The reports of the Ahlulbayt, peace be upon him, teachings and traditions inform us that as long as time exists, an infallible Imam guided by God must exist. Hence, the only reason of our existence today is because of the Imam. Does this not pose a question to those who have pledged allegiance to more than twelve Imams? Does it not bring to question, who is my Imam? Very important question that every Muslim ought to answer
As for our traditions, here is one of many found in al-Kafi, from Abu Hamza al-Thumali, from Imam al-Baqir, peace be upon him:
By God, since the passing of Adam, God has not left the Earth without an Imam that guides people towards Him, (God), and the Imam is proof upon His creation.
What's the Shia view on the companions? I've heard some harsh comments so I thought asking a Shia would be better
You have made important steps in asking and seeking to research by asking Shia’s themselves, rather than to believe a lot of the misconceptions spread around on the internet. I will try to answer your question, to the limit of my ability, and then refer you to further resources.
So the thing is, I personally feel it’s wrong to use one word for such a large, diverse group of people. The companions were not one homogenous group and so when referring to such a large body of people, one can not say ‘you disrespect the companions’. The Shia position on the companions of Prophet Muhammed (saw) is that based on pragmatism, evidence, and realism - rather an the idealistic perception that they were all generally good and righteous. We believe, as the Quran categorizes, the companions were of varying ranks, from those who absolutely strive to be like, to those who had deception in their hearts and harmed the Prophet (saw) and his Holy Progeny (as).
There were righteous companions like Ibn Abbas, Salman Farsi, Abu Dhar Ghafari, Ammar Ibn Yassir, Miqdad and similar ones. They followed the Prophet (saw) in their life and even after his demise.
The Quran groups the companions into catagories. So the Quran and hadith has outlined the path of the religion and the Prophet (saw) has ordered the Ummah to follow the Quran and the Ahlulbayt (as). This is the most authentic source for following the Holy Prophet (saw) and the religion.
Muharram is upon us, and what a sorrow filled month this is. Some recognize it as the first month of the Islamic calendar. Others welcome this month with black flags and mourning tunes… this is the month where our Holy Prophet’s children endured the greatest sacrifice for the sake of Islam. Ashura is a tragedy that should be commemorated by all ethnic and religious communities, as it is a pivotal example of selflessness, patience, sacrifice, and seeking only the pleasure of Allah (swt). This is the time where we reply Imam Hussain’s call “Is there anyone to help me?” Our cry 1,436 years later, Labayik Ya Hussain!
Sending Blessings upon the Messenger [saws] without mentioning his Progeny - You Will not get Paradise!
٩٤٨\٥ - وبهذا الاسناد، قال: حدثنا الحسين بن أحمد بن إدريس، قال: حدثني أبي، قال: حدثني أحمد بن محمد بن خالد، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن عبد الله بن الحسن بن الحسن بن علي، عن أبيه، عن جده، قال: قالرسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله): من قال (صلى الله على محمد) ولم يصل على آله، لم يجد ريح الجنة، وريحها من مسيرة خمس مائة عام
[الأمالي - الشيخ الطوسي - الصفحة ٤٢٤]
948/5 - With the previous chain of narrators, from al-Hussain ibn Ahmad ibn Idris, he said: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid narrated to me, from his father, from Muhammad ibn Abi `Umayr, from Abdullah ibn al-Hassan ibn Ali, from his father, from his grandfather, he said: The Messenger of Allah [saws] said: He who says after my name [Peace be Upon Him] but does not include my progeny, will not smell (come close to) the fragrance of Paradise, and the fragrance of paradise can be smelt from a travelling distance of five hundred years.