‘Ghaibat’, in the sense of absolute concealment from human perceptive senses (the faculty, intellect, illusion and imagination) is exclusive to God only. Aside from this, we also have relative ‘Ghaibat’ (concealment) and in this regard, none among the prophets and Imams had constant presence for all the people in all the societies and each one had a relative presence and relative concealment. Basically, any human-being falls in this category. A group of people meet and associate with him while another group do not do so.
In traditions, Imam-e-Zaman’s (a.t.f.s.) state during concealment is likened to the past prophets. In this regard, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says:
“In our Qaem are signs of Musa- ibn- Imran (Moses).
Narrator says: I asked: What are the signs?
Imam (a.s.) replied: “His secret birth and his concealment from others …..”(1)
Also, narrator says: I heard Imam Baqir (a.s.) who said:“The master of the affairs possesses signs of four prophets (a.s.): ….his sign from Musa is fear and ‘entezar’ (awaiting) [during concealment].” (2)
Therefore, the story of concealment and secret living has precedence among the past prophets and messengers.
Shaikh Saduq has set forth traditions about concealment of past prophets like Andreas, Noah, Saleh, Abraham, Joseph and Moses (a.s.) and has proven their ‘Ghaibat’ in some way or the other.(3)
1: Bihar-ul-Anwar 51: 216, tradition 2
2: Ibid: 52: 316, tradition 3
3: Kamaluddin: 127-145