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Researching About Shia Islam

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Yes, in several places.

It is most clearly made a distinct role from prophethood in surah baqarah where prophet ibrahim is promoted to the rank of imamat after passing some trials.

2:124

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

That maybe the case, but where does it tell us to follow 12 Imams?

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That maybe the case, but where does it tell us to follow 12 Imams?

(salam)

My friend, this question is very simplistic. Were we to follow such an approach, we would struggle to derive many rulings.

The Quran explicitly tells us on several occasions to obey the Messenger (s), and that he who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah swt. Why should we obey the Messenger? Because another verse tells us that he does not speak out of desire, but all his speech is a revelation from Allah.

Now, let us see what the Prophet (s) has said in regards to this matter. For whatever he says in this regard is thus obligatory upon us to follow, for as the Quran tells us, obeying him is like obeying Allah swt and that his speech is not out of desire.

Before I mention what the Prophet has said in this regard, I would like to mention a very important introductory point. What the Ummah unanimously agrees upon is the truth, for the Prophet has explicitly said The Ummah does not agree upon a thing which is falsehood. What is agreed upon is the truth and the haq. This is critical because you may posit narrations that state the first Caliph should be followed for example, and I can simply reply, the Ummah has NOT unanimously agreed upon this and for the Shia this is not accepted.

Now, the Prophet (s) has said something which is unanimously agreed upon by both schools of thought. This is where we have been told to follow the 12 Imams. This narration is also present many times in Shia works.

Sahih Bukhari: Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "There will be twelve Muslim rulers." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, "All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish."

Sahih Muslim: Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "The (Islamic) religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraysh."

Sunan Abi Dawood : The Prophet said: "This religion remains standing until there are twelve vicegerents over you, all of them agreeable to the nation, all of them from Quraysh."

Sunan Al-Tirmithi : The Prophet said: "There will be after me twelve Amir (Prince/Ruler), all of them from Quraysh."

Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal: Masrooq rates that someone asked Abdullah Ibn Masood, "O Abaa Abd al-Rahmaan, did you ask the Messenger of Allah how many caliphs will rule this nation?". Abdullah Ibn Masood replied, "Yes, we did ask the Messenger of Allah and he replied, "Twelve, like the number of chiefs (nuqabaa) of Bani Israel""

Edited by InfiniteAscension

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(salam)

My friend, this question is very simplistic. Were we to follow such an approach, we would struggle to derive many rulings.

The Quran explicitly tells us on several occasions to obey the Messenger (s), and that he who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah swt. Why should we obey the Messenger? Because another verse tells us that he does not speak out of desire, but all his speech is a revelation from Allah.

Now, let us see what the Prophet (s) has said in regards to this matter. For whatever he says in this regard is thus obligatory upon us to follow, for as the Quran tells us, obeying him is like obeying Allah swt and that his speech is not out of desire.

Before I mention what the Prophet has said in this regard, I would like to mention a very important introductory point. What the Ummah unanimously agrees upon is the truth, for the Prophet has explicitly said The Ummah does not agree upon a thing which is falsehood. What is agreed upon is the truth and the haq. This is critical because you may posit narrations that state the first Caliph should be followed for example, and I can simply reply, the Ummah has NOT unanimously agreed upon this and for the Shia this is not accepted.

Now, the Prophet (s) has said something which is unanimously agreed upon by both schools of thought. This is where we have been told to follow the 12 Imams. This narration is also present many times in Shia works.

Sahih Bukhari: Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "There will be twelve Muslim rulers." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, "All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish."

Sahih Muslim: Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "The (Islamic) religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraysh."

Sunan Abi Dawood : The Prophet said: "This religion remains standing until there are twelve vicegerents over you, all of them agreeable to the nation, all of them from Quraysh."

Sunan Al-Tirmithi : The Prophet said: "There will be after me twelve Amir (Prince/Ruler), all of them from Quraysh."

Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal: Masrooq rates that someone asked Abdullah Ibn Masood, "O Abaa Abd al-Rahmaan, did you ask the Messenger of Allah how many caliphs will rule this nation?". Abdullah Ibn Masood replied, "Yes, we did ask the Messenger of Allah and he replied, "Twelve, like the number of chiefs (nuqabaa) of Bani Israel""

Wasalam,

Does the term "caliph" in this regard refer to successors or to the actual political meaning of it?

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Wasalam,

Does the term "caliph" in this regard refer to successors or to the actual political meaning of it?

(salam)

In the Arabic language, almustakhlif is the one who assumes the position of the mustakhlef. So whatever position is proven for the Prophet (s) is proven for the successor except that which evidence points to otherwise i.e namely prophethood and revelation ending with the Messenger (s).

So, if the Prophet (s) had a political role to play, then the Caliph, who is the successor, has a political role to play. So to answer your question, it is impossible to separate the notion of succession and political meaning, because the successsor (mustakhlif) assumes the positions of who is being succeeded (mustakhlef) and seeing as the latter had a political role, the former thus should also have a political role.

Edited by InfiniteAscension

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(salam)

In the Arabic language, almustakhlif is the one who assumes the position of the mustakhlef. So whatever position is proven for the Prophet (s) is proven for the successor except that which evidence points to otherwise i.e namely prophethood and revelation ending with the Messenger (s).

So, if the Prophet (s) had a political role to play, then the Caliph, who is the successor, has a political role to play. So to answer your question, it is impossible to separate the notion of succession and political meaning, because the successsor (mustakhlif) assumes the positions of who is being succeeded (mustakhlef) and seeing as the latter had a political role, the former thus should also have a political role.

Okay, so if Imamah is a big part of Shia Islam, then how come the Prophet (pbuh) did not explicitly name the 12 Imams by name? It only makes sense in order to avoid confusion and disarray after his (pbuh) death.

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He named the first of them (Ali) yet there was still ''confusion'. Would 11 more names have made difference?? In fact, in some accounts he even mentioned hassan and hussain, but there was still confusion. The holy quran says that the Prophet was named as (Ahmed) in the hebrew scriptures yet when he came he was still rejected by most.

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Okay, so if Imamah is a big part of Shia Islam, then how come the Prophet (pbuh) did not explicitly name the 12 Imams by name? It only makes sense in order to avoid confusion and disarray after his (pbuh) death.

He did, we have authentic narrations that state he did name them. In fact there is a manuscript in Iran with this Hadith dated at the time of Imam as-Sadiq (as) who was the 6th Imam. So you can gather, the idea of 12 Imams, with all their names was well known by the Imams themselves.

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Confusion and disarray after the Prophet's death was not owing to any weakness in designation of the imam by the prophet. It was the fault of the people for making confusion for themselves. Eg, denying and hiding ghadeer, refusing him a pen and paper on his deathbed, etc.

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He did, we have authentic narrations that state he did name them. In fact there is a manuscript in Iran with this Hadith dated at the time of Imam as-Sadiq (as) who was the 6th Imam. So you can gather, the idea of 12 Imams, with all their names was well known by the Imams themselves.

Salam,

Can you show me these narrations?

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Salam,

Can you show me these narrations?

Wassalaam,

Sure brother, give me a moment to find them :)

Wassalaam,

Sure brother, give me a moment to find them :)

I'm going to be brutally honest, I don't know as much as a grain of sand compared to others on this site. Your best bet may be going to a Shia Mosque and speaking with he Imam there. Is there one near you?

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He did, we have authentic narrations that state he did name them. In fact there is a manuscript in Iran with this Hadith dated at the time of Imam as-Sadiq (as) who was the 6th Imam. So you can gather, the idea of 12 Imams, with all their names was well known by the Imams themselves.

I seriously doubt there is any such manuscript. Where did you hear/read this?

Anyway, there is an authentic hadith from one of our later Imams, linked to below. However, in view of the widespread confusion after the death if every Imam over who the successor would be, even among close companions of the deceased Imams, it seems historically pretty implausible that there were ahadith listing all 12 since the time of the Prophet (pbuh) (supposedly even circulating among non-Shias). Many Imamis even believed that Ismail ibn Jafar should have been the next Imam, but then the divine will was changed, and it became Musa (as), so clearly they weren't aware of any such hadith listing all 12, and neither did anyone else point to that hadith to resolve the dispute (or the later ones after that).

http://www.revivingalislam.com/2010/08/12-imaams-mentioned-by-name-explicitly.html

My personal view is that this hadith was perhaps known by the Imams (as) themselves, and then only revealed to publicly by Imam al-Jawad (as).

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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I seriously doubt there is any such manuscript. Where did you hear/read this?

Anyway, there is an authentic hadith from one of our later Imams, linked to below. However, in view of the widespread confusion after the death if every Imam over who the successor would be, even among close companions of the deceased Imams, it seems historically pretty implausible that there were ahadith listing all 12 since the time of the Prophet (pbuh) (supposedly even circulating among non-Shias). Many Imamis even believed that Ismail ibn Jafar should have been the next Imam, but then the divine will was changed, and it became Musa (as), so clearly they weren't aware of any such hadith listing all 12, and neither did anyone else point to that hadith to resolve the dispute (or the later ones after that).

http://www.revivingalislam.com/2010/08/12-imaams-mentioned-by-name-explicitly.html

My personal view is that this hadith was perhaps known by the Imams (as) themselves, and then only revealed to publicly by Imam al-Jawad (as).

Brother, please... Don't laugh lol but you only need one guess from who I heard it from. A certain popular speaker who ain't much of a fan of hahaha

Yes... That's right. It's him :P

Salam,

Thanks Haydar for posting that hadith. I've actually seen that hadith on that site before, and after researching, even though it's classified as "sahih," and reading the comments on the bottom of that site, is it really authentic?

Brother, I was about to post this very Hadith but Brother Haydar beat me to it.

Idk if the the e-Scholars know what they are talking about compared to al-Majlisi. He has graded it Sahih and Brother Nader has also analysed it and found no issues with the conclusion Majlisi has reached.

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Brother, please... Don't laugh lol but you only need one guess from who I heard it from. A certain popular speaker who ain't much of a fan of hahaha

Yes... That's right. It's him :P

Ugh. Well, I guess it's not as bad as claiming there is a piece of Noah's ark in a Russian Museum with the names of the Ahlul Kisa on it. *facepalm*

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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Ugh. Well, I guess it's not as bad as claiming there is a piece of Noah's ark in a Russian Museum with the names of the Ahlul Kisa on it. *facepalm*

Hahahah man I got to say, I laughed so hard after reading that!

Yeah, no doubt that is pretty bad... I can't watch a lecture without thinking of that stuff and some other things he says that are either wrong or just sound watered down for the general public.

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Salam,

Thanks Haydar for posting that hadith. I've actually seen that hadith on that site before, and after researching, even though it's classified as "sahih," and reading the comments on the bottom of that site, is it really authentic?

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Hadith sciences aren't an exact science. I don't think it changes much either way. Let's say there is no authentic hadith prophesising the names of the twelve Imams (as). What would that change exactly? Not much, as far as I can tell.

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Brother, please... Don't laugh lol but you only need one guess from who I heard it from. A certain popular speaker who ain't much of a fan of hahaha

Yes... That's right. It's him :P

Brother, I was about to post this very Hadith but Brother Haydar beat me to it.

Idk if the the e-Scholars know what they are talking about compared to al-Majlisi. He has graded it Sahih and Brother Nader has also analysed it and found no issues with the conclusion Majlisi has reached.

Al Majilisi has also authenticated a hadith regarding to the tahreef of the Holy Quran (Nauzabillah). Just because someone authenticates something, I don't take it at face-value.

“Aboo ‘Abd Allah (as), has said, ‘The Holy Quran that Jibra’eel brought to Muhammad (SAWAS) had seventeen thousand verses (17,000).’”

Source: Al-Kulaynee, Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, pg. 634, hadeeth # 28

  • Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq (Reliable) in Mir’aat Al-’Uqool, vol. 12, pg. 525
  • Al-Majlisi I (Majlisi’s Father) said this hadeeth is Saheeh (Authentic) in RawDah Al-Muttaqoon, vol. 10, pg. 21
  • Hoor Al-’Aamilee said this hadeeth is Saheeh (authentic) in Al-Fuwaa-id Al-Toosiyyah, topic # 96, pg. 483

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Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Hadith sciences aren't an exact science. I don't think it changes much either way. Let's say there is no authentic hadith prophesising the names of the twelve Imams (as). What would that change exactly? Not much, as far as I can tell.

Spot on. The general public (at least some), at minimum knew and were aware of the Prophet (sawa) being succeeded by 12 individuals. Ahlul Sunnah have several Hadiths that mention this, having 12 successors after the Prophet until the Day of Judgement & the Shia Imami's (us basically) are the only group of Muslims in the world who hold onto this belief & follow the 12 individuals.

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Al Majilisi has also authenticated a hadith regarding to the tahreef of the Holy Quran (Nauzabillah). Just because someone authenticates something, I don't take it at face-value.

“Aboo ‘Abd Allah (as), has said, ‘The Holy Quran that Jibra’eel brought to Muhammad (SAWAS) had seventeen thousand verses (17,000).’”

Source: Al-Kulaynee, Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, pg. 634, hadeeth # 28

  • Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq (Reliable) in Mir’aat Al-’Uqool, vol. 12, pg. 525
  • Al-Majlisi I (Majlisi’s Father) said this hadeeth is Saheeh (Authentic) in RawDah Al-Muttaqoon, vol. 10, pg. 21
  • Hoor Al-’Aamilee said this hadeeth is Saheeh (authentic) in Al-Fuwaa-id Al-Toosiyyah, topic # 96, pg. 483

Not only did he authenticate it, but he actually believed in tahreef of the Qur'an

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Spot on. The general public (at least some), at minimum knew and were aware of the Prophet (sawa) being succeeded by 12 individuals. Ahlul Sunnah have several Hadiths that mention this, having 12 successors after the Prophet until the Day of Judgement & the Shia Imami's (us basically) are the only group of Muslims in the world who hold onto this belief & follow the 12 individuals.

True, although the historical evidence would suggest that Shias didn't really start thinking too much about that particular hadith until the Imamate of al-Mahdi (as). Otherwise there would hardly have been all this confusion, as everyone would know there were meant to be twelve imams (rather than say 7). Probably the Imams (as) chose not to bring attention to this hadith for the sake of taqiyyah, since the confusion was actually a protection for the Imams in many cases (as an example, Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) was quite discrete about his Imamate in the beginning). Even despite that confusion and discretion, look how much persecution our Imams suffered anyway, so you can image if there was a unanimous consensus on who the Imam was that things could have been even worse.

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Al Majilisi has also authenticated a hadith regarding to the tahreef of the Holy Quran (Nauzabillah). Just because someone authenticates something, I don't take it at face-value.

“Aboo ‘Abd Allah (as), has said, ‘The Holy Quran that Jibra’eel brought to Muhammad (SAWAS) had seventeen thousand verses (17,000).’”

Source: Al-Kulaynee, Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, pg. 634, hadeeth # 28

  • Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq (Reliable) in Mir’aat Al-’Uqool, vol. 12, pg. 525
  • Al-Majlisi I (Majlisi’s Father) said this hadeeth is Saheeh (Authentic) in RawDah Al-Muttaqoon, vol. 10, pg. 21
  • Hoor Al-’Aamilee said this hadeeth is Saheeh (authentic) in Al-Fuwaa-id Al-Toosiyyah, topic # 96, pg. 483

Brother Nader Zaveri has analysed this very Hadith that you can look at: http://www.revivingalislam.com/2010/09/hadeeth-17000-verses-in-quraan-saheeh.html

The Hadith is weak and Majlisi made a mistake, it happens. Scholars are Human as well.

One scholar doesn't represent an entire School. You might be shocked to see what Bukhari & Muslim have labelled as 'Sahih' in their works as well...

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Brother Nader Zaveri has analysed this very Hadith that you can look at: http://www.revivinga...aan-saheeh.html

The Hadith is weak and Majlisi made a mistake, it happens. Scholars are Human as well.

One scholar doesn't represent an entire School. You might be shocked to see what Bukhari & Muslim have labelled as 'Sahih' in their works as well...

Actually, it's not just one, quite a number of our scholars have believed in tahrif.

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Sahaba believed that Quran was distorted

Narrated Alqama

I went to Sham and offered a two-Rak'at prayer and then said, "O Allah! Bless me with a good pious companion." So I went to some people and sat with them. An old man came and sat by my side. I asked, "Who is he?" They replied, "(He is) Abu-Ad-Darda.' I said (to him), "I prayed to Allah to bless me with a pious companion and He sent you to me." He asked me, "From where are you?" I replied, "From the people of Al-Kufa." He said, "Isn't there amongst you Ibn Um 'Abd, the one who used to carry the shoes, the cushion(or pillow) and the water for ablution? Is there amongst you the one whom Allah gave refuge from Satan through the request of His Prophet? Is there amongst you the one who keeps the secrets of the Prophet which nobody knows except him?" Abu Darda further asked, "How does 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) recite the Sura starting with, 'By the Night as it conceals (the light)?' " (92.1) Then I recited before him:

"By the Night as it envelops: And by the Day as it appears in brightness; And by male and female." (91.1-3) On this Abu Ad-Darda' said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me recite the Sura in this way while I was listening to him (reciting it)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 5.85

Narrated Alqama

I went to Sham and was offering a two-Rak'at prayer; I said, "O Allah! Bless me with a (pious) companion." Then I saw an old man coming towards me, and when he came near I said, (to myself), "I hope Allah has given me my request." The man asked (me), "Where are you from?" I replied, "I am from the people of Kufa." He said, "Weren't there amongst you the carrier of the (Prophet's) shoes, siwak and the ablution water container? Weren't there amongst you the man who was given Allah's refuge from the Satan? And weren't there amongst you the man who used to keep the (Prophet's) secrets which nobody else knew? How did Ibn Um 'Abd (i.e. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud) use to recite Surat-al-Lail (the Night:92)?" I recited:

"By the Night as it envelops By the Day as it appears in brightness. And by male and female." (92.1-3) On that, Abu Darda said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me read the Verse in this way after listening to him, but these people (of Sham) tried their best to let me say something different."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 5.105

وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنْثَىٰ

Shakir 92:3] And the creating of the male and the female,

[Pickthal 92:3] And Him Who hath created male and female,

[Yusufali 92:3] By (the mystery of) the creation of male and female;-

Narrated Ibrahim

The companions of 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) came to Abu Darda', (and before they arrived at his home), he looked for them and found them. Then he asked them, "Who among you can recite (Qur'an) as 'Abdullah recites it?" They replied, "All of us." He asked, "Who among you knows it by heart?" They pointed at 'Alqama. Then he asked Alqama, "How did you hear 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud reciting Surat Al-Lail (The Night)?" Alqama recited:

"By the male and the female." Abu Ad-Darda said, "I testify that I heard the Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it:

"And by Him Who created male and female," but by Allah, I will not follow them."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 6.468

Edited by Rasul

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Sahaba believed that Quran was distorted

