SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) —Imam Mahdi (A.S), the last in the line of the Twelve Ithna Ashari Imams was born on 15th Shaban 255 Hijri in Samarra, Iraq. His father was the Eleventh Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) and his mother was Nargis Khatoon, granddaughter of the Emperor of Rum.It was 8th Rabiul Awwal 260 Hijri when our Twelfth Imam led the funeral prayer of his father Imam Hassan Askari (A.S).He was only Five years old, yet the whole crowd of muslims including the Abbasid caliph of that time Al-Mu’tamid followed the young Imam without question. Once the prayers were over and the Imam went inside the house, that the Caliph realized the full implication and significance of the occasion and he immediately ordered his soldiers to enter the house and search for the young Imam. They did not find any one inside the house. The Imam’s period of lesser concealment began immediately after he led the funeral prayers and disappeared inside the house. This was in the year 260 Hijri. The doctrine of ‘Ghaiba’ or concealment, declares simply that the Imam has been withdrawn by God from the eyes of people, that his life has been miraculously prolonged, that he has been seen from time to time, has been in correspondence with others, and has maintained a control over the guidance of the followers and the believers and the safety of Islam from its enemies. In the following few pages we shall try to bring some evidence from the Qur’an and the authentic Hadith of the Prophet to prove the point to interested readers.
The Caliph was very angry at this incompetence of ministers and other officials who were unable to find a boy of five who had just led the prayers and had just disappeared. The caliph had no inkling of the secrets that God did not want to reveal. He went back to his palace and into the luxurious life of a playboy king while the world around him squeezed his empire into oblivion. This is an essential belief that Imam Mahdi (A.S), Sahibuz zaman, is alive and guide’s his followers whenever such need arises. This is based on the verses of the Holy Qur’an that express the idea of Divine Guidance through the Prophets and Imams.
“And among those whom we have created are a people who guide others with truth and in accordance therewith act justly”. (Surah: 7(the wall with Elevations), verse: 180).
“We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere (Surah: 2 (The Cow), verse: 155). A great Hanafi scholar Muhammad ibn Muslim cites Imam Ja’far Sadiq (A.S) explaining the meaning of the above Verse. Imam indicated that there would be signs indicating the coming (reappearance) of Imam Mahdi (A.S) which are the means whereby God tests the faithful. “Something of fear” is a reference to masses perishing by contagious diseases; “hunger” is a reference to high prices of foodstuffs; “Some loss in goods” is a reference to scarcity and famines; “Lives” is a reference to mass destruction of human lives, probably global wars; “Fruits” is a reference to lengthy periods of draughts; so when all that happens, then give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” “This is its interpretation,” continued the Imam, quoting Verse: 7 of Surah: 3 (The Family of Imran), which indicates that “only those who are firmly grounded in knowledge are capable of interpreting the verses of the Holy Qur’an”, adding, “We the Ahl-ul-Bayt are the ones firmly grounded in knowledge”.
In the book “Yanabi al Muaddah”, the Hanafi scholar and Mufti of Istanbul during the Osmani Caliphate in Turkey writes on page 321, quoting Imam Ja’far Sadiq (A.S) interpreting Verse 83, Surah (The Family of Imran), of the Holy Qur’an comments as follows: “When the Qa’im al-Mahdi reappears, there will be no land on earth where the Kalima is not said. “This could be a reference to the fact that by the time al-Mahdi reappears, all continents of the world will have muslim populations. They already do now. After presenting the above proofs from the Qur’an, the following are authentic traditions from the Prophet of God regarding Imam Mahdi (A.S). At the end of Vol.2 of Fara’idh al-simtain and on page 269 Ibn Khaldun’s ‘Mukaddimah’, it is related from Ibn Abbas, that the Holy Prophet said,
“Ali is Imam of my nation and my successor therein after me, and among his offspring is the awaited Qa’im who shall fill the world with justice and equity as it was filled with injustice and oppression.www.shafaqna.com/English