Ghaybat In The Words of Ahle Bayt (as) – Part I

The concept of Ghaybat has been discussed extensively in traditions. Right from its concept to preparation and duties of Shiahs in this period. Readers will also note that the beauty of these narrations lies in the uniformity of thought and words of the Ahle Bayt (as). These traditions are reported right from Holy Prophet (sawa) which is from about 1 AH to Imam Hasan Askari (as) which is up to 260 AH. Yet there is no contradiction in these traditions which leads us to believe in the veracity of these traditions without a shadow of doubt.Readers will note that there is much emphasis on the prophecy that Imam Mahdi (as) will fill the earth with justice and equality as it will be filled with injustice and inequality before his advent. This shows what attitude we have to inculcate in ourselves in order that we are prepared for that environment of perfect justice. This is easier said than done for till today none of us have ever seen a world which is based on perfect justice. This preparation will involve, at the very least, acknowledging the absolute mastership (wilayat) of Imam Mahdi (as) so that we submit to his every command.

There is also emphasis on remaining firm upon the Faith and protecting one’s belief during this period. This can happen only if we adhere to the rightful teachings of the Quran and the traditions which have reached us through Ahle Bayt (as) for that is the sole source of salvation. Every other thought is a deviation from religion.

The article has been divided into two parts. Part I deals with traditions from Holy Prophet (sawa) till Imam Baqir (as). Part II deals with traditions from Imam Sadiq (as) till Imam Askari (as)

Traditions from Holy Prophet (sawa)

“Mahdi is from my descendants. His name is my name and his agnomen (kuniyat) is my agnomen. He most closely resembles me in appearance and behavior than all other people. There will be occultation and confusion for him. So much so that people will deviate from their religion. Then a time will come when he would appear like a shooting star and he would fill up the earth with equity and justice just as it would be brimming with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 25, tradition 1)

“Blessed be those who are fortunate to live in the time of Qaem of my Ahle Bayt. Those who will believe in him during his occultation and before his advent, who will love his friends and remain aloof from his enemies. Such people will be my closest ones and my friends on the Day of Judgment.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 25, tradition 2)

“Mahdi is from my progeny. There will be occultation due to which people will fall into confusion and go astray. He will come with the relics of the prophets (as) and fill the earth with equity and justice as it would have been fraught with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 25, tradition 5)

Traditions from Ameerul Momeneen (as)

Asbagh Ibne Nobatah narrates that he heard Ameerul Momeneen (as) say, “I presented myself before Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) I saw that he was engrossed in some thought and marking with his blessed finger on the earth. I queried, ‘O Amirul Momineen (as)! What is the matter, I find you today in some perplexity, making signs on the earth, do you love this earth? He replied: I swear by Allah that it is not so. I have never befriended this world, rather I was reflecting about that son, the eleventh one from my progeny. He is the Mahdi (as), who will fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be filled with injustice and tyranny. There is an occultation for him in which some people will be deviated while others will be guided.

I asked: O Amirul Momineen, would this come to pass? He replied: Yes, just as they are created and O Asbagh, I am telling you that they shall be the best of this Ummah with the righteous ones of this progeny. I asked: What will happen after that? He replied: After that Allah will do whatever He wants. He alone is the master of intentions, aims and the final ends.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 26, tradition 1)

“For our Qaem there is an occultation, which shall be prolonged. As if I can see the Shias resembling quadrupeds searching for pasture but being unable to find it. Know that, whosoever from them remains firm on his religion and whose heart is not hardened due to the prolonging of occultation, then he shall be with us in our rank on the Day of Judgment. Then he said: When our Qaem arises, he would not have the allegiance of anyone upon his neck, therefore his birth shall be secret and he himself shall be in occultation.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 26, tradition 14)

“The grand night (Lailatul Qadr) comes every year. And it is on this night that the commands of Sunnah come down; and after the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) these commands come down to his successors. Ibne Abbas asked: Who are those successors? He replied: I am, and after me, the eleven narrating Imams from my progeny [who will narrate traditions from the Messenger of Allah (sawa)].” (Kamaluddin, chapter 26, tradition 19)

This tradition shows that in the night of power (Laylatul Qadr), when the affairs of every creature of Allah is destined, these are brought through Ahle Bayt (as) and finally through Imam Mahdi (as), the Imam of the Time before being destined by Allah.

