1 - Narrated to us Ahmad bin Harun Qadhi and Ja’far bin Masroor and Ali bin Husain bin Shazan Muaddab - May Allah be pleased with them – they said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Ja’far Ibne Jame Himyari: Narrated to us my father from Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab Daqqaq from Muhammad bin Sinan from Mufaddal bin Umar that he said: As-Sadiq Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.) was asked regarding the words of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:
وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
I swear by the time, Most surely man is in loss.1
He replied: The time is the time of the reappearance of the Qaim (a.s.). ‘Most surely man is in loss’ means our enemies.
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.2
Means: those who believe (in our signs) and do good (by acting equitably with the brothers), and enjoin on each other truth (of Imamate), and enjoin on each other patience (during the period when no prophet is there).”
The author says: Some people argue with us on the basis of the word of ‘Fatara’ in the above tradition. They mean to say that just as there is no prophet between the period of two prophets, in the same way there is no Imam during the period of ‘Fatara’.
Thus I beseech the Almighty to bestow good sense that such a theory is against most of the traditions that state that the earth cannot remain devoid of the Proof of Allah till the Judgment Day. and it has never remained thus from the time of Adam (a.s.) till now. These are the well known traditions that are mentioned in this book and which are famous among the Shias and other sects and no one had denied them; and neither can any denier falsify them nor can any interpreter interpret them in some other way.
All are unanimous till date that the earth cannot be devoid of an Imam who is alive, whether he is apparent and visible or in occultation. Thus neither Imamate has discontinued nor its discontinuation permissible. It is continuous like the continuation of the days and nights.
Narrated to me my father; he said: narrated to me Saad bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin Isa bin Ubaid from Ali bin Hakam and Ali bin Hasan from Nafe Warraq from Harun bin Kharja from Harun bin Saad Ajali that he said:
“Ismail, about who you thought that he would be the Imam after Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.), died. And Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has also reached old age and he will also pass away one of these days. After that you will become without any Imam. I could not give him any reply. So I mentioned his statement to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.).
He said: “I am surprised at this man. By Allah, if Imamate stops, the days and the nights will come to an end. When you meet him next time tell him that Musa Ibne Ja’far will be the Imam after me. After him, his son will succeed him, if Allah wills.”
In this narration Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has stated under oath that the matter of Imamate cannot end till the days and nights continue to follow each other. Hence, the period of Fatara is allowed between messengers because among the duties of the messengers is that they bring a new Shariat, they renew the past Shariat and through some commands they abrogate some laws.
But the period of Fatara is not allowed between prophets and Imams because they neither bring a new Shariat nor is it their responsibility to abrogate or renew. And we know that during the periods between Prophet Nuh and Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), between Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Musa (a.s.), between Prophet Musa and Prophet Isa (a.s.) and between Prophet Isa and Prophet Muhammad (S) a large number of prophets and successors were sent and their duty was to remind the people about the divine commands and to protect the bequests, books and sciences that have reached them through the messengers.
And all the messengers from them had propagated the matters that reached them from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and the successors of those prophets guarded those sciences and wills. When the Almighty Allah ended the prophethood with Prophet Muhammad (S) it was necessary that there should be a guide and a successor who would protect the religion of truth and propagate the faith because the earth cannot remain without Divine Proof.
That is why the Almighty Allah started the institution of Imamate after him; which is systematic and continuous because it cannot be allowed that the heritage of the prophets and messengers, the sciences of Muhammad, his Shariat, duties, practices and commands should be destroyed or be abrogated while no messenger was to follow the Holy Prophet (S).
The Imam is not like a prophet or a messenger, and neither do they call for the Shariat of anyone except Prophet Muhammad (S); that is why it is not allowed that there be a period of Fatara between two Imams. Fatara is allowed only between two messengers and not between two Imams. Hence it is obligatory that there should be an Imam who is presented along with proof.
In the same way it is necessary that if there is a period of Fatara between two messengers during that period it is necessary that there should be an Imam and successor who is the proof on the people so that he may call the people to the teachings of that messenger that has come from the Almighty Allah and that he may awaken the people from the slumber of ignorance and mentioned those things that they do not know so that they may know that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has not left them in vain and that he has not erased their remembrance from the surface of the earth and He has not left them in any doubt with regard to their religion and He has also not left them in perplexity with regard to the duties that He has made obligatory on them. Prophethood and messengership is the Divine practice (sunnat) while Imamate is an obligation on the Almighty Allah.
Thus a sunnat can be stopped in some circumstances but the obligation cannot be over after the Messenger of Allah (S). Thus Imamate is that great duty through which recommended and obligatory duties may be established. The religion can be perfected and the bounty can be completed. Because after the Holy Prophet (S) the series of prophethood came to an end, therefore now the Holy Imams (a.s.) are those personalities who can guide the people to the right religion.
And they make the way of salvation compulsory and save them from destruction. They teach them the divine laws that they may have forgotten. They guide the people through the book of Allah to achieve guidance. It is through them that religion is protected and kept above doubts. And falsehood does not enter the fulfillment of the obligations specified by Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and the laws of Allah shall endure forever, there shall no change in them.
Prophethood and messengership is the Divine practice (sunnat) while Imamate is an obligation on the Almighty Allah. And the divine obligations became known to us through the Holy Prophet (S) and they are incumbent on us and there would be no change in them till the Judgment Day.
Yes, we also do not deny the tradition that during the period of Fatara between Prophet Muhammad (S) and Prophet Isa (a.s.) there was no prophet or successor. We do not deny it and we say: This report is correct but we do not agree to the interpretation our opponents present regarding the discontinuity of prophets and messengers.
Fatara means a time when no messenger, prophet or successor is apparent and well known as it was before that time. It is also proved by Quran that the Almighty Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (S) at a time when no messenger had come for a long time and not at the time when there was no prophet or successor.
Between Prophet Isa (a.s.) and Prophet Muhammad (S) many prophets and Imams came who remained in hiding due to the fear of the people. Among them was also the prophet, Khalid bin Sinan Absasi who none can deny because traditions about him are found in the Shia as well as Sunni collections. His daughter was alive till the time of the Holy Prophet (S), and she came to meet him.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: She is the daughter of the prophet whom his community had weakened and that was Khalid bin Sinan.’ There was a period of fifty years between him and the appointment of the Holy Prophet (S). His full name was Khalid bin Sinan Baeeth bin Mureet bin Makhzoom bin Malik bin Ghaib bin Qatiya bin Abas. A group of scholars and jurisprudents has mentioned this fact to me.”
