Often we feel despair that we may miss out on seeing the Imam (aj) or missing out on his Return, but for the true believer it will not have any negative affect if the Return of the Imam (aj) is brought forward, or delayed.

‘‘Abū ‘Abdillāh, peace be upon him, said: ‘Know your Imām; for if you know him, [neither] the bringing forward nor the postponement of this affair will harm you.’ ’’

Sanad: Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Hammad ibn ‘Isa from Hariz from Zurara who has said the above hadith.

Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 141, Hadith #1 (See First Image below)
Grading: Allaamah Majlisi (rh) says it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح), [Mira’at Al-Uqool, Volume 4, Page 184 (See Second Image below)]

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This hadith is supported by other hadiths in the same chapter in Al-Kafi, which go into more details. For example, some incredibly beautiful hadiths:

Hadith 2 (See Image Below): ‘‘I asked Abū ‘Abdillāh. peace be upon him, concerning the words of Allāh, the Blessed, the Sublime: On the day when we shall call all men with their imām (al-Isrā’, 17:71), and he said: ‘O Fudayl, know your Imām; for, if you know your Imām, the bringing forward or the postponement of this affair will not harm you. Whoever knows his Imām, and then dies before the Master of this affair [i.e., the Mahdī] rises up. is like someone who serves in his army; nay, he is like someone who serves under his [personal] banner.’ And one of his [Fudayl ibn Yasār’s] companions said: ‘… like someone who is martyred in battle beside the Messenger of Allāh, may Allāh bless him and his progeny and preserve them.’ ’’
Hadith 3 (See Image Below): ‘‘I said to Abū ‘Abdillāh, peace be upon him: ‘May I be made your ransom! When will the release from suffering [al-faraj] come? ‘O Abū Basīr,’ he said, ‘are you, too, one of those who desire [only] this word? Whoever knows this affair [the Imāmate], will have his troubles dispelled through waiting for him.’ ’’
Hadith 4 (See Image Below): ‘‘I heard Abū Basīr ask Abū ‘Abdillāh, peace be upon him: ‘Is it your opinion that I [will live to] see the Qā’im, peace be upon him?’ ‘O Abū Basīr,’ he said, ‘Do you not know your Imām?’ ‘Indeed, by Allāh!’ he said: ‘You are he!’ And he took hold of [the Imām’s hand. ‘By Allāh, O Abū Basīr,’ he said, ‘do not be fearful that you will not be ready with your sword (Muhtabiyan bi ’s-sayf: sitting on the ground in an assembly of war with the legs folded and held against the chest with one’s sword) in the shadow of the lent of the Qā’im, may the blessings of Allāh be upon him.’ ’’

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Your Deeds Presented to the Prophet and Imams

Upon pondering on these hadiths, I wondered what is knowing the Imam (aj) and what is waiting for him? It reminded me of the following hadiths:

Imam Al-Sadiq (as) said: “What is wrong with you? Why do you disappoint the Messenger of Allah?” A man asked, ‘How do we disappoint him?’ The Imam, recipient of divine supreme covenant, said, ‘Do you not know that your deeds are presented before him? When he finds sins in them it disappoints him. Do not disappoint the Messenger of Allah. Do things that will make him happy.’”

Sanad: Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from ‘Uthman ibn ‘Isa from Suma‘ who has said the above hadith.

Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 86,Hadith #3 (See Image Below)

Imam Sadiq (as) said: “All deeds are presented before the Messenger of Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant. It is the deeds of all the virtuous and the evildoing servants (of Allah) that are presented every morning and evening (before the Messenger of Allah). So pay proper attention to it and be very careful. The following words of Allah are a reference to this: ‘(Muhammad), tell them, “Act as you wish. Allah will see your deeds and so will His Messenger . . .”’ (9:105) The Imam, recipient of divine supreme covenant, paused at this point and did not read any further.”

Sanad: Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id from al-Qasim ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn abu Hamza from abu Basir who has said the above hadith

Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 86,Hadith #1 (See Image Below)

“Once I asked abu ‘Abd Allah (as) about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, ‘Act as you wish. Allah will see your deeds and so will His Messenger and the believers. . . .’ (9:105) The Imam said, ‘They (believers) are ‘A’immah, alayhim asalam.’”

Sanad: A number of our people have narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Husayn ibn Sa‘id from al-Nadr ibn Suwayd from Yahya al-Halabi from ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Ta’i from Ya‘qub ibn Shu‘ayb who has said the above hadith

Source: Usool Al-Kafi, Volume 1, Chapter 86,Hadith #2 (See Image Below)

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Conclusion

Live your life by knowing and waiting for your Imam (aj). Live as though he was present and watching you. He knows your deeds. Do not disappoint him. For if you truly know your Imam (aj) you would not want to disappoint him, and your reward will be as though you served in his army.

May we be considered worthy to be his servant. Ameen.