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Why the Imam of Time's(a.s) name is written in disjoined letters
Date 27 October 2021 & Clock 03:01

Question 33:Why do they write the real name of the last Imam, the Imam of Time (a.s.) in the form of disjointed letters as م ح م د))? What is the reason for it?

Answer 33: There is a difference of opinion among jurisprudents as to whether it is permissible to use the same name of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) with the intention of using the Imam's name. The jurists are divided into several groups in this respect. Some jurists like Sheikh Saduq, late Allamah Majlisi, Muhaddith Noori and Mohaqiq Damad believed in absolute impermissibility. The author of the book "Shar'at al-Tasmiyah" has claimed consensus with regard the impermissibility of using the name.

Some jurists including late Sheikh Hurr Ameli, the author of Wasail Al-Shia, late Fayz Kashani and Sheikh Bahai have stated that the prohibition with respect to using the name means only undesirable (makrooh).

A third group says that in the situation of taqiyah (dissimulation), whether it is observed for guarding oneself against dangers or guarding the Imam, it is forbidden to mention his real name but when a person is not in the state of taqiyah, there would be no objection to mentioning the name. A fourth group believes that the impermissibility of using the name is particular to the period of minor occultation.  Thus, those who consider mentioning the Imam's real name as "forbidden" use the disjointed letters to make a reference to the Imam (a.s.). It is necessary to mention that the existing difference among the scholars stems from the various narrations reported from the infallible Imams (a.s.).  These narrations are classed into four groups:

A) Narrations indicating the forbiddenness of mentioning the name in an absolute manner. Imam Hadi (a.s.) said, (لایحل لکم ذکره باسمه) which means that it is not permissible for you to talk about the using his name.  Also, Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) said, (لایسمیه باسمه الا کافر) {No one utters his name except a disbeliever}. Usool-e Kafi, Vol.1 page 333

B) Narrations stating the prohibition of using the Imam's name until his reappearance.  Abdul Azim Hasani reports from Imam Hadi (a.s.) that he said:

لایحل ذکره باسمه حتی یخرج، فیملأ الارض قسطا و عدلا کما ملئت ظلما و جورا

{It is not permissible to mention his name until he becomes manifest and fills the world with justice in the same way that it has been filled with iniquity and injustice."}

C) There are narrations which state that the prohibition of using the name is related to the situation of fear and dissimulation. In Behar al-Anwar Vol. 51 page 31, Abu Khalid Kabuli, one of the companions Imam Sajjad (a.s.) narrates that following the demise of Hazrat Sajjad, Imam Baqir (a.s.) was asked to mention the name of Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). Then the Imam said: You asked me for something that if Bani Fatema knew him, they would try to cut him into pieces.

D) The fourth group of narrations is those narrations which imply permissibility of using the Imam's holy name. Sheikh Saduq narrates from Muhammad bin Ibrahim who reports that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) sent a headless sheep to some known individuals and said: This is the aqiqa (slaughtered sheep) of my son, Muhammad.  

The narrations concerning taqiya are weak because, we know that the name of the Imam had been already declared by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). What we can say here is that the prohibition of using his name is linked to more dignifying and revering the Imam (a.s.) because importance was to be attached to other titles of the Imam such as Hojjah, Qaim and Imam of Time. It was to encourage people to get acquainted with the reality of these titles. It would be effective in strengthening their beliefs and adherence to their faith. That is why, when Imam Hadi (a.s.) was asked what name they could use, if they were not allowed to use the Imam's real name, he said, قولوا الحجة من آل محمد صلوات الله علیه{Say, Hojjah of the Household of Muhammad peace be upon him}.

This question requires a detailed answer. Should you like to find details, you can refer to Behar al-Anwar or Usol-e Kafi in the addresses given above.  May Allah grant you success.

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