Al-Kāfi - Volume 1 > The Categories of the Prophets, the Messengers and the Imams (a.s.)
Hadith #1

1ـ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ أَبِي يَحْيَى الْوَاسِطِيِّ عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ سَالِمٍ وَدُرُسْتَ بْنِ أَبِي مَنْصُورٍ عَنْهُ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ الله (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) الانْبِيَاءُ وَالْمُرْسَلُونَ عَلَى أَرْبَعِ طَبَقَاتٍ فَنَبِيٌّ مُنَبَّأٌ فِي نَفْسِهِ لا يَعْدُو غَيْرَهَا وَنَبِيٌّ يَرَى فِي النَّوْمِ وَيَسْمَعُ الصَّوْتَ وَلا يُعَايِنُهُ فِي الْيَقَظَةِ وَلَمْ يُبْعَثْ إِلَى أَحَدٍ وَعَلَيْهِ إِمَامٌ مِثْلُ مَا كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَى لُوطٍ (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) وَنَبِيٌّ يَرَى فِي مَنَامِهِ وَيَسْمَعُ الصَّوْتَ وَيُعَايِنُ الْمَلَكَ وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَى طَائِفَةٍ قَلُّوا أَوْ كَثُرُوا كَيُونُسَ قَالَ الله لِيُونُسَ وَأَرْسَلْناهُ إِلى‏ مِائَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ قَالَ يَزِيدُونَ ثَلاثِينَ أَلْفاً وَعَلَيْهِ إِمَامٌ وَالَّذِي يَرَى فِي نَوْمِهِ وَيَسْمَعُ الصَّوْتَ وَيُعَايِنُ فِي الْيَقَظَةِ وَهُوَ إِمَامٌ مِثْلُ أُولِي الْعَزْمِ وَقَدْ كَانَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) نَبِيّاً وَلَيْسَ بِإِمَامٍ حَتَّى قَالَ الله إِنِّي جاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِماماً قالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي فَقَالَ الله لا يَنالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ مَنْ عَبَدَ صَنَماً أَوْ وَثَناً لا يَكُونُ إِمَاماً.

1. Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from abu Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham ibn Salim and Durust ibn abu Mansur from him the following. “Abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) has said that the prophets and the messengers are of four categories. There were prophets who were given Divine news in their souls just for their own-selves and for no one else. There were also prophets who were given Divine news in their dreams and would hear the voice but would not see anyone when awake and they were not sent to other people with such news. They had to follow and Imam just as it happened with Lot who followed Abraham.. There were prophets who would experience in their dreams, hear the voice and see the angel and were sent to a group of people small or large like Jonas (we sent him to a hundred thousand people or a few more). The Imam said that there were thirty thousand more people lead by an Imam. Those who saw in their dreams heard the voice and saw the angel when awake and were also Imams like ’Ulul ‘Azm ones, such as Abraham were prophets but not Imams until Allah said, “I want to appoint you as the Imam for people.” He said, “Also please from my descendents, to which He said, ‘My covenant does not go to the unjust ones, those who have worshipped idols or statues will not become Imams.”