Chapter Twenty-five: Causes of the Occultation of the Imam and how the people will benefit from the holy being of the Imam during Occultation
مَاجِيلَوَيْهِ عَنِ الْبَرْقِيِّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ عَنْ أَبَانٍ وَ غَيْرِهِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص لَا بُدَّ لِلْغُلَامِ مِنْ غَيْبَةٍ فَقِيلَ لَهُ وَ لِمَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ يَخَافُ الْقَتْلَ
1- Ilalush Sharai: It is narrated from Majiluwayh from Barqi from his father from Ibne Abi Umair from Aban etc. from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said:
“Occultation is definite for this descendant of mine.”
He was asked: “Why is it so?”
He replied: “His life will be in danger.”
2- Ilalush Sharai: It is narrated from Attar from his father from Ashari from Ahmad bin Husain bin Umar from Muhammad bin Abdullah from Marwan Anbari that he said: It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said in a letter:
“When we dislike the neighborhood of some people, we go away from them.”
3- Ikmaaluddin & Ilalush Sharai: It is narrated from Muzaffar Alawi from Ja’far bin Masud and Hamid bin Muhammad Samarqandi together from Ayyashi from Jibraeel bin Ahmad from Musa bin Ja’far Baghdadi from Hasan bin Muhammad Sairafi from Hanan bin Sudair for his father from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:
“There is an occultation for our Qaim, which shall be prolonged.” I asked: “Why, O son of Allah’s Messenger?” He replied: “Because the Almighty Allah wants that the practices of His prophets in their occultation should also occur on him. And O Sudair, his occultation must come to an end. The Almighty Allah says:
لَتَرْكَبُنَّ طَبَقًا عَن طَبَقٍ
“That you shall most certainly enter one state after another.” (Surah Inshiqaq 84:19) It means: The Sunnats of those who have gone before you.”
4- Ikmaaluddin & Ilalush Sharai: It is narrated from Ibne Abdus from Ibne Qutaibah from Hamadan bin Sulaiman from Ahmad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far Madaini from Abdullah bin Fazl Hashmi that he said:
I heard Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) say: “Certainly, there is a long occultation for the master of this affair, which cannot be avoided, as during the period of occultation every falsehood seeking person shall fall into doubt.
I asked: Why, may I be sacrificed on you? He replied: For the reason we have not been permitted to reveal.
I said: Then what is the wisdom behind his occultation? He replied: The same wisdom that was behind the occultation of divine proofs before him. Indeed the wisdom behind the occultation of His Eminence will not be known except after his reappearance just as the wisdom behind the actions of Khizr (a.s.) of making a hole in the boat, killing the boy and repairing the wall were not clear to Prophet Musa till the time of the parting of their ways.
O son of Fadl, this matter (of occultation) is a matter of Allah the Almighty and is one of the divine secrets from the unseen of God. And since we know that the Almighty Allah is All-Wise, we testify that all His actions and words are based on wisdom even though their causes may not be clear for us.”
5- Ikmaaluddin & Ilalush Sharai: It is narrated from Ibne Abdus from Ibne Qutaibah from Hamadan bin Sulaiman from Muhammad bin Husain from Ibne Mahbub from Ali bin Raab from Zurarah that he said: I heard Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) say:
“There is an occultation for the Qaim before his reappearance.” I asked: “Why is it so?” He replied: “He is fearful.” And he pointed towards his belly, implying that the Qaim fears for his life.
6- Amali Saduq: Sinani has narrated from Ibne Zakariya from Ibne Habib from Fadhl bin Saqar from Abu Muawiyah from Amash from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:
“Since the Almighty Allah created Adam (a.s.), He has not left the world without His Proof, whether it be apparent and well known or hidden and concealed; and neither will He leave it without His Proof. If it had been so, the Almighty Allah would never have been worshipped.”
Sulaiman asked: “Then how can people benefit from a hidden proof?”
He replied: “Like they benefit from the sun when it is concealed behind the clouds.”
7- Ihtijaaj: It is narrated from Kulaini from Ishaq bin Yaqub that he said:
“I asked Muhammad bin Uthman Amari (r.a.) to write to the Imam a letter containing questions that were difficult for me. The Imam sent the following reply:
As for the cause of occultation, the Almighty Allah has said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَاء إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ
“O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you…” (Surah Maidah 5:101)
Each of my forefathers in his time was compelled by the oath of allegiance to the tyrant ruler and when I reappear I would not be having the allegiance of any tyrant on my neck.
As for how people would benefit from me during my occultation, it is like getting benefits from the sun, which is concealed by the clouds. And I am the security for the people on the face of the earth just as stars are security for the inhabitants of the heavens. Therefore do not ask what you are not in need of and do not put yourself into undue trouble. And pray more
for an early reappearance as in it lies your success. Peace be on you, O Ishaq Ibne Yaqub and peace be on all those who follow the guidance…”
A similar narration has come down inIkmaaluddin from Ibne Isaam from Kulaini (r.a.).
