Mulla Habeeb reports that it was my daily routine to reach the mosque an hour before morning prayers and recite Shab Namaz. Thereafter I used to go to the roof of the mosque and offer additional units of recommended prayers and recite some supplications.At the prime time of namaz, I used to offer Azaan and then come down and recite the morning prayer. This was my daily practice which remained unchanged for about twenty years.
On one such night when it was extremely dark and a cool breeze was blowing softly, I arrived at the mosque. I saw that the door of the mosque was open and the mosque appeared illuminated. I thought to myself that perhaps the caretaker has forgotten to not just close the door, but also to snuff out the lamps of the mosque. I decided to go insider and see for myself. As I entered the mosque, I saw that a person of Persian descent, dressed in attire of a scholar was reciting prayers in the Mehraab (prayer niche) of the mosque. The entire mosque was illuminated, not by lamps, but by the light which was emanating from his face. I was a bit taken aback by this scene and thought who is this person who face is shining with so much light that the mosque is lit up by it. I moved closer to him and was lost in these thoughts that this personality completed his prayers and turned towards me and called me by my name. He said, instruct your pesh Imam (Sayyed Mohammed Sadiq Qummi) to come to the mosque.
I left to call the maulana of the mosque, Sayyed Mohammed Sadiq Qummi. I reached his door and softly knocked upon it. He opened the door and I saw that he was already dressed with his turban and clothes as if he was just about to leave for the mosque when I conveyed salutations to him. I replied to my greeting. I said, O maulana! A respected Sayyed is in the mosque and has expressed his desire to meet you. He said, did you recognise who he is? I replied in the negative and only said that his face is shining with light and I have never seen such a radiant face in my entire life.
Hearing this, the maulana kept silent and did not say anything. We both left for the mosque and entered it. I saw that the maulana treated the Sayyed with much respect and reverence and presented himself with a high degree of humility. After exchanging greetings, they sat next to each other and spoke for some time. After that the Sayyed left the mosque.
I was amazed by the humility of the maulana. Just as the Sayyed left, I rushed to the maulana and asked him, who was this person? Why were you so humble in his presence? The maulana turned towards me and said, did you not recognise him? I replied in the negative. He said, if you promise that you will never disclose this incident to any person in my lifetime, I will inform you or else, no.
I promised as he said. The maulana said, this person was your and my Imam Mahdi (as). On hearing this, I just stood up from my place and rushed towards the mosque, but I found that the door of the mosque was closed, it was dark and there was no person inside the mosque. I wanted to catch another glimpse of the Imam (as), but regretfully, it was not to be. I could not get an opportunity to do so. I could not understand the conversation between the Imam (as) and the maulana except that I heard the Imam (as) say – Offer the morning prayers in congregation at its prime time.
Mulla Habeeb did not narrate this incident in the lifetime of Sayyed Mohammed Sadiq Qummi. He also swore thrice on the Holy Quran as a proof of the veracity of this incident.
Lessons from this incident
There are several lessons which can be derived from this incident. Some of these lessons are narrated below:
In this incident, Imam Mahdi (as) has emphasised about reciting Namaz Shab and the morning namaz at its prime time in congregation. In another incident, Imam Mahdi (as) communicated to his special deputy in Ghaybate’ Sughra that he was unwilling to meet such a person who delayed Namaz Maghreb till the stars were visible and who delayed his morning namaz till such time that stars disappeared.