Narrated Alqama

I went to Sham and offered a two-Rak'at prayer and then said, "O Allah! Bless me with a good pious companion." So I went to some people and sat with them. An old man came and sat by my side. I asked, "Who is he?" They replied, "(He is) Abu-Ad-Darda.' I said (to him), "I prayed to Allah to bless me with a pious companion and He sent you to me." He asked me, "From where are you?" I replied, "From the people of Al-Kufa." He said, "Isn't there amongst you Ibn Um 'Abd, the one who used to carry the shoes, the cushion(or pillow) and the water for ablution? Is there amongst you the one whom Allah gave refuge from Satan through the request of His Prophet? Is there amongst you the one who keeps the secrets of the Prophet which nobody knows except him?" Abu Darda further asked, "How does 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) recite the Sura starting with, 'By the Night as it conceals (the light)?' " (92.1) Then I recited before him:

"By the Night as it envelops: And by the Day as it appears in brightness; And by male and female." (91.1-3) On this Abu Ad-Darda' said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me recite the Sura in this way while I was listening to him (reciting it)."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 5.85

Narrated Alqama

I went to Sham and was offering a two-Rak'at prayer; I said, "O Allah! Bless me with a (pious) companion." Then I saw an old man coming towards me, and when he came near I said, (to myself), "I hope Allah has given me my request." The man asked (me), "Where are you from?" I replied, "I am from the people of Kufa." He said, "Weren't there amongst you the carrier of the (Prophet's) shoes, siwak and the ablution water container? Weren't there amongst you the man who was given Allah's refuge from the Satan? And weren't there amongst you the man who used to keep the (Prophet's) secrets which nobody else knew? How did Ibn Um 'Abd (i.e. 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud) use to recite Surat-al-Lail (the Night:92)?" I recited:

"By the Night as it envelops By the Day as it appears in brightness. And by male and female." (92.1-3) On that, Abu Darda said, "By Allah, the Prophet made me read the Verse in this way after listening to him, but these people (of Sham) tried their best to let me say something different."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 5.105

وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنْثَىٰ

Shakir 92:3] And the creating of the male and the female,

[Pickthal 92:3] And Him Who hath created male and female,

[Yusufali 92:3] By (the mystery of) the creation of male and female;-

Narrated Ibrahim

The companions of 'Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) came to Abu Darda', (and before they arrived at his home), he looked for them and found them. Then he asked them, "Who among you can recite (Qur'an) as 'Abdullah recites it?" They replied, "All of us." He asked, "Who among you knows it by heart?" They pointed at 'Alqama. Then he asked Alqama, "How did you hear 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud reciting Surat Al-Lail (The Night)?" Alqama recited:

"By the male and the female." Abu Ad-Darda said, "I testify that I heard the Prophet reciting it likewise, but these people want me to recite it:

"And by Him Who created male and female," but by Allah, I will not follow them."

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith - 6.468

I just wonder why so many Shia scholars believe in the tahreef of the Quran (Nauzabillah)

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Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Hadith sciences aren't an exact science. I don't think it changes much either way. Let's say there is no authentic hadith prophesising the names of the twelve Imams (as). What would that change exactly? Not much, as far as I can tell.

So can you actually post me a authentic hadith about the 12 Imams (a.s.)?

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I just wonder why so many Shia scholars believe in the tahreef of the Quran (Nauzabillah)

Brother please think about it slowly,

1. We Shias dont believe in the authority of the caliphs since they were not chosen by Allah.

2. One reason why the Imams were chosen by Allah because of their endowed knowledge of the Quran.

3. Imam Ali logically because of all of his statuses and closeness to the prophet and him being the fist muslim must have written the quran first.

4. Because of his high knowledge and him being a representative of Allah he must have had the perfect tafsir of the Quran.

5. While he was in house arrest by the caliphs he wrote the quran with its perfect tafsir and perfect order by when each first was first revealed.

6. The quran wasnt revealed in a book version to the prophet obviously we all know that.

7. The quran is all revelations and words of Allah given and told to the prophet. Commands of Allah as well.

8. Therefore the quran wasnt in order.

9. If the quran is to be a for us humans, should we not know what each verse truly means?

10. The arabic language is vast and has thousands of meanings.

11. When Imam Ali wrote the revelations into a book version called it quran, it came with a perfect tafsir, he presented it to the caliphs.

12. There is no doubt the caliphs were jealous of him and did not like him, otherwise there wouldnt be all this confusion of different sects and concealed information.

13. Simply, they didnt want the quran. Technically, there not just some random people on a pulpit, they are supposedly have chosen themselves to REPRESENT Allah AND HIS RELIGION!

14. Therefore, Imam Ali says you will not see this quran with the TAFSIR AND ORDER.

15. So the caliphs made their own version, remind you ALL VERSES ARE SAME, with a different order and thus because they were not representatives of Allah chosen by Allah they did not have the en downed knowledge therefore no tafsir.

16. Imam Ali said you will see this quran with Imam Mahdi when he comes to bring peace to the world, and Islam will be one all following by the will of Allah.

fin facts: Dont forget Imam Ali was also born in the Kaaba. Imam Jafar As-Sadiq is the teacher of the hanfi maliki and shafee school of thoughts..

Edited by pureethics

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Brother please think about it slowly,

1. We Shias dont believe in the authority of the caliphs since they were not chosen by Allah.

2. One reason why the Imams were chosen by Allah because of their endowed knowledge of the Quran.

3. Imam Ali logically because of all of his statuses and closeness to the prophet and him being the fist muslim must have written the quran first.

4. Because of his high knowledge and him being a representative of Allah he must have had the perfect tafsir of the Quran.

5. While he was in house arrest by the caliphs he wrote the quran with its perfect tafsir and perfect order by when each first was first revealed.

6. The quran wasnt revealed in a book version to the prophet obviously we all know that.

7. The quran is all revelations and words of Allah given and told to the prophet. Commands of Allah as well.

8. Therefore the quran wasnt in order.

9. If the quran is to be a for us humans, should we not know what each verse truly means?

10. The arabic language is vast and has thousands of meanings.

11. When Imam Ali wrote the revelations into a book version called it quran, it came with a perfect tafsir, he presented it to the caliphs.

12. There is no doubt the caliphs were jealous of him and did not like him, otherwise there wouldnt be all this confusion of different sects and concealed information.

13. Simply, they didnt want the quran. Technically, there not just some random people on a pulpit, they are supposedly have chosen themselves to REPRESENT Allah AND HIS RELIGION!

14. Therefore, Imam Ali says you will not see this quran with the TAFSIR AND ORDER.

15. So the caliphs made their own version, remind you ALL VERSES ARE SAME, with a different order and thus because they were not representatives of Allah chosen by Allah they did not have the en downed knowledge therefore no tafsir.

16. Imam Ali said you will see this quran with Imam Mahdi when he comes to bring peace to the world, and Islam will be one all following by the will of Allah.

May I see some authentic sunni sources regarding this please?

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May I see some authentic sunni sources regarding this please?

I believe it is recorded in our books ill try and find it but here is something to ponder upon while i find it:

Different Arrangements of Quran

A Wahhabi alleged that it is reported in al-Kafi (one of the Shi'ite

Hadith collection) that the Shia Imam said: "No one compiled the Quran

completely except the Imams".

There is no such a tradition in Usul Kafi. I question the validity of the

booklets that have misquoted the traditions. What is written in Usul Kafi

in a tradition is as follows:

I heard Abu Ja'far (as) saying: "No one (among ordinary people)

claimed that he gathered the Quran completely as it was revealed

except a liar; (since) no one has gathered it and memorized it

completely as revealed by Allah, the Most High, except Ali Ibn

Abi Talib (as) and the Imams after him (as)". (Usul al-Kafi, v1,

p228, Hadith #1).

There are two other traditions which I will mention few lines later. The

above tradition does not say Quran is incomplete. Rather it states it is

not completely in the arrangement as it was sent down. The above

tradition is not something new. As a matter of fact, the Quran that we

use which was compiled by the companions is not in the sequence that has

been revealed. In fact, the Sunni scholars confirm that the first Chapter

of Quran which was sent down to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was Chapter al-Iqra'

(al-Alaq, Ch. 96).

Sunni References:

- al-Burhan, by al-Zarkashi, v1, p259

- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p202

- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v10, p417

- Irshad al-sari, by al-Qastalani, v7, p454

As you know the Chapter al-Alaq is not at the beginning of the present

Quran. Also Muslims agree that the verse (5:3) was among one of the

last revealed verses of Quran (but not the very last one), yet it is not

toward the end of the present Quran. This proves that although the Quran

that we have available is complete, it is not in the order that has been

revealed.

I should point out that Imam Ali was not the only one who had a Quran with

different arrangements. According to the authentic Sunni reports, many

companions had different arrangement (sequence) of Quran, one of them was

Abdullah Ibn Masud:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.518

Narrated Shaqiq:

Abdullah said, "I learnt An-Naza'ir which the Prophet used to recite

in pairs in each Rak'a." Then Abdullah got up and Alqama accompanied

him to his house, and when Alqama came out, we asked him (about those

Suras). He said, "They are twenty Suras that start from the beginning

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

of al-Mufassal, according to the arrangement done be Ibn Mas'ud, and

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

end with the Suras starting with Ha Mim, e.g. Ha Mim (the Smoke). and

"About what they question one another?" (78.1)

Thus this is nothing exclusive to Imam Ali. I should mention that the

prophet clearly indicated (by Sunni sources) that Abdullah Ibn masud is one

of whom should be trusted on the matter of Quran:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.521

Narrated Masriq:

'Abdullah bin 'Amr mentioned 'Abdullah bin Masud and said, "I shall

ever love that man, for I heard the Prophet saying, 'Take (learn) the

Quran from four: 'Abdullah bin Masud, Salim, Mu'adh and Ubai bin

Ka'b.' " ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This man (Abdullah Ibn Masud) not only had a different Quran but also

(based on Sunni sources) he had a different sequence of chapters and

different set of aayaat. He alleged that the present Quran has some extra

words, and he swears in the name of Allah for his claim! (see Sahih al-

Bukhari, Arabic-English version, 6.468, 5.105, 5.85). He also falsely

alleged that the last two chapters of Quran are not Quranic chapters and

they are only some prayers (Du'aa). (see Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic-English

version, 6.501)

According to the Shia, these allegations by the companions reported in

Sahih al-Bukhari concerning Quran having extra words are FALSE. No single

verse of Quran is extra.

Also it seems that Aisha has a different opinion as to which chapter was

revealed first:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 6.515

Narrated Yusuf bin Mahk:

While I was with Aisha, the mother of the Believers, a person from

^^^^^

Iraq came and asked, "What type of shroud is the best?" 'Aisha said,

"May Allah be merciful to you! What does it matter?" He said, "O

mother of the Believers! Show me (the copy of) your Quran," She said,

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

"Why?" He said, "In order to compile and arrange the Quran according

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

to it, for people recite it with its Surahs not in proper order."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

'Aisha said, "What does it matter which part of it you read first? (Be

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

informed) that the first thing that was revealed thereof was a Sura

^^^^^^^^^^^

from al-Mufassal, and in it was mentioned Paradise and the Fire.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The second tradition in Usul Kafi which has been widely misinterpreted,

states that what has been revealed to Prophet was as much as 17000 verses.

Although this tradition is not rated authentic, there are two

explanations for that. The first possibility mentioned by our scholars

is that, the verses of Quran were originally shorter, and when the

companions compiled the Quran, they appended short verses and thereby

the number of verses reduced without any change to content of Quran.

The second possibility is that which was given by Shaikh Saduq (ra)

who is the number one Shi'a scholar in the field of Hadith:

"We say that so much of revelation has come down which is not

embodied in the present Quran that if it were to be collected, its

extent would undoubtedly be 17000 verses ... Although all of

them were revelation but they (the extra ones) are NOT a part of

Quran. If they would be a part of Quran, it would surely have been

included in the Quran we have."

Shi'i reference: Shi'ite Creed (al-I'tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh

Saduq, English version, pp 78-79.

The transcript of the Quran that Imam Ali wrote contained commentary

and hermeneutic interpretation (Tafsir and Ta'wil) from the Holy

Prophet some of which had been sent down as revelation but NOT as a

part of the text of Quran. A small amount of such texts can be found in

some traditions in Usul al-Kafi and else. These pieces of information were

Divine commentary of the text of Quran which was revealed along with

Quranic verses but were NOT parts of Quran. Thus the commentary verses

and Quranic verses could sum up to 17000 verses. As Sunnis know, Hadith

Qudsi is also revelation, but they are not a part of Quran. In fact Quran

testifies that anything that Prophet said was revelation. Allah Almighty

said in Quran about Prophet Muhammad that:

"Nor does he (Muhammad) speak out of his desire. It is no less than

a revelation that is revealed." (Quran 53:3-4).

Thus all the speeches of Prophet were revelation, and surely the speeches

of Prophet was not limitted to Quran. It includes interpretation of Quran

(part of which were direct revelation) as well as his Sunnah (part of which

were indirect revelation).

The third tradition in Usul Kafi which is misinterpreted is as follows:

Abu Jafar said: "No one can claim that he completely has the Quran

with its appearance (Dhahir) and its meaning (Batin), except the

executors (Awsiyaa)." (Usul al-Kafi, Tradition #608).

again this tradition is referring to the fact that the commentary of Quran

is missing. Although we have the appearance of Quran, its meaning (i.e.,

divine commentary) is not with it. The traditions refers to the Quran which

was compiled by Imam Ali (as) which included the commentary.

In a follow up article, I will give some information about the Quran which

was compiled by Imam Ali (as) which included all the above-mentioned divine

commentaries.

It is necessary to emphasize here that all grand scholars of the Imami Shia

are in agreement that the Quran which is at present among the Muslims is

the very same Quran that was sent down to the Holy Prophet, and that it has

not been altered. Nothing has been added to it, and nothing is missing from

it. The Quran which was compiled by Imam Ali (excluding the commentaries)

and the Quran that is in the hand of people today, are identical in terms

of words and sentences. No word, verse, chapter is missing.

A Wahhabi mentioned that al-Kafi is an authentic book of Hadith for the

Shia, and as such Shia believe that Quran is not complete.

The above conclusion is based on two wrong hypotesis. First what was

mentioned in the book of al-Kafi does not necessarily indicate that Quran

is incomplete (see the above explanation). Second, we do not consider al-

Kafi to be all-authentic book of tradition, nor his auther ever mentioned

such a thing.

It is true that al-Kafi is among the most important Shia collections of

traditions. The traditions of al-Kafi cover all the branches of faith and

ethics, and all the fundamental of fiqh (jurisprudence). It includes more

traditions than all 6 Sunni collections together (provided that if we

remove the repetitions). For instance, al-Kafi has 16121 traditions, while

Sahih al-Bukhari which has many repetition in itself has only 7275

traditions. If we remove the repetitions, al-Kafi has 15176 traditions

while Sahih al-Bukhari will end up with 4000 traditions. The traditions

mentioned here include both Usul al-Kafi and Furu' al-Kafi.

The author of al-Kafi, Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Yaqub al-Kulain al-Razi (d.

329/941), may Allah have mercy upon his soul, is considered to be highly

honest and highly reliable. However, we should emphasize that neither the

traditions are equal in value and significance, nor are the supportive

evidence for the narrations. The authorities of the chain of narrations are

not also equal in terms of reliability and credibility, and one can in NO

way regard them as equally dependable.

A glance at the book entitled "Mir'atul Uqul" (reflection of the minds)

will reveal this very point to the researcher in more detail. "Mir'atul

Uqul" is an explanatory book to al-Kafi written by another great Shia

scholar of Hadith, Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (d. 1111/1700) who is among the

most loyal and faithful to the book of al-Kafi. Majlisi has rated some of

the traditions of al-Kafi as WEAK. However, being weak, does not mean the

tradition is forged. If one of the chain of the authorities of a tradition

is missing, then the tradition is weak in Isnad without regard to its content.

In fact, there are a number of traditions in al-Kafi which have one or more

elements from the chain of narrators are missing. As such, all of them are

regarded weak in Isnad. It might also be that a tradition is specific for

a person who reported it from Imam, and may not have meant for the whole

people. This very point is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi itself:

Ibn Abi Ya'fur said, I inquired of Abu Abdillah (as) about the

different traditions related by those whom we trust and also by those

whom we don't." Hearing this, the Imam (as) replied: "Whenever you

receive a tradition which is borne out by any verse from the book of

Allah or by a (established) saying of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), then

accept it. Otherwise, the tradition is meant only for the one who has

brought it to you." (Usul al-Kafi, Arabic-English version, Tradition

#202)

Shaikh al-Kulaini (ra), the author of al-Kafi, in the introduction of his

book, mentioned the following:

Brother, may Allah lead you to the right path. You ought to

know that it is not for anyone to distinguish the truth in the

conflicting narrations attributed to the Ulama (i.e., Imams),

peace be upon them, except through the standards which were

declared by al-Alim (i.e., the Imam), peace be upon him: "Test

the (conflicting) traditions by the Book of Allah, and that

which agrees with it take it, and that which disagrees with it

reject it..." (Usul al-Kafi, Arabic version, Introduction by al-

Kulaini, v1)

Is there any explanation better than that of the author? He mentioned that

there are some conflicting narrations in his book, al-Kafi. He also mentioned

that we should follow those Hadiths that are in agreement with the Book of

Allah, and leave that which is in clear disagreement with Quran. To prove

this point, al-Kulaini (ra) quoted a part of the Hadith of Ahlul-Bayt (as)

that, in fact, confirms it as a criterion for the all the followers of

Ahlul-Bayt (as).

After all, do the opponents of Shi'a expect us to leave what the author of

al-Kafi confirmed in his own book, and to believe their false accusation that

al-Kafi is all-authentic Hadith collection for the Shi'a?

Also a Wahhabi mentioned that in the introduction to the al-Kafi, it is

written that the al-Mahdi has examined the book and said that it is good

for his followers.

There is no such a thing in the introduction written by al-Kulain himself

(who is the author of al-Kafi). This is what another person has mentioned

in his own introduction to introduce al-Kafi and its author, which is

placed before the introduction of the author. Also you did not correctly

mentioned what is attributed to Imam Mahdi (as). If such report is ever

true, Imam Mahdi (as) said:

"al-Kafi is sufficient of our Shia (followers)."

There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, as I mentioned, al-Kafi's

traditions cover all the branches of faith and ethics, and all the

fundamentals of fiqh. Imam Mahdi (as) did NOT say whatever written in it is

correct. Rather he [reportedly] said, it is sufficient, and includes all

what his followers need in terms of the traditions. Again, such tradition

is not mentioned by al-Kulain himself.

al-Kafi means something that is sufficient. It does not mean all its

content are perfectly correct, since the narrators were not perfect.

