Kitāb al-Ghayba > Causes of delay in reappearance of the Master of the Affair
Hadith #1

لا علة تمنع من ظهوره إلا خوفه على نفسه من القتل، لانه لو كان غير ذلك لما ساغ له الاستتار، وكان يتحمل المشاق والاذى، فإن منازل الائمة وكذلك الانبياء عليهم السلام إنما تعظم لتحملهم المشاق العظيمة في ذات الله تعالى.

There is no reason for delay in his reappearance, except danger to his life, which is an obstacle in his reappearance. Its proof is that if there had been some other cause, his remaining in occultation would not have been correct and it is because of this that His Eminence had to bear different kinds of problems and hardships. That is why the ranks and levels of recognition of the Imams of guidance and the divine prophets are very great and lofty; due to which they bear even the great difficulties and hardships for the sake of Almighty Allah.



Hadith #2

فإن قيل: هلا منع الله من قتله بما يحول بينه وبين من يريد قتله؟ قلنا: المنع الذي لا ينافي التكليف هو النهي عن خلافه والامر بوجوب اتباعه ونصرته والتزام الانقياد له، وكل ذلك فعله تعالى، وأما الحيلولة بينهم وبينه فإنه ينافي التكليف، وينقض الغرض (به)، لان الغرض بالتكليف استحقاق الثواب، والحيلولة ينافي ذلك، وربما كان في الحيلولة والمنع من قتله بالقهر مفسدة للخلق، فلا يحسن من الله فعلها. وليس هذا كما قال بعض أصحابنا:إنه لا يمتنع أن يكون في ظهوره مفسدة وفي استتاره مصلحة، لأن الذي قاله يفسد طريق وجوب الرسالة في كل حال وتطرق القول بأنها تجري مجرى الالطاف التي تتغير بالازمان والاوقات، والقهر والحيلولة ليس كذلك، ولا يمتنع أن يقال: (إن) في ذلك مفسدة ولا يؤدي إلى إفساد وجوب الرئاسة.

If it is said: Why the Almighty Allah did not prevent his killing with the help of angels and other unseen means? The reply is that the prevention of his killing by the Almighty Allah is of two kinds: One is that this obstacle should either be in negation of religious duties or not opposed to it. And that obstacle, which is not opposed to religious duties, is that opposition to Imam (a.s) should be prohibited; his obedience and following should be ordered and help should be rendered to him and to say that it is obligatory for people to obey him. All these commands and prohibitions are also issued by Almighty Allah, but becoming an obstacle by Allah for one who intends to kill the Imam is opposed to religious duties and logical contradictions appear in it. It is so, because religious duties are aimed at earning divine rewards, but Allah’s being an obstacle is opposed to this and on many occasions, compulsive prevention by the Almighty Allah may have some evil for the people, which in fact cannot be expected from Allah. One of our senior scholars said that the instance of malaise in the reappearance of the Imam and the instance of exigency in his occultation is not impossible and improbable; on the contrary it is very much possible. But this statement is not correct, because from this statement, the obligatoriness of messengership would become invalid [that is if this is accepted, it would be right to say that the sending of prophets is not right]. In the same way, the result of accepting this statement would be that messengership and prophethood is a divine grace, but it can be changed depending on circumstances. [That it is possible for prophethood to be necessary at a time and unnecessary at another; whereas prophethood and messengership is necessary and obligatory at all times.] However, becoming an obstacle of the Almighty Allah between the Imam and people as we have mentioned [that is through occultation of the Imam] there is no problem in it and it is also not impossible, that it should be said that there is an evil in this occultation, but from this occultation the obligatoriness of appointment of the Imamate does not end and it is also not in contradiction to Imamate.



