Letter 24

Thul-Hijjah 15, 1329

I. Why Relying on this Hadith

1) Sunnis rely on every correct hadith to confirm their concept of succession, be it mutawatir or nont. We rely on the authenticity of this hadith in our argument against theirs simply because they themselves testify to its authenticity, thus binding themselves to what they have considered to be binding. Our own proof regarding succession from our viewpoint depends on its tawatur from our own sources, as is obvious to everyone.

II. Restricted Succession is Unanimously Rejected

2) The claim that ‘Ali is the successor of the Messenger of Allah (S) only in his household is rejected due to the fact that whoever believes that ‘Ali is the successor of the Messenger of Allah in his household also believes that he is his successor among the public as well, and whoever denies his succession over the public also denies his succession among his family. There is no way to separate one from the other; so, why bring up a philosophy which runs contrary to the consensus of all Muslims?

III. Revocation is Impossible

3) I cannot overlook your statement that this hadith is revoked, which contradicts both reason and Shari’a, since in order to abrogate, a statement has to be made before the effect of its precedent becomes manifest, as is clear to everyone. The only pretext for abrogation here is the allegation that the Prophet (S) supposedly refrained from [publicly] expounding on the gist of this hadith.

The hadith itself proves that he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, did not refrain from doing so; rather, texts in this meaning are consecutive, supporting one another. If we suppose that there is no text in the same meaning after this one, then how can it be proven that the Prophet (S) had changed his mind or refrained from its enforcement?

"They follow nothing other than their own whims and desires, after guidance from their Lord has already come unto them (Qur'an, 53:23)"

and peace be with you.

Sincerely: Sh