Narration from Hazrat Zahra (sa)

Jabir Ibne Abdullah Anari says, “One day I came to Lady Fatemah (sa) and before her was a tablet from which an amazing light emanated. There were twelve names in this tablet. Three on the outer side and three on the inner, three in the end and three in one direction. Thus there were twelve names in all. I asked: Whose names are these? She replied: These are the respected names of successors, the first of whom is my cousin, and eleven shall be from my progeny. The last of them will be Qaem, bliss of Allah be on them all. Jabir says: I saw the name of Mohammed at three places and Ali at four places.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 28, tradition 2)

Tradition from Imam Hasan (as)

“When Hasan bin Ali (as) signed the peace treaty with Muawiyah some people came to him a condemned him for making peace. So he said: Woe be on you, you don’t know why I did that. By Allah whatever I have done is better for my followers (Shiahs) than everything. Don’t you know that I am your Imam whose obedience is incumbent on you? And on the basis of the statement of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) I am one of the chiefs of the youths of Paradise? All said: Yes, indeed it is so. The Imam said: Don’t you know that when Khizr (as) made a hole in the boat, repaired the wall and killed a boy, Musa bin Imran (as) did not like it since he was unaware of the wisdom behind those actions, even though all those actions were according to the dictates of divine wisdom? Do you know that there is none among us who did not have the allegiance of the tyrant ruler of his time around his neck, except for Qaem (as), behind whom the Spirit of Allah, Isa bin Maryam will pray?

Indeed, Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime has kept his birth secret and his person unseen. When he reappears, he would not have the allegiance of anyone upon his neck. He is the ninth descendant of my brother, Husain (as). He is the son of the best of the maidservants. The Almighty Allah will prolong his age during the occultation, then He would, through His power, make him appear as a youthful man of less than forty years of age so that it may be known that the Almighty Allah is powerful over everything.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 29, tradition 2)

Traditions from Imam Husain (as)

“In my ninth descendant there will be a similarity to Prophet Yusuf (as) and a similarity to Prophet Musa bin Imran (as). And he is the Qaem of us, Ahle Bayt. Allah, the Mighty and the High will reform his circumstances overnight.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 30, tradition 1)

“From us there are twelve Mahdis, the first of whom is Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) and the last of whom is my ninth descendant. And he is truly the Imam al-Qaem. Allah will enliven the earth after its death through him. And through him triumph His religion over all the religions even if the polytheists may dislike this. There will be occultation for him during which communities will apostize but others will remain steadfast on religion. They will be tortured and told: If you are true when will this promise be fulfilled? Know that one who observes patience during those tribulations will be like one who fights the holy war under the command of the Messenger of Allah (sawa).” (Kamaluddin, chapter 30, tradition 3)

“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.” The narrator says: I heard the Holy Prophet (sawa) say the same.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 30, tradition 4)

Traditions from Imam Sajjad (as)

In a lengthy tradition Aba Khalid Kabuli narrates that he said to Imam Sajjad (as), “My chief, it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (as) that the earth shall never be devoid of Proof of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime upon His creatures. So who is the Imam and Divine Proof after you? He replied: My son, Muhammad and in Taurat his name is Baqir (splitter) and he will expound knowledge. He will be the Divine Proof after me. And after him his son, Ja’far who will be famous among the folks of the heavens as Sadiq.

Aba Khalid Kabuli said: My chief, why is he named Sadiq (truthful) while all of you are truthful? He replied: My father narrated to me from his father that the Messenger of Allah (sawa) said: When my great grandson, Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Husain bin Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) is born, name him Sadiq. One of his fifth descendants will be named Ja’far, who will falsely claim Imamate and attribute falsehood to the Almighty Allah. He would be Ja’far Kazzab in the view of Allah. He will claim something he is not worthy of. He will oppose his father and be jealous of his brother. Taking undue advantage of the occultation of Divine Proof he will try to expose the secret of Allah.

After that Imam Ali Ibne Husain (as) cried much and then said: “As if I can see Ja’far Kazzab helping the tyrant of the time to search for the Wali of Allah. He will try to spy on him and not knowing about the birth of Imam Qaem, he will become the executor of his father’s estate and will desire that were he to gain upper hand on the Qaem he will eliminate him; and will be greedy for his inheritance, till he usurps it wrongfully.” Abu Khalid says: I said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, is it a prediction? He replied: No, rather by Allah, it is written in the book in our possession that mentions the calamities that shall befall us after the Messenger of Allah (sawa).

