Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi
The Ahlul Bayt DILP team wishes to inform the reader of some important points regarding this digitized text, which represents the English translation of a work originally written in Farsi- Persian. Whereas no one can doubt the best intentions of the translator and the publishers in making this title accessible to an English speaking audience, the editing and digitization process of this book (carried out by the DILP Team) has revealed issues in the quality of translation. Based upon this fact, the DILP team has taken the liberty to make grammatical corrections to make the text more readable and less ambiguous; spelling mistakes and typographical errors have also been corrected and an attempt has been made to improve the highly non-standard use of transliteration of Arabic names and terms. The online text is not an exact reproduction of the original translation. Users wishing to see the translation as it was published should refer to printed copies available in bookshops. Those who understand are advised to refer directly to the original text. NOTE: Some narrations in this text may appear to be very hagiographical in nature. As a classic work (late 17th century) by a prominent Shi’ah traditionist (Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi II [d. 1110 AH /1699 CE]) it is still an important source of early Islamic history and the biography of prophets as recorded in Islamic texts. For the most part, this work makes an extremely interesting read written in a captivating, narrative style. Reports in this work that seem to be legends or myths may simply be symbolic and mystical (rather than mythical). It would therefore be a folly to always interpret such narrations literally. In cases where a narration appears to contradict a fundamental belief in Islam (such as the infallibility of a Prophet), the author/translator has alluded (via footnotes) that they may have crept into the work because of dissimulation (taqiyyah) or forgery. DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this DIGITAL EDITION is for information purposes only and cannot be used to determine current Islamic legal opinions nor as a definitive stance of the teachings of Islam as conveyed by the Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt and as such. The Ahlul Bayt DILP Team
The third volume deals with the topic of Imamate, the appointment of the Imam (a.s.), the inerrancy of the Imams and the obligation of the people to obey them. After this the Author has collected all the verses of the Holy Quran whose Exegesis (Tafsir) points towards Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). He has supported his statements with traditions. This volume can be said to be a Special Tafsir of the Holy Quran.
Which mentions that the existence of Imam is essential in every period of the time and that no age ever remains without an Imam and that it is obligatory to obey him and that people do not get guidance but through the Imam and that it is necessary that the Imam must be clear of all sins and that he ought to be appointed by Allah. Also a brief description of the Divine texts (Nusoos) revealed regarding the Imams. So also some of their virtues. There are several Parts in this.
We should know that there is a difference of opinion among the religious scholars whether the appointment of an Imam is essential or not after the passing of the period of Prophethood. If it is obligatory, on whom: on Allah or on the community? Anyhow, its being essential is a demand of reason, that is, does mind call for his essentiality or the essentiality is based on the heard arguments?
All the Shia scholars are unanimous that it is essential for Allah both from the viewpoint of reason and the divine texts that He should appoint the Imam. Some Mutazilite Ahle Sunnah and all Khawarij believe that it is not at all necessary for either Allah or the people to appoint an Imam. While the Ashairah, Ahle Hadith, Ahle Sunnah and some Mutazilites say that people must appoint an Imam as a demand of textual proof and not of intelligence. A group of the Mutazilites is of the opinion that it is necessary for the people to appoint an Imam in the time of peace to save them in the time of turmoil; that if there is a danger of mischief then it is not necessary and some opine contrary to this also.
In the Arab lexicon, Imam means a leader and commander, and in the terminology of the Najiyah Imamiyah group (Shias) mostly Imam means the one who leads the group prayer and according to Scholastic theology (Ilme Kalam) Imam means a man who has been appointed by Allah for the deputyship of the messenger and sometimes this word applies to the prophet too and it will, Insha Allah be known hereafter in the following pages that, according to some reliable traditions the rank of an Imam is higher than that of a messenger as Allah has, after (granting him Prophethood) said to Ibrahim (a.s.):
قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا.
“I will make you an Imam of men.” (Sura Baqara 2:124)
Some researchers have said that Imam is the one who may be a ruler in the worldly and religious affairs, from Allah through a man like a messenger, but the messenger is one who, without the mediation of man,(directly) quotes Allah’s commandments and that Imam quotes through a man who is a messenger.
Relevant verses are as follows: