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Are The Imams Like The Prophets?

It may be said that miracles are conceivable when they are attributed to messengers of God. However, the Imams of the Members of the House of the Prophet are not prophets. They were men of knowledge and righteousness, but none of them ascended to the degree of prophethood.

This is true, but the Imams from the House of the Prophet were non-prophets because the prophethood was concluded by the Messenger of God, the Prophet Muhammad. Had the Messenger not been the last of the prophets, it would have been possible for the Imams, or some of them, to be prophets. Probably other people could have become prophets as well.

The evidence of this is that the prophet said to Ali:

"You are to me like Aaron was to Moses except that there shall be no prophets after me." (al-Bukhari, his Sahih, part 5, page 24). This means that Ali was like Aaron in everything except the prophethood. If any of the Sunnite scholars think that we are exaggerating by saying that Ali and the Imams from his children were qualified for the prophethood if the Messenger had not been the last of the Prophets, they should remember that prominent Sunnite scholars reported similar to this concerning 'Umar.

The hadith-recorder Ahmad Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami in his book AI-Sawa'iq AI-Muhriqah, page 96, documents that Imam Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Hakim, and Al-Tabarani reported that 'Uqbah Ibn 'Amir said that the Messenger of God said:

"Had it been possible to have a prophet after me, that prophet would have been 'Umar." Why should anyone think that it would be an exaggeration to say that Allah would make nature and the atoms of the universe obedient to the Imams of the House of the Prophet Muhammad when we do not consider it an exaggeration to say that 'Umar could have been a prophet if Muhammad had not been the final prophet.

Ibn Hajar, in his Al-Sawa'iq, page 102, reported that when Egypt was conquered by the Muslims, there was a custom to throw a girl in the Nile River on the 11th night of one of the non-Arabic months in order that the Nile would continue to flow. It was believed that without throwing a girl into it, the Nile would not flow. Amr Ibn al-As wrote to the Caliph 'Umar concerning this custom. 'Umar sent a message to the Nile saying:

"If you were flowing before by your own power, we do not want you to run; and if Allah is the one who makes you flow, we ask the Almighty to make you flow." Amr Ibn al-As threw the letter of 'Umar into the Nile one day before the Christian commemoration of the crucifixion. The following morning they woke up to find the river flowing stronger and had gone up 48 feet in one night.

Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ites Under Attack" by: "Imam Muhammad Jawad Chirri"

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