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  • 1/26/2013

Mawla Is Broader than Imam

imam ali (a.s)

‘Imam’ is the one who is followed by others; it may be a person or a book or something else. Its plural form is ‘Imams’.

Before mentioning the famous sentence, “For whosoever I am Leader (mawla), Ali is his mawla,”‌ the Holy Prophet says: "Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?"

All the Muslims together answered: “Yes! Messenger of God, you have more right over us than what we have over ourselves.”‌

Before uttering the word 'Mawla' in this sentence, the Prophet reminded the believers of his leadership and friendship; thus, by the word 'Mawla', he doesn't only imply that Ali (A.S) is your friend or Imam; he actually means something beyond being merely Imam because at that time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in Mecca, not only was he the leader (Mawla) of believers but also he had right and priority over all believers; however he was not the ruler and Imam publicly.

Therefore, 'Mawla' is a word which is more meaningful than 'Imam' and consequently this sentence, "For whosoever I am the Leader (Mawla), Ali is his Leader (Mawla)", is more meaningful than "For whosoever I am the Imam , 'Ali is the Imam" because while 'Imam' means the leader and the ruler of the time, 'Mawla' is a person who always has right over others and believers even if he is not allowed to be the leader in the community and he has acquired knowledge and purity so much so that the true believers prefer his desire over their own desires.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

The Tradition of Ghadir and Its Continuity (Part 1)

The Tradition of Ghadir and Its Continuity (Part 2)

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