I brought up the following verse to a Wahabi:
Verily, you are a Warner and for every people, there is a Guide
to which the Wahabi said that the Shi’a argue with this noble verse that there must be an Infallible Imam present in every age.
What is your opinion, revered Sheikh?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
Yes, this blessed verse is used as a piece of evidence for the impossibility for the Divine-Leadership to be disconnected at any age. That is because it explains that the Noble Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family) is the Warner for the nation and the Conveyor, and that furthermore after him, for every people and generation, there shall come a Guide who will carry the duty of guiding them through the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family) brought. This person can not be any other than the Infallible Imam from his Household ( blessings and peace be upon them all).
This has been reported in the narrations of our Imams (peace be upon them). It is narrated of Muhammed, son of Muslim, that he said:
I said to Abu Abdillah – al-Sadiq – (peace be upon him), with regards to the Word of Allah (Exalted and Glorious is He): Verily, you are a Warner and for every people there is a Guide.
Then he said:
Every Imam is a Guide to all of humanity in their era.
It is narrated of Buraid, son of Mu’awiya al-’Ajali, who said:
I said to Abu Ja’far – al-Baqir – (peace be upon him): What is the meaning of: Verily, you are a Warner and for every people there is a Guide? (Qur’an 13:8) So he said: The Warner is the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family), and Ali (peace be upon him) is the Guide, and in every time and age is an Imam from us who guides them (the people) to what was brought by the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his Family).
(Al-Imama wat-Tabsirah, by Ibn Babaway al-Qummi, and Ikmal-ud-Din, by al-Saduq)
There is no possibility for intellectually maneuvering away from the clear unambiguous meaning in the verse which is the fact that Divine-Leadership is continuous, for it is sufficient for them to ask about the Guide for our people and nation and the one who will take upon himself that duty in accordance to the Word of Allah (Glorious and Exalted is He): Who is he?
It is of no benefit to allegorically interpret this verse to the meaning that the Guides refer to scholars, for instance, because “and for every people there is a Guide” is conjuncted with “Verily, you are a Warner”. The one who is acquainted with the sciences of language and exegesis understands from this conjunction that just as the Warner is from Allah and came by His order, then so the Guide must also be from Allah. Scholars are excluded from this, as Allah (Exalted is He) did not assign them to this duty that is parallel to the assignment of the Messenger.
May they contemplate upon this verse so that Allah guides them to the truth.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib