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  • 3/10/2012

The Importance of Love for Imam Mahdi A.S

part 1

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Every living being is overwhelmed with emotions of love and attachment. These are emotions that man is very familiar with, and everyone has experienced these strong emotions at some stage in his life. However, those who reflect on these emotions are few. Even fewer are those who comprehend the reality and foundation of the emotions. We all understand that love can increase and decrease as well. An intense feeling of love and attachment can melt the most hardened of hearts. It can make a person weep and it can also make a person smile. Love can be witnessed in the battlefield, over there it can be heard from the resonance of swords and spears striking each other. It can also be witnessed in more peaceful and secure times. Indeed love can have a powerful influence on an individual.

An incident in this regard from the highly acclaimed compilation - Najmus Saqib (by Muhaddiss-e-Noori) is worth mentioning over here. Once a group of people belonging to a nomadic Qazaak tribe had lost its way in the desert. They were totally exhausted from trying to find a way out of the desert.

Suddenly they saw some smoke emanating from a hillock at a distance. Out of curiosity they went towards the hillock and saw a caravan on the other side. The leader of the caravan was very benevolent and generous and seeing their worn out condition invited them for a meal. When the Qazaaki group had their fill they left. But seeing the wealth of the caravan, they were tempted and they turned back in order to plunder the caravan. The leader of the caravan was quick to discern their intentions and he drew his sword from its sheath. He drew a line on the ground and announced in an awesome tone, 'If anyone tries to cross this line, I will behead him.' His voice was so terrifying, that the group of Qazaakis fell down from their mounts. May the lives of our parents be sacrificed upon the benevolent and generous leader of the caravan. O the avenger of Imam Husain's (a.s.) blood!

Love can be an overwhelmingly powerful emotion. Love has in it the ability to drown the person with its intensity and force. However, love has several levels and grades. It has ways and it has gateways; each gateway has its own peculiarities and a different approach should be adopted for every gateway. Likewise, the gateway of Imam's (A.S.) love has its own peculiarities and requires a completely different approach. We must try to discern the path towards Imam's (A.S.) love and attachment. We must try to gauge the different levels of his love and the difficulties involved in the path of his love. We must try to assess the requirements and prerequisites of the love and whether we find those criteria in ourselves. Only after understanding all the prerequisites and conditions involved in Imam's (A.S.) love, we might claim - We love Imam-e-Zamana (A.S.). But if negligence overpowers us, then it can expel us from the domain of Imam's (A.S.) love and attachment. That is why it is crucial that we understand this love and its criteria.

The love of Imam (A.S.) resides in the heart. For this love to grow and be nurtured, the heart must be clean and pure from all corruption. We have to see how Allah, the Benevolent and the Merciful, has guided us towards his love. Imam Mahdi (A.S.) is the last successor and vicegerent of the Chief of the Apostles (a.s.) and the Seal of the Prophets (a.s.). He is Allah's Proof upon His creatures. Therefore we should also assess the relationship between love and the raising of Prophets (a.s.). We should see how Imam (A.S.) reminds men of Allah's signs, how he purifies the souls, how he illumines man's existence with the radiance of love. We should see how our teachers and guides have prepared us for purification with love and how they have awakened us for this love. Only then will we understand that we can never adequately return Imam's (A.S.) love for us and fall woefully short in this regard.

However, history does throw up instances of several personalities who were from an immaculate and cultured background, who possessed amazing prowess and had remarkable accomplishments to their credit and were supported by an unseen force in their efforts. These personalities tread the path of love and affection for Imam (A.S.). It is not easy to tread on the path which they strode, however it is not impossible either. That's why we say - we can never 'adequately' return Imam's (A.S.) love.

However, even the inadequate love and attachment that we have for Imam (A.S.) is very powerful and carries tremendous impact. To reach that position requires a Herculean effort. Let us take a look at what the scholars have had to say in this regard.

Source: imamalmahdi.com


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