Commencement of Imam Mahdi's Imamate (Part 5)
My second story was from the lips of an Englishman, Col.Abdullah Baines. During the 2nd World War he was stationed at the Royal Air Force Base at Habbaniyah, a town some 22 miles south of Baghdad. During the height of the war there was some scare in Britain that Hitler might invade Iraq to grab oilfields. It was 1942 that the Commander of the Base decided to evacuate families of the people living at the base. Col.Baines was given the task of leading the caravan of jeep cars full of women and children from Baghdad to Damascus. They had to pass through the Desert where there was no road and they had to find there way by looking at the stars as Captains of the ship sail in the sea and find there way to their destination. Col.Baines was a Christian but he was well versed in Islamic history and especially the history concerning the lives of the Imams. He had read many books about the 12th Imam and was well aware of the stories of those faithful who believe who receive help from the Imam in their distress. They call the Imam and help comes to them. All the women and children with Col.Baines were all Christians and not muslims. Half way through their journey of this caravan of five jeeps through the desert, they lost their way in a desert storm. They were hopelessly lost, going round and round in the desert, not knowing where to go and how to find their way to Damascus. They decided to camp there. Made a circle of jeep cars and all travelers sat down on the ground to await a miracle to get them out of that endless desert. They did not know what to do. One day and one night passed like that and when the next day’s sun came scorching, all of them were in despair.
Water stocks had gone and thirsty children began to demand for water. Col.Baines did not know what to do. Then he remembered that he read somewhere that if you are in such distress, call the Imam of the time for help. He put up his hands in the shape of prayer, closed his eyes and asked in his heart for the Imam to help. He said, “We are all Christians and we may be sinners, but these children with me are innocent, they do not deserve to die in this manner. O’ Imam of the Time helps them get out of this desert”. His prayers had not even ended when he saw that two horsemen were coming right through the eye of the storm. They came near the circle of jeep cars, approached Col.Baines, and asked, “Do you all wish to go to Damascus”. He said “yes of course”. They said, “Follow us”. The jeeps lined up and followed the horsemen. They had gone a few miles until the way became clear for them. Their guides told them to go straight to the West and they will reach Damascus. In a few days they all reached Damascus and safety. Col.Baines realised that his prayers to the 12th Imam were heard and help arrived from the Imam. Once the war was over, Col.Bains embraced Islam, changed his name to Abdullah Baines and after his retirement from the Army, settled in Kent. He has himself told me his story before his death in 1965. There are numerous experiences of this kind of help given by the Imam to people in distress who call him for help. Ayatollah al-Jazaeri told us two such stories of his own experiences in Iran when help came from the Imam to people.
Although absent and unrepresented, Imam Mahdi (A.S) still guides people and defends the faith. Even though unseen, the Imam supervises the world affairs and guides it. This curtain will exist as long as Providence deems it necessary. The time will come, which may be too late for many of us, but when the curtain of absence will be removed, Imam Mahdi (A.S) will reappear and as predicted by the Prophet, fill the world with justice and equity, discarding the prevailing injustices and oppressions.
May God bring about his early reappearance and ease his coming. We beseech the Most High and Almighty to make our effort of enduring benefit and to help us in disseminating benevolence and guidance. He is the Hearing and Answering.
Commencement of Imam Mahdi’s Imamate (Part 1)
Some Ways for Waiving the Remaining Time of Occulation (Part 1)
Some Ways for Waiving the Remaining Time of Occulation (Part 2)
Some Ways for Waiving the Remaining Time of Occulation (Part 3)
The Badaa and its significance (Part 1)
The Badaa and its significance (Part 2)
Qom in traditions
Duties of nations towards Islamic Awakening from viewpoint of Ayatollah Khamenei: (part 2)
Nahjul Balagah and its Lessons for the Mankind (part 11)
How does the Quran present God? (part 2)