It is a universally accepted principle that a person either accepts or denies something based upon the amount of knowledge they have regarding that subject. If a person accepts or denies something without having full knowledge of what it is they are accepting or denying, then their acceptance or denial will be batil (false).
If you have no knowledge regarding a particular issue, then you can neither accept it nor can you deny it. For example, if you ask a child to look in their room to see if there is a laptop there or not, the child will come back and say yes there is. Then if you ask the child, do you know what a laptop is.
The child will reply "I don't know". So in this situation, what is the worth of the word of this child? In the same way, if you follow a religion which you have absolutely no knowledge about, then that religion is nothing more than ignorance.
If you claim to be a follower of the Shia religion, then it is compulsory that you have knowledge regarding the Shia religion. The foundation of this religion is completely based upon tauheed (Oneness). So first of all you must know what tauheed is. Then in order to gain proof for your religion you must also fully understand the other principles of that religion as well.
Otherwise no one in this whole world will accept a religion with absolutely no proof. Remember! All of your good deeds and acts of worship depend totally upon your aqeedah (beliefs). If your aqeedah is correct, then even your lesser good deeds will also be accepted. However if your aqeedah is incorrect, then no matter how many good deeds you have, they will all be worthless. Your aqeedah will lead you towards hell.
The so called scholars have made the aqeedah become worthless in the eyes of others. They have made people believe that it is not necessary that you understand what you believe, but it is enough that you simply say it. Because of this the whole Shia nation is now obliviously following a religion.
The Shia do not even realize their religion has become a source of amusement to others. Because of these so called scholars, shias now believe that simply performing acts of worship without fully knowing or understanding why they are doing them is enough. This is why Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) ibn Abi Talib (as) said, "No one can be deserving of any status until he becomes fully aware of all of the attributes of that status" (Najul Israr First Edition page no 41).
In this brief thesis, we cannot cover the entire Shia religion. Therefore we have chosen to discuss only upon the topic of wilayat because wilayat is that which the entire Shia religion revolves around. No Shia belief can be understood without wilayat. Now we shall begin from aqeedah tauheed (belief of oneness) because wilayat can only be understood through tauheed. Tauheed is the only source from which one can gain an understanding of wilayat.
The same rule applies regarding tauheed. Having belief in tauheed without fully knowing what tauheed is is of absolutely no value. According to Allah, the best form of belief is the recognition of Allah. Ameerul Momineen (as) says, "The beginning of the religion is gaining the marifat (recognition) of Allah".
It means you have no right to recite "La illaha illalah" (There is no god other than Allah) until you gain the marifat (recognition) of tauheed.
Mani ul Akhbar page no 443 hadith 49, Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) says " I have found the whole knowledge of humanity in four places; gaining the marifat of Lord, gaining the marifat regarding one's own creation, gaining the marifat of what your Lord wants from you, and gaining the marifat of that which can exclude you from the religion."
Gaining the marifat of Allah
The first responsibility a person has is recognizing his Lord and Creator because rubiyat (lordship) is the responsibility of the Creator. Every person must answer to his Creator regarding gaining the marifat (recognition) of his Lord. Allah has revealed all proofs upon humanity so that when the time comes and mankind is stood before Allah they will have no excuse. There are two kinds of proof; apparent and hidden.
Apparent proof is Imam (as) and hidden proof is intellect. Now you must completely understand there are so many places in this world where Allah did not send a prophet or sharia (law). Even today, there are nations in the jungles of Africa who have no idea about the concept of wearing clothes. Will such people not also have to answer to their Lord?
Will they be able to say "You did not send to us any prophet, sharia (law), or book. So how were we suppose to gain Your marifat (recognition)?" Absolutely never. They will not be able to use this excuse simply because an apparent hujjat (proof) didn't come to them because Allah gave them a hidden hujjat (proof) and that is intellect.
The purpose of intellect is to allow one to be able to recognize his Creator. Not only this but it is also the responsibility of intellect to recognize the attributes of his Creator. The first attribute which intellect guides one towards is knowledge. Without knowledge, even making a simple ordinary clay pot is impossible.
Then how is it possible this entire universe can be created without knowledge? The second attribute which intellect guides one towards is ability. If a person does not also possess ability, then their knowledge is of no benefit. For example, even though a person might have knowledge regarding how to make a clay pot, but if he is disabled, he will not possess the ability to do so.
The third attribute which intellect guides one towards is authority. For example, if a person is thirsty and knows where the water is and has a bucket which to remove the water from the well, but the owner of the well does not permit him to draw water from the well, so despite having knowledge and ability, he still will not be able to remove his thirst. Therefore there are three essential requirements in order for one to be able to create something; knowledge, ability, and authority. The combination of these three is called wilayat. Now it has been proven the purpose of intellect is to lead humanity towards wilayat.
