9 Learning and Acting Upon the Words of the Imam (pbuh)
Those living in expectation should learn and submit to the instructions of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) and act upon their commands, which are available to us in the form of Hadith. This can only be achieved if we study the traditions of Ahl al- Bait (PBUT) on a regular basis and submit to their words. Abu Hamza al- Thumali narrated:
[^1]al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 390, Hadith 1; Wasa'il al-Shia, vol. 27, p. 67, Hadith 33216; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 2, p. 202, Hadith 74.
[^2]Ma'ani al-Akhbar, p. 399, Hadith 57; Wasa'il al-Shia, vol. 27, p. 129, Hadith 33397; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 2, p. 83, Hadith 7.
[^3]Mustadrak Safinat al-Bihar, Shaikh Ali al-Namazi, vol. 1, p. 10.
Imam al-Sajjad (PBUH) said, "Surely, the religion of Allah shall not be intercepted by the deficient intellects, false opinions, and corrupt criteria. It shall not be grasped except by submission. He who submits to us shall be safe.
He who accepts our guidance shall be guided. He who acts upon analogy (Qiyas) and opinion (Ra'y) shall perish. And he, who feels difficulty in his heart in accepting our sayings or our verdicts, has disbelieved in the One who sent Quran, the Great, while he does not know."[^1]
Imam Ali (PBUH) said the following in one of his sermons preserved in Nahj al-Balagha:
"Look at the people of the Prophet's family. Adhere to their direction. Follow their footsteps because they shall never let you out of guidance and shall never throw you into destruction.
If they sit down, you sit down, and if they rise up you rise up. Do not go ahead of them for you will go astray, and do not fall behind them for you will perish."[^2] Yazid Ibn Abd al-Malik narrated:
Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said, "Visit each other since this would revive your hearts and would cause reminding of our traditions. Our traditions cause affection among you. If you follow them, you will be guided and saved, and if you abandon them, you will be misguided and perished. Thus act upon them and I guarantee your salvation."[^3]
The Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) have emphasized that the only way to successfully pass the trial of occultation with firm belief in the Imam (PBUH) is to hold fast to religious instructions and guard against the Satanic views and the intruders in the domain of religion. Abu Salt al-Hirawi narrated:
[^1] Kamal al-Din, sec. 31, p. 324, Hadith 9; Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, vol. 17, p. 262, Hadith 21289; Bihar al- Anwar, vol. 2, p. 303, Hadith 40.
[^2]Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 97.
[^3]al-Kafi, p. 186, Hadith 2; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 71, p. 258, Hadith 56.
Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said, "By Him Who sent me in truth as a bearer of glad tidings! Most certainly, al-Qa'im from my offspring shall disappear according to the covenant that has been taken from me until such time that most people will say, 'Allah does not have any wish for (implementing a government for) the family of Muhammad,' and some others become doubtful about his birth (i.e., his existence).
Thus, whoever meets such time should hold fast to his religion and should not leave out a way for Satan towards himself, or Satan will remove him from my nation and will drive him out of my religion… Certainly, Allah, the mighty and the majestic, has made 'Satans guardians for those who do not to believe.' (7:27)"[^1]
The period of occultation is the most sensitive and the most difficult period of the trial for people, and those who succeed to maintain their faith during this period have the greatest faith in comparison with the people of other era. In a very interesting Hadith, Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) narrated from his fathers from the Leader of the Faithful (PBUH) who said:
The Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) said, "O Ali! The most astonishing people in faith and the greatest among them in certainty (Yaqin) are the people who shall be in the end of time who shall not meet the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and the Proof (of Allah) shall be concealed from them, but they shall believe by means of black (letters) over white (sheets) [i.e., by the written traditions that have reached them]."[^2]
In a Tawqi', Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH) mentioned:
[^1] Kamal al-Din, p. 51, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 51, p. 68, Hadith 10. Similar traditions have been narrated from Imam Ali (PBUH), Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH). See Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 51, p. 119 & p. 145. [^2]Man La Yahdhuruhu al-Faqih, vol. 4, p. 366; Kamal al-Din, p. 288, Hadith 8; Wasa'il al-Shia, vol. 27, p. 92, Hadith 33296; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 125, Hadith 12.
"We are not negligent of caring you and are not forgetful of your remembrance. Had it been so, then terrible calamities would have befallen you and your enemies would have destroyed you. Be Mindful of Allah and assist us (by obedience) to rescue you from the tribulations that have afflicted you… Thus, each one of you should act upon what draws him nearer to our love and refrain from whatever brings him to our dislike and our anger.
Certainly, our advent shall come very suddenly and unexpectedly at the time that no repentance would benefit and no regret from sin would save one from the punishment by us. May Allah inspire in you consciousness and be kind to you in making you successful by His mercy."[^1]
The above tradition implies that our strict adherence to the commands of Ahl al- Bait (PBUT) and trying to please them by our deeds, may contribute to our early relief by leave of Allah.
10 Educating others about the religion
As persons living in constant expectation, we should also teach what we know from Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) to other qualified individuals, narrate their traditions to people who are willing to hear us, and transfer what has been conveyed to us from their knowledge:
Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said, "May Allah bless he who revives our matter/kingdom." He was asked, "How is your matter revived?" The Imam (PBUH) replied, "To learn our knowledge and to teach them to the people. Verily, if people know the beauty of our sayings, they will follow us."[^2]
[^1]al-Ihtijaj, vol. 2, pp. 497-498; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 53, pp. 175-176. [^2]Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 2, p. 30, Hadith 13.
Those who wish to see the kingdom of al-Qa'im (PBUH) in a near future, should learn and act upon the instructions of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) first, and then teach them to those who are willing to know.
There is a series of enlightening traditions from the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and the Imams (PBUT)-one from each in consecutive order-narrated by Imam Hasan al-Askari (PBUH) in his Tafsir, which are known as the traditions of "The Orphans of Family of Muhammad (PBUH&HF)". Below is the first one, which belongs to the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF):
The Imam al-Askari (PBUH) said, "As for Allah's saying 'and the orphans,' (4:36) indeed the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) said, "Allah, the Glorious, has urged (people) to be kind towards the orphans, due to the severance of their links with their fathers.
Therefore, he who protects and shields them, Allah shall protect him. He who honors them, Allah shall honor him.
He who touches his hand over the head of an orphan- out of kindness toward him-Allah places for him in Paradise for every strand of hair that passed under his hand, a castle more expansive than what the universe encompasses, and within which is whatsoever the souls desire and the eyes cherish and therein shall they remain forever. (Referring to chapter 43, verse 71 of the Quran).'"
Then the Imam (PBUH) continued, "More severe than the orphancy of this orphan is that of the one who has been orphaned from his Imam, (whose link with his Imam has been severed,) who is unable to reach him and does not know his commandments on those of religious laws that he is in need of them. Behold!
For any of our followers who possess knowledge of our sciences, this (other) person-the one ignorant of our path, who is severed from seeing us-is thus an orphan under his guardianship.
Then, behold! Whosoever (of our followers) guides and instructs him, and teaches him our path, he shall be with us in the loftiest companionship (a special degree in Paradise where the prophets and the Imams reside). My father reported this to me, from his forefathers, from the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF)."[^1]