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Logic.

Why are the prophet/imams infallible?

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I can explain to you using logic? I have 3 arguments to support my case. 

firstly, do we agree that it is waajib - mandatory - to follow each and every command of a prophet? of course we do, no sect argues against this. If a prophet says "do this" we MUST do that thing, because their word is as the word of Allah himself. if it was possible for a prophet to make a mistake, how would we know which of his commands to follow, and which to ignore since they are mistakes? 

secondly, if one saw a prophet committing a sin or a mistake, a paradox would be created. firstly as discussed in my first point, it is wajib to follow a prophet in everything. but at the same time, it is also wajid by "naiy hanil munkar" - forbidding the evil - to prevent someone from sinning. so if one saw a prophet making a mistake, or sinning, it would be wajib to both follow them, and not follow them! 

thirdly, lets say there are not things that are sins, but mistakes. for example being clumsy or forgetful. for this, I think back to my own days in school when exam period began. my fear of failing my exams made me SUPER religious. I would read all my salah and extra nafl on time, I would behave, I would even stop using bad language! my fear of punishment made it impossible for me to forget my duties as a muslim, and unfortunately as soon as I got my results I often lapsed back into my less than pious self. so is it possible for a prophet to be clumsy or forgetful? no. because their fear of Allah prevented them from ever being lazy or forgetful or clumsy. 

so this is why we believe that prophets can neither sin, nor make mistakes. 

next, we look at imams. 

as part of our aqeeda, the two main differences between an Imam and a prophet are that Imams do not receive any holy books such as the quran, torah etc, and secondly the prophets job is to reveal the message, while the imams is to maintain it in the prophets absense

as such, Imams are also divinely appointed leaders, so the three points above which relate to prophets, also relate to imams. the only difference is that the prophets have revealed the message, while the imams protect the message. 

hope this helps

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16 hours ago, Logic. said:

why? And why is this not mentioned in the Quran?

A prophet brings the message

An imam protects/explains the message.

How can an imperfect being deliver a perfect message and how can an imperfect being explain the message.

Example 1 (Messenger), suicide is haram so the message is "DONT KILL YOURSELF". If the messenger was faulty, he may accidentally say "KILL YOURSELF". The omission of a single word and lead to annihilation.

Example 2: There is a knock on the door and the Messenger says "DONT COME IN". This could be mean that you should not enter OR could mean you shouldn't knock. After the Prophet is gone, the Imam helps us translate the message "Don't (knock)! Come in" OR "Don't Come In". A simple exclamation point can make the same sentence have completely different meaning. An Imam helps explain the message. If he is unaware of the tone/tense then he can't explain properly.

 

Edited by shiaman14

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Valid points but, how come Adam sinned? He disobeyed Gods command and led us all here in the first place and he was the first prophet. The family of Noah disobeyed their own father and the prophet at the time so why would the family of the last prophet be intrinsically considered infallible.

Secondly verse 33:33 is NOT a good explanation for infallibility,  God says he wishes to purify the house and before that he talks about the wives of the prophet, so why are't the wives of the prophet infallible, they are definitely part of the 'house'? 

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14 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

Not every mistake or error is considered a 'sin'

Last two points are valid. However your first point undermines the whole topic, not every error is a sin...? So you agree that it's still a mistake/error. So why is the first prophet able to make errors but no others? He is the FIRST prophet and that's not a very good standard to set if the first prophet himself erred. 

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The reason why some Prophets sinned (missed the mark), is because you can miss the mark which is the definition of sin, yet be worthy of Prophethood and leadership.

You cannot however have uncleanness ever and be unjust in that sense, and ever be eligible for Prophethood or leadership. The real sins we are use to talking is missing the mark of goodness, in which Prophets never did sin in this sense. They only sinned in the sense they missed the mark of God's Name and the potential they had which is Ahlulbayt.

That said, God could of chosen ONLY perfect sinless Prophets in both senses just as he could of created only such people to live. But just as we are created, and God gives a chance, he also decided those eligible for Prophethood and leadership would be given it. Adam was eligible for such leadership.

Had he taint of insincerity or dishonesty towards God, he would never been eligible. Had God knew there was a chance of him ever being such, he would never have been eligible.

God knew Adam would be honest and made him an example of repentance.  Jinns needed an example of repentance. 

Adam's regret and way of repenting opened a gate of light and way towards all Jinn. And he was their Leader just as he was leader of humans.

 

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On 11/19/2016 at 6:44 PM, 313 Seeker said:

Peace,

What is your definition of "sin" including the Arabic word in reference to the Quran?

 

Anything that goes against the command of God. So Adam disobeying God was a sin, he is clearly not infallible. @Ozzy said not every mistake is a sin. But any mistake that goes against the command of God is a sin, and in the Quran it is clearly stated in Surah A'raf Verse 22 :

  • "...And their Lord called to them, "Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?"
God clearly forbade Adam from the tree, it is undeniable that Adam did not against the command of the Lord as the Quran says it. So how/why did Adam commit a mistake/sin if he is a prophet, this clearly goes against the concept of infallibility and perfection.
 
 

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The only solid evidence one can get "infallibility" from is the Qur'an.

anything other than the word of الله is second hand and requires great scrutiny. 

The Scholars of the past regardless of sectarian issues have unanimously agreed that the Ahlu 'l Khisa are infallible. Period...

if al-Baqir for instance was infallible, the. Why would we have a Hadith from very early and credible sources showing Al-Baqir going to Jabir b. 'Abdullah and asking him questions?

حدّثنا محمد بن منصور، قال: حدّثنا أحمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن بكر، عن أبي الجارود، قال: حدّثنا أبوجعفر-عليه السلام-، قال: دخلنا على جابر، ونحن يومئذ شباب نبتغي العلم، فقلت: إنّ قومنا أماتو الصلاة، فأخَّرُوا الظهر، وأخّروا العصر.
فقال: صلّوا في بيوتكم، ولتكن صلاتكم معهم تقيَّة.

[al-Amali] Muhammad b. Mansur narrated to us.  He said: Ahmad b. `Isa narrated to me from Muhammad b. Bakr from Abu ‘l-Jarud.  He said: Abu Ja`far narrated to us.  He said: We entered upon Jabir, and we were in that day youths seeking knowledge.  So I said: Our people have made the salat dead, so they delayed the zhuhr, and they delayed the `asr.  So he said: Pray in your houses, and let your salat with them be out of taqiyya.

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On 11/22/2016 at 2:01 PM, Abu 'l Jarud said:

The only solid evidence one can get "infallibility" from is the Qur'an.

anything other than the word of الله is second hand and requires great scrutiny. 

The Scholars of the past regardless of sectarian issues have unanimously agreed that the Ahlu 'l Khisa are infallible. Period...

if al-Baqir for instance was infallible, the. Why would we have a Hadith from very early and credible sources showing Al-Baqir going to Jabir b. 'Abdullah and asking him questions?

حدّثنا محمد بن منصور، قال: حدّثنا أحمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن بكر، عن أبي الجارود، قال: حدّثنا أبوجعفر-عليه السلام-، قال: دخلنا على جابر، ونحن يومئذ شباب نبتغي العلم، فقلت: إنّ قومنا أماتو الصلاة، فأخَّرُوا الظهر، وأخّروا العصر.
فقال: صلّوا في بيوتكم، ولتكن صلاتكم معهم تقيَّة.

[al-Amali] Muhammad b. Mansur narrated to us.  He said: Ahmad b. `Isa narrated to me from Muhammad b. Bakr from Abu ‘l-Jarud.  He said: Abu Ja`far narrated to us.  He said: We entered upon Jabir, and we were in that day youths seeking knowledge.  So I said: Our people have made the salat dead, so they delayed the zhuhr, and they delayed the `asr.  So he said: Pray in your houses, and let your salat with them be out of taqiyya.

What's the source in the quran?

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