Chapter 33
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The Holy Imams, Dependent/Lesser Prophets of Muhammad, Manifestations of God.

First Imam: Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Abu Talib - "Ali" ( - 661).
Second Imam: Abu Muhammad Hasan ibn Ali - "Hasan" (AH 3 - AH 49/669).
Third Imam: Abu Abdu'llah Husayn ibn Ali - "Husayn" (AH 4/626 - AH 61/680).
Fourth Imam: Ali, Zaynu'l-Abidin - "Zaynu'l-Abidin" (AH 38/658 - 94/712?).
Fifth Imam: Muhammad al-Baqir - "Baqir" (AH 57/676 - AH 117/735?).
Sixth Imam: Jafar as-Sadiq - "Sadiq" (AH 80/669? - AH 148/765).
Seventh Imam: Musa al-Kazim - "al-Kazim" (AH 128/745 - AH 183/799).
Eighth Imam: Ali ar-Rida - "ar-Rida" (AH 148/765 - AH 203/818).
Ninth Imam: Muhammad at-Taqi - "at-Taqi" (AH 195/810 - AH 220/835).
Tenth Imam: Ali al-Hadi - "al-Hadi" (AH 212/827? - AH 254/868).
Eleventh Imam: Hasan al-Askari - "al-Askari" (AH 232/846 - AH 260/873?).
Twelth Imam: Muhammad al-Mahdi - "al-Qaim" (the one who will arise).
-- Cited in "Introduction to Shi'i Islam" by Moojan Momen.

1)
The following passage on the "station of pure abstraction and essential unity" of the Manifestations of God includes Muhammad, Adam, Noah, Moses and Jesus, who are Independent Prophets; and Imam Ali and the Imams, Dependent/Lesser Prophets of Muhammad; who "are all invested with the robe of Prophethood [are all Prophets]"

These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers." For they, one and all, summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of prophethood, and are honored with the mantle of glory. Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur'án, revealed: "I am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Imam Ali. Sayings such as these, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of Divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the Scriptures. These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the Day Springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but One." Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imams of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our last, Muhammad our all."
-- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 50

-"They are all invested with the robe of prophethood." -- are all Prophets.
-"I am all the Prophets" -- i.e. Muhammad embodies the nature and qualities that all the Prophets embody.
-"Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our last, Muhammad our all" -- i.e. Muhammad is the first of us Manifestations of God whom the Imams also are...

I shall restate here My theme, that perchance this may assist thee in recognizing thy Creator. Know thou that God - exalted and glorified be He - doth in no wise manifest His inmost Essence and Reality. From time immemorial He hath been veiled in the eternity of His Essence and concealed in the infinitude of His own Being. And when He purposed to manifest His beauty in the kingdom of names and to reveal His glory in the realm of attributes, He brought forth His Prophets from the invisible plane to the visible, that His name "the Manifest" might be distinguished from "the Hidden" and His name "the Last" might be discerned from "the First", and that there may be fulfilled the words: "He is the First and the Last; the Seen and the Hidden; and He knoweth all things!" Thus hath He revealed these most excellent names and most exalted words in the Manifestations of His Self and the Mirrors of His Being.
-- Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 33

-'Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Imám `Alí'-- i.e. Imam Ali identifies the unity of his Prophethood with that of earlier Prophets in the same way Muhammad does and also Bahá'u'lláh does. Below is such a passage by Imam Ali in a tablet referred to by Bahá'u'lláh (in which Imam Ali also fortells the coming of Bahá'u'lláh).

I am the Master (sahib) of the First Creation before the First Noah, and if you were to know what was between Adam and Noah of wondrous events that I wrought and of nations that I caused to perish. And the true Word of Thy Lord was fulfilled in them and evil is that which they worked" I am the Master of the First Flood! I am the Master of the Second Flood! I am the Master of the Deluge of Iram! I am the Master of the Secret Mysteries! I am the Lord of 'Ad and its gardens! I am the Lord of Thamud and its wondrous signs! I am the One that destroyed it, I am the One that caused the Earthquakes! I am the One that caused their Return and their Perdition! I am the Builder of those civilisations and their Destroyer! I cause their Expiry and I cause them to be quickened! I am the First and the Last! I am the External and Manifest and I am the Internal and Hidden! I am with the Cycle (kawr) before the Cycle began! I am the Companion of the Dispensation (dawr) before the Dispensation started! I was with the Pen before the Pen and I am with the Tablet prior to the Tablet being revealed! I am the Lord of the First Pre-existence! I am the Lord of Jabulqa and of Jabulsa! I am the Master of Highest Stage (rafraf) and of Bahram! I am the One Who organised existence when there was no heaven as you have them now nor earth as you know it now!

