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Paper submission

From the Individual Faith to the Social Responsibility

  Islamic Messianism (Mahdism)

By: Arif Mulyadi

Source : The Scientific Committee of the Second International Conference of Mahdism Doctrine

Introduction 

THE IDEA of an expected deliverer, who is to come and humble or destroy the forces of wickedness and establish the rule of justice and equity on earth, is shared by all major religions and traditions of the world. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Islam cherish their traditions concerning a Messiah or Savior of a divinely chosen line (Sachedina, 1981: 1; Tabatabai, 2001:212; Amini, 1997:48-53). These religions have usually given happy tidings of his coming, although there naturally certain differences in detail that can be discerned when these teachings are compared carefully. 

The term “messianism” in the Islamic context is often used to translate the significant concept of an eschatological figure, the Mahdi, who as the foreordained leader “will rise” to launch a great social transformation in order to end the sufferings of the faithful and the rule of enemies of God and establish His kingdom on earth (Sachedina, 1981). The Islamic doctrine of salvation does not conceive of a man as a sinner who must be saved through spiritual regeneration. The basic emphasis of Islamic salvation lies instead in the historical responsibility of its followers, namely, the establishment of the ideal religio-political community, the ummah, with a worldwide membership of all those who believe in God and His revelation through Muhammad.
The seeds of this responsibility are actually sown by the Prophet himself. Muhammad is not only the founder of a new religion, but also a guardian of a new social order.

I. Three Methods of Religious Thought 

Here “religious thought” means that form of thought which concerned with any of the problems of a religious nature within a particular religion (Tabatabai, 2001: 89). Of course, the concept of Mahdiism, includes at religious thought. Undoubtedly, the religious thought, like Mahdiism, have the trustworthy sources. 

There are three methods of religious thought in Islam. The Holy Quran in its teachings identify three paths for Muslims to follow in order to understand the goal of religion and the Islamic sciences (ibid):
1. the path of the external and formal aspect of religion (shari’ah)
2. the path of intellectual understanding
3. the path of spiritual comprehension achieved through sincerity (ikhlâs) in obeying God 

The first method, according to Tabatabai, implies the acceptance the traditional source from which the formal and external aspect of religion is derived, that is the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, hadith received from the Prophet (s) and his infallible Household (`a). Both of them are an authoritative document and also the basic source for the religious thinking of Islam (ibid, 93) 

The two, in its formal aspect, speak to all people without providing any demonstration. The Holy Quran, for instance, orders people to accept the principles of faith such as Divine Unity, prophethood, eschatology; it gives them practical injunctions like the daily prayers, fasting, etc.; and at the same time the Holy Quran forbids human to do certain other actions. However, if the Quran, Tabatabai adds, had not provided authority for these orders, it would never have expected man to take on and obey them. Therefore it must be that such simple utterances of the Quran are a path toward the understanding of ultimate religious goals and the comprehension of Islamic sciences. We mention such verbal utterances like “Believe in God and His Prophet” and “Perform the Prayers” as the external or formal aspect of religion (ibid, 89). 

As for the second method, it provides intellectual demonstrations of the validity of the outer or formal aspect of the Quran, which is a divine revelation, as well as of the definitely established sayings of the Prophet (s) and his infallible Household (`a) (ibid, 106). 

Tabatabai maintains that intellectual proofs are of two kinds: demonstration (burhân) and dialectic (jadal). The former is a proof whose premises are true even if they are not observable. This type of thought is called rational thought. The latter is a proof all or some of whose premises are based on observable and certain data. 

The Holy Quran has used both these methods. First of all, the Quran commands free investigation and meditation upon the universal principles of the world existence, the general principles of cosmic order, as well as upon more particular orders like the heavens, the stars, the earth, etc. Secondly, the Quran has commanded man to apply dialectical thought, which is usually called theological (kalâmi) discussion (ibid, 106-107). 

By the third method is meant gnostic approach. This method based on knowledge combined with love, rather than fear. It is method for realizing the inner truth of religion rather than remaining satisfied only with its external form and rational thought (ibid, 113).
Therefore, regarding the concept of Mahdiism as a part of religious thought, we can approach this by three methods as mentioned above.

