Question 5: Can Shia prove their ideology of Imamate from Quran?
Answer: When we talk about the Shia point of view about Imamate. It means the successor ship of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh).
Caliph means successor (the person who comes after), Imam means leader. We can say that these 12 personalities are the Caliphs of Prophet Mohammad and the Imams of Muslim Ummah after The Holy Prophet.
When we say something like show us from Quran about a particular topic and if it is not mentioned there or in details, we won’t accept it. This is not a right approach. It means that we are refusing the source of Islam which is the hadith. We cannot understand Quran and Islam without the Messenger of Allah.
We believe that there are so many Prophets, about 124,000. But we know that only 25 Prophets are mentioned in the Quran. Why do we believe in those Prophets though they are not mentioned in Quran?
Imamate, the leadership of people (a spiritual designation granted by Allah(swt)) is mentioned in Quran. Please read the verse of Surah Baqarah (2:124)
”And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.”
In this verse Allah(swt) answered Ibrahim’s prayer that Imams will be from his offspring but not the evil-doers. Shia Imams are from the offspring of Prophet Ibrahim (as) announced by the messenger of Allah.
Look at our daily prayers, we do not find the details of prayers from the holy Quran. The Messenger of Allah told us about the five prayers and gave us details. We believe it and do it. Where can we find the details of this? in the hadith right?
The verse of Holy Quran (4:59):
“O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger,”
In this verse, it is ordered to obey Allah(swt), his Messenger and those personalities charged with the authority. If there are differences between us we are supposed to refer it to Quran and hadith. Because Quran and hadith is the main two source of Islam.
In the commentary of this verse Holy Prophet introduced those people whom are given authority which Muslim supposed to obey. The Messenger of Allah(swt) gave details of this verse telling that those people charged with authority among Muslims are his 12 successors.
Question 6: Why Shia Imams are offspring of each other? Does it mean something is materialistic and not spiritual as kings makes their sons their successors?
Answer: We already answer this question in our article “Shia point of view about Imamate (Caliphate)“. Please check the verses of Quran (3:33-34) and (5:83-87). We will find that all prominent Prophets mentioned in the Quran are the decedants of each other, offspring of Prophet Ibrahim (as).
Question 7: Why do Shia believe that their 12 Imams are having higher ranking than all the other Prophets except Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)?
Answer: There are two points of views in Shia about it. One point of view says that the Imams are superior to all Prophets except the Holy Prophet. The other point of view says that the Imams are not having higher ranking than the Prophets who are granted with Sharia law.
The philosophy of the belief that those Imams have higher ranking than the Prophets; The Imams are successor of holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) who is the last Messenger is the head of all the Prophets. Quran is the conclusion of all previously revealed books and Islam is the conclusion of all sharia laws. (We can compare as elementary school, high school and University)
Shia believes that Imams are superior in ranking than the Prophets. It is due to the successorship of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and being authorized interpreter of Islam and Quran.
We would like to give an example to understand above the logic. A high school teacher who has license and certification being high school teacher and a PhD student who does not have license as high school teacher but still PhD student will be considered as higher level.
Both Shia and Sunni believe that Imam Mahdi is one of those 12 Caliphs which Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) mentioned in the hadith about 12 Caliphs from Quraish. Both Shia and Sunni believe that Prophet Isa (as) will pray behind Imam Mahdi.
Question 8: How come Shia believes that their 12 Imams are infallibles?
Answer: The Shia belief about the infallibility of Imams is based on many verses of Quran and Hadiths. What we are trying to say here is simply that the infallibility of Imams has the same logic as the Prophethood.
We believe that the Prophets are infallible because Allah(s) made them to be a role model. Allah(s) orders us to follow them. That’s why Allah(swt) purified them from the sins and made them infallible.
Allah(s) announced to follow the special authorized people (Quran 4:59).
The Messenger of Allah(s) announced to follow his Caliphs after him. That’s why the successors of Prophet must be infallible as well; if they will do mistakes they can easily drag their followers in to the ditch.
We can use the same logic when Shia claims that Imams are granted with special knowledge and miracles, Because Imams are divinely appointed. This is the reason why we see that there is no teacher for these 12 Imams except Allah(swt) and his Prophet and yet we find the ocean of knowledge in those books written by the 12 Imams.
Question 09: Shia believes that Imams are divinely appointed. They have right to rule over the people. Why the Shia 8th Imam Ali Raza (as) accepted position as a deputy under the ruler ship of Mammon al Rashid Al abaci?
Answer: As we mentioned in our article “Philosophy of Imamate” that the Shia Imams are the successors of The Holy Prophet. They are given the right to rule over Ummah by Allah(swt) and his Messenger. But if the people did not give them this right, it does not mean their designation as successor has been taken away as well.
