Belief is directly related to aql (intellect) and all the processes of belief are done through aql. From books you can only learn about the details of belief and obtain a brief idea of what belief is. You cannot gain full knowledge of what is belief from books alone. You have to think deeply about what is being said in the books, and then you will be able to obtain full belief. Books are dependent upon the level of intellect and understanding of the reader. It is worthy to note that one cannot gain aql (intellect) from knowledge but one can gain knowledge from aql. However, as long as one continues to gain knowledge then one’s intellect will also automatically increase. It is the same as if a machine is left unused. It will eventually become old and rusted. If you use it properly, then it will work with absolutely no problems. This is the golden principle which should be adopted for beliefs. If it was meant for us to simply believe based upon what we read from a book or from what we hear others saying, then why did Allah swt give us intellect and reasoning as humans? Otherwise we would be the same as the animals and intellect would have no purpose of being in us. This is the common opinion about beliefs. As far as the Shia religion is concerned, it has more responsibilities due to its historical background which is totally different than other sects in Islam. The Shia religion has had to face such difficulties in all times
that one could not even tell others they are Shia nor could they spread Shia beliefs openly and freely. Centuries passed and this religion kept struggling for its survival behind the veil of taqqiya (hiding one’s true beliefs due to fear of death). Such times came that even a father could not tell his children that they are Shia. The people who are born in present times have never had to face such difficulties and to them being a Shia seems so easy and simple. The present day shias have gravely misunderstood what is the true Shia Islam, and they think the religion they have today is the same as what Ahlul Bayt (as) taught ,while it is not. Due to this misunderstanding, we totally forgotten and became careless about looking into the history of shia islam Therefore we do not realize what great difficulties and calamities the earlier shias had to face in order for us to be able to practice our religion with such ease. Present day shias have also forgotten the original caretakers of our religion, those who wrote books, and in what circumstances they were living in while they were writing and trying to preserve our religion. We must know if those scholars who came after those original scholars and caretakers of our religion have done a proper job in relating to us what was originally written and taught by Ahlul Bayt (as) and we must not just simply follow them because they wear an immama or the title of scholar. Everybody has a desire to enter jannah (paradise), but is it as easy to enter paradise as the present day scholars make it seem? Now the time has come where humans are advancing more in worldly matters with scientific research and technologies. We must adopt these same behaviors and practices in acquiring knowledge and intellect about
Paradise and judgment day because on judgment day, Allah swt will ask each person individually. One will not be able to rely upon any other person (marja, scholar, alims etc) or any book. Every person must have the
knowledge to answer for his beliefs and actions for his own self. As in this world no one will accept the excuse from a thief if he says he stole simply because another told him to, or because every one else was also doing it. It will be the same on judgment day. One will not be able to use the excuse that such and such scholar told them to do this. Nor will it be accepted to say that because everyone else was following a scholar (marja) so I did the same. This type of blind following will give you no benefit on judgment day. These things even a child can understand.
Our Imam e Zamana (ajf)’s reappearance is very near because almost all of the signs of His reappearance have already taken place. InshaAllah He will reappear very soon. Are we really ready to provide Him support and be His true helpers? Can we even face Him? Will we try to convince Him we are worthy through the showing off of how many prayers we have read? Will He not ask of us that His Grandfather has already told everyone that anyone who dies without having the marifat(recognition) of the Imam of His Time will die the death of an ignorant, disbeliever, and hypocrite? Will He not ask us how much did we struggle to gain His marifat? Keep this in your mind that marifat is related to belief. If your belief is right, then the door of marifat will open for you. If you have wrong beliefs, then it does not matter how much you pray, how many books you read, or how much of an expert you are in Arabic grammar, the truth will
always be hidden from you. If you do not gain the marifat of this truth, then you will never be able to gain paradise. It is necessary to understand religion through intellect and principles instead of through blind following. Moula Ali (as) said , “ There will come a time when the truth will be spread into many different places and the momins have to go in search of this truth and collect it himself.” It is our duty to not limit ourselves to only one way of gaining knowledge such as simply following a scholar or reading only a few books. We have to search for truth and when we find it, we must accept it as truth. We should not create doubts about this truth. Whenever you find something which goes against your beliefs, do not reject it by saying “Oh this must have been an invention (bidah) and something which was added to the religion”. By doing this, you are not using your intellect in the proper manner. The end result will be that you fall into kufr (disbelief). So in this book, we have tried to explain those Shia beliefs which are commonly considered inventions (bidahs) or additions to the religion.
In this way, we can show the truth which Masoomeen (as) brought after facing so many great difficulties and after making so many great sacrifices. We collect the truth and present it in the shape of beliefs which are according to Allah’s will. In our efforts to collect this truth, we will not use any modern day books which contain doubts and possible inauthentic references. We will only use those books which were appreciated by not only Masoomeen (as) Themselves but by those great scholars who came after them who worked so hard to collect the truth in a time when it was trying to be annihilated from the face of the earth.
We specifically have mentioned Quran, and for its explanation we have used only the tafseer of Masoomeeen (as). For the explanation of religion,
we must put forward Moula Ali (as)’s saying “He who thinks religion is only for superficial purposes or only for debate is not a student of religion”.