a) Waiting is not a passive situation. It requires efforts & actions to bring about changes on both personal & social fronts.
b) The Reappearance is also dependant upon the conditions of supporters & the society. The leader also awaits the availability of followers who will instantly obey w/o hesitation & questioning.
c) Allah (swt) operates through a normal cause & effect conditions & miracles are not put into motion in many situations. Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition; Quran Ch 13 V11
d) History repeats itself & Quran is a book of guidance, hence narrates those episodes where there are learning values for humanity
e) Many recent events point to the fact that the reappearance is very close. Many Hadith also point out that, at the end of time it will be easier to hold burning coal in bare hands than to keep ones faith in tact.
f) Reappearance will finally take place, with or without participation from us, the question each one of us has to answer is; what is our role & responsibility today in the scheme of things.
Two contrasting types of ‘Calling’ in Islamic History
a) Calling Imam Hussain (as) by the people of Kufa. The people were aware who is the just leader & even their hearts were for the Imam, YET when the time for support arrived they were not prepared for consequences & take personal losses. They did not sufficiently change themselves to be prepared for sacrifices required to follow him. They expected the Imam to come & change situation/solve problems rather than attempting/preparing for it first. They even welcomed the wrong leader in disguise, assuming him to be the Imam, due to lack of marefat.
b) Calling the Prophet (saws) by the people of Medina. The prophet received invitations from Medina, but accepted it only when there was sufficient evidence of the people having changed themselves sufficiently to bear the consequences of his arrival. History then proved how the people supported him in the mission.
Over Confidence . “ Its not us” -The danger of losing faith
Our present status is no guarantee that we will continue to be on the right path & not deviate at times of crucial tests. Even the love, recognition of the Ahlul bayt, piety & worship, may not be sufficient to ensure that we become his followers. There are 3 events given below which are vivid examples:
a) Azazeel: There was a cry in the skies that one of the pious worshippers would be one of the most cursed ones. All the creatures, at all stations were worried that it could be them & went to the creation, next higher in station, to seek his intercession by prayer. Only Azazeel was confident & prayed for all, except himself & as a result was the cursed Satan.!
b) Servant of Mamoon: She loved the Imam & Mamoon sent her to the Imams house for work. The conditions of Imams house were very different from Mamoon’s luxuries & the servant maid could not get used to the perceived difficulty of getting up for prayer each morning etc, which ultimately led her to seek to go away from the Imams servitude.
c) Balam e baoor: He had a high status & his duas were accepted instantly. He was asked to pray for victory against Prophet Musa (as), which he finally attempted, due to the riches offered to him.
We easily condemn the people mentioned in Sura Juma, who left the Prophet in prayer for entertainment & business deals. We need to apply it to ourselves first & check if we too have similar habits of giving priority to these matters over Islam.
We are required to continually recite “Ihdinis siratal Mustaqim” i.e. keep us on the right path, at least 17 times in a day, because there is a danger of deviating & being misled.
a) Our Homes should show preparedness to welcome the Imam. They should be Islamic homes devoid of all things/situations, which lead to sins.
If we are not prepared to give up sins; shaving beards, listening to haram music, not wearing hijab etc for Islam, we may not be able to follow the Imam on his reappearance.
Attention to Islamic education of our children is very important. In our pursuit of wealth and/or over emphasis on academics, the children’s upbringing (tarbiyat) suffers causing our children to deviate.
Hujr ibn hadi’s insistence of his son to be killed before himself & Khizr’s killing of a son, in Sura Khaf, explain to us very vividly that it is better for our children to die in Iman rather than to lose faith & suffer the punishments of the Hereafter
b) Imam Hussain (as) in his last address on 10th Muharrum addressed his opponents by saying that they were unable to recognize the right path due to the Haram rizq in their stomach.
