Story No. 470 – Hidden Imam: Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance)
Ahmed had sat sadly in his room and he has been thinking about what his father has said before his traveling. He has felt a kind of disappointment for the first time in spite of the fact that he has been known of his intelligence, and he has asked himself: “can I succeed to prove to my father that my love to Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) is very tremendous, or let my sister Huda be better than me in showing her love to the hidden Imam? Then he retired to his bed, suddenly he has heard light knocks on his door.
Ahmed: come, please. Suddenly, an old man has entered with a great charisma; Ahmed has stood and greeted him.
Grandfather: While I have passed near your room, I have seen your light has not switched off; therefore, I have wondered about that, and I have said in myself, Ahmed has forgotten to switch off his light before he has retired to his bed.
Ahmed: No, my grandfather, I was unable to sleep.
Grandfather: Why my son?
Ahmed: My mind was busy with my father speech.
Grandfather: I wish that everything is good.
Ahmed: First of all, have a seat my grandfather.
Grandfather: I am sitting now “tell me what you have heard from your father?”
Ahmed: Our father has said to us.
Father: If you love Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) as you say, you have to know about him more, because who love certain person, he has to know everything about his beloved, and love will increase according to knowledge. And this is a chance you can prove your ability and intelligence during my traveling; therefore, you have to try to get information about Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance), and who get new and further information I will give him a very valuable present.
Grandfather: What is wrong with that? O! It is a good matter, Ahmed.
Ahmed: That is true my grandfather, but?
Grandfather: but, what?
Ahmed: I have felt a kind of disappointment, because my information is very little, and this means that my love towards Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) is limited.
Grandfather: You have to be patience and courageous, and this is a chance for you to prove your ability and intelligence and you have to go step by step in collecting information, and gradually you will get further information. In this way your love for Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) will be more.
Hidden Imam: Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance)Ahmed: And how can I get a lot of information, my grandfather?
Grandfather: First, you have to think, and then you have to ask lot about what you think about. And after that you have to record what you have got in a private book.
Ahmed: That is right, but I am afraid that my sister Huda will be better than me in this matter.
Grandfather: The competition is something good in this matter; you have to get the first step; you have to think quietly, then you can ask about matters which you do not know and I will be ready to answer any question you want to ask.
Ahmed: So I have to start from the beginning and the first question comes to my mind “why do we call Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) the hidden Imam? And why he is hidden?
Grandfather: This is a nice and good question, but you have to know the meaning of the word “hidden”.
Ahmed: I think “hidden” means that it can not be seen by our eyes.
Grandfather: Ahmed, that is right. But many people may see Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance), but they can not recognize him.
Ahmed: So he is not hidden.
Grandfather: If he is not hidden, why can we not see him?
Ahmed: I don’t know.
Grandfather: Ahmed, I will tell you, he is called the hidden Imam, because his personality cannot be identified but as a person he is surely existed.
Ahmed: I can not understand what you say my grandfather.
Grandfather: I will explain for you my dear in a very simple and brief manner; let us suppose that you enter to the school hall and you find in it thousands of children and one of them is called Saeed and you do not know him, in this way “can you recognize him, my dear?”
Ahmed: Surely, I can not recognize him among them.
Grandfather: So the person who is called Saeed is existed between them, and this is what I mean that he is existed as a person, but his feature is unrecognizable.
Hidden Imam, because his personality cannot be identifiedAhmed: I understand this phrase.
Grandfather: We may be unable to recognize him among others, this means that his name and feature is unknown to others.
Ahmed: Now I know the meaning of the “hidden”, it means that he is existed as a person and may be our eyes can see him but we can not recognize his feature as Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance), because his identity is unknown.
Grandfather: Ahmed, that is good.
Ahmed: The second part of the question is remained.
Grandfather: Yes dear, do you want to know “why does Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) disappear and people can not see him?”
Ahmed: Yes, my grandfather.
Grandfather: I will narrate for you certain tale and you can get the sufficient answer.
Ahmed: Surely, I am very eager to hear you.
Grandfather: I have lived in a very small and beautiful village, and this village is surrounded by trees and hills in everywhere. And this village has one way that people using it to reach the town, and at that time I has been very little boy. One day, the manager of the municipality decided to erect electric pole in the middle of the town and making very large lamp to enlighten the way to people, so the people have become very glad; and I remember that we gather in that night around the electric pole and we play and get fun under that lamp. But their happiness never last long.
Grandfather: There have been some thieves and agitators in the village; they break the lamp at night.
Ahmed: O! Allah, why do they do that?
Grandfather: They have been stolen chickens and animals, and they do that in order not to be seen by any one.
lamps of the earth, (twelve Imams)Ahmed: What happen after that?
Grandfather: Next day, the municipality has replaced the broken lamp with another one, but they break the new lamp again; so the manager of the municipality has asked the villagers to guard the electric lamp.
Ahmed: Do the villagers response positively?
Grandfather: Yes, at the beginning; but they gradually felt a kind of boredom, and the thieves have decided to use the chance to break the lamp. This situation has continued, and the lamp has broken for eleven times. Therefore, the municipality has determined to prevent putting new lamps, in order to oblige the villagers to guard the lamp from the thieves. Since the municipality has declared the decision, the village ways have remained in a complete darkness, because the villagers have given up guarding the lamp from thieves.
Ahmed: I think you tell me this tale to mention that human beings do not benefit from these lamps of the earth, (twelve Imams), so they dear to kill Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (peace be upon him) and his infallible Imams, his sons.
Grandfather: Yes, my son. Therefore; people live in a kind of darkness and Allah (SWT) has ordered Al-Imam Al-Mahdi (May Allah hastens his gracious appearance) to hide himself until his followers be ready to undertake the responsibility, so Allah (SWT) will give him the permission to appear.
Ahmed: Thank you my grandfather to give me these valuable information and I will record everything in my private copybook.
Grandfather: Now, you have to sleep swiftly to be able to pray the dawn prayer.
Ahmed: Good night my grandfather.