Reply: Question 10


It is not always easy for the human to understand the real cause and nature of the Islamic commandments. When the Imams (a.s.) were asked about the reason for ‘Ghaibat’ (concealment), they replied: ‘Allah knows’ or they quote this verse:“Do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you.” (Qur’an, 5:101)[28]

This is because the absolute reason and various dimension of any affair is unknown to all but Allah.

Thus, the reason (cause) for ‘Ghaibat’ is a matter which either present or absent, ‘Ghaibat’ revolves around that matter. By its presence, ‘Ghaibat’ continues to prevail and by its absence or removal, ‘Ghaibat’ comes to an end. Such thorough knowledge concerning what is the matter of ‘Ghaibat’ and when it would come to an end is not known to anyone but Allah or someone chosen by Him. In spite of this, our immaculate Imams (a.s.) have pointed out in traditions several philosophies behind ‘Ghaibat’. They never engaged in explaining the complete and ultimate cause and instead brought witness from the holy Qur’an by reciting this verse:

“And do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you”

Philosophy is that first and foremost phenomenon in which the second phenomenon, in its initial formation, revolves around it. But in the world of non-existence and continuation of life, it doesn’t revolve around it. It’s possible that philosophy might get destroyed and the second phenomenon still continue to live or the philosophy might have existence but not so the second phenomenon.

Therefore, the main reason for ‘Ghaibat’ will be known after ‘Zuhoor’ (manifestation) [Bihar-ul-Anwar 52:91]. This lofty and concealed reason has been likened to the incident of Khizr (a.s.) and Moses (a.s.) where after completion of Khizr’s mission, its philosophies became clear for Hazrat Moses (a.s.)

In order to make the questioners understand that it’s not possible to have thorough knowledge of all the commandments and phenomenon, the Imams (a.s.) have used the term “ حكمت ” (philosophy) and reminded us of a few points:[29]

Testing and sifting the people

Fear of being killed. If Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) had constant appearance and consequently would lead to non-implementation of his responsibilities.

Various human schools of thought coming into existence and their failure and defeat and the preparedness of the people in accepting Hazrat’s manifestation and global government.

Living securely and remaining aloof from giving allegiance to the tyrant rulers.