Actually the reason that the author named his book al-Kafi was explained in

the introduction of the book written by himself. The scholars of his time

asked him to compile a book of traditions which covers all necessary

branches of religion of Islam. He wrote in his introduction that:

... and you complained that there is no book that could cover all the

^^^^^^^^^

branches of the knowledge of religion (Ilm al-Din) to save the seeker

of truth from referring to many books and which could not suffice as a

^^^^^^^

guide and source of spiritual light in the matters of theology and the

traditions of rightly guided Imams, peace be upon them. You expressed

the urgent need of such a book and I hope that the present book would

serve this purpose. (Usul al-Kafi, Arabic-English version,

Introduction by al-Kulaini, part 1, pp 17-18)

al-Kulaini (ra) is not one of the twelve Imams of the Shi'ites. He was only

a Hadith recorder who reported what was conveyed to him through one or more

sources. He never said that he heard from Imam al-Sadiq (as), and he stated

only a Hadith that came to him through some reporters. Let it be stated

that the tradition of al-Kafi or any other Shia/Sunni book is NOT

acceptable to the Imami Shi'ites if it wants to ever imply the

incompleteness of the Quran. These few traditions are rated weak. Even if

we suppose that they are true, then the extra verses would mean the divine

commentary of Quran which were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad along with

Quran but not as a part of Quran as Shaykh Saduq and other scholars

specified.

So, if one brings a weak tradition from Usul al-Kafi and then misinterpret

the Hadith, it can not represent a belief of the Shia. However, when Sunnis

claim that Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are all-authentic, they will

have a big problem when they reach to those traditions in these books which

allegedly imply the incompleteness of Quran. Do you see the difference, my

friend?

In book, entitled "Science of Hadith" written by Zainul-Abideen Qurbani,

discusses in great detail the traditions in which may imply the

incompleteness of the Quran. Here is one passage from it:

More than 95% of Shia scholars believe that there has been absolutely

no tampering of the Quran and that the Quran we hold in our hands

today is exactly the same Quran that was revealed to Muhammad (saw),

without a single word missing or being extra. To quote the words of

Shia scholars in this regard would require a whole separate treatise.

But we briefly name just a few of them:

Beginning with Shaikh Suduq, whose words we already quoted, to Shaikh

Mofid, Sayyed Murtada, Shaikh Tusi,..., Allamah Hilli, Muqaddas

Aridibili, Khashif al-ghitaa, Shaikh Bahai, Fayz Kashani, Shaikh Hurr

Ameli, Mohaqiq Kurki, Sayyed Mehdi Bahr ul-Uloom, Sayyed Muhammad

Mujahid Tabataba'i, Shaikh Muhammad Husain Ashtiyani, Shaikh Abdullah

Mamqani, Shaikh Javad Balaghi, Sayyed Hibbat al-Din Shahristani,

Sharif Radi, Ibn Idris, Sayyed Mohsin Amin Ameli, Sayyed Abdul-Husain

Sharif al-Din, Sayyed Hadi Milani, Sayyed Muhammad Husain Allamah

Tabataba'i, Sayyed Abul-Ghasim Khoei, Sayyed Muhammad Rada

Golbayegani, Sayyed Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, Ruhullah Khomeini,

etc.

The author then goes on to quote several pages of statements by top Shia

scholars about the completeness and perfect authenticity of the Holy Quran.

It is hoped that what was offered on this subject is sufficient for those

who try to find the truth, that the Shia are the true believers in Quran.

It is improper for those who seek the truth to accuse others of something

which they are entirely innocent of.

Wassalam

--------

Some of the references of this article:

- Sahih al-Bukhari, Arabic English version

- al-Imam al-Sadiq, printed by Dar al-Fikr al-Arabi Egypt

- al-Burhan, by al-Zarkashi

- al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti

- Fathul Bari, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani

- Irshad al-sari, by al-Qastalani

- al-Kafi, printed by al-Haidari Printings - Tehran, Iran

- Shi'ite Creed (al-I'tiqadat al-Imamiyyah), by Shaykh Saduq

- Masadir al-Hadith 'Indal Shia al-Imamiyyah", by Muhammad Husain Jalali

- Science of Hadith, by Zainul-Abidin Qurbani

http://www.al-islam....chapter8/2.html

brother all articles are here: http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/

Edited by pureethics

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And I'm still waiting for clear evidence of Imamate from the Quran.

Read this: http://www.shiasource.com/al-mizan/self/tafsir-2-124/#popular-discourse

&

http://www.shiasource.com/al-mizan/self/tafsir-4-59-70/#popular-discourse

After this, click on Surah 5 then verse 55 and read what Allamah Tabataba'i (ha) has written in relation to the Waliyah of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (`a)

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Imamate from the quran: http://en.shiapen.co...-the-quran.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are some verses from the Holy Quran concerning true and pure Imams:

It is Allah's wish to remove all blemish from you, O Ahlul-Bayt, and purify you with a perfect purification. (33:33)

Say, I ask no reward from you for it except the love of my kinsfolk. And whosoever does a good deed we add unto it a greater good for him. Lo, Allah is Forgiving, Responsive. (42:23)

And whoever disputes with thee concerning him after the inspired knowledge which has been given unto thee, tell him, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons; our women and your women; and ourselves and yourselves; then let us pray and invoke Allah's curse upon those who lie." (3:61) (mubahila the prophet brought hussain hassan faitma ali A.S )

Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not diverge. (3:103)

Be careful of your duty to Allah and be with the Truthful. (9:119)

Lo, this is My Straight Path, so follow it and do not follow other ways or else you will diverge from His way. (6:153)

O you believe, obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those amongst you who are give supreme authority (by Allah). (4:59)

Whoever opposes the Prophet after the guidance has been made manifest unto him and follows any path other than the path of the true believers, We will turn him towards that unto which he himself has turned, and We will expose him to Hell and a bad journey it will be. (4:115)

(O Prophet) Lo! thou art a warner and for every community there is a guide. (13:7)

Guide us in the Straight Path: The Path of those whom Thou hast blessed... (1:6-7)

They are those whom Allah has blessed among the prophets and the verifiers, the martyrs and the righteous. (4:69)

They (i.e., prophets and Imams) do not say anything until He orders, and they act (in all things) by His command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them and they (i.e., those saints) offer no intercession except for anyone whom Allah accepts, and they are in awe and reverence of His (glory). (21:27-28)

Verily your master is only Allah, and His messenger and those among the believers who establish worship and pay the poor due while they are bowing down in prayer. (5:55)

And lo! Verily I am the Most forgiving towards him who repents and believes and does good and then follows the guidance. (20:82)

O you who believe, enter into peace, all of you, and do not follow the footsteps of the Satan. (2:208)

Then, on that day, you will be asked concerning the blessing. (102:8)

O you Messenger, convey what has been revealed unto you by your Lord, for if you do not do so, you will not have conveyed His message at all. And Allah will protect you from the people. Lo! Allah guides not the disbelieving folk (5:67) (Ghadir)

This day have We perfected for you your religion and finalized Our blessing upon you, and We are pleased that Islam be your religion. (5:3)

A questioner asked for the inevitable punishment to befall the disbelievers which no one can avert. (70:1-2)

And when your Lord brought forth from the lions of the Children of Adam their seed, and made them bear testimony about their souls (He asked):"Am I not your Lord?" They said: "Yes, we bear witness." (7:172)

Or are they jealous of those men because of that which Allah has bestowed upon them in His bounty? (4:54)

None touches (the depth of meaning of Quran) save the purified ones. (56:79)

No one knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly ground in knowledge. (3:7)

Ask the people of Reminder if you do not know. (21:7, 16:43)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic-English version), the tradition is as follows:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.329

Narrated Jabir Ibn Samura:

I heard the Prophet saying, "There will be twelve commanders (Amir)." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, the Prophet added, "All of them will be from Quraish."

|| : . | | ^ |. ^ | / | : . || .. ||_o_9 | _,_o | _w_c |_,_, | . q_)_, : | q_o_, _,_,_|| .__,_e_o_w(_| /: / (_) / : (_| / : (_S. ^ : | / || : . | | || : . | | | : | / w_, _o . _o o_8_|_) ||_o 4_,| _,| ||_o_9 |_8_e_o_w | o_| 4_o_|_)(_/ : / (_) ( (_| (_S. (_| (

=========

In Musnad Ahmad, the tradition is as follows:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "There shall be twelve Caliphs

for this community, all of them from Quraish."

^ : | / : . | . ^ |. ^ | : | || . | / w_, _o . _o o_8_|_) 4_9_,_|_7 _w_c |_,_, | 4_o |_|| o ]_8_| . q_)_,(_/ : / (_) ( : / (_) / :

Reference: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v5, p106

=========

In Sahih Muslim, the traditions are as follows:

Narrated Jabir Ibn Samura:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The matter (life) will not end, until it is passed by twelve Caliphs." He then whispered a sentence. I asked my father what the Prophet said. He said, the Prophet added: "All of them will be from Quraish."

. . : . : . | | | || | . | o_8_,_9 ,_p_o_, _,_7 ,_p_o_,_, |_| _o |_|| | ]_8 . | ( : (_S : (_S (_S : / (_) . . | | / | /: ^ : . | . ^ |. ^ | _9_7 o |_|_)_, o_|_)_, o_, 4_9_,_|_7 _w_c |_,_, | (_S ( . ( ( : / ^ : | / | | : | | : | | | .. | : . w_, _o . _o o_8_|_) | |_o ? | |_o |_o _,|_| .__,_|_o_9 (_/ : / (_) ( (_| (_| (_S.

