One paper gone, one to goo!! Good luck people!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
An important note. I, along with other Muslim brothers, am forming a Muslim Student Body to promote brotherhood in Muslims and promote Muslim education. Those who want to support us in this noble cause and help the Muslim Youth to unite under a common banner should comment their names,email address and country below. This is a vital step to restore the Muslim nation to it's former glory. Islam has given so much to you. It is time to pay back that debt. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace ) said:" Everyone one of you is responsible and everyone of you will be questioned about his responsibilty." Thanks.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
Since the Holy Quran was not revealed all at once and its
different verses were revealed as and when appropriate,
so it was neither possible nor practicable from the very
beginning to write and preserve it in a book form.
Before one can begin to understand the manner in which
it was preserved, the amazing memories of
the Arab nation must be kept in mind. And of course, the
fact that Allah Himself has said:
“Verily, it is We Who have sent down this Message and it is We Who
shall guard it.” (Surah Hijr; 15:9)
How the Quran was preserved in the time of the Holy Prophet?
The Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet through Jibril , who would make
sure that he s learnt its verses by heart.
Once the Holy Prophet had memorized the verses, Jibril would tell him that
these verses should be placed in so and so Surah in so and so order.
When the Holy Prophet had learnt the verses, he would then teach them to his
companions who would
Learn them by heart (these Huffaz were 1000s)
The scribes of the Holy Prophet, would write the verses under his instruction
on paper, stone tablets, bones, palm leaves, wooden boards or animal skins.
(These companions were about 34).
Quran was preserved in partial volumes in writing, but primarily in the hearts
of tens of thousands of his companions.
Preservation and Compilation duringthe caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar
A large number of Huffaz killed at Yamamah
Umar proposed to Abu Bakr: Lets Write it down in a single
After some initial hesitation, he Agreed
A team of Muqri Sahaba led by Zaid bin Thabit were formed to
conduct this task
How did Zayd ensure authenticity?
The contributor must have in writing as well as be a Hafiz
He tested its reliability against his own memory and that of
his team of Huffaz
Two trustworthy witnesses had testified to the fact that the
particular verse had been written in the presence of the
The written verses were matched with the collections of
The Final Volume
This Task was completed by Umar’s time and stayed with him
until his martyrdom.
Then it went in the custody of Hafsah and thus became
known as Mus’haf-i-Hafsah.
Preservation and Compilation in the period of Uthman bin 'Affan Islamic Empire had spread far and wide
New people with new tongues, languages, dialects and
pronunciations had become Muslims
They began to use these to recite Quran in sometimes odd
Hudhayfa bin Yaman approached the caliph Uthman and told
him about the possible dangers of this
Uthman immediately took action
Reassembled a team under Zaid bin Thabit
Made seven copies of Mushaf e Hafsa
Sent these to the provincial capitals
Destroyed any deviant/incomplete manuscript
Allah in Himself
• Allah in Himself (Person)
– The Holy Quran describes and elaborates details about the person of
– Usually certain symbolic expressions and parables have been used
for this purpose.
– For example, Surah An Nur describes Allah as a 'light', (give example
here) & Sura Ikhlas
• Allah in Himself (Attributes)
– The Holy Quran describes and elaborates details about the nature
and attributes of Allah using parables & analogies
– Attributes of Allah: (Surah Al Hashr)
• Allah in Himself (Powers)
– Another oft repeated theme is that of Allah's Unmatchable power,
“ Verily, when He intends a thing, His command is "Be" and it is! (36:82)
& Sura Al Anaam
• Allah in Himself (Signs)
– “Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the
moon. Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allah, who
created them, if it is Him you wish to serve” Surah Fussilat/Sajda
Key Features of Allah’s relationship
with His creation
• He is most Gracious &
• All Praise is due to Allah
• He is the Lord of the Worlds,
• Master of the Day of
• Will reward / punish as per
• Only He is to be worshipped
• He is to be feared
• He grants Guidance
• Those who follow guidance
• Those who don’t, earn His
• He is the Creator of all, us &
all around us; of Good & Evil
• We Should not set up rivals
• He gave us knowledge
• His refuge should be sought
Key Features of Allah’s relationship with His
• They are Allah’s vicegerents on
• They have been granted special
and great knowledge by Allah
• They are much higher in status
than the angels
• They must follow His instructions
• They are very intelligent
• They recognize Allah very well
through His Signs
• Their focus is towards Allah only
• They don’t do Shirk
• Allah has favored them
• He gave them miracles
• He never forsakes them
• He is never displeased with them
• They have His Shelter
• He grants them guidance
• He grants them abundance
• His deals with their enemies
• They have special missions
In the Shi’te sect of Islam known as the Ithna-‘ashariyyah or Twelvers, the articles of
faith or fundamentals of Islam differ from those of the Ahle Sunnat or Sunnis. These
are also known as Usool -ad-Deen or ‘Roots of Religion’. They are
1. Tawheed: The Oneness of God
2. 'Adl: Belief that God is Just and He will reward or punish any person according
to his deeds.
