In the Name of Allah, the Most Benificent, the Most Merciful
Tauheed, Nabuwat etc. is incomplete unless it is accorded by Imamat. If a person does not believe in Imamat, he cannot enter Paradise. But believing in Imamat does not mean that we say that our Imams are 12.
‘Imam’ means the one who leads i.e. he is ahead of the people and the people are behind him. For E.g. the Pesh-Imam.
Since our belief is not complete unless we follow our Imam in all spheres of life — social, business, religious, etc. Whatever they ask us to ‘Do’ we have to do it, and from whatever they prohibit us, then we should not do it.
This belief includes that our Imam is aware of each and every of our action committed by us.
Allah says in Surah Nisa ayat 41.
“How will it be, then, when We bring from every people a witness and bring you as a witness against these?
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says, “This ayat is for Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) and his nation. In every era, there is an Imam from us who will be the witness upon them and Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) will be witness upon us.
(Ref. Al Kafi 1/190, H. No. 1)
We find in Baqarah 143
“And thus We have made you a middle (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make that which you would have to be the qiblah but that We might distinguish him who follows the Apostle from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah was not going to make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.”
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Middle nation refers to us. We are the witness on all the creations and the Hujjat of Allah upon.”
Since they are our witness, this shows that they are aware of our actions. Else, they cannot be witness. Our full report and activities are presented before our Imam (a.s.)].
Abdullah ibn Abaan Az-Ziyaad was present before Imam Reza (a.s.). He said, “O’ Imam (a.s.) please pray for me and my family.” Imam (a.s.) said, “Do you think that we don’t pray for you? I swear, your actions are presented to us every morning and evening.” Abdullah was surprised. Imam (a.s.) said, “Have you not read this ayat of Quran i.e.
“And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers; and you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did.”
Here ‘believers’ refers to Imam Ali (a.s.)
Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Why are you giving trouble to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a)? A person asked, “How do we hurt Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a). He has died many years ago. We have not seen him?” Imam (a.s.) replied, “Don’t you know that your actions are presented before him and when he sees a sin, he becomes sad and sorrowful. Don’t make him sad, but make him happy.”
(Al Kafi, 1/190, H. No. 3)
Not only is Imam aware of our actions, he knows the minutest of details about us. For instance, once some people came to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) and said, “We are your Shias. Imam (a.s.) said, ‘Not possible, your name is not in our list of Shias.”
Imam Reza (a.s.) wrote in a better, “Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was ‘Ameen’ of Allah. After his wafat, we are his inheritors. We know who will be involved in which calamity. We know the lineage of all the Arabs. We know who will be born as a Muslim. We can recognize how much belief a person has and how much hypocrisy he has, just by looking at (him). We know the names of all our shias along with the names of their forefathers.”
(Al Kafi, 1/223, H. No. 1)
(Just by claiming to be shias is not sufficient our names should be there on the list of our Imam).
Janabe Mufazzal came to Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) and said, “Is it possible that Allah makes it compulsory that all the people should obey a person and that person is unaware of the news of the heavens? Imam (a.s.) said, “No Allah is more merciful than to make the obedience of a person wajib on the people and conceals from that person the news of the heavens.”
(Al Kafi 1/261, H. No. 3)
Imams are not only aware of our actions, but are afflicted by it. This is because along with the information there is a relation between us. We are there Shias.
Rumaila narrates, “It was the time of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). I was very ill. When Friday arrived, I felt better. So I went for Namaz. There Imam was giving a sermon. When I reached the mosque, my pain increased again. I was shivering and trembling with pain. When we finished our prayers and was on the way back home, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) asked, “O Rameela, why were you shivering?” Rameela said, “I was in too much pain.” Imam (a.s.) said, “Whenever our Shia is in pain, we too are afflicted by that pain. When they are sorrowful, we too are sad. When they pray to Allah, we say ‘Aameen’. And if he is slient, then we pray for him. No believer — in the east or west — is excluded from our knowledge.”
(Basaaer-ud-Darajaat, chap. 16, H. No. 1)
Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.) loves us so much, then, does not this love demand that we too do those actions which will please him.
In a Tauqee to Shaikh Mufeed (a.r.), Imam-e-Asr (a.s.) says:
“Although now we are staying away from the oppressive people because of Allah infinite wisdom. We are far from you, but our knowledge encompasses all your actions and nothing is hidden from us. Whatever troubles and difficulties through which you are passing we are aware of it. The cause of these troubles is that you are involved in all those acts which your forefathers had forsaken. And you have forgotten the pledge taken from you. But we are not negligent of your affairs and neither do we forget your remembrances. If we would have forsaken you these calamities would have surrounded you and enemies would have destroyed you …then each of you should perform those actions, which bring you near to our love and leave those acts which are the cause of our anger.
“We are advising you because our Zuhoor will be sudden and at that time the door of repentance will be closed and regret will not help you.”
Another Tauqee of Imam (a.s.) says: If our shias — may Allah — would have been united in their pledge, then our reappearance would not have been delayed. The thing which has kept us away from them is the news which we get about them and which we don’t expect from them.
(If a blind person enters the court of a king, he will have to maintain the protocol of the court. He will have to respect the king just like everyone else. This is because although the blind man cannot see the king, but this man knows that the king is seeing him. Hence he behaves properly.
In this Ghaibat, we are the blind man and our Imam is our king.)