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.
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 Imam Sadiq (as)
“One who agrees (believes) in the Imamate of all the Imams but denies the Mahdi is like one who accepts the prophethood of all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Mohammed (sawa).” He was asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, who is the Mahdi from your progeny? “The fifth descendant of the seventh Imam, whose person will remain hidden from your view and uttering his name is unlawful for you.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 1)
“When Imams named Mohammed, Ali and Hasan come one after another, the fourth will be the Qaem.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 2)
“One who dies awaiting for the reappearance is like one who is with the Qaem in his tent, rather he is like one who fights the holy war under the command of the Messenger of Allah (sawa).” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 11)
“In the master of this affair there is a similarity to Prophet Yusuf.” The narrator asked: “It seems as if you are informing us about occultation and bewilderment?” He replied: “These accursed people resembling pigs, why do they deny this statement? Brothers of Yusuf were sons of prophets, they completed a transaction with Yusuf, and he was their brother, inspite of that until he introduced himself they did not recognize him till he said I am Yusuf. On the basis of this why does the confused Ummah deny that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime from time to time conceals His proof from them.
Yusuf had the rulership of Egypt and the distance between him and his father was not more than that of 18 days’ travel, if the Almighty Allah wanted He could have made his location known to his father. And by Allah when Yaqoob and his sons got the good news of Yusuf they covered this distance in nine days through desert and wilderness. Then how could this Ummah deny that the Almighty Allah can do with His proof what He did with Yusuf? He walked in the market and trod on their carpets but they didn’t recognize him? Till the time that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime permits him to introduce himself as He allowed Yusuf. “And he said: Do you know how you treated Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant? They said: Are you indeed Yusuf? He said: I am Yusuf and this is my brother.” (Surah Yusuf, verses 89-90) (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 21)
“Indeed he shall go into occultation till the ignorant will say: For the Almighty Allah there is no need of Aale Mohammed. Then he would appear like a shooting star and fill up the earth with equity and justice just as it would be brimming with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 22)
“There will be occultation for the master of this affair. During this those who remain attached to their religion will be like those who rub their hands on a thorny branch. Then he gestured with his hands. Then he said: There is occultation for the master of this affair and every person is duty-bound to fear Allah and remain attached to his religion.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 35)
“After this, a time will come when you will not be able to see the Imam of the time. In that period no one will be saved except the one who recites “Dua-e- Gareeq”. The narrator inquired as to what is Dua-e-Gareeq. Imam (as) replied: “Ya Allaho Ya Rahmano Ya Raheemo Ya Moqallebal Qoloob, Sabbit Qalbi Ala Deenek” “O Allah! O Beneficent! O Merciful! O the One Who transforms the hearts! Make my heart steadfast upon your religion!” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 50)
“Do not protest! By Allah! Your Imam shall remain hidden from you for a long time. You will be tried and examined in those times. To such an extent that some people shall say: He has died or he has gone in some cave. While the believers will be shedding tears for him. The hearts of the people will be shaken up by the calamities like the ship is tossed in the waves of the stormy sea. None shall get deliverance except those from whom Allah has taken oath, on whose hearts He has inscribed faith and whom He helped with His mercy. At that time twelve standards will arise and all of them will be alike, thus it will not be known which is the standard of truth.
The narrator says, I began to weep on hearing this, so the Imam said: O Abi Abdullah why do you weep? I replied: Master, why shouldn’t I weep when you say that twelve standards will arise and all of them will be alike, thus how do we know which is the standard of truth? The Imam said: Look at the sun, on which army it is shining. I said: Maula, this same sun? “Yes,” he replied, “O Abi Abdullah, have you seen this sun? I said: Yes. Imam said: I swear by Allah, our matter (Wilayat) is more clear than this sun.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 33, tradition 36)
Traditions from Imam Kazim (as)
“When the fifth descendant of the seventh Imam goes into occultation, for the sake of Allah protect your religion. None of you must let go of your religion. O son, occultation is necessary for the master of this affair. So much so that even those who say that it is a test from Allah, they would also turn away from him. And if in the knowledge of your forefathers there had been some other religion more correct and better than this, they would have followed that only.” I asked: “Master, tell us who is the fifth descendant of the seventh Imam?” He replied: “Son, your intellects are small, he cannot be accommodated in it. Your understanding is so restricted that you cannot bear it, but if you live till that time you will indeed find him.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 34, tradition 1)
A person asked Imam Kazim (as), “O son of Allah’s Messenger! Are you the Qaem bil Haqq? He replied, “I am Qaem bil Haqq, but the Qaem who shall purify the earth from the enemies of Allah Almighty and who shall fill it with justice in the same way as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression, is my fifth descendent who will have a prolonged occultation because his life shall be in danger. During this period (of occultation) some people will deviate from the truth but some would remain steadfast on it.’ Then he said, ‘Blessed are those of our Shiahs who during the occultation of our Qaem remain attached to our Wilayat (guardianship) and who are steadfast in devotion for us, who have declared immunity from our enemies. They are from us and we are from them. And indeed they have preferred us for Imamate and we have also selected them as our followers (Shia). Congratulations to them and blessed be they (Shiahs). By Allah, on the Day of Judgment they shall be in our grades.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 34, tradition 5)
Traditions from Imam Reza (as)
“One who does not have piety does not have religion and whosoever does not have dissimulation (Taqayyah) does not have faith and indeed the most honored among you near Allah is the one most pious of you. His Eminence was asked: Till when does he have to observe Taqayyah? He replied: Till the day of the appointed hour and on that day is the reappearance of our (Ahle Bayt’s) Qaem. Thus whosoever abandons Taqayyah before his reappearance is not from us.
It was asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, from which of Ahle Bayt is the Qaem? He replied: He is my fourth descendant, the son of the best of the maidservants. The Almighty Allah would, through him, purify the earth from every kind of oppression and remove every type of injustice from it. He is the one in whose birth the people would doubt and he is the one who would have an occultation before his reappearance. And when he arises, the earth shall be lit up with his effulgence. He would establish the scales of justice among the people so that no one may oppress the other. He is the one for whom the earth would warp itself and he would not throw a shadow.
And he is the one by whose name the caller would call out from the sky inviting people to the Imam which all the people of the earth would be able to hear. The caller would say: Know that the Proof of Allah has appeared near the House of Allah, so follow him as truth is with him, and that is the meaning of the statement of the Almighty Allah: “If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heaven so that their necks should stoop to it.” (Surah Shuara, verse 4) (Kamaluddin, chapter 35, tradition 5)
Imam Reza (as) said, “O Dibil, the Imam after me is my son, Mohammed; after Mohammed his son, Ali; after Ali his son Hasan; and after Hasan his son, al- Hujjah al-Qaem (Imam Mahdi), the Awaited during his occultation, the one obeyed in his time of appearance. Even if not more than one day should remain from the world, Allah will prolong that day so much that he will rise and fill the world with equity just as it will be full of injustice. As for when it will happen, that is to describe its time, and my father has narrated to me through his forefathers through Ameerul Momeneen (as) that the Messenger of Allah (sawa) was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (sawa), when is the Qaem from your progeny going to rise?’ He said, ‘His example is like the example of the Hour: None but He shall manifest it at its time. It will be momentous in the heavens and the earth. It will not come on you but suddenly.’” (Surah Aaraf, verse 187) (Kamaluddin, chapter 35, tradition 6)
A person asked Imam Reza (as), “Are you the Sahebul Amr (Master of Affair)? He replied: I am also Sahebul Amr but not the Sahebul Amr who will fill the earth with justice as it would have been fraught with tyranny and oppression. And how can I be that person? While you can see that I am physically weak. Whereas the Qaem is the one who at the time of his reappearance will be senior in age but have the appearance of the youth. His body shall be so strong that if he catches hold of the biggest tree of the earth he shall be able to uproot it and if he shouts between the mountains, their stones will roll down. The staff of Prophet Musa and the seal ring of Prophet Suleiman (as) are with him. He is my fourth descendent. The Almighty Allah will keep him in occultation as long as Divine wisdom dictates. Then He will reveal him so that he may fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would fraught with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 35, tradition 8)
Traditions from Imam Jawad (as)
In reply to a person who asked whether the Imam (as) was the Qaem, he (as) replied, “O Abal Qasim, the Qaem from us and he is the Mahdi. It is obligatory to wait for him in his occultation and to obey him in his appearance. He is the third from my descendants. By the One Who sent Mohammed with prophethood and distinguished us through Imamate, even if it does not remain from the world but a single day, Allah will prolong that day until he rises. He will fill the earth with equity and justice, as it will be replete with injustice and oppression. Indeed the Almighty Allah would reform his affairs overnight in the same manner as He reformed the affairs of His Kaleem (Hazrat Musa as) when he went to get fire for his wife but he returned graced with prophethood and messengership.” Then he said, “The best action of our Shiahs is to wait for reappearance.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 36, tradition 1)
The narrator says, “I said to His Eminence, Mohammed bin Ali bin Musa: We hope that you would be the Qaem of the Progeny of the House of Mohammed (sawa), who would fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would fraught with injustice and oppression. He replied: O Abal Qasim, none of us Imams are but Qaem by the command of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and we are the guides towards the religion of Allah. But the Qaem through whom the Almighty Allah would purify the earth from the infidels and apostates and who would fill up the earth with justice and equity is the one whose birth shall remain concealed for the people and whose person would remain unseen by the people and pronouncing whose name would be unlawful.
