Respected Allamah Meer narrates – Once I left my house in the last part of the night for the Ziyarat of Hazrat Ameerul Momeneen (as). It was pitch dark at that time of the night. As I walked towards the shrine, I sensed that there was a person ahead of me. I quickened my pace so that I could catch up with him and see who it is. As I came close to him, I observed that it was Muqaddas Ardabeli.I slowed down and began walking behind him to understand where he was going so late in the night. I followed him at a short distance till such time that he reached the door of the holy shrine and stopped there. I too stopped behind to observe what his next step would be. He called out to someone but I could not understand what he said. At this time, the door of the shrine opened and a voice called out to him – Janab Ardabeli, come in.
He went inside the shrine. I wanted to follow him and ran to the door, but by then the door had closed and I had to wait outside. After some time he came outside and went in the direction of the market. From there he left along the road which led to Masjid Kufa. I followed him at a distance till he reached Masjid Kufa. In the mosque, the place known as place of Hazrat Ibrahim appeared illuminated by a light. Muqaddas Ardabeli went towards that light and stood respectfully before it. I tried my best to come closer and observe what is happening, but was unable to do so. After some time, Muqaddas Ardabeli left from there and returned back to Najaf. Once again, I followed him.
When we crossed Masjid Hannana, I sneezed. He immediately turned in the direction of the sound and said, who is it? I said, I said, it is me. He replied, Meer, is it you? I replied in the affirmative and said, I have been following you from Najaf Ashraf. I wanted to enter the shrine along with you, but the door closed before I could enter. I hid there for some time and waited for you to come out. Thereafter, I walked behind you for the entire distance of eleven kilometres till Masjid Kufa. While you stood before the light, I waited at a distance and tried to observe what was happening. After that I followed you from the mosque till I sneezed. For the sake of God, please do clarify this matter for me.
Muqaddas Ardabeli asked me to promise that I would not disclose this secret to any person in his lifetime. I did so. He said, O Meer! Whenever I faced any difficult religious query, I sought its answer from Imam Ali (as). He (as) always responded to my queries and solved my difficulties. Today, I was presented with a religious query which, despite my best efforts, I was unable to get its answer. So I came, as was my custom, to the door of Imam Ali (as) so that he could relieve me of this difficulty. This time however, he instructed me to go to Masjid Kufa and meet his son, Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) and present this case to him. He would provide me with the answer. Thus, I met Imam Mahdi (as) in the mosque and he gave me a satisfactory answer to my question.
All praise be to Allah! Our countless salutations upon our scholars and may the mercy and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon those who had the good fortune of meeting with Imam Mahdi (as)! Indeed they were blessed with a good fortune to meet with the Imam (as) and to benefit from the ocean of his (as) knowledge. O Allah! Grant us too the opportunity to meet with the Imam of the Time, Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as). Ameen!
Ref: Bulbule’ Bostaane’ Hazrat Mahdi (as), volume 2, page 192
Lessons from this incident
There are many lessons which one can learn from this incident. Some of these are as follows,
After the Holy Imams (as) and the companions of the Imams (as), scholars like Muqaddas Ardabeli are a source of guidance for us. These scholars with their efforts, not only ensured that the words of the Imams (as) reached us, but also taught us how to purify one’s soul for the pleasure of Allah.
The spirituality of Muqaddas Ardabeli was at its peak. In an incident it is narrated that once he hired an animal to travel for Arbaeen from Najaf. He intended to walk along with the animal while going and ride the animal on the return journey. However when he returned, people saw that he was walking on the return people. When people questioned him about this, he replied, that while returning some person gave him a parcel to carry. Since he had only hired the animal to carry his own weight, he did not consider it appropriate to carry the load of the parcel. Hence he had walked back. It is due to such high attention to spirituality that the doors of the shrine of Ameerul Momeneen (as) opened for him.
The shrine of Ameerul Momeneen (as) is a door for seeking a meeting with Imam Mahdi (as)
Ameerul Momeneen (as) guided Muqaddas Ardabeli to seek the solution of his problem through Imam Mahdi (as).
The instruction of Muqaddas Ardabeli to his student to not narrate this episode in his lifetime is a pointer towards the sincerity of his intention.
The grave of Muqaddas Ardabeli is in the shrine of Ameerul Momeneen Ali (as). It is our duty that when we visit Najaf, we should forsake a visit to his grave and recite a Surah Fateha for him.