Hadith #3

إن قيل: أليس آباؤه عليهم السلام كانوا ظاهرين ولم يخافوا ولا صاروا بحيث لا يصل إليهم أحد؟ قلنا: آباؤه عليهم السلام حالهم بخلاف حاله، لأنه كان المعلوم من حال آبائه لسلاطين الوقت وغيرهم أنهم لا يرون الخروج عليهم، ولا يعتقدون أنهم يقومون بالسيف ويزيلون الدول، بل كان المعلوم من حالهم أنهم ينتظرون مهديا لهم، وليس يضر السلطان اعتقاد من يعتقد إمامتهم إذا أمنوهم على مملكتهم (ولم يخافوا جانبهم). وليس كذلك صاحب الزمان عليه السلام، لأن المعلوم منه أنه يقوم بالسيف ويزيل الممالك ويقهر كل سلطان ويبسط العدل ويميت الجور، فمن هذه صفته يخاف جانبه ويتقي فورته، فيتتبع ويرصد، ويوضع العيون عليه، ويعنى به خوفا من وثبته وريبة من تمكنه فيخاف حينئذ ويحوج إلى التحرز والاستظهار، بأن يخفي شخصه عن كل من لا يأمنه من ولي وعدو إلى وقت خروجه. وأيضا فأبآؤه عليهم السلام إنما ظهروا لأنه كان المعلوم أنه لو حدث بهم حادث لكان هناك من يقوم مقامه ويسد مسده من أولادهم، وليس كذلك صاحب الزمان عليه السلام، لان المعلوم أنه ليس بعده من يقوم مقامه قبل حضور وقت قيامه بالسيف، فلذلك وجب استتاره وغيبته، وفارق حاله حال آبائه عليهم السلام، وهذا واضح بحمد الله. فإن قيل: بأي شيء يعلم زوال الخوف وقت ظهوره أبوحي من الله؟ فالإمام لا يوحى إليه، أو بعلم ضروري؟ فذلك ينافي التكليف، أو بأمارة توجب عليه الظن؟ ففي ذلك تغرير بالنفس.

If it is said: But is it not true that the forefathers of the Imam were alive and visible to people and despite this there was risk to their lives, but the circumstances of that time was not that people should have not access to them. We would reply: The circumstances of the forefathers of Imam Mahdi (a.s) were different, because they acted according to dissimulation (Taqayyah) with the rulers of their times and acted with them in such a way that even the rulers knew that they would not stage an uprising and the Holy Imams (a.s) also did not see any exigency in staging an uprising. On the contrary, the circumstances of the lives of the Holy Imams (a.s) show that these personages were also in anticipation of the Mahdi and those who had faith in their Imamate also did not cause any loss to the regimes of their times [it was so, because the Holy Imams (a.s) were not commanded to stage an uprising]. But the matter of Imam Mahdi (a.s) is not like this. It is so, because it is known from the circumstances of the Imam that he would stage an armed uprising and finish off the tyrant regimes from the world and subdue all the tyrant rulers and wave the standard of justice and equity on the whole world and destroy injustice and oppression. Thus, if someone is having this quality then certainly the rulers of his time would be terrified and be inimical to him and would pursue him and send spies to observe all his movements; and they would be terrified of this all the time. In such circumstances, Imam (a.s) needs to keep himself away and in occultation from the people, till the time of his reappearance; from those from whom he perceives danger, whether they are friends or enemies. In addition to what is mentioned, the forefathers of Imam Mahdi (a.s) were apparent and not in occultation, because if death or martyrdom occurred for them they knew well that after them one of their issues would be the successor, but such a thing is not there for Imam Mahdi (a.s). It is so, because if an event like martyrdom occurs before the uprising, there is no one who can be his successor; therefore it was necessary for Imam Mahdi (a.s) to be in occultation and circumstances of Imam (a.s) are completely different from those of his forefathers and this matter is absolutely clear. If it is said: How can we understand that it is time of his reappearance and the danger to his life is no more? Can it be through divine revelation, whereas there is no revelation on Imam (a.s)? Or through definite knowledge, which does not require contemplation and consideration? It is also clear and obvious that it is opposed to religious duty. Or through Amara and a sign, which becomes a conjecture for him? It is also harmful to the life of the Imam and it casts his life into danger.



Hadith #4

قلنا: عن ذلك جوابان: أحدهما أن الله تعالى أعلمه على لسان نبيه صلى الله عليه وآله، وأوقفه عليه من جهة آبائه عليهم السلام زمان غيبته المخوفة، وزمان زوال الخوف عنه، فهو يتبع في ذلك ما شرع له وأوقف عليه، وإنما أخفي ذلك عنا لما فيه من المصلحة، فأما هو فهو عالم به لا يرجع (فيه) إلى الظن. والثاني أنه لا يمتنع أن يغلب على ظنه بقوة الإمارات بحسب العادة قوة سلطانه، فيظهر عند ذلك ويكون قد أعلم أنه متى غلب في ظنه كذلك وجب عليه، ويكون الظن شرطا والعمل عنده معلوما، كما نقوله في تنفيذ الحكم عند شهادة الشهود، والعمل على جهات القبلة بحسب الامارات والظنون، وإن كان وجوب التنفيذ للحكم والتوجه إلى القبلة معلومين، وهذا واضح بحمد الله. وقد ورد بهذه الجملة التي ذكرناها أيضا أخبار تعضد ما قلناه، نذكر طرفا منها ليستأنس به إن شاء الله تعالى.

