Imam Moosa Kazim and Imamah

Imam Jafar al Sadiq and Imamah
March 19, 2019
Imam Ali al Rida and Imamah
March 19, 2019

Imam Musa Kazim and Imamah


It has become apparent from our previous discussions that the theory of Imamat propagated by Twelver Shia missionaries was an unknown concept in the early years of Islam. Rather it was the brainchild of a few heretics who craftily navigated through the condemnations of the Ahlul Bayt, cloaking their activities in the mask of Taqiyyah. The only life source they had for this great deception was Taqiyyah, without which it could not survive. Thus the inventors of this doctrine repeatedly declared that Imamah was a hidden secret meant to be kept as such.

So secret was it that the Shia en masse, and the Ahlul Bayt for that matter, were not privy to this highly classified information—which is supposed to be a fundamental tenet of faith necessary for one’s salvation. The conversation between Al Ahwal and Imam Zaid ibn Zayn al Abidin was discussed previously wherein the Imam was surprised to learn about such a doctrine being spread in the name of his father. What astonished him most was al Ahwal’s claim that Imam Zayn al Abidin had taught this to a stranger and not to his own sons, blood, kith and kin.

It was only in this stature of secrecy, in the shadows, and back alleys that the concept of Imamah was propagated. These deviants gave impetus to their clandestine activities by fabricating narrations in the names of the Imams. They would say that Imam al Baqir said:


Among my companions, he is most dear to me who is more righteous, knows the religion well, and conceals our teachings, and keeps our secrets more than others.[1]


Emphasis being placed on keeping it a secret. A secret by its very definition contradicts propagation, leaving us to conclude—based upon what the shia themselves narrate— that this doctrine was never intended for the entire Ummah. The intention was always to conceal it from them, so how then can they be expected to believe in it and how can there salvation be based upon something they were never meant to know?

Imam Jafar is alleged to have said:


You follow a religion that whosoever will conceal it, Allah will bestow honour to him and whoever will reveal and publicise it will be disgraced.[2]


In another narration, the Imam expounds upon the level of secrecy with which Imamah is enshrouded:


Our affair is a secret in a secret, and a concealed secret in a concealed secret, a secret that must remain a secret, a secret upon a secret, and a secret covered by a secret.[3]


Can you imagine the perplexity of the poor Sunni—even Shia for that matter—who heard this for the first time. More so when he witnessed first-hand the “Imams” practicing and propagating the beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah. A fact the shia are fully aware of but dismiss under the pretence of Taqiyyah :


His strategy was to exercise Taqiyyah abundantly in a way that he would give the impression that he is on the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah.[4]


The confused sunni, after hearing these narrations of a divinely appointed Imam, would then seek to verify this information from the man himself. After all it is the Quranic injunction:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءَكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَإٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا

O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate.[5]


Only to be told by the “Divinely Appointed Imam” that there is no such thing as a divinely appointed Imam in their household.[6]

When this is the reality, it makes perfect sense that they did not enjoy any public support for their authority. Since they were the ones who publicly denounced the claims being made in their name. The Shia masses who had been beguiled up to this point struggled to hold onto their beliefs and were at loggerheads in determining who the divinely appointed Imam was.


On the death of Abu Abdullah Jafar al Sadiq, they again fragmented:

  1. The Nawusiyyah asserted that Jafar did not die but had gone into occultation. He is the Mahdi and he will return to establish justice on this earth. They even produced a tradition from Imam Jafar stating the same.
  2. The Ismailiyyah alleged that the Imam after Jafar was his son Ismail— who did not die but is the Mahdi gone into occultation.
  3. The Mubarakiyyah alleged that Ismail ibn Jafar had a son named Muhammad, who is the Imam after Jafar, since Ismail passed away during the lifetime of his father. They asserted that it is not permissible for Imamah to pass from brother to brother after Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.
  4. Others claimed that Muhammad ibn Jafar was the Imam, also producing a tradition to the effect:

Muhammad al Baqir said (to Jafar): “When a son who resembles me is born to you then name him after me, and call him by my agnomen. He is my resembles me and the Prophet (salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and is upon his Sunnah.[7]

Thus Muhammad was their Imam and his children thereafter. They were known as the Samitiyyah.

