ANSERWED BY IMAM
On the commands of Allah Imam Mahdi is in occultation right from the commencement of his Imamat. Hence as compared to his forefathers his meetings with his Shias have been very few.The people present their problem before his esteemed self in the form of letters and areeza. An areeza is a letter of requests written by the Shias to the Imam of their time. The Imam has also reciprocated in a similar manner. The letters of Imam-e-Zaman(a.s) are also terminologically called as "Tawqee". These Tawqee's have been assimilated in several books.The answers to the questions mentioned below, have been given by Imam (a.s.) himself. These replies have been compiled from various letters that were sent to him (a.s.) in the course of his Occultation.
Q.1. Where do you live in these days of your occultation?
Ans Presently, we are living away from the settlements of the oppressors. Till such time that the reins of the worldly governments are in the hands of oppressors and tyrants, Allah has willed for us and for our Shias that I should live away from the people. However, we are cognizant of all your actions. At this point we are dwelling amidst some remote mountains. The place is surrounded by gardens. I am staying here because of the unbelievers. But very soon I will move to the plains that are not very far from the society.
Q.2. What is the reason for the Shias being involved in so many calamities and afflictions?
Ans. One of the reasons is that the Shias are perpetrating those actions which the people of the past avoided. These Shias have forgotten the covenant of Allah and have violated it.
"And had our guardianship and protection not been there, then the calamities would have surrounded you from all sides and destroyed you"
(This connotes that Imam (a.s.) nullifies most of the calamities with his existence. Else the plight of the Shias would have been most pitiable.)
Q.3. In these last days, what is the best mode of keeping one's self safe from evils and corruption?
Ans: Piety and abstinence. I pledge for the salvation of the one who does not desire any rank or position in any acts of evil and corruption.The believer who possesses the fear of Allah and is prompt in returning the people their dues, will be secure from the evils of the time. And the one who acts miserly in disseminating the bounties of Allah to the people, will be from among the losers on the Day of Judgement.
Q.4. What are our responsibilities in your occultation?
Ans : Perform those actions which bring you closer to our love and affection and refrain from all those actions that become the cause of our displeasure and dissatisfaction.
Q5. How is it possible to meet you?
Ans : If Ans: If our Shias (may Allah grant them the taufeeq of obedience) had been united in fulfilling the pledge, then certainly there would have been no delay in our meeting and they would have been graced with this opportunity several times. However, their actions are most unbecoming of Shias, and have kept them away from us.
Q.6. How can we disgrace and humiliate Shaitan?
Ans. Reciting namaz on the dot of time at its very outset (Awwal-e-Waqt) is a cause of disgrace for Shaitan.
Q.7. Can a person utilize for his personal use a thing which has been endowed (Waqf) for you
Ans : If the thing has been handed over to us then the person has no right over it -whether he needs that thing or not.
Q.8. What do you have to say about those people who use your things for their own personal benefits?
Ans : To use someone's belongings without his permission is prohibited. Hence the one who considers our money as permissible and usurps, has actually filling his stomach with fire and will surely be thrown in Hell.
Q.9. What will be the condition ofthe world and the Muslims before your reappearance?
Ans : Before our reappearance, the hearts of the people will become hard and full of injustice and inequality.
Q.10. Have you appointed anyone as your special deputy in Ghaibat-e Kubra?
Ans: 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-eKubra)
Q.11.Is the time of your reappearance decided? And does anyone have information about it?
Ans (The time of my) reappearance is in the hands of Allah. And anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.
Q.12.As you do not have a special representative in the major occultation, then who should we resort to for redressal of our religious problems?
Ans. You must refer (your questions) to the narrators of our traditions. We have appointed them as our proof (Hujj at) upon you.
Q.13.What is the reason for your occultation
Ans. Allah mentions in the Quran
DO not ask those things about which if you are told, you will not like it". (Surah Maidah: 101)
Q.14.Can the people derive benefit from you while you are in occultation?
Ans : 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.
Q.15.What is the reason for the sending of prophets (a.s.) and Imams (as )?
Ans. Allah has sent the Prophets (a.s.) and Imams (a.s.) 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.
Q.16. How should we test and disgrace those people who falsely claim the status of Imamat?
Ans : Ask them about the Quran and the practical tenets (Ahka~tm). Inquire from them about the laws governing namaz. You yourself will be able to gauge their authenticity.
Q.17. At any point of time can the earth ever remain devoid of the Proof of Allah (Huji at)?
Ans : The earth can never remain devoid of the "Hujjat" ofAllah - whether he is apparent and manifest or concealed and hidden.
Q.18. Are the Imams(a.s.) the creators as well as the sustainers (of the people)?
Ans : Imams (a.s.) pray to Allah and He creates and gives sustenance because of their supplications. Allah accepts their invocations and exalts their rank and status.
Q.19. To whom does Allah give guidance?
Ans : The one who desires guidance gets it from Allah. The one who endeavors for it, is bestowed with it.
Q.20. What are the responsibilities of the scholars (Ulema) towards the people?
Ans 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.
Q.21. Can we give preference to the needs of the relatives before the needs of others?
Ans Imam Moosa ibn Jafar (a.s.) says "If the relatives are in want then Allah does not (even) accept your sadqah"