AN IMAM ALWAYS EXISTS ON EARTH

 

2:30  And, when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

35:24  “No nation who lived before was left without a Warner.”

10:47  “And every nation had a messenger; so when their messenger came, the matter was decided between them with justice and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

13:7 You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide.

17:71  One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their record in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least

39:69 And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged.

4:41  So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?

16:89 And on the day when We will raise up in every people a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against these-

 

The witnesses over the people are the prophets/imams, and our Holy Prophet (S.A.) will be the prophets’/imams’ witness.

About our 12 Imams (A.S.) it has been decreed: “Thus have we made you (O successor of Muhammad) a middle group, so that you may be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger be a witness over you.” Quran 2:143 & 3:104 & 3:110 & 7:46

Imam Ali (A.S.) said: “That Middle group (between the Ummat and the Prophet) the witnesses over the people are we (the 12 Imams), and Allah has intended only us by this Ayat; and the Prophet (S.A.) is witness over us.”

 A second Hadith from Imam Ali:  “When the Day of Quiyamat will come, and the scales will be erected, and the prophets and witnesses  (And witnesses means Imams) will be present, then every Imam will testify on the people of his time that he stood before them with the commands of Allah and called them towards the Way of Allah..”

 

“The parable of my ahl al-bayt is similar to that of Noah’s ark.  Whoever embarks it will certainly be rescued, but the one who opposes boarding it will certainly be drowned.”

“As the stars protect mankind from losing his way in travel, so are my ahl al-bayt; they are the safeguard against discord in matters of religion.”

 

Al Kafi;   H 444, Ch. 5, h 3

“The earth has never been left without a person with (Divine) Authority who can teach people about the lawful and the unlawful matters, and call them to the path of Allah.”

 

Al Kafi;   H 456, Ch. 6, h 2

 

“Were there to remain only two people on earth one of them would be the person with (Divine) Authority over the other.”

 

Sahih Muslim Book 020, Hadith Number 4476.

The people are subservient to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the right of the Quraish. It has been narrated on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: The Caliphate will remain among the Quraish even if only two persons are left (on the earth),

 

Sahih al-Bukhari  Hadith Number 3501.

Narrated Ibn `Umar: The Prophet (ﷺ) said,Authority of ruling will remain with Quraish, even if only two of them remained (on earth).”

 

The Imam of our time is Imam Mahdi (the twelfth Imam) and he is appointed by God.

 

  • Where is he now and what should we do in his absence?

He is alive on earth in occultation but will rise whenever Allah wants. We should listen to the 12 Imams, teach their knowledge and pray for the Mahdi’s reappearance.

  • Is it ok if we do not obey the IMAM of our time and live according to some other leaders?

No, It is not ok. If we do not accept IMAM Mahdi (pbuh) as the Imam of our time, our submission to God will not be accepted. Our deeds will not be acceped by God because those who do not accept the Imams are like those who do not accept God or the Prophet. Allah gave clear and decisive commands to be with the Imams.

 

7: 181.  Of those We have created are people who direct (others) with truth. And dispense justice therewith.

 

9:119. O ye who believe! Fear Allah and be with those who are true.

 

4:59. O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those with  (Divine) authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger (the messenger among you…i.e..the prophet (s) or 12 Imams (s).

 

 

Excerpts from AL-KAFI  (English Translation by Muhammad Sarwar Volume 1 Pages 145-178)

 

Chapter 1 – The Necessity of the Presence of Divine Authority Among the People

 

H 425, Ch. 1, h 1

 

An atheist asked the Imam ‘How do you prove the truthfulness of the prophets and the messengers?'” The Imam said, ‘It is a fact that we have established with sufficient evidence, proof of the existence of our Creator, the Most Holy, the Most High and Exalted above all creatures. It is a fact that this Creator is All-wise and Most High. His creatures cannot see, touch, associate and directly communicate with Him. It proves that His deputies must be present among His creatures. It is His deputies and ambassadors who speak to people for Him and provide them guidance to protect their interests; to tell them what is beneficial to them and what are the best means of survival and what may cause their destruction. This proves the presence among people of those who convey the commandments of the Creator, Who is All-wise, All-knowing, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, to them. Such people are the prophets, the chosen ones from among His creatures. They are the people of wisdom, disciplined with wisdom and sent to people with the message of wisdom. They are different from other people although like them in physical form and shape  in their conditions of discipline and their receiving direct support from Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High and All-wise. This also proves their presence among people in all times to ensure the availability of the people with Divine Authority on earth who have the kind of knowledge that establishes their truthfulness and proves them to be of the people who possess the noble quality of justice.'”

 

H 426, Ch. 1, h 2

“Once I said to Imam abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Allah by far is Majestic and Gracious to be known through His creatures. In fact, the creatures are known through Allah.’ The Imam said, ‘You have spoken the truth.’ I said, ‘One who knows that he has a Lord must also learn that his Lord agrees with certain things and disagrees with certain other things. The only way one can know what He likes and dislikes is by revelation or through a messenger. One who does not receive revelation must find the messengers and when he finds the messengers he will know that they are the Divine Authorities and that obedience to them is necessary.

“I say to people, ‘Do you know that the Messenger of Allah was the Divine Authority over His creatures?” They say, ‘Yes, he was the Divine Authority.” I then ask, ‘After the Messenger of Allah who was the Divine Authority over His creatures?’ They say, ‘After the Messenger of Allah the Divine Authority is the Holy Quran.”

‘I considered the Holy Quran and found out that various kinds of people consider this Holy Book as support for their beliefs. For example the Murji’a (people who say Allah has postponed punishment), the pre-determinists and the atheists who even do not believe in it but take it as the basis for their arguments against the others. I then learned that the Holy Quran cannot serve as Divine Authority without a guardian and supervisor whose words from and about the Holy Quran can reveal the truth.

“I then ask the people, ‘Who is the guardian and supervisor of the Holy Quran?’ They say, Ibn Mas’ud knew the Holy Quran. ‘Umar knew it and Hudhayfa knew the Holy Quran.” I ask them, ‘Did they know all of the Holy Quran?” The people say, ‘No, they did not know all of it.’ I have not found anyone who knows all of the Holy Quran except Ali ibn abu Talib. It is a fact – whenever any issue emerged that needed a Quranic solution, except for Imam Ali – every one of the others (in many cases), said, I do not know.” Only Imam Ali would say, ‘I know.” I then acknowledged that Imam Ali is the guardian and supervisor of the Holy Quran and obedience to him is obligatory and he is the Divine Authority over the people after the Messenger of Allah. Whatever Imam Ali has said from the Holy Quran is the truth.’ The Imam said, ‘I pray to Allah to grant you blessing.””

 

H 427, Ch. I, h 3

“In the presence of Imam abu ‘Abd Allah once there was a group of his followers consisting of Humran ibn ‘Ayan, Muhammad ibn al-Nu’man, Hisham ibn Salim, al-Tayyar and others among whom was also Hisham ibn al-Hakam, a young man. Imam abu ‘Abd Allah said, ‘O Hisham, can you tell us what did you do to ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd and how did you ask him questions?’

“Hisham said, ‘O descendant of the Messenger of Allah, due to your greatness I feel shy and my tongue does not work in your presence.’ The Imam said, ‘When I order you something you should do it.’ Hisham then said, ‘Once I came to learn about the gathering of Amr ibn ‘Ubayd and his sessions of speeches for people in the Mosque of Basra. It disturbed me a great deal and I went to Basra. It was a Friday. I went to the Mosque and found a large circle of people. Among them was ‘Amr ibn ‘Ubayd with a black piece of woolen cloth used as a loincloth and another piece over him as a gown and people would ask him questions, I asked people for room, which they made for me. I sat in front of the people with my legs folded beneath and I said, ‘O scholar, I come from out of town. Can I ask you questions?’ He said, ‘Yes, you may ask.’ I asked, ‘Do you have eyes?’ He said, ‘Son, what kind of question is this? Something that you can see why then do you ask?’ I said, ‘That is how my questions are.’ He said, ‘Son, you may ask your questions even if they are meaningless ones.’ I asked, ‘Do you have eyes?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have eyes.’ I asked, “What do you do with them?’ He said, ‘I see with them the colors and persons.’ I asked, ‘Do you have a nose?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have a nose.’ I asked, ‘What do you do with it?’ He (“Amr ibn ‘Ubayd) said, I use it to smell things.’ I asked, ‘Do you have a mouth?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have a mouth.’ I asked, ‘What do you do with it?’ He said, I taste things with it.’ I asked, ‘Do you have ears?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have ears.’ I asked, “What do you do with them?’ He said, ‘I hear sounds with them.’ I asked, ‘Do you have a heart?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have a heart.’ I asked, “What do you do with it?’ He said, ‘I distinguish and discern things that come to it from the other senses.’ I asked, ‘Why are your other senses not independent of your heart and why do they need it?’ He said, ‘They are not independent of my heart.’ I said, “Why do they need your heart when they are all healthy and sound?’ He said, ‘Son, when the other senses face a doubt about something smelling, seeing, tasting or hearing, I send it to my heart and it ascertains ‘”certainty” and discards “doubts.”‘

“I asked him, “Do you mean that Allah has set up the heart to remove doubts from the other senses?’ He said, ‘Yes, that is true.’ I asked, ‘Is then the existence of the heart necessary to remove the doubts of the other senses?’ He said, ‘Yes, it is necessary.’ I then said, ‘O abu Marwan, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, as you say, has not left your senses without a leader (Imam). (He has created an Imam) to correct the doubts and the mistakes of the other senses in you to remove doubts therefrom. How would He leave all the people with doubts and confusions without an Imam who would remove their doubts and settle their disputes?’ He remained quiet and did not say anything for a while. He then asked, ‘Are you Hisham ibn al-Hakam?’ I said, ‘No, I am not.’ He asked, ‘Are you of his associates?’ I said, ‘No, (I am not of his associates).’ He asked, “Wherefrom are you?’ I said, I am from Kufa.’ He said, ‘You then must be Hisham ibn al-Hakam.’ He then embraced me and gave me room nearby. He discontinued his speech until I left.'”

