The birth of the last hope

The twelfth sinless imam from the prophetic family is called the same as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which means “praised” in Arabic. It should be noted that in a number of hadiths from the imams there is a ban on mentioning his name. The twelfth imam is called differently. He is Mahdi (appointed), Muntazer (expected), Sahib al-Zaman (lord of time) Imam Mahdi was born in the year 255 of the lunar Hijra in the Iraqi city of Samarra. His father is the eleventh sinless imam from the prophetic family, Imam Hasan Askari (a). His mother is a pious woman named Nargis. After Imam Mahdi was born on the 15th of Sha’ban, Imam Hasan Askari gathered his relatives and closest followers and informed them about the birth of the twelfth Imam: “The evidence of Allah to the people, your Imam and my vicegerent was born on the fifteenth of Sha’ban 255- that year at dawn.”

The first period of the blessed life of the twelfth Imam began in the year 255 of the lunar Hijra and lasted until the year 260, that is, until the tragic death of his father, Imam Hasan Askari. Thus, the first period of his life lasted five years, during which Imam Mahdi grew up and was educated in the school of the eleventh Imam. During this period, Imam Hasana Askari had to introduce his faithful followers to their next Imam, the Muslims knew that he would be the last Imam, the one who would save the world from the shackles of evil and tyranny, and fill the earth with justice. Therefore, the eleventh imam introduced his closest followers to his son and left many instructions to the Muslims about the guidance of the hidden imam, so that after his death people would not be immersed in disagreements and strife. Muhammad ibn Ayub says: – We, in the number of forty people, gathered in the house of Imam Hasan Askari, who showed us his son Mahdi and said: “This is your imam and my vicegerent.” It can be said that the most important events of this period of the imam’s life were his introduction to the closest Muslims and relatives of the Ahl al-Bayt, as well as the news about the beginning of the small concealment and its reasons.

The second period of Imam Mahdi’s life began in 260 A.H. after the death of the eleventh Imam. In this year, the twelfth imam, despite his young age, became the leader of the Muslim community. With the help of performing miraculous deeds and a number of other actions, he confirmed his connection with the secret world and proved to Muslims his indisputable right to the Imamate. This period of his life was called the era of small concealment, and lasted until the 329th year. It was marked by the preparation of Muslims for a quick, large-scale concealment. In the era of little concealment, Imam Mahdi appointed as his special representatives the four greatest righteous and pious Muslims of that time. With their help he kept in touch with his followers, through them he answered their questions and solved their difficulties. The representation of the most pious and righteous Muslims was not news. The foundations of such a representation were laid during the time of Imam Sadiq (a), who in this way began to prepare the ground for the future concealment of the last sinless Imam. The four special representatives of the imam in the era of small concealment were: 1. Abu Umar Uthman ibn Sa’id Amra. 2. Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman ibn Said Amra. 3. Abu Qasim Hussein ibn Rukh Nubakhti. 4. Abu Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad the samurai. In the era of little concealment, the direct connection between Muslims and Imam Mahdi was interrupted. In the first and second periods of his life, Muslims were being prepared for an era of great concealment. They were prepared directly by Imam Hasan Askari himself (in the first period) and Imam Mahdi through his representatives (in the second period). The twelfth imam wrote his last letter in the year 329 after the lunar Hijra and through Ali ibn Muhammad (the fourth representative) announced to the Muslims the beginning of the era of great concealment, the end of which only Allah Almighty knows. During this period, there will be no special representatives of the imam and Muslims must wait for his return.

The third period of the life of the twelfth imam is an era of great concealment, and we live in this era. It began in the 329th year of the lunar Hijra after the death of Ali ibn Muhammad the samurai and will continue until the day when the imam appears and the construction of a universal just order begins. The Messenger of Allah said about this period of the twelfth Imam’s life: “The Mahdi is from my progeny. He will be in hiding, after which he will come out and fill the earth with justice, just as it was filled with oppression before. [6]

The era of great concealment is the era of ijtihad of scholars and faqihs who help the Islamic community to move along the true path. This is the era of the spiritual connection of pious Muslims with their hidden leader. During this period, Imam Mahdi continues to spiritually guide his followers and solve their problems. He rushes to help them at fateful moments and when religious issues arise that they are unable to solve on their own. It is rare to meet a pious and God-fearing Muslim who sincerely waits for the return of the hidden

that imam who would not feel the help of the imam. In the era of great concealment, the imam does not have special representatives as in the previous era. But its general representatives at this time are Faqih and scientists. Having thoroughly studied the rich heritage left by the Messenger of Allah and the sinless imams, they explain to people their religious duties and the ways to faithfully fulfill these duties.

The fourth period of Imam Mahdi’s life will begin with his return after the end of the era of great concealment. The exact date of this event is unknown to anyone, only Allah knows about it. In numerous Islamic hadiths, it is said that the return of the imam and the beginning of the fourth period of his blessed life will be preceded by the forgetting of religion and morality, the spread of wickedness and injustice throughout the land. The way out of this difficult situation, in which the whole world will plunge, will be only the worldwide movement of the divine leader, whose return the Muslims will hope for. Allah will correct the plight of the world, ease the lives of the pious who are in suffering and torment. This period is mentioned in the 5th verse of the Sura “Narration”: “We wished to grant mercy to those who were humiliated on earth, to make them leaders and heirs.” Allah will certainly establish the truth in the whole earth, as all true believers desire. And he will do it with the help of the last imam from the prophetic family. He will command Imam Mahdi, who will liberate humanity from evil and injustice, and will implement the perfect laws of the Islamic religion. Then mankind will know the true goodness of heavenly laws, and the oppressed will heave a sigh of relief. Wars and violence will cease, all artificial differences between people will disappear, superiority based on race, nationality and social status will disappear. Only piety and piety will be the criterion of superiority. Then all people on earth will realize the truth of the Islamic religion.

In the 33rd verse of Surah “Repentance” it is said: “He is the One who sent His Messenger with the right guidance and the true religion, to exalt it above all other religions.” The Islamic religion, preached by the Messenger of Allah, is the most perfect and complete heavenly teaching that meets all the needs of mankind. However, many people do not recognize this. Imam Mahdi, having established Islamic laws on earth, will prove the superiority of Islam in practice. The following verses also indicate the era of the return of Imam Mahdi, after which the truth will prevail and the righteous will rejoice. In the 55th verse of Sura “The Light” it is said: “Allah has promised those of you who believe and do righteous deeds that He will certainly make them viceroys on earth, just as He made viceroys of those before them. He will certainly endow them with the opportunity to practice their religion which He has approved for them, and will change their fear to safety.’