History of both minor and
major occultation’s is a witness to the fact that. anyone who sought
guidance received it, From Imam (A.S.). Today also if anyone sincerely,
seeks guidance will receive it from 'Imam (A.S.)'
oneself completely to the wisdom and expediencies of Allah is mandatory
on the representative of Allah, as Allah bestows the responsibility of
guiding and leadership to those who not only stick to ordinance of Allah
but their intentions are also guided by the desire and pleasure of
Allah. As a result statements that flow from his mouth bear His assent.
Contradicting the desire of Allah is a sin and a sinner cannot reach
this office. Keeping the above principle in mind, we have to conclude
that all Imams necessarily followed the commands of Allah and his
actions, words and assent reflect the prescription of Allah. Now if Imam
is apparent it concurrents with command of Allah, speaks at Allah's
behest, his silence bears the assent of Allah, travels and migrates for
Allah's pleasure, remains hidden from nation at His dictates, goes into
occultation at His dictates, chooses his representatives in minor
occultation subscribing to His will. In short, he follows and concedes
to all injunctions of Allah.
presenting this prologue we intend to plunge directly to our main
discussion . "Whether it is possible to meet Jmam-e-Asr in his major
Possibility of doubt
would not have been there if people had gone through the Tawqee' (letter
of Imam) which Imam sent to his fourth and last representative, Ali bin
Mohammad-e-Saimuri. After informing him of his (Ali ibn Mohammad) death
Imam said :
"...soon a time shall
come when my Shias will claim to have met me. Beware! For the one who
claims that, he has met me before the uprising of Sufyani and a call
from the sky is a liar and a deceiver."
after this clear 'Tawqee' some pious and sanctimonious scholars and
sincere people described their meeting of Imam (A.S.), and they arc such
people whose trustworthiness is beyond question. In this contradictory
circumstance it becomes rather difficult, to asses the true position.
Rejecting the words of Islam is near to blasphemy, while rejecting the
pious people, whose integrity is beyond doubt is not, acceptable to
one's self. Also no other person can come in countenance of Tmam(A.S.).
In such paradoxical circumstances we have to after all reach a
conclusion. In reality, people have not understood the essence of'
Tawqee' as it does not, deny the possibility of meeting Ilazrat
Baqiyatullah (may our live be sacrificed for him) in major occultation.
Rather it comes heavily on pseudos selling the idea of being an
ambassador. In other words, this points to those who claim to be
emissaries and deputies of Imam (A.S.) like •Ali Mohammad Shirazi. It is
a lamentable fact, that like other scripts of Imam (A.S.) this 'Tawqee'
also was not able to acquire due attention from Shia cadres. Shia
scholars and masses alike have not pondered upon it. Otherwise the
artificial and pseudo special deputies and Mahdis would not have made
The statement of the
'Tawqee' that some people will will claim to have met. me can be
interpreted as those who will come forward and proclaim on the top of
their voices in order to market their fabricated ideas, under the garb
of meeting Imam and taking instructions directly from him. Mention can
also l)e made of those people who falsely claimed to have met Imam
(A.S.) due to social disturbances. It would not be wrong to mention that
apart from false claimants of deputyship in the present century there
were many individuals who sold their satanic ideas under the label of
Without going in much
detail, let us analyze and find out, the meaning of the word 'Ghaibat',
as its correct interpretation is of paramount importance in our
discussions. But, again people have a very superficial understanding of
the word 'Ghaibat'. The word is derived from the infinitive 'Ghaib'
which means 'to be away'. The word is related to Imam (A.S.) in the same
manner as the sun which is not visible to the naked eye either due to
the darkness of night or impediment of clouds, but, its existence and
presence is not affected. Similarly Hazrat Wall-e-Asr is exists but is
not seen by the people.