“”Imam abu ‘Abd Allah laughed (smiled) and said, “O Hisham, who has taught you this?’ I replied, ‘I learned something from you and added something to it myself. The Imam said, ‘This, I swear by Allah, is written in the books of Abraham and Moses.'”

 

H 428, Ch. 1, h 4

 

“Once I was in the presence of Imam abu ‘Abd Allah when a man from Sham (Syria) came to him and said, ‘I am a man of Kalam (meaningful words or theology), Fiqh (laws) and Fara’id (rules of obligations) and I have come to debate with your people.’

‘”Imam abu ‘Abd Allah asked, “Are your meaningful words those of the Messenger of Allah or your own words?’ He replied, ‘Something from the words of the Messenger of Allah and there is something of my own words.’ The Imam said, ‘Are then you a partner of the Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘No, I am not.” The Imam asked, ‘Have you received any revelation from Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High?’ He said, ‘No, I have not.’ The Imam then asked. Is it obligatory to obey you just as it is obligatory to obey the Messenger of Allah?’ He said, ‘No it is not.” The Imam then turned to me and said, ‘O Yunus ibn Ya’qub, this man has just defeated himself before debating others.

‘The Imam then said, ‘O Yunus, why do you not speak to him if you do well in debate?” I said, ‘I wish I could but, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause. I have heard that you do not allow debating and say that wayl (a place in hell) is for those who debate and say, “This is accepted and that is not accepted. This is alright to say but that is not alright to say, that this we understand and that we do not understand.” The Imam said, ‘I said so if they ignore what I say and follow what they themselves want.’

“The Imam then said, ‘Find out who is outside who could debate, and bring them in.’ The reporter has said, I then brought in Humran ibn ‘Ayan who was good in debating and Ahwal who also was good in debate. I brought Hisham ibn Salim who debated well. Another person I brought was Qays ibn Masir who was the best of them to me. He had learned Kalam (theology) from Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn and our gathering took place in Makkah before Hajj. Imam abu’Abd Allah would stay in mountains near the Holy Mosque for few days in a small tent. Once the Imam looked outside the tent and there was a camel growling. He said, ‘By the Lord of the Ka’ba, it is Hisham.” We thought it must be Hisham, the man from the family of ‘Aqil who was (very) beloved to the Imam. It was Hisham ibn al-Hakam who came in. He had just grown a small beard and all of us were older than he was. The Imam made room for him and said, ‘He is our supporter with his heart, tongue and hands.” The Imam then asked Humran to debate the man. Humran came out strong. The Imam then asked Ta’qiyy to debate the man. Ahwal also came out strong. The Imam then asked Hisham ibn Salim to debate the man. They both remained the same. Abu ‘Abd Allah then asked Qasys al-Masir to debate the man. When they debated, abu ‘Abd Allah laughed because the man from Sham was distressed.

“The Imam then asked the man from Syria to speak to Hisham ibn al-Hakam. The man said, ‘O boy, ask me about the Imamat (Divine Authority and leadership) of this man.” Hisham became angry and began to shake and said. ‘O you, is your Lord more protective of His people or are people themselves?’ The man said, it is My Lord Who is more protective of His creatures.’ Hisham then asked, “What then has He in His opinion done for them?’ The Man said, he has established His authority and guidance so that they would not differ and disunite and be united to support each other and remind of their duties toward their Lord.’ Hisham asked, “Who is he?’ The man said, “He is the Messenger of Allah.’ Hisham then asked, ‘Who is the Divine Authority after the Messenger of Allah?’ The man replied, it is the book of Allah and the Sunnah.’ Hisham then said, ‘Have the Book and Sunnah helped us today in removing our differences?’ The man said, “Yes, they have helped us.’ Hisham then asked, ‘Why then do we have differences among us. Why have you come all the way from Sham to oppose and debate with us?’ The man then remained quiet. The Imam asked him, ‘Why do you not speak?’ The man said, ‘If I were to say that we have no differences I would be speaking lies. Were I to say that the Book and Sunnah solve our differences it would be invalid; they can be interpreted in so many ways. Were I to say that we do have differences and each claims to be the rightful party then the Book and the Sunnah would have been proved of no help. However, I can ask the same question from him also.’ The Imam then said to the man from Sham, ‘Why do you not then ask him this question? You will find him full of knowledge.’

“The man from Sham (Syria) then turned to Hisham and asked, ‘O you, is your Lord more protective of His people or are people themselves?’ Hisham said, it is My Lord Who is more protective of His creatures.’ The man then asked, ‘Has He then established for them a means that would remove their differences, unite them, remove their difficulties and show them the right from wrong?’ Hisham asked, ‘Are you asking about the time of the Messenger of Allah or about this time?’

“The man from Sham said, ‘At the time of the Messenger of Allah the authority was the Messenger of Allah. Who is the (Divine) Authority at this time?’ Hisham said, ‘(The Divine Authority) at this time is this person sitting among us. To him people journey over long distances to find answers to their questions. He tells us about the news of the heavens and the earth as he has inherited it from his father and grandfather.’ The man from Sham said, ‘How can I know that?’ Hisham then said, ‘Ask him whatever you may like.’ The man from Sham said, ‘You have left no excuse for me and I must ask.’

“Imam abu ‘Abd Allah then said, “O man from Sham, I can tell you how your journey was and how your road was. It was so and so.’ The Imam informed him with details. The man agreed and acknowledged the details and said, ‘Now I have become a Muslim.’ The Imam said, ‘In fact, you have become a believer in Allah now. Islam is before Iman (belief). Because of Islam people inherit each other and marry. Because of belief people receive rewards.’

“The man then said, ‘You have spoken the truth. At this time I testify that no one deserves to be obeyed and worshipped except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger and that you are the executor of the will of the executors of will of the Messengers of Allah.’

“The Imam then turned to Humran and said, ‘When you speak on the basis of Hadith you speak the truth.’ Turning to Hisham ibn Salim the Imam said, ‘You want the Hadith but you do not know them.’ About al-Ahwal the Imam said, ‘You analogize and use a great deal of cunning ways and break falsehood with falsehood but your falsehood is stronger. To Qaysal-Masir the Imam said, ‘You speak of something very near to the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah but use something very far from the Hadith of the Holy Prophet. You mix the truth with falsehood while a small degree of truth is enough to remove falsehood. You and Ahwal are experts in jumping here and there.’

“Yunus has said, “I thought the Imam might say about Hisham something similar to what he said about the other two.’ The Imam then said, ‘O Hisham you sometimes almost fall but you spring up like a bird on take-off. People like you should speak but be careful of slipping and intercession (support from A’immiah, plural of Imam) will follow, Allah willing.'”

 

H 429, Ch. 1, h 5

 

“Zayd ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn sent a message to me for a meeting with him when he was in hiding. When I met him, he said, ‘O abu Ja’far, what do you say if someone from us comes to you asking to join us? Will you rise up with him (against the enemies)?’ I said, ‘If such a person would be your father or brother I would join him.” He then said, I want to rise up against these people. Come and join me.’ I said, ‘No, may Allah make my soul of service to you.’ He then said, ‘Is it that you distance yourself away from me?’ I said, ‘It is only one soul. If Allah’s Authority on earth existed, then those keeping away from you would have saved themselves and those joining you would have faced their destruction. If no Divine Authority existed on earth then people joining and keeping away from you would be the same.’ He then said, ‘O abu Ja’far, I would sit with my father at the same table and he would feed me chunky morsels and cool off for me the hot ones out of kindness and diligent care. Do you think he was not afraid for me from the fire of hell’? So he has informed you about religion and did not inform me?’

