SHAFAQNA – The complete dimensions and reasons for Imam Mahdi’s (AS) occultation (absent publicly) are not clear to us and cannot be explained clearly and in full, but in authentic narrations, some important points regarding the issue of occultation have been reported of which a few are outlined below.
- To protect Imam Mahdi (AJ) from assassination – In this regard, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) said: Imam Mahdi (AJ) whilst he is a child will be absent. The Prophet (PBUH) was asked: Why he is absent? The prophet (PBUH) replied: There is a fear he may be killed . Of course this fear is not personal but there is a fear that, the earth may be without the proof of God. Some may ask: Can’t he be protected by God? Yes, of course God has power over all things and affairs, but it is Divine Will that all affairs take their normal and natural route. If it was anything other than this, then testing people would have been pointless, and the issue of hell and heaven non-existent.
- To avoid swearing allegiance to despots – Regarding this point, it is narrated from Imam Hassan (AS) who said: Allah (SWT) will hide his birth (Imam Mahdi’s (AJ) birth) until he re-appears in order that he is not forced to swear allegiance to anyone .
 Beharul Anwaar, Vol. 52, Page 90.
 AS Above, Vol. 52, page 297.
To be continued