What is meant by connection? Do you mean spiritual and heartily connection or physical connection? By apparent connection is meant we should have relationship and social mingling with Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) (who lives in the society and sees us and we too see him but do not recognize him). This type of connection is not possible during“major concealment” . It has come in traditions that people see him, but do not recognize him. So anyone claiming that he can have apparent connection as per his own free-will is something unacceptable.
About spiritual connection, the Almighty Allah describes it in the following verse from the holy Qur’an:
This noble verse that has been interpreted in traditions in connection with Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) gives the following meaning:
“O you who believe! Be patient and excel (over others) in patience and establish a link.” (Qur’an, 3:200)
In interpretation of the last part of verse, traditions say:
“And establish a link with your Imam, the awaited Imam.”
This tradition does not inform how one can establish apparent connection and link with Hazrat during his concealment. The commanded connection is spiritual; while apparent connection is not possible, except by Imam’s own guidance and permission.
Secondly, as per traditions, Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) walks in the market-places, and on carpets of people. It is likely he purchases his requirements from their shops and stores. He participates in their social gatherings.
Such expressions reveal that Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) lives an ordinary life (even though he enjoys a lofty position in existence). He travels; he visits mosques; he goes for pilgrimage to Karbala; and he performs pilgrimage to Mecca by making use of the means at his disposal. Thus, he lives a special type of ordinary and normal life.
Thirdly, the holy prophet and Imams had two aspects: human and divine. They were human-beings and also had links with the world of revelation. Looking at the human and apparent aspect, they were innate and normal human-beings. Imam-e-Zaman, too, is the same. Regarding human qualities and characteristics, he is similar to other human-beings, except he possesses the highest human perfections and virtues.
When we greet an ordinary human-being, he replies our greetings. When we take one step out of love and affection for him he reacts back. Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) [whose heart is filled with love and affection] is the heir to the affectionate prophet; he possesses the love and affectionate that Imam Ali possessed; the bravery that Imam Husain possessed and the steadfastness that Imam Hasan possessed. He is extremely kind and sympathetic; and the complete and perfect proof of the famous tradition of Imam Reza (a.s.) who while describing an Imam says:
“The Imam is like an affectionate friend; like a sympathetic father; like a mother who is compassionate and cares for her infant child.”
“Verily, Imam is like a pool. Imam is like the blessed rain. Imam is like the glowing moon that brings comfort. Imam is like the sun that gives life.”
Thus, Imam surely reacts to our actions.
Hazrat Mahdi pure ocean of love is so immense that anyone who establishes the minutest relationship with him even as narrow as one string of hair will arouse his sentiments, and his grace and favours will shower upon him like a blessed rain.
The prophets and Imams are lofty and superior human-beings and in kindness and affection unparallel. They care and devote their efforts in guiding mankind. Thus, relationship during the concealment period is of spiritual nature; it is connection of heart.
This type of spiritual relationship is possible by two means: One is taking guard of one’s deeds and behaviour and the other is inner make-up or creation of inner resemblance. For instance, if a person wishes to visit an eminent religious personality or visit a devout ‘Marja’h’, he should perform two tasks. One that he should prepare his apparent clothes suitable for such an occasion and secondly create a resemblance in thoughts and feelings. He should match his temper and manners with his temperament and should have sincerity and heartily inclination towards him, so that he can gain the maximum knowledge and spirituality.
If such circumstance is created, a connection can be set with Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) too. For this reason, we should strive on his path. We should pray for his ‘Faraj’. We should recite the ‘Ziarats’ that have come to our hands. We should give charity for Hazrat’s well-being. We should provide spiritual presentations to him. On his behalf, we should perform Haj, Umra and Ziarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), help the needy people and visit the Shia orphans. By such means, one can gain spiritual relationship with him.
Hazrat too has promised that whoever establishes relation with him would not be forsaken or forgotten by him. It has come in books of traditions that Hazrat informs Shaikh Mufid that:
“We are not heedless of assisting our Shias and we aren’t forgetful of you.” 
This famous sentence reveals Hazrat’s affection and also shows that he takes care of the Shias. In short, how to establish relation with Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.)? Inwardly and outwardly, one should observe the lawful and unlawful command. One should have love towards Imam (a.t.f.s.) so that the spiritual connection is set. One should never forget Hazrat and rather remember him in all spheres of life. Hazrat too has said, ‘Anyone who lives in such manner shall be guarded and supported by us and we shall never forsake him.’
Consequently, during the major concealment period, we see many who were eager to meet Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) have indeed met success. Similarly, those who strived to gain Hazrat’s satisfaction and have set spiritual relation with him (even though they weren’t fortunate to see him by the physical eye) have seen their life showered by Divine Grace.
At the end, we remind you of some necessary points that are tools for establishing relation with Hazrat. Anyhow steadfast on implementing these points can lead him in establishing a spiritual link and connection with Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
A desirous and enthusiastic person should observe the following:-
Recite verses from the holy Qur’an every day and gift it to Hazrat.
In daily prayers, he should pray for Hazrat’s ‘Faraj’ particularly recite ‘Dua’ of“Allah-humma-Kun-le-Waliyek….” which is the ‘Dua’ of night of destiny ( 23rd Ramzan, Lailat’ul-Qadr). It is worthy to mention that the night of 23rd Ramzan in all probability is ‘Laitat’ul-Qadr’ and earmarking this ‘Dua’ to such a night reveals the loftiness and profundity of this ‘Dua’.
He should give out charity no matter how small every morning for Hazrat’s well-being.
Once or twice a week, he should address Hazrat by the famous ‘Ziarat-e-Aale-Yasin’ and express his beliefs before him.
On Fridays, he should recite the ‘Ziarats’ that are exclusive to Hazrat.
He should invite the people to the best of worships during major concealment which is ‘Entezar-e-faraj’ (awaiting deliverance).
He should notify Hazrat’s friends and followers to have love and affection for him.
He should enjoin the good, and forbid the evil (with this motive that he wishes to prepare the ground and society for Hazrat’s manifestation).
He should endeavour and make utmost effort in performing the obligatory acts, and keeping distance from the unlawful acts.
It is highly hoped that the one who remains steadfast in performing the above deeds will attract Hazrat’s attention, and will pave the way for establishing a firm spiritual relation with his noble master.