The concept of Imamah according to the Shia and its inception

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Section Three

 

This section contains eight chapters:

  1. Imamah
  2. ‘Ismah
  3. Taqiyyah
  4. Ghaybah and the Hidden Mahdi
  5. Raj’ah.
  6. Zuhur
  7. Bada’
  8. Tinah
 

Chapter One

Imamah

 

Imamah is the basis of the Shia dogma around which their hadith legacy is based and upon which the edifice of their beliefs rests.

The Shia in ancient times and in recent times have paid immense attention to it.

In the pages to come I will present some of the crucial aspects thereof, Namely: The concept of Imamah, its inception, its rank in the Shia dogma, the initial concealment thereof by the Shia then the subsequent substantiations for it by their scholars, an exposition of their strongest proofs in favour of it and their analyses, a discussion regarding their Takfir (ex-communication) of the one who denies it (to the extent that they have excommunicated the Sahabah, the Ahlul Bayt, the Muslim rulers, judges, all the Muslim metropolises, and the different denominations that reside in them).

This will all become evident from their own ‘reliable’ sources in the pages to come.

 

The concept of Imamah according to the Shia and its inception:

Perhaps the first person to propound the concept of Imamah[1] as it stands today in the Shia dogma was Ibn Saba’, who began propagating the idea that Imamah by definition is the successorship of a Nabi which is exclusive to an appointed successor. If anyone besides him presides over it, then it will be compulsory to disassociate from him and dub him a disbeliever. The books of the Shia concede the aforementioned:

 

كان أول من أشهر القول بفرض إمامة علي،و أظهر البراءة من أعدائه، و كاشف مخالفيه و كفرهم

He was the first to popularize the view of the incumbency of the rulership of ‘Ali, the first to disassociate with his enemies and expose them by dubbing them infidels.[2]

 

The underlying reason for this was that he was a Jew who believed that Yusha’ ibn Nun was the successor of Musa ‘alayh al Salam. Hence after embracing Islam he expressed the same view regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[3]

Imamah is the unanimous doctrine of the Shia. Hence Ibn Babawayh al Qummi, when documenting the beliefs of the Shia in the fourth century, states:

يعتقدون بأن لكل نبي وصي أوصي إليه بأمر الله تعالي

They belief that every Nabi has a successor who he has appointed at the behest of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.[4]

 

He also mentions that the total amount of successors were a hundred and twenty thousand.[5] While al Majlisi asserts that ‘Ali was the last among them.[6]

Some of the chapters in al Kafi read as follows:

Chapter regarding Imamah being the command of Allah from one person to the next,[7]

Chapter regarding Allah and his Rasul appointing the Imams one after the other.[8]

 

In these chapters al Kulayni has cited a significant amount of their indubitable narrations. Miqdad al Hilli (d. 821 A.H.), therefore, states:

 

يكون شخصا معهودا من الله تعالي و رسوله لا أي شخص اتفق

The Imam has to be a person appointed by Allah and his Rasul, not just any random person.[9]

 

Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’, one of the contemporary leading Maraji’ (scholars) of the Shia, states:

 

أن الإمامة منصب إلهي كالنبوة، فكما أن الله سبحانه يختارمن يشاء من عباده للنبوة و الرسالة و يؤيد بالمعجزة التي هي كنص من الله عليه…فكذالك يختار للإمامة من يشاء و يأمر نبيه بالنص عليه و أن ينصبه إماما للناس من بعده

Imamah is a divine station just like Nubuwwah. Just as Allah chooses whomsoever He wants to from his servants for Nubuwwah and Risalah, and aids him with miracles which serve as the proof for his legitimate appointment… similarly for Imamah too, He selects whomsoever He wishes and orders his Nabi to emphatically appoint him and make him the leader of the masses after him.[10]

 

As you can discern, the concept of Imamah according to them is akin to that of Nubuwwah. Hence, just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala chooses Prophets’ from among his creation, he chooses Imams. He emphatically appoints them, informs the creation about them, and establishes his evidence by means of them, aids them with miracles, reveals books to them, and sends revelation to them; thereby making them not speak or practice but in accordance with commandments of Allah and His revelation. In other words, Imamah is Nubuwwah itself and the Imam is a Nabi, the difference in them is but nominal. Al Majlisi therefore says:

 

إن استنباط الفرق بين النبي و الإمام من تلك الأخبار لا يخلو من إشكال

Establishing a difference between a Nabi and an Imam from these narrations is not free from objection.[11]

 

He further says:

و لا نعرف جهة لعدم اتصافهم بالنبوة إلا رعاية خاتم الأنبياء،ولا يصل عقولنا فرق بين النبوة و الإمامة

We do not know any reason for them not being privileged with Nubuwwah besides the consideration of the Seal of Nubuwwah. Our minds cannot fathom the difference between Nubuwwah and Imamah.[12]

 

This is their conception of Imamah. In its refutation it is sufficient to note that they have no evidence to substantiate it besides Ibn Saba’ and the Jews.

 

The position of Imamah according to them

The issue of Imamah, according to the Ahlus Sunnah, is not an integral component of din wherein ignorance is intolerable, as has been asserted by the people of knowledge.[13] According to the Shia, however, based on its Saba’i conception it has a totally different standing all together. Hence, al Nawbakhti mentions that according to some sects of the Shia Imamah holds the loftiest position after Nubuwwah.[14] According to Al Kashif al Ghita’ it is a divine station just like Nubuwwah,[15] whilst according to some traditions of al Kafi it is a station higher than Nubuwwah.[16] This last view has been backed by many of their scholars; Ni’mat Allah al Jaza’iri mentions:

 

الإمامة العامة التي هي فوق درجة النبوة والرسالة

Imamah is a position higher than Nubuwwah and the vicegerency of Allah.[17]

 

Hadi al Tahrani, one of their acclaimed scholars in recent times, likewise states:

 

الإمامة أجل من النبوة،فإنها مرتبة ثالثة شرف الله تعالي بها إبراهيم بعد النبوة و الخلة

Imamah is loftier than Nubuwwah, for it is a third position with which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala honoured Ibrahim ‘alayh al Salam after Nubuwwah and friendship.[18]

 

Furthermore, in al Kafi there are many narrations which suggest that Imamah is the greatest principle of din. Al Kulayni narrates the following from Abu ‘Abdullah al Sadiq:

 

بني الإسلام علي خمس علي الصلاة و الزكاة و الصوم و الحج و الولاية، ولم يناد بشيء كما نودي بالولاية،فأخذ الناس الأربع وتركوا هذه-يعني الولاية

Islam is based upon five pillars: Salah, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj and Wilayah. Nothing was emphasised like Wilayah. The People subsequently latched onto the first four and abandoned Wilayah.[19]

 

As you can see, they have discarded the Shahadatan (the two testimonies of faith) from the fundamentals of Islam after replacing it with Wilayah, as is clear from the statement, “and nothing was emphasised like Wilayah,” and as is understood from another narration of theirs wherein the following addition features:

قلت ( الراوي) و أي شيء من ذلك أفضل؟ فقال:الولاية أفضل

I said (i.e. the narrator), “Which of them is the best?”

He said, “Wilayah is the best.”[20]

 

There is yet a narration similar to the first narration with the addition:

 

فرخص لهم في أشياء من الفرائض الأربع ولم يرخص لأحد من المسلمين في ترك ولايتنا، لا والله ما فيها رخصة

Concessions have been given for the first four fundamentals[21] but no Muslim is given any concession to decline our allegiance. No, by Allah! There is no concession therein.[22]

 

Their narrations have went on to mention that:

 

عرج بالنبي صلي الله عليه و آله السماء مائة و عشرين مرة، ما من مرة إلا وقد أوصي الله عز و جل فيها إلي النبي بالولاية لعلي والأئمة من بعده أكثر مما أوصاه بالفرائض

Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was made to ascend the heavens a hundred and twenty times. At each time Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala ordered him to pledge his allegiance to ‘Ali and the subsequent Imams; more than the orders he issued to him regarding the other Fara’id (mandatory acts).[23]

 

And:

و ما وكد علي العباد في شيء ما وكد عليهم بالإقرار بالإمامة، وما جحد العباد شيئا ما جحدوها

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not pressed upon his servants regarding any injunction more than he has pressed upon them regarding the acknowledgement of Imamah. They would thus not deny anything more magnanimous than it.[24]

 

We find their contemporary scholars also affirming such deviance. Hence one of them says:

 

إن أعظم ما بعث الله تعالي نبيه من الدين إنما هو أمر الإمامة

The greatest aspect of din with which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent his Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Imamah.[25]

 

This is the status of the Imamah of the twelve Imams according to them. I do not know what the evidence for this alleged superficial position is? Whereas the greatest constitution of Islam—the Qur’an—time and again repeats the fundamentals of Islam, viz. the testimonies of faith, Salah, Sawm, Zakat and Hajj. But does not make mention anywhere of the allegiance of their Imams…

 

The secrecy of this doctrine

The doctrine of Imamah, based on its Shia conception, thus necessarily required that there be a very surreptitious movement which would invent this doctrine in order to destroy the Muslim empire. Hence when during the Khilafah Rashidah (the righteous reign) it first surfaced, Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu took a very stern stance against it. He thus banished ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ to Mada’in and refuted all the claims that he had tried to spread in the Muslim society, as is attested to by the books of the Shia themselves.[26]

This surreptitious movement then again went into complete secrecy. Hence, in the time of ‘Ali al Rida, falsely attributing their agenda to him, they would say:

 

ولاية الله أسرها إلي جبرئيل، و أسرها جبرائيل إلي محمد،و أسرها محمد إلي علي، و أسرها علي إلي من شاء الله، ثم أنتم تذيعون ذلك، من الذي أمسك حرفا سمعه؟

It is the Wilayah of Allah regarding which he secretively informed Jibril, Jibril secretively informed Muhammad, and Muhammad secretively informed ‘Ali. ‘Ali, then secretively informed whoever he intended. Do you then disclose it? Who is the one who is able to hold back that which he has heard?[27]

 

Abu Jafar al Baqir is reported to have said:

 

في حكمة آل داود ينبغي للمسلم أن يكون مالكا لنفسه مقبلا علي شأنه عارفا بأهل زمانه، فاتقوا الله، ولا تذيعوا حديثنا

One of the wisdoms of Dawood ‘alayh al Salam was: It is behoving of a Muslim to take control of himself, pay attention to his affairs, and know the people of his time. Therefore, fear Allah and do not spread our matter.[28]

 

The aforementioned texts suggest that from the time of its revelation from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala Wilayah has remained a secret belief. Which is why it was not permissible to talk about it. This implies that in the golden era of Islam there was no trace of Wilayah. The commentator of al Kafi whilst explaining the reason for this says:

 

لما كانت التقية شديدة في عصرهم عليه السلام أمروا شيعتهم بكتمان أسرارهم و إمامتهم و أحاديثهم و أحكامهم المختصة بمذهبهم

Due to Taqiyyah being very difficult in their times, the Imams ordered their followers to conceal their secrets, Imamah, traditions, and rulings which were specific to their creed.[29]

 

Al Kulayni in one of his narrations mentions:

ولا تبثوا سرنا، ولا تذيعوا أمرنا

Do not divulge our secret and do not disclose our affair.[30]

 

The commentator of al Kafi explains ‘our affair’ saying:

و هو أمر الإمامة و الخلافة

The affair of Imamah and Khilafah…[31]

 

In another narration which al Kulayni attributes to Jafar he says:

المذيع حديثنا كالجاحد له

A person who discloses our secret is like the one who denies it.[32]

 

He further says:

و أعلم أنه عليه السلام كان خائفا من أعداء الدين علي نفسه المقدسة و علي شيعته، و كان في تقية شديدة منهم فلذلك نهي عن إذاعة خبر دال علي إمامته أو إمامة آبائه

Know well that he ‘alayh al Salam was fearing the safety of his life and the safety of his partisans from the enemies of din, (thus) the need for him to practice Taqiyyah was greater than theirs. Thus he ordered them not to divulge his Imamah and the Imamah of his forefathers.[33]

 

Furthermore, they had pledged to perpetually work in secrecy. Hence they are reported to have said:

 

إن أمرنا مستور مقنع بالميثاق فمن هتك علينا أذله الله

Our affair is hidden and concealed by the pledge.[34] May Allah disgrace the one who discloses our secret.[35]

 

Nonetheless, some of their narrations identify the time wherein the doctrine of Wilayah was divulged. Hence, they suggest:

 

ما زال سرنا مكتوما حتي صار في يد ولد كيسان فتحدثوا به في الطريق و قري السواد

Our affair remained a secret till it fell in the share of the children of Kaysan.[36] They went about talking about it in the streets and in the villages of Sawad (a place of Iraq).[37]

 

This surreptitious movement which laid the foundations of the concept of Wilayah in accordance with the Saba’i approach did not forget to disguise its true identity and masquerade as proponents of the moderate Shia in order to spread its thoughts among the people. Hence in Usul al Kafi the following appears:

كفوا السنتكم و الزموا بيوتكم فإنه لا يصيبكم أمر تخصون به أبدا، ولا تزال الزيدية لكم وقاء أبدا

Hold back your tongues, remain in your homes. You will not be afflicted with a calamity which will befall you specifically. For the Zaidiyyah will always remain a shield for you.[38]

 

This stratagem possibly implies that the Zaidiyyah, due to their expression of the desire of Wilayah, will be implicated and you will remain clear due to practicing Taqiyyah, as is suggested by the commentator of al Kafi.[39]

If Wilayah is the counterpart of Nubuwwah or even greater, then why was it kept discreet. To the extent that even Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who was ordered to convey what was revealed to him, concealed it and stealthily informed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu about it, who then communicated it secretly to whoever he wanted.

These narrations do not identify the people to whom it was communicated. They rather leave that to the discretion of ‘Ali thereby giving him the choice of informing whoever he wanted. As for those besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they were not given any such discretion! So how can Wilayah then be the basis of salvation, the acceptance of deeds, and the criterion for belief and disbelief? How could it have remained a secret till the children of Kaysan who contravened the default ruling of secrecy by disclosing it?

The nature of these narrations posits that the concocters of this doctrine were the ardent enemies of Islam who had exploited it to carry out their desires. They had confined it to secrecy and attributed it to the Ahlul Bayt in order to find a way to the hearts of the people who were tremendously affected by the afflictions that befell them; of which they were the cause despite their ‘partisanship’.

 

Confining the Imams to a specific number

Ibn Saba’ merely claimed that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the successor of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. However, he was succeeded by others who generalised this claim for his posterity. In spite of the Shia movements operating in secrecy, some of their claims would reach the Ahlul Bayt, who would deny them openly just like their grandfather, Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hence, they contrived the belief of Taqiyyah and ascribed it to them, thereby facilitating the propagation of their ideas with assurance of the masses not being influenced by the honest and exposing stances of the Ahlul Bayt.

In Rijal al Kashshi, one of their seminal works, there appears a narration which suggests that Shaytan al Taq[40] was the first person to propound the idea of Imamah being confined to specific people of the Ahlul Bayt. And that when Zaid ibn ‘Ali learnt of this he sent him a message in order to ascertain the truth of the matter:

 

بلغني أنك تزعم أن في آل محمد إماما مفترض الطاعه؟ قال شيطان الطاق: نعم، و كان أبوك علي بن الحسين أحدهم، فقال: و كيف وقد كان يؤتي بلقمة وهي حارة فيبردها بيده ثم يلقمنيها، أفتري أنه كان يشفق علي من حر اللقمة، ولا يشفق علي من حر النار؟ قال (شيطان الطاق) قلت له: كره أن يخبرك فتكفر فلا يكون له فيك الشفاعة لا والله فيك المشية

Zaid said to him, “It has reached me that you claim that in the household of Muhammad there is an Imam whose obedience is mandatory?”

Shaytan al Taq responded in the affirmative and said, “Your father ‘Ali ibn al Hussain was one of them.”

Thereupon Zaid said, “How can that be whereas he would make a morsel of food cold in his hands and then feed me? Do you really think that he feared the heat of the morsel for me but did not fear the fire of Jahannam?”

Shaytan al Taq thus said, “He disliked informing you fearing that you would disbelieve depriving you thus of his intercession in your favour before Allah.”[41]

 

The narration of al Kulayni in al Kafi reads as follows:

 

قال زيد بن علي لأبي جعفر: يا أبا جعفر كنت أجلس مع أبي علي الخوان فيلقمني البضعة السمينة، و يبرد لي اللقمة الحارة حتي تبرد، شفقة علي،و لم يشفق علي من حرالنار، أذ أخبرك بالدين و لم بخبرني به؟فأجابه شيطان الطاق: جعلت فداك من شفقته عليك من حر النار لم يخبرك، خاف عليك أن لا تقبله فتدخل النار، وأخبرني أنا، فإن قبلت نجوت وإن لم أقبل لم يبالي إن أدخل النار.

Zaid ibn ‘Ali said to Abu Jafar [i.e. Shaytan al Taq], “O Abu Jafar! I would sit with my father on the table cloth where he would feed me a nice chunk of meat; out of his fear for me he would make a hot morsel of food cold. But he did not fear the heat of Jahannam for me, for he informed you of the din but not me?”

Shaytan al Taq responded to him saying, “May I be sacrificed for you. Due to his fear of the fire of Jahannam for you he did not inform you; he feared that you would not accept because of which you would enter Jahannam. But he informed me, because if I accept I attain salvation and if I reject and enter Jahannam, he would not bother.”…[42]

 

After citing this narration from al Mamaqani’s Tanqih al Maqal,[43] Muhibb al Din al Khatib concludes that Shaytan al Taq was the first person to contrive this erroneous doctrine of Imamah, legislation, and infallibility being exclusive to a few members of the Ahlul Bayt.[44]

He has likewise cited this quotation from Tanqih al Maqal in his additional notes upon Mukhtasar al Tuhfah and followed it with the following remarks:

 

و هكذا اخترع شيطان الطاق أكذوبة الإمامة، التي صارت من أصول الديانة عند الشيعة، واتهم الإمام عليازين العابدين ابن الحسين بأنه كتم أساس الدين حتي عن ابنه الذي هو من صفوة آل محمد، كما اتهم الإمام زيدا بأنه لم يبلغ درجة أخس الروافض في قابليته للإيمان بإمامة أبيه…و الشيعة هم الذين يروون هذا الخبر في أوثق المصادر عندهم و يعلنون فيه أن شيطان الطاق يزعم بوقاحته أنه يعرف عن والد الإمام زيد ما لا يعرف الإمام زيد من والده مما يتعلق بأصل الدين عندهم. وليس هذا بكثير علي شيطان الطاق الذي روي عنه الجاحظ في كتابه عن الإمامة أن الله لم يقل ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ.

