The reappearance of the Imam of the Age (as) is ‘God’s commandment’

  • Date 01 February 2023
  • Clock 15:13
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News Summary :
Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani’s speech on the eve of 15th Sha’ban among a group of religious scholars from Markazi Province

In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful

"Allah's commandment has come, therefore do not desire to hasten it Glory be to Him and highly exalted be He above what they associate (with Him)." (The Quran, 16:1)

I congratulate you, the scholars and clergymen of Markazi Province, on the auspicious birthday anniversary of the Imam of the Age (as). On account of this occasion, I would like to refer to the first verse of chapter al-Nahl. It is one of the verses in the Quran related to the idea of the Last Savior.

As for why this verse was revealed, it is said that the Prophet (pbuh&hf) used to warn the pagans and tell them that if they did not obey God, His chastisement would befall them. They would say, “Where is this chastisement that you speak of?” Due to much delay in their punishment they did not believe that they would be punished and thus, asked this question in mockery. Then, this verse was revealed and said, “Allah's commandment has come, therefore do not desire to hasten it. Glory be to Him and highly exalted be He above what they associate (with Him).”

The occurrence of the Day of Judgment is so certain that it is as if it has already occurred. There is no doubt about it. It is God’s definite promise that the Day of Judgment will occur.

Commenting on this verse, Sheikh Saduq in his book Ikmal al-Din narrates a hadith that says, “Verily the first who pays allegiance to the al-Qa’im is Gabriel.” Why is Gabriel the first who pays allegiance to Imam Mahdi (as)? That is because all God’s messages were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf) through Gabriel, and it looks like after the reappearance Gabriel has to carry out a similar mission. He has to pay allegiance to the one who has been the hope of all prophets and the successors of the prophets. “He appears to him in the shape of a white bird and pays allegiance to him. Then, he puts one of his feet on the House of Ka’bah and the other foot on al-Aqsa Mosque and calls out, in a way that all people in the west and the east hear him, saying, ‘Allah's commandment has come, therefore do not desire to hasten it.’”

Based on the above, the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as) is ‘God’s commandment’. ‘God’s commandment’ has a special meaning in the Quran. When something is called ‘God’s commandment’, it means that God’s direct will is effective in it and it will definitely occur. One of the examples of God’s commandments is the Day of Judgment and another is the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (as). If we had only this verse and there were no other proofs signifying that no one knows the time of the reappearance, this very verse would have been sufficient to prove that the time of reappearance us unknown like the time of the Day of Judgment. Moreover, according to some hadiths, the reappearance will occur abruptly like the Day of Judgment. 

As indicated, based on the verse mentioned above we can conclude that no one can determine the time of the reappearance. Of course, there will be some signs indicating that the reappearance is near. In my view, from the advent of Islam the end of time has begun. Some mistakenly think that after the Iranian Revolution the End of Time started or it started in the last century or in the last decade. 

According to a hadith from the Prophet (pbuh&hf) there is little left of life of this world. From this hadith we understand that the End of Time has already started though it has continued for 14 centuries and it may continue for another 1000 years or more or less. 

One of the biggest mistakes is to promise people that the End of Time is near. There is no doubt that we should be awaiting the reappearance. To be awaiting means to await its occurrence which may happen now or later. However, we should not promise people or ascribe such promises to some maraji’.

We should tell people that this oppression and these wars happening in the world may pave the ground for the reappearance but we cannot say that it is near. When it is said that the reappearance is ‘God’s commandment’ we can conclude that only God knows when it will occur since only God is aware of His commandments. 

We have to invite people to what Imam Mahdi (as) expects from us as Shias or Muslims or even as humans. We should explain what is the duty of those who are awaiting the Imam’s reappearance. Why are those who are awaiting the reappearance of the Imam superior to those believers who lived at the time of the Prophet (pbuh&hf) or the Imams (as)? 

Though we did not have the chance to see the Imam (as) in person, we believe in him and his reappearance and this itself is one of God’s bounties upon us. We should take the Imam's words as our road map. This is what the Imams (as) expect from us not to do certain rituals in order to see the Imam (as) in person. 

Peace and blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad and his immaculate progeny

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