  1. The remaining followers of al Sadiq claimed that Abdullah al Aftah ibn Jafar al Sadiq is the Imam. So, as expected, a tradition was brought into circulation:

The affair will be in the eldest, if he is fit.[8]


Furthermore he enjoyed the consensus of the remaining shia as al Qummi stated:

On the death of Jafar, the majority of Shi’i scholars and fuqaha were inclined towards this sect and the Imamah of Abdullah. None doubted that Imamah belonged to Abdullah and his children after him.[9]

The bulk of those who believed in the Imamah of Jafar as well as his senior companions were inclined towards Abdullah, except a few.[10]

However this consensus was short-lived and Abdullah al Aftah passed away 70 days later. Instead of acknowledging the falsehood of this doctrine and returning to the truth, a number of alternate theories poured forth. Some passed on the Imamah to his alleged son, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and his progeny.


  1. Others, seemingly tired of the guessing games and spinning a coin each time an Imam dies, decided to end the line of Imamah once and for all. A trend which would continue in the lives of all the Imams thereafter.
  2. A Small group — who had also initially believed in the Imamah of Abdullah al Aftah— campaigned for the Imamah of Moosa Kazim. In order to save face for their previous mistake in appointing the Imam, a tale was forged of their acute awareness of the issue when they tested the knowledge of Abdullah Al Aftah and found him to be deficient in this regard. Obviously, as is their wont, they claimed that Moosa Kazim possessed this knowledge. Thus the truth dawned upon them even before the death of Abdullah al aftah.

Remarkably though, while the advocates may have claimed to have rejected al Aftah on account of his deficiency in knowledge, we find one of the stalwarts of the Shia tradition—whose narrations are beyond question according to Abdul Hussain Sharfudin al Musawi—making similar statements about al Kazim.[11]


Further injury to this claim was caused by al Kazim—like his forefathers before him—isolating himself from politics and keeping his affairs secret. Thus the Shia did not take unanimously to al Kazim. Furthermore, he encouraged the shia to be loyal to the rulers, stating that if the rulers are just they should pray to maintain his rule. And if the rulers are unjust they should pray to Allah to guide and make them better.[12]

This led the general masses of the Shia to instead align themselves with Isa ibn Zaid ibn Ali, pledging allegiance to him as the Imam in 156 A.H. People from ahwaz, wasit, Makkah, Madinah, and Tihamah flocked to him.[13]

The shia also responded to the call of the Hasanid, Hussain ibn Ali ibn Hassan al Muthanna—known as Shahid al Fakh— and pledged allegiance on his hands. Moosa al Kazim himself encouraged the masses to join Shahid al Fakh.[14]

So the greatest opponents to the shi’i concept of Imamah is again the Shia masses and the Ahlul Bayt themselves. Was it not Saduq who said:


It is our belief concerning a person who accepts (the Imamah of) Amir al Mu’minin but rejects any one of the Imams after him, that he is similar to one who believes in all the Ambiya’’ but rejects the Nubuwwah of Muhammad salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam. [15]


Will the Shia then subject their own Shi’i brethren and Ahlul Bayt to the same condemnation as one who rejects Nubuwwah, as they have readily done with the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?

When we consider that this mass confusion was all a result of the Imams insistence on keeping this doctrine a secret, should the blame then not be put on the shoulders of the Imams?

No! I think not! Rather the blame is upon those who fabricated these concepts in their name.


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[1] Usul al Kafi, Babu kitman, pg. 485

[2] Usul al Kafi, Babu kitman, pg. 485

[3] Basa’ir al Darajat, p. 28

[4] Rawdat al Kafi, 8/292

[5] Hujurat 6

[6] Basa’ir al Darajat, p. 142

[7] Maqalat wal Firaq pg. 86

[8] Kulayni: Al Kafi, vol.1 P. 351, Mufid: Al Irshad, p.291, op.cit. P 250-252 Al Kashi: op cit life history of Hisham bin Salim.

[9] Maqalat wal Firaq page 87

[10] ibid

[11] Al Kashi p. 171, al Istibsar 3/190, footnote 687

[12] Al Amali of Saduq, pg 338

[13] Maqatil al Talibiyin pg. 270

[14] Maqatil al Talibiyin pg. 450

[15] Risalat al I’tiqad p. 111-114, quoted by al Majlisi: Bihar al Anwar vol. 27 p. 62 (Dar al Kutub al Islamiyyah, Tehran, 1387)

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