Start of major occultation of 12th Imam (a.f.) 329 A.H.The four deputies were intermediaries of blessings for the people until 329 AH whereupon, by God\'s Will, Imam Mahdi\'s (a.s.) major
Start of major occultation of 12th Imam (a.f.) 329 A.H.The four deputies were intermediaries of blessings for the people until 329 AH whereupon, by God’s Will, Imam Mahdi’s (a.s.) major occultation began. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the Imams of his household had predicted that this event would a period of trial for Muslims until, by God’s Command, Imam Mahdi (a.s.) will reappear to fulfill the divine objectives. With the start of major occultation, the deputyship of Navvab-e Arba came to an end and whoever claims to be an intermediate or deputy, as declared by the Imam, is a liar. In the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), the benefit of occultation has been likened to the sun concealed by clouds which continues to be a source of sustenance for all living beings. Similarly the Imam-veiled by occultation-is the source of existence of the world. During the major occultation, although many people have had the privilege of meeting Imam Mahdi (a.s.), none claimed to be his deputy. They witnessed the sun and their hearts were filled with faith in Imam Mahdi (a.s.). This honor was not restricted to distinguished Shia scholars: rather pious and common people also succeeded in meeting the Imam. Surprisingly, even sinners, who truly repented their sins, have been able to achieve this noblest of successes. Similarly, during the period of occultation, eminent Islamic scholars received letters issued by Imam Mahdi (a.s.) containing solutions to problems as well as guidelines. Shias are presently living in the most sensitive era. In traditions, the invisibility of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) has been mentioned as the most difficult and severe test of God, and the faith of believing Shias has been compared to those of the small number of believers in Prophet Noah (a.s.) who remained steadfast after a severe trial.