عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ اَبِي جَعْفَرٍؑ قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ اَ رَاَيْتَ مَنْ جَحَدَ اِمَاماً مِنْكُمْ مَا حَالُهُ قَالَ مَنْ جَحَدَ اِمَاماً مِنَ اللهِ وَ بَرِءَ مِنْهُ وَ مِنْ دِينِهِ فَهُوَ كَافِرٌ مُرْتَدٌّ عَنِ الْاِسْلَامِ لِاَنَّ الْاِمَامَ مِنَ اللهِ وَ دِينَهُ دِينُ اللهِ وَ مَنْ بَرِئَ مِنْ دِينِ اللهِ فَدَمُهُ مُبَاحٌ فِي تِلْكَ الْحَالِ اِلَّا اَنْ يَرْجِعَ اَوْ يَتُوبَ اِلَى اللهِ مِمَّا قَالَ
Muhammad Ibn Muslim reports that he asked Imam Abu Jafar al-Baqer (peace be upon him), “Do you think that anyone who denies an Imam from you, what’s his condition?’ He (peace be upon him) replied, ‘Whoever denies an Imam from Allah and distances himself from him and his religion is a disbeliever and an apostate from Islam. For, an Imam is from Allah and his religion is Allah’s religion. Thus, whoever distances from Allah’s religion, his blood is permissible in this condition except that he returns or repents to Allah from whatever he has said.”
One who denies the Imam due to some worldly attractions is a disbeliever and an apostate. This is because he has denied Allah and his religion because an Imam is from Him.
1. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 89, H. 34
2. al-Ghaibah of al-Nomani, p. 129, H. 3, Chapter 7