The magnificent and auspicious celebration of the fifteenth of Sha'ban can be observed everywhere. Every place has been decorated.
In every place
joyful and cheerful gatherings can be seen.
The enthusiasm and happiness of the Shi'ites on this auspicious day is apparent everywhere.
day is revered like this day by people with such elation and glory?
The fifteenth of Sha'ban is the day in which the Shi'ites saw the fulfilment of the glad tidings of the divine messengers.
It is the day in which the good news of Islam, the Qur'an and the traditions (ahadith) of the infallible Imams will take place.
It is on his birthday that he will bring the east and west of the world to justice, and by his powerful hand annihilate demons ('ifrit), infidelity and irreligiousness.
On this day,
the authority of the Last Luminous Jewel of Allah will be established on the
face of the earth. He it is who will decide the end of the long struggle between
truth and falsehood. His appearance will mean a victory for truth and the
annihilation of falsehood.
He is the same person who, by the will of Allah, will overpower fragile doctrines, and will pursue and accomplish the objectives of the Last Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.). (1)
He will remove ignorance and class- discrimination from the world and will establish equality instead; he will exploit the earth's resources, distribute them among the poor and make them sufficient.
The outburst of enthusiasm and happiness will at that time cause tears to flow down the cheeks of enthusiasts, and the lustrous and mournful eyes of the awaiting people will be filled with light.
Mahdism is the
most genuine and fundamental Islamic belief, which even a person with a limited
knowledge of Islam will surely accept.
Since it is obligatory for every Muslim to know the "Leader of the Age" - Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.) (2), it has been endeavoured here - though in brief - to study the short history of this fundamental belief and present a brief introduction to the life of Hujjat-e haqq (The Rightful Proof [of Allah] ). We hope this meagre "collection", as a humble gift, will be accepted by the Solomon of the Age"
15th Sha'ban, 1396
There is no
doubt that the Holy Qur'an is the book of Allah, and that all the Muslims of the
world accept and obey its teachings and instructions.
When one opens this Book (Qur'an) and casts a glance at its verses, one will come to what seems to be a clear vista of the extraordinary, sensational and exciting future and end of the universe.
The Holy Qur'an says that the ultimate mission of the Holy Prophet of Islam is to make this holy religion prevail over all other religions of the world; and one day this holy aspiration will finally be fulfilled, as the Holy Qur'an says:
He it is
who has sent His messenger (Muhammad) with the
guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to
prevail over all religions, however much the idolaters may be averse. (9;33)
The divine book of the last Messenger of Allah gives the glad tidings that rule over the earth shall finally belong to the righteous and virtuous servants of Allah:
is Allah's. He gives it for an inheritance to who He will.
And lo I the sequel is for those who keep their duty (unto Him). (7:128)
The earth, which will be full of corruption, destruction and ignorance like a lifeless body, will be revived with the glowing light of justice, as referred to in the Holy Qur'an.
We also read in the Holy Qur'an:
promised such of you as believe and do good works that
He will surely make them succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even
as he caused those who were before them to succeed (others) and that
He win surely establish for them religion which he has approved for them,
and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me. They
ascribe no thing as partner unto Me. (24:55)
The Almighty Allah also says:
they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but
Allah will perfect His light however much the disbelievers are averse. (61-8)
These are some short examples of the divine glad tidings mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. By studying these matters and tens of other similar matters, it shall be perceived that the Islamic message will reach its complete fulfilment when these holy aspirations and desires have taken place. All fabricated and superstitious objectives will disappear and then only Islam, the unique and true religion, will be the faith of the people in the east and west of the world. Injustice,. oppression and inequality shall vanish and instead justice and equality which is the law of the creation of the world will be established everywhere. The sovereignty of the divine caliphs (khulafa') will b e established in all the corners of the world. The light of the guidance of Allah will shine and the earth belong to the virtuous ones.
Yes, the Holy Qur'an gives the good news that a day will come when all Muslims of the world shall wait enthusiastically for such a time.
Next to the Holy Qur'an, the sayings of the Holy Prophet and the Honourable Imams are the most important and worthiest treasure of Islamic learning. For every Muslim, it is obligatory and essential to follow and obey the sayings of the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams since obeying their commands is particularly and clearly mentioned in the Book of Allah.
In the sea of jewels of Islamic traditions, glad tidings on the Government of Justice can be seen. Moreover, special mention has been made regarding the "Divine Revolution" and the divine leader who will fulfil this holy aspiration.
The Holy Prophet of Islam said:
"Even when the entire duration of the world's existence has already been exhausted, and one solitary day is left to embrace the eve of Doomsday, Allah will expand that day and make it swell to such a length of time as to accommodate the ultimate reign of a person out of my holy progeny who will be called by my name and my agnomen ('Abu 'l-Qasim). He will then make the earth abound with peace and justice as it will have been fraught with injustice and tyranny before him."
