In reply to another query about the reason and wisdom behind concealment, we mentioned certain reasons. We explained the difference between reason and wisdom (philosophy). We had said that we don’t know the reason of concealment but we know that one of its philosophies is test and examination of the people. The peoples’ sins are yet another factor. However these are not exclusive factors because, without reliance on the spiritual world, man cannot know all the dimensions of decrees and divine incidences. On the other hand, a lot of emphasis is laid on abstinence from sins; individual and social reform will bring near Hazrat’s coming. Any talk about desire for Hazrat’s coming is followed by prayers for his ‘Faraj’, and still followed by talks on morals and piety. By virtue of piety and pure soul, one can ask the Almighty Allah to hasten Hazrat’s coming. But it does not mean that our reform would turn into an indispensable cause for his coming. Piety and purity of human beings pave the ground for Hazrat’s coming, but is not an exclusive or binding cause.
With respect to the Shias’ complain about long period of concealment, the Imams (a.s.) have recommended prayers for ‘Faraj’ and observance of piety. Those recommendation has been in vogue during the entire life of the Imams, as well as, after them. Even those who were honoured of meeting Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) during the major concealment have heard such recommendation.
If a Shia believes truly that commitment of sins pains Imam’s heart, and affects his concealment, he will certainly not indulge himself in sins and instead would strive to reform himself.