Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning the Bridge (as-sirat) 1 is that it is true, and that it is the bridge over Hell. It is the place from which the whole of mankind will pass. Allah the Mighty and Glorious says:
“There is not one of you but shall go down unto it. That is a fixed ordinance of thy Lord” (Qur'an 19:71).
According to another view, as-sirat means the name of the Imams (literally, proofs)2 of Allah. And to him who knows them and obeys them in this world, Allah will grant permission (to traverse) the path, which is the bridge over Hell, on the Day of Resurrection-the Day of Regret and Contrition. And the Prophet said to Ali: O 'Ali, on the Day of Resurrection, I shall sit near the Bridge with you and Gabriel, and no one will cross the Bridge unless he can produce a writ (of absolution)3 by reason of devotion ( walaya) to you.