"Short biography of Imam Mehdi a.s the 12th Imam ajf "
Hazrat Imam Mahdi (aj) is the twelfth and last of the chain of the Purified Imams (as) and the perfect successors. He was conceived at the season of first light, on Friday the fifteenth of Shaban 255 A.H. in the city of Samarrah.
His regarded father is Imam Hasan al-Askari (as). His adored mother is Janab al-Nargis Khatoon (ra). She was the relative of the Caesar of Rome from her dad's side and from her mom's side she had dropped from shamoon the vicegerant of Hazrat Isa (as).
This magnified identity has a similar name and kunniyat (agnomen) as the Holy Prophet (S). His titles are Mahdi, Hujjat, Qaem, Montazer, Sahibuzzaman and Khalaf al-saleh. His most well known honourific anyway is Al-Mahdi (aj).
Ibn Khallikaan writes; "His well-known title is Hujjat. The shias know him by the titles, Montazar, Qaem and Mahdi"
The great scholar Mohaddith al-Noori has collected 182 titles of Imam Mahdi (aj) from the Islamic texts. Each of these titles signify each of his virtuous qualities.
The tyrant Abbasid rulers were aware of the prophecies of the Holy Prophet (S). That the son of Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) by the name of Mahdi will appear to remove all kinds of corruption and tyranny; hence they planned to eliminate the child when he is bom. Due to this the birth of Imam Mahdi (aj) was kept a secret like that of Hazrat Ibrahim (as). So much so that except for the most trusted of the shias and his own family, no one knew of the existence of Hazrat (as). In spite of this whenever there was an opportunity, Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) showed his son to his trustworthy followers; that in future they may follow him. This was in order that the shias may remain firm upon the right path, and not be led astray. A servant Abu Ghanim says:
"Abu Muhammad (as) has a son whose name is Muhammad." On the third day of his birth he brought him before his companions and said:
"After me he is your Master of the affair, he is my successor, he is the same 'Qaem', who is awaited by alt When the earth will be fraught with injustice and oppression then he will reappear and fill the earth with justice and righteousness."
The early years of his life were spent in the usual way. When he was in his fifth year, he lost his respected father.
After this tragic event the responsibility of guiding the shias was transferred upon him. At this time, Hazrat (as) possessed all the qualities and the divine knowledge that was bestowed upon the previous Imams (as), by the Almighty. In the same way as Hazrat Yahya (as) in his childhood and Hazrat Isa (as) in his infancy was favoured with the divine office of Prophethood by Allah.
Although all the Imams (as) were holding the divine office of wilayat, the efforts of the enemies to eliminate the twelfth Imam (as) were maximum. Hence Imam az-Zaman (as) was entrusted to ghaibat and being away from the sight of people, he had to fulfill all the duties of an Imam.
It is said that the concealed life of Hazrat Mahdi (aj) is not something extraordinary. Rather, in the life of so many Prophets (as) and even Imams (as) it is seen, that they were at some time, in concealment from the people. The Holy Quran records the concealment of various prophets (as) like Hazrat Ibrahim (as), Hazrat Musa (as) and Hazrat Isa (as).
The Holy Prophet (S) and the Imams (as) had pointed out to the people the imminent occultation of their last proof (Imam Mahdi-aj), so that no doubt or misunderstanding should remain, regarding this problem.
The occultation (Ghaibat) of the twelfth Imam consists of two phases: one is Ghaibat al-Sughra (The lesser occultation) and the second is Ghaibat al-Kubra (The greater occultation). Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (as) said:
'There are two occultations for Qaem. One is short and the other prolonged. In the short occultation only the special shias will know of his whereabouts. And in the longer occultation only his trustworthy servants will know where he is"
According to the well-known reports, the lesser occultation (ghaibat al-sugra) commenced from the year of his Imamat in 260 A.H and continued for 69 years. Some of the scholars like Shaykh Mufeed and Syed Mohsin Amin Amili maintain that ghaibat al-sugra began right from the time of his birth.
Because, even in those early years, Hazrat (aj) was concealed from the common people. According to this method, the period of ghaibat al-sugra comes to seventy four years.
During the period of ghaibat al-sugra. Imam Mahdi (aj) himself appointed his deputies from among the righteous shias. Four of them succeeded each other and continued to fulfill the duty of intermediaries. These four personalities conveyed the questions and problems to Imam (aj) and brought back the Imam's (aj) answers for the people. The first of these deputies was Janab Abu Amroo Usman Bin Saeed Amri. Before this he was a representative of Imam Hasan al Askari (as)
Shaykh Tusi writes: “On the fortieth day the shias were sitting in the company of Imam Hasan al-Askari (as), when Imam Askari (as) wished that they recognise his Hujyat after him..... Suddenly a handsome child was brought before them. He resembled Abu Muhammad (as).