The belief in the ultimate victory of the front of peace, justice and right over the front of wrong, opposition and atrocity as well as the complete and full-scale achievement of human values along with establishing a utopia and an ideal society and finally the implementation of this public and human idea by a Holy and Grand figure who has been named as the Apocalyptic Savior in all Divine Books is a belief in which more or less all religions and sects with their differences and distinctions believe.
This belief, in principle, is rooted in Divine Books. The Holy Quran has heralded with complete certainty of the ultimate victory of faith and monotheism, the certain victory of the righteous and the faithful, the permanent downfall of tyrants and the brilliant and blissful future of humans.
This belief more than anything else contains the essence of optimism toward the general order of the nature, the evolutional cycle of history and certainty about future and refutes the essence of pessimism toward the end of humans which based on many theories and hypotheses is very dark and incomplete.
Mahdism from a faithful viewpoint
Undoubtedly, “faith” is the main backbone of a human’s characteristics which forms the actions and behavior of him that’s why divine prophets strove to modify humans’ beliefs. In Islam, people are invited to believe in God and his prophets as well as the last of them- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his successors after him.
And Imam Mahdi (A.J.) is the last successor of Prophet Muhammad and each Muslim must accept his Imamate after getting to know him and be obedient to him. He is the last divine leader and is the same Savior of Mankind in the apocalypse as his return and Reappearance is indicated in Islamic and non-Islamic books.
In religious texts, knowing the Imam and following him has a special importance and is introduced as the felicity of this world and the afterworld:
The Holy Quran says:
“The day We shall summon every group of people with their imam” (17:71).
And the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) says:
“Anyone who dies while he has not known the Imam of his era has died as if he had been pagan.” (Kamal al-din wa tamam al-ni’ma, vol.2, Hadith 9, p.409)
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The truth of Awaiting and its importance
Different meanings have been considered for “awaiting”, however, with a little attention and thought to this word the real meaning can be realized. “Awaiting is expecting something and this will be of value based on its background and field and has effects and aftermaths. Awaiting is not only a spiritual or an internal state; but rather it transmits from inside to outside and it generates movement and action. That is why “awaiting” in narrations is introduced as an action and of course one of the best actions. “Awaiting” forms the “awaiting person” and gives a special direction to his efforts and actions.
Therefore, “awaiting” does not conform with sitting back. Awaiting does not finish by staring at the door and regretting but rather awaiting is hidden in action, joy and emotion. He who is waiting for a dear guest feels very happy and tries to prepare himself and everything for the coming of his guest and removes the obstacles for his coming.
But today, talking about “awaiting a unique event” which while is very beautiful and perfect has no end. Awaiting an era which is very green and exuberant and has no precedence in the past and the world has not experienced such a beautiful era. This is the same awaiting for the universal government of Imam Mahdi (A.J.) which has been named as “awaiting the Reappearance” and has been considered as the best actions and worships and even a support for all actions to be accepted.
Prophet of Islam Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The best action of my nation is awaiting for the Reappearance”. (Kamal al-din wa tamam al-ni’ma, vol.2, chapter 55, Hadith 3, p.547).
The effects of Awaiting
Some have presupposed that awaiting for the Universal Savoir puts people in inaction and indifference and the awaiting people will not react against the wrong and vice but rather will be silent and indifferent and will sit back and witness crimes.
This viewpoint is a superficial and an inaccurate one because the awaiting spirit especially with unique characteristics as well as the unequaled position of Imam Mahdi (A.J.) not only does not bring about inaction and indifference but rather is the best factor of action and motion.
Awaiting creates a holy motion in the awaiting person and makes an aimed movement. The more an awaiting person approaches the truth of awaiting the faster his movement toward the destination will be. Under the influence of awaiting, one exonerates himself from self-centeredness and sees himself as a part of the Islamic society; therefore, he tries to move the society toward rightfulness and reform as much as he can and once a society is formed with such identified elements a community will be formed in the direction of virtues and the public move toward establishing good deeds will be met. In such an environment where the atmosphere contains prudence, construction, hope-generating background, joyfulness and a place for cooperation and help; the development of religious belief and deep Mahdism belief will appear in the members of the society. And an awaiting person for the sake of awaiting has not absorbed the corruption of the environment but rather has kept his religious identity and his faith borders, and will stand the difficulties and problems of the awaiting period and will accept calamities with persistence and with the hope of the materialization of the certain divine promise.
What is allegiance?
“Allegiance” (in Arabic) is rooted in the word “buy” which indicates a deal and buying and selling. The Holy Quran says: “And among the people is he who sells his soul seeking the pleasure of Allah” (2:207)
Or an interpretation of a human is that humans are in a sort of a deal: “By Time! Indeed man is in loss” (103:1-2).