Narrated to me Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid, that he said: Narrated to me Saad bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin Walid Khazzaz and Sandi bin Muhammad Bazzaz, the two of them from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Aban bin Uthman Ahmar from Bashir Nabbal from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said:
“When the daughter of Khalid bin Sinan Abasi came to the Messenger of Allah (S) he said: Welcome, the daughter of my brother. He called her near and spread out his cloak for her and made her sit near him. Then he said: She is the daughter of the prophet whose community had weakened him and that was Khalid bin Sinan Abasi.”
Her name was Mahiya binte Khalid bin Sinan.
An after that if there had not been the revealed Book and whatever the Almighty Allah has mentioned to us through the tongue of the Messenger of Allah (S) regarding which there is unanimity among the Ummah and that which is related from the Holy Prophet (S). These reports are also in agreement with the Book of Allah that there will not be any prophet after the Messenger of Allah (S). It was obligatory in the knowledge of the Almighty Allah that the people cannot be left without a messenger who warns them as long as divine duties are incumbent on them. Thus continuous messengers came for them as the Almighty Allah says:
ثُمَّ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا تَتْرَىٰ ۖ كُلَّ مَا جَاءَ أُمَّةً رَسُولُهَا كَذَّبُوهُ ۚ فَأَتْبَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ بَعْضًا
Then We sent Our apostles one after another; whenever there came to a people their apostle, they called him a liar, so We made some of them follow others…3
Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has also said:
لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ
So that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) apostles.4
Because the proof is exhausted on the people only when Allah sends the messengers as the Almighty Allah has mentioned:
لَوْلَا أَرْسَلْتَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولًا فَنَتَّبِعَ آيَاتِكَ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ نَذِلَّ وَنَخْزَىٰ
Why didst Thou not send to us an apostle, for then we should have followed Thy communications before that we met disgrace and shame.5
Thus Allah sent the messengers to exhaust the proof on the people as the Almighty Allah has said:
قُلْ قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْ قَبْلِي بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَبِالَّذِي قُلْتُمْ فَلِمَ قَتَلْتُمُوهُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
Say: Indeed, there came to you apostles before me with clear arguments and with that which you demand; why then did you kill them if you are truthful?6
Thus obligations become incumbent on the people only when there is a messenger among them who warns them and who may teach them the wisdom behind the worldly and religious facts. Who may dispense justice to those who are oppressed and who may take the right of the weak from the strong. Thus the divine proof is established in this way.
Now when the Almighty Allah has informed us that the chain of prophets and messengers has ended with Prophet Muhammad (S) and we accepted and believed that no prophet will come after him, thus there is need of a system that may take the place of the institution of prophethood and messengership, through which the divine proof can be established, by which our ills can be removed. The Almighty Allah said to His Prophet in Quran:
إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.7
Thus such a system of guidance will be needed till this world remains and till there remains the dos and don’ts of religion. And it is necessary that this guide should not be like us who needs to be guided aright, who needs to learn manners and morals and who is in need of others to learn the religious laws. Rather he should be appointed by Allah and that he should be guided through divine inspiration as the mother of Prophet Musa (a.s.) was given which saved her and Musa from Firon and his people.
Thus all the knowledge of the Imam is from Allah and His Messenger. That is why he is the scholar of the Book of Allah and he knows its revelations, its interpretation, explanation, its abrogation, its abrogator, its clear and its ambiguous, its lawful and its prohibited, its dos and don’ts, its promises and its warnings, its examples and stories and all this knowledge is from Allah. That is why he does not use his personal opinion or analogy (Qiyas) because the Almighty Allah has said:
وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ
And if they had referred it to the Apostle and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it.8
And its proof is that all the sects of Muslims have narrated the following traditions of the Holy Prophet (S):
“I leave among you that which if you remain attached to it you will never go astray. The Book of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and my progeny my Ahlul Bayt. And they shall not separate from each other till they reach me at the Pool.”
The Holy Prophet (S) also said:
“You should not teach the Imams of my Ahlul Bayt as they are more knowledgeable than you.”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: We have granted knowledge to them.
He also said that he was leaving his successors for our guidance and the knowledge of the Book. And the Ummah shall separate from them very soon except those whom the Almighty Allah protects and whom they consider necessary and save themselves from deviations and misguidance through them. And this will be the guarantee that he would be given from the Almighty Allah if it is not due to some unavoidable circumstances. And he must not follow that which has not been revealed and that if he remains attached to the two of them he will never go astray. The two of them shall not separate till they arrive at the Pool of Kauthar.
The Holy Prophet (S) has said that his community will divide into sects. One of these sects will be eligible for Paradise and the rest will be doomed to Hell.
If you put the above two statements together you will conclude that the sect which follows the Quran and Progeny will be safe from destruction, as the Holy Prophet (S) has said.
The Messenger of Allah (S) has also said that one who leaves the Quran and the progeny will exit from my religion like an arrow leaves the bow. This tells us that what has been left on us is necessary and certain for our excuse and proof and Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is needless from sending messengers for us.
We see that after the Messenger of Allah (S) there were numerous disagreements among the people of the Ummah with regard to the Quran, the revelation, the chapters, the verses, the recitation, meanings, interpretation and explanation and everyone based his assertion on the Quranic verses. So we came to know that the one who has the knowledge of the Quran in whose need the Ummah is, he is the same one whom the Messenger of Allah (S) has brought in proximity of the Quran and who will not separate it till the Judgment Day.
In spite of this it is necessary that there should be proof in the hands of this companion of Quran and guidance for the people defeated by proofs who are in need of him. It should display both the things and both qualities should develop within him. He should have knowledge and the steadfastness of this guide should be different from the people.
He should be completely needless of them. In this way his recognition will be a miraculous proof on the people and will be established properly. People who are defeated by proof will be more eager to confess to his Imamate so that the true believer is differentiated from a false infidel by this. Because the one who harbors malice and lies, he does not accept the evidence readily.
Now the apostates and opponents argue that since all the knowledge is present in the Quran why do we need a guide? As the Almighty Allah has said:
مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ
We have not neglected anything in the Book.9
In reply we say that indeed everything is mentioned in the Book of Allah in which there are clear orders, but in some instances there are contradictions also while contradiction is not possible in the statements of Allah. As the Almighty Allah says:
وَلَوْ كَانَ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللَّهِ لَوَجَدُوا فِيهِ اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا
And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.10
Thus it is necessary for those who are duty bound that there should be someone for him who clarifies the statements of the Quran and removes ambiguities. As we have seen in the nations of the past that after the passing away of their prophet they used to fall in discord regarding the holy book.
