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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. What a ridiculous post Macisaac, I can even post pictures of Hindus, pagans, atheists, who appear to have more "noor" on their faces than your buddies. Maybe you may want to enlighten us/the world and post a picture of your hidden Imam [EDITED] since you claim he is ever so legitimate and is the truth. Wish you luck! ;)
  2. Sorry, but I will not follow and or do not need to follow some altered or innovated hadith(s). I only follow Allah (swt) and his hujjat, Imam of the Time, Hazar Imam, His Highnes Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, and not a cloud or caveman.
  3. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was himself an Arabian businessman. Allah (swt) has created us in multitudes of tribes and nations, including Europeans, so we may recognize each other. A TRUE Imam Mahdi(as) who lives in the clouds and or is a caveman, and who does not lead mankind. Bravo! I don't personally think Allah (swt) is selfish in the sense of leaving mankind without any sort of divine guidance for thousand(s) of years. Perhaps a reality check would help you guys... @)
  4. Do you think we care what you or others for that matter, in my opinion, think of the Nizari Ismailis? Answer = Absolutely not Now going back to this post, the so-called leaders who you revere, venerate and religiously follow such as Ayatollah Khoei and Syed Muhammad Moosavi for example, have clearly mentioned that Ismailis (Nizaris), those who take and follow the H H the Aga Khan IV as their Imam, are Muslims. So user Courage, do you claim to be Allah (swt)? In addition do you claim to be more learned and knowledgeable than the ones you guys, marjaee and gang, follow? PEACE! :)
  5. Syed Muhammad Moosavi Says Ismailis are Muslims at JIBA (Jaffari Ithnaasheri Business Association) conference/meeting Karachi, Pakistan Excerpts: How far we should keep relation with Ismaili Community? We know that Muslims are now being put under two types. Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. Ok Ismailis are not Sunnis. Right Ismailis are looked as by others as Shia Muslims. Once Agha Khan Karim told me that the Wahabis are calling us.......meaning Ismailis kafirs. I told him. Don't worry. We are also being called by Wahabis, kafirs. He said yes. You are kafir but we are more kafir. Ismailis are more kafir. According to the Wahabis. So in short in short Ismailis are looked as by others as Shias. Though they don't believe in the Twelve Imams but they believe in Imam Ali (as). Now in the last recent years they are initiating a good relationship with Shia Ulema. They have published Nehjul Balaga. They have published many Shia books. So our Ulema or Marjaee all all maraje and I personally spoke to Ayatullah Khui. This time personally and he told me that Ismailis are Muslims.
  6. Perseverance, If your Imam came out of his respective cave and started providing his followers with guidance, let alone the world, and he told you to pray once twice, ten, or a any number of times, would you not follow? Did you not quote HQ 4:59? If your answer=yes, the I commend you on your response If your answer=no, then you have rejected HQ 4:59, and have some serious problems in terms of your beliefs From your own Musawiyya sources, you guys believe in the following. >>>> (17) The Imams are the proofs (Hujja) of God on earth, their words are the words of God, and their commands are the commands of God. Obedience to them is obedience to God, and disobedience to them is disobedience to God. In all their decisions they are inspired by God, and they are in absolute authority. It is to them, therefore, that "God has ordained obedience". From your own (Musawiyya/Ithnaasheri) sources Reference <<<< "Obedience to them is obedience to God", that is exactly what the Nizari Ismailis are doing. You can use whatever reasons (more like excuses) to justify your belief systems, which is fine, as we are all entitled to free will and interpretation. You have accused our present of recent Imams of being liars. Look at your own belief system, before point fingers at others. Some people in your leadership convinced you or more like conned you into believing in a Imam who has gone into hiding into a cave a thousand or more years ago! The joke is you yours buddy, not ours. Lol "We follow the traditional Islamic Shariah" you claim, yet if we turn on the news, each day the so-called "brothers in Islam" (in particular Sunnis) are blowing you guys up. Oh wait... I thought you guys follow the same thing. With the absence of your Imam, many of the Musawiyyas (Ithnaasheris) I know have become disillusioned and are converting to either Sunnism or Nizari Ismailism. "If you obey most of the people in the land they will lead you astray from Allah's path for they only follow their own conjectures and preach falsehood." HQ 6:117 I am not going to comment further on this thread, so perhaps we can agree to disagree. "To you be your Way, and to me min" HQ 109:6 Wasalaam!
  7. I agree in what Princevisram has mentioned. In addition, from my perspective, we do not believe in cursing, and I think this can be verified by our history. Our Imams, till present, have been giving their guidance, and left it for the individual seeker to either believe in them or not. There have been numerous disputes in regards to the successorship over Imamate throughout the course of history, even in Ismailism, but that does not mean cursing of your lineage, and or other Shias's lineage of Imamate. Our Imam shares a cordial and respectful relationship with the Dai, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), of the Mustaali Ismailis, and with the Ithnaasheri Shia Ulema in both Iraq and Iran. These are just a few examples of a few religious authorities and institutions that he shares cordial respectful relations with, not to mention many others.
  8. Dear Perseverance, Nothing against you personally, however your points are weak. Let us examine: Salah "is the practice of formal prayer in Islam". For the Muslims (Shia Nizari Ismailis), Salah (Prayer) to us is our daily Holy Du'a. You mentioned: I agree in obeying Allah (swt), His Messenger, and the Ahlul Bayt. That is exactly what the Muslims (Shia Nizari Ismailis) are doing, by following the current & present visible Shia Imam (Hazar Imam), Aga Khan IV, who is at least for us, our Ahlul Bayt. Our Alid Imam, our Ahlul Bayt, the Imam of the Age & Time, has prescribed obligatory prayers (salah) to us, that we perform daily. I don't consider many of hadiths to be authentic, so I don't buy/take them as a source of reference. Many of them have been fabricated to suite each agenda. Yes, I am going to deny this. As in my previous answers, we do offer obligatory prayers (salah), which is our Holy Dua (prayer). In addition: (17) The Imams are the proofs (Hujja) of God on earth, their words are the words of God, and their commands are the commands of God. Obedience to them is obedience to God, and disobedience to them is disobedience to God. In all their decisions they are inspired by God, and they are in absolute authority. It is to them, therefore, that "God has ordained obedience". From your own (Musawiyya/Ithnaasheri) sources Reference URL > http://www.balagh.net/english/shia/shia_islam/11.htm We, Nizari Ismailis, take the Aga Khan IV, to be as our present Imam, and take his word as final. In terms of religion and spirituality, we give him our full obedience. You may disagree, which is fine, however we trace his lineage back to Hazrat Ismail (as), who we believe did not die during the lifetime of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq (as), and received the designation of Imamate and nass after his father death. Muslim Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili "followers have" not "changed the religion to teach something different! " Seems like Princevisram has already covered the number of times of prayers from the Holy Qu'ran directly as he has mentioned: "You can correct me if I am wrong, but I have read the Qur'an and only three prayers are mentioned BY NAME. The prayers mentioned BY NAME in the Qur'an: 1- Salat Al-Fajr (Dawn Prayer)24:58 2- Salat Al-Esha (Night Prayer)24:58 3- Al-Salat Al-Wusta (The Middle Prayer) 2:238. The Qur'an even says: "Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night. Lo! good deeds annul ill-deeds. This is reminder for the mindful." (11:114)". Can you point to us from the Holy Qu'ran where the other two prayers are as you have said "this is in the Quran". Let me correct you, in your opinion, and perhaps the opinion of a few ignorants and intellectual disabled, you have stated that we have our own religion; which is absolutely false. We believe in theology and interpretation of Islam, which is actually similar to your's...that is if your are a Shia. Yes! Our Shiism does teach the Friday Jumah prayers is wajib. If the other ulema/scholars from the differing schools of thought in Islam did not accept Nizari Ismaili Shias to be Muslims, then they would have never posted/included our Imam's letter at The Amman Message/Conference. The Ahmadiyyas claim to be Muslim, however they were not included. It seems like conveniently you ommitted what H H the Aga Khan related in his letter said: "...Islam is Allah's final message to mankind, the Holy Quran His final Book, and Muhammad, may peace be upon him, His las and final Prophet. These are the fundamental principles of faith enshrined in the Shahada and the Tawhid therein, which bind the Ummah in an eternal bond on unity. With other Muslims, they are continuously reaffirmed by the Shia Ismaili Muslims of whom I am the 49th hereditary Imam in direct lineal descent from the first Shia Imam, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib through his marriage to Bibi Fatimat-az-Zahra, our beloved Prophet's daughter... Our historic adherence is to the Jafari Madhhab, and other Madhahib of closer affinity, and it continues under the leadership of the hereditary Ismaili Imam of the time. his adherence is in harmony also with our acceptance of Sufi principles of personal search and balance between zahir and the spirit or the intellect which the zahir signifies.". Reference URL > http://ammanmessage.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=57&Itemid=42 "(1) Whosoever is an adherent to one of the four Sunni schools (Mathahib) of Islamic jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali), the two Shi’i schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Ja`fari and Zaydi), the Ibadi school of Islamic jurisprudence and the Thahiri school of Islamic jurisprudence, is a Muslim. Declaring that person an apostate is impossible and impermissible." The "Jafari Madhhab" from my understanding are schools of thought who follow Imam Jafar as-Sadiq which include the Ismailiyya & the Musawiyya (aka Ithnaasheriyya). Our Imam has made it clear about this matter in his letter. Salaam!
  9. What rubbish! Are you claiming, or the rest of the Shariatis claiming to be Allah (swt), in terms of judging on who is fit to being called Muslim or not? Here's a challenge to you, and whoever else would like to participate... Since you and others claim to believe in the Holy Qu'ran in it's entirety, please prove from the Qu'ran-e-Shariff solely the actual wording (word-to-word) of the namaz/salah (salah) prayers that you guys recite five time daily. As for your accusations that Shias (Nizari Ismailis) "reject Hajj", "do not fast properly", etc. etc. do not hold true. A personal example I can give you is that I am a Muslim by faith of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili persuasion and of the Khoja community. Many of my friends and relatives, who are Ismaili Khojas, have gone for Hajj & Umrah. We fast during the Holy month of Ramadhan, and follow all the other obligatory pillars of Islam and more. There has not been any directive from our present Shia Imam stating otherwise. On the other hand, I have many friends who claim to so-called "Muslims" (as they are from varying madhabs such as Ithnaasheris, Mustaalis, Sunnis), however they do not follow a single injunction from the Holy Qu'ran. Should they be classified as Muslims? Perhaps they should be labelled as token Muslims. Your research has failed to yield fruit and mention of the "Amman Message", that "recognized the validity of all 8 Mathhabs (legal schools) of Sunni, Shi'a and Ibadhi Islam; of traditional Islamic Theology (Ash'arism); of Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), and of true Salafi thought, and came to a precise definition of who is a Muslim.". That recognition included the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili tariqah of Islam, and represented by our Imam's letter to the conference, in addition to fatwas by your following Musawis Ulema: Shi'i Ja'fari Fatwas Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali Khamenei Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Muhammad Said Al-Hakim, Noble Najaf Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Ishaq Al-Fayad, Noble Najaf Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Bashir Al-Najan, Noble Najaf Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Shaykh Hassan Ismail Al-Sadr Grand Ayatollah Al-Sayyid Fadil Lankarani Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Ali Al-Taskhiri, General Secretary, Forum for Proximity of the Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence, Iran Al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn FadlAllah The Imam Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation, United Kingdom Sunni Fatwas H.E. Grand Imam Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, Shaykh Al-Azhar Professor. Dr. Ali Jumu'a, Grand Mufti of the Egyptian Arab Republic The Grand Council for Religious Affairs, Turkey The late Grand Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaro, Grand Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic, May Allah have mercy upon him Shaykh Said Abd Al-Hafiz Al-Hijjawi, Grand Mufti of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan The Islamic Fiqh Academy, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Shaykh Dr. Yusuf Abdallah Al-Qaradawi, Director of the Sunna and Sira Council, Qatar H.E. Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Vice President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Saudi Arabia Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani, Pakistan Shaykh Abdullah al-Harari al-Habashi, Lebanon Shi'i Zaydi Fatwas Shaykh Muhammad bin Muhammad Ismail Al-Mansur and Shaykh Humud bin Abbas Al-Mu'ayyad Shaykh Ibrahim bin Muhammad Al-Wazir (Zaydi), General Secretary, The Islamic Unification and Works Movement, Yemen Ibadi Fatwas Shaykh Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Khalili, Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman Reference URL > FATWAS OF THE 'ULAMA @)
  10. The Myth Of The Shia Mahdi The 15th of Sha‘baan is a very significant date, both to the Ahl as-Sunnah and the Shi‘ah. The Shi‘ah, however, have their own reason for ascribing significance to this night. To them it is the night of the birth of their twelfth Imam, the Hidden Mahdi. Who is this Mahdi whose return to this world is so eagerly awaited by the Shi‘ah, and belief in whose existence in occultation forms such a integral aspect of the Shi‘i psyche? Before an adequate answer to this question may be given, there is a need to understand certain aspects concerning the Shi‘i doctrine of Imamah. Background The cornerstone of the Shi‘i faith is the belief that the spiritual and temporal leadership of this Ummah after the demise of Rasulullah is vested in the Imam, who is appointed, like the Nabi himself, by Allah, and who enjoys all the distinctions and privileges of the Nabi . However, they believe that Imamah, unlike Nubuwwah, can never come to an end. In this regard there is a well-known Shi‘i hadith which says that “the world cannot exist without an Imam”, and another which goes that “if the earth were to be without an Imam for a single day it would sink.” Thus, when it came to pass that the first of those whom they regard as their Imams— Sayyiduna Ali radiyallahu ‘anhu— left this world, a problem arose. Some of those who regarded themselves as his followers claimed that he did not in fact die, but that he will return to establish justice. Others said that he was succeeded as Imam by his son Hasan, who was in turn succeeded by his brother Husayn. When Husayn died there were some who claimed to follow their other brother Muhammad (known as Ibn al-Hanafiyyah) as their Imam. When he died his followers claimed that he was in reality alive, and that he will return in due time. Others amongst the Shi‘ah took Sayyiduna Husayn’s son, Ali, surnamed Zayn al-‘Abidin, as their Imam, and upon his death transferred their loyalties to his son, Muhammad al-Baqir. When al-Baqir died there were once again elements from amongst the Shi‘ah who denied his death and claimed that he would return one day, while others took his son Ja‘far as-Sadiq as their Imam. When he died there was mass confusion amongst the Shi‘ah: each of his sons Isma‘il, Abdullah, Muhammad, Zakariyya, Ishaq and Musa was claimed by various groups amongst the Shi‘ah to be their Imam. In addition to them there was a group who believed that Ja‘far did not really die, and that he would return one day. More or less the same thing happened at the death of his son Musa. Some of the Shi‘ah denied his death, believing that he will return, and others decided to take as their new Imam one of his sons. Some of these chose his son Ahmad, while others chose his other son Ali ar-Rida. After him they took as their Imam his son Muhammad al-Jawwad (or at-Taqi), and after him his son Ali al-Hadi (or an-Naqi). At the death of Ali al-Hadi they looked upon his son Hasan al-Askari as their new— and 11th— Imam. The Death Of Hasan Al-Askari The above is a very brief synopsis of a tumultuous and confusing history— a history from which a dedicated researcher might extract some very revealing facts about the development of Shi‘ism. However, that is not our concern at this moment. We have now arrived at the year 254 AH, the time when a major section of the Shi‘ah accepted as their Imam the 22-year old Hasan, son of Ali al-Hadi, and 10th lineal descendant of Sayyiduna Ali and Sayyidah Fatimah radiyallahu ‘anhuma. Six years later, in 260 AH, Hasan al-Askari, at the very young age of 28, is lying on his deathbed, but unlike any of his forefathers he leaves no offspring, no one to whom the Shi‘ah might appropriate as their new Imam. The Shi‘ah who had been regarding Hasan al-Askari as their Imam were thrown into mass disarray. Does this mean the end of the Imamah? The end of the Imamah would mean the end of Shi‘ism. Were they prepared for that? The confusion that reigned amongst the Shi‘ah after the death of Hasan al-Askari is reflected by the Shi‘i writer Hasan ibn Musa an-Nawbakhti, who counts the emergence of altogether 14 sects amongst the followers of Hasan al-Askari, each one with a different view on the future of the Imamah and the identity of the next Imam. It must be noted that an-Nawbakhti was alive at the time all of this was taking place. Another Shi‘i writer, Sa‘d ibn Abdullah al-Qummi, who also lived during the same time, counts 15 sects, and a century later the historian al-Mas‘udi enumerates altogether 20 separate sects. Trends There were four major trends amongst these various sects: (1) There were those who accepted the death of Hasan al-Askari as a fact, and accepted also the fact that he left no offspring. To them Imamah had thus come to an end, just like Nubuwwah came to an end with the death of Rasulullah r . However, there were some amongst them who kept hoping for the advent of a new Imam. (2) The second trend was one to which the student of the history of “succession to the Imamah” would be much more used to. This was the tendency