A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

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Publisher: Naba Organization
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Ayatullah Lutfullah Safi Gulpaygani
Publisher: Naba Organization
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate
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A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

A Replay To Belief Of Mahdism In Shia Imamate

Author:
Publisher: Naba Organization
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

36. Absence of Imam al-Mahdi

The disappearance of the Imam was an event of most importance. Shias became upset and much disappointed they were uncertain as to what would happen politically, religiously and socially. It’s far reaching effects in every as peek at every field was alarming. Some remained dumbs founded, perplexed and confused knowing not what to do.

A true Shia’s concern was as to how to confront the adversary who was a staunch appetent, a Sunni, and how to protect his own strategy in that political hurricane; and to this added his worry as to how to guard an ordinary Shia whose belief was their hunt in which it was a moving object in the jungle that had engaged their arrows and could fell prey to the beast of their propaganda.

The safety of a common Shia, and the danger of the security of a learned Shia was the anxiety of the hour. Although they saw themselves exposed to an ambush from behind a tree in that society, which to them had turned into a forest ruled by wild and bestial animals, yet the most learned scholars of Shia were safe in their hidings. They were armed by the Prophet’s (S) traditions and the verses of the Holy Quran, which had established the truth of Imamate to rescue them and to guard a common Shia against the danger.

As a result we now see that Shiaism has survived every risk of eradication. It has preserved its originality rejecting any deviation. Whose make up is her original face and whose ornaments are her natural features. Indeed, malice incited the ugly to abnubilate her beauty by any fuliginous way or to fash its admirers. But her admirers stood a grueling test and her own numinous beauty stood a palladium. However, no matter their practice the Shi’ism deranged its entity. The learned ones gave refuge to the thought of the people. The Nawabs took the affairs of the Shia in their hands.

While everything was in order, the belief in the twelfth Imam was never shaken; Nou Bakhti says that in the town of Qum, there existed a sect that believed in thirteen Imams. We have heard nothing of that kind, and know that all there believed and believe in twelve Imams. Everyone in books of narration claim that there existed scholars during the past two and half centuries to tell people about the Imamate of the twelve Imams.

Yes, a deeper look will show that a few who had turned aside from the original path in search of personal gains or to whom a deliberate deviation had taken far away from the track, later regret persuaded them and repentance returned them back to their right path and to which they adhered in fealty and stuck in faith.

B. Earlier to Ibn Babway and Nomani others like Fazi Bin Shazan (died 260) have written books about both the periods of the absence of the twelfth Imam. These books had appeared before the birth of Imam Hasan Askari. Mashikha Hasan Bin Mahboob (died 224) has also written about this subject. The writer too maintains that the two periods of the absence of the Imam has brought forward changes in the views.

We should point out here that both periods were of importance and of a new kind in the history of Shiaism but not in the sense that the theme of Shiaism varied with that of the past. These two periods further cemented the faith of those who were having a pre knowledge through the sayings of the Prophet (S) and the Imams.

The way of installing a proof or housing evidence was at variance among the lecturers. But at the same time they all depended on the traditions, that is, the sayings of the Prophet (S). Side by side they used reason as well. This method of presenting or producing evidence of reason or logical proofs became wider and wider during the space of time. From the time of Sheikh Mufeed to the time of Allama Hilli and toward this method took an entity to itself.

The proof for divinity, the evidence for prophet hood attained a wider range. Likewise, there is still a possibility that it may still go beyond. But the evidence of narration, that is, the narrative proofs remains what they had been because the words could be invented to install in the Prophet’s (S) sayings.

The absence of the Imam is reflected in a way to give an impression that to revolt against tyrant rulers is not an obligation on the people. Therefore, the scholars, that is, the Shia clergymen and their jurisprudents in association with the family of Buyid did not oppose the caliphate of the Bani Abbas dynasty. They propagated Shiaism. If the Buyid family (Ale Buye) committed atrocities, Shias had no obligation to oppose it.

It was only the right of the Imams to revolt or upraise against the tyrant rulers and their governments. If the occultation of the twelfth Imam makes an uprising impossible then no upraising should take place and the concern should be only towards the protection of Shiaism. To bring down a government is the only right of the twelfth Imam.

Such an impression is quite wrong and misleading. First: Shias were in no circumstances and under no conditions obliged to bring down the governments of the Bani Abbas dynasty. Shias were and are obliged to obey the Imam. The Shia ponders, thinks and considers himself under the yoke of twelve Imams, individually and collectively. Even to this day the yoke of the Imamate of the twelfth Imam is around the neck of the Shia. Bani Abbas knew this. They knew that to bring down their government was not the responsibility of a Shia.

It depended on the stand and outlook of the Imam of that time. Obedience of the Shia to their Imam, their love, affection, and faith in him was to Bani Abbas a dread and a matter to take into calculations and something to bestow consideration to. On the other hand, the conduct, character, behavior, abundant knowledge, truth, honesty, up righteousness, straightforwardness, endurance, tolerance, forbearance, and forgiveness of the Imam was in itself an element and a factor that weakened the Bani Abbas politically, socially and morally.

This the Bani Abbas well knew that they very presence of the Imam, whoever he be, was their own weak point because his existence demonstrated what he possessed and what they were deprived of. Whatever qualities and abilities they had, the Bani Abbas caliphs were short of. They lacked. The people too witnessed the same what the Bani Abbas saw.

The ability of the people to judge and compare could not be taken away from them. As they compared, they hated one and liked one; they hated one and honored one; they hated one and obeyed the other. This being out of their power, the Bani Abbas remained always uneasy, harassed, confused, and uncertain.

To secure their own rescue from this harassment the easiest thing to do was to detain the very object of fear. This they did. They imprisoned the Imams. They put them under home arrest. They implied secret agents, police to keep a watch on them. They broke the link of the people with them. Motawakkil brought the tenth Imam, Ali Al-Naqi, from Madina to Samarra so that he may keep a direct watch on him and control his every movement.

In any circumstance there was never the question that the Shia would revolt. In the days of the tenth and eleventh Imams, Ali Al-Naqi and Hasan Askari, there was no probability of any such thing. It was a general belief that it was up to the Imam to decide what to do. But there was a strong belief running among Shias that each Imam did what he was under commission to do. The Prophet (S) had a charted the program by the command of God for every Imam, framing his responsibility.

So, every Imam in his time acted and behaved accordingly. This secret chart was transferred from one Imam to the other. The other factor to be considered is this, that in those days conditions had become so bad and the people were in such a low mentality that there was no preparedness on their half to consume a change. In such a probability of failure it was wise to avoid the upraising. Its consequences would have been more futile and reverse rather prolific and useful.

The Buyahid’s stand did not totally discard the caliphates of the Bani Abbas dynasty although they took the helm of affairs in their hands. They installed a caliph and they even dismissed a caliph. But they did not declare their disagreement with the machinery of the caliphate. Had they done so they would have had to confront a huge front of opposition of Sunnis. A total chaos would have entailed posing a general danger to Shias. Any change in their stand would have reflected a religious basis for that change.

To avoid Bani Abbas and appoint an Alawi caliph was tantamount to the continuation of the same trend. Some say that the interests of Ale Buye was in keeping the Bani Abbas dynasty in order to retain their own power. Anyway, Ale Buye was neither to do nor think of any other way. This should not be forgotten that in the time of the absence of the twelfth Imam some of the Bani Abbas clan was not bad towards the Shia.

They even pretended to be Shia. Nasiruddin was a scholar among the caliphs of Bani Abbas. He believed in the Imamate of the twelfth Imam and in his absence. He even considered himself as the deputy of the twelfth Imam.

There runs a theory that no one has a right to revolt against tyrant governments during the absence of the twelfth Imam. This is absolutely wrong. To upraise against tyranny in the event of possible conditions is in jurisprudence an obligation. This obligation becomes a general one in case the tyranny of a ruler happens to consume one’s property, life, or one’s honor so that all people should go to the victim’s help. To defend against a tyrant needs no sanction of a religious jurisprudent.

Defense is a sacred liability. To defend a Muslim, or to defend a Muslim society is obligatory no matter whether the enemy be an outsider or one from inside. For example the ex-Shah of Iran wanted to change the Islamic identity of Iran.

So to defend such a danger becomes a liability. In jurisprudence these questions are discussed, the defense or the effort to oppose the tyranny of a ruler who is not a jurisprudent or a believer. These issues during the period when the Imam is absent are decided by the scholars of jurisprudence. In the span of the absence of the twelfth Imam the tyrant governments in certain conditions become compulsory to be brought down.

D. The motive of Ale Buye in their upraising obviously was political with lust for power. But it cannot be waived off that originally they should have been motivated by religious matters or the atrocities committed against the Shia might have incited them to revolt against the tyrant rulers.

On the ground that their upraising was contrary to Shia religious standards we cannot condemn them. There are several considerations. When their upraising had succeeded their behavior in general and that of some of them in particular was far better than all their predecessors. They even surpassed in their competency and good conduct with others. The rulers among them showed no enmity with the Shia.

They were jealous and very much enthusiastic towards propagating the Shia belief and at the same time advertent enough to not encroach the Sunni sanctity. In other words they had brought freedom for the Shia and obliterated those conditions that necessitated the Taqia (concealing one’s belief). In any case, their policy was not to invalidate the Sunnism or to crush any other religion. They did quite the opposite to what their predecessors had done.

They provided liberty for Shias and also opened avenues for them to enter any government service. Ale Buye nullified the previous policy for restricting Shias in every aspect of social life.

So, they in fact protected Shi’ism and helped it. What they gave to others by way of freedom they gave to Shias as well. Because of the equity, which they maintained with the Shia, they were accused of religious bigotry. However, we are not here to defend the Ale Buye’s policies. This cannot be denied that they too were a dynasty, which appeared on the political scene and became recorded in history.

They differed with their previous rulers who were Sunnis and did everything against the Shias by way of harm. One of them was Motawakkil who even tried to annihilate the Shia belief. But the Buyid dynasty did not act to take revenge nor did they adopt any negative attitude towards the Sunni.

They opened opportunities of jobs and propaganda to them. They were more human comparing to their predecessors like Motawakkil, Salahuddin Ayubi and Taqhrool Saljokhi. The Buyid dynasty was in fact Shia. They believed in Imamate and also the disappearance of the twelfth Imam. But they did not intervene nor did they interfere in religious matters. What they pondered they used to pronounce openly. The Shia clergymen coordinated with the Buyid’s harass on the basis that, in the politics people should not take part nor should they participate in revolts against the governments. This is wrong. The Shia religion does not dictate such a thing.

If we look from a political angle, the Buyids were Shia. Therefore they felt themselves secure from any Shia revolt against them. Since they were good with the Sunnis if by any case the Shia were to make any upraising it would have been crushed by the forces adversary to the Shia thought. All the political fronts of the Shias would have been lost. If Shia clergy would have revolted the result would have been the same. On the other hand, Buyids had paved the way for the Shias to enter into jobs and have well stations in society.

So, the Shia thought it prudent to support the Buyid rules. In such circumstances the Shia clergy took to serve the expansion of knowledge and the propaganda of the Shia ideology and at the same time made it obligatory upon themselves to support the Buyids.

As things took shape an understanding opened its umbrella shadowing the Shias and the Buyids without these being a contract or an agreement. Their understanding was the result of the security which the Buyid rulers felt at the hands of Shia, and the contemplation of the Shia clergy that the harm of a revolt would be more than the gain. To not make a movement was a religious conviction to one party while to the other a good prudent policy to honor that conviction.

In any case let us pronounce that we cannot repudiate the legitimacy of their rule, at least, some of them.

37. The absence from the view of narrators

Difference in the date has opened avenues to the writer to tell what his lust is and to say what is his wish and to write what is his pleasure. Yes, there is a difference; So what? Does this difference change anything? Does it bear on any dimension? The beginning of the Imam-hood of the 12th Imam is in the very year 260. To penetrate deeper we see that the very pregnancy of his mother remained unnoticed. Miraculously it was a concealed matter.

Then, his birth; this too was a secret known only to very few close ones. In other words, this Imam ever since he began life either in the womb of his mother or in the vast of this universe, either as a baby or as an infant, a veil surrounded, concealing him or any sign of his or any symptom that could indicate his whereabouts or his existence.

He was destined to remain under the veils of secrets. It was for the absence to steal his presence into disappearance. He is in reservation kept most cautiously by the Divine for the future. Several curtains should hide him under the guard of wonder and the vigilance of surprise. Several hands of doubt collectively could not lift any of the curtains nor could a deliberation peep through it. The mystery is beyond the ken of human, and the ambit of the calculation of two and two is four, because God’s job cannot be circumferenced by our understanding.

He is that treasure which should be kept secret till time is ripe, till sight can tolerate the fire of its diamond. His absence was a calculated affair. The Imamate of the Imams had its cycle and Imam Hasan Askari was still peddling it. So, it is wrong to suppose that the era of the Imamate had ended. When the eleventh Imam was still alive the era was alive too. In the year 260 the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Askari put an end to an era and opened a new one. The twelfth Imam took the office. Then he went into hiding. Then he appeared. Then he went into hiding.

38. The view of Narrators about the issue of the Imam’s disappearance

The writer says that the first time the term Ghaybat (absence or disappearance) was introduced, it was in the book by the name of Kamaluddin. He says that it is likely that Kulaini too might have explained such a thing earlier.

