Ishaq Ibn Yaqub wrote a letter to His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) containing numerous religious questions that were difficult for him. He sent this letter to His Eminence (a.s.) through Muhammad Ibn Uthman, who was one of the trustworthy and pure persons. His Eminence (a.s.) wrote the following replies:
O Ishaq! May Allah (SwT) guide you, make you steadfast and keep you safe. As for what you asked me regarding some of your family and cousins and their denial about me, you should know that there is no proximity and relationship between Allah (SwT) and anyone, and anyone who denies me is not from me and his path is like the path of Prophet Nuh’s son.
And as for the path of my Uncle, Jafar, it is like the path of Prophet Yusuf’s brothers. As for “Fuqaa” (A drink prepared from barley extract) it is unlawful to drink it. And as for “Shilmaab” (A non-intoxicant drink and its use in the present age is common); it is not doubtful. And as for your property, till you do not purify it, do not use it. Then anyone who wants to send it to me and anyone who does not want to be separated from it, then what Allah (SwT) has bestowed to us is better than what Allah (SwT) has given you.
As for the reappearance and advent, it solely depends on the will of Allah (SwT) and those who fix a time for it are liars.
As for the saying of those who think that Imam Husain (a.s.) has not been slain is a kind of disbelief, denial, deviation and misguidance.
“But as for the problems which will occur in the future, you should refer to the narrators of our traditions for their verdicts as they are my proofs to you, and I am Allah’s proof to them.”
As for Muhammad bin Uthman Amri, may Allah (SwT) be pleased with him and his father, he is trustworthy and reliable one of mine and his writing is my writing.
As for Muhammad bin Ali bin Mahziyar Ahwazi, then very soon, Allah (SwT) would reform his heart and remove his doubt.
As for the money that you sent for me is not acceptable to me, except that money which is pure. And the compensation for a singing girl is unlawful.
As for Muhammad bin Shazan bin Naeem, he is from the Shias of us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
As for Abul Khattab Muhammad bin Ali Zainab Ajdaa, then he and all his associates are accursed and you do not cultivate the company of those who harbor their beliefs. And my forefathers and I are aloof from them.
As for those who are in possession of our funds, in a way that they consider it lawful for themselves and spend it, have in fact devoured (Hell) Fire.
As for Khums, it is lawful for our Shias till the time of reappearance, so far as their children are pure and not involved in sinful activities.
As for the funds that are sent to us and after which they fell into doubts and became regretful of having paid it to us, then anyone who wants we would return to him and we are not needful of the money of those who harbor doubt with regard to Allah (SwT).
As for the cause of occultation, the Almighty Allah (SwT) has said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ إِنْ تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ
“O you who believe! Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you…”(Surah 5, Verse 101)
Each of my forefathers in his time was compelled by the oath of allegiance to the tyrant ruler and when I reappear I would not be having the allegiance of any tyrant on my neck. As for how people would benefit from me during my occultation, it is like getting benefits from the sun, which is concealed by the clouds. And I am the security for the people on the face of the earth just as stars are security for the inhabitants of the heavens. Therefore do not ask what you are not in need of and do not put yourself into undue trouble. And pray more for an early reappearance as in it lies your success. Peace be on you O Ishaq Ibn Yaqub and peace be on all those who follow the guidance…5
This letter, in addition to legal problems also contains various other matters:
Firstly: Some of the Sadat (Sayyids) among the cousins of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) denied the existence of His Eminence, inspite of so many signs and proof for it. In this letter, His Eminence, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has introduced them to be deviated and misguided people and the Almighty Allah (SwT) would interrogate them regarding their denial and deviation.
Secondly: The reappearance of His Eminence (a.s.) for the establishment of truth and justice is not at his own discretion, but it is at the discretion of someone else. Rather it is solely at the discretion of Allah (SwT), the Wise. It is He alone, who would fix the time of the reappearance of his Wali (Vicegerent).
Thirdly: Some people started a false propaganda that His Eminence, the chief of the martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.) is not martyred and the killers of His Eminence are wrongly accused. Rather someone resembling His Eminence, Imam Husain (a.s.) had been murdered. His Eminence, the Master of the Age (a.s.) in this letter, has denounced this false propaganda and labeled it to be a fraud, deviation, falsehood and an invalid claim.
Fourthly: In this letter, His Eminence (a.s.), has praised and supported Muhammad bin Uthman Amri so much so, that he has designated his writing as his own writing. Similarly he has described Muhammad bin Shazan to be of the Shia personalities and considered him trustworthy in his religion and piety.
Fifthly: In this communication, His Eminence (a.s.) has prohibited his Shias from cultivating the company of the group of Abu Khattab Ajdaa, who are misguided and perjurers, because they have gone out of the religion of Islam and they have made the lawful as unlawful and the unlawful as lawful. And having any connection with them is misguidance and ignorance.
Sixthly: One who unlawfully usurps the property of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is denounced herein; because of this usurpation of their property very soon that property would become a burning fire.
Seventhly: His Eminence (a.s.) has prohibited from the pursuit of finding out the wisdom behind occultation and the lack of reappearance, because the reappearance of His Eminence (a.s.) is not at his own discretion. It is solely at the command and will of Allah (SwT). And the Almighty Allah (SwT) is aware of all the aspects of His creatures.
Eighthly: In this letter of his, the Imam (a.s.) has introduced himself to be the source of benefits and favors for the people during the period of occultation, because the Almighty Allah (SwT), by the blessings of the existence of His Wali and Proof keeps away punishment from the people and he is the security for the people of the earth like the stars are security for the inhabitants of the sky.
Ninthly: His Eminence (a.s.) has commanded his Shias to pray more for his reappearance so that he may establish truth and justice on the earth. These are some of the important things discussed in the letter.
5. Ihtijaj, 2/281-284