to deny the death of Hasan al-Askari, and to claim that he would return in the future to establish justice upon earth. We have seen this tendency emerge amongst the Shi‘ah at more than one critical juncture in the history of the Imamah of the Shi‘ah; it is therefore only logical to expect it to resurface at a moment as critical as the death of Hasan al-Askari. (3) The third trend was to extend the chain of Imamah to Hasan’s brother Ja‘far. (4) The fourth trend was the claim that Hasan al-Askari did in fact have a son. It is the fourth trend which ultimately became the view of the dominant group in Shi‘ism. The Missing Son This trend was spearheaded by persons who had set themselves up as the representatives of the Imam, and who were in control of a network covering various parts of the Islamic empire— a network for the purpose of collecting money in the name of the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. All followers of the Imams were obliged to pay one fifth of their income to the representatives of the Imams. (This is a practice which continues up to today.) At the head of this network was a man called Uthman ibn Sa‘id al-‘Amri. His manner of resolving the predicament was unique: Hasan al-Askari was dead, he admitted, but he was not childless. He had a 4-year old son, Muhammad, with whom no one but he— Uthman ibn Sa‘id— could have contact. And from that point onwards he would act as the representative (wakeel) of the Hidden Imam and collect money in his name. To the fact that Hasan al-Askari’s own family were completely ignorant of the existence of any child of his, and that his estate had been divided between his brother Ja‘far and his mother, Uthman ibn Sa‘id and his ilk responded by denouncing Ja‘far as al-Kadhdhab (the Liar). In due time a fantastic story was brought into circulation about the union between Hasan al-Askari and a Roman slave-girl, who is variously named as Narjis, Sawsan or Mulaykah. She is mentioned as having been the daughter of Yusha‘ (Joshua), the Roman emperor, who is a direct descendant of the apostle Simon Peter. But history shows that there never was a Roman emperor of that name. The Roman emperor of the time was Basil I, and neither he nor any other emperor is known to have descended from Peter. The story goes on to tell of her capture by the Muslim army, how she eventually came to be sold to Hasan al-Askari, and of her supernatural pregnancy and the secret birth of the son of whom no one— aside from Uthman ibn Sa‘id and his clique— knew anything. Everything about the child is enveloped in a thick and impenetrable cloud of mystery. The Four Representatives Uthman ibn Sa‘id remained the “representative of the Hidden Imam” for a number of years. In all that time he was the only link the Shi‘ah had with their Imam. During that time he supplied the Shi‘i community with tawqi‘at, or written communications, which he claimed was written to them by the Hidden Imam. Many of these communications, which are stilpreserved in books like at-Tusi’s Kitab al-Ghaybah, had to do with denouncing other claimants to the position of representatives, who had come to realise exactly how lucrative a position Uthman ibn Sa‘id had created for himself. The Shi‘i literature dealing with Uthman ibn Sa‘id’s tenure as representative is replete with references to money collected from the Shi‘i public. When Uthman ibn Sa‘id died, his son Abu Ja‘far Muhammad produced a written communication from the Hidden Imam in which he himself is appointed the second representative, a position which he held for about 50 years. He too, like his father, had to deal with several rival claimants to his position, but the tawqi‘at which he regularly produced to denounce them and reinforce his own position ensured the removal of such obstacles and the continuation of support from a credulous Shi‘i public. He was followed in this position by Abul Qasim ibn Rawh an-Nawbakhti, a scion of the powerful and influential Nawbakhti family of Baghdad. Before succeeding Muhammad ibn Uthman, Abul Qasim an-Nawbakhti was his chief aide in the collection of the one-fifth taxes from the Shi‘ah. Like his two predecessors, he too had to deal with rival claimants, one of whom, Muhammad ibn Ali ash-Shalmaghani used to be an accomplice of his. He is reported in Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi’s book Kitab al-Ghaybah as having stated: “We knew exactly what we were into with Abul Qasim ibn Rawh. We used to fight like dogs over this matter (of being representative).” When Abul Qasim an-Nawbakhti died in 326 AH he bequethed the position of representative to Abul Hasan as-Samarri. Where the first three representatives were shrewd manipulators, Abul Hasan as-Samarri proved to be a more conscientous person. During his three years as representative there was a sudden drop in tawqi‘at. Upon his deathbed he was asked who his successor would be, and answered that Allah would Himself fulfil the matter. Could this perhaps be seen as a refusal on his part to perpetuate a hoax that has gone on for too long? He also produced a tawqi‘ in which the Imam declares that from that day till the day of his reappearance he will never again be seen, and that anyone who claims to see him in that time is a liar. Thus, after more or less 70 years, the last “door of contact” with the Hidden Imam closed. The Shi‘ah term this period, in which there was contact with their Hidden Imam through his representatives-cum-tax-collectors, the Lesser Occultation (al-Ghaybah as-Sughra), and the period from the death of the last representative onwards the Greater Occultation (al-Ghaybah al-Kubar). The Greater Occultation has already continued for over a thousand years. Activities Of The Representatives When one reads the classical literature of the Shi‘ah in which the activities of the four representatives are outlined, one is struck by the constantly recurring theme of money. They are almost always mentioned in connection with receiving and collecting “the Imam’s money” his loyal Shi‘i followers. There is a shocking lack of any activities of an academic or spiritual nature. Not a single one of the four is credited with having compiled any book, despite the fact that they were in exclusive communion with the last of the Imams, the sole repository of the legacy of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam. When we look at the major sources upon which the Shi‘i faith is based, we find that most of them were written after the onset of the Greater Occultation. Those works, like al-Kafi, which was written during the latter decades of the Lesser Occultation, contain scarcely a reference to any of the four representatives as narrators from the Hidden Imam. Instead it is filled with thousands of reports which go back, via other channels, to the fifth and the sixth Imams. That is indeed strange, considering the fact that a man like Uthman ibn Sa‘id al-‘Amri is claimed to have been closely associated with the 10th, the 11th as well as the hidden 12th Imam, and also the fact that his son remained the Shi‘i community’s solitary link to that Imam for half a century. Would it not have been better and more authoritative for an author like al-Kulayni to report the hadith of his Imams from the Hidden Imam via his representatives who lived in Baghdad at the same time as he rather than to trace it all back to the fifth and sixth Imams through a myriad of doubtful channels? But of course, he could not have done that, because the activities of those representatives did not have as much to do with authentically preserving the legacy of the Ahl al-Bayt as with the collection of wealth in their names. In light of the fact that the Shi‘ah explain the necessity of Imamah in terms of the need for an infallible guide who serves as the repository of the legacy of Ahl al-Bayt, it appears extremely incongruous that this particular guide has left no sort of legacy of his own whereby the legacy of the Ahl al-Bayt can be known. Despite the fact that an infallible guide supposedly exists, it is upon fallible persons such as Muhammad ibn Ya‘qub al-Kulayni that the Shi‘ah must depend for that legacy. The only bit of information that has come down to us regarding the Hidden Imam’s authentication of the hadith legacy of the Shi‘ah is what is recorded by Aqa Muhammad Baqir Khwansari in his book Rawdat al-Jannat. He writes that al-Kulayni’s book was presented to the Hidden Imam who looked at it and declared, “Hadha Kaafin li-Shi‘atina” (This is enough for our Shi‘ah). This is incidentally how the book received its name. A report such as this creates a huge problem. It appears to be a ratification of the contents of the book al-Kafi by the infallible Imam. Yet, 9 centuries later the Shi‘i muhaddith, Mulla Muhammad Baqir Majlisi, would declare in his commentary on al-Kafi, named Mir’at al-‘Uqul, that 9,485 out of the 16,121 narrations in al-Kafi are unreliable. What did Majlisi know that the infallible Imam was so unaware of that he would authenticate a book, 60% of whose contents would later be discovered to be unreliable? Evaluation The Iraqi Shi‘i scholar, Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, finds proof for the existence of the Hidden Mahdi in what he calls “the experience of a community”. The existence of the Hidden Imam, he postulates, was experienced by the Shi‘i community as a whole in the written communications that the representatives used supplied them with. The crux of this argument lies in the fact that an individual experience might be doubted, but never that of experience of an entire community. However, the glaring flaw in this line of reasoning is that it very conveniently overlooks the part of the representatives as the individual go-betweens. The community never had the privilege of seeing or meeting the person they believed to be the author of the tawqi‘at. Their experience was limited to receiving what the representatives produced. Even the argument of a consistent handwriting in all the various tawqi‘at is at best melancholy. There is no way one can get away from the fact that the existence of the Hidden Imam rests upon nothing other than acceptance of the words of the representatives. The activities of those representatives furthermore go a long way to show that they were much, much more inspired by the desire to possess than by pious sentiments of any kind. So when the Shi‘ah commemorate the birth of their twelfth Imam on the 15th night of Sha‘ban, or when they seek to apply ahadith in Sunni sources which speak of twelve khalifas to their twelve Imams, then let us ask them on what basis do they accept the existence of the twelfth one? History bears witness to the existence of eleven persons in that specific line of descent, but when we come to the twelfth one, all we have is claims made by persons whose activities in the name of their Hidden Imam give us all the reason in the world to suspect their honesty and integrity. In Islam, issues of faith can never be based upon evidence of this kind. Reference > http://www.islamicweb.com/beliefs/cults/shia_mahdi.htm
  11. Princevisram. as you can see "Courage" did not have the courage to even spell Muslims nor Ismailis correctly. Lol These leaderless folk think they are Allah (swt) in judging who is Muslim and who is not. Think they have forgotten to leave that duty to Allah (swt) alone. Mind you they have no manifest guide (Imam) to remind them and give them any direction, let alone help them. Apparently, their's lives in the clouds somewhere.
  12. What I have presented to you are facts, and proofs of Imamate from your own sources, unlike the fictional fantasy of your Imam living in the clouds.
  13. Dear Mehdi Soldier, Salaam Alaikum! I disagree with your post completely, and beg to differ. I am also reflecting the general belief, thought, and perception of the entire Muslim Shia Ismaili communities (ie.Druze, Mustaalis & Nizaris). Says who? You mentioned: Do you expect us to buy that, and believe + trust "the knowledge of" your "scholars", have to sell? Highly unlikely. Obviously your Twelver Musawiyya Ithnaasheri scholars are going to favor one story, over another. The beauty about Nizari Ismaili literature is that it shows you both sides of the coin, and let's the reader, believer, seeker decide. Our Imams, scholars, etc. do not make make inflammatory remarks against others, unlike in your's and your community members. In my opinion, this shows the general intellectual capacities in which our respective communities stand. It is very evident and apparent that the Nizari Ismaili Shia community is at a very different caliber than yours. This is perhaps the result in yours of the lack of a present and visible Imam (Hazar Imam), who would guide his momineens & community. We have maintained this Alid and intellectual tradition since time of Hazrat Ali (as), thru Imam Jafar as-Sadiq, the Fatimids, the Nizaris of Alamut in medival Persia, and in present day and modern times with the Aga Khans. Like I mentioned before, get your heads out of the sand, and unite together, and stop bombing and killing each other. I feel sorry when I see so-called "Muslims" killing each other. I thought you guys believe in the same thing, like ie. praying 5 times, fastings, hajj, etc., and believe in the Holy Qu'ran in it's entirety including this verse/surah 5:32 "“…if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” Note: You don't see Muslims (Ismaili Shias) going around bombing each other and others alike. What happened when your religious leader(s) had one of our Imams killed in Iran/Persia. Did they not remember the Qu'ran at that time??? Can you quote, or any of your scholars quote from the Quran-e-Shariff solely the namaz/salah prayers you guys perform daily? Some interesting facts: Did you know that the present Shia Imam, Karim al-Huseini Aga Khan IV, maintains a line of communication with the various ulemas, etc. both in Najaf, Iraq & in Qom, Iran? Does this not tell you something??? I am not even suggesting that they (ie.ulemas, etc.) acknowledge him as their Imam, however if they believed him to be as a non-believer, or misguiding his flock/peoples/community, as many of you have suggested, then I don't think they would waste their time. Did you know that The World Federation of KSIMC (Khoja Shia Ithnaasheri Muslim Communities) was/is considering implementing religious education materials in their madressas borrowed from ITREB (Ismaili Tariqah & Education Board) Talim curriculum for children due to it's high standard of excellence. It's encompasses themes such as the Oneness of Allah (swt), the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Ali (as), and much more. Please refer to the following link: The Institute of Ismaili Studies > Learning > Ta'lim Curriculim for more information and details. Many of schools, hospitals, masjids, madressas, universities that perhaps you, your family, friends, and other Musawiyyas/Ithnaasheris attend have been funded by Nizari Shia Ismaili Imams, and Nizari Ismaili community. During the 1972 Idi Amin Uganda Asian expulsion crisis, many members of your community/Ithnaasheris, boarded planes chartered by the present Shia Imam, Aga Khan IV, to safe havens (countries that would accept these people as refugees). Even though your worldwide community being larger in numbers and in resources (ie.money), your religious ulema at that time in Iraq/Iran did not help your own community members. Where was your Imam at that time? As you portray your community being totally against the Nizari Shia Ismaili Muslims, why did your community members board the planes? Do I sense some hypocrisy here...think very much so. I recall one article I read in regards to this; how a Christian missionary family sponsored an Ithnaasheri Khoja family from Uganda to resettle in United States. I have heard of Ithnaasheris who have tried to attend our Jamatkhanas and didars (spiritual gatherings) with our Imam, to listen to his farmans (speeches on guidance). Makes me wonder why? On the one hand you guys do not believe in him, yet on the other, you guys want guidance from him. Does your Imam al-Mahdi answer your prayers, or call for help? Apparently not. Our Imam upholds human dignity, as mankind is Allah (swt) noblest creation. You said: Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said: "Man kunto maulaa fa haaza Aliun maulaa" "Ali is the master of all those of whom I am master. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him, help him who helps him, forsake him who forsakes him, and turn justice with him wherever he turns." In addition from your own Musawiyya Twelver Ithnaasheri sources: In explaining the position of the Imam, Ja'far made repeated declarations in unequivocal terms and proclaimed that the Imamate is a covenant between God and mankind, and recognition of the Imam is the absolute duty of every believer. (16) "Whoever dies without having known and acknowledged the Imam of his time dies as an infidel" (17) The Imams are the proofs (Hujja) of God on earth, their words are the words of God, and their commands are the commands of God. Obedience to them is obedience to God, and disobedience to them is disobedience to God. In all their decisions they are inspired by God, and they are in absolute authority. It is to them, therefore, that "God has ordained obedience" (18) (Qur'an Iv, 59). Ja'far goes on to declare that the Imam of the time is the witness for the people and he is the gate to God (Bab Allah) and the road (Sabil) to Him, and the guide thereto (Dalil), and the repository of His knowledge, and the interpreter of His revelations. The Imam of his time is a pillar of God's unity (tawhid). The Imam is immune from sin (khata) and error (dalal). The Imams are those from whom "God has removed all impurity and made them absolutely pure" (Qur'an, XXXIII, 33); they are possessed of the power of miracles and of irrefutable arguments (dalil); and they are for the protection of the people of this earth just as the stars are for the inhabitants of the heavens. They may be likened, in this community, to the Ark of Noah: he who boards it obtains salvation and reaches the gate of repentance. (19) In another tradition, "God delegated to the Imams spiritual rulership over the whole world, which must always have such a leader and guide. Even if only two men were left upon the face of the earth, one of them would be an Imam, so much would his guidance be needed." (20) In fact, according to the Imam Ja'far's explanation, there are always two Imams, the actual or "speaking" Imam (Natiq) and his son-successor, who during the lifetime of his father is "silent" (samit). (21) The silent Imam does not know of his exalted position until his father's death, for only then is he entrusted with the scriptures and the secrets of religion. When the father expires, his son immediately steps into his place and becomes the "proof" (al-Hujja) for mankind. Reference > http://www.balagh.net/english/shia/shia_islam/11.htm In whatever shape and form you may want to argue, and in contrast to your false accusations against the Muslim Nizari Shia Ismailis and our Imam; Shias of the Nizari Ismaili persuasion are following the Usool-e-Din of Islam, and in addition basic 5 pillars, add Tahara (purity) & Walayah (Guardianship). Keeping in mind the above and the following: "While the Imam is the path to a believer's inward, spiritual elevation, he is also the authority who makes the shariah relevant according to the needs of time and universe.". Ref URL >IIS > The Ismaili Imamat > Principles of Shi‘ism We Shias (Nizari Ismailis) have always maintained a lineage of Imams since Hazrat Ali (as) till present time, unlike in yours. There having been circumstances/times were our Imams have been away from the public domain due to hostile religious-political reasons. In these circumstances in ours, unlike in the Mustaalis and others, they have been represented by Dais, who have been in contact with the Imam of the Time. Has Allah (swt) ever stopped guiding and talking to mankind? This unbroken chain, silsila, rope, has always been and will always be there to guide mankind.). Ya Ali Madad! ~Nizari
  14. I have not personally heard, or read in our Shia Muslim interpretation of Islam in regards the dislike of eating fish without scales. Think we would gauge the answer to such questions from the teachings we received in our version of the madressa. If the query could not be answered from the knowledge we receive in our religious education classes, then we have resources such a Alwaezes (Nizari Ismaili Shia missionaries), sheikhs, and possibly learned individuals within the jamat/jamaat (community) who could better assist. If those resources don't pan out, then we could ask at a more of an institutional level such as our ITREBs (Ismaili Tariqah & Education Boards), local/national councils, and perhaps the IIS (Institute of Ismaili Studies). Beyond that, it would be forwarded to the Imam's office. From my understanding, our Imam will give guidance to such questions, if not answered already in the past, in terms of spiritual matters . That is his job, and has done so ever since he was appointed to the Imamate. I believe our Imam draws his guidance from the gift of nur/light/ilm/inspiration(s) that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon him. Would like to counter the comment made by a poster on this discussion thread in regards to what they have mentioned: Please refer to the following: "While the Imam is the path to a believer's inward, spiritual elevation, he is also the authority who makes the shariah relevant according to the needs of time and universe.". Ref URL > IIS > The Ismaili Imamat > Principles of Shi‘ism With Salaam! -Nizari
  15. I don't think invitations are not needed on this forum. Maybe the moderators might be better able to shed some light on that. Obviously a Twelver Ithnaashri marjaee is going to give you a favorable answer towards your sect's claim to the Imamate. With the absence and of your Imam, you do not know how your Imam would react, and guide his followers in present day, period. You can trash and say rubbish about our Imam, his followers, our madhab, all you want, however Allah (swt) is a witness at the end of the day. You do not know how your Imam would implement and uphold the Shariah you guy's follow in modern day. All I hear is from mere speculation and guessing. At this point of time, I think, our madhabs are at two different levels. When your Imam al-Mahdi does appear as you guys claim & believe, we can compare our two at that point, and then judge. Until then, I feel there is no comparison at all. However we must learn to respect each other. Even though I don't believe in lineage of Musa Kazim, the belief in a hidden Imam, and Twelver Ithnaasherism, I respect in what you guys believe and practice. I admire the sincerity and piety towards faith by of some of your community members. However I feel that many of you, and other Muslims alike, do not have the same respect for others. This I believe goes against the teachings of Islam. Without respect and understanding, this sometimes can turn into ignorance. With ignorance, we have seen and are seeing lives being lost, because of such. Even tho situations might not always hit such a climax, we should seek to share knowledge, live harmoniously with, and better understand each other. The Fatimid Ismaili Shias were a great exempliers of this. For your reading pleasure: >>>> ISMAIL BIN JAFAR SADIK (148-158/765-775) Abu Muhammad Ismail, surnamed al-Wafi was born in Medina between 100/719 and 103/722. Ismail (Listening by God) is also known as an absolute Lord (az-azbab-i itlaq). He was born by the first wife of Jafar Sadik, named Fatima. According to "Sharhu'l Akhbar" (comp. 350/960), the mother of Ismail was Fatima bint Hasan bin al-Hussain bin Ali, but Ahmad Inaba (d. 825/1422) writes in "Umadatu't-talib"that she was Fatima bint al-Hussain al-Athram bin al-Hasan bin Ali. Shahrastani (1076-1153) writes in his "Kitab al-milal wa'l nihal"that during the lifetime of Fatima, Jafar Sadik never got another marriage like Muhammad with Khadija and Ali with Fatima. Hatim bin Imran bin Zuhra (d. 498/1104) writes in "al-Usul wa'l Ahakam" that, "Ismail was the most perfect, the most learned and the most excellent of the sons of Jafar as-Sadik." He is also reported to have well steeped in the esoteric interpretation of the Koran. Ismail was declared many times by his father as his successor, and said on an occasion, while Ismail was present, according to "Asraru'n-Nutaqa" (comp. 380/990) that "He is the Imam after me, and what you learn from him is just the same as if you have learnt it from myself." It is also related that when the health of Imam Jafar Sadik became impaired, he summoned the most trusted amongst his followers, and those members of his family who were alive, and did what his predecessors had done, i.e., he handed over the authority of Imamate to Ismail. It must be known that the most trusted followers of Imam Jafar Sadik had supported Ismail, notably Abu Hamza Thabit bin Abu Sufiya Dinar as-Samali (d. 150/767), a mawla (freed slave) from Kufa. Jafar Sadik is reported to have said that Abu Hamza was in his time like Salman al-Faras in his own time (Abu Hamza fi zamani'hi mithl Salman fi zamani'hi). The early biography of Ismail is not traceable except few fragmented records. Our authority "Asraru'n-Nutaqa" adds, "When Ismail completed 7 years of age, the Lord of religion (Jafar Sadik) declared him the master of religion and his heir-apparent, as his next in descent. He guarded him from his other sons, kept him away from the contact with the public, and his education went on under his own supervision." According to "Marifat Akhbari'r-Rijal" (comp. after 280/890) that in the absence of his father from Medina, Ismail acted on behalf of his father as the head of family. It is also narrated in "Uyun'l-Akhbar" (comp. 842/1438) that Mualli bin Khunyas, a wealthy Iranian and a famous narrator was killed and his property was confiscated by the order of the Abbasid governor of Medina, Daud bin Ali. Masudi (d. 346/958) also asserts in his "Kitab al-Tanbih wal Ishraf" (ed. de Goeji, Leiden, 1894, p. 329) that Daud bin Ali had killed many persons by order of Abul Abbas, the first Abbasid caliph and the number of victims was about eighty persons. While in the matter of Mualli bin Khunyas, however, Jafar Sadik was absent from Medina, therefore, the dispute was solved by Ismail in the year 133/751. The Abbasid caliphate founded in 132/750 by uprooting the Umayyads. They were the bitterest foes of the Alids, and did everything to stamp out their propaganda. They had gained power by the Alids support, and started sweeping their accessible ashes. Mansur, the second Abbasid caliph, according to Tabari (d. 310/922) in "Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l Muluk" (ed. de Goeje, Leiden, 1879-1901, 3rd vol., p 426), spread news everywhere that the Abbasids were the