Occasionally, there are questions that arise in some minds – “Can one seek our desires ‎directly from the Imam?” or “Isn’t the seeking of one’s needs directly from the Imam ‎tantamount to associating aught with Allah and polytheism?” or “Is it not against the concept of ‎monotheism if we ask for our needs directly from Imam (a.s.)?” Here is a review of these ‎questions and also their appropriate replies.‎

Here is a review of these ‎questions and also their appropriate replies.‎ This world – A system of ‘means’ and ‘end’‎

Allah, the Almighty, has fashioned the world in such a way that everything is achieved ‎through some ‘means’ and ‘causes’. None of our needs are fulfilled directly. Thirst is not ‎quenched by itself. It is done through the medium of water. A child does not come into ‎existence by itself. He is born through its parents. This is true for all other things as well. ‎

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says, ‎
‎‘The wisdom of Allah does not permit that He completes an affair without means. He ‎has ordained a cause for everything.’ ‎
‎(Al-Kafi; vol. 1, p. 183 H. 7)‎

Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) said,‎
‎“There is a means for everything.” ‎
‎(Ghurar al-Hekam, Saying no 7281)‎

Allah, the Almighty, while narrating the incident of Hazrat Zulqarnayn (a.s.) in the Holy ‎Quran, says, ‎
‎“Surely We established him in the land and granted him with the means for every ‎thing.” ‎‎(Surah Kahf: Verse 84)‎

On this basis, it is an established principle of the Holy Quran and traditions that the world is ‎a system of ‘ways’ and ‘means’. The achievement of any work through a medium is a divine ‎law. Thus, it is the duty of every individual who believes in Allah, to tread the divine path and ‎seek the solution to his problems through a medium.‎

The Creation of the Universe
If we study the traditions regarding the creation of the universe, the reality will emerge that ‎Allah – the High – did not create everything directly and without means. Rather, He only ‎created the pure ‘light’ of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.) through His Will ‎‎(Masheeyyat). Thereafter, He gave existence to the rest of the creations through the medium ‎of the ‘light’ of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his Ahle Bait (a.s.)

For the sake of brevity, we ‎cite a few traditions on this subject:‎
‎1.‎ Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari (r.a.) asked the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.), “What was the ‎first creation of Allah? He (s.a.w.a.) replied, ‎
‎‘O Jaabir! Allah first created the ‘light’ of your Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and then He created all ‎goodness from it.” ‎
‎(Beharul Anwaar, vol. 57, p. 170)‎

‎2.‎ Abbas, the uncle of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), narrates that he (s.a.w.a.) said, ‎
‎“O my respected uncle! Allah created us at a time when there was neither sky nor ‎earth, nor Arsh nor Paradise nor Hell. We glorified Allah at the time when no (form of) ‎glorification existed. We revered Him at a time when there was no (idea of) reverence. ‎When Allah intended to create the creation, He split my ‘light’ and created the ‘throne’ ‎‎(Arsh) from it. The ‘light’ of the ‘throne’ is from my ‘light’ and my ‘light’ is from the ‎‎‘light’ of Allah. Hence, I am superior to the ‘throne’. ‎
Then Allah split the ‘light’ of Ali (a.s.) and created the angels from it. The ‘light’ of the ‎angels is from the ‘light’ of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). The ‘light’ of Ali Ibn Abi Taalib is ‎from the ‘light’ of Allah and hence Ali is superior to the angels.‎

Then Allah split the ‘light’ of my daughter Fatima (s.a.) and created the heavens and the ‎earths from it. The ‘light’ of the earths and the skies is from the ‘light’ of my daughter ‎Fatima (s.a.). The ‘light’ of Fatima (s.a.) is from the ‘light’ of Allah and Fatima (s.a.) is ‎superior to the earth and the skies. ‎
Then Allah split the ‘light’ of Hasan (a.s.) and created the sun and moon from it. The ‎‎‘light’ of the sun and the moon is from the ‘light’ of Hasan. The ‘light’ of Hasan is from ‎the ‘light’ of Allah and Hasan (a.s.) is superior to the sun and the moon.‎
Then Allah split the ‘light’ of Husain (a.s.) and created paradise and the wide-eyed ‎houries from it. The ‘light’ of paradise and the houries is from the ‘light’ of Husain (a.s.). ‎The ‘light’ of Husain (a.s.) is from the ‘light’ of Allah and Husain (a.s.) is superior to ‎paradise and the houries.’ ‎
‎(Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 25, pp. 16-17)‎

