The leaders of religion, especially Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) have many times discussed the relation between the Imam and the community in detail. This issue has been grouped under the headings like Bilateral Rights of the Community, or the Responsibilities of the Imam towards the Community and the Responsibilities of the Community towards the Imam.

Similarly, the supplications of Sahifah Sajjadiah by Imam Sajjad (PBUH) have confirmed this fact with its unique style of expressing realities in the form of prayer.  In this regard, Imam Sajjad (PBUH) has said:

“O God! Make the heart of Your Master (Wali) kind towards Your friends; let him have control over Your enemies; grant us with his kindness, mercy, love, and compassion; make us so that we become obedient towards him, inquire his satisfaction, be helpful in defending him, and seek nearness towards You and Your messenger- May Your mercy be upon him and his progeny- by this means”. (2)

In this prayer of Sahifah, the values of leadership in managing human resources and the Islamic community have been reminded. Furthermore maintaining leniency towards the people and opposition towards the enemies are stated. In addition, the responsibilities of the people towards Imam are listed:

1-       Ruling in social issues just like religious issues, and the necessity of being obedient to the Imam

2-       Necessity of seeking the Imam’s satisfaction

3-       Necessity of aiding the Imam and defending his sanctuary

Moreover, from this saying it can be inferred that obeying the Imam is in itself valuable and a means of seeking nearness to Allah (SWT).

Let it not be forgotten that the intent of Imam Sajjad (PBUH) regarding Imam is one that can be the leader of Divine Justice. The details that Imam Sajjad (PBUH) includes before and after this statement are clear evidence that one, who rules with force and cruelty and lacks both the knowledge and faith, is not qualified for this position.

In another phrase of this supplication we read:

“O God! Send Your mercy upon the purest people amongst his household; the ones whom You have appointed for rising with your affairs, and made them the keys to Your knowledge, the guards of Your religion, Your successors on the earth, and Your proof on Your servants.” (3)

This second phrase by Imam Sajjad (PBUH) further explains the characteristics of the Imams:

1-       Imamate is a divine position

2-       The Imams (PBUT) were unique amongst the family of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). They were purified and infallible, while not all the wives and relatives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) were so.

3-       The Infallible Imams (PBUT) – of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) family – were responsible for the protection of the religion and spiritual values after his death.

4-       In addition to leading the people religiously, the Infallible Imams (PBUT) are also in charge of leading people in other affairs, and thus hold the position of divine caliphate.  Until they are amongst the community, no one is authorized to rule.

(Selection taken from:” Imam Sajjad (PBUH), The Beauty of the Worshippers”, by Ahmad Turabi, with some changes)

Congratulations to all the Muslims on 5th of Sha’ban, the birthday anniversary of the master of prostration and the ornament of worshipers, Imam Ali Ibn Hussain (PBUH).

Footnotes:

1-      Sahifah Sajjadiah is a valuable set of supplications in different issues by Imam Sajjad (PBUH).

2-      Sahifah Sajjadiah, Supplication 47, Section 63

3-      Sahifah Sajjadiah, Supplication 47, Section 56