3. Nubuwwat: Belief in the Messengers.
4. Imamat: Belief in the divinely appointed leadership or the Imams
5. Qiyaamat: Belief in the Day of Judgment.
Amongst the above, we shall study Imamate or belief in the Twelve Imams.
The Twelve Imams are the spiritual and political successors to the Prophet. Each of
them is an infallible human individual who not only rules over the community with
justice, but also is able to keep and interpret the Divine Law and its esoteric
meaning. The Prophet and Imams' words and deeds are a guide and model for the
community to follow; as a result, they must be free from error and sin, and must be
chosen by divine decree, or nass, through the Prophet. It is believed by Twelver Shi'a
Muslims that the Twelve Imams were foretold in the Hadith of the Twelve
Successors. He is reported to have said:
"The (Islamic) religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having
twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraysh."
The Imams were bestowed with Divine wisdom (aql) and knowledge (hikmah). They
suffered for the sake of religion and their sufferings were a means of divine grace to
their devotees. Although the Imam was not the recipient of a divine revelation, he
had a close relationship with God, through which God guides him, and the Imam in
turn guides the people.
There is always an Imam of the Age, who is the divinely appointed authority on all
matters of faith and law in the Muslim community. Hazrat ‘Alī was the first Imam of
this lineage, and in the Twelvers' view, the rightful successor to the Holy Prophet of
Islam, followed by male descendants of the Prophet his daughter Fatimah. Each
Imam was the son of the preceding Imam, with the exception of Hazrat Hussain ibn
Ali, who was the brother of Hazrat Hassan ibn Ali. The twelfth and final Imam is
Hazrat Muhammad al-Mahdi, who is believed by the Twelvers to be currently alive,
and hidden till he returns to bring justice to the world.
Belief in Imamat, the divinely appointed leadership after the death of the Holy
Prophet is an integral part of Shi’te faith. Their role is to protect and guide mankind
with the revealed Truth, the Holy Qur'an and the true practices of the Holy Prophet
himself. They play an integral part in the protection of all the Messengers and their
divine Messages. Allah appointed them through the Holy Prophet himself to protect
mankind from misrepresenting and misinterpreting the Truth. They are sinless
(ma'soom) and perfect in the highest sense of the word. As the Imams have direct
knowledge from God, and their verdict is the verdict of God.
List of Imams
1. Hazrat Imam Ali bin Abu Talib
2. Hazrat Imam Hassan bin Ali
3. Hazrat Imam Husain bin Ali
4. Hazrat Imam Ali bin Husain
5. Hazrat Imam Muhammad bin Ali
6. Hazrat Imam Ja'far bin Muhammad
7. Hazrat Imam Musa bin Ja'far
8. Hazrat Imam Ali bin Musa
9. Hazrat Imam Muhammad bin Ali
10. Hazrat Imam Ali bin Muhammad
11. Hazrat Imam Hassan bin Ali
12. Hazrat Imam Muhammad bin Hassan
Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (23 pre-Hijri to 40 AH)
He was the first Imam and is also called Amir al-mu'min or Commander of the
faithful. His father Hazrat Abu Talib was the uncle, guardian and lifelong supporter of
the Holy Prophet.
Hazrat Imam Ali was born ten years before the commencement of the prophetic
mission of the Prophet. When six years old he was placed directly under the
guardianship and custody of the Holy Prophet who brought him up like his own son.
When the Prophet received the first revelation, Hazrat Imam Ali was the first person
to publicly declare his faith in the Divine Message.
