Sayyed Hashim said – When my father expired, the responsibility of the entire household came upon my shoulders, even though at that time, my financial condition was very poor.One day, it so happened that a student of my father from Tabriz came over and gave me a bundle of sticks. I took this bundle and went to the Hashemi fort. Along the way I saw a distinguished personality coming towards me. As I came close to him, I observed that he was wearing a black turban and had a green cloth on his waist. I was dazzled by the brilliant light emanating from his face. I was mesmerised and awe struck by this scene. He said to me, Sayyed Hashim! Acquire knowledge. Why are not you studying? It does not befit a sayyed that he remains bereft of knowledge.
I replied, Mister! I am a poor man and don’t have the financial means to study.
He said, Visit the university for studying. As regarding the issue of money, I will instruct Mulla Hashim. He will help you in this regard. He added, Ask the people of your village that why do they trouble the maulana?
We had a conversation till such time that suddenly he became silent and I could not hear his voice. I looked up towards the person, but I could not see him anymore. I concluded that the person who was my companion for this time was no ordinary person, but he was the Imam of the time, Imam Mahdi (as). I regretted that he had vanished. I searched everywhere for him, but did not get an opportunity to meet him again. With tears in my eyes, I returned home and sat in a corner. I was grieved by his separation and cried for some time. I deeply regretted that I had not recognised my master Imam Mahdi (as).
Seeing my distressed condition, my mother enquired, why are you crying? I narrated the entire episode to her. After some time, Sakina Khatoon, a maid at the house of Mulla Hashim came to my house and said, the maulana has called for you. I stood up from my place and rushed to his house. I stood at his door, and after securing his permission, I entered his house. On seeing me, he asked, Sayyed Hashim! How is your condition? Today you met a person on the road. What did he say to you?
I was surprised how he knew of the incident since I had not disclosed this incident to any person. When I narrated the entire episode to him, he said, congratulations! The person you are referring to was Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as). He (as) came to my house and granted me the opportunity to meet him. He has instructed me in your regard. From today, I will pay your entire fees for the university. You can commence your studies without any worry. However, there is one thing – do not disclose this secret to anyone till the time I am alive. Therefore till the time he was alive, I did not speak of this matter to anyone.
Ref: Karamaate’ Ulama, page 78, reported from Inayaate’ Hazrat Mahdi Ba Ulama Wa Tullaab
Lessons from this incident
In this incident, there many lessons to be derived. Some of these are,
There is a great emphasis on acquiring knowledge. Imam (as), has through his incident shown us that we should pay special attention to orphans and make efforts for their education.
To support these students financially is not just a cause for the pleasure of Imam Mahdi (as), but it is also acting upon his sunnat.
Imam Mahdi (as) grants a meeting to even those who are responsible for running madrasas.
At many places we find that pious people who got an opportunity to meet Imam Mahdi (as) instructed others to keep this episode as a secret. This was because they did not want the love and affection of the people on this account to be a source of pride and arrogance for themselves.