And the followers of Torah inspite of having the Torah, the followers of Zaboor inspite of having the Zaboor and the followers of Injeel inspite of having the Injeel could not become needless of a guide although regarding those books the Almighty Allah has said that they there is guidance and light in them through which the prophets used to command. Thus these nations were in need of a guide in order to obtain those commands.
The Almighty Allah did not mention the knowledge present in these books to the people, but He sent prophets towards them for this purpose. And for every prophet he appointed a successor and ordered the people that till the arrival of the next prophet they must obey that successor so that the proof remains established on them and the successors used to judge on the basis of the book of Allah as mentioned in Quran:
يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ
With it the prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews, and the masters of Divine knowledge and the doctors, because they were required to guard (part) of the Book of Allah, and they were witnesses thereof.11
Allah, the Mighty and Sublime ended the chain of prophets with the Holy Prophet (S) and appointed in his progeny and Ahlul Bayt guides who may guide us to the truth. Who may remove our blindness and keep away the Ummah from discord and disagreements. They are pure of mistakes and sins and are connected to the book of Allah and we have been ordered to remain attached to the book of Allah and the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S) who has also told us that if we remain attached to them we shall never go astray. If the system of Imamate had not come into being the purpose of sending the Messenger of Allah (S) would have failed and the responsibility would have ended on us. The Almighty Allah mentioned this to His Prophet in the following way:
إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.12
In this way the Imams are the complete proofs of the Almighty.
The earth has never been devoid of messengers, prophets and successors, although due to the fear of the enemies some of them did not propagate openly and they confined their propagation to the believers till the appointment of Prophet Muhammad (S). The last successor of Prophet Isa (a.s.) was Aabi and some say that it was Balit.”
Narrated to us my father that: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa and Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab and Yaqoob bin Yazid al-Katib and Ahmad bin Hasan bin Ali bin Fuddal from Abdullah bin Bukair from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The name of the last successor of Prophet Isa (a.s.) was Aabi.”
And narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan Saffar and Saad bin Abdullah; all of them from Yaqoob bin Yazid al-Katib from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from one who narrated to our associates – from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“The name of the last successor of Prophet Isa (a.s.) was Balit.”
And narrated to us my father and Muhammad bin Hasan (r.a.): narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Haitham Ibne Abi Masrooq Nahdi and Muhammad bin Abdul Jabbar from Ismail bin Sahal from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Durust bin Abi Mansur Wasiti and others from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“Salman Farsi (r.a.) went to many scholars in search of truth. At last he came to Aabi and he remained with him till Allah wanted. When the appearance of the Holy Prophet (S) took place Aabi said: O Salman, the one you are searching for has appeared in Mecca. So Salman (r.a.) went out towards him.”
Narrated to us my father and Muhammad bin Hasan (r.a.); they said: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah that: Narrated to us a group of our Kufi associates from Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazi from Umayyah bin Ali Qaisi that he said: Narrated to me Durust bin Abi Mansur Wasiti that he asked Abul Hasan Awwal, that is Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.):
“Was Aabi a divine proof on the Holy Prophet (S)?” He replied, “No, rather the heirloom of the prophets reached to the Holy Prophet (S) through Aabi and he accepted it.” I asked, “Was the Holy Prophet (S) a divine proof on Aabi?” He replied, “He accepted the messengership of the Holy Prophet (S) and whatever was revealed on him. He conveyed to him the heirloom of the prophets and died the same day.”
Thus Fatara means secret, hidden and restriction of open propagation and not the complete absence of a person. As the Almighty Allah has said with regard to the angels:
يُسَبِّحُونَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لَا يَفْتُرُونَ
They glorify (Him) by night and day; they are never languid.13
Thus if in this verse the meaning of Futoor is the complete disappearance of a being this verse will become impossible because if the angels sleep the one who sleeps is absent from the mental aspect. And the one who sleeps does not glorify Allah as he stops glorifying when he is asleep. Now sleep is just like death as the Almighty Allah has said:
اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنْفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا
Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep.14
The Almighty Allah has also said:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُمْ بِاللَّيْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُمْ بِالنَّهَارِ
And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you acquire in the day.15
One who sleeps in the time of Fatara is like dead and that being which never sleeps or slumbers is the being of the Almighty Allah except whom there is no god. And the following tradition proves this:
Narrated to us my father: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad Isa from Abbas bin Musa Warraq from Yunus bin Abdur Rahman from Dawood bin Farqad Attar that he said: Some of our associates said to me:
“Do the angels sleep?” I said, “I don’t know.” So he said, “Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:
يُسَبِّحُونَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لَا يَفْتُرُونَ
They glorify (Him) by night and day; they are never languid.16
Then he said, “Shall I mention you something from the sayings of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) by way of gift?” “Why not?” said I. So he said, “The Imam said: All those who are alive are asleep except for Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and the angels.”
I said, “The Almighty Allah has said:
يُسَبِّحُونَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لَا يَفْتُرُونَ
They glorify (Him) by night and day; they are never languid.17
He said, “Their breathing is divine glorification.” Thus Fatara means not to express dos and don’ts. Arabic lexicology also proves this meaning. It is often said: So-and-so has ‘Fatara’ (given up) such-and-such need. Here it denotes giving up ones need not ones complete absence. Some people present two verses of Quran by way of argument. The first is:
لِتُنْذِرَ قَوْمًا مَا أَتَاهُمْ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ
That you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you.18
And the other verse is:
وَمَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ كُتُبٍ يَدْرُسُونَهَا وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ
And We have not given them any books which they read, nor did We send to them before you a warner.19
Our opponents use these verses to prove that no prophet, messenger or Divine Proof came between Prophet Isa (a.s.) and the Holy Prophet (S). Actually they are misinterpreting these verses. They are talking about a warner and warners are only messengers and the word of warner is not used for prophets and successors. As the Almighty Allah says to the Holy Prophet (S):
إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.20
Thus warners are only messengers and the prophets and successors are called guides. And the statement of Allah: ‘There is a guide for every people’ itself proves that the earth can never remain devoid of Divine Proof. It is necessary for the Almighty Allah to appoint prophets and Divine Proofs for the people of all time and of every community.
