This is a topic about the occultation or Ghaybah of the Shia 12th Imam. If we want to sum up the situation of the Twelver Shia concerning their belief in the 12th Imam it would be as follows:
It is as if a Shia man believes, that the President must appoint a traffic police officer on an intersection, so he can organize the traffic and make things easy for the drivers… Then this same Shia man also believes that the police officer is not present, he is in a state of hiding or occultation, and when we ask him for the reason or wisdom behind this, he replies: “The wisdom is with the president.” OR “He is still organizing traffic but from behind a veil like the sun behind the clouds.”
In this case we as Muslims will tell the Shia man: “Either the presence of a police officer is necessary, or it isn’t.” He can’t claim that it is necessary and he is appointed by the government but is not present or heard from since 1200 years ago! However, we can do ourselves a favor, by simply admitting that there is no officer, and that the town municipality must come together and consult in the matter and appoint an officer from among the townsfolk, and that appointing this officer was not the job of the President.
Now that we presented this small example, we move on to our main topic which concerns the 12th leader of the Twelver Shia.
We all know how the Muslim scholar ibn Tayymiyah (rah) easily refuted the beliefs of the Shia in his book “Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah”, and from the topics he discussed was the Ghaybah of the 12th Imam, he said in volume 1 pages 120-121:
فإنهم يقرون بأن الإمام الذي هو صاحب الزمان مفقود لا ينتفع به أحد وأنه دخل السرداب سنة ستين ومائتين أو قريبا من ذلك وهو الآن غائب أكثر من أربعمائة وخمسين سنه فهم في هذه المدة لم ينتفعوا بإمامته لا في دين ولا في دنيا
[They accept that their Imam “Sahib al-Zaman” is missing, no one can benefit from him, and that he entered the Sirdab(cellar) around 260 AH and remains missing for more than 450 years, in this period they did not benefit from his Imamah(leadership) in their Deen(religion) or their Duniya(life)]
One of the Shia Ayatullahs of our time is arrogant and stubborn, this `Ali al-Milani does not accept the simple fact that their Imam is useless so he decided to take a shot at refuting Ibn Tayymiyah (rah) by stating in his book “Sharh Minhaj al-Karamah” volume 1 page 264:
أقول : هذا كذب ، بل المتفق عليه بينهم هو الانتفاع منه في الدين والدنيا ، بل الانتفاع واقع مستمر ، ولكن المنافقين لا يعلمون !!
[I say: This is a lie, but rather what is agreed upon between them is that there is benefit from him in Deen and Duniya, it is a continuous reality but the hypocrites know not!!]
Although Milani’s words are pathetic and not backed by any actual proof, yet Allah in his wisdom would have it that one of the biggest Shia scholars of our times would refute him, Muhammad Asif Muhsini says in “Mashra`at Bihar al-Anwar”, volume 1 page 408:
الغيبة التي امتدت أكثر من ألف سنة وربما تمتد إلى آلاف أو ملايين السنين. فإن المؤمنين لم ينتفعوا ولا ينتفعون من إمامهم الغائب – عجل الله تعالى فرجه – في الأصول والفروع ، وما يقال بخلاف ذلك فهو تخيل وتوهم ولعب بالعقول
[This Ghaybah that has taken more than a thousand years and maybe it shall keep going for thousands or millions of years. The believers living in it did not and do not benefit from their hidden Imam – may Allah hasten his appearance – in Usool or Furu`, and all else which is said is nothing but illusions and imaginations and playing with people’s minds.]
He said in volume 2 page 223:
ولا يمكن القول بانتفاعنا منه عليه السلام في زمن الغيبة في الأمور الدينية إلا ممن سلب الله عقله
[It is not possible for us to say that we benefit from him peace be upon him in religious matters during his Ghaybah, except those whom Allah has robbed them of intellect.]
Finally he said in footnote #1, in volume 1 page 82:
وأي فائدة لهذه الأحكام المخزونة عند الأئمة: والمكلفون يحرمون منها في أكثر من ألف سنة ولعله في ألف مليون سنة
[And what benefit does this knowledge stored with Imams hold: when the Mukallafoun(Shia) are deprived from it for more than a thousand years, and maybe it’ll last for a billion years.]
1- What sheikh al-Islam ibn Tayymiyah (rah) says regarding them not benefiting from their Imam was completely true, it proves that the theory of Imamah has reached a blocked road, since humanity was left deprived of knowledge and guidance and Lutf from the so called infallible.
2- `Ali al-Milani lied when he claimed consensus, how can there be one when al-Muhsini publicly shouts “The believers living in it did not and do not benefit from their hidden Imam”!?
3- According to what the big shia scholar Asif Muhsini says, we can safely assume that Ayatullat al-Milani is:
a- Deprived of intellect. b- Has wild imaginations and illusions c- Is lying to play with the minds of Shia
Will the Shia admit that they reached a blocked road and they dropped Imamah altogether like Khomeini did?
Which leads us to our next point, the Iranians and their leader Khomeini realized that the Mahdi was never coming out, so either they take matters into their own hands and elect a leader and rule the nation or their Shia sect was doomed to disappear, and with it all their authority and power and wealth.
The philosophers from among the early Shia came up with the belief that the leader must be divinely appointed by text, and that he must be infallible and all knowing.
The average laypeople from among the Shia agreed to this, they found it logical maybe.
Then they had to ask these genius scholars of theirs, “al-Imam al-`Askari has died, where is our infallible appointed leader now?”
The scholars replied: “Wait for him, he had a son and we have strong proofs that he was born and will re-appear.”
So the poor Shia waited days and months and years and decades and the man never showed up, and whenever they would ask their leaders, the reply would be: “Wait for him, we have strong evidence that he exists!”
After reaching a stage of desperation, some of these Shia started saying: “Come let us find ourselves a leader who is not appointed or infallible.”
So the genius scholars based on their brilliant intellect came up with some criteria, and they told their followers: “Yes but the leader has to be a jurist(Faqih) and he needs to be just.”
The followers said: “Okay, we agree.”
Today, they went to pick their own leaders through elections, thus slamming their Twelver `Aqeedah against the wall!
May Allah guide us to what he loves and pleases.