomens.

Cognomens: He has numbers of nicknames, each of them describe one of his characteristics. The famous one is MAHDI which is meaning the person who led in the right way. One of the Imam Bagher's companions asked him what does Mahdi mean and why 12th Imam called with this name? He replied: "his name is Mahdi; because he'll guide his companions to something that hidden and he'll decipher the original Mosaic Law and all other holly books and will judge for any religions followers by their holly books. He'll govern whole world and share wealth between people and tell them come and get these. These are wealth and money's that you fight for them and forgot your kinships, killed each other and corruption. Prophet Mohammad said He is from my blood, his name is as mine and God will keep and renew my government with him. He does like what I acted and makes the Earth full of trust and justice which was filled with cruelty and oppression before."[2] Another nickname is Baghiyatollah which means things that God left. Saheb ol Zaman (owner of career) is the other one. He also has another famous nickname which is Gha'em. This name means the person who'll revolt. When ever Imam Reza heard this name, stood and put his hand over his head and said:
O God! Manifest him as soon as possible and make it easy for him.

There is a statement that Imam Reza said about this name:
He named Gha'em, because he'll manifest when his name will be forgotten, during that time most of people who think they are his companion will apostasy him.[3]

Alias: He has a same alias as Prophet Mohammad. He also has another one which is "Aboo Saleh", and means Father of "Saleh". We don't know if he has children or not, but there is a tradition in Arabs when a baby is born, they select a name like this as alias for him/her.

Parents: His father was Imam Askari, which was 11th Imam of Shiite. Imam Mahdi is ninth grand son of Imam Hossein. Also Imam Hassan's daughter married with Imam Sajjad and delivered Imam Bagher, so through this way Imam Mahdi is one of Imam Hassan's grand son too. And from these two ways he is a grand son of Prophet Mohammad and also Prophet Abraham. Beside these relations, Imam Sajjad's Mother was Shahr Banoo who was daughter of Iran's emperor. Imam Mahdi's mother was Melaka (or Narjes). Her Father was Yashooa who was Rome's emperor and her 7th Grand father was Peter who was guardian after prophet Jesus. Story of her marriage with Imam Askari is so interesting. So Imam Mahdi is grand son of prophets of most religions and also offspring of two big emperors in the world on that time.

O God! Increase our knowledge about him and include us in his prays, Amen.
[1] Quran, Hood, Ayah 86. [Back]
[2] "Behar Ol Anvar", Volume 51, Page 29 & 30, Statement 2. [Back]
[3] "Kefayat ol Asar", Page 283 , Also in "Mekyal Ol Makarem", Volume 2, Page 129. [Back]

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Imam Mahdi in other Imams' verses (Revayat)

And we made them leaders, guiding (men) by our command, and we sent them inspiration to do good deeds, also to establish regular prayers, and to pay charity; and they constantly served us (and only us). [1]

We have lots of verses from Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him and all other Imams that promise believers about manifest of Imam Mahdi. Aside Imam Ali we don't have this large of verses about any other Imams. This amount had been large enough that a number of books were written by some of Imam Kazem's and Imam Reza's companions about Imam Mahdi, his absence and also his manifest some decades before his birth. Because of this you can't find Verses books without this topic, whether the writer was Shiite or Sunnite.

One of the oldest and valid books of Sunnite is "Mosnad" which was written by Ahmad Bin Hanbal who lived in 241. In this book you can find more than hundred verses about Imam Mahdi. The Sunnite followers have some credible verse books in the name of "Mosnad" which were written by some trustworthy writers such as Abo Davood, Eben Maaje and Termazi. In all of these books you can find a chapter for Imam Mahdi. Beside this they have more than hundred books that were dedicated to Imam Mahdi's Topic. This number grows up to two thousand books which were written by Shiite writers. Just in "Montakhab Al Asar"[2]you can find more than two thousand verses about Imam Mahdi.

Maybe this large amount of verses causes to a spontaneous agreement between Shiite and Sunnite on the bases of Mahdaviat, beside they have different idea about Imamat. They have no clash on manifest of Imam Mahdi as far as you can find some verses from Prophet Mohammad in Sunnite books such as:

Who ever deny Imam Mahdi is pagan [3]

Also they tell this verse form different sources from Prophet Mohammad:

If there is just one day left to resurrection, God will increase that day length until a man who is my grandson and he named same as me revolts and makes the Earth full of trust and justice which was filled with cruelty and oppression before. [4]

This straight belief to Imam Mahdi by Moslems either Shiite or Sunnite caused to misuse by some delusive people and they lied and tried to introduce themselves as Imam Mahdi, it had no reason except misled others. "Mahdi Soodani" who lived in Sudan in North Africa and he was Sunnite, "Mohammad Bin Abdollah Ghahtani" who lived in Hejaz and he was Vahabi and also "Mirza Ali Mohammad Shirazi" who lived in Iran and he was Shiite are some examples of this bitter fact.

O God! By expediting his manifestation make world full of justice and faith, Amen.

