The faithful put their trust in our Lord at every moment of their lives, knowing that He is their only friend in this world and in the Hereafter. They know that there is great wisdom, auspiciousness and beauty in every event He creates. Whether they are confronted by trouble and difficulty or whether they find themselves with great blessings and abundance they still maintain a moderate, grateful and humble attitude. In the same way that wealth and plenty do not spoil them and lead them into heedlessness, so troubles and difficulties do not wear them down or lead them into making concessions.
Things are very different, however, for people with no belief in Allah and the Hereafter. Since they are heedless of the fact that they will be resurrected and have to account for themselves in the Hereafter, they take the life of this world as their only purpose. For that reason they become strongly attached to worldly values, and are unwilling to see these come to any harm. They are greatly alarmed at even the possibility of this happening. The same thing applies to people whose faith is weak or who have a hypocritical character. People who live by such immorality have throughout the course of history turned their backs on the message of the prophets, out of a concern that harm might befall their worldly interests, and have refused to follow the true path shown them by the prophets.
One of the reasons for this is described as follows in the Qur’an:
And they repudiated them wrongly and haughtily, in spite of their own certainty about them. See the final fate of the corrupters. (Surat an-Naml, 14)
As related in the verse, some people rejected the truths to which the messengers called them because they were incompatible with the desires of their lower selves, even though they actually grasped the truths in their hearts and consciences. According to indications in the hadiths, this state of affairs that has been repeated throughout the course of history will also apply to Hazrat Mahdi (as) as well as to the Prophet Jesus (as). People will grasp, in their consciences, the superior nature of these holy personages, but will pretend not to understand the true position, under the influence of worldly desires. They will shelter behind various excuses in order not to accept the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), not to support them and in order to keep their distance from them. This way of putting up excuses is revealed in the Qur’an as being a method employed by all hypocrites throughout history: making all kinds of excuses to avoid the truth even though they have actually grasped it perfectly clearly in their consciences, hearts and minds. People eager to avoid participating in the struggle alongside our Prophet (saas) made such excuses as “they had not been able to” (Surat at-Tawba, 42), “their houses were exposed” (Surat at-Tawba, 13) and “their wealth and families kept them occupied.” (Surat al-Fath, 11)
This state of affairs that has been experienced so many times in the past will also be experienced in the End Times. A great many people will turn their backs on Hazrat Mahdi (as) out of concern that their interests will be harmed and that they will suffer material or other losses, and may even oppose him. Some families will also be afraid of harm befalling their assets, children and businesses, and will act against Hazrat Mahdi (as). Since these people act out of their worldly desires instead of following their consciences they will be unaware of the situation in which they find themselves. The following is revealed in the Qur’an about the situation in question:
Say: “If your fathers or your sons or your brothers or your wives or your tribe, or any wealth you have acquired, or any business you fear may slump, or any house which pleases you, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His Way, then wait until Allah brings about His command. Allah does not guide people who are deviators.” (Surat at-Tawba, 24)
However, we are told in the Qur’an that all forms of excuse made in the light of worldly desires are invalid. Therefore, any thinking person who employs his conscience in the light of the verses of the Qur’an can see the truth in this regard and grasp the invalidity of such excuses that might prevent Hazrat Mahdi (as) being recognized when he appears.