can you love an Imam and wish he was your dad?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.
If the said Imaam is a man of a correct belief and is pious, then loving him without exaggeration is an act by which one gets closer to Allaah. Indeed there are many narrations about the love for Allaah's sake. For instance, Ibn Mas'ood narrated that a man came to the Prophet and asked him: ''What do you say about a man who loves some people but cannot catch up with their good deeds?" Thereupon, the Prophet said: "Every person will be gathered (on The Day of resurrection) with those whom he loves." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore, in order to show your love for this Imaam, you should try to benefit from him by seeking knowledge with him, if he is a man of knowledge, so that you would imitate his example and good moral character.
Wishing that this Imaam was your father is a matter of no benefit as this is wishing something logically and religiously impossible. Furthermore, if a man is righteous, it is not necessarily that his father is so. The Prophet Nooh (Noah) is among the five messengers with great determination, despite this fact, his son died as a disbeliever. Therefore, you should be happy with whatever Allaah has predestined for you.Allaah Knows best.
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