Imam Ali and Religious Monopoly

“I was sitting with the Commander of the Faithful (as) when a man came and said to him, „O Commander of the Faithful (as)! What does this mean: 

وَعَلَى الْأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلًّا بِسِيمَاهُمْ ۚ

[…] and on the heights shall be men who know all by their marks […] (7:46)

‘Ali (as) said to him: “We are the heights, and we know our helpers by their marks, and we are the heights such that Allah is not known except through knowledge of us, and we are the heights such that we stand there on the day of resurrection between the garden and the fire. No one enters the garden unless he knows us and we know him, and no one enters the fire unless he denies us and we deny him, and this is because if Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, wanted, He could make Himself known to people, so that they would know Him and come to Him through His gate; however, He made us His gates, His path, His way and the gate of entry to Him.”

Thank God Allah The Lord of The Worlds

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