To Raise anyone to the status of Imamat is Polytheism

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عَنْ اَبِي جَعْفَرٍ ع قَالَ: اِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ نَصَبَ عَلِيًّا ع عَلَمًا بَيْنَهُ‏ وَ بَيْنَ‏ خَلْقِهِ‏ فَمَنْ‏ عَرَفَهُ‏ كَانَ مُؤْمِنًا وَ مَنْ اَنْكَرَهُ كَانَ كَافِرًا وَ مَنْ جَهِلَهُ كَانَ ضَالًّا وَ مَنْ نَصَبَ مَعَهُ شَيْئًا كَانَ مُشْرِكًا وَ مَنْ جَاءَ بِوَلَايَتِهِ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ.

Imam Baqer (peace be upon him) says:

“Certainly, Allah the Almighty, established Ali, peace be upon him, as an emblem between Himself and His creation. Whosoever acquires his recognition is a believer and whosoever denies him is a disbeliever. Whoever remains ignorant of him is deviated. Whoever raises anyone to his status is a polytheist. While the one who reaches (Allah) with belief in his mastership enters heaven.”

References:

1.    Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 437, H. 7

2.    Amaali, p. 487, H. 1067

3.    Wasaael al-Shiah, vol. 28, p. 353, H. 34951

4.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 32, p. 324, H. 300

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