In the book Kamaluddin, Shaykh Sudooq (ar) writes, Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) said: “Saleh disappeared from his nation from a long time and the day he disappeared from them, he was an aged man of open stomach, beautiful body, dense beard, delicate abdomen, small cheeks, and when he returned to his people, they did not recognize him with the appearance he had.When he came back, they were of three categories: One category rejected him saying, ‘Do not ever come back.’ One category doubted in him. And the last group of people was on certainty. When he came back, he began with the doubting congregation and said to them, ‘I am Saleh’; they belied, cursed, and turned him down and said to him, ‘Allah has turned away from you. Saleh was in a figure other than yours.’”
The Imam said: “He then came to the rejecters, but they did not listen to his word and dispersed from him in a very cruel manner. Then he walked to the third category, which were people of certainty about him, and said to them, ‘I am Saleh.’ They said: ‘Give us a word with which we will not doubt you are Saleh, for we do not doubt that Allah, the Exalted, is the Creator and He transfers and transforms His servants into any figure He desires. Saleh had informed us and taught us when he was amongst us the sign of the Qaem when he comes. A word is true before us when it comes from the heavens.’
Saleh said: ‘I am the Saleh who brought you the calf.’ “They said: ‘You spoke the truth. This is what we have been studying. What are its signs?’ “He said: ‘There is a drink for the calf, and a drink for you on a known day.’ “They said: ‘We believe in Allah and in what you have brought to us,’
At that time, did Allah, the Exalted, say, Saleh is a messenger from his Lord. The people of certainty said: We believe what he has been sent with; and said the people who were haughty, who were the doubters and the rejecters, We disbelieve in that which you believe in.”
Zaid Shahham says, I asked, “Was there at that day a scholar amongst them?” The Imam said: “Allah, the Exalted, is more just than to leave the earth without a scholar who would guide to Allah, the Exalted. The nation waited seven days after the exit of Saleh, a period in which they did not know any Imam, except the Divine religion they had at their hands and their word was one. When Saleh (as) came back, they united around him. Verily, the example of Ali and the Qaem is like Saleh.”
In the case of Imam Mahdi (as) as well, the people will be divided into groups at the time of his reappearance. Some will accept him, others will have doubt in him and there will be a group of people who will have certainty on him.
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