Verily, the best of works is Wilayah (accepting the authority of and following Ahlul Bayt a.s.)

Question 90: It has been narrated from Ahlul Bayt (a.s): Verily, the best of works is Wilayah ([accepting the authority of and following Ahlul Bayt a.s.]) and Innocence ([declaring oneself innocent from the enemies of Ahlul Bayt a.s]). Meaning, taking the Supporters/Devotees of Allah as an authority over him, and they are the Prophets and Vicegerents, and being enemies with the enemies of Allah, and they are the enemies of the Prophets and Vicegerents and the enemies of their Shia (followers). So which work is put forth before the other, Wilayah or declaring oneself innocent [from the enemies of Allah]?

The Answer:
Declaring oneself innocent [from the enemies of Allah] is put forth before Wilayah, rather, Wilayah can not be achieved except by declaring oneself innocent [from the enemies of Allah]. He, The Exalted, said: {Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever disbelieves in the Taghut (Tyrant) and believes in Allah has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks} [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:256]. So He (swt) has put forth disbelieving in the Tyrant before believing in Allah, The Glorious. And disbelieving in the Tyrant is: Declaring oneself innocent from the enemies of Allah. And believing in Allah is: Taking the Supporters/Devotees of Allah (swt) as an authority over him.

Thus, believing in Allah (swt) and truly taking the Supporters/Devotees of Allah as an authority is never achieved except after one declares himself innocent from the enemies of Allah and [from] the enemies of the Supporters/Devotees of Allah. And in the end of Surat Al-Mujadilah ([Surah 58]) He (swt) emphasizes this meaning, for He, The Exalted, says that which means: you would never find the ones who believe in Allah and in the Hereafter loving the ones who are stubborn against Allah and enemies with Allah and His Messenger and the Imams, even if this stubborn person is the closest to them in kinship. He, The Exalted, said: {You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those – He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him – those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah – they are the successful} [Surat Al-Mujadilah 58:22]

And this is the path of the Supporters/Devotees of Allah themselves, for they firstly declare themselves innocent from the Tyrant, in order that they may show that declaring oneself innocent from the Tyrant is put forth before and precedes faith and submission to Him (swt). Otherwise, how would a person be a Muslim (submitting to Allah) if he compliments and love the Tyrants? Or compliments and love one who is stubborn against Allah and His Messenger? Even if this stubborn person was from his family or tribe.

This is Yusuf (Joseph) (a.s) emphasizing this meaning and [emphasizing] that declaring oneself innocent [of the enemies of Allah] is put forth before Wilayah {Indeed, I have left the religion of a people who do not believe in Allah , and they, in the Hereafter, are disbelievers * And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And it was not for us to associate anything with Allah. That is from the favor of Allah upon us and upon the people, but most of the people are not grateful} [Surat Yusuf 12:37-38]

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