“I said, ‘May Allah make my soul of service to you, this also is of the kindness of your father to you. To save you from the fire he did not inform you. He was concerned for you that after having the information you might ignore his guidance and become subject to fire. He informed me also. If I follow I will be safe, and I will be destroyed, if I disobeyed (him), for which (my destruction) he was not that much concerned.”

“Then I told him, ‘May Allah make my soul of service to you, are you of a higher degree of excellence or the prophets?’ He said, ‘It is the prophets.’ I said, “Consider what Ya’qub said to Joseph, “My son, do not tell your dream to your brothers. They may plot against you.” Why did he not inform the brothers so that they would not plot against Joseph? He hid it from them and so also your father has done; he was afraid for you.’ He then said, ‘When you say that, I swear to Allah that your friend (the Imam) did tell me in Madina that I will be killed and crucified in al-Kunnasa and that he has a book with him that lists the people killed and crucified.’

“I then went for Hajj and reported the story of Zayd to abu ‘Abd Allah and what I said to Zayd. The Imam said, “It seems you surrounded him from his front, back, left, right, above and below and did not leave for him any way out.”‘

 

 

Chapter 2 – The Categories of the Prophets, the Messengers and ‘A’immah (Plural of Imam)

 

 

H 430, Ch. 2, h 1

 

“Abu ‘Abd Allah has said that the prophets and the messengers are of four categories. There were prophets who were given Divine news in their souls just for their own selves and for no one else. There were also prophets who were given Divine news in their dreams and would hear the voice, but would not see anyone when awake and they were not sent to other people with such news. They had to follow an Imam just as it happened with Lot who followed Abraham. There were prophets who would experience in their dreams, hear the voice and see the angel and were sent to a group of people, small or large, like Yunus (Jonah), as Allah has said, ‘We sent him to a hundred thousand people or a few more.’ (37:148). The Imam said that ‘few more’ were thirty thousand people led by an Imam.

‘”There were those who saw in their dreams, heard the voice and saw the angel when awake, and were also Imam like ‘Ulal ‘Azm ones. Abraham was a prophet but not an Imam until Allah said, ‘I want to appoint you as the Imam for people.’ He said, “Also, please (let there be more Imam), from my descendents,’ to which He said, ‘My covenant does not go to the unjust ones.’ (2:124) Those who have worshipped idols or statues will not become Imam.'”

 

H 431, Ch.2, h 2

 

I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah say, “Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, chose Abraham as a servant before choosing him as a prophet. Allah chose him as a prophet before choosing him as a messenger. Allah chose him as a messenger before choosing him as a friend. Allah chose him as a friend before choosing him as an Imam. When all of the above conditions accumulated in Abraham, Allah said, ‘I have certainly appointed you as the Imam for the people.’ To Abraham, to be an Imam was so great that he asked, “Can this Imamate (Leadership with Divine Authority) be placed in my descendents also?’ Allah said, ‘My covenant will not be made available to the unjust ones.’ (2:124) He said that the feeble-minded (the unjust ones) cannot become the leaders (the Imam) of the pious ones.”‘

 

H 432, Ch. 2, h 3

 

“I heard abu ‘Abd Allah say, ‘The leaders and masters of the prophets and the messengers are five who are called ‘Ulul ‘Azm (people with determination) among the messengers who have the central role. They are Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

 

H 433, Ch. 2, h 4

 

“I heard the Imam Abu Ja’far say, ‘Allah chose Abraham as a servant before He chose him as a prophet. He chose him as a prophet before He chose him as a messenger. He chose him as a messenger before He chose him as a friend. He chose him as a friend before He chose him as an Imam. When all of these conditions accumulated in him,” the Imam holding his hands said, ‘”Allah said, ‘O Ibrahim I have appointed you as the Imam (leader) of the people.’” The position was so great that Abraham then asked, ‘O Lord, can it be in my descendents also?’ The Lord said, ‘My covenant will not be made available to the unjust ones.’””

 

Chapter 3 – The Difference Among the Messengers, the Prophets and al-Muhaddath

 

H 434, Ch. 3. H 1

 

“Once I asked Abu Ja’far about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. He was a messenger, a prophet’ (19:51) what is a messenger and what is a prophet? The Imam said, ‘A prophet is one who sees things (matters of Divine guidance) in his dreams and hears the voice but does not see the angel. The messenger is one who hears the voice, in his dreams sees things (matters of Divine guidance) and sees the angel.” I then said. ‘What is the position of the Imam?” The Imam said, ‘He hears the voice but does not see and observe the angel.’ Then he recited the following verse of the Holy Quran. ‘Satan would try to tamper with the desires of every Prophet or Messenger or (Muhaddath) whom We sent…'” (22:52) (The Imam included the word Muhaddath in the above verse as his commentary.)

 

H 435, Ch. 3, h 2

 

“Once al-Hassan ibn al-‘Abbass al-Ma’rufi wrote to Imam al-Rida. ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, explain to me the difference between the messengers, the prophets and the Imam.’ The Imam said or wrote, ‘The difference between the messengers, the prophets and the Imam is that a messenger is one to whom Jibril (Gabriel) comes. He sees Jibril and hears his speech and Jibril (the angel) brings him (Divine) revelation and sometimes he may see in his dream something like the dream of Abraham (peace be upon him). A prophet is one who may hear the speech (of the angel) and may see (his) person and may not hear (him). The Imam is the one who hears the speech but does not see the person (of the angel).'”

 

H 436, Ch. 3, h 3

 

“I asked abu Ja’far, about the messenger, the prophet and al-Muhaddath (one to whom Divine guidance is conveyed). The Imam said, ‘A messenger is one to whom Jibril (Gabriel) comes openly. He sees him (the angel) and speaks to him. Such person is a messenger. A prophet is one who sees in his dream something like the dream of Abraham (peace be upon him). (Of such dreams) is the dream of the Messenger of Allah about reasons and signs of prophecy before the coming of revelation. (He would experience such dreams) until Jibril came from Allah to inform him that he was to be a messenger. In the case of Prophet Muhammad when prophecy was established in him, then Jibril brought him the message that he was to be a messenger. Jibril would come and speak to him openly. Certain prophets, in whom prophecy had been established, saw in their dreams, the spirit who would come to them, speak and report to them but they would not see the spirit when awake.

“Al-Muhaddath is one to whom matters of Divine guidance are reported and he hears the reporting but does not see (the angel) openly or in his dream.'”

 

H 437, Ch. 3, h 4

 

“I asked abu Ja’far and abu ‘Abd Allah about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, ‘Satan would try to tamper with the desires of every Prophet or Messenger or Muhaddath whom We sent. . .’ (22:52). I said, ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, we do not consider the word Muhaddath part of the verse of the Holy Quran. What then is the meaning of The Messenger, Prophet and Muhaddath. The Imam said, ‘A messenger is one to whom the angel comes openly and speaks to him. A prophet is one who sees (matters of Divine guidance) in his dreams. Sometimes prophecy and messengership may exist in one person. Al-Muhaddath is one who hears the voice but does not see the person (of the angel).’ I then asked, ‘May Allah keep you well, how can one know that what one sees in his dreams is true and that it is from the angel?’ The Imam said, ‘He receives help for success in knowing the angel. Allah has made your book to be the last book and your Prophet the last prophet.'”

 

Chapter 4 – Without the Imam Allah’s Holding People Accountable Remains Unjustified

 

H 438, Ch. 4, h 1

 

“Allah’s holding people as accountable remains unjustified without the Imam who would teach people about Him.”

 

H 439, Ch. 4, h 2

 

“I heard al-Rida say,  ‘Allah’s, the Majestic, the Glorious, holding people as accountable remains unjustified without the Imam to teach people about Him.'”

 

H 440, Ch. 4, h 3

 

“Allah’s holding people as accountable remains unjustified without the Imam who would teach people about Him.”

 

H 441, Ch. 4, h 4

 

“A person with Divine Authority is (a must to exist on earth) before the people, with the people and after the people.”

 

Chapter 5 – The Earth at No Time is Without a Person with Divine Authority

 

H 442, Ch. 5. h 1

 

“Once I asked abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Can there be a time on earth without Imam?” The Imam said, ‘No, it is not left without Imam.’ I asked, ‘Can there be two Imams at a time?” He said, ‘No, unless one is quiet (not active in the task of Imamate, the leadership).'”

 

 

H 443. Ch. 5, h 2

 

The earth is never left without an Imam so that if the believers add anything (to the laws of Shari’a) it is brought back (to the original form) and if they reduce anything it is completed for them.'”

 

 

H 444, Ch. 5, h 3

 

“The earth has never been left without a person with Divine Authority who can teach people about the lawful and the unlawful matters, and call them to the path of Allah.”

 

H 445, Ch. 5, h 4

 

‘Can the earth remain without an Imam?’ He (the Imam) said, ‘No, it is not left without the presence of the Imam.'”

 

H 446, Ch. 5, h 5

 

“Allah does not leave the earth without an ‘Alim (scholar). Without this (people) cannot distinguish truth from falsehood.”