If a human is in a gain and loss deal, religion will guide his “buying process” and the guidance is the allegiance with Imam. In fact the application of religion is to direct one’s deals. To direct how you spend your life, thought, memory, time, writing, interests, concerns, and financial expenditures? If you don’t direct them, it will be a loss. Like an ice which is melting, your assets get ruined. Religion guides you to whom you sell your self’s assets. Imam Ali (PBUH) says: “Truly, for your selves, there is no price except for the Paradise, therefore do not sell them except for the Paradise.” (Nahj- al Balgha, Sayings, 456). This is the price of your life and above it you have your soul whose price is God. Now, if our lives are going to be lost, for what or whom shall they be lost? Like it or not, our lives are being lost for free. How good it would be if we give our lives to he who directs well and loves us.
Allegiance has the aftermath that when you realize that Imam Hussein (PBUH) or Imam Mahdi (A.J.) is the other party, your behavior, life and action tend more toward him.
Have Shia celebrated an Imam’s Imamate?
There are two types of being happy for the Imamate of an Imam. One is like the time, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced Imam Ali (PBUH) as an Imam. For this, we have had ceremonies; Imams have emphasized on it and commemorating it. Of course, then there had been a ceremony in accordance with its era. It means when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced Imam Ali (PBUH) as an Imam in Ghadir, it was something public and it itself contained a ceremony. People would congratulate Imam Ali (PBUH). Even after this event when somebody understood about this news, he would congratulate Imam Ali (PBUH) because the graceful Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had asked that the people who were present at the event inform the absent. The pilgrims who returned to their regions and informed their region about this piece of important news, those who got informed would also congratulate Imam Ali (PBUH).
Celebrating this day has also been the tradition of the learned ulema. Although Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr are Islamic Eids, next to them, Eid of al-Ghadir has been much esteemed.
But the second type is the beginning of the Imamate after the martyrdom of the previous Imam. How has the tradition of Imams in this regard been? It is quite natural that they had been sad for the martyrdom of the previous Imam. Shia would come to the present Imam and would convey their condolence for the martyrdom of the previous Imam first and then would pledge allegiance with the new Imam.
Has this allegiance had a precedent?
Renewing allegiance and covenant with an Imam has had precedence, in other words the tradition of the lives of Imams was like this that when an Imam got martyred, Shia would go to the next Imam and would show their respect and by conveying their condolence would renew their allegiance and covenant and even Imams would ask allegiance for the next Imam before their martyrdom. For example, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked for allegiance for Imam Ali (PBUH) in Ghadir and said: “Whomever I had been his guardian, now this Ali is his guardian.” (Kafi, vol.1, p.420, Hadith: 42), then he ordered everyone to accept the guardianship of Amir al-Mumenin Ali (PBUH) and show allegiance to him. It is narrated in the history that it took three days for the public to make an allegiance with Imam Ali (PBUH); even women made allegiance with Imam Ali (PBUH) by putting their hands in a bowl of water and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Greet Ali (PBUH) as Amir al-Mumenin” (Al-Ihtijaj, Al-Tabrisi, Al-Sharif Al-Razi Publications, vol.1, p.84). Sometimes, the Prophet or an Imam would ask allegiance from people for the next Imam in public or in private. Interestingly, they sometimes took allegiance for themselves from people; for instance, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked for an allegiance from his companions which it was later named as the “Pledge of al-Ridwan”.
Imams- Peace Be Upon Them- would ask for allegiance from people or reminded them of the previous allegiance. The narrations containing “I swear you to God”, refers to the same topic. This point is important that an Imam sometimes reminds the society about the allegiance with him.
The Sunni Ulema have approved the authenticity of the Ghadir Hadith
Ahmad ibn Hanbal quotes Said ibn Wahab and Zayd ibn Alyasa:
Abu Ishaq quotes Said ibn Wahab who quoted Zayd ibn Alyasa that both had said: “In Rohbah, Ali (PBUH) asked people to stand up if any of them had heard anything in his favor by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Then, six people next to Said rose and six next to Zayd and testified that they heard from the Messenger of God (PBUH) in Ghadir Khum that addressed people: “Does not Allah have more authority over the faithful?” and the people there said: “Yes, God has authority over them all.” Therefore, the Messenger of God said: “O God! Whomever I am his Guardian, Ali is his Guardian and May God like he who likes Ali and May be his enemy whomever takes Ali as his enemy.” (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Abdullah al-Shaybani (d.241 A.H.), Musnad al-Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol.1, p.118, Hadith, 950. Publisher: Qurtuba, Egypt).
The Importance of the Eid of Allegiance
9th of Rabi’ Al-Awwal is the anniversary of the beginning of the Imamate of the World Savior, the promised figure by prophets, the terminator of the rule of the devil and the establisher of the divine rule of justice in the whole world. Thus, we explain the importance of making allegiance with Imam Mahdi (A.J.).
God has considered a high and elevated rank for humans. Reaching such an elevated goal- which is a close position next to God- is only possible through worshipping God. “O soul at peace! / “Return to your Lord, pleased, pleasing!”/ “Then enter among My servants!”/ “And enter My paradise!” (89: 27-30).
