What is the Law of knowing God’s Vicegerent?
One of the core principles of the foundation of the blessed Call is the Law of Knowing the Vicegerent.
We know that from the beginning of time, God has sent humanity His divine messenger, to guide and lead the people. We call this man God’s vicegerent on earth, or ‘Hujjah’ in Arabic.
However, it is possible to be misled by a false shepherd, or to be doubtful of whether or not a man is truly a vicegerent from God. Is there a way to know for sure?
As with every ruling from God the Almighty, there surely is a law to correctly analyse this. And far be it that God, in His justice and mercy, would not set a certain law and method for mankind to follow, in order that they may not be misguided. Otherwise the penalty of falling into misguidance would be wholly unjust.
We can glean this from the narrations and ahadith of the Ahlulbayt pbut, the ones who have always guided us on how to know the truth. And in his mercy, Imam Ahmad Al Hassan (From Him is Peace) has outlined these criteria very clearly for all to see and understand.
Let us now go into what these criteria are, according to the ahadith of the Ahlulbayt of Muhammad sawas.
From Jabir Al-Joufi from Abi Ja’far Imam Al-Baqir (pbuh) said: “Whatever had caused you confusion, you shouldn’t be confused by the covenant of the Prophet of Allah (pbuhahf), his banner and his weapon, and Al-Nafs Al-Zakiyya from the son of Al-Hussein, and if this caused you confusion, then you should not be confused by the call from the sky with his name and matter. And beware from the deviant people from the family of Muhammad (pbut), for the family of Muhammad and Ali have a banner and others have banners, so stay in your place and don’t ever follow a man from them until you see a man from the son of Al-Hussein. He has the covenant of the Prophet of Allah, his banner and his weapon. The covenant of the Prophet of Allah went to Ali ibn Al-Hussein, then went to Muhammad ibn Ali, and Allah does what he pleases”.
– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.52, p.223-224, hadith 87
Abi Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq) (pbuh) said: “The companion of the matter will be known for three qualities; it will not be given to anyone except himself. He is the first before anybody (with these qualities), he is his successor and he has the weapon of the Holy Prophet (pbuhahf), and his will and that is something that I do not separate myself from.”
– Basa’er Al-Darajat, Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan Al-Safaar, 1st ed., Al-Ahmadi publisher, p.202, hadith 28
So the three criteria that have been listed by the Ahlulbayt (pbut) are:
Every messenger of God is meant to appoint his successor.
Do we have an example of this happening in history?
We have the example of the appointment of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (pbuh) where we see Prophet Muhammad (pbuhahf) clearly appointing Imam Ali (pbuh) in front of the people and saying to them:
“Whoever I am the master (mawla) of, this man, Ali, is his master. O God, befriend whoever befriends him, be hostile to whoever opposes him, support whoever supports him and desert whoever deserts him”.
–Al-Irshad, Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn No’man “Al-Mufid”, 2nd ed., v.1, p.176
We have another example of a person claiming an apparent Will, and that is Prophet Muhammad (pbuhahf), who claimed to be the promised Paracelete or Comforter or “Ahmad” mentioned by Jesus (pbuh):
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Paraclete) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”.
-The Bible: John 16:7
And in the Quran, it is mentioned again:
(Remember) when ‘Isa, son of Maryam, said, “O children of Israel, I am a messenger of Allah sent towards you, confirming the Torah that is (sent down) before me, and giving you the good news of a messenger who will come after me, whose name will be Ahmad.”
-Holy Quran, As-Saf Verse 6
So we see that in God’s system, a messenger is meant to appoint his successor, and make it obvious and public, for the people to know.
Did Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) claim the Will?
The only one to claim the Will of the Prophet (pbuhahf) is Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace). Before the appearance of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) and his declaration of being God’s messenger to the people, nobody else ever claimed the Will.
Since the time of Adam until now, God has not deprived us of his guidance through his prophets and messengers as a means to identify Him SWT. Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) came with many proofs, and the greatest proof is the divinely protected Will of the Messenger of God Muhammad (pbuhahf).
