Many Bakris ask me about Imamate and why it is higher in rank than Prophethood.
Is there proof that Imamate is higher in rank than Prophethood? and why do we, as Shia, glorify the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt more than the prophets (peace be upon them All)?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
The difference between Imamate and Prophethood can only be explained rationally by looking at the roles of these ranks.
al-Allamah al-Majlisi said:
We do not know to not attribute them with prophethood except by the leadership of the Seal of the Messengers, and the difference between Prophethood and Imamate cannot reach our minds.
Bihar al-Anwaar, vol.28
Imamate is the highest status reached by a Prophet after becoming a Messenger.
The difference is that a prophet receives the divine code from Allah the Almighty, and he propagates it directly to the people. As for the Imam, his role is to protect the revelation taught by the Prophet, so his role is indeed great.
Every Prophet is, without doubt, better than his successors.
The seal and best of Prophets is Muhammad son of Abdullah (Peace and blessings upon Him and His Family) and his successors are the protectors of this final divine message, so this necessitates that His successors are greater than every Prophet before Him.
We and the opposers agree that Imam al-Mahdi (Peace be upon Him) will lead Prophet Jesus (peace be upon Him) in prayer, designated by Him, and it is known that the preferred does not pray behind the virtuous one.
Imam al-Mahdi is better than Prophet Jesus (peace be upon Them both), and the latter is a prophet from the arch-Prophets (Ulul-’azm).
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib