Othman bin Sayid al-Omary: Hello my friends and welcome. I'm really glad to see that you want to know everything about your awaited Imam al-Mahdi (as). The most important thing that you have to know, is the duration of the minor occultation (Ghaibat-e-Sughra), which I was one of its men. Do you want to know me and my relationship with Imam al-Mahdi (as)?
My name is Othman bin Sayid and my surname is Abu Omar. I'm from a tribe which is called Bani Asad. It is an Arabic tribe, which was known as its love for Ahlul Bayt (as). I think you heard about that tribe after the battle of Karbala. My tribe had buried the bodies of the martyrs who were the followers of Imam al-Hussain (as), when the army of Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad left them in the desert without enshrouding. Imam Zain al-Abedin (as) was present at that battle and he had buried his father's body. By the way, Prophet Muhammad's (saw) companion Habib ibn Muzahir al-Asadi was a martyr with Imam al-Hussain (as) in that battle, is a person who belongs to my tribe.
So, you have known my name and my tribe. Now, I'm going to tell you about my given names. I had gotten many given names, which one of them is al-Askary. I was given that name, because of the name of a neighbourhood in Samarra, because I lived in there, beside Imam Ali al-Hadi. I was given the name al-Zayat and al-Saman, because I was selling ghee for hiding my real job, which was the deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (as) and I'll talk to you about that later. Another name, which I was given, is al-Omary. You may ask, why do I have such many given names? Well, I'll make the reason clear for you. The Abbasids were looking for Imam al-Mahdi (as) to kill him, so Imam al-Mahdi (as) got hidden. Then the Abbasids started looking for him and trying to know everybody who attempts to visit him from his followers. Therefore, I was changing my given names from time to time so as not the enemies doubt and capture me. I think you know that Imam al-Mahdi (as) had gotten so many given names, al-Sayed, Imam-e-Zamana, Saheb al-Nahia, Sahib uz Zaman and so on. Therefore, we were making the spies and the police go astray.
After this long conversation, do you want to know my relationship with the awaited Imam al-Mahdi (as)? And when did it start?
All right my friends. I think you know that Imam al-Mahdi (as) has two occultation's. The minor occultation (Ghaibat-e-Sughra) which was started after the death of the Imam's father, Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) in the year 260 AH and it ended in the year 329 AH at Shaban 15th. Therefore, after that, the major occultation (Ghaibat-e-Kubra) had begun and it will be continued until Allah (SWT) gives him the permission to appear. However, the minor and the major occultation's, differ from each other, that in the minor occultation, Imam al-Mahdi (as) had a connection with his followers by the means of deputies, who were bringing the Shias' letters to Imam al-Mahdi (as) and they were bringing the letters' replies to the Shias.
I am the first deputy and my son Mohamad is the second one.
Now, I'll talk to you about my relationship with Imam al-Mahdi (as) and how it began.
While I was eleven year old, I joined to serve Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) who was the Imam al-Mahdi's (as) grandfather. Therefore, I was beside him and I learnt a lot from him, so he trusted in me so much. Following are some of the evidences.
Evidence number 1:
Ahmad bin Eshaq: I am from Qom and I am one of Imam Ali al-Hadi's (as) companions. One day, I visited Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) and I asked him to introduce a person who we can trust in him to bring my letters to Imam. Do you know what Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) replied?
Imam Ali al-Hadi (as): This is Abu Amr, the truthful, and what he tells you, it is from me, and what he takes from you, he will bring it to me; so listen up to him and obey him, because he is the truthful with us.
Ahmad bin Eshaq: This evidence which Sheik al-Omary can be proud of it. Not just this one, because after Imam Ali al-Hadi's (as) death, I visited Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) and he stated.
Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as): This is Abu Amr, the truthful, my father's trust and my trust in my life and after my death, so what he tells you, it is from me, so listen up to him and obey him, because he is the trustful man with us.
Evidence number 2:
Badr al-Kadem: I am Imam al-Hasan al-Askary's (as) servant. One day, a group of Shia had come from Yaman to visit Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as), they were bringing with them Imam's money (Haqooq al-Sharia). Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) was busy with his followers then, so he asked me to call Othman bin Sayid al-Omary. Then I went after him, when he entered.
Imam al-Hasan al-Askary(as): Go Othman and bring the money from the Yamanies, because you are the deputy and the trusty truthful of Allah's money.
Othman bin Sayid al-Omary: I promised that I talk to you about the meaning of deputy. Because this word was used a lot by the Shias in that time, so the deputy is a person who is trusted in him in completing the missions.
I was the deputy of Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) and Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as), because the Abbasids were watching them to know who has a connection with them from their Shias, and who brings Imam's money (Haqooq al-Sharia) to them. Therefore, I was a connection between Imam and his Shias. Therefore, I was bringing the questions to Imam and the replies to the Shias and so on. Both of the Imams (as) were depending on me in doing their jobs. When Imam al-Mahdi (as) was born. Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) ordered me to buy ten thousand pounds of bread and ten thousand pounds of meat to divide them to Bani Hashem because of the newborn. He was depending on me in doing many things, not just this one, because he chose me as a deputy for his son Imam al-Mahdi (as) in front of a group of Shias. Let's listen to one of them.
Ali bin Bilal: I am from Baghdad and I am one of the followers of both Imam Ali al-Hadi (as) and Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as). I visited Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) along with other Forty Shias to ask him about the coming Imam after him; so Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) entered somewhere and came back with a child. That child was as handsome as the moon and he was the most similar one to Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as). Then, he stated:
Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as): this is my son al-Mahdi. He is your leader after me and my caliph for you; so obey him and don't move away after me. You have to know that you will not see him again; you have to listen up to Othman bin Sayid al-Omary and obey him, because he is your leader's caliph.
Othman bin Sayid al-Omary: After that time, I was known as the Imam al-Mahdi's (as) deputy. So when Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) died, Imam al-Mahdi (as) ordered me to enshroud Imam al-Hasan al-Askary (as) and then, he prayed on his father.
I think you would like to know the meaning of the word "deputy." Well, the deputy is a person who delegates somebody to other people. There is a difference between a deputy and an agent, because the deputy is one person, but an agent, may be more than one person. Imam al-Mahdi (as) had agents in different cities, for example Mohamad bin Mahziar in Ahwaz and the Shias in there, were asking him. Mohamad bin Eshaq in Qom, Mohamad bin Shathan in Neishabour and all of them were connecting to me and I connected to Imam al-Mahdi (as), and I was bringing their letters to Imam; I was hiding them secretly in the ghee's boxes.
This was a short summery of my life. What do you want to know more? Ok, I will narrate the sayings (al-Ahadith) from my Imams, and I had written many books about Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), but most of them were lost and there is just a little Hadiths in the books, in addition of that, I narrated al-Samat supplication, which is read at the last times of Fridays. It is a great supplication and don't forget me while you read it. I had two sons, Mohamad who was the second deputy and another son was Ahmad.
Now, it is the time to go, good luck.