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In the Name of God بسم الله

To all who embraced Shi3a's version of islam

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(salam)

Blame it on the wahabi thoughts in my head but I wanted to know why is it that converts say 'shi'ism makes more sense'.. I mean.. the ones that I have read on this board.. any itsy bitsy info will be very much appreciated.. by me ofcourse :)

JazaakAllah (May Allah bless you)

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you all)

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ok i will just blame the wahabi thought in u'r brain and not anwser u'r question

probably cuz it does make sense <<have u ever thought of that

but of course we shouldnt blame u, but only the wahabi thoughts in u'r brain ^_^

Edited by umm_alawi
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I will go in short form to avoid this becoming a massive document.

-The emphasis in the Shia roots of faith on the justice of God and on the importance of divinely appointed leadership, imamate, makes for what I see as a complete, perfect system. Tawheed-->A'dl-->Nubuwwat-->Imamat-->Qiyamat. Perfect. Airtight, whenyou study it in depth. Tawheed is much better studied and taught in the Shia camp, ironic given that many Sunnis call us mushriks. I think that the concept of leadership is a hole that is not properly addressed in the Sunni picture. It seems almost unthinkable to me that Muhammad (saws) would leave such a fragile child as the early Muslim ummah without giving explicit instruction as to who to lead it afterwards. The chaos that ensued afterwards shows clearly that such a pronouncement was necessary. Everyone who carries out a large, lifetime project becomes, in their last days enveloped with thoughts of ensuring the carrying on of that project. The accounts of Ghadir Khumm confirm that he named a successor. I am puzzled by Sunni refusal to acknowledge the clear words of this hadith.

-Overall, I find Shias to have a much better and more realistic picture of early Islamic history.

-The relevant narrations and accounts of Ali's (as) character indicate that he was a distinct rank above in quality over those who actually took power after Muhammad (saws) died.

-Who knows a man best but his family? What line of transmission is better than father to son, father to son?

-"No one can touch it (the Qu'ran), save the purified"

-"O ahlul bayt! I have purified you with a through purifying, removing all rijs from you"

-I know that Iblees is wily and that he would choose to attack Islam by the way done over and over by wrongdoers over the years--from within. Divide and conquer. And over the centuries, with few exceptions, it is the Shias, the followers of the ahlul bayt (as) that have been the greatest victims in this conflict. The correct ones are almost always the ones most oppressed and downtrodden in life.

-The Qu'ran details how, after all the prophets died, their followers went mostly away from the teachings of their prophet. Why would the people of Muhammad (saws) be any different?

-The event of Saqifah has base political manoevring written all over it. As do the appointment of Umar and the "election" of Uthman. These three caliphs also paved the way for the Ummayyads through political appointments.

-Experience has told me that in essentially every case, the belief that the majority will not agree on error is false.

-I see clear accounts of wrongdoing done to the close family of the prophet, and I see Sunnis worried more about apologizing for those who did the wrong than for the flesh and blood of the prophet (saws) they say they follow.

-I find that the treasure chest of materials passed down from the Imams such as nahjul ballagha, sahifa as sajaddiyya, and the various dua'as that are part of Shia tradition, offer a much deeper and richer heritage to explore than what is found in the Sunni path. I find that the Shia path offers much more insight into the esoteric aspects of Islamic knowledge. One look at a book such as Sheikh Abbas al-Qummi's Mafatih al-jinaan shows this depth. Early on when I first converted, I remember looking at this book and remarking that a person could, if he desired, find religious activiy to fill every day from this book.

-I find overall more depth in the Shia path. I often liken Sunni Islam to the peel of a fruit, with all of the delicious, nourishing fruit discarded, while the Shia path I find to represent the whole fruit.

-I find, from what I have heard, the ulema of the Shia to be more educated, rational, competent than the Sunni ulema. The ulema in Shia Islam, though imperfect, represent the end of an unbroken chain from the prophet (saws) to us. We had the prophet, 11 imams operating in the open, a 12th imam under small occultation, and then the marjaiyyah began immediately after the greater occultation began.

-I see billions of dollars being spent by radical Sunni groups to spread blatant lies about Shias to keep people away. I have rarely seen Sunni thinkers able to offer criticism of the Shia path without resorting to outright distortion of what the shias believe. I ask myself why these "Muslims" feel so inferior and scared that they need to lie to keep people away from Shiism. Why the propaganda campaign to keep people from something that is supposedly so clearly false?

-I find, that in the remembrance of Imam Hussain (as) and ashoura, the Shias have preserved much better the lessons of revolution in Islam. and by studying from the lessons of the imams, they have kept a much more nuanced and correct understanding of jihad and how it should be conducted, both outright, and hidden.

