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The Chastity of the Imams (A.S.)

Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi

The True Faith of Ja’fariah professes that the Imam (as), from his childhood to the death is possessor of Immaculate Chastity and free of all minor and major sins. But those groups who say that chastity is not a necessary qualifying characteristic to be sought in an Imam, is because of the fact that candidates they put forth for the august position were for years in the darkness of infidelity prior to accepting Islam. Any person with right thinking knows that entrusting matters of Religious Reforms to a person with a sinful past cannot be effective when compared to the leadership of a True and Chaste Imam.
In fact, the edicts of a person of the former type might create a high degree of sedition in the society. When such a person is deposed from his office, on being discovered that he had been issuing harmful orders, might create dissension and schisms in the community. Either way, such leaders are a danger to the social fabric. The example of Yazid is a case in point that the temporal caliphate falling in his hands became the cause of great transgression and debauchery not only in him and his retainers, but it spread as a disease to the society. Therefore, Allah has ordered that the Chosen in Authority (The Ulu al Amr) are the Immaculate Innocents (The masoomeen) whose obedience is mandatory for the believers.
Therefore, Allama Fakruddin Raazi has written in his Commentary of the Qur’an that Ulu al Amr connotes only the Masoom and none else, and there is an injunction that they must be implicitly obeyed. To the contrary, obeying the orders of a person who approves of taboo (Haram) acts is forbidden. Allah will not order people obeying a person who is a sinner himself, and is advising others against sinning.
Allah, addressing Prophet Ibrahim (as), in the Holy Qur’an, clarifies the point thus: \"My Authority shall not reach the transgressors.” (2:124)
The person who remained an infidel even for a day, is in the ranks of the transgressors (thalemeen). Therefore it is to the advantage of the people to be with the Sadeqeen (the veracious). And verily veracious are the Imams (as)!

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