Story No. 471 – Allah’s Caliph on Earth Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman]
On Friday morning, as a weekly custom Ahmad got out of his house and went to the public library, which was near to his house. When he arrived there, he saw Uncle Jamil who was in charge of the library was giving water to the flowers in the garden of the library. “As Salaam Alaikum Uncle Jamil” Ahmad said. Uncle Jamil replied: Wa Alaikum Salaam Ahmad, what a nice weather, isn’t it?
Ahmad: Beautiful flowers. Uncle Jamil said: I expected your presence today.
Ahmad: Uncle Jamil, you know that today is Friday and it is my holiday in the week, and it is a time for my extracurricular activities and hobbies.
Uncle Jamil: But you came early this time.
Ahmad: I have finished my homework.
Uncle Jamil: well, I have finished giving water to the flowers. Come with me inside the library to see what are the new stories, which you are going to choose this time.
Ahmad: No, I am sorry Uncle Jamil, I don’t like reading stories right now.
Uncle Jamil: Why not?
Ahmad: This time, I would like to read some books about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman]
Uncle Jamil: What a sudden change it is.
Ahmad: My father asked me to get a little more information about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman], and I need your assistance on this subject.
Uncle Jamil: Nice project, I am ready for help.
Ahmad: It is a big favour from you Uncle Jamil
Uncle Jamil: Well, come with me to this side of the library and look at the shelves.
Imam al-Mahdi’s publicationsAhmad: What do they contain?
Uncle Jamil: There are all the books which you need about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman].
Ahmad: There are a great number of them! How didn’t I pay attention to these books?
Uncle Jamil: Look at this group of books. These are ancient. These were written about one thousand years ago, like this book (Ekmal al-Din Wa Etmam al-Nimah) and it is one of the most important books about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman]. It was written by Sheikh al-Sadooq and this is the Gaibah book which was written by Sheikh al-Toosi which is about the occultation of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman], and this is (al-Najm al-Thaqeb) book. It is one of the most wonderful books about the hidden Imam al-Mahdi (as), and these shelves contain the specialist studies center of Imam al-Mahdi’s publications.
Ahmad: what? A special foundation about Imam al-Mahdi (as)?
Uncle Jamil: Yes my dear, this foundation publishes everything about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman].
Ahmad: Great project!
Uncle Jamil: Now, I can’t stay here anymore, because there are some readers in the library. I can let you choose the books that you want to read. I will comeback later, good luck.
Ahmad: Thank you.
Uncle Jamil: Not at all, you have not to lose any chance.
Ahmad: Well, from where should I start? Probably I can find something in this shelf. Oh my God! I couldn’t imagine that I can find this large number of books. I’m going to take this group, they are enough for now. I have to find an easy seat for researching.
Uncle Jamil: What’s up? What’s the matter with you Ahmad? Two hours were gone and I see you that you are putting your hand on your cheek. What are these books, which are in front of you?
Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) deputy of Allah (SWT)Ahmad: I am confused and I don’t know what I should do?
Uncle Jamil: Well, first tell me what are you looking up? Probably I can help you.
Ahmad: I was looking up an answer for a question, which I wrote it in my notebook, but I couldn’t find the answer. I am disappointed.
Uncle Jamil: It’s clear that you made yourself tired.
Ahmad: That’s right, but I still have some hopes.
Uncle Jamil: That’s good.
Ahmad: When my father asked me to make a research about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman], my grandfather suggested a way to complete this mission successfully, and the way is to write down all the questions in my mind in this notebook, and then I look up them one by one.
Uncle Jamil: Good idea.
Ahmad: But I looked up these books and I couldn’t find a suitable answer for my question.
Uncle Jamil: well, I can help you. What’s the question?
Ahmad: The question is: why do we look for Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman] himself. Isn’t there anybody else?
Uncle Jamil: It’s a nice and interesting question. It is a proof that you think well and accurate.
Ahmad: Thank you sir.
Uncle Jamil: We are looking for the hidden Imam, Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman] because he is the only Allah’s caliph on the earth.
Ahmad: What do you mean that he is the Allah’s caliph?
Uncle Jamil: First you have to know the meaning of caliph, then you have to know, why Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman] is called with this name.
Imam al-Mahdi, Sahib uz Zaman (p.b.u.h)Ahmad: So, what does it mean?
Uncle Jamil: The meaning of caliph is the deputy of another, so caliph is an agent. I’m going to give you an example.
Ahmad: All right.
Uncle Jamil: When your father had traveled, of course he put a person who does your father’s works in buying some necessary things for home or to solve the problems and to manage the works at home as well as possible.
Ahmad: Yes, my older brother Sayyed is in charge of the house when my father is not at home.
