Reply: 10

Such existence does not contradict ‘Ghaibat’ because people see him but do not recognize him. Hazrat appears only before few exclusive people; and majority of the people do not see him. ‘Ghaibat’ means that people do not recognize Imam (a.t.f.s.) and are unaware of his special place. It does not give the meaning of non-existent. The best explanation and meaning of ‘Ghaibat’ is the very one narrated by Imam Sadiq (a.s.):

“They see him but do not recognize him” .[108]

Also, Zurarah-ibn-A’yan narrates from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the“Qaem” would have two ‘Ghaibat’. He explained that while in one his place would be known only to a special few, in case of the other, his whereabouts would not be known. Imam continues to say that during hajj, he appears; he sees the people but the people do not see him”.[109]

Imam Husain (a.s.) said:

“Except for the servant who looks after his affairs, his place cannot be known” .[110]

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) addressed Sudair:

“How can you deny that Allah acts with him in the same manner as Joseph? He walks in their market, and steps on their rugs. But people do not recognize him except if Allah permits him to introduce himself” .[111]

About the meaning of verse 16 from chapter Takwir,“But nay! I swear by the stars that run their course (and) hide themselves” , Imam Baqir (a.s.) said:

“O Umm-Hani, it refers to an Imam who would conceal himself (while he would be among the people) until people would not have news of him” .[112]

Imam Reza (a.s.) said:

“He attends the hajj ceremony every year. He performs all the hajj rites. He stands in the desert of Arafat. He says “Amen” to the prayers uttered by the believers…….”[113]