A resident of Kashan left for the Ziyarat of Makkah Mu’azzamah along with a few friends. Initially, they visited Iraq and then spent a few days in Najaf Ashraf. At Najaf, he fell ill and despite best efforts, he did not get any special benefit from the treatment of the doctors. They advised him to rest and told him he should avoid too much stress from walking or travelling as it was not good for him; rather it could be fatal for him since his body did not have strength to walk. Due to his diagnosis, he was distressed, and upset, and was compelled to stay in Najaf.
The people of his group waited along with him for a few days. However when they saw no signs of improvement in his health, they packed their bags with the intention of leaving for Makkah. With great regret, they visited the shrine of Hazrat Ameerul Mo’mineen (a.s.) and explained their situation to an aide in the shrine. They said, brother! We are Iranis and left from Kashan for the Ziyarat of Makkah. Unfortunately one member from our group has fallen sick. We took him to several doctors, but the treatment has not helped him. We wish to go forward to Makkah. Can you do us a favour and look after him in our absence? We will return soon from our Ziyarat. We will compensate you for this effort. Also, since he is unwell, God forbid if he passes away, then please conduct his the last rituals of ghusl and shroud and bury him. Keep his possessions with yourself. When we return, we will collect them from you and pass them on to his family members in Kashan. If he improves in health, then Inshallah, next year, we can take him for Ziyarat of Makkah.
Finally they left this poor person in the custody of the aide and went away. This aide was a rude and harsh person. Every morning, he would lock the patient in his room and go away. He would return only in the afternoon after Asr. The patient would remain all alone in the dark room in a state of regret and sorrow. Finally after days of hunger and thirst, one day, in the morning, when the aide was preparing to lock him in the room, he said, Mister! I am not having the strength to walk. Can you do me a favour and take me any how to Wadi-us-Salaam. There is the place known as Maqaam-e-Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). When I was better, I had gone there with my friends. When you return in the afternoon, you can pick me up from there.
The patient pleaded and implored the aide to such an extent, that finally he agreed. He took the patient to Wadi-us-Salaam at the place of Imam-e-Mahdi (a.s.). There he made the patient sit in one corner. Then he washed his shawl and hung it to dry on a tree. Then he turned to the patient and said, see I have hung my shawl to dry. Do ensure that no one takes it. Saying this, he left from there.
The patient narrates, hardly some time had passed after the aide had gone that my mind wandered to the question as to why this place was known as the place of Imam-e-Mahdi (a.s.). Did the Imam bestow a special grace upon some person at this place? Or had some person met the Imam (a.s.) at this place? I was lost in these thoughts when suddenly I saw a young man enter the Wadi and come close to me. He conveyed salaams and passed from my side. Then he turned again towards me and spoke something in Arabic which I could not understand. I spoke to him in Persian saying, Mister! I could not understand a word of what you just spoke.
He replied to me in Persian, where are you from? I replied, from Iran. He asked, from which city in Iran? I replied, from Kashan. He asked, from which locality of Kashan? I replied, from the locality of Sultan Meer Ahmed. He started conversing with me in Persian in such a Kashani style that I thought to myself that actually this person is from Kashan only and that he is only dressed as an Arab. He asked, what are you doing here? I replied, Sir! We were a group of friends who left Kashan with the intention of visiting Makkah. Since I fell ill here, they left me here and have gone ahead for the Ziyarat of Makkah. He said, Inshallah, you shall recover well from your illness and will visit Makkah, but not this year, but next year. I said, Sir! I am all alone here without any helper. I request you to sit here for some time with me so that my saddened heart may be pleased with your presence.
Hearing this, he sat down. However after some time, he got up to leave. I said, Sir! There is no one here. The loneliness is killing me and my heart is troubled. I request you to spend some more time with me. Once again he sat down for some time, then he got up to leave. Again, I beseeched him to stay for some more time to which he responded, I have to reach some other place. Saying this, he got up and left.
Not much time had passed since his departure that a strong gust of wind blew the shawl which was hanging on the tree to the ground. I got up from my place, picked up the shawl, washed it again and hung it on the tree to dry. Then I returned to my place to take rest.
At that instant, it struck me that I was not having any strength to walk, leave alone wash the shawl. How is it possible that I was able to get up from my place and walk to the tree and wash the shawl and hang it to dry. I was astounded by this scene and I got up from my place again just to check that I was able to do so. I walked a few steps as well and observed that I felt no pain. At this point, the question which arose again and again was how I had managed to get up and walk. Then I thought that perhaps the person who had come was none other than Hazrat Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.) who cured me of my illness. How is it that I was unable to recognise him…
(Bulbul-e-Bostaan-e-Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.), vol. 3, p. 209)
There are several lessons which can be derived from this incident. Some of these lessons are:
The visitors to the shrines of the Holy Imams (a.s.) are the guests of the Imams (a.s.), especially the guests of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.s.). He pays special attention to the visitors of his forefathers and looks after their needs.
During the Ziyarat tour, one should not forsake the Ziyarat of the atraaf (allied Ziyarat). One of the important places to visit is Wadi Us Salaam in which there is Maqaam-e-Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and Maqaam-e- Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). These are places which are frequented by Imam Mahdi (a.s.). We too should visit these places and remain busy in namaz and prayers.