The Son of Suwairama said: "Are you, are you indeed that One?!"

'Ali replied: "I am, I am that One! There is no other God But God Who is My Lord and the Lord of all created things. Unto Him belongs the Creation and the World of Revelation
-- Imam Ali, Khutbih-i-Tutunjiyyih (The Sermon of the Twin Gulfs). Translation by K. Fananapazir.


2)
The Prophethood (Dependent) of Imam Ali is indicated below in Revelation 11:10, one of the "two prophets" (Muhammad, the Independent Prophet; Imam Ali, the Dependent Prophet) who "tormented them that dwelt on the earth", and whose dispensation lasted 1260 years.

11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
-- Bible: Revelation

In the Qur'án it is said that God addressed Muhammad, the Messenger of God, saying: "We made You a Witness, a Herald of good news, and a Warner"--that is to say, We have established Thee as the witness, the giver of good tidings, and as One bringing the wrath of God. The meaning of "a witness" is one by whose testimony things may be verified. The commands of these two witnesses were to be performed for twelve hundred and sixty days, each day signifying a year. Now, Muhammad was the root, and `Alí [Imam Ali] the branch, like Moses and Joshua.
...
...
"And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."

As it was before explained, in the terminology of the Holy Books three days and a half signify three years and a half, and three years and a half are forty and two months, and forty and two months twelve hundred and sixty days; and as each day by the text of the Holy Book signifies one year, the meaning is that for twelve hundred and sixty years, which is the cycle of the Qur'án, the nations, tribes and peoples would look at their bodies--that is to say, that they would make a spectacle of the Religion of God: though they would not act in accordance with it, still, they would not suffer their bodies--meaning the Religion of God--to be put in the grave. That is to say, that in appearance they would cling to the Religion of God and not allow it to completely disappear from their midst, nor the body of it to be entirely destroyed and annihilated. Nay, in reality they would leave it, while outwardly preserving its name and remembrance.

Those "kindreds, people and nations" signify those who are gathered under the shadow of the Qur'án, not permitting the Cause and Law of God to be, in outward appearance, entirely destroyed and annihilated--for there are prayer and fasting among them -- but the fundamental principles of the Religion of God, which are morals and conduct, with the knowledge of divine mysteries, have disappeared; the light of the virtues of the world of humanity, which is the result of the love and knowledge of God, is extinguished; and the darkness of tyranny, oppression, satanic passions and desires has become victorious. The body of the Law of God, like a corpse, has been exposed to public view for twelve hundred and sixty days, each day being counted as a year, and this period is the cycle of Muhammad.

The people forfeited all that these two persons had established, which was the foundation of the Law of God, and destroyed the virtues of the world of humanity, which are the divine gifts and the spirit of this religion, to such a degree that truthfulness, justice, love, union, purity, sanctity, detachment and all the divine qualities departed from among them. In the religion only prayers and fasting persisted; this condition lasted for twelve hundred and sixty years, which is the duration of the cycle of the Qurán. It was as if these two persons were dead, and their bodies were remaining without spirit.

