Guides of Islam
Those Who Fulfilled The Responsibility Of Guiding The People When They Were Of Young Age
We consider ourselves as Shias; that is the followers of the family of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.). We accept the Imams of Ahle Bayt as our guides and leaders with textual and intellectual proofs. The history of Islam without any difference of Shia and Sunni has proved clearly that these
Holy Personalities were the most excellent and superior personalities of their times from every aspect.
They possessed to the level of perfection all the qualities that are required in a leader and guide like knowledge and intelligence, piety and excellence, determination and faith, patience and forbearance. That is all the praiseworthy qualities were present in them. It is not only the claim of Shias, but all the scholars of Islam are unanimous on this. Self-respect, nobility of character, generosity and charity, eloquence, trustworthiness and justice are the hallmarks of the People of the House of infallibility and purity. When the general populace of Islam sees these qualities it is compelled to respect and honor them. Both friends and enemies are compelled to humble themselves before their lofty manners.
The Imams of Ahle Bayt were having the most perfect personalities from both the physical and spiritual aspects. A fact that becomes apparent from this subject is that all the Imams were similar in lineage, character, thinking, speech and actions, without any difference whatsoever. Extremism and conservativeness had no role in their families. They all walked on the path of equity and moderation in every circumstance and in all matters. They were sober in all aspects of sleeping, eating, dressing, speaking and thinking etc. They were disciplined also in all these matters, and they were exactly similar to each other. The miracle of their personality was that if one of their enemies aimed to discredit them he himself became the target of that calumny.
Though the Holy Imams were endowed with infallibility and were so excellent due to their divine station and
heavenly status but the atmosphere of their homes was such that all those who were bred and brought up in them exhibited the most perfect qualities, nobility of character, knowledge and sobriety. Their faces showed the excellence of their beings.
For example, there was none among them who had any bodily defect. All were of good disposition, elegant, strong and of moderate physique. Are all these not the signs of the training and nurturing of the family of the Prophet of Islam? Who can refuse that all those who belonged to this household had their names written in golden letters in the pages of history?
The Imams of Ahle Bayt always lived in the same way whether before or after attaining the office of Imamate. Even before getting the position they always acted in a kind and amicable way. They possessed the same elegance; attraction and the same nobility that even the enemy could not claim that they had a particular defect or weakness before becoming Imams. Their discussions with different types of people, their easy answers to difficult questions are all recorded in books. Only these examples of lofty character have testified for us, whose practical and theoretical value is such that no sight could even reach their high status.
For the information of our readers we give below the names of the twelve leaders of Islam and their age at the time of attaining Imamate. So that it can be seen at what young age our Infallible Imams performed, not those great feats, but rather fulfilled the duties of Imamate which is a heavenly office bestowed by the Almighty.
Amirul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s) 32 years
Imam Hasan (a.s) 37 years
Imam Husain (a.s) 47 years
Imam Ali Ibnul Husain (a.s) 23 years
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s) 38 years
Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s) 31 years
Imam Musa al-Kazim (a.s) 20 years
Imam Ali ar-Reza (a.s) 35 years
Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s) 8 years
Imam Ali Naqi (a.s) 8 years
Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) 22 years
Imam-e-Zamana (a.s) 5 years
When these great personages occupied the office of Imamate it was a time when the majority of Muslims were such that the ability of guidance, faith and rightful justice had died in them. The religion of the Prophet’s period had changed and was distorted. Many evils like oppression, corruption, moral ills, materialism etc. that were against Quranic teachings were growing and spreading in all the Islamic lands. Actually that age was also like the present time and it was the prevalent view that religion was not an aim but a channel to achieve an aim. On the basis of this, the Islamic society of that time had gone much ahead in seeking material wealth and worldly posts and positions. Thus they had completely forgotten the role of the family of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), their capabilities and spirituality. On the other hand the ruling powers were also trying to assure that people do not follow in the footsteps of
Ahle Bayt because the lives of the purified Imams was the source of every excellence and the mirror of all the great human qualities.
In conclusion we can say that though twelve centuries have passed the Islamic world had not produced equals of these purified Imams. Because if there had been anyone their equal he would certainly have found a mention in history.
The above was a brief discussion regarding the young age and youth of the Holy Imams. We have dealt this topic with utmost brevity though volumes could have been written on this subject.