First fact is regularly being ignored time and again, forgotten by the writer that the sense and the meaning of Ghaybat was already a known fact, as it was in the traditions and the narration that have hailed immediately from the Prophet (S) and the Imams. So, the occurrence of such an event Ghaybat was an event not a surprise.

The awareness of the people towards this fact is older than the book Kamaluddin of Saduq and the book Kafi of Kulaini. They did not invent it but mentioned the traditions about it. If anyone were to give an explanation of the Ghaybat it could have been the same about Saduq and Kafi have told in their books.

Besides, those who have survived both the periods of the Ghaybat (absence or occultation) have told the same thing and have narrated their experience. What was foretold, is narrated; and what was foretold took place.

39. The Ghaybat of the 12th Imam- Two kinds

Earlier to Nomani in the books of the Prophet’s sayings and conversations (Ahadith) both types of the Imam’s disappearance (Ghaybat) has been mentioned. There are some who have been written before the end of the short Ghaybat. The writer now tells us in a way to suggest that when the Ghaybat happened these books too appeared. Since he has no belief in the invisible or unseen (Ghayb) he should say so. He can even suggest that whatever is written is after the happenings although the Prophet might have foretold then.

He wants to accuse the great scholars who were great authorities such as Saduq, Nomani and others of fraud and fabricating traditions. May God guide him.

The Nomani was split into two periods - one a short duration, the other with an indefinite duration. The lengthy Nomani was anticipated. Ali Bin Mohammed Al-Samri and others were having a mental preparedness. Nomani and others consider the Nomani as a sign attesting the Imam-hood of Mahdi.

The writer says that both kinds have had a root in the recent narration. The narration cannot be new or recent. All of them are old because they relate to the time of the Prophet (S). If the writer knows let him specify which are the new ones and which are the old narration?

We can make not such that the narration of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (as) are older than those by Imam Hasan (as) Imam Husayn (as) or Imam Zainul Abideen (as). Likewise what Imam Baqir (as) has told is older than that which Imam Sadiq (as) told. So this should be his sense, divided among the Imams in accordance to their order and periods.

But, actually the fifth Imam, Baqir, is the first Imam who started a school in which he told many things explaining the legislation and other issues. The narration that hailed newly or recently relates to the period after the period of Imam Baqir (as).

This issue is useful in distinguishing the dates or locating the duration of period with regards to narration and other religious jurisprudence. This standard cannot be maintained after the period of Imam Askari. Usually the narration can be considered false if they come after the duration of the period of Imam Askari.

But such a supposition cannot be given to the narration that pertain to the Ghaybat of the twelfth Imam because they were told in every age right from the Prophet’s (S) time down to Imam Askari (as). There was nothing to be added thereon or to be deducted there from. Whatever the new authors have written they have depended upon the old authors. The interpretations and comments made thereon are all in uniformity because of the pedestal being one. There can be a difference in synonyms, such as short absence, little absence, long absence, lengthy absence, continued absence and so on.

These terms Ghaybat Sughra (short Ghaybat) and Ghaybat Kubra (long absence) were not invented in the era of Safavids. They have no bearing on the reality. There had been two periods. The narration cannot be changed by the marginal diameters or spaces down by suppositions. Furthermore, belief cannot be shaken as well. Any other interpretation would only show one’s own mind and the extent of its listing to falsity the fact.

To invalidate a narration one should search the ground of that particular narration. If the narrators of that particular narration have any credibility, reputation or any reliability that could creep in a catena of continuity up to the authority of Imam Sadiq (as) reason would not approve its repudiation.

What Nou Bakhti has written of the Shia sects should be something of prediction about the unseen future. To foretell what will happen in the future no one would claim, unless he should have prophecy, which no one has. So, it is quite easy to tell what this imagination might bring to his mind. In such an event he has rejected the established traditions and acknowledged the realities of history.

40. The writer regarding the 2nd Ambassador says that it was a period of chaos and tumult in the history of the Shia

People were left adrift in an ocean of uncertainty knowing not where the stand is for them and to which shore they should land. The writer has magnified the things because he is looking through a microscope of prejudice. Any little thing would appear to him big. The things were not as he is pretending to have been. A little commentary on his statements seems necessary. Chaos and tumult; they are a natural corollary of uncertainty. There were those who were faithful to their belief and ardent in their faith. They knew who their Imam were and who the present one was.

