Chapter 7: Mental And Spiritual Perfection In The Light Of An Innocent Imam
Every organism is created in this world for a specific purpose. The Creator has provided the creatures with all sorts of equipments for attaining their perfection. The natural sciences would provide us with ample examples in this regard.
The miraculous system of vision, for example, provides us with good examples of God’s concern for the perfection of his creatures. Let us think for a moment about some means of perfection, which we have often neglected. For instance, the Creator put a special curve under man's foot so that he can easily walk. For those whose feet lack such a curve, surgery is required. Each finger differs in length and width. This difference gives man the opportunity to perform delicate tasks. Man can therefore create all sorts of art because of such differences.
Observation of such cases indicates that God has provided man with every kind of equipment which is reckoned significant for his perfection.
Now we are faced with this question:
How could God neglect man's spiritual perfection when He has provided him with all the means for his physical perfection?
In the same way that God appoints prophets, He will also appoint an innocent and infallible Imam who is aware of all Divine secrets.
Such an appointment is considered essential, since it would put to an end to all the disagreements between the Muslims, and would unite the Muslim community.
Due to negligence, or belief in the absence of an appointment (as sunni scholars claim) on the part of the Muslim community, regarding the Divine appointment after the Prophet’s death, the Muslims were divided to the extent that the unpleasant aftermath of this divide has not disappeared even after fourteen centuries. Even now, unfortunately, the agents of colonialism are still pouring oil over such discrepancies.
However, if the leader of the Muslim community had been appointed by God and Muslims had forgotten their differences, the status of Muslims would have been much better than the present.
Besides this, the presence of an infallible Imam, who posesses Islamic knowledge, is a giant stride toward the moral perfection of the Muslim community.
How can we then assume that God has provided man with every means for his physical perfection, but has altogether forgotten man's moral and spiritual perfection?
Sheikh al-Raees Avicenna, in his book “Shafa”, has given us reasons for the presence of prophets among the ordinary community1. However, as we have previously said, this statement clarifies the reason for the presence of both prophets and Imams among human societies.
- 1. . Shafa’ Al-Elahiyat, chapter one from the tenth article, p. 488: research done by Ayatullah Hassan Zadah Amuli.