Uncle Jamil: So we can say that your brother Sayyed is your father’s caliph at home. I’ll give you another example: In the school, you study, and the manager of the school is in charge of the school, so he is the caliph of the manager of the education office in the province. He manages the school by the instructions of the manager of the education office and so am I. I work in this library as the caliph of the responsible in the town hall, and any other place which contains manager.
Ahmad: but how can Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman] be the deputy of Allah (SWT)?
Uncle Jamil: Well Ahmad, I ask you to answer these questions to find the solution from your answers.
Ahmad: What are these questions?
Uncle Jamil: The first question is: Who had created us?
Ahmad: Allah (SWT) is our creator.
Uncle Jamil: So, did he create us for nothing?
Ahmad: Of course not.
Uncle Jamil: So, Allah (SWT) didn’t create us for nothing, because he is an adviser. It means that Allah (SWT) created us for a purpose.
Ahmad: What is that purpose?
Uncle Jamil: Allah’s purpose of creating the human beings is worshiping him. Allah (SWT) stated in Noble Qur’an (I did not create the Jinn and mankind except to worship Me, 51:56), so that we have to know how to worship Allah (SWT) in a right way.
Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h)Ahmad: How do we know that?
Uncle Jamil: So we need somebody to teach us how to worship correctly and to tell us Allah’s orders, instructions, and he should have some special characters.
Ahmad: What are these characteristics?
Uncle Jamil: He should not make mistakes, because if he does any mistakes, how can we be sure that he is telling Allah’s orders correctly?
Ahmad: This is the first one.
Uncle Jamil: He should not make any sin, because how can we obey a person who makes some sins, which are prohibited, for us?
Ahmad: This is the second one.
Uncle Jamil: He should not forget anything, because if he is a forgetful man, how can he tell Allah’s instructions correctly? Is it right to say: I forgot to tell you this order.
Ahmad: Of course it is impossible.
Uncle Jamil: So, it means that we need a person who has above mentioned all the characters, which we call them, the infallible (al-Ismah).
Ahmad: So, the meaning of the chaste Imam is who has these characters.
Uncle Jamil: Yes Ahmad, so as not to fall in a wrong worshipping way of Allah (SWT), the person who tells us Allah’s instructions should be chaste to be our guide, and this chaste man should be chosen by Allah (SWT) himself, because Allah (SWT) is the most aware one, who knows the person who is suitable for leading the human beings and to be their guide.
Ahmad: Do you mean that the Imam should be chosen by Allah (SWT) like the prophets?
Uncle Jamil: Yes my dear. Allah (SWT) chooses his caliphs, therefore Allah (SWT) told the angles (I am going to put a caliph on the earth) and the phrase “I am” means that I will choose a caliph for the earth, because I know it all and the prophets are Allah’s caliph on the earth, the first one is Prophet Adam(p.b.u.h.) and the last one is our Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) and after him, the chaste Imams, the first one is Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (p.b.u.h.) and the last Imam is Imam al-Mahdi, Sahib uz Zaman (p.b.u.h), so we can not be without a chaste Imam.
Ahmad: Why can’t we be without a chaste Imam?
Uncle Jamil: I will give you an example: Every day you go to school to learn.
Ahmad: That’s right.
Uncle Jamil: Let’s guess that there is no teacher in the school, so can we say that Ahmad goes to school for learning?
Ya Sahib uz ZamanAhmad: Absolutely not.
Uncle Jamil: The same as for the human beings. We need a teacher to teach us how to worship Allah (SWT) and to guide us to the right behavior. Therefore, this teacher is a connection between Allah (SWT) and us. He is the Allah’s (SWT) deputy.
Ahmad: I have another question Uncle Jamil.
Uncle Jamil: Go ahead Ahmad. What is that question?
Ahmad: You said that the Prophets and the Imams are Allah’s caliph on the earth, so what is the difference between our Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) and our twelve Imams (p.b.u.t.)?
Uncle Jamil: Nice question Ahmad. The prophet is the leader of people in their religion and their life action, directly from Allah (SWT) without any connective things. I mean, Allah (SWT) sends him to the human beings directly, but the Imam is the leader of people in their religion and life actions by the way of the Prophet. I mean that Allah (SWT) chooses the Imam and the Prophet should introduce him to the human beings, therefore Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) is the introducer of the twelve Imams.
Ahmad: I don’t know how to thank you Uncle Jamil. Your answer was sufficient and clear.
Uncle Jamil: Not at all; I will give you a gift. The gift is a book about Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (p.b.u.h) [Ya Sahib uz Zaman].
Ahmad: how proud I am of this nice gift.