ANSWER: Walaykum Salam, I do not know about the timespan of the contact or the quality of the contact to his closest ansar after Ahmed Al-Hassan (as) went into absence around 2008. But the undeniable news, that the 12 brought to us, confirm, that at least he (as) recently had contact with them, and most probably has ongoing contact with them now and in the future. As far as I understood Imam Ahmed (as) is especially in this time before his rising in contact with some of his Ansar, and took them to Imam Mahdi (as) as the following hadith –quoted by Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh) in his book “An Advice to the students of the Academic Hawza and to all truth seekers” – mentioned: Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh): “The companion of this matter will go into occultation in some of these passes” and he pointed out with his hand to the direction of Thee-Towa. Then he said: “UNTIL BEFORE HIS RISING, THE MAWLA (IMAM AHMED), WHO WAS WITH THEM WILL COME FORTH UNTIL HE MEETS SOME OF HIS COMPANIONS and ask: ‘How many of you are there?’ They will reply: ‘We are forty people.’ Then he will ask: ‘What will you do, if you see your Companion [Imam Mahdi]’ They will reply: ‘By Allah, if he goes from here and takes refuge at any mountain, we will also be with him.’ Then he [Imam Ahmed] will come to them and say: ‘Point to ten of your leaders or the best of you,’ then they point to them for him, so he takes them and brings them to their Companion (Imam Mahdi). He will promise them about the coming night..” Ghaibat Al-Noa’mani, P. 187, Tafsir Al-Ayashy, V. 2, P. 56, Bihar Al-Anwar, V. 52, P. 341, Mu’jam Ahadith Al-Imam Al-Mahdi, V. 5, P. 2. Imam Ahmed Al-Hassan (pbuh) also explains in the book The Calf volume 2, that the contact between the Qaim and this Ansar through ambassadors is one of the close signs of his appearance and rise by saying: “These are some of the close signs of his appearance and rise. And perhaps he (as) has a period of appearance that precedes his rise in Makkah. Perhaps through ambassadors, just like the case was in the minor occultation. And this possibility is strengthened by some of their (as) narrations. And perhaps the beginning of his dispatch and appearance was in the mother of cities in this age which is the Noble Najaf, like the path of his grandfather The Chosen (sawas), who was dispatched in the mother of cities in his age, which was Makkah. And Allah is more knowledgeable and more wise, and we have not been given except little knowledge.”- The Calf – Volume 2*Who are those ambassadors? The Imam (pbuh) told us in the book “The Sealing Prophethood”, that the way of communication between us and the Qa’im (pbuh) will be through men from the 313, and that they are the apparent cities mentioned in Qur’an in this age, their names are unknown in the earth, their arrival will be condemned, and they gather the people to the Qa’im (pbuh), and they will face obstacles, but they will pass the obstacles. Check the chapter “the attributes of the companions of the Qa’im pbuh” in the book The Sealing Prophethood. Who those close 12 ambassadors of Ahmed Al-Hassan from the 313 are, is a secret now, but some of them will appear soon. You are communicating with some of them but you do not know them.
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