Jump to content
In the Name of God بسم الله

Is there a textual basis for the concept of i’sma?

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Advanced Member

So the concept of i’smah — literally meaning “innocent,” and generally translated as “sinless” or “infallible.” This is understood to apply to both prophets and imams, and is understood to include different things, depending on the interpretation: not committing sins to not making mistakes to always choosing the best action up to some sort of maximal full knowledge of things on a human level. 

In the traditional and contemporary explanations I have seen, this is usually justified rationally. That is, a prophet or imam has a certain role to fulfill, and to be competent in that role and credible as a moral guide, he needs some level of i’smah.

My question is, is this the whole justification for believing in i’smah? Or is there some sort of textual proof as well? I know we like to invoke things like “innama yureedul laahi li yudhhiba ankumur rijsa ahlul bayt…” in these discussions as well, but, to be fair, one could read that in different ways, and it’s more a motivation to open the topic rather than definitive. Is there anything more specific that can be pointed to in the hadiths for example? Or is the foundation of the belief basically rational/philosophical?

Note: The purpose here is not to undermine or challenge the rational arguments or open that discussion. I just want to confirm on a factual basis that this is the case.  An anyone help out with that? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
5 hours ago, Mahdavist said:

If you have a copy of Uyun Akhbar al Rida take a quick look through, I recall some sections dealing with this topic. 

I don’t, but vol 1 and 2 are on thaqalayn.net, so can take a look. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, kadhim said:

So the concept of i’smah — literally meaning “innocent,” and generally translated as “sinless” or “infallible.” This is understood to apply to both prophets and imams, and is understood to include different things, depending on the interpretation: not committing sins to not making mistakes to always choosing the best action up to some sort of maximal full knowledge of things on a human level. 

In the traditional and contemporary explanations I have seen, this is usually justified rationally. That is, a prophet or imam has a certain role to fulfill, and to be competent in that role and credible as a moral guide, he needs some level of i’smah.

My question is, is this the whole justification for believing in i’smah? Or is there some sort of textual proof as well? I know we like to invoke things like “innama yureedul laahi li yudhhiba ankumur rijsa ahlul bayt…” in these discussions as well, but, to be fair, one could read that in different ways, and it’s more a motivation to open the topic rather than definitive. Is there anything more specific that can be pointed to in the hadiths for example? Or is the foundation of the belief basically rational/philosophical?

Note: The purpose here is not to undermine or challenge the rational arguments or open that discussion. I just want to confirm on a factual basis that this is the case.  An anyone help out with 

Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) says in Nahjul Balagha: A stranger incident is that a man comes to us in the night with a closed flask of honey paste yet I disliked it as though it was the saliva of a serpent or its vomit. I asked him whether it was a reward, or zakat (poor-tax) or charity, for these are forbidden to us, members of the Prophet's Household. He said it was neither this nor that but a present. Then, I said: Childless women may weep over you. Have you come to deviate me from the religion of Allah, or are you mad, or have some Jinn overpowered you, or are you speaking without senses? Sermon 223.

Imam Ali who is infallible sees this  bribe as the saliva or vomit of a serpent intuitively. This is after he relates the famous story of his brother Aquil and the treasury money, for Imam Ali the unlawful money is like a hot coal.

These AhlulBayt are the ones referred to in the Qur'an as the Ras khuna fil ilm  and the Ahlul Dhikr.

The Infallibles’ Knowledge and Actions are of the one who has reached the station of cognitive and intuitive devotion,   where they do not misunderstand anything nor does he commit any error or have doubt in relation to perceptions, for the receiver of message is an abstract soul and the sender of message is Allah Who is pure knowledge. About the cognitive ismah, Imam Ali ((عليه السلام).) says: I have never had any doubt since the time I was presented with the truth.
This indicates that Imam Ali had reached the final stage of reunion with Almighty Allah, all veils have been removed. He had comprehension of the far-fetched truths, which is not available but for a masum through knowledge and intuition. Therefore, Imam Ali is the paragon of ‘There is no doubt in it’.
As for pragmatic ismah, we should say that those who have attained Supreme devotion reach this stage. This is when lust, wrath, jealousy, arrogance and hypocrisy have no way into his mental sanctuary.
An infallible person has gone past the stages of polarization, lust, wrath, love, enmity, like and dislike. He has reached the station of amity and detachment, which is the most perfect and the most valuable stage. One who has reached this latest stage considers Shaytan as the most hostile and open enemy of his inward and outward being. Hence, he suppresses Shaytan in the hardest way and comes under the guardianship of Allah: Surely, my guardian is Allah Who revealed the book and He befriends the good. (7:196)
It is the same righteous ones who will inherit the earth due to their ismah in perceptions and deeds: My righteous servants shall inherit it. (21:105)

Reporting Ibn Umayr, Muhammad ibn Babawayh in his valuable book, Dhakhirat al-Ibad, narrates the following: During my association with Husham ibn al-Hakam, I did not find but four best words only when I asked him, “Is the Imam infallible?” He answered, “Yes, he is.” I asked, “For what reason?” He said, All sins are rooted in greed, jealousy, wrath and lust. How can the Imam be greedy of the world when the whole world is under his command? How can the Imam be jealous while all creatures are below him? How can the Imam be wrathful when his wrath is for the sake of Allah? How can the Imam be lustful when he sees beautiful faces and blessings in heaven through contemplation and intuition?

Edited by Hasani Samnani
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

More textual basis comes from Rasoolullah SAWS and Imam Jafar e Sadiq AS.

It is not that a masum is incapable of committing sin, rather he can commit sin but he never does so intuitively. Their ismah is based in cognition,  perception,  knowledge, actions and inherent nature....Similar but not exactly like Angels.

Ahl al-Bayt((عليه السلام).), are actually beyond Angels and at the zenith of Ismah, since they have been given free will. 

The Holy Prophet says about the infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt and himself: I, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the nine of the sons of Husayn are purified from uncleanness and are infallible. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 64/  vol1, T 30

About himself and Lady Fatimah and the twelve Imams ((عليه السلام)), the Holy Prophet )s) has also said: We are Ahl al-Bayt. Allah has purified us from all overt and covert uncleanness. Al-Firdaws: 54/1

In a clear statement on the ismah of the Prophets and the Imams, Imam al- Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) has said: The Prophets and their successors have no sin, for they are infallible and purified. Al-Khisal: 608/2, H. 9

Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali and the eleven sons of these two honorable persons have introduced themselves as purified from all pollutions and uncleanness as well as the devoted servants of Allah, who thru Allah's wish and will have closed all the doors to carnal desires and Shaytan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

Signal to noise ratio, gentlemen. ;)

Feel free to be efficient and just quote the narrations with proper references.

There’s not really a need to wrap it in a whole essay defending  the concept of ismah. All the filler makes it harder to find the part that is actually relevant to the original request. 

Thanks :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest guest

Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far:

Our belief concerning the prophets (anbia')2, apostles (rusul), Imams and angels is that they are infallible (ma'sum); purified from all defilement (danas), and that they do not commit any sin, whether it be minor (saghira) or major (kabira). They do not disobey Allah in what He has commanded them; they act in accordance with His behests. He who denies infallibility to them in any matter appertaining to their status is ignorant of them, and such a one is a kafir (unbeliever).3

Concerning Infallibility ('isma)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
13 minutes ago, Guest guest said:

Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far:

Our belief concerning the prophets (anbia')2, apostles (rusul), Imams and angels is that they are infallible (ma'sum); purified from all defilement (danas), and that they do not commit any sin, whether it be minor (saghira) or major (kabira). They do not disobey Allah in what He has commanded them; they act in accordance with His behests. He who denies infallibility to them in any matter appertaining to their status is ignorant of them, and such a one is a kafir (unbeliever).3

Concerning Infallibility ('isma)

Ok, but that’s just a statement of creed from Shaykh as-Saduq. Obviously we all know this as part of our creed. The question was about what textual basis there is for this belief. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest guest
On 7/15/2022 at 12:01 PM, kadhim said:

So the concept of i’smah — literally meaning “innocent,” and generally translated as “sinless” or “infallible.” This is understood to apply to both prophets and imams,

The word 'ismah literally means “protection”. In Islamic terminology, it means “infallibility”. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
15 minutes ago, Guest guest said:

The word 'ismah literally means “protection”. In Islamic terminology, it means “infallibility”. 

The concept of ”Ismah” in the light of the Qur'an:

The Infallibility of the Prophets in the Qur'an by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi  Get PDF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
On 7/16/2022 at 4:53 PM, kadhim said:

Signal to noise ratio, gentlemen. ;)

Feel free to be efficient and just quote the narrations with proper references.

There’s not really a need to wrap it in a whole essay defending  the concept of ismah. All the filler makes it harder to find the part that is actually relevant to the original request. 

Thanks :)

The answer to your question "Is there a textual basis" is yes. See my post above. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
13 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

The concept of ”Ismah” in the light of the Qur'an:

The Infallibility of the Prophets in the Qur'an by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi  Get PDF

Please read the original post more carefully. I’m looking for texts that are more explicit in asserting and describing the bounds of ismah. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
13 hours ago, ShiaChat Mod said:

Imamate And Infallibility of Imams In The Qur’an  Get PDF

https://www.al-islam.org/imamate-and-infallibility-imams-quran-ridha-kardan

As explained in the original post, this is not really what I’m looking for. Familiar with the Quran passages usually mentioned for this subject, but these are not very explicit. I’m looking for more explicit texts. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
4 minutes ago, kadhim said:

Please read the original post more carefully. I’m looking for texts that are more explicit in asserting and describing the bounds of ismah. 

Textual proof means it is in the Holy Qur'an. Please read the book links in this topic (three different links or more). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member

It seems some people are having difficulty understanding the ask here and as a result posting links and such that don’t really provide what was asked for. 

I’ve been around in the community for a couple of decades now; I’ve heard most of the classic sort of introductory arguments that get presented in the centers about this topic. I’m familiar with this already. 

Most of the time, these arguments, they might reference a Quran passage that sort of vaguely points toward ismah, but it always takes pages of added interpretation on the part of the scholar writing the piece to make it say that. 

I’m asking for people to point toward something more clearcut and explicit. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Hameedeh said:

Textual proof means it is in the Holy Qur'an. Please read the book links in this topic (three different links or more). 

Hameedah. Respectfully, if someone tells you, “that’s not what I’m looking for,” it’s kind of rude to respond with “yes it is.”

Again, thanks for your effort but this was not what I’m looking for. Some of the earlier posts were more on point. 

As well, textual proof means primary texts which means not just Quran but also hadith. The original post clearly mentions I am familiar with the Quran passages that get invoked on the subject, that I find them a little too vague and implicit (motivating but not conclusive), and asking for hadiths that spell it out more clearly. 

Edited by kadhim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
On 7/15/2022 at 5:35 PM, Hasani Samnani said:

The Holy Prophet says about the infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt and himself: I, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the nine of the sons of Husayn are purified from uncleanness and are infallible. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 64/  vol1, T 30

About himself and Lady Fatimah and the twelve Imams ((عليه السلام)), the Holy Prophet )s) has also said: We are Ahl al-Bayt. Allah has purified us from all overt and covert uncleanness. Al-Firdaws: 54/1

In a clear statement on the ismah of the Prophets and the Imams, Imam al- Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) has said: The Prophets and their successors have no sin, for they are infallible and purified. Al-Khisal: 608/2, H. 9


Salams,

I’m trying to track down the Uyun Akhbar al-Rida and Al-Khisal narrations on Thaqalayn.net, but I’m having trouble following the reference coordinate system you’re using. I don’t know what 64/ and T 30 are supposed to mean, same with 608/2. Can you link to where I could read these two narrations there? I want to look at the Arabic text. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
20 hours ago, kadhim said:

 

حدثنا علي بن عبد الله الوراق (3) الرازي قال: حدثنا سعد بن عبد الله قال: حدثنا الهيثم بن أبي مسروق النهدي (4) عن الحسين بن علوان عن عمرو بن خالد عن سعد بن طريف (5) عن الأصبغ بن نباته عن عبد الله بن عباس قال: سمعت رسول الله (ص) يقول انا وعلى والحسن والحسين وتسعه ولد الحسين (1) مطهرون معصومون.

عيون أخبار الرضا (ع) - الشيخ الصدوق - ج ٢ - الصفحة ٦٦

It says Rasool (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, I, Ali, Hasan, Hussein and 9 descendants of Hussein are tahir and masoom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
3 hours ago, kadhim said:

just asked if people are aware of clearcut, explicit narrations that, without ambiguity or need for interpretation, straight up say the prophets and imams were sinless

الروضة: محمد بن عبد الله، عن محمد بن الحسين الأشناني، عن محمد بن يزيد القاضي، عن محمد بن آدم، عن جعفر بن زياد الأحمر، عن أبي الصيرفي، عن صفوان بن قميصة، عن طارق بن شهاب قال: قال أمير المؤمنين (صلوات الله عليه) للحسن والحسين، أنتما إمامان بعدي وسيدا شباب أهل الجنة، والمعصومان حفظكما الله، ولعنة الله على من عاداكما

بحار الأنوار - العلامة المجلسي - ج ٤٣ - الصفحة ٢٦٥

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member
On 7/16/2022 at 2:35 AM, Hasani Samnani said:

More textual basis comes from Rasoolullah SAWS and Imam Jafar e Sadiq AS.

It is not that a masum is incapable of committing sin, rather he can commit sin but he never does so intuitively. Their ismah is based in cognition,  perception,  knowledge, actions and inherent nature....Similar but not exactly like Angels.

Ahl al-Bayt((عليه السلام).), are actually beyond Angels and at the zenith of Ismah, since they have been given free will. 

The Holy Prophet says about the infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt and himself: I, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the nine of the sons of Husayn are purified from uncleanness and are infallible. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 64/  vol1, T 30

About himself and Lady Fatimah and the twelve Imams ((عليه السلام)), the Holy Prophet )s) has also said: We are Ahl al-Bayt. Allah has purified us from all overt and covert uncleanness. Al-Firdaws: 54/1

In a clear statement on the ismah of the Prophets and the Imams, Imam al- Sadiq ((عليه السلام).) has said: The Prophets and their successors have no sin, for they are infallible and purified. Al-Khisal: 608/2, H. 9

Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali and the eleven sons of these two honorable persons have introduced themselves as purified from all pollutions and uncleanness as well as the devoted servants of Allah, who thru Allah's wish and will have closed all the doors to carnal desires and Shaytan.

Brother, are all these narrations mautbar? Please, mention their grading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
On 7/22/2022 at 1:30 PM, Syed Ali Mehdi Shah Naqvi said:

حدثنا علي بن عبد الله الوراق (3) الرازي قال: حدثنا سعد بن عبد الله قال: حدثنا الهيثم بن أبي مسروق النهدي (4) عن الحسين بن علوان عن عمرو بن خالد عن سعد بن طريف (5) عن الأصبغ بن نباته عن عبد الله بن عباس قال: سمعت رسول الله (ص) يقول انا وعلى والحسن والحسين وتسعه ولد الحسين (1) مطهرون معصومون.

عيون أخبار الرضا (ع) - الشيخ الصدوق - ج ٢ - الصفحة ٦٦

It says Rasool (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, I, Ali, Hasan, Hussein and 9 descendants of Hussein are tahir and masoom

@Syed Ali Mehdi Shah Naqvi Is it an authentic narration?

 

How to ascertain if a narration in Uyun al-Akhbar is authentic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
On 8/3/2022 at 11:35 PM, The Alchemist said:

@Syed Ali Mehdi Shah Naqvi Is it an authentic narration?

 

How to ascertain if a narration in Uyun al-Akhbar is authentic?

Theres difference between definition of hadeeth between classical scholars vs present scholars.

Ask some Akhbaris like Hasan Allahyari, this hadith is authentic according to classical scholars and their manhaj.

There can be difference on authenticity of this narration between present scholars but there must be a group that deems it sahih.

I personally checked the chain ( i'm no expert ). I'll list a few things once i'm back home InshaAllah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Advanced Member
On 8/5/2022 at 3:29 PM, Syed Ali Mehdi Shah Naqvi said:

Theres difference between definition of hadeeth between classical scholars vs present scholars.

Ask some Akhbaris like Hasan Allahyari, this hadith is authentic according to classical scholars and their manhaj.

There can be difference on authenticity of this narration between present scholars but there must be a group that deems it sahih.

I personally checked the chain ( i'm no expert ). I'll list a few things once i'm back home InshaAllah.

Is manhaj of classical and contemporary scholars different? I mean classical scholars were shia too. Sheikh Saduq, for instance, also had idea of weak and strong asnaad?

It is believed that Akhbari's reject ilm-ul-rajal. But I think this is not true as Allama Majlisi II, deemed to be an Akhbari scholar, has penned volumonous works, like Mirat al-Uqool and Milad al-Akhyar, discussing authenticity of narrations.

PS. Hassan Allahyari says he is not Akhbari. See this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1WvBhSXhCA

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Forum Administrators
On 8/3/2022 at 1:33 PM, The Alchemist said:

are all these narrations mautbar ?

Do you mean reliable? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...