Kitāb al-Ghayba > Philosophy and wisdom of Occultation
Hadith #17

فأما النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فإنما نقول: يجب أن يمنع الله منه حتى يؤدي الشرع لأنه لا يمكن أن يعلم ذلك إلا من جهته فلذلك وجب المنع منه. وليس كذلك الإمام، لأن علة المكلفين مزاحة فيما يتعلق بالشرع والأدلة منصوبة على ما يحتاجون إليه ولهم طريق إلى معرفتها من دون قوله، ولو فرضنا أنه ينتهي الحال إلى حد لا يعرف الحق من الشرعيات إلا بقوله لوجب أن يمنع الله تعالى منه ويظهره بحيث لا يوصل إليه مثل النبي صلى الله عليه وآله. ونظير مسألة الإمام أن النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم إذا أدى ثم عرض فيما بعد ما يوجب خوفه لا يحب على الله تعالى المنع منه لأن علة المكلفين قد انزاحت بما أداه إليهم فلهم طريق إلى معرفة لطفهم.اللهم إلا أن يتعلق به أداء آخر في المستقبل فإنه يجب المنع منه كما يجب في الابتداء فقد سوينا بين النبي والإمام.

As for the Prophet (s), we say that God must protect him so he may deliver religious laws, because it is not possible to discern religious laws, except through him. However, the Imam is not like him, because as far as the delivery of religious laws is concerned, the public does not have any excuse and all rules they need are indicated by their proofs and it is possible for them to learn them without needing Imam’s words. If we suppose that religious duties cannot be known, except through the words of the Imam, then it will be necessary that God Almighty should protect him and manifest him in such a way that no harm can reach him, as in the case of the Messenger (a.s). The like of the case of the Imam is that once a prophet has delivered the message and then his security is threatened, it is not necessary for God to protect him, because the excuse of the public has been removed through his delivery and they have a path to discern the grace imposed upon them. However, it is possible that there might be another message that must be delivered in the future, which may require God to protect him as He protected him in the beginning. Thus we equated the matter between the Prophet and the Imam.