Who was Al Imam Mahdi (A.S) in contact with during the periods of occultation? Why were these people selected?
Imam Mahdi (as) was in contact with at lest four individuals during the Lesser Occultation and with several known individuals during the Greater Occultation.
All were contacted due to their utmost piety and their trustworthiness, which would be instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the traditions and wisdom of Aal Al Bayt.
The well known correspondents as reported by Shaykh Al Tusi are as follows, although there is no narration that restricts them to just four:
Abu Muhammad Uthman ibn Sa’id al-Asadi
Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Asadi
Abu al-Qasim al-Husayn ibn Ruh al-Nawbakhti
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samarri
Some of those known correspondents during the Greater Occultation are:
There are specific books written by Shia scholars relating accounts of
Shias being visited by the Imam as (Bahrain story, Habib Ibn Mahyaar)
written correspondence with Shaykh Sadooq
Green Island narration mentioned in Annajm uth ThaqibShaykh
The well known meeting of Mar’ashi with the Imam
Al Bazoofari: one of the narrators of the holy will, who is mentioned by Shaykh Muhammad Sadiq Sadiq Al Sadr
Such narrations were never an issue with the initial Shia scholars, due to a number of narrations that actually affirm the Imam as will be in touch with thirty individuals, as well as the Imam as meeting twelve individuals before his appearance, all of these twelve will be rejected. Not to mention the narrations of the Maula who will be in charge of his matter, and the Yamani narrations,the Will narrations and the narrations of the Imam’s offspring. Hence, there is a plethora of narrations that all portray an Imam that will always stay in touch with the umma, and the narrations all affirm those.
Couple with the fact that the narration that states the Imam curses those that claim to have seen him, as being both a single narration, as well as misunderstood and needing interpretation from the clear statements provided earlier.
Hence, there is no doubt that the Imam as met with many individuals, married, settled, had children, corresponded with scholars and laymen, but did not announce his official return, hence, all of the narrations held true.
For further discussion on this topic, the Saviour Channel has published programs that discuss this topic and can clearly remove any doubts that modern day Shias have on this topic.
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