Ayatollah Sayyed Mohsin Ameen Ameli narrates, the incident pertains to the time of rule of Janab Shareef Ali, the father of Janab Shareef Hussain. His rule was the last by a king related to the sadaat (from the progeny of Hazrat Zahra (sa)).I had reached Makkah Mukarramah for Hajj and at every stage – Tawaaf, Arafah, Mina and Mash’har – I sought the Ziyarat (meeting) of Imam Mahdi (as). From the traditions of the Imams (as), I was 100 percent sure that Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) comes to Makkah Mukarramah every year during the season of Hajj for the Ziyarat of Kabah. That year, I had intensely prayed to Allah that He grant me the opportunity to meet Imam Mahdi (as). However, the days of Hajj came to an end and I was unable to meet the Imam (as).
I was now in a dilemma. At that time, my options were I could either go back to my home town and return next year for Hajj to once again seek an audience with the Imam (as); or I could wait in Makkah for one year till the season of Hajj and pray to Allah the Merciful that He accept my supplication for meeting the Imam (as). Finally keeping my conditions in mind, I decided to stay back in Makkah with the hope that during the season for Hajj, I would be granted an opportunity to perform the Ziyarat of the House of Allah and also the Ziyarat of the true successor of the Kaabah.
Anyhow I completed one year in Makkah till the arrival of the season of Hajj. I completed the rituals of Hajj, but I was not granted an audience with the Imam (as). In a state of utter hopelessness and regret I once again contemplated the further course of action – should I return to my home town or should I stay back. Perhaps Allah, the Acceptor of Duas would consent to my supplication to meet my beloved, the Imam of the Time (as).
Finally, I decided to stay back with the sole intention of meeting my master. For another year, I endured the difficulties of staying in a foreign land and awaited the long cherished meeting with the Imam (as) till such time that the Hajj season returned. At every stage, I yearned for one meeting with the Imam (as). However, this year too, like earlier, Allah had ordained otherwise and I was unable to meet with the Imam (as).
I began thinking about the future – what should I do? For how long could I stay in a foreign land? I thought that perhaps, it was not to be that I should meet the Imam (as) and maybe it would be better if I returned home. For long my family and friends would be awaiting my return. Then it struck me that I should not despair of Allah’s mercy. Perhaps I would get a chance this year to meet the Imam (as). Who knows what fate awaited me at home; would I get such an opportunity to come back to Makkah? Would the conditions at my home permit me to return? These thoughts raced through my mind as I thought that perhaps I would not get another chance to fulfil my hope to meet the beloved Imam (as). Therefore, I decided to stay back for one more year. Surely Allah the Almighty is the One who creates opportunities; He is the One who solves the difficulties. I was lost in these thoughts when I decided to stay back and with this hope I spent 5 years in Makkah with the intention of meeting the Imam of the Time (as).
Due to my long stay in Makkah, I developed good relations with the king of the Hejaz – Janab Shareef Ali. My relationship with the king reached such a level of comfort that I was permitted to visit him at any time even without an appointment.
The season of Hajj arrived in my last year of stay in Makkah and I completed its rituals. I stood before the Kaabah and clutching its curtain, I wept profusely and prayed to Allah – O Lord! For so many years I stayed in this strange land with the anticipation of meeting the Imam of the Time (as), but till now You did not grant me the opportunity for this meeting!? I remained in this condition for a long time and confided my secrets to Allah.
Finally, I separated from the Kaabah and climbed one of the mountains of Makkah. At this height I looked around and saw a green patch. Inexplicably, a wave of happiness spread through my body on this sight. I asked myself – what is this place which is green and prosperous in the outskirts of Makkah? How is it that after all these years that I spent in Makkah, I missed this place and never came here?
Finally, I came down from the mountain towards this place. As I approached this lush garden, my eyes fell upon a tent right in the centre that looked very regal. I carefully measured my steps and moved towards this tent. I saw some people sitting in the tent. They were listening to a majestic personality whose radiant countenance gave an impression of servitude and worship. I came closer and entered the tent. I saw that there were several people gathered in the tent. I stood at one side and directed my attention to the words of this person.
He was saying – One of the miracles of my mother Hazrat Zahra (sa) is that the children from her progeny die on the correct faith; at the time of their death a reminder of the faith and wilayat is done to them; and none of them departs this world, except on the right belief.
I heard this for a moment looked towards the green garden and then as I turned my attention to the tent, I realised that the tent and the people within it had completely disappeared. There was no sign of them. I was surprised by this and once again turned towards the green area, but I now realised that there was no sign of it as well. I found myself alone on the mountain in the middle of the sands of the deserts of Hejaz. I descended from the mountain and entered the city of Makkah where another surprise awaited me. It appeared that the atmosphere of the city had changed. People were whispering amongst themselves and the administration of the city appeared to be in a state of grief. I asked the people about what had occurred.