"And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." "Those who dwelt upon the earth" means the other nations and races, such as the peoples of Europe and distant Asia, who, when they saw that the character of Islám was entirely changed, the Law of God forsaken-- that virtues, zeal and honor had departed from among them, and that their qualities were changed--became happy, and rejoiced that corruption of morals had infected the people of Islám, and that they would in consequence be overcome by other nations. So this thing has come to pass. Witness this people which had attained the summit of power, how degraded and downtrodden it is now.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 48-54


3)
"Prophethood", "successorship" and "imamat" in reference to the Holy Imams; who are Manifestations of God (Dependent Prophets of Muhammad):

At this time the breeze of God is wafted and the spirit of God hath surrounded. The pen is withheld from motion and the tongue hath ceased utterance. Briefly: In this station the declaration of divinity and the like have appeared from them, while in the station of messengership they have declared prophethood. Likewise in every station they have made a declaration expedient thereto and have attributed all these to themselves; (declarations) concerning the world of command, the world of creation, the worlds of divinity, and the worlds of phenomena. Therefore whatever they may say and claim, including divinity, deity, prophethood, messengership, successorship, imamat or servitude is true and without doubt. Consequently these proven statements should be reflected upon, that no one may be overtaken in the sayings of the Manifestations of the Invisible and Dawning-places of Holiness.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá'í scriptures, p. 48


4)
The passage below also indicates the Prophethood of Imam Ali and his designation as the "branch" (Dependent/Lesser Prophet), based on the Bible, explained by Abdu'l-Bahá; and also based on the oral statements of Muhammad (Hadith).

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth." These two witnesses are Muhammad the Messenger of God, and `Alí, son of Abú Tálib [Imam Ali].

In the Qur'án it is said that God addressed Muhammad, the Messenger of God, saying: "We made You a Witness, a Herald of good news, and a Warner"--that is to say, We have established Thee as the witness, the giver of good tidings, and as One bringing the wrath of God. The meaning of "a witness" is one by whose testimony things may be verified. The commands of these two witnesses were to be performed for twelve hundred and sixty days, each day signifying a year. Now, Muhammad was the root, and `Alí the branch, like Moses and Joshua.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 48

And narrated Sad that the Prophet [Muhammad] said to 'Ali [Imam Ali], "Will you not be pleased from this that you are to me like Aaron [branch] was to Moses [root]?"
-- Volume 5, Book 57, Number 57: (Hadith, Bukhari Vol 5).


5)
Imam Ali is the Face of God, i.e. a Prophet (Dependent/Lesser). He was referred to as the "Commander of the Faithful" as those faithful to the covenant of Muhammad recognised and followed him.

The Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí) hath said: "I am He Who can neither be named, nor described." And likewise He hath said: "Outwardly I am an Imám; inwardly I am the Unseen, the Unknowable [the Manifestation of God]." Abú-Ja'far-i-Túsí hath said: "I said to Ábí `Abdi'lláh: `You are the Way mentioned in the Book of God, and you are the Impost, and you are the Pilgrimage.' He replied: `O man! We are the Way mentioned in the Book of God,--exalted and glorified be He--and We are the Impost, and We are the Fast, and We are the Pilgrimage, and We are the Sacred Month, and We are the Sacred City, and We are the Kaaba of God, and We are the Qiblih of God, and We are the Face of God.'"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 112


6)
In the passage below, Imam Ali, is named a Temple (i.e. a Prophet), and is the first of the angels referred to in Qur'án 2:210: "Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His train)." "angels (in His train)" refers to the Holy Imams, who appeared in succession after the ascension of  Muhammad. "A Day that God shall come" is also a reference to the fact that the Holy Imams are Manifestations of God (Dependent Prophets of Muhammad, one of the two classes of Prophets). Those who rejected Imam Ali ("He came down in the clouds of Revelation in the Temple of 'Ali"), a Manifestation of God, brought their own perdition.

Say I swear by God! They to whom you attribute knowledge and have accepted them as your divines they are in the sight of God the worst of men nay the quintessence of evil flees from them. Thus has the matter been inscribed in the scrolls of God's knowledge. We testify that they have not drunk from the fountains of knowledge and they have not attained unto a word of Wisdom and have not become aware of the mysteries of Revelation and have been racing in the land of their selfish desires. Nothing of rejection and denial against a prophet or a successor of a prophet has come to pass except after their permission. Thus has always been their injunction carried out on the Countenances of holiness.

