Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), the Best Creatures

People of knowledge
The Holy Prophet (S), about the superiority of scholars, has said:
The superiority of men of knowledge to others is like my superiority to the humblest of them.21
The superiority of a scholar to a worshipper (with no knowledge) is like the superiority of the full moon to other stars.22
On the Day of Judgment, three groups will intercede with Allah and their intercession is accepted: the Prophets, the scholars (ulama) and the martyrs.23
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:
A scholar (alim) who benefits from his knowledge is better than seventy thousand worshippers (with no knowledge).24
People of Piety
About the people of piety, the Holy Quran says:
Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious. (49:13)
The Holy Prophet says: On the Day of Judgment, Allah will address people in this way:
I ordered you (to obey and keep away from Satan) but you ignored the covenant and you exalted your ancestry (which is of no use for this world and the Hereafter); Today, I promote the ancestry that links my servants to me and abase your ties (with your ancestry). Where are the people of piety? Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious.25
Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.), the Best Creatures
Since human value lies in the balance of justice, faith, knowledge and piety, based on the Quranic verses and narrations – the faith, knowledge and piety of Ahl al-Bayt is more than that of other creatures having intellect such as the angels, Jinn and human beings. Their faith is at its zenith and their knowledge of past and future about esoteric and exoteric facts is perfect and their piety is at the highest level. They are superior to all other creatures. Hence, their Imamate (leadership) is incumbent upon all. Without obeying them, people will be like blind, dead and animals although they may be appear to be living and may claim to see, have knowledge and be a human being.
Common sense requires that a learned person must be followed by the unlearned, a scholar by the ignorant, a specialist by the non-specialist, a guided person by someone who is lost and a prayer leader by a worshipper. So, beyond doubt, if a man does not follow Ahl al-Bayt, he will not walk on their straight path, and will not benefit from their life-giving culture which is the exegesis of the Quranic verses. If he does not obey their instructions, he will gain nothing. However, if he resorts to the Holy Quran and Ahl al- Bayt, he will never go astray nor will his life be wasted.
Both Shiite and Sunni scholars have reported the following narration, reported by the Holy Prophet:
Verily, I am leaving among you two valuable things. You will not go astray after me as long as you adhere to them. One is greater than the other. They are the Book of Allah, which is a rope stretched from the heavens to the earth, and my Household. They will never separate from one another until they come to me at the Pond. Be careful how you deal with them after me.26
Notes:
14. Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17649
15. Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17652
16. Mafatih al-Jinan, 413
17. Al-Kafi, 188/2
18. Al-Kafi, 189/2
19. Al-Kafi, 193/2
20. Al-Kafi, 203/2
21. Tafsir al-Safi, 675/2
22. Awali al-La’ali: 357/1
23. Tafsir al-Safi: 676/2
24. Al-Kafi, H 8
25. Majma al-Bayan
26. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 663/5, Bihar al-Anwar 118/23, H. 36
The Truth of Ahl al- Bayt (A.S.)
Allama Husayn Ansariyan
In view of Quranic verses and narrations previously mentioned and based on the Quranic verse, Mubahalah (mutual curse), which reads:
But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our self and your self, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars (3:61)
In this holy verse, Imam Ali (a.s.) has been interpreted to be the‘self’. It has been proven that the light of Imam Ali (a.s.) is the root of all eleven infallible Imams. His light is same as that of the light of Holy Prophet with only a physical difference.
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) in an important narration has said:
Allah existed when ‘existence’ was not there. So He created the existence and space and created the light from which other lights were illuminated and that is the light from which Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.) appeared.27
In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
O Ali, you and me were created from the same light. Then, that light was placed in the loins of Adam until it divided into two parts in the loins of Abd al-Muttalib, one part was placed in the loin of Abdullah and the other part in the loins of Abu-Talib.28
For this reason, there is no light or soul nearer to the Holy Prophet than the light and soul of Imam Ali (a.s). It is due to the same intimacy that on the Night of Ascension (Nocturnal Ascent), Allah spoke to the Holy Prophet in the voice of Imam Ali. There was also a covenant of brotherhood between Muhammad and Ali so unity and brotherhood was manifest outwardly. It is for the same reason that the Holy Prophet has said:
You hear whatever I hear and you see whatever I see.29
Based on authentic narrations, Ali is the inner part of Muhammad and Muhammad is the Divine emanation. It is Allah’s will that Imamate is the inner part of Muhammad’s Prophethood so that the inner part will be with Muhammad wherever he is present. Therefore, the Holy Prophet’s mission would not be perfect without the Imamate of Imam Ali. The Holy Quran says:
If you do not do this, then you have not delivered His message. (5:67)
The rank of Imam Ali’s Imamate is such that he can dominate the entire universe by witnessing what is visible and invisible with Allah’s permission. Therefore, we cannot attain the love for Muhammad and Allah without having love for Ali, for Ali is the gateway to Allah and the light of Muhammad and Ali itself is the beginning and end of this universe:
Allah began with you and with you He will conclude and the return of creation is towards you.30

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