‎3.‎ Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said,‎
‎“Allah the Almighty created us and created us in the best of forms. He fashioned our ‎features and granted us the best characteristics. Then He appointed us as His ‎representatives over His creation. He chose us as His tongue amongst His creation. He ‎selected us as His hand of mercy and kindness amongst His servants; He chose us as the ‎face through which one can recognise Him and His door thorough which one can ‎approach Him. He appointed us the guardian of the treasures in His heaven and the ‎earth.‎
It is on our account that the trees bear fruit, the fruits ripen and the river flow with ‎abundant water. It is due to us that Allah sends down the rain from the skies and ‎vegetation sprouts from the earth. Allah is (truly) worshipped on account of our worship. ‎If we were absent, Allah would not be worshipped at all.”‎
‎(Tauheed of Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.), p. 151, H. 8)‎

A tradition on this topic has been narrated by Ibn Ya’foor from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) which ‎reinforces the subjects outlined in the above traditions,‎
‎“Allah created a creation and entrusted all the affairs of religions to it. We are that ‎creation.” ‎
‎(Tauheed of Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.), p. 152, H. 9)‎

There are several narrations on this topic in books of traditions. For further study, one can ‎refer to the traditions reported in Beharul Anwaar volumes 35 and 57, Ehqaqul Haq volumes 9 ‎and 15, Usoole’ Kafi volume 1, etc.‎

These traditions clarify the point completely that Allah the Almighty created this universe ‎through the means of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and the Ahle Bait (a.s.). In fact, one can say that He ‎created the entire universe through their ‘light’.‎

Bounties on account of Ahle Bait (a.s.)‎Allah the Almighty created the universe through the ‘light’ of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and ‎his blessed family (a.s.). Even today whatever bounties are granted to this universe, it is on ‎account of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). This means that the role of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) was not limited ‎only to the original creation of this universe. It is not that the universe, after its creation by the ‎‎‘light’ of the Ahle Bayt (a.s.), has become independent and that there is no role of the Ahle Bait ‎‎(a.s.) in its continued existence. Rather, just as the universe is obliged to the Ahle Bayt (a.s.) for ‎its creation, it is dependent upon them (a.s.) for its continued existence as well. ‎

Allah the Almighty created the universe through the ‘light’ of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and ‎his blessed family (a.s.). Even today whatever bounties are granted to this universe, it is on ‎account of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). This means that the role of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) was not limited ‎only to the original creation of this universe. It is not that the universe, after its creation by the ‎‎‘light’ of the Ahle Bayt (a.s.), has become independent and that there is no role of the Ahle Bait ‎‎(a.s.) in its continued existence. Rather, just as the universe is obliged to the Ahle Bayt (a.s.) for ‎its creation, it is dependent upon them (a.s.) for its continued existence as well. ‎

Abu Hamza al-Thumaali (r.a.) says that that once I asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.), “Can this ‎earth survive without the presence of an Imam?” He (a.s.) replied,‎ ‎“If the earth is devoid of the Imam (a.s.), it will cave in and collapse.” ‎
‎(Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 179, H. 10)‎

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said, ‎
‎“If the earth is devoid of the presence of the Imam (a.s.), even for a single moment, it ‎will consume all its inhabitants, just as the sea swallows the people.” ‎
‎(Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 179, H. 12)‎

Ziyarat-e-Jameah al-Kabeerah is a highly authentic and reliable ziyaarat. This ziyaarat is ‎an ocean encompassing the merits and virtues of the Ahle Bayt (a.s.). Imam-e- Zamana (a.s.) ‎has emphasised the regular recitation of this ziyaarat. Difficulties are solved through this ‎ziyaarat and it is a tried and tested supplication for the removal of worries. The phrases of this ‎ziyaarat clearly emphasis that in this age and every era, whatever bounties are bestowed by ‎Allah upon this universe, it is solely on account of Ahle Bayt (a.s.). In this age, the Ahle Bait (a.s.) ‎are represented by the holy personality of Imam-e-Zamana (a.s.). Thus, whatever divine ‎bounties are being received by an individual in this era, it is entirely due to the grace and ‎benediction of Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) ‎

