Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) are the Imams of the Muslims and the Divine Proofs

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اَلْاَعْمَشِ عَنِ الصَّادِقِؑ عَنْ اَبِيهِ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِؑ قَالَ نَحْنُ اَئِمَّةُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَ حُجَجُ اللهِ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ وَ سَادَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ قَادَةُ الْغُرِّ الْمُحَجَّلِينَ وَ مَوَالِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ نَحْنُ اَمَانُ اَهْلِ الْاَرْضِ كَمَا اَنَّ النُّجُومَ اَمَانٌ لِاَهْلِ السَّمَاءِ وَ نَحْنُ الَّذِينَ بِنَا يُمْسِكُ اللهُ السَّماءَ اَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَى الْاَرْضِ اِلَّا بِاِذْنِهِ وَ بِنَا يُمْسِكُ الْاَرْضَ اَنْ تَمِيدَ بِاَهْلِهَا وَ بِنَا يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَ بِنَا يَنْشُرُ الرَّحْمَةَ وَ يُخْرِجُ بَرَكَاتِ الْاَرْضِ وَ لَوْ لَا مَا فِي الْاَرْضِ مِنَّا لَسَاخَتْ بِاَهْلِهَا ثُمَّ قَالَؑ وَ لَمْ تَخْلُ الْاَرْضُ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ اللهُ آدَمَ مِنْ حُجَّةٍ لِلهِ فِيهَا ظَاهِرٍ مَشْهُورٍ اَوْ غَائِبٍ مَسْتُورٍ وَ لَا تَخْلُو اِلَى اَنْ تَقُومَ السَّاعَةُ مِنْ حُجَّةِ اللهِ فِيهَا وَ لَوْ لَا ذٰلِكَ لَمْ يُعْبَدِ اللهُ قَالَ سُلَيْمَانُ فَقُلْتُ لِلصَّادِقِؑ فَكَيْفَ يَنْتَفِعُ النَّاسُ بِالْحُجَّةِ الْغَائِبِ الْمَسْتُورِ قَالَؑ كَمَا يَنْتَفِعُونَ بِالشَّمْسِ اِذَا سَتَرَهَا السَّحَابُ

Sulaiman Ibn A’mash reports that Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him) narrates from his father who reports from his father Imam Ali Ibn al-Husain (peace be upon him), “We are the Imams of the Muslims, Allah’s proofs upon the worlds, leaders of the believers, chiefs of the pious ones and the masters of the believers. We are safety for the people of the earth like the stars are security for the inhabitants of the sky. We are the ones due to whom Allah withholds the sky from falling on the earth except through His permission. Due to us the earth is withheld from swallowing its inhabitants. Through us rains descend and through us mercy is spread and the blessings of the earth come out. Had there not been (an Imam) from us in the earth, it would have been destroyed.”

Then Imam (peace be upon him) continues, “Since Allah has created Adam (peace be upon him), the earth is not devoid of a proof from Allah; regardless of him being apparent and known or hidden and concealed. It cannot be devoid of a proof from Allah till the Day of Judgment. Had this not been the case, Allah would not have been worshipped.”

Sulaiman says, “I asked al-Sadeq (peace be upon him), ‘How can the people benefit from an Imam who is hidden and concealed?”

He (peace be upon him) replied, “Like they benefit from the sun when the clouds conceal it.”

Note:

Sulaiman Ibn Mehraan al-A’mash was a famous Shia narrator and scholar. Even the opponents relied upon him.

References:

1.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, pp. 5 & 6, H. 10

2.    Kamaal al-Deen, vol. 1, p. 207, H. 22, Chapter 21

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