Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:124, Part-IV)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Imamat, Pinnacle Honor of Prophet Ibrahim
Imam, the Divine Authority on Earth
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٢٤﴾
Translation: 2:104 When his Lord tested Abraham with certain words (commands) and he fulfilled them, He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind.’ Said he, ‘And from among my descendants?’ He said, ‘My pledge does not extend to the unjust.’
Commentary: Allah (SWT) tested Prophet Ibrahim (AS) with a series of difficult and strenuous assignments [كَلِمَاتٍ]. With sincerity and brilliance, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) fulfilled his missions. After that, Allah (SWT) appointed him to a unique and pristine position of his time; Imam to all mankind of his era without any exceptions [لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا]:
…..قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا …….﴿١٢٤﴾
This unique position in Islamic traditions is called the divine authority [Arabic:( حجت الهی)], and according to traditions that had reached us through the household of the Prophet (SAW), the earth has not been without a divine authority since the time of Adam (AS). In this perspective, the Imam is the most perfect human being on earth and it is through him that all mankind receives Allah’s grace and mercy.
The late Mohammad bin Ya`qub al-Kulayni, the great Hadith scholar, has narrated thirteen Hadith in Al-Kāfī, the Chapter “Earth Does Not Remain Without the Divine Authority” [Arabic: (أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ لَا تَخْلُو مِنْ حُجَّة)]. For instance, hadith number ten narrates from Imam Sadeq (AS):
لَوْ بَقِيَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِغَيْرِ إِمَامٍ لَسَاخَتْ
The earth without the presence of Imam will not be suitable habitat for man
This implies that Imam is the divine authority [Arabic: ( حجت الهی)] which through him the divine grace, mercy, bounties that sustains life on Earth, and divine guidance which emanates from the will of Allah (SWT) ultimately reaches mankind.
The Quran and supplications that reached us through the Prophet and his Ahlul-Bayt echoes the aforementioned conclusions. For instance, in Surah An-Nisa, it is stated that we found Allah (SWT)’s mercy and forgiveness [(لَوَجَدُوا اللَّـهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا)] once the Prophet (SAW) asks forgiveness for us [(وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ); (An-Nisa 6:64)]:
…. ۚ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّـهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّـهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا ﴿٦٤﴾
6:64 and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.
In a part of the supplication of Iftatah, which is recited in the month of Ramadan, we seek Allah’s blessing through the Imam of time:
يَا خَيْرَ الْمَسْؤُولِينَ، وَأَوْسَعَ الْمُعْطِينَ،اشْفِ بِهِ صُدُورَنَا،وَأَذْهِبْ بِهِ غَيْظَ قُلُوبِنَا، وَاهْدِنَا بِهِ لِمَا اخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ مِنَ الْحَقِّ بِإذْنِكَ،إنَّكَ تَهْدِي مَنْ تَشَاءُ إلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ،وَانْصُرْنَا بِهِ عَلَى عَدُوِّكَ وَعَدُوِّنَاإلهَ الْحَقِّ آمِينَ.
O the Best of givers and bestowers; Through him (Imam of the time), cleans (heal) our hearts, remove the strains of anger and hatred from our hearts, and guide us to the truth on disputed matters, by your permission, surely you guide whom you wish to the right path. Through him, help us to overcome your enemy and our enemy, O God, Ameen
Similarly, in Dua Nodbah, we invoke Allah (SWT) to accept (through the Imam of time) our prayers, forgive our sins, answer our calls, expand our means of livelihood, ease our hardships, meet our demands in full (through him):
…… وَاجْعَلْ صَلٰوتَنَا بِهٖ مَقْبُوْلَةً وَ ذُنُوْبَنَا بِهٖ مَفْغُوْرَةً وَ دُعَآئَنَا بِهٖ مُسْتَجَابًا وَاجْعَلْ اَرْزَاقَنَا بِهٖ مَبْسُوْطَةً وَ هُمُوْمَنَا بِهٖ مَكْفِيَّةً وَ حَوَآئِجَنَا بِهٖ مَقْضِيَّةً وَ اَقْبِلْ اِلَيْنَا بِوَجْهِكَ الْكَرِيْمِ…..
Accept (through the Imam of time) our prayers, forgive our sins, answer our calls, expand our means of livelihood, ease our hardships, meet our demands in full (through him). Turn towards us your kindness.
اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة