those wishing to know more should refer to books written by our scholars in this regard especially the book 'kashful-astar-fil-gha'eb-anil-intezar' written by haj muza hussein nuri tabarsi (may his dust be fragrant) - the master of the the 'mujtahids' and the last of the inspired traditionists. the contents of this book are such that it would quench the thirst of a thirsty person and cure the sickness of a sick person.
«Mahdi and those who have seen him»
under this title we shall set forth three fine narratives as a means of cooling the heart and not in the form of reasoning and argumentation.
firstly, shaikh abdul-wahab sha'rani in his book 'tabaqat-urafa' while writing about shaikh hassan araqi says: i went along with sayed abul-abbass harithi to meet shaikh hassan araqi. the latter said: should i narrate to you the story of my life right from its beginning until now. i shall relate in such manner that as if you have been my intimate friend right from childhood. i replied: 'yes, you may please narrate.'
he said: 'i was a youth amongst the craftsmen of damascus. on fridays, we used to occupy ourselves in playing, drinking and gambling. it was on one of those fridays that i received some sort of an inspiration from Allah that: have you been created for such deeds? therefore, i gave up my usual activities and fled away from my companions. they pursued me but could not find me. i entered the mosque of bani-umayyah and saw a person on the pulpit who was speaking about hazrat Mahdi. by this, i became eager in meeting Mahdi. there was not a single prostration which i used to perform and not ask Allah to fulfill my wish for meeting him. in one of the nights, while being engaged in the recommended prayers, i saw all of a sudden someone sitting behind me. he rubbed his hands over my back and said: 'o my son, the compassionate Allah has granted your wish. i am Mahdi, what do you want.'
i said: 'will you come with me to my house?'
he replied: 'yes'. then we went together and on the way he said: 'take me to some lonely place.' i took him to a lonely place and he stayed there with me for seven days.
the author of 'yanabi-ul-muwadda' narrates on page 455 (an incident) from the book 'kashful-ghumma' of shaikh ali-ibn-isa arbali who in the view of shias and sunnis is a reliable person. the said author relates as such: people narrate stories and incidents about the miracles of imam Mahdi (may Allah be satisfied with him) which describing them would take a long time. however i shall narrate two of them which are closer to our time and which have been narrated to me by a group of reliable brothers.
first: there lived a man named ismail-ibn-hassan between the two cities of hilla and furat. my brothers narrate from ismail that there appeared a boil on his left thigh which was the size of the palm of ones hand. doctors who looked at his boil expressed their inability in curing it. thereafter, ismail left for samerra and visited the graves of imam ali hadi and imam hassan askari (may Allah be satisfied with them). later he entered sardab. there he beseeched the compassionate Allah and seeked help from Mahdi.
then, he entered the tigris river, took the ritual wash and changed his clothes. suddenly he saw four riders coming from the direction of the city of samerra. one of them was an old man holding a spear in his hand while the other was a youth wearing colourful clothes. the one holding the spear was coming from the right flank while the other two were coming from the left flank. the youth who had put on colourful clothes was coming from the centre. this youth asked ismail as such: «will you go tomorrow to your family?' ismail replied: «yes'. he said: «come close to me so that i can learn about your problem.' ismail went close to him. he bent down and pressed his thigh with his blessed hand and then sat back on his saddle. the old man who was holding a spear in his hand said: you have been cured. he is your imam.