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Four Deputies

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The Four Deputies or Al-Nuwwāb al-Arbaʿa (Arabic: النُواب الأربَعَة), were four representatives or special deputies of Imam al-Mahdi (a) during the Age of Minor Occultation and provided the means of communication between Shi'a and Imam (a): Uthman b. Sa'id, Muhammad b. Uthman, Husayn b. Ruh and Ali b. Muhammad al-Samuri.

The Four Deputies were among very known and trustworthy companions of Imams (a) who were introduced one after another by Imam al-Mahdi (a), each through his previous deputy. The Four carried out deputyship of Imam (a) for seventy years and delivered the messages and requests of Shi'as to Imam (a) and Imam's (a) answers to them to farthest places in the Islamic world through their agents. It was also among their duties to remove doubts about Imam al-Mahdi (a) and to hide the place of his living and apparent characteristics of Imam (a).

Special Deputyship

Main article: Special Deputyship

Special deputyship refers to the deputyship of a person by Imam (a) for connecting people w