KNOWING THE HOLY HOUSEHOLD OF THE PROPHET
(PEACE BE UPON THEM)
One of the important discussions concerning doctrine and sciences is to know the rank of the Imam (peace be upon him). So it is incumbent and compulsory for everyone to an extent to know the rank of the Imams (peace be upon them) and to be cognizance of the topic concerning the Imams. This is one of the general responsibilities upon everyone which is firm without any doubt in it.
Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) said to a man called Zaid:
Did you know what they were being commanded to do? They were being commanded to know us, to refer all the doctrine to us and to submit to us.
Therefore in the chapter of sciences one of the most important issues that must be concentrated upon is to know the rank of the Imams (peace be upon them) and to submit before their guided commandments. Base on this, you should be attentive to the statement of the infallible ones (peace be upon them) so that you can know the tremendousness of their statement.
In order to know more about the rank of the Imams (peace be upon them) I will quote an attractive narration that was narrated by Abu Naseer from Imam Baqir (peace be upon him):
He said: I entered the Mosque with Abi Ja’afar (peace be upon him) while people are entering and others are going out. The Imam (peace be upon him) said to me: ask the people whether they sees me?! So I inquired from anyone I saw. Did you see the Imam? They all said, they didn’t saw the Imam until when a blind man called Abu Harun came in. The Imam (peace be upon him) said: you should inquire from this man. I said to him: Did you see the Imam?
Abu Harun said: was the Imam not standing here?
Abu Baseer said: from where did you know this reality?!
Abu Harun said: why I am not acquainted with his presence hence the Imam (peace be upon him) is an obvious light.
The far companion is present while you the insider is absent from him;
By Allah! You that have lost the hereafter, tell me what are you searching for?!
Then Abu Baseer says: I heard Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) saying to an African man: how is the condition of Rashid? He said: I came from Africa, he is fine, alive and he is extending his greetings to you.
Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) said: may Almighty Allah have mercy on him. The man asked: is he dead and when?
Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) said: he is dead the second day you left Africa. The African man said: to God Rashid is fine and healthy when I left; he is not sick or has any pain.
The Imam (peace be upon him) said to him: must the death be through sickness and pain?
Abu Baseer said: I inquired from the Imam (peace be upon him): who is this African man?
The Imam (peace be upon him) said: he is among our lovers and the followers of the holy household of the Prophet (peace be upon them).
Then the Imam (peace be upon him) said: it is a very bad notion, if you think we did not sees you or we didn’t hears you. By Allah! None of your deeds are hidden for us.
So you should consider us present before you and to addicted your souls with good and splendid works and to be inhabitant of splendid works so that you are acquainted with this reality.
Then the Imam (peace be upon him) said: you should teach all your children and the Shi’a of what I have said.
This narration is among the most attractive narrations which the light of knowledge and sciences radiates from it.
How is it possible for a person who deem to be in the present of Almighty Allah and the present of his Imam (peace be upon him) to engage in bad deed?
An attractive point that worth concentration in this narration is that the holy Imam (peace be upon him) said: you should consider us to be present before you and to addict yourself with good and splendid work; therefore it is the corollary of present in the threshold of Almighty Allah and the Imam (peace be upon him).
What Imam Baqir (peace be upon him) considered important as having the belief of being in the present of Almighty Allah is to be addicted with ethical and doing good and splendid work and at this time person will obtain the rank of cognizance and perceive hidden and unseen issues even though you are not bestowed with one of the five senses like Abu Harun.
Therefore to be addicted with good and splendid issues will prepare person to be in the present of Almighty Allah and his inner sight will be inaugurated like that of Abu Harun in knowing the presence of the Imam (peace be upon him). Therefore here is a position which the blind will be seeing just like Abu Harun that is blind but he sees.
 - Bihar al-Anwar volume : 2 page : 204.
 - Bihar al-Anwar volume : 46 page : 243; and also from Kitab Khara’ij volume : 2 page : 595 hadith : 7.