Infallibility is one of the conditions of being a prophet or an Imam but it is not limited to them alone. If we look at examples such as al-Abbas, the son of Imam Ali (a) or Ali the son of Imam Husain (a), who were both martyred in Karbala, it’s not just a probability, but rather their infallibility is an established reality. Even Zaynab the daughter of Imam Ali (a) is counted as one of the infallibles.
When it comes to other than the prophets and Imams, what we mean by infallibility is a lower level of infallibility. Infallibility is of different levels, the lowest of which is to not act against any of the obligations (wajibaat) and prohibitions (muharramaat) of the shariah. Living within the laws and ethical guidelines of Islam, as taught to us by the prophets and Imams, and never going against them is a minimum level of infallibility, albeit a very high level in itself and not so easy to attain. The prophets and Imams, however, had even higher levels of infallibility, wherein they tried to make sure that every single action of them was in line with the pleasure of Allah. But even these levels can vary between the prophets themselves.
Other examples of this lower level of infallibility include the likes of Miqdad and Salman, the companions of the Holy Prophet (s). When these noble personalities were on the peak of God-wariness (taqwa), can we say that they didn’t have a certain level infallibility?! When we see that even nowadays there are certain people, especially amongst the learned scholars, who knowingly and intentionally never committed a sin, we know that this level of infallibility can be attained by other than the Ahlul Bayt (a) as well.
So we must ask ourselves that if the companions of the Ahlul Bayt (a) can attain a stage of infallibility, why can’t we? Can we not work towards acquiring that level of taqwa – doing all that is wajib and abstaining from all that is haram – such that once this level is acquired we would have also achieve a certain level of infallibility? If we want to be amongst the true companions of the Imam of our time (a), would we not need to reach this minimum stage of infallibility?