This matter comprises of two aspects: One aspect is the esoteric divine deeds and capabilities of Hazrat, and the other is his apparent and natural power. Each of these should be explained separately.
By virtue of his Imamate knowledge, Imam is aware of the deeds of people. He possesses the first and the last; and the present and future knowledge by Allah’s permission. He has acquaintance over all of them just as he sees the palm of his hands. About Imam, it is said he is the universal pole; the heart and focal point of this world and by Allah’s permission, he controls the world.
In a class that was run by the famous liberal (Mu’tazilite) theologian Amr-ibn- Ubadi, a vital point was raised by Imam Sadiq’s (a.s.) distinguished student, Hisham-ibn-Hakam. Later, while reporting to Imam Sadiq (a.s.) the matter, Imam (a.s.) approved his action. The gist of it is as follows:
Man as a living creature possesses numerous tools in his body: His eyes function; his ears function; his tongue functions; his digestive system builds bones out of the digested food; it composes blood; it produces skin, it makes veins; it forms nerves etc etc. Thus man possesses organs and limbs. Amongst them, who is the commander-in-chief? How is the soul supreme over all the organs at one and the same time? How at one and the same time, it commands the eyes to see; the ears to listen; the tongue to talk; the brain to take photographs and so on. In the same manner, Imam (a.s.) is the heart and focal point of this universe. He is supreme over all the organs of this universe and manages them by Allah’s permission.
This is Imam’s divine powers. Thus, by divine power, Imam, at one and the same time, attends to hundreds of people all over the world and his help and assistance flows constantly. By virtue of his Imamate, Imam dominates over all of them by Allah’s permission just as the soul and heart manages all the organs of a human body and assigns each of them some special work. He has a hand in the kingdom. By Allah’s permission, he has acquaintance of the concealed things. Allah has given him the key of the unseen treasure and he has dominance over them the way he wills (verily, his will is the same as Allah’s Will).
From apparent aspect:
During Reappearance and his manner of managing the world and attending to the people, one should look into the various dimensions of the characteristics of the 313 first hand companions of Hazrat Mahdi. They are Imam’s pure and obedient followers. They are reliable and trustworthy figures. They are those who have killed their carnal desires. They are not loyal to their beastly desires. They are Imam’s hands and eyes. They are spread in this extensive world. They lend their ears to Imam’s command and in this regard are likened to the autumnal clouds (as per hadith). Within few minutes, they shall gather together and sit besides Hazrat and receive commands from him. They shall not hesitate even a bit in fulfilling his commands. They have no will power before him just as Hazrat has no will power before the Almighty Allah.
They are the members of Imam’s government. They too, in turn, would select other virtuous men to run the affairs. Thus, Hazrat Mahdi possesses apparent sovereignty too over the entire world and has at his disposal precise information of every nook and corner of the world and its inhabitants.
As a result, in apparent terms, running the affairs of the world is linked to Imam’s extensive and precise management; his power and finally his follower’s sincere and absolute obedience.
It’s worthy to mention that during the period of occultation too, Imam through his agents, looks into the affairs of the people wherever and whenever he deems fit.