They also had pre-knowledge of the absence of the Imam as they had heard or read the Prophet’s (S) sayings. It is a common practice to ask. They should have told as they should have been asked. Had there really been a chaos where was it? In the center town of the Shias in Qum we did not hear nor did we witness such chaos.

What the writer says come out to prove that the Shia belief of twelve Imams hails from a strong origin. The scholars, the thinkers and other personalities of the day were believers in the Imamate of the son of Imam Askari (as) and in his occultation (Ghaybat). He refers to the ministerial families of Bani Furat and the relations of Abu Suhail Nou Bakhti.

This is the strength of a religion. The curiosity of the enemies should have tried to find out the fact. They could not establish otherwise. During the Ghaybat a link of deputies with the Imam take his orders, it seems practicable as well as reasonable.

All the traditions about the Ghaybat narrated by Shazan, Nomani, Kamaluddin are attested by sources of authority and based on evidence passed on from the Imams by the Prophet (S) himself. All these sayings were predictions, that is, years behind the events and the events far ahead the sayings.

The Shias who were in various provinces and parts would not have accepted to revert, refer or consult to the Nawabs (deputies) of the Imam had there not been a cogent conviction for them. There had been links that establish the connection with the Imam. It was a well-organized and systematic network of communication to the Imam and from the Imam. Ali Bin Babway, a man of thought and knowledge, writes a letter to the Imam through the Nawab (Imam’s deputy) and gets an answer through the same channel.

Had there not been a truth in it a man of Ali Bin Babway’s like would not have corresponded with the Imam. This in itself is proof.

The writer says on the authority of Fathia that a group of Shia believed in the Imamate of Ja’far and many yielded to his authority. By saying so the writer wants to say what he, of course, does not say but means to say, however does not want to go that far. Well, we say that he means that Mahdi was fake Imam because of Ja’far. Why does he not ponder the other way? Why wasn’t Ja’far a false Imam? The biography of Ja’far was known to one and all. His reputation, his conduct his behavior, his temperament brought him no respect from the people.

Therefore, he was immediately ignored although he was supported by the government of the day in order to create a rift and split. Those who gathered around him were the paid agents of the government.

Another mistake. The writer sees the Imam as an infant. But the consensus shows that the Imam had attained his boyhood.

The unity among Shias is of course due to a belief common among them. In a stock all are shareholders; and all are united too. The belief in the Imamate of the twelfth Imam has brought all Shias together. But the writer says that the Imam’s deputies (Nawabs) had brought all together. Of course they were men of reliance and respect in all the Shia places. For example, Abulafer Omravi was very much respected. They were symbols of unity and honor of the Shia but not the reason for it. The Nawabs were only agents of the Imam. The cardinal and supreme factor was the very Imamate of Mahdi, which held the mosaic together. Today too this belief in Imamate holds the jurisprudents in awe and reverence and the deputies of the Imam.

41. The Way the 3rd Ambassador selected

It might be felt that the appointment of one ambassador depends upon the recommendation of his predecessor to the Imam or with a consensus of the Shia scholars or clergy. As the previous one appoints the new one. Such an air of conception hangs around the third ambassador Husayn Bin Rooh. But, the reality is something else. It is the direct choice of the Imam himself; an immediate selection by himself alone.

It was not a contract or agreement between the persons or parties. Since the man was appointed by the person of Imam Mahdi himself, the appointed one was highly respected and revered among the people - commons and dignitaries. It was a commonly known fact that the ambassador was the Imam’s choice and in contact with him. Had it been otherwise, such men of repute such as Abu Suhail Nou Bakhti, Ibn Mateel, Hasan Bin Jana Nasibi would have disputed and never obeyed the ambassador.

42. The 4th ambassador and the end of the period of his embassy

The long absence (Ghaybat Kubra) was an anticipated one during the short one (Ghaybat Sughra). In that period books too were written about this subject. No ambassador was appointed after Ali Bin Mohammed Saruri. The reason is not known. It could be that the Imam did not find a trustworthy one. It could be this that the Nawabs of the period of short Ghaybat were to acquaint the people with the coming Ghaybat that was going to be indefinitely long.

43. The total Ghaybat (Occultation):

The confirmation of Mahdism of the twelfth Imam starts from this period as the last leader of the Muslims. Ever since the Shias came to know that the Imam’s appearance was not definite in the near future they took him to be their Mahdi.

We should correct him. He was the twelfth Imam known to all and acknowledged by all. It was not a condition that he should go into hiding in order to become Imam. For an Imam, disappearance or hiding is not a necessary condition. But that he was the Mahdi promised by the Prophet (S) was a thing not certain. Of course, it is a common thing to have an existence of doubt in the minds. Every issue in accordance with its magnitude is shaded by doubt or there are some whose business is to create doubts.

