Criterion for Success – Mastership of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon him)

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عَنِ ابْنِ اَبِي يَعْفُورٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِاَبِي عَبْدِ اللّهِؑ اِنِّي اُخَالِطُ النَّاسَ فَيَكْثُرُ عَجَبِي مِنْ اَقْوَامٍ لَا يَتَوَالَوْنَكُمْ وَ يَتَوَالَوْنَ فُلَاناً وَ فُلَاناً لَهُمْ اَمَانَةٌ وَ صِدْقٌ وَ وَفَاءٌ وَ اَقْوَامٌ يَتَوَالَوْنَكُمْ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ تِلْكَ الْاَمَانَةُ وَ لَا الْوَفَاءُ وَ لَا الصِّدْقُ قَالَ فَاسْتَوَى اَبُو عَبْدِ اللّهِؑ جَالِساً وَ اَقْبَلَ عَلَيَّ كَالْمُغْضَبِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَا دِينَ لِمَنْ دَانَ بِوِلَايَةِ اِمَامٍ جَائِرٍ لَيْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ وَ لَا عَتْبَ عَلٰى مَنْ دَانَ بِوِلَايَةِ اِمَامٍ عَادِلٍ مِنَ اللّهِ قُلْتُ لَا دِينَ لِاُولَئِكَ وَ لَا عَتْبَ عَلٰى هَؤُلَاءِ ثُمَّ قَالَ اَ لَا تَسْمَعُ قَوْلَ اللّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُماتِ اِلَى النُّورِ مِنْ ظُلُمَاتِ الذُّنُوبِ اِلَى نُورِ التَّوْبَةِ اَوِ الْمَغْفِرَةِ لِوَلَايَتِهِمْ كُلَّ اِمَامٍ عَادِلٍ مِنَ اللّهِ قَالَ وَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا اَوْلِياؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُمْ مِنَ النُّورِ اِلَى الظُّلُماتِ فَاَيُّ نُورٍ يَكُونُ لِلْكَافِرِ فَيَخْرُجُ مِنْهُ اِنَّمَا عَنَى بِهَذَا اَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا عَلٰى نُورِ الْاِسْلَامِ فَلَمَّا تَوَالَوْا كُلَّ اِمَامٍ جَائِرٍ لَيْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ خَرَجُوا بِوَلَايَتِهِمْ اِيَّاهُمْ مِنْ نُورِ الْاِسْلَامِ اِلَى ظُلُمَاتِ الْكُفْرِ فَاَوْجَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُمُ النَّارَ مَعَ الْكُفَّارِ فَقَالَ اُولئِكَ اَصْحابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيها خالِدُون‏

Abdullah Ibn Abi Yafoor reports, “I asked Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him), ‘I socialize with the people. What amazes me a lot about some people who don’t accept your mastership and submit to the mastership of so and so. They are trustworthy, truthful and loyal. But those who accept your mastership don’t have these traits trustworthiness, loyal and truthfulness.” (On hearing this question), Imam Abu Abdillah (peace be upon him) sat up straight, looked at me like an angry person and said, ‘There is no religion for the one who does not believe in an unjust Imam not appointed by Allah and the one who believes in a just Imam appointed by Allah will not have any reproach.’ I asked (in astonishment), ‘The first group does not have religion and the second no blame?’ He (peace be upon him) retorted, ‘Have you not heard the word of Allah – Might and Majestic be He – Allah is the Patron of those who believe; He takes them out from darkness to light’? That is, from the darkness of sins to the light of repentance or forgiveness for their (acceptance of) mastership of a just Imam appointed by Allah. He says, ‘And those who disbelieved, their masters are the devils who bring them out from light to darkness.’ Then what is the light that was for the disbeliever then he brings him out of it? He only means by this that surely they were on the light of Islam. When they have accepted every unjust Imam who is not appointed by Allah they come out from this mastership of theirs to the darkness of disbelief. Hence, Allah made the hell-fire obligatory upon them along with the unbelievers. He says, ‘These are the inmates of the hell-fire. They shall stay in it forever.”


Abdullah Ibn Abi Yafoor (r.a.) was a great companion of the Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him). He was oppressed like most of Allah’s friends. He was regarded among the hawaari of the 6th Imam (peace be upon him).

The opponents are totally deviated on all issues, mainly beliefs. The reason being that they have abandoned their Imam (peace be upon him). Hence, Imam (peace be upon him) says that they don’t have ANY RELIGION at all whatsoever.

If the Imam is not from Allah, he will be an ordinary human. Naturally, such a person will always be prone to mistake in most of the fields. In case of spirituality, it will lead to eternal perdition. One who is not connected to Allah will inevitably be unjust because he will not put a thing in its place.

Imam (peace be upon him) has used the term ‘infidel’ for the opponents.

Taaghoot is an exaggerative noun for tughyaan. Satan is taaghoot. A tyrant ruler is taaghoot. A bogus Imam is taaghoot.

Here a question may arise. An opponent who doesn’t know anything about the historical disputes, will he still be subjected to eternal punishment?

Reply: Deviated people are of 3 kinds:

a)    The one who knows, is well aware and yet he denies. He knows the truth yet denies due to worldly reasons.

b)    Ignorant and muqassir. He doesn’t know the details. He will be punished. Since he was aware of the brief, he should have explored the details and the message had reached unto him.

c)    Ignorant and qaasir. He doesn’t know the matter at all, neither detail nor brief. He will be tested again in the hereafter.


1.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 322, H. 39

2.    al-Ghaibah of al-Nomani (r.a.)

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