It is the duty of every believer to weep in the separation of Imam Mahdi (as) and help others in weeping for the same. We must mourn the difficulties that befall Imam (as). It is a duty of the Shias in the Ghaybat of Imam (as).
Pay attention to the following traditions that amply establish this aspect.
Imam Reza (as) said, One who remembers our calamities and weep on them or makes others weep, on the day of Judgment he shall be with us in our assembly. One who is reminded of our sorrows and weeps or makes other people weep, his eyes shall not weep on the day (Qiyamat) when all the eyes shall be weeping (day of Judgement). (Beharul Anwar)
Imam Sadiq (as) said, One who remembers us or our mention is made before him and a tear equal to a mosquito’s wing appears in his eyes, the Almighty Allah forgives his sins even if they are equal to the foam of the sea.” (Beharul Anwar volume 44 page 278 tradition. 3) (link to incident of forgiveness of sins)
It is also narrated in the report of Masmah that Imam Sadiq (as) said, One who weeps for our affection and for that which has befallen us is not but that the Almighty Allah send mercy for him, before the tear can come out of his eyes and when his tears flow on his cheeks, if one of those tears is thrown on Hell it can douse all the fire in such a way that no heat would remain in it. (Beharul Anwar volume 44 page 290)
Imam Sadiq (as) said: One whose eyes weep for us due to a blood that is shed from us unjustly, or a right that has been trespassed or a sanctity of ours that has been infringed, Allah, the High and the Mighty for that tear, will make his home in Paradise for years. (Beharul Anwar volume 44 page 279 tradition no. 7)
It is narrated Imam Sajjad (as) that he said, Every believer whose eyes shed tears in grief of martyrdom of Imam Husain bin Ali (as) till the tears flow on his cheeks, the Almighty Allah gives him buildings in Paradise where he would live for centuries. And every believer who wets his eyes with tears for a pain that our enemies have inflicted in this world, and the tears flow on his cheeks, the Almighty Allah gives him a lofty place in Paradise. And every believer who suffers in our path and weeps for the suffering he receives due to his loyalty to us and tears flow on his cheeks, the Almighty Allah will remove the torment from his face and on Judgment Day keep him secure from His anger and Hellfire. (Kamiluz Ziyarat)
In Dua Nudbah, we find that after narrating the merits and excellences of Ameerul Momeneen (as), the sentences of the supplication encourage believers to weep in grief for the difficulties which befell the Ahle Bayt (as) after the passing away of Holy Prophet (sawa).
Imam Sadiq (as) said, For one who weeps when we are mentioned before him, the Almighty Allah will make his face unlawful for Hellfire. (Beharul Anwar volume 44 page 285 tradition no. 22)
Sayyid Ibne Tawoos says in Al-Lohoof, It is narrated from the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) that they said, Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes a hundred persons cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes fifty persons cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes thirty persons cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes twenty persons cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes ten persons cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who weeps in our sorrow and makes one person cry, and Paradise is reserved for one who feigns (makes a mourning face) to weep in our sorrow.
Abdul Hamid Wabshi said to Imam Baqir (as), I have a neighbor who commits all sorts of unlawful acts, so much so that he even omits the prayer. What to say about other things? The Imam (as) said: Glory be to Allah, shall I not tell about the one who is worse than him? ‘Why not,’ said I.
He said, the Nasibi (our enemy) is worse than him. Indeed there is no one that when Ahle Bayt (as) are mentioned in his presence and he weeps for us, except that angels touch his back and wipe off all his sins except the sins that take one out of the pale of faith. And intercession will be accepted, but it will not be accepted for the Nasibi and indeed the believer will intercede for his neighbor even though the latter may not have any good deed to his credit.
He will say: O Lord, this is my neighbor, remove his torture. At that moment he will intercede for him and Allah, the High and the Mighty says: I am your Lord, and I am more worthy to reward someone on your behalf. Then the Almighty Allah would make him enter Paradise even though he didn’t have a single good deed in his account. And indeed, the least intercessor from the believers will intercede for thirty persons. It is at that time that the inmates of Hell will say: “So we have no intercessors. Nor a true friend” (Holy Quran chapter 26 verses 100-101; Rauzat Al-Kafi page 101 tradition no. 72)
It is narrated from Muawiyah bin Wahab that Imam Sadiq (as) prayed while in in sajdah (prostration), Send mercy on the eyes that shed tears for our sake. And send mercy on those hearts that become restless for us and send mercy on the wailing and weeping that is for our sake. (Kamiluz Ziyarat page 117)
Weeping in separation of the Imam of the Age
Weeping in the Imam’s separation and weeping upon his hardships is a meritorious deed. Pay attention to the following narration.