Therefore, this should not be denied that the short period of the Imam’s absence and the beginning of the long period have been covered by doubts. The scholars should pay heed in this respect to furnish the facts so as to obviate the doubts and present the subject in the minds in a clear picture.

44. Rise of a Question

The writer raises a question as to when and how the representation of the Imam (Mahdi) is vested to the jurisprudents indirectly and with full distinctions. How has he comes to such an interpretation?

A simple thing becomes complicated because of the reasoning the writer has resorted to. The link of the defeat of the Ullama (clergy) against the governments of Ale Buye, Safavids, and Kachar is connected here.

The issue of the jurisprudents being the oracles for the people in the times of Ghaybat, short or long comes into the light from two dimensions. The vital importance goes to the establishment of a link with the Imam by any means if not direct.

One: God’s commands are to be understood so as to be acted upon. If in the time of the Prophet (S) or any of the Imams a man could not reach any of them he would then go to a clergy so as to ask his questions and learn what he has sought out to learn. This is a reasonable solution. Therefore it is only reasonable that during Imam Mahdi’s occultation the same would happen.

The question that has been brought up as to what period the jurisprudents actually became oracles for the people are not a sensible one. In the days of the Prophet (S) or the Imams or in the days of Ghaybat anyone who had a high knowledge on religious issues stood as an authority to be referred to. It was not limited to a certain time or place. Knowledge cannot be limited to a time or space. One who has a thorough knowledge of a subject stands as a guide whenever referred to and by whosoever.

Two; an oracle is an administrator of a society or a leader of a society, because he meddles in disputes, solves their problems, gives opinion in their differences and judges their quarrels and attends their various difficulties. In such a dimension, the jurisprudents before the time of Imam Hasan Askari (as) had an active part. It was obligatory for the people to contact them. For a jurisprudent the government of the Imam is valid. A jurisprudent is in his place a representative of the Imam. This is an issue purely of jurisprudence.

The guardianship of a jurisprudent is a second grade authority which descends from the absolute authority of the Imam. In this regard there is no general agreement among the scholars. Some consider the guardianship of the Ullama (clergy) not fixed because they do not think that there is enough proof. Is’haq Bin Yaqob says that the uncertainty could run into events, as well as certain things which could not be determined.

The deputies of the Imam had a general responsibility. They had no intention to collect money. The writer is accusing a group of good people without feeling the least moral responsibility.

The guardianship of the jurisprudents is absolutely necessary. Whether some believe it or not, their being representatives of the Imam they all agree that on some matters no one other than a jurisprudent can have guardianship. To command the people towards virtue, to restrict the people from evil is the responsibility of a jurisprudent.

But the actions of a jurisprudent are regarded as final and to be honored. The governments and their power or authority over the people is a thing religiously illegal. Therefore, the governments are regarded as tyrants. In this description all governments are alike whether Buyids, Safavids or Kachars.

The writer thinks that the text of the tradition as told by Is’haq Bin Yaqob was deviated in later days. We tell him he is wrong. The versions might differ in words but the text remains the same.

One thing which waives off the writer’s wrong conception is; In the text, there is a word in Arabic, “Alaikum” or “upon them” which makes no sense in the age of total occultation (Ghaybat) of the Imam, because there is no link, no Nawab, nor deputy, and therefore no link with the Imam. This pronoun ‘Alaikum’ better suits the days of short Ghaybat. We suggest that it should be translated as ‘upon you’.

The writer has not attended these little things because of his over happiness in having gained something more important. Such examples abound. The translation of Bihar has rendered the word ‘Rowaat’ into jurisprudents, while such does not exist in the writings of Majusi. This is in the days of Kachar. The word “Rowaat” is not in the Arabic text of Bihar because it was not necessary. The writer now takes this and uses it as a weapon in which to accuse the Shia writes in interpreting the traditions as time fits. Our readers can judge for themselves whether to come to such a conclusion is just or unjust.

45. In spite of the congruity conditions what is the philosophy in Imam Mahdi still remaining absent?

In view of the writer, conditions were favorable for the appearance of the Imam in the days of the Ale Buye government and there existed also militarily possibilities. But on what ground was the Imam to make his appearance?

The answer to such a question lies in what Saduq has said, and that is the conditions were not secure enough as to ensure his appearance. There was no assurance as to how many people and whom he could actually trust. Was there any security in finding 313 people as associates or companions? I have said before that a number of 313 men absolutely perfect in belief, completely humble to the orders, totally resigned to the will of God, and whole heartedly ready for any sacrifice or ordeal cannot be expected among us.

In words all stand but in practice who stands? To give a test all will fail. Who knows how many agents there were in their guise. So on what tested ground is it said that conditions were favorable? It is only a pretext. It is a pretension. The time is only known to God alone. He knows and He decides the hour, because He is aware of even what is in concealed hearts. We have nothing but to resign to Him who is the Master mind of religion.

Hesitation among the followers of the school

The matters written or told by Ibn Babway shows the scale of hesitation and the extent of surmise and the amount of doubt among the followers of the Shia school. This statement of the writer is not true. Why? He says or imagines that a majority of Shia was dubious not quite certain, that is, certitude missed them and doubt gained them.

Where there is a question, there is an answer. This does not mean that the question is the consequence of doubt. If a thing is answered by way of explanation, it is not that the society is drowned in doubts or it is overpowered by uncertainty, there is question and a question is espoused with reply. What Ibn Babway points out is a thing plain and common.

He says that the enemies, opponents and adversaries were creating doubts and pushing them by way of propaganda. They aimed at misguiding people who were poorly educated or had little knowledge and less information. It was such doubts that were used to be answered. In every society, in every religion it is a common thing. Anyone either a Shia or a Sunni can ask as to why the Imam is absent or as to when he will appear. This is a good symptom in a society. It indicates a mental awareness or a religious awakening or an uprising of spirit.

He wants to base his belief on the foundation of knowledge and the pedestal of cogency rather than on a track, which was paced by his forefathers. He asks, interrogates, inquires, and investigates but still does not change his course. This shows his staunch belief in the correctness of his path, which ascertains him of the destination he is heading to. To most questions the answer of the Prophet (S) applies: “This is God’s command and a secret among the Divine secrets”

46. Immunity from sins is it a new thing?

The writer says this is a thing newly thought upon and newly introduced. If he means that this issue is being newly argued; it is something else. In every environment a different tone is spoken. In every time a different vogue rules the taste. Therefore, we should speak what suits the language of the writer and at the same time avoid misleading our readers.

His claim that “‘Ismat” (immunity from any wrongdoing or infallibility) is a newly made up thing, is completely out of tine. By so saying he has gone a great deal in repudiating or rejecting the prophet hood of the apostles and the Imamate of the Imams. The ‘‘Ismat’, the infallibility of them is supported by reason and attested by the Book of God - The Holy Quran.

The Allama Hilli, has spoken of one thousand proofs. Nomani has narrated the tributes, which were narrated earlier to him by the eleventh Imam Hasan Askari (as). It is well understood and well acknowledged. But what to do with ignorance? It is man’s arrogance to reject; his reason is his taste.

47. Proofs of total absence

Under this subject he too has gone astray. By ‘Rowaat’ (narrators) he means jurisprudents. The motive to him appears being the difference between the jurisprudents and the kings or rulers. His evidence is the saying of Sahed Jawahar about the difference of opinion in the Friday prayers. What he says or what he has gathered by way of information is exaggeration. The writer is aiming at, a new forty volume jurisprudence series of books. It is not so easy to reject others opinion.

‘Rowaat’ applies to those who know the science of Hadith (tradition) - they should be experts in them to understand or make out sense. This has no relation to recent times. He cannot link this word narrators or ‘Rowaat’ to jurisprudents. Those who are the scholars in this science of tradition are called ‘Rowaat’ (narrators).

Of course, the issue of the ‘jurisprudents’ guardianship during the absence of the Imam is mostly in dispute, or discussion, because it is a matter of public concern. Since it is a question of jurisprudence and a sub-ordinary one, difference of opinion is common. In every certitude the dispute runs in the essentiality of there being a ruler, and a sanction from a jurisprudent. His proceeds, exercise of power and obligation of obedience to him or the government should be authorized by a jurisprudent. These are the issues totally of a different rank and category mentioned in jurisprudence.

48. Primary sources and the extend of the Ghaybat (Absence)

The writer is again wrong in assuming that the twelfth Imam, according to the primitive and primary sources, was supposed to appear in the near future. The sources, which he is titling as primary or primitive have already said that the period of the absence (Ghaybat) would be long and indefinite and that it would be gestate with ordeals.

Jaber Ansari narrates the Prophet’s (S) words: “He is that who remains hidden from Shias and his friends. His ‘Imamate’ (Imam hood) would be difficult for words to confirm unless God tests the hearts against the belief.” Jaber says that the Prophet (S) spoke this when he first introduced the name and the pedigree of Imam Mahdi.

