The Answers to the Questions mentioned below, have been given by Imam Mahdi(AS) himself. These replies have been compiled from various letters that were sent to him (AS) in the course of his Ghaibat. To that extent the letters of Imam (AS) constitute “half a meeting” with him.
Hadhrat Ayatollah Sayyed Hasan Shirazi (may Allah purify his soul) has compiled these letters in a book by the name of “Kalemat al-Imam al-Mahdi”. This single book contains all the letters of Imam (AS) which are found in different books.
Part 2: (Qs. 21 to 44)
Question 21. What do you have to say about people like Shalmagani, Sharaei, Nomairi and Abu Khatab who had falsely claimed the status of being your special deputies?
Answer: We announce our disapproval of them and we distance ourselves from such people and also from their followers. We also send our curse on them.
Question 22. What will be the condition of the world and the Muslims before your reappearance?
Answer: Before our reappearance, the hearts of the people will become hard and the world will be full of injustice and inequality.
Question 23. Have you appointed anyone as your special deputy in Ghaibat al-Kobra?
Answer: Before the rising of Sufyani and before the hearing of the voice from the sky, anyone who claims that he can meet me (at will) is a liar and a malicious person. (There is no special representative in Ghaibat al-Kobra)
Question 24. Will those Sayyeds (descendants of the Prophet (S) who deny your Imamat get salvation?
Answer: Allah does not have any exclusive relation with anyone ( i.e. no one is special in front of Allah). If someone denies our Imamat then he is not from us. His example is like the example of Hadhrat Nuh’s (AS) son.
Question 25. Is the time of your reappearance decided? And does anyone have information about it?
Answer: (The time of my) reappearance is in the hands of Allah. And anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.
Question 26. As you do not have a special representative in the major occultation, then who should we resort to for redressal of our religious problems?
Answer: You must refer (your Questions) to the narrators of our traditions. We have appointed them as our proof (Hojjat) upon you.
Question 27. What is the reason for your occultation?
Answer: Allah mentions in the Qor’an
“Do not ask those things about which if your are told, you will not like it”. (Surah Maidah, Verse 101)
Question 28. When will your occultation end and will you reappear?
Answer: Do not inquire about those things that will not benefit you. And don’t ask Question s about matters that are not your responsibility.
Question 29. Is it necessary to pay khoms? And is there some particular way in which it should be paid?
Answer: We accept your wealth only with this intention that you should be purified. Otherwise, whatever Allah has bestowed on us is far superior than what He has given you.
Question 30. Can the people derive benefit from you while you are in occultation?
Answer: The people can derive benefit from me in my occultation just as they derive benefit from the sun when it is concealed behind the clouds.
Question 31. What are the characteristics and the status of Allah’s guides?
Answer: Allah has protected them from all kinds of sins and purified them from all kinds of defects and has made them clean from all sorts of vices. He has appointed them as the treasurers of His knowledge and the custodiAnswer of His wisdom. He has made them the focal point of His secrets and has strengthened them with proofs. If all this had not been there then every person would have claimed (this position) and it would not have been possible to discern truth from falsehood. And knowledge would not be distinct from ignorance.
Question 32. What is the reason for the sending of Prophets (AS) and Imams (AS)?
Answer: Allah has sent the Prophets (AS) and Imams (AS) so that they should command the people towards His obedience and refrain them from rebelliousness, and inform the people about Allah and about the tenets of His religion.
Question 33. How should we test and disgrace those people who falsely claim the status of Imamat?
Answer: Ask them about the Qor’an and the practical tenets (Ahkaam). Inquire from them about the laws governing Salat. You yourself will be able to gauge their authenticity.
Question 34. At any point of time can the earth ever remain devoid of the Proof of Allah (Hojjat)?
Answer: The earth can never remain devoid of the “Hojjat” of Allah – whether he is apparent and manifest or concealed and hidden.
Question 35. Who is the Imam after Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS)?
Answer: Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS) has appointed that person as his successor and vicegerent whom Allah has kept in occultation. (i.e. he only is your Imam)
Question 36. Are the Imams(AS) the creators as well as the sustainers (of the people)?
Answer: Imams (AS) pray to Allah and He creates and gives sustenance because of their supplications. Allah accepts their invocations and exalts their rank and status.
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Question 37. Till when can a person pray for a son?
Answer: A person should pray for a son till the fourth month of pregnancy.
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Question 38. Can a person take your name in general public meetings or gatherings?
Answer: If you publicise our name, they (the enemies) will make it widespread. If you tell them about our place they will try to reach there.
The one who takes our name in an assembly is accursed.
(Please note, Hadhrat, Hojjat, Wali al-Asr, Baqiyatollah, Imam az-Zaman, Mahdi etc. are the titles of Imam (AS) and not his name).
Question 39. What is the status and position of the narrators of traditions?
Answer: Have you not read the saying of Allah in which He says,
“And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed , other towns which can be easily seen …” (Surat as-Saba, Verse 17)
I swear by Allah, we are those towns, which Allah has blessed, and you are the towns that are apparent.
Question 40. To whom does Allah give guidance?
Answer: The one who desires guidance gets it from Allah. The one who endeavors for it, is bestowed with it.
Question 41. Is it proper to search for you?
Answer: The one who struggles and strives too much for searching me will (in fact) direct the enemies towards me. And the one who guides the enemies towards me has endangered my life. And the one who puts my life in danger is a polytheist.
Question 42. What are the responsibilities of the scholars (Ulamah) towards the people?
Answer: They should meet the people with humility, and fulfill the needs of the people. They should be accessible. We will help them in this regard.
Question 43. Can we give preference to the needs of the relatives before the needs of others?
Answer: Imam Mousa ibn Jaafar (AS) says “If the relatives are in want then Allah does not (even) accept your sadaqah”
Question 44. But what if we have already made the intention of helping someone else?
Answer: Distribute the money among both the parties so that you get the maximum reward.