14. Tijani claims that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned the Twelve Imams by name

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14. Tijani claims that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned the Twelve Imams by name


Tijani says:


How could you follow religious leaders that have been appointed by the Umayyads and the Abbasids for political reasons, and leave other religious leaders although the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pointed out their number and their names?

How could you follow somebody who did not know the Prophet very well and leave the gate to the city of knowledge, whose relation to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the same as the position of Harun to Musa?

(He refers in the footnotes to al Bukhari and Yanabi al Mawaddah)[1]


Our comment:

Tijani refers to what al Bukhari narrates from Jabir ibn Samurah regarding the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam “specifying” their number, he said:

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

“There will be twelve leaders,” then he said something I could not hear. My father said that he salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Each of them is from the Quraysh.”[2]


It is amazing that Tijani cites this hadith to argue his case. By the twelve Khalifas he refers to the sons of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu though and it is well-known that none of them became a khalifah besides ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted the Caliphate initially but later abdicated in favour of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The rest of them passed away before any one of them could become a leader. How then can Tijani use this hadith as a proof?

The scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous that the first four Khalifas are included in the twelve. The only difference among them is whether this applied to the Khalifas after the demise of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu in succession or if it refers to the periods of strength throughout history.

It is necessary to demonstrate the flaws in Tijani’s argument

The narration uses a specific description to identify the tribe from which these Khulafa will emerge, namely the Quraysh. The tribe of Quraysh comprises of multiple branches:

  • Banu ‘Abdul Dar
  • Banu ‘Abd Manaf
  • Banu Nawfal
  • Banu Muttalib
  • Banu Hashim: ‘Ali
  • Banu ‘Abd Shams:- Banu Umayyah: ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Muawiyah
  • Banu Makhzum
  • Banu Zuhrah
  • Banu Taym: Abu Bakr al Siddiq
  • Banu ‘Adi: ‘Umar ibn al Khattab
  • Banu Asad
  • Banu Sahm
  • Banu Jumah

The Twelver Shia consider the Imams to be these individuals according the sequence in which they are mentioned:

  1. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,
  2. His son, al Hassan ibn ‘Ali,
  3. His brother, al Hussain ibn ‘Ali,
  4. His son, ‘Ali ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Ali [Zayn al ‘Abidin],
  5. His son, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn al Hussain[al Baqir],
  6. His son, Jafar ibn Muhammad [al Sadiq],
  7. His son, Musa ibn Jafar [al Kazim],
  8. His son, ‘Ali ibn Musa [al Rida],
  9. His son, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali [al Jawad],
  10. His son, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad [al Hadi],
  11. His son, al Hassan ibn ‘Ali [al ‘Askari],
  12. Finally his son, Muhammad ibn al Hassan [al Mahdi] whom it is disputed whether he was even born, and if so whether he survived his infancy.

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that all twelve will be from Quraysh. We can see that the four rightly-guided Khalifas are all from Quraysh, so there is no contradiction to the hadith. The problem lies with the Twelver Shia since they bear the responsibility to explain why the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used such a broad, comprehensive description (Quraysh) if he only intended the individuals from the descendants of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and only specific individuals from that line. In fact, it would be very clumsy and irrational to use such a broad term if only a handful of individuals from a single line were intended.

However, it is impossible that he intended the Twelve Imams whom the Rafidah belief are the ‘infallibles’ as all of them died without claiming to be the Khalifah; with the exception of Muhammad ibn al Hassan al ‘Askari who entered the cave when he was five years old and he will come out at a specific time, as the Rafidah claim.

Limiting the number to twelve leaders does not conform to the ideology of the Rafidah who claim that the first of the twelve Imams is ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The number fluctuates between twelve and thirteen leaders as we will come to see.

Al Tabarsi confirms this in what he narrates in his book, Ilam al Wara bi Alam al Huda:


From Abu Jafar (al Baqir), from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah al Ansari, he said, “I visited Fatimah and she had a board in front of her with the names of all the twelve executors from her sons. I counted twelve with the last of them being the Qa’im, three of them were Muhammad and four of them were ‘Ali.”[3]


If twelve of her sons were to be Imams, where does that leave ‘Ali? The Thirteenth?

Al Tabarsi narrates from Zurarah, who said:


I heard Abu Jafar (al Baqir) saying, “From the family of Muhammad there will be twelve. Each one of them will be inspired. From the sons of the Messenger of Allah and the sons of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib . Therefore, the Messenger and ‘Ali are the parents.”[4]


If twelve of ‘Ali’s sons are to be Imams there is no space left for him. This is the consequence of forging. The forger overlooks simple elements such as this which we have just pointed out.

The claim that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointing the Imams by name is a clear lie as it cannot be established with reliable evidence.

It is not sufficient to reference it to Yanabi al Mawaddah, since this is a book of the Rafidah and Tijani undertook to produce mutually acceptable evidence. In addition to this the various Shia sects dispute the names of the Imams. Some believe that Imamah continued through Hussain’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu sons until Jafar. Then they differ amongst themselves with one group considering it continued with Musa ibn Jafar, they are the Imamiyyah, another group said it went to Ismail ibn Jafar, they are the Ismailiyyah, and another group said it continued in Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, and so on. The fact that the Shia have different sects among themselves is evidence of the fact that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not appoint them, let alone by name. Reality proves the inconsistency of Tijani’s argument.


NEXT ⇒ 15. Tijani claims that the Sahabah killed ‘Ali 

[1]Then I was guided, p. 170.

[2]Sahih al Bukhari, Kitab al Ahkam, Bab al Istikhlaf, Hadith: 6796; Muslim with the commentary, Kitab al Imarah, Bab al Nas Tab’ li Quraysh, Hadith: 1821.

[3] I’lam al Wara by Abu Fadl al Tabarsi, p. 366, al Fasl al Thani fi Dhikr ba’d al Ikhbar allati Ja’at min Ṯariq al Shia Imamiyyah fi al Nass ‘ala Imamat al Ithna’Asharah min Al Muhammad .

[4]  Ibid, p. 369, al Nusus al Waridah ‘ala al A’immah al Ithna Asharah.

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