I.1 Mahdiism: A Proof from the Formal Aspect 

According to theologians, we can prove the concept of Mahdiism and his being from the Holy Quran and Hadith. The Holy Quran does not mention, in fact, the Mahdi in its specific details. Not only the Mahdi, there are so many particular details that are true and authentic and yet have been mentioned in the heavenly book. Concerning the Mahdi and his mission, there are a number of verses in the Holy Quran which, however brief, give tidings about the day when the devout worshippers of God and those who support the true religion and those who are worthy of that blessing will rule the earth in its entirety; and the religion of God, Islam, will become the dominant faith over all other religions (Amini, 1997). 

For instance, there are four ayah, verses, which indicates the appearance of the promised Mahdi as follows:
1. Sura Anbiyâ (21):105, For We have written in the Psalms, after the Remembrance, ‘The earth shall be the inheritance of My righteous servants.’
2. Sura Nûr (24):55, God has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds that He will surely make you successors in the land, even as He made those who were before them successors, and that He will surely establish their religion for them that He has approved for them, and will give them in exchange, after their fear, security: ‘They shall serve Me, not associating with Me anything.’ 

3. Sura Qasas (28):4, Yet We desired to be gracious to those that were abased in the land, and to make them leaders, and to make them the inheritors.
4. Sura Shaff (61):9, It is He who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may uplift it above every religion, though the unbelievers be averse. 

From all these verses and the likes, according to the theologians, it can be concluded that the world actually look forward to the day when its power and government will be given into the hands of the believers and those worthy of the divine trust to become leaders and lead humankind and its civilization to its perfection. Shortly, these verses actually elucidate the appearance of Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) (Amini, 1997; Gulpaygani, 2001).
Certainly, we can also attest the existence of the promised Mahdi through the second source of religious thought, namely, Hadith or prophetic tradition. There are many traditions transmitted from the Prophet (s) and the Imams of the Household of the Prophet (`a), and which identify the Mahdi as belonging to the Household of the Prophet (`a), stating that he is a descendent of Fatimah in the lineage of Husayn and his ninth descendant. They also state that the Prophet's successors (khulafa) are twelve in number. These traditions define the general notion and identify its embodiment in the person of the twelfth Imam from among the Imams of the Household of the Prophet. These Hadiths have been narrated in a great number and have been widely known despite the caution observed by the Imams (`a) in raising this issue in public for the sake of protecting their worthy descendent (the Mahdi) from being assassinated or put to death immediately (Tabatabai, 2001; Sadr, 2001). The Hadiths also state that his rising will enable human society to reach true perfection and the complete realization of spiritual life. In fact, the number of these traditions is not the only criterion for their acceptance. There are other indications verify their validity as well. 

Thus the Prophetic tradition mentions the Imams, khulafa or umara succeeding him and their number, that there shall be twelve Imams, khulafa- or umara, in accordance with the varying texts of the tradition as transmitted by different chains, occurs in the form of narrations collected by some compilers which form more than 270 narrations taken from the most famous Shiite and Sunni compilations of hadith, including the works of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, and al-Hakim in his Mustadrak `ala al-Sahihayn. 

It should be noted here that Bukhari, who transmits this hadith, was a contemporary of Imam Jawad as well as the Imams al-Hadi and al-Askari, and this is of great significance because it proves that this hadith was recorded from the Prophet (s) before its subject had materialized and before the concept of Twelve Imams had been practically completed. This implies that there exists no ground for the doubt that the transmission of this hadith might lave been influenced by the actual situation of the Twelver (Ithna Ashari) Imamis or was a reflection of it, because forged traditions attributed to the Prophet (s) that are either reflections or justifications of a later event do not go back, in their origin or recording in books of hadith, to a date earlier than that event (Sadr, 2001).
Now, we possess real proof that the above-mentioned tradition historically precedes the Twelve Imams and that it had been recorded in books of hadith before the completion of the Twelver Imami reality, it is possible for us to assert that this hadith is not a reflection of some event, but an expression of a Divine reality by someone who did not speak out of selfish motives. 

Here we can present some hadiths from the Companions of the Prophet (s), for instance, verify the existence of the promised Mahdi such as:
1. Sa’îd ibn Musayyib reports from ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affân, who said:
We heard from the Prophet saying: “The Imams after me will be twelve in number, of whom nine will be from the progeny of Husayn. Moreover, the Mahdi of this community will be among us. Anyone who holds on to them after me holds on to the rope of God; and whoever abandons them has abandoned God.” (quoted from Amini, 1997) 

2. Abû Ayyûb Ansârî says:
I heard the Propeth (s) says: “I am the chief of the Prophets and ‘Alî is the chief of the legatees. My two grandsons [Hasan and Husayn] are the best among the descendants. The infallible Imams will come forth among us through Husayn. Moreover the Mahdi of this community is among us.” At that time an Arab stood up and asked: “O Prophet of God, how many Imams are there after you?” He replied: “Equal to the number of the apostles of Jesus and the chiefs of the Children of Israel.” (ibid.) 