Shaytan al Taq was in this way successful in forging the fallacy of Imamah which has now become the core doctrine of the Shia dogma. He accused ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin ibn al Hussain of concealing the basis of din from his son who was one of the elite erudite members of the Ahlul Bayt. Just as he accused Imam Zaid of not reaching the level of even the most wretched of the Shia in his ability to concede the Imamah of his father. The Shia narrate this quotation in the most authentic of their books and openly proclaim that Shaytan al Taq—despite his wickedness—knew from the father of Imam Zaid more than even what he knew regarding the fundamentals of din. This is not extraordinary for Shaytan al Taq. For al Jahiz in his book on Imamah narrates from him that he averred that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala did not reveal (the verse), “The second of the two when they were in the cave.”[45]

 

The books of the Shia mention that when the arguments which Shaytan al Taq was promoting for the validity of Imamah reached Jafar, he said:

 

لو شاء ظريف من مخاصميه أن يخصمه فعل؟ قلت (القائل هو الراوي كيف ذاك؟ فقال يقول:أخبرني عن كلامك هذا من كلام إمامك؟ فإنقال: نعم، كذب علينا، و إن قال: لا قال له: كيف تتكلم بكلام لم يتكلم به إمامك، ثم قال: (أي جعفر الصادق): إنهم يتكلمون بكلام إن أنا أقررت به و رضيت به أقمت علي الضلالة، و إن برئت منه شق علي، نحن قليل و عدونا كثير، قلت : (اي الراوي) جعلت فداك فأبلغه عنك ذلك؟ قال: أما إنهم قد دخلوا في أمر ما يمنعهم عن الرجوع عنه إلا الحمية، قال: فأبلغت أبا جعفر الأحول ذاك فقال: صدق بأبي و أمي ما يمنعني من الرجوع عنه إلا الحمية.

If a witty person of his opponents wants, he can destroy him.

I, the narrator said, “How would that be possible for him?”

He said, “He should ask him thusly, ‘These statements of yours, are they sourced from your Imams?’ If he says, ‘yes,’ he is lying and if he says, ‘no,’ he should say to him, ‘How are you then spreading ideas which your Imam is not a proponent of.’”

Jafar al Sadiq then said, “They make such eerie claims, if I believe them and accept them, I would become firm in disbelief, and if I reject, things would become difficult for me; we are a few and our enemies are a lot.”

I, the narrator, said, “May I be sacrificed for you! Should I not inform him of this?”

He said, “They have delved into a matter, from the retraction of which nothing is preventing them but fanaticism.”

The narrator says, “I conveyed this message to Abu Jafar al Ahwal who said, “He has spoken the truth! By the oath of my parents nothing is preventing me from retracting besides fanaticism.”[46]

 

Another person who was instrumental with Shaytan al Taq was Hisham ibn al Hakam (d. 179 A.H.). Al Qadi ‘Abd al Jabbar in fact avers that the person who claimed Nass (the divine appointment of the Imams) and induced the people to revile Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, the Muhajirin, and the Ansar was Hisham ibn al Hakam. He was the fabricator of the idea of divine appointment; no one before him made such a claim.[47]

In Rijal al Kashshi there appears a narration which states that the conspiracy of Hisham reached Harun al Rashid:

 

يا أمير المؤمنين إني قد استنبطت أمر هشام فإذا هو يزعم أن لله في أرضه أماما غيرك مفروض الطاعة، قال سبحان الله! قال نعم، ويزعم أنه لو أمره بالخروج لخرج

Yahya al Barmaki said, “O Amir al Mu’minin! I have investigated the affair of Hisham ibn al Hakam, he claims that there is an Imam besides you on the earth whose obedience is mandatory.”

He said, “Subhan Allah!”

Yahya said, “Yes! He also claims that if this Imams tells him to rebel he will rebel.”[48]

 

This narration suggests that Harun was amazed, which implies that this idea was still in its initial stages.

Hisham had told the people that whatever he says, he says as the representative of Musa al Kazim. The Abbasid Ruler Mahdi subsequently imprisoned him and punished him badly. He then released him and took a pledge from him that he will not rebel against him or anyone of his progeny. To which he replied by saying:

والله ما هذا من شأني وحدثت فيه نفسي

By Allah! That is not my temperament and nor have I proposed that from my side.[49]

 

Furthermore, Ibn Taymiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu has suggested that Musa al Kazim was convicted of wanting to overthrow the rule of Harun due to which he was imprisoned.[50] Ostensibly, this was because of that being attributed to him by Hisham and his cohorts. Therefore, we find that the books of the Shia attest to the fact that he was imprisoned due to the statements and the lies which revolve around Imamah and the right of the Ahlul Bayt to it being attributed to him… Hence, when these claims of Hisham reached Harun he ordered his governor thus:

 

شد يدك بهذا وأصحابه وبعث إلي أبي الحسن موسي عليه السلام فحبسه. فكان سبب حبسه مع غيره من الأسباب

Keep a tight grip on this person and his cohorts. He then sent his police to imprison Abu al Hassan Musa. So this was the reason for his imprisonment, among other reasons.[51]

 

The books of the Shia have likewise suspected Hisham of being part of those who assassinated Musa al Kazim.[52] Hence their books say:

 

هشام بن الحكم…ضال مضل شرك في دم أبي الحسن

Hisham ibn al Hakam… a deviant person who lead others astray. He was part of those who killed Abu al Hassan.[53]

 

Musa al Kazim had requested him to desist from making such statements. After desisting for a month he started again whereupon he said:

 

أيسرك أن تشرك في دم امرئ مسلم؟ قال: لا، قال: وكيف تشرك في دمي، فإن سكت وإلا فهو الذبح. فما سكت حتي كان من أمره ما كان (صلي الله عليه وسلم

Musa al Kazim asked him, “Does it please you to play a role in the murder of a Muslim?”

“No,” he said.

Musa al Kazim then said to him, “Then why would you want to play a role in my murder? If you do not desist I will be slaughtered.”

He, however, did not remain silent, till eventual what happened, happened.[54]

 

Therefore al Rida said, as the books of the Shia allege:

 

هشام بن الحكم فهو الذي صنع بأبي الحسن ما صنع وقال لهم وأخبرهم أتري أن الله يغفر له ما ركب منا

Hisham ibn al Hakam did whatever he did to Abu al Hassan (al Kazim). He then told them of what he had did and said, “Do you think Allah will forgive him for the crimes he has committed against us.”[55]

 

The books of the Shia also reveal that Hisham was brought up by heretics. Hence in Rijal al Kashshi the following narration appears:

 

وهشام كان من غلمان أبي شاكر وأبو شاكر كان زنديقا

Hisham was the slave of Abu Shakir who was a heretic.[56]

 

Despite this assertion, one of the contemporary scholars of the Shia states the following regarding Hisham, the man of all this mayhem as documented in the most reliable books of the Shia:

لم يعثر أحد من سلفنا علي شيئ مما نسبه الخصم إليه

No one has come across the evils that the opponents ascribe to him.[57]

 

I am not sure if the reality is not known to him. Or if he is denying it by way of Taqiyyah thinking that people have no knowledge of what is in their books.

The conclusion nonetheless is that Hisham ibn al Hakam, Shaytan al Taq, and their protégés were the ones who had revived the idea of ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ which was specific to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and thereafter generalised it for the other members of the Ahlul Bayt. In doing so, they took advantage of some of the atrocities that befell them, like that of the martyrdom of ‘Ali and his son Hussain. This paved the way for them to provoke the feelings of the people and influence their hearts in order to accomplish their malicious agendas which they harboured against the Muslim Ummah.

Ostensibly, it seems that the belief of Imamah being confined to specific people gained a lot of traction in Kufah[58] with the efforts of the followers of Hisham and Shaytan al Taq. One of those who were invited to believe in this doctrine made a trip to Jafar in order to ascertain the veracity thereof. Hence al Kashshi narrates the following from Abu Sa’id al A’raj:

 

كنا عند أبي عبد الله رضي الله عنه فاستأذن له رجلان فإذن لهما فقال أحدهما: أفيكم أمام مفترض الطاعة؟ قال: ما أعرف ذلك فينا، قال: بالكوفة قوم يزعمون أن فيكم أماما مفترض الطاعة، وهم لا يكذبون أصحاب ورع واجتهاد… منهم عبد الله بن يعفور وفلان وفلاو، فقال أبو عبد الله رضي الله عنه: ما أمرتهم بذلك، ولا قلت لهم أن يقولوه، قال فما ذنبي! واحمر وجهه وغضب غضبا شديدا، قال: فلما رأيا الغضب في وجهه قاما فخرجا، قال أتعرفون الرجلين؟ قلنا: نعم هما رجلان من الزيدية

We were sitting with Abu ‘Abdullah (al Sadiq) when two people sought his permission to enter, and he granted them permission.

One of them said, “Is there an Imam amongst you whose obedience is compulsory?”

He replied, “I do not know any such person.”

On this the same person said, “In Kufah there are people who claim that among you there is an Imam whose obedience is compulsory, they don’t seem to be lying because they are people of piety and sacrifice. Some of them are ‘Abdullah ibn Ya’fur, so and so, and so and so.”

Abu ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus said, “I did not instruct them to say any of that.”[59]

He further said, “What is my mistake?” as his face became red and he was infuriated.

The narrator says, “When they saw his anger they stood up and left.

Abu ‘Abdullah asked, “Do you know these two people?”

We replied, “Yes! These are two men of the Zaidiyyah.”[60]

 

Hence, the concept of the Imams being confined to a specific number was planted in the second century by a group of people who falsely claimed to be the partisans of the Ahlul Bayt, the likes of Hisham ibn al Hakam and Shaytan al Taq.

Moving on, the Shia have tremendously differed as to the exact count of their Imams; the author of Mukhtasar al Tuhfah mentions:

 

اعلم أن الإمامية قائلون بانحصار الأئمة، ولكنهم مختلفون في مقدارهم، فقال بعضهم: خمسة، وبعضهم: سبعة، وبعضهم: ثمانية: وبعضهم: اثنا عشر، وبعضهم ثلاثة عشر

Know well that the Imamiyyah hold the view that their Imams are specified but they have differed in their specific count. Some of them say five, some say seven, some say eight, some say twelve, and some (even ) say thirteen.[61]

 

They have numerous views in this regard. If I were to present all their views sourcing them from the books of heresiography, the reader would presumably give up reading out of boredom and fatigue. The basis of all these variant opinions is one, and that is after the demise of each Imam of the Ahlul Bayt many sub-sects would come into existence. Some would be indefinite about the death of the Imam thereby assuming him to be the last Imam upon whom they would terminate Imamah and the count of the Imams. Whereas some would go in search of another member of the Ahlul Bayt and make him the new ‘Imam’ securing in this manner the niche to introduce into din its old inherited rituals or its cultural and racist inclinations thereby securing the clout to carry out its enmities and accomplish its aspirations. It will suffice for the reader to read the books of heresiography to learn all of this. In fact even the books of the Shia have recorded some examples of these differences and contradictions, whether they be the books of the Ismailiyyah like that of Masa’il al Imamah of al Nashi’ al Akbar and al Zinah of Ibn Abi Hatim, or the books of the Twelvers like that of al Maqalat wa al Firaq of al Ash’ari al Qummi and Firaq al Shia of al Nawbakhti, or the books of the Zaidiyyah like that of al Munyah wa al Amal of al Murtada.

Not forgetting that the issue of Imamah is not a secondary issue in their creed wherein difference of opinion is unobjectionable. It is rather the very basis of their dogma and its most crucial component, for a person who does not believe in their ‘Imam’ is not a believer. Which is why we see them dubbing each other infidels. Sometimes even the followers of one Imam excommunicate and curse each other.[62]

The Twelvers have settled upon twelve Imams. In the family of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Banu Hashim, during the reign of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, however, there was no one who proposed the view of twelve Imams.[63] The belief of twelve Imams only came into existence after the demise of Hassan al ‘Askari, as has passed already.[64]

Hence we find some narrations in the tradition of the Twelvers which give of some indications as to the confusion and quandary that they encountered in the number of Imams. This ostensibly suggests that they are forgeries which were fabricated before the demise of Hassan al ‘Askari and that prior to that the belief of the twelve Imams, to whom the Twelvers subscribe, did not exist. Or that they were fabricated before this became the established belief of the Jafariyyah (a sect which emerged after the demise of Hassan al ‘Askari). These narrations themselves are certainly a critique of the Twelver stance.

Hence the narrations of al Kafi which state that “‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu could secretively inform whoever he wanted regarding Wilayah,” [65] (which is explained by the commentator of al Kafi to mean, “Whoever he wanted to inform from the infallible Imams.”)[66] do not stipulate any number or specify any individuals. So it is as if the matter was not settled at the time of the fabrication of these narrations. You will also find narrations which state that the total sum of the Imams is seven. They state:

سابعنا قائمنا

Our seventh Imam is our Mahdi.[67]

 

This is the stance of the Ismailiyyah. However, when the number of the Imams increased according to the Musawiyyah or the Qat’iyyah, who later formed into Twelvers, the aforementioned narration induced doubt in the doctrine of Imamah for their followers. Thus the pioneers thereof endeavoured to eradicate this doubt with the following narration:

 

عن داود الرقي قال: قلت لإبي الحسن الرضا رضي الله عنه: جعلت فداك إنه ولله ما يلج في صدري من أمرك شيئ إلا حديثا سمعته من ذريح يرويه عن أبي جعفر رضي الله عنه قال لي: وما هو؟ قال: سمعته يقول: سابعنا قائمنا إن شاء الله قال: صدقت وصدق ذريح وصدق أبو جعفر رضي الله عنه، فازددت والله شكا، ثم قال: يا داود بنِ أبي خالد! أما والله لولا أن موسي قال للعالم ستجدني إن شاء الله صابرا ما سأله عن شيئ، وكذلك أبو جعفر عليه السلام لولا أن قال: إن شاء الله لكان كما قال، قال: فقطعت عليه

Dawood al Raqqi says, “I asked Abu al Hassan al Rida: may I be sacrificed for thee! I have no scepticism in my bosom regarding any of your teachings besides one narration which I heard from Dharih which he narrates from Abu Jafar radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”

Al Rida asked, “Which narration is that?”

I said, “I heard him saying, ‘Our seventh Imam will be our Mahdi if Allah wills.’”

Al Rida responded, “You have spoken the truth, Dharih has spoken the truth, and Abu Jafar has spoken the truth.”

This made me doubt even more.

Thereafter al Rida said, “O Dawood, the son of Abu Khalid! If Musa ‘alayh al Salam had not said [to Khidr], ‘You will find me to be patient,’ he would not have asked him regarding anything; likewise if Abu Jafar had not said, ‘If Allah wills’ what he said would have transpired.”

The narrator says, “I thus believed him.”[68]

 

It seems as though they consider this to be the result of Bada’ and the changing of the intention of Allah, which is one of their fundamental beliefs (as will feature soon). In this belief they find a means of deflecting this narration and its likes.

The first book of the Shia which surfaced was the book of Sulaym ibn Qays. Therein it is mentioned that the total sum of the Imams is thirteen. This was one of the reasons for the Twelvers condemning his book. In al Kafi, the most authentic of their four early canonical works, many narrations appear which suggest that there were thirteen Imams. Hence al Kulayni narrates the following from Jafar al Sadiq:

 

إني واثني عشر إماما من ولدي وأنت يا علي زر الأرض، يعني أوتادها وجبالها. بنا أوتد الله الأرض أن تسيخ بأهلها فإذا ذهب الإثنا عشر من ولدي ساخت الأرض بأهلها ولم ينظروا

Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “I, the twelve Imams from my progeny, and you, O ‘Ali, are the pegs of this earth and its mountains. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has kept the earth firm by way of us so that it does not sink with its inhabitants. When the Twelve Imams leave the world it will sink with its people and there will be given no respite.”[69]

 

This narration posits that the Imams are twelve excluding ‘Ali and thirteen including him. Thus it destroys the basis of the Twelvers. In his al Ghaybah al Tusi, seeing the obvious problem, distorted the narration and presented it thus:

 

إني وأحد عشر من ولدي

I and eleven Imams from my progeny.[70]

 

The books of the Shia likewise narrate the following from Abu Jafar who narrates from Jabir:

 

دخلت علي فاطمة وبين يديها لوح فيه اسماء الأوصياء من ولدها فعددت اثني عشر آخرهم القائم ثلاثة منهم محمد و ثلاثة منهم علي

I went to visit Fatimah and before her was a tablet wherein was documented the names of all the appointed successors from her posterity. I thus counted twelve Imams, the last of whom was the Mahdi; three among them were Muhammad and three among them were ‘Ali.[71]

 

Consider, they have considered all their Imams to be from the progeny of Fatimah. This implies that ‘Ali is not one of them because he is her husband and not her son. Or the other conclusion would be that they have thirteen Imams including him. Another hint in this narration which suggests that he is not part of the Imams is the statement ‘three among them are ‘Ali’. This is due to the fact that there are four Imams among the Ahlul Bayt whose names are ‘Ali, viz. Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali, ‘Ali ibn al Hussain, ‘Ali al Rida, and ‘Ali al Hadi.

Ibn Babawayh, ostensibly distorted this narration by omitting ‘from her posterity’ but forgot to take heed of the rest of the text which is, “Three among them are ‘Ali,” hence he maintains it as it appears in the references of the Twelvers.[72] However, in his book ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida he, or someone else, changes the text in both places.[73]

Astonishingly, one of their scholars classed the book of Sulaym ibn Qays a fabrication due to it containing the mention of thirteen Imams. But he does not make a similar judgement regarding al Kafi and the other sources which cite similar narrations.

The view of thirteen Imams was upheld by a sub-sect of the Shia. It is probably due to their influence that these narrations exist. Al Tusi has made mention of this sub-sect and its opposition of the view of Twelve Imams, to which he subscribes.[74] Al Najashi likewise has mentioned the same in the biography of Hibat Allah ibn Ahmed ibn Muhammad.[75] Each of these sects claims to be on the straight path and that the narrations regarding the legitimacy of its Imams are widespread. It simultaneously refutes the claims of the remaining Shia sects. This is an evident sign of them having no basis for what they believe, for if the narrations of any sect were widespread there would not have been any bickering at all. Hence, these are claims which they have forged against the Ahlul Bayt in accordance with the demands of the time. Every sect would thus claim an Imam for itself in order to collect Khums (one fifth of the booty), monetary vows, and gifts from their followers in the name of their alleged Imam, and thereby live luxurious lives. Those who succeeded them then followed them without any evidence which consequently caused them to fall into the pit of deviance:

إِنَّهُمْ أَلْفَوْا آبَاءَهُمْ ضَالِّيْنَ فَهُمْ عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمْ يُهْرَعُوْنَ

Indeed they found their fathers astray. So they hastened [to follow] in their footsteps.[76][77]

 

Analysing the belief of confining the Imams to a specific number

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا أَطِيْعُوا اللّٰهَ وَأَطِيْعُوا الرَّسُوْلَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.[78]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has not specified a number of the ‘people of authority’ which is obvious.

If the doctrine of divine appointment of the Imams is the most crucial aspect of din according to them and is equal to Nubuwwah in its rank or even greater, then why did Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala not make mention of it in His Book? Similarly, why did he not make mention of the Imams, their names, and their personalities? There is no mention of their Imams in the Qur’an, nor is there any widespread narration which serves as an emphatic text for their appointment. Had there been any, the Shia would not have disputed as dramatically in their appointment, as the books of heresiography have recorded. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the narrations which are widely narrated from him does not confine the people of authority to a specific number. The narration of Abu Dhar in the Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim reads as follows:

 

إن خليلي أوصاني أن أسمع وأطيع وإن كان عبد حبشيا مجدع الأطراف

My friend advised me to listen and obey, even though the ruler be an Abyssinian slave whose limbs are severed.[79]

 

There are many more narrations of this sort.[80]

As for the books of the Twelvers, they are replete with narrations which limit the Imams to twelve. However, it should be noted that these narrations were circulated in secret and the Imams would disassociate from the narrators thereof, which is enough to stir scepticism regarding their authenticity. Especially, when the Book of Allah (which the Imams were commanded to have recourse to when passing judgements) does not support any of them; unless of course through esoteric interpretations of its verses and through forged narrations which have consequently assumed the status of their best evidence in spite of their falsehood being empirically established. Likewise, the early scholars who had forged all these narrations, the likes of Saffar, Ibrahim al Qummi, and al Kulayni were all extremists who necessarily have to be excommunicated due to their documentation of the narrations of the interpolation of the Qur’an. They are thus unreliable and their books unworthy.

Furthermore, the book Nahj al Balaghah, which is accorded the status of the most authentic book, does not contain any mention of the twelve Imams and their personalities. In fact there appears a narration therein which defies the doctrine of the twelve Imams. The author of Nahj al Balaghah hence says:

إنه لا بد للناس من أمير بر أو فاجر… يقاتل به العدو، وتأمن السبل، ويؤخذ به للضعيف من القوي حتي يستريح بر ويستراح من فاجر

It is compulsory for the people to have a ruler, pious or impious, with who the enemy can be subdued, the roads secured, and the rights of the weak demanded from the strong so that the noble people be at ease and the wretched ones done away with.[81]

 

This narration does not limit the Imams to a number. So where are the Shia going whereas they claim to follow every letter of the Nahj?

Similarly, the disparate views of the Shia in this regard, the stark differences of their sects in the specification of the Imams and their personalities also expose the reality of this idea. For every sect debunks the claims of the other and belies it. And Allah is sufficient for the believers in war.[82]

Furthermore, the concept of the Imams only being twelve in total is not acceptable logically and practically; for will the Ummah remain without an Imam after the termination of the specific number? Because the era of the open Imams of the Shia does not exceed two and a half centuries.

The Shia were, therefore, compelled to somehow find a solution to the confinement of the Imams by asserting that the Mujtahid holds the position of representing the Imam. They have then differed as to the limitations of this representation.[83] In recent times they have practically discarded this principle, which holds the most integral position in their religion, by electing a president for their country through the process of election. They have moved on from quantitative limitation to a qualitative one; they have thus limited the position of presidency to a Shia Faqih (scholar).[84]

With that being said, the Shia, in substantiation of the idea of twelve Imams, use a narration which appears in the books of hadith which is narrated from Jabir ibn Samurah. It says:

يكون اثنا عشر أميرا- فقال كلمة لم أسمعها فقال أبي إنه قال: كلهم من قريش

“There will be twelve leaders.” Then he said something which I did not hear. My father explained that he said, “All of them will be from the Quraysh.”

 

This is the wording of Sahih al Bukhari.[85] The narration of Muslim from Jabir goes as follows:

 

سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول: لا يزال الإسلام عزيزا إلي اثني عشر خليفة ثم قال كلمة لم أفهمها. فقلت لأبي: ما قال؟ قال: كلهم من قريش

I heard Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “Islam will remain supreme till twelve rulers.” He then said something which I did not understand. So I asked my father what he said. He said, “They will all be from the Quraysh.”[86]

 

Another version states:

لايزال هذا الدين عزيزا منيعا إلي اثني عشر خليفة

This din will reign supreme and glorious till twelve rulers.[87]

 

While yet another version states:

لايزال أمر الناس ماضيا ما وليهم اثنا عشر رجلا

The affairs of the people will run smoothly till twelve men rule over them.[88]

 

The narration of Sunan Abi Dawood reads thus:

 

لايزال هذا الدين قائما حتي يكون عليكم اثنا عشر خليفة، كلهم تجتمع عليهم الأمة.

This din will remain established till twelve rulers rule over you. The entire Ummah will unite upon each one of them.[89]

 

Another narration of Abu Dawood which he narrates through the transmission of Aswad ibn Sa’id from Jabir has the following addition:

 

فلما رجع إلي منزله اتته قريش فقالوا: ثم يكون ماذا؟ قال: الهرج

When he returned home the Quraysh came to him and asked him, “Then what will happen?”

He said, “Large scale fighting.”[90]

 

The Shia cling onto these narrations and present them as evidence against the Ahlus Sunnah, not because they believe in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah[91] but to establish evidence against them by way of that which they concede.

By deliberating over these texts with impartiality and objectivity we will learn that these twelve individuals are described as:

  • People who will assume the position of Caliphate,
  • Islam in their era will be mighty and glorious,
  • Their subjects will unanimously accept them as the rulers,
  • Their leadership will be a means of people’s affairs running smoothly.

None of these prove true for the twelve individuals whom the Shia regard as their Imams with the exception of ‘Ali and Hassan who ruled for a short period, then too, the Ummah did not unite upon them. Similarly, the affairs of the Ummah were not stable in their eras, rather they were constantly unstable; oppressors, neigh disbelievers, [92]ruled over them; the Imams themselves practiced dissimulation and remained discreet in the matters of their din. The era of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is similarly, considered to be an era of Taqiyyah,[93] as is mentioned by al Mufid,[94] wherein he was unable to reveal the true Qur’an and establish many of the injunctions of Islam, as attested to by al Jaza’iri.[95] He was compelled to collaborate with the Sahabah and work with them to the detriment of din, as conceded by al Murtada.[96] Hence the hadith is completely unrelated to the claim that they make.

Furthermore, the hadith does not confine the Imams to twelve, rather it is a prophecy of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that Islam will reign supreme during the reign of twelve individuals.

The era of the righteous Khulafa’ and the Umayyads was an era wherein Islam was mighty and glorious. Hence Sheikh al Islam mentions:

 

إن الإسلام وشرائعه في زمن بني أمية أظهر وأوسع مما كان بعدهم

Islam and its injunctions were more established and pervasive during the era of the Umayyads.

 

He then substantiates his positions with the following narration:

 

لايزال هذا الأمر عزيزا إلي اثني عشر خليفة كلهم من قريش

This din will reign supreme till the rule of twelve rulers who will all be from the Quraysh.

 

He further says:

 

وهكذا كان، فكان الخلفاء أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي ثم تولي من اجتمع الناس عليه وصار له عز و منعة: معاوية وابنه يزيد ثم عبد الملك وأولاده الأربعة وبينهم عمر بن عبد العزيز وبعد ذلك حصل من النقص ما هو باق إلي الآن.

And this is exactly how things were; the Khulafa’ were Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali. They were succeeded by whom the Ummah unanimously accepted, Muawiyah, his son, Yazid, and ‘Abd al Malik and his four sons. Between them was the rule of ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al ‘Aziz. After them the condition of din started deteriorating and has continued to deteriorate till today.[97]

 

Furthermore, according to the Twelvers the rulership of the ‘awaited Mahdi’ will remain till the end of time. This implies that there will be no era which will be void of the rule of the Twelve Imams; there will be no two eras, i.e. an era wherein the affairs of the Ummah will be stable and an era wherein they will be unstable. This is obviously against the purport of the hadith.[98] It is likewise against the doctrine of the Shia which asserts that the era of the Twelve Imams is an era of Taqiyyah until the emergence of the ‘Mahdi’; a Shia who does not practice Taqiyyah therein is equal to a person who abandons salah.[99]

In addition, just as the Ummah did not unite upon the Imams due to the fact that they did not rule, the Shia themselves did not unite upon them; they have amidst themselves held variant views regarding the Imams, their precise amount, and their personalities. Such variant views which cannot be enumerated but with difficulty. An evident exposition of this can be found in the books of heresiography.

Another aspect which Ibn Taymiyah mentions regarding the hadith is that it states, “They will all be from the Quraysh.” This means that these rulers do not necessarily have to be from the family of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu; had that been the case, he would have mentioned a family line which would create a distinction between them and the others. Consider, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not say that they will be from the posterity of Ismail or that they will be Arabs even though they all were. This is because he intended to specify the tribe which makes them different from the others. Hence if they really were required to be from the Banu Hashim or from the family of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he would have described them accordingly. But they were required to be from the Quraysh due to the assertion in the narration that they will be from the Quraysh; not from a specific family thereof, but from its different branches like that of the Banu Taym, Banu ‘Adi, Banu ‘Abd Shams, and the Banu Hashim to which all the righteous rulers belonged.[100]

Therefore, besides the aspect of the number “twelve” which cannot prove anything, this hadith does not hold any evidence for what the Shia intend to prove. Do you not know that this very number which is used to describe the righteous rulers, is used in another narration to describe their opposites? Hence the narration of Sahih Muslim reads as follows:

 

في أمتي اثنا عشر منافقا

In my Ummah there will be twelve hypocrites.[101]

 

It apparently seems as if this number which the Twelver Shia adore is derived from the old Jewish conjecture which is mentioned in the book of Daniel,[102] as is indicated by Ibn Taymiyah.[103]

 

Their Evidence Regarding Imamah:

One of the principle beliefs of the Shia is that it is impermissible for the masses to elect an Imam. Rather Nass (divine emphatic appointment) is required.[104] Hence Imamah cannot be without Nass.[105] Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphatically appointed ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children.[106] They will thus be the Imams till the Day of Judgment.

We had previously studied that this doctrine was contrived by the Saba’iyyah, the Hishamiyyah, and the Shaytaniyyah. The scholars of the Shia, however, aver that this doctrine is the institution of Allah, his Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the Ahlul Bayt…

In substantiating this doctrine, they took many texts, all unknown to the experts of the Sunnah and the transmitters of the Shari’ah, transmitted them and interpreted them in accordance with their dogma. Most of them are in fact either forgeries, narrations with flawed chains of transmission, or narrations which do not accommodate their invalid interpretations.[107]

They have exceeded all bounds, as they usually do, in accumulating narrations and texts which establish this doctrine. Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli has even prepared a book by the name al Alfayn fi Imamah Amir al Mu’minin, i.e. Two thousand reports for the Imamah of Amir al Mu’minin.[108]

Due to it being the most crucial aspect of their din there is hardly a Shia scholar who has not written regarding it.[109]

You should know that, according to the standards of the Shia, all these narrations were only narrated by lone individuals, rather by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone, due to him being the door (of the city of knowledge); to the extent that a person who claims to hear from any one besides him is considered to have committed a crime equivalent to ascribing a partner to Allah.[110] Similarly, besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a few among the Sahabah (three, four or seven), as the books of the Shia state, the rest of the people renounced Islam; thus rendering their narrations unacceptable.

The narrations of a lone person are expected to be doubted, especially when a very large group of people narrates completely conflicting reports. This, posing an obvious predicament to the Shia, made them invent the concept of ‘Ismah (infallibility). However this “infallibility” itself is dubitable. For it cannot be established for a person who alone claims it for himself. They were thus compelled to formulate another concept, the concept of Mu’jizah (miracles for the Imams). Hence, the doctrine of Imamah revolves around these three concepts: Nass, ‘Ismah, and Mu’jizah.

Their scholar al Mufid asserts:

إن الإمامة توجب لصاحبها عند الإثني عشرية: العصمة والنص والمعجزة

Imamah according to the Twelvers establishes the following three things for its incumbent: Nass, ‘Ismah, and Mu’jizah.[111]

 

The discussion regarding Mu’jizat only transpiring at the hands of the Prophets’, the attribution thereof to the Imams by the Shia due to according them the status of Nubuwwah and their belief that the Imams are the evidence of Allah upon the creation (despite not having any evidence besides blindly following what the heretics of the previous centuries had invented) has passed already. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

لِئَلَّا يَكُوْنَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلٰى اللّٰهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ

So that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers.[112]

 

He does not make any mention of the Imams after the prophets. Hence the evidence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was established upon his bondsmen through his Messengers whom He had aided with miracles.

The Shia do not have any evidence to substantiate the miracles of their Imams besides empty claims which any cunning and deceitful person is able to concoct with the sleight of his hand.[113]

Even if we hypothetically consider the Mu’jizat to have transpired, they are dependent upon reports; but how can the reports of ‘renegades’ elicit reliability. Likewise is the case of ‘Ismah. In spite of this the Shia lend tremendous importance to the reports which represent Nass and Wasiyyah (appointment by bequest) which they treat as the foundation of their dogma and the principle belief for their theological structure.

As for the issue of ‘Ismah, due to its pivotal role in the Shia dogma I have dedicated the coming subchapter to it.

There is no doubt as to the fact that emphatically appointing the rulers who are to rule over the Ummah till the Day of Qiyamah is impossible but according to the Shia logic. This has led them to belief in a very grave misconception, i.e. the belief in a person who according to them is alive for centuries (the ‘Mahdi’ whose return they anticipate). They have thus become the laughing stock for people. ‘Ali al Rida rebutted this misconception of theirs with a response which can be considered the strongest and most rhetorically superior in this regard. The Shia have cited it in their most reliable books. Hence he is reported to have said:

 

لو كان الله يمد في أجل أحد بني آدم لحاجة الخلق إليه لمد الله في أجل رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله

If Allah were to prolong the age of any human due to him being an indispensable asset for the creation he would have prolonged the age of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[114]

 

However, they have defied this primary remark and have believed over the centuries that the ‘awaited Mahdi’ is alive due to the creation, rather the entire world, being in need of him; should this earth be deprived of him it will face ruination with its inhabitants.

After these comments on the issue of Nass, I do not think there is a need to delve into their narrations which they present in this regard. Because it has ultimately reached the stage of just believing in the fictitious ‘Mahdi’ whose presence is not felt or seen and regarding who there is no shred of evidence or information. If the people really needed him, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—who was better than him—was more deserving of staying alive. But the Ummah, thanks to its Qur’an and the rich legacy of its Nabi, does not need an imaginary ‘Mahdi’ nor an imaginary book. The details of this will come in the discussion regarding occultation.

The Shia, nonetheless, claim that the Qur’an makes emphatic mention of the Imamah of their Imams and that the issue of Nass is unanimously accepted by both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia. They have thus endeavoured to make the Ahlus Sunnah part of their imaginary beliefs in order to deceitfully ensnare its adherents. If this is the case, then we ought to study what the books of the Shia offer in this regard.

I shall thus first present their strongest evidences from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and thereafter present their evidences which are exclusive to them.

I shall thereafter terminate with a discussion on the issue of Nass in light of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, reason, and the commonly known and universally accepted aspects of our din.

 

Their Evidences from the Qur’an:

Sheikh al Ta’ifah al Tusi mentions:

 

وأما النص علي إمامته من القرآن فأقوي ما يدل عليه قوله تعالي: إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللّٰهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ وَالَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا الَّذِيْنَ يُقِيْمُوْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوْنَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُوْنَ

As to his emphatic appointment in the Qur’an, the strongest evidence for that is the verse, “Your ally is none but Allah and His Messenger, and those who have believed—those who establish salah, give Zakat, and they bow in worship.[115][116]

 

Al Tabarsi mentions:

وهذه الآية من أوضح الدلائل علي صحة أمامة علي بعد النبي بلا فصل

This verse is from amongst the strongest proofs for the legitimacy of his immediate succession, Imamah, after Rasul Allah.[117]

 

Their scholars seem to unanimously concur that this verse is the strongest evidence according to them, for in their works, they always present it first when substantiating their stance.[118]

But how exactly do they derive their evidence from this verse? They state that:

 

اتفق المفسرون والمحدثون من العامة والخاصة أنها نزلت في علي لما تصدق بخاتمه علي المسكين في الصلاة بمحضر من الصحابة وهو مذكور في الصحاح الستة. وإنما للحصر باتفاق أهل اللغة، والولي بمعني الأولي بالتصرف المرادف للخليفة

The exegetes of the Qur’an and the scholars of hadith from the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia all concur that it was revealed regarding ‘Ali when, amidst a group of the Sahabah, he gave his ring as charity to a poor person whilst performing salah. This narration is recorded in the six authentic books.[119] ‘إنما’ gives off the meaning of restriction according to the linguists and ‘Wali’ in this context is in the meaning of the most deserving of administration which is synonymous to an Imam and a Khalifah.[120]

 

As you will notice, the Shia in substantiating their position have taken refuge in the incident which is said to be the cause of its revelation. Their evidence is thus not the verse of the Qur’an but the incident. Now, is this incident authentic or not? And is their substantiation therefrom correct? This will become clear with the following considerations:

  1. Their claim that the Ahlus Sunnah unanimously concur that this verse was revealed regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most blatant of lies. The consensus of the exegetes of the Qur’an is that it was not revealed regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu specifically, nor is it true that he gave his ring in charity whilst is salah. And the consensus of the scholars of hadith is that the aforementioned incident is a fabrication.[121] Likewise the assertion that it appears in the ‘six authentic books’ is also a lie, for it does not appear in any of them.[122] Hence, after citing all the narrations which suggest that this verse was revealed regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he gave his ring as charity, Ibn Kathir concludes thus:

وليس يصح شيئ منها بالكية لضعف أسانيدها وجهالة رجالها

None of these narrations are authentic due them consisting of flawed chains of transmission and due to the narrators thereof being unknown persons.[123]

  1. This proof, which the Twelvers present to support their stance, actually debunks it. Because it restricts Wilayah to ‘Ali by way of ‘إنما’ which negates the Imamah of the rest of the Imams. If they answer by averring that the restriction in the verse only applies for a specific period, i.e. the period of his rule, and does not by necessity implicate the Imamah of the others, then they have concurred with the Ahlus Sunnah who assert that general Wilayah was restricted to him during his rule and not prior to that, i.e. during the Caliphate of the three righteous rulers.[124]
  2. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does not commend a person but for something that is commendable according to him, whether it be compulsory or optional; and giving charity during salah is not a commendable act according to the consensus of the scholars. Had it been commendable Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have done it, encouraged others to do it, and would have done it repeatedly. But in salah there is a different type of engagement. Giving charity to the poor can wait for another time, for it is possible for a person to do that after completing his salah. Some scholars have, as a matter of fact, opined that dispensing charity whilst in salah nullifies the salah.[125]
  3. Even if charity is hypothetically considered permissible in salah, it would not be specific to the posture of Ruku’. So how can it be said that none except those who give charity whilst in Ruku’ can be the rulers. If it said that the only reason why this specific posture is mentioned is to describe ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it can be said that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had many known and conceded characteristics, why then is he not being described with them but rather with one which—besides those who heard about it and acknowledged it—people barely know? The majority of the Ummah has not heard this incident nor does it feature in any of its reliable books.[126]
  4. The assertion that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu discharged his Zakat in salah is opposed to reality. This is because ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to being a pauper in the time of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not liable to pay Zakat. For the Zakat of silver is only compulsory upon a person who owns the Nisab (minimum amount liable to payment of Zakat) whereas he did not own it at that time.

