Chapter 2 : the Categories of the Prophets, the Messengers and the Imams (a.s.) H 417, Ch. 2, H 1

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from abu Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham ibn Salim and Durust ibn abu Mansur from him the following.

"Abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) 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 and 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 Jonas (we sent him to a hundred thousand people or a few more).

The Imam said that there were thirty thousand more people lead by an Imam. Those who saw in their dreams heard the voice and saw the angel when awake and were also Imams like 'Ulul 'Azm ones, such as Abraham were prophets but not Imams until Allah said, "I want to appoint you as the Imam for people.

" He said, "Also please from my descendents, to which He said, 'My covenant does not go to the unjust ones, those who have worshipped idols or statues will not become Imams."

H 418, Ch. 2, h 2

Muhammad ibn al-Hassan has narrated those whom he mentioned from Muhammad ibn Khalid from Muhammad ibn Sinan from Zayd al-Shahham who has said the following. "I heard Imam abu 'Abdallah saying, 'Allah 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 of His. Allah chose him as a friend of His before choosing him as an Imam. When all of the above things were gathered in Abraham, Allah said, "I have certainly appointed you as the Imam for the people." Because to Abraham it was so great he asked, "Can this (Imamat, leadership) be in my descendents also?" Allah said, "The feeble-minded can become the leaders of the pious ones."

H 419, Ch. 2, h 3

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya al-Khath'ami from Hisham from abu Ya'qub who has said the following "I heard abu 'Abdallah saying, '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 (s.a.)."

H 420, Ch. 2, h 4

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan from Ishaq ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz from abu al-Saffah from Jabir from abu Ja'far (a.s.) has said the following.

"I heard the Imam saying, '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 of His.

He chose him as a friend of His before He chose him as an Imam. When all of these things gathered in him (the Imam holding his hands said, "Allah said, 'O Ibrahim I have appointed you as the Imam (leader) of the people." Because of the greatness of the position Abraham them asked, "O Lord, can it be in my descendants also?" The Lord said, 'My covenant does not go to the unjust ones."

Chapter 3 : The Difference among he Messengers, the Prophets and the al-Muhaddath H 421, Ch. 3, h 1

A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn abu Nasr from Tha'laba ibn Maymun from Zurara who has said the following "I asked abu 'Abdallah (a.s.) about the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, 'He was a messenger, a prophet'.

What is a messenger and what is a prophet?'" The Imam said, "A prophet is one who sees things in his dream and hears the voice but does not see the angel. The messenger is one who hears the voice, in his dreams and sees the angel."

I then said, "What is the position of the Imam?" The Imam (a.s.) 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 Muhaddith (Muhaddith is a commentary of Imam (a.s.), whom We sent . . .'" (22:52)

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Isma'il ibn Marrar who has said the following "Al-Hassan ibn al-'Abbass al-Ma'rufi wrote to Imam al-Rida (a.s.). "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, explain to me the difference between the messengers, the prophets and the Imams." The Imam said or wrote, "

The difference between the messengers, the prophets and the Imams 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 like the dream of Abraham (a.s.). A prophet is one who may hear the speech and may see the person or may not hear. The Imam is the one who hears the speech but does not see the person."

H 422, Ch. 3, h 2

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from al-Hassan ibn Mahbub from al-Ahwal who has said the following.

"I Asked abu Ja'far (a.s.) about the messenger, the prophet and al-Muhaddith (one who reports Divine guidance)." The Imam (a.s.) said, "A messenger is one to whom Jibril (angel) 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 (a.s.) or the dream of our Prophet (s.a.) about reasons for prophethood before the coming of revelation until Jibril came from Allah with to inform him that he was to be a messenger.

In the case of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.) when prophethood 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. Some of the prophets in whom prophethood is established they see in their dreams, the spirit comes to them, speaks and reports to them but they do not see the spirit when awake. Al-Muhaddith is one to who is reported to and he hears the reporting but does not see openly or in his dream."

H 423, Ch. 3, h 3

Ahmad ibn Muhammad and Muhammad ibn Yahya have narrated from Muhammad ibn al- Husayn from Ali ibn Hassan from Faddal from Ali ibn Ya'qub al-Hashimi from Marwan ibn Muslim from Burayd who has said the following.

"I asked abu Ja'far (a.s.) 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 Muhaddith (Muhaddith is a commentary of Imam (a.s.), whom We sent . . .'" (22:52). I said, ""May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, the word Muhaddith does not exist in our reading.

What then is the meaning of The Messenger, Prophet and Muhaddith?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "A messenger is one to whom the angel comes openly and speaks to him. A prophet is one who sees in his dream. Sometimes prophethood and messengership may exist in one person. Al- Muhaddith is one who hears the voice but does not see the person (of the angel)."

I then asked, may Allah keep you well, "How would one know that what one sees in his dream is true and that it is from the angel?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "He receives help for success to know the angel. Allah has your book the last book and your Prophet the last of prophets."