The Holy Quran declares,

يَوْمَ نَدْعُوْ كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ …

On the day when We shall call every nation with their Imam (leader)….

(Surah Bani Israel (17): verse 71)

Every wise person is aware of the fact that it is obligatory to recognise Allah and His Prophets (a.s.). Besides believing in Allah and His emissaries (a.s.), it is also necessary that everybody must know the Imam of his time and believe in his Imamat. That is, after Divine Monotheism (توحيد) and Prophethood (نبوت), it is compulsory for everybody to believe in Imamat (امامت) and hence the call for recognition. The importance of Imam’s (a.s.) recognition is underlined by the following tradition of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which is narrated by both Shia as well as Sunni traditionalists,

مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْرِفْ اِمَامَ زَمَانِه مَاتَ مِيْتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً

One who dies without recognising the Imam of his time, dies the death of jaahiliyyah (ignorance).

( Musnad of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, 2/73; Saheeh Bukhari, 5/17; Al-Kafi of Kulayni (r.a.), 1/377 )


Jaahiliyyah is the period before Islam when only deviation prevailed. If somebody believes in Tauheed, Prophethood, Qiyamat, Quran and Islam and also fulfils his religious obligations but lacks only one thing, i.e. he does not recognise the Imam of his time and dies in this very condition, indeed his death is that of disbelief and ignorance. If one really intends to take advantage of Tauheed, Qiyamat and all other beliefs and actions, it is essential that he acquires the recognition of the Imam of his time.

Therefore, if the people of Imam Sadeq’s (a.s.) era did not recognise him, their religion would be flawed. Similarly, in today’s time, it is necessary to recognise the Imam of the time, viz. Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). If somebody does not possess the Imam’s recognition, indeed his religion is incomplete. In other words, along with subscription to the belief in Tauheed, Qiyamat and other Imams (a.s.), it is necessary for all of us to recognise the Imam of our time and to believe in him.


During his historic journey to Neyshaapoor, Imam Reza (a.s.) received a hearty welcome from the people and the scholars of the Ahle Sunnat, who insisted him to relate some traditions. Imam Reza (a.s.) narrated this tradition for them on the authority of his ancestors, extending till the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), that Allah the Almighty, says

كَلِمَةُ لاَ اِلهَ اِلاَّ اللهُ حِصْنِىْ. فَمَنْ دَخَلَ حِصْنِىْ اَمِنَ مِنْ عَذَابِىْ

The statement, there is no god but Allah, is My Fort, and the one who enters My Fort is saved from My Chastisement.

On hearing this, the Ahle Sunnat scholars were delighted and made way for the Imam (a.s.). Then, he raised his head from the cubicle and elaborated this Hadith-e-Qudsi thus,

بِشَرْطِهَا وَ اَنَا مِنْ شُرُوْطِهَا

(This belief in Tauheed) has some conditions. And I (i.e. the belief in my Imamat) am one of the conditions.

(Oyoon-o-Akhbaar al-Reza (a.s.), chap. 37, vol. 4, pg.134, Trad. 4)


Thus, in the present era, to complete our faith and to protect ourselves from eternal chastisement, it is necessary that we believe in the Imamat of Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).

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