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Wisdom of the Occultation

Wisdom of the Occultation


فإذا ثبت بطلان هذه الاقاويل كلها لم يبق إلا القول بإمامة ابن الحسن عليه السلام، وإلا لادي إلى خروج الحق عن الامة، وذلك باطل. وإذا ثبتت إمامته بهذه السياقة ثم وجدناه غائبا عن الابصار، علمنا أنه لم يغب مع عصمته وتعين فرض (2) الامامة فيه وعليه إلا لسبب سوغه ذلك وضرورة ألجأته إليه، وإن لم يعلم (3) على وجه التفصيل. وجرى ذلك مجرى الكلام في إيلام الاطفال والبهائم وخلق المؤذيات والصور المشينات ومتشابه القرآن إذا سألنا عن وجهها بأن نقول: إذا علمنا أن الله تعالى حكيم لا يجوز أن يفعل ما ليس بحكمة ولا صواب، علمنا أن هذه الاشياء لها وجه حكمة وإن لم نعلمه معينا. (و) (4) كذلك نقول في صاحب الزمان عليه السلام، فإنا نعلم أنه لم يستتر إلا لامر حكمي يسوغه (5) ذلك وإن لم نعلمه مفصلا.

Since we have established the invalidity of all of these claims, nothing has remained except for the claim in the Imamate of the son of al-Hasan عليه السلام; otherwise, truth would have left this Umma, and that is invalid. When his Imamate is established through this reasoning, and we find him absent from sight, we infer that he is not absent with his immaculateness (`isma) and the duties of Imamate in him and upon him except due to a justified reason and a necessity that has compelled him to it. We may not know the reason in detail. This can be compared to the discourses on the suffering of children and animals, the creation of harmful things, repulsive faces, and allegories in the Qur’an. If we were to ask about their reasoning, we would say: If we are aware that Allah تعالى is wise, and that it is impossible for Him to do something devoid of wisdom or rationale, then we know that these things have wise reasons without knowing its particularities. And likewise we say the same for the Patron of the Age عليه السلام, for we certainly know that he was not veiled except for a wise matter which has permitted that, and that we do not know it in detail.


فإن قيل: نحن نعترض قولكم في إمامته بغيبته بأن نقول: إذا لم يمكنكم بيان وجه حسنها دل ذلك على بطلان القول بإمامته، لانه لو صح لامكنكم (بيان) (1) وجه الحسن فيه. قلنا: إن لزمنا ذلك لزم جميع أهل العدل قول الملحدة (2) إذا قالوا إنا نتوصل بهذه الافعال التي ليست بظاهرة (3) الحكمة، إلى أن فاعلها ليس بحكيم، لانه لو كان حكيما لامكنكم بيان وجه الحكمة فيها وإلا فما الفصل ؟. فإذا قلتم: نتكلم أولا (4) في إثبات حكمته، فإذا ثبت (5) بدليل منفصل ثم وجدنا هذه الافعال المشتبهة الظاهر حملناها على ما يطابق ذلك، فلا يؤدي إلى نقض ما علمنا، ومتى لم يسلموا لنا حكمته إنتقلت المسألة إلى الكلام في حكمته. قلنا: مثل ذلك ها هنا: من أن الكلام في غيبته فرع على إمامته، فإذا (6) علمنا إمامته بدليل، وعلمنا عصمته بدليل آخر، وعلمناه غاب، حملنا غيبته على وجه يطابق عصمته، فلا فرق بين الموضعين. ثم يقال للمخالف (في الغيبة) (7) أتجوز أن يكون للغيبة سبب صحيح اقتضاها، ووجه من الحكمة أوجبها أم لا تجوز (8) ذلك. فإن قال: يجوز ذلك. قيل له: فإذا كان ذلك جائزا فكيف جعلت وجود الغيبة دليلا على فقد الامام في الزمان مع تجويزك لها سببا لا ينافي وجود الامام ؟

If it is said: We oppose your belief in his Imamate on the basis of his occultation.

We say: If you cannot comprehend its good reasoning (i.e. that the occultation has an underlying wisdom), then that would indicate the invalidity of your belief in his Imamate, because if it were valid, you would be able to comprehend its good reasoning. We say: If we were to agree with you, then all of the People of Justice would be agreeing with the saying of the atheists if they were to say ‘we see that these actions do not have an apparent wisdom, and thus, their doer is not wise, because if He were wise, then you would have been able to explain the wisdom of His actions’.

If you were to say: We will first speak of the establishment of His wisdom. If it is established with independent proofs, we will then examine the outwardly problematic actions on this basis – which we have proven. Therefore, it does not lead to any contradiction of what we already know. And if they do not accept His wisdom, the discussion will transfer to a discourse on His wisdom [which we have already proven].

