Imam (divine Guide)
Wow! This is the big one.
The first time I heard this title being used by anyone other than the twelve Holy Imams (a.s.) was after the revolution in Iran in 1979. The Iranians declared Agha e Khomeini as their Imam. This led to the people of Iraq to start referring to Agha e Khoie as Imam Al Khoei.
Then the Kuwaitis decided not to be left behind and started referring to Agha e Shirazi as Imam Shirazi. Then Agha e Khamenei was declared as an Imam. In fact they have gone further and declared him as Vali Ul Amr. I wonder where this will end? There is certainly no limit to desires.
It is quite clear from the Book of Allah (s.w.t.) that every one will be called on the Day of Judgment with their respective Imams. I wonder where the followers of these Imams will be on that Day?
One day Imam Ali (a.s.) was with some people, when eight of them asked to leave as they had something urgent to do. They agreed to meet him (a.s.) again on Friday.
When they walked away they saw a lizard and they jokingly said to each other, 'Let us pay allegiance to this lizard'. So they caught it and placed their hands on it as a symbol of allegiance and then they let it go. When they went to the Mosque on Friday, Imam Ali (a.s.) was delivering a speech in which he (a.s.) was explaining the verse :
ٍَْْ Shakir 17:71 the day when We will call every people with their Imam; then whoever is given his book in his right hand, these shall read their book; and they shall not be dealt with a whit unjustly.
When he (a.s.) saw them he stopped and said: 'I am currently looking at eight people who will be called on the Day of Judgment with a lizard as that is their Imam'.
Let us think about this for a moment. What will happen to those who listen to and obey every command of a claimant of this title and yet think that they will be raised with the Holy Imam (a.s.)? Quite frankly, I think they are suffering from delusion.
The Holy Imam Mahdi (a.s.) has guided us through numerous written replies of his to the questions posed by the Shiites during the minor occultation. Approximately two hundred of these Holy letters have been preserved in books. I for one, am not aware of anyone among my people who is aware of the contents of these Holy letters and yet I know of many who are experts in recalling the statements of their 'Imams' from their Twazeeh Ul Masaail (Book of Emulation).
AL KAFI - H 951, Ch. 85, h 1
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad fromMuhammad ibn Sinan from abu Salam from Sawra ibn kulayb who has said the following: "Once I asked abu Ja'far, recipient of divine supreme covenant, about the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Gracious: 'On the Day of Judgment you will see the faces of those who had invented falsehood against Allah blackened. . . .' (39:60) The Imam said, 'It refers to those who claim to be the Imam but in fact, are not the Imam.
' "I then asked, 'Even if he is of the descendents of Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant?' He replied, 'Yes, even if he is of the descendents of Ali, recipient of divine supreme covenant.' I then asked, 'Even if he is of the sons of Ali ibn abu Talib, recipient of divine supreme covenant?' He said, 'Yes, even if he is as such.'"
This is also found in Tafseer Qummi, Tafseer Ayyashi and Tafseer Saafi for these Verses:
[Shakir 28:41] And We made them Imams who call to the fire, and on the day of resurrection they shall not be assisted.
[Shakir 28:42] And We caused a curse to follow them in this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be of those made to appear hideous. AL KAFI - H 952, Ch. 85, h 2
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from 'Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Isa from Ali ibn al- Hakam from Aban from al-Fudayl from abu 'Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: "Whoever claims to be the Imam and, in fact, is not the Imam is considered an unbeliever."
He has narrated from Hisham ibn Salim from Habib al-Sajistani from abu Ja'far, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: "Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High,
has said, 'I will cause to suffer punishment all those (citizens) who live a religious life in Islam with belief in and acknowledgement of the guardianship of unjust 'A'immah (leaders without Divine Authority) who do not possess authority from Allah, even though such followers are (apparently) virtuous and pious in their deeds. I will forgive all those (citizens) who live a religious life in Islam with belief in and acknowledgement of the guardianship of an Imam who is just in his dealings and possesses authority from Allah, even though such followers in their dealings are unjust sinners.'"
AL KAFI - H 956, Ch. 85, h 6
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan from Muhammad ibn Sinan from Talha ibn Yazid from abu 'Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: "Whoever considers someone who has no Divine Authority as a partner in the Leadership of a Leader with Divine Authority, is considered a polytheist." AL KAFI - H 962, Ch. 85, h 12
Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu'alla ibn Muhammad from abu Dawud al- Mustariqq from Ali ibn Maymun from ibn abu Ya'fur who has said the following: "Once I heard abu 'Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, say, 'There will be three kinds of people to whom Allah will not look on the Day of Judgment.
He will not purify them and they will suffer painful punishments. They are those who claim to be the Imam but without authority from Allah, those who reject the Imam (Leader with Divine Authority), and those who think that for the 'two' there is a share in Islam.'"