-The Shia focus on preparation for the 12th imam further promotes this drive to work to bring justice to humanity. I find these ideals to be purer and more correctly and completely reasoned in the Shias that the Sunnis.

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(salam)

i believe that love of ahl al bayt (as) is a gift that Allah puts in ur heart when he wants.

yes and the fiqh, history makes sense too, but w/o wilayah u r not a true shi'a even if u accept the ja'fari madhhab. (not that i am saying i have this, but i recognize its existence)

but that is very difficult to explain to those who do not share the same ideas!

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(salam)

Wonderful wonderful.. hamdulillah bro Kadhim.. sis smileynatalie and sis BintAlHoda.. JazaakAllah for your responses :)

And sis Umm alawi.. I will reply to you later on

May I also ask that any of you also kinda point out what stood out in the shi3a version of islamic history that drew you towards shi'ism? And also when you were first researching.. did you read islamic history from the sunni or shi3a resourses?

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

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(salam)

Wonderful wonderful.. hamdulillah bro Kadhim.. sis smileynatalie and sis BintAlHoda.. JazaakAllah for your responses :)

And sis Umm alawi.. I will reply to you later on

May I also ask that any of you also kinda point out what stood out in the shi3a version of islamic history that drew you towards shi'ism? And also when you were first researching.. did you read islamic history from the sunni or shi3a resourses?

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From what I remember, Saqifah. Whenever I am in doubt, I remember Saqifah, and then I remember that the math doesn't add up on the other side. When you die, you ask the closest to you to prepare you for burial. That Abu Bakr and Umar claimed the leadership while Ali (as) was busy burying the prophet...it stood out as such a blatantly lowlife, underhanded, crooked affair that I have never been able to hear a rationalization or justification that is satisfactory. The first phrase that came to mind when I heard about this event was "coup d'etat."

I studied from Shia resources first, and later looked at Sunni resources to compare. But the difference in the level of the writing was unmistakeable, and reading the Sunni resources mostly confirmed my suspicion that I was already treading in the right direction with the Shias.

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(salam)

JazaakAllah Bro Kadhim and Bro Irfan... very interesting read :)

@ Bro Kadhim... You raised the issue of leadership and how the sunnis lack in this aspect... It is true and for the moment... lets assume that the event of Ghadeer didn't happen (since noone can argue against it).. and the bayt of Hadrat Ali(as) didn't take place.

(I might need some help here)

If I think from a non-muslim's POV... I MIGHT go with the sunni prospective because... Abu Bakr was 'democratically' selected (even though it was in absence of Hadrat Ali(as))... and it also makes sense that a leader of the Muslim ummah is selected before the previous leader is buried... It would be just like the Pope senario... the next pope was selected before the previous one was buried... (I could be wrong here)

After this 'senario'... it would all be '.. follow the leader from amoung you'.

I know that Abu Bakr wouldn't be a leader according to the Quran... but this is from a non-muslim's POV

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

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(I might need some help here)

If I think from a non-muslim's POV... I MIGHT go with the sunni prospective because... Abu Bakr was 'democratically' selected (even though it was in absence of Hadrat Ali(as))... and it also makes sense that a leader of the Muslim ummah is selected before the previous leader is buried... It would be just like the Pope senario... the next pope was selected before the previous one was buried... (I could be wrong here)

After this 'senario'... it would all be '.. follow the leader from amoung you'.

I know that Abu Bakr wouldn't be a leader according to the Quran... but this is from a non-muslim's POV

Salaam alaikum,

I think if that non Muslim had been raised Christian, the Shia view of leadership would be more familiar. The number 12 is familiar to Christians, it can be found throughout the Bible. 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus(as), Jesus healed a woman that had been sick for 12 years, he raised a girl from the dead who was 12 years old, etc. It would make sense that there would be 12 leaders after the Prophet (pbuh).

None of the Prophets were democratically elected, they were all chosen by God. Successors to prophets were chosen by God, not elected. The 12 disciples of Jesus, were chosen by him, since he was a Prophet this would be viewed as God's will.

Just an observation.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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From a non-Muslim point of view; I think it all depends on their view of democracy in the succession to a Prophet before they go shia/sunni. If one is in favour of democracy in the succession to a Prophet, then the individual may lean towards the sunni view of leadership. But if one believes that there is no democracy in the succession to a Prophet, then the individual may lean towards the shia view of leadership.

As 'Hajar' stated above, Prophets and their successors are chosen by God alone. A Prophet appoints his successor since he acts according to God's will.

