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!"1
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.2
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.
1 Ilzam al-nasib (1351 AH edition), p. 81.
Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"
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