3. From Hudhayfa, the Prophet (s) declares:
The Imams after me will be equal to the number of tribal chiefs among the Children of Israel. Nine among them will be the descendants of Husayn. The Mahdi of this community is among us. Beware! Truth is with them and they are with truth. Thus be careful of the way you treat them after me.” (ibid)
In historical reality, actually, the Imams of Twelver Shiite begins with Imam Ali (`a) and terminates in the Mahdi (`a). All of them are the sole rational interpretation of these noble Prophetic traditions (Sadr, 2001).

I.2 Mahdiism: A Proof from the Intellectual nderstanding 

To show that an Imam must exist as a proof for the existence of those injunctions and their protection, we firstly have to establish the necessity of the general prophethood. Here we discuss briefly some rational assumptions why human being is need of the Prophets. 

(1) A human being has been created in such a way that he cannot run his affairs on his own. He needs the assistance and cooperation of others. In other words, he is created civil and social by nature. Hence, he must act within a society. It is clear that self-interest and survival are the cause of conflict in a social life. Each person in the society is engaged in exerting all his efforts to benefit from limited material resources in order that sometimes, or even usually, each person end up stepping upon each other’s rights. It is the point that law is needed to regulate social relations and, finally, conflicts should be resolved without creating chaos and lawlessness. 

(2) A human being has been innately endowed with the capacity to perfect himself and attain prosperity. 

(3) Since a human being is on his way to perfection, attention to the true meaning of perfection has been made part of natural disposition. Thus, it should be possible for him to attain it, because God does not create anything in vain. 

(4) The point that a human is made of body and spirit is well established. He is material through his body, whereas his spirit, though intimately connected with his body, is regarded as belonging to the world of incorporeal beings. 

(5) Since human is made of two elements, he is bound to have two kinds of life: this worldly life, related to his body; and the spiritual and contemplative life, related to his soul. 

(6) Just as between body and spirit there is a connection and relationship, so there is a perfect connection and relationship between the material and spiritual life. In other words, the quality of life in this world has a direct impact upon the spiritual life and vice versa. 

(7) A human being is on the way to perfection and is attentive to the requirements of innate and natural perfection. It is incumbent upon God to provide human being the means to attain the goal so that he is able to distinguish and pursue the path of perfection. 

(8) By nature a human being is self-centered and pursues his own interests. Thus, he efforts to exploit fellow human beings and take advantage of their efforts to serve his ends. 

(9) Though he efforts to reach his perfection, he often fails to attain that goal. It is due to his own egosentric desires and internal emotions overcome his ability to differentiate the straight path. (Amini, 1997: 57-58) 

These philosophical assumptions demonstrate that human being need for the law. The law can create order in the society when it fulfills the following conditions:
(1) It has to be comprehensive and effective to cover all spheres of individual as well as collective human entertain.
(2) It should lead to the real prosperity of human beings.
(3) It should be attentive to the well being of the entirety of humanity.
(4) It should lay the foundation of a society based on human virtues and the perfection of humanity.
(5) It should possess the efficiency to protect the people from manipulation and chaos and guarantees the rights of all individuals.
(6) It should alert to the spiritual needs of the people.
(7) It should protect the society from turning away from the right path of humanitarian existence.
(8) The lawgiver of such a system should be well informed about all the crooked and scrupulous aspects of human encounters and should be knowledgeable about all the judgments given at different times and places (ibid, 59) 

The only law fulfill the abovementioned conditions is the divinely ordained legal system. It is free from every selfish human motive. It is a path toward perfection. The information on this path was revealed to the Prophets in order that they could undertake to call people towards it. In order to perfect to human, the prophets are protected from committing any errors in delivering the divine message to humankind. This is known as ‘isma (infallibility). This quality causes the prophets can call upon people to follow the divine guidance. In addition, it is a rationally derived proposition that no person can expect others to carry out moral and religious directives when he himself does not follow the same. A call to the divine path must be demonstrated by the prophet (ibid, 61-63). 

So, how about the Imamate?
The same proof can be utilized for the existence of Imamate. That is, whenever the prophet dies, there must be exists in his place someone who can lead the community to those ends. Just as the prophet, this person must be infallible as well (ibid, 64-66). Shortly, the Imamate constitutes the continuation of the Prophethood. It is unwise for God if He does not left a leader to human being after demise the prophets. 

I.3 Mahdiism: A Proof from the Gnostic Approach 

The concept of Mahdiism can be approached by the Perfect Man theory from Ibn ‘Arabi. As we know, Ibn ‘Arabi is a well-known Sufi. In his Fusus al-hikam, he explains the Perfect Man. 

Ibn ‘Arabî considers ‘man’ on two different levels. The first is the cosmic level. Here ‘man’ is treated as a cosmic entity. ‘Man’ on this level is the Imago Dei, the Image of God. Here ‘man’ himself is perfect; ‘man’ is the Perfect Man. The Perfect Man in this sense is ‘man’ viewed as a perfect epitome of the universe, the very spirit of the whole world of Being, a being summing up and gathering together in himself all the elements that are manifested in the universe. ‘Man’, in short, the Microcosm. At the second level, vice versa, ‘man’ means an individual. On this level, not all men are equally perfect. There are, from this viewpoint, a number of degrees among men. And only few of them deserve the appellation of the Perfect Man. The majority of men are far from being ‘perfect’ (Izutsu, 1983:220) 

The ‘humanity’ of Man on the cosmic level lies in his ‘comprehesiveness’. Man, as Microcosmos, contains in himself all the attributes that are found in the universe. God manifests himself in Man in the most perfect way. Man is the Perfect Man because he is the most perfect self-manifestation of the God.
According to Ibn ‘Arabi, Man on the cosmic level, or the Perfect Man, is endowed with a perfect ‘comprehesiveness’. The Perfect Man shows two characteristics properties which are not shared by anything else. Firstly, he is the only being who is really and fully entitled to be a perfect ‘servant’ (‘abd) of God. All other beings do not fully reflect God, because each actualizes only a single Divine Name. The second characteristic feature of the Perfect Man consists in his being in a certain sense the Absolute itself (ibid, 227). In other words, the Absolute is the inner reality (‘ayn) of them, but not vice versa. 

As for the Perfect Man on the individual level merely is placed by the special people such as the Apostle (rasûl), the Prophet (nabiy), and the Saint (walîy). In Ibn ‘Arabi’s understanding, the concept latter comprises both Prophet and Apostle. For him, the Saint is the widest concept comprising Prophet and Apostle; next is the concept of Prophet which comprises that of Apostle; and the Apostle is the narrowest of all. Al-Qashani, a disciple of Ibn ‘Arabi, says, ‘Every Apostle is a Prophet, and every Prophet is a Saint’, but not vice versa (ibid, 263). 

Ibn ‘Arabi views that waliy is properly a Divine Name. The fact that waliy is one of the Names of God implies that it is an aspect of the Absolute. In this way, the Saint or waliy is radically different from the Prophet and the Apostle because the words nabiy and rasûl are not Divine Names. Since waliy is a name common to God and Man, so the walâyah never ceases to exist. As God exists everlastingly, the ‘saintship’ (walâyah) will exist forever. As long as there remains in the world even a single man of the highest spiritual power who attains to the rank of walâyah—and, in fact, such a man will certainly exist in every age—the walâyah itself will be kept intact. 

In contrast to this, the prophethood and apostleship are historically conditioned, and can, thus, be intermittent or even disappear completely. For instance, the chain of prophethood has historically come to an end at Muhammad, the last of the authentic Prophets. After Muhammad, there does not exist any longer a Prophet, who is at the same time a Law-giver (musharri`). After him, we have ‘general prophethood’ (nubuwwah ‘âmmah), namely, prophethood without institution of Law, which us nothing other than ‘saintship’ (ibid, 263-264).
So, if we relate Ibn ‘Arabi’ theory to the concept of Mahdiism, his theory actually strenghtened the concept of Mahdiism. For instance, Amuli (1989:156-157), one of the comentators of Fusus al-hikam, states: 

“He (the Mahdi) is the Great Caliph of Allah and the Pole around which the whole world revolves; it is also by him that wilâyah is sealed and all duties, divine codes of law, spiritual paths and religion are concluded; it is by him that the whole world returns to what is was before it was brought into existence; it is by him that the beginnings of creation are related to the Final Day and by him that the cycle of creation thus comes to an end.” 

