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Chapter 6 – Summary

L. Imamah is a divinely chosen leader who guides and leads people to their existential purpose. The leader, after the Prophet (S), is, therefore chosen by God.

L1. Imamah is needed for guidance and for the message to be preserved, protected and above all completed.

L2. To ensure that the message and guidance of the people are guaranteed, God selects an infallible leader who can take on the great responsibility. The fact that the Imam (‘a) is someone whom God has chosen and ordained people to follow is something many Qur’anic verses and prophetic narrations emphasize.

M-M1. The Prophet (S) gave everything and went through hard difficulties in order to convey the message. He was most concerned about everyone’s continued guidance and would never leave the people without a successor. Nor did he do such thing, and with God’s order, he selected Imam Ali (‘a) as a successor and confirmed this on several occasions.

N. The verses of The Holy Qur’an, are completely preserved in original condition, and no change or distortion has occurred. The Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) and the Qur’an are the two valuable things that the Prophet (S) ordained everyone to hold on to, in order to not go astray. This is because the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), with the Prophet (S), is the personification of the Qur’an and the only ones who have its correct interpretation.

O-O1. Imam Ali (‘a) was miraculously born inside the Holy Ka’ba and raised by the Prophet (S) himself. He was the first man to accept Islam. The Prophet (S) has described Imam Ali’s (‘a) position to him as Prophet Haroon’s (‘a) position to that of Prophet Musa (‘a), except that there is no prophet after him. The Prophet (S) has also equated Imam Ali (‘a) with a gate that must be passed through in order to reach the Prophet’s (S) insight and knowledge. Moreover, the Prophet (S) announced that Imam Ali (‘a) is his successor, during the first gathering to convey God’s message to his closest kin, and in Ghadir Khumm, Imam Ali (‘a) was officially appointed as a successor as ordained by God. Imam Ali (‘a) had the greatest key role among all companions and Muslims in the major events, in which Islam’s survival was at stake.

P. The Prophet (S) was prevented by some companions to writing down something that would ensure that people never go astray after him.

After the death of the Prophet (S), a group of followers gathered in Saqifa and chose a leader among themselves, despite the fact that the Prophet (S) appointed Imam Ali (‘a). That was while Imam Ali (‘a) was busy burying the Prophet (S). Imam Ali (‘a) refused to pledge allegiance to this chosen leader because it was against the Prophet’s (S) command. There were few followers who were ready to stand up for Imam Ali’s (‘a) right. Therefore, Imam Ali (‘a) showed patience in accordance with the Prophet’s (S) request and acted according to his role as Imam, for the preservation of the message and the guidance of the people, according to the circumstances and prevailing conditions.

Q1-Q3. The rule of the first three caliphs led to the change of the Prophet’s (S) sunnah, and by the end of the third caliph’s rule, the Umayyads had taken over. The Prophet (S) had warned of this. The enemies of Islam, whom the Prophet (S) had expelled as Al-Hakam and his son Marwan, were not only invited back but also received the highest posts in governance. This immense corruption led to an uproar and caused the murder of the third caliph. The Umayyads, given power by the third Caliph, had refused to help him and therefore contributed to his murder.

R. Imam Ali’s (‘a) caliphate began when people rushed to him and felt that he was the only one who could do everything right. Imam Ali (‘a) got rid of all corrupt individuals within governance and reintroduced the Prophet’s (S) approach to governing.

Imam Ali (‘a) was falsely accused of the third caliph’s murder by opportunists who wanted to exploit this. This caused many wars to follow. Yet, in his reign, he succeeded in achieving justice that, to this day, is a model for all civilizations.

R1-Ö. From Imam Ali (‘a) – who was the first Imam, to Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) and all the following eleven Imams (‘a), prepared for Imam Al-Mahdi (‘aj) in various ways. That is because they had different conditions depending on prevailing circumstances. Such as the number of followers, the government’s surveillance and pressure, the one that threatened the message and the other things that affected the kind of fight that the Imams (‘a) impelled. That was to achieve the purpose of guiding people and creating the conditions for future generations’ guidance.

The Imams’ (‘a) fought and protected the religion every moment of their blessed lives; some examples are:

The rule of Imam Ali (‘a) was not compromised with justice, where justice permeated everything in the government. Everything from the appointment of posts, to being equal before the law, the distribution of the Treasury House, and more, were all characterized by fairness. The government did not leave room for special treatments and unfair privileges at the expense of others, which many at that time were not ready for. This prepared for the complete justice Imam Al-Mahdi (‘aj) will to govern with.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was left alone and was severely oppressed and with no opportunity of fighting the enemy militarily. His tribulations in life make it clearer that an Imam (‘a) must have real companions in order to be victorious. He, therefore, ensured the preservation of guidance by signing a peace treaty with Mu’awiya and listed important conditions, eventually demonstrating Mu’awiya’s hypocrisy and true intentions.

Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) stood up against oppression and was left alone with a few companions and his family, against tens of thousands of enemies, in the known battle of Karbala. The time in which he lived and the circumstances required this uprising for the preservation of religion. It led to the great and indescribable sacrifice that heated the hearts of believers that will subside. It contributed to future revolutionaries who overthrew oppressive rulers such as the Umayyad regime, which no one had thought would reign in such a short period of time. The uprising of Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) with all its details became a revival for the people and kindled a longing for revolutionary justices. It became a school for all future generations and a great preparation for the Imam’s (‘aj) revolution.

Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) continued to spread faith in spite of the hard surveillance. Among other things through his deep and beautiful invocations that emphasized important religious principles – such as Ahl Al-Bayt’s (‘a) high and important position.

Imam Al-Baqir (‘a) and Imam Al-Sadiq (‘a), among others, established a structured educational system that ensured that all necessary knowledge of the Prophet’s (S) approaches and lifestyle, would reach the people of all future generations until the return of the Imam (‘aj).

From the time of Imam Al-Kadhim (‘a) to that of Imam Al-’Askari’s (‘a), developing a communication system and as such, a network, with the Shi’a continued. Gradually, the system evolved further, until the end, where there was hardly any direct contact with Imam Al-’Askari (‘a). And Shi’a Muslims were urged to only seek the Imam’s (‘a) representatives in order to communicate. Now there was this system of reliable scholars whom the believers turned to in religious and important matters, and the people did not depend on direct contact with the Imam (‘aj).

Imam Al-Mahdi (‘aj) is himself the hujja of God (argument and proof) over all people, and he has called the true scholars his hujja over us. These scholars, therefore, act as deputies, representatives and leaders among us to awaken our hearts, connect us with each other and direct people towards the common goal we all strive for. In fact, this is the continuation of the system that the Imams (‘a) established and prepared for the completion of the road under the occultation of the final Imam (‘aj). This is up to the era when the time is right, and mankind is ready to embrace the final Imam (‘aj) who will fight oppression and injustice and fill the world with justice.

The Imam (‘aj) also leads the hearts of believers to seek him as he wants them to come to him; ready, hand in hand, in a group, linked together and actively striving towards one and the same goal.

May God hasten the promised day when truth and justice are spread in the world with the arrival of the Imam (‘aj) and when humanity can flourish fully under His leadership with all kind-hearted, and truth-seeking souls united together.