 

H 447, Ch. 5, h 6

 

“Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, is Great and Majestic and it does not befit Him to leave the earth without an Imam of justice.”

 

H 448, Ch. 5, h 7

 

“Ali ibn abu Talib, has said, ‘O Lord, You do not leave Your earth without a person who can represent Your authority among the people.'”

 

H 449, Ch. 5, h 8

 

“I swear by Allah that Allah has not, from the day Adam died, left the earth without an Imam who could serve as the source of guidance for the people toward Allah. He had Divine Authority over the servants of the Lord. The earth will never be left without an Imam with Divine Authority over His servants.”

 

H 450, Ch. 5, h 9

 

“The earth is never left without a person with Divine Authority, and I swear to Allah that I am the person with Divine Authority.”

 

H 451, Ch. 5, h 10

 

“Once I asked abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Can the earth be left without the Imam?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘Were it to remain without the Imam it would obliterate its inhabitants.’”

 

H 452, Ch. 5, h 11

 

“Once I asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida, ‘Can the earth remain without an Imam?” He replied, ‘No, it will not remain so.’ I then said. ‘We narrate from Imam abu ‘Abd Allah that the earth will not remain without an Imam unless Allah, the Most High, becomes extremely angry with the people of the earth or with His servants.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘In such condition it will not remain but it will obliterate its inhabitants.’”

 

H 453, Ch. 5, h 12

 

‘”Were the Imam taken away from the earth, even for one hour, it would twirl against its inhabitants just like the ocean that might twirl with its inhabitants.”

 

H 454, Ch.5, h 13

 

“Once I asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida, ‘Can the earth remain without an Imam?” He (the Imam) replied, ‘No, it will not remain so.” I said, ‘We narrate that it will not remain without the Imam unless Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, becomes angry with the people.’ The Imam said, in such condition it will not remain but it will obliterate its inhabitants.'”

 

Chapter 6 – Divine Authority is Ever-Present.  Even if only two people may remain on earth, one of them is certainly the Imam (the Person with Divine Authority)

 

H 455, Ch. 6, h 1

 

“Once I heard abu ‘Abd Allah say, ‘If there remains no one on earth except two persons, one of them is certainly the person with Divine Authority.”

 

H 456, Ch. 6, h 2

 

“Were there to remain only two people on earth one of them would be the person with Divine Authority over the other.”

 

H 457, Ch. 6, h 3

 

“If of all the people, there will remain only two men, one of them will be the Imam. He also said, “The last person to die will be the Imam, so that no one can complain against Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, because of leaving him without an Imam (the person with Divine Authority over him).'”

 

H 458, Ch. 6, h 4

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah say, ‘Were there to remain on earth no one except two people, one of them would be the person with Divine Authority or the second one would be the person with Divine Authority.’ (Uncertainty is from the narrator.)”

 

H 459, Ch. 6, h 5

 

“I heard the Imam say, ‘Were there to remain no one except two people, one of them would certainly be the Imam.'”

 

Chapter 7 – Recognizing the Imam and Belief in His Divine Authority

 

H 460, Ch. 7, h 1

 

“Abu Ja’far has said, ‘Only those who know Allah worship Him. Those who do not know Allah they worship Him just like that in misguidance.’ I then asked, “May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, what is the knowledge about Allah?’ The Imam said, ‘Knowledge about Allah means to acknowledge the existence of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, to acknowledge His messenger and to love Imam Ali ibn abu Talib. Of such knowledge is to follow him and A’immah (plural of Imam) of guidance and to denounce before Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, their enemies. This is how Allah, the Most Glorious, the Most Majestic, is recognized.'”

 

H 461, Ch. 7, h 2

 

“The Imam has said, ‘One will not be considered a Mu’min (believing person) until he knows Allah, His Messenger and A ‘immah (plural of Imam) and the Imam of one’s time, acknowledges his Divine Authority and submits his affairs to the Imam. He then said, ‘How can one know the last one if he is ignorant of the first one (Imam)?”

 

H 462, Ch. 7, h 3

 

“Once I said to Abu Jafar, ‘Is recognizing the Imam from among you obligatory on all creatures?” The Imam said, ‘Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, sent Muhammad to all people as His Messenger and as His authority over all creatures on earth. Those who believe in Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger and who have followed him and acknowledged his message, on such people it is obligatory to recognize the Imam from us. Those who do not believe in Allah and in His messenger and who do not follow him and do not acknowledge him knowing about the rights of Allah and His messenger, then how can recognition of the Imam be obligatory on them? They do not believe in Allah and in His messenger, do not follow him while they know about their rights.’

“I then asked, ‘What do you say about those who believe in Allah and His messenger, who acknowledge His messenger in all the matters that Allah has sent, is it obligatory for them to recognize the Imam from you?” The Imam said, ‘Yes, it is obligatory. Do they not recognize so and so?’ I said, ‘Yes they do.” The Imam then said, ‘Do you think Allah is the one who has placed such recognition (of so and so) in their hearts? I swear by Allah that no one other than Satan has placed such recognition in their hearts. I swear by Allah that no one other than Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has inspired the hearts of the believers with (the recognition of) our rights.”‘

 

H 463, Ch. 7, h 4

 

“I heard Imam Abu Jafar say, ‘Only those people recognize Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and worship Him, who recognize Him and recognize their Imam from the family of the Holy Prophet. Those who do not recognize Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and do not recognize the Imam from us {Ahlul Bayt, family of the Holy Prophet), such people only recognize and worship something other than Allah just like that in error, I swear by Allah.’

 

 

H 464, Ch.7, h 5

 

Ali ibn abu Talib was the Imam, after him al-Hassan was the Imam, after him al-Husayn was the Imam, after him Ali ibn Al-Husayn was the Imam and after him Muhammad ibn Ali was the Imam. One who denies this, it is as if he has denied the existence of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and the truthfulness of the Messenger of Allah. “I asked, ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, are you then the Imam? I repeated it three times.’ He (the Imam) said, I only said it to you so that you will be of the witnesses before Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, on His earth.'”‘

 

H 465, Ch. 7, h 6

 

“You will not be of the people of good deeds until you know and recognize. You will not know and recognize until you acknowledge. You will not acknowledge until you safeguard all the four doors (being of good deeds, recognition, acknowledgement, acceptance and safeguarding) and the first of these doors will not do any good without the last. The people of the three strayed far away from the (right) path. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, accepts only the righteous deeds. Allah does not accept anything without one’s fulfilling the conditions of the covenant. Those who remain faithful to Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, about His condition of covenant and follow what is prescribed in the covenant they will receive blessings from Him and He will keep His promise.

“Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has informed the people of the path of guidance and has sanctioned for them the laws of Shari’a as beacons. He has informed them how to follow the laws. He has said, ‘I am All-forgiving to the righteously striving believers who repent and follow the right guidance.’ (20:82) “Allah only accepts the offerings of the pious ones.’ (5:27)

“Those who are pious before Allah about His commandments meet Allah as believers in whatever Prophet Muhammad has brought to them from Allah. It is unfortunate that people died before finding guidance. They thought that they were believers but they became polytheists without realizing it.

“Those who enter the house through the door they are rightly guided. Those who go on other ways are on the path to destruction. Allah has connected the obedience to the people who possess Divine Authority with the obedience to His Messenger and the obedience to His Messenger with the obedience to His Own Self. Those who disregard the obedience to the people who possess Divine Authority they have not obeyed Allah and His Messenger. This obedience is the acknowledgment of what Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, ‘Children of Adam, be well dressed with means of beauty near every mosque . . .’ (7:31) that, ‘ . . . you should enter the doors of the houses that Allah has given permission to be uplifted wherein His name is mentioned . . .’ Allah has certainly informed you that, . . . (24:36), ‘There are certain men whose attentions and minds do not deviate from speaking about Allah, prayer and paying charity because of business and trade attractions. They only fear the Day in which the hearts and eyes turn upside down.’ (24:37)

“Allah has appointed the messengers for His commands. He then chose them and such choice is verified in His warning that says, ‘No nation who lived before was left without a Warner…’ (35:25) Those who are ignorant stray. Those who think and understand are finders of the right guidance. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, ‘It is their hearts in the center which are blind, not their eyes.’ (22:46) How can one who does not see (think) find guidance and how can one understand without thinking? Follow the Messenger of Allah and his Ahlul Bayt (family): acknowledge what Allah has sent and follow the traces of guidance. They Ahlul Bayt, are the signs of trust and piety. Take proper notice of the fact that if a person would deny Jesus, the son of Mary (peace be upon her) and acknowledge all the other prophets, such person would not be considered a believer. Follow the path by the help of the lighthouses and follow the signs from behind the barriers. Try to perfect the matters of your religion and believe in Allah, your Lord.'”

