Role of Intizar and responsibilities of those who await coming of Imam Mahdi (a.s.).
In the Name of God, The Compassionate, the Merciful
The Role of Intizar (Waiting for the Savior of Mankind) and
Responsibilities of Those Who Await the Coming of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Bright future and a world full of happiness is everyone’s expectation to have a calm and peaceful life. Since human beings settled on the planet, they have always had a desire for happy social life, free from sufferings and concerns. This is a psychological principle among all human beings and nations of the world despite all differences in language, ethnicity and religion.
The vital religion of Islam leads the innate instincts of mankind in a particular direction in order to move towards divine perfection and remain safe from the risk of corruptions. The phenomenon of waiting for a bright future and a better life, which leads to the growth of human beings continuously, is strongly advised and advocated in Islamic teachings. Islam gives glad tidings that the establishment of justice shall only come about through the rule of Islamic justice and global government of righteous rulers under the leadership of an infallible man.
Belief in the coming of a global reformer who will save the world from cruelty, oppression, and discrimination and invite all human beings to justice is a matter in common, on which all religions including Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Muslims unanimously agree.
The name of that universal savior and reformer is Mahdi among Muslims; therefore, this thought is called Mahdism.
The culture and idea of Mahdism is not limited to Shia school of thought. All Islamic sects and denominations believe in such an idea. The topic of Mahdism is a pivotal matter among all Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions. Therefore, it can be a good cause to bring together the followers of all religions under a single flag and change the future of humanity and the whole world in different cultural, political, social, and educational aspects.
The issue of Mahdism and Intizar (awaiting the coming of Imam Mahdi) has a special status in the Ahlulbayt school of thought. It may be discussed in different aspects and can solve many of today problems in human societies if elaborated with an up-to-date language and a fair and understandable method.
Intizar from the Viewpoint of Islamic Narratives
In addition to Quranic verses, there are too many hadiths and narratives issued by the Holy Prophet and Infallible Imams in Islamic sources concerning Intizar and preparing the ground for coming of Imam Mahdi and establishment of global justice.
These hadiths may be categorized as follows:
1. Spiritual value and importance of Intizar
2. The culture of Intizar; and resistance and patience against hardships and sufferings
3. Intizar; and making efforts along with good morals and avoiding sins
4. Duties and responsibilities of awaiting individuals and communities towards the Imam
5. Rewards for those who await the coming of Imam Mahdi
The Importance and Spiritual Value of Intizar
Expecting the advent of Imam Mahdi is a virtuous act from Islamic point of view.
The Holy Prophet of Islam said: The best act of my followers is to wait for Faraj (coming of Imam Mahdi).
Hope for a bright future gives power and meaning to human’s life and helps him continue his life with diligence, steadfastness and strength.
The Prophet of Islam also said: Waiting for Faraj patiently is considered a ritual act (Ibada).
Duties and Responsibilities of People Who are Awaiting Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) quotes the great Prophet of Islam as saying to his companions: Soon after you will come a group whose reward is equal to fifty of you. The companions said: We have fought in wars against the enemies of Islam, and the Holy Quran was revealed unto you at our time! How is it that they will be superior to us despite all our honor and glory?! The Holy Prophet (s.a.) replied: If you encounter the problems that they will endure, you will not have patience and resistance as they will have.
One of the main goals of Imam Mahdi’s revolution is to eradicate corruption and promote justice all over the world. He comes to eliminate evil from the earth. He comes to remove oppression and build up a great revolution.
His revolution shall not be coincidental. He has got a planned revolution and government. His knowledge is superior to all and he has the highest authority over all powers. His followers, too, must have a significant role in contributing to his revolution; and prepare themselves with the weapon of knowledge, piety, and soul-purification. The awaiting people should enjoin the good and forbid the evil in order to pave the way for his rule.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) describes the characteristics of Imam Mahdi’s companions as such: “Anyone who desires to be among the companions of Imam Mahdi must (sincerely) be among those who await him. They should be pious and adhere to good morals.”
Those who want to prepare the ground for coming of Imam Mahdi must behave in such a way to deserve being among his companions. They should be righteous and dutiful in all dimensions of life to prove their merit. They should have a constructive role in all aspects of their lives; and must wait honestly and patiently for coming of the Imam.
It would not be rational for a person who is waiting for peace, purity, and justice to be violent, impure, and unjust himself. The heart, mind, behavior, and words of such a person must testify that he is truly waiting for the Imam who will establish peace and justice.
There is a hadith from Imam Mahdi: “All of you must endeavor to have deeper love and affinity towards us.” Undoubtedly, the love for Imam of our time shall be a compelling and persuasive source to prepare the ground for love and affinity towards Almighty Allah.
Reaching the peak of spirituality and closeness to God shall not be attained without loving the Ahlulbayt.
It is fully clear that the awaited savior (Imam Mahdi) will act justly according to divine laws. So, if we want to be prepared for living at his time, we must lend a hand to him by enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. This would be a great contribution to his global revolution.
Imam Sadeq (a.s.) considers piety and religiousness among the responsibilities of Imam Mahdi’s companions: “He (Imam Mahdi) shall be occulted for a long time, during which all people must keep their piety and adhere to religious teachings.”
Today, all Muslims and advocates of justice around the world must stick to the Savior of mankind as a perfect role model; and hasten to help the oppressed people in Yemen, Palestine, Myanmar, Bahrain, Syria and other regions. We must save them from the crimes of arrogant powers and evil forces including the United States, Zionists, their Western allies, and some of the Arab states.
The enemies of Islam seek to confront the idea of Mahdism. They are trying to distort the dynamic culture of Mahdism by presenting controversial discussions, casting doubts, and introducing fake examples of the Last Savior. Therefore, it is a heavy task on the shoulders of all those who care for Islam to enlighten people of the world about the idea of Mahdism methodically through appropriate and practical ways, and introduce it as a pivotal element which is unanimously agreed upon by all Islamic denominations and other divine religions.
It is my hope that Almighty God will grant all the enthusiasts and lovers of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) the opportunity to take lessons from the culture of Intizar, and strengthen the spirit of responsibility and endurance for the cause of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) among his devotees.
May Allah, the Almighty, grace us to be alive at the time of reappearance of Imam Mahdi, the beloved son of Holy Fatima (s.a.) … Amen!
29 April 2018