The Imams are humans like ourselves; they were created the same way we were created. However, it was their great spirits and their pure hearts that made them great. It was their conduct, not their creation. Otherwise, they would not be rewarded or remunerated for their obedience, as they would have been divinely cast into their obedience. The angels are providentially made to be obedient, which is why they are neither rewarded nor punished; neither are they to be gratified in heaven, nor will they be punished in hell.
Imam Zayn al ‘Abidin said:
May Allah curse those who lie about us. I remembered ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’ and every hair on my body stood on end; he claimed a very grave thing. What was the matter with him? May Allah curse him. ‘Ali was, I swear by Allah, a pious slave of Allah, the brother of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; he did not achieve any nobility except through his obedience to Allah and his Messenger, and the Messenger of Allah did not achieve any nobility except through his obedience to Allah.
The famous thinker ‘Ali Shari’ati says:
In Safavid Shi’ism, ‘Ismah (infallibility) denotes a physiological, biological, and parapsychological state lived by the Imams that prevents them from undertaking any sinful activities. If I, hypothetically, were to be created like this, unable to commit any sins, then what would be the value of my God-consciousness then? What is the value of God-consciousness that stems from an inability to sin? A wall, according to this understanding, would be from the most God-fearing things because it is incapable, naturally, of sinning! Similar to this, in an attempt to invent miracles and virtues of the Imam, is the claim some preachers make in their sermons that the sword was incapable of piercing the body of the Imam, ignorant of the fact that this only serves to detract from the Imam and his bravery!
In Safavid Shi’ism the Imam enjoys an ‘Ismah devoid of any value, be it human value, as he is incapable of sinning, or intellectual and instructional value, as people cannot emulate a person from whom they differ intrinsically. Safavid Shi’ism has transformed the Imams into metaphysical beings who are abstract, imaginary, and superficial creatures of an independent species, formed of soil and water. Consequently, they purged Imamah of its worth, just as they stripped the belief in Imamah of its value and its potential to influence conduct and good practice which is the purpose behind emulation of those Imams! All of this occurred under the guise of sanctifying the Imam, which was brought about through the Mullahs who were subservient to the dictates of Safavid rule. The Mullah would elevate the rank of the Imam to that of the angels, ‘discovering’ great virtues and accolades for Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain. This Mullah would bestow upon the 14 infallibles an extremely lofty rank, ascribing them to a substance and composition superior to that of nature and human limits. He would posit that their creation was not of ordinary human nature, but that they were in fact elements of divine light manifested in human mould.
According to what these Mullahs opined, the Ahlul Bayt held two categories of distinctions: one category was exclusively theirs and could not be held by others, and the other were human qualities in which they held the highest distinction, with nobody else being able to draw close to their rank in these qualities. Even if these qualities were to be found in people other than themselves, then it would be comparatively minuscule, and these would be acquired traits. This is in contrast to the disposition of the infallibles, for whom these qualities were intrinsic, necessitated by their very essence, no effort would be required from their side to acquire these traits.
Consequently, this means—on account of their fallacious reasoning—that the followers of the Imams are superior to them, due to the obvious nature of the fact that acquired accolades are superior to those one is intrinsically bestowed with.
Sheikh al Mufid states:
The Imams from the family of Muhammad used to know the inner secrets of Allah’s slaves, and they know knowledge of what was to occur before its coming into existence.
How can we claim that the Imam holds knowledge of the unseen, when the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who was greater than any Imam, happened to say of himself, and has been attested to in the Book of Allah:
وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لَاسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ
And if I was to know the unseen then I would have sought to gain much good and evil would not have touched me.
Are we meant to believe Sheikh al Mufid and discredit what Allah has said?
If the Imam knows the unseen then how is it possible that Imam ‘Ali ‘alayh al Salam would go to the prayer without any precautions, knowing full-well that Ibn Muljam is about to assassinate him?
The Imams died of either being assassinated or poisoned. How, in that case, could the Imams consume food which had been poisoned when they had knowledge of the unseen? Would this not be considered suicide; especially since the verse says, “evil would not have touched me,” which alludes to the fact that the Messenger must avoid harm when he knows of its affecting him and is able to obviate it?
The only plausible alternative is that the belief of the Imams knowing the unseen is false, and nobody knows the unseen except Allah. Allah says:
قُل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۚ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
Say, “No one in the heavens or on earth knows the unseen save Allah.” They do not know when they will be resurrected.
We abandoned the narrations that explain to us the asceticism of the Imams, their worship, and closeness to Allah, all the while clinging to fabrications and fables. If only our people would have known.
 Rijal al Kashshi, 1/324; Bihar al Anwar, 25/286.
 Al Tashayyu’ al ‘Alawi wa al Tashayyu’ al Safawi, pg. 250-252.
 Al Mufid: Awa’il al Maqalat, pg. 67.
 Surah al A’raf: 188.
 Surah al Naml: 65.Back to top