We are very careful of eating food, which does not harm our body & read / know all ingredients. Similar care is required to check if the food we eat is purchased by halal earnings and Khums is paid. This has a great effect on the ability to recognize & follow the leader in his just cause. We need to ensure this to be ready to participate with the Imam
c) Zulqarnain required the affected community to participate in efforts, which he directed. He used modern technology of mixing metals, to create a barrier between Gog & Magog & the troubled community. Time & energy is/ will be required to be spent for the cause of Islam by the community & only providing money will not be sufficient as the verses of Sura kahf narrating this event explain. Acquisition of the latest Technology is also required for salvation, even when the leader reappears to help. But technology without the control of the conscience is disastrous to humanity.
d) Implementation of the complete Shariah in society will be the main objective on reappearance & people who have complete knowledge of Islamic rules will be required. We need to learn & know more of the Islamic Rules. Download some of these from www.islamic-laws.com. Ziarat Arbaeen describes the purpose of Imam Hussain (as) jihad as 'taking people out of Ignorance'. Acquisition of Knowledge is therefore very important. We do our best, but each one of us has different capacities, yet must remain connected to the source i.e. Marjas rather than remain isolated containers of the limited knowledge we can gather.
We are warned, through a dream of Jabir, of a piece of cloth being torn in parts. The Prophet explained this dream that at the end of time, people will take only parts of Islam to suit themselves, which will benefit no one. This will also give a bad image to Islam like a torn cloth. We need to accept the whole of Islam with all its rules & not only the parts that suit us/ our method of thinking, irrespective of our ability to understand the complete reasons/logic for the rules.
e) Representatives for different regions who have the perfect morals will be required & we need to ensure we acquire those qualities & get rid of the various diseases of the soul like Backbiting, Envy etc
f) We need to go behind events taking place & analyse the depths, rather than take them at face value. This skill requires to be developed for correct analysis & recognition of the plans of the enemy.
Similarly we need to possess the skills to distinguish between the false/self seeking & the true religious leaders. There will be intellectuals who will present a face of Islam devoid of Islam, in the name of modernity, with the use of Media. The real Ulemas/Maraje & Howzas will never alter Islam to suit the people‘s wishes. They have a known background of years of study, tutors/students etc
g) We need to be aware of the attacks on us & protect the 3 corner stones institutions of Shia Islam i.e. Azadari, Marjaiyyat & the Belief in our Imam.
Our enemy knows this & makes efforts to cause doubts. Our lack of knowledge & emotions are used for these matters in the following ways:
1) Azadari: The attacks are from 2 sources i.) Certain practices, which contradict Shari at i.e. Aspects, like women w/o hijab; Letting Salaat become qaza etc,is used by adversaries to mention that azadari itself is not ok as it results in these things. ii.) Use of so called 'intellectual' arguments to say, what is the need for Alam a wooden stick & Tazia & why beat chest etc. This is done to deviate us from practicing & keeping Azadari alive. Azadari is a source of spiritual strength.
2) Marjaiyat: i.) Doubts on the need for Taqleed in the name of "we only follow masoom" & Marjas are fallible humans in one corner of the world who are not aware of many matters on which rulings are required etc ii.) Creation of Conflict between followers of different Maraje.
3) False Mahdi's introduced like creation of Bahai & Ahmadia & Wahabi isms. We must watch & evaluate any claims rather than rush to accept any claim of being mahdi even if he can demonstrate some miracle like acts (using technology probably).
h) Imam Ali’s has informed us of an allegiance (bayyatnama) that the twelfth imam will ask of his followers. This was written & saved by him in a casket for posterity, lists 25 matters, which are to be accepted/followed to be eligible to be amongst the followers of the Imam. Besides the usual things of Avoiding sins, they include; leading simple life protecting property/travelers, Amr bil maroof etc
i) Unity amongst Muslims & Shias We must try to eliminate differences & not give them prominence. Divisions & subdivisions are increasing by the day, which is a policy of our enemy. We should help in playing down conflicts & encourage reconciliation. This does not mean that we give up our Faith about wilayat & forget the atrocities. Mothers need to inform the children of history & public forums need not b used to accentuate differences
Sufyani (Sword- fear) & Dajjal (Material Benefits- Attractions)
Historically tyrants have used 2 methods to silence/mislead people; the sword to make them fearful & money to buy peoples loyalties. Sufyani & Dajjal are symbolic for these at the time of Imams return.
