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 Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (Al-Mahdi-Sahibuz Zaman) AS PART2

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PostSubject: Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (Al-Mahdi-Sahibuz Zaman) AS PART2   Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:06 pm

As in the above saying of Imam Hussain (AS) that due to the excessive length of the concealment of the 12th Imam many believers will have doubts about his existence. Many will question the very longevity of his life and the usefulness of his presence as an Imam.

To the question of existence, we have seen above the many Verses from the Qora’an and Hadith of the Prophet and all the Eleven Imams. We have also read quotations from the Books of Ahlul Sunna wal Jama’a and many scholars and philosophers from the earliest times to the present.

As far as the longevity of his life, in Qur’anic terms it is not difficult to explain. Prophet Jesus is alive and will come out with the 12th Imam. Prophet Sheeth and Prophet Khidhr are still alive according to the Verdict of the Qur’an. If God keeps his guided ones alive for a certain purpose there should not be any doubt.

As for the usefulness of his concealed existence, there are numerous occasions when the Imam miraculously helped those who called him for help.

During the period of Ghaibate Sughra (the period of lesser concealment) from the time of the death of his father Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) in the year 260 Hijri, our 12th Imam was seen only by a few people who were appointed his ambassadors (Safeer) on his behalf to convey his teachings to the believers. These Four Ambassadors were as follows:

1. Abu Amr Uthman ibn Sa’id al Asadi. He was a deputy of 10th Imam Ali Naqi (AS) and after his death, of the 11th Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) and after his death, of our 12th Imam.

Having performed these duties of conveying the messages from the Imam to the believers and the teachings of Ahlulbayt, he died in Baghdad and was buried there.

2. Abu Ja’afar Muhammad ibn Othman al Amri, the son of the first Ambassador was appointed the 2nd Safeer of our 12th Imam. He died in 305 Hijri (917 AD) .

3. Abul Qasim Hussain ibn Rauh Nawbakhti was appointed the Imam’s 3rd Safeer. He was a top ranking scholar and Faqeeh, renowned for his knowledge of all Islamic sciences. He was also a very pious man. Under the directions of the 12th Imam, his 3rd Safeer Hussain ibn Rauh performed his duties as Safeer for the next 15 years. He died in the year 320 Hijri

4. Abul Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samari. He was the last Safeer of the 12th Imam, succeeding Hussain ibn Rauh as directed by the Imam. He performed his duties for 9 years and died on the 15th Shabaan 329 Hijri (May 15, 941 AD) Having being asked on his deathbed as to who would succeed him, he replied: Providence now wishes to give the matter another shape the duration of which is known to God alone.”

After Abul Hasan there was no Safeer. In this sorrowful year, i.e. 329 Hijri, many scholars such as Ali ibn Babwayh Qummi and Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kulaini, the learned compiler of al-Kafi also died. Besides these events, an extra ordinary phenomenon was also witnessed. In the sky so many stars did shoot that it seemed as if Doomsday had come. That year was namedas the year of the dispersal of stars. After this, followed a dark period because no saffeer was left to directly approach the Imam al Mahdi (AS). It is also related that Imam himself told his last Safeer that there will not be any more appointments of Sofara. When asked what the believers would do, the Imam replied, “follow the Foqaha of our Deen, those who have knowledge of Qora’an, who protect Deen and would not follow their own desires”.

In answering those who question the usefulness of the Imam in concealment, there are numerous occasions mentioned in books of many Ulemas, such as Shaikh Mufid (d413 Hijri) Allama Hilli (d. 726) /shahid Thalith Noorullah Shoostry (d.1019). They have mentioned in their own period as to how the 12th Imam was approached and gave help. All these stories are mentioned in their own books.

Here in this book I would like to mention two such occurrences that happened to those who have told their experiences to me personally. Both of them are now dead and it is important for me to tell these happenings before my own death.

