Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Mahdi Mutazawi Langroodi narrates – Some years ago when I travelled for Hajj, I took a lot of effort to perform the rituals of Tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaabah) as per the Ja’fari school of thought. However I could not succeed because some of the others were not following the correct method of Tawaaf.Due to this they ended up inconveniencing the Hajis by pushing them this way and that. To the best of my ability, I tried to complete the Tawaf, but found it difficult to do so. I managed to complete five rounds of the Kaabah, but in the sixth round, I was pushed aside. When this happened several times, I lost hope, left the Tawaf and went to one corner of Masjidul Haram and began crying there. I pleaded with Allah (swt) saying, O my Lord! I ask you by the right of the Prophets (as) and the Imams (as), that you send Imam Mahdi (as) to help me.
In a short while I saw a Sayyed coming towards me. He called out to me by name and said, do you want to perform Tawaf? I replied, yes. He said, come with me for Tawaf. An old person who had dyed his hair was accompanying him. I said, O Sayyed! It is impossible to perform the Tawaf right now! He replied, why not? Come perform Tawaf with us. I said, Sayyed! Is it okay that I clutch your ehraam (dress of the Haji) from behind. As you walk ahead, I will follow your footsteps and complete the Tawaf.
He said, no problem, come with me. I said, in the same manner, this old person will come behind me. He said, no problem. Since you are from the family of the Prophet (sawa), he will not mind.
Thus, I clutched the ehraam of the Sayyed and we began the Tawaf in the manner that I was in the centre, the young Sayyed was in front and the old person was behind me. During the Tawaf, I realised that there was no person ahead or around us. It was as if the crowd had disappeared and the place had been emptied for us. However even then I did not realise who this person is. Finally he said, mister! We have completed seven rounds, now you can go and kiss Hajare’ Aswad (the black stone). I turned to him and said, Sir! I think we have completed six and not seven rounds. As I said this, I realised that he had disappeared. A voice called out to me, you have completed the Tawaf with Imam Mahdi (as). Do not harbour any doubts in your mind. I regretted that despite spending so much time with my master, I was unable to recognise him.
Ref: Shiftagaan Hazrat Mahdi, volume 2, page 172
Lessons from this incident
There are several lessons which can be derived from this incident. Some of these are as follows.
It is clear from traditions and from incidents that Imam Mahdi (as) is present at Hajj every year and he (as) takes special care of his Shiahs. Therefore it is necessary that at every stage of Hajj – Arafah, Muzdalifah, Mina, Tawaf and Saei – we should seek Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as)
If one is facing any difficulty in performing the acts of Hajj or is separated from the group, then one should seek the help of Imam Mahdi (as).
It is amongst the sunnat of Imams (as), and specially of Imam Mahdi (as) that they were helping the poor and weak Shiahs in the performance of the acts of Hajj and Ziyarat. We too should do the same.
The time of Tawaf is a special time for acceptance of Duas. Therefore we should seek out Imam (as) at the time of Tawaf, pray for his early reappearance and also curse the enemies of Ahle Bayt (as). This is recommended way to attract the special attention of Imam Mahdi (as).
May Allah grant us the opportunity to perform Hajj in the period of Ghaybat and after his reappearance may we get the opportunity to offer our allegiance to his between Rukn and Maqaam. Ameen!