Letter 19

Thul-Hijjah 5, 1329

I. No Fair Arbitrator Would Call Followers of Ahl al-Bayt Strayers

1) No; any fair arbitrator would never label those who have upheld the rope of Ahl al-Bayt, who follow in their footsteps, as "strayers," nor are they, by any means, inferior to other Imams.

II. Following Their Sects is Carrying out the Responsibility

2) Adherence to their sect obligates them and clears their conscience, just like adhering to any of the four sects; there is no doubt about that.

III. It Could be Said that They Have the Priority to Lead

3) It may be said that your Twelve Imams are even more worthy of being followed than the four Imams or any others, since all of them follow one sect which they have scrutinized and agreed upon by consensus. Contrariwise, the four Imams' disagreements among themselves exist in all departments of jurisdiction, leaving its sources exclusive, unchecked. It is well known that if one person verifies something, his effort cannot equate that of twelve Imams. This is clear to any fair minded person, ant it leaves no argument for any unjust peron. Yes, the Nasibis may dispute referring your sect to the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, and I may, at a later time, ask you to prove their error.

IV. Requesting Texts Relevant to the Khilafate

4) For the time being, I request you to go ahead and indicate what you claim to be statements nominating Imam ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) as the successor to the Prophet (S). Derive your arguments from Sunni references, and peace be with you.