Table of Contents

64. Obedience of the Ulil Amr (those in authority)

This Dua is obedience of Ulil Amr and it is the best thing through which people can seek proximity to the court of the Almighty Allah. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

“O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you.” (Qur’an, Surah Nisa 4:59)

Here we shall be investigating some points:

First: The term Ulil Amr mentioned in the verse implies the Holy Imams (as).

Second: Obligatory-ness of obeying the Ulil Amr.

Third: It is that this is the best thing through which people can seek proximity to the Almighty Allah.

Fourth: It is that praying for an early reappearance of our master, the Master of the Time (aj) is also implied in their obedience.

First point: Ulil Amr are the Holy Imams (as)

There are innumerable traditional reports related through Shia and Sunni channels that confirm this matter: they can be seen the books of Kafi, Ghaibat Nomani, Kamaluddin, Ghayat al-Maraam, Tafseer Burhan, Biharul Anwar and Manaqib etc. We present herewith some of them from Tafseer Burhanwithout their chains of narrators:

It is narrated from Jabir Ibne Abdullah Ansari that he said:

When the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse on His Prophet:

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those possessing authority among you.”

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! We know Allah and His Messenger. But who are the possessors of authority whose obedience Allah has accompanied with your obedience?’ He (S) explained, “They are my caliphs, O Jabir, and the Imams of the Muslims after me. The first of them is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as), then Hasan (as) and Husain (as), then Ali Ibn Husain (as), then Muhammad Ibn Ali (as) the one who is famous as al-Baqir in the Old Testament. Soon, you will meet him, O Jabir, so when you face him, convey my salutation to him.

He will be followed by Sadiq, Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, then Moosa Ibn Ja’far, then Ali Ibn Moosa, then Muhammad Ibn Ali, then Ali Ibn Muhammad, then al-Hasan Ibn Ali, then the one who will be my namesake and bear my patronymic, the proof of Allah in His earth and His remainder among His servants, the son of Hasan Ibn Ali. He (aj) is the one at whose hands Allah, High be His remembrance, will open the east of the earth and its west. He (aj) is the one who will be concealed from his Shias and his friends, an occultation in which none will be steadfast on the belief of his Imamate except the one whose heart has been tested by Allah for faith.”

Jabir says that he asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (S)! Will the Shias benefit from him during the occultation?’ He (S) replied, “Yes, by the One Who sent me with Prophethood! Surely they will benefit with his light and gain from his mastership in his occultation like people derive benefit from the sun when the clouds hide it. O Jabir! This is from the hidden secrets of Allah and the treasures of His knowledge, so hide it except from the ones worthy of it.”1

It is narrated from Abu Baseer that His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) said regarding the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those possessing authority among you.”

Imams from the progeny of Ali and Fatima (as) till the day of Qiyamat.”2

It is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said regarding the statement of the Almighty Allah:

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those possessing authority among you.

It is especially mentioned about us…”3

Second point: Obligatory to obey the Ulil Amr

The same verse proves that it is obligatory to obey the Ulil Amr:

“O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger and those possessing authority among you.”

There are many traditions that confirm this.

Third: The best thing through which people can seek proximity to the Almighty Allah

After the obedience of the Almighty Allah and obedience of the Holy Prophet (S) the best thing is obedience of Ulil Amr through which one can seek proximity of Almighty Allah. That which proves this is a tradition in Usool Kafi through his own chain of narrators from Muhammad bin Fuzail that he said:

I asked Imam (as) about the best thing through which people can seek proximity of Almighty Allah. He replied: “The best thing through which people can seek proximity of Almighty Allah is obedience of Almighty Allah, obedience of His Prophet and obedience of the Ulil Amr…”4

Fourth: Praying for an early reappearance of our master, the Master of the Time (aj) is also implied in their obedience

All traditions recorded from the True Imams (as) regarding the subject of praying for the Master of the Time (aj) – some of which we shall present in Part Six and Seven – prove this point. In addition to that, is the blessed Tawqee quoted in Part One that: And pray more for the early reappearance, for therein lies your success…”

  • 1. Tafseer Burhan; Vol. 1, Pg. 381
  • 2. Tafseer Burhan; Vol. 1, Pg. 383
  • 3. Tafseer Burhan; Vol. 1, Pg. 384
  • 4. Kafi; Vol. 1, Pg. 187