Kitāb al-Ghayba > Time of reappearance of the Imam (a.s)
Hadith #1

وأما وقت خروجه عليه السلام فليس بمعلوم لنا على وجه التفصيل، بل هو مغيب عنا إلى أن يأذن الله بالفرج.

We are not aware of the exact time of the reappearance of the Imam (a.s); on the contrary he is hidden from us, till Almighty Allah accords him permission to reappear.



Hadith #2

410- كما روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله (أنه قال:) لو لم يبق من الدنيا إلا يوم واحد لطول الله ذلك اليوم حتى يخرج رجل من ولدي فيملا الارض عدلاً وقسطاً كما ملئت ظلماً وجوراً.

H 410 - The Holy Prophet (s) said: “Even if only a day remains from the tenure of the world, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, would prolong it enough to allow a man from my progeny to appear. Then he would fill up the earth with justice and equity just as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression.”



Hadith #3

411- وأخبرني الحسين بن عبد الله، عن أبي جعفر محمد بن سفيان البزوفري، عن علي بن محمد، عن الفضل بن شاذان، عن أحمد بن محمد وعبيس بن هشام، عن كرام عن الفضيل قال:سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام: هل لهذا الامر وقت؟ فقال: كذب الوقاتون، كذب الوقاتون، كذب الوقاتون.

H 411 - Narrated to me Husain bin Ubaidullah from Abi Ja’far Muhammad bin Sufyan Bazufari from Ali bin Muhammad from Fadhl bin Shazan from Ahmad bin Muhammad and Ubais bin Hashim from Kiram from Fuzail that he said: I asked Imam Baqir (a.s): “Is there a fixed time for reappearance?” He said: “The time-fixers have lied, they have lied, they have lied.”



Hadith #4

412- الفضل بن شاذان، عن الحسين بن يزيد الصحاف عن منذر الجواز عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: كذب الموقتون، ما وقتنا فيما مضى، ولا نوقت فيما يستقبل.

H 412 - Fadhl bin Shazan has narrated from Husain bin Yazid Sahaf from Mudhir Jawwaz from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) that he said: “One who fixes (predicts) the time of the reappearance, has lied. Neither have we fixed a time for it in the past nor would we do so in future.”



Hadith #5

413- وبهذا الاسناد عن عبدالرحمن بن كثير قال: كنت عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام إذ دخل عليه مهزم الاسدي فقال: أخبرني، جعلت فداك،متى هذا الامر الذي تنتظرونه؟ فقد طال. فقال: يا مهزم،كذب الوقاتون، وهلك المستعجلون، ونجا المسلمون، وإلينا يصيرون.

H 413 - It is narrated from the same chains from Abdur Rahman bin Kathir that he said: I was with Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) when Muhzim Asadi entered and asked: May I be sacrificed on you, please tell me when the reappearance is? It has been delayed too much.” Abu Abdullah (a.s) said: “O Muhzim, the ill-wishers have told lies, the hasteners will perish and the believers will be saved and will be with us.”



Hadith #6

414- الفضل بن شاذان، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن أبي أيوب الخزاز، عن محمد بن مسلم، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: من وقت لك من الناس شيئا فلا تهابن أن تكذبه، فلسنا نوقت لأحد وقت.

H 414 - It is narrated from Fadhl bin Shazan from Ibn Abi Najran from Safwan bin Yahya from Abu Ayyub Kharraz from Muhammad bin Muslim from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) that he said: “One who fixes the time of reappearance for you, do not pay attention to his falsification, because we have not specified its time for anyone.”



Hadith #7

415- الفضل بن شاذان، عن عمر بن مسلم البجلي، عن محمد بن سنان، عن أبي الجارود، عن محمد بن بشر الهمداني، عن محمد بن الحنفية- في حديث اختصرنا منه موضع الحاجة- أنه قال: إن لبني فلان ملكاً مؤجلاً، حتى إذا أمنوا واطمأنوا وظنوا أن ملكهم لا يزول صيح فيهم صيحة، فلم يبق لهم راع يجمعهم ولا واع يسمعهم، وذلك قول الله عز وجل:﴿حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَتِ الأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَازَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَا أَنَّهُمْ قَادِرُونَ عَلَيْهَا أَتَاهَا أَمْرُنَا لَيْلاً أَوْ نَهَاراً فَجَعَلْنَاهَا حَصِيداً كَأَنْ لَمْ تَغْنَ بِالأَمْسِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ﴾. قلت: جعلت فداك هل لذلك وقت؟ قال: لا،لان علم الله غلب علم الموقتين، إن الله تعالى وعد موسى ثلاثين ليلة وأتمها بعشر لم يعلمها موسى، ولم يعلمها بنو إسرائيل، فلما جاوز الوقت قالوا: غرنا موسى! فعبدوا العجل. ولكن إذا كثرت الحاجة والفاقة في الناس، وأنكر بعضهم بعضا، فعند ذلك توقعوا أمر الله صباحا ومساء.