Abu Khalid says: I asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, what will happen after that? He replied: After that there will be a long occultation of the Wali of Allah and the twelfth successor of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). O Abu Khalid, during this period of occultation, those who believe in his Imamate and who await for his reappearance, they shall be better than the people of all times because Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would bestow them intelligence, understanding and recognition and for them occultation would be same as presence. Their status shall be like that of the holy warriors who fought under the command of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). It is they who are sincere and our true Shias. They shall call the people to the religion of Allah openly and secretly. And he said: Awaiting for the reappearance is the best worship act.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 31, tradition 2)

“In His Eminence, Qaem (as) are present similarities to seven prophets. The practice of our father, Adam, the practice of Ibrahim, the practice of Musa, the practice of Isa, the practice of Ayyub and the practice of Mohammed (sawa). As for the practice of Adam and Nuh (as) it is a long life. As for the similarity with Prophet Ibrahim (as) it is a concealed birth and being away from the people. And from Musa it is the fear and occultation. And from Isa is that he will have discord regarding him. With Ayyub (as) he shares the occurrence of triumph after difficulties. And from Mohammed (sawa) he will share the aspect of advent and armed uprising.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 31, tradition 3)

“The Qaem from us will be such that his birth will remain concealed from the people so much that they will say (regarding Imam Hasan Askari) that: He had no issue who will rise up without having the allegiance of anyone on his neck.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 31, tradition 5)

“To one who remains firm on our guardianship (Wilayat) during the occultation of our Qaem, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will give the reward of a thousand martyrs of Badr and Uhad.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 31, tradition 6)

Traditions from Imam Baqir (as)

Regarding the words of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, “Say: Have you considered if your water should go down, who is it then that will bring you flowing water?” (Surah Mulk, verse 30), Imam Baqir (as) said, “This is revealed for the Qaem. Your Imam will disappear from your view and you will not know where he is gone. When he will reappear he will give you news of the heavens and the earth and knowledge of the lawful and the prohibited of Allah. Then he said: By Allah, this verse has not yet actualized. It will indeed be actualized (in future).” (Kamaluddin, chapter 32, tradition 3)

“O Aba Jarud, when the time of occultation will prolong, people will begin to say: The Qaem is dead or he has been killed. And in which valley does he reside? And the opponents will say: Where does a Qaem exist? His bones must also have decayed. At that time remain hopeful for his reappearance and when you hear his call harken to it. You should go to join him even if you have to crawl on snow. (Kamaluddin, chapter 32, tradition 5)

“In the Master of this affair (Imam Mahdi), are present practices (Sunnah) of four prophets: Musa, Isa, Yusuf and Mohammed (sawa). From Musa is being fearful for his life and his occultation, from Yusuf is the imprisonment, from Isa it is that it would be said: He is dead, while it would not be so. And as for the similarity with Mohammed (sawa) it will be his advent and rising up with the sword.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 32, tradition 6)

Umme Hani Thaqafi said, “I came to my master, Mohammed bin Ali al-Baqir (as) and asked: A verse in the book of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime occurred in my heart and made me worried and sleepless. The Imam said: Which verse, O Umme Hani? I said: My chief it is: “But nay! I swear by the stars. That run their course (and) hide themselves.” (Surah Takwir, verses 15-16)

The Imam said: You have asked a very good question, Umme Hani. This verse is regarding a newborn child in the last period of time. He is the Mahdi from this progeny. And for him there shall be a confusion and occultation in which a group shall deviate and a group shall be guided. Thus glad tidings for you if you live in that time and glad tidings for those who live in that time.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 32, tradition 14)

“The Qaem from us will be aided by awe and helped with divine assistance. The earth will fold up for him and the treasures will be exposed for him. His dominions will be in the east and the west and through him will Allah, the Mighty and Sublime make His religion dominate over all religions even though the polytheists hate this. Then no ruin will remain in the earth but that he will restore it. And the spirit of Allah, Isa bin Maryam (as) will come down and pray behind him.

The narrator said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, when will your Qaem appear? He replied: When the men will resemble women and women will resemble men. When men will satisfy their lusts with men and women with women. When women will ride horses. False testimony will be accepted and true testimony will be obstructed. Murder will be considered a minor thing. Adultery and usury will be common. People will fear the talks of the evil people. Sufyani will arise from Shaam and Yamani will appear from Yemen. The Baida desert will sink.

A youth from Aale Mohammed will be killed between the Rukn and Maqam. He will be Mohammed bin Hasan Nafs-e-Zakiyyah. A call will come from the sky that the truth is with him and with all the Shias. At that time will arise our Qaem. When he reappears he would lean on the Kaaba and three hundred and thirteen men would reach him, and the first words he speaks would be: “What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believers…” (Surah Hud, verse 86) Then he would say: I am the remnant of Allah on the earth and the vicegerent of God and His Divine Proof upon you. Then no Muslim would greet him except by the words: “Peace be on you, O the remnant of Allah on His earth.” And when the number of his supporters reaches one Iqd, that is 10,000 men, he would set out. Then no deity except Allah, the Mighty and Sublime would remain on the earth. Idols, statutes and such other things would be destroyed, and fire would rise up among them; and this would come to pass after a prolonged occultation till the Almighty Allah knows who brings faith during the occultation and who obeys.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 32, tradition 16)

Read Part II

Read More About Ghaybat



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