[1] Quran, Anbiaa, 73.[Back]
[2] Written by Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani in the order of Grand Ayatollah Borojerdi.[Back]
[3] "Alborhan Fi Alamaate Mahdi Akhare Alzaman", Motaghi Hendi, Page 170, Verse 2.[Back]
[4] Sonan, Abo Davood, Chapter of Al Mahdi, Verse 4282 – Also Sonan, Termazi, Chapter Ma Ja'a Fi Al Mahdi, Verse 2231.[Back]

Monday, February 5, 2007

Imam Mahdi in Quran and other holy books

And we have sent down to you the Book explaining all things.[1]

Believing in Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him and his holy family and also faith to returning of Imam Mahdi is not only for Moslems. It mentioned in other holy books for others religions and illuminated them to this fact. There is an Ayah in Quran about this idea:
Before this we wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): My worshipper the righteous shall inherit the earth.[2]

All of Shiite commentators and some of Sunnite's said that "Righteous Worshipper" (Ebadi al salehoon) is related to Imam Mahdi.[3] According to this Ayah, good news of returning and manifestation of Imam Mahdi and his worldwide government was mentioned in Prophet David's book (Psalms) and other holy books. So believers of those prophets were aware of this subject. As you know most of the holy books except Quran are consider to distortion. Despite these alterations you can find this topic in these books now.

Is it possible that God talked about this case in all of the holy books and he didn't tell anything about Imam Mahdi in Quran? Of course not, certainly it is a wrong idea. We have a lot of Ayah in Quran about him. Seyyed Hashem Bahrani one of the great Islamic scientists in eleventh century wrote in his book[4] that more than hundred and twenty Ayah is about Imam Mahdi and demonstrate his word by addressing to our Imams verse. Some other scientists increase them to 265 Ayah and may be we can add some more verses (Ayah) to this collection.

All of these verses (Ayah) which by them we are informed manifestation of Imam Mahdi and all events that would happen at that time and learn something about his companion and also his enemy and our duty during this time are telling us how much Mahdaviat (things regarding to Imam Mahdi) is important in Islam. Interpretation of these verses and relating these verses to Imam Mahdi is not only for Shiite commentators, but most of Sunnite commentators accept it and mention to it in their books. One of the great Sunnite scientists Soleyman Ghondoozi Hanafi who was lived in 1294 was allocating one section in his book[5] to this topic and told that 57 verses in Quran are for Imam Mahdi.

At the end, there is an Ayah in Quran which is verified by both Sunnite and Shiite that it is about Imam Mahdi and regards to his revolution. Exalted God says about his manifestation and his government:
And we wished to be gracious to those who were being depressed in the land, to make them leaders (in faith) and make them heirs.[6]

All the commentators agree that heir (Vares) is Imam Mahdi.[7] O God! Manifest the promised of all religions as soon as possible, Amen.
[1] Quran, Nahl, Ayah 89 [Back]
[2] Quran, Al Anbiaa, Ayah 105 [Back]
[3] Eghdo al Dovar (Salmi Shafeie) page 217 [Back]
[4] "Mohajato Fi Ma Nazal Fi Al Gha'em Al Hojja" this book is named "Simaye Hazrate Mahdi dar Quran" in Persian. [Back]
[5] Yanabi Al Maveda, volume 3, Section 71 [Back]
[6] Quran, Ghesas, Ayah 5 [Back]
[7] Sunnite: Shavahed Al Tanzil (Hakem Haskani) Volume 1, Page 431, verse no. 590
Shiite: Ma'ani Al Akhbar, Page 79, Verse 1 [Back]

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Why we must know our IMAM?

One day we shall call together all human beings with their -respective- Imams. [1]

Each wise person should try to find his God and Prophets. It means after he believes God, he should accept all Prophets that God has sent to human kind. Not only acceptance, but he should try to do what ever they said and be responsible for all of their commands that came on God's behalf. What is the next step? Is it okay with you if somebody says that this rule will be destroyed if Prophet dies? Of Corse not! We believe that after Prophets God determine some people as Imam (leader) for us to obey them and solve our entire man kind's problem with them. But who are they? This is our responsibility to research and find them. Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him said:
"Who ever die and didn't find his Imam, will die like the pagan Arabs before Islam (Jahelia)."[2]

Jahelia is an expression of living before Islam which was full of deviations, inequalities and aberrations. By this verse Prophet Mohammad wants to tell us that if we accept God and all of the Prophets, but refuse to know and accept current Imam, we are not Moslems and if we die under this circumstance, we will die like a non Moslem (Jahel). It means that all of our duties (Amaal) will be accepted by God just if we believe to God, Prophet and Imam. For example for the people who lives in Imam Sadegh career, it was necessary to believe and obey him and if somebody denied him he was not Moslem.

Now in this world and current period our Imam is "Imam Mahdi" and we must try to know him. Imam Mahdi is the twelfths Imam and also the last one. Beside acceptance of God, Prophet and all of the past Imams we us must accept him too.

When Imam Reza travel to Neyshaboor in the way of Toos, some of the learned Sunnite people came to him and asked him to tell them a verse (Hadis). He replied them by a verse that came from God through Prophet Mohammad and all of his grandfathers:
"Believing in God is my strong and secure castle, who ever come into it, will escape from my punishment (Azaab)."

So Sunnite people exited and let him to continue his trip, but Imam adds a comment to his verse and said:
"It has some conditions and I am one of those conditions." [3]

As told before we must know and obey our current Imam which is Imam Mahdi to escape from God's punishment (Azaab) and enter to heaven in the next life. O God! Help us to get some divine knowledge about him and all his fathers and transfer us from this world to another one with this faith. Amen.
[1] Quran, Bani Israeel ( Al Asraa), Ayah 71 [Back]
[2] Mosnad Ahmad bin Hanbal 2/73 – Sahih Al Bokhari 5/13 – Sahih Al Moslem #1849
Also in Kafi (Koleyni) 1/377 – Kamal Al Din (Sheykh Sadoogh) 39/410, 411 [Back]
[3] Oyoun Akhbar Al Reza (Sheykh Sadoogh) Segment 37 Volume 2 Page 134 Hadis 4 [Back]