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Ghaibat/Occultation

Q:

Hujjat=proof (after which person is left w/o excuse) How is Imam e Zaman ajtf hujjat if he is hidden? We often hear about necessity of itmam e hujjat, how is it done in ghaibat? We say to Those who do not believe in imamat that allah would not leave mankind without a guide after last prophet but rather appoint some1 who would clear confusions and ikhtelaafaat (as also in a debate by hisham bin hakam (r)). They reply of so how do u explain the absence of an active guide now?

-if u say he guides w/o us knowing. Then why the need of an alive imam, allah could guide (if it was to be done secretly) If possible could the answers be supported with ahadees.

A:

Salaam Alaykum,
In the book Kamal ud din wa tamam un ne’ma of Sheikh Saduq, vol 2, pg 485, Imam Zaman (alayhis salam) mentions in his letter:
(وَ أَمَّا وَجْهُ‏ الِانْتِفَاعِ‏ بِي‏ فِي غَيْبَتِي فَكَالانْتِفَاعِ بِالشَّمْسِ إِذَا غَيَّبَتْهَا عَنِ الْأَبْصَارِ السَّحَاب‏) – ‘with regard to my benefiting (the ppl) in my ghaibat, it is like the way the sun is beneficial when it is hidden behind the cloud.

Ways in which the benefit of the Imam in ghaibat is likened to the sun behind the cloud:
1. Just the way that if the sun was behind the clouds ppl would get light, likewise in the presence of Imam Zaman (alayhis salam) mercy envelopes the
servants and tribulations are removed. In a hadith from the Imam himself (mentioned in Bihar, vol 53, pg 175 and Fadhail us Shia of Sh Saduq):
(َ إِنَّا غَيْرُ مُهْمَلِينَ‏ لِمُرَاعَاتِكُمْ وَ لَا نَاسِينَ لِذِكْرِكُمْ وَ لَوْ لَا ذَلِكَ لَنَزَلَ بِكُمُ اللَّأْوَاءُ وَ اصْطَلَمَكُمُ الْأَعْدَاء)
We are not negligient in managing your affairs and we do not forget remembering you, and if it were not for that you would have been afflicted with tribulations and the enemies would have destroyed you
2. The one who denies Imam’s existence is just like someone denying the sun being behind the clouds

Presence of Imam zaman is necessary for the spiritual guidance. If it weren’t for the hujja (allah’s argument on earth), ppl would not get spiritual benefit and they could complain on the day of judgement that Allah made us for reaching perfection but did not provide the means. So, presence of Imam is completion of Hujja, after which no one can say I was not guided.

Allah guides us, through the Imam, even though he is in ghaibat. For true guidance and purification, Allah does not act directly. Rather he does it through the Imam/Hujja. Allah’s actions occur through intermediaries. Eg in sura zumar (39:42) it says Allah is the one that takes the soul at the time of their death, but in sura naziat (79:1-2) it says the angels take out the souls. So Allah is the ultimate and eventual taker of the soul, but he
works through his soldiers eg the angels who have no independence from Allah whatsoever

MD