Reply: 9

The simile drawn between him and peacock displays the beauty and attractiveness of the spread of Islam by his hands because when a peacock spreads its wings it displays a beautiful scene. He, too, who bears the responsibility of spreading religion all over the earth, will trim up and give beauty to the farthest end of the earth with the banner of monotheism. Just like a peacock which gives beauty to its own surrounding, he would dazzle all eyes and perplex all wisdom. However, this interpretation, as per our capacity is indeed a deficient one because the Imams (a.s.) words carry tens of other interpretations and meanings.

With regards to his rank and station, Shia and Sunni traditions have separated the five holy ones (Muhammad, Ali, Fatemah, Hasan and Husain) from others. Among the five holy ones, the holy prophet (s.a.w.a.) takes the lead. After him is Amir-ul-Mu’min (a.s.) and Hazrat Fatemah (a.s.) on par with each other, followed with Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Husain (a.s.). But, with regards to Imam Mahdi (a.s.), traditions say, ‘He is the ninth from the offspring of Imam Husain (a.s.)’. Some among them say:

“The Qaem amongst them excels all.”[187]

However, a few traditions introduce all the nine Imams as equal in superiority and excellence.[188]

Considering the responsibility for forming the government lies with Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), and the onerous nature of this task calls for more strength and perfection, the period of his concealment is an opportunity for gaining special and lofty spiritual qualities. By worship, prayers, invocations, etc during this lengthy period, he gains more proximity to Allah and so gains more strength and power for carrying the burden of this mighty task.

His worship and supplications as well as his endurance vis-à-vis the severe problems facing his Shias has earned for himself a lofty position and prepared himself in fulfilling the divine goals.

Hazrat Mahdi is a personality praised and lauded by Allah’s Messenger (s.a.w.a.). To Amir-ul-Mu’minin (a.s.) and Fatemah Zahra (a.s.) his existence is a great solace. Imam Sadiq (a.s.) longs to be at his service and sheds teas for his isolation and separation. Imam Reza (a.s.) stands on his feet in respect for his blessed name and prays for his advent. In fact, every immaculate Imam (a.s.) has highly honoured him in one way or the other.

On our part, it’s our duty to pray for him more than our prayers for our personal needs. We should pray for his well-being and early advent and strive for gaining his satisfaction. Our hearts should become fond of him through constant remembrance. We should make effort to attract all human-beings towards him and prepare ourselves for self-sacrifice. We should review our duties and always remember him. Due to separation, our eyes must burst with tears and we must await his coming. We should pray to the Almighty Allah for his advent and request Him to make easy his onerous task. Inshallah