In other passage, Amuli quotes Ibn ‘Arabi’s word when he divide the subject of wilâyah into different sections:
Know that wilayah may be divided into absolute and dependent wilayah, in other words common wilayah and wilayah of the elite. If we consider wilayah with respect to itself, then it is a divine attribute in an absolute sense; if we consider it as being related to the prophets and the awliya’, then it is dependent. Moreover, the dependent is fortified and given validity by the absolute and the absolute finds manifestation in the dependent; thus wilayah of all prophets and the awliya’ is part of the absolute wilayah, just as the prophethod of the prophets is part of the absolute prophethood. Since absolute prophethood from the outset is particular to Muhammad and his reality, and this continuation of the original reality particular to the prophets and the messengers from Adam to Jesus (who are in fact different manifestations of the Muhammad reality), so absolute wilayah is particular to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and to his reality (by way of the essential and inherited spiritual legacy from pre-eternity) and thereafter (by way of a continuation of the original reality) to his infallible progeny. This spiritual line extends until Allah seals it with the Mahdi. (Amuli, 1989:122) 

This passage shows us that Ibn ‘Arabi, according to Amuli, basically agree with the promised Mahdi from the Twelver Shia as the Seal of the Saints. That Ibn ‘Arabi has claimed himself as the Seal of Saints, it is not a part of this paper.

II. From the Individual Faith to the Social Responsibility 

After we prove the concept of Mahdiism from the three methods of religious thinking, which forms the individual faith, now we must consider how change the individual faith to social faith. It is important for us to do this, because during the era of the long occultation, we remains fill this period through some good deeds. These are called by Mutahhari as the positive awaiting. 

Awaiting (intizar) is the result of two conditions. Firstly, he is not satisfied with the present circumstances and secondly, he expects the improvement in his circumstances. If either of these conditions are not fulfilled then it is not awaiting and the person concerned is not an awaiter (muntazir).
The awaiting of Imam Mahdi also holds the same distinct characteristics. Even here awaiting purport s that an awaiter is not satisfied with his present circumstances and is hoping for a bright and better future. 

Merely being discontent with the present circumstances is not sufficient but he must strive to bring change in it. It becomes evident that in such vicious atmosphere and sinful surroundings, what is the responsibility of a true awaiter? And how important it is? There are at least responsibilities as follows:

II.1 Character Building 

The foremost thing which a true awaiter is expected to do is to build his character. Character-building implies following the tenets of Islam, developing good traits and purify his self in such a way that every aspect of his personality should reflect the teachings of the Household of the Prophet (`a). Often the friends and helpers of Imam Mahdi afs are described with such superlatives:
"Those who will believe in the hidden Imam they are the most pious ones and their faith is of the highest degree. They will establish prayers and spend generously in the way of God. They believe firmly in Quran and other divine scriptures and they are certain of Qiyamat. (Tafsire-Nuruth-Thaqalain, Vol. 1, Sura Baqarah) 

"They are obedient, sincere, honorable, good doers, patient, devout, helpers of the oppressed, cordial and pure-hearted.
“Their hearts are of steel. If they cast a glance at an iron mountain, it will crumble and reduce to bits.” (llzamun Naasib, vol.1, p. 67)
“Their bodies will emit fragrance of musk, while their countenance will be dazzling like a full moon." (Kamaluddin, Chap. 24, Tradition No. 11)
"They will be braver than lions and sharper than spears."(Biharul Anwar, vol. 52, Chap. 27, Tradition 17)
"They will worship at night." (Muntakhabul Asrar section 9, Chap 3, Tradition No.1 ) 

So, whosoever wishes to be among the friends and helpers of Imam Mahdi afs then he must adorn his self with the above mentioned attributes and characteristics. 

These excerpts were extracted from various traditions which clarify that in the period of occultation one of our vital responsibilities is to absorb the teachings of the Household of the Prophet (`a) in our character and personality so that we may not wander hither and thither while our beloved Imam (A.S.) is far from our eyes. In such an aimless wandering, it is quite possible that a wanderer may end up getting attached to any mundane caller, because every belief which is not a product of the teachings of the Household of the Prophet (`a) is a clear deviation and every courteousness which does not reflect their mannerisms is intact sheer discourtesy. 

It is a proven fact that as much as a man holds Imam (`a) dearer that much he will be attracted towards good deeds and demeanors. And he will cleanse his self from bad habits and vices. Numerous such incidents can he found in the hooks, stories of those persons, particularly youths who felt the love of Imam (`a) in their hearts which changed their entire lives. Undoubtedly, love is such an elixir by which every impossible is made possible.