Hazrat Imam Ali became the supporter and deputy of the Prophet and was by his
side during the hard times in Makkah. On the night of the migration to Madina
(hijrah) when the infidels had surrounded the house of the Prophet and were
determined to invade the house at the end of the night and assassinate him as he
slept, Ali slept in place of the Prophet, while the Prophet left the house and set out
for Madina. After the departure of the Prophet, Ali gave back to the people the trusts
and charges that they had deposited with the Prophet. Then he went to Madinah
with his mother, the daughter of the Prophet, and two other women.
At Madina when the Prophet was creating bonds of brotherhood among his
companions he selected Ali as his brother. The Prophet gave Fatimah, his beloved
daughter to Ali as his wife.
Ali participated bravely in the battles of the Holy Prophet, except the battle of Tabuk
when he was ordered to stay in Madina in place of the Holy Prophet.
Ali was thirty-three years old when the Prophet died. He spent the next twenty five
years as an advisor to the first three caliphs and in educating people in Islamic
He became the fourth Caliph in 35 A.H. His caliphate of lasted for nearly five years,
throughout which he followed the way of the Prophet and gave his caliphate the
form of a spiritual movement and renewal.
Unfortunately, his caliphate was ridden with civil strife. The Muslims had split into
two groups, one supporting him and the other supporting A'ishah and Muawiya.
These two armies fought the "Battle of the Camel," and then the "Battle of Siffin."
After this a faction of his own supporters turned traitor. They are known as the
Khawarij. He also fought against the Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrawan Therefore,
most of the days of Ali's caliphate were spent in overcoming internal opposition.
Finally, in the morning of the 19th of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H., while praying in
the mosque of Kufa, he was wounded by one of the Khawarij and died as a martyr
during the night of the 21st of Ramadan. He was buried in Najaf, Iraq.
Ali had no shortcomings from the point of view of human perfection. And in the
Islamic virtues he was a perfect example of the upbringing and training given by the
Prophet. He was equally learned in science and wisdom and was most eloquent. His
courage was proverbial and services to Islam were exemplary.
Hazrat Imam Hassan ibn Ali (3-50 AH)
He was the second Imam and was also called al-Mujtaba. He and his brother Imam
Hussain were the two sons of Amir al-mu'minin Ali and Fatimah, the daughter of the
Holy Prophet. Many times the Holy Prophet had said, "Hassan and Hussain are my
children." Because of these same words Imam Ali would say to his other children,
"You are my children and Hassan and Hussain are the children of the Prophet."
Hazrat Imam Hassan was born in the year 3 A.H. in Madinah and shared in the life of
the Prophet for somewhat over seven years, growing up during that time under his
loving care. Soon after the death of the Prophet, Hazrat Fatimah also died and
Hassan was placed directly under the care of his noble father.
After the death of his father, through Divine Command and according to the will of
his father, Hazrat Imam Hassan became Imam; he also occupied the function of
caliph for about six months.
The governor of Syria, Mu'awiyah, who had been an opponent of his father as well,
challenged the caliphate of Hazrat Imam Hassan. War ensued, and finally the Hazrat
Imam made peace and yielded to the caliphate to Mu'awiyah, under certain
conditions. He did this as he desired to put an end to the civil strife and bloodshed
amongst the Muslims.
Hazrat Imam Hassan devoted the rest of his life to teaching and training scholars in
the Islamic faith, undergoing extreme hardship and persecution by his political rivals.
Finally, in the year 50 A.H. allegedly motivated by the Caliph Mu'awiyah, his wife
poisoned him and he was martyred.
In human perfection, Hazrat Imam Hassan was reminiscent of his father and a
perfect example of his noble grandfather. There are many traditions of the Holy
Prophet and Ali concerning the fact that Hazrat Imam Hassan would be the Imam
after his noble father.
Hazrat Imam Hussain bin Ali (4-61 AH)
Hazrat Imam Hussain, known as ‘Sayyid al-Shuhada' or "the chief of martyrs"), was
the second child of Ali and Fatimah. He was born in the year 4 A.H. and after the
martyrdom of his brother, Hazrat Imam Hassan Mujtaba, became Imam through
Divine Command and his brother's will.
