The Shi’a aqeedah on Imamah
It is the foundation upon which all their narrations centre upon, this is clear in all of their disciplines. This is of great concern to the shi’a, and from amongst their foundations is that it is not permissible for the people to choose their imaam, without specific text. Ibnul Mudhahar ‘nahjul mustarshideen’ p.363, Al mudhaffar, ‘Aqaa’idul imamiah’ p.103 and others
And they claim that the prophet SAW specified Ali and his offspring for the imamah. We also learned that this foundation was established from Abdullah Ibn Saba, and all these narrations were single narrations, and all these were one narration, from Ali RA and anyone who claimed to have heard a narration from other than Ali is kaafir. Al Kafi 1/377
And also we know that other than Ali RA, from the 6 or 7 companions then others are kuffar, and their narrations are not acceptable. So this became a problem, because this is only their sources, and the rest of the Ummah are not in agreement with this, so they resorted to Al-‘Isma (infallibility) and how can this be affriemed if it comes from one tongue? So they went into another route, and it is affirming themiracle to the imam. So the imamah became focused on three, the text, the infallibility and their miracles. Mufeed mentioned in his book ‘Al’ayoon’ 1/27 that the imamah entails to its possessor, textual assignment, infallibility and miracles (mu’jizaat). But we know miracles are only brought to the Prophets. And they placed their imams are above the Prophets, and they being a hujjah (proof) against mankind.
If we go along with the idea that there is a text for Ali RA, that he is the imamah, then there is no doubt that textual assignement for an individual to run the affairs of the Muslims till the day of judgement is impossible except for shi’a. So they went and said a great innovation, to give a long life for one human, for centuries, namely the mahdi which they are awaiting for. I fact Ali Ar-Ridha refuted this and refuted it strongly, and it is mentioned in their books. As in Rijaal Al-Kaashi p.458 ‘If Allah would extend the life of someone from the children of Adam, Allah would have done it for the Prophet SAW.’ But they opposed this and they are on the creed that, the existence of this person is critical because the universe needs him. He has no physical presence and if the people were in need of someone, Allah would have elongated the life of the prophet SAW and they say this is in our sunnah and the Qur’an, and the first proof they give is the ayah in Surah Al Ma’idah ‘Verily…’ ayah 55. Tabrisi said this ayah is the clearest proof for the validity of the Imam Ali RA, without any dispute, and their shayookh are all in almost agreement that this is the strongest proof they have. They claim that the people of tafsir and hadith, that this verse was revealed for Ali, when he gave his ring in charity to a beggar, while the companions were watching, and they claim this is in sihaah sittah, meaning our books of hadith, and they call it the six authentic, but we call them hadith books, not authentic books, only Bukhari and Muslim are fully authentic, so this is their evidence. They say ‘inama’ is for particularization in agreement with the linguistics, and that the wali means the one who takes precedence in running the affairs of the Ummah. This is in ‘Shabab haqul yaqeen’ and in zanjaani ‘Aqaa’idul imamiah ithna ash’ariah’ 1/81-82
The shi’a now take the cause of revelation for this verse specifies Ali RA. So they take the cause of revelation, because there is no text itself. But is this correct?
Refutation: Their claim that ahlusunnah are in agreement that this verse was revealed for Ali, is a lie. Rather the people of ‘ilm are in agreement that this was not revealed for Ali in name, and he did not give his charity in salaah. And the people in knowledge and hadeeth, concerning this verse, is from al-kadhib al mawdoo’ fabricated lies and their claim that this is in sihah as-sittah, because there is no existence of this report in these books. Shabab and Zanjaani mentioned this, but there is no hadeeth such as this in our books. Imam ibn Kathir gave the reports concerning their lie, and he commented on it saying that ‘nothing of this is authentic entirely because of the weakness of their chains’ – tafsir ibn kathir 2/76-77
So this is refuted from the narration perspective, so this invalid from there. So if this is nullified then their argument crumbles, and this narration they say is authentic and use, it contradicts their belief, as it limits the wilayah on Ali only. Because they say said particularization, by ‘inama’ so the imamah does not hold for the rest of the imams, and if they respond by saying inama means sometimes, meaning at his imamah in his time, then they agree with ahlul sunnah because we believe in his leadership in his time.
Now giving charity while in salaah is not recommended by agreement of the scholars, because the prophet SAW would have done it, and he was the one who said, ‘inama fi salaati lashughla’ ‘verily in salaah there is something which makes one busy,’ and to give sadaqah in salaah distracts your salaah. Their claim is in direct contradiction to reality, and this verse is in context with its surroundings, and this verse came to tell the mu’minoon to keep allegiance with the believers and not the non-muslims. It does not refer to wilayah being authority.
