The Just Leader of Humanity 6
Abu 'Ali Sina, known as Avicenna to Western readers, is regarded among the geniuses of his times. In his autobiography he writes:
Later we all moved to Bukhara, where I was given teachers of Qur'an and Arabic letters (adab). By the time I was ten years old, I had completed the study of the Qur'an and a major part of Arabic letters, so much so that people wondered at my attainments. . . . Then, under the guidance of al-Natili, I began to read the Isagoge [of the Greek neoplatonist philosopher Porphyrius] . . .Almagest [of Ptolemy]. . . . Then I took up medicine and began to read books written on this subject. Medicine is not one of the difficult sciences, and in a very short time I undoubtedly excelled in it, so that physicians of merit studied under me. . . . At the same time I carried on debates and controversies in jurisprudence. At this point I was sixteen years old.
It is said that Fadil Hindi had mastered all rational and traditional sciences by the age of twelve, and had begun to write a book. The list of the gifted people is long. One only has to open a history of the world to realize that a number of universally recognized individuals were endowed at a young age with uncommon intelligence and a capacity to learn and leave for posterity a wealth of knowledge in different disciplines.
Dr. Fahimi, if other children can be endowed with unique potentials and turn out to be a genius, capable of memorizing hundreds of things and a variety of subjects -- provoking wonderment in others -- why should it be inconceivable that God in His wisdom appointed the twelfth Imam, God's authentic proof who happens to be a five year old, to occupy the position of wilayat and to be the exponent and protector of God's ordinances? In fact, the Imams had predicted his attaining that high position at an incredibly young age. Imam Baqir said: "The one who will be entrusted with the command (sahib al-'amr) will be youngest in age and less known than all of us."
Rising of the People when Naming the Qa'im
Dr. Jalali: I am sure you know that it is customary among the people to rise when the word qa'im is mentioned. Is there any tradition to support this custom?
Mr. Hoshyar: This custom is common among all the Shi'is around the world. It is related that Imam Rida was present in one of the gatherings in Khurasan when the word qa'im was mentioned. At that he rose, put his right hand on his head and said: "O God, make his deliverance soon and his rising graceful! "
This custom was prevalent even during the time of Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him). Somebody had asked him: "Why is it that one should rise (qiyam) when the Qa'im is mentioned?" The Imam replied:
The one who is entrusted with the command (sahib al-'amr) will have a very long occultation. Because of the utmost love that he has for his followers, whoever remembers him with his title Qa'im, which carries the meaning of awaiting his rule and conveys the impact of the longing for him, he too will show his concern for the faithful. Since the person remembering the Qa'im is also attended by him, it is appropriate to rise out of respect for him and pray to God for his early deliverance.
Hence, the Shi'i custom has a religious root and reflects respect and conveys an aspiration, although whether such an act is obligatory or not is unknown.