Ali Bin Abi Talib in Nahjul Balaghah says: “There is no ordeal longer than this and so hope remoter than this.” There are several narration in this regard. But none is there to indicate a hope of his appearance in the near future. There are a few sayings which do not have a ground and which are before the Imam hood of the eighth Imam, Imam Reza (as), that the appearance of the Imam was procrastinated due to the deeds of the Shia. The reason for the delay is a deed. This is groundless.

49. Evidence of reason

The writer says that the resort to reason is due to the lack of tradition or a fraud in tradition. Well, then what is the way to reach the truth if reason is rejected? What is heard might be wrong; what is said might be commentitious; what is told could be deceptive; well, then to what alternative should one resort to as a dernier one? In every dispute, reason has often stood powerful and strong. But on what reason the writer is not willing to entertain a reason is astonishing enough.

In any case, supposing there is any deviation in a tradition this would not amount to say that every tradition is invalid. What is false would not be so impetus as to nullify the fact. If in a bundle one thing happens to be short, it would not mean that the whole bundle is missing. Likewise, if an argument lames it cannot be said that reason cannot pace. In a human life hearing or oral evidences have a great influence? It is from this hearing that one garners knowledge, collects acquaintance with sciences, treasures information and holds it as a rod for aid.

It is an irrefragable fact that in every age the market of false and fraud has had been flourishing, very much profitable, very much prolific. Still no one has denied the value of oral communications. A general consensus has approved oral evidences and oral proofs. This too cannot be denied that everything does not undergo the load of reason as, it is only accustomed to the yoke of proof that should be audible.

Besides, things pertaining belief or a faith like the prophet hood of the prophets, and the Imamate of the Imams, or the Day of Judgment, or the Next world one should create certitude in them. Else any proof, any evidence, any testimony would not help because it is not in their range to create a belief. If a narrator has narrated and the source of his story is only one it should be attested by the standard of that only source and should be an argumentally established one. Else, such narration cannot be trusted.

After this prelude we go back again to the issue of Ghaybat (absence) of the Imam and his Imam-hood. To trust we need the source of the stories or the narration that surround this subject to be trustworthy and reliable. Who can be more so than the very person of the Prophet himself? If what we hear does not convince us we revert to reason. What is wrong in it?

If he says all the news and the hidings and the narration are fabricated ones, deprived of reality and bereft of truth, from the side of Bani Ummayah and Bani Abbas, that is, by their courts and courtiers, to obnubilate the real status of the Imams and to consolidate their own stations, that is, to propagate after than realities and spread a mist so that the mentalities could not visualize further it could serve a fortress to them necessary for their safety.

No one denies this. Yes, it was so; and, indeed, such they worked. But to what end? All such fabricated stories, false narration, fake sayings, flame words, and feigned traditions are distinguished.

Therefore, they are sifted from the real and authentic ones, as grains from dust. Besides, the narrators too who were hired for this mission are pretty much discredited into their biographies and they are no more credible in the science of Hadith (tradition). They are discarded. When distinction is drawn between the truth and the false it is not a problem to ascertain the correct one from the wrong.

The credibility of the traditions that pertain the Imamate established. This subject is a vast one, which opens wider avenues of discussion before us. The enemy of the Shia has in every age taken stand against them. The writer says that the narration and traditions are all false and fabricated ones. If so, why the enemy at every time and in every era of a caliph whether he be from Bani Ummayah or he be from Bani Abbas? Why were the people restricted from telling and hearing the traditions (that is the Prophet’s words) that mirrored the real station of the Imams and reflected their tributes?

They are lies. Why care? Why be afraid of lies? A lie lives shorter than truth. A lie is always lame. A lie cannot form a dread. The Bani Ummayahs and Bani Abbas even imprisoned those who only narrated what they had heard from the Prophet (S) about any of the twelve Imams. They confiscated the belongings of those persons. We just ask Why? The writer is claiming that the traditions were a fraud. Volumes are written about the atrocities of the caliphs because of the traditions which the scholars spoken or wrote and the poets sang all in the praise of the Prophet’s Household - the Imams.

Even the Sunni authorities, like Bukhari has written in his book Saheeh about Imam Sadiq (as), he first curses them who had restricted the narration of such traditions. He says: “God curse them for turning down the truth.” Abu Hanifa, a student of Imam Sadiq (as) too admits the greatness of the truth surrounding the Prophet’s Household, the Ahlul Bait. But all this is a lie to the writer. We leave him to Bukhari.