Let us reflect on the sentences of this ziyaarat. “May my father, mother, children, ‎possessions and I be sacrificed upon you! Whosoever desires nearness to Allah must commence ‎with you. Whosoever professes the Unity of God learns it from you. Whosoever desires ‎proximity to Allah must turn towards you. O my master! Neither can I enumerate your virtues ‎nor can I fathom your merits. I’m powerless in mentioning your noble attributes. You are the ‎light of the virtuous, the guide of the pious and the proof of the Omnipotent (Lord). Allah ‎created you first, and through you He shall conclude the creation. On account of you, He sends ‎down abundant and wide-spread rain and due to you the sky is prevented from falling down ‎over the earth (else this world would have been destroyed). Due to you, He drives away ‎troubles and dismisses hardships.”‎

The above sentences reinforce the point that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) are not only the source of ‎all worldly benefits, but also the origin and the fountainhead of all spiritual benefits. The first of ‎the five foundations of Islam is the Unity of Allah (Tauheed). It would not be wrong to say that ‎the belief in the Unity of Allah is correct only for that person who acquires this belief from the ‎Ahle Bait (a.s.). Consequently, the one who acquires this belief from someone other than the ‎Ahle Bait (a.s.), his belief would be defective and worthless. For, none other than the Ahle Bait ‎‎(a.s.) is blessed with the correct recognition of Allah. Therefore, the beliefs of only that ‎individual will be acceptable before Allah who submits himself wholly to the Imamate and ‎leadership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.). ‎

Apart from spiritual bounties, the Ahle Bait (a.s.) are also the source of all material ‎bounties. The falling of rain from the skies, the continued existence of this earth and the ‎dispelling of difficulties and problems are all worldly bounties that materialise only due to the ‎Ahle Bait (a.s.). It has been mentioned earlier that, in this age, Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) is the ‎‎‘most perfect’ individual from among the Ahle Bait (a.s.) on this earth. Hence, while reciting ‎Ziyaarat-e-Jaameah al-Kabeerah, it should be borne in mind that all the merits and virtues ‎mentioned therein are relevant to only one person on this earth and that individual is none ‎other than Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) This, despite the fact that we are deprived of meeting him ‎on account of our sins.‎

The sentences of Dua’e Adeelah regarding Imam-e-Zamana (a.t.f.s.) inform us – ‎
‎“After Hazrat Imam Askari (a.s.), the representative of Allah is the Qaem, the Awaited, ‎the Mahdi (a.s.) – whose reappearance is anticipated with hopeful eyes; the world is ‎stable due to his presence; the creation receives its sustenance due to him and it is on ‎account of his presence that the skies and the earth are intact” ‎
‎(Dua-e-Adeelah, Mafaatihul Jinaan)‎

When Allah has Himself ordained that all spiritual and material bounties will flow to His ‎creations through the medium of the Imam (a.s.), then how can the act of seeking one’s desires ‎from Allah through the Imam (a.s.) or even directly from the Imam (a.s.) be termed as Shirk ‎‎(polytheism)? Those unwilling to acknowledge the medium of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and regard it ‎as polytheism (God forbid), are in fact rebelling against the divine arrangement. For such ‎people, the fire of Hell is the only abode.‎

Mastership in the World of Creation (Wilayat-e-Takveeni)‎
Occasionally, one hears that it is fine to seek help through the position of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) ‎or that it is acceptable to consider them as a medium before Allah. However, it is inappropriate ‎to seek help from Ahle Bait (a.s.) directly or to call to them by saying “Ya Muhammad” or “Ya ‎Ali.” Calling out to them in this manner is against the belief in Unity of Allah. This view is ‎expressed in several ways and shockingly, is considered as a sign of enlightened thinking. ‎

The people who discuss such ideas are neither aware of the nuances of the Holy Quran, nor ‎are they familiar with traditions on this subject. Every Muslim acknowledges the fact that the ‎Majestic Quran is the word of Allah and whatever is narrated therein is the absolute truth. It is ‎also unanimously accepted by all Muslims that none can surpass the Prophets of Allah (a.s.) in ‎monotheism. Their actions are proofs and an ideal for each and every Muslim. While even a ‎single instance may be sufficient to authenticate our point, the Noble Quran narrates numerous ‎incidents of divine Prophets (a.s.), who sought help not from Allah, but directly from someone ‎other than Allah. Let’s pay attention to the following examples.‎

Prophet Sulayman (a.s.) and the Throne of Queen Bilqees
In the episode of Prophet Sulayman (a.s.), the hoopoe bird narrated the incident of the ‎Queen of Saba to him (a.s.). Subsequently, he (a.s.) wrote a letter to the Queen. In reply to the ‎letter, the Queen sent some gifts to Sulayman (a.s.) to assess whether he desired her kingdom ‎for his own self or for the sake of Allah. ‎
Prophet Sulayman (a.s.) returned all the gifts and addressed his army, ‎
‎‘He said: “O chiefs! Who among you can bring to me her throne before they submit ‎to me voluntarily?” One courageous one among the jinn said: “I will bring it to you ‎before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) dependable ‎for it.” One who possessed a fraction of the knowledge of the Book said: “I will ‎bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.” Then when he (a.s.) saw the throne right ‎next to him, he (a.s.) said: “This is of the grace of my Lord…” ‎
‎(Surah Naml: Verses 38-40)‎

If we pay close attention to the above incident, we find that Sulayman (a.s.) put forth his ‎question directly to the commanders of his army. He did not say, “O Lord! Do make the throne ‎of Bilqees available to me.” Moreover, the one who was granted the knowledge of the Book ‎‎(Asif Ibn Barkhiya) and volunteered to bring the throne to Prophet Sulayman (a.s.) did not say ‎that “I will pray before my Lord and that if Allah wishes the throne of Bilqees will come here.” ‎Rather he asserted, “I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.” He related the act of ‎bringing the throne to himself, saying “I will bring it for you…”‎

Prophet Isa (a.s.) would enliven the dead
All Muslims are unanimous in their belief that life and death is solely in the hands of Allah ‎the All-Powerful. The Holy Quran reminds us, ‎
‎“But Allah is the Guardian, and He gives life to the dead, and He has power over all ‎things.” ‎
‎(Surah Shura: Verse 9)‎

However, there are two instances in the Majestic Quran where Allah (s.w.t.) has attributed ‎the power of giving life to Prophet Isa (a.s.). For the sake of brevity, we present only the ‎translation of these verses – ‎
‎“…. I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I mould for you out of dust ‎like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s ‎permission and I heal the blind and the lepers, and bring the dead to life with ‎Allah’s permission and I inform you of what you shall eat tomorrow and what you ‎have stored in your houses; most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are ‎believers.” ‎
‎(Surah Ale Imran: Verse 49)‎

The above verse draws our attention to the point that throughout the verse, Prophet Isa ‎‎(a.s.) attributes the acts to himself. He says that “I give life to the birds made from dust; I heal ‎the blind; I bring the dead to life…” He does not say “I will pray to Allah and due to my ‎supplication Allah grants vision to the blind.” Nor does he say “Due to my prayers, Allah grants ‎life to the birds as well as to the dead…” Rather he ascribes every action to himself saying “I ‎give life; I heal the blind.” That all these powers are not the inherent powers of Prophet Isa ‎‎(a.s.) is an accepted fact. It is granted to him by Allah; which is why it is mentioned “with Allah’s ‎permission.” But this verse does bring out the aspect that to attribute any action performed by ‎the permission of Allah to towards oneself is a practice outlined by the Holy Quran. It is neither ‎polytheism nor an innovation in religion. These were the words spoken by Prophet Isa (a.s.). It is ‎interesting to note that even when Allah (s.w.t.) narrates these words in his Book, He attributes ‎the action to Isa (a.s.) and not to Himself. He does mention that the action is performed with ‎His permission, yet ascribes the act to Prophet Isa (a.s.). ‎