Similarly, according to many a scholars giving a ring is not good enough to absolve a person of his responsibility of paying Zakat, unless the view of Zakat being compulsory in jewellery is taken wherein one opinion is that it should be discharged from the type of jewellery owned. And even though some have given the permission to evaluate the jewellery and discharge the Zakat accordingly, but doing so in salah is impossible, for values fluctuate in different conditions.[127]

  1. Now that it has become clear that all the narrations which they use to interpret the verse are flawed in their content and chains of transmission, the conclusion is that they cannot elicit evidence therefrom. Rather the verse is evidence against them. Because it orders the believers to establish relationships of fealty with the believers and prohibits them from doing so with the disbelievers,[128] an injunction unknown to the Shia (as their history and legacy records).

This is obvious from the context wherein this verse features; prior to this verse Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُوْدَ وَالنَّصَارٰى أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِيْنَ

O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you—then indeed, he is

of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.[129]

This is an emphatic prohibition of allying with the Jews and the Christians and having cordial relationships with them, and according to everyone (including the Shia) this does not imply Wilayah in the meaning of leadership, for there is no room for that. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then mentions those with whom one should have alliance, i.e. Allah, His Rasul, and the believers. Hence the alliance which was negated in the previous verse is the very alliance which the believers are ordered with in this verse based on the rule of juxtaposition which is an accepted rule in the Arabic language.

Al Razi mentions:

لما نهي الله في الآيات المتقدمة عن موالاة الكفار أمر في هذه الآية بموالاة من تجب موالاته

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the previous verse prohibited alliance with the disbelievers and in this verse ordered alliance with those with whom fealty is necessary.[130]

 

Ibn Taymiyah likewise mentions:

إنه من المعلوم عند أهل التفسير خلفا عن سلف أن هذه الآية نزلت في النهي عن موالاة الكفار الأمر بموالاة المؤمنين

According to the early exegetes and those who succeeded them it is a well-known and established aspect that this verse was revealed regarding the prohibition of allying with the disbelievers and the order of allying with the believers.[131]

 
  1. Averring that ‘Your ally is none but…’ refers to leadership does not tie up with what follows it, i.e. ‘Your ally is none but Allah, His Messenger, and those who have faith…’ This is because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is not described as being the governor of his servants and their ruler, because He is their Creator, Sustainer, Lord and Owner; to Him belongs creation and order; it cannot be said that Allah is Amir al Mu’minin in the like manner that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or anyone else is accorded that title.[132] As for Walayah, translated as love—the opposite of enmity, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala can be described as the One who befriends His believing bondsmen, as One who loves them and they love Him, as One who is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and as One who declares war against a person who harasses any of His friends.[133] This is the correct purport of this verse.[134]

Furthermore, the description ‘and they bow in worship’ means that they are humble before their Lord and they are subservient to His orders. The word ‘Ruku’’ literally means humility. The verse would thus mean that they establish salah and discharge Zakat with humility and subservience.[135]

  1. The difference between Wilayah (with the kasrah) and Walayah (with the Fathah) is obvious in the Arabic language. The latter (Walayah) is the opposite of enmity. This is the one mentioned in these verses; not the former (Wilayah) which means leadership. The Shia, however, thanks to their ignorance, do not differentiate between the two despite it being obvious:
  • Wala’ (with a Fathah) is the opposite of enmity; the nouns Mawla and Wali (friend) are derived therefrom.
  • And Wilayah is with a Kasrah wherefrom the knowns Wali and Mutawalli (ruler/governor) are derived.[136]

The jurists have, therefore, mentioned that if the Wali (ruler) and the Wali (family member) happen to be at the funeral of a deceased person, the latter will take precedence over the former. This also shows that both the words are different.[137]

If Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala intended Wilayah (leadership) then He would have phrased the verse thus:

إنما يتولي عليكم…

None can rule over you but…

In conclusion, this verse is about the alliance which the believers should have for each other,[138] which is why the plural form, “and those who have believed,”’ is brought in the verse.

 

If this is the reality of their strongest argument, then it is obvious that they have no basis whatsoever for what they claim. The magnanimity of this doctrine, which according to the Shia is the most crucial aspect of their dogma, necessarily requires evidence which is unequivocal and to the point which all classes of people are able to comprehend, a layman should be able to understand it as clearly as a scholar is able to grasp it, the later generations should be able to understand it as the earlier generations were able to understand it and the Bedouins should be able to understand it like the people of the cities are able to understand it. But, such evidence is not found in the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This clearly suggests that there was no Nass (emphatic appointment) as they allege. Whereas the Qur’an was revealed in the clear Arabic language this verse and the others verses which they use in substantiation do not contain expressions and words which are used in the Arabic language for emphatic appointment.

So where can the Shia go henceforth? Either toward renouncing the Qur’an which is tantamount to renouncing Islam or toward shunning their extremism and fanaticism and return to the truth which is what they are required to do.

Besides this verse there are other verses as well which they present in support of their position. They have been documented by Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli and Ibn Taymiyyah has responded to them comprehensively.[139] Any person who refers to their books of tafsir and hadith will notice that they have made Wilayah and the Imams the central theme of the Qur’an, as has passed already in this book, which is a sign of their helplessness in this regard.

From this discussion it has become evident that the apparent wording of the Qur’an does not accommodate the emphatic appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the remaining Imams. They thus avert the meanings of the verses which they use according to their whims and fancies based on fabricated narrations and invalid interpretations. So in reality they do not derive evidence from the Qur’an itself, but from narrations. Hence, their claim that they derive evidence from the Qur’an is an empty claim which has no reality.

 

Their evidence from the Sunnah

The Shia have primarily taken the virtues and merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which appear in the books of hadith of the Ahlus Sunnah and used them to prove his explicit nomination. It should be noted that Fada’il (merits) is a topic wherein fabrication is not unusual. And it is said that the Shia are the forerunners in forging narrations in this regard. Ibn Abi al Hadid mentions:

 

الكذب في أحاديث الفضائل جاء من جهة الشيعة

Forgeries in the topic of Fada’il have all come from the Shia.[140]

 

That is why you will find more forgeries in the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu than in the merits of the remaining three Khalifas.

However, the narrations which mention the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu do not in any way contain words or expressions of his explicit nomination and the bequest of his succession. Not according to the Arabic language, not according to the conventions of the Arabs, not according to the Shari’ah of Islam, and not according to the understanding of the intellectuals. They are just mere merits which the Shia have exploited to support their stance. Ibn Hazm after doing a comprehensive study of the virtues of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu asserts thus:

 

و أما الذي صح من فضائل علي فهو قول النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم: أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسي إلا أنه لا نبي بعدي وهذا لا حجة فيه للرافضة و قوله عليه السلام: لأعطين الراية غدا رجلا يحب الله و رسوله، ويحبه الله و رسوله و هذه صفة واجة لكل مسلم و فاضل و عهده عليه السلام: أن عليا لا يحبه ألا مؤمن و لا يبغضه إلا منافق و قد صح مثل هذا في الأنصار-رضي الله عنهم-أنه لا يبغضهم من يؤمن بالله و اليوم الآخر و أما من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، فلا يصح من طريق الثقات أصلا. و أما سائر الأحاديث التي تتعلق بها الرافضة فموضوعة، يعرف ذلك من له أدني علم بالأخبار و نقلتها

As for the virtues of ‘Ali, the only narrations which are authentically proven are, “You are to me like how Harun was to Musa. However, there is no Nabi after me.”[141] This narration does not hold any evidence for the Shia.[142] And the narration, “Tomorrow I will give the flag to a person who loves Allah and his Rasul and Allah and his Rasul love him.” [143] Which is a quality required of every devout Muslim.[144] And the statement of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “‘Ali, only a believer will love him and only a hypocrite will hate him.”[145] But this type of virtue is proven for the Ansar as well. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that only a person who believes in Allah and the Last Day will love them.[146] As for the narration, “Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is also his mawla.”[147] It is not transmitted through reliable narrators at all. And as to the remaining narrations which the Shia use, they are forgeries which any person who has a little knowledge regarding hadith can identify.[148]

 

Ibn Taymiyah has cited this text of Ibn Hazm and commented thus:

 

فأن قيل لم يذكر ابن حزم ما في الصحيحين من قوله أنت مني و أنا منك و حديث المباهله و الكساء قيل مقصود ابن حزم الذي في الصحيح من الحديث الذي لا يذكر فيه إلا علي، و أما تلك ففيها ذكر غيره، فإنه قال لجعفر: أشبهت خلقي و خلقي و قال لزيد: أنت أخونا و مولانا،و حديث المباهلة والكساء فيهما ذكر علي،و فاطمة، و حسن، و حسين رضي الله عنهم فلا يرد هذا علي ابن حزم

If it is said that Ibn Hazm did not mention the narrations which appear in the Sahihayn like, “I am from you and you are from me.”[149], the narration of Mubahalah (mutual imprecation),[150] and the narration of Kisa’ (the shawl),[151] the answer is that Ibn Hazm only intended to respond to those authentic narrations which contain the exclusive mention of ‘Ali. As for these narrations, they contain his mention with the mention of others; in the first narration Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Jafar, “You resemble me in my features and my character.” And he said to Zaid, “You are our brother and our friend.” And in both the Mubahalah and Kisa’ narrations, along with ‘Ali, mention is made of Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain. So Ibn Hazm is free of the objection.[152]

 

The Shia have, nonetheless, exceeded all limits in this regard. They have invented narrations and have likewise made false additions to authentic ones. The books dedicated to forgeries have documented a good amount of these narrations of the Shia.[153] Ibn al Jawzi mentions:

 

فضائله-يعني عليا- الصحيحة كثيرة غير أن الرافضة لم تقنع، فوضعت له ما يضع ولا يرفع

The authentic merits of ‘Ali are numerous. However, the Shia were not satisfied, so they fabricated more narrations; narrations which denigrate him instead of venerating him.[154]

 

Many a time they deceitfully and falsely attribute some of these narrations to the books of the Ahlus Sunnah whereas you will not find any trace of them whatsoever. Ibn Taymiyah therefore says:

 

و رأيت كثيرامن ذالك المعزو الذي عزاه أولئك (يعني بهم شيوخ الروافض الذين اطلع علي كتبهم)إلي المسند و الصحيحين و غيرهما باطلا لا حقيقة له

Many a times I have found their attribution of many of these narrations to the Musnad and the Sahihayn, etc., to be false and without any reality.[155]

 

These narrations, which they cite as proof, have been compiled by Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli. And Ibn Taymiyah has very conclusively separated the truth from the falsehood in responding to them.[156]

Nonetheless, the Shia have their deceitful and cunning ploys through the medium of which they endeavour to derive evidence from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. Perhaps the first person to expose these ploys was the great scholar of India Shah ‘Abd al ‘Aziz al Dehlawi in his book Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah.[157] Sheikh Muhammad Nasr Allah al Hindi al Makki, the teacher of the scholars and luminaries, a man unique and unparalleled in his knowledge, as al Alusi describes him, has likewise done the same in his book al Sawaqi’ al Muhriqah which Al Alusi has condensed and titled al Suyuf al Mushriqah.[158] Another scholar who has done work in this regard is al Sheikh al Suwaidi who has written Naqd ‘Aqa’id al Shia.[159] And I have mentioned some of these ploys in my book Fikrah al Taqrib[160] so there is no need to repeat them here.

Having said this, I will now mention their strongest evidence from the Sunnah just as I had previously mentioned their strongest evidence from the Qur’an.

 

Their Strongest Evidence from the Sunnah

Their strongest evidence from the Sunnah is ‘Hadith al Ghadir’. The importance that the Shia lend to this hadith can be gaged from the fact that one of their contemporary scholars has written a book comprising of sixteen volumes named, Ghadir in the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and Arabic literature. They aver that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, upon reaching Ghadir Khum[161]on his return from the Farewell Hajj told the people that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is his successor and the ruler after him. For Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala ordered him in the Qur’an:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۖ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ

O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not, then you have not conveyed His message.[162]

 

Al Majlisi after citing a hundred and five such narrations[163] avers:

 

إنا و مخالفينا قد روينا عن النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم أنه قام يوم غدير خم و قد جمع المسلمون فقال: أيها الناس ألست أولي بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم؟ فقالوا: بلي، قال صلي الله عليه و آله من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه اللهم وال من والاه، و عاد من عاداه، وانصر من نصره، واخذل من خذله

We and our opponents concur that when Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reached Ghadir Khum he addressed the people saying, “O people! Am I not closer to the believers than themselves?” they responded, “Most certainly.” Whereupon Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla.[164] O Allah befriend the one who befriends him, oppose the one who opposes him, help the one who helps him and abandon the one who abandons him.”[165]

 

Their books of Qur’anic exegesis similarly quote this narration in establishing his Imamah under the commentary of the aforecited verse. Likewise, all their books which discuss the issue of Imamah cite it as well.[166] This narration takes the foremost position among all their narrations which they present against the Ahlus Sunnah. Their scholar ‘Abdullah Shibr says:

 

ما روي العامة لأسرهم بطرق متواترة و أسانيد متضافرة تنيف علي مائة طريق و اتفقوا علي صحته و اعترفوا بوقوعه و هو حديث الغدير.

The narration which the commonality, the Ahlus Sunnah, have reported with more than a hundred widespread and supportive transmissions, and upon the authenticity of which they have all agreed, and the occurrence of which they have all conceded is the incident of Ghadir.[167]

 

Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli similarly used this narration in support of his argument which was subsequently very aptly rebutted by Ibn Taymiyyah.[168] Likewise Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab also debated the stance of al Mufid regarding the narration based on its Shia conception.[169] Most of the scholars who have combatted the Shia have in a like manner shed light upon this narration. [170] Hereunder I will briefly present the responses given by the Ahlus Sunnah:

Firstly, the fabricators have added on to the actual text of the narration. And besides the statement ‘whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla’ the rest of the narration which follows thereafter is not authentic according to a group of scholars.[171] Whilst another group of scholars aver that the narration in its entirety is unauthentic. Ibn Hazm mentions:

 

و أما من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه فلا يصح من طريق الثقات أصلا

And as for the narration ‘whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla’, it is not narrated through the transmission of reliable narrators.[172]

 

Rating the narration as weak and flawed is thus narrated from Imam Bukhari, Ibrahim al Harbi, and a group of scholars.[173]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

 

وأما قوله: من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه فليس هو في الصحاح، لكن هو مما رواه أهل العلم و تنازع الناس في صحته و أما قوله: اللهم وال من والاه و عاد من عاداه و انصر من نصره و اخذل من خذله فهو كذب باتفاق أهل المعرفة بالحديث

As for his statement, “Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla”, it does not appear in the authentic books of hadith. It is rather an addition which the scholars have transmitted and debated.[174] And as for his supplication, “O Allah befriend the one who befriends him, oppose the one who opposes him, help the one who helps him, and forsake the one who forsakes him”, it is a lie according to the consensus of the scholars of hadith.[175]

 

He further goes on to mention that a forgery can be identified by merely looking at its text. He explains:

 

لإن قوله أللهم انصر من نصره خلاف للواقع التاريخي الثابت فلا يصح عن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم أصلا وأما قوله اللهم وال من والاه و عاد من عاداه فهو مخالف لأصل الإسلام، فإن القرآن قد بين أن المؤمنين إخوة مع قتالهم و بغي بعضهم علي بعض

The supplication, “O Allah help the one who helps him,” is not harmonious with historical reality and therefore cannot be the supplication of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[176] Likewise the supplication, “O Allah befriend the one who befriends him and oppose the one who opposes him,” is against the primary text of Islam, the Qur’an, which states that the believers are brothers despite their internal wars and transgressions against each other.[177]

 

Secondly, Ibn Taymiyyah, after mentioning the variant views of the scholars regarding the authenticity of the statement, “Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla,” states:

 

إن لم يكن النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم قاله فلا كلام، فإن قاله فلم يرد به قطعا الخلافة بعده، إذ ليس في اللفظ ما يدل عليه، و هذا الأمر العظيم يجب أن يبلغ بلاغا مبينا.. والموالاة ضد المعاداة.و هذا حكم ثابت لكل مؤمن، فعلي رضي الله عنه من المؤمنين الذين يتولون المؤمنين و يتولونه،و في هذا الحديث إثبات إيمان علي في الباطن، و الشهادة له بأنه يستحق الموالاة باطنا و ظاهرا، و يرد ما يقوله فيه أعداؤه من الخوارج و النواصب، و لكن ليس فيه أنه ليس من المؤمنين مولي غيره، فكيف و رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم له موال و هم صالحوا المؤمنين

If this was not the statement of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then there is no debate. But, hypothetically, even if it is, he did not intend to appoint ‘Ali as the Khalifah after him. Because the wording of the narration does not accommodate that, more so when this is a pivotal issue which requires unequivocal and emphatic expression. Muwalat in this narration is thus the opposite of enmity which is established for every Muslim. Which implies that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a believer from among the believers who befriend each other and befriend him as well. The narration, however, is a testification to the internal faith of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and to the fact that he is deserving of friendship inwardly and outwardly; it is thus a refutation of what the Khawarij and the Nawasib, his enemies, accuse him of. But it does not in any way suggest that there is no master/leader for the believers besides him. Why would that be the situation when Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had many other Mawali besides him, i.e. the pious believers?[178]

 

Al Firoz’abadi, the author of al Qamus mentions:

 

و أما ما يظنه من يظن من الرافضة أن في الآية أو في الحديث دلالة علي أن عليا رضي الله عنه هو الخليفة بعد النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم فمن الجهل المقطوع بخطا صاحبه فإن الولاية بالفتح هي ضد العداوة، و الاسم منها مولي، وولي، والولاية بكسر الواو هي الإمارة، و الاسم منها والي و متولي.. والموالاة ضد المعاداة وهي من الطرفين كقوله تعالي: وَإِن تَظَاهَرَا عَلَيْهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ مَوْلَاهُ وَجِبْرِيلُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ ظَهِيرٌ وقال: ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَأَنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ لَا مَوْلَىٰ لَهُمْ وقال تعالي: وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ

And as for the assumption of the Shia that the verse[179] or the narration is evidence that ‘Ali is the Khalifah after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is the result of ignorance which is wrong with a doubt. Because Walayah with a Fathah is the opposite of enmity and the nouns derived therefrom are, Mawla and Wali. And Wilayah with a Kasrah means leadership and the nouns derived therefrom are Wali and Mutawalli. Hence Muwalat (affinity) is the opposite of Mu’adat (enmity) and it is reciprocal, as in the verse, “But if you cooperate against him – then indeed Allah is his friend, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers. And the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants,”[180] the verse, “That is because Allah is the Protector of those who have believed and because the disbelievers have no protector.” And the verse,[181] “The believing men and believing women are allies of one another.” There are many verse of this nature.[182]

 

Ostensibly, the Shia realised that this narration does not serve their purpose. They thus made many additions to it.

Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab averred that many of these additions are tantamount to disbelieve according to the entire Ummah. If a person reads these additions from the Bihar of al Majlisi he will see open disbelief and deviance. Such that can only be explained and elaborated upon in lengthy pages. Just looking at the texts thereof is enough to determine that they are forgeries.[183]

Thirdly, Shari’ah aside, it is a known fact in terms of language, reason and public convention that appointment of a Khalifah cannot be valid with such ambiguous words. Therefore, when Hassan ibn al Hassan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was asked, “Did not Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, “Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla.” He replied thus:

 

ألم يقل رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم لعلي من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه؟ فقال: أما والله إن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم إن كان يعني الإمرة والسلطان و القيام علي الناس بعده لأفصح لهم بذلك، كما أفصح لهم بالصلاة و الزكاة و صيام رمضان و حج البيت،و لقال لهم:إن هذا ولي أمركم من بعدي فاسمعوا له و أطيعوا فما كان من وراء هذا شيء، فإن أنصح الناس بالمسلمين رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم

Behold! By the oath of Allah! If Rasul Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended purpose was leadership over the people and successorship after him he would have made that clear to them in no uncertain terms. Just as he clarified salah, Zakat, fasting in Ramadan and Hajj for them; he would have said, “This is the person in charge of your affairs after me so listen to him and obey him.” In this statement, which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would more likely have said due to him being the best well-wisher for the Muslims, there would have been no ambiguity whatsoever.[184]

 

The purport of the narration is general for every believer. But the reason why ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is specifically mentioned is that some of his fellow companions were disillusioned with him. They continuously complained of him to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before he left Madinah when he sent him to Yemen during the Farewell Hajj.[185] Imam al Bayhaqi therefore says:

 

ليس فيه إن صح إسناده نص علي ولاية علي بعده فقد ذكرنا من طرقه في كتاب الفضائل ما دل علي مقصود النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم من ذلك، وهو أنه لما بعثه إلي اليمن كثر الشكاة عنه و أظهروا بغضه، فاراد النبي صلي الله عليه و سلم أن يذكر اختصاصه به و محبته إياه و يحثهم بذلك علي محبته و موالاته و ترك معاداته فقال:من كنت وليه فعلي وليه، و في بعض الروايات من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه، والمراد به ولاء الإسلام و مودته.و علي المسلمين أن يوالي بعضهم بعضا ولا يعادي بعضهم بعضا

Even if the narration is regarded authentic it does not yield any evidence for the leadership of ‘Ali after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for in the chapter of merits we have mentioned through his transmission the reason owing to which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made exclusive mention of him. That is, when he sent him to Yemen, many people were disillusioned with him and they expressed hatred for him. So Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remedying the situation informed them that ‘Ali is his bosom friend and enjoys his admiration thereby encouraging them to love him and befriend him, which is why he said, “Whoever’s wali I am ‘Ali is his wali.” And some narrations state, “Whoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla. His intention was the friendship of Islam and the love induced thereby. This is general for all the Muslims; they should befriend one another and should not be antagonistic to each other.[186]

 

After analysing their most crucial evidences from the Qur’an and from the Sunnah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, I will leave the analyses and critique of their remaining evidences to the books of the Ahlus Sunnah which have extensively covered and extirpated the misconceptions they deceitfully raise from the books of the Sunnah.

It goes without a doubt that it is very easy to study these misconceptions and debunk them, for it is enough to have recourse to Minhaj al Sunnah and books like it from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. However, analysing all of them will require many volumes which will not prove anything new. Therefore, I have sufficed upon their strongest evidence from the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Another very important reason for not delving into them is that the Shia do not believe anything that is established through the medium of the Ahlus Sunnah, however authentic it might be. But they create these misconceptions for one of two reasons:

  1. In order to satisfy the doubters and sceptics among their followership. That is by deceiving them into believe that these ‘beliefs’ are a locus of consensus between the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia but the Ahlus Sunnah, out of their arrogance, do not concede them.
  2. In order to keep the Ahlus Sunnah busy with these misconceptions so that they are not spared the time to study the seminal works of the Shia in hadith and Qur’anic exegesis and their transmitter dictionaries with a keen eye whereby they are able to expose the truth to the lay followers.

I therefore say that the Ahlus Sunnah have made tremendous efforts in combatting the first aspect. But they were unable to do so with regard to the second. For the scarcity of the books of the Shia made it difficult for them to critically analyse them and expose the erroneous beliefs contained within them. Yes in the belated centuries the scholars of India and Pakistan played a significant role in this regard. This issue thus still requires us to continue on this journey by uniting and synergising our efforts in presenting objective and academic studies which will expose the reality of this cult before the gullible and the vulnerable.

After analysing their strongest evidence from the Sunnah, we return to the issue of Nass analysing it as it appears in the books of the Shia.

 

Nass in the Books of the Shia:

The basis of the stance of the Shia on Imamah is Nass (explicit nomination).[187] Their evidences in support of it are variant. At times they are divine books which came down from the heavens with the explicit nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the subsequent Imams; but they disappeared according to them in 260 A.H with the occultation of the ‘Mahdi.[188] At times they are emphatic verses of the Qur’an which contain their unequivocal selection; but they also vanished from the Qur’an because of the doings of the Sahabah.[189] At times they are clear ‘narrations’ from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which were first contrived by Ibn Saba’, as is mentioned in Rijal al Kashshi and other books; but the Ummah unanimously decided to conceal them.[190] And at times they are esoteric interpretations of the verses of the Qur’an which are not known to anyone besides the Imams.[191]

They support these evidences with eerie claims of the Imams having extraordinary miracles, complete infallibility, inherited books, divine inspirational knowledge, and signs in them which make them distinct from the rest of the creation, etc.

Ibn Saba’ was the first person to contrive the idea of Nass. This idea was then generalised for the other members of Ahlul Bayt, about whom the Shia have differed greatly in terms of who among them were the Imams and how many there were. And as asserted by a group of scholars, the ones who were mainly responsible for the promotion of this idea were Hisham ibn al Hakam and Shaitan al Taq. Subsequent to that, after the year 260 A.H, owing to a group of people who contrived the idea of the hidden Mahdi and claimed to be his representatives, thereby eating the money of people in his name, the idea of the twelve Imams came into being (as will be mentioned under the topic of occultation).

Their narrations which discuss Nass have covered a large portion of their classical books like that of al Kafi, Bihar al Anwar, their books of Qur’anic exegesis, and the books of their scholars in general, the likes of al Mufid, al Tusi, and Ibn Mutahhar, etc.

So long as it remains an agreed upon fact in the books of the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia that the idea of Nass was first contrived by Ibn Saba’, and that, as the books of the Shia assert, it was circulated surreptitiously by the founding fathers of Shi’ism in a way that it was never disclosed before any of the scholars of Islam, including the ‘Imams’ of the Ahlul Bayt, and that the systematic development thereof ensued at the hands of people who have nothing to do with Islam, like that of Saffar, al Qummi, and al Kulayni; so long as these remain facts, I do not think it is possible for any Muslim to believe the texts containing it, especially when they have always been on the increase across the ages.

Sometimes even some of the Usulis (legists) among the Shia do not completely rely upon everything that features in these developmental collections. So much so that Jafar Al Kashif al Ghita’ states in his book Kashf al Ghita’, to which the Shia have constant recourse in our times. He says:

قال المحمدون الثلاثة: كيف يوثق بتحصيل العلم عليهم

The three Muhammads, how can they be trusted in the acquisition of knowledge.[192]

 

Nahj al Balaghah is the only book, every letter of which the Shia undisputedly accept, notwithstanding its late compilation in the fourth century of the quotes of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu—who was from the first century—and it not having any known and reliable chain of transmission to him.[193] If this is the status of their most reliable book then what would the condition of their other books be? Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

ليس أحد من الإمامية ينقل هذا النص بإسناد متصلا فضلا عن أن يكون متواترا

There is no Shia who narrates these narrations with a consistent chain of transmission, let alone it being widely narrated.[194]

 

In spite of its dubious status, if we refer to it in order to investigate the issue of Nass, we will find narrations therein which debunk it and everything else that they have claimed alongside it. The following narration thereof states that when the people expressed the desire to pledge their allegiance at the hands of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu he said:

 

دعوني والتمسوا غيري فإننا مستقبلون أمرا له وجوه وألوان لا تقوم له القلوب ولا تثبت عليه العقول، و إن تركتموني فإني كأحدكم،و لعلي أسمعكم و أطوعكم لمن وليتموه أمركم و أنا لكم وزيراخير مني لكم أميرا

Leave me alone and look for someone else besides me. For we are to encounter in the near future such an affair which will have different angles and forms, an affair which the hearts will not be able to bear and before which intellect will not remain firm. If you leave me, I will be just an ordinary person like you. And perhaps I will be the most submissive and obedient among you to the one whom you choose. I am better off as your minister than as your ruler.[195]

 

This narration clearly suggests that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not explicitly nominate ‘Ali as the Imam. Or else it would not have been permissible for him to say, “Leave me,” or, “And perhaps,” and, “I am for you.”[196]

For how is it possible for the infallible Imam to turn down the allegiance of the people saying, “leave me,” considering the fact that it is the most important principle of din? And why would he order them to pledge their allegiance to someone else saying, “Look for someone else besides me,” whereas the books of the Shia state that among the three people whom Allah will not look at on the Day of Judgment is a person who pledged his allegiance to an Imam who is not from Allah.[197]

So is he ordering them to disbelieve after having iman? Or is it that the claims of the Shia in this regard have no genuine connection with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and are rather the forgeries of a hater or the doings of an ardent disbeliever whose primary objective is to disunite the Ummah and instigate discord amongst its ranks?

Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli states that a person who relinquishes the position of Imamah cannot be an Imam, for if he was an Imam it would not be permissible for him to do so.[198] So what then would be the status of a person who rejects the allegiance of the masses and orders them to pledge allegiance to someone else? Does that not with more reason prove that there is no Nass regarding him from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

The narration of Nahj al Balaghah is thus harmonious with the historical facts and happenings which suggest that the rightly guided Khalifas radiya Llahu ‘anhum were never desirous of assuming the station of Caliphate and they never aspire for it. Because they treated it as a great trust and an ominous responsibility.

In addition, the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia unanimously agree that during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman; ‘Ali did not call upon the people to pledge allegiance to him and nor did anyone do that.[199] The Shia, however, motivate this with an explanation which is not behoving of Amir al Mu’minin. For they believe that he did intend to do that and that he was the one deserving of Imamah but, owing to his inability, he did not succeed.[200] Hence he resorted to Taqiyyah (dissimulation) and consequently discarded the greatest principle of din (as they allege). This—i.e. his disregard for Imamah—is what inspired one of the Shia sects, the Kamiliyyah, to excommunicate him from the Muslims. This is because the one who contrived this belief did not do so out his support and partisanship for Amir al Mu’minin, but in order to create disunity in the Ummah and conspire against it. Consequently, his invention resulted in the excommunication of the entire Ummah including Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali.

Anyway, further in this narration Amir al Mu’minin asserts in his statement, “And perhaps I will be the most obedient and submissive among you to the one whom you give charge of your affairs,” that he will be adherent to the individual whom the Muslims choose as their Khalifah. This obviously debunks the claim of him practicing Taqiyyah when pledging his allegiance to and obeying those who preceded him. Because a person who practices Taqiyyah cannot be like the other loyal Muslims let alone being the most obedient and submissive.

Furthermore, “To the one whom you give charge of your affairs,” establishes that the issue of appointing a ruler is left to the discretion of the Muslim populace and their consensus, not to the alleged Nass. It is likewise not restricted to a specific person.

For a second time in this narration he again repels the prospect of his leadership when he says, “I am better off as your minister than as your ruler.” This debunks the flaunting of merits and the demonstration of extraordinary miracles which the Shia attribute to him. It likewise debunks his criticism of the previous Khalifas which they allege he used to do in order to prove his worthiness of Imamah.

Furthermore, in another narration he explains that he did not assume the station of Caliphate due to aspiring for it or desiring it, but due to the Muslims pressing upon him to accept; he does not claim Nass and Wasiyyah (bequest). He says:

 

و الله ما كانت لي في الخلافة رغبة ولا في الولاية إربة، ولكنكم دعوتموني إليها، وحملتموني عليها

I had no inclination toward the Caliphate, nor did I have any desire to become the ruler. But you called upon me to accept it and pressed upon me to preside over it.[201]

 

He also mentions that the establishment of his Caliphate materialised due to the allegiance of the Muhajirin and the Ansar who were the people of Shura (consultation), for their consensus was reliable in this situation. If they were apostates, as the books of the Shia describe them, then accordingly their consensus would hold no meaning. In the same vein, if Nass really existed he would not have required their allegiance and consensus. Amir al Mu’minin mentions, as Nahj al Balaghah records:

 

إنه بايعني القوم الذين بايعوا أبا بكر و عمر وعثمان علي ما بايعوهم عليه( فطريقة بيعته لا تختلف عمن سبقه) فلم يكن للشاهد أن يختار ولا للغائب أن يرد (وهذا يوحي بأن يبعته لم تكن ثابتة من قبل كما يزعم الإمامية و إنما بعد ثبوتها بالبيعة لم يكن ثمة مجال للرد حينئذ) و إنما الشوري للمهاجرين و الأنصار،فإن اجتمعوا علي رجل وسموه إماما كان ذلك رضي (فإجماعهم هو الأصل في الإختيار لا النص)،فإن خرج عن أمرهم خارج بطعن أو بدعة ردوه إلي ما خرج منه، فإن أبي قاتلوه علياتباعه غير سبيل المؤمنين وولاه ما تولي

Certainly the people who pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman upon whatever they pledged allegiance to them are the very same people who have pledged allegiance to me (so he was not elected any differently from the way they were elected). Hence the present cannot nominate, and the absent cannot reject (this suggests that his Imamah did not exist prior to this as the Shia claim. It only came to being after his official election where after there remained no room for its denial.) Shura (consultation) is the prerogative of the Muhajirin and the Ansar; if they unite upon a person and endow him with the title ‘Imam’ that will be regarded as consensus (i.e. their consensus is key in the election, not Nass). If anyone, thereafter, rebels against their decision by way of criticism or innovation they will compel him to give up his rebellion. If he refuses, they will fight him for following a path other than that of the believers and they will give him what he has chosen (make him responsible for the choice he has made).[202]

 

This is an unequivocal text for the non-existence of Nass. The Shura was for the Muhajirin and the Ansar; whoever they elected was the Imam and whoever thereafter rebelled had to be fought due to following a way other than that of the believers. If there was Nass regarding ‘Ali he would have definitely made mention of it.

All of these texts are from Nahj al Balaghah which according to the Shia is beyond doubt and which cannot be corrupted by falsehood due to it containing the statements of the infallible Imam. The Shia do not doubt a single word thereof. These narrations debunk all their claims of Nass regarding ‘Ali and the Imams.

This conception of leadership which is reported from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Nahj is in harmony with what is established in the legacy of the Ahlus Sunnah regarding him. Thus making both the parties unanimous in this issue. Imam Ahmed has narrated the following narration in his Musnad from Waki’ — from A’mash — from Salim ibn Abi al Ja’d — from ‘Abdullah ibn Sabu’ who says that he heard ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying when it was mentioned that he will be killed:

 

قالوا: فاستخلف علينا قال: لا،ولكن أترككم إلي ما ترككم إليه رسول الله علي الله عليه وسلم قالوا:ما تقول لربك إذا أتيته؟ قال: أقول: اللهم تركتني فيهم ما بدا لك ثم قبضتني إليك و أنت فيهم، فإن شئت أصلحتهم، و إن شئت أفسدتهم

They said, “Appoint a ruler over us.”

He said, “No but I will leave you in the condition in which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left you.”

They asked, “How will you answer to Allah when you appear before him?”

