Meeting Imam Mahdi (as) – Letter of Deliverance – Shaikh Haaj Ali Baghdadi

Shaikh Abbas Qummi has reported the incident of Shaikh Haaj Ali Baghdadi in Mafatihul Jinaan. This is a long, but very useful and enlightening incident.Shaikh Ali Baghdadi says – I was in possession of 80 Tumans that were of Sahme Imam. I travelled to Najaf and from this amount, gave 20 Tumans to Ayatollah Shaikh Murtuza and another 20 Tumans to Shaikh Mujtaba Kazmini and another 20 Tumans to Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammed Hasan Sharouqi. Now there were only 20 Tumans that remained my responsibility. I decided that on my return to Baghdad I would immediately pass on the balance to Shaikh Mohammed Hasan Kazmini Ale’ Yaseen.

Scholars are the custodians of Khums

It was the day of Thursday when I presented myself for the Ziyarat of Imam Musa Kazim (as) and Imam Mohammed Taqi (as) in Kazmain. I met Shaikh Mohammed Hasan Kazmini Aale’ Yaseen and as intended gave him the 20 Tumans. I promised him that over a period of time, I would give him some more.

On that very day, after reciting the afternoon prayers, I prepared myself to leave for Baghdad. The respected Shaikh invited me to stay over at his house, but I declined saying that I usually pay off my workers on the eve of Friday (Shabe Jumuah) and so would like to return to Baghdad.

Consequently I began my journey towards Baghdad. After I had completed about a third of the distance when I saw a noble person who was coming from the direction of Baghdad. When we came close to each other, he welcome me warmly and I extended my arm for a handshake. We embraced each other and kissed each other on the forehead. He was wearing a green turban and there was a mole on his cheek. He addressed me by name and said, Haaj Ali, how are you? Where are you going? I replied, I have just completed my Ziyarat in Kazmain and am now returning home to Baghdad. He said, Today is Shabe Jumuah. Come on let us go to Kazmain. I declined saying, O Sayyed, it is not possible for me to go back to Kazmain today.

He said, Come with me so that I may be your witness before my respected father Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (as) that you are amongst the believers and the friends of Ahle Bayt (as). And the Shaikh too shall be your witness. Both of us (myself and the Shaikh) shall bear witness for you, for Allah has said that bring two witnesses.

This dialogue was pointing towards an intention, which was hidden in my heart. I had intended that when I would meet Shaikh Hasan in Kazmain, I would request him to write for me a paper saying that he knew me as one who had accepted the infallibility and the purity of Ahle Bayt (as). I also intended that when I would die, this paper would be buried along with me.

I asked my respected companion, How come you are aware of this hidden intention and how will you bear witness for me? He said, When a person fulfils the right of someone over him, then how can it be that he does not recognise him. I asked, which right are you referring to? He said, the same right which you have fulfilled with respect to my representatives.

I asked, Who are your representatives? He replied, Shaikh Mohsin.

I asked, Is he your representative? He replied, yes, he is my representative.

At this point, a thought came to my mind that who is this person who knows me by names despite the fact that I do not know him and do not recognise him? Then I thought to myself, maybe he knows me in some way and I would have forgotten him.

Then a thought arose that maybe this person is desirous of some money from Sahme Saadaat (one part of Khums) and it is better that I give him some from it. I said to him, some of the money, which is your right was with me and I have given it to Shaikh Mohammed Hasan. Now if I have to give it someone else, then I must take his permission before I do so.

At this he smiled and said, You are right. You have also reached some of my right to my representatives in Najaf. I asked, Whatever amount I have given, has it been accepted? He said, Yes, it has been accepted.

At this point, a thought came to my mind that who is this person who calls the scholars as his representatives? I pondered over this for a while and said to myself, The scholars are the representatives for collecting Sahme Saadaat.

Strange amazing sights with Imam Mahdi (as)

Then he said to me, come let us go together for the Ziyarat of my respected father. And so I went along with him towards Kazmain. He was walking on the right and I walked at his left side. As we were walking we came across a river which had the whitest and most clean water that I had ever seen. On the banks of the river were trees of different kinds such as pomegranate, lemons, grapes and the like. All these trees were seen at the same place at the same time! And most surprisingly, it was not even the season for these fruits! As we walked, we were shaded from the heat of the sun by these trees.

I asked my companions, What is this river and these trees? He said, All this is for the one who is from our friends and performs the Ziyarat of my respected grandparents.

Importance of Wilayat of Ameerul Momeneen (as)

I said, O respected Sayyed! I would like to ask you a question. He said, Go ahead.

I said, the late Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq was a teacher. One day I presented myself before him. He used to say that if there is a person who fasts for the entire day, spends his entire night in worship, performs 40 Hajj and 40 Umrah and is killed between Safa and Marwah, if he is not from amongst the friends of Ameerul Momeneen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as), then none of his actions will benefit him. He (as) replied, By Allah, this is correct. None of his actions will benefit him.

Then I raised a question about one of my relatives that whether he was amongst the friends of Ameerul Momeneen (as) or not. He said, Yes, he and other like him who are related with you, is amongst the friends of Ameerul Momeneen (as).