Hazrat Imam Hussain was Imam for a period of ten years. The last six months of his
Imamate coincided with the caliphate of Mu'awiyah. Hazrat Imam Hussain lived
under the most difficult outward conditions of suppression and persecution. This was
due to the fact that, first of all, religious laws and regulations had lost much of their
weight and credit, and the edicts of the Umayyad government had gained complete
authority and power. Secondly, Mu'awiyah and his aides made use of every possible
means to put aside and move out of the way the Household of the Prophet and the
Shi'ah, and thus obliterate the name of Hazrat Imam Ali and his family. And above all,
Mu'awiyah wanted to strengthen the basis of the caliphate of his son, Yazid, who
because of his lack of principles and scruples was opposed by a large group of
Muslims. Therefore, in order to quell all opposition, Mu'awiyah had undertaken
newer and more severe measures. By force and necessity, Hazrat Imam Hussain had
to endure these days and he had to suffer every kind of mental and spiritual agony
and affliction from Mu'awiyah and his aides, until in the middle of the year 60 A.H.
Mu'awiyah died and his son Yazid took his place.
Yazid, immediately after the death of his father ordered the governor of Madinah
either to force a pledge of allegiance from Hazrat Imam Hussain or send his head to
After the governor of Madinah informed Hazrat Imam Hussain of this demand, the
Hazrat Imam, in order to think over the question, asked for a delay and overnight
started with his family toward Makkah. He sought refuge in the sanctuary of God
which in Islam is the official place of refuge and security. This event occurred toward
the end of the month of Rajab and the beginning of Sha'ban of 60 A.H. For nearly
four months Hazrat Imam Hussain stayed in Makkah in refuge. This news spread
throughout the Islamic world. On the one hand many people who were tired of the
iniquities of Mu'awiyah's rule and were even more dissatisfied when Yazid became
caliph, corresponded with Hazrat Imam Hussain and expressed their sympathy for
him. On the other hand a flood of letters began to flow, especially from Iraq and
particularly the city of Kufa, inviting the Imam to go to Iraq and accept the leadership
of the populace there with the aim of beginning an uprising to overcome injustice
and iniquity. Naturally such a situation was dangerous for Yazid.
The stay of Hazrat Imam Hussain in Makkah continued until the season for
pilgrimage when Muslims from all over the world poured in groups into Makkah in
order to perform the rites of the Hajj. The Hazrat Imam discovered that some of the
followers of Yazid had entered Makkah as pilgrims (hajjis) with the mission to kill the
Imam during the rites of Hajj with the arms they carried under their special
pilgrimage dress (ihram). The Imam shortened the pilgrimage rites and decided to
leave. Amidst the vast crowd of people he stood up and in a short speech announced
that he was setting out for Iraq. In this short speech he also declared that he would
be martyred and asked Muslims to help him in attaining the goal he had in view and
to offer their lives in the path of God. The next day he set out with his family and a
group of his companions for Iraq.
Hazrat Imam Hussain was determined not to give his allegiance to Yazid, knowing
fully well that he would be killed. He was aware that his death was inevitable in the
face of the awesome military power of the Umayyads, supported as it was by
corruption in certain sectors, spiritual decline, and lack of will power among the
people, especially in Iraq. Some of the outstanding people of Makkah stood in the
way of Hazrat Imam Hussain and warned him of the danger of the move he was
making. But he answered that he would never pay allegiance to a ruler like Yazid and
give his approval to a government of injustice and tyranny. He added that he knew
that wherever he turned or went he would be killed. He would leave Makkah in
order to preserve the respect of the house of God and not allow this respect to be
destroyed by having his blood spilled there. While on the way to Kufa and still a few
days' journey away from the city, he received news that the followers of Yazid in
Kufa had put to death the representative of the Imam in that city and also one of the
Imam's determined supporters who was a well-known man in Kufa.
Approximately seventy kilometers from Kufa, in a desert named Karbala, the Imam
and his entourage were surrounded by the army of Yazid. For eight days they stayed
in this spot during which the circle narrowed and the number of the enemy's army
increased. Finally the Imam, with his household and a small number of companions
were encircled by an army of thirty thousand soldiers.
On the tenth day of Muharram of the year 61/680 the Imam lined up before the
enemy with his small band of followers, less than ninety persons consisting of forty
of his companions, thirty some members of the army of the enemy that joined him
during the night and day of war, and his Hashimite family of children, brothers,
nephews, nieces and cousins. That day they fought from morning until their final
breath, the Imam, the young Hashimites and the companions were all martyred.