He said, “I will say, ‘O Allah you kept me amongst them for as long you deemed appropriate. Then you gave me death whilst you were still with them. If you wanted you could have reformed them and if you wanted you could have destroyed them.’”[203]

 

He narrates a similar narration from Aswad ibn ‘Amir — from A’mash — from Salamah ibn Kuhayl — from ‘Abdullah ibn Sabu’.[204] There are other similar narrations as well.[205]

Likewise ‘Abbas said to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

فاذهب بنا إليه (يعني إلي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم) فنسأله فيمن هذا الأمر؟ فإن كان فينا عرفناه و إن كان في غيرنا أمرناه فوصاه بنا

Let’s go to him, i.e. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and ask him as to who will take charge of this affair? If he is a person from amongst us we will get to know him and if he is from another family we will tell Rasul Allah to advise him regarding our rights.[206]

 

This transpired on Monday, the day Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away. Which is evidence of the fact that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away without appointing anyone.[207]

It also appears in Sahih al Bukhari that once the people made mention of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the appointed successor of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha who said:

 

متي أوصي إليه، وقد كنت مسندته إلي صدري، أو قالت: حجري فدعا بالطست، فلقد انخنث في خحجري فما شعرت أنه قد مات فتمي أوصي إليه

When did he appoint him? I was making him recline upon my chest or (she said) my lap. He asked for a tray. Thereafter he turned in my lap and I did not realise that he passed away. So when did he appoint him?[208]

 

Likewise it has authentically been narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas that the Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not appoint anyone. This is recorded by Ibn Abi Shaybah — from Arqam ibn Shurahbil who narrates from him.[209]

 

Deriving Evidence from the Widely Known and the Unanimously Established Aspects of Din

The Ahlus Sunnah have authentically established evidences regarding the fact that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not explicitly nominate ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the Imam after him. And the texts which the Shia attribute to the Ahlul Bayt are flawed either in their transmission or their purport thus rendering them baseless against the Ahlus Sunnah.

The Shia also have their evidences which they have documented in their books. But the Ahlus Sunnah do not concede them and aver that they have been fabricated and projected to the Imams by some of the Shia. As for the narrations which appear in their books but debunk their claims on this issue, like that of the narrations of Nahj al Balaghah, they resort to interpretations and Taqiyyah in order to discredit them.

Hence in analysing this issue, which holds the most crucial position in the Shia dogma, let us rather resort to the widely known and unanimously accepted principles of our din. For as Ibn Taymiyah says:

 

نقدر-أن الأخبار المتنازع فيها لم توجد أو لم يعلم أيها الصحيح، و نترك الاستدلال بها في الطرفينن و نرجم إلي ما هو معلوم بغير ذلك من التواتر وما يعلم من العقول والعادات وما دلت عليه النصوص المتفق عليها

Let us for a moment assume that these contentious narrations did not exist at all, or that we are unable to ascertain which of them are correct and which not. We thus leave them aside and resort to those aspects which are widely known, which can be understood via reason and convention and which are established through the unanimously accepted texts.[210]

 

Hereunder we will shed light upon some of these aspects which are so many that they require a separate book be dedicated to them.[211]

Firstly, Let us leave the contentious narrations aside and resort to the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala by trying to understand it in light of the Arabic language alone. This is because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed the Qur’an in the clear Arabic language. And the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia unanimously accept the laws thereof just as they both unanimously accept the meanings that its words ought to have. Therefore it can serve as an arbitrator in this issue.

So do we find the mention of the Twelve Imams with their names in the Qur’an as clearly as we find the mention of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with his names and attributes? Because the Imam according to them is like a Nabi and hence the denier of an Imam is like the denier of a Nabi or even worse.

And do we find any explicit mention therein of Imamah in a like manner that we find the explicit mention of the fundamentals of Islam in various places thereof, in understanding which we do not require esoteric interpretations or fabricated narrations? For Imamah according to them is the greatest principle of Islam.

How is it possible that they are not mentioned or even subtly implied? Is this not evidence of the fact that the claims of the Shia in this regard do not have any basis? If it is, then the only way forward is to give them up because of them being in complete contrast with the book of Allah.

Ibn Taymiyyah has hinted to this approach in his exchange with Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli. Hence he says:

 

فإن تركوا الرواية رأسا أمكن أن تترك الرواية

If they intend to give these narrations up completely it is possible.[212]

 

He has then applied this approach in debunking the claims of the Shia regarding Imamah by saying:

 

وهب أنا لا نحتج بالحديث فقد قال الله تعالي: إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَجِلَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَإِذَا تُلِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتُهُ زَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَعَلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ حَقًّا ۚ لَّهُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ. فشهد لهؤلاء بالإيمان عن غير ذكر للإمامة. وقال تعالي: إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ. فجعلهم صادقين في الإيمان من غير ذكر الإمامة.

And assume for a while that we do not derive evidence from hadith. But Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says, ‘The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely –. The ones who establish prayer, and from what we have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees [of high position] with their Lord and forgiveness and noble provision.”[213] So Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has attested to their complete faith without making mention of the doctrine of Imamah (as part of the fundamentals). He also says, ‘The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.”[214] Here as well Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala talks of their sincerity of faith without the mention of Imamah.

 

Ibn Taymiyyah goes on to mention other examples of this sort.[215] These and other examples besides them establish the fact that the Imamah of the Twelve Imams, which the Shia treat as the cornerstone of their dogma and its very core, does not have any basis in the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Secondly, the grandeur of this phenomenon is such that it should have been widely transmitted; if it had any basis it would have been transmitted as efficiently as the other teachings of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Especially when considering the fact that many fabricated and baseless narrations have been reported regarding the merits of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. So why was the truth not transmitted whereas it was meant for the people? For Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had ordered the people to convey whatever they heard from him. Owing to which it was impermissible for them to conceal that which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala ordered them to convey.[216] Similarly, if the Sahabah concealed the explicit appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu they would have concealed his merits as well and not reported anything thereof. However that is in contradiction with the reality. Hence it is evident that if there was anything of that sort it would have been reported.

This is also because the explicit appointment of a Khalifah is a very great event. And great events usually necessitate large-scale popularity. So if such popularity did indeed materialise, his opponents and proponents would have known it alike. But the mere fact that it did not reach any of the jurists and scholars of hadith suggests that it is a lie.[217] The only people that have reported it are the Shia, who are the claimants (and thus have to provide sound evidence) and whose narrations yield a lot of suspicion due to their lies, transgressions, innovations, treading the path of deviance by claiming impossible things which defy reason, and due to them reviling the Companions of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[218]

Furthermore, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum conveyed every aspect of the life of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to us, whether it be his statements and actions, his orders and prohibitions, his eating and drinking, his sitting and sleeping, or anything else related to his life. It is thus unreasonable to postulate that they did not convey his explicit nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Ibn Hazm says:

 

وبرهان ضروري وهو أن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم مات وجمهور الصحابة رضي الله عليهم حاشا من كان في النواحي يعلم الناس الدين فما منهم أحد أشار إلي علي بكلمة يذكر فيها أن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم نص عليه. ومن المحال الممتنع الذي لا يمكن ألبتة اتفاق أكثر من عشرين ألف إنسان متنابذي الهمم والنيات والأنساب… علي طي عهد رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم إليهم. وما وجدنا قط رواية عن أحد في النص المدعي إلا رواية واهية عن مجهولين إلي مجهول يكني أبا الحمراء لا يعرف من هو في الخلق.

The most conclusive evidence in this regard is that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away and the majority of the Sahabah, apart from those who were teaching people din in the outskirts of Madinah, were present. Not one of them even hinted toward Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphatically appointing ‘Ali. It is impossible to conceive that a followership comprising of more than twenty thousand people despite their disparate endeavours, ambitions, and ethnicities succeeded in doing away with a bequest of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And apart from one narration which is narrated through the transmission of unknown people who narrate from an unknown person by the name of Abu al Hamra’, I do not know of any narration which talks of the alleged explicit nomination.[219]

 

Thirdly, Imamah is one of the mandatory aspects which concern the wellbeing of the populace. So to say that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphatically nominated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but the Sahabah distorted his nomination, would open the door for any heretic to claim, for example, that salah initially comprised of ten prayers but owing to their base desires the Sahabah concealed five and kept five. If someone succeeds in this manner in distorting the emphatic orders of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then to distort any mandatory aspect of din will become possible too. Consequently, this will reach a stage wherein no aspect of din will remain reliable.[220]

Fourthly, the claim of the Shia regarding the explicit nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is akin to the claim regarding the explicit nomination of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If they aver that the explicit nomination of ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu is invalid it can similarly be said that the explicit nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is also invalid. For by refuting the appointment of ‘Abbas the appointment of ‘Ali automatically loses credibility due to there being no valid and explicit appointment in both cases. Therefore we find that there are many sub-sects among the Shia who differ greatly with the Twelvers regarding the explicit nomination of many of those who they take as their Imams. To the extent that regarding the Twelfth Imam there are twenty variant subsects. Each one refutes the “Nass” of the other.

Furthermore, Nass is derived from the word Minassah which means: a person who is mounted on a horse and is conspicuous. So where is the conspicuousness of the Nass regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu? If it had any basis it would have been perceptible, famous, reported widely and on the tongues of the people; the elite and the commonality would have known it alike. If they say that there was Nass but the people concealed it, it can also be said that there was Nass regarding ‘Abbas but the people concealed it as well. If an issue of this magnitude can be done away with, then someone can also claim that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had a son whom he had explicitly appointed but the Sahabah were jealous of him and consequently killed him. There is a great amount of similarity in these claims which no intelligent person will ever make.[221]

Fifthly, we all know that no two people disputed Abu Bakr’s nomination of ‘Umar, nor did any confusion ensue in that regard. When ‘Umar similarly appointed the consultative committee consisting of six people it became so widely known that no one could deny it. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the most virtuous; the readiness of the people to adhere to his orders was by far more than their readiness to adhere to anyone else; and their desire to transmit his orders and teachings was far greater. Based on this it is impossible to believe that no dispute ensued regarding Abu Bakr’s nomination and likewise ‘Umar’s, instead even Muawiyah’s nomination of his son Yazid gained a lot of popularity and was widely known to an extent that it was undisputed, but Rasul Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nomination was not reported by one person,[222] as the Shia acknowledge that Imamah and the narrations regarding it were a secret from among their secrets.

Sixthly, it is not possible to conceive that the Muhajirin and the Ansar unanimously accepted ‘Umar as the undisputed successor of Abu Bakr but they did not accept ‘Ali as the appointed successor of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? For were the Muslims more obedient to Abu Bakr than they were to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

How can an intelligent person concede and how can it occur to any person pious or impious (except those of course whom Allah has intended to misguide) that the Muhajirin, the Ansar and those who meticulously succeeded them despite knowing that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam nominated ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his successor and ordered them to befriend him disobeyed him (Rasul Allah) and discarded his bequest. But when Abu Bakr ordered them to make ‘Umar their ruler they obeyed. Likewise when ‘Umar ordered them to appoint a consultative committee consisting of six people they obeyed without hesitation.[223]

Furthermore, it is impossible to think that the Muslims established salah, Zakat, fasting, Hajj, striving in the path of Allah, and all the other injunctions of Islam but neglected the greatest of them all, i.e. allegiance to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which is enough to render all their deeds unaccepted. And what benefit was there for them in pledging their allegiance to Abu Bakr and not to ‘Ali?[224]

Lastly, if the Nass regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu existed and was valid it would not have been permissible for him to become part of the consultative committee appointed by ‘Umar.[225] Thus he should have said, “I am the appointed ruler and therefore there is no need for me to be part of the committee.” Nor would it have been permissible for him to give his allegiance to Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

It is not reasonable to think that he, being a lion in his bravery, withheld the information of Nass due to the fear of death. For he was willing to sacrifice his life several times during the lifetime of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in order to defend Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and during his reign in the Battles of Jamal and Siffin. So why would he become a victim of cowardice between these two periods[226] owing to which he had to resort to Taqiyyah?

Furthermore, if he was the appointed ruler and he was given charge of the Ummah’s affairs after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he was entrusted with a responsibility which he should have diligently carried out, and in securing which he should have repressed all opposition. If he had failed in doing so without a valid reason then he had violated the rights thereof (which is very unlikely given his position and repute). And if he was helpless owing to which he could not take any action, then some sort of incapacitating occurrence should have been recorded which would hint at his endeavour to procure his right and subsequent inability, especially when he was the man in charge. Consider, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu—who according to you was weaker than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu—did not give this task up and was rather happy with the decree of Allah and His order; he did not neglect the responsibility entrusted to him. Likewise, when in his time the people turned apostate and refused to pay Zakat, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not leave the problem unattended. Had he done so Islam would have vanished. But he fought them and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala aided him against them. There was no one among the Sahabah similarly who remained silent when it came to establishing the truth.[227]

So how can the Shia possibly ascribe acquiescence with falsehood, cowardice, and fear to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu due to which he failed to demand his legitimate right? So much so that all the people besides a few turned apostate due to him postponing the demand of his right, notwithstanding that he was the Lion of Allah and His Rasul.

In fact it is not recorded anywhere that he invited the people to himself or that he even defended his leadership, not to mention anything about fighting to secure it. For had any of that happened it would have been famous. Despite the occurrence of some very crucial occasions whose very nature demanded that he disclose his appointment, like that of the incidents of Saqifah and the Shura, he did not make any mention of Nass.[228] He rather called upon his partisans to pledge their allegiance to him, as the Shia acknowledge, but he did not claim Nass, his explicit nomination.[229]

Ibn Taymiyyah has mentioned that one of the evidences wherefrom we can definitively conclude that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not convey anything to the Ummah regarding the explicit nomination of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that after his demise one of the Ansar proposed the idea that two rulers should be elected, one from the Ansar and one from the Muhajirin.[230] But the Sahabah rejected and asserted that leadership is only for the Quraysh;[231] they are reported to have narrated many reports from Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which state that rulership is for the Quraysh. Despite all of this, not one person in that gathering reported anything that suggested that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was more rightful of it and hence the people pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Notwithstanding that most of the Banu ‘Abd Manaf, comprising of the Banu Hashim and the Banu Umayyah, had a very strong inclination toward the leadership of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu but none of them made any mention of his explicit nomination by Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The exact same ensued during the reign of ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Similarly when he took charge of affairs in his era he did not make mention of Nass, nor did anyone from his household or from the popular Sahabah make any such claim.

Furthermore, if Nass existed there would have been no disputes during his rule. But the reality is that the Ummah did not unanimously accept him, nor did they accept anyone else besides him.

Even when the incident of arbitration took place and most of the people were in his favour there was no one among his partisans, let alone anyone else besides them, who made any reference to his explicit nomination despite the context demanding that. They rather presented the narration regarding the rebellious party killing ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as their evidence.[232] This narration is at most narrated by three people or so; it is not a widespread narration. But Nass according to the Shia is widespread. Subhan Allah, eerie indeed, how did the partisans of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu deem it appropriate to support their stance with this hadith (which is not narrated by more than three people) but not with Nass (which is allegedly widespread)?[233]

As for the claim regarding the Nass or explicit nomination of the Twelve Imams, its improbability is much more, its falsity more evident, and its deception more obvious. For the Twelvers are the only ones who reported it whereas they are one sect of the Shia, who comprise of seventy different sects, who all deny their claims in this regard.

And the Nusus (texts) which contain explicit nomination, which the Twelvers cite in support of their stance are all opposed by the texts of the other multitudes of Shia sects which they present in support of those besides the Twelve whom they take as their Imams.

These claims did not come into existence but two hundred and fifty years after the demise of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For they were contrived by the later Shia; the ones who preceded them did not aver the same.

The Ahlus Sunnah and their scholars, who are ten times more than the Shia, know without a shadow of doubt that they are all lies which have been attributed to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and are willing to enter into Mubahalah (mutual imprecation) with the Shia regarding that.

Likewise, the legacy of the Ahlul Bayt which has been widely reported and documented attest to the fact that they are lies and that the Ahlul Bayt did not claim Nass for themselves. Rather they refuted and belied any person who claimed it, let alone affirming the Nass regarding the Twelve Imams.[234]

If the issue of Imamah was really as the Shia describe it to be it would not have been permissible for Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu to relinquish his Imamah to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and thereby aid him in deviance, invalidating the truth, and demolishing the din owing to which he would be considered his partner in every evil. Likewise it would not have been permissible for him to disregard the bequest of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Nor would it have been permissible for his brother, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to agree with him to the extent that he did not violate his allegiance to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu till he passed away. To reiterate, why did Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma consider it lawful to disregard the bequest of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam willingly without any coercion, especially when there were more than a hundred thousand souls with Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu who were willing to give their lives for him. By Allah, if Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not know that he had the option of handing his Imamah over to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and equally the option of not handing it over to him he would not have combined the two by securing it for himself for six months because of it being his right and subsequently relinquishing it to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu without any genuine need to do so. Instead it was best for him. Because his grandfather Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had prophesised that upon the pulpit when he said:

 

إن ابني هذا سيد ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

Verily this son of mine is a leader. And perhaps Allah will unite two big great groups of the Muslims through him.

 

This is the wording of Sahih al Bukhari.[235]

Nonetheless, there are many sound and definitive arguments in this regard. Some are enough for the guidance of a person who strips himself from following his ego and fanaticism.

 

NEXT⇒ The Ruling regarding a Person who denies the Imamah of One of the Twelve Imams


[1][1] Imamah literally means leadership and an Imam is any person who people follow, whether they be upon the straight path or astray. The word Imam is also used in the meaning of Khalifah (successor), a scholar who has a followership, and a person who leads a congregation in salah (See: al Lisan, al Qamus, and al Misbah under the root letters أم. Also see the definition of Imamah according to the Ahlus Sunnah in: al Mawardi: al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah p. 5; Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun 2/516-518).

[2] Rijal al Kashshi p. 108-109; al Qummi: al Maqalat wa al Firaq: p. 20; al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia p. 22; al Razi: al Zinah p. 305. Also refer to: al Milal wa al Nihal: 1/174. Al Shahrastani therein says that Ibn Saba’ was the first to express the idea of the divine appointment of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[3] All the previously cited references.

[4] ‘Aqa’id al Saduq p. 106.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Bihar al Anwar 39/342. This means that there is no successor to come after ‘Ali which necessarily means that the Imamah of those who succeeded him is invalid thereby rendering the Twelver Dogma invalid.