Thus for Allah, the Mighty and Sublime it was necessary that till the divine laws are binding on the people there should be uninterrupted guidance through prophets and successors as they will fulfill the duty of warning the people. Although it is possible that the series of warners may stop as was the case after Prophet Muhammad (S) and no warner came after him.
Narrated to me my father and Muhammad bin Hasan (r.a.); they said: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab and Yaqoob bin Yazid, all of them from Hammad bin Isa from Hariz bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin Muslim that he said:
I asked Abi Abdullah (a.s.) regarding the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:
إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.21
He replied: “Every Imam is a guide of his community in his time.”
Narrated to us my father: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from his father from Ibne Abi Umair from Umar bin Uzainah from Buraid bin Muawiyah Ijli that he said:
“I asked Abi Ja’far (a.s.) regarding the meaning of:
إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُنْذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.22
He replied: ‘Warner means the Holy Prophet (S) and guide means Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). And at every time and in every period there will be an Imam from us who will call the people towards the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (S).’”
A large number of traditions like this have been recorded and the words of Allah when He said to His Prophet:
لِتُنْذِرَ قَوْمًا مَا أَتَاهُمْ مِنْ نَذِيرٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ
That you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you.23
It means that no messenger came to them before that who may have made changes in the Shariat or community. Neither negation was done to the guidance of their successors; and how can the Almighty Allah negate this when He says:
وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِنْ جَاءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ لَيَكُونُنَّ أَهْدَىٰ مِنْ إِحْدَى الْأُمَمِ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ نَذِيرٌ مَا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا نُفُورًا
And they swore by Allah with the strongest of their oaths that if there came to them a warner they would be better guided than any of the nations; but when there came to them a warner it increased them in naught but aversion.24
And we have mentioned other similar narrations in this book. And there is no strength and power except by Allah, the Mighty and the High.
2 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil: Narrated to us Abdullah bin Ja’far Himyari: Narrated to us Hasan bin Zareef from Salih bin Abi Hammad from Muhammad bin Ismail from Abil Hasan ar-Reza (a.s.) that he said:
“One who dies without having an Imam, dies the death of the period of Ignorance.” He was asked, “All those who die without having an Imam die the death of the period of Ignorance?” He replied: “Yes, the Waqifi (those who stop) are infidels and the Nasibi (haters) are polytheists.”
3 - Informed me Ali bin Hatim in what he wrote to me that: Narrated to us Humaid bin Ziyad from Hasan bin Ali bin Sama-a from Ahmad bin Hasan Muthanna from Sama-a et al from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
The following verse is revealed about the Qaim:
وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ
And (that) they should not be like those who were given the Book before, but the time became prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened, and most of them are transgressors.25
4 - And through the same chain of narrators from Ahmad bin Hasan Mithami from Hasan bin Mahboob from Momin Taq from Salam bin Mustanir from Abi Ja’far (a.s.) that he said regarding the words of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا
Know that Allah gives life to the earth after its death.26
“It means that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will revive it through the Qaim after its death - that is death due to the disbelief of its inhabitants – since disbelievers are dead people.”
5 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq (r.a.): Narrated to us Abdul Aziz bin Yahya Jaludi Basri: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Zakariya Jawahiri: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ja’far bin Ammara from his father from Saad bin Tareef from Asbagh bin Nubatah that he said: I heard Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) say: I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say:
“The most superior statement is ‘there is no god, except Allah’ and the best creature is one that said ‘there is no god, except Allah’ first. Someone asked: O Messenger of Allah, who was the first to say: ‘There is no god, except Allah’? He replied, I. I was before Allah in the form of light and I used to admit His oneness and glorify and praise Him. Then a witnessing light was created from my light.
It was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, who is your witness?” He replied, “Ali Ibne Abi Talib, my brother, my chosen one, my vizier and my successor, and the Imam of my Ummah and the owner of my Pool, and the bearer of my standard.” Then it was said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, who were created from his light?” He replied, “Hasan, Husain the chiefs of the youths of Paradise, and after them the Imams from the progeny of Husain who will come till the Judgment Day.”
6 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan (r.a.): Narrated to us Husain bin Hasan bin Aban from Husain bin Saeed from Muhammad bin Hasan Kinani from his grandfather from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he said:
“Indeed Allah, the Mighty and Sublime revealed on His Prophet (S) a book before his passing away and said: O Muhammad, this is your bequest which you will give to your successor in your family. The Holy Prophet (S) asked, “And who is my successor in my family, O Jibraeel?” He replied: Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.). There were many seals on this book. Thus the Prophet gave that book to Ali (a.s.) and told him to break the seal and act upon what it says. So he broke the seal and did what it said.
Then he handed it on to Hasan Ibne Ali (a.s.), and he broke open one seal and carried out what was in it. Then he handed it on to Husain Ibne Ali (a.s.), and he broke open one seal and found in it: ‘Go forth with a group of men to martyrdom, for there is no martyrdom for them except with you; and sell your self to Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty.’ So he did (this).
Then he handed it on to a man after him [Ali Ibne Husain (a.s.)], and he broke open one seal and found in it: ‘Lower your head in silence, do not speak out, stay in your house, and worship your Lord till what is certain (death) carries you away.’ So he did (this). Then he handed it on to his son [Muhammad Ibne Ali (a.s.)], and he broke open one seal and found in it: ‘Speak to the people, give them legal rulings, and disseminate the knowledge of your ancestors.’ So he did (this).
Then he handed it on to his son [Ja’far Ibne Muhammad (a.s.)], and he broke open one seal and found in it: ‘Speak to the people, give them legal rulings and testify for your ancestors. And do not fear other than Allah, indeed you are in the protection of Allah and in His guarantee. And he was ordered to transfer it and he transferred it to one after him and so on till [the rising of Mahdi and] the Judgment Day.”
7 -Narrated to us Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil: Narrated to us Ali bin Husain Sadabadi from Ahmad bin Abi Abdullah Barqi from his father from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Ali bin Abi Hamza from Abi Baseer that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said regarding the words of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse.27
“The interpretation of this verse has not yet been actualized and neither will it actualize till the advent of the Qaim (a.s.). Not a single denier in the Almighty Allah and polytheist will remain except that he will detest the Imam and if the disbeliever or polytheist hides in the center of a rock that rock will say: O believer, there is a disbeliever in my center, break me up and eliminate him.”