I lived in Najef in the fifties and during my stay there I used to visit Kerbala nearly every week. In the town of Kerbala there was a Dispensary run by the Pakistan Government. The Pharmacist there was one Mr.Rizvi who not only distributed medicine to the poor of Kerbala but also looked after the patients and sometimes even prescribed medicine for them. There was no qualified doctor to attend to the patient. Mr.Rizvi used to go to Baghdad on Friday to get stocks from the Hospital there. On one such occasion when he was coming back by Minibus, the Bus driver stopped at Mehmudiya, half way Kerbala. It was late in the evening. The Bus Driver told the passenger’s that there was something wrong with the Bus engine and he could not proceed until next morning. The passengers would have to provide for their own Board and lodging themselves for the night. Mr.Rizvi was very upset. He had a box load of medicine with him and if he would not be in Kerbala, the next morning his patients would be disappointed and some of them might have to go without any medicine. He was standing by the Road side, in this little town Mehmudiya, some 40 miles from Kerbala. Night was getting darker. People were sitting in dark coffee houses drinking coffee or playing card games etc. As time passed his worries increased. He realised that if he does not move from there soon, some youngsters might come and vandalise his goods and stocks of medicine. So he prayed to God and the words uttered were “Ya Sahebuz Zaman Udrikny” O’Imam of the Time, help me. Moments later, he saw a jeep car stopped right there where he was standing and a very good looking young Arab gentleman got out of the Jeep and told him, “Do you want to go to Kerbala”? He was astonished at this help and said yes, of course I want to go to Kerbala. He said, “put your box in the car and sit beside me”. The man drove the car and arrived in Kerbala an hour later. Without asking him the address of his destination he took him straight to the door of the Dispensary and stopped. Mr.Rizvi got down, brought his box of medicine down and started to look for some money in his pocket to give something to the Driver of the Jeep. When he turned to look for him, there was nothing there. There was no jeep car, no man, nothing. The road was completely empty. He bowed down on the dust of Kerbala to thank God for sending the help through the Imam of the Time. He told me this story personally and he had no doubt in his mind that the help came from the 12th Imam. From that time onward his devotion towards helping the people of Kerbala had increased a hundred fold. He died some years later while still helping his patients in that little Dispensary in Kerbala.

My second story was from the lips of an Englishman, Col.Abdullah Baines. During the 2nd World War he was stationed at the Royal Air Force Base at Habbaniyah, a town some 22 miles south of Baghdad. During the height of the war there was some scare in Britain that Hitler might invade Iraq to grab oilfields. It was 1942 that the Commander of the Base decided to evacuate families of the people living at the base. Col.Baines was given the task of leading the caravan of jeep cars full of women and children from Baghdad to Damascus. They had to pass through the Desert where there was no road and they had to find there way by looking at the stars as Captains of the ship sail in the sea and find there way to their destination. Col.Baines was a Christian but he was well versed in Islamic history and especially the history concerning the lives of the Imams. He had read many books about the 12th Imam and was well aware of the stories of those faithful who believe who receive help from the Imam in their distress. They call the Imam and help comes to them. All the women and children with Col.Baines were all christians and not muslims.

Half way through their journey of this caravan of five jeeps through the desert, they lost their way in a desert storm. They were hopelessly lost, going round and round in the desert, not knowing where to go and how to find their way to Damascus. They decided to camp there. Made a circle of jeep cars and all travellers sat down on the ground to await a miracle to get them out of that endless desert. They did not know what to do. One day and one night passed like that and when the next day’s sun came scorching, all of them were in despair. Water stocks had gone and thirsty children began to demand for water. Col.Baines did not know what to do. Then he remembered that he read somewhere that if you are in such distress, call the Imam of the time for help. He put up his hands in the shape of prayer, closed his eyes and asked in his heart for the Imam to help. He said, “we are all Christians and we may be sinners, but these children with me are innocent , they do not deserve to die in this manner. O’Imam of the Time, help them get out of this desert”. His prayers had not even ended when he saw that two horsemen were coming right through the eye of the storm. They came near the circle of jeep cars, approached Col.Baines, and asked, “ Do you all wish to go to Damascus”. He said “yes of course”. They said, “follow us”. The jeeps lined up and followed the horsemen. They had gone a few miles until the way became clear for them. Their guides told them to go straight to the West and they will reach Damascus. In a few days they all reached Damascus and safety. Col.Baines realised that his prayers to the 12th Imam were heard and help arrived from the Imam.

Once the war was over, Col.Bains embraced Islam, changed his name to Abdullah Baines and after his retirement from the Army, settled in Kent. He has himself told me his story before his death in 1965. He also told me to publicise this as much as possible for this is the truth and people should not refrain from telling the truth.

There are numerous experiences of this kind of help given by the Imam to people in distress who call him for help. Ayatollah al-Jazaeri told us two such stories of his own experiences in Iran when help came from the Imam to people.

Although absent and unrepresented, Imam al-Mahdi (AS) still guides people and defends the faith. Even though unseen, the Imam supervises the world affairs and guides it. This curtain will exist as long as Providence deems it necessary. The time will come, which may be too late for many of us, but when the curtain of absence will be removed, Imam al-Mahdi (AS) will reappear and as predicted by the Prophet, fill the world with justice and equity, discarding the prevailing injustices and oppressions. May God bring about his early reappearance and ease his coming.

Wal-hum- do— lillahi- Rabbil- Alameen. Wassalato- Wassalamo Ala -Rasulehil Karim.
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