The same arguments and reasons advocated to prove the need and necessity of the Prophet are also applicable in proving the necessity of the presence of the successor and legatee of the Prophet. That after the passing away of the Prophet it is necessary that a successor of his should be present, so that people may refer to him in various matters of their life like they used to refer to the Prophet. Thus it is incumbent on the Almighty Allah to appoint him and it is also incumbent on the people to know the Imam because it is not possible to follow him without having his recognition and identification.
If someone objects that: The reason for sending of the prophets is different in this regard, because people are needful of the prophets in matters of earning livelihood, material aspects of life, the matters connected to the hereafter and resurrection so that they may bring from the Almighty Allah a law for them and that they should act according to it.
And since the prophet brought for the people what they needed and explained to them the divine laws and principles and the people recognized them and acted upon them the other need is removed. And there are scholars and authentic books for explanation and teaching of rules and commands of religion, so the presence of the legatee and successor of the Prophet is not necessary!
We reply: This objection is improper from some aspects:
The Prophet stated the laws in general and he explained the rules of religion according of the general need of that time. And this matter is clear to anyone who refers to the traditions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). On the basis of this the need of the people was not fulfilled to that extent. Rather some of the religious problems are even not understood fully by the scholars leave alone the common people. Thus people are in need of the being of the Imam and the infallible leader so that they may refer to him and learn various things from him.
There is no doubt that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) entrusted all the laws and sciences to his successor who was appointed by Allah as the guide of people after him. And every Imam entrusted them in turn to the Imam after him till the matter reached the Imam of our time (aj). In other words the Holy Imams explained to the people the divine laws they had received from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and they made them aware of the foundations and meanings of the holy religion.
It is said that if the one explaining the laws of religion is not infallible the people will not be able to completely rely on him and trust his words and the aim of selecting him will not be realized.
Human beings due to their natural makeup and circumstances and as result of their carnality are always involved in a tussle and contradictions. This matter could be perceived through conscience and can also be seen with the eyes. Therefore it is the demand of divine grace that for removal of conflicts and differences He must appoint someone who is perfectly cognizant of the reality and facts so that people may refer to him in every age and take his help in their conflicts and problems.
And as a result everyone will obtain their rights and divine justice shall be established among the people. One whom the Almighty Allah selected for removing differences and conflicts is that same Imam to whom the people are obliged and to whom they must refer in their different matters and they must rely upon him.
If you have a doubt that: The Holy Imams (as) during their times never commanded except on the basis of apparent rules, and in other words they issued orders according to the same set of rules that religious scholars follow in the period of the occultation of the Imam. Then how can it be claimed that it is demand of divine grace to appoint the Imam so that he may act on the reality and facts?
I say: This practice was due to the obstacle from the side of the people themselves. Such that the obstacle of the reappearance of the Imam was also from the people’s side. Thus in such circumstances no objection could be made against them and in no way could one imagine such a matter to be opposed to divine grace.
That which proves this claim are traditional reports that are related from themselves and which explain clearly that if they are given absolute rulership and caliphate comes to them with authority over the world they would govern according to the system of Prophet Dawood and they would make the realities known to the people. Among the traditions narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) in Usul al-Kafi1 is the following:
From Abu ‘Ubaydah al-Hadhdha’ that His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) said: “O Abu ‘Ubaydah, when the Qa’im of the family of Muhammad rises he shall judge according to the law of Dawood and Sulaiman (as) and he will not ask for evidence and testimony.”
In the same book it is mentioned2 from Aban who narrates that His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) said:
“The world shall not end till a man from our progeny reappears who will judge like the progeny of Dawood and who will not ask for evidence and testimony; he will restore the rights
of every person.”
Also the same book mentions3 from an authentic chain of narrators from Ammar Saabiti that he said:
I asked His Eminence, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): How will you rule if the kingdom reaches you? He replied: “By divine law and the judgment of Dawood. Thus whenever we have a case to solve whose solution we do not have, Ruhul Qudus will inspire it to us.”
In the same way it is narrated from Jauid Hamadani from his chain of narrators that when he asked His Eminence, Imam ‘Ali Ibne Husain (as): What shall be the basis of your judgment? He
replied: “According to the judgment of the progeny of Dawood and when we are unable to solve a matter the Ruhul Qudus will bring it for us.”4
I say: This topic shall be further elaborated in the fourth part of this book under the letter H’a, if the Almighty Allah wills.
If we suppose that all the religious scholars and intellectuals acted on all the rules even then it will not make us needless of the existence of the Imam because they are not immune to mistakes and forgetfulness so in every age we are in need of a person who is infallible and immune from mistakes and forgetfulness so that he may be a point of reference for the people and refuge for them. And that he may explain and tell them about the realities and facts of religious laws, and such a person is none but the Holy Imam.
If at this point someone says: What is the difference between ‘no Imam’ and ‘an Imam who is out of the sight of the people’? We would say: first of all since the obstacle for the reappearance of His Eminence is from the side of the people themselves it is not having contradiction against divine grace and it does not prove that there is no need of His Eminence. Rather it is incumbent on the people that they must remove the obstacles to reappearance so that they may benefit from his holy presence and that they may gain from his various sciences and recognitions.
Secondly: The occultation of His Eminence is not in all the times and from all the people. Rather a large number of senior believers had the chance to meet the Imam and had access to him. Their incidents are mentioned in books of senior scholars but quoting them right now is beyond the scope of this topic and since the incidents are narrated by a large number of people we can be certain of their authenticity.
Thirdly: The benefits of the blessed being of His Eminence are not restricted to explanation of the sciences, rather all the benefits and divine graces that reach the creatures are through the Barakat of his being as will be explained in Part Three of this book, if the Almighty Allah wills.