In the book of Behar ul Anwaar, Muhiudeen Arbeli reports an incident thus –
‘Once I was sitting with my father. At that time, another person was also with us whose turban fell down. We noticed that there was the mark of a wound on his head. My father questioned him about it to which he replied that this was a wound of the battle of Siffeen.
My father was astonished and he said, “What are you saying? The incident of Siffeen is a very old one. It is not possible that you would have been present at that time”.
The person said, “Once it so happened that I was going towards Misr (Egypt). In the journey, I happened to be with a person from the tribe of Ghazrah. During the course of our discussion, we touched upon the topic of the battle of Siffeen. My companion remarked that if I were present in the battle of Siffeen, I would have coloured my sword with the blood of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the companions of Imam Ali (a.s.). I replied saying that if I were present at the battle of Siffeen, I would have coloured my sword with the blood of Muawiyah and the companions of Muawiyah. At this time, you and I are the companions of Ali (a.s.) and Muawiyah. Saying this a battle ensued between us and it was a severe battle in which both of us were badly wounded. I was in a bad condition and I fell on the ground unconscious.
When I opened my eyes, I saw that a person was getting off his horse and coming towards me. He rubbed my hands over my wounds after which I saw that my wounds had healed. He asked me to wait there and disappeared for some time. When he returned, I saw that he had the head of my enemy in his hands and also his horse was with him. He said,
‘This is the head of your enemy. You have helped us and we have helped you. Allah helps those who help Him’.
I said, please tell me who are you. He said I am so and so, implying he was Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). While leaving he said, whenever any person asks you about this wound, you say that it is the wound of Siffeen.’
This incident teaches us that defending the Imam (a.s.) from his enemies in the time of ghaybat is akin to helping the Imam (a.s.). It is preferable to wage an intellectual war with his (a.s.) enemies as jihad is permissible only by the permission of the Imam (a.s.) himself. However, if we are confronted, it can only be said that it is human instinct to protect oneself. Surely if we are on the right path, we shall receive the blessings and help of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.). However, we should not attempt to be the initiators of such confrontations.
Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) said:
“O people if you look between the East and West, you will not find anyone who is from the children of the Holy Prophet except myself and my brother.”
(Kitab-e-Sulaym ibn Qays al-Hilali, p. 359, H. 76)