 

H 466, Ch. 7, h 7

 

“Allah did not want to permit things to work without their means and reasons. For everything He made a cause, for every cause an explanation, for every explanation a science, for every science a speaking (door) chapter. Certain people recognize and know it (the door) and certain others do not recognize it. It (the door and chapter) is the messengers of Allah and we (Ahlul-Bayt).n

 

H 467, Ch. 7, h 8

 

“I heard Abu Jafar saying, ‘Whoever worships Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, with the expectation for reward, and works hard but without having an Imam for himself, his efforts will not find acceptance. Such person is lost and is straying and Allah dislikes his deeds. The example of such person is like that of a lost sheep who strays away from the herd. She wanders around during the day and at nightfall she finds a different flock of sheep with a shepherd and she gladly and affectionately joins it thinking it to be like her own flock. She passes the night in their barn but in the morning when the shepherd allows the flock to go out she does not recognize her flock and the shepherd, and begins to wander in search for her own flock and shepherd. She finds a flock and a shepherd, rushes to the flock with great interest but the shepherd shouts. ‘Go to your own flock and shepherd; you are lost and wandering.’ She then runs back and forth, lost and wandering without a shepherd to show her the grazing areas and the barn. At such time a wolf seizes the opportunity and kills her for food. Just the same is the case, by Allah, O Muhammad, of those people of this ‘Ummah (nation) who have no Imam from Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, who is in public and possesses the noble quality of justice. Such people are lost and straying. If such people in such a condition die, their death will be like that of an unbeliever and hypocrite. O Muhammad, take notice that all unjust Imams and their followers are far away from the religion of Allah. They have lost the right path and have misled the others. Their deeds are like dust blown away by the wind on a stormy day. They will remain helpless and unable to benefit from their deeds. Such is straying far away from the right path.'”

 

H 468, Ch. 7, h 9

 

“0 Amir al-Mu’minin, (what do you say) about: ‘There will be people on the Heights who know everyone by their faces….’ (7:46) The Imam said, ‘We will be on the Heights. We will recognize our supporters from their faces. We are the Heights. Without knowing and recognizing us there is no other way to know Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. We are the Heights that Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, on the Day of Judgment will make known to everyone on the bridge. No one will enter paradise without recognizing us and our recognition of them. No one will enter hell except those who do not recognize us and whom we will ignore.’

“If Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, wants to permit people to know Him He may do so but He has made us the doors to knowing Him, the bridge, the path and the aspect to Him. Whoever deviates from our authority and guardianship or considers others more excellent than us, such people will fall down off the bridge. People are not the same in following guidance.

“People who have found the sparkling fountains are not equal with those who have gathered around polluted waters that fall over one another. These (the latter group of) people are not equal with those who have found the sparkling fountains that flow by the order of the Lord ceaselessly and without reduction.”

 

H 469, Ch. 7, h 10

 

“O abu Hamza, when one of you decides to travel for just a few miles first he finds for himself a guide and direction. Your ignorance of the paths of the heavens is much more than your ignorance of the paths of earth. You must find a guide for yourself.”

 

H 470, Ch. 7, h 11

 

“About the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘Whoever is given wisdom has received a great deal of goodness.’ (2:273) Abu ‘Abd Allah said, it means obedience to Allah and recognition as to who one’s Imam is.'”

 

H 471, Ch. 7, h 12

 

“The Imam asked, ‘Have you found out who your Imam is?” I said, ‘Yes, I swear by Allah, I did so before I left Kufa.’ The Imam said, ‘Then it is sufficient for you.”

 

H 472, Ch. 7, h 13

 

“About the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High that say, ‘Can the dead to whom We have given life and light so that they may walk among the people, be considered equal to those who can never come out of darkness?’ (6:122) The Imam said, the “dead” mentioned in the above verse, do not understand anything. On the other hand, “The light by the help of which they walk” mentioned in the above verse stands for the Imam that they follow. The phrase “Be considered equal to those who can never come out of darkness” applies to those who do not know who their Imam is.””

 

H 473, Ch. 7, h 14

 

“Imam Abu Jafar has said, ‘Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Jadali once came to Amir al-Mu’minin and Amir al-Mu’minin said to him, ‘O abu ‘Abd Allah may I say something to you about the words of Allah. “Whoever does a good deed will receive a better reward than what he has done. He will be secure from the horror of the Day of Judgment (27:89). Those who commit evil will be thrown headlong into hell fire. (It will be said to them) can you expect any recompense other than what you deserve for your deeds?'” (27:90) The man said, ‘Yes, O Amir al-Mu’minin, please tell me, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause.” (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali, said, ‘A “good deed” means to acknowledge our Divine Authority and have our love in one’s heart. “Evil” means denying our Divine Authority and harboring in one’s heart hatred toward us, (Ahl al-Bayt).’ Amir al-Mu’minin then read the (above) verses to him.”

 

Chapter 8 – The Obligation to Obey ‘A’immah,  (plural of Imam)

 

H 474, Ch. 8, h 1

 

“The topmost matter (in religion), the most noble, the key issue, the gateway to all affairs and the pleasure of the Most Beneficent, the Most Holy, the Most High, is obedience to the Imam after finding out who he (the Imam) is.” The Imam, then said, ‘Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, “One who obeys the Messenger has certainly obeyed Allah. You have not been sent to watch over those who turn away from you. (4:80)”‘

 

H 475, Ch. 8, h 2

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah saying, ‘I testify that Amir al-Mu’minin, is the Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, that al-Hassan, is the Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, that al-Husayn, is the Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, that Ali ibn al-Husayn, is the Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, and that Muhammad ibn Ali (al-Baqir) is the Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah.'”

 

H 476, Ch. 8, h 3

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah saying, ‘We are the people obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, and the ‘A’immah you follow are such that people’s responsibility to obey them does not cease because of people’s ignorance and not knowing them.'”

 

H 477, Ch. 8, h 4

 

“Once the Imam said, ‘The words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, “We gave them a great kingdom,” (4:58) ‘great kingdom’ stands for people’s obligation to obey them.'”

 

H 478, Ch. 8, h 5

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah saying, ‘Of the matters common among the successors (executors of the wills) and the messengers themselves, one is the obligation to obey all of them.'”

 

H 479, Ch. 8, h 6

 

“We are a people obedience to whom is obligatory by the command of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. The Anfal (twenty percent in tax) is for us and we have been given the authority to choose the best out of the property seized from the enemy. We are the people very firmly established in knowledge. We are the ‘Certain people’ who are considered as subject to envy and the jealousy of people in the following verse of the Holy Quran, ‘Are they jealous of the favors that Allah has done for certain people? …'” (4:54)

 

H 480, Ch. 8, h 7

 

“Once I mentioned to Imam abu ‘Abd Allah, our expression about the successors (of the prophets) ‘Obedience to them is obligatory’, he (the Imam) said, ‘It is very true; they are the people about whom Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, “Believers, obey Allah, His Messenger, and your ‘Ulu al-‘Amr (Leaders who possess Divine Authority). . . .” (4:59) It is they about whom Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has also said, ‘Only Allah, His Messenger and the true believers who are steadfast in prayer and pay alms, while they kneel during prayer, are your guardians.'” (5:55)

 

H 481, Ch. 8, h 8

 

“Once a man from Persia asked Imam abu al-Hassan, ‘Is obedience to you obligatory?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘Yes, it is obligatory.’ The man then asked, ‘Is it in the same way as obedience to (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali ibn abuTalib?’ He (the Imam) replied, ‘Yes, it is obligatory in the same way.'”

 

H 482, Ch. 8, h 9

 

“Once I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah about ‘A’immah (plural of Imam): whether in the matters of the obligation of obedience to them they are all the same or different. He (the Imam) replied, ‘Yes, they are all the same.”

 

H 483, Ch. 8, h 10

 

“Once I was in the presence of Imam al-Rida in Khurasan with a group of Hashimite people among whom was Ishaq ibn Musa ibn ‘Isa from the Abbasids. He (the Imam) said to Ishaq, ‘I hear that people say we think they are our slaves. I swear upon my close relation with the Messenger of Allah that I have never said such a thing. I have never heard any such thing from my father and grandfather; neither I have received any such report from my (holy and noble) ancestors who may have said any such thing. But I must say that people are our slaves in the matters of obedience to us. They are our friends in religion. Those present here must tell this to those who are not present here.'”

 

H 484, Ch.8, h 11

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah say, ‘We are the ones obedience to whom is obligatory by the commands of Allah. People have no other choice except to recognize us. They will not be excused for not recognizing us. Those who recognize us are the true believers; and those who refuse to acknowledge our Divine Authority are unbelievers. Those who do not recognize us and reject us are straying and lost, until they return to guidance and affirm the fact that Allah has made obedience to us obligatory. However, if they die in their straying condition, Allah will deal with them the way he would will.'”

 

H 485, Ch. 8, h 12

 

“Once I asked him (the Imam), ‘What is the best thing that can take people closer to Allah?’ He (the Imam) said, ‘Of the matters that can take people closer to Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, the best one is to obey Him, His messenger and those who possess Divine Authority.‘ Imam abu Ja’far has said, ‘To love us is belief and to harbor hatred toward us is disbelief.'”

