Saturday, July 2, 2011
Worship of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Worship of Imam Mahdi (a.s.)
Since the age of five he used worship the Almighty. During the period of Minor occultation (Ghaibat Sughra) when his special deputies had the honor of visiting him, they always found him engrossed in worship and prayers. Abul Hasan Ali Ibne Muhammad as-Saymoori relates: One day I came to Imam (a.s) and said, "O son of the Messenger (S)! Whenever I have the honor to be in your presence, I find you busy in worship?" Imam (a.s) replied, "Then what else do you expect from me? O Abul Hasan! People are created for this only. That they spend their lives in Allah's remembrance."
We have dealt very briefly regarding the account of the worship of the Holy Imams. Otherwise, every movement and every rest of theirs was worship. There was nothing from the Divine Law upon which they had not acted. Since Prayer and fasting are the best worship acts, that is why we have particularly mentioned them. Though no one has the capacity to describe them fully.
It is possible for someone to remark at this juncture that many holy saints have passed who spent their lives in Allah's worship. Then what is the precedence of the Holy Imams over them? The reply is that merits in worship are due to some factors:
(1) Magnitude: That is the quantity of worship. For example one who keeps ten fasts in better than one who keeps only one. One who recites a hundred rakats (units) of prayers is better than one who recites fifty. From this aspect no one can be superior to the Holy Imams. Because their prayers, fasts and Hajjs exceeded those of all other people. No one in Islam can challenge that even one prayer of his has not lapsed. Neither can anyone claim that all his life he prayed the whole night and fasted all the days.
(2) Condition: That is to perform each worship act according to the prescribed rituals and manners. On the contrary someone else does it without caring for the fulfillment of all its requirements. Both of them have performed the same act but the former would indeed be superior to the latter. From this aspect also, the Holy Imams' (a.s) worship was better than all others, because they used to perform all the worship acts in the perfect manner. Till date no one has even mistakenly, pointed out their shortcomings in this regard. If there had been any shortcoming in any of their acts, they would not have received the certificate of excellence of their deeds from the Almighty Allah and the Holy Prophet (S).
(3) Essence: That is, the action of one person is better than that of another. For example, the actions of the one who fulfills the obligatory acts are superior to the actions of one who performs supererogatory acts. From this aspect also the acts of Ahl ul-Bayt were the best, because they did not even allow Tark-e-Awla (omitting the preferable option) to enter their actions. They also never ever omitted any recommended deed, and performed each act with utmost precaution and care.
(4) Intention: That is two people perform the same type of deed but each has a different aim in it. For example, one acts for seeking the pleasure of Allah and the other does it for show-off. Since the Holy Imams did everything for the pleasure of Allah and no personal interest was present therein, and they did everything for the sake of the Love of Allah, therefore in any case their actions were the most superior. If it hadn't been so, their excellence would not have been mentioned in the verses of Quran.
(5) Precedence: For example someone started worshipping Allah since childhood and another one started after a part of his life had passed. Since the Holy Imams had begun worship from their early childhood, they had superiority over others from this aspect also.
(6) Attention and Humility: That is one prays with absolute concentration and certainty while another performs it sans these qualities. It is obvious that except for the Holy Prophet (S), no one excelled the Ahl ul-Bayt in this regard. No one else possessed such concentration and humility in worship.
All Muslim scholars agree that the Holy Imams (a.s) excelled all the people in knowledge, merits, worship and austerity and not a single lesser or greater sin was ever committed by them. Therefore the rank of their worship would also always remain superior and better than all the worshippers of the world.