A few traditions clearly talk about Imam (a.s.) being ‘bounded’ while in occultation. In some other instances, based on the discourses of the Infallibles (a.s.), it is indicated that Imam (a.s.) is ‘bounded’ as Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
The Master of Affairs will have four signs of four Prophets in him. The signs of Hazrat Moosa (a.s.), Hazrat Eisa (a.s.), Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
The sign of Hazrat Moosa in him will be the fear and the distressed state. The sign of Yusuf (a.s.) in him will be like staying in confinement. The sign of Hazrat Eisa (a.s.) will be that the people will divided over giving him his right. Some will say he has died while others will say he hasn’t died and he will rise with the sword like Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.).
Imam Husain (a.s.), too, says:
“My ninth son (from his lineage) will have signs of Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) and Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) in him.
Based on this the Infallibles (a.s.), in their supplications, have prayed for Imam-e-Asr’s (a.t.f.s.) ‘deliverance’ (فرج) and ‘happiness.’
In one of his detailed supplications, which he taught to his companion Abdullah ibn Sinan on the day of Aashura, Imam Sadeq (a.s.) prayed:
اَللّٰهُمَّ وَ عَجِّلْ فَرَجَ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَّاجْعَلْ صَلَوَاتِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَاسْتَنْقِذْهُمْ مِنْ اَيْدِى الْمُنَافِقِيْنَ وَالْمُضِلِّيْنَ وَالْكَفَرَةِ الْجَاحِدِيْنَ
O My Allah! Hasten the appearance of Aale Muhammad and keep Your benediction on them and save him from the hypocrites, deviants and spiteful disbelievers.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says:
His resemblance with Yusuf (a.s.) is that, like how Allah had solved his problem in a moment [Hazrat Yusuf (a.s.) had rightly predicted the dream of the Egyptian emperor as a consequence he was released from prison). Similarly, the order of reappearance and waiting will be informed in a moment.
In certain sentences of the salawat of Abul Hasan Zarrab from of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) it has come:
وَ خَلِّصْهُ مِنْ اَيْدِى الْجَبَّارِيْنَ
(O Allah), save him [Imam Mahdi (a.s.)] from the hands of the tyrants.
In his correspondences with Sheikh Mufeed (a.r.), Imam-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) has used the words ‘فَمَا يَحْبِسُنَا’ which means that he has included the reprehensible actions and characters of his Shias for his confinement.
The moments of imprisonment passing in occultation
Pray that the duration of this time lessens
Every passing second of it is like being in jail
Have some sympathy on your lovers…O Master!
 Alamat wal Tabseerat 94
 Al Muhajjatul Al Baizaae, Tradition 4, Page 338
 Behaarul Anwaar 101-305; Sahife Mahdi 241-247
 Kamaluddin : 1-329 (chapter 32, Tradition 14)