Aqa Shaykh Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi Bafeqi was amongst those scholars who was well known for fulfilling his responsibilities of Amr bil Maroof (calling people towards goodness) and Nahi Anil Munkar (preventing people from evil). He lived in the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi, which was an era of extreme evil and immorality. Despite pressure from the corrupt government, Aqa Bafeqi never wavered in the performance of these duties.
For this, he was imprisoned many times and was even exiled from his home. Despite this, he continued to persevere in these actions. He was granted the opportunity to meet Imam Mahdi (as) many times. There are numerous accounts of his audiences with the respected Imam, one of which is enumerated below.
Aqa Sayyed Murtuza Hussaini Qummi narrates this incident in the book of Masjid Jamkaran. He says that every Thursday night, our group of companions used to visit Masjid Jamkaran and spend the night there in worship. Aqa Bafeqi also used to accompany us in these nights.
One such night was extremely cold and it was snowing heavily. I was sitting at home when I suddenly remembered that it was a Thursday night and that we were to go to Masjid Jamkaran with Aqa Bafeqi. In those days, there was no provision to travel to the Masjid by taxi or by any vehicle. One had to travel by foot to reach there. It was still snowing heavily, so I did not expect any person to venture out in this weather. And even if someone were to go out of his house, he would find it extremely difficult to reach the Masjid.
In any case, I decided to step out of my house and look for Aqa Bafeqi so that I could persuade him not to go to the Masjid tonight. I went to his house, but did not find him there. I looked all over Qum for him, but found no sign of him. Finally I went to Mir Square which falls on the way to Masjid Jamkaran. I stood there for some time looking here and there. At the Square, there was a tea stall, which was owned by my friend. He saw me and asked me whether I was looking for someone. I asked him about Aqa Bafeqi, to which he replied that he had seen him along with his companions moving towards Masjid Jamkaran. He mentioned that since they had passed by this way quite some time ago, it would be difficult for me to catch up with them and that they would have already reached the Masjid by now.
Reluctantly I turned back to go home. Throughout the night I remained awake in a state of anxiety. Towards the morning, I was able to catch some sleep. In my sleep I saw a dream in which I was blessed with the ziyarat of Imam Mahdi (as). He came towards me and asked me the cause of my worry. I told him that I was worried about the condition of Aqa Bafeqi who had gone to the Masjid in this hostile weather.
The Imam (as) spoke to me gently, “O Sayyed Murtuza, do you think that I am distant from Aqa Bafeqi? I have just visited the Masjid and have made all the necessary arrangements for his comfort and that of your friends there.”
I awoke from my sleep and rushed to give the good news that I had seen Imam Mahdi (as) in my dream and that he had made the arrangements for the safety of Aqa Bafeqi and my companions. My family members, who were also worried, relaxed on hearing this news.
The next night I left my house and happened to meet a person who was with Aqa Bafeqi the previous night. He said to me, “We had kept a place for you last night. Aqa Bafeqi first took us to Masjide’ Jamkaran. It was an amazing night. For some reason, we felt as if it was not snowing. The ground on which we were walking was completely dry. So we were able to reach our destination very quickly. When we reached the Masjid, we saw that there was no one there. It was however very cold there and we did not know what to do.”
In those days, Masjid Jamkaran was a small broken down place. There was no building like there is today. Only a few people used to visit the place and benefit spiritually from it.
Suddenly we saw that a respected Sayyed walked into the Masjid. He said to Aqa Bafeqi, “If you desire tea and some items for your comfort, I can organise them for you.” Aqa Bafeqi said, “Whatever you think best.” The Sayyed went out of the Masjid and returned after some time with the items. This was very surprising because there were no inhabitants in that area, yet he was able to procure all these things without much difficulty.
When the Sayyed was about to leave, one of our companions asked him, “Are you going to go to Qum early in the morning? In that case, who should we leave these things with?” The Sayyed said, “The one who has brought these things will take them back also.” Saying this, he left from there. After he left, we began thinking how this Sayyed was able to arrange all these items so quickly since the area was not inhabited. Even if he had brought it from the village of Jamkaran, it would have been very difficult for him in this cold and snowy weather. In any case, we spent the night in comfort and ease and early in the morning, we left those things there and came back to Qum.”
I then narrated my dream to him and told him that Imam Mahdi (as) does not leave his friends without any help or support
Lessons from this incident
This incident highlights the importance and eminence of Masjid Jamkaran. We also realise the fondness and love that some Shiahs have for their Imam (as). Surely if a Shiah prefers the pleasure of Imam Mahdi (as) over himself, then the Imam (as) too reciprocates his love by ensuring his comfort.
Only the true Imam is aware of the needs of the believers and he ensures that their needs and desires are taken care of.