Imamat - Divine Leadership - Its status, position and appointment


حدثنا أبو العباس محمد بن إبراهيم بن اسحاق الطالقاني رضى الله عنه قال: حدثنا أبو أحمد القاسم بن محمد بن على الهاروني قال: حدثني أبو حامد عمران بن موسى بن إبراهيم عن الحسن بن القاسم الرقام قال: حدثني القاسم بن مسلم عن اخيه عبد العزيز بن مسلم قال:

كنا في ايام على بن موسى الرضا عليهم السلام بمرو فاجتمعنا في مسجد جامعها في يوم الجمعه في بدء مقدمنا فإذا راى الناس أمر الامامة وذكروا كثره اختلاف الناس فيها فدخلت على سيدى ومولاي الرضا عليه السلام فاعلمته ما خاض الناس فيه فتبسم عليه السلام ثم قال: يا عبد العزيز جهل القوم وخدعوا عن اديانهم ان الله تبارك وتعالى لم يقبض نبيه (ص) حتى اكمل له الدين وانزل عليه القرآن فيه تفصيل كل شئ بين فيه الحلال والحرام والحدود والاحكام وجميع ما يحتاج إليه كملا فقال عز وجل: (ما فرطنا في الكتاب من شئ) وانزل في حجه الوداع وفي آخر عمره (ص) (اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم واتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الاسلام دينا) وأمر الامامة في تمام الدين ولم يمض (ص) حتى بين لامته معالم دينهم واوضح لهم سبيلهم وتركهم على قصد الحق واقام لهم عليا عليه السلام علما واماما وما ترك شيئا يحتاج إليه الامه إلا بينه فمن زعم ان الله عز وجل لم يكمل دينه فقد رد كتاب الله عز وجل ومن رد كتاب الله فهو كافر,


Narrated from Abdul Aziz ibn Muslim,

At the times1 of Ali ibn Musa Al-Ridha (as) we were in Marv. We had gathered together in the Jami’a mosque where the people were talking about the concept of Divine Leadership (Imamat) and the many differences which the people have with each other in that respect. 

I went to see my Master Imam al-Ridha (as) and told him what the people said in that regard. 

He (as) smiled and said, "O Abdul Aziz! The people are ignorant and have been deceived regarding their religion. Allah (swt) did not take away the life of His Prophet (S) until after He perfected the religion for him and sent him the Quran in which everything including the allowed, the forbidden, the bounds, the decrees and everything which is needed is clarified. Then Allah (swt) said, "Nothing have we omitted from the Book…" (6:38)

"During the Farewell Pilgrimage, which was made in the last days of the Prophet’s (saww) lifetime, God revealed to him, "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favors upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion" (5:3) It is the Imamat which completes the religion. The Prophet (saww) did not die until He clarified the knowledge of their religion for them, showed them their way, put them on the straight path, established Ali (as) as their Guide and Imam, and stated whatever the people needed. Whoever thinks that Allah (swt) has not completed His Religion has, in fact, denied Allah's Book. Whoever denies Allah's Book is a disbeliever (Kafir)"

هل يعرفون قدر الامامة ومحلها من الامة فيجوز فيها اختيارهم؟! ان الامامة اجل قدرا واعظم شانا واعلى مكانا وامنع جانبا وابعد غورا من ان يبلغها الناس بعقولهم أو ينالوها بارائهم أو يقيموا اماما باختيارهم


"Do these people understand the rank of Imamat & its position in the community that they think its permissible for them to select Imams. Imamat is much more magnificent, exalted in status, higher in position and difficult to get near its position, and much more deep-rooted than to be understood by the intellect or opinions of the people so that they can elect an Imam by themselves"

ان الامامة خص الله بها إبراهيم الخليل عليه السلام بعد النبوة والخلة مرتبه ثالثة وفضيلة شرفه بها واشاد بها ذكره فقال عز وجل: (انى جاعلك للناس اماما) (1) فقال الخليل عليه السلام: سرورا بها (ومن ذريتي) قال الله عز وجل: (لا ينال عهدي الظالمين) فابطلت هذه الاية امامة كل ظالم الى يوم القيامة وصارت في الصفوة ثم اكرمه الله عز وجل بان جعلها ذريته أهل الصفوة والطهارة فقال عز وجل: (ووهبنا له اسحاق ويعقوب نافله وكلا جعلنا صالحين وجعلناهم ائمة يهدون بامرنا واوحينا إليهم فعل الخيرات واقام الصلاة وايتاء الزكاة وكانوا لنا عابدين)`


"Indeed Imamat is that particular distinction with which Allah (swt) has distinguished Ibrahim (as), His very close friend (al-Khalil), the 3rd station after prophet-hood & friendship. It is a distinction with which He honored him and praised him with it. 

So Allah (swt) said, "Verily! I have made you an Imam for the people." Abraham, the close friend, then out of delight said, "And it (Imamat) will be in my offspring also."  Allah (swt) said, "My covenant does not go to the unjust ones." (2:124) 

Thus, this verse has declared the leadership (Imamat) of all the unjust ones as unlawful until the Day of Judgment and it has been limited to the choicest and elite ones. Then Allah (swt) honored him in establishing Imamat in best and clean persons of his offspring. 
Allah has said, "We granted him Isaac and Jacob as a gift and each of them We made righteous (21:72)
"And We made them Imams who guided (people) by Our command, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of the alms, and Us (alone) did they serve" (21:73)




(in progress .. )

[Source: Uyoon al-Akhbar al-Ridha, Vol. 1, Chapter, 20, Hadith. 1 & al-Kafi, Vol. 1, Chapter. 15, Hadith. 1]