8 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majilaway (r.a.): Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad bin Husain bin Abil Khattab and Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa, all of them from Muhammad bin Sinan from Abil Jarud Ziyad bin Mundhir that he said: Abu Ja’far Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said:
“When Qaim (a.s.) sets out from Mecca, a caller of His Eminence would announce: ‘None of you must carry any food and water.’ His Eminence would be having with himself the stone of Musa bin Imran that weighs a camel load. Thus he does not halt at any stage but that streams burst forth from that stone and anyone that feels hunger eats from it and any that feels thirsty drinks from it. The beasts of burden also get their feed from that till they reach Najaf at the rear of Kufa.”
9 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid (r.a.): Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan Saffar from Yaqoob bin Yazid from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Aban bin Uthman from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Abu Abdillah (a.s.) said:
“The first to pledge allegiance to Qaim (a.s.) is Jibraeel who would come down in the form of a white bird and give him oath of allegiance. Then keeping one foot on the Holy Kaaba and another on the Holy Qods issue such a loud call that when the creatures hear it they would cry:
أَتَىٰ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَسْتَعْجِلُوهُ
“Allah’s commandment has come, therefore do not desire to hasten it.”28
10 - And through the same chain of narrators from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“Very soon 313 persons will come to your Masjid – that is the Masjid of Mecca – the people of Mecca will know that they are not natives. All of them will be carrying swords and each of the swords will be inscribed with the Kalima from each of which a hundred Kalimas will be coming out. Then the Almighty Allah shall send a breeze that shall call out in every valley, ‘This is Mahdi, who shall judge like Prophet Dawood and Sulaiman and he would not ask for evidence.’”
11 -And through the same chain of narrators from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Abu Abdillah (a.s.) said:
“When the Qaim (a.s.) reappears, there will be a sign for every person by which he would recognize whether he is righteous or evil-doer. And in it is the sign for those who possess reason and it is the right path.”
12 - And through the same chain of narrators from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“Two bloods are made lawful by Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and no one can issue a judgment regarding them; till the time Allah, the Mighty and Sublime will send the Qaim from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and he will judge according to the command of Allah. Thus at that time testimony will not be needed. The married fornicator will be stoned to death and the one who refuses to pay the Zakat will be beheaded.”
13 - And through the same chain of narrators from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“As if I can see the Qaim astride a black speckled horse which has a white mark between its eyes. When his horse moves no one will remain in any town who does not think that he is in that town. When he waves the flag of the Messenger of Allah (S) 13000 angels will come down to him.
Of them 13 will be awaiting for the Qaim. These angels are same who were with Prophet Nuh (a.s.) in his Ark, who were with Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) when he was thrown into the fire and who were with Prophet Isa (a.s.) when he was taken up to the heavens. And 4000 will be following him with flags. 313 are those angels who were present in the Battle of Badr and 4000 are those who came down to accompany Imam Husain (a.s.) in fighting against the Yazidite forces.
However they were not allowed to take part in the battle. So they returned to Allah to take the permission but when they came down once more Imam Husain (a.s.) was already martyred. Thus today they remain with disheveled hair and dust smeared condition at the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) where they will continue to lament till the Judgment Day. And there is constant coming and going of angels between the grave of Imam Husain (a.s.) and the heavens.”
14 - And through the same chain of narrators from Aban bin Taghlib that he said: Narrated to me Abu Hamza Thumali that he said: Abu Ja’far (a.s.) said:
“As if I can see Qaim (a.s.) appearing in Kufa at the back of Najaf. When he arrives at Najaf he would unfurl the standard of the Messenger of Allah (S). Its pole would be a pillar of the Arsh and those who accompany it would be helpers of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. He would not bring it down for anyone but that the Almighty Allah would destroy that person.”
The narrator says: I asked in a polite manner: “Is that flag with him or it would be brought for him?” He said: “It would be brought for him by Jibraeel (a.s.).”
15 -Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majilaway that he said: Narrated to us my uncle Muhammad bin Abil Qasim from Ahmad bin Abi Abdullah Kufi from his father from Muhammad bin Sinan from Mufaddal bin Umar that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
The following verse was revealed about the companions of the Qaim:
أَيْنَ مَا تَكُونُوا يَأْتِ بِكُمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعًا
Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together.29
“They shall to go bed at night and in the morning find themselves in Mecca. Some of them will travel on clouds. The Imam will be knowing them by their names, father’s names, appearance and genealogies.” I asked, “May I be sacrificed on you, who will be the best in faith among them?” He replied, “One who will ride the clouds during the day.”
16 - And through the same chain of narrators from Mufaddal bin Umar that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“As if I can see Qaim (a.s.) on the pulpit of Kufa surrounded by his 313 men equal to the people of Badr. They are the standard bearers and they are the divine rulers on His (Allah’s) earth over His creatures. Till he would bring out from his cloak a parchment sealed with a golden seal. A covenant from the Messenger of Allah (S).
Then they would go away and disperse from him like tongueless sheep and none would remain with him except the deputy and eleven chiefs - as had remained with Musa bin Imran (a.s.) - then they would wander in the earth but will not be able to find a way except him. Then they would come back to him. By Allah, I know what he will say to them which they will deny.”
17 - Narrated to us my father: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from Ahmad bin Husain bin Saeed from Muhammad bin Jumhur from Ahmad bin Abi Harasa from Abi Ishaq Ibrahim bin Ishaq from Abdullah bin Hammad Ansari that he said: Narrated to us Amr bin Shimr from Jabir bin Yazid from Abi Ja’far (a.s.) that he said:
“As if I can see the companions of the Qaim (a.s.) that have filled up the earth from the east to the west. Everything, even the wild beasts and the jungle birds will obey them, and everything will seek his satisfaction, so much so that a piece of land will pride itself over others and say: Today a companion of the Imam passed over me.”
18 - Narrated to us Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Masroor (r.a.): Narrated to us Husain bin Muhammad bin Aamir from his uncle Abdullah bin Aamir from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Ibne Abi Hamza from Abi Baseer that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“When Prophet Lut (a.s.) told his people:
قَالَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِي بِكُمْ قُوَّةً أَوْ آوِي إِلَىٰ رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ
“He said: Ah! that I had power to suppress you, rather I shall have recourse to a strong support.”30
He did not mean to say anything except that he was wishing for the power of Qaim (a.s.) and ‘a strong support’ are his companions, each of whom would have the strength of forty men and their hearts would be more solid than a mountain of iron, such that if they wanted they could move a mountain of iron from its place. And they shall not lay down arms till Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is satisfied.”
