How Long Will the Hidden Imam Live?
Dr. Jalali: How Long Will the Hidden Imam Live?
Mr. Hoshyar: The term of his life has not been fixed. But the hadith reported on the authority of the Imams introduce him as the one endowed with a long life. For instance, Imam Hasan `Askari related:
After me my son is the Qa'im. He is the one in whom two characteristics of the ancient prophets, namely, long life and occultation, will be realized. His occultation will be so much prolonged that the hearts of the people will become hard and dark [with doubt]. Only those who receive God's special favor and whose hearts are made unwavering and who are confirmed by the holy spirit will remain faithful to him.1
Dr. Jalali: All that you have explained about the Imam of the Age so far is both rational and appropriate. However, there is one thing that really troubles my mind as well as the minds of those who are here in our gathering, namely, the problem of longevity. Educated and intelligent people do not find such a claim of longevity plausible, because the age of the human cell is limited. Bodily organs like the heart, brain, kidney, and abdomen have a precise potential to perform their function. It is logically impossible for me to believe that the heart of a normal person can function for more than a thousand years. Let me be very honest about the fact that you cannot present such a phenomenon to the public in this age of science and space technology.
Mr. Hoshyar: Dr. Jalali, I do confess that the extended age of the Guardian of the Age (peace be upon him) is among the difficult things to believe. I have no knowledge of medicine or biology. However, I am ready to accept the truth. Hence, I request you to share your knowledge about long life with us.
Dr. Jalali: I too should acknowledge that my own scientific knowledge is not sufficient to allow me to solve the fundamental question we are faced with. As such, it is better to get some expert opinion on this subject. I think that Dr. Nafisi, the Dean and Professor of the Medical School at the University of Isfahan, would be the most appropriate person to address our concern. Besides his thorough training in the field of medicine in general, he has lot of interest in the question of longevity.
Mr. Hoshyar: I have no objection to your proposal. I will make the necessary inquiries and write a letter to Dr. Nafisi, inviting him to join the group in one of its session. It might be in our interest to wait to hear from him and, therefore, I will suggest that we meet again after getting enough information about longevity so that we can enter our discussions with a better understanding. When Dr. Nafisi replies to our invitation I will ask Dr. Jalali to contact you by phone to let you know about our next meeting.
1 Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 224. Additionally, there are some 46 other traditions in this section on the same theme.
Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"
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