H 415 - It is narrated from Fadhl bin Shazan from Umar bin Aslam Bajali from Muhammad bin Sinan from Abul Jarud from Muhammad bin Bashar Hamadani from Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah in a tradition condensed as follows that he said: “The rule of Bani so-and-so will continue till a fixed time. When they get peace and security they will think that their kingdom will never decline. Meanwhile, suddenly a divine command will arrive and no king will be able to remain in power. Thus the Almighty Allah says: “…until when the earth puts on its golden raiment and it becomes garnished, and its people think that they have power over it, Our command comes to it, by night or by day, so We render it as reaped seed-produce, as though it had not been in existence yesterday; thus do We make clear the communications for a people who reflect.” (10:24) The narrator says: I said: May I be your ransom, is some time fixed for the arrival of divine command? He replied: No, because the knowledge of Allah dominates the knowledge of those who fix the time. The Almighty Allah promised thirty nights to Prophet Musa (a.s) and then increased ten nights; but neither Prophet Musa (a.s) was aware of it, nor Bani Israel. Thus when the time expired, they said that Prophet Musa (a.s) has deceived us; and began to worship the calf. Hence, when famine and deprivation increases and people begin to deny each other, you should expect the arrival of divine command day and night.”



Hadith #8

وأما ما روي من الاخبار التي تنافي ذلك في الظاهر، مثل ما رواه:

Reports apparently contradicting the above traditional reports:



Hadith #9

416- الفضل بن شاذان، عن محمد بن علي، عن سعدان بن مسلم، عن أبي بصير قال: قلت له: ألهذا الامر أمد نريح إليه أبداننا وننتهي إليه؟ قال: بلى، ولكنكم أذعتم فزاد الله فيه.

H 416 - It is narrated from Fadhl bin Shazan from Muhammad bin Ali from Sadan bin Muslim from Abu Basir that he asked the Imam (a.s): “Is there a fixed time for reappearance; so that we can sit quietly till that time?” He replied: “It was fixed; but you people publicized it and it was postponed.”



Hadith #10

417- وعنه، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي حمزة الثمالي قال: قلت لأبي جعفر عليه السلام:إن عليا عليه السلام كان يقول: إلى السبعين بلاء. وكان يقول: بعد البلاء رخاء. وقد مضت السبعون ولم نر رخاء! فقال أبوجعفر عليه السلام: يا ثابت، إن الله تعالى كان وقت هذا الأمر في السبعين، فلما قتل الحسين عليه السلام إشتد غضب الله على أهل الارض فأخره إلى أربعين ومائة سنة. فحدثناكم فأذعتم الحديث وكشفتم قناع السر، فأخره الله ولم يجعل له بعد ذلك عندنا وقتا. و﴿يَمْحُو اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ﴾. قال أبوحمزة: وقلت ذلك لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: قد كان ذاك.

H 417 - It is narrated from Fadhl from Hasan bin Mahbub from Abu Hamza Thumali that he said: “I asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s): O son of Allah’s Messenger, Amirul Momineen (a.s) used to say: There will be sedition till 70 A.H. and after that there will be peace and prosperity; but 70 A.H. has passed and we are still in problems?” Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) said: “O Thabit, it was initially fixed as 70 A.H., but meanwhile Imam Husain (a.s) was martyred and the Almighty Allah postponed it to 140 A.H. When we informed you about it, you publicized it and the Almighty Allah postponed it further and even we don’t know about the definite time.” “Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book.” (13:39) Abu Hamza Thumali says that when he asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) about it, he also verified that it was true.



Hadith #11

418- وروى الفضل، عن محمد بن إسماعيل، عن محمد بن سنان، عن أبي يحيى التمتام السلمي، عن عثمان النو قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: كان هذا الامر في فأخره الله ويفعل بعد في ذريتي ما يشاء.

H 418 - It is narrated from Fadhl from Muhammad bin Ismail from Muhammad bin Sinan from Abu Yahya Tamtaam Salmi from Uthman Nawa that he said: I heard Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) say: “Initially this task was entrusted to me; but later on the Almighty Allah postponed it and kept it in my progeny.”



