Q: My question is regarding verse 55 of Surah al-Maedah (Your guardian can be only Allah; and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship …) which was revealed about the Commander of the Faithful, Ali, peace be upon him. Does this verse extend also to the other immaculate Imams? There are some traditions in Shia sources according to which the verse does extend to them. If that is the case, then how can the extended meaning be reconciled with the restriction in the verse which aims

A: Assalamu alaykum, This holy verse points to the imamate and wilayah of the Commander of Faithful after the Messenger of Allah.  It implies restriction of wilayah to the Imam while negating the wilayah of the other companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his family. According to some traditions, the other Imams have also given charity in the ruku’ of their prayers. Hence, the restriction aims at negating the imamate of other companions.  May Allah grant you success.

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