Sunni references:

- Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v3, p1452, Tradition #5

- Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservient to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1009, Tradition #4477

=========

Again from Sahih Muslim:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The affairs of people will continue to be conducted (well) as long as they are governed by the twelve men."

| | ^ . ^ | | | | . | |. || | ||. | ||_|_7 _w_c _,_,| o_8_,_|q |_o |_,,_p |_o w |_,_|| _o| || _, |_| . / / (_S ( : / : (_/ / (_| /:

Sunni references:

- Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v3, p1453, Tradition #6

- Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservient to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Tradition #4478

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Also:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "Islam will continue to be triumphant until there have been twelve Caliphs."

: . | . ^ . ^ | || |. . | | | | |. | | 4_9_,_|_7 _w_c _,_, | _|| | _, _c o |_|_w | | | _, |_| : / (_S (_S /: / ( (_| /:

Sunni references:

- Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v3, p1453, Tradition #7

- Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservient to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Tradition #4480

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Again:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The Islamic religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraish."

| : | || : : : | @ | : || ||. | | q | 4_c |_w_|| o q_o_, _,_7 |_o_, |_o . _, ]_|| || _, |_| / ( / (_S (_): (_| /: ^ : | / : . | . ^ |. ^ | / | / w_, _o . _o o_8_|_) 4_9_,_|_7 _w_c |_,_, | o_)_,_|_c . q_)_, (_/ : / (_) ( : / ( : (_) / :

Sunni references:

- Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v3, p1453, Tradition #10

- Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservient to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Tradition #4483

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More Sunni references of similar traditions:

- Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v4, p501

- Sunan Abu Dawud, v2, p421 (three traditions).

- Others such as al-Tiyalasi, Ibn al-Athir, etc.

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Also in another wording, the Messenger of Allah uses the word "Imam" instead of "Caliph". It is widely narrated that:

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The Imams are from Quraish"

^ : : @ | || w_, _o . _o 4_o_, |_|| (_/ : / (_)

Sunni references:

- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p149

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal

- Sahih al-Nisa'i, from Anas Ibn Malik

- Sunan, by al-Baihaqi

- al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa, by Ibn Hajar al-Haithami, Ch. 11, section 2, p287

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Obviously, the above traditions are not fit to the first four Caliphs all together, as they were less than twelve.

And they can not be applied to the Umayad Caliphs, because

(a) they were more than twelve;

( B) all of them were tyrants and unjust (except Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz);

© they were not from the Hashimites and the Holy Prophet had said in another tradition that: "All of them will be from the Bani Hashim..."

Also they cannot be applied to the Abbasid Caliphs, because:

(a) they were more than twelve;

( B) they persecuted the descendants of the Prophet every where which means they did not comply with the Quranic verse: "I don't ask you any wage except to love my family." (42:23).

My recollection about the unfortunate history of Caliphate indicates that, even from the Sunni point of view, there was no good Caliph left after the first 4 Caliphs (It would be 5 if we include Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz. Some Sunnis are very generous and they add Imam al-Hasan (as) and Imam al-Mahdi (as) to the list as well.)

To fill out the twelve set, some even included the well-known tyrants to the list such as Yazid Ibn Mu'awiya, Marwan Ibn al-Hakam, Abdul-Malik Marwan, and Husham Ibn Abdul-Malik. The reason is clear and as I stated previously, it is due to the lack of decent and sincere rulers in the History of Islam.

I would like to remind you that "Caliph" means successor/deputy. The successor of the Prophet (or the preceding Caliph) should come immediately after the demise of the Prophet (or the preceding Caliph). If there is any gap between the successors, the word "successor" does not make any sense. So successors should come right after the other without any gap. Also as the Prophet (PBUH&HF) suggested in the above traditions, those twelve Caliphs will cover till the day of resurrection.

As you may know, the Followers of the Members of the House of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) refer to these 12 Caliphs as of their 12 Imams starting with Imam Ali (as) and ending with Imam Mahdi (as) the leader of our time. There are Caliphs because Allah made them Caliphs (They are vice-regents of Allah on the earth). With the passage of time and through historical events, we know that by the above traditions the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) meant the twelve Imams from his Ahlul-Bait who are the descendants of the Prophet since we have no other 12 pure candidates in the history of Islam upon whose righteousness all Muslims agree. It is interesting to know that even the enemies of Shi'a have NOT been able to find any fault in the virtues of the twelve Imams of Shi'a. Moreover these twelve Imams came one after another without any gap.

It is now clear that the only way to interpret the previously mentioned traditions which are narrated by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and al-Tirmidhi, al-Hakim, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal is to accept that it refers to the Twelve Imams from the Prophet's Ahlul-Bait, because they were, in their times, the most knowledgeable, the most illustrious, the most god-fearing, the most pious, the best in personal virtues, and the most honored before Allah; and their knowledge was derived from their ancestor (the Prophet) through their fathers. These are the Ahlul-Bait whose sinlessness, flawlessness, and purity is confirmed by the holy Quran (the last sentence of verse 33:33).

Also the above mentioned traditions of the Prophet which are considered to be authentic by the Sunnis, proves beyond doubt that the concept of "Twelve Imams" can NOT be a Twelver Shi'ites concoction! It is amazing that despite the acknowledgment of al-Bukhari and Muslim and other prominent Sunni scholars about the twelve Imams, the Sunnis always stop at the four Caliphs! More interestingly, there are Sunni reports in which the Messenger of Allah named these twelve members of his Ahlul-Bait one by one starting with Imam Ali (as) and ending with Imam al-Mahdi (as). (see Yanabi' al-Mawadda, by al-Qunduzi al-Hanafi).

Now after reviewing all these straightforward authentic traditions which ALL Muslims unanimously agree upon, I would like to ask, based on the Sunni point of view who are those twelve Caliphs after Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF)? Please support your assertion by references from Quran and or the six Sunni collections of traditions, and also justify their deeds in the course of history. Remember that the instructions of these twelve successors of the Prophet should be obeyed. As such, if you don't know your twelve leaders, how do you want to obey them? Indeed, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said:

He who dies while he does not know the Imam of his age, is like the one who died during days of Jahiliyya (the era before Islam).

: | | : : .. | . | . | | . | .. |4_,_|_8 |_7 4_,_,_o ,__,|_o 4_,|_o o |_o | ,__9 _e_, o_| q ,__,|_o . _o : . : / ( / : ( / (_)

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Few Facts About the Twelve Imams of Ahlul-Bait

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The First Imam: The Commander of Believers, Abul-Hasan, ALI al-Murtadha, son of Abu Talib, was born on the 13th of Rajab, 10 years before the declaration of the Prophethood (600 A. D.), INSIDE KA'BAH. He became Imam, on the demise of the Prophet on the 28th of Safar 11/632, and was fatally wounded by the poisoned sword of Ibn Muljam while engaged in prayers at the Mosque of Kufa (Iraq), and expired two days later on the 21st of Ramadhan 40/661, and was buried at al-Najaf (Iraq).

The Second Imam: Abu Muhammad, AL-HASAN al-Mujtaba, son of Ali, was born on the 15th of Ramadhan 3/625 in Medina; martyred of poison on the 7th or 28th Safar 50/670 in Medina by the order of Mu'awiya.

The Third Imam: Abu Abdillah, AL-HUSAIN, The Chief of Martyrs (Sayyid al-Shuhadaa), son of Ali, was born on the 3rd of Sha'ban 4/626 in Medina; was martyred with his sons (except one), relatives and companions, on the 10th of Muharram (Ashura) 61/680 in Karbala (Iraq) by order of Yazid (LA). He and his elder brother, al-Hasan, were sons of Fatima, the daughter of the holy Prophet.

The Fourth Imam: Abu Muhammad, ALI Zain al-Abidin, son of al-Husain, was born on the 5th of Sha'ban 38/659; martyred of poison on the 25th of Muharram 94/712 or 95/713 in Medina by the order of Husham Ibn Abdul-Malik.

The Fifth Imam: Abu Ja'far, MUHAMMAD al-Baqir, son of Ali, was born on the 1st of Rajab 57/677 in Medina; martyred of poison by Ibrahim on the 7th Dhul-Hajja 114/733 in Medina.

The Sixth Imam: Abu Abdillah, JA'FAR al-Sadiq, son of Muhammad, was born on the 17th of Rabi'ul-Awwal 83/702 in Medina; martyred there of poison on the 25th of Shawwal 148/765 by the order of al-Mansur.

The Seventh Imam: Abul-Hasan al-Awwal, MUSA al-Kadhim, son of Ja'far, was born in al-Abwa (7 miles from Medina) on the 7th Safar 129/746; martyred of poison on the 25th of Rajab 183/799 in the prison of Harun al-Rashid in Baghdad and was buried at al-Kadhimiyya, near Baghdad (Iraq).

The Eighth Imam: Abul-Hasan al-Thani, ALI al-Ridha, son of Musa, was born in Medina on the 11th Dhul-Qa'da 148/765; martyred of poison on the 17th of Safar 203/818 in Mash'had (Khurasan, Iran) by the order of Ma'mun.

The Ninth Imam: Abu Ja'far al-Thani, MUHAMMAD al-Taqi al-Jawad, son of Ali, was born on the 10th of Rajab 195/811 in Medina; martyred of poison by the order of Mu'tasim in Baghdad on the 30th Dhul-Qa'da 220/835; was buried near his grandfather at al-Kadhimiyya.

The Tenth Imam: Abul-Hasan al-Thalith, ALI al-Naqi al-Hadi, son of Muhammad, was born on the 5th of Rajab 212/827 in Medina; martyred of poison in Samirra (Iraq) on 3rd of Rajab 254/868 by the order of Mutawakkil.

