Why should we pray for Imam al-Mahdi’s health?

Based on Islamic narrations, it is a fact that Allahhas promised to protect Imam al-Mahdi from everythingthat would jeopardize his mission. Therefore,he has to remain alive and healthy till he fulfills hismission. Here a question is raised that why are werecommended to pray for his wellness while he willremain safe by the will of Allah and what is the benefitof praying for his health?Answering the mentioned question we can pointto the following reasons:First, our Infallible Imams used to do the same:In some Islamic reliable sources it has been indicatedthat supplicating for Imam al-Mahdi refers to themanners of the Infallible Imams who used to allocatethe best times of their life, e.g. in their prayer, to prayfor Imam al-Mahdi’s health, and they have taughtus to do the same. For example: Imam al-Redā (TheShiite eighth Imam) recommended us to pray continuouslyfor Imam al-Mahdi by this supplication:

“O Allah distance the whole difficulties from Your successor (on the earth) and protect him
from the evil of all of Your creation and preserve him from his right, left, from above and beneath (his feet) with Your protection that if You protect someone he would not face destruction.”Also Imam al-Hassan al-‘Askarī (the Shiite eleventh Imam) used to recite this request in his prayers:

“O Allah, position him in a particular place where he will be safe from the enemies and those who are going to harm him and protect him from the things which we fear that would bring about difficulties for him and misdirect

from him the arrows of deception that the deceivers attempt to through at him.”
In this regard, Sayyed bin Tāwūs (after pointing to the rewards of praying for one’s religious brothers) states, “Whenever praying for our brothers has this great reward, so praying for a leader who is the cause of our creation most be more important and its reward would be more valuable; a leader who be believe that if he was not created, Allah would not create us as well. Therefore, praying for our Imam should be done before praying for ourselves, our family, and our brothers.” Second, Imam al-Mahdi possesses a human body like others: Based on our belief, Imam al-Mahdi has been born for centuries and he will remain alive till his appearance, but it is so clear that Imam al-Mahdi is a human and possesses a human body and it makes it highly probable that he would be inflicted with diseases or sustain some sorts of damages in his body. However, although it is said that Allah has intended to protect Imam al-Mahdi from everything that would threaten him

from fulfilling his mission, it cannot be claimed that Allah’s will has belonged to preserving him completely from every diseases and problems throughout his life.

In accordance with some proofs and narrations, it is said that even the prophets and Infallible Imams had some illnesses since they possessed a human body like other people. For example, some narrations tell us that Imam Ali sometimes suffered from eye pain and some of the Imams sometimes had a fever and needed to cure it or refer to some sorts of supplications.

They sometimes gave alms to prevent diseases.

This is what we read in the Quran that Allah addresses his prophet saying,
}قُلْ إِنََّا أَنَا بَشٌَ مِّثْلُكُمْ یُوحَى إِلَیّ{ 1
“(O the Prophet!), Say: I am just a human being like you (with this difference that) I receive revelation (from Allah).”
By this way, Allah introduces the Prophet as a person with ordinary body as other human have, not a

supernatural man with an extraterrestrial body.

After proving this issue that some difficulties for our Imam are possible, now a question is raised that what our duty towards this probable problem is. Regarding to this issue, just we should pray for his health a lot.
One should not say that if Allah decides to remain the Imam healthy, He can do it without our prayer since the answer is that, in this world, Allah has intended to do everything through a natural cause and effect procedure and our prayer is one of the causes that will have its own effect.
Similar to this, is a verse in the Quran where Allah says about a group of the disbelievers that when it is said to them to give alms to the needy people they say if Allah wills to feed them He can do it without needing us to assist Him,
}وَ إِذا قيلَ لَهُمْ أَنْفِقُوا مِمَّ رَزَقَكُمُ اللهُ قالَ الَّذينَ كَفَرُوا لِلَّذينَ آمَنُوا أَ
نُطْعِمُ مَنْ لَوْ يَشاءُ اللهُ أَطْعَمَهُ إِنْ أَنْتُمْ إِلاَّ في ضَلالٍ مُبينٍ{ 1
“And when it is said to them, ‘Spend out of what Allah has provided for you as sustenance’, those

who disbelieve say to those who believe, ‘Shall we feed those whom if Allah had so willed, He could Himself feed them?’ This proves that you, the disbelievers are in a serious error.”Third, some advantage for praying for the Imam: There are numerous benefits to obtain through praying for Imam al-Mahdi. Here we enumerate
a few of them:
1. In fact, this is a path to remember our Imam and thus we can be spiritually connected to him. Actually, this connection serves for our spiritual perfection and its sublimity and excellence since certainly, if we pray for the Imam, he will remember us in his prayers, and his special kindness will be extended to us as well. For sure, his
prayer will not be at all rejected by Allah.
2. To pray for the Imam means that we can take him into our consideration and we are going to give
him precedence over a lot of beings in this world.
Therefore, this issue causes that our affection towards Imam al-Mahdi’s increases in our heart

since remembering someone who is beloved, causes the lover to love him more and more.
3. This is a fact that praying for Imam al-Mahdi means to swear allegiance to him because one who wishes his health, he tries to avoid everything that bothers him. It also helps us not to be negligent about our Islamic duties and to always be cautious not to act irreligiously.

Consequently, according to the Infallibles’ statements and narrations, praying for Imam al-Mahdi’s health is acceptable and also recommended because, praying is not only a sort of Allah’s worshiping, but also is influential in preventing difficulties and constraints imposed on our life too. On the otherhand, praying for our Imam’s health has a great role in human’s spiritual purifications and it causes to love our Imam more. In other words, although Allah protects the twelfth Imam from serious diseases and problems throughout his life, but we should pray for his health so that we could show our affection to him and by this way we can attract his kindness to ourselves.
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