Be Ready To Meet the Redeemer of Mankind

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1. Introduction

Keeping in mind that we are approaching the birth date of our Living Imam (may Allah hasten his return), we felt it necessary to speak about this great personality – a discussion that is both enlightening and o¬ne which will train and educate all of us.
The late ‘Allamah Majlisi (may Allah raise his rank) has narrated a Hadith in relation to Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) that states:
When al-Qaim rises up, he will judge with justice and during the time of his advent, all forms of tyranny will be removed and the paths (towards him) will be made safe and the Earth will bring forth Her blessings and the rights of each and every person will be given to them and no person who follows (any other) din (complete code of life) will remain except that they will accept al-Islam and all people will come towards true faith.I[1]
Explanation of Hadith:
In this Hadith, there are seven tasks that the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) will accomplish which have been mentioned:

2. The government of justice and the removal of all forms of tyranny.

The opposite of justice (عدل) is oppression (ظلم) not tyranny (جور) - whereas equality (قسط) is the opposite of tyranny (جور). The difference between justice (عدل) and equality (قسط) is that where as justice refers to not taking the rights of another person away, equality means that there is no differentiation between people. Therefore, oppression means that you take something from another for your own self where as tyranny means that you take something from a person and give it to somebody else.
For example, o¬ne time I forcefully take Zaid’s house away from him for my own personal use, this act is oppression. Another time, I take Zaid’s house and give it to another person, this is tyranny. The exact opposite of this is that I do not take Zaid’s house for my own personal use, and this is justice and if I do not take it for the use of another person, then this is equality. Therefore, equality means that differentiation does not exist where as justice means that oppression does not exist.

3. The paths will be made safe.

The paths towards the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) will be made safe and secure.

4. Natural Blessings

The Earth will bring forth her blessings – whether these are the blessings that come about through farming or the blessing of the minerals from the Earth or other types of powers and energies that are presently hidden from us.

5. Responsibilities will be returned to their Rightful Holder

The rights and responsibilities will be given back to those who have lost them which is completely opposite to our present day and age in which a great number of jobs and occupations are in the hands of those who have no knowledge of them since the issue of who they know has taken precedence over what they know.

6. The Ruling of Al-Islam

No other religion will remain o¬n the Earth except for Islam and thus all religions will amalgamate into o¬ne Religion and that will be Al-Islam.

7. Sincere attraction to Islam

This part of the Hadith has two meanings. It is possible that it refers to the point that all people will become followers of the teachings of the Ahl al-Bait (prayers be upon all of them) or it could mean that in addition to people showing an outward form of true faith, they will also have the inner belief to make them true believers.
There is a difference that has been mentioned in the ahadith in relation to the terms Islam and Iman. Some of the ahadith state that Islam is that thing which a person verbally declares such that his life is protected and the meat that he slaughters is made permissible to eat whereas Iman is that thing that is the true essence that will act as a salvation for a person o¬n Qiyamat (Day of Judgment).
In other ahadith, it is mentioned that Islam is equivalent to the Masjid al-Haram whereas Iman is (like) the Ka’bah. There is a possibility that this explanation could be in reference to the verse of the Qur~an which states:
The desert ‘Arabs say to you (O’ Muhammad) that we have Iman (belief)…I[2]

At the head of all the things that the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) will perform, we see in the Hadith that there are four major things which he will do which we summarize as being:

1. Correcting the Theological Beliefs:

IThere will not remain a single stone house nor a mud house nor a tent upon the entire earth except the word (teachings) of Islam would be in that place (and thus, there would exist no more polytheism).I[3]

2. Completion of the Intelligence

The advancement of knowledge and intelligence will also take place (at this time) just as the late ‘Allamah Majlisi (may Allah raise his rank), by quoting a Hadith from the Ma’sumin (prayers be upon all of them) in relation to this point makes clear:
IWhen our Qaim rises up, he will place his hand over the heads of the servants.I
It is possible that this means that people will be under the direction and guidance of the Imam (may Allah hasten his return).
So then (through this act), he will gather together their intelligence and complete their knowledge.I[4]

3. Justice and Equality

In the various ahadith, it has been mentioned that:
He (the Imam) will fill the Earth with justice and equality just as it would have been filled with oppression and tyranny.I[5]

4. Correction of the Moral Ethical Traits

From the ahadith that speak of the signs of the end of the times, we can deduce that removing all of the corrupt ethical traits and bringing back to life the moral values of Islam will be the duty of the Imam (prayers be upon him).
There are ahadith that state that before the advent of al-Qaim (may Allah hasten his return), many corrupt ethical traits such as: adultery, theft, bribery, selling less that what o¬ne paid for, the drinking of alcohol, murdering of countless innocent people and other such sins will be common place.
Thus, the meaning of this Hadith is that when al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) rises up to remove and eradicate all of these things, the entire valued and cherished system of moral ethics would have been completely destroyed and it is Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) that will restore it.
Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) will possess an army, military and many helpers and supporters just as we recite in the Ziyarat of Aale Yasin:
So then place me (O’ Allah) amongst his followers and supports and helpers.I
Or as it can be seen in some ahadith that:
I(And place us) as those who struggle and fight in his way.I
That person who wishes to be a helper of the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) must work tirelessly in these four points mentioned and the o¬ne who does not possess any of these four points within himself, however prays to Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) to make him of the helpers of the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) will see that his prayers would be far from being answered.
If the scholars would take it upon themselves to introduce this sort of ethical program (in the community) then we would see o¬ne large class of preparation and upbringing take form.
Tawassul (to the Imam) is a good thing and it has its own place – however:
So then place me (O’ Allah) amongst his followers and supports and helpers.I
This request will never be achieved simply through tawassul and prayer – rather, our belief and acceptance of the Tawhid of Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) must be o¬ne of sincerity and thus, we must remove all forms and effects of polytheism from our hearts, lives and from the society.
We must practically implement justice and equality in relation to the people and our family and those who are around us - we must make the valuable ethical traits apparent in us.
If it was made completely clear for what reasons the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) would make his advent, then this would definitely change the face of the society.
If we do not possess any of these traits in our selves, we can most definitely not expect to stand in the ranks with the Imam (may Allah hasten his return). Therefore, it is very good that during the days while we are commemorating the birth of this noble personality, we actively do something to call the attention of the people towards the goals and objectives of the Imam (may Allah hasten his return) so that they can mould themselves in that pattern.
We must know that there hidden hands at work that are striving to pollute the gatherings (majalis) that we hold for Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his return) by introducing despicable forms of singing and playing of music and other limits which are being breaking. Sometimes, the enemy will use such religious gatherings and programs (majalis) to reach their evil goals just as the story of Masjid Dhirar through which the enemies wanted to build a Masjid to actually destroy the roots and symbol of what a Masjid truly is and stands for!
Thus, the goals and values must be manifested in the correct manner lest the enemies who are trying to remove the value and worth of such programs become successful in their goals.
It is our hope that Allah (Glory and Greatness be to Him) accepts this supplication in relation to us:
…and all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, o¬nly the mistakes are mine. (Tr.)

[1] Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 338
[2] Surah al-Hujurat, Verse 14
[3] Tafsir al-Qurtuba, Volume 12, Page 300
[4] Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 52, Page 338
[5] Bihar al-Anwar, Volume 14, Page 33