Imam Al-Mahdi Al-Muntadhar (a.s)
As an example, Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (the eighth Imam) has said, in the course of a hadith, "The imam after me is my son, Muhammad and after him his son Ali, and after Ali his son, Hasan, and after Hasan his son Hujjat al-Qa'im, who is awaited during his occultation and obeyed during his manifestation. If there remain from the life of the world but a single day, Allah will extend that day until he becomes manifest, and fill the world with justice in the same way that it had been filled with iniquity. But when? As for news of the 'hour,' verily my father told me, having heard it from his father who heard it from his father who heard it from his ancestors who heard it from Ali, that it was asked of the Holy Prophet, 'Oh Prophet of God when will the 'support' (qa'im) who is from thy family appear?' He said. 'His case is like that of the Hour (of the Resurrection). "He alone will manifest it at its proper time. It is heavy in the heavens and the earth. It cometh not to you save unawares'. (Quran. VII, l87).’"
Saqr ibn Abi Dulaf said. "I heard from Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ali al-Rida [the ninth Imam] who said, 'The Imam after me is my son. Ali; his command is my command; his word is my word ; to obey him is to obey me. The Imam after him is his son. Hasan. His command is the command of his father his word is the word of h is father to obey him is to obey his father.' After these words the Imam remained silent. I said to him, 'Oh son of the Prophet who will be the Imam after Hasan?' The Imam cried hard, then said.
'Verily after Hasan his son is the awaited Imam who is "al-qa'im bi'l-haqq'. (He who is supported by the Truth),'"
Musa ibn Ja'far Baghdadi said, "I heard from the Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali [the eleventh Imam] who said, 'I see that after me differences will appear among you concerning the Imam after me. Whose accepts the Imams after the Prophet of God but denies my son is like the person who accepts all the prophets but denies the prophethood of Muhammad, the Prophet of God upon whom be peace and blessing. And whose denies [Muhammad] the Prophet of God is like one who has denied all the prophets of God, for to obey the last of us is like obeying the first and to deny the last of us is like denying the first. But beware!
Verily for my son there is an occultation during which all people will fall into doubt except those whom Allah protects."
The opponents of Shi'ism protest that' according to the beliefs of this school the Hidden Imam should by now be nearly twelve centuries old, whereas this is impossible for any human being. In answer it must be said that the protest is based only on the unlikelihood of such an occurrence not its impossibility. Of course such a long lifetime or a life of a longer period is unlikely. But those who study the hadiths of the Holy Prophet and the Imams will see that they refer to this life as one possessing miraculous qualities.
To be continued ...
Imam Al-Mahdi: The Awaited Hope for Humanity: Part 2
Commencement of Imam Mahdi’s Imamate (Part 1)
Commencement of Imam Mahdi’s Imamate (Part 2)