In the name of Allah the most Merciful Beneficent
We are living an age when we are besieged with all sorts of calamities, the calamity of injustice, the calamity of corruption, the calamity of hopelessness, the calamity of misguidance, the calamity of going astray , the calamity of falling in sin, the calamity of getting lost in the darkness of disbelief, the calamity of ever increasing gap between haves and have-nots, the calamity of constant damage to the ecological system, the calamity of widening economic and social inequalities, the calamity of shortage of food and water, the calamity of failing health and increasing diseases, the calamity of lack of education for billions and so on.
The international organizations working in the realm of conflict resolutions and finding solutions organize global conferences and thought munching sessions to come with solutions. The best minds from among the top academics, social scientists, and thinkers of the present world assemble there and spend a lot of time in reaching the solutions for the insurmountable problems being encountered by the human race.
But despite all the untiring efforts none of the problems really shows the sign of let up. The social unrest is increasing all over the world. The gap between the incomes of poor and rich is widening more rapidly. The economic inequality and disparity in resource allocations are increasingly more leaning in the favour of mighty and powerful.
The traits of moral degradation and ethical decadence have baffled moral teachers and preachers but they are helpless in checking this demise.
Are we really doomed? Is there no real way out? Has Allah Who has created the entire creation in the best form left His best creation on his own?
No. Allah has not left us on our own. Allah has created a system of leadership- divinely appointed leaders who are there to guide and lead the world out of crushing problems.
The Imam of this age, Imam al-Mahdi(AJFS) is our hope amidst the engulfing darkness of injustice and misguidance. The Imam is there to guide. If we cannot find him it is not because he is turned away from us but because we have turned away from him. The veils of sins and extreme indulgence in worldly affairs have made us not notice his presence.
We need to cleanse our eyes and hearts to see and feel his presence. We need to increase our yearning for him. We do not have enough longing for his reappearance. The longing mandates making the platform ready for his return and establishment of his just rule. The platform for his reappearance cannot be laid until we understand our responsibilities and duties at the time of his occultation.
Let’s make a small effort to understand our responsibilities as followers of Imam al-Mahdi(AJFS) during the period of occultation through the reading of some good text resources on this topic:
The Last Luminary and Ways to Delve Into the Light “This work authored by Sayyid Ridha Husayni Mutlaq, presents ninety-nine rights and responsibilities which the true believers have to the Living Imam. The author demonstrates that the best way which one can fulfill such responsibilities is through purification of the soul and in addition, a spiritual change must take place within each person and we must seek to maintain closeness to Allah.”
Manner of Awaiting “..is a small collection of people’s responsibilities which are gathered to remind us of our duties while waiting for the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, Imam al-Hujja, al-Qa’im, Imam Mahdi (aj)”
The Waiting Chapter in Universal Government of the Mahdi discusses the definition, levels, philosophy and other aspects of waiting.
Preparing the Shi‘a for the Age of Occultation Part 1 and Preparing the Shi’a for the Age of Occultation Part 2 are great resources for understanding the preparations done right by the holy Prophet(S) and Imams(AS). This is a comprehensive reading on the issue of preparing Muslims for the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi(AJFS).
Another reading on a Muslim’s responsibilities is Duties and Responsibilities section in the book “Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.): The Spring of Life”
May Allah make us worthy of joining of Imam al-Mahdi (AJFS) when he reappears and include us among his followers and supporters, and provide us salvation through him!