The Eleventh Imam: Abu Muhammad, AL-HASAN al-Askari, son of Ali, was born on the 8th of Rabi al-Thani 232/846 in Medina; martyred of poison by Mu'tamid in Samirra (Iraq) on the 8th of Rabi'ul-Awwal 260/874.

The Twelfth Imam: Abul-Qasim, MUHAMMAD al-Mahdi, son of al-Hasan, was born on the 15th of Sha'ban 255/869 in Samirra (Iraq). He is our present and alive Imam. He went into Lesser Occultation in 260/874 which continued until 329/844. Then the greater occultation began which still continues. He will reappear when Allah allows him to establish the kingdom of Allah on earth and to fill the world with justice and equality as it would be full of injustice and tyranny. He is al-Qa'im (the one who shall stand to establish the rule of Allah); al-Hujja (the proof of Allah over His creatures); Sahib al-Zaman (the master of our time); and Sahib al-Amr (the one who is supported by divine authority).

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There is an interesting tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari as well as Sahih Muslim, in which the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said the following:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.422

Narrated Abu Sa'id al-Khudri:

The Prophet said, "You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure (lizard), you would follow them." We said, "O Allah's Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?" He said, "Whom else?"

As the above tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari confirms, the Prophet stated that the history of the Children of Israel will be repeated for Muslims. In fact, Quran has mentioned the stories of the Children of Israel to give us a way to understand the true history of Islam itself. There are many striking similarities in this regard written in Quran including the similarities of the leaders and the similarities of the people. I just mention few of them here. Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, said:

"Surely Allah aforetime took a covenant from the Children of Israel and We appointed twelve leaders among them" (Quran 5:12)

| @ | | . : | ^ | || . . | : | |_,_, | _w | _,_, q |_,_,_o 4_|_|| ]_7 | ]_o_| q (_|: / (_S . (_/ : / | :. ^ . ^ | . |. ^ |_,_,_o_, _w_c _,_, | o_8_,_o |_,_,_e_, q . : / (_S ( . /

Who are those twelve leaders among the Children of Muhammad (PBUH&HF)?

Allah, Exalted, also said:

"And when Moses prayed for water for his (thirsty) people; We said: 'Strike the rock with your staff.' Then from there surged forth twelve springs so that each group knew its own place to drink." (Quran 2:60).

: | : : | . | 4_o q_o_| _w q_o _o_w_,_w | > | q / (_S / (_S / . .. . . | . || / | . | |. | : . 4_,_o .__, _7_9_, |_9 _7_7_|| (_) |,_p_e_, .__, ,_p | |_,_|_o_9 /. /. . . / ^ |. | | / | : |. : ^ |: . ^ | o_8_, _w_o w |_, | |_) o_|_c ]_o |_,_,_c o _w_c |_,_,_, | ( . / (_/ (_| ( : /

Who are those twelve springs (streams) of knowledge who quench the thirst of Muslims to the end of the world so that each generation is utilized with one of them? He, Exalted He is, also said:

"We divided them into twelve nations. We directed Moses by revelation when his (thirsty) people asked him for water: 'Strike the rock with your staff;' out of it there gushed forth twelve springs so that each group knew its own place for water. We gave them the shade of clouds and sent down to them manna and quails (saying): 'Eat of the good things We have provided for you,' (but they rebelled.) To Us they did no harm but they harmed their own souls." (Quran 7:160).

Verily those who did not follow those twelve leaders, harmed non but themselves. The above verse suggests that the nation of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) in the span of history (after his demise till the day of judgment) are divided into 12 intervals of time which coincides with one Imam who is assigned as leader for them. In the next verse Allah said:

"And when it was said unto them: 'Dwell in this Town and eat therein as you wish, and say Repentance, and enter the Gate (of the city) in a posture of humility, in order that We forgive you your sins and increase (the portion of) those who do good.'" (Quran 7:161)

or:

"And when We said: 'Enter this Town and eat of the plenty therein as you wish; but enter the Gate (of the City) with humility in posture and in words so that We forgive you your sins and increase (the portion of) those who do good.'" (Quran 2:58).

The Gate in the above verses has a striking similarity with one of the attributes of Imam Ali (as) mentioned by our Prophet (PBUH&HF) that is: "The Gate of the City of Knowledge."

The Messenger of Allah said: "I am the City of Knowledge, and Ali is its Gate. So whoever intends to enter the City and the Wisdom, he should enter from its Gate."

| | w | | || : . |. | |_8_,|_, _|_c q o_|_e_|| 4_,_, ]_o |_, | . . (_S / ( : | | | : | | . : / || : . || | | . |_8_,|_, . _o |_8_, |_,_|_9 4_o_)_7_|| q 4_,_, ]_o_|| > | | . _o_9 . . (_) : / : / (_)

Sunni references:

- Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 201,637

- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 126-127,226

- Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p635, Tradition #1081

and many more...

Furthermore the following Prophetic tradition gives the utmost similarity with the above two verses:

The Messenger of Allah said: "My Ahlul-Bait are like the Gate of Repentance of the Children of Israel; whoever entered therein was forgiven."

|^ / . : | | |^ | . | |_,_o o_)_,_9 _,_,_, |_8 | |_,_o |_o_, | (_| ( : (_S : . (_| (_| | . . | . | @ | | . . : | | 4_| _9_c 4_|_7 > . _o |_,_, | _w | _,_, _9 4__D_7 .__,|_, / (_) (_|: / (_S . (_S . .

Sunni References:

- Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haithami, v9, p168.

- al-Awsat, by al-Tabarani, Tradition #18

- Arba'in, by al-Nabahani, p216

- A fairly similar tradition reported by al-Darqunti and by Ibn Hajar al-Haithami in al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa, Ch. 9, section 2, p193, in which the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "Ali is the Gate of Repentance, whoever entered therein was a believer and whoever went out was an unbeliever."

Also Allah (SWT) stated in Quran:

Lo! The number of the months with Allah is twelve which is Allah's ordinance when He created the heavens and the earth. Four of them are sacred. That is the firm religion. So wrong not your souls in them. (Quran 9:36)

| || |: / . | ^ ^ . ^ | | || . ^ || : |4_|_||.__,|_,_) _9 | _8_w _w_c _,_,| 4_|_|| ]_,_c q_8_w_|| o ]_c . | . (_S / / (_S / / (_

In connection with the above verse of Quran, it would be nice to look at the following tradition in Sahih al-Bukhari:

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 5.688

Narrated Abu Bakra:

The Prophet said, "Time has taken its original shape which it had when Allah created the Heavens and the Earth. The year is of twelve months, four of which are sacred... Surely, you will meet your Lord, and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me, cutting the throats of one another. It is incumbent on those who are present to convey this message (of mine) to those who are absent. May be that some of those to whom it will be conveyed will understand it better than those who have actually heard it." He (i.e. Prophet) then added twice, "No doubt! Haven't I conveyed (Allah's Message) to you?"

Now one may ask that what was in the above message that could not be understood by the companions who were listening to the speech of the Prophet during his last pilgrimage in Mecca? (For timing see also Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 2.798). The Message of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) had twofold meaning. The obvious meaning is that the number of months are twelve and four months, namely Dhul-Qa'da, Dhul-Hajja, Muharram, and Rajab are sacred months. In fact, these months were believed to be sacred even before Islam. So there was nothing in this message that the audience could not comprehend.

Moreover, the fact the above mentioned sacred months of the year were accepted by the Jews and Christians, makes it clear that these months can not be "the firm religion" as mentioned in the verse. So one should look for a more delicate meaning.

The other meaning (as interpreted by Ahlul-Bait) is that the Prophet in his last pilgrimage (less than three month before his demise) wanted to convey that he will be followed by twelve Imams and people should not wrong their souls by disobeying them in their leadership periods. Among these twelve Imams, four have a sacred name, i.e., "Ali", which is derived from the name of Allah. In fact, four Imams of Ahlul-Bait (peace be upon them all) have been named "Ali".

In the Sira of Ibn Hisham, there is an extra sentence of the Messenger of Allah which is, in fact, the verse of Quran. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said:

"'Postponement of a sacred month is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it another year that they may make up the number of months which God has hallowed so that they permit what God has forbidden (Quran 9:37), and forbid what God has allowed. Time has completed its cycle and is as it was on the day that God created the heavens and the earth. The number of months with God is twelve. Four of them are sacred."

Sunni references:

- Sira, by Ibn Hisham at the end of Chapter of "Farewell Pilgrimage", p968

- The Life of Muhammad (English translation of Sira Ibn Hisham), Translated into English by A. Guillaume, 1955 Edition, London, p651

Postponement of the sacred month is delay in accepting their leadership and as the messenger of Allah said, those who disbelieve in their leadership will be misled. They permit what God has forbidden, and forbid what God has allowed. They try to make up the twelve Imams by that which Allah has not honored.

The fact that some sects departed from the main body of the Shi'a in the history was because they only accepted first few Imams and rejected the rest. It is interesting to know that he who acknowledged all four "Ali" among the Imams, he has acknowledged all the twelve Imams, since there did not remain any sect believing in these four Imams and rejecting others. In a tradition on the authority of Jabir (ra), Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, the fifth Imam of Ahlul-Bait, interprets the above verse which is as follows:

Jabir said: I asked Imam Muhammad al-Baqir about the meaning of the verse: "Verily the number of the months … (9:36)." He (as) breathed long (out of sorrow) and said: "O Jabir, The 'year' is my grandfather, the messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF), and his family are its 'months' who are the twelve Imams, and are … (naming the Imams one by one). They are the Proofs of Allah on His creation, and Trusties of His revelations and His knowledge. And Those of 'four sacred who are the firm religion' are those four who have the same name, and are Ali, the Commander of Faithful (as), and my father Ali Ibn al-Husain (as), and later Ali Ibn Musa (as), and Ali Ibn Muhammad (as). Thus acknowledging these four is 'the firm religion, so wrong not your souls in them' and believe in all of them to be guided."

Shi'i reference: Kitab al-Ghaiba, by Shaikh Tusi.

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Side Comments

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A Sunni brother mentioned that there is a tradition which states "The Caliphate will last 30 years after me then there will be kings." These 30 years covered the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali Ibn Abi Talib, as well as the 6 month rule of al-Hasan Ibn Ali. After these 30 years, the leadership went to Mu'awiya. As for the 5th Caliph through the 11th Allah knows best, and the 12th will be al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar.

The above alleged tradition seems to be very odd, because Caliph means successor/deputy. The successor of the Prophet (or the preceding Caliph) should come right after the demise of the Prophet (or the preceding Caliph) without any gap so that the word "successor" or "deputy" make any sense. Also as narrated in Sahih Muslim, The Prophet (PBUH&HF) suggested those twelve Caliphs cover till the day of resurrection. See Quran 13:7 in which Allah states that Prophet Muhammad is a warner, and for every community (generation) there exists a Guide (Imam). Who was the Guide after the fifth Caliph? Who is the Guide today? Who is the Ulul-Amr whose obedience is as much obligatory as the Prophet? Who is the one spared by Allah (Baqiyyatullah) about whom Allah said:

That who is spared by Allah (on the earth) is better for you if you are believers. (Quran 11:86)

The above verse is another proof for the fact that there exists one individual at each era whom Allah has spared on the earth to maintain the cause of faith and he is the Imam of that age. Thus the position of God-assigned leadership is never vacated so long as the earth carries even one human being. (Please see the article titled: "Necessity of the Existence of Imam al-Mahdi (as)" for more detailed discussion of this subject).

Moreover, You still did not answer who the rest of those twelve Imams are? You claimed that Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, al-Hasan are the first five Caliphs, but you did not mention the rest. There is no doubt that the Caliph should be known to his followers, otherwise an imaginary Caliph can not be followed while the Prophet had asked us to closely follow them. If you don't know your leaders, how can you obey them? It is very important to know that the saying of whom should be followed (Which Caliph or Imam) since Allah unequivocally ordered us in Quran to follow them as Ulul-Amr, and moreover, the Prophet ordered us to follow them as one of the two weighty things. Obeying them is the only way of salvation as the Prophet testified (Please see the article titled: "Quran and Ahlul-Bait").

Now tell me my brother, what happened that after 30 years the kings were going to come? Do you agree that misconduct of some people like Mu'awiya caused such scandal for the Muslim nation? What went wrong? You claim that these people were the best generation. Then how could they allow themselves to convert the caliphate into a hereditary monarchy? It is quite probable that the very same kings fabricated the tradition of "Thirty Years" in order to dissuade people from the issue of twelve Imams and to justify their usurping the rule.

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Another Sunni brother commented that out of the twelve Shi'a Imams, only Imam Ali and his son Imam al-Hasan physically governed, and as such, how do the Shi'a assert that the Prophet was referring to these individuals when he mentioned the twelve Caliphs?

The answer is: Allah by His Grace, has assigned Prophets and their successors to warn us and to guide us to the Right Path. It is upon our decision whether we use our wisdom and accept their instructions or not. We are not compelled to follow a divinely appointed Imam, though we will be held responsible for that. It is our choice to go right or wrong.

Leadership has two parts. The first part is the leader. We believe that since Allah knows who is the best for such position, He assigns the leader for mankind, as indicated in Quran (see Quran 2:124, 21:73, 32:24, etc.). The appointment of Imam may be known through the declaration of the Prophet or the preceding Imam.

In order that the leadership manifests itself in rulership, there is a second part necessary, that is the followers. There should be some followers for that leader to lead them and eventually be able establish his government.

Allah has completed His bounty upon us by assigning leadership. It is upon us to do the other part, that is to follow the leadership of the Prophet and his Ahlul-Bait. If we do so, the leader will come automatically into power in this worldly life. However, if we disobey them, the leader seemingly has no power in appearance and he will remain as the spiritual leader for his few loyal followers (Imam al-Muttaqin/ leader of god-fearing people).

Muslims can not deny that prophets (some of whom were Imams of their time as well) were assigned by God. Now, if we study their lives, some of which have been explained in Quran, we see that the majority of them were oppressed in their communities. Let us look at the life of Prophet John (Yahya). He was a prophet assigned by Allah, and people were supposed to obey him, but they did not support him. Instead, they slaughtered him and chopped his head off. Now, one may ask: Was not he an Imam? Did Allah fail to support his Prophet? The answer is that Allah has given people some free will to either accept or reject the leadership He assigns. In the case of Prophet John, people rejected him, and obviously they will go to Hell for their disobedience. The same goes for the Prophet Abraham (as) who was also Imam. Quran states:

"And when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain commands and he fulfilled them. Then He said: Lo! I appoint you an Imam for mankind." (Quran 2:124).

People were supposed to follow such divinely appointed who was assigned by Allah, but they stood against him. They even went as much as throwing him into fire. Thus the above verse clearly shows that the Imam who is assigned by Allah may not physically govern in appearance.

Therefore leadership has two parts. Allah does His part out of His Grace. It is our choice if we fulfill the other part by adhering to such leader in order to attain the prosperity of this world and of the hereafter. In the case of our Imams, though they were the best qualified people for leadership and though they were assigned by Allah and His Prophet, the majority of people disobeyed them. This is not surprising since the history of mankind repeats itself.

As such, Imam Ali (as) was Imam during the time of the first three rulers after the demise of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and what these rulers could take from him was the rulership and not the position of Imamat. In other words, a divinely appointed Imam is the most the qualified individual to be the ruler, but concept of Imamat has much more than just rulership. Imam is the Guide for the God-fearing people, and possesses the full knowledge of Quran and the Sunna of the Prophet, and is the protected place of refuge for the disagreements in the matter of religion.

A remark, however, is that the case for Imam al-Mahdi (as) would be different. He is the one who will ENFORCE his rule with the help of Allah when Allah let him appear. That is why he has been given the title of al-Qa'im (the one who shall stand).

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A Sunni brother replied that according to Quran Abraham (as) said: And make me for the God fearing an Imam. Imam == you translate it as leader, but with political connotation; however, it is clear here that the meaning is leader in the sense of first. You make it seem as if he is seeking to campaign for the position of Namrud or govern Iraq, or something like that when the message of Abraham was to lay out the road for the people to know Allah and worship him which is the main thing prophets were sent for.

My response was: As to whether the Prophet Abraham was supposed to be merely a spiritual Imam for the believers or an Imam who rules on the earth, my argument was clear, and apparently this brother did not comprehend it. I mentioned that a divinely appointed Imam such as Abraham, is an Imam whether people follow him or not. If (say the majority of) people follow him, he will automatically come into power, and if they disobey him, he will still possess his spiritual leadership for his few faithful followers (the God fearing people).

Brother, do you claim that Allah ordered only Muttaqin (the God fearing people) to follow Abraham, and other people were not ordered to follow him?! Every body at that time was supposed to obey Abraham, and those who did not are doomed to Hell. Also the verse 2:124 of Quran clearly sates Allah assigned him Imam for "mankind", not a specific group.

Moreover, your above comment that the prophets did not have any political agenda is not correct. By the above statement you are unintentionally opposing Prophet Muhammad who campaigned against the unbelievers of the Arabian Peninsula like Abu Sufyan, and made the first Islamic government. It is true that all the prophets were sent to educate people and make them mindful of Allah. But this can not be FULLY achieved without any political power. Also I NEVER mentioned that governing the state is the first goal of a divinely appointed leader. Rather, I said that such leader is the most qualified person for such position. People should realize this fact and submit to his command, and if they do that he will be automatically on the head of community without a need for "agenda".

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A Sunni brother mentioned that even some individuals who disliked Shi'a very much such as Ibn Kathir in his book "al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya" has mentioned that al-Husain (ra) is considered to be one of the twelve Caliphs.

About this, I would like to comment that if these Sunnis really believe that Imam al-Husain (as) was one of the Caliphs, then they have already acknowledged what the Shi'a say! That is, the position of deputy/successor of the Prophet is not identified with the one who gains the control of power, otherwise Imam al-Husain who did not physically govern, could not have been counted among the twelve Caliphs.

Also I agree that Ibn Kathir along with Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya hated the Shi'a, and most probably they learnt their hatred from their teacher Ibn Taimiyya. None of these personalities are admired by the Sunnis even though the Wahhabis have filled the libraries with the books of these individuals.

Edited by pureethics

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So can you actually post me a authentic hadith about the 12 Imams (a.s.)?

That hadith I linked to has an authentic chain of narration, so that is as good as you are going to get. The brother who graded it is much stricter than Majlisi. I'm just saying that just because a hadith has an authentic chain, that doesn't mean it is certain the hadith itself is actually authentic, it just makes it much more likely. Similarly, just because a hadith has a weak chain, it doesn't mean it is definitely not authentic.

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Okay, thank you brother, I will take a look and have a deeper analysis with what you posted.

Another question. I know Shia Muslims don't view the first 3 Caliphs (r.a.) in high regards. But I saw a hadith relating to companions apostatizing except 3. Can anyone touch upon this hadith if it is authentic or not? And how do Shia Muslims agree that the first 3 Caliphs died as Muslims?

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