The Just Leader of Humanity 6
The Qur'an provides the best example of the appointment to the prophethood at a very young age. In the example of Jesus (peace be upon him), the Qur'an speaks about the miracle of Jesus while he was still a baby in the cradle. At that time Jesus introduced himself as a prophet who had brought the revealed message for the Children of Israel. Thus, he says:
Lo, I am God's servant; God has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet. Blessed He has made me, wherever I may be; and He has enjoined me to pray, and to give the alms, so long as I live. (Sura Maryam, 29)
From this and other verses of the Qur'an it is clear that Jesus (peace be upon him) from his very early childhood had been appointed as the Prophet and had been given the Book.
In light of the above, it is correct to say that there is no objection to maintaining that a person could establish relations with the divine sources of knowledge at a very early age and could be appointed to undertake the critical responsibility of promulgating the divine laws with utmost care and accuracy. Moreover, he could be made completely capable of performing his task and safeguarding the divine trust.
Incidentally, Imam Jawad (peace be upon him), at the time of his father's death was nine or seven years old. It was because of his young age that some among the Shi'is had doubts about his being the Imam. To resolve this problem some of the leading members of the community came to see Imam Jawad and asked him several difficult and complex questions. To all these the Imam was able to give sufficient and satisfactory answers. Moreover, they also witnessed some miracles from him which removed their doubt in his being their Imam at that young age.
Imam Rida had appointed Imam Jawad as his successor and when he found people surprised at his designation he said: "Jesus (peace be upon him) also became a Prophet and a Proof of God at a young age."
Imam 'Ali Naqi also became the Imam at the age of six years and five months, following his father's death.
So, Dr. Fahimi, the Prophets and the Imams are specially created to carry out the functions assigned to them by God. Hence, it is not proper to compare them with ordinary people and their capacities.
The Gifted Children
Often among ordinary people one comes across rare individuals endowed with excellent intelligence and immense potential. In fact, they manifest unusual mental powers and faculties of perception superior to an individual of, let us say, forty years of age.