The army of the enemy, after ending the war, plundered the haram of the Imam and
burned his tents. They decapitated the bodies of the martyrs, denuded them and
threw them to the ground without burial. Then they moved the remaining members
of the family, all of whom were helpless women and girls, along with the heads of
the martyrs, to Kufa. Among the prisoners there were three male members: a
twenty-two year old son of Imam Hussain who was very ill and unable to move,
namely Hazrat Ali ibn Hussain, the fourth Imam; his four year old son, Hazrat
Muhammad ibn Ali, who became the fifth Imam.
The event of Karbala was a colossal crime that reminds us how the third Imam down
his life for the sake of Islam but refused to comprise on principles.
Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Husayn (38-95 AH)
He was known as al-Zayn al-'Abedin or the Crown amongst the worshippers. Hazrat
Imam Ali was the only son of Hazrat Imam Husayn to survive, for his other three
brothers Hazrat Ali Akbar, aged twenty-five, five year old Hazrat Ja'far and Hazrat Ali
Asghar (or 'Abdallah) who was a suckling baby were martyred during the event of
The Imam had also accompanied his father on the journey that terminated fatally in
Karbala, but because of severe illness and the inability to carry arms or participate in
fighting he was prevented from taking part in the holy war and being martyred. So
he was sent with the womenfolk to Damascus. After spending a period in
imprisonment he was sent with honour to Madinah because Yazid wanted to
conciliate public opinion. But for a second time, by the order of the Umayyad caliph,
'Abd al-Malik, he was chained and sent from Madinah to Damascus and then again
returned to Madinah.
The fourth Imam, upon returning to Madinah, retired from public life completely,
closed the door of his house to strangers and spent his time in worship. He was in
contact only with those seeking knowledge from him and other scholarly activities.
Among the works of the fourth Imam is a book called Sahifa al-Sajjadiyah. It consists
of fifty-seven prayers concerning the most sublime Divine sciences and is known as
"The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet."
The fourth Imam was poisoned by Walid ibn 'Abd al-Malik through the instigation of
the Umayyad caliph Hisham after thirty-five years of Imamate.
Hazrat Imam Muhammad ibn Ali (57 – 114 AH)
The Fifth Imam was given the title Baqir, meaning he who cuts and dissects. He was
just four years old at Karbala and thus escaped being murdered. After his father,
through Divine Command and the decree of those who went before him, he became
During the Imamate of the fifth Imam, due to revolts against the Umayyads, he and
his family were left alone somewhat and thus were able to pursue scholarly activities
Large numbers of people would come to Hazrat Imam Muhammad for spiritual and
In the year 114 AH he was martyred through poisoning by the nephew of Hisham,
the Umayyad caliph.
Hazrat Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad (83 – 148 AH)
The Sixth Imam was known as As-Sadiq, or the Truthful One. He was the son of the
fifth Imam and after the death of his father, became Imam by Divine Command and
decree of those who came before him.
During the Imamate of the sixth Imam greater possibilities and a more favourable
climate existed to propagate religious teachings. This came about as a result of
revolts against the Umayyads. For twenty years, he had a free hand for the
propagation of the true teachings of Islam and the sciences of the Household of the
He instructed many scholars in different fields of the intellectual and transmitted
sciences, such as Mu'min Taqi, Jabir ibn Hayyan, Sufyan Thawri and Abu Hanifah. It is
said that his classes and sessions of instruction produced four thousand scholars of
hadith and other sciences. The number of traditions preserved from the fifth and
sixth Imams is more than all the hadith that have been recorded from the Prophet
(sawas) and the other ten Imams combined.
The Imam was arrested several times by both Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, and
finally when he was released he spent the rest of his life in hiding in Madinah.
He too was poisoned and martyred through the intrigue of the Abbasid Caliph
Hazrat Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (128-183 AH)
The Seventh Imam, also known as Kazim, became Imam after the death of his father,
through Divine Command and the decree of his forefathers.
The seventh Imam was a contemporary of the Abbasid caliphs, Mansur, Hadi, Mahdi
and Harun. He lived in very difficult times and in hiding, until finally Harun went for
Hajj. In Madinah, he had the Imam arrested while praying in the Mosque of the
Prophet. He was chained and imprisoned, then taken from Madinah to Basra and
from Basra to Baghdad where for years he was transferred from one prison to
another. Finally he died in Baghdad in the Sindi ibn Shahak prison through poisoning
and was buried in the cemetery of the Quraysh which is now located in the city of
Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Musa (148-203 AH)
The Eight Imam was given the title of al-Ridha and was the son of the seventh Imam.