Ahl-al-Bait and minted many fabricated Hadiths for his cause. He said of himself, "Innama an sultan Allah fi ardihi" i.e., "Verily! I am the authority of God on earth." He also claimed that "the rule is God's shadow on earth, all those troubled find refuge in it" (al-sultanu zillu'llahi fi'l ardi ya'wi ilayhi kullu malhufin). Ibn Jawzi (d. 597/1200) writes in "Sifat al-Safwa" that, "Jafar Sadik was quite aloof altogether from the state affairs because of his pre-occupation with devotional observances." He was however marked by caliph Mansur as one of his opponents. This time the Abbasids had firmly determined to expunge the Alids from the state, and were bent upon an utter annihilation of the institution of Imamate with the death of Jafar Sadik, pitching deadly opposition to them. Under such policies, Mansur was closely watching to know the name of the successor of Jafar Sadik to motivate his objective. He tried to harass the Imam through various means. Ibn Jawzi writes in "Sifat al- Safwa" (2nd vol., p. 96) that Mansur was also worried about the khums which used to be paid as a religious dues to Jafar Sadik by his followers and had asked many questions to the Imam on the matter when he visited Medina in 147/764. In 141/758, caliph Mansur appointed Ahd al-Jabbar al-Azadi as the governor of Khorasan with an order to watch Alid activities as well as the followers of Jafar Sadik. Riyah bin Uthman al-Murri, the Abbasid governor in Medina from 144/761 at first attempt, burnt the house of Ahl-al-Bait. Even Ismail was decided to be killed being an expected successor of Jafar Sadik. Ahmad bin Ali Najashi (d. 450/1058) writes in his "Kitab al-Rijal" (Bombay, 1917, pp. 81-2) that once caliph Mansur summoned Jafar Sadik and his son Ismail to Iraq, where he found no chance to kill them, and thus their lives were spared, but only Bassam bin Abdullah al-Sayrafi was executed instead. Muhammad Hussain al-Muzzafari quotes Jafar Sadik as saying in his "al-Sadik" (2nd vol., p. 119) that, "Ismail was planned two times for killing, but I prayed for his life, and God protected him." The succession issue of Jafar Sadik has become a mystery in the extant traces. We are faced with fact as with legend and myth; conjecture and hypothesis; the passions and prejudice of the historians. Committed in the heat of strife and argument by the early Shiite authors, they were continuously repeated by those who followed them. And finally, all this was inherited by the modern orientalists, who, after relying too much on these crumbs, accepted and endorsed many of these errors. Some elements of the traditions are quite fictitious, and exist only in the ingenious guesses and conjectures of the Shiite authors, on which the conclusions of the modern writers are based. The derogatory conclusions of the Sunnis sources from the hotchpotch, who lacked the concept of Imamate, have also created unnecessary complications. They assailed the Ismailis in view of their own sense of propriety in opprobrious words. It is highly probable that the early Ismailis, living in an extremely hostile milieu, did not produce any substantial volume of literature, preferring instead to propagate their doctrines. In analysing the accessible materials, therefore, the scholars will have to exercise a careful selection. Seyyed Hossein Nasr writes in "Ideals and Realities of Islam" (London, 1966, pp. 165-6) that, "The question of the successor to the Imam (Jafar Sadik) having been made particularly difficult by the fact that the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur had decided to scourge to death whoever was to be chosen officially by the Imam as his successor thereby hoping to put an end to the Shiite movement." Caliph Mansur began to hatch animosity with Jafar Sadik, whose activities were closely watched. He moreover invested his successor, Muhammad (158- 169/775-785) with the epithet al-Mahdi to turn the attention of his subjects from the Alid family and attract them towards the house of Abbas. Under these circumstances, different traditions had been contrived and many ideas were constructed in determining the real successor of Jafar Sadik. Farhad Daftary writes in "The Ismailis: their History and Doctrines" (London, 1990, pp. 93-4) that, "According to the majority of the available sources, Jafar al-Sadiq had designated his son Ismail as his successor, by the rule of the nass. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this designation, which forms the basis of the claims of the Ismailiyya and which should have settled the question of al-Sadiq's succession in due course." W.Ivanow (1886-1970) writes in "Ismailis and Qarmatians" (JBBRAS, Bombay, 1940, p. 57) that, "According to the overwhelming majority of the available sources, both sectarian and of their opponents, Imam Jafar appointed as his successor his eldest son Ismail, by his first wife, a highly aristocratic lady, great grand-daughter of Hasan." W.Montgomery Watt writes in "The Formative Period of Islamic Thought"(Edinburgh, 1973, p. 271) that, "The Ismailites derive their name from the fact that they consider that the Imam after Jafar as-Sadik was his son Ismail and not Musa al-Kazim." Nawbakhti (d. 310/912) however admits in his "Kitab Firaq al-Shia" (comp. 286/899) that Musa Kazim was not the heir-apparent. The historians quote the tradition that Ismail had died during his father's lifetime, but the followers of Ismail refused to believe the rumours of his death. Shahrastani (1076-1153) writes in "Kitab al-milal wa'l nihal" (tr. by A.K. Kazi and J.G. Flynn, London, 1984, p. 144) that, "Some of them (followers of Ismail) say that he did not die, but that his father had declared that he had died to save him from the Abbasid caliphs; and that he had held a funeral assembly to which Mansur's governor in Medina was made a witness." This tradition, most possibly familiar in Iraq, however could not solve the complications in a question. Thanks to the new evidence in this context, shrouded behind an impenetrable veil for centuries, has been delved recently from one anonymous manuscript in Khwabi, which perhaps is a key to solve the complications hitherto remained unsolved. It is written in the manuscript of "Kitab Fusul wa'l Akhbar" by Nuruddin b. Ahmad (d. 233/849). This manuscript was copied mostly by the end of 17th century at Khwabi, Syria and the scribe had described a tradition in it regarding Ismail bin Jafar Sadik. It relates that Abdullah, surnamed al- Aftah, or al-Aflah and Ismail were the twin brothers in the house of Jafar Sadik, which was unknown to the people in Medina. Its veracity however cannot be substantiated from any other sources. Nevertheless, it cannot be brushed aside as untrue, especially when contemporary evidence is absent or scant. Whether literally true or not, the story seems to contain certain germs of truth, revealing some interesting insights about this important period. Its clues however can be judged from "Asraru'n-Nutaqa" (comp. 380/990) that Ismail was brought up at home, and the same source also mentions at another place that Abdullah was also brought up at home. The historians write that Ismail predeceased his father in 145/762 at Medina. But, our above Syrian tradition goes on to unmask in relating that in the year 145/762, it was the death of Abdullah in reality and not that of Ismail. It further relates that both Abdullah and Ismail almost resembled each other physically, and none among those present could perceive the death of Abdullah due to an alikeness among the identical twin and therefore, the death was considered that of Ismail. On that juncture, Jafar Sadik was constrained to remain silent, since the Abbasids had conspired to kill Ismail and therefore, it became a mystery, making Ismail publicly death during his father's time, but in reality he was not dead. Abul Fawaris Ahmad bin Yaqub writes in his "ar-Risala fi'l Imama" (comp. before 408/1017) that, "Ismail died during his father's life time is not substantiated, nor can it be proven without some clear evidence that reliable person saw the face of (actual) Ismail at his interment. This is untrue and impossible". The Syrian tradition has it further that Ismail had been sent steathily out of Medina on the night when Abdullah was expired on Ramdan, 145/November, 762. Thus, the tradition of a mock funeral came to be originated to this effect among the group, whom Nawbakhti and al-Qummi have regarded as "pure Ismailis" (al-Ismailiyya al-khalisa). It is quite possible that the people were unaware of the physical resemblance of two brothers as well as the death of Abdullah, resulting the coinage of a story of mock funeral. W.Ivanow writes in "Ismailis and Qarmatians" (JBBRAS, 1940, p. 57) that, "On the whole, this story seems to be very strange, especially because it seems really old. As it is narrated in one and the same version, it is quite probable that it was invented and put into circulation by someone at a very early time, and was ever since repeated in the absence