The figure of Twelfth Imam in Shi'i islam is very ShakyO Sadrus Sudur! Thy "outspread sroll" [=raqq e Manshur cf Q 52:3] was perused…As to thy question in regard to the Twelfth Imam. Inasmuch as in the texts of the traditions [=AhAdeeth] of the Holy Imams, to outward seeming, there is disagreement and conflict, for example in some hadith the person of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him, is considered to be the Promised Qa’im, and in another hadith and another place the death of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him and the birth in the Last Day of the Promised Qa’im are both affirmed, [because of this apparent divergence and] in order to achieve agreement between these two types of hadith [=be jahat e tawaafoq e bayn e do hadith] there is no other alternative for any soul [=chaareh az baraaye nafsee nah] but to attain certitude [tayaqqun] in this matter, namely: that the Twelfth Imam, the Promised Qa’im was present spiritually [=Ruuh an] in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut], and in the Day of His Appearance [ZuhUr], He became visible in the corporeal realm [=jism]. And with this individuation in body He did become a second Person [= be een tajassum shakhs e thaani gasht]. “And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” [Qur’an 15:21] Thus every thing that appears in the realm of the earthly kingdom [=mulk] has, in priority, been in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut] and possesses the principle of existence [hukm e wujuud]. Now this question of the Twelfth Imam and the Promised Qa’im is very shaky in a sequence of chained traditions. If a person were endowed with the sense of equity he would not place his confidence in any of these divergent, dissonant, and disagreeing narrations. The members of the Shi’ih Community would tend to consider each of the immaculate Imams as the Qá’im [=He Who ariseth] in His day and were always awaiting the day of His uprising forth [=khuruuj]. After the passing of Imam Hasan ‘Askari the leaders of the community became aware that the foundations of the hopes and aspirations of the Shi’ihs would be utterly destroyed and that they would all become dejected and reach oblivion. They, therefore, wanted to adhere to any means whatever to keep and preserve them. So they used allusions, metaphors, abstruse language, and interpretations and in this wise disagreeing narratives appeared. The truth of the matter is this that the Shi’ih community were divided into three after the Imam Hasan ‘Askari, peace be upon Him. Some adhered to the imamate of Ja’far the “ignorant” [=Ja’far e naadaan]. And this group congratulated and greeted his imamate. Another group completely gave up, and a third group pinned their hopes on the Occultation [=ghaybuubat], and they were eagerly anticipating each day the up-rising [=khuruuj]. It is now a thousand years that they are waiting and they are still not tired nor are they giving up. Praise be to God! Even though the Appearance and manifestation of the One True God is clearly the text of the holy Qur’an, namely the Divine Utterance, exalted and blessed be He, And Thy Lord shall come and His angels rank upon rank. [Qur’an 89:22]. In this they doubt. In this they are perturbed and are shaken. In this they take recourse to bizarre interpretations. And in order to ignore this they adhere to such narratives and traditions that are in the utter state of shakiness and dubiety. Rather they presume that those narrations are an explicit text and, utilizing these, they object and oppose. What a state of foolishness [=balaahat] and ignorance [=naadaani] is this! What an obtuseness and bewilderment is the result of all this! And upon thee be my greetings and praise. ‘‘Abdu’l-Baha ‘Abbas.
Ma’idiyi Asmani [MA] Part II compiled from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha by ‘Abdu’l-Hamidi Ishraq Khavari 1984 NSA India New Delhi India [reproduced from and consists of the original MA volumes II, V, and IX which were previously published by the BPT of Iran
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