The Majestic Quran mentions in Surah Maaedah, Verse 110, thus,‎
‎‘When Allah will say: “O Isa son of Mariam! Remember My favour on you and on ‎your mother, when I strengthened you with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the ‎people in the cradle and in your old age, and when I taught you the Book and the ‎wisdom and the Torah and the Injeel; and when you created out of clay a thing in ‎the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird ‎by My permission, and you healed the blind and the lepers by My permission; and ‎when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I protected you ‎from the children of Israel when you came to them with clear arguments; but those ‎who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.’”‎

Please pay attention to the above verse minutely. Allah says that “you created; you healed ‎the blind, you granted life to the dead”. Allah (s.w.t.) does not say that “I created through you, I ‎granted vision to the blind through you.” No, it is not like that. All the actions are attributed ‎directly to Prophet Isa (a.s.).‎

Now if a blind person, after hearing about the miracles of Prophet Isa (a.s.), approaches him ‎directly and says, “O Isa Ibn Maryam! Grant me vision.” – will this tantamount to polytheism? If ‎a mother, devastated by the death of her young son approaches Isa (a.s.) and implores him to ‎grant life to her son, then will this act be prohibited and bidah? ‎
How often have we seen this in our daily lives that a destitute approaches a prosperous ‎believer and seeks his needs from him?‎

‎“I am in great difficulty and in debt. Allah has granted you sufficient means. Please help me ‎to repay my debt.” The person replies, “Yes, I will help you.” ‎
Then the needy person says, “I have another request. My daughter’s marriage has been ‎finalised and the date for the marriage has been set. Yet, I have been unable to collect any ‎amount for the same.” The believer replies “Don’t worry. I will arrange the amount for you.”‎

The poor person says, “You have done so much for me, I have one final request. My son has ‎completed his education, but has not secured a job as yet.”‎
He replies, “You don’t worry about that. Just send your son tomorrow to my office.”‎
Are all these actions polytheism? The person who has alleviated three difficulties of the ‎needy person, then is he not in the literal sense the fulfiller of his needs (“Qaazil Haajaat”)? ‎‎“Qaazi” means the “one who fulfils” and “Haajaat” implies needs. The collection of at least ‎three needs is called as Haajaat. Will it be wrong if this needy person refers to his benefactor ‎as Qaazil Haajaat? Of course not! On account of the bounties granted to him by Allah that this ‎wealthy believer is Qazial Haajaat. ‎
In short, if a needy person approaches an individual and seeks help from him due to the ‎bounties granted to him by Allah, then it is NOT polytheism (shirk). On the contrary, it is the ‎recommended practice of the Holy Quran.‎

The Secret of Wilyat-e-Takweeni
What is the secret of the power of Asif Ibn Barkhiya and Prophet Isa (a.s.)? What is the ‎element granted to these honourable individuals on the basis of which the throne of Bilqees ‎was brought forth in the twinkling of an eye or the dead are brought back to life?‎
Dua-e-Semaat discusses the concept of the Great Names of Allah (Asmaa-e-A’zam) and ‎some of their special characteristics. ‎

‎“If you request to enliven the dead to life (through the Ism-e-A’zam), they will (certainly) ‎rise from their graves.”‎

Numerous such extraordinary effects are mentioned in this supplication. The supplication ‎for the eve of Arafah mentions 33 effects of Ism-e-A’zam. These Great Names are the keys to ‎solving all problems and difficulties. Those who have been granted these Asmaa-e-Aa’zam by ‎Allah have been given the keys to the universe. So the secret behind Wilayat-e-Takweeni is Ism-‎e-A’zam. These Asmaa-e-A’zam are granted by Allah alone. It is not within the power of an ‎ordinary human to acquire these by his own efforts.‎

The Great Names and the Ahle Bait (a.s.)‎
Since the Asmaa-e-A’zam are the keys to the universe, it is needless to say that the more an ‎individual is granted from its treasures, the more extensive will be his powers and authority. ‎For those who have been granted higher powers, when needs are addressed to them directly, ‎they are permitted to respond to those requests in proportion. ‎

Jaabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari (r.a.) narrates that Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said, ‎
‎“Allah has ordained 73 Asmaa-e-A’zam. Janab Asif Ibn Barkhiya had only one Ism-e-‎A’zam. When he uttered it, the entire earth shrunk and the throne of Bilqees came ‎forth. He just had to stretch his hand and the throne was in his grasp. Then the earth ‎returned to it original state. We have been granted 72 Asmaa-e-A’zam. There is only ‎one Isme’ Aa’zam which Allah has retained with Himself.” ‎
‎(Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 330, H. 1)‎

Imam Jafar Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‎
‎“Allah had granted Isa (a.s.) with only two Ism-e- A’zam through which he was able to ‎perform all the actions. Musa (a.s.) was granted four and Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was ‎granted eight Asmaa-e-Aa’zam. Nuh (a.s.) was granted the knowledge of 15 Asmaa-e-‎A’zam while Adam (a.s.) was bestowed with 25 Asmaa-e-A’zam. All of these were ‎granted to Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). Allah ordained 73 Asmaa-e-A’zam of which ‎the knowledge of 72 was granted to Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.a.). He has retained ‎one Ism-e- A’zam exclusively with Himself.” ‎
‎(Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 330, H. 2)‎

Janab Muhammad Ibn Muslim narrates ‘I once heard Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) say,‎
‎“Jibraeel presented himself before the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) with two pomegranates ‎from the side of Allah. On the way, he met Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.). ‎He (a.s.) asked Jibraeel, what are these pomegranates? He replied, one of them is ‎concerned with Prophethood, which is not related to you. The other is concerning ‎knowledge. Then, he met the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) ‎divided the pomegranate equally. He (s.a.w.a.) ate half of it and offered the other half ‎to Ali (a.s.) saying, ‘You are a partner in my knowledge while I am partner in your ‎knowledge’. Then the Imam (a.s.) continued, “Whatever knowledge Allah the Almighty ‎granted to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he (s.a.w.a.) transferred the entire treasure to Ali ‎‎(a.s.). And it has continued in this manner till it has reached us today.” And then Imam ‎‎(a.s.) pointed to his heart.’ ‎
‎(Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 263, H. 3)‎

Apart from this, there are other traditions that inform us that the knowledge of the past ‎prophets (a.s.) is with the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Interested readers can refer to more traditions in ‎Usool-e-Kafi, vol 1, pages 221, 223 and 227. These traditions make it amply clear that the ‎knowledge of the previous prophets and that of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is with the Imams ‎‎(a.s.). They are the true inheritors of their possessions, books and collections. In the present era, ‎Hazrat Hujjat Ibnil Hasan, Wali-e-Asr (a.t.f.s.) is the inheritor of this knowledge and perfections. ‎He possesses the knowledge of 72 Asmaa-e-A’zam. Who can estimate the extent of his authority ‎and influence upon the universe? If one Ism-e- A’zam can bring forth the throne of Bilqees in ‎the blink of an eye, then it should come as no surprise that the possessor of 72 Asmaa-e-A’zam ‎can resolve difficulties in the twinkling of an eye. If Sulayman (a.s.) can seek the assistance of ‎Asif Barkhiya on the basis of one Ism-e- A’zam, then to seek help directly from the one who has ‎the knowledge of 72 Asmaa-e-A’zam, to call “O Mahdi, help me”, or “O Mahdi assist me” etc is ‎certainly not Shirk. Rather, it is the tradition of the prophets.‎

It should be borne in mind that all those who seek the solution of their problems directly from ‎the Imams (a.s.), do not consider the Imams (a.s.) as an independent power alongside the ‎authority of Allah. Rather it is their firm conviction that whatever is granted by the Imams (a.s.) ‎is due to the powers bestowed upon them by Allah the Almighty. Allah has granted them ‎authority and to seek from the Imams (a.s.) on account of the powers bestowed by Allah is ‎equivalent to seeking from Allah Himself.

Therefore, seeking one’s desires directly from Imam-‎e-Zamana (a.s.) is not polytheism. Rather, it is completely legitimate and a custom endorsed by ‎the verses of the Noble Quran. To deny this or to harbour doubts is tantamount to refuting the ‎verses of the Majestic Quran and rebelling against divine custom. To refute the verses of the ‎Holy Quran and to rebel against divine custom is indeed not monotheism. On the contrary, it is ‎polytheism.‎