Foundations and Purposes of Imam Mahdi’s (a) Global Governmen
Imam al-Kadhim (AS) said, "When the fifth (offspring) from the seventh of the Imams disappears, then, I adjure you by Allah to watch for your religion so that no one would take it away from you. Without doubt, there shall be an occultation for the holder of this matter until such time that (most) people who believe in his Imamat would leave their belief. Verily this (occultation) is but a test by Allah, the Glorious, for his creation."
Musa al-Baghdadi narrated:
I heard Imam Hasan al-Askari (the eleventh Imam) saying, "I see that you will differ after me concerning my successor. Whoever accepts the Imams after the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) but denies my son is like a person who accepted all the Prophets and the Apostles but denied the prophethood of Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF). And whoever denies (Muhammad) the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) is like one who has denied all the Prophets. This is because obeying the last of us is like obeying the first of us and denying the last of us is like denying the first of us. Beware! Verily, for my son there shall be an occultation during which all people shall fall into doubt except those whom Allah protects."
Notice that according to the traditions, denying the transmitted teachings of Ahl al-Bait (AS) is equivalent to denying the Ahl al-Bait (AS). Thus, some of those who claim to believe in Imam Mahdi (AS) as the twelfth Imam during the time of occultation will oppose him after his rise because they used to oppose their teachings and used to follow their own inventions. Fudhail Ibn Yasar narrated:
I heard Imam al-Sadiq (AS) saying, "When our Qa'im (AS) rises he will face the ignorance of people more severe than what the Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) faced during the days of al-Jahiliyya." I asked, "Why should it be so?" The Imam replied, "The Apostle of Allah (PBUH&HF) came to people who were worshipping the stones and the carved wood. However, our Qa'im (AS) shall come to people who will all interpret the Book of Allah against his interpretation, and will argue with him by that. By Allah, al-Qa'im shall enter his justice inside their houses, just as the heat and the cold enter them."
During the period of occultation, people gradually leave the traditions of Ahl al-Bait (AS) and interpret Quran according to their own opinion, and prefer the words of fallibles to the words of infallibles. Consequently, many religious instructions will be forgotten as if they had never been a part of the religion. On the other hand they consider many man-made products as if they really have been a part of the religion. When Imam al-Mahdi (AS) comes, he will fight all the innovations and will restore the truth of the religion. For this reason, at the beginning of his mission, many people think he has brought a new religion. Muhammad Ibn Ijlan narrated:
Imam al-Sadiq (AS) said, "When our Qa'im rises he shall call people anew to Islam and shall guide them to the things that were annihilated and from which people had turned away. He is called Mahdi because he will guide people to the thing from which they have been separated. He is called al-Qa'im because of his rise for the truth."
Thus, the opposition against Imam Mahdi (AS) is not due to people's failure in identifying him. It is rather due to their disbelief in the original laws of the religion, their overlooking of the transmitted traditions, and their following man-made ideas and opinions in the domain of religion.
Is lack of the occurrence of signs a reason for the delay in Relief?
If Imam Mahdi (AS) has not appeared yet, it is not because certain signs did not take place, but because people do not follow the commandments and the instructions of Ahl al-Bait (AS). In a Tawqi' from Imam al-Mahdi (AS) it is written that: