Imam Al Qaim (A.S)

بَقِيَّتُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ۚ وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُمْ بِحَفِيظٍ

"What remains with Allah is better for you if you are believers, and I am not a keeper over you."

[Holy Quran, Surah Hud, Verse 11:86]

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Role of the City of Qum at the End of Time

At the time when human society will move toward degeneration and decadence, a ray of hope will be made manifest and there will be a group of people who will serve as the standard-bearers of light in the heart of all this darkness. The city of Qum at the end of time will assume this pivotal role.

There are many hadiths that express words of appreciation for this holy city and its upright people whose existence has emanated from the pure fountain of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and who have shouldered the mission of conveying the divine message.

The Infallible Imams (‘a) have made various statements regarding Qum and its role in the cultural movement during the period of occultation (ghaybah) of the Imam of the Time (‘atfs). We shall mention some of them below.

Qum as the Sanctuary of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)

It can be deduced from some hadiths that Qum and its inhabitants are the keys and models of Shi‘ism and wilayah (guardianship).

Thus, they will label as “Qummi” anyone they would like to introduce as a lover and enthusiast of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

A group of people came to Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) and said to him: “We are among the people of Rey.”[137] He (‘a) said: “Hail to our brothers from among the people of Qum!” They repeated several times: “We have come from Rey.” And he (‘a) also repeated his statement. Then, he (‘a) said: “God has a sanctuary which is in Mecca. There is also a sanctuary for the Messenger of Allah and it is in Medina. Kufah is the sanctuary of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) while our (Ahl al-Bayt’s) sanctuary is the city of Qum and a daughter from my progeny with the name of Fatimah will soon be buried there. Anyone who would sincerely pay homage (ziyarah) to her, paradise would be incumbent upon him.”

The narrator said: “Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) made this statement at the time when Imam Musa al-Kazim[138] (‘a) was not yet born.”[139]

Safwan narrated: One day I was with Abu’l-Hasan—Imam al-Kazim (‘a)—and he (‘a) talked about the people of Qum and their love and enthusiasm for Hadrat Mahdi (‘atfs). The Seventh Imam (‘a) said:

“May God have mercy on them and be pleased with them.” Then he (‘a) continued: “Heaven has eight doors one of which is for the people of Qum. From among the cities and countries, they are among our excellent and chosen Shi‘ah. God has blended our wilayah (guardianship) and friendship with their disposition and essence.”[140]

It can be inferred from these hadiths that the Infallible Imams (‘a) have regarded the city of Qum as a base of the lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs). Perhaps, the door of heaven apportioned for the city of Qum is the door for the strugglers (bab al-mujahidin) or the door of the excellent ones (bab al-akhyar) especially when in the hadiths the inhabitants of Qum have also been described as excellent Shi‘ah.

The City of Qum as a Proof for Others

In every epoch, God chooses some persons as proofs for others, and since they are treading the path of God, they struggle in exalting the word of Allah (kalimatullah).[141] God will assist them and keep the mischief of enemies away from them. During the period of occultation (ghaybah) of the Imam of the Age (‘atfs), Qum and its people would be the proofs for other people.

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “Difficulties and problems will be kept away from Qum and its people and a time will come when Qum and its people would be the proofs for all people. This will be so during the period of occultation (ghaybah) of our Qa’im till his advent, and if it were not so, the earth would swallow its inhabitants.

Verily, the angels will keep difficulties away from Qum and its people, and no tyrant will ever target Qum; otherwise, God will break his back and afflict him with pain, calamity or enmity. God will let tyrants forget the name of Qum and its people just as they have forgotten God.”[142]

The Center for the Diffusion of Islamic Culture

Another point worthy of note in the hadiths is that the city of Qum during the period of occultation (ghaybah) will serve as a center for the conveyance of the message of Islam to the downtrodden of the world, and its ‘ulama’ and religious scholars will be a proof for the people of the world.

In this regard, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “The city of Kufah will soon be void of believers, and knowledge and learning will depart from there and like a snake coiled up in a corner, it will be restricted to and emerge from a city named “Qum”, which will become the center of knowledge and virtue as well as the repository of learning and perfection so much so that no (intellectually) downtrodden person—including the secluded women—would ever be left on the surface of the earth without being aware of religion. And that time will be near the time of the advent of our Qa’im.

“God will appoint Qum and its people as his (al-Mahdi’s) vicegerents and if it were not so, the earth will swallow its inhabitants and no proof will remain on earth. Therefore, from the city of Qum knowledge and learning will spread to the east and west, and the proof for the people of the world will be completed such that no person will be left unaware of religion and knowledge.

At that time, Hadrat Qa’im (‘atfs) will appear and through him divine wrath will descend upon the infidels. It is because God will not take vengeance from His servants unless the proofs were completed on them.”[143]  

It is reported in another hadith: “Had it not been for the people of Qum, religion would have vanished.”[144]

The Confirmation of the Way of Thinking in Qum

It can be understood from some hadiths that the Infallible Imams (‘a) had approved of the method of the ‘ulama’ of Qum.

In this regard, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “There is an angel above Qum, who is spreading his two wings over it, and no tyrant will ever target Qum; otherwise, God would melt him like salt in water.”

Then, he (‘a) pointed to ‘Isa ibn ‘Abdullah Qummi and said: “God’s benediction be upon Qum! The Lord of the universe will fill their land with rain and send His blessings upon them while transforming their sins into good deeds. They are the people of bowing (ruku‘), prostration (sujud), standing (qiyam), and sitting (qu‘ud) in prayer just as they are jurists, scholars and people of comprehension (ahl-e dark). They are the people of insight, revelation and perspicacity in the worship of the excellent servants of God.”[145]  

Similarly, in reply to a person who said, “I want to ask something from you, which has not been asked by anyone before me and will never be asked by anyone after me,” the same Imam (‘a) said: “Perhaps, you want to ask about hashr and nashr.”

He said: “By the One Who appointed Muhammad as the giver of glad tidings and as the warner, yes.”

He (‘a) said: “The hashr of all people is toward the Bayt al-Muqaddas (in Jerusalem) except that of a mausoleum in a mountainous land to be called “Qum” and divine teachings will be part of their features.”

While half-standing, the man asked: “O son of the Messenger of Allah! Does it pertain to the people of Qum?”

The Imam (‘a) replied: “Yes, it pertains to them and anyone who shares their conviction and words.”[146]

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