Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Recognition of the Imam‏

Usul al-Kafi Book 4: The Book of Divine Proof Chapter 7 Recognition of the Imam 308. 1. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Verily, the real and true worshipper of God is one who recognizes God, and one who does not recognize Him (accepts His existence only nominally and merely on the basis of hearsay), his worship goes astray (has no value or meaning). Asked to explain what he meant by ‘recognition of God’, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (p): Acknowledgement of God, the Mighty, the Glorious and acknowledgment of the Prophet Muhammad (p), and declaration of fealty to Imam Ali (p) and acknowledgment of his Imamate and the Imamate of the other successive Imams (p), and complete rejection of their enemies. Thus, God the Mighty, the Glorious is recognized.. Translator’s note: We have used the word ‘fealty’ in the tradition narrated above. This expression or its synonyms will occur again and again in the traditions which are to follow. It is, therefore, necessary to explain the exact meaning and significance of this term. The Arabic word in the original text – Mawalat – is generally translated as ‘friendship’. Literally, the translation is correct but the word ‘friendship’ does not convey the sense of the original word Mawalat. In our religious terminology ‘friendship’ signifies sincere acknowledgment of the twelve Imams (p) as God-ordained infallible guides for all humanity. This acknowledgment makes it obligatory upon us to respect them according to the status of their Imamate, to remain faithful and loyal to them, to obey them unhesitatingly and to declare our fealty, allegiance and devotion to them in all circumstances. In the following traditions, the words ‘fealty’, ‘allegiance’, and ‘friendship’ will invariably convey the sense explained herein.

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