By His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)
While awaiting Imam Al-Mahdi (aj), one responsibility we must never turn a blind eye to is preparing ourselves to be among the loyal adherers of the Imam, willing to put our lives on the line for the sake of Islam. It takes more than love, even if profound, to support Imam Al-Mahdi after his reappearance. When recalling the story of Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), we remember that he asked Al-Farazdaq about the state of the people of Al-Kufa. The latter’s answer was that: “their hearts are with you, but their swords are against you.” The people of Al-Kufa loved Imam Al-Hussein, (a.s.) but they supported their own interest rather than their faith and creed. Some soldiers of the Umayyad army even wept bitter tears of remorse while stealing the children’s belongings in Karbala. A little girl asked them about the reason behind their weeping, they answered: “We would rather take away your belongings ourselves rather than someone else.” Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.) once said: “People are slaves to the world, and as long as they live favorable and comfortable lives, they are loyal to religious principles. However, at hard times, the times of trials, true religious people are scarce.”
Thus, we must make use of our time during our awaiting for Imam Al-Mahdi (aj) by questioning ourselves whether we our genuine adherers to justice and faith. If honesty of heart and commitment to the Islamic message were lacking, then we must strive to make up for our slackness so that we are ready for the Imam’s reappearance.
Let his anniversary be an occasion on which we evaluate our actions and think about their consequences: “Judge your deeds before they are judged and weigh your deeds before they are weighed”
We are anticipating his reappearance, patiently waiting and preparing for it: “Surely they think it to be far off, And We see it nigh.” (70:6-7). Meanwhile, we must take action against all the anti-Islamic movements undertaking tyrannical actions in an attempt to seize away the rights of the oppressed and wipe out Islam, and pave the way ahead of Imam Al-Mahdi (aj) whose reappearance would restore peace, justice, and harmony in our lives.