 

H 486, Ch. 8, h 13

 

“Once I asked Imam abu Ja’far, ‘May I state before you my religion and belief in Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High?’ He (the Imam) said, ‘Say it and allow us to hear.’ I said, ‘I testify that no one deserves to be worshipped and obeyed except Allah, Who is One and has no partner. I testify that Muhammad is the servant and messenger of Allah. I acknowledge the faith of all that he has brought from Allah. I testify that Imam Ali was the Imam and obedience to him was and is obligatory by the command of Allah, after him al-Hassan was the Imam, obedience to whom was and is obligatory by the command of Allah, after him al-Husayn was the Imam, obedience to whom was and is obligatory by the command of Allah, and after him Ali ibn al-Husayn was the Imam, obedience to whom was and is obligatory by the command of Allah’. I continued until it was the turn for him and I said, ‘Then you yourself, may Allah have you in His blessings, are such Imam.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘This is the religion that belongs to Allah and it is the religion of His angels.'”

 

H 487, Ch. 8, h 14

 

The following from (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali, “You must note that to establish companionship with the scholar and to follow him is a religion on account of which Allah will grant rewards. Obedience to the scholar is the means to gain goodness and to wipe out evil deeds. It is the most valuable treasure for the believers. It is a dignifying progress in their lifetime, and after their death people will speak of him with praise and virtue because of it.”

 

H 488, Ch. 8, h 15

 

“Once I said to Imam abu ‘Abd Allah, Allah is by far the Most Holy, the Most High to be recognized through His creatures. In fact, it is the creatures that are recognized through Allah.’ The Imam said, ‘What you have said is very true.’ I then said, ‘One who acknowledges that he has a Creator, he must also acknowledge that his Creator likes certain things and is displeased with certain other things. He must acknowledge that the only way to know what pleases the Creator and what displeases Him is through Divine revelation of the messengers. One who does not receive Divine revelation must find the messengers, and when one finds the messengers one learns that they are the Divine Authorities and obedience to them is obligatory.’

“I say it to people, ‘Do you not acknowledge that the Messenger of Allah possessed Divine Authority from Allah over His creatures?’ They say, ‘Yes, it is true.” I then say to them, ‘When the Holy Prophet left this world, who possessed Divine Authority over the people?’ They say, ‘The Holy Quran.’ I then looked in (matters of) the Holy Quran and I found out that all kinds of people consider this Holy Book as the basis for their beliefs. The group called al-Murji’a considers it as the basis for whatever they believe. Those who believe in predestination also consider this Holy Book as the basis for whatever they believe in. Even the atheists who do not believe in it at all refer to this Holy Book to defeat others. This proves that the Holy Quran cannot be considered a Divine Authority without a guardian whose words (of explanation) about the Holy Quran are the true ones. I then ask them, ‘Who is the guardian of the Holy Quran?’ They reply, ‘Ibn Mas’ud knew the Quran, ‘Umar knew the Quran, Hudhayfa knew the Quran.’ I then ask them, ‘Did these people know all of the Quran?” They said, ‘No, they did not know all of the Quran.”

‘I do not find anyone who can say that he knows all of the Quran. The only one who says that he knows all of the Quran is Ali ibn abu Talib. If any question arose in these people, that one would say, I do not know.’ The other one would say, I do not know,’ and so on except Ali ibn abuTalib, who would say, I know.’ That gives enough proof to say that Ali was the guardian of the Holy Quran. Obedience to Ali ibn abu Talib was obligatory by the command of Allah and he possessed Divine Authority over the people after the Messenger of Allah. Whatever Ali ibn abu Talib said about the Holy Quran is true.

“The Imam said, ‘May Allah’s blessings be with you.’ I then said, ‘Imam Ali did not leave this world without introducing the person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after him, just as the Messenger of Allah had done. The person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after Imam Ali was al-Hassan ibn Ali. I testify that Imam al-Hassan also did not leave this world without introducing the person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after him, just as his father and grandfather had done. The person who after Imam al-Hassan possessed Divine Authority over the people was Imam al-Husayn. Obedience to him was obligatory by the command of Allah.’

“The Imam said, ‘May Allah’s blessings be with you.’ I then kissed his head and said, ‘I testify that Imam al-Husayn did not leave this world without introducing the person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after him. That person was Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn, obedience to whom was obligatory by the command of Allah.’

“He (the Imam) said, ‘May Allah’s blessings be with you.’ I then kissed his head and said, I testify that Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn did not leave this world without introducing the person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after him. That person was Imam abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali, obedience to whom was obligatory by the command of Allah.’

“The Imam said, ‘May Allah’s blessings be with you.’ I then said, ‘Please let me kiss your head again.’ The Imam smiled. I then said, ‘May Allah grant you success. I know that your Holy father did not leave this world without introducing the person who possessed Divine Authority over the people after him just as his father had done. I testify that you are the person who possesses Divine Authority over the people after your Holy father and that obedience to you is obligatory by the command of Allah.’

“The Imam said, ‘It is true enough, He (the Imam) said, ‘May Allah’s blessings be with you.’ I then asked for his permission to kiss his head and the Imam smiled. I kissed his head. The Imam then said, ‘Ask whatever you want. I, from this day on, will never deny you anything.'”

 

H 489, Ch. 8, h 16

 

“Once I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Is obedience to the successors (of the Holy Prophet) obligatory?’ He (the Imam) said, ‘Yes, it is. They are those about whom Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, ‘Believers, obey Allah, His Messenger, and your leaders who possess (Divine) Authority . . .’ (4:59) It is they about whom Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, ‘Only Allah, His Messenger, and the true believers who are steadfast in prayer and pay alms, while they kneel during prayer, are your guardians.'” (5:55)

 

H 490, Ch.8, h 17

 

“I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah saying, ‘Listening and obeying are the gates to goodness. One who listens and is obedient has all the authority in his favor. One who listens but disobeys will have no authority in his favor. The leader, the Imam of the Muslims, on the Day of Judgment, in the presence of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, will have complete authoritative support and rightful arguments in his favor against disobedient people.’ He (the Imam) then said, ‘Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, says, ‘On the day when We call every nation with their Imam (leaders) . . .'” (17:71)

 

Chapter 9 – ‘A’immah (Plural of Imam) Are Witnesses for Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, Over His Creatures

 

H 491, Ch. 9, h 1

 

“About the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, in the Holy Quran, ‘How will it be when We call for a witness from every nation and have you (Muhammad) testify against them all?’ (4:41) Imam abu ‘Abd Allah has said, ‘This verse was revealed about the followers of Prophet Muhammad in particular. In every generation of these people there will be an Imam from our family who would bear witness over their activities, and Prophet Muhammad himself will bear witness over us.'”

 

H 492, Ch. 9, h 2

 

“Once I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘We have made you (true Muslims) a moderate nation so that you could be witness (an example)…’ (2:143) The Imam said, ‘We are the moderate nation and we bear witness to the activities of the people for Allah and we possess Divine Authority on earth.’ I then asked about the meaning of the following words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘. . . the noble religion of your father Abraham, Allah named you Muslims before and in this Book, so that the Messenger will witness (your actions) . . .’ (22:78) The Imam said, ‘The noble religion of your father Abraham” in the above verse refers to us particularly. The phrase, “Allah named you Muslims” means He has named us Muslims. The word “Before” refers to the heavenly books that were sent before and the phrase “as well as this Book” refers to the Holy Quran. The expression “The messenger of Allah witness” means that he bears witness over us by means of teaching us the guidance of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, and we bear witness over the people. Those who acknowledge our authority, we, on the Day of Judgment, will acknowledge their belief, and those who reject our Divine Authority, we, on the Day of Judgment, will refuse to acknowledge their belief.'”

 

H 493, Ch. 9, h 3

 

“I asked Imam abu al-Hassan about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, ‘Should they be compared with those whose Lord has given them a guidance which is testified by a witness from among their own people …’ (11:17) He (the Imam) said, it refers to (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali who testified to support the Messenger of Allah and the Messenger of Allah has supporting evidence from his Lord.'”

 

H 494, Ch. 9, h 4

 

“Once I asked Imam abu Ja’far about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, ‘We have made you (true Muslims) a moderate nation so that you would be witness (an example) for all people and the Messenger of Allah a witness (an example) for you . . .’ (2:143) He (the Imam) said, ‘We are the moderate nation and we are the witness for Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, over the activities of His creatures and possess His Authority on earth.’