Nothing in the Qur’an is obviously understood and apparent, in proving Ali’s wilayah or the 12 Imams, and whatever they take is from their fabricated narrations.
The proofs from the Sunnah
They clinged to the ‘proofs’ and clinged to some reports from Ahlulsunnah which speaks about the merits of Ali RA. They attempted to use it as a back-up for the numerous fabrications they have.
The merits of Ali can in no-way be used as proof for Ali’s leadership, from the linguistic side, intellect, and textual side. But these are just merits, but they took it as claims, so they took it as belief. Ibn Hazm collected the narrations regarding the merits of Ali, and from themerits which the rejectionists cling to is the following from Bukhari, in this hadith the Prophet SAW went out for tabuk and appointed Ali RA as his deputy for Madinah, and Ali RA said ‘Are you going to leave me with the women and children?’ the prophet SAW said ‘Are you please that you will be to me like Harun to Musa, except that there will be no Prophet after me?’
There is no textual evidence showing a merit over others, and appointment of Ali after the Prophet SAW. Because Harun AS did not take position of authority after Musa AS, it was Yusha Bin Nun, he was a companion, the boy who went with Musa AS to meet Khidr similarly as the matter was given to his companion in the cave, Abu Bakr RA. Who travelled with him to madina, so if Ali was not a Prophet just as Harun AS was, and both did not lead, as Harun died before Musa AS, then the only link they have is in kinship only. Also, if Ali RA was not as Harun was to Musa AS, is not a prophet and Harun was not a ruler on the children of Israel after Musa AS, so therefore when the prophet SAW said to Ali RA what he did, then this is only relative to kinship relation. Also the prophet SAW said this to him after assigning him to madinah during the battle of Tabuk, and the hypocrites began to talk, and speaking ill of Ali, saying he was a burden or something. And so Ali RA went after the Prophet SAW, to talk to him about this, and then the Prophet SAW said what he said. Also the Prophet SAW appointed other people, other men to take care of Madinah in other expeditions.
Resembling Ali RA to Harun is not greater than resembling Abu Bakr RA to Ibrahim AS and Isa AS, and Umar to Nuh AS and Musa AS, as it was in Haakim’s ‘Mustadrak’ and Ahmad’s ‘Musnad’ and ‘Tirimidhi’ reported part of it in the ‘book of jihad’. No doubt these four are greater than Harun AS, and these two men are being compared to two Prophets instead of one. And assigning Ali, is not specific to him, so such an assignment is not particular to Ali, nor the resemblance to a Prophet is a particularization. So they have no basis in this incident.
There is a second one which they cling to. The other hadith is as follows, muttafaqun alaih, Ali RA happned to stay behind with the Prophet SAW and did not join the battle of khaibar as he was having eye trouble. And he said ‘How could I remain behind ya rasul allah?’ So he set behind the Prophet SAW , and followed him, when it is was the eve of the day which Allah blessed the muslims with victory, the prophet SAW said ‘I will give the flag to someone whom Allah and His messenger love and he loves them also, and Allah will give victory to them under this flag.’ Then came Ali which we did not expect, the people said ‘this is Ali’ and Allah’s messenger gave him the flag, and they were given victory.
This attribute is entailed for every muslim, every righteous muslim. So this is not a description particular to Ali, and others love Allah and His messenger and Allah and His messenger love them. But this is just a testification by name, as the ten who were promised paradise. So this cannot be taken as a text for his infallibility and imamah, and they also cannot take this as proof for the apostasy of the companions. Because the Khawaarij say that Ali was amongst those who apostate, in fact Al Ash’ari mentioned that the khawaarij are in agreement that Ali became kaafir, and Ahlul Sunnah refuted them fully.
A third one is a hadith reported in tirmidhi, and he said it is hasan wa sahih. Allah’s messenger SAW said that ‘none who loves Ali, is a believer, and none that hates but is a munafiq.’
However, was this particular to Ali?
Al ansar, the helpers of madinah, as in Sahih Muslim, ‘No one who is a believer in Allah and the last day hates the ansaar.’ So love of ansaar and Ali is from faith, and hating Ali and al ansaar is from hypocrisy. In fact there are other narrations which agree with the same wording which was reported about Ali in Bukhari and Muslim. ‘No-one loves them but is a believer, and none hates him except is a munafiq.’
