The next responsibility is to submit entirely to Allah and not make haste in regards to the return of the Imam. A true believer must not be in a state of hurriedness or say: “Why has the Imam not made his advent yet? I have had enough of the occultation! I don’t have the ability to bear this any longer!” One must be extremely patient and content with the wish of Allah and must not complain about the apparent delay of the Imam.
However, this does not mean that a believer should not supplicate for the speedy advent of the Imam, nor does it mean that one should not seek to lay the groundwork for the advent of the Imam! Rather, these things are recommended to be performed during his occultation.
One of the companions said to Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as):
جَعَلَنِي اللٌّهُ فِدَاكَ، مَتَـى هٌذَا الأَمْرُ الَّذِي تَنْتَظِرُونَهُ؟ فَقَدْ طَالَ عَلَيْنَا. فَقَالَ: كَذِبَ الْمُتَمَنُّونَ وَ هَلَكَ الْمُسْتَعْجِلُونَ وَ نَجَا الْمُسْلِمُونَ وَ إِلَيْنَا يَصِيرُونَ
“May Allah sacrifice me for your sake, when will this definite command (the advent of al-Mahdi) which you are waiting for (come about)? For it has taken very long.’ The Imam (as) replied: ‘Those who desire his advent (to appear soon) are liars, and those who want his advent to occur soon are the ones who shall be destroyed, and surely the Muslims are those who will be saved and will wind up with us.’”1
Without a doubt, being in haste and showing impatience has many harmful effects. It is possible that a person who is in a hurry may run after those (false) people who claim the status of Mahdawiyyah (claim to be the Imam), in which case they will take the wrong person as being al-Mahdi (ajtf) and will actually end up misguiding themselves and others.
In addition, it is possible that a person who makes haste in this affair would also become despondent or may even completely deny the advent of the Imam as ever taking place. He may also entertain doubts and uncertainty in regards to the words of the infallible A`immah (as) and the promises which they have given us in regards to the return of the Imam.
Such a person may end up denying the return of the Imam, rejecting it entirely or may fall prey to denying Allah, the decree and decision of Allah and His justice. Through all of this, one will cease activity in the state of anticipation and recitation of supplications for the Imam or one may give up performing the responsibilities which one must fulfill towards the Imam. Such a person may also go towards those actions which the faith of Islam is not pleased with!
Thus, the physical and mental state, words and deeds of a true believer must be exactly that which Imam al-Hujjah (ajtf) himself has stated:
وَ أَنْتَ الْعَالِمُ غَيْرُ مُعَلَّمٍ بِالْوَقْتِ الَّذِي فِيهِ صَلاَحُ أَمْرِ وَلِيِّكَ فِي الإِذْنِ لَهُ بِإِظْهَارِ أَمْرِهِ وَ كَشْفِ سِرِّهِ فَصَبِّرْنِي عَلَـى ذٌلِكَ حَـتـى لاَ أُحِبَّ تَعْجِيلَ مَا أَخَّرْتَ وَ لاَ تَأْخِـيرَ مَا عَجَّلْتَ
“And You O’ Allah are the All-Knowing, without the aid of a teacher, about the time which is best for your close servant to get the permission to make his advent and to reveal his secret! So grant me patience in this issue so that I do not wish to make haste in what you have decided to delay and that I do not wish there to be delay in what you have decided to hasten…”2
- 1.al-Ghaybah of Nu’mani, pg. 197, sec. ‘That which the Shi’a have been Commanded to Follow,’ no. 8
- 2.Kamal ad-Din wa Tamam an-Ni’mah, pg. 512