Reasons for the Ghaybah (concealment) of Imam Mahdi (ajtf)

The reasons for the Ghaybah of the Imam (ajtf) is unknown and is of the divine wisdom of Allah (swt). Only Allah (swt) knows why He has ordained a period of Occultation and concealment for the Imam (ajtf). Below are some of the reasons that may constitute part of the reason for why Imam Mahdi (ajtf) is in Ghaybah (concealment) and have been extracted from the traditions of the Ahlulbayt (as).

1. Free From Allegience Of Every Tyrant

Amirul Momineen Ali (as) said,

“Certainly’, when the Qaem from among us shall arise, he will not have the allegiance of any one upon his neck. It is for this reason that his birth is secret and his person is in Ghaibat.”1

It must be mentioned that all of our Imams had to pledge allegience to every tyrant ruler except for a short period during the rule of Umar ibne Abdul Aziz. This was because, on the face of it, it would seem that they are not against the ruler, In this way they could protect Islam. In the absence of popular support, the Imams were left alone and thus they entered into an understanding with the rulers. Thus even Imam Husain (as) for a particular period did not find it necessary to revolt against the regime of Muawiya.

In this regard Hazrat Mahdi (aj) says:

“Verily each of my ancestors had the oath of allegience, upon their necks, of their contemporary tyrant rulers. But I will reappear at such a time that I will not have any tyrant’s allegience upon my neck.”2

2. Test Of The People

Imam al Kazim (as) said,

“My son! When the fifth descendant of the seventh of the Imams is not visible to you ! It is when Allah will test your belief. Ghaibat is inevitable for the Master of this affair.

Till the time when the religion is completely transformed, and only a few people will have belief in him. My son! That Ghaibat, It is a trial through which Allah, the Almighty tests His servants.”3

The ghaybah (occultation) is a trial for the people who can no longer see their Imam. Due to the oppression to the Holy Prophet (saw) and his family and the lack of recognition and submission of people to the divinely appointed leaders, Allah (swt) is testing the people to evaluate our submission and love towards the Imam of Our Time (ajtf). We see from the event of Karbala, that Imam Mahdi (ajtf) needs companions such as those of Imam Hussain (as) after which he will be able to appear and rise. We must strive to prove that we are worthy of his Reappearance


3. Fear Of The Enemy

Imam Musa al-Kazim (as) said,

“The Qaem is the one who will purify the earth from the enemies of Allah, the High and the Mighty. And he will fill the earth will justice and equity just as it is filled with injustice and tyranny. He is the fifth of my descendants. He will go into occultation due to the fear of his own (life).”4

According to common sense it is necessary for man not to throw away his precious life without a legitimate aim. Thus, the prophets (as) and the Imams (as) have taught the people that it is their duty to protect their life under every circumstance and should never put their life in danger. Therefore it is the duty of the last of these exalted personalities to protect himself till the time of his reappearance when he will establish the new world order.


4. Weakness And Lack Of Co-operation Of The People

Imam Mahdi (aj) said.

“If our shias; may Allah help them in His obedience; would have fulfilled their covenant with united hearts then there would have been no delay in our meeting, and they would have been blessed with our visitation at the earliest, along with the recognition of truth and confirmation of our rights.”5

In the above verse, our Imam (ajtf) has specifically prayed for help with our obedience. We need to be aware of and obey the commandments of Allah (swt) and the Imam (ajtf). This is the first step towards paving the way for the return of our blessed Imam (ajtf). Secondly, the disunity of muslims around the world is a big factor in the delay of the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (ajtf). We should strive to overcome our differences, forgive eachother with the goal of preparing for the rise of Imam Mahdi (ajtf) and supporting him with united hearts. We must be able to recognise and resist the deviation of the shaitaan and the attacks of our enemies to disunite the muslim Ummah.


  • 1.Kamaaluddin Vol.1. Pg.303
  • 2.Ghaibat Tusi Pg.292, Kamaaluddin VoL2. Pg.485.
  • 3.Ghaibat al-Toosi Pg.166 & 337. Al Kafi vol.1 Pg.336. Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.359 and 360. Kifayatul Asar Pg.264-265.
  • 4.Kamaaluddin vol.2 Pg.361. Kifayatul Asar Pg.265-266.
  • 5.Al Ihtejaj vol.2 Pg.602.