He was active in the scientific and scholarly debates that were popular at that time.
He followed the scholarly tradition as was befitting an Imam.
The period of his Imamate coincided with Mamun Abbasi. Mamun, in order to end
the conflict between the ruling class and the family of the Prophet, offered him the
caliphate and then the succession to the caliphate. The Imam, after much hesitation
and conditions, accepted the successorship.
But then Mamun had second thoughts and had the Imam poisoned and martyred.
The Imam was buried in the city of Tus in Iran, which is now called Mashhad.
Hazrat Imam Muhammad ibn Ali (196-220 AH)
The Ninth Imam was called Taqi and was the son of the eighth. He was born in
At the time of the death of his father he was in Madinah. Ma'mun called him to
Baghdad which was then the capital of the caliphate and outwardly showed him
much kindness. He even gave the Imam his daughter in marriage and kept him in
Baghdad. In reality he wanted to keep a close watch upon the Imam through his
daughter. The Imam spent some time in Baghdad and then with the consent of
Ma'mum set out for Madinah where he remained until Ma'mun's death.
In 220 AH, he was poisoned by his wife, the daughter of Ma'mun, at the instigation
of the Abbasid caliph Mu'tasim. He was buried next to his grandfather, the seventh
Imam, in Kazimayn
Hazrat Imam Ali ibn Muhammad Naqi (212-254 AH)
The Tenth Imam is also called Naqi and Hadi. He was the son of the ninth Imam. At
that time Ali ibn Muhammad Naqi was in Madinah. There he became the Imam
through Divine Command and the decree of the Imams before him. He stayed in
Madinah teaching religious sciences until the time of Mutawakkil, who was an ardent
but secret hater of the Imam and his family.
In 243 AH, Mutawakkil deceptively arranged for the Imam to come to visit him in
Samarrah, just to humiliate him. Throughout his caliphate, Mutawakkil spared no
chance to insult and harm the Imam and the members of the Prophet’s family.
In 254 AH, the tenth Imam too was poisoned and martyred by Mu'tazz the Abbasid
Hazrat Imam Hasan ibn Ali (232-260 AH)
The Eleventh Imam, also known as Hassan Al-Askari was the son of the tenth Imam,
and gained the Imamate after the death of his noble father, through Divine
Command and through the decree of the previous Imams.
During the seven years of his Imamate, due to untold restrictions placed upon him
by the caliphate, he lived in hiding and dissimulation (taqiyah). He did not have any
social contact with even the common people among the Shi'ite population. Only the
elite of the Shi'ah were able to see him. Even so, he spent most of his time in prison.
The caliph of the time had decided definitely to put an end to the Imamate in The
Followers of Ahlu Bayt through every possible means and to close the door to the
Imamate once and for all.
However, he still managed to train many scholars and intellectuals in his lifetime.
He was poisoned and martyred through instigation of the Abbasid caliph Mu'tamid.
Hazrat Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan (256 AH- )
The Twelfth Imam is the promised Mahdi, who is usually mentioned by his title of
Imam-i 'Asr (the Imam of the "Period") and Sahib al-Zaman (the Lord of the Age),
and is the son of the eleventh Imam.
He was born in Samarrah and until his father’s martyrdom, lived under his care and
tutelage. He was hidden from public view and only a few of the elite among the
Shi'ah were able to meet him. After the martyrdom of his father he became Imam
and by Divine Command went into occultation (ghaybat). Thereafter he appeared
only to his deputies and even then only in exceptional circumstances. Through these
special deputies he would answer the demands and questions of the Shi'ah.
But in 329 AH, he went into come occultation which will continue as long as God wills
it. However, he shall eventually return as per the prophecy of the Prophet to lead his
followers once again.
In the meantime, it is he who directs man's spiritual life and orients the inner aspect
of human action toward God: Clearly, his physical presence or absence has no effect
in this matter. The Imam watches over Shi’a inwardly and is in communion with the
soul and spirit of men even if he be hidden from their physical eyes. His existence is
always necessary even if the time has not as yet arrived for his outward appearance
and the universal reconstruction that he is to bring about.
The reappearance of the twelfth Imam is awaited by the Shi’ah and when he shall
return (as contained in many ahadith), he shall perform many great tasks and rid the
world of evil.