Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Power)

Laylat al-Qadr is the night of Imam Mahdi (PBUH) on which angels are sent down on him and present the destiny of affairs to him. The infallible leaders have said while interpreting the Surah of Qadr: “On this night, angels bring the destiny of one year to the Absolute Guardian of the Time, present it and hand it over to him.”

(The book “al-Kafi”, the book “al-Hujjah”)


The features of the Minor Occultation era

1- It was a short period and lasted almost 70 years.

2- Imam Mahdi (PBUH) was not totally hidden during this era, but he was in contact with his Special Deputies and sometimes these Deputies made appointments for people.*1

3- Imam Mahdi (PBUH) had 4 Deputies during this era that he himself appointed every single one of them and other representatives were chosen by these four ones. After this period, there is no particular person as his special Deputy but everyone who is qualified (like Islamic Jurists) can be his General Deputy.

4- It was possible for some people to see Imam and recognize him during the Minor Occultation era, but in the Major Occultation era no one sees him or if someone does, would not recognize him.*2 If some special ones do see and recognize him, they are not allowed to tell people except by Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) permission.

( 1-Al-Ghayba al-Tusi, p. 216; 2- Pazuheshi piramun-e zendegi-e nuvvab-e khas-e Imam Mahdi (A research on Imam Mahdi's (PBUH) Special Deputies lives), Ghaffar Zadeh, p.33 )


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The overall review of the narrations about Imam Mahdi (PBUH)

91 Hadiths: “The number of Imams is twelve, the 1st one is Imam Ali (PBUH) and the last one is Imam Mahdi (PBUH).” And 47 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) has the same name and kunia (a title containing name of the first-born offspring) as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

389 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).”

214 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Ali (PBUH).”

192 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Lady Fatimah (PBUH).”

148 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Hussain (PBUH).”

185 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Sajjad (PBUH).”

103 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Baqir (PBUH).”

103 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Sadiq (PBUH).”

99 Hadiths: “He is the sixth descendant of Imam Sadiq (PBUH).”

101 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (PBUH).”

95 Hadiths: “He is the fourth descendant of Imam Reza (PBUH).”

90 Hadiths: “He is the third descendant of Imam Jawad (PBUH).”

90 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is from the descendants of Imam Hadi (PBUH).”

145 Hadiths: “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is the son of Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH).”

148 Hadiths: “The name of Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) father is Imam Hassan Askari (PBUH).”

(Muntakhab al-Athar, written by Ayatollah Safi)


The Special Deputies or the Four Deputies

During the Minor Occultation, although Imam Mahdi (PBUH) was hidden from sights, four people were in contact with him, who are as follows respectively:

1- Abu Amr, Uthman ibn Sae’id Amri

2- Abu Ja’afar, Muhammad ibn Uthman Amri

3- Abu al-Qasim, Hussan ibn Ruh Nawbakhti 

4- Abu al-Hasan, Ali ibn Muhammad Samarri 

These four people were intermediaries between Imam Mahdi (PBUH) and the people and they delivered letters and talks of the Shias to him and their responses were issued by Imam Mahdi (PBUH) as Twqi'es (epistle). Sometimes, of course, a group of people went to visit Imam with these deputies.

The most important duties of the Four Deputies were: 1. Hiding the name and the location of Imam Mahdi (PBUH). 2. Collecting and distributing the property belonging to the Imam. 3. Answering the jurisprudential questions and ideological problems of the people. 4. Fighting fake pretenders of the deputation of Imam Mahdi (PBUH).


