Almighty Allah appointed the Imams to guard the religion and protect it from misguidance and to continue the message of Islam that started with the prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his household) for mankind. People did not obey Allah's orders in this matter due to their desire to possess authority and to be in control. This led to tragedies amongst Muslims for centuries until they separated into different sects and were controlled by the infidels. Almighty Allah said: "And if the people of the townships had believed and kept from evil, surely we should have opened for them blessings from the sky and from the earth. But (unto every messenger) they gave the lie, and so we seized them on account of what they used to earn" (7:96).