15 Avoiding a Hasty Action
The traditions differentiate between hastening (Isti'jal) and praying to Allah to hasten the universal government. The former is prohibited while the latter is commanded. In addition, in a number of verses in the Quran, Allah, the glorious, advices against al-Isti'jal. For instance:
Man is a creature of haste. I shall soon show you My signs. So hasten not! (21:37)
In the following tradition, Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) quotes anther verse of the Quran in this regard. Abd al-Rahman Ibn Kathir narrated:
On the commentary of verse, "The command of Allah came. Therefore, do not hasten it," (16:1) Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said, "It is our command/kingdom (that shall arrive).
Allah has commanded that you do not hasten it until Allah supports him (i.e., al-Qa'im (PBUH)) by three: The groups of angles, the believers, and fright. His emergence shall be like the emergence of the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF), and this is in His saying, the Glorious, 'Just as your Lord ordered you out of your house in truth.' (8:5)"[^1]
Moreover, Abdurrahman Ibn Kathir narrated:
I was with Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) when Mihzam al-Asadi came to him and asked him, "May I be sacrificed for you! When will be the time of this kingdom for which you wait? It has become too long."
He (PBUH) said, "O Mihzam! Verily those who appoint time are liars, those who hasten (al-Musta'jilun) shall perish, and those who are submissive (to Allah's orders and decrees) shall be saved."[^2]
[^1] al-Ghaiba, al-Nu'mani, p. 198, Hadith 9, Ta'wil al-Ayat al-Dhahira, p. 256 from al-Mufid; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 139, Hadith 46.
[^2]al-Ghaiba, al-Tusi, p. 426, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 103, Hadith 7; al-Ghaiba, al-Nu'mani, p. 294, Hadith 11 (similar narration); al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 368, Hadith 2.
Ibrahim Ibn Mihzam narrated from his father who said:
We mentioned such and such kings in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH). He (PBUH) said, "Indeed, people have perished due to their haste (Isti'jal) for this kingdom. Verily, Allah does not hasten in reaction to the hasty action of the servants. For this kingdom there is a final end that will reach it."[^1]
In another sermon in Nahj al-Balagha, Imam Ali (PBUH) said:
"Be steady on earth, be patient in afflictions, do not move your hands and swords after the liking of your tongues, and do not make haste (Isti'jal) in what Allah has not expedited for you.
Thus, any one of you who dies in his bed while he recognizes the rights of Allah and the rights of His Apostle (PBUH&HF) and his Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) has died a martyr.
His reward is on Allah, and he deserves the reward of what good acts he has intended to do, since his intention has taken the place of drawing his sword. Certainly, for everything there is a period and an appointed time."[^2]
Without any doubt, hurrying a matter that pertains to Allah at a time that Allah did not consider proper will not achieve the divinely intended goals. Hurrying requires the violation of Allah's commandments, and a person who hurries has to commit and justify many unlawful acts to reach his aims at an improper time.
Moreover, the achievement of a hasty action lacks stability and does not last long, though it may result in many long-term negative side effects that delay the relief.
Any seeming achievement and temporal success in a hasty process would only serve to misguide people from the divine goals and would misdirect people toward other alternatives. On the other hand, any apparent failure in a hasty plan may bring despair, may destroy the state of waiting and expectation as well as hope for relief, all of which are against Allah's command. Reflecting on the fate [^1] al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 369, Hadith 7; al-Ghaiba, al-Nu'mani, p. 296, Hadith 15; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 118, Hadith 46.
[^2]Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 189/190.
of those who hastened throughout the history, and contemplating the reverse outcomes of their deeds are, indeed, good lessons for the believers. In a very famous and recommended supplication, which has been narrated from the first special deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH), both types of action (hastening vs. praying that Allah may hasten) has been mentioned with clear distinction:
... O Allah! Make me firm on the obedience of the master of Your command whom You have concealed from Your creation and waits for Your command.
You know-without being taught-the time that is right for the kingdom of Your master and for giving him permission to manifest his command and to disclose his secret.
Thus, grant me patience on it so that I do not like to hasten what You have postponed, nor to delay what You have hastened, nor to disclose what You have concealed, nor to discuss what You have kept secret, nor to argue with You in Your planning, and (so that) I do not say why the master of the affairs does not appear while the earth has been filled out with tyranny, and until I relinquish all my affairs to You.
O Allah! I ask You to show me the master of the affairs while has appeared and manifested his command... O Allah!
Hasten his relief..."[^1]...
[^1]Mafatih al-Jinan, about the end of the book, under Du'aa in the absence of the Imam (PBUH); Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 53, p. 187, Hadith 18.
Although a believer longs for the kingdom of justice of Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH) and earnestly beseeches Allah to hasten the relief of the Imam (PBUH), he is satisfied with Allah's decree if He decides to postpone the time of reappearance.
While his request is in conformity with what Allah instructed him to ask, he submits to what Allah chooses for him according to His wisdom, relinquishes all the affairs to Him, and does not become disappointed from Allah's mercy if the period of the occultation is prolonged.