“Can I meet Imam Mahdi (as)?” This question will probably rank very high when a list of questions regarding Imam Mahdi (as) is complied. Having established his birth, long life and even his occultation – the one who loves Imam Mahdi (as) expresses his desire to meet the Imam (as) and benefit directly from his presence. This sentiment is echoed in the words of Dua Nudba wherein a person asks – “O I wish I knew where is the Imam!” Or “Is there a way by which I could meet you, O son of Ahmed!”
Having a desire to meet Imam Mahdi (as) is a good thing and one must seek the same from Allah. Through a series of incidents, we will see how seemingly ordinary people were granted the good fortune of meeting Imam Mahdi (as).
One of the principles of the Shiite creed is that the divine representative is superior to the creatures in every aspect – whether it be in knowledge, wisdom, forbearance, bravery, patience, devotion or any other facet of personality. This is the reason why we should always turn towards him (as) in every aspect of our lives. We observe that the companions of the Holy Prophet (sawa) and the Imams (as) would refer to the divine representative in the smallest of matters. And the infallibles would provide them with a solution for their problems and difficulties.
There is a famous incident during the time of the Holy Prophet (sawa) that a woman brought her son to the Prophet (sawa) complaining of her son’s excessive consumption of dates. The Prophet (sawa) asked her to visit him after a couple of days and then only told her son not to eat too much of dates. The child dropped the habit.
The lowest level of marefat…
From this incident we learn that we should always refer to the divine representatives for the smallest of problems, be it of a worldly or spiritual nature. In a tradition from Beharul Anwar, Imam Baqir (as), while narrating the lowest level of recognition of the Imam says –
The lowest level of recognition of the Imam is to know that he is equal to the Prophet, except that he does not have prophethood and he is the successor to the Prophet (sawa), and that Imam’s obedience is Allah’s obedience and the Prophet’s (sawa) obedience and submitting to him in every matter and referring to him in every affair and embrace his view.
A person came of Imam Reza (as) and said, O Master! There is a Shiah who is some difficulty and wishes that he disclose this to you, but is unable to do so. The Imam replied that he should only open his mouth (express his desire even though I am aware of it).
This incident shows us that information of our difficulty not only reaches the Imam (as), but he is also afflicted with it before us. In fact, more often than not we are relieved of this problem even without seeking its respite.
As is revealed by the famous tradition of Imam Mahdi (as), It is through me that Allah, the Mighty and Glorious drives away calamities from my progeny and my Shiahs. (Beharul Anwar, volume 52, page 30)
Imam Mahdi (as) who is Allah’s representative of the age has the power and authority to grant us whatever we want, whenever we want with Allah’s permission. Even if our demand is not good for us, he (as) can make it beneficial for us and grant our demands. There are many incidents of this nature involving other Infallibles (as) as well as Imam Mahdi (as).
This section of the website brings forth some incidents of some people who have had the honour of meeting Imam Mahdi (as). They have also had the opportunity of their problems being solved by Imam (as).
Some points to pay attention to…
- Imam Mahdi (as) solves most of our problems without appearing in person or without mentioning it to us. That is why we should not have any unreasonable demand that he (as) appears in person to solve our problems.
- We need not be very knowledgeable for Imam (as) to solve our problem. Sincerity in action and intention are the only criteria. We must be particular in observing the obligatory acts and refraining from prohibited acts, as Imam (as) says, “Then each one of you should do those deeds which bring you closer to our love and refrain from (all such acts) which make you nearer to our displeasure and anger” (Beharul Anwar, volume 53, page 176)
- We should not become depressed if we are unable to meet Imam (as) despite our excessive prayers for the same. For surely, it is obvious that Imam (as) is in Ghaybat (occultation) and one of the demands of Ghaybat is that Imam (as) appears in person only in very urgent matters. It is possible that Imam (as) may not have found it necessary to meet us in person to solve your problem.
- Undoubtedly, meeting Imam Mahdi (as) is a great honour, but Islam reminds the Muslims that he should be humble and thankful and not be proud and arrogant. As Allah Himself says in the Holy Quran, “If you thank Me, I will increase it (your bounties)”
What can we learn from these incidents…
Firstly, Allah Himself declares in the Quran in the last verse of Surah Ale Imran, “O those who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that you may be successful.”
Imam Sadiq (as) says regarding this verse, Perform the obligatory acts, be patient on oppressions and be in contact with the Imam of the Time.
We observe that Allah has imposed four conditions for our success:
- Performance of the obligatory acts
- Patience on oppression
- Contact with the Imam of the Time
- Acquiring piety
If we pay attention to the above verse, it is very evident that true success is impossible without being in contact with the Imam. And if we are in contact with the Imam, then the performance of the other three conditions becomes easy. When Allah the Almighty has ordered his servants to be in contact with His Imam (as), then it is obvious that even Imam (as) is aware of the apparent and hidden meanings of this verse. When the servant seeks to be in contact with the Imam (as), then even the Imam (as) turns his attention towards the servant. In fact, the attention of the Imam (as) is the cause for our success in this world and the hereafter.
During the time of the Holy Prophet (sawa), the children of the Quraysh often stoned the Prophet (sawa). At these moments Ali (as) used to safeguard the Prophet (sawa). Once Ali (as) saw one of the companions of the Prophet (sawa) in a distressed state. Ali (as) asked him the reason for his distress. He replied, “My son is amongst those stoning the Prophet (sawa).” Ali (as) asked him, “What do you wish?” He replied, “O Ameerul Momeneen! I wish that my son were guided.” Ali (as) turned back and simply glanced at the child. The child’s faith underwent such a transformation that he was martyred while fighting for Ali (as) in one of the battles.
It will not be surprising if we also ask Imam (as) to glance at our children and us and guide us. Then Imam (as) being the last son of Ameerul Momeneen Ali (as) guides us with his glance, so much so that we attain martyrdom below his flag. And we become a model for the saying “They succeeded a great success!”
The second objective is that in place of fictitious stories, we should narrate those true incidents of people who have met Imam Mahdi (as). This will be the cause of developing the love of Imam (as) in the heart of our children since childhood. They will learn that they should refer to Imam (as) in their difficulties, which will be the cause of their success in this world and the hereafter. Moreover, Imam (as) will be pleased with this action.
The third objective is that when we receive help from the Imam, we ourselves realize it and make our children realize that Imam (as) loves us so much despite being in occultation. Therefore we should pray even more for his reappearance so that we can benefit from his (as) love without any barriers.
At the end, we pray to Allah, the Mighty and Glorious through the mediation of the Infallible Imams (as) that He makes this insignificant effort worthy of reward. We dedicate this effort to the dearest one of the Holy Prophet (sawa), the constant companion of Ali (as), the mother of the Imams (as) – Hazrat Zahra (sa).
We pray to her that if are unworthy of meeting her son, Imam Mahdi (as) in this world, then at least at the time of our death, at the time of reappearance, in the first night in our grave, at the time of Seraat (the bridge), at the time of Meezan (the weighing of deeds), we should definitely get an opportunity to meet him. For we have nothing from our actions that merit reward and success for us except love for Ahle Bayt (as).
We wait for the day of reappearance because our hearts are filled with the desire to avenge the oppression upon you. We also request you to accept our heartfelt thanks to you and your son (as) for this Taufeeq. We request you to grant us the opportunity to perform more actions like these. It is indeed our good fortune to be a servant for your son. Do not deprive us of this good fortune! Ameen!