Say to them: O ignorant ones! Did We not reveal in the past: "A Day that God shall come in the canopies of clouds."[4] How is it that when He came down in the clouds of Revelation in the Temple of 'Ali [Imam Ali], you turned away and rejected Him and waxed haughty and brought about your own perdition?[5] Was it not also revealed in your Book: "the Day when Thy Lord comes or certain of the signs of Thy Lord."[6] And when He did come with evident signs wherefore did ye turn away from those signs and veiled yourselves with the veils of self?..
[4] Qur'án 2:210.
[5] Qur'án 25:18 and 48:12.
[6] Qur'an 6:158.
-- Baha'u'llah, Surih-i-Sabr (Lawh-i-Ayyúb), Surih of Patience or Tablet of Job - (translation by K. Fananapazir)

208. O ye who believe! enter into Islam whole-heartedly; and follow not the footsteps of the Evil One; for he is to you an avowed enemy.

209. If ye backslide after the clear (signs) have come to you, then know that Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.

210. Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His train) and the question is (thus) settled? But to Allah do all questions go back (for decision).

211. Ask the Children of Israel how many Clear (Signs) We have sent them. But if anyone, after Allah's favor has come to him, substitutes (something else), Allah is strict in punishment.

212. The life of this world is alluring to those who reject faith, and they scoff at those who believe. But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for Allah bestows His abundance without measures on whom He will.
-- The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2.


7)
The Holy Imams ("the Imamate") are the Proof of God (i.e. Manifestations of God -- Dependent/Lesser Prophets).

No doubt is there that obedience is unacceptable except through obedience to the Proof of God. Had that not been so, then the deeds of them that showed enmity towards the People of the House [the Family of Muhammad, the Holy Imams] would have been mentioned before God, whereas in this day, all decree that none should worship them, nor have their deeds borne any fruit. In this way, the non- Shi'is today act in accordance with the decrees of the Qur'án, whereas, since they have turned aside from the Imamate (vilayat), these deeds are worthless in the sight of God.
-- The Bab, The Persian Bayan


8)
Imam Sadiq (the sixth Imam), is referred to as "that immortal beauty" and "that luminous countenance", also indicating his Prophethood (Dependent/Lesser).

In like manner, it is related that on a certain day, one of the companions of Sadiq complained of his poverty before him. Whereupon, Sadiq, that immortal beauty, made reply: "Verily thou art rich, and hast drunk the draught of wealth." That poverty-stricken soul was perplexed at the words uttered by that luminous countenance, and said: "Where are my riches, I who stand in need of a single coin?" Sadiq thereupon observed: "Dost thou not possess our love?" He replied: "Yea, I possess it, O thou scion of the Prophet of God!" And Sadiq asked him saying: "Exchangest thou this love for one thousand dinars?" He answered: "Nay, never will I exchange it, though the world and all that is therein be given me!" Then Sadiq remarked: "How can he who possesses such a treasure be called poor?"
-- Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 131


9)
The following passage on the suffering and martyrdom of different Prophets when viewed from the "station of pure abstraction and essential unity" of the Manifestations of God, indicates Imam Husayn was a Prophet (Dependent), the one who was martyred in Karbila.

XXXIX. Praise be to Thee, O Lord My God, for the wondrous revelations of Thy inscrutable decree and the manifold woes and trials Thou hast destined for Myself. At one time Thou didst deliver Me into the hands of Nimrod [Abraham]; at another Thou hast allowed Pharaoh's rod to persecute Me [Moses]..... Again I was crucified for having unveiled to men's eyes the hidden gems of Thy glorious unity [Jesus], for having revealed to them the wondrous signs of Thy sovereign and everlasting power. How bitter the humiliations heaped upon Me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Kárbilá! [Imam Husayn] How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people! To what a state of helplessness I was reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, My persecutors decapitated Me, and, carrying aloft My head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude, and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. In a later age, I was suspended, and My breast was made a target to the darts of the malicious cruelty of My foes. My limbs were riddled with bullets, and My body was torn asunder [The Bab]. Finally, behold how, in this Day, My treacherous enemies have leagued themselves against Me, and are continually plotting to instill the venom of hate and malice into the souls of Thy servants [Baha'u'llah]. With all their might they are scheming to accomplish their purpose.. Grievous as is My plight, O God, My Well-Beloved, I render thanks unto Thee, and My Spirit is grateful for whatsoever hath befallen me in the path of Thy good-pleasure. I am well pleased with that which Thou didst ordain for Me, and welcome, however calamitous, the pains and sorrows I am made to suffer.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 88-90


10)
Imam Rida (the eighth Imam), is referred to as "that Luminary of divine wisdom, of salvation and certitude", also indicating his Prophethood (Dependent/Lesser).