Mufazzal Ibne Umar says: I heard Imam Sadiq (as) say, Don’t be fooled! By Allah! Your Imam shall remain hidden from you for a long time. You will be tried and examined in those times. To such an extent that some people shall say: He has died or he has gone in some cave. While the believers will shed tears for him. The hearts of the people will be shaken up by the calamities like the ship is tossed in the waves of the stormy sea. None shall get deliverance except those from whom Allah has taken oath, on whose hearts He has inscribed faith and whom He helped with His mercy. At that time twelve standards will arise and all of them will be alike, thus it will not be known which is the standard of truth.
I began to weep on hearing this, so the Imam said, O Abi Abdullah why do you weep?
I replied, Master, why shouldn’t I weep when you say that twelve standards will arise and all of them will be alike, thus how do we know which is the standard of truth?
The Imam said, Look at the sun, on which army it is shining.
I said, Maula, this same sun? Yes, he replied, O Abi Abdullah, have you seen this sun? I said: Yes.
Imam said: I swear by Allah, our matter (Wilayat) is clearer than this sun. (Kafi volume 1 page 336 chapter of Ghaybat)
Pay attention and think upon it how the Imam (as) has mentioned weeping in separation of our master to be a sign of faith and something that cannot be denied.
It is so because weeping for Imam Mahdi (as) is the proof of recognition and sincere love for the Imam, which is a part of faith, rather in the view of the people of certainty, it is the reality. Recognition (Marefat) and love for the Imam cause the people of faith to weep in separation of Imam Mahdi (as) and due to the hardships that the Imam faces.
Sudair Sairafi said: I, Mufaddal bin Umar, Abu Baseer and Aban bin Taghlib came to our master Imam Sadiq (as) and saw him sitting on the floor and covered with Khaibari sheet made of hair, his neck was open and his sleeves folded up. He was crying like the mother having only one son laments at his death. The signs of sorrow were apparent from his face and its effects were spread on his cheeks. Tears had moistened the hollows of his eyes.
He was saying, My master, your occultation has taken away my night’s sleep, it has narrowed my bed for me, and has snatched away the solace from my heart. My master your occultation has turned my tragedies into the atrocities of eternity! The loss of one after the other perishes a crowd and a multitude. No more I feel the tear that drops from my eye, and the moon that faintly leaves my chest from the places of tragedies and past calamities except that it exemplifies before my eye the greatest and cruelest of catastrophes, the most dismal and disdainful mishaps, mixed with your wrath, and calamities coupled with your anger.
Sudair says, Our hearts and minds were overwhelmed by that scene. We thought that it is the sign of a dreadful shattering or times have brought him a calamity. So we said, May Allah, O son of the best of the creation, never bring tears into your eyes. For what incidents are your eyes pouring and your tears raining and what situation has led you to this mourning?
Sudair says: Imam Sadiq (as) took a deep sigh that his chest expanded and he said, I looked at the Book of al-Jafr this morning, and that is the book that encompasses the knowledge of deaths, trials and tribulations and the knowledge of all that has been and all that will be until the Day of Judgment, which Allah, glory to His name, has exclusively imparted to Mohammed (sawa) and the Imams (as) after him, peace unto him and them. I viewed therein the birth of our Qaem and his disappearance and its protraction and the length of his lifespan and the trials of the believers through him and after him in that period and the generation of doubts in their hearts from the length of his disappearance and the apostasy of most of them from their religion and their removing the cord of Islam from their necks, about which Allah, glory to His name, has said, “And We have made every man’s actions to cling to his neck.” (Holy Quran chapter 17 verse 13) That is We have fastened to every man’s neck his fateful bird which is the Wilayah. So emotions overpowered me and griefs overwhelmed me.
We said, O son of Allah’s Messenger, dignify us and bestow honor upon us by sharing some of what you know from the knowledge.
He said, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has consigned three qualities in our Qaem, which He had consigned to three of the apostles. He foreordained his birth like the birth of Musa (as); his disappearance like the disappearance of Isa and his long life like that of Nuh (as). Moreover, He made the lifespan of His virtuous servant, Khizr, a proof of his long life.
I said, Remove the curtains for us, O son of Allah’s Messenger, from the faces of these concepts.
He said: As for the birth of Musa (as). “When Firaun learnt that his downfall and destruction was going to be at the hands of Musa (as) he summoned the soothsayers and they predicted the downfall of his kingdom at the hands of a youth of Bani Israel. So Firaun issued orders that the bellies of pregnant ladies of the Bani Israel be slit open, till more than twenty thousand newborns were killed. But he was not able to get Musa because Allah, the Mighty and the High protected him. In the same way when the Bani Umayyah and the Bani Abbas came to know that the downfall and destruction of their kingdom and tyrant rulers was to be at the hands of our Qaem, they began to wreak their enmity on us and swords were drawn out to slay the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and to destroy his descendants so that through it they may be able to eliminate Qaem (as). But the Almighty Allah did not accept that His affair be divulged to anyone of the oppressors. But that His light may be perfected even though the polytheists may despise it.
