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Imamat, necessary or not?!

One day, some of Imam Saadeq's students were sitting with him including Heshaam son of Hakam. At that time Heshaam was very young. Imam asked Heshaam to retell his debate with Omar son of Abid. Heshaam said: I heard that Omar son of Abid was teaching a class about religion in the Mosque of Basreh. This matter made me concerned therefore, I went to Basreh to see for myself. At the Mosque,I saw many people were sitting around him and asking him questions.

I sat in front of him and told him that I was a newcomer in Basreh and said : May I ask you some questions?

Omar son of Abid: Yes

I said: Do you have eyes?

He said: Dear child, what kind of a question is this? Why do you ask of something that is obvious to you?

I said: Anyhow, this is my question.

He said: Although your question is so foolish, but since you like to ask such question ,ok ask me!

I said: Please answer the question I asked you!

He said: Yes, I have eyes.

I said: What do you do with your eyes?

He said: I see peopl, colors,... .

I said: Do you have a nose?

He said: Yes

I said: what do you do with your nose?

He said: I smell.

I said: Do you have a mouth?

He said: Yes

I said:what do you do with your mouth?

He said: I taste.

I said: Do you have ears?

He said: Yes

I said: what do you do with your ears?

He said: I hear voices.

I said: Do you have a judging and differentiating center in your body?

He said: Yes

I said: what do you do with it?

He said: with it I distinguish things which I sense using my body members.

I said: Are your body members independent of it?

He said: No

I said: Why do you need it while each member is able to sense and is healthy?

He said: My child! Any time I have any doubt and I am not sure I refer to it and with its differentiation, the doubt turns into certainty.

I said: has God created this center for judging and clarifying the doubts of body members?

He said: Yes

I said: Therefore, this center is necessary for elimination of doubts and uncertainties.

He said: Yes, it is so.

I said: Thus, God has not left body members without a guiding center to refer to at times when doubts arise! Then how can it be possible that God leaves His people alone without a leader to refer to at times when doubts, uncertainties, differences and confusions arise?

After a moment of silence he said, are you not Heshaam son of Hakam?

I said: No

He said: Have you ever sat with him?

I said: No

He said: Then tell me where are you from?

I said: From Kufah

He said: then, definitely you are Heshaam. He rose and sited me in his place and said nothing more.

After hearing my story, Imam smiled and asked me from whom did you learn this kind of reasoning? I replied: O' son of Mohammad (PBUH&HP) God has guided me.

In the debate that is presented here, Heshaam son of Hakam tried to expalin one of the reasons for necessity of Imamat to Omar son of Abid who had apparantly not releazied the importance and necessity of divinely ordained leadership (Imamat) for guidance of peoepl. It is said that Imam Saadeq (PBUH) had over 4000 students in different fields of and theology and science, Hesham was one of the best of them. (Book Of Kaafi)