8- Ikmaaluddin: It is narrated from Muhammad bin Hamam from Fazari from Hasan bin Muhammad bin Samaa from Ahmad bin Harith from Mufaddal from Ibne Zabyan from Jabir Jofi from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari that he asked the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.):
“O Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.)! Will the Shia benefit from him during the occultation?’ He replied, “Yes, by the One Who sent me with Prophethood! Surely they will benefit with his light and gain from his mastership in his occultation like the people derive benefit from the sun when the clouds hide it.”
Why the Hidden Imam is compared to the Sun behind the cloud
The author says:a. Effulgence, generosity, knowledge and guidance reaches the people through His Eminence, because it is proved from traditions that His Eminence is the cause of the creation of the creatures. Thus if he had not been there, no one else would have come into existence. Rather, sciences and recognition is due to his blessings and cure and mediation of His Eminence becomes apparent on the people and calamities are repelled through him. It is so because if they had not been there, people would have been involved in various chastisements due to their evil deeds. As the Almighty Allah has said: “Allah would not punish them till you are among them.”
And we have often experienced that when we are in difficulties and our avenues are closed and we are distanced from the Almighty and we have closed the doors of mercy due to our deeds. Yes! At that time we have made those noble personages as our mediums. And we pray through the holy effulgence of those personages in proportion to our proximity with them. Our complicated problems are solved and whosever’s heart Allah has illuminated with faith realizes this fact and is not able to deny it.
b. Just as people gain benefit from the sun hidden behind clouds and wait for the cloud to move away so that they could gain more benefits, in the same way the real awaiter and the sincere Shia wait for His Eminence during the occultation every moment that when His Eminence reappears there may be greater benefit from him.
c. One who denies His Eminence during the period of occultation is like one who has denied the sun when it is behind the clouds.
d. Sometimes, when the sun is behind the clouds, it is for the good of the people. In the same way the occultation of His Eminence is better for the people rather than his reappearance due to the condition of the people (who are not capable or deserving).
e. It is ordinarily not possible to see the sun directly when it is not behind a cloud. It can lead to blindness if one sees the sun with naked eyes. In the
same way the sun of the existence of His Eminence may cause the incapable people to be blinded of truth.
f. Sometimes the sun comes out from behind the clouds and some people see it. In the same way during the period of occultation some people see His Eminence and are honored to be in his service.
g. His Eminence, like the sun, gives benefit to all, although one who is blind is not able to take benefit from him. As the Almighty Allah says:
وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً
“And whoever is blind in this, he shall (also) be blind in the hereafter, and more erring from the way.” (Surah Bani Israel 17:72)
It is explained in this way: Just as the rays of the sun enter the house according to the space of the slits and windows and by it gives light and energy, in the same way are the hearts of the people. As much as they remove the curtains of sensuality and physical attachments and open up the slits and windows of the heart for the recognition of Allah, the same proportion of the light of guidance of those great personages would benefit them. In the same way they must remove from them the obstacles and curtains like one who stands below the shining sun and the rays of the sun surround him. I have by this explanation opened eight doors of this spiritual Paradise towards you; and the Almighty Allah has through His grace opened another eight gates for me. I hope that the Almighty Allah would open a thousand doors of Marefat of the Holy Imams (a.s.) for us from each of which another thousand doors open.
9- Ikmaaluddin: Saduq (a.r.) has narrated from his father and Ibne Walid together from Saad and Himyari together from Ibne Isa from Ibne Mahbub from Muhammad bin Noman that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“The most proximate servants of Allah and those with whom Allah is pleased are those who when the proof of Allah disappears from sight and they don’t know about his location, yet they continue to have faith that the Proof of Allah can never be invalid and day and night they continue to wait for him.
And the wrath of Allah is on those of His enemies who when the proof of Allah disappears from sight, they fall into doubts and denial. He (Allah) knew that His special servants will never fall into doubts and if it were not so, He would not have taken away His Proof from their sight even for a moment. These doubts will reign supreme over the hearts of evil ones.”
10- Ikmaaluddin: It is narrated from Ibne Walid from Saffar from Ahmad bin Husain from Uthman bin Isa from Khalid bin Najih from Zurarah bin Ayyan that he said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“There is an occultation for the Qaim before his reappearance.” I asked: “Why is it so?” He replied: “He is fearful.” And he pointed towards his belly, implying that the Qaim fears for his life. Then he said: “O Zurarah; and he is that awaited one and he is the one in whose birth they shall doubt. Thus some will say: His father died heirless and some will say: He was in the womb of his mother when his father died. Some others will allege that he was born two years before the passing away of his father. And he is the
Awaited one; but the Almighty Allah likes to test the Shia. It is the time when people of falsehood will fall in doubts.”
11- Ikmaaluddin: It is narrated from Ibne Mutawakkil from Muhammad bin Attar from Yaqtini from Ibne Abi Umair from Saeed bin Ghazwan from Abu Basir that he said: Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“The birth of the Master of this affair has been concealed from the people, so that when he emerges, he would not be having anyone’s allegiance upon him.”
12- Ikmaaluddin: Shaykh Saduq (r.a.) has narrated from his father and Muhammad bin Hasan - May Allah be pleased with them - they said: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin Ubaid and Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Jameel Ibne Salih from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The Qaim will arise without having anyone’s allegiance on his neck.”