As for the disappearance of Isa (as), the Jews and Christians formed unanimity that he has been killed; whereas Allah belied them in this verse, “And they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so.” (Holy Quran chapter 4 verse 157)
Likewise is the disappearance of the Qaem since one group denies it for its length – ranging from one misguided person who says, ‘He was never born’; to another who says, ‘He was born and he died’; to another who rejects faith by saying that our Eleventh was issueless; to another who deviates by saying, ‘This will increase to thirteen and upwards’, and another who sins against Allah, the Mighty and Sublime by saying, ‘The spirit of the Qaem speaks through the body of someone else’.
As for the long life of Nuh, When he prayed for the descent of punishment against his people from the heavens, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime sent Jibraeel, the trusted spirit with seven kernels and said, O Apostle of Allah, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says to you, ‘They are My creation My servants. I will not destroy them with a lightning bolt until the call has been stressed upon and the proof has become binding. Retain your hard labor in making the call to your people, for I will reward you for that. Plant these kernels, because your relief and liberation will be at its plantation, outgrowth and fruition when it reaches fruition. Give this glad tiding to your believing followers.’ When the trees grew and thrived and their trunks and branches developed and spread out and their fruits grew big, he asked Allah, the Mighty and Sublime for the fulfillment of the promise. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime ordered him to plant the seeds of those trees and retain patience and hard work and make the call to his people. He informed the community that believed in him; three hundred men of them turned away from him and said, ‘If what Nuh is claiming were true, the promise of his Lord would not have been violated.’ Then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime continued to order him every time to plant the seeds until they had been planted seven times. The community of believers continued to lose groups until there were left only seventy and some odd men. At that time, did Allah, the Mighty and Sublime sent a message to him and said, ‘O Nuh, now the dawn on your eyes has broken the night as the truth has manifested with clarity and the order of belief has become pure from impurity by the apostasy of everyone who had wicked disposition. If I had destroyed the disbelievers and kept those who have apostatized from among the believers in you, I had not fulfilled My early promise to the believers from your people who were sincere in their belief in Me and had adhered to the rope of your prophethood that I would make them heirs in earth and empower for them their religion and replace their fear with security, so that worship be pure for Me by the departure of doubts from their hearts. How could I provide heirship and empowerment and replacement of fear with security while I know the weakness of certainty of the people who apostatized and their wicked dispositions and their evil insides, which were the outcomes of hypocrisy and the initiation of misguidance. If they had procured from Me the kingdom that will be given to the believers at the time of heirship when I will have killed their enemies, they would have sniffed the smells of its attractions, and it would have strengthened the inner secrets of their hypocrisy, and eternalized the strings of misguidance and their hearts, and they would have faced their brothers with enmity and would have battled them in pursuit of chiefdom and the distinction of commanding and forbidding. And how can the religion’s empowerment and the Command’s spread among the believers coexist with rise of mischief and occurrence of wars? Never. “Build the Ark under Our eyes and as We reveal.” (Holy Quran chapter 11 verse 37)
Imam Sadiq (as) said, Likewise is the Qaem (as). The days of his occultation will be lengthy so truth may become clear and belief may become pure from impurity by the apostasy of everyone from the Shiah with a wicked disposition, who are feared they are hypocrites when they expect heirship and empowerment and a vast security in the reign of the Qaem (as). (It implies the verse, “Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them.” Chapter 24 verse 55))
Mufazzal said, I asked, O son of Allah’s Messenger, the Ahle Bayt-haters (Nawasib) believe this verse has been revealed about Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali.
He said, “May Allah not guide the hearts of the Nawasib. When was the religion which Allah and His Messenger empowered through spread of security in the Ummah and the departure of fear from their hearts and doubts from breasts during the reign of anyone of them? And in the reign of Ali (as) especially with the apostasy of Muslims and mischiefs which were occurring in their days and the wars that were breaking out between the disbelievers and between themselves.” Then as-Sadiq (as) recited this verse, “Until when the apostles despaired and the people became sure that they were indeed told a lie, Our help came to them.” (Chapter 12 verse 110)
And as for the righteous servant, Khizr (as), the Almighty Allah bestowed him with a long lifespan not due to the fact that He had made him a Prophet, or because a book was revealed to him, nor that he brought a new Shariat nullifying the previous one, nor that He made him an Imam and required the people to follow him, nor because his obedience was compulsory. (Beharul Anwar volume 51 page 219 tradition no. 9)
Rather it was because it was there in the knowledge of Allah, the Blessed and the High, that during occultation the age of Qaem (as) would be prolonged to an extent that people would not believe it, and they would deny a long age, He prolonged the age of the righteous servant, Khizr (as) without any justification, except that it be a basis for proving the age of Qaem (as) so that the arguments and proofs of the opponents may be invalidated and that people may not have any argument against the Almighty Allah.
- Read More: Duties of Shiahs in Ghaybat