“I then asked about the meaning of the following words of Allah that say, ‘Believers, worship your Lord, bow down and prostrate yourselves before Him and do virtuous deeds so that perhaps you will have everlasting happiness. (22:77) Strive steadfastly for the cause of Allah. He has chosen you but has not imposed on you hardship in your religion, the noble religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you Muslims before and in this Book, so that the Messenger will witness (your actions) and you will be the witness over mankind. . . .’ (22:78) He (the Imam) said, ‘The phrase “He has chosen you” refers to us and we are the chosen ones. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has not sanctioned anything in religion that is a ‘constraint’ upon the people. Al-Haraj “Hardship” mentioned in the above verse is more serious than al-Diyq (constraint) as Allah has said, “… But has not imposed on you “hardships in your religion” … (22:78) The Imam then said the expression: “Religion of your father” also is a reference to us. Allah has called us, specially, as Muslims in the heavenly books that were revealed before and in this Holy Book (the Holy Quran). The messenger of Allah has testified in our favor by conveying the message of Allah, the Most Holy, and the Most High. We bear witness to the activities of the people and on the Day of Judgment certify the belief of those who have acknowledged our Divine Authority and reject those who have rejected our Divine Authority.”

 

H 495, Ch. 9, h 5

 

“Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, cleansed us, granted us protection against sins, made us to bear witness to the activities of His creatures and granted us Divine Authority on His earth. He made us to be with the Holy Quran and the Holy Quran to be with us. We do not depart the Holy Quran and the Holy Quran does not depart us.”

 

Chapter 10 – They (‘A’immah) (Plural of Imam) Are the Only True Guides

 

H 496, Ch. 10, h 1

 

“Once I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘For every nation there is a guide.’ (13:7) He (the Imam) said, ‘Every Imam is the guide in his own century (time).”

 

H 497, Ch. 10, h 2

 

“About the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘(Muhammad), you are only a Warner. For every nation there is a guide. (13:7) Imam abu Ja’far has said, ‘The messenger of Allah is the Warner. At all times there is a guide from us who guides people to the teachings of the Holy Prophet. Of the guides who possess Divine Authority after the Holy Prophet is Amir al-Mu”minin, Ali, and his successors one after the other.”

 

H 498, Ch. 10, h 3

 

“Once I asked Imam abu ‘Abd Allah about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘(Muhammad), you are only a Warner. For every nation there is a guide.” (13:7) The Imam said, ‘The messenger of Allah is the Warner and (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali is the guide; O abu Muhammad, is there a guide today?’ I said, ‘Yes, may Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, there has always been a guide one after the other until this (noble task) is being carried on by your own self.’

‘The Imam said, ‘O abu Muhammad, may Allah grant you blessings. If a verse (guidance) comes to a man who then dies with his death the verse (guidance) also dies. Even the whole Book dies. (In our case) it (guidance) lives and it continues with new generations as it has done so with the people in the past.'”

 

H 499, Ch. 10, h 4

 

“I asked Imam Abu Ja’far about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, ‘. . . For every nation there is a guide.’ (13:7) The Imam said, ‘The messenger of Allah is the Warner and (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali is the guide. I swear by Allah, that guidance (and Leadership with Divine Authority) never departed us, it is with us and will always be with us until the Day of Judgment.'”

 

Chapter 11 – ‘A’immah, Possess Divine Authority and the Treasure of Divine Knowledge

 

H 500, Ch. 11, h 1

 

I heard Imam abu ‘Abd Allah saying, ‘We are the ones who possess Divine Authority in the matters of the command of Allah, we are the treasurers of the knowledge of Allah and the repository of the revelations of Allah.”‘

 

H 501, Ch. 11, h 2

 

‘”Once Imam Abu Ja’far said to me, ‘I swear by Allah that we are the treasurers of Allah in His heavens and on His earth, not the treasurers of gold or the treasurers of silver but the treasurers of His knowledge.'”

 

H 502, Ch.11, h 3

 

“I asked Imam Abu Ja’far saying, ‘May Allah keep my soul in service for your cause, what are you?’ The Imam said, ‘We are the treasurers of the knowledge of Allah. We are the translators of the revelations of Allah. We possess well preached Divine Authority over all that is under the heavens and those on the earth.”‘

 

H 503, Ch. 11, h 4

 

“I heard Imam Abu Ja’far saying, ‘The messenger of Allah has said that Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has said, “My Authority is completely established among the unfortunate ones of your followers. Those who refuse to acknowledge the Divine Authority of (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali and his successors, (they have rejected My Authority). With (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali and his successors there are your traditions and the traditions of the prophets before you. They (Ali and his successors) are the treasurers of My knowledge after you.'” The Messenger of Allah then said, ‘Jibril (Gabriel) has informed me of the names of the successors of (Amir al-Mu’minin) Ali and the names of their fathers.”‘

 

H 504, Ch. 11, h 5

 

“Once abu ‘Abd Allah said to me, ‘O ibn abu Ya’fur, Allah is One and is the only One in His Oneness. He alone issues His command. He created a creature and appointed and measured it for that command (Amr. task). We, O ibn abu Ya’fur are that creature. We are the Authority of Allah over His creatures, the treasurers and guardians of His knowledge.”

 

H 505, Ch. 11, h 6

 

“Abu ‘Abd Allah has said, ‘Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, created us and He made our creation the best. He formed us and made our form the best. He made us the treasurers of His heavens and His earth. For us the tree spoke and with our worship Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, is worshipped. Had we not been in existence Allah would not have been worshipped.’”

 

Chapter 12 – ‘A’immah Are the Deputies of Allah On Earth. ‘A’immah are the deputies of Allah the Most Holy, the Most High, on earth and the gates through which people become nearer to Allah.

 

H 506, Ch. 12, h 1

 

‘”I heard abu al-Hassan al-Rida say, ”A’immah are the deputies of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, on His earth.”‘

 

H 507, Ch. 12, h 2

 

“’The successors (of the Holy Prophet) are the gates to Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, through which people go to Him. Had they not existed, Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, would not have been recognized. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, will present these successors as evidence against His creatures to support His religion.”‘

 

H 508, Ch. 12, h 3

 

“I asked abu ‘Abd Allah about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, ‘Allah has promised the righteously striving believers to appoint them as His deputies on earth, as He had appointed those who lived before . . .’ (24:55) He (the Imam) said, ‘The people referred to in this verse are ‘A ‘immah.”

 

Chapter 13 – ‘A’immah (Plural of Imam) Are the Light of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High

 

H 509, Ch. 13, h 1

 

“I asked (Imam) Abu Ja’far about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Majestic, the Gracious, ‘Those who believe in Allah and His messenger and follow the light which is sent down. . . .’ (64:8)

“He (the Imam) said, “0 Abu Khalid, I swear by Allah, it is ‘A ‘immah from the family of the Holy Prophet up to the Day of Judgment who are called light in the above verse. They, I swear by Allah, are the light of Allah whom He sent down. It is they, I swear by Allah, who are the light of Allah in the heavens and in the earth. O abu Khalid, I swear by Allah, that the light of Imam in the hearts of the believers is brighter than the light of the sun in the midday. They, I swear by Allah, give light to the hearts of the true believers and Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, may block such light from reaching the hearts of whoever He may will, thus their hearts remain dark. O abu Khalid, no one believes in our Divine Authority except that Allah cleanses his heart. Allah will not cleanse the heart of a person until he or she will acknowledge our Divine Authority and live in peace with us. When one lives in peace with us Allah will safeguard him against the severity of the Day of Reckoning and grant him security against the great horror on the Day of Judgment.'”

 

H 510, Ch. 13, h 2

 

“There are those who follow the Messenger, the illiterate Prophet (not conventionally educated), whose description they find written in the Torah and the Gospel. [He (the Messenger) enjoins them to do good and forbids them to do all that is unlawful, makes lawful for them all that is pure and makes unlawful all that is filthy, removes their burdens and the entanglements in which they are involved]. Those who believe in him, honor and help him, and follow the light which is sent down to him, will have everlasting happiness.” (7:157) The Imam said, ‘It is Ali (Amir al-Muminin) and ‘A’imniah (plural of Imam) after him who are called light” in the above verse of the Holy Quran.'”

 

H 511, Ch. 13, h 3

 

“Once I said to (Imam) Abu Ja’far, Allah has given a great deal of good to the people of the heavenly books.” He (the Imam) then asked, ‘What is it?’ I then said it is said in the words of Allah, “Of those to whom We have given the book before him (Prophet Muhammad) they believe in him . . . These will receive double reward for their forbearance. . . .” (28:54)   “He (the Imam) said, ‘Allah has given you also a great deal of good as He has given to them,” and he recited, ‘Believers, have fear of Allah and believe in His Messenger. Allah will grant you a double share of mercy, a light by which you can walk …’ (57:28) The ‘light’ mentioned in this verse stands for the Imam whom you follow.'”

 

H 512, Ch. 13, h 4

 

“Once I asked (Imam) Abu Ja’far about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, in the following verse of the Holy Quran, ‘Those who believe in Allah and His messenger and follow the light which is sent down, . . .’ (64:8) He (the Imam) said, ‘0 abu Khalid, the ‘light’ in this verse, I swear by Allah, stands for A‘immah (plural of Imam). O abu Khalid the light of the Imam in the hearts of the true believers is brighter than the light of the sun in midday. It is they who brighten the hearts of the true believers, and Allah withholds their light from reaching whomever He wills not to reach, thus their hearts become dark and Allah covers them with darkness.'”