The sword has not been effective in eliminating the true believers, but apparent attractions & enticements have resulted in many deviations of true believers.
Keeping wants & desires in check will help in not getting carried away by material pleasures offered & the apparent “heaven” which will actually be Hell as shown by Dajjal.
Dajjal could be a symbolic of a system of government based only on material progress & NGO’s apparent beneficent aims having hidden agendas. Or it could be governments, individuals & even an entertainment system like Cable TV, which takes us away from HIS rules. One eyed in the sense that it will only consider material aspects, completely ignoring spirituality.
Recitation of Sura Kahf (Ch 18) especially on Fridays is a recommended way to protect oneself form Dajjal. Imam Hussein (as) recited this sura on the spear in Kufa & drew our attention to it. This sura is in exactly in the middle of the Quran & has several relevant messages in the 3 events narrated in it as a reply to the questioners. These are of Ashab e Kahf (Ikhlas), Musa / Khizr (Importance of knowledge & unconditional acceptance of the leader with knowledge without objections) & Zulqarnain (Technology use, but ‘after’ knowledge/fear of Allah)
Some Signs of Reappearance
At the time, which is close to, Reappearance there will be 4 sins by 'Momins' first by wrongly making them ‘halal’:
1) Interest, in the name of profit 2) Alcohol, in the name of medicine 3) Music, in the name of entertainment 4) Bribe, in the name of gift
There are other Haidth, which continue after the famous “ Antenna” Hadith, related to Salman E Farsi. It mentions about using a mirror like gadget for security (possibly CCtv ) & a gadget for visually communicating with people close & far (possibly the mobile gsm ) at the time of Reappearance.
Possible reasons for Delay in Reappearance - Duas not accepted for our salvation
Imam is in waiting & Imams dua is accepted by Allah swt
State of momins is that they are not prepared, ie involved in sins, not following Sharia. However their Iman / Faith is in tact. Sins can get forgiven & momins can achieve salvation despite all the problems they face in the material world.
After Reappearance, not following the Imam unconditionally, will mean a fault in beliefs (Iman) & hence it is possible many "momins" may lose their faith itself. & Hence lose salvation.
Our Imam is concerned for Momins & prefers to wait & give additional opportunity to Momins to reform themselves & be prepared. This delay does cause additional hardship to Momins & their lives/ property / honor is more & more in danger with the passing of time.
Insufficient followers who can Unconditionally obey Imam
There is a Story of Ayt Khoie' s father who saw a house in Hilla which is a mosque/imambara/ house / shrine all in one. The background is that the resident of the house was a true follower of Imam & on a specific day Imam informed him to call all believers to his home. At this event, goats were used to spill blood from the terrace, which scared the believers into fleeing the place. This demonstrated that momins were not prepared to sacrifice for Imam, but were calling without preperation & commitment of unconditional adherence to his commands.