As the narration ‘Whoever I am the master/leader/helper/protector of, Ali is leader of.’ Is not authentic to begin with, as for the hadith of mubahila in Sahih muslim when the verse of Ali imran(3):61, was revealed, this is not known as mubahila, the Prophet SAW invited Ali, Faatimah, Hasan and hussain, and said ‘O Allah, (ahli) these are my family!’. This has no proof for imamah, as this is about having those who are relatives, this is the purpose of Mubahila. Similiarly the hadith which is in the two sahihs, about Ali RA ‘I am from you and you are from me’, the Prophet SAW said this to ja’afar, ‘you resemble my creation (in nature) and character’ and sid to Zaid, ‘you are our brother and our maulana (close).’
So there is no proof for the leadership of Ali RA. So why did they take from the books of Sunnah? This is mockery, deception and lies. In order to cover up and to say ‘see they agree with us.’ Furthermore, there are narrations which they reference to the books of ahlul sunnah, are all lies and there is no such thing. This is for deceiving the masses.
Hadeeth of ghadeer
The importance of this narration is so important for them, that they sometimes wrote books about this narration reaching 16 volumes and he called it, ‘Ghadeer fi’l kitaabi wa sunan wa adab.’ And they narrate that when the Prophet SAW reached a valley between Makkah and madinah, called a juhfah, called ghadeer. After he finished hajjatul wada’, he revealed to the Muslims that his wasiyah is Ali Ibn Abi Talib, because Allah commanded His messenger SAW, Al Ma’idah (5):67 ‘Oh messenger! Proclaim what has been sent down to you from your lord, if you do not convey this then you have not conveyed the message.’ They said what he conveyed was the conveyance that Ali Ra shall be the trustee and khalifah after him. Al Majlisi reported in his book ‘Bihaar’ 37/108-253 that he gathered the Muslims and told them, ‘Am I not more entitled to you more than your own selves?’ They replied ‘Yes’ He said ‘Then Whoever I am to him as a protector and helper then Ali is the same to him. Oh Allah give wilayah to those who give him wilayah and have enmity to those who oppose him and give aid to those who give aid to him.’ They called this the strongest evidence, many, many, shi’a books as proof against ahlul sunnah. Most of the scholars of Ahlul Sunnah, refuted this report and their conclusion. Thos fabricators added to it, and to a group from ahlul hadeeth, there is nothing authentic in this report except, the saying ‘whoever I am the mawla to, Ali is the mawla to.’ As to the rest of the report, ‘am I not more entitled…’ and so on, then the chain is dha’eef due to Ali bin Zaid bin jad’an, one of the men in the chain of narration in sunan Ibn majaah. However other people of ahlul hadeeth, classified the whole narration to be false, and ibn hazm RH, he said ‘in principle the entire hadith is false,’ and he mentioned many great scholars including Bukhari, Ibrahim Al hardi, who called the whole thing to be false. However it is from the reports of the ahlul hadeeth, of those who disputed its authenticity.
From the wording also it is fabricated. ‘Oh Allah! Give victory, to those who give Ali victory!’ This is against the affirmed historical facts. There were people who fought with Ali in the battle of siffin, and did not win, and others did not fight and did not lose, like Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, he was the opener of Iraq, he did not fight with Ali, similarly, the people who were the companions of Mu’awiyah and Bani Ummayah, who fought Ali, opened many of the lands of the kuffar, and Allah gave them victory. This is from the protection of the deen.
There is another point from this report. There is a report which we heard, ‘Oh Allah give wilayah to those who give him wilayah and have enmity to those who oppose him and give aid to those who give aid to him.’ This report is against the foundations of Islam, because the Qur’an made it clear, that the believers are brothers, despite their fighting and transgression amongst themselves. So this statement is in direct opposition. After mentioning the reports regarding the authenticity, that some said it is authentic and others said it is not so, then the statement ‘whoever I am his mawla then Ali is his mawla.’ If the Prophet did not say it, then there is no disputing what it means, and there is no problem. Now suppose he said it, did he mean that decisively the khilafah belongs to Ali? It is simple, because in the wording there is nothing to suggest this. Because if it is such importance, then why didn’t the prophet SAW proclaim it in a clear way, in a way that is not vague. Another point to mention here, the help, protection, and so on in the matter of muwalaa, is in opposition to mu’adhaa (enmity), and if it is the matter of leadership that he meant, why didn’t he proclaim it so clearly? Like in everything else that he taught. And who is best in advising the believers? Do you think he would have kept this most needed advice? Why did the Prophet SAW particularize the name of Ali here? This is the story of hatred for Ali. When the prophet was about leave for makkah in hajjatul wada, and sent Ali RA to Yemen, and when they were sent, a group started harbouring hate for Ali, and the Prophet SAW showed his love for Ali, and dispelled the hatred they had.
