The Value of Knowing the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S)
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W): Whomever Allah has bestowed the knowing and the love of my Ahl al-Bayt has actually been granted the whole benevolence.
Al-Imam al-Baqir (A.S.): Those who have known Allah and their Imam who is of our Ahl al-Bayt, has truly known Allah the Almighty and worshipped him.
Zurarah: Addressing al-Imam al-Baqir (A.S.): I humbly ask you to let me know whether knowing Imams of your household is incumbent on all people. The Imam (A.S.) replied: Verily, the Almighty Allah appointed Muhammad (S.A.W.) as His Messenger and Divine Authority (Hujjah) for all his creatures on earth. So those who believe in Allah and Muhammad (S.A.W.), the Messenger of Allah, and follow him and approve of him are obliged to know the Imam among our household.
Salim: I asked al-Imam al-Baqir (A.S.) about the ayah: Then we have given the Book for inheritance to our servants as we have chosen: But there are among them some who wrong their own souls; some who follow a middle course; and some who are, by Allah's allowance foremost in good deeds (35:52). His Holiness (A.S.) explained: The one who is foremost in good deeds is the Imam, the one who follows a middle course is the knower of the Imam, and the one who wrongs his own soul is the one who does not know the Imam.
Al-Imam al-Sadiq (A.S.) said: We are the ones whose obedience has been made incumbent by Allah. It is obligatory on people to get to know us and are not excused otherwise...And anyone who neither gets to know us nor denies us is misled unless he returns to the guidance that Allah has made incumbent on him, i.e. necessity of obeying us, and if he dies misled, Allah will do with him what He wills.
Al-Imam al-Reza (A.S.) quotes in the Ziarah (visitation to holy shrines) of al-Imams (A.S.): Salutations to the stations of Divine knowledge... whoever knows them has known Allah and whoever does not has not known Allah.
The Status of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)
Ahl al-Bayt as the Ark of Noah
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: My Ahl al-Bayt among you are as the Ark of Noah on which whoever got board was salvaged and whoever missed it, was thrown into the Fire.
Hanash al-Kinani: I heard Abu Dharr introducing himsef while holding the door of Ka'ba and saying: I heard from the Prophet (S.A.W.) say: Lo! My Ahl al-Bayt among you is like the Ark of Noah among his folk; whoever got on board was salvaged and the one who left behind was drowned.
Al-Imam Ali (A.S.) said: O Kumail! Once after saying the evening prayer on mid-Ramadan, the Hoy Prophet(S.A.W.) told me while standing on his feet upon the Minbar (Pulpit) with the Muhajirin (emigrants) and the Ansars (the helpers) gathered around: Ali(A.S.) and my two grandsons from him who are immaculate are me [my light] and I am of them; they are pure, only second to their mother; they are as an Ark, whoever gets on board will be rescued and the one who misses it will fall down, the savaged will abide in Paradise and the one left behind will fall into the Fire.
Ahl al-Bayt as Bab Hittah
The messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: My Ahl al-Bayt among you are as Bab Hittah (the Gate of Hittah) among Sons of Israel.
Whoever enters through it will be absolved.
Al-Imam Ali (A.S.): We are the Bab Hittah, and that is the Bab al-Salam, whoever enters through it will be absolved and whoever passes it by will be annihilated.
Al-Imam Ali (A.S.) said: Lo! The knowledge which Adam brought down and whatever the prophets - up to their last one - are preferred, lies in the Itrat (progeny) of the last of the prophets and messengers. Where are you, then, misled to and wandering about?
They [the Itrat] are among you as the "The People of the Cave" and as the Bab Hittah. They are the Gates to safety. Allah says: O ye who believe! Enter into Islam wholeheartedly; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one.
Ahl al-Bayt as the House of Allah
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) to Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.): O Ali You are like Allah's house of sanctity, whoever enters will be secured. So, whoever loves and advocates you will be secure from the Fire and whoever expresses hatred at you will be cast in the Fire.
O Ali, "Pilgrimage is a duty men owe to Allah-those who can afford the Journey,"(3:97), then, those who are excused have their excuse; those who are short of provisions, are excused for having little provision; and those who are sick are excused for their sickness.
However Allah will neither excuse the rich, the poor, the sick nor the healthy, and neither the blind nor the seeing for their negligence of advocating and loving you.
The Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.) as the Stars
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.): They (my Ahl al-Bayt) among my Ummah are like the stars in the sky, when one of them disappears another will emerge. They are Imams, guiding and guided. Neither hatred of the hateful toward them will harm them, nor will withdrawal of assistance by those who refuse their assistance; but Allah will inflict harm on those who harbor hatred toward them and refuse assistance to them. They are Allah's proofs and authorities on earth and His witnesses to creatures; whoever takes their commands has taken Allah's commands and whoever is disobedient to them has disobeyed Allah. They are with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with them. Neither they will be separated from the Qur'an nor the Qur'an will be separated from them until they join me by the Hawd (the pond) of Kawthar. The first Imam is my brother Ali (A.S.) who is best of them, then my son al-Hasan (A.S.) and after him my son al-Husayn(A.S.) followed by nine of al-Husayn's(A.S.) sons.
Al-Imam a-Sadiq (A.S.): There exists no Alim (scholar) who dies leaving behind a successor, except us. That is, whenever an Alim departs from among us, another one will appear to take his position.
We are as stars in the sky.
Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.) as the Two Eyes
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.): Consider my Ahl al-Bayt as head to the body and the two eyes to the head; for the body will not find the way without the head and the head will not be guided without the eyes.
Warning against Not Knowing the Ahl al- Bayt(A.S.)
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.): Whoever dies without [having] an Imam, he dies like the ones who died in pre-Islamic paganism (Jahiliyyah).
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.): He who dies without having a pledge on him, (has died) as in pre-Islamic Paganism.
64. Isa ibn Sarri: I said to al-Imam al-Sadiq (A.S.): Make me aware of what the foundations of Islam are based on, to which if I cling, my deeds will be purified and ignorance will not harm me.
Al-Imam (A.S.) said: Profession to La ilaha illa - Allah Muhammadan Rasul Allah(there is no god but Allah and Muhammad (S.A.W.) is the Messenger of Allah) and to what is sent to him by Allah and that there are shares in your possessions for Zakat (poor alms) as well as walaya of the family of Muhammad (S.A.W.) ordered by Allah the Almighty. The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) has said: Whoever dies, without knowing his Imam has died as in pre-Islamic paganism. Allah says: Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you (4:59). So, Ali (A.S.) is the Imam and after him is Hasan(A.S.), then Husayn (A.S.), and then followed by Ali ibn al-Husayn(A.S.), then Muhammad ibn Ali(A.S.) and so forth. The earth will not be in proper order except with the existence of an Imam and whoever died not knowing his Imam he has died as in pre-Islamic paganism.
Al-Imam al- Baqir(A.S.): Anyone among this Ummah who dies and has no distinct about Just Imam sent to him by the Exalted and Almighty Allah, he has died in Kufr, disbelief and hypocrisy.
Imam Reza (A.S.): Everyone who dies and does not know them-the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)- has died as in pre-Islamic paganism.
al-Kafi /vol I/ 376, vol V/ 371, vol II/ 378, vol I/ 397, vol VIII/ 146/123.
a-Mahasin / vol I / 251
al- Bihar / vol XXIII / 76
Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in the Holy Qur'an and Hadith
By Ayatullah Muhammadi Rayshahri