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In the Name of God بسم الله

QuriousQitta

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  1. Salam and thank you for your contribution. Personally, I find it difficult to accept conjecture as evidence as, similarly to the traditions you have relayed above, there are traditions of Fatima bint al-Hussain al-Athram bin al-Hasan bin Ali, the mother of Ismail (عليه السلام), being the only wife the Imam As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) took during her own lifetime (Kitab al-milal wa'l nihal). Obviously, one could also conclude that Ismail (عليه السلام) came from two sides of Ahl Al-Bayt and there are similarly many traditions relating that Ismail (عليه السلام) was the favourite son of As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) and was specially educated and was the head of the family when As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) was absent (Uyun'l-Akhbar). And of course, there are many similar traditions about Imam As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) indicting to his followers that Ismail (عليه السلام) was to be Imam after him (Asraru'n-Nutaqa). Indeed, there are also traditions about Ismail (عليه السلام) performing miraculous deeds as well. What an amazing history of Ahl Al-Bayt. My view is really that this situation requires deductive reasoning: There are those who believe in the tradition of the 12 Khulafa and the justification of Ghayba and there are those that believe in other reasoning. Allahu 'Alim. Salam
  2. Salam OP, Firstly, let me say that I am not a scholar but also a seeker of the Truth. I mean no offence to anyone. Everything below is simply my understanding, may Allah forgive me in my errors. Allah knows best. I am going to try to break down my understanding of this situation into multiple points. 1. Did Imam As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) give Nass (I'm not discussing it here but Nass has more significance than "designation", see: Usūl al-Kāfi Vol. 1, p. 277) to Ismail (عليه السلام)? I believe that the overwhelming majority of traditions (Twelver, Ismaili, Sunni) and scholarship state that Imam As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) gave Nass to Ismail (عليه السلام). This is in fact confirmed in Twelver tradition by Al-Hadi (عليه السلام). Some references here: al-Nawbhakti, Firaq al-Shi‘ah, 78-79; al-Qummi , (Kitab al-maqālat wa’l-firaq, ed. Muhammad J. Mashkur, Tehran, 1963, 78) 2. Did Ismail (عليه السلام) die before As-Sadiq (عليه السلام)? The majority of scholarship leans towards Ismail (عليه السلام) having died before As-Sadiq (AS); however, the elaborate witnessing that As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) required of people attending the funeral (see: Kitab al-Irshad, 431; Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, 47:254) have suggested to the some that the funeral of Ismail (عليه السلام) may have been staged to be able to save his designated successor from persecution at the hands of the Abbasids whose spies attended the funeral. There are further reports of Ismail (عليه السلام) being seen after the funeral (see: Bihar al-Anwar 47:270; As-Saduq, Kamal al-Din 1:70). For the sake of this logical argument, let us take it for granted that Ismail (عليه السلام) died before As-Sadiq (عليه السلام). 3. What happened after the death of Imam As-Sadiq (عليه السلام)? According to scholarship, all 3 remaining sons of As-Sadiq (عليه السلام), Abdullah, Muhammad ibn Jafar, Musa (عليه السلام), claimed the Imamate. Additionally, others believed that Ismail (عليه السلام) would return to take his Imamate. Obviously, there was no Nass given other than to Ismail and so this resulted in confusion. See: Rijāl al-Kashshi 154. Obviously, the Twelver view is that Musa (عليه السلام) was given a second Nass but this relies on arguments of Bada'a. See for example: Majlisi Bihar al-Anwār, 4:109. There was yet another group who believe that Ismail (عليه السلام) had given Nass to his son, Muhammad ibn Ismail (عليه السلام), during his own lifetime i.e. during the lifetime of both As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) and Ismail (عليه السلام). I will try to analyse the support that the Twelvers and the Ismailis use below. 4. What does the Ismaili perspective rely upon? The principal of the Imam (in this case As-Sadiq (AS)) being Infallible and therefore the Nass being Infallible. Whether or not Ismail (عليه السلام) died during the lifetime of As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) the Imamate would pass in the line of Ismail (عليه السلام) and they believe that he had designated Muhammad ibn Ismail (عليه السلام). The Ismailis view Musa (عليه السلام) and his line as the Hijab which allowed the line of Imamte passing through Ismail (عليه السلام) to escape persecution. 5. What does the Twelver perspective rely upon? As outlined above, there is the argument of Bada'a. Personally, I tend to dismiss this as it does not follow any logic (see: As-Saduq, Kamal al-Dīn, 69). The more typical argument is one that rests on the Sunni traditions of Twelve Khulafaa but this seems to only have come in to Twelver Shi'i thought after the Ghayba. It is not clear where these traditions originate and there were previous traditions from As-Sadiq (عليه السلام) suggesting a different pattern with 7 Awsiya and 11 Mahdi (See: Al-‘Usul as-Sitta ‘Ashr, Asl of Muhammad ibn al-Muthanna al-Hadrami, 90-91). I have not conclusively answered the question but I have tried to lay out my understanding. Again, may Allah forgive me in my errors. Allah knows best. Salam
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