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The Impact of Believing in the Imam on one’s Salvation


Keeping in mind what was said before; here we will speak of the concept of salvation and success; what it is in this world and the next and the role belief in the imam plays in bringing salvation.

a) The concept of salvation

Each and every person has his/her own perception of salvation and happiness, but it seems this variety in views isn't to the benefit of those who are in pursuit of the truth. So it’s better to seek the true meaning from God that is to divide all people into the two groups of those who have reached salvation and those who don’t and are at loss.

When Allah (swt) wants to describe one of His successful servants, Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), this is how He does it:

“و ان من شيعته لأبراهيم. اذ جاء ربه بقلب سليم”‌[8] (And verily, Ibrahim was a true follower Of Nuh; He came towards his Creator and Nurturer With a pure heart). He also quotes him saying:

“Do not disgrace me on the day that they will be resurrected; the day when neither wealth nor children will avail; except him who comes to Allah with a pure heart”‌ [9].

As you can see, a pure heart has been emphasized in these verses. What can be deduced is that one reaches salvation when he/she lives in a way that when the time to part this world and meet Allah (swt) arrives, he/she has a pure heart.

What is interesting is that after verse 89 of surah Shu’ara [that says “except him who comes to Allah (swt) with a pure heart], the verse “و ازلفت الجنة للمتقين”‌ comes, which means: “[And on the Day of Judgement] Paradise is drawn near to the muttaqin or pious people”‌. The message this verse conveys is that the outcome of having a pure heart is to have taqwa, and that paradise is the reward of those who bear taqwa.

Conclusion: Happiness and salvation are contingent upon having a pure heart and a sign if having it is taqwa. The person who has truly reached salvation is one who possesses a pure heart.

b) The role believing in an imam plays in one reaching salvation

Many Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated the following hadith; a portion of it will be narrated here:

The prophet (PBUH) told Ali (A.s): Prophet Musa’s (PBUH) nation was split into seventy-one sects in which only one of those sects was delivered while all the others would go to Hell; Prophet Isa’s (PBUH) nation was split into seventy-two groups in which only one of them was delivered and the rest all companions of the Hellfire; my nation will also be split into seventy-three groups in which only one of them will be delivered, while the rest will all go to Hell. Imam Ali (A.S) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Which of them is to be delivered?”‌ He answered: “Those who go your way and the way of your followers and embrace it.”‌[10]

Baridah Aslami [whom the Sunnis believe to be one of the prophet’s (PBUH) companions] quotes the prophet (PBUH) saying that what is meant by “the straight path”‌ in surah Fatihah that says “guide us to the straight path”‌ is Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his progeny.[11]

The prophet (PBUH) has said: “Whoever wishes to swiftly pass “the bridge of sirat”‌ [on the Day of Judgment] like a typhoon and enter paradise without any reckoning, has to accept my friend, successor, companion and the one to take my place after me over my progeny, Ali ibn AbiTaleb.”‌ If anyone desires to go to Hell, then he should: “disregard his [Ali’s (A.S)] authority, for by my lord’s glory and magnificence, he [Ali (A.S)] is the only door to Allah (swt) and the straight path and the one whose authority and imamate will be asked of on the Day of Judgement [from the rest of the people].”‌[12]

To be continued …

For further information, see:

1- Hell and Non-Muslims, Question 47 (site: 283)

2- Attentive ignorant individuals and deliverance from the hellfire, Question 323 (site: 1751)


[8] Saffat: 83-84.

[9] Shu’ara:87-89.

[10] Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyeezil-Sahabah, vol. 2, pg. 174.

[11] Seyyed Shahabuddin Shafe’I, Rashfatul-Sadi, pg. 25; Sheikh Salman Hanafi, Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, pg. 114.

[12] Haskani, Shawahidul-Tanzil, vol. 1, pp. 51 and 90.

Source: shafaqna.com

Other links:

Ameerul Momenin (A.S) In Qur’an

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