The fame of Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) Occultation

The story of the Occultation of the promised Mahdi and the twelfth Imam was mentioned to Muslims by the prophet of Islam and Imam Ali (PBUH) and other Imams and it was so famous and known since the Early Islamic Era that a group of scientists and narrators wrote many books on the Occultation and stated hadiths about the promised Mahdi and his Occultation in these books before Imam Mahdi’s (PBUH) birth and even before his father’s and his grandfather’s birth. For example:

1. Ali ibn Hassan ibn Muhammad Taei Taheri, of the companions of Imam Kadhim (PBUH), 2. Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Hamzah who has lived in the era of Imam Reza (PBUH), 3. Fadl ibn Shadhan Neyshaburi who was of the companions of Imam Hadi (PBUH) and Imam Askari (PBUH)…

Where are those who still doubt his Occultation…


The Treaty

From the very beginning of the Reappearance

Imam Mahdi (PBUH) get his special 313 companions commit that they should:

never steal; never commit adultery; never punish anybody unfairly and illegally; never cuss a Muslim; never ruin someone’s reputation; never kill anybody without a trial and illegally; never embezzle an orphan’s money & property; never store gold, silver; wheat and barley; never testify something that you’re not sure about; never demolish a mosque; never drink inebriant drinks; never wear silk, never block other’s passage; never be homosexual; stay satisfied with little; order for good deeds; support purity; consider soil as your pillow; stay ready for Jihad in God`s path…

The interesting fact is that Imam Mahdi (PBUH) himself finally signs these commitments.

( Monthakhab Al-Athar/page 469)

(However; there are some scholars who believe that the authenticity of this narration is under question)

A Question?  In your point of view; considering that these people are especial people, why does the Imam take such commitments from them?


The peacock of the people of paradise

It is told about Imam Mahdi (PBUH):

 “Imam Mahdi (PBUH) is the peacock of the people of paradise; His face is as shiny as the moon and it seems he is wearing clothes made by light.”

( Munataha al-Amaal, v. 2, p. 481.)

We read in a part of Ahd prayers:

اللهم ارنی الطلعه الرشیده و الغره الحمیده و اکحل ناظری بنظره منی الیه

Meaning: “O Allah show me that valor mien and shiny praiseworthy forehead and apply the kohl of his visit to my eyes by a glance.”


The dignity of the night of 15th of Shaban

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: “No baby is born on the same night when our Qa’im (Imam Mahdi) (PBUH) was born, unless he/she will be a true believer. If he/she is born in the non-Muslim countries, God will guide him/her towards faith for the sake of of Imam Mahdi’s blessing (PBUH).”

 (Tozih al-Maqased, Sheikh Baha’i, page 532 )

According to some narrations, the night of 15th of Shaban is the same Qadr night in which the aliment and lifespan are ordained. Some narrations say that the 15th of Shaban is the Imams’ night and the Qadr night belongs to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

One of the dignities of this night is that it is one of those special nights to salute Imam Hussein’s (PBUH) shrine as hundred thousand prophets make a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s (PBUH) shrine on this night. The special prayer of this night is two-rak’at prayer that in each rak’at, you should recite sura Al-Fatiha once and then recite 100 times sura Al-Ikhlas.

(Bihar al-Anwar, volume 51, page 322)


Imamate in childhood

Imam Mahdi (PBUH) achieved Imamate and attained this great responsibility when he was 5 years old. So now, was this issue exceptional or normal?

In belief of us, the Shias, prophecy and imamate in young ages has other example too. For example in Quran in 12th and 29th verses of Surah Maryam (Mary), Jesus’ (PBUH) and Yahya’s (PBUH) prophethood in young ages are mentioned. This shows that in the heritage of divine messengers, the subject of leadership in childhood is not and has not been a newly appeared phenomenon. Also among Ahl Al-Bayt, Imam Jawad (PBUH) and Imam Hadi (PBUT) had attained Imamate in childhood as well.

The source of all these problems is that we have compared Imam with others and do not believe in any special privilege for him. We should not compare Imam with other ordinary people and apply their rules on him. From the beginning, Imam has been under Allah's special attention and his wisdom has become complete, so he would be able to lead the others towards perfection.


Source: Mahdiaran Channel (@Mahdiaran);