19 - Narrated to us my father: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yahya from Salamah bin Khattab from Abdullah Ibne Muhammad from Mani bin Hajjaj Basri from Majashe from Mualla from Muhammad and Faid from Abu Ja’far (a.s.) that he said:
“The staff of Musa (a.s.) actually was one that Adam had. Then it reached to Shuaib and at that time it reached Musa (a.s.). That staff is in our possession and even now when I see it, it is as green and fresh as it was when it was broken from the tree. If it is spoken to, it talks. It has come for our Qaim. He would perform all the tasks through it that Musa (a.s.) had performed. It does whatever it is ordered. And wherever it is cast, it snaps up with its tongue the deception of the enemies.”
20 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ali Majilaway (r.a.): Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yahya from Muhammad bin Husain from Muhammad bin Ismail from Abi Ismail Sarraj from Bishr bin Ja’far from Mufaddal bin Umar from Abi Abdullah (a.s.) that he asked:
“Do you know what the garment of Yusuf was? ‘No,’ replied I. He said, “When fire was lit for (burning) Ibrahim (a.s.) Jibraeel brought a garment of Paradise for him and dressed him in it.
That garment protected him from heat and cold and when his death approached, he made it into an arm band and tied it to Ishaq; Ishaq in turn tied it to Yaqoob and when Yusuf was born Yaqoob tied it on him. And it was tied to his arm till those circumstances befell him. Thus when Yusuf removed it from the arm band in Egypt, Yaqoob perceived its fragrance and it is about the same that Allah quotes him saying:
لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلَا أَنْ تُفَنِّدُونِ
“Most surely I perceive the fragrance of Yusuf, unless you pronounce me to be weak in judgment.”31
It is the same garment that had come down from Paradise.”
I said: May I be sacrificed on you, whom did this garment reach after him? He replied, “To the one deserving of it. And the garment is with our Qaim, when he would reappear. Then he said: All knowledge or things inherited by every prophet have reached to [the progeny of] Muhammad (S).”
21 - And from the same chain of narrators from Mufaddal bin Umar from Abi Baseer that he said: Abi Abdullah (a.s.) said:
“When the Qaim establishes his rule, Allah, the Mighty and the High will exalt all downtrodden ones and debase all exalted ones. The earth will become a place of comfort. Thus which of you will be under the shade of the invisible cloud?”
22 -Narrated to us Ja’far bin Muhammad Masroor: Narrated to us Husain bin Muhammad bin Aamir from Mualla bin Muhammad Basri from Hasan bin Ali Washsha from Muthanna Hannat from Qutaibah Aashi from Ibne Abi Yafur from the freed slave of Bani Shaiban from Abi Ja’far [al-Baqir] (a.s.) that he said:
“When our Qaim arises, he will stroke the heads of the people which will gather their intellects and perfect their understandings.”
23 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yaqoob: Narrated to us Abu Muhammad Qasim bin Alaa: Narrated to me Qasim bin Muslim from his brother Abdul Aziz bin Muslim and Narrated to us Abul Abbas Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq Taliqani (r.a.): Narrated to us Abu Ahmad Qasim bin Muhammad bin Ali Maruzi: Narrated to us Abu Haamid Imran bin Musa bin Ibrahim from Hasan bin Qasim Raqqam: Narrated to me Qasim bin Muslim from his brother Abdul Aziz Ibne Muslim that he said:
“We had been with ar-Reza (a.s.) at Merv. We gathered at the Friday mosque on Friday, when we had just arrived (in Merv), and they discussed the matter of Imamate, and they discussed the many differences among people in this matter.
Then I came into the presence of my master (a.s.). I informed him about the various things the people had said respecting him. He smiled, then said: O Abd al-’Aziz! The people do not know, and have been deceived in their opinions. Verily, Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, did not take away (the life of) His Prophet (S) until He had perfected the religion for him, and sent down on him the Quran in which is the clarification of all things.
He completely clarified in it what is lawful and what is unlawful, the restrictions (hudud) and the commands, and all that people need. He to whom belong Might and Majesty said:
مَا فَرَّطْنَا فِي الْكِتَابِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ
We have neglected nothing in the Book.32
And he sent down in the Farewell Pilgrimage, which was at the end of his life:
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا
Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion.33
“And the matter of the Imamate is one of the things by which the religion is completed. He did not pass away until he had clarified the guiding principles of their religion to his community and made plain their path for them, and he left them pointing in the direction of the path of the truth. And he established Ali (a.s.) for them as a sign and as Imam. He (Allah) has not left for them anything which the community needs without clarifying it. Hence, whoever imagines that Allah to Whom belong Might and Majesty, has not perfected His religion has surely rejected the Book of Allah, and whoever has rejected the Book of Allah, is an unbeliever in it.
“‘Do they know the value of Imamate and its position in the community that their selection could be allowable in this matter? Verily, the Imamate is too sublime among values, too great among ranks, too high among stations, too impenetrable on all sides, too profound among the depths, for people to reach it with their intellects, or to grasp it with their opinions, or to establish an Imam by their choice.
Verily, the Imamate is that in which Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, has distinguished Ibrahim, the Intimate Friend (al-Khalil), after Prophethood and Intimacy, as a third degree, and an eminence with which He honored him and by which He raised his renown, and He said:
إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا
“Behold! I make you an Imam for the people.”
Then the Intimate Friend (a.s.) said out of delight in this:
“And of my seed.”
Allah, the Blessed, the Sublime, said:
لا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
My covenant shall not reach the evil-doers.34
Thus, this verse has abolished the leadership (Imamah) of all evil-doers till the Day of Resurrection, and it has become for the select ones. Then Allah, the Sublime, bestowed honors on him, by establishing it in his seed, the ones who are selected and purified (by Allah). And He said:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا صَالِحِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ
And We gave him Ishaq and Yaqoob in superabundance, and everyone made We righteous and appointed them to be Imams guiding by Our commands, and We revealed to them the doing of good deeds, and to perform the prayer, and to pray Zakat, and Us they served.35
“So it (the Imamate) did not leave his seed; one of them inheriting it from another, generation after generation, till Allah, the Sublime, caused the Prophet (S) to inherit it. And He, the Majestic, the Sublime, said:
إِنَّ أَوْلَى النَّاسِ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ لَلَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ وَهَٰذَا النَّبِيُّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواوَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Surely the people standing closet to Ibrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet, and those who believe; and Allah is the Master of the believers.36
So it (the Imamate) belonged to him particularly, and hence he invested Ali (a.s.) with it by the command of Allah, the Sublime, in the way in which Allah has made obligatory. So it came to be in his (Ali’s) selected seed, those to whom Allah has given knowledge and faith, as in the words of He Who is the Sublime: But those who have given knowledge and faith shall say,
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ وَالْإِيمَانَ لَقَدْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْبَعْثِ فَهَٰذَا يَوْمُ الْبَعْثِ وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And those who are given knowledge and faith will say: Certainly you tarried according to the ordinance of Allah till the day of resurrection, so this is the day of resurrection, but you did not know.37
Thus it will be within the sons of Ali (a.s.), especially, till the Day of Resurrection, since there is no prophet after Muhammad (S). So from where have these ignorant people got (the right) to select?