of any other material referring to Ismail in general literature." The mock funeral stood on the face of the tradition, while its other side seems to have been unveiled in the above Syrian tradition. W.Ivanow was unaware of the above Syrian tradition, therefore, his doubt seems correct to this effect that, "Although how this could be a ruse, and how a complete likeness was achieved in the substitute for a successful disguise, is not explained" (Ibid). The Syrian tradition lastly attests that the dead body of Abdullah, being publicly known that of Ismail's was interred in Janat al-Baqi in Medina, and it was attended by a huge multitude. Henceforward, it became to be known that Ismail's grave existed in Medina. Hasan bin Nuh Broachi (d. 939/1533), the author of "Kitabu'l Azhar" had visited Medina in 904/1498 and described that the grave of Ismail was situated within the city's walls, near the Baqi's gate. In reality, it was the grave of Abdullah being visited by Hasan bin Nuh Broachi provided the above Syrian tradition is genuine. By then onwards, Ismail assumed the name of Abdullah, and our Syrian tradition also relates that Abdullah had also assumed the name of Ismail before 145/762 in some cases to protect his brother. The fact of which also sounds in a letter of the Fatimid Imam al-Mahdi, written around 308/921 to Yamen, vide "Kitab al-Fara'id wa Hudud ad-Din" (pp. 13-19) by Jafar bin Mansur al-Yamen. In his letter, Imam al-Mahdi curiously discloses that: "Ismail was substituted for Abdullah" and also "Abdullah bin Jafar, who was styled Ismail." Idris Imaduddin (d. 872/1468) writes in "Zahru'l-ma'ani," that Abdullah predeceased his father. While "Asraru'n-Nutaqa" makes him to have died many years after his father. Similar discriminations are also narrated for Ismail, but in view of our Syrian tradition, the death of Abdullah had taken place in 145/762. It must be noted that a sizable faction in Kufa believed Abdullah as their Imam, known as Fathiyya. Ali bin Hasan was an eminent follower, who according to Najashi (d. 450/1058) in "Kitab al-Rijal" (p. 196), had compiled "Kitab ithbat Imamat Abd Allah" in affirmation of the Imamate of Abdullah. The rule of the first Abbasid caliph, Abdullah as-Saffah lasted for 4 years and 9 months, during which period the Alids in Medina kept quiet and affairs remained stationary. But when Mansur assumed the caliphate in 136/753, the Alids embittered by the usurpation of their rights, began to voice their complaints. Thus, an-Nafs az-Zakia, the son of Abdullah al-Mahd refused to take the oath of allegiance to Mansur. The traditionist orbits of Medina wholeheartedly supported his cause. It was the month of Ramdan, 145/December, 762 when the Abbasid commander Isa bin Musa spurred his horses towards Medina to crush the uprising of an-Nafs az-Zakia. It was very critical moment, and many families evacuated the city to avoid persecution. On that juncture, Ismail also managed to leave Medina privily with the outgoing caravans. Tabari (3rd vol., p. 226) and Baladhuri (d. 279/892) in "Ansab al-Ashraf" (5th vol., p. 617) write that, "On 12th Ramdan, 145 (December 4, 762), Isa bin Musa camped at al-Jurf, where he entered into correspondence with many notables of Medina, including some Alids. Many of them left the city with their families and some even joined Isa, a move which created a sense of insecurity and led to a large scale evacuation of Medina." When the veritable fighting took place with the Abbasids, an-Nafs az-Zakia was left with only a small number of his followers, mainly drawn from the tribe of Juhayna and Banu Shuja. Tabari (3rd vol., p. 249) writes that, "His followers took to flight, and he himself was killed on the 14th Ramdan, 145 (December 6, 762)." His brother, Ibrahim, wandering from Medina to Aden, Syria, Mosul, Anbar until he finally settled in Basra in 145/762 to propagate for his brother. He also rebelled two months after his brother's revolt, and seized control of Basra. Tradition has it that Ismail went to Basra after leaving Medina, but it seems improbable as after the defeat of an-Nafs az-Zakia in Medina in 145/762, his brother Ibrahim mustered a large army in Basra, hatching a massive revolt against the Abbasids, where the political condition was alike Medina, therefore, Ismail must have hidden himself elsewhere in Arabia, and when the condition had become congenial, he would have harboured himself in Basra. Abul Faraj Ispahani writes in "Maqatil al-Talibiyin" (Tehran, 1949, p. 365) that, "Abu Hanifah, Sufian al-Thawri, Masud bin Kudam and many others wrote to Ibrahim, offering him to their city and issued fatwa favouring his cause." It is to be noted that Muhammad bin Hurmuz, Muhammad bin Ajlan and Abu Bakr bin Abu Sabra also sympathized with an-Nafs az- Zakia and Ibrahim. Ibrahim had left Basra for Kufa after some time, but was killed in a battle at Bakhamri, about halfway between Wasit and Kufa. His rebellion lasted for 2 months and 25 days. "After the end of these revolts" according to "Tarikh-i Baghdad" (13th vol., p. 380), "Mansur ordered Malik bin Anas to be flogged, and considered Abu Hanifah as an enemy so dangerous that he imprisoned him until his death." After these revolts in 145/762, there was a gap of 24 years until the next attempt to overthrow the Abbasids in 169/786. The critical examination of the extant traces suggests that the Abbasids had added a twist to this puzzle after few years with the help of the predeceased tradition for Ismail, broadcasting everywhere that Jafar Sadik had changed the nass (investiture) in favour of his another son, Musa Kazim. This newly contrived theory enjoyed its early nourishment among the people who absolutely lacked the concept of the Imamate. The later sources, trusting on it, however mention three different reasons for the change of nass i.e., Ismail's indulgence in drink in 138/755, Ismail's intriguing in the extremists circles in 143/760, and his death during his father's life time in 145/762. It deserves to note here that some florid and bombastic stories of Ismail's indulgence in drink and his alleged association with the extremists have been added, which had been condemned by many historians. Mufazal bin Umar as-Sayrafi however relates that Jafar Sadik, in view of his son's piety had already warned the people in Medina that, "Do not wrong Ismail" (la tajafu Ismaila). The later sources however firmly clang to their idea in the predeceased tradition. Caliph Mansur, however, had not yet exhausted in his plan, for he had yet another card to play, and there is a reason to suppose that the story of change of nass had been concocted in the Zaidite orbits by the orders of caliph Mansur. It was however rolled publicly most probably after the death of Jafar Sadik in 148/765, otherwise the Imam himself would have refuted it. It aimed to force Ismail to expose from concealment to repudiate the claim of Musa Kazim. But, as we have heretofore seen that Ismail had tenaciously determined not to expose himself as it was a diplomacy of the Abbasids to arrest him. As a result, the predeceased tradition became all alone unchallengable and authentic in the historical works. Ismail's exposition would have also given free rope to the Abbasids to upbraid Jafar Sadik, who is said to have produced a document to caliph Mansur, bearing signature of the persons, testifying the alleged death of his son. It should be recalled that the Abbasids had gained power on the slogans of the Alids. Later, their slogans took a political shape to the right of caliphate in the house of Abbas on religious ground. Abbas as-Saffah, the founder of the Abbasid dynasty, was to be succeeded by his son like the tradition of the Imamate in the house of Ali bin Abu Talib from father to son. Conversely, Abbas as-Saffah was succeeded by his brother, Mansur. He also boosted to legitimize the line of Banu Abbas on religious ground, and determined to have a same effect in the house of Ali bin Abu Talib, that a brother could succeed by a brother. He diplomatically seems to have rolled a tradition of change of nass in the house of Jafar Sadik by bringing Musa Kazim to the line of Imamate. Thus, in the theory of change of nass, the Abbasids gained more than one benefit. The Shiite orbits, who had acquired the knowledge of the doctrines of Imamate from Imam Muhammad Bakir and Imam Jafar Sadik, however, ruled out the theory of change of nass. The landmark principle of Shia Islam is that the Imamate can only be passed on from one Imam to the next in succession by the divinely-inspired investiture (nass). It is a divine ordination and a cardinal article of Shiism. This principle is sometimes referred to the covenant (ahd) from father to a son. According to "Basa'ir ad-Darajat" by as-Saffar (vide BA, vol., 23, p. 73), Imam Jafar Sadik had said: "Each Imam knows the Imam who is to come after him, and so he appoints him as his successor." It implies therefore that the three different reasons shown by the aggressive historians for