The Eight Imam (Ali Raza) had no other choice other than accepting the position. It was a political game by Mammon. There are lots of other aspects which can clarify this matter.
But we also want to mention here about Prophet Yusuf (pbuh) as answer to this question. We know the story of Prophet Yusuf (pbuh) from Quran. He was a divinely appointed Prophet yet why did he choose to be the deputy of the king Who was not a believer?
Question 10: Sunni scholars interpretation on the verse of Surah Noor 55 “Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.” They claim that this promise of Allah(s) with the companions of the Prophet means he will make them Caliph (ruler). So it was fulfilled during the time of 4 righteous caliphs. What is the Shia commentary about it?
Answer: Shia commentary about this verse is that this promise of Allah(s) is not only with the companions of The Holy Prophet but this promise is for all followers of Islam of all generations. Those people who are true believers and do righteous deeds, Allah(swt) will help them to rule over the world. In Shia school of thought there are narrations from the Imams of Ahlulbait that this promise of Allah(swt) will be fulfilled at the time of 12th Caliph Imam Mahdi (as). There will be Islamic government all over the world; there will be peace and justice all over the world. Islam will be the only ruling religion in the world.
If we will look at Sunni’s claim of caliphate according to this verse that this verse testifies the caliphate of 4 righteous caliphs, it does not fit to it. Islam did not rule all over the world. There was no peace, always wars and wars; we can see so much uprising at the time of third caliph. People surrounded him in Medina for many days, killed him broodily, his dead body remained unburied for many days, later he was buried in Jews graveyard. (History of Tabari)
At the time of 4th Caliph Imam Ali there was no peace and thousands of Muslims got killed in wars between among them. Imam Ali(as) spent his entire period of rulership in those troubles created by his opponents.
Is this the peace which is promised by Allah? Where are the other 8 caliphs? Is it not that the Holy Prophet(pbuh) announced that there will be 12 Caliphs?
When we will go in details about any verse or hadith which our Sunni brothers mentioned to prove their claim of caliphate, nothing it works and actually failed to prove their claims.
Question 11: Sunni school of thought mentions that the first caliph Abu Bakar led the prayers on Prophet’s last moment that is why he is the first successor?
Answer: This narration contradicts with other proven narration which is in the other books and in Bukhari it says that at the last moment, the Holy Prophet(pbuh) sent army under the command of Osama bin Zaid. Abu Bakar and Omar were part of that army. That army stayed outside the Medina. When Holy Prophet passed away that the only time they came back.
If The Holy Prophet(pbuh) appointed Abu Bakar leader of the prayers which means successorship, Why is it that in the meeting of saqifa! Saad bin Ebadah the leader Ansar is claiming caliphate for himself? (sunni sources prove that Saad bin Ebadah never gave oath of allegiance to Abu Bakar in his entire life)
If it was known that Abu Bakar will be the next Caliph, why then there was a dispute in Saqifa? At first Ansar claimed that one Caliph will be from Mohajreen and one Caliph will be from Ansar, later on they decided the Caliph will be from Mohajreen and Ministers will be from Ansar.
Abu Bakar himself proposed the name of Abu Obaidah bin Jarah and Umar bin Khattab to make them Caliph!
Abu Bakar mentioned everything that the Caliph should be from Mohajreen, but never mentioned about himself that the Holy Prophet made him as the leader of prayers.
Umar bin Khattab is the one who proposed Abu Bakar and the announcement of the selection of Abu Bakar was made suddenly. (This means it was not pre decided by the Holy Prophet).
Please read the whole story about Caliphate in Bukhari. (please click on picture and read lengthy narration).
Our Sunni brothers cannot provide any single wording of the Prophet(pbuh) from their own books that could prove that the Prophet(pbuh) made Abu Bakar as his successor. If they got to provide one check it and you will see it contradicts with the story of saqifa. Then there will be no meaning of Saqifa where in all this politics happened.
We find a narration in Sahih Muslim Chapter prayer that abdur rahman bin Owoaf led the prayer in prophet’s presence and the prophet prayed behind him. If this is the criteria, the person who led the prayer in prophet’s life, that person would be the successor of the prophet, then abdur rahman bin Owoaf shld be the caliph. The Prophet even prayed behind him.
We also find the narartion in Sahih al Bukhari that Abu Baker and Umar used to pray behind Salim, the slave of Abu Hudhaifa. If we apply the sunni logic here then Salim should be the Caliph before Abu Baker and Umar bin Khattab, here is the proof
As we discussed on our article “The Sunni point of view about Caliphate“, Our Sunni brothers cannot declare any principle that can say the caliphate of these four Caliphs is based on this foundation.
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May Allah (swt) guide those who seek for truth and send blessings to Holy Prophet Mohammad and his Ahlalbait.