There are two viewpoints about the 'Ghaibat' of Hazrat Wali-e-Asr. First opinion which is prevalent
among common masses and is also supported by the apparent meaning of
some traditions is that Imam is invisible in the sense that people
cannot see him but he can see them. He might be sitting in a particular
place but that place is felt as vacant. This view can be supported by a
tradition recorded by Sheikh-e-Sadook in his book 'Kama luddin' from
Kayyan bin Suit that Tmam-e-Reza (A.S.) in reply to a question
concerning 'Qaem' said : "Neither his body can be seen, nor his name can
far as the safety and protection of lmam Mahdi (A.S.) is concerned,
this viewpoint is quiet simple to understand, straightforward and
practical. He stays in a secluded place away from all incoherence’s of
categorically states that people are in a position to see him but are
unable to recognize him or are not attentive to it. They are unaware ofh
is personality and whereabouts. Imam Hasan-e-Askari (A.S.) trained him
secretly away from eyes of people but relaxing the rule for some of his
special companions. This was done intentionally to establish
thevicegerency of Hazrat, Wali-e-Asr (A.S.). After the sad demise of
Imam Hasan-e-Askari (A.S.) the veil of occultation was tightened and he
was in contact with masses through four special deputies. Only few
reliable and trustworthy Shias like Alt ibn Mahziyyar were fortunate
enough to see him but every time Imam exhorted them to maintain secrecy.
With the passage of time, minor occultation proceeded towards an end
and all those companions of Imam Hasan-e-Askari (AS.) who saw .Imam
Mahdi (A.S.) passed away and a time came when those who were aware of
his features became virtually extinct, and a new generation emerged who
was totally ignorant about his peculiarities. They were unable to
recognize him even when he would be in their presence. Traveling to any
part of the world was not an impediment, for him.
briefly explaining the two viewpoints about the occultation of Imam
(A.S.) the question arises about, the possibility of meeting imam in
occultation. There would not have been any room for such a question if
the tradition mentioned earlier would not have been there designating a
person who claims to have met. Imam (A.S.) as liar. We have mentioned
this in no unclear terms explaining its interpretation and in its light
is the following discussion based.
viewing Imam (A.S.) physically is possible based on logic and reasoning
given two viewpoints about occultation? is the first, question to be
dealt, with. In reply to this, if we accept the first viewpoint about
his invisibility then conversation or meeting with him becomes
impossible unless and until a miracle takes place and at the will of
Imam as and when the situation so demands. But, as per second viewpoint
only his name and cognizance is hidden and we support, this view point
with sufficient proofs to substantiate our claim. There are three
possibilities of meeting Imam (AS.) :
(a) Meeting Imam Mahdi (A.S.) without, realizing that he is Imam and there are scores of incidents in this regard.
(1) Meeting Imam Mahdi (AS.) but becoming aware afterwards.
To meet Imam and during conversation realize that he is talking with
Imam. These types of incidents are very few; may be due to complete
occultation this thing is kept secret.
if we accept the first viewpoint then meeting with Imam (A.S.) requires
a miracle, but as regards the other viewpoint we categorically refer to
benefit and need of Imam. Imam is essential to lead the society towards
the right path, purpose of meeting with people is relieving the group
from oppression, to alleviate a person from physical or economic harm or
to show the right path and so on but of course with will of Allah and
within limits of occultation.
the above discussion the point has been made clear that meeting Imam in
occultation is not only possible but, sometimes the circumstances render
it essential. Statement of Tawqee' was meant, to caution people from
claimants who would fool the people. But as far as religious and pious
people are concerned many incidents have been recorded out, of which a
few are mentioned below :
Muhaddis-e-Qummi in book Muntahal Aamaal narrates an incident, from
Mulla Zainul Aabedin Salmasi about Allama Bahrul Uloom. Inciden pertains
to those days when Allama was staying in Mecca and giving lectures to
Hanafi, Shafaco, Malekei and Hanbali scholars. Salmasisays that one day
he expressed concern about the mounting expenses due to Allama's
benevolence and the situation had arrived when not, a single penny was
left. Vet Salmasi did not receive any reply.
routine schedule of Allama consisted of him performing the
circumambulation of Kaaba, then going in a private chamber and after
smoking pipe going into another chamber where he used to give
instructions and verdicts in various schools of jurisprudence . Next,
day when he just started smoking somebody knocked at the door and to my
astonishment Allama him self quickly rushed to open the door instructing
me to take the pipe away. I saw a handsome man in the dress of Arabs,
with a pleasing personality who entered and sat in the room and Allama
in utter humbleness sat by the sidr of door and indicated me not to
bring the pipe. A Her con versing for some time the man stood up and
Sayed himself opened the door and made him ride the camel. Later Sayed
returned and seemed perplexed. He gave me a piece of paper and asked me
to go to a money changer who was stationed ;it the hill of' Safa and to
take whatever he gave.