One needs the guidance and leadership of the divine Imams to reach this high and superior goal. Therefore, God has sent divine leaders to help people in this path, as to remind them of the goal and explain and introduce this path to them in the form of religion. Prophets would explain the goal to people: “Certainly We raised an apostle in every nation [to preach:] ‘Worship Allah, and keep away from the Rebels.” (16:36).
They had the responsibility to introduce the path and the goal as well as explaining and interpreting them: “As We sent to you an Apostle from among yourselves, who recites to you Our signs, and purifies you, and teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you what you did not know.” (2:151). And they are told that a good and nice end will be possible under obeying God and the Prophet: “and whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle, He will admit him into gardens with streams running in them, and whoever refuses to comply, He will punish him with a painful punishment” (48:۱۷).
The last divine messenger was the Merciful Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who was appointed as a prophet by God: “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah has knowledge of all things.” (33:40). And God sent down the Quran with him to be guidance for all the people of the world: “Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all the nations.” (25:1) and God made the Quran as an eternal miracle for him: “falsehood cannot approach it, from before it nor from behind it, a
sent down [revelation] from One all-wise, all-laudable.” (41:42).
Based on Quranic explanations, the era of Imamate is different from prophethood and is higher than it and some prophets were endowed with it: “And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind.’ Said he, ‘And from among my descendants?’ He said, ‘My pledge does not extend to the unjust.” (2:124).
The position of prophethood and messengers is the position of revelation and introducing the path of salvation. The divine prophets and messengers only had the responsibility to explain the path of worship in the form of religion whether people would accept and practice it or reject and oppose it: “Say, ‘Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle.’ But if you turn your backs, [you should know that] he is only responsible for his burden and you are responsible for your burden, and if you obey him, you shall be guided, and the Apostle’s duty is only to communicate in clear terms.” (24:54).
But the position of Imamate is the leadership and guidance as well as applying religion in the lives of people; and this is possible when people accept an Imam and his leadership and by accepting his rule and guardianship pave the way for the Imamate of God’s Imam.
Thus, people have no role in the appointment of prophets and messengers and their prophethood, it means the condition of the coming of prophets and revealing the divine message is not the request or acceptance of people, however, for the materialization of Imamate and leadership of an Imam in the society- which is a part of Imam’s responsibilities- people have a determining role. It means if people do not cooperate, an Imam cannot play his governing role.
Accompanying and helping an Imam and acceptance by people depend on two main conditions:
Getting to know an Imam and the knowledge in his personality as well as the position and status of him in the universe and God.
Allegiance with an Imam and preparing for his presence means having commitment in helping him and obeying his commands and making one ready to do any sacrifice for the path and commands of an Imam.
This allegiance has some prerequisites that by fulfilling them, allegiance makes sense. “O God! Put me as his helpers, companions and defenders, and those who hasten to him to fulfill his demands, obedient to his commands, his supporters, foremost in attending his demands and martyrs in his presence.” (An excerpt from “Dua Ahd”).
An excerpt from Dua Ahd
“O God! I renew my allegiance with Imam on this morning and until the time I am alive and will take it and won’t turn away from or forget it.”
The 9th of Rabi’ al- Awwal- the Day of Allah- is the anniversary of the beginning of the Imamate of Imam Mahdi (A.J.) and is the day to renew the covenant with that elevated Imam and the last divine reserve. It is deserving that the awaiting people and lovers of Imam Mahdi (A.J.) pay special attention to him wherever they are, because the 9th of Rabi’ al-Awwal is the continuation of Ghadir and itself is actually another Ghadir. On this day, we should renew our allegiance with Imam Mahdi and review our covenant and once again get to know and go over the rights and obligations we have to fulfill toward Imam Mahdi (A.J.). Based on narrations, Imam Sadeq (PBUH) said: “Truly, the ‘covenant’ for God is the acceptance of the Guardianship of Amir al-Mumenin Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him”. Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, vol.3, p. 632).
The Holy Quran
Mafatih al-Janan, Abbas Qomi
3- “The Uprising and Revolution of Mahdi (PBUH) from the viewpoint of Philosophy of History”, Morteza Motahhari, Sadra Publications.
Negin-eh Afarinesh, (General Electronic Mahdism Teachings). M. Amin Baladastian, M. Mahdi Haeripour, Mahdi Yousefian, vol.1, Cultural Foundation of the Promised Mahdi (PBUH), the Specialized Center for Mahdism, 87th ed. Jan-Feb. 2019. Qom. 3rd edition.
www.mahdi313.org- Specialized Center for Mahdism Website.
9th of Rabi al-Awwal special periodical:
“9th of Rabi’ al-Awwal: Celebration and Allegiance, why and how?” Hujjat al-Islam Dr. M. Saber Jafari
“Allegiance with the Promised Imam (A.J.), Mahdi Yousefian.
The 9th of Rabi’ the Eid of Renewing the Allegiance
By: Zahra Khazaei
Article group of International Masaf
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