 

H 513, Ch. 13, h 5

 

“Abu ‘Abd Allah has said the following about the statement of Allah, the Most High, ‘Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. A metaphor for His light is a lantern in which there is a lamp placed in a glass. The glass is like a shining star, which is lit from a blessed olive tree that is neither eastern nor western. Its oil almost lights up even though the fire has not touched it. It is light upon light. Allah guides to His light whoever He wants. Allah uses various metaphors. He has the knowledge of all things.’ (24:35) The Imam said, “Lantern” metaphorically stands for the Holy lady Fatimah, the “Lamp” stands for Imam al-Hassan, and “the glass” stands for Imam al-Husayn, “The shining star” stands for the Holy lady Fatimah who shines among the ladies of the world. “The blessed olive tree” stands for Prophet Abraham. “Neither eastern nor western” means neither Jewish nor Christian. The expression: “Its oil almost lights up” means that it almost bursts up with knowledge. “Light upon light” means that there will be one Imam after the other Imam, “Allah guides to His light whoever He wants” means that Allah guides through the ‘A’immah (plural of Imam) whoever He wants.’ About the expression, “Allah uses various metaphors” I then recited the following verse of the Holy Quran: “Or they (the deeds of the unbelievers) are like the darkness of a deep, stormy sea with layers of giant waves, covered by dark clouds.  It is darkness upon darkness whereby even if one stretches out his hands he cannot see them. One can have no light unless Allah gives him light.’ (24:40)

“The Imam said, ‘The word “Darkness” refers to the first and his friend, the expression “With layers of giant waves” refers to the third, and the expression “Covered with darkness” refers to the second. The words “It is darkness upon darkness” refer to Mu’awiya (may Allah condemn him) and the disasters caused by the Ummayids. The phrase “Even if one stretches out his hands” means that even if a true believer stretches out his hands in such disastrous condition “he cannot see them.” The statement “One can have no light unless Allah gives him light” stands for the light from the children of the Holy lady Fatimah. The phrase “Can have no light” means an Imam on the Day of Judgment. The Imam said that, ‘On the Day of Judgment you will see the believers with their light shining in front of them and to their right. They will be told, ‘Paradise wherein streams flow is the glad news for you today, you will live therein forever, this is the greatest triumph.’ (57:12) The phrase “The shining light in front…” is a reference to the Imam who will walk in front and on the right of the true believers until they all enter paradise.'”

 

H 514, Ch. 13, h 6

 

“Once I asked abu al-Hassan about the meaning of the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, in the following verse of the Holy Quran, ‘They want to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will certainly make His light shine forever, even though the unbelievers may dislike this.’ (61:8) He (the Imam) said, ‘They want to put out the Divine Authority of Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) with their mouths. However, the expression “Allah completes His light” stands for the Imam as mentioned in the following verse ‘Those who believe in Allah, His messenger and follow the light which is sent down . . .’ (64:8) ‘The light” stands for Imam.‘”

 

Chapter 14 – ‘A’immah Are as the Cornerstone of Earth

 

H 515, Ch. 14, h 1

 

“Whatever Imam Ali has brought I follow it entirely and whatever he has forbidden I desist from it altogether. Whatever excellence was found in the Holy Prophet was found in Imam Ali also. The Holy Prophet was more excellent than all of the creatures of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. Those turning away from any item of his (Imam Ali’s) guidance are like one turning away from the guidance of Allah and His messenger. Rejecting him in small or great matters is like considering things similar to Allah (shirk). Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) was the only gate to Allah through which people could go closer to Him. He (Imam Ali) was the path that if one ignored he would be destroyed. This is also true of ‘A’immah of guidance one after the other. Allah has made them as cornerstones of the earth so that people on earth are not destroyed. They possess the doubtless Divine Authority over the inhabitants of earth and those below the earth.

“Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) would very often say, I am the supervisor for Allah to see who should go to paradise and who should go to hell. I am the greatest criterion, the possessor of the staff (of Moses) and the Miysam (marking seal). All the angels, the spirit and the messengers have acknowledged the existence in me of all the matters that they had acknowledged in Prophet Muhammad. I am held responsible for all such matters for which Prophet  Muhammad was held responsible. Such responsibilities are the duties to Allah, the Lord. The messenger of Allah will be called upon and will be dressed up (as the Imam of people). I will be called upon and will be dressed up (as the Imam of people). The Holy Prophet will be made to speak and I will be made to speak and I will speak just the way he will speak. I have been given certain distinctions, which are given to no one before me.” I was taught all about the deaths, the sufferings, the genealogy of people and clear speech. I have not missed any of the knowledge that has passed me by and nothing of the future is unseen or unknown to me. I give good news by the permission of Allah and do my duty towards Allah. All of this is from Allah Who has made it possible for me through His knowledge.'”

 

H 516, Ch.14, h 2

“Oh Sulayman, whatever Imam Ali has brought is followed entirely and whatever he has forbidden is desisted from altogether. Whatever excellence was found in the Messenger of Allah was found in Imam Ali also. The Messenger of Allah was more excellent than all of the creatures of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. Those who find faults in any item of his (Imam Ali’s) guidance are like one finding faults in the guidance of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, and His messenger. Rejecting him in small or great matters is like considering things similar (shirk) to Allah. Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) was the only gate to Allah through which people could get closer to Him. Imam Ali was the path. Ignoring this path leads one to destruction. This is also true of A‘immah of guidance one after the other. Allah has made them as the cornerstones of the earth so that people on it are not destroyed. They possess the doubtless Divine Authority over the inhabitants of earth and those below the earth.

“Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) has said, ‘I am the supervisor for Allah to see who should go to paradise and who should go to hell. I am the greatest decisive factor, the possessor of the staff (of Moses) and the Miysam (marking seal). All the angels and the spirit have acknowledged the existence in me of all the matters that they had acknowledged in Prophet Muhammad. I am held responsible for all such matters for which Prophet Muhammad was held responsible. Such responsibilities are the duties to Allah, the Lord. The Holy Prophet will be called upon and will be dressed up (as the Imam of people). I will be called upon and will be dressed up (as the Imam of people). The Holy Prophet will be made to speak, and I will be made to speak and I will speak just the way he will speak. I have been given certain distinctions which are given to no one before me. I was taught all about the deaths, the sufferings, the genealogy of people and clear speech. I have not missed any of the knowledge that has passed by me and nothing of the future is unseen or unknown to me. I give good news by the permission of Allah and do my duty toward Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious. All of this is from Allah Who has made it possible for me through His knowledge.'”

 

H 517, Ch.14, h 3

 

“Abu Ja’far, about the excellence of Amir al-Mu’minin Ali, has said, ‘Whatever Imam Ali has brought I follow it entirely and whatever he has forbidden I desist from it altogether. All that is true of the obedience to the Messenger of Allah is true of the obedience to Imam Ali after the Messenger of Allah, but excellence belongs to Prophet Muhammad. Those who try to be ahead of Imam Ali are considered as trying to be ahead of Allah and His messenger. Those who try to show themselves more excellent than Imam Ali are considered as trying to show themselves more excellent than the Messenger of Allah. Whoever rejects any of the small or great items of the guidance of Imam Ali is like considering things as similar (shirk) to Allah. The messenger of Allah is the gate through which people can go to Allah. He is the path that if chosen leads to Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. The same was true of Imam Ali after the Messenger of Allah. All such matters were true of ‘A’immah, one after the other. Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, has made them the cornerstone of the earth so that its inhabitants are not destroyed. They were the pillars of Islam and the connection in the path of guidance. No guide can be a guide without their guidance and no straying one goes astray unless he ignores the rights of ‘A’immah. They are the trustees of Allah over whatever knowledge, warning and excuses have been revealed to them (from the heavens). They possess the doubtless Divine Authority over those on earth. Whatever (excellence and authority) is found in one of them is true of all of them and no one can reach such a stage without support from Allah.

“Amir al-Mu’minin (Ali) has said, ‘I am the supervisor for Allah over paradise and hell. No one will go to either one without my supervision. I am the greatest criterion and the Imam for those after me, and the provider of relief for those before me. No one is permitted to be ahead of me except Ahmad. He and I are on the same path except that he is called Ahmed (the most praiseworthy). I have been given six things. I have been given the knowledge of deaths of the sufferings, of the wills and the clear speech. I have been given the power to attack the enemy, and the power to subdue the adversary. I am the owner of the staff (of Moses) and Miysam (marking seal) and the being that will speak to people. (A reference to verse 82 of chapter 27 of the Holy Quran): “When the word about them comes true We shall make a being appear to them on earth who will tell them that people had no faith in Our revelations.'” (27:82)