change of nass in favour of Musa Kazim, seem to have been fabricated, challenging the spiritual knowledge of Jafar Sadik. According to Abdulaziz Abdulhussein Sachedina in "Islamic Messianism" (New York, 1981, p. 153), "It implied God's change of mind (bada) because of a new consideration, caused by the death of Ismail. However, such connotations in the doctrine of bada (change of mind) raised serious questions about the nature of God's knowledge, and indirectly, about the ability of the Imams to prophesy future occurrences." Jafar Sadik is also reported to have said: "Inlillah fi kullo shain bida illah imamah" means, "Verily, God makes changes in everything except in the matter of Imam." It tends, however, to prove one thing that once Ismail had been designated as an Imam, the spiritual power inherited by Jafar Sadik, came to the hands of his real successor. On that juncture, the status of Jafar Sadik becomes same as he was before acquiring spiritual power from his father. This point merits further indicattion that Jafar Sadik had no power to cancel, revoke or alter the first nass in favour of Ismail, and therefore, the tradition of change of nass carries no historicity. The European scholar Marshall Hodgson writes in "The Order of the Assassins" (Netherland, 1955, p. 63) that, "Such a withdrawal (of nass) evidently was not historical." Nawbakhti (d. 310/912) writes in "Kitab Firaq al-Shia" that, "Yet another version is that by appointing his son, Ismail, as an Imam, Jafar Sadik thus resigned. Ismail was therefore a real Imam, and after him, the Imamate has to pass to his son, Muhammad." Shahrastani (1076-1153) also writes in "Kitab al-milal wa'l-nihal" (p. 144) that, "Designation (nass), however, cannot be withdrawn, and has the advantage that the Imamate remains in the descendants of the person designated, to the exclusion of others. Therefore, the Imam after Ismail is Muhammad bin Ismail." According to "Dabistan al-Mazhib" (comp. 1653, vide English tr. by David Shea and Anthony Troyer, Paris, 1843, p. 332), "The appointment does not return by retrocession; and a convention reversed from whence it came is impossible. Jafar was not likely to appoint, without traditional credentials from noble ancestors, one from among his distinguished descendants, and to be uncertain and unknown is not suitable to an Imam." Granted for a while that Ismail predeceased his father, then he must have declared his successor before his death according to the ruling of the principle of nass, since the authority to appoint the next Imam was in the sole hands of Ismail and none else. Ibn Khaldun (d. 808/1406), for instance, accepting the predeceased tradition, has however ruled out the theory of change of nass by saying in his "Muqaddimah" (tr. Franz Rosenthal, London, 1958, 1st vol., p. 412) that "Ismail died before his father, but according to the fact that he was determined by his father as his successor, means that the Imamate should continue among his (Ismail's) successors." Among the modern writers, H. Lammens remarks in "Islam Beliefs and Institutions" (London, 1929, p. 156) that, "The Ismailis, more logical in their Alid legitimism, claim that his (Ismail's) title (of Imamate) must have passed to his son Muhammad." While inspecting the later Shiite sources, it appears that the theory of change of nass became an only tool for the later Twelvers to justify the claim of Musa Kazim. The theory of change of nass however contradicts the reports of Imam Jafar Sadik, being selected by the Shiite scholar, Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Yaqub al-Kulaini (d. 329/940) in his "Usul al-Kafi" (Tehran, 1972). Regarding the new Imam and his successor, Kulaini cites the alleged reports of Imam Jafar Sadik, whose few examples are as under: Imam is created in the best shape and form. (11:6) Before conception, the preceding Imam is sent through an heavenly syrup which he drinks. (93:3) Imam is born pure and circumcised. (93:5) Imam's mother experiences light and noises before the birth of the Imam. (93:5) Imam is created from sublime water and his spirit is created from a matter above that. (94:1) The Imam hands over the books, knowledge and weapons to his successor. (59:1) These are the qualities of the Imam's successor theorized by the later Twelvers. The average Shiite and Sunnite sources unanimously concur that Jafar Sadik had declared Ismail as his successor by rule of nass (investiture), suggesting quite clearly that Jafar Sadik must have found above qualities in his son Ismail, and not in other sons. Granted that he had changed the nass in favour of Musa Kazim, then how it can be possible that both sons had qualified the above merits at a same time for succession? Besides the preceding, Kulaini has devoted space about the knowledge of an Imam, whose few examples are given below: Imam is the treasure of God's knowledge in the heavens and earth. (11:2) Imam is informed by God what he intends to know. (46:3) He inherited the knowledge of future events. (48:1) He is learned than Moses and al-Khidr, who possessed the knowledge of the past only. (48:1) His knowledge is from three directions: past, present and future. (50:1) He can inform about what is going to happen the next day. (62:7) He is endowed with a secret from the secrets of God, knowledge from the knowledge of God. (102:5) Granted that Ismail predeceased his father, it will mean that Jafar Sadik had no knowledge of the future, or he was unknown with the death of Ismail during his life time. Nothing prevents us in concluding therefore, that Ismail had not died during his father's time, and the theory of change of nass was absolutely an Abbasid fabrication to motivate their inimical objectives, which also became a tool of the later Twelvers. In sum, the Abbasids brought Musa Kazim to claim for his right on one side, and made an intensified search of Ismail on other, indicating to understand that Ismail was a legitimate Imam in the eyes of the Abbasids. W.Ivanow writes in "Ismailis and Qarmatians"(JBBRAS, Bombay, 1940, p. 58) that, "Musa apparently was recognized by the secular authorities as the legitimate successor of Imam Jafar in his position, so far as it was concerned with the outer world." W. Montgomery Watt also writes that the political moderates had preferred Musa Kazim, vide "The Formative Period of Islamic Thought" (Edinburgh, 1973, p. 271). We have to admit that the Abbasids mustered a large following for Musa Kazim in Medina, and the snares of spies were also planted to watch signs of disloyalty emanating from him. It was also a policy to gather the scattered Shiites at Medina under the leadership of Musa Kazim, and strike a final blow upon them to get an end of the belief of the Imamate among the Shiites. It must be noted that Medina and Mecca were the nerve-centres of the Muslims since the advent of Islam. Medina was in particular the city of the Hashimites of whom many were descended from Abu Talib. Medina had been the headquarters of the previous Imams since beginning, and after Jafar Sadik, a tradition almost began to be hatched among the Shiites to adhere one who claimed for Imamate at his base in Medina, and as a result, Musa Kazim could procure a large following in Medina with the virtual hands of the Abbasids. It is also worth mentioning that Musa Kazim never condemned the claims of Ismail in Medina. He was being watched without harassment from 148/765 to 158/775, during which time, the Abbasids failed to reach their seminal objectives. When the Abbasids found that Musa Kazim was being seriously adhered as an Imam, or another line of Imamate was about to emerge in the house of Jafar Sadik, their harassment reached a climax during the rule of Harun ar-Rashid. He arrested Musa Kazim and brought him to Baghdad in 177/793, where he died in prison in 183/799. Even more serious was the bifurcation among the followers of Musa Kazim after his death. Abu Hatim ar-Razi (d. 322/934) writes in "Kitabu'z-Zina" that the Waqifiya and Mamtura sects believed in the immorality of Musa Kazim, claiming that he would return as a Mahdi before dooms-day. They also rejected the claim of his son, Ali ar-Rida. Aside from this schism, the Qati'a sect believed in the death of Musa Kazim and the claim of his son upto Ali bin Muhammad al-Askari. W.Ivanow writes in "Early Shiite Movements" (JBBRAS, 1941, Bombay, p. 20) that, "This was the atmosphere in the family of the descendants of Imam Jafar as-Sadik, the line of his son Musa, who lived in the full light of publicity at the court of the Abbasids. It is therefore easy to understand that many of their devout supporters might easily lose all respects for them, and come over to support the elder line, of Ismail b. Jafar, who lived in the impenetrable mystery of concealment, and about whom the public could know only what their dais were authorised to tell them." Ref URL > http://www.ismaili.net/histoire/history04/history401.html <<<< -Nizari
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