It’s not possible to count the number of the meetings of the fortunate ones who have had with Imam (a.t.f.s.) either during the minor or major concealment. Because, it requires complete acquaintance of everything in this world including Imam’s programs. Such knowledge and acquaintance is only with Imam (a.t.f.s.) himself.
Now, we shall set forth one of such meetings with Imam (a.t.f.s.) from the invaluable book“Kamaluddin” written by Shaikh Saduq:
Ahmad-ibn-Ishaq-ibn-Sa’d Ashari says: I approached Abu-Muhammad Hasan-ibn-Ali (eleventh Imam). I was in thought of asking him about his successor. Before I could speak, he took the initiative and said:
“Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq! Verily, right from the creation of Adam till today and till the day of resurrection, the Almighty Allah has never kept and will never keep the earth devoid of His “Hojjat” . It is due to Allah’s ‘Hujja’ that the calamities are lifted from the earth; the rain pours from the sky; the bounties are drawn out from the land.”
Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq replied, ‘O son of Allah’s messenger, then who is the Imam and your successor?”
Imam (a.s.) stood up instantly and went inside the room of his house. Moments later, he came out with a three year old child in arms resembling the fourteen-night moon in beauty. He said:
“Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq! It’s only because of your special dignity before the Almighty Allah and His Hojjat(s) that I am now showing my child to you. His name and agnomen is the same as that of Allah’s Messenger. He is the same who would fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would be filled with cruelty and injustice.
O Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq! He is like Khizr and Zul-Qarnain amongst this ‘Ummah’ (nation). I swear by Allah, that he would be concealed. During the concealment period, none would be delivered from this test and destruction save those whose faith in Imamate has been set firm by the Almighty Allah and has made them fortunate in praying for Hazrat’s ‘Faraj’ and ‘Zuhoor’ (Reappearance).”
Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq said:“O my Master! Is there a sign so that my heart finds comfort?”
Here, the child started to speak in eloquent Arabic and said:
“I am Baqiyat’ullah on Allah’s land and the avenger of Allah’s enemies. (O Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq) After this visitation, do not look for any other sign and trace!”
Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq says: “I left Imam Askar’s house with great joy and happiness. The next morning, I again visited Imam Askari and asked: “O son of Allah’s Messenger, I am extremely pleased for casting me this favour. How does your successor resemble Khizr and Zul-Qarnain?
Imam (a.s.) replied: ‘His living in concealment for a very long time!’
I said: Does it imply that his ‘Ghaibat’ (concealment) would be a long one?
Imam (a.s.) said: By Allah, it would be so long that the majority of his followers wouldn’t remain steadfast and would abandon their faith save those from whom Allah has taken an agreement regarding our ‘Wilayat’ and has strengthened their faith in their hearts.
O Ahmad-ibn-Ishaaq! This is a mysterious affair and the ‘Ghaib’ (unseen) from Allah! Preserve and conceal it and be amongst the thankfuls so that on the day of resurrection you would be among the ‘Elliyeen’ accompanying us.”
Respected readers, we have selected the above visitation because it contains numerous points. Those interested in reading about other visitations during major and minor concealment can refer to the books that were introduced in the foregoing pages.
It’s necessary to remind that Shaikh Saduq is one of the greatest and most reliable Shia ‘Muhaddis’ (scholar of Hadith). His book“Man-La-Ya’hzoruhul-Faqih” is one of the four main reliable Shia reference books of traditions. His other book“Kamaluddin” was written by the Hazrat Mahdi’s instructions; and his own birth took place by Imam’s prayers. (Refer to Introduction of Kamaluddin).