I went there
and handed over that note to him. He with great respect kissed it and
asked me to bring lour labourers. I did so and they were loaded with
franc riyals to the extent, they could carry. Once I went to Safa to
inquire about that money changer but to my astonishment 1 did not find a
single shop there. I inquired in the vicinity but they also assorted
that they had never seen any moneychanger there. I understood that it is
a secret of Allah.
2) Mention in
this regard can be made of another incident of Allama Bahrul Uloom which
is reported by Allama Majlisi (R.A). Aqa-e-Zainul Aabedin Salmasi
narrates that he was sitting in gathering ;)f Allama Bahrul Uloorn and
at, that time one per-lon questioned him about the possibility of
meeting [mam Mahdi (A.S.) Allama, who was holding a smoking pipe in his
hand,, put, aside the pipe and bending his head murmured in such a
I was able to heart it.
He said, "What reply I should give to this person? Although, Imam Mahdi
has embraced me there are explicit traditions calling a person liar who
claims to have met him" After this he lifted his head and replied, "It
is narrated in the traditions that, one who claims to have met Imam
should he out rightly rejected." AUama did not say a single word
From the above incidents it
becomes clear that meeting Hazrat is possible but propagating it, is
not. permitted, so as to prevent its misuse by self-centered people.
It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar (Vbl-53, Pg 255) by Allama Majlisi
(R.A.) that, Sheikh Baqir Kazmi narrates an incident of a barber who was
serving his old father. This pious person performed his duty to the
extent of helping him in going
toilet. He never used to be away from his father except, on Wednesdays,
when he used to go to Masjid e-SahIa hut keeping the track of time. Not
seeing him for quite a few weeks. in Masjide Sahia, I (Sheikh Baqir
Kazmi) inquired from him the reason for not coming to Mosque. The barber
explained that he went for forty Wednesdays, but, on the fortieth time
he was not, able to proceed early.
started in night, and was nearing his destination when suddenly his
eyes settled on a distant rider who apparently seemed to be an Arab
nomad who was heading towards him. When he came face to face he inquired
about, his destination in a nomadic dialect. He promptly replied,
'Masjid-e-SahIa'. Then he (nomad) inquired whether he (barber) was
having some eatables with him, but he replied in negative. The Arab
nomad again asked him to put his hand in his pocket and to see whether
he was having some eatables. He again assured the Arab that he was
having nothing. On his insistence he searched his pocket and found some
raisings which he had purchased for his small son and had forgotten
Then the person pronounced
thrice (in nomadic language) which meant, 'I advise you concerning your
father and disappeared. Then he (barber) realized that the man was no
other than Hazrat Hujjat who is not, happy to see me remain negligent of
my father even on Wednesdays.
Aqa-e-Haj Reza Hamdani narrates in his book 'Misbah' that on some
occasions Hazrat Hujjat (A.S.) gives opportunity of seeing him to his
selected and trustworthy Shias. For instance, about fifty years back a
pious scholar Abdur Rahim Dimavandi was able to avail of this
opportunity. He narrates that in ;i complete darkness he met Hazrat, who
was standing facing Qible and light was emitting from his face. The
light was so luminating that even the floor was clearly visible along
with its details.
Islam Wal Muslemeen Aqa-e-Shiekh Moiiammad Hamdani whose piousness was
beyond doubt and acclaimed by one and all, wrote that owe his wife was
in a semiconscious state and doctors had given up all hopes of her
survian that I prayed to Hazrat, on 22nd Safar, 1397 A.H. she was
carried in midnight.
In short, after considering the numerous incidents of meeting Hazrat and also scy erase traditions we can conclude that :
a) It is absolutely absurd and false to claim that meeting with Hazrat can be held at ones desire, without the some from Imam.
on other hand, if Hazrat himself wishes to honour somebody with the
opportunity to meet him is a different matter. In that case supplication
are very half face but acceptance of same depends, on Hazrat.