There are many reports direct and indirect which point towards an Imam / divine proof in every page. Many of these reports are documented in source books of all Muslim sects.
Necessity to recognize the Imam in every era
For direct reports on Imam in every era, consider the famous tradition of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
مَنْ مَاتَ وَ لَمْ يَعْرِفْ اِمَامَ زَمَانِهٖ مَاتَ مِيْتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً
Whosoever dies without recognizing the Imam of his time, dies the death of paganism (i.e. he dies an infidel).
- Sahîh-e-Muslim trad 1,851
- Musnad-e-Ahmad trad 16,434
- Musnad-e-Abi Dawood Al-Tayaalisi pg 259
- Mujam al-Kabeer trad 910
- Sharh al-Maqaased vol 4 pg 239
- Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar pg 179
The tradition is narrated varyingly as:
مَنْ مَاتَ وَ لَيْسَ لَهٗ اِمَامٌ مَاتَ مِيْتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً
“Whoever died without an Imam died a death of ignorance.”
Sahih-e-Ibn Habbaan trad. 4,573 – Ibn Habbaan is considered by some to be most reliable after the two Shaikhs – Bukhari and Muslim.
This tradition proves that there is an Imam for the Muslims in every era. Put differently it means – there can never be a Muslim in any era but there will be an Imam for him.
Surah Qadr points towards an Imam in every era
Surah Qadr is among the indirect proofs of Imamate, which inform the Muslims of an Imam in every era. This Surah is such a potent and powerful argument in favour of Imamate, that the Imams of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) have commanded the Shias to argue with the skeptics of Imamate with the help of Surah Qadr.
Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) urges the Shias:
Challenge (the opponents) with the Chapter of Inna Anzalnaho so that you gain success.
For by Allah, it is Allah’s Proof on the creation after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Surely it is the chief of your religion, and it is the peak of our knowledge.
- Al-Kafi v 1 p 249 Chapter of ‘Inna Anzalnaho’ and its exegesis
In fact, Allah Himself, orders the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Meraj to recite the Surah in the salaat:
O Muhammad…recite Surah Inna Anzalnaho for surely it is associated with you and your Ahle Bait (a.s.) till Judgement Day.
- Al-Kafi v 3 p 482-486
- Elal al-Shara’e v 2 p 312-316
- Taweel al-Aayaat p 792-793
- Wasail al-Shia v 5 p 466-468, v 6 p 78-79
Since Surah Inna Anzalnaho is associated with the Ahle Bait (a.s.) till Judgement Day it is obvious that a member of Ahle Bait (a.s.) will always exist in the world till Judgement Day. In today’s era, this member is Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.).
Imam of the Era and Lailatul Qadr
Surah Inna Anzalnaho talks of a Night that is better than 1,000 nights. This is Lailatul Qadr which is specifically for the Imam of the Era.
Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) informed Ibn Abbas:
Lailatul Qadr comes every year and in that Night the affairs for the whole year are sent down. To receive the details of the affairs are the divine leaders after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
Ibn Abbas: Who are they?
Imam (a.s.): I and the eleven persons from my descendant who all are Imams, (Muhaddathun) such persons to whom angles speak.
- Al-Kafi v 1 p 532-533
- Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah v 1 p 392
- Ithbat al-Hodat v 2 p 9, 31, 81
- Al-Insaf p 193
In another report we find:
In Lailatul Qadr the angels and Rooh al-Qodos descend on the Imam of the Era and submit him all that they have recorded from lifespan, sustenance, death…
- Tafseer al-Qummi (r.a.) v 2 p 431
With the number of reports on Surah Inna Anzalnaho, it is evident that all the affairs of the year descend in Lailatul Qadr on the Imam of the Era, and this will continue till Judgement Day. Muslims are compelled to keep aside their biases and see the chain of Imamate ending in Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) as a belief that is linked to Surah Inna Anzalnaho. By rejecting the infallible Imam (a.s.) in every era, Muslims are in fact rejecting Surah Surah Inna Anzalnaho itself.