Edited by kadin
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(salam)

(I might need some help here)

If I think from a non-muslim's POV... I MIGHT go with the sunni prospective because... Abu Bakr was 'democratically' selected

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

no one voted 4 him accept umar<< is that democracy?? ;) and this written in the bukhari n muslim and even with that umar killed a person unjustly at that incedent and when they asked him y did he kill him umar said GOD KILLED HIM NOT ME :huh: << WOW

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Salaam alaikum,

Wa 3laikum Assalaam

I think if that non Muslim had been raised Christian, the Shia view of leadership would be more familiar.  The number 12 is familiar to Christians, it can be found throughout the Bible.  12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus(as), Jesus healed a woman that had been sick for 12 years, he raised a girl from the dead who was 12 years old, etc.  It would make sense that there would be 12 leaders after the Prophet (pbuh).

Thats so true... was this the reason behind your acceptance of shi3ism Sister Hajar?? (Pardon my bluntness)

None of the Prophets were democratically elected, they were all chosen by God.  Successors to prophets were chosen by God, not elected.  The 12 disciples of Jesus, were chosen by him, since he was a Prophet this would be viewed as God's will.

Just an observation.

WaSalaam, Hajar

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

From a non-Muslim point of view; I think it all depends on their view of democracy in the succession to a Prophet before they go shia/sunni...

As 'Hajar' stated above, Prophets and their successors are chosen by God alone. A Prophet appoints his successor since he acts according to God's will.

You are both correct.. and there is not many arguments against the 'divinely appointed leadership' issue... thats why I took this out in my previous post.. ASSUMING that the event of Ghadeer didn't happen.. the Prophet(saww) 'didn't have time' to appoint a successor.

Salaams,

Wa 3laikum Assalaam Bro Irfan

That's why Madelung is important--he gets into the nitty-gritty details of how each selection process occured. I think, if you read it, you'll be hard pressed to find anything "democratic" about any of the three selection processes.

Okay... RELATIVELY democratic.. I am kinda new to this 'arguing for the sake of arguing' business :)

no one voted 4 him accept umar<< is that democracy??  and this written in the bukhari n muslim and even with that umar killed a person unjustly at that incedent and when they asked him y did he kill him umar said GOD KILLED HIM NOT ME  << WOW

Oh... how do I respond to this now.. *sighs* .. I thought you were over with the fighting sis :)

If one is in favour of democracy in the succession to a Prophet, then the individual may lean towards the sunni view of leadership. But if one believes that there is no democracy in the succession to a Prophet, then the individual may lean towards the shia view of leadership.

So... the question arises... In a non-muslim's view... How should the succession process of a Prophet be conducted?... Should the immediate family take over??... or if the family is not present at the moment.. the people have a right to decide who to choose from amoungst themselves... I am kinda looking for a non-religious argument... (Imagine the irony :))

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

Edited by Zafaryab
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I'm a bit confused. so let me get this straight. You're putting up a scenario that the Prophet left this world without appointing his successor, leaving the question of succession to his followers to decide.

Slap me on the head if I got it wrong. Now, if that's what you're saying, then in order to go along with that scenario we must also say that the Prophet failed as the Messenger of God for he forgot to deliver His message as stated in the Quran. If that's so, then the Quran also is a failure which trails to the source meaning that God hasn't got his act together. So who should the successor to the Prophet be after his death? the answer is nobody. The people might as well go back to idol worship.

I think it's meangless to think what would have happened if a certain event in History had never taken place. That would cause the subject to collapse due to the contradictions and inconsistencies that would arise.

peace,

(by the way, I thought it was very cool the way you quoted the peace greeting and responded to the quote with a greeting. Made me smile)

Edited by kadin
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I was at first attracted to Sunnism when coverting to Islam because I thought that Imamate was basically popery but thats before I properly understood Imamate and learned the stories of the Prophet's family and the Injustice they faced particularly after his death. I used to have my doubts about the Occultation of Imam Mahdi and his return per se, but further conversations with Brothers like Tahasyed have helped me to realise that it might seem improbable which most aspects of religion might appear to be to the eyes of someone who hasn't thought it over, but it certainly is not impossible.

it was mainly after hearing some of Syed Mahdi al-Moderassi's speeches on the 10 days leading up to Ashura that sealed my interest and conversion to the Jafar'i Madhab.

Edited by Yahya2004
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I think if that non Muslim had been raised Christian, the Shia view of leadership would be more familiar.  The number 12 is familiar to Christians, it can be found throughout the Bible.  12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus(as), Jesus healed a woman that had been sick for 12 years, he raised a girl from the dead who was 12 years old, etc.  It would make sense that there would be 12 leaders after the Prophet .

Thats so true... was this the reason behind your acceptance of shi3ism Sister Hajar?? (Pardon my bluntness)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

(salam)

I would say this was part of my reason. I don't think I could make such a decision based on one particular aspect, other aspects have to be considered as well. After considering various aspects, and prayer, I chose what I believed was the right path.

WaSalaam, Hajar

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(salam)

JazaakAllah Bro Kadhim and Bro Irfan... very interesting read :)

@ Bro Kadhim... You raised the issue of leadership and how the sunnis lack in this aspect... It is true and for the moment... lets assume that the event of Ghadeer didn't happen (since noone can argue against it).. and the bayt of Hadrat Ali(as) didn't take place.

(I might need some help here)

If I think from a non-muslim's POV... I MIGHT go with the sunni prospective because... Abu Bakr was 'democratically' selected (even though it was in absence of Hadrat Ali(as))... and it also makes sense that a leader of the Muslim ummah is selected before the previous leader is buried... It would be just like the Pope senario... the next pope was selected before the previous one was buried... (I could be wrong here)

After this 'senario'... it would all be '.. follow the leader from amoung you'.

I know that Abu Bakr wouldn't be a leader according to the Quran... but this is from a non-muslim's POV

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I had thought about this in my earlier days of embracing Islam. My background growing up here with a grounding in democracy as a political theory and its different forms helped in analyzing this issue in Islamic history.

-Suppose that democratic elections were the way Muslims were supposed to choose their leader, and that their proper leader was even something up to their decision. Leave aside, for a moment, the problems with this, such as that they don't get to choose their prophet, why their imam/khalif?

-If Muhammad had not chosen a successor, or, rather, had not indicated God's choice of a successor, then he would have, in my mind, guided the community in their choice by giving principles for how to carry out an election. He knew he was about to die, so getting surprised by death is no excuse.

(Non-Muslims, particularly ones familiar with the Bible, should have no problem with that idea if they are willing to believe Muhammad was a prophet. The Bible shows Moses being aware of his approaching death and giving his guidance to the community.)

But Sunnis do nt claim Muhammad gave any guidance in this regard. This was frankly impossible for me to believe.

-Also, the fact that no common method was used to select the first three caliphs shows that there is no basis of selection, and speeches of Umar indicate that the selction of Abu Bakr was clumsy, hasty, and ill-thought out. Also, Umar wasn't even elected; he was appoibted. What democracy there?

-Next, if an election is to be the way of choosing, then 2 just methods suggest themselves.

1) Every Muslim votes. Muhammad, as I said, was aware of his nearing death, and the farewell pilgrimmage offered an excellent opportunity with everyone gathered together. Could have convened an election then. But it wasn't done. Such an election never happened for any caliph. The only caliph ever brought to power by the general will of the community was Imam Ali (as) following the death of Uthman.

2)The second method would be for the elite of the community to all gather as representatives of Islam to select a leader. This was the method used in the early American republic for practical reasons and is the reason for the electoral college system today. EArly in America, they had presidents elected by a few hundred "electors" rather than the populace as a whole.

The selection at saqifah, however, didn't meet even such a standard. Most of the best were absent from that affair and were only pressured to support Abu Bakr afterwards, much as people went along with Bush after the 2000 election despite lingering doubts as to his authenticity.

-Next, people can acknowledge that certain characteristics are needed for leadership. For example, patience, courage, ability to make decisions, justness, ethics, morality, and knowledge of many fields, such as economics, science, technology, history, administration, and military.

-A reasonable person, seeing all the facts, will acknowledge that Ali was the best person on all of these fronts and thus the best person for the job.

-Non-Muslims and Muslims alike also recognize that people, in their weakness of knowledge and judgement, will not always choose the best person for the job. See Bush presidency.

-But whether the best person is elected or not, the fact remains that he is the best person. This idea is dealt with quite well in Plato's The Statesman.

-Shia political theory reflects the ideal sysnthesis of both ideas -- that the leader should be supported by popular mandate to lead, and that there are people who are more qualified than others in merit to lead, with one person being the best.

-We say God chooses the imam, giving him the qualities needed to lead the ummah.

-However, in line with respecting human free will, and in line with recognizing that people are happier when governed by consent, it is required that the imam be supported by the majority of the people. An imam cannot take power or rule by dictatorship, even though he is the best for the job.

-If people do not support him, then he teaches them, but does not use force to make people follow him.

-Even if people do not recognize his status and rights, he remains the proper imam, as such merits are absolute and not subject to the whims of popular opinion. Truth is truth.

