The minor occultation; the first phase of Direct translation: Leader. In Sunni Islam, Imāms are the leaders of the Muslim community who lead prayers, provide guidance and help run communities. In the Shi’ah faith, the Imāms are the infallible, divinely appointed leaders... More al-Mahdī’s An abbreviation for the Arabic ‘Ajjallāhu ta’ālā farajahu Shareef’, which translates to ‘May Allah, the Exalted, hasten his noble reappearance.’ Follows the name of the 12th Imām, al-Mahdī (ʿaj), and is written as a sign... More absence in which the Imam had four directly appointed representatives to work between himself and his followers.
Began in the year 260 An abbreviation for ‘After Hijrah.’ Used in English to denote the current era of the Islamic lunar calendar. This era began with the Prophet’s and early Muslims' migration from Mecca to Medina (the event was... More / 874 AD, after young Imam al-Madhi (ʿaj) performed the funeral rights of his father, Imām Hasan al-Askari (‘a). During the 67 year period of minor occultation, Imām al-Mahdī (ʿaj) lived in hiding due to the persecution of the Abbasid Caliphs who had imprisoned his father and grandfather.
Imām al-Mahdī (ʿaj) communicated with his followers via letters sent to a succession of deputies.
The minor occultation ended and major occultation began when the fourth and last deputy, Ali al-Samari, received a final letter from Imām al-Mahdī (ʿaj) announcing the major occlusion and predicting al-Samari’s death a week later.