Kitāb al-Ghayba > Introduction
Hadith #1

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ الحمد لله الذي هدانا لحمده، وجعلنا من أهله، ووفقنا للتمسك بدينه والانقياد لسبيله، ولم يجعلنا من الجاحدين لنعمته، المنكرين لطوله وفضله ومن الذين ﴿إِسْتَحْوَذَ عَلَيْهِمُ الشَّيْطَانُ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ ذِكْرَ اللهِ أُولَئِكَ حِزْبُ الشَّيْطَانِ أَلاَ إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ﴾. وصلى الله على سيد أنبيائه وخاتم أصفيائه محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله الطيبين، النجوم الزاهرة، والاعلام الظاهرة، الذين نتمسك بولايتهم، ونتعلق بعرى حبلهم، ونرجو الفوز بالتمسك بهم، وسلم تسليما. أما بعد فإني مجيب إلى ما رسمه الشيخ الجليل، أطال الله بقاء‌ه من إملاء كلام في غيبة صاحب الزمان، وسبب غيبته، والعلة التي لاجلها طالت غيبته، وامتداد استتاره، مع شدة الحاجة إليه وانتشار الحيل، ووقوع الهرج والمرج، وكثرة الفساد في الارض، وظهوره في البر والبحر، ولم لم يظهر:وما المانع منه، وما المحوج إليه، والجواب عن كل ما يسأل في ذلك من شبه المخالفين، ومطاعن المعاندين. وأنا مجيب إلى ما سأله، وممتثل ما رسمه، مع ضيق الوقت، وشعث الفكر، وعوائق الزمان. وصوارف الحدثان، وأتكلم بجمل يزول معها الريب وتنحسم به الشبه ولا أطول الكلام فيه(فيمل، فإن كتبي في)الامامة وكتب شيوخنا مبسوطة في هذا المعنى في غاية الاستقصاء، وأتكلم عن(كل)ما يسأل في هذا الباب من الاسئولة المختلفة، وأردف ذلك بطرف من الاخبار الدالة على صحة ما نذكره، ليكون ذلك تأكيدا لما نذكره، وتأنيسا للمتمسكين بالاخبار، والمتعلقين بظواهر الاحوال، فإن كثيرا من الناس يخفى عليهم الكلام اللطيف الذي يتعلق بهذا الباب، وربما لم يتبينه، وأجعل للفريقين طريقا إلى ما نختاره ونلتمسه، ومن الله تعالى أستمد المعونة والتوفيق، فهما المرجوان من جهته، والمطلوبان من قبله، وهو حسبي ونعم الوكيل.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful All praise is for Allah, Who guided us to His praise, glorification and thankfulness and made us worthy of it; He granted us divine opportunity (Taufeeq) to remain attached to religion and to submit to the laws of religion; and He did not make us of those who deny the Divine bounties. That is those, who are deniers of the favors and blessings of God; and did not include us among those about whom the Holy Quran says: “The Shaitan has gained mastery over them, so he has made them forget the remembrance of Allah; they are the Shaitan’s party; now surely the Shaitan’s supporters are the losers.” (58:19) And blessings of the Almighty Allah be on the Chief of Prophets, the last chosen servant of God, His Eminence, Muhammad Mustafa (s) and his pure and chaste progeny, whose members are shining stars and lofty standards of guidance; to whose guardianship and rope of guidance we are attached and through following whom we anticipate success in the hereafter. So to say: Our senior and respected teacher [apparently he implies to Shaykh Mufeed], may the Almighty Allah grant him a long life, ordered me to compile a book on the topic of occultation of the Master of the Age, which would explain the cause of occultation of the Imam and the reason of its prolongation and his remaining away from people, whereas they are in dire need of the Holy Imam (a.s) and strife and mischief is spreading in the world at a very fast rate. Why the Imam is not reappearing and what are the hurdles in his reappearance? What is the benefit of his existence? So that in this regard, all questions raised by opponents, enemies and doubters, should be replied. In spite of shortage of time, mental tensions and unfavorable circumstances and difficulties, I agreed to comply with this suggestion and obeyed his orders. Therefore, here I would mention points, through which all doubts may be removed, although I wouldn’t prolong the discourse, because this topic is studied and explained in detail in my other books as well as those of my teachers. So, in this book, I would reply to the different questions raised in various fashions and mention some traditional reports to support our statements and views so that those who are attached to traditional reports and are aware of the outward meanings should be satisfied, since definitely the intricate points of this subject are unknown to many and sometimes they don’t have the capacity to understand these complicated matters. Thus, I have adopted a particular way, which shall be useful to both kinds of people. In this regard, I beseech the Almighty for divine opportunity (Taufeeq) and help and He is a sufficient guardian for me.