“Verily, the Imamate is the position of the Prophets, and the heritage of the successors. Indeed, the Imamate is the vicegerency (Khalifa) of Allah and the vicegerency of the Messenger (S), and the station of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the inheritance of al-Hasan and Husain (a.s.).
“Truly, the Imamate is the reins of religion, the state of order of the Muslims, the rectitude of the world, and the might of the believers. Verily, the Imamate is Islam’s growing root, and its lofty branch. Through the Imam the prayer, Zakat, fasting, hajj and jihad (exerting oneself, striving in the way of Allah, whether by means of one’s property, one’s life, one’s knowledge, or by any other means) are perfected, public funds are increased, restrictions and the commands are put into practice, and the frontier-posts and borders are protected.
“The Imam allows what Allah allows, and prohibits what Allah prohibits; he establishes the restrictions of Allah; he defends the religion of Allah; and he calls to the way of his Lord with wisdom and good admonition and with the Proof which reaches.
“The Imam is like the rising sun which covers the world with its light and which is in a place where no hand or eye can reach it. The Imam is the radiant moon, the shining lamp, the brilliant light, and the star that guides in the heavy darkness, and in the middle of inhabited lands, deserted regions and high seas.
The Imam is sweet water for the thirst, the pointer towards true guidance, and the deliverer from destruction. The Imam is the fire on the heights (which guides those far away), and which warms those who seek the heat, and an indicator in dangers. He who moves away from him will perish.
“The Imam is the rain-bearing cloud, the rainfall that covers everywhere, the shining sun, the covering that shades, the prairie, the overflowing spring, the pool and the meadow. The Imam is the gentle, close friend, the sympathetic father, the blood-brother, the mother who is tender to her small child, a place of refuge for mankind from perilous disaster.
The Imam is Allah’s custodian over His creation, His Proof for His slaves, His vicegerent in His lands, a caller towards Allah and the defender of Allah’s precincts. The Imam is the one who is purified from sins, free from all shortcomings, characterized by knowledge, distinguished by forbearance, the state of order of the religion, the might of the Muslims, the one who enrages the hypocrites, and the doom of unbelievers.
The Imam is unique of his time, no one can approach his rank, no man of knowledge is comparable to him, there is no one who can take his place, nor is there anyone similar to him or same as him. He is characterized by every (kind of) eminence, without his seeking it or acquiring it, rather it is a characteristic from the Bestower of eminence, the All-giving. So who is there who can arrive at knowledge of Imam, or have the ability to select him?
How far from the truth is it! Intellects have lost (themselves), imaginations have gone astray, minds have become perplexed, eyes have turned away, the great have been made small, the wise have confounded themselves, those who reflect forever fall short, orators falter, the intelligent become ignorant, poets become expressionless, prosodists incapable and the eloquent stammer, in describing one of his aspects, or one of his eminences.
All of them have confessed their incapacity and inadequacy. How can his totality be described, and how can his inner essence be characterized? How can anything concerning him be understood? Who can be found one to take his place and to give what he can give? No! How and where? Since he is in the position of the star for hands of those that grasp, and to the description of those who describe. What is the place of choice in this affair? What is the place of intellects in this affair?
“Where can someone like this be found? Do you imagine that this can be found anywhere else but in the progeny of the Messenger, Muhammad (S). By Allah, they have lied to themselves, they have promised to themselves the impossible, they have climbed up to a difficult and dangerous height, (and) their feet will slip and fall to the bottom.
They want to appoint an Imam with (their) confused, unproductive and defective minds, and (their) misguided opinions. Nothing accrued to them but remoteness from him. Allah assail them! How they are perverted! Surely, they are looking for a difficulty. They have uttered an untruth, and have gone astray into far error; they have put themselves into confusion, because they have knowingly abandoned the Imam. And Shaitan decked out fair to them their works, and barred them from the way, though they saw clearly.
“They have turned their backs on the choice of Allah, the choice of the Messenger of Allah (S) and his Ahlul Bayt, (and turned) to their own choice. And the Quran has called them:
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
Thy Lord creates whatsoever He will and He chooses; they have not the choice. Glory be to Allah! High be He above that they associate.38
And He to Whom belong Might and Majesty has said:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ
It is not for any believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair.39
And He has said:
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَانٌ عَلَيْنَا بَالِغَةٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ بِذَٰلِكَ زَعِيمٌ أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ إِنْ كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ
What ails you then, how you judge? Or have you a Book wherein you study? Surely therein you shall have whatever you choose! Or have you oaths from Us, reaching to the Day of Resurrection? Surely you shall have whatever you judge! Ask them, which of them will guarantee that! Or do they have associates? Then let them bring their associates, if they speak truly.40
And He to Whom belong Might and Majesty has said:
أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا
What, do they not ponder the Quran? Or is it that there are locks upon their hearts?41
رَضُوا بِأَنْ يَكُونُوا مَعَ الْخَوَالِفِ وَطُبِعَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ
Or has Allah set a seal upon their hearts, so they understand not.42
A seal has been set upon their hearts, or they say:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ وَلَوْ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا لَأَسْمَعَهُمْ وَلَوْ أَسْمَعَهُمْ لَتَوَلَّوْا وَهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ
“We hear,” and they hear not. Surely the worst of beasts in Allah’s sight are those that are deaf and dumb and do not understand. If Allah had known of any good in them He would have made them hear, and if He had made them hear, they would have turned away, swerving aside.43
Or they said:
We have heard and we disobey.44
But that is the bounty of Allah; He gives it to whom He will, and Allah is of bounty abounding. How can they have (the right) to choose an Imam? Since the Imam is the man of knowledge, he is not ignorant (of anything), a shepherd who does not shirk (his duty), a mine of sanctity and purity, of piety and renunciation, of knowledge and worship.
