What are the belief and intellectual dimensions of awaiting the deliverance? (question)

From Imamatpedia

The Role of Thought and Belief in the Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a)

Thought forms the foundations of Human actions and activities, and a human being's life exists within the walls of his fundamental beliefs. In reality, the foremost mission of God's prophets and His saints is to train human beings and emancipate them from the darkness of ignorance and unawareness by way of presenting to them the realities of Islam. The Almighty states in the Holy Qur'an : "It is He who sent to the unlettered [people] an apostle from among themselves, to recite to them His signs, to purify them, and to teach them the Book and wisdom, and earlier they had indeed been in manifest error"[1]. A person who awaits Imam Mahdi (a) and is subject to his spiritual training gains a significant degree of intellectual purity and mental development. Speaking about this issue, Imam Baqir (a) is reported to have said : "When our Qa'im will rise up, he will place his hand upon the heads of God's pious servants and their minds will become focused and their intellects will be perfected"[2].[3] Indeed, at that time, the thoughts of the people of the world will become so greatly developed and enlightened that they will no longer find themselves divided by national, geographical, linguistic and cultural boundaries[4].

What makes Imam Mahdi's uprising unique amongst other revolutions is that it will cause a major shift within the people's basic beliefs leading to a universal focus upon the divine objectives of human creation. This, in turn, will prompt the masses of the world to wholeheartedly strive towards holistic perfection[5]. One of the religious duties while awaiting Imam Mahdi (a) is to preserve one's religion and safeguard the boundaries of belief[6]. Therefore, learning and correctly understanding religious teachings and concepts, which is necessary for Muslims at all times anyway, become even more obligatory during the era of occultation[7], . This is because a believer must prepare himself for answering a myriad of objections and doubts created by overt and covert satanic forces during the period of Imam Mahdi's concealment. The heightened sensitivity in this regard aims at preserving the purity of beliefs and righteous actions within people who await Imam Mahdi's return so as to protect these elements until the Imam's reappearance. Speaking about the spiritual superiority of believers who live during the End of Times, the Prophet (s) is reported to have said : "Each one of them will protect his belief and religion with great difficulty, like peeling a thorny brush with one's bare hands in the dead of night or like holding a smoldering ember upon one's naked palm. These believers are radiant torches within the darkness and the Almighty will save them from the pitch black tribulations of the End times"[8].[9]

The Intellectual and Belief Based Dimensions of Awaiting Imam Mahdi (a)

The intellectual and belief based dimensions of awaiting Imam Mahdi (a) are as follows: 1. The dimension of the monotheistic unity of God: A person's belief in awaiting Imam Mahdi (a) plays a vital role in focusing his attentions towards the divine source of all creation i.e. the Almighty. A human being who awaits Imam Mahdi (a) is always in anticipation of the coming deliverance which God, through His absolute omnipotence, will bring into being. Those who await Imam Mahdi (a) are people who are the most sincere servants of God and His divinely ordained vicegerent. Indeed, Imam Mahdi (a) is continuously busy in worshipping God and managing the events of the world and will one day reappear, by the Almighty's will, to establish God's religion and save human society from all kinds of polytheism and corruption[10].

2. The dimension of the doctrine of prophethood: Those who await Imam Mahdi (a) are actually awaiting someone who holds within himself the esteemed characteristics and traits of divine prophets. When he finally reappears, these characteristics and features will fully manifest themselves for all to witness. His reappearance will occur in order to fulfill the ideals and wishes of all divine prophets, and to spread the Almighty's religion and the slogan of His true monotheistic unity to all corners of the world. Therefore, within the culture of awaiting Imam Mahdi (a), those who anxiously wait for his return actually enjoy a deep and direct ideological and spiritual connection with divine prophethood[11].

3. The dimension of the Qur'an: Imam Mahdi (a) is the person who will revitalize and fully establish all the laws and teachings of the Qur'an. An individual who awaits Imam Mahdi (a) yearns to see the day when the promised Mahdi (a) from the sacred progeny of Muhammad (s) and the Last Caliph of the Prophet of Islam (s) will reappear, implementing all the laws and teachings of the Qur'an and establishing its universal rulership over the entire world. On that day, this heavenly book will finally come into effect as the program that all human beings will follow in order to live their lives correctly[12].

4. The dimension of the doctrine of Imamate: Imam Mahdi (a) is the heir of all previous divinely ordained Imams (a) and represents the final member of the Immaculates (a). The previous Imams (a) have all spoken about him and he is their descendant who keeps their memory alive and continues their divine mission. He is the manifestation of the divine doctrine of imamate and awaiting his reappearance is the greatest validation of the principle of imamate and divinely ordained leadership.

5. The dimension of the doctrine of divine justice: Waiting for Imam Mahdi (a) is waiting for the establishment of universal justice. He is the one who shall transform a world full of tyranny and injustice into a world saturated with fairness and equity, while spreading the light of divine justice to all corners of the globe. He is the very personification of universal justice and his essential identity bring to mind the ideas of fairness and impartiality[13].

6. The dimension of the doctrine of Judgement Day or Resurrection: Judgement Day or Resurrection represents humanity's return towards God and its entry into an everlasting world where people shall begin their true and eternal lives. This vital principle always accompanies and runs in tandem with waiting for Imam Mahdi (a)[14]. This union manifests itself in the three following ways:

a. After his reappearance, Imam Mahdi (a) will punish all oppressors and bring divine retribution to all tyrants for their wrongdoing. This, in itself, represents a sample of the great reckoning that awaits the entirety of humanity on the Day of Judgment and Resurrection[15].

b. At the time of Imam Mahdi's reappearance, some of the most pious and some of the most vile of individuals will return to this world to be judged for their actions. This, too, represents a minor instance of the Day of Judgment and serves as a sign of the major and final Resurrection.

c. The reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a) is one of the necessary and immutable signs of the imminence of Judgment Day and Resurrection. The world will not end and the Day of Judgment will not come to pass until Imam Mahdi's return[16].

Conclusion

Therefore, the issue of awaiting the promised saviour is intrinsically and deeply connected to the principles of faith. Waiting for Imam Mahdi (a) forms a benchmark that illuminates all dimensions of true religious beliefs.

References