And the verse was revealed long time before the pilgrimage, and ghadeer happened at 18th of Dhul hijjah after the hajj finished. Imam muslim reported concerning this ghadeer, was ‘I am only human, the message of my Lord is about to come and I will surrender and I will leave with two things, the first is the book of Allah, in it is guidance and light, and I implore you to hold fast to it, and my ahlulbayt, I remind you by Allah concerning my household.’ It was commented on my shaykhul islam RH, ‘It was reported by Imam Muslim not Bukhari and it only contains followership to the Qur’an and to nothing else. And he reminded us concerning the household, and their rights should be given to them.’ So it known that there was no revelation regarding Ali’s wilayah as this is talking about the rights of Ahlul bayt, the family of Ali, Ja’far, Aqeel, Abbas, so therefore this is the greatest daleel.
Text of specification (An-Nass –apparent text)
The origin of this claim in the books of the shi’a, sometimes they refer to divine proofs coming from the heavens talking about the wilayah of Ali. But these books aren’t present since 260 AH and are with the hidden Imam and another reason they bring is that these texts are not available due to the actions of the companions. Third claim is that these texts were explicit from the Prophet SAW, but the Ummah were in agreement to conceal it, and the first to speak about it was Abdullah Ibn Saba. Or they go and give the ayat in the Qur’an esoteric interpretations, only known to the imams, then they support these claims by strange things, for example karaamat, inherited infallibility, revelation from the heavens or signs in the imams. The one who began this claim of nass, in the beginning was Ibn Saba, then this was spread t o others who said, however (meaning the imamah) was spread to others, but the sects of the shi’a differ in terms of number of Imams, then after that they settled to 12 imams, after the year 260 AH on the hands of those shayookh who invented the idea of absent imam.
Narrations regarding the texts about nass, took precedence in their reliable books such as hadith books, and tafasir, and the books of their scholars, and since now there is a type of agreement between our books and their books regarding Ibn Saba starting this new claim. Would any muslim be able to accept books that apparently were hidden from the Ummah by the Prophet SAW?
Even the some of the shi’a themselves don’t trust their most reliable books, as Kashiful ghata in his book ‘Kashful ghata’ he questioned the trust in these shayookh, the reliable references of the shi’a, in p.368 he questioned the reliability of 3 of those four reliable authors of their books. But there is one book which the shi’a considers every word of it they see as infallible. A book they claim is authored by Ali ibn Abi Talib RA, called Nahjul balagha, and it does not have a chain for it, and it was collected in the fourth century. IF we take Nahjul balagha to be a reference, there are clear statements attributed to Ali RA, which nullify their aqeedah we will find no chain for it. It is attributed to him that he said when people gathered around him to make him a leader, ‘leave me…’ p.136
And their mufeed, this reliable source to them, in Al-Irshad ‘and form the thing which their ulaama preserved from Ameer ul mu’minoon is that he said, ‘you came to me and said ‘bayee’na, (we give you allegiance) and I said ‘no!’ and you said ‘certainly! You must!’ and I said ‘no’ and I pulled my hand, and you stretched it, and then you quarreled, then you came all of you like camels come to their place of feed, until I thought that you are about to kill me, and amongst you were those who quarreled, and fought, so I stretched my hand out and you gave me allegiance.’ Kitaab ul irshaad p.131
Now the question is, would anyone who says these words, would he be someone who is looking for khilafah? Ibnul Mudhahar states that ‘anyone who seeks to relieve himself from imamah, is not an imam. Had he been truly an imam, he would not seek to relieve himself from imamah, but he would take it.’ ‘Minhaaj ul karaama’ p.195
The fact that Ali RA did not call to his khilafah, and for people to give him bay’ah, it led to a sect being formed called the kaamiliyyah, a subsect of the shia, who impute kufr on Ali, because he abandoned seeking the imamah. The reports within Nahjul balagha are in agreement with Ahlul Sunnah.It is reported that imam Ali RA said in Nahjul balagha p.322 ‘By Allah I had no eagerness for imamah or wilayah, but you called me for it and forced me to take it.’ He also mentioned that his khilafah was given to him or agreed upon by the agreement of the muhajirun and ansar, as they are the people of shura. In the same book, it is reported thathe said ‘the people who gave allegiance to Abu Bakr Umar and Uthmaan gave me allegiance like they gave tem allegiance. For the one who is present has no choice and the absent cannot refuse.’ This shows it was done by bay’ah and shura, not by nass. ‘…and the consultation regarding these issues is for the muhajirun and ansar, if they agree on one man and they assign him and make him and imam…’ This is showing that the shura and the consensus, is the way to appoint a leader, and no nass. This was all taken from Nahjul balagha.