Sahl Khurasani once approached Imam Ja'ffar al-Sadiq (as) and complained: "Why is it that inspite of the truth being on your side, you do not stage an uprising? At present, there are 100,000 Shia'hs, who upon your orders, would immediately unsheathe their swords for battle". In order to give him a practical answer, the Imam (as) ordered the furnace to be lighted and then instructed Sahl to jump into the flames. Sahl was shocked and said: "O my Master! May God shower you with His grace and favours! Do not place me in the fire. I take back my words and request you to withdraw your instruction". After a while, Haroun Makki, a sincere companion of the Imam (as) entered and greeted. As soon as the Imam (as) saw him, he told him to take off his slippers and walk into the hot furnace. Without any question, Haroun complied. Imam (as) then turned towards Sahl and began inquiring about Khurasan as if nothing had happened. All this time, Sahl appeared uncomfortable and disturbed worrying about the plight of Haroun in the furnace. Finally the Imam (as) asked him to get up and to look inside the furnace. Sahl witnessed that Haroun was seated comfortably and unharmed in the fiery flames. Imam (as) asked, "How many such Shia'hs exist in Khurasan?" Sahl said, "By Allah! Not a single Shia'h like Haroun exists in Khurasan". Thereupon, the Imam (as) said, "I shall not stage an uprising when I do not have even five sincere companions. (And do remember) we are very well aware as to when we should stage an uprising". (Safeenatul-Bihar)
Perhaps this incident conveys why our 12th Imam (AJ) has still not come out of his concealment. It is easy for us to call on him but we must also ask ourselves how many of us are sincere in what we say? How many of us are prepared for his arrival? And how many of us lead a lifestyle, which is in conformity to his teachings?
Taking Time to recognize Imam
It is expected that there will be many false Mahdi's who will appear before the true Mahdi (atfs). We presently observe many people who claim that Imam meets them regularly. These are all fraudsters. Current technology also makes it possible to show the apparent 'miracles' if someone does not have sufficient knowledge of science.
There is a wrong notion that we have to immediately rush to our Imam upon hearing a call. This is only true for those who can & will recognize that it’s the Imams call through own knowledge/deduction. Others need to wait & verify the claim especially thru the Maraje who have the means to guide us.
Salman e Farsi who had waited for 200 years for the Prophet to appear, took 3 consecutive weeks of action & meetings before confirming the Prophet hood with the signs he had.
One final method to recognize Imam will be thru the reappearance of Hazrat Isa (as) who should not have an identifiable birth date
Accepting ALL actions of Imam as full of wisdom
It is possible that the awaiters/callers would go against the Imam when he reappears. This could be because of 2 reasons; a) Being unable to adopt lifestyle as required b) Expecting a favorable status compared to others (esp. apparently non-believers/followers) & not receiving the same. A superiority complex.
This has happened before as Quran explains in Ch 2 V 89 :SHAKIR: And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers
Don’t Despair, Take Actions within your capacity & Duas too
Duas have a very important role but have to be accompanied by actions. Prophet Abraham’s wife Hagar undertook the ‘action’ of Saaee between Safa & Marwa & prayed to Allah swt & hence the prayer was answered in a way, that she asked for a cupful of water & got in return Zam Zam for all times !
We have to take the required action & leave the rest to HIS will. Allama Hilli commenced copying a very big book at dusk, though it was an impossible task to do it by dawn & return the book to its owner as required. His job was to start the work & with the Imams help the work was accomplished!
The opponents /enemy may appear very strong, & impossible to defeat, but this should not lead to despair. It should lead us to redouble our efforts instead with the resources at our disposal. There are examples in History where the impossible became a reality in a very short period of time. Eg Bilal would have been very happy at being able to practice Islam himself without prosecution, in Mecca, but could never have imagined that he would be reciting the Azan from top of the Kaaba within a few years!
Our Imam has also advised us to recite the following:
Ziarat Ashura at http://www.duas.org/ashura/z_ashura.htm
Salat Lail http://www.duas.org/tahajjud.htm
There are other duas relating to Imam like Nudba, Ahad etc & are at http://www.duas.org/imamezamana.htm and www.duas.org/Sahraz/imammehdihtml/indeximammehdi.htm
The reappearance will also be a continuation of the fight between evil & good. A continuation of the Kerbala episode;
It will require participation from all young old, men & women & children, just as Kerbala required all participants. It will not be sufficient to be observers ,as was the case of say Khandaq or other wars at the time of the Prophet(saws).
Our Imam is in waiting for over 1170 years & has been perfectly worshipping the Almighty for these years. There are countless events of his meetings/assistance & presentation of our deeds to him. Each of us is required to act in our own way to hasten the reappearance.
May Allah swt keep us guided, hasten his reappearance & make us amongst his followers.