he Imam’s Knowledge in Traditions

he Imam’s Knowledge in Traditions

In various traditions, knowing religious sciences, teachings, and commandments is considered a necessary condition of the Imam. Imam Riza (`a) has stated, “In fact, the Almighty Allah grants success to the prophets and Imams and benefits them from His treasure of sciences and maxims like no one else. Therefore, their knowledge is superior to that of the people in their own age. The Holy Quran states,

أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِى‏‌ إِلَى‏‌ الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يَتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لا يَهِدِّى‏‌ إِلّا أَنْ يُهْدى‏‌ فَما لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

“Is then He Who gives guidance to truth more worthy to be followed, or he who finds not guidance (himself) unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you? How judge ye?”[16]

And also,

وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِىَ خَيْراً كَثِيراً

He to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding.[17]

When the Almighty Allah selects one of His servants for managing other servants, He grants him patience, fills his heart with knowledge, and continuously reveals His sciences to him. Therefore he is not disabled from answering questions and does not become bewildered in finding the truth.” [18]

Imam Ali (`a) stated, “O people! The most deserving person for Imamate is the most powerful one among you in managing the issues and the most learned one in Divine commandments. If someone was going to plot sedition after taking oath of allegiance, he is asked to leave it and if he did not accept, he is fought with.[19]”

Amiral Mu’minin, Imam Ali (`a), also stated, “The Imam is aware of the lawful and the unlawful, the obligatory and recommended deeds and Allah’s commandments. He is needless to the people and everyone needs him.” [20]

He has also stated, “Learn the true path to salvation from those who know this path (the Ahlul-Bayt). They are revivers of knowledge and removers of ignorance. Their commandments reveal their knowledge to you. Their silence shows their speech style. Their appearance is the sign of their inside. They never oppose the religion and have no controversy over it.”[21]

The first infallible Imam of the Shi’ah also described the Prophet’s (s) Ahlul-Bayt this way, “They pondered in the religion as they should, learned it, and used it, not merely hear it and transfer to others. The narrators of knowledge are numerous, but safe guarders of it are little.” [22]


[16] Surah Al-Yunus (10): 35.
[17] Surah Al-Baqarah (2): 269.
[18] Usul Kafi, Vol 1, p. 202.
[19] Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 173.
[20] Biharul Anwar, Vol 68, p. 389.
[21] Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 147.
[22] Ibid, Sermon 239.