We would reply: We have two replies for this objection: Firstly, Allah, the Mighty and the High through the means of knowledge and explanation of the Messenger of Allah (s) and the respected fathers of Imam (a.s) have informed us that the period of occultation is a period of fear and the time when this fear will be dispelled is the time of reappearance and He has informed about this to the Imam. The Imam (a.s) also with regard to that which he was informed and that which was ordered to him is following his respected forefathers and the Messenger of Allah (s), but due to exigencies this matter was concealed from us, but the Imam himself, since he is cognizant of these matters, he does not need to refer to Amara and the signs. Secondly, if we suppose that Imam (a.s) acts according to his conjecture at the time of reappearance, it is possible that it is very much possible that the conjecture of Imam (a.s) is helped through Amara and signs that he has received the necessary power for rulership. So at that time he would reappear and the Imam (a.s) is also aware of it that when he gains strong conjecture, it would be the time of his reappearance. On the basis of this, strong conjecture is a condition of reappearance and it makes reappearance necessary. Thus, in jurisprudence we say that the order of the judge is issued on the testimony of a witness, or that on the basis of Amara and conjecture it is commanded to pray in all four directions. And this matter is absolutely clear, praise be to Allah. On the basis of this principle, traditional reports are mentioned, which help in our claim and we mention a few of them over here so that we may develop more interest in this topic, if Allah, the Almighty wills.



Hadith #5

274- أخبرني الحسين بن عبيدالله، عن أبي جعفر بن سفيان البزوفري، عن أحمد بن إدريس، عن علي بن محمد بن قتيبة، عن الفضل بن شاذان النيشابوري، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن علي بن رئاب، عن زرارة قال: إن للقائم غيبة قبل ظهوره. قلت (و) لم؟ قال: يخاف القتل.

H 274 - Husain bin Ubaidullah has narrated from Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Sufyan Bazufari from Ahmad bin Idris from Ali bin Muhammad Qutaibah from Fadhl bin Shazan Nishapuri from Hasan bin Mahbub from Ali bin Raab from Zurarah that he said: There would be two occultations for Imam Qaim (a.s). We asked: What for? He replied: Because he fears for his life.



Hadith #6

275- وروي أن في صاحب الامر عليه السلام سنة من موسى عليه السلام،قلت: وما هي؟ قال: دام خوفه وغيبته مع الولاة إلى أن أذن الله تعالى بنصره. ولمثل ذلك اختفى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله في الشعب تارة، وأخرى في الغار، وقعد أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام عن المطالبة بحقه.

H 275 - It is narrated that there is similarity between Imam Mahdi (a.s) and Prophet Musa (a.s). I asked: What is it? He replied: Continuous fear and hiding from the enemies and rulers till Almighty Allah accords him permission to stage an uprising; and that He helps and supports him. For the same reason the Messenger of Allah (s) took refuge in Shebe Abi Talib and Cave of Thawr; also the seclusion of Amirul Momineen (a.s) at his house while demanding his rightful share was also as such.



Hadith #7

276- وروى سعد بن عبدالله، عن محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عبـدالله بن مسكان، عن محمـد بن علي الحلبي، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: إكتتم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله بمكة مستخفيا خائفا خمس سنين، ليس يظهر، وعلي عليه السلام معه وخديجة، ثم أمره الله تعالى أن يصدع بما يؤمر، فظهر وأظهر أمره.

H 276 - Saad bin Abdullah has narrated from Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab from Safwan bin Yahya from Abdullah bin Muskan from Muhammad bin Ali Halabi from Abi Abdullah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (s) kept his prophethood concealed for five years and remained underground due to fear. He did not publicize his message, whereas Ali (a.s) and Lady Khadija (s) were present with him. After that Allah, the Mighty and the High commanded him to announce that which he had been ordered to and to publicize his messengership.



Hadith #8

277- سعد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ومحمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن علي بن رئاب، عن عبيدالله بن علي الحلبي قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: مكث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بمكة بعدما جاء‌ه الوحي عن الله تعالى ثلاث عشرة سنة، منها ثلاث سنين مستخفيا خائفا لا يظهر حتى أمره الله تعالى أن يصدع بما يؤمر، فأظهر حينئذ الدعوة.

H 277 - Saad has narrated from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa and Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab from Hasan bin Mabub from Ali bin Raab from Ubaidullah bin Ali Halabi that: I heard Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) say: “After divine revelation descended on the holy being of the Holy Prophet (s), he stayed in Holy Mecca for thirteen years. For three years of this period, he propagated Islam secretly and did not openly announce his prophethood till Almighty Allah commanded him to announce it. After that he publicized it.”



Hadith #9

278- وروى أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى الاشعري، عن محمد بن سنان، عن محمد بن يحيى الخثعمي، عن ضريس الكناسي، عن أبي خالد الكابلي في حديث له اختصرناه قال: سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام أن يسمي القائم حتى أعرفه باسمه، فقال:يا أبا خالد! سألتني عن أمر لو أن بني فاطمة عرفوه لحرصوا على أن يقطعوه بضعة بضعة.

H 278 - Ahmad bin Muhammad Isa Ashari has narrated from Muhammad bin Sinan from Muhammad bin Yahya Khathami from Zaris Kinasi from Abu Khalid Kabuli in the tradition, which we have condensed: I asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) to pronounce the name of the Qaim, so that I may recognize him through his name. The Imam said: Aba Khalid, you have asked about a thing and about one such that even if his children had recognized him, they would also have become jealous and have cut him into pieces.



Hadith #10

279- وروى سعد بن عبد الله، عن جماعة من أصحابنا، عن عثمان بن عيسى، عن خالد بن نجيح، عن زرارة بن أعين قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إن للغلام غيبة قبل أن يقوم. قلت: ولم؟ قال: يخاف وأومأ بيده إلى بطنه. ثم قال: يا زرارة! وهو المنتظر، وهو الذي يشك الناس في ولادته، منهم من يقول: إذا مات أبوه فلا خلف (له)، ومنهم من يقول: هو حمل، ومنهم من يقول: هو غائب، ومنهم من يقول: (ما ولد ومنهم من يقول:) قد ولد قبل وفاة أبيه بسنتين، وهو المنتظر غير أن الله تعالى يحب أن يمتحن الشيعة، فعند ذلك يرتاب المبطلون. قال: فقلت جعلت فداك وإن أدركت ذلك الزمان فأي شيء أعمل؟ فقال: يا زرارة،إن أدركت ذلك الزمان فادع بهذا الدعاء: اللهم عرفني نفسك، فإنك إن لم تعرفني نفسك لم أعرف نبيك… إلى آخره.

H 279 - Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from a group of our companions from Uthman bin Isa Kilabi from Khalid bin Najih from Zurarah bin Ayyan that he said: I heard Abi Abdullah (a.s) say: “There is occultation for the Qaim before his reappearance.” I asked: “Why is it so?” He replied: “He is fearful.” And he pointed towards his belly, implying that the Qaim fears for his life. Then he said: “O Zurarah; and he is that awaited one and he is the one in whose birth they shall doubt. Thus some will say: His father died heirless and some will say: He was in the womb of his mother when his father died. Some others will allege that he was born two years before the passing away of his father. And he is the Awaited one; but the Almighty Allah likes to test the Shia. It is the time when people of falsehood will fall in doubts.” Zurarah says: I asked: “If I am able to live till that period, what action should I perform?” He replied: “O Zurarah if you live till that time you must recite the following supplication: ‘O Allah, introduce Yourself to me. For if You don’t introduce Yourself to me, I will not recognize Your Prophet…and so on.”



Hadith #11

280- وروى سليم بن قيس الهلالي، عن جابر بن عبدالله الانصاري وعبدالله بن عباس قالا: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله في وصيته لاميرالمؤمنين: يا أخي، إن قريشا ستظاهر عليك وتجتمع كلمتهم على ظلمك وقهرك، فإن وجدت أعوانا فجاهدهم وإن لم تجد أعوانا فكف يدك واحقن دمك فإن الشهادة من ورائك.

H 280 - Sulaym bin Qays Hilali has narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari and Abdullah bin Abbas that they said: The Messenger of Allah (s) said in his bequest to Amirul Momineen (a.s): “O Ali, soon Quraish would unite against you and they would come together to oppress and defeat you; thus if you have supporters, you should do Jihad against them and if you don’t have any supporters, you must refrain from violence and keep yourself secure; since martyrdom would come to you later.”