We say the same here: The discourse on his occultation is but a faculty of his Imamate. If we know of his Imamate through proof, and we know of his immaculateness through another proof, and we know that he has disappeared, then his occultation is interpreted in a way that is consistent with his immaculateness. Thus, there is no difference between the two areas.

Then it is said to the opponent [to his occultation]: Is it possible that the occultation has a valid reason that has caused it, and a wise explanation that has prompted it, or is that not possible? If he says, “It is possible”, then say to him: If that is valid, then how did you conclude that the existence of the occultation is an indicator that there is no Imam in this age, whilst acknowledging that it may have a reason that is compatible with the presence of the Imam?

Is that not like the argument of one who negates the wisdom of the Creator تعالى on the basis of the pains and diseases experienced by children, despite acknowledging that these pains and diseases may have a valid explanation that does not negate wisdom?

Or [in the case of] one who argues using allegorical verses that He تعالى has the likeness to physical bodies, and that He creates the actions of people, despite his familiarity that these [verses] may have a valid explanation that corresponds to wisdom, justice, and monotheism whilst negating alikeness (tashbeeh).


وإن قال: لا أجوز ذلك. قيل: هذا تحجر (3) شديد فيما لا يحاط (4) بعلمه ولا يقطع على مثله، فمن أين قلت: إن ذلك لا يجوز وانفصل ممن قال لا يجوز أن يكون للآيات المتشابهات وجوه صحيحة تطابق أدلة العقل، ولابد أن تكون على ظواهرها. ومتى قيل: نحن متمكنون من ذكر وجوه الآيات المتشابهات (وأنتم لا تتمكنون من ذكر سبب صحيح للغيبة. قلنا: كلامنا على من يقول لا أحتاج إلى العلم بوجوه الآيات المتشابهات) (5) مفصلا. بل يكفيني علم الجملة، ومتى تعاطيت ذلك كان تبرعا، وإن أقتنعتم لنفسكم (6) بذلك فنحن أيضا نتمكن من ذكر وجه صحة الغيبة وغرض حكمي لا ينافي عصمته. وسنذكر ذلك فيما بعد، وقد تكلمنا عليه مستوفى في كتاب الامامة.

If he says: I do not consider this possible.

Then it is said: This is severe stubbornness in something that his knowledge does not encompass, nor can he be certain upon anything similar. How can you say it is not possible while agreeing with one who asserts that the allegorical verses cannot have valid interpretations that conform to reason and must be taken upon their literal interpretations?

And then, if it is said: We are able to elucidate the allegorical verses, but you cannot elucidate a correct reason for the occultation.

We say: Our discourses do not require a full understanding of the allegorical verses. Rather, a summary thereof is sufficient for me, and if more than that is offered, it is complimentary. If you have satisfied yourself with that, then we too can provide reasons for the validity of the occultation and elaborate on its wisdom without contradicting his immaculateness. We will mention that hereafter, and we have spoken about it sufficiently in Kitab al-Imamah.


ثم يقال: كيف يجوز أن يجتمع صحة إمامة ابن الحسن عليه السلام بما بيناه من سياقة الاصول العقلية، مع القول بأن الغيبة لا يجوز أن يكون لها سبب صحيح? وهل هذا إلا تناقض، ويجري مجرى القول بصحة التوحيد والعدل، مع القطع على أنه لا يجوز أن يكون للآيات المتشابهات وجه يطابق هذه الاصول. ومتى قالوا: نحن لا نسلم إمامة ابن الحسن عليه السلام، كان الكلام معهم في ثبوت الامامة دون الكلام في سبب الغيبة، وقد تقدمت الدلالة على إمامته عليه السلام بما لا يحتاج إلى إعادته. وإنما قلنا ذلك: لان الكلام في سبب غيبة الامام عليه السلام فرع على ثبوت إمامته فأما (1) قبل ثبوتها فلا وجه للكلام في سبب غيبته، كما لا وجه للكلام في وجوه الآيات المتشابهات وإيلام الاطفال وحسن التعبد بالشرائع قبل ثبوت التوحيد والعدل.

Then, it is said: How could [the saying that] the son of al-Hasan [al-`Askari] عليه السلامfulfills the conditions of Imamate by rational principles be reconciled with that saying that the occultation cannot have a valid purpose? Is this not but a contradiction, as if professing monotheism and justice, yet being certain that the allegorical verses cannot have an interpretation that conforms to these principles?

If they say, “we do not accept the Imamate of the son of al-Hasan”, then our discourse with them is with respect to proving Imamate and not the purpose of the occultation. We have already mentioned the indicators to his عليه السلام Imamate, and there is no reason to repeat them. We say this because the discourse on the purpose of the occultation of the Imam عليه السلام is but a faculty of establishing his Imamate. There is no need to elaborate on the purpose of his occultation before its establishment, just as there is there is no need to elaborate on the interpretations of the allegorical verses, the pains of children, and goodly obedience of the laws before the establishment of monotheism and justice.
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