When the Chief of the Exile [1] came into the presence of that Luminary of divine wisdom, of salvation and certitude, the Imam Rida -- had the Imam, that mine of knowledge, failed in the course of their interview to base his arguments on authority appropriate and familiar to the Exilarch, the latter would never have acknowledged the greatness of His Holiness. [1 The Resh Galuta, a prince or ruler of the exiles in Babylon, +F22 to whom Jews, wherever they were, paid tribute.]
The state is, moreover, based upon two potent forces, the legislative and the executive. The focal center of the executive power is the government, while that of the legislative is the learned -- and if this latter great support and pillar should prove defective, how is it conceivable that the state should stand?
-- Abdu'l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 36


11)
The Imams are the "manifestations of the power of God, and the sources of His authority, and the repositories of His knowledge" and "the daysprings of His [God's] commandments", as they are Prophets (Dependent).

4:59 O ye who believe! Obey God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.
-- Qur'an: 4 - AN-NISA.

And likewise in the sacred verse: "Obey God and obey the Apostle, and those among you invested with authority." By "those invested with authority" is meant primarily and more especially the Imáms -- the blessings of God rest upon them! They, verily, are the manifestations of the power of God, and the sources of His authority, and the repositories of His knowledge, and the daysprings of His commandments.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 90


12)
Imam Ali and Imam Husayn are Chosen Ones of God, are Prophets (Dependent).


13)
The Holy Imams are Angels, are Prophets (Dependent).


14)
Prophets are pre-existent. At the following link are references on the pre-existence of the Holy Imams and other Prophets, also indicating their Prophethood.


15)
Explanation of the "Return" of the Prophets.

It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendour. Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I am the return of all the Prophets," He verily speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established. Inasmuch as the return of the Prophets of God, as attested by verses and traditions, hath been conclusively demonstrated, the return of their chosen ones also is therefore definitely proven. This return is too manifest in itself to require any evidence or
proof.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 153

Bahá'u'lláh is the Return of Imam Husayn, also indicating Imam Husayn was a Prophet (Dependent) based on the explanation above on the concept of "Return".

IX. O Husayn! Consider the eagerness with which certain peoples and nations have anticipated the return of Imám-Husayn, whose coming, after the appearance of the Qá'im, hath been prophesied, in days past, by the chosen ones of God, exalted be His glory. These holy ones have, moreover, announced that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers, including the Qá'im, will gather together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One will raise. That hour is now come. The world is illumined with the effulgent glory of His countenance. And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed from His path! None have believed in Him except them who, through the power of the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of their vain imaginings and corrupt desires and entered the city of certitude. The seal of the choice Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing, been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 12


16)
"Trumpet" symbolises the call or revelation of the Prophet. Below, Muhammad fortells the coming of the Bab (first Trumpet) and Bahá'u'lláh (second Trumpet). Further below, Bahá'u'lláh refers to the trumpet-call of Imam Ali, also consistent with Imam Ali being a Prophet (Dependent).

39:67 No just estimate have they made of God, such as is due to Him: On the Day of Judgment the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him!

39:68 The Trumpet will (just) be sounded [appearance of the Bab], when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please God (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded [appearance of Baha'u'llah], when, behold, they will be standing and looking on!

39:69 And the Earth will shine with the Glory of its Lord [the era of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God]: the Record (of Deeds) will be placed (open); the prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward and a just decision pronounced between them; and they will not be wronged (in the least).

39:70 And to every soul will be paid in full (the fruit) of its Deeds; and (God) knoweth best all that they do.