The context of this precious tradition reveals a definite good news more than anything else. and informs the people of the Government of Justice, Achievement and Divine Promises as mentioned in most of the Shi'ite and Sunnite sources.
In another tradition, the Holy Prophet told Amir al- mu'minin 'Ali (a.s.), saying:
"There will be twelve Guides (aimmah) after me, the first of whom is you, O' 'Ali, and the last one will be the , Support , (al-Qa'm), who with Almighty Allah's grace, will gain victory over the whole of the east and west of the world."
The Purified Imams reminded people in several traditions of the significance of the Divine Promise and Government of the Twelfth Imam, and told them that waiting for the Great Saviour is the most valuable deed, and that his followers and devotees are the best and the beloved people.
It will suffice here to quote, as an example, a few of these traditions:
1) When Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) held the seat of the caliphate, he fought the hypocritical Mu'awiyah, who, with the assistance of his cunning minister, gradually deceived the companions of Imam Hasan (a.s.), who thus deserted and left the Imam alone. Hence, he was compelled to make a peace treaty with Mu'awiyah in which he (Mu'awiyah) was obliged to comply with some duties and to refrain from appointing a successor and fighting. On some occasions, the Imam took the opportunity to point out to the people Mu'awiyah's errors and unjust acts. Meanwhile, some of ignorant people started criticizing the Imam as to why he had accepted the peace treaty Imam Hasan (a.s.) clarified for the people the meaning of the Imam and the leader, and the necessity of obeying every command of the Imam without asking why and wherefore. Then he explained to them about the Government of the Twelfth Imam, saying:
"Don't you know that every one of us (Imams) has the responsibility of taking allegiance from the oppressors of his time, except the 'Support' (al- Qa'im) behind whom the Spirit of Allah (Jesus) will pray, and Almighty Allah will keep secret his birth from some people and will conceal his person from their sights. When he appears he will not be responsible for taking allegiance from anyone. He is the ninth descendant of my brother Husayn, the son of the captive princess. Almighty Allah will prolong his age during his occultation, and by His Perfect Power, he will appear as a young man of less than forty years so that all people will know that Allah truly has power over all things."
2) Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) in reply to a question from one of his followers about his successors, said:
"The Imam succeeding me is my son Musa, and the Awaited Imam is Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Musa."
The same Imam is quoted as having said repeatedly that:
"Every group of people is waiting for a government, and we are waiting for our Government to be established at the End of Time."
3) The Seventh Holy Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (a.s.) in a reply to one of his companions who asked him whether he was "al- Qa'im bi 'l-Haqq" (he who is supported by the Truth), said:
"I am al-Qa'im bi'l-Haqq, but that 'al-Qa'im' who will remove Allah's enemies from the earth and will fill it with justice and equity is my fifth descendant. Since he will fear for his own life, he will be in occultation for a long time during which a group of people will apostate, but there will also be a group who will be firm in their belief."
"Blessed are our followers (the Shi'ites) who, during the time of the occultation (ghaybah) of the Imam of the Age, identify themselves with our Authority (wilayah) and keep away from our enemies. They belong to us and we belong to them. They have accepted our leadership and we are pleased with their adherence Therefore, blessed are they. I swear to Allah that they will be with us in our rank in Paradise."
4) Finally, the Eleventh Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.) said:
"I see that after me differences will appear among you concerning the Imam after me. Whoever accepts the Imams after the Prophet of Allah but denies my son is like a person who accepts all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Prophet of Allah. And whoever denies (Muhammad) the Prophet of Allah is like one who has denied all the prophets of Allah, for to obey the last of us is like obeying the first and to deny the last of us is like denying the first But beware I . Verily, for my son there will be an occultation during which all people will fall into doubt except those whom Allah protects."
The available traditions from the Holy Prophet and the infallible Imams are so many in number as to make us well-informed on this important principle of faith. One can say that the most important, and the highest recorded number, of traditions is on the subject of Imamology (Imamate) in the Shi'ite books of traditions.
The subject of the leadership of the Twelfth Imam, his Government, and other related matters, comes next to the subject of the successorship of Imam Ali, Amir al-mu'minin ( a.s ) There are hundreds of these traditions recorded both in the Shi'ite and Sunnite books. A large number of religious scholars from all Islamic sects have independently compiled books on this subject. Their number runs to tens of volumes.
The years of Imams', Islamic leadership passed one after another along with tyranny of the rulers contemporary with them, till the leadership of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) came. This Holy Imam lived in a difficult circumstances, appearing less frequently in the public gatherings. His beloved son who is the last Divine Proof, was hidden from ,the sight of strangers till the year 260 A. H., when the rays of his being set while the eyes of all people were fixed at the door of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.).