Al-Kāfi - Volume 1 > The Issue of Disappearance (of the twelfth Imam (a.s.) from Public Sight
Hadith #29

29ـ الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ هِلالٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ عِيسَى عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ نَجِيحٍ عَنْ زُرَارَةَ بْنِ أَعْيَنَ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ الله (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) لا بُدَّ لِلْغُلامِ مِنْ غَيْبَةٍ قُلْتُ وَلِمَ قَالَ يَخَافُ وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى بَطْنِهِ وَهُوَ الْمُنْتَظَرُ وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَشُكُّ النَّاسُ فِي وِلادَتِهِ فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ حَمْلٌ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ مَاتَ أَبُوهُ وَلَمْ يُخَلِّفْ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَقُولُ وُلِدَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِ أَبِيهِ بِسَنَتَيْنِ قَالَ زُرَارَةُ فَقُلْتُ وَمَا تَأْمُرُنِي لَوْ أَدْرَكْتُ ذَلِكَ الزَّمَانَ قَالَ ادْعُ الله بِهَذَا الدُّعَاءِ اللهمَّ عَرِّفْنِي نَفْسَكَ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ لَمْ تُعَرِّفْنِي نَفْسَكَ لَمْ أَعْرِفْكَ اللهمَّ عَرِّفْنِي نَبِيَّكَ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ لَمْ تُعَرِّفْنِي نَبِيَّكَ لَمْ أَعْرِفْهُ قَطُّ اللهمَّ عَرِّفْنِي حُجَّتَكَ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ لَمْ تُعَرِّفْنِي حُجَّتَكَ ضَلَلْتُ عَنْ دِينِي قَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ الْهِلالِ سَمِعْتُ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ مُنْذُ سِتٍّ وَخَمْسِينَ سَنَةً.

29. Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad has narrated from from Ahmad ibn Hilal who has said that ‘Uthman ibn ‘Isa narrated to us from Khalid ibn Najih from Zurara ibn A‘yan that abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) has said the following. “It will be necessary for the young boy to diappear from the public sight.” I then asked, “Why it will be necessary?” He said, “Because he will have fear- he then pointed towards his midsection. He will be the one whose reappearance will be intensely expected. It will be he in whose being born people will have doubts. Certain people will say, “His mother has just conceived him.” Others will say, “His father died but left no surviving son.” Certain others will say, “He was born two years before the death of his father.” Zurara has said, “I said to him, ‘What do you command me if will attain that time?” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Pray to Allah in the following words. “O Lord, make me know You for if you would not make me know You I will not know You. O Lord, make me know Your prophet, for if You would not make me know your Messenger I will never know him. O Lord, make me know the one who possesses Your authority over the creatures for if You will not make me know him I will stray away from my religion.” Ahmad ibn Hilal has said, “I had heard this hadith fifty six years ago.”