M.Y.A. Fortnightly Gift

Dhul-Qa’dah 1, 1426 AH: Imamat

All praise belongs to the Almighty [swt], the Master of the Universe.

The concept and belief in Imamat, i.e. Divine Leadership, is at the very core of the Religion of Islam. An Imam has a greater spiritual status than the position a Nabi or Rasul. The Qur’an testifies that even a lofty personality such as Prophet Ibrahim [a] earned the status of Imam, after undergoing many tests.

The Holy Prophet [s] did not depart from this world without clarifying the concept of Imam and without explicitly mentioning and specifying the qualities of the Imam. The topic of Imamat usually sparks discussion and debate. One such discussion was taking place in Marw, Iran, when our mawla, Imam ‘Ali bin Musa ar-Ridha [a] happened to be present in the town. After much discussion, some people approached the Imam for clarification. What resulted was the most comprehensive definition of Imamat directly from the words of the infallible Imam [a]. The following is an excerpt from the hadith of Imam ar-Ridha [a] as he explains and defines the position of Imamat in the most eloquent manner (Source: Usool al-Kafi Vol.1, Part 4, Ch. 15):

“ Imamat is, in fact, the reins of religion. It is the social system of the Muslims. It is best for the world, and honour for the believers. Imamat is Islam’s growing root, and its towering branch. Through the Imam, prayers are complete, Zakaat (charity) is paid, fasting is maintained, Hajj is performed, Jihad is exercised, the wealth of the nation (fay’) and charity (sadaqat) are increased, the laws are enforced, and the frontiers are protected and defended.

Imam declares as lawful what Allah has done so and prohibits what Allah has prohibited. He enforces the judicial laws of Allah and defends the religion of Allah. The Imam provides guidance with wisdom, good advise, and with the topmost strong evidence.

The Imam is like the risen sun that beautifies the world with its light and it is the horizon above the harm of hands and eyes. The Imam is as the bright moon, the shining lamp, the brilliant light and the guiding star in the depth of darkness, in the middle of the towns, in the wilderness and on the high seas. The Imam is as crystal-clear as water is to thirst, an indicator of true guidance and the protector against destruction. The Imam is as the fire of a lighthouse that provides warmth and guidance for all those who seek heat and protection against fatalities. Whosoever departs him (the Imam) will perish…”

The above is a small portion from a very detailed reply by Imam ar-Ridha [a]. It is important that Muslim Youths know about the position of the Imam, and spread the message of the Imam, in service of our present and awaited Imam, Al-Hujjah [a].

Note: The entire hadith is available at the following link (pdf file pg. 34-38):

Muslim Youth Association http://www.MuslimYouth.ca
E-mail: MYA@MuslimYouth.ca

The Muslim Youth Association is a branch of the Islamic Humanitarian Service