He is the one specifically mentioned in the supplication of the Messenger (S), and he is of the seed of the purified one, the chaste (Fatima). Aspersion cannot be cast on him in relation to his parentage; no one can approach him in nobility. He is in the noble house of the Quraish, at the summit of (Banu) Hashim, of the offspring of the Messenger (S) and the one accepted by Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty.
He is the nobility of the noblest men, and the true branch of Abde Manaf (the father of Hashim and Umayyah); the one whose knowledge forever grows and whose knowledge is perfect, who is completely acquainted with the Imamate, entirely knowledgeable in statesmanship. Obedience to him is obligatory, the one who establishes the affair of Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty. He is the sincere advisor to the slaves of Allah, the protector of the religion of Allah.
“Truly, Allah accommodates the prophets and the Imams, may Allah bless them, (to the right path). He gives them of His stored knowledge and wisdom, which He does not give to anyone else. Thus their knowledge is far above the knowledge of the people of their time, as He, the Sublime, says:
أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لَا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَنْ يُهْدَىٰ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
He who guides to the truth, is he worthier to be followed, or he who guides not unless he is guided? What then ails you, how you judge?45
And as He the Blessed, the Sublime, says:
يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind. 46
Also what he says about Talut (Saul):
وَقَالَ لَهُمْ نَبِيُّهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَكُمْ طَالُوتَ مَلِكًا قَالُوا أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ عَلَيْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْكِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُؤْتَ سَعَةً مِنَ الْمَالِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاهُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ وَاللَّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌٌ
Verily Allah has chosen him over you, and has increased him broadly in knowledge and body. Allah gives the kingship to whom He will. And Allah is All-embracing, All-knowing.47
And He said to His Prophet (S):
وَكَانَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكَ عَظِيمًا
Allah’s bounty to thee is very great.48
And He says about the Imams from the Ahlul Bayt of His Prophet, his progeny and his seed, may Allah bless them:
أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَىٰ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَىٰ بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيرًا
Or are they jealous of the people for the bounty that Allah has given them? Yet We gave the progeny of Ibrahim the Book and the Wisdom, and We gave them a mighty kingdom. And some of them (i.e., those they were jealous) there are that believe, and some of them that bar from it; Gehenna suffices for a Blaze!49
“Verily, when Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, selects a slave for the affairs of His slaves, He expands his breast for it; He entrusts to his hearts the fountains of wisdom, and profoundly inspires him with knowledge. So, after this, he does not stammer in answers, and he does not deviate from the truth in them. Thus, he is infallible (Masoom), supported (by Allah); he is accommodated (to the right path, his steps being) firmly guided; he will be safe from errors, slips and stumblings. Allah distinguishes him by this, because he is His Proof over his slaves, and His witness over His creatures –
ذَلِك َفَضْلُ اللَّه ِيُؤْتِيهِمَنيَشَء ءوَاللَّهُذُ والْفَضْل ِالْعَظِيمِ
That is the bounty of Allah, He gives it to whom He will, and Allah is of bounty abounding.50
“So, do they have the power to do the like of this, so that they can choose him? Or can the one that they choose have this attribution so that they may prefer him? By the House of Allah, they have transgressed against the truth, they have rejected the Book of Allah behind their backs as though they did not know, and in the Book of Allah there is guidance and cure. So they have rejected it, and they have followed their own desires. Therefore, Allah has found fault with them, detested them and cast them down, as He, to Whom belong Mighty and Sublimity, has said:
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
And who is further astray them he who follows his own caprice without guidance from Allah? Surely Allah guides not the people of the evil-doers.51
And He has said:
فَتَعْسًا لَهُمْ وَأَضَلَّ أَعْمَالَهُمْ
Ill chance shall befall them, He will send their works astray.52
And He has said:
كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَعِنْدَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كَذَٰلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ قَلْبِ مُتَكَبِّرٍ جَبَّارٍ
Verily, hateful is that in the sight of Allah and the believers; so Allah sets a seal on every heart proud, arrogant.53
And may Allah bless the Prophet, Muhammad and his progeny, and bestow peace upon them with much bestowing.’”
- 1. Surah Asr 103:1-2
- 2. Surah Asr 103:3
- 3. Surah Mominoon 23:44
- 4. Surah Nisa 4:165
- 5. Surah Taha 20:134
- 6. Surah Aale Imran 3:183
- 7. Surah Raad 13:7
- 8. Surah Nisa 4:83
- 9. Surah Anaam 6:38
- 10. Surah Nisa 4:82
- 11. Surah Maidah 5:44
- 12. Surah Raad 13:7
- 13. Surah Anbiya 21:20
- 14. Surah Zumar 39:42
- 15. Surah Anaam 6:60
- 16. Surah Anbiya 21:20
- 17. Surah Anbiya 21:20
- 18. Surah Sajdah 32:3
- 19. Surah Saba 34:44
- 20. Surah Raad 13:7
- 21. Surah Raad 13:7
- 22. Surah Raad 13:7
- 23. Surah Sajdah 32:3
- 24. Surah Fatir 35:42
- 25. Surah Hadid 57:16
- 26. Surah Hadid 57:17
- 27. Surah Taubah 9:33
- 28. Surah Nahl 16:1
- 29. Surah Baqarah 2:148
- 30. Surah Hud 11:80
- 31. Surah Yusuf 12:94
- 32. Surah Anaam 6:38
- 33. Surah Maidah 5:3
- 34. Surah Baqarah 2:124
- 35. Surah Anbiya 21:72 -73
- 36. Surah Aale Imran 3:68
- 37. Surah Rum 30:56
- 38. Surah Qasas 28:68
- 39. Surah Ahzab 33:36
- 40. Surah Qalam 68:36-41
- 41. Surah Muhammad 47:24
- 42. Surah Taubah 9:87
- 43. Surah al-Anfaal 8:21-23
- 44. Surah Baqarah 2:93
- 45. Surah Yunus 10:35
- 46. Surah Baqarah 2:269
- 47. Surah Baqarah 2:247
- 48. Surah Nisa 4:113
- 49. Surah Nisa 4:54-55
- 50. Surah Hadid 57:21
- 51. Surah Qasas 28:50
- 52. Surah Muhammad 47:8
- 53. Surah Momin 40:35