The people told me that the king of Hejaz was on the throes of death.
This news saddened me and I rushed towards the residence of the king which was very close to the Haram and the market. The people from the establishment were not permitting any person to enter the house of the king. However when they saw me, they allowed me to enter as they knew that I was having a good association with the king.
When I entered, I saw that the king was on the verge of death. Several scholars and jurists from the schools of the Ahle Sunnah (Hanafi, Shafaei, Maliki and Hambali) were gathered around his bed. Even his son Shareef Hussain was present there. The scholars of the Ahle Sunnat were reciting the talqeen (last reminders for the dying person) as per their own beliefs. However there was no movement on the lips of the king. I too sat next to the bed of the king.
I had just sat down when I saw the same majestic personality who I had seen in the green fresh path and who was conversing with people in the tent enter the room of the king and sit down next to the king. He said, O Shareef Ali say – Ash’hado An La Ilaha Ilallah. At that moment, there was a movement on the lips of the king and he repeated – Ash’hado An La Ilaha Ilallah (I bear witness that there is no God but Allah).
The person said, O Shareef Ali, say – Ash’hado Anna Mohammadur Rasoolullah (I bear witness that Mohammed (sawa) is the Messenger of Allah). Shareef Ali repeated – Ash’hado Anna Mohammadur Rasoolullah.
Then he said, say Ash’hado Anna Aliyan Waliyullah Wa Khalifato Rasoolullah (I bear witness that Ali (as) is the Wali of Allah and the Successor to the Messenger of Allah). Shareef Ali repeated this sentence.
Then he said, O Shareef Ali, say, Ash’hado Annal Hasana Hujjatullah (I bear witness that Hasan (as) is the proof of Allah). Shareef Ali repeated this sentence word for word. Then he said, O Shareef Ali, say, Ash’hado Annal Husaino Be Karbala, Hujjatullah (I bear witness that Hussain (as) of Karbala is the proof of Allah). Shareef Ali repeated this sentence word for word.
In this manner, the person brought forward such sentences which bore witness to the Imamate of each of the Imams till such time he said, O Shareef Ali, say, Ash’hado Annaka Hujjatullah (I bear witness that you are the proof of Allah).
I was watching this scene in a state of astonishment when suddenly, this person stood up from his place and walked outside. At that moment Shareef Ali also breathed his last and passed away. I gathered my wits and speedily went outside to seek this person, but I could not find him. I asked the courtiers and the gate keepers to the palace, but they replied that no person had entered nor left from the palace. I returned back to the palace and found that the scholars of the four schools of the Ahle Sunnah were discussing the last words of Shareef Ali amongst themselves. They were asking themselves about the identity of the person who had arrived there.
At that moment, I became 100% certain that the person who had come there and had repeated the talqeen for Shareef Ali was none other than Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as). While I had got the opportunity to meet the Imam for the second time, I regretted that I had been unable to recognise him.
Ref: Shiftagaan Hazrat Mahdi, volume 2
Lessons from this incident
There is a clear directive in traditions that once you have completed your work in Makkah, then make haste in leaving and do not make it your place of residence. However as the incident shows, if there is a change in one fate, then staying back can become a cause for guidance.
Perhaps one of the reason why we have not been blessed by the Ziyarat of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as) is that we lack the intensity of seeking this opportunity as was present in Ayatollah Sayyed Mohsin Ameen Ameli.
Even though Hajj is obligatory only once in a lifetime, but the sunnat of Imam Mahdi (as) and the duas of the month of Ramazan guide us that we should try and go every year for Hajj.
Indeed if our intention is sincere, then we may get the opportunity to meet with the Imam (as). He himself says, If you seek me, you will find me.
If we adhere to the obligatory acts and refrain from those acts which are forbidden, then Hazrat Mahdi (as), the last son of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as) will ease our last moments and the stages after it.
Imam Kazim (as) travelled from Iraq to Khorasan to participate in the final rites of a Shiah as per a promise made to him. After the rituals, a person came to Imam (as) and said, O Master! You travelled such a long distance to come here! The Imam replied, Not only me, but every Imam of the time reaches the burial of those who love him. We take solace from this aspect that Inshallah, while awaiting the Imam of the time, if we pass away from the world, then Hazrat Mahdi (as) will come for our funeral. This will be the cause for our salvation and more valuable than anything which we would have earned in this world.