[7] Usul al Kafi 1/227.

[8] Ibid. 1/286.

[9] Al Nafi’ Yawm al Hashr p. 47.

[10] Asl al Shia wa Usuluha p. 58.

[11] Bihar al Anwar 26/82.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Al Amidi: Ghayat al Maram p. 363; al Ghazali: al Iqtisad p. 134; Muqaddamah Ibn Khaldun 3/1080.

[14] Firaq al Shia p. 19.

[15] Asl al Shia p. 58

[16] Usul al Kafi 1/175.

[17] Zahr al Rabi’ p. 12.

[18] Wadayi’ al Nubuwwah p. 114.

[19] Usul al Kafi: Kitab al Iman wa al Kufr, chapter regarding the fundamentals of Iman, 2/18. This hadith has been classed reliable and given the status of a reliable hadith. Hence it is an acceptable narration according to their standards (See: al Shafi fi Sharh al Kafi 5/28).

[20] Ibid. this narration has an authentic chain of transmission, as attested to by their scholars (see: al Shafi 5/59). This narration also appears in Tafsir al ‘Ayyashi 1/191, al Burhan 1/303 and Bihar al Anwar 1/394.

[21] Al Majlisi says, “E.g. shortening the salah on journey, not fasting when on journey or after taking ill and the concession of not discharging Zakat, and not performing Hajj when not having the means. (Mir’at al ‘Uqul 4/369).

[22] Usul al Kafi 2/22. Al Majlisi rates the hadith as authentic (according to their standards of course). See Mir’at al ‘Uqul 4/369.

[23] Ibn Babawayh: al Khisal p. 600-601; Bihar al Anwar 23/69.

[24] Al Himyari: Qurb al Isnad p.123; Bihar al Anwar 23/69.

[25] Hadi al Tahrani: Wadayi’ al Nubuwwah p. 115; Muhammad Hussain Al Kashif al Ghita’: Risalah ‘Ayn al Mizan p. 4

[26] Al Qummi: al Maqalat wa al Firaq p. 20; al Nawbakhti: Firaq al Shia p. 22-23. In Rijal al Kashshi p. 107. It is mentioned that ‘Ali executed him.

[27] Al Mazindarani: Sharh al Jami’ 9/123.

[28] Usul al Kafi 2/224.

[29] Al Mazindarani: Sharh al Jami’ 9/118.

[30] Usul al Kafi 2/222.

[31] Al Mazindarani: Sharh al Jami’ 10/26.

[32] Usul al Kafi 2/224.

[33] Sharh Jami’ 10/26.

[34] The reviser of al Kafi has commented thus upon this narration: “This refers to the pledge Allah and his Rasul had taken from the Imams ‘alayh al Salam to keep the matter of Imamah a secret from others.” Usul al Kafi 2/227.

[35] Usul al Kafi 2/227.

[36] Kaysan is the title of Mukhtar ibn ‘Ubayd al Tahqafi who is the eponym of the Kaysaniyyah. Sharh al Jami’ 9/121-122.

[37] Usul al Kafi 2/223.

[38] Usul al Kafi 2/225.

[39] Sharh al Jami’ 9/126.

[40] The Shia call him Mu’min al Taq (see: Rijal al Kashshi p. 185). To see his biography click here.

[41] Rijal al Kashshi p. 186.

[42] Usul al Kafi 1/186.

[43] Tanqih al Maqal 1/470.

[44] Majallah al Fath (issue no. 862, Dhu al Hijjah 1367 A.H.) p. 5.

[45] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah al Ithna ‘Ashariyyah p. 195-196.

[46] Rijal al Kashshi p. 190-191.

[47] Tathbit Dala’il al Nubuwwah 1/225. Perhaps the intention of al Qadi is the divine appointment of specific individuals of the Ahlul Bayt besides ‘Ali. Because the idea of his divine appointment was presented by Ibn Saba’.

[48] Rijal al Kashshi p. 258.

[49] Ibn Kathir: al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 10/183.

[50] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/155.

[51] Rijal al Kashshi p. 262.

[52] Because the Shia claim that he was poisoned and killed in the prison of Harun al Rashid.

[53] Rijal al Kashshi p. 268.

[54] Ibid. p. 270-271, 279.

[55] Rijal al Kashshi p. 278.

[56] Abu Shakir al Disani the eponym of the Disaniyyah. He was one of the people who had misguided Hisham ibn al Hakam (al Rafi’i: Taht Rayat al Qur’an p. 176).

[57] ‘Abd al Husain al Musawi: al Muraja’at p. 313.

[58] Bihar al Anwar 100/259.

[59] There is a subtle indication in this answer that the denial of Jafar was by way of Taqiyyah.

[60] Rijal al Kashshi p. 427.

[61] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 193.

[62] This was a common problem amongst them (see: Rijal al Kashshi p. 498-499) *

[63] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/111.

[64] Passed ealier in this book. click here

[65] This has passed earlier in this post. click here

[66] Al Mazindarani: Sharh Jami’ 9/123.

[67] Rijal al Kashshi p. 373.

[68] Rijal al Kashshi p. 373-374.

[69] Usul al Kafi 1/534.

[70] Al Ghaybah p. 92

[71] Usul al Kafi 1/532; Ibn Babawayh: Ikmal al Din p. 263; al Mufid: al Irshad p. 393; al Tusi: al Ghaybah p. 92.

[72] Ibn Babawayh: al Khisal p. 477-478.

[73] ‘Uyun Akhbar al Rida 2/52.

[74] Al Ghaybah p. 137.

[75] He mentions, “Hibat Allah engaged in the sciences of theology and attend the gatherings of Abu al Hussain ibn Shaybah al ‘Alawi who was a Zaidi. He wrote a book and mentioned therein that there are thirteen Imams including Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain. In substantiating his stance he drew support from a narration which appears in the book of Sulaym ibn Qays al Hilali which reads thus, “There are twelve Imams from the posterity of Amir al Mu’minin.” (see: Rijal al Kashshi p. 343).

[76] Surah al Saffat: 69-70.

[77] Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 200.

[78] Surah al Nisa’: 59.

[79] Minhaj al Sunnah 2/105. The wording of al Bukhari is thus: Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to Abu Dhar, “Listen and obey even if the ruler be a slave whose head is like a raisin.” Sahih al Bukhari: chapter regarding Adhan: the sub-chapter regarding the leadership of an astray and innovator: 2/188. The wording mentioned in the above is that of Muslim. Sahih Muslim: chapter regarding leadership: sub-chapter regarding the incumbency of obedience to the leaders in matters which are not sins: 2/1467.

[80] Ibn Taymiyah has mentioned some of them in Minhaj al Sunnah 2/105-106.

[81] Nahj al Balaghah p. 82.

[82] See the writings of Abu Hatim al Razi regarding the doubts he creates regarding the Imamah of the Twelve Imams from after Jafar al Sadiq in his book al Zinah (manuscript): p. 232-233.

[83] Muhammad Mughniyah: al Khumayni wa al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 68.

[84] Al Khumayni: al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 48.

[85] Sahih al Bukhari, chapter regarding legal judgments, sub-chapter regarding appointing a successor, 8/127.

[86] Sahih Muslim, chapter regarding leadership, sub-chapter regarding people being subject to Quraysh in matters of Caliphate, 2/1453.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Ibid. p. 1452.

[89] Sunan Abi Dawood, chapter regarding the Mahdi: 4/471.

[90] Ibid. 4/472. In Musnad al Bazzar this narration is mentioned with a slight variation which is as follows: ‘He then returned home so I came to him and asked him, “Then what will happen?’ He said, “large scale fighting.” (Ibn Hajr al ‘Asqalani: Fath al Bari 13/211).

[91] Al Khisal p. 470; al Ghaybah p. 88; al Arbili: Kashf al Ghummah p. 56-57; al Bayadi: al Sirat al Mustaqim 2/100; Shibr: Haqq al Yaqin p. 338; al Samawi: al Imamah 1/147, etc.

[92] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/210; al Muntaqa p. 533. Their narrations which assert that all the people turned renegade after demise of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam besides three people, likewise after the martyrdom of Hussain besides three people, are coming ahead.

[93] Mukhtasar al Sawaqi’ p. 43-44.

[94] See earlier post of this book. click here

[95] See earlier post of this book. click here

[96] See earlier post of this book. click here

[97] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/206.

[98] Ibid 4/210.

[99] Refer to the section of Taqiyyah.

[100] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/211.

[101] Sahih Muslim: chapter regarding the characteristics of the hypocrites and their rulings: 3/2143-2144.

[102] In his book which he has compiled regarding the Mahdi Abu al Hassan ibn al Munadi mentions, “I found the following in the book of Daniel, ‘When the ‘Mahdi’ dies five men from the tribe of the biggest son (of Israel), then five men from the tribe of the youngest son (of Israel). The last among them will then bequeath that the rule should be passed on to a man from the children of the eldest son. He will be followed by his son which brings the total amount to twelve. Each one of them will be guided.’” (Fath al Bari 13/310).

[103] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/210.

[104] Al Hurr al ‘Amili: al Fusul al Muhimmah fi Usul al A’immah p. 142; Ibn al Mutahhar: Nahj al Mustarshidin p. 63.

[105] Al Muzaffar: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah p. 103.

[106] Usul al Kafi: chapter regarding the Imams being emphatically appointed by Allah and his Rasul: 1/286.

[107] Ibn Khaldun: al Muqaddamah (with the revision of ‘Ali ‘Abd al Wahid al Wafi) 2/ 527.

[108] He has, however, fallen short of reaching two thousand narrations; he has sufficed on mentioning a thousand and thirty eight reports which he considers evidence for his claim (al A’lami: Muqaddamah al Alfayn p. 10).

[109] Al Dhari’ah ila Tasanif al Shia 1/320.

[110] Usul al Kafi 1/377.

[111] Al ‘Uyun 2/127.

[112] Surah al Nisa’: 165.

[113] See earlier post of this book. click here

[114] Rijal al Kashshi p. 458.

[115] Surah al Ma’idah: 55

[116] Talkhis al Shafi 2/10.

[117] Majma’ al Bayan 2/128.

[118] Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli: Minhaj al Karamah p. 148; Shibr: Haqq al Yaqin 1/144; al Zanjani: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah 1/81-82.

[119] The name ‘authentic books’ is a false name. Because the Ahlus Sunnah do not name all six books Sihah (books which contain only empirically sound narrations). They instead call them the ‘six books’. But this is not strange because the Shia are known for their exaggeration especially when they have fabricated lies against Allah and his Rasul.

[120] Haqq al Yaqin 1/144; ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah 1/81-82.

[121] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/4.

[122] It is a lie which the Shia are not ashamed of asserting. For it is strange that this is what is stated by some of their senior Ayatollahs in contemporary times, the likes of Shibr and al Zanjani, etc. So is it really unknown to them that it does not appear in the six books?

In our times there is no scarcity of catalogued hadith books and lexicons which will reveal the reality (Check: ‘‘Ali ibn Abi Talib’ in al Mu’jam al Mufahras li Alfaz al Hadith and Kunuz al Sunnah. And refer to the books which are dedicated to compiling the explanatory narrations for the verses of the Qur’an and incidents which prompted the revelation thereof like that of al Durr al Manthur 3/104-106. Or the books which are dedicated to compiling the narrations of the six books likes that of Jami’ al Usul. You will not find any ground for their evidence whatsoever. Therefore Ibn Taymiyyah states that the majority of the Ummah did not even hear this incident, nor does it feature in any of their seminal works, not the Sihah and not the Sunan, not the Jawami’ (comprehensive books of hadith) and not the Mu’jamat (lexicons of hadith). It likewise does not appear in any of the canonical works. See: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/5.

[123] Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/76-77.

[124] Ruh al Ma’ani 6/168.

[125] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/208, 4/5.

[126] Ibid. 4/5.

[127] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/5.

[128] Even though the incident which prompted the revelation of this verse is specific. But the generality of the words is what is headed, not the specific incident of revelation.

[129] Surah al Ma’idah: 51.

[130] Tafsir al Fakhr al Razi 12/25.

[131] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/5.

[132] In fact, even Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cannot be described as the ruler of the believers and their governor, for his status is beyond that. Even Abu Bakr al Siddiq was, during his reign, only called Khalifat Rasul Allah (the successor of Rasul Allah). The first person to be called Amir al Mu’minin was ‘Umar ibn al Khattab (Minhaj al Sunnah 4/9.)

[133] This friendship, unlike the friendship of humans which is based upon need, is His mercy upon us. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلِّ ۖ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

And say, “Praise to Allah, who has not taken a son and has had no partner in [His] dominion and has no [need of a] protector out of weakness; and glorify Him with [great] glorification.”

 

So Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does not befriend any one out of weakness. Instead he says:

مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا

Whoever desires honour [through power] – then to Allah belongs all honour (Fatir: 10) (Minhaj al Sunnah 4/9).

[134] Ibid.

[135] Al Zamakhshari: Al Kashshaf 1/624; Tafsir al Razi 12/25.

[136] Al Maqdisi: Risalah fi al Radd ‘Ala al Rafidah p. 220-221; Mukhtar al Sihah (under the roots letters ولي).

[137] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/8.

[138] Ibid. also refer to Tafsir al Razi 12/25; Tafsir al Alusi 6/167.

[139] Professor ‘Ali al Salus has done a comprehensive study of verses of the Qur’an which they use for substantiating the doctrine of Imamah in his books al Imamah ‘ind al Jafariyyah wa al Adillah min al Qur’an al ‘Azim. He has concluded that all their proofs are related to incidents which prompted the revelation of verses of the Qur’an which are not reliable enough to prove as evidence for their doctrine.

[140] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 2/134 (taken from al Sunnah wa Makanatuha fi al Tashri’ al Islami p. 76).

[141] The complete narration of Sahih al Bukhari states that when Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left for Tabuk he told ‘Ali to take charge over Madinah. ‘Ali asked him, “Are you leaving me behind with the children and women?” Whereupon Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Does it not please you, O ‘Ali, that you be to me as Harun was to Musa, however, there is no Nabi to come after me.” (Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter Regarding the Campaigns: Sub-chapter Regarding the Battle of Tabuk: 8/12; see also: Sahih Muslim: Chapter Regarding the Campaigns: Sub-chapter Regarding the Battle of Tabuk: 2/1870; Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter of Virtues: 5/640-641; Sunan Ibn Majah: Introductory Chapter: 1/42-43; Musnad Ahmed 1/170, 173, 174, 175, 177, 179, 182, 184, 185, 330; 3/32, 338; 6/369, 438.

[142] In expounding upon this Ibn Hazm says, “This does not prove his superiority upon the others and does not establish his leadership after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Because Harun ‘alayh al Salam did not take charge of the affairs of the Bani Isra’il after Musa ‘alayh al Salam, rather it was his assistant and companion Yusha’ ibn Nun, who accompanied him on his journey to meet Khidar ‘alayh al Salam, who took charge of affairs after him. In a like manner, after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam his companion in the cave and on the journey of Hijrah (migration) was the one who succeeded him.

Hence, considering the fact that ‘Ali was not a Nabi like Harun ‘alayh al Salam and the fact that Harun did not succeed his brother Musa ‘alayh al Salam after his demise, the only appropriate purport of the hadith would be that he was to Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as Harun ‘alayh al Salam was to Musa in kinship.

Furthermore, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said this to him when he appointed him as his deputy over Madinah during the battle of Tabuk. Whereupon the hypocrites remarked, “Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarded him as inferior” (this is the text which appears in the revised version of his al Fasl. Maybe it ought to be ‘regarded him as a burden’). Hence, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu subsequent to that caught up with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and complained to him. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told him, “You are to me as Harun was to Musa.” That is, he meant to say that I have not appointed you as my deputy considering you to be a burden, but I have done so willingly.

In addition, it should be noted that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had, prior to the Battle of Tabuk and thereafter, appointed many other Sahabah besides ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as his deputies over Madinah. So this specific incident does not entail any merit which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone enjoys. Nor does it necessitate that he was the only one deserving of rulership after him. For if this phenomenon, leadership, was not true for the others, then so too was it not true for ‘Ali. (Al Fasl 4/159-160).

Similarly, likening ‘Ali to Harun ‘alayh al Salam is not in any way more virtuous than likening Abu Bakr to Ibrahim and ‘Isa ‘alayh al Salam, and likening ‘Umar to Nuh and Musa ‘alayh al Salam, as is narrated in Musnad Ahmed 1/383, Mustadrak Hakim 3/21-22 and Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter Regarding Jihad: 4/213. This is due to the fact that these four Prophets were definitely much more virtuous that Harun ‘alayh al Salam. And Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are likened not just to one prophet but to two. This simile is thus superior to the simile of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. More so when the merit of appointment as deputy was not enjoyed by ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu alone, but by others besides him as well whereas Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had no partners in the merits owing to which they were likened to the other prophets. Hence appointing him was not a merit exclusive to him and nor was likening him to a Nabi in just some aspects exclusive to him (al Muntaqa p. 314-315).

Also refer to: Sharh al Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 15/174; Abu Nu’aym: al Imamah wa al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 221-222; Minhaj al Sunnah 4/87; al Muntaqa p. 212, 213, 311, 314; Fath al Bari 7/74; al Maqdisi: Al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 201-208; Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 163-164; al Salus: al Imamah ‘ind al Jafariyyah fi Daw’ al Sunnah p. 23-24, etc.

[143] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter Regarding the Virtues of the Sahabah: Sub-chapter Regarding the Merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: 7/70; Sahih Muslim: Chapter Regarding the Virtues of the Sahabah: Sub-chapter Regarding the Merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: 2/1871-1873.

[144] Meaning, this description does not fit ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu only, because others besides him also love Allah and his Rasul and Allah and His Rasul Allah love them in return. The narration, however, is just a testification of his loyalty, which is akin to the glad tidings of Jannat which Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave to the ten Sahabah. So this again is not a merit exclusive to him, let alone it being evidence for his explicit nomination after Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his infallibility.

Furthermore, The Shia who claim that all the Sahabah turned apostate after the demise of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cannot hold this narration in their favour. This is because the Khawarij who rebelled against ‘Ali considered him to be an apostate as well. Al Ash’ari states, “The Khawarij are unanimous regarding the disbelief of ‘Ali (al Maqalat 1/167). The Ahlus Sunnah have, however, refuted this allegation of the Khawarij with abundant evidence which comprehensively asserts that (together with ‘Ali) the first three Khalifas were also Muslims. (Minhaj al Sunnah 4/98-99).