Imam Ahmad (rh) narrates in his musnad, from Wakee’ ‘anil A’mash from Saalim ibn Abi al-ja’d from Abdullah bin saba, ‘I heard Ali saying ‘I will be killed’ We said ‘assign for us!’ He said ‘NO, I will leave you as to what the Prophet left you with before.’ “what will you say to your lord when you stand before Him?’ “I will say, Oh Allah you left me amongst them as you wished and you took me to you, and you are the one in charge of them and if you wish you will correct their affairs, otherwise you will make their affairs correct.’ 2/42 Shaykh Ahmed Shaakir classified its sanad saheeh. This narration is also in majma’ zawaaid and al haythami said, ‘its men are saheeh and al bazzar narrated it with a good chain.’
It is also narrated in Ahmed like this, from aswad bin aamir bin al-a’mash from salama bin kaheer and Abdullah bin saba, and shaykh ahmed shaakir said it is saheeh.
Sahih Bukhari it is narrated, that they mentioned in front of A’isha RA that ‘Ali was a wasiyyah (trustee).’ And she asked them ‘when was it assigned for him? And I was leaning him to my chest/lap then he called for a pot, and I felt that he died, so when did he bequeath to him?’ Bukhari/muslim.
Also authentically reported from Ibn Abbas RA, that he SAW did not have a textual trusteeship, and it is narrated form Ibn Abbas that he did not have a text to hold for a trustee. This is reported in Ibn abi Shaybah, from the way of Arqam ibn sharhabeel from Ibn Abbas, and Ibn hajr authenticated it in fath ul bari 5/361
So therefore, in ahlulsunnah there are firm authentic reports that the Prophet did not leave a wasiyyah.
Let us leave all the narrations which there are disagreement about, and let us take the Book of Allah as a judge, through the understanding of Arabic language, and both are in agreement in of the Arabic and its limitations, so it is able to be a judge between us in this regard.
So do we find any mention of the imams in the Qur’an as an arkaan in islam as is mentioned in the Book of Allah. Anyone with sound intellect would say this is enough as a proof, as we must leave all esoteric interpretations, as anyone can do that type of interpretation.
Ibn ul Taymiyyah in his debate against Ibnul mudhahar, said ‘assume that we are not going to take hadith as a reference, what about the saying of Allah in Surah Anfal 2-4?’ Then he told him ‘Allah SWT attested for their belief without mentioning Imamah, so there is no need for imaamah.’ He also said to him ‘in suratul hujurat ayah 15, so they were truthful in faith without imamah…’ Minhaaj as-sunnah 1/33
This and others make it clear that the imamah, has no basis in the Book of Allah. Secondly a matter of this magnitude, wouldn’t we find those who care for the Ummah transmitting it to the people? The texts would have reached the Ummah. If the companions hid the nass of his wilayah, why wouldn’t they hide the merits of Ali? Why would they be firm in stating his merits?
And where in the world is there ever an agreement of over 1000 people who fear God and live humble lives, agree upon an evil, did not one of their prayers get accepted? Did their night prayers not get accepted?
Isn’t the matter of imamah, related to the benefits and affairs of the people? So if one says that the Prophet SAW assigned a position for one person and the companions changed it, then wouldn’t it be easy for a person to say the prayers were originally 10 but the companions changed it and made it 5? Wouldn’t this open the dorr for anyone to claim anything against the companions. Because they are the ones who relayed the deen to us. And also wouldn’t it be possible, to say that the Prophet SAW had a son, and the Prophet assigned him, and the companions got jealous, and killed him. And the like of this?
We came to know that Abu Bakr when he textually assigned Umar, there was no dispute regarding it and no one argued against the 6 who were doing shura. And we know the Prophet SAW is better and the people must comply with the Prophet more than the order of Abu Bakr And Umar? Even Mu’awiyah when he textually assigned yazeed, there was even a nass for this assignment.
So how did the only one decided by Allah, is the one hidden.
Ali was not propagating the message which the Prophet SAW, lived and died for, he stayed silent regarding it? Wasn’t it the ayah ‘if you do not convey this, it is as though you have not conveyed the message’ about the wilayah of Ali? Then that incident was wasted, and the Prophet’s efforts (wal iyaadu billah) came to waste, simply because after he died, the message died with him, the person he appointed did not continue spreading that message and the most important part of it being wilayah.