Hadith #12

فالوجه في هذه الاخبار أن نقول-إن صحت-إنه لا يمتنع أن يكون الله تعالى قد وقت هذا الامر في الاوقات التى ذكرت، فلما تجدد ما تجـدد تغيـرت المصلحة واقتضت تأخيـره إلى وقت آخر، وكذلك فيما بعد، ويكون الوقت الاول، وكل وقت يجوز أن يؤخر مشروطا، بأن لا يتجدد ما يقتضي المصلحة تأخيره إلى أن يجئ الوقت الذي لا يغيره شيء فيكون محتوما. وعلى هذا يتأول ما روي في تأخير الاعمار عن أوقاتها والزيادة فيها عند الدعاء (والصدقات) وصلة الارحام، وما روي في تنقيص الاعمار عن أوقاتها إلى ما قبله عند فعل الظلم وقطع الرحم وغير ذلك، وهو تعالى وإن كان عالما بالامرين، فلا يمتنع أن يكون أحدهما معلوما بشرط والآخر بلا شرط، وهذه الجملة لا خلاف فيها بين أهل العدل. وعلى هذا يتأول أيضا ما روي من أخبارنا المتضمنة للفظ البداء ويبين أن معناها النسخ على ما يريده جميع أهل العدل فيما يجوز فيه النسخ، أو تغير شروطها إن كان طريقها الخبر عن الكائنات، لان البداء في اللغة هو الظهور، فلا يمتنع أن يظهر لنا من أفعال الله تعالى ما كنا نظن خلافه، أو نعلم ولا نعلم شرطه.

The explanation of these reports is that we say: Supposing these reports are correct, it would not negate the possibility that Allah, the Mighty and the High has fixed one of the times that are mentioned. Thus if He changes the conditions and circumstances, He would also change the exigency and that fixed time would be replaced by another. Definitely in the later periods also the same matter continues and the explanation is on the same base. Due to this, neither the time, which was fixed previously, all other times can also be postponed under some conditions till that which is causing delay of reappearance is not repeated, and till the time arrives, which nothing can change and which is imminent. Reports about the topic of delay in age, deaths and increase in lifespan due to supplication, alms and doing a good turn to relatives and also that which is mentioned under the subject of decrease in lifespan and advancement of deaths as a result of oppression, breaking off relations and other acts, is based on the same interpretation and although Allah, the Mighty and the High is aware of both of them, but it is possible that one of them is not definite and the other is definite, and in this matter there is no difference between Imamiyah and Mutazila. Also reports in which the word of ‘Bada’ is mentioned, are also due to the same interpretation and it is clear that the meaning of ‘Bada’ is abrogation of something in which change is justified and possible, or that its conditions have changed, in case that informing about it is Takweeni (providential) as the literal meaning of ‘Bada’ is appearance. Thus, it is possible that one of the acts of Almighty Allah has become apparent for us whereas we had imagined it’s opposite or that we were aware of it, but did not know its conditions and of such kind are the following reports:



Hadith #13

419- فمن ذلك ما رواه محمد بن جعفر الاسدي رحمه الله، عن علي بن إبراهيم، عن الريان بن الصلت قال: سمعت أبا الحسن الرضا عليه السلام يقول: ما بعث الله نبياً إلا بتحريم الخمر، وأن يقر لله بالبداء ﴿إِنَّ اللهَ يَفْعَلُ مَا يَشَاءُ﴾، وأن يكون في تراثه الكندر.

H 419 - Among such reports is the report of Muhammad bin Ja’far Asadi narrating from Ali bin Ibrahim from Rayan bin Sult that he said: I heard Imam Ridha (a.s) say: Allah, the Mighty and the High did not send any prophet, but to prohibit wine, to confess in Bada from Almighty Allah and that He can do whatever He likes; and that He has advised the use of incense.



Hadith #14

420- وروى سعد بن عبد الله، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: (قال) علي بن الحسين، وعلي بن أبي طالب قبله، ومحمد بن علي وجعفر بن محمد عليهم السلام: كيف لنا بالحديث مع هذه الآية: ﴿يَمْحُو اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ﴾؟ فأما من قال: بأن الله تعالى لا يعلم بشيء إلا بعد كونه فقد كفر وخرج عن التوحيد.

