Literary Reading: Qadi No’man on Obedience to the Imam

In the intellectual life of the Fatimid Period, the contributions of Qadi No’man are regarded as extremely significant. He played a great part in enriching the Fatimid period with his intellectual wealth and exerted enormous influence on his contemporaries and later writers. Qadi No’man wrote extensively on Fatimid Doctrines and Jurisprudence.

In 952 CE when the Fatimid Caliph-Imam Al-Moiz ascended the throne, Qadi No’man rose to the height of his influence. He became a constant companion of the Imam.  

There are many instances which indicate that No’man, before he wrote any book, got the necessary instructions and inspiration from Imam Al-Moiz. Before he showed his works to the public, he always referred to the Imam for his approval.

In the following extract, No’man states that obedience to Imam is akin to obedience to Allah:

“Those who know the proper position of the Imams should fear them as much as they fear God and respect them as much as they respect God.  

For God has linked our obedience to them with our obedience to Him and has made them a medium between Him and the people. 

They have been appointed by Him to scrutinize our actions and certify them before Him. 

Their pleasure is the pleasure of God and their displeasure is the displeasure of God. We shall be rewarded or punished through them. 

Imam Jafar Sadiq (peace be on him), says: 

‘God is worshipped through us and is obeyed and disobeyed through us. He who obeys us, obeys God and he who disobeys us, disobeys God.  We are the gate of God. We are His ‘hujjats’. We are the guardians over His people and the guardians of His mysteries. We are the depositories of His knowledge’.”

3 thoughts on “Literary Reading: Qadi No’man on Obedience to the Imam

  1. His eminence al Qadhi an Nu’man at Tamimi al Maghribi RA was a learned man, faqih, devoted and researcherer. He served as the Judge of the Judges during the Fatimid rule. His contribution was great.

  2. This is an era, the Golden Age in Islam when caliph-imam were embodied in the same person. This devoted Qadi No’man is a heroic scholar and has played a major part in our standing in the world of Islam, in my opinion. I wish I were there during the Fatimid period!

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