Allah says in Qur'an that there is no compulsion in Faith. However Allah favored Man with guidance and intelligence so that he may choose what he wishes to believe and to set his own course for the conduct of his life. In the end, those who choose virtuous conduct will enjoy the everlasting bounty of Allah in the gardens of
Paradise, while those who follow evil ways will have to endure the everlasting wrath of Allah in the doom of Hell.
Allah has ordained: "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, obey the Apostle and those charged with authority among You. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer to Allah and His Apostle, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination." IV:59.
To obey Allah, there is the Word of Allah: the Book, al-Qur’an.
To obey the Prophet, there is the word of the Prophet: al-Hadith. Allah authenticates the word of the Prophet: "Nor does he say (aught) of(his own) desire. It is no less than revelation sent down to him. He was taught by one Mighty in Power." LIII:3-5.
To obey those charged with authority are by Allah's Will. The Qur'an says: "And We made them leaders, guiding (men) by Our Command, and We sent them inspiration to do good deeds, to establish regular prayers, and regular charity; and they constantly served Us (and Us only)." XXI: 73.
Allah has further clarified His ordinance: "..fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them..."IX:12. "And We made them (but) leaders inviting to the Fire; and on the Day of Judgment no help shall they find"XX'VIII: 41. "But those who were blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter, and most astray from the Path. " XVII:72.
It is Allah's grace that He gave mankind the will to choose their path, including the choice of a leader (Imam) for guidance-.- For making such a choice, Allah warns in the Qur'an: "One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams: those who are given their records in their right hand will read it (with pleasure), and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least." XVII: 7 1.
To the believers, the Prophet warned, "Choose your Imams wisely, for those who died without recognizing the Imam of their Time died the death of the Times before the Truth came to them."
The Prophet spared no effort to illustrate to the believers that Ali was the Imam of Guidance after him. Ali was nurtured by the Prophet from the very beginning of his life. By his own words, Ali lived his life like the shadow of the Prophet, "like a baby camel follows its mother!" He protected the person of the Messenger of Allah on numerous occasions and defended the Message of Islam from its very inception. His gallant feats of soldiery were exemplary to the believers and a source of encouragement and have remained unmatched throughout history. It is beyond the scope of this book or even this chapter on the First Imam to describe all the events, the circumstances or the ahadith quoted from the Prophet about him. Only a few of the major events of his life have been described above along with the relevant ahadith of the Prophet. A few other important ahadith are given below to highlight the life of the Patriarch of the Imams of Ahle Bait during the life of the Prophet of Islam. For details and for research, the reader is referred to the sources listed in the Bibliography.