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(bismillah)

Assalam alaykum,

it was mainly after hearing some of Syed Mahdi al-Moderassi's speeches on the 10 days leading up to Ashura that sealed my interest and conversion to the Jafar'i Madhab.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SubhanAllah very very similar for me also :) . I was always Muslim alhamdullilah, but a couple of years back, after hearing some speeches by coincidentally also Sayyed Modaressi (and br Hasanain Rajabali) and then listening to majalis during Ashura.. it didnt take me very long to see that there was and is only one True Path in Islam - that of AhlulBayt(as).

Allah yihdeena jamee3an

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(salam)

JazaakAllah bro Khadim, sis Iman, sis Hajar, bro Kadin and bro Yahya.. walhamdulillah... great responses mashaAllah

@Bro Khadim.. I know I can't debate much with the sunni view of the leadership because the shi3a seem to have very strong arguments against it.. and so do you.. its refreshing to see a new way to look at it :)

@ Bro Kadin.. I was trying to put forth the same arguments that sunnis use.. just wanted to see the POV of a non-muslim.. since people here have seen both views... I decided to take advantage of this.. its kinda cool

Actually.. I was trying to find in this thread the issues that non-muslims find hard to accept when they are researching shi3a version of Islam.. as bro Yahya posted.. he had difficulty accepting the occultation of the 12th Imam... Are there any other issues that are particularly hard to accept in shi3ism after embracing Islam?

Wassalaam (Peace be upon you all)

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Salaam,

As a convert,.. a Shi'a Muslim convert.. I have added the below excerpt from my memoir explaining my thoughts on seeing the truth of ahlul bayt.

Shi’a, to be a Shi’a Muslim this sect was slowly beginning to show true to me. I discovered my connection with Shi’ites while reading extensively about the two major Islamic sects, the Sunnites and Shi’ites. I read about many other sects as well such as Sufis, Nizari, Ismailis and even wahhabis (and others). I even began to touch on Christianity, Judaism and Buddhist.

The Ahlul Bayt:

I read extensively on the life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his loving wife Khadija. I fell in love with them and their journey together. I have such admiration for the relationship that Muahammad’s (pbuh) and Khadija maintained even with their age gap. I sincerely believe they held a very special love between them; it was their gift from Allah (swt), in this life, for their surrender to his will.

As I continued to read about the Imams I fell in love with each of them. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (pbuh), once having read about him I found myself in awe of him. This Imam truly was a pious and virtuous man a man that men should aspire to. I would (and do) wake up at night and read about Islam any available moment I have I spend in study. I would listen to audio lectures (some of which Din sent through e’mail) and I watched anything to do with Islam through documentaries. I would download and watch lectures by Imams on the Internet and many have inspired me. I have audio lectures copied over to mp3 player so that I can listen while in travel. I even started the process of learning to speak Arabic.

This beautiful religion was unfolding in front of me. The light was turned on and I could see the truth with my own eyes. I could not get enough.

Why did I choose Shi’a? It made the most sense to me. Allah (swt) had sent message to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and as Muslims we believe all of his messages as we believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah (swt) the all knowing, the creator. Because of this fact we should believe in all that he had stated.

It is my belief that Muhammad (pbuh) designated Ali Ibn Abi Talib (pbuh), The Commander of the Faithful, who was cousin and son-in-law to the Prophet, to be his true successor (the first Imam). If Muhammad (pbuh) had instructed us whom to follow then we should listen. If we believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of Allah (swt) then how can we disregard his message?

"I leave two things of value amidst you in trust which if you hold on to you will never go astray: the Quran and the members of my household. These will never be separated until the Day of Judgment."

It is of my belief that the descendants of the Prophet are blessed with an innate ability to see Islam in a way that most of us who are not descendants do not and if these descendants choose to study Islam they will be most successful and if they go astray it is a great loss. I have read of many Muslims that do not hold the lineage of the Prophet behind them but they are very pious and highly knowledgeable of Islam. I express my tolerance for all religions and for many of the other Muslim sects. I would only voice that we find our comparisons rather then our differences.

Wasalaam,

Sis Janaan

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Why Shia? It makes sense!

- Prophet would not leave this world without APPOINTING an Imam to guide and instruct the community after him.

- The Imam would have to be equivelent to the Prophet in all aspects except receiving divine revelation to be a worthy successor.

- Sunni books of hadith have many strange, funny, weird and contradictory traditions that could NOT have been from the Noble Messenger (a.s.)

- Prophets and Imams must be masoom (perfected) to be worthy of the title of Imam

- Allah (s.w.a.) would not leave the earth without a divine proof (Hujjat)

- Abu Bakr, Omar and Uthman were not qualified for the positions they usurped through various tricks

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