His name and agnomen shall be the same as that of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and he is the one for whom the earth would wrap itself and every hardship would become easy for him. His companions numbering same as the fighters of Badr would gather around him from far off places of the earth. And that is the meaning of the verse: “Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together; surely Allah has power over all things.” (Surah Baqarah, verse 148) Thus when this number gathers around him, the Almighty Allah would reveal his matter. And when the number of his helpers reach 2000, he would, by the permission of Allah set out in pursuit of the enemies of Allah in order to please the Almighty.” Abdul Azeem says: I asked His Eminence: “My master, how would he know that the Almighty Allah is pleased with him?” He replied: “Allah would instill mercy into his heart. Thus when he enters Medina, he would bring out the Laat and Uzza and burn them up.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 36, tradition 2)
“The Imam after me is my son, Ali. His command is command of his father and his statement is statement of his father and his obedience is obedience of his father. Then the Imam fell silent. Then he said: The Imam after him will be his son, Hasan. His command is command of his father and his statement is statement of his father and his obedience is obedience of his father. After this Imam (as) became silent. The narrator asked: ‘O son of Allah’s Messenger, who will be the Imam after Hasan?’ Imam (as) started weeping profusely and said: ‘After him, his son Qaem (as) will be the Imam’. He will be in Ghaibat and pious and sincere people will await his reappearance while those in doubt will deny him and will ridicule his remembrance (zikr). Those who will hasten will be destroyed and those who submit will be successful.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 36, tradition 3)
Traditions from Imam Hadi (as)
“The master of this affair is one regarding whom people will say: He is not born yet.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 37, tradition 6)
“The Imam after me is my son, Hasan. And after Hasan his son, the Qaem, who would fill up the earth with justice and equity as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 37, tradition 10)
Traditions from Imam Askari (as)
The narrator says, “I went to Imam Hasan Askari (as) and wanted to inquire about his successor. His Eminence, preceded me in the matter and said as follows: “O Ahmad bin Ishaq! The Almighty Allah has not left the earth without a Divine Proof since the creation of Adam (as) and would not leave it without a Divine Proof till the hour shall be established (Day of Judgment). Through the Divine Proof calamities are repelled from the inhabitants of the Earth, rain falls and the bounties of the earth come out.”
After hearing these words Ahmad asked His Eminence: “Who is the Imam and Caliph after you?” Imam Hasan Askari arose from his seat and hurried inside his house and returned after a short while, in such a way that upon his neck on his shoulders sat a boy, whose face seemed to be like the full moon and it seemed that he was three years old. After that, His Eminence, Imam Hasan Askari (as) said: “O Ahmad! If you were not having a special and exalted position before Allah and the Proof of Allah, I would not have shown this son of mine to you. His name and patronymic is the same as that of the Messenger of Allah (sawa). He would fill the earth with justice and equity, as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression. O Ahmad! In this community his example is like that of Khizr and Dhulqarnain. By Allah! He will have an occultation and none shall be safe from destruction but one whom Allah has kept steadfast in the belief of his Imam and given the divine opportunity (Tawfeeq) to pray for his reappearance.”
Ahmad immediately asked, “Is there any sign or symbol so that it may satisfy my heart?” Just then the boy, who looked like a full moon, began to speak and he said: “I am the remnant of Allah on His earth and the revenge- taker from His enemies and do not demand proof after what is before you…” After hearing these words of the Proof of Allah, Ahmad went out of the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as) in such a condition that his complete being was surrounded by joy.
When again he came to Imam Hasan Askari (as) the next day he said: “O son of Allah’s Messenger! I was very much pleased with the favor you bestowed me that day. Thus what is the continuing practice of Khizr and Dhulqarnain?” Imam Hasan Askari (as) said in reply, “Prolonged occultation.”
Ahmad at once said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger, would the occultation of the Promised Imam (as) be also prolonged?” Imam (as) replied, “By my Lord! Yes, so much so, that even those who had accepted him, would turn away from their belief and none shall remain except one from whom Allah has taken the covenant of our guardianship and in whose hearts is rooted our love and those who support it with their hearts. O Ahmad! This is the command of Allah and one of the divine secrets and one of the Unseen matters of Allah. So remember what I am telling you and keep it confidential and be of the thankful ones so that you may reside in the position of Illiyeen with us.” (Kamaluddin, chapter 38, tradition 1)
Imam Askari (as) said, “My Shiahs will divide up in the year 260.” In that year Abu Mohammed (as) passed away and his Shiahs and supporters went different ways. Some of them followed Ja’far, some of them went astray and were seized by doubts; some of them remained on their perplexity; and some of them remained steadfast on their religion through the help of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.” (Kamaluddin)
Read More About Ghaybat
- Where is Imam Mahdi (as) Today?
- Has Ghaybat been discussed in Quran?
- Has Ghaybat Been Discussed in Traditions?
- Understanding the Meaning of Ghaybat
- Is Ghaybat Unique to Imam Mahdi (as)?
- Ghaybat Sughra – The Four Special Deputies
- Hidden Imam Is Like The Sun Behind The Clouds
- Why Imam Mahdi (as) Is In Ghaybat?
- Scholars Are The Protectors of Wilayat