Allamah Hilli (ar) (648-726 AD) was a remarkable personality of the Shiahs. He had no equal during his period and was an outstanding Shiah scholar. He was specially blessed by Imam Mahdi (as) with a special favour. The following incident about Allamah Hilli related from Majalisul Momineen of Shaheed Salis Qazi Nurullah Shustari is well known among the people.
One of the exceptional aspects of Allamah Hilli’s time was that during his tenure a person had written a book against the beliefs of the Shiah and he used to quote from it in assemblies and thus managed to mislead quite a few people and created doubts regarding the Shiite faith. However, he never lent anyone this book for the fear that it may fall into the hands of the Shias and they may write a rebuttal.
In order to obtain this book, Allamah Hilli began to attend the sermons of this person and introduced himself as a student of this person. After having achieved the confidence of his teacher, he requested him to lend the book for some time. It was difficult for that person to refuse Allamah Hilli, so he told him, “I have vowed that I will not give this book to anyone for more than a single night.”
Allamah Hilli accepted it as there was no other way. That night he felt very elated and began to copy the book. He had planned to take down as much as possible so that he could refute the arguments of the book. Around midnight when he could not resist the onslaught of sleep, a respectful guest arrived and after a few pleasantries he encouraged Allamah Hilli to rest for some time and entrust him with the completion of the book.
Allama agreed to it without any questions. When he awoke after some time, he found that there was no sign of his guest. Upon searching he found that his guest had already completed the book and at the end of it something extra was mentioned. When he looked closely he found that the following words had been added at the end: “Inscribed by the Hujjat”.
Lessons from this incident
This incident teaches us that Imam Mahdi (as) helps those who take an effort to help Islam. Imam (as) likes the intention of Allamah Hilli who despite knowing that it was not humanely possible to complete the book in one night, went ahead to complete it as much as he could to the best of his capacity. That is what Imam (as) expects from us – to serve Islam to the best of our capacity and to try and defend it.
The beneficence of the Holy Imam (as) can be gauged from the fact that he did not wake up Allamah Hilli from his rest and after completing the book proceeded on his way to help other Shiahs. We too may have been the recipient of such benevolence from our Imam from time to time. But the style and manner of Imam (as) is such that he does not wait for our thanks. He comes, helps us and leaves. Such is his style.
The greatest protector of Islam in this age is the Imam of this Age – Imam Mahdi (as). Whenever the need comes, he will fulfill his duty of protecting the Shiah Faith in the best possible manner.