Importance of Ziyarat of Imam Husain (as) on Thursday night

I sought his permission to ask another question to which he agreed. I said, Those who recite the majlis of Imam Husain (as) say that Sulayman Aamish asked another about the position of the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (as). He was told that it is an innovation. That very night, Sulayman Aamish saw a dream in which there was a palace extending between the sky and the earth. He asked, who is in this palace? He was replied, that Hazrat Fatemah Zahra (sa) and her mother Hazrat Khadijatul Kubra (sa) are in this palace. Sulayman asked, where are they going? They said,, since today is Shabe Jumuah, they are going for the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (as). Sulayman saw that they were throwing some pieces of paper from the palace and on that paper it was written – “This a protection from the fire for the visitors to the grave of Imam Hussain (as) on Shabe Jumuah. This is a protection on the Day of Qiyamat.” Is this a correct tradition? He said, Yes, it is a correct tradition and the meaning is complete.

I asked, then is it correct to say that one who visits the grave of Imam Hussain (as) on Shabe Jumuah, then he will be protected from the fire on the Day of Qiyamat? He said, Yes By Allah! And tears started flowing from his eyes.

Grace of Imam Reza (as)

I sought his permission to ask another question to which he agreed. I said, In the year 1269 AH, I had gone for the Ziyarat of Imam Ali ibn Musa ar Reza (as). In Nishapur, I met a person who was from the Sharooqi clan of Arabs. I kept him as a guest with me and asked him about the position of the wilayat (mastership) of Imam Ali ibn Musa ar Reza (as). He replied, ‘It is like heaven. It has been 15 days that I am eating as a guest of Imam Reza (as). I am confident that when I die, Munkir and Nakeer will not harm me as my body and my blood is formed from what I have eaten from the property of Imam Reza (as).’ Is this correct? When we die, will Imam Reza (as) come to our help in the grave?

He said, By Allah, this is correct. My respected father will be a protector in the grave.

I sought his permission to ask another question to which he agreed. I asked that whether my Ziyarat of Imam Reza (as) has been accepted or not? He said, Inshallah, it is accepted.

I sought his permission to ask another question to which he agreed. I asked whether the Ziyarat of Imam Reza (as) by Haaj Ahmed Bazzaaz Pashi (my companion in Mashhad) is accepted or not? He replied, the Ziyarat of Abdus Saleh is accepted.

I sought his permission to ask another question to which he agreed. I asked about the acceptance of one person in Baghdad who had accompanied us to Mashhad. (This person was amongst the elite of Baghdad and was involved not only in spreading corruption, but also in killing his mother) I did not get a reply this time. I repeated, O my master, is his Ziyarat accepted or not? Again I did not get a reply.

Some other questions…

At this point, we had reached a place, which had gardens on both sides of the road. The city of Kazmain could be seen in the distance. Orphans who were of the saadat (family of the Holy Prophet (sawa)) occupied some portion of this road. The government had seized their land and had attached it to this road. The pious and god fearing people of the city knew this fact and generally avoided taking this route for fear of usurping the right of the orphans. But I saw that my companion was taking this road. I said, O my respected Sayyed! This road is built on the land of the saadat orphans. It is not correct to infringe upon the rights of these orphans. He said, this property belongs to my respected father Ameerul Momeneen (as) and his progeny. And these orphans are our children. It is permissible for the friends of Hazrat Ali (as) that they travel along this road.

At some distance there was a garden which was famous as the garden of Haaj Mirza Hadi. He was among the wealthy people of Iran who was at present settled in Baghdad. I asked, people say that the garden of Haji Mirza Hadi is on the land which belongs to Imam Musa Kazim (as). Is this correct? He replied, how does this matter concern you?

We then reached a place where a canal had been constructed from the water of the river and the sea and this passed through the middle of the road. From this place, there were two roads, both of which led to Kazmain. One of these roads was named Raahe’ Sultani Raah. The other road was famous as Raah’e Saadaat. I suggested that we go along Raahe’ Sultani. He said, No, we will go along my road.

We had just travelled a short distance along this road, that I found myself at the holy courtyard of the mausoleum. This is the place where one generally removes one’s shoes before entering the mosque. My respected companion had gone ahead and I saw him entering the mausoleum from the west (from the direction of the holy feet of Imam Kazim (as)). He did not wait at the door and without reciting the Dua seeking permission to enter, he went straight inside the mosque. He stood at one side and asked me to recite the Ziyarat. I declined saying that I could not read. He said, Okay, should I recite the Ziyarat on your behalf? I accepted his offer. He began reciting the Ziyarat thus –

O Allah, I seek permission to enter. Peace be upon you, the Holy Prophet of Allah (sawa). Peace be upon you, Ameerul Momeneen (as). In this way, he continued to convey salutations and blessings to every Imam (as) till he reached the name of Imam Hasan Askari (as). He said, peace be upon you, Aba Mohammed Al Hasan Al Askari (as). Then he turned to me and said, do you know Imam Mahdi (as)? I said, Of course! He then said, then convey salaam to him (as).