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuhahf), on the night of his death, said to Ali ibn Abi Talib (pbuh):
“O Father of Al-Hassan, bring me a pen and a paper’, so the Messenger of Allah (pbuhahf) dictated his Will until he came to this position where he said: ‘O Ali, there will be twelve Imams after me and after them there will be twelve Mahdis. So you, O Ali, are the first of the twelve Imams, Allah The Exalted has named you in His heavens Ali Al-Mortadha (Ali the Content), Amirul Mo’mineen (the Commander of the Believers), Al-Siddiq Al-Akbar (the Greater Truthful), Al-Farouq Al-A’tham (the Greater Judge and Differentiator between truth and falsehood), Al-Ma’moun (the Trusted), and the Mahdi (the Rightly Guided). These names may not be attributed to other than you. O Ali, you are my Vicegerent/Guardian on my own family, their living and their dead, and upon my women: Whomever I kept, she shall find me tomorrow, and whomever I divorced, I am innocent of her, I will not see her and she will not see me on the Day of Resurrection. And you are my Successor (Khalifa) on my nation after me. If death comes to you, hand it over to my son Al-Hassan, the Righteous and Benevolent. Then if death comes to him, let him hand it over to my son Al-Hussein, the Martyr, the Pure and Murdered. If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, the Master of Worshippers, Dhul Thafant (the one with hard skin on his knees) Ali. If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Muhammad Al-Baqir (the Revealer of Knowledge). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Ja’far Al-Sadiq (the Truthful). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Musa Al-Kadhim (the Patient). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Ali Al-Ridha. If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Muhammad Al-Thiqa Al-Taqqi (the Trustworthy, the God-Fearing). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Ali Al-Nasih (the Advisor). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Al-Hassan Al-Fadhil (the Meritorious). If death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, Muhammad the Safeguarded of the Family of Muhammad, peace be upon them. Those are the twelve Imams. Then there will be twelve Mahdis after him, so if death comes to him, let him hand it over to his son, the first of the close ones, he has three names, one like mine and my father’s and it is Abdullah (Servant of God), and Ahmad (the Praised), and the third name is Al-Mahdi (the Guided) and he is the first of the believers.”
– Al-Ghayba, Muhammad ibn Al-Hassan ‘Al-Toosi’, 3rd ed., p. 150, hadith 111
– Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.36, p.260-261, hadith 81 and v.53, p.147-148, hadith 6
Is it possible for someone false to claim the Will?
The truth is, it is impossible that someone falsely claims the divinely protected Will after the first claimant. It is a miracle in itself that nobody for the past 1,400 years has ever claimed to be the ‘Ahmad’ mentioned in the Will except for Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace).
And Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: “This is a matter that can not be claimed except by its companion (owner), otherwise Allah will cut his life off (making him die).”
– Al-Kafi, Muhammad ibn Yaqub Al-Kulaini, 5th ed., v.1, p.373, hadith 5
And Aba Al-Sadiq (From Him is Peace) said: “The divine appointment has to be through the apparent Will or the apparent appointment.”
–Sermon of Proofs, Abdullah Hashem Aba Al-Sadiq The Second Mahdi (FHIP), p.5
The second criterion we see is that the vicegerent of Allah has to be an individual who can answer people’s questions, specifically in these great matters that are only revealed by a divine messenger, the matters that are referred to as the greatest of matters or ‘Aza’im Al O’moor’.
Al-Mufaddal ibn Umar said: I heard Abu Abdillah Al-Sadiq (pbuh) saying: “The companion of this matter has two absences. After one of them, he comes back to his family and regarding the other one it is said: “He has perished, which valley has he followed?”I said: “If that takes place, then what will we do?” He said: “If a claimant claims it, you are to ask him about the great matters, which no one will answer except him”.
– Al–Kafi, Muhammad ibn Yaqub Al-Kulaini, 5th ed., v.1, p.340, hadith 20
-Bihar Al-Anwar, Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi, 3rd ed., v.52, p.157, hadith 18
– Ithbat Al-Hudat, Al-Hurr Al-Amili, 1st ed., v.5, p.58, hadith 30
– Mo’jam Ahadeeth Al-Imam Al-Mahdi, Ali Al-Korani, 1st ed., v.3, p.364, hadith 911
– Al-Ghayba, Ibn Abi Zainab Al-No’mani, 1st ed., p.178, hadith 9
Do we have an example of this happening in history?
We see from the Quran:
“And He taught Adam the names, all of them; then he presented them to the angels, and said, “Tell Me the names of these, if you are truthful”.
– Holy Quran, Al-Baqara Verse 31
He said, “O Adam, tell them their names.” And when he told them their names, He said, “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and that I know what you reveal and what you conceal?”
– Holy Quran, Al-Baqara Verse 33
So the person claiming to be a divine messenger from God has to be somebody who knows matters of the unseen, who knows and reveals incarnations and who comes forth with answers to questions that nobody was able to answer before. Furthermore, he has to be able to show this knowledge.
Did Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) come with divine knowledge?
Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) has demonstrated that he has this knowledge, and he demonstrated it through his interpretation of the Quran, through his answers to the people’s questions, and through revealing great matters that can only be revealed by a divinely appointed messenger from God.
Here is further proof of a unique piece of knowledge that Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) came with.
In the Quran it says:
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And you [mankind] have not been given of knowledge except a little”.
-Holy Quran, Al Israa Verse 85
It is this specific knowledge that is the key proof to identify the Riser (Qa’im) of the family of Muhammad, as Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said:
“Verily, Allah chose between the souls in the shadows, then made it enter the bodies. So when our Qa’im emerges, he inherits the brother whom Allah chose in the shadows and he does not inherit the brother from the physical birth. Know him from that, and whoever does, there remains upon him no further proof”.
-Al-Haft Al-Shareef Door #66
Nobody on this planet came forth and revealed the true soul lineages and soul family kinship except Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace). The fact that Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) has brought forth the Law of Recognizing the Vicegerent of Allah is enough to show that he is knowledgeable.
Therefore, Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) has now fulfilled two criteria of the Law of Recognizing the Vicegerent of Allah.
The messenger of Allah is meant to always call the people towards the supremacy of Allah. He is God’s vicegerent to the people, so his goal is to bring them to pay allegiance to God alone.
“No prophet or messenger came and implemented socialism or democracy or came up with any other new governing system that is based on people deciding their own affairs. Every single prophet and messenger proclaimed and taught that God is the only one who can rule the affairs of human beings.“
–Sermon of Proofs, Abdullah Hashem Aba Al-Sadiq The Second Mahdi (fhip), p.9
This is the concept of ‘Supremacy of Allah’.
Do we have an example of this happening in history?
Prophets and messengers throughout history have been chosen and sent by God the Almighty and have had the exact same call. They all called the people to pay allegiance to God, without associating partners with him, and they all called to the supremacy of Allah.
Before the creation of Adam God had already decided to make him his representative:
“And (remember) as your Lord said to the Angels, “Surely I am making on earth a successive authority (Caliph)”.
–Holy Quran, Al-Baqara Verse 30
Prophet Noah (pbuh) is also mentioned in the Quran making the same call:
“We had certainly sent Noah (Nuh) to his people, and he said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous day.”
-Holy Quran, Al-A’raf Verse 59
As was Prophet Hud (pbuh), and every other messenger as well.
“And mention [Hud] the brother of ‘Ad, when he warned his people at Ahqaf—and warners have passed away before and after him—saying, ‘Do not worship anyone but Allah. Indeed I fear for you the punishment of a tremendous day.’”
-Holy Quran Al-Ahqaf Verse 21
Does Imam Ahmad Al Hassan (From Him is Peace) have the same call towards Allah?
The banner of Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) has the prophesied message for all to see, the one mentioned in the ahadith of the End Times. It is written on it ‘Allegiance is to Allah’.
His banner is the one that the Saviour of Mankind is meant to be carrying and it is the banner of the Ahlulbayt.
Imam Al-Sadiq (pbuh) said: “Verily, we Ahlulbayt have a banner, whoever goes ahead of it has renegaded, and whoever is late to it has perished, and whoever follows it has followed [us], it is written on it: ‘Allegiance is to Allah!’”
– 250 Signs, Mohammad Ali Tabatabaei, 1st ed., p.19
These three criteria have been met by Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace). He was mentioned in the Will of Prophet Muhammad (pbuhahf), he came with the weapon of knowledge and he holds the banner of the Mahdi that calls the people towards God alone.
If a person is truly sincere to find God or to find His vicegerent on Earth, then it is absolutely impossible that God misguides them. It is not from God’s justice or mercy that He SWT sees a sincere person asking for guidance and still allows them to fall into misguidance.
Aba Al-Sadiq (From Him is Peace), the second Mahdi, has said,
“God does not misguide His sincere servants.”
There is a great deal of wealth in these few words.
If we believe that God is good, that He is trustworthy, that He is merciful, the Shepherd who would never misguide, the father who heeds His children’s supplications, then how is it possible that an individual asks Him for help in finding the vicegerent and He SWT allows that they be misguided? Far be it from Him that we associate such an injustice to Him SWT.
Anyone with a reasoning mind will be able to see that Imam Ahmad Al-Hassan (From Him is Peace) has fulfilled the three criteria of the Law of Recognizing the Vicegerent of Allah, that were taught to us by the Ahlulbayt of Muhammad (pbut). This is sufficient for any sincere truth seeker to prove his truthfulness.