39:71 The Unbelievers will be led to Hell in crowd: until, when they arrive, there, its gates will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not apostles come to you from among yourselves, rehearsing to you the Signs of your Lord, and warning you of the Meeting of This Day of yours?" The answer will be: "True: but the Decree of Punishment has been proved true against the Unbelievers!"
-- Qur'an: 39 - AZ-ZUMAR

Below, Bahá'u'lláh refers to the trumpet-call of Imam Ali, also consistent with him being a Prophet, God's Chosen One. The "judgment of death" was pronounced against those who failed to recognise his station..

In like manner, two of the people of Kufih went to Ali, the Commander of the Faithful. One owned a house and wished to sell it; the other was to be the purchaser. They had agreed that this transaction should be effected and the contract be written with the knowledge of Ali. He, the exponent of the law of God, addressing the scribe, said: "Write thou: 'A dead man hath bought from another dead man a house. That house is bounded by four limits. One extendeth toward the tomb, the other to the vault of the grave, the third to the Sirat, the fourth to either Paradise or hell.'" Reflect, had these two souls been quickened by the trumpet-call of Ali, had they risen from the grave of error by the power of his love, the judgment of death would certainly not have been pronounced against them.

In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms "life," "resurrection," and "judgment." If one will ponder but for a while this utterance of Ali in his heart, one will surely discover all mysteries hidden in the terms "grave," "tomb," "sirat," "paradise" and "hell."
-- Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 119


17)
Imam Ali, is "the One who pledged an everlasting covenant with your spirits on the dawn of creation" and "the Object of the covenant", consistent with him being a Prophet (Dependent). He is also the "Cord of God", a symbolic term for the Prophet (Dependent).

Unto me, too, hath been vouchsafed the Path, the Balance, the Banner, and the Kawthar. I am the one who shall face the children of Adam on the Day of Judgement and shall bring them to account and shall direct them to their habitations. And verily, I am the punishment of fire meted unto the damned. These are the bounties of God unto me. And should anyone deny that I shall return after the Return[3], or deny that I shall come back after the Raj'at[4], or should anyone reject the truth that I shall appear again, even as I have done from the beginning that hath no beginning or even unto the end that hath no end, he, verily, hath denied the truth of all of Us. And verily I say unto you, he who denies any one of Us, hath denied God. I am the one who hath summoned you; I am the companion of your prayers and invocations. I am the Lord of retribution, and I am the Master of the signs and the Lord of the wondrous symbols of guidance. I am cognisant of the mysteries of creation; I am the One who brought the iron unto Men[5]. I am forever new and forever pre-existent, the One who brought the Angels from out of their habitations, the One who pledged an everlasting covenant with your spirits on the dawn of creation and Who, on that day, asked, through the will of God, the Self-subsisting, these words: "Am I not your Lord?" I am the Word of God [Kalimat'u'lláh] which hath been uttered in the world of creation, the Object of the covenant that hath been promised in the prayers and salutations which lie in the reality of all created things. I am the name that hath been invoked by orphans and by widows, the door to the city of knowledge and the refuge of patience and forbearance. I am the upraised flag of God, the companion of the banner of divine praise, the Lord of infinite bounty and of infinite grace. But should I tell you all that I am, you would doubtless disbelieve Me. For I am also the slayer of oppressors, the treasury of divine favours in this world and of the next. I am the master of the believers, the guide of those who seek the way. The truth is Mine and certitude is at My side. Leadership is Mine and the righteous shall follow Me. I am the first to acknowledge faith, the Cord of God that shall not be broken, the One who will raise the world to justice even as it hath been brought low by oppression. I am the companion of Gabriel and the archangel Michael is beside Me. I am the tree of guidance, and the essence of righteousness. I shall gather together the world of creation through the Word of God that gathers together all things. I give life unto humanity and I am the treasury of all divine commands. To Me hath been given the Luminous Pen and the Crimson Camel[6].
-- Imam Ali, Sermon of Glorification (translation by K. Fananapazir).
Full text available at: https://bahai-library.com/imam-ali_khutbat_iftikhar


18)
18.1 Imams (II), references to the Holy Imams in the Quran.

18.2 Imams (III), the successorship of the Holy Imams to Muhammad.

18.3 Imams (IV), Prophecies of the Holy Imams on the coming of the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

18.4 Imams (V), doctrines and practices introduced by the Holy Imams in the era of Muhammad.




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