Some Questions On Imam Mahdi 1

Some Questions On Imam Mahdi 1

What Danger Faced the Imam If He Were Visibly Present?

Engineer Madani: If the Imam of the Age were visibly present among people, he would have been living in one of the cities of the world, guiding and directing the religious lives of the Muslims, and continuing to fulfill his obligations until the conditions of the world became favorable. At that time he would have been able to launch his revolution and destroy the power of disbelief and injustice. What is wrong with this supposition?

Mr. Hoshyar: I do not see any problem with the supposition. However, we should evaluate its overall impact. Let me try to analyze the situation under ordinary circumstances.

It is important to keep in mind that the Prophet and the Imams had time and again informed the people regarding the major function of the awaited Mahdi, namely, the destruction of the tyrannical powers and the rectification of injustices committed by them. Because of this, two kinds of people were bound to pay particular attention to the presence of the Imam:

First, those who were wronged and persecuted and, unfortunately, whose number has always been large. This group would have rallied around the Imam and put enormous pressure on him to redress the wrongs committed against them and defend their rights. In other words, there would have been endless turmoil and chaos resulting from the rising and revolutions.

Second, those who were in power and were the source of corruption and ill treatment of the people. These tyrants were not afraid to employ any unjust means to remain in power and protect their interests. In fact, they were willing to sacrifice their entire population as long as they retained power. Since they saw the presence of the Imam as a threat and an obstacle to their own interests, they were bound to remove him at any cost so that they could continue to rule. In fact, at times the rulers were united in their elimination of the major threat to their power, namely, the awaited Mahdi. Hence, they were determined to annihilate the source of justice and equity among the people.

Why Is the Mahdi Afraid of Being Killed?

Dr. Jalali: What would be wrong with the Imam suffering death in the path of reforming society and disseminating the true religion and defending the oppressed? Is his blood more dear than that of his forefathers who also suffered martyrdom in defending the religion of God? My question is why at all should he be afraid of being killed?

Mr. Hoshyar: The Imam of the Age, like his forefathers, is not afraid of being killed. Nevertheless, his being killed is not in the interest of the society or the religion. The reason is that whereas when his forefathers were killed they had their offspring to succeed them, the twelfth Imam does not have a son to succeed him should he be killed, and surely the earth cannot remain without God's Proof on it. It is well established that it is God's will that truth shall become triumphant over falsehood and that through the existence of the twelfth Imam the world will become the abode of god-fearing people.

Does Not God Have the Power to Protect the Imam?

Dr. Jalali: Does not God have the power to protect the Imam from the threat posed by his evil enemies?

Mr. Hoshyar: To be sure, God's power is unlimited. However, generally God does things in the most normal fashion, using the regular channel of causation. Moreover, God does not want religion or the messengers and leaders of religion to be protected in an extraordinary way, to deprive people of their freedom of choice and of facing the consequences of their choices. Coercion in these matters would divest human beings of their dignity. On the other hand, as free agents, human beings would face the testing and purification that becomes possible by accepting to follow the guidance of truth provided in the religious teachings of the Prophet and the Imams (peace be upon them).

Is It Not Likely That the Unjust Rulers Would Have Submitted to Him?

Dr. Jalali: If the Imam were visibly present then the oppressors would have access to him and would have heard his teachings and probably would have given up on the idea of killing him. On the contrary, they would have probably been guided and would have abandoned their unjust ways.

Mr. Hoshyar: Not everyone submits to the truth. From the beginning of human history till our own times, there has been a group on earth that has vehemently opposed truth and been the enemy of justice. Moreover, they have tried with all their might to destroy both truth and justice. Did not the Prophets and the Imams teach the truth? Did not the oppressors and unjust rulers have access to their miracles and teachings? In spite of all that, they never hesitated to silence these voices of justice and put out these rays of guidance by the means that were available to them. If the twelfth Imam had not disappeared because of the fear of these tyrants, he too may have suffered the same fate as his forefathers.

He Should Remain Silent So That He Would Be Safe

Dr. Jalali: In my view, if the Imam had entirely withdrawn from politics and had remained silent in the face of these tyrannical rulers' conduct, while continuing to provide moral and religious guidance, he would have been spared from the evil of his enemies.

Mr. Hoshyar: Since the oppressors had heard that the promised Mahdi is their enemy and that, through him, their palaces of injustice would be razed to the ground, they would not have been satisfied with his silence and non-critical approach to their unjust rule. They would have deemed it necessary to get rid of the potential danger to their power. Moreover, when the followers of the Imam saw the silence of the Imams endlessly, year after year, in the face of all the injustices inflicted upon them and their followers, they would have lost hope in the reform of the world and the victory of truth, and would have doubted in the truthfulness of the promises contained in the Prophet's hadith-reports and the Qur'an. In addition, it is inconceivable that the oppressed and the downtrodden would have permitted the Imam to remain silent.

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