[145] Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter of Merits: 5/643. Imam Tirmidhi has rated the hadith as Sahih and Hassan (authentic and good).

[146] Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said, “A person who has faith in Allah and the Last Day will never despise the Ansar (Sahih Muslim: Chapter Regarding Iman: Sub-chapter Regarding Love for the Ansar Being a Proof of Iman and a Sign thereof, and Hate for them Being a Sign of Hypocrisy: 1/86). There are other narrations as well wherein the wording is identical to that of the narration regarding ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The Ansar, only a believer will love them and only a hypocrite will despise them.” (Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter Regarding the Virtues of the Ansar: Sub-chapter Regarding Love for the Ansar Being a Sign of Iman: 7/113; Sahih Muslim: previously mentioned details; Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter of Merits: Sub-chapter Regarding the Virtues of the Ansar and the Quraysh: 5/712).

[147] Details will come ahead.

[148] Al Fasl 4/224.

[149] Sahih al Bukhari (with the commentary Fath al Bari): chapter regarding settling arguments: 5/303-304, chapter of wars: sub-chapter regarding the ‘Umrah al Qada’ 7/499.

[150] The narration of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas wherein he says, “…When the verse:

فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْا نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ

Come, let us call our sons and your sons…(Al ‘Imran: 61)

was revealed, Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan and Hussain and said, “O Allah this is my household.” (Sahih Muslim: chapter regarding the virtues of the Sahabah; sub-chapter regarding the merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: 2/1871).

This hadith does not entail any evidence for the Imamah of ‘Ali or his superiority, for immediate family is one of the requirements of Mubahalah. Hence entering the Mubahalah with those who were not related to him would not have served the purpose in spite of them being more virtuous than ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (See: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/34-36; al Maqdisi: Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rawafid p. 243-245.

[151] This narration appears in Sahih Muslim. ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam one day came out. He was wearing a coloured shawl (a shawl which usually had the print of camel-men) which was made of black hair. Subsequently, Hassan ibn ‘Ali came, he took him under the shawl. Then Hussain ibn ‘Ali came, he also came into the shawl. Thereafter Fatimah came, he took her under it as well. She was followed by ‘Ali who was also taken therein. Subsequent to that he said,

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

“O household! Allah intends to remove from you the impurity (of sin) and to purify you with intensive purification.”

(al Ahzab: 33) (Sahih Muslim: chapter regarding the virtues of the Sahabah: sub-chapter regarding the merits of the Ahlul Bayt: 2/1883; Minhaj al Sunnah 4/20-25; Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 246; Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 155-156).

[152] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/86.

[153] Ibn al Jawzi: al Mawdu’at 1/338.

[154] Ibid. 1/338..

[155] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/27.

[156] Especially in the last volume. Professor ‘Ali al Salus has likewise compiled all the narrations which appear in the six books, the Muwatta’ and the Musnad of Imam Ahmed and has done a comprehensive study of their wording and chains of transmission. He has concluded with the remarks that the Sunnah does not support the stance of the Jafariyyah in the issue of Imamah, rather the opposite is true, for many an authentic narrations debunk it (see: al Imamah ‘ind al Jafariyyah fi Daw’ al Sunnah).

[157] Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah p. 44 onwards; Mukhtasar al Tuhfah p. 32 onwards.

[158] See: al Suyuf al Mushriqah and Mukhtasar al Sawaqi’ p. 50 onwards.

[159] Naqd ‘Aqa’id al Shia (manuscript wherein the pages have not been numbered as yet. But it is the 25th page from the beginning.)

[160] Fikrah al Taqrib p. 52 onwards.

[161] Khum is a valley between Makkah and Madinah by Juhfah. There, there is a pond which is known for its squalidity (Mu’jam al Buldan 2/389).

[162] Surah al Ma’idah: 67.

[163] Bihar al Anwar 37/108-253.

[164] The word ‘mawla’ has many meanings in the Arabic language. In this context the Shia translate it as ‘master’, ‘Imam’ and ‘leader’ and the Ahlus Sunnah translate it as ‘friend’ and ‘associate’.

[165] Ibid. 37/225.

[166] Ibn Mutahhar: Kashf al Murad p. 395; al Qazwini: al Shia fi ‘Aqa’idihim p. 71; al Sadiqi: ‘Ali wa al Hakimun p. 55-76; Khalil Yasin: al Imam ‘Ali p. 292; al Zanjani: ‘Aqa’id al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah 1/90; al Asfahani: ‘Aqidah al Shia fi al Imamah p. 55.

[167] Haqq al Yaqin 1/153. Al Sadiqi says, “The narration of Ghadir is one of the most authentically established narrations transmitted by the narrators (‘Ali wa al Hakimun p. 73). It is evidence against those who were present and those who were not. So that no excuse remains for anyone after its establishment (Ibid. 73).

[168] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/9-16, 84-87; al Muntaqa p. 422-425, 466-468.

[169] Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 6-7.

[170] Abu Nu’aym: al Imamah wa al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 13; al Maqdisi: Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rawafid p. 221-224; al Tufaili: al Munazarah bayn Ahlus Sunnah wa al Rafidah p. 15-16; al Alusi: Ruh al Ma’ani 6/192-199.

[171] Ibn ‘Abd al Wahhab: Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 13. The narration appears in Sunan al Tirmidhi: Sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Ali: 5/633. It states that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه

“Whosoever’s mawla I am ‘Ali is his mawla.”

Imam Tirmidhi commenting on it states that it is a Sahih Hassan narration (authentic and good).

The version of Sunan ibn Majah reads as follows: Bara’ ibn ‘Azib narrates:

أقبلنا مع رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم في حجته التي حج فنزل في بعض الطرق فأمر الصلاة جامعة فأخذ بيد علي وقال: ألست أولي بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم؟ قالوا: بلي. قال: فهذا ولي من أنا مولاه اللهم وال من والاه وعاد من عاداه.

We returned with Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from his Hajj which he performed. He stopped on the way and ordered the people to gather for salah. He then took the hand of ‘Ali and said, “Am I not more deserving of the believers than them they are of themselves?” The people responded, “Most certainly.” He asked again, “Am I not more deserving of the believers than them they are of themselves?” To which the people responded, “Most certainly.” He then said, “Then he is the wali of the one whose mawla I am. Oh Allah befriend the one who befriends him and oppose the one who opposes him.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1/43).

However, the author of al Zawa’id mentions, “The chain of transmission is weak because of the weak narrator ‘Ali ibn Zaid ibn Jad’an (one of the narrators of Sunan Ibn Majah).” (Al Zawa’id p. 69). The narration appears in Musnad Ahmed 1/84. Sheikh Ahmed Shakir commenting thereupon mentions, “The text of the narration is authentic. It is established in many variant ways most of which are documented in Majma’ al Zawa’id.” (See: al Musnad 2/56 –with the revision of Shakir; Majma’ al Zawa’id 9/103-109).

[172] Ibn Hazm: al Fasl 4/224; see: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/86; al Dhahabi: al Muntaqa (Mukhtasar Minhaj al Sunnah) p. 467.

[173] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/86.

[174] Ibid.

[175] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/16.

[176] Because many people fought by his side in the Battle of Siffin but still did not attain victory and many people did not fight by his side but were not forsaken by Allah. For example: Sa’d who conquered Iraq did not fight with ‘Ali. Similarly, the army of Muawiyah and the Umayyads, despite fighting against him, conquered many cities of the disbelievers with the help of Allah (Majmu’ Fatawa Shaikh al Islam 4/418).

[177] Ibid.

[178] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/86.

[179] Referring to the verse إنما وليكم الله ورسوله… Refer to the previous discussion. click here.

[180] Surah al Tahrim: 4.

[181] Surah Muhammad: 11.

[182] See al Mu’jam al Mufahras: under the root letters wali.

[183] Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 6 onwards.

[184] Al Bayhaqi: al I’tiqad p. 182-183. See also: Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 4/169; Abu Hamid al Maqdisi: Risalah fi al Radd ‘ala al Rafidah p. 222-223.

[185] Sirah Ibn Hisham 2/603; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 5/104-105.

[186] Al I’tiqad p. 181. In conclusion, consider the following regarding the incident of Ghadir:

  1. The verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ

O Messenger, announce that which has been revealed to you from your Lord,

was revealed long before the Farewell Hajj of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whereas the Day of Ghadir was on the eighteenth of Dhu al Hijjah upon his return from Hajj (see: Minhaj al Sunnah 4/84). So the assertion that when it was revealed Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam delivered the sermon of Ghadir is an obvious fabrication of person who does not know how to fabricate.

  1. Regarding The narration of Sahih Muslim which states the following:

إنما أنا بشر يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب. وأنا تارك فيكم ثقلين: كتاب الله فيه الهدي والنور فخذوا بكتاب الله واستمسكوا به، فحث علي كتاب الله ورغب فيه ثم قال: وأهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي

I am but a human. Soon the messenger of my lord will come to whom I will respond. I am leaving the Thaqalayn (two weighty things) among you: the first is the Book of Allah wherein is contained guidance and light. So practice upon the Book of Allah and firmly hold on to it.” Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasised the Book of Allah and encouraged us regarding it. He then said, “And my household! I remind you of Allah regarding my household… (Sahih Muslim: Chapter regarding the virtues of the Sahabah: Sub-chapter regarding the virtues of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: 3/1884).

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions, “This is a narration exclusive to Muslim which al Bukhari has not narrated. The only emphasised order therein is that of holding on to the Book of Allah, which is an order Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had already previously given in the Farewell Hajj. He did not give an order to follow his household; he merely said, “I remind you of Allah regarding my household.” Which means that Muslims should adhere to what he had previously mentioned, long before the incident of Ghadir, regarding the fulfilment of their rights and the prohibition of wronging them. It is thus clear that at Ghadir there was no institution of Shari’ah which was revealed, not regarding ‘Ali and not regarding anyone else.” (Minhaj al Sunnah 4-85).

And al Firoz’abadi mentions, “The statement of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ‘I remind you of Allah regarding my household’ is not exclusive to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, rather it is general for all of the Ahlul Bayt, viz. the family of ‘Ali, the family of Jafar, the family of ‘Aqil, and the family of ‘Abbas. Strangely, the Shia are the furthest away from acknowledging this, for they disregard the majority of the Ahlul Bayt and collaborate against them with the disbelievers…” (al Qidab al Mushtahir p. 13)

[187] Minhaj al Sunnah 3/356.

[188] See earlier post of this book. click here

[189] See earlier post of this book. click here

[190] See starting of this post. (Imamah)

[191] See earlier post of this book. click here

[192] This quotation has passed click here . He is referring to the three Muhammads who authored their four early canonical works.

[193] See a previous post. click here

[194] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/210.

[195] In al Irshad al Mufid says that the following is one of the sermons of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu which the scholars have preserved:

أتيتموني فقلتم بايعنا فقلت لا أفعل فقلتم بلي فقلت لا وقبضت يدي فبسطتموها، ونازعتكم فجذبتموه-كذا- وتداككتم علي تداك الإبل الهيم علي حياضها يوم ورودها حتي ظننت أنكم قاتلي، وإن بعضكم قاتل بعض لدي فبسطت يدي فبايعتموني…

You came to me and said, “Accept our allegiance.” To which I said, “I will not.” Then you said, “Most certainly you will.” I withdrew my hand and you made me extend it. I fought with you and you pulled it—this is how the narration is recorded. And you crowded me like camels that crowed one another for water when reaching it, to the extent that I thought that you were going to kill me or one another in front of me. And so you pledged your allegiance to me… (Al Irshad –al A’lami, Beirut p. 130-131, al Haydariyyah, p. 143-144).

Will a person who is desirous of Caliphate talk in this manner? And will he go with Fatimah to the houses of the Sahabah asking them to pledge allegiance to him, as the books of the Shia record? And does there remain any basis for the issue of Nass and the excommunication of those who do not concede it? Is it possible for a person to perceive that ‘Ali invited the people to disbelief (based on the Shia belief that a person who does not acknowledge the divinely appointed Imam is a disbeliever) by himself refusing to accept the allegiance of the people?

[196] Mahmud Shukri Alusi: Ta’liqat ‘ala Rudud al Shia (manuscript).

[197] See the entire text. * Still to come in next post will be updated accordingly. insha Allah

[198] Ibn Mutahhar: Minhaj al Karamah 1/225.

[199] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/255.

[200] Ibid.

[201] Nahj al Balaghah p. 322.

[202] Nahj al Balaghah p. 366-367; see also al Irshad (al A’lami) p. 130, (al Haydariyyah) p. 143.

[203] Musnad Ahmed 2/242, Ahmed Shakir says that the chain of this narration if Sahih, authentic; see also Majma’ al Zawa’id 9/137, al Haythami therein says, “Ahmed and Abu Ya’la have recorded this narration. And its narrators are the narrators of Sahih al Bukhari. Al Bazzar has also narrated it with a Hassan, good chain of transmission.

[204] Al Musnad 2/240: narration no. 1339 which Ahmed Shakir has deemed as Sahih.

[205] Al Dar Qutni: al Sunan al Kubra 8/149; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 5/250-251; 7/324-325.

[206] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter regarding Permission: 7/251.

[207] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah 5/251.

[208] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter of Bequests: 3/186; Chapter of Battles: 5/143; Sahih Muslim: Chapter of the Bequest; Sub-chapter regarding not bequeathing for a person who does not deserve anything: 2/1257; Sunan al Nasa’i: Chapter of Ahbas: Sub-chapter regarding whether Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bequeathed or not: 6/240; Musnad Ahmed 6/32.

[209] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 11/207: narration no. 10988. Ibn Hajar has deemed it authentic (see: Fath al Bari 5/361.

[210] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/120.

[211] Ibn Taymiyah mentions, “The people of knowledge categorically know that Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not convey anything to the Ummah with regards to the Imamah of ‘Ali. They have many ways in which they can prove this.” (Minhaj al Sunnah 4/14).

It will suffice to make mention of the various aspects he has made mention of in different parts of his book for they are a great wealth.

[212] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/32.

[213] Surah al Anfal: 2, 3, 4.

[214] Surah al Hujurat: 15.

[215] Minhaj al Sunnah 1/14.

[216] Ibid. 4/14.

[217] Al Razi: Usul al Din p. 137.

[218] Al Amidi: Ghayat al Maram p. 377.

[219] Al Fasl 4/161.

[220] Daf’ Shubah al Khawarij wa al Rawafid p. 15.

[221] Ibid. p. 14.

[222] Ibid. p. 14-15 (manuscript).

[223] Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Hatim ibn Zanjuyah: Imamah Abi Bakr al Siddiq (manuscript).

[224] Ibid.

[225]Daf’ Shubah al Khawarij wa al Rafidah p. 15. Imam al Bukhari has cited the narration about the incident of the election of ‘Uthman and the people’s unanimous approval thereof (Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter regarding the Virtues of the Sahabah: Sub-chapter regarding the story of allegiance and the unanimous election of ‘Uthman… 4/204, onwards.

[226] Al Fasl 4/162.

[227] Daf’ Shubah al Khawarij wa al Rafidah p. 16.

[228] Their scholar al Bayadi says that he did not make mention of the Nass for one of two reasons:

  1. The people would have denied if he were to mention it which would render them out of the fold of Islam due to denying a widely accepted principle of din.
  2. By resorting to a consultative process they intended to choose the best; so he marshalled such evidence against them so as to prove his own superiority (al Sirat al Mustaqim 1/299).

Consider his answer, you will find that it is baseless. For he claims that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not reveal the Nass due to the possibility of it being denied which would make the denier an apostate. But they excommunicate the Sahabah due to their denial of Nass. It is baseless also because it implies that people should not be invited to core aspects of din because of the possibility of them being denied and the consequent apostasy of their deniers.

As for his reasoning for ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu not mentioning the Nass in the incident of Shura, his acknowledgement that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not reveal the Nass is sufficient to support our case. Because his assertion that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not see the need to mention it there is inharmonious with reason and rationality. Especially when the context is that of Imamah and leadership which according to them is one of the fundamentals of din.

[229] Al Bayadi says, “If they say: ‘The fact that ‘Ali asked his partisans to pledge allegiance to him is evidence that there was no Nass regarding him,’ our response will be: ‘Caliphate was his right so he could pursue it however he wanted.’ (al Sirat al Mustaqim 1/299). This proves that when ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed the position of Caliphate after ‘Uthman he did not prove his right to it by way of Nass. Had there been any Nass he would have revealed it and he would not have required the process of allegiance and election. As to his statement, “So he could pursue it however he wanted,” it does not hold any value. Because Caliphate according to them is not just the right of the Ahlul Bayt, because the belief and disbelief of the people is attached to it; it is a station equal to prophethood or even greater. But, as is the nature of the Shia, they always make claims which openly contradict and violate each other.

[230] This is conceded by the Shia as well (see: al Sirat al Mustaqim 1/299).

[231] Musnad Ahmed 3/129, 4/421; Musnad Abi Dawood al Tayalisi p. 125: narration no. 926 and 2133. Imam Muslim has narrated this narrations with the words, “People are the subjects of Quraysh.” Another wording of the reads as follows, “This matter will remain for the Quraysh even if there are only two people.” (Sahih Muslim: chapter regarding leadership: 2/1451-1452).

[232] Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter regarding Jihad: Sub-chapter regarding wiping dust of people: 3/207; Sahih Muslim: Chapter regarding Fitan, trails: 3/2235; Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter regarding Merits; Sub-chapter regarding the Merits of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir: 5/669; Musnad Ahmed 2/161, 164, 206; 3/5, 22, 28, 90; 4/97; 5/214, 306; 6/289, 300, 311, 315.

[233] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/14-15.

[234] Minhaj al Sunnah 4/209-210.

[235] Al Fasl 4/172-173. Sahih al Bukhari: Chapter regarding Reconciliation: Sub-chapter regarding Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying to Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, “This son of mine is a leader. And perhaps Allah will unite two great group of Muslim through him.” 3/169; Sunan Abu Dawood: Chapter regarding Sunnah; Sub-chapter regarding avoiding Fitnah: 5/48; Sunan al Tirmidhi: Chapter regarding merits: Subchapter regarding the Merits of Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma: 5/658; Sunan al Nasa’i: Chapter of Jumu’ah: Sub-chapter regarding the Imam addressing the congregation whilst on the pulpit: 3/107; Musnad Ahmed 5/37-38, 44, 49, 51.