II.2 The Reformation of Society 

One of our important responsibilities in the period of occultation is the reformation of society. The Holy Quran in Sura Asr has suggested a remedy for those who want to remain secure from loss i.e. ‘enjoining patience to each other’. Islam is against reclusion and negative ascetism. Rather it advocates a social and public life. The deplorable aspect of the contemporary world is that people want to lead a social life hut due to the fear of society, they do not want to take any initiative for reformation. The fear of "what the people will say" has displaced the fear of God. Imam Ali Naqi (`a) has extolled the virtues of those who are fulfilling their respon-sibilities in the period of occultation in the following words- 

"Had there not been such scholars in the period of occultation who call the people towards the Household of the Prophet (`a), guide towards them, defend their religion with the proofs of Allah, protect weak Shias from the devilish designs, deception of the tyrants and tentacles of the enemies of Islam, then surely all would have deviated from the religion of Allah. But it is they who are guarding the hearts of the weak Shias like a captain guards the passengers on his ship. They are those who enjoy a supreme position in front of Allah". (Mahajjatul-Baizaa, Vol. 1, Pg. 32) 

If they would not reform their society then how would it he known that the whole society is awaiting Imam Mahdi (`a). The following tradition throws light on our responsibilities in the period of occultation: 

In the exegesis of the Holy Quran attributed to Imam Hasan Askari (`a), the Holy Prophet (s) has explained the significance of word 'orphan' in the following verse:
"And when we took the covenant from the children of lsrail of not worshipping anyone but Allah and goodness to parents and by giving to near ones and orphans." (QS Baqarah [2]: 83). 

The Holy Prophet (s) says:
“Allah the Almighty has commanded to do good with the orphans and to act as (a source of) guidance for them. Since they are deprived of their kind and affectionate father. Allah will extend his grace to the one who will have mercy on the orphans. If a person caresses the head of an orphan then as many number of hairs come under his hand those many vast and expansive palatial mansions will be given to him in Paradise. This place will contain all sorts of comforts and luxuries in its precincts... These people will stay in it forever.” (Tafseer attributed to Imam Hasan Askari (`a), p.239) 

Imam Hasan Askari further elucidates the tradition of Holy Prophet (s) in these words:
“There is another orphan whose plight is more pitiful. He is the one who is far from his Imam and cannot have access to him. He who is not aware of his religious obligations. Yes, indeed o' people - one who teaches and trains our far off Shias then he is similar to the guardian of an orphan. Be aware if somebody teaches an ignorant, guides a misguided one, instills the teachings of the Household of the Prophet (`a) then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be with us. We will give him a seat next to us wherever we may be.” (Tafseer attributed to Imam Hasan Askari (`a), p. 239) 

In this period of occultation, when we are separated from our kind Imam (`a) then what else can he the reward of teaching, training, and reforming the society? Where is the teaching and training of society and where is the proximity to the Infallibles Imams (`a) and the fortune of staying with them? This tradition is sufficient to enlighten the keen and sensitive Shias. Even women can join hands with men in fulfilling this responsibility. 

It becomes clear after this explanation that a true awaiter never tires of waiting for Imam (`a). He keeps on exerting continuously instead of being a silent spectator. According to me, the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the manifestation of the active awaiters, which led by Imam Khomeini (q). From this country, the oppressed people over the whole world strive for their independence and liberty from the superpower country. The Islamic Revolution in Iran has inspired millions people to do many things as being of their awaiting to Imam Mahdi (`a). Ya Mahdi adrikna…[]

Reference: 

- Amini, Ayatullah Ibrahim (1997). Al-Imam Al-Mahdi: The Just Leader of Humanity. Qum: Ansariyan.
- Amuli, Sayyid Haydar (1989). Inner Secrets of the Path. Dorset: Element Books.
- Gulpaygani. Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Lutfullah Safi (2001). Discussions Concerning Al-Mahdi. Qum: Ansariyan.
- Izutsu, Toshihiko (1984). Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative of Key Philosopical Concepts. California: University of California Press.
- Sachedina. A.A (1981). Islamic Messianism: The Idea of the Mahdi in Twelver Shi’ism. Albany: SUNY Press.
- Sadr, Muhammad Baqir (2001). Discussions Concerning Al-Mahdi (Bahtsun Haula al-Mahdi)
- Tabatabai, Allamah S.M.H (2001). Shi’a. Qum: Ansariyan.

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