Imam Mahdi (AJTF)
One of the most important responsibilities for a Shi’a is to acquire ma’rifah (a detailed and profound understanding) of the Imam of the time, and the testimony to this can be seen in both the logical and narrated proofs (ahadith). It is clear from the traditions that we must know the characteristics and specific traits of the Imam (as) whom we are all obliged to follow. This must be done so that we do not mistake him for someone who claims his status. In addition, there are also numerous traditions that oblige us to have a ma’rifah of our Imam (as).
مَنْ مَاتَ وَ لَمْ يَعْرِفْ إِمَامَ زَمَانِهِ مَاتَ مِيـتَةً جَاهِلِـيَّةً
“One who dies while he does not have gnosis of the Imam (as) of his time, dies the death of ignorance (time before the Holy prophet (saw))
– Imam Jaffer Sadiq (as)