31. One who is appointed by the Prophet as the wasi, i.e. the executor of his will, is the greatest (afzal) of all men after the Prophet of Allah. His substance (jawhar) continues the substance of the Prophet, his virtue (kamaal) comes from the virtue of the Prophet. The meaning of the teaching of the Prophet, the mysteries of his law (Shari'at), the secrets of his community and the real foundations of his religion, all are in possession of Wasi; these cannot be acquired except him. He interprets the religion of Prophet, leads those who seek for knowledge, and guards the correct Shari'at. Only he can ensure the necessary purity and trustworthiness of a religious authority, guaranteeing the reliability of tradition.

32. Imaamat remains in the family (Ahl-ul-Bayt) of the Rasulullah (SAWS), to the exclusion of everybody else. Only descendants of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Maulatana Fatema (AS) can be Imams. Religion (deen) cannot be perfect without following them; the latter is an obligation (farz). Faith in Allah and His Rasool is incomplete without the faith in Imaam, and hujjat. Obligation of belief in Imaamat is established by the fact that religion and the law (Shari'at) cannot be established, or be complete and correct without an Imaam. The Prophet appointed the Imaams, and the whole of the Islamic community (Ummat) is the witness. The first Imaams are Imaam Hasan (AS) and Imaam Husain (AS). Their father, Hazrat Ali (AS), is however, superior in rank to them. The community cannot elect Imaam, he is appointed by a Nass, or clear indication. Objections of those who do not believe in wasiyyat are refuted.

33. The Imaam is the heir of the Prophet, and the executor of his will. Imaam Hasan (AS) and Imaam Husain (AS) left an inheritance to those who were the nearest to them by birth, spirit, substance and character; and this is all that mankind needs. As they knew that mankind needs a guide and teacher, they appointed one in the world, permitting him to inherit their knowledge, so that it may be preserved. Mankind inherits from the Prophet the outward side of the religion, and its ordinances. The Wasi brings all this into system (nizaam), and reveals its inner meaning. He (Wasi) and the Imaam teaches the salvation, and the real meaning (haqeeqat) of Shari'at, in its correct form, free from perversions.

34. Prophet Hood or Apostleship (Risaalat) is not continuous. Allah sends a Prophet from time to time, in order that he may put the affairs of mankind into order, when they become entirely confused, and when the world resembles a lunatic asylum.

35. The rank of the Wasi or the executor of the Prophet's will, is not transferred after the death of Wasi, but comes to an end.

36. Imaamat, contrary to the Prophet Hood and Wasaayat, is a permanent institution in the world. Its permanency (istimraar) is a part of its nature. The Imaam is the heir of all that is left by the Prophet, with regard to the Shari'at, and the knowledge that is left by the Wasi, explaining the religion. The Imaam is the guardian of the community (Ummat), and its leader. The work of the Prophet and the Wasi is to last for the whole of the millennial period (daur), and the institution of Imaamat is the only way to achieve this.

37. There is no Ghaybat, i.e. the time when the Imaam entirely disappears from the world, and does not control it. The Imaam cannot disappear completely, but even he is not manifest to the masses he is in touch with the chosen ones, and his whereabouts are known to them. They may even point him out to those of the ordinary followers who can be trusted. If it happened that the Imaam completely ceased to exist, religion, left unguided, would fall into error and perish, together with even those of the believers, who did their best to be faithful. Allah in His mercy will never permit such a thing to happen. And the Imaam, being ma'soom, or infallible, cannot commit any such act which deprives him of Imaamat.

38. The world will never remain without a “Proof of Allah” (Hujjatullah), i.e. either a Prophet, or Wasi, or Imaam, or without one who can keep it in order, manage the organization of the hierarchy of teachers (hudood), guard the established practices (maraasim), and preserve them against deterioration. The Imaam is the centre of the community in the absence of the Prophet, and although personally mortal, as every human being, his line of hereditary descent is permanent in the world. His genealogy is always known; he always follows the religion of his forefather, never deviating from their beliefs. He never follows anyone in the religious matters; no one is superior to him in this respect.

39. The reason of the steps been not taken by Hazrat Ali (AS) after the death of Rasulullah (SAWS), to take upon himself the rank or the office of Khilaafat, was neither due to his inability nor due to his neglect. He was acting in accordance with the instructions of the Rasulullah (SAWS), according to which he had first to carry on propaganda, and then only to take strong measures against those who betrayed the sayings of Rasulullah (SAWS) at the time of Ghadeer-e-Khum.

40. One who is in some respect inferior to others cannot be an Imaam. Also an idolater, or one who does not keep the covenant (misaaq), cannot be an Imaam. A man cannot be an Imaam if he has practiced idolatry even for a moment in his life, though later on he embraced Islam.

41. Imaam cannot be elected by the community. He is the absolute ruler, who imposes his final commandments (hudood) upon his followers. The principle of ijma', or consensus of the community in accepting certain religious laws and practices, is completely false. If some one accepts this principle, he should regard Rasulullah (SAWS) as not a real Prophet, because all the peoples to whom he addressed his message, or at least the majority of them, did not recognize him as such,- the heathens, Jews, Christians, Sabians, and Zoroastrians. Only the Imaam, appointed by Allah is ma'soom, or infallible, but the community, obviously, cannot be considered as infallible.

42. Every one who makes an attempt on the rights of an Imaam is like Taaghut (the demon). This means that every action intended to oppose the Imaam to prevent him from occupying his office or rank etc., is to be considered as a great sin.

43. The Ummat, or all the Mohammedan nations in their entirety, became split and fell into disagreement (ikhtelaafaat) after the death of Rasulullah (SAWS), thus taking the way of error. This was chiefly due to their reluctance to follow the guidance of the Ahl-ul-Bayt, i.e. the Imaams. Only a small group amongst the Muslims remained faithful to the commandments and the will of Rasulullah (SAWS), suffering for this reason at the hands of different oppressors. Only the Isma'ilis preserved the correct belief, and followed the true path.

44. The principle of ra'y (opinion), or using commonsense in the religious matters; the principle of qeyaas, (lit; deduction by analogy) or using logical analogy in deciding religious questions, in the spirit of law and general religious ideas; the principle of ijtehaad, (lit; individual judgement) or following the opinion of an expert in religious learning; the principle of istehsaan, (lit; application of discretion in a legal decision) or desire to introduce improvement and adjustment of religious practices,- all these principles are rejected. The chief authority for this attitude is Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS). And the basis of such a ban is the capability of human nature to err, despite the best intentions.

45. Swearing allegiance (Bay'at; Misaaq) to the Imaam is obligatory to every mu'min. Whoever wants to join the da'wat, or the religion of Rasulullah (SAWS), has to possess faith (Imaan), and to enter into a covenant (Misaaq; Mo'ahada) with him on behalf of Allah. Disloyalty to the Rasulullah (SAWS) is in reality disloyalty to Allah who has sent him. Those who have sworn such allegiance must obey, and keep their promise with all faithfulness. Women must also swear allegiance, going through the ceremony of Misaaq, in the same way as men. They must act righteously, oppose everything that is unlawful (Haraam) in the Shari'at, and keep secret those things and that religious knowledge which are entrusted to them.


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