13- Ikmaaluddin: Shaykh Saduq (r.a.) has narrated from his father (r.a.): Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from Yaqub bin Yazid and Hasan bin Zareef, all of them from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Hisham bin Saalim from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The Qaim (a.s.) will arise and there will not be anyone’s allegiance on his neck.”
14- Ikmaaluddin: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq (r.a.): Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad Hamadani: Narrated to us Ali bin Hasan bin Ali bin Faddal from his father from Abil Hasan Ali bin Musa Reza (a.s.) that he said:
“As if I can see the Shia after the passing away of my third descendant, that they are roving about like cattle in search of pasture but unable to find it. I asked: Why would it be so, O son of Allah’s Messenger? He replied: Because that Imam will be hidden from them. I asked: Why? He replied: So that when he rises up with the sword, he would not be having anyone’s allegiance on his neck.”
15- Ikmaaluddin: Narrated to us Abdul Wahid bin Muhammad Attar (r.a.): Narrated to us Abu Amr Kashshi from Muhammad bin Masud: Narrated to us Jibraeel bin Ahmad: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Isa from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Saeed bin Ghazwan from Abi Basir from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The master of this affair will be one whose birth shall be concealed from the people, so that when he rises up, he would not be having anyone’s allegiance on his neck. And Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will improve his circumstances overnight.”
16- Ikmaaluddin: Narrated to us Muzaffar bin Ja’far bin Muzaffar Alawi Samarqandi (r.a.): Narrated to us Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Masud and Haider bin Muhammad Samarqandi, all of them said: Narrated to us
Muhammad bin Masud: Narrated to us Jibraeel bin Ahmad from Musa bin Ja’far Baghdadi: Narrated to me Hasan bin Muhammad Sairafi from Hanan bin Sudair from his father from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“O Zurarah, occultation is inevitable for the Qaim. I asked: Why? He replied: He will fear for his life - and he pointed to his stomach.”
17- Ikmaaluddin: And through the same chain of narrators from Muhammad bin Masud: Narrated to me Muhammad bin Ibrahim Warraq: Narrated to us Hamadan bin Ahmad Qalanisi from Ayyub bin Nuh from Safwan bin Yahya from Ibne Bukair from Zurarah that he said: I heard Aba Ja’far (a.s.) say:
“There is occultation for the Qaim before his advent. I said: Why? He said: He will fear - and he pointed to his stomach.”
18- Ikmaaluddin: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majiluwayh (r.a.): Narrated to me my uncle Muhammad bin Abil Qasim from Ahmad bin Abi Abdullah Barqi from Ayyub bin Nuh from Safwan bin Yahya from Ibne Bukair from Zurarah from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The Qaim (a.s.) will have an occultation before he rises up. I asked: Why? He replied: He will be afraid that he would be killed.”
19- Ilalush Sharai & Ikmaaluddin: It is narrated from Ibne Masrur from Ibne Aamir from his uncle from Ibne Abi Umair and he from a source has narrated that he said:
I asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.): Why Amirul Momineen (a.s.) did not take up arms against his opponents during the initial period of his tenure. The Imam replied:
“Due to the following verse of Quran:
لَوْ تَزَيَّلُوا لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا
“Had they been widely separated one from another, We would surely have punished those who disbelieved from among them with a painful punishment.” (Surah Fath 48:25)
The narrator says that he asked what was the meaning of the word ‘تَزَيَّلُو’ The Imam replied that it implies those believing trusts present in the loins of the infidels.”
In the same way the reappearance of Qaim (a.s.) will not take place till the trusts of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime are not born. When those trusts take birth, the Imam will appear to the enemies of Allah and eliminate them all.
And also Saduq has in the same two books narrated the same reports from Ibrahim Kharkhi from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.).
20- Ghaibat Tusi: It is narrated from Ghazairi from Bazufari from Ahmad bin Idris from Ibne Qutaibah from Fadhl from Ibne Mahbub from Ibne Raab from Zurarah that he said:
“Indeed there is occultation for the Qaim before his reappearance. I asked: Why? He replied: For fear of being killed.”
21- Ghaibat Tusi: Ibne Isa has narrated from Muhammad bin Sinan from Muhammad bin Yahya Khathami from Zaris Kunnasi from Abu Khalid Kabuli in a tradition, which in brief is:
“I asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) to inform us about the name of Imam Qaim (a.s.), so that we may know him by that name.”
Imam (a.s.) said: “O Abu Khalid, you have asked something that even if Bani Fatima know him by name even they will cut him up into pieces.”
22- Ghaibat Nomani: It is narrated from Ali bin Ahmad Bandaneeji from Abdullah bin Musa Alawi Abbasi from Muhammad bin Ahmad Qalanisi from Ayyub bin Nuh from Safwan bin Yahya from Abdullah bin Bukair that Zurarah had said: I heard Abu Ja’far, Baqir (a.s.) saying:
“The Qaim (a.s.) disappears and his kin (companions) deny him.” I asked: “Why is that?” He said: “He fears.” And he pointed to his abdomen showing that he feared for his life.”