H 420 - Saad bin Abdullah has narrated from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi Nasr from Imam Ali Ridha (a.s) that he said: Ali Ibnul Husain, Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s) and before him Amirul Momineen (a.s); and Imam Muhammad Baqir and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s) have said: With attention to the blessed verse: “Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book.” (13:39) How can we inform about the future? And as for one who says that ‘the Almighty Allah has knowledge of everything after it occurs and not before’, has become a disbeliever and is out of the pale of monotheism.



Hadith #15

421- وقد روى سعد بن عبد الله عن أبي هاشم الجعفري قال: سأل محمد بن صالح الارمني أبا محمد العسكري عليه السلام عن قول الله عز وجل: ﴿يَمْحُو اللهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ﴾، فقال أبومحمد: وهل يمحو إلا ما كان ويثبت إلا ما لم يكن؟ فقلت في نفسي: هذا خـلاف مـا يقول هشـام بن الحكم:إنه لا يعلم الشيء حتى يكون. فنظر إلي أبو محمد عليه السلام فقال: تعالى الجبار العالم بالاشياء قبل كونها… والحديث مختصر.

H 421 - Saad bin Abdullah has narrated from Abu Hashim Ja’fari that he said: Muhammad bin Salih Armini asked Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) about the verse: “Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book.” (13:39) Imam (a.s) said: Is it other than that He erased that which was and established that which was not there? Muhammad bin Salih Armini said: I said to myself: That which the Imam (a.s) has said is opposed to that which Hisham bin Hakam said that Almighty Allah is not aware of things, except when they come into existence. Abu Muhammad Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) glanced at me and said: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is aware of everything, before it comes into existence, although the tradition has been condensed.



Hadith #16

422- الفضل بن شاذان، عن محمد بن علي، عن سعدان بن مسلم، عن أبي بصير قال:قلت له: ألهذا الامر أمد نريح أبداننا وننتهي إليه؟ قال: بلى ولكنكم أذعتم فزاد الله فيه.

H 422 - Fadhl bin Shazan has narrated from Muhammad bin Ali from Sadan bin Muslim from Abu Basir that he said: I asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) or Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s): “Does reappearance of the master of affair has a fixed time that we might rest assured be pleased with it?” He replied: “Yes, it was fixed, but you people divulged it and Almighty Allah postponed it.”



Hadith #17

والوجه في هذه الاخبار ما قدمنا ذكره من تغير المصلحة فيه، واقتضائها تأخير الامر إلى وقت آخر على ما بيناه، دون ظهور الامر له تعالى، فأنا لا نقول به ولا نجوزه، تعالى الله عن ذلك علوا كبيرا. فإن قيل: هذا يؤدي إلى أن لا نثق بشيء من أخبار الله تعالى. قلنا: الاخبار على ضربين ضرب لا يجوز فيه التغير في مخبراته، فإنا نقطع عليها، لعلمنا بأنه لا يجوز أن يتغير المخبر في نفسه، كالاخبار عن صفات الله تعالى وعن الكائنات فيما مضى، وكالاخبار بأنه يثيب المؤمنين. والضرب الآخر هو ما يجوز تغيره في نفسه لتغير المصلحة عند تغير شروطه، فأنا نجوز جميع ذلك، كالاخبار عن الحوادث في المستقبل إلا أن يرد الخبر على وجه يعلم أن مخبره لا يتغير، فحينئذ نقطع بكونه، ولاجل ذلك قرن الحتم بكثير من المخبرات، فأعلمنا أنه مما لا يتغير أصلا، فعند ذلك نقطع به.

The reason behind these is the same, which we mentioned before that the exigency in that matter changed and it was postponed to another time, but it does not mean that its exigency became known to Almighty Allah at that time. We don’t utter this word and do not consider it correct as the being of Almighty Allah is greater and above this. Objection: This belief of yours would become the cause that we do not rely on the statements of the Almighty Allah (reports). Reply: Reports are of two kinds: First type: There are some reports in which no sort of change is there, because we have faith and belief in absence of their change and transformation and know well that change is not possible in these reports; for example the reports, which mention the attributes of the Almighty Allah, universe and past things; and in the same way reports, which say that the Almighty Allah would reward the believers according to their acts. Second type: There are some reports, in which change is possible in their selves, because of the condition of change and transformation, there is some change in their personal beings also and we consider this change possible; like reports, which talk of future events; but reports which we know that would not be changed, we have faith in their actualization. And that is why many reports about which it is mentioned that their occurrence is certain, we know well that these are the reports in which there is no change at all for any reason and at that time we become certain of its occurrence.