Purpose of Creation
If a person has 1000 pots of biryani, he will only eat about 1-2 plates from it. So what will he do with the rest of the biryani? Only an insane person will simply leave it so that it goes to waste. Definitely a person with intellect will distribute it amongst the people. Now from this example we can understand that the one who is the owner of this whole universe and has no need of it, what will He do with it?
Certainly He will bestow His treasure upon His creation. This is an act of compassion. For this reason it is wajib (compulsory) that Allah must be compassionate. However He is also adl (just). Adl (justice) demands that before one can be blessed, he must first be deserving. Therefore Allah established a standard. Allah blesses those who meet the standard. Remember! Allah did not create any of His creation simply to punish them. He created them so that He could bless them. If a person is unfortunate and devoid of blessing, it is his own fault. The Creator cannot be accused.
Demand of Creator
The third thing which every person must have knowledge of is those acts which make him become deserving of the blessings of Allah. Mullahs have given you a very long list of acts which make you become deserving. The list is so lengthy that if a completely normal person ponders upon it they will become abnormal. There are only two things which Allah demands from us. If we fulfill these two demands of our Creator, then without any doubt, we will become deserving of His blessings.
- Sura adh-Dhaariyay ayah 56: "And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should worship Me"
In this ayah, the first thing which Allah demands is worship. Believe me when I say, regardless of what these mulvis have told you, only Masoomeen (as) have the right to interpret the words of Allah. Therefore we will ask Masoom (as) for the explanation of the word "worship". In the tafseer of this ayah, Imam Zainul Abideen (as) says,
"In this ayah, the meaning of worship is gaining the marifat (recognition) of Imam" (Tafseer e Furat). The first thing which Allah demands of you before you will become deserving of His blessings is that you gain the marifat (recognition) of the Imam of your time. This is why RasoolAllah (saw) said, "Anyone who dies without gaining the marifat of the Imam of his time has died the death of a jahil (ignorant), kufr (disbelief), and nafaq (hypocrisy)".
Now imagine a person who takes his shahadah (testimony of faith) and prays his whole life, fasts, performs numerous hajj, but does not gain the marifat of the Imam of his time. Now despite all of his acts of worship he will die as a kafir (disbeliever) and munafiq (hypocrite). All of his acts of worship became worthless because he did not fulfill the purpose of his life which is gaining the marifat of the Imam of his time. When he does not achieve his purpose, then all of his deeds become batil (false).
- Sura Mulk ayah 2: "Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in deed; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving"
In this ayah the singular form has been used for the word "amal" (deed). It means there is only one deed. So it becomes wajib (compulsory) upon every person who seeks forgiveness and mercy from his Lord that he must obtain knowledge regarding that deed which is the only way he can obtain salvation.
- Sura Naml ayah 89-90: "Whoso bringeth a good d eed will have better than its worth; and such are safe from fear that Day. And whoso bringeth an evil deed, such will be flung down on their faces in the Fire. Are ye rewarded aught save what ye did?"
This ayah tells us that our Lord does not want numerous good deeds. He only demands one good deed from us. That good deed is a combination of all good deeds and without this good deed every act which one does becomes evil. Now we will see what that good deed which Allah demands from us is. We will answer this question using both Shia and Sunni sources.
Tafseer e Safi page no 35, it is narrated from Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) says, "Ameerul Momineen (as) said in the tafseer of this ayah "That good deed is marifat (recognition) of the wilayat of Us Ahlul Bayt (as) and Our love. That evil deed is denying the wilayat of Us Ahlul Bayt (as) and hatred and envy towards Us. Then Ameerul Momineen (as) recited this ayah."
This narration can also be found in Tafseer e Qummi as well.
Yanabil Muwaddah page no 161, Ameerul Momineen (as) said, "I will inform you regarding a good deed. If one does this, Allah will enter him into jannah. I will inform you regarding an evil deed. If one does this, Allah will throw him into the fires of hell and no good deed will be accepted if one performs this evil deed." Then Moula (as) said, "That good deed is Our love. That evil deed is being envious of Us."
Yanabil Muwaddah page no 435, Imam Hussain (as) said, "That good deed is loving Us Ahlul Bayt (as)."
Now it has been made absolutely clear that our Lord wants nothing more from us except that we love Ahlul Bayt (as) and hate Their enemies. If we fulfill His demand, then we become deserving of His blessings.