Allah says, “Do what the Prophet wants you to do and keep away from what he forbids you from doing.” “Do not take the summoning of the Prophet to you to be similar to your summoning one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter of some excuse. Let those who disobey the orders of the Prophet, beware of the calamity that will befall them here or the severe punishment which will be inflicted on them hereafter?”

To obey the commands and prohibitions of the Prophet Mohammad (saws) is enjoined on us by Allah. It is an act of devotion to Him. Allah has linked our devotion to him (the Prophet) with our devotion to Imaams. Lip-profession of devotion in words ceases to be devotion unless it is prompted by conviction and is followed by practice. To criticize the Prophet or to pry into his affairs or to show disapproval of his actions in words or in thoughts is abominable. It is strictly prohibited by Allah through His holy Book and has been enjoined on us all to submit ourselves to His will. Our faith is incomplete without our submission to his will. The holy Imaams occupy a similar position. They are the representative of the Prophet on earth and our devotion to them is a devotion to the Prophet.

It logically follows that it is our bounden duty to obey the commands of every Imaam of the time and their appointed Hudood of Da'wat and submit to his will. To criticize him or to pry into his affairs is as abominable as to criticize the Prophet or to pry into his affairs. Allah has entrusted our case to Him. He has guaranteed His support to him. He has recognized him as a legitimate heir to his predecessor from amongst the Imaams. He has conferred on him his highest favors and is always ready to help him when he needs his help. The Imaam looks at things with the light of Allah and does what he does with the help of Allah. Whatever he does in whatever age he does, he does well because he is guided by Allah. He does things which suits the requirements of the times, and says things which are appropriate for the occasion and he treats people as they ought to be treated. All his activities are well planned and are in tune with his surroundings.

Those who cannot see through them disapprove of them and criticize the Imaams because of their ignorance. They forget that Allah had forbidden us from finding fault with his actions and has made it obligatory on us to submit ourselves to his will. With all this there are people who disapprove of his actions and criticize him by saying that the Prophet and the Awliya-allaah had never lived the life of grandeur which the Imaam lives. They appear to be ignorant of history. They are not aware of what Allah says in the holy Qur'an about a large kingdom which was granted to the Prophets like Joseph, David and Solomon. They know nothing of the various blessings of this world which Allah had conferred on the Prophets and the Imaams.

Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (as) says, “A certain Prophet used to sit on a throne studded with jewels with a circular canopy interlaced with golden threads made after the pattern of the throne which was used by Pharaoh. It was from this elevated of grandeur that he used to decide the disputes among the people according to the book of Allah.” The holy Qur'an says, “Say, who has forbidden the beautiful gifts of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the things clean and pure which he has provided for sustenance? Say, they are in the life of this world for those who believe and purely for them on the Day of Judgment.”

We must bear in mind that in the eyes of the Imaams this world is more contemptible than a particle of dust. In every age and at every time they look into the things minutely and in whatever they do, they do for the good of the people.

O the servants of Allah, be careful of the position of the Imaams. Never misconstrue their actions and never allow yourselves to be misled by their outward pomp which they are required to maintain to strike awe in minds of the enemies of Allah.

May Allah guide you in carrying out the orders of the Imaam of the time.

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