The website of Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmoud Sistani narrates an encounter with the Imam Mahdi by Sheikh Mustafa Khabazian, according to one of his friend. The narration, with light editing, is as follow: Mr. Haj Hasan Bahari, one of Mr. Khabzian’s close friends, narrates the story as follows:
About a month before Mr. Khabzian’s passing away, one night he called me. He asked me to get a taxicab and pick him up for a visit to Imam Reza’s shrine. I clearly remember that in the phone conversation we had, he insisted that he pays for the cab. I got a taxicab and went after him.
When Mr. Khabazain got in the car, he said,
“I will tell you something that you should not tell anyone while I am alive.”
I said, “Sure.”
He said that I got a Dhikr (prayer, invocation) from Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmoud Mojtahed Sistani to enable me to meet Imam Mahdi. He performed istikharah before giving me the dhikr. The istikharah came out good. I performed the ritual for forty days, in my house on Farhang Ally (in Mashhad). Yesterday was the fortieth day.
On the fortieth day, no one was in the house and I was busy with the dhikr in the cellar. I had closed the entrance door and I happened to have locked it as well. Suddenly, I saw two individuals, a luminous old man and a young Arab, enter the cellar and greet me with Salam. As soon as they entered, I found myself paralyzed. I could not move any limb.
I told myself, “The door is locked, where did they come from?
I realized, then, that my tongue has stopped working too. I could not even stand up to greet them. I have been paralyzed as I was, on my prayer mat, facing Qibla, doing the dhikr.
The old man said, “The gentleman is Baqiyatullah. Return his Salam.”
I, with a tongue out of order, responded by tryingly nodding my head, like a mute. Meanwhile, I was viewing his magnificence and glory from the corner of my eye. The light emanating from his collar had covered his entire face.
The old man said, “The Sir, Imam Zaman, says you are our Aswad. God bless you.”
A moment later, they stood up and left.
Consulting with the Master
As soon as I came to myself, I went to check the outside door. I found it closed. I cried till Maghreb Azan. So much that my prayer turbah turned into mud, and I prayed Maghreb with a different turbah. While still in the same hysterical state, I visited my Master Ayattollah Mojtahd Sistani at his house.
I recounted the story to him and asked “Which honorable gentleman had the title Aswad?”
He said, “Aswad is the title of Meqdad. You have gotten a full grade from Imam Zaman.”
He continued, “Did Imam Zaman mentioned anything else?”
I said, “Yes. The old man said he says God bless you.”
As soon as I uttered this sentence, the Sir (Ayatollah) slapped his leg and did not say anything more.
- God bless you is an allusion (or prediction) that Mr. Khabazian will pass away soon. Ayatollah realized this as Mr. Khabazian narrated the saying of Imam. The predication came true. Not long after, he perished in a plane crash–May Allah bless his soul.
- About Miqdad A hadith is narrated from the prophet saying that God (Allah) has ordered me to love four: Ali–peace be upon him, Salman, Abu Dhar and Meqdad. (عيون أخبار الرضا عليه السلام، باب فيما جاء عن الرضا عليه السّلام من الأخبار المجموعة، ج ۲، ص ۳۲.)
- What was Miqdad called “son of Aswad” while his father was Amr? Apparently, becuase Aswad Ibn Yaghuth Zahri adopted him. See Bihar al-Anwar (22:438). Also, see the article on Miqdad ibn Aswad in Islamic Encyclopedia.