I said, peace be upon you, the Proof of Allah, O Sahebaz Zaman Ibne Hasan (as).

He smiled at me and said, Alaykas Salaam wa Rahmatullahe wa Barakato (which is the standard response to one who conveys salaams)

Then he entered the Haram and touched the blessed shrine of Imam Kazim (as) and Imam Mohammed Taqi (as) and kissed it. He then asked me to recite the Ziyarat. I declined again saying that I could not read. He said, shall I recite the Ziyarat on your behalf? I accepted. He asked me which Ziyarat should he recite. I replied saying that recite whichever Ziyarat is having more merit. He said, Ziyarat Ameenullah is having greater merit. And he began reciting the Ziyarat.

Towards the latter half of the Ziyarat, I saw that the lights inside the haram had come on. This was not an unusual event, except that this time, there seemed to be a different kind of brightness that I had never seen before. The entire place seemed to be illuminated by this light. The lamps of the haram paled in comparison with the brightness of this light just as any light would seem pale before the brightness of the sun. My mind was in such a state that despite these signs, I was unable to comprehend the meaning of all these events.

After completing the Ziyarat, we moved from the direction of the holy feet of Imam (as) towards the holy head of Imam (as). He turned to me and said, do you intend to recite the Ziyarat of my respected father, Imam Hussain (as)? I said, yes, it is Shabe’ Jumuah, we must recite the Ziyarat.

He recited Ziyarat Waretha. By this time, the dusk prayers were upon us and the Azaan of the dusk prayers had just been completed. He turned to me and said, Go and recite the namaz of Maghreb with the congregation. We went together into the mosque, which is towards the holy head of Imam (as). The people had already gathered for prayers. My respected companion however stood separately towards the right side of the imam leading the prayer and began reciting his prayers. I stood in the first row of the congregation and began the prayers. When I completed my prayers, I looked in the direction where the respected Sayyed was praying, but I could not see him. I quickly got up from my place and looked all over for him – outside the mosque and at every place in the haram, but could not find him. My intention was to be a host to him and to serve him and present a few copies of Quran to him.

Suddenly, an amazing feeling passed over me. It was as if I had got up from a dream. A few thoughts passed through my mind – who was this respected Sayyed, my companion? There were so many miraculous events that occurred during my journey with him. He convinced me to return with him to Kazmain, despite the fact that I had made up my mind not to return today. I had never seen him before, yet he was familiar with my name. His knowledge of the hidden things in my heart and his bearing witness to my faith, the flowing of the river, the presence of the trees laden with fruits despite the fact that it was not the season for them, and replying to the salaam which I recited for Imam Mahdi (as)!

Finally I came to the place where I had taken off my shoes. I asked the caretaker whether he had seen the person who had accompanied me when I entered the haram. He said that this person had just left. He asked me, was this person your companion? I replied in the affirmative and left the place.

I spent the night at the house of my host. In the morning, I presented myself before Aqa Shaikh Mohammed Hasan and narrated the entire incident before him. He placed his hand on his mouth indicating that I should not narrate this incident to anyone and prayed to Allah in my favour.

I complied with his request and did not narrate this incident to anyone. It was about one month since this event that I was in Kazmain where a respected Sayyed walked up to me and said, what have you seen? I said, I have not seen anything. He repeated the question and I repeated my answer. This time I was more firm in my reply than before. Suddenly he disappeared from my eyes and then I did not see him again. It struck me that he was none other than my master Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as). I regretted that at the time of meeting me, I was not attentive towards him. I searched all over for him but regretfully, I could not meet him again. I was grieved at my separation from him.

Ref: Najmus Saaqib, page 484

Lessons from this incident

There are many lessons which can be derived from this incident. Some of these are given below –

In the period of Ghaybat, whatever part of Khums we give to the Marja’e Taqleed or to those who have the permission for use of Khums issued by the Marja’e Taqleed, Imam’e Zamana (as) is aware of that and has a record for the same. In this world, we may get away by evasion of income tax, but the son of Hazrat Zahra (as) has a complete record of what is our dues towards him in the form of Khums.

If a person is particular about fulfilling the rights of the Imam (as) by payment of Khums and then goes for Ziyarat, then Inshallah his Ziyarat will be accepted. It is also possible that in such a Ziyarat he may knowingly or unknowingly get an opportunity to meet Imam Mahdi (as).

On Shabe Jumuah, one should not miss the opportunity to do the Ziyarat of the Imams (as)

On Shabe Jumuah, the blessed souls of the Imams (as) are also present in the shrine of Hazrat Imam Hussain (as) for his Ziyarat.

The Ziyarat of Imam Hussain (as) on Shabe Jumuah is a cause for safety from the fire of Hell.

Imam Mahdi (as) has emphasised that one should recite Salawaat and Izne Dukhool (permission to enter) before reciting the Ziyarat. He has also emphasised on the merits of Ziyarat Ameenullah which can be recited in the shrines of all the Imams (as).

In Ghaybate’ Kubra, the visitors to the shrines of Imams (as) are, in reality, the guests of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as). He knows them, observes their actions and ensures their comfort and safety.

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