The Vicegerents of Allah
Kumaly ibn Ziyad said: Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) held my hand and took me to the desert, when we reached the outskirts he sighed and said: ... O Allah! Ye, certainly the earth will not remain empty of the ones who, by authority and guidance, establish Allah's Religion; the ones who are either visible or fearing and hidden so that Allah's clear authorities and guidance are not demolished. How many and where are they? By Allah, they are few in number and they are so honored by Allah in value and status. Allah preserves His clear authorities and guidance by them to be delivered to their peers for being cultured in the latter's hearts. Scholarship and knowledge come to them at once and insightfully which they apply with ease and certitude and optimism; they find the hardships and difficulties suffered by the pampered people as easy and convenient; they feel intimate with what the ignorant are away from; and they live in the world with the bodies whose souls are settled on lofty heights. They are Allah's vicegerents and representatives on the earth who call to His religion; Oh! Oh! So eager and wishful am I to meet them.
Al-Imam al-Sajjad (A.S.) - in his supplication on the day of Arafah: "Allah! Send greetings to the purest of his Ahl al-Bayt whom You chose for your cause and selected them as treasures of your knowledge, guardians of your faith, your vicegerents on the earth and authorities for your servants; you made them spotless and thoroughly clean off all abomination and made them means toward Yourself and toward Your Paradise."
Imam al-Reza (A.S.) said: The Imams are Allah the Almighty's vicegerents on the earth.
Imam Al-Hadi(A.S.) in the Ziyarat al-Jamiah by reading which we pay homage to the Imams' holy
I bear witness that you are achieved and guided Imams...He has approved of you with His soul and selected you as His vicegerents on the earth.
Successors to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: My successors and legatees and Allah's authorities to the people after me are twelve in number; the first one is my brother and the last one will be my son. He was asked: O Rasul Allah! Who is your brother? He replied: Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.). They asked: Who is your Son? He said: Mahdi who will spread justice in the world as it will have been filled with tyranny and injustice.
Imam al-Sadiq(A.S.) said: The Imams are like the messenger of Allah(S.A.W.) except that they are not prophets, and regarding women what is lawful for the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) is not lawful for them; except that, they are considered as ranked with the Messenger of Allah(S.A.W.)
The Holy Prophet's (S.A.W.) Successors
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) I am the chief of the prophets and Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.) is the chief of the successors (wasis). My successors after me are twelve in number whose first is Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.) and the last one is the Qa'im.
Salman: I said: O Rasul Allah! Every Prophet has a successor; who is your successor? The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) kept silent. Later on when he visited me he said: O Salman! And I hastily said: Yes. He continued: Do you know who the successor of Moses was? I said yes it was Joshua son of Nun. He asked: Why? I said: Because he was the wisest of all. He confirmed: My successor and confidant, and the best one whom I will leave behind after me who will actualize my promise and will pay back my debt is Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.).
The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) - in the hadith of Miraj (Ascension) -: O Allah! Who are my successors? There came a voice saying" "O Muhammad (S.A.W.)! The names of your successors are written on the base of My Throne".
While standing before the Almighty Allah, I looked at the base of the Throne and saw twelve lights in each one there was a green line bearing the name of one of my successors. The First of them was Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) and the last one was Mahdi of my Ummah. I asked: O Allah! Are they the successors after me? The voice said: O Muhammad (S.A.W.)! These are my friends, chosen ones, and Hujjahs to the people after you, and they are your legatees and successors and the best of my servants after you.
Imam al-Hadi(A.S.) - In the Ziyarat al-Jamiah with which we pay homage to the Imams' Holy Shrines-: May Allah's greetings, mercy, and blessings be upon the stations of Divine Knowledge and positions of Allah's blessings and Allah's mines of wisdom, and the confidants of Allah's secrets, and bearers , and bearers of the Book of Allah and the successors of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) and the generation of Rasul Allah.
The hadiths implying that the Imams from Ahl al-Bayt are the successors to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), are plentiful in number. Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babawaih Qummi says: The sound traditions with inviolable references suggest that the Messenger of Allah(S.A.W.) chose Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.) as his successor by Allah's command, and Ali ibn Abi Talib(A.S.) chose al-Hasan(A.S.), and al-Hasan(A.S.)chose al-Husayn(A.S.), and al-Husayn(A.S.) chose Ali ibn al-Husayn(A.S.), and he chose Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir(A.S.), and he chose Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq(A.S.), and he chose Musa ibn Ja'far(A.S.) and he chose his son Ali ibn Musa al-Reza (A.S.), and he chose his son Muhammad ibn Ali(A.S.), and he chose his son Ali ibn Muhammad(A.S.), and he chose his son al-Hasan ibnAli(A.S.), and he chose his son Hujjat Allah al-Qa'im(A.S.) who if only one day is left of world's life Allah will extend it so long as he will rise and fill the earth with justice as it has been filled with tyranny and oppression. May Allah's greetings be upon him and his pure ancestors.
The Image of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in The Qur'an and Hadith
By: Muhammadi Rayshahri