Imamah

The term imamate or imamah (Arabic: إمامة‎, imāmah) means "leadership" and refers to the office of an imam or a state ruled by an imam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

The authentic Hadeeths from the Holy Prophet (SAWA) and his holy
progeny, the Ahlul Bayt (AS) are confirmed through a very strict
procedure of checking every narrator and every narration which means
that the scholars check every narrator whether he is trustworthy or
not and up to what extent he is trustworthy according what has been mentioned about him in the books of Rijaal. If all the narrators are
trustworthy then the Hadeeth will be taken as authentic. We also study
the content and the text of the Hadeeth which should not contradict
any Qur’anic verse or any other authentic Hadeeth. By this very strict
procedure our scholars are sure that no unauthentic Hadeeth can be
taken as authentic. Now the question of whether all the authentic
Hadeeth are available or not, the answer is that all the authentic
Hadeeths are with infallible Ahlul Bayt (AS). The Imam (AS) of every
time is the authority and he has all the knowledge about every Hadeeth
from the Holy Prophet (SAWA) and the Ahlul Bayt (AS). We cannot say
now that our knowledge or all our scholars’ knowledge today has all
the Hadeeths but for sure, our Imam, Imam al-Mahdi (ATFS) has all that
knowledge and he is guarding and supervising and supporting the
followers of Ahlul Bay (AS) and guiding the scholars to the real
knowledge of Islam.

Wassalam.

Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 month ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. There certainly was corruption of the hadith from the Prophet (saw) and Imams (as) even during their lifetimes and so at times the companions of the Imams (as) would check hadith that they did not recognise with the Imams themselves. Since the time of the ghayba one of the most important concerns of scholarship is to deal with the corpus of hadith and define benchmarks for deciphering authentic traditions from less authentic ones. There are a number of methodologies for doing that, some of which are quite technical but are discussed in the sciences of usul, hadith and rijal.

May you always be successful 

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answered 2 months ago

The Imams have clarified that only Allah (swt) has 'ilm al-ghayb, but when they wish to know something, Allah (swt) makes it known to them, and then it is no longer classified as 'ilm al-ghayb.

In Nahj al-Balāgha, Imam ‘Alī (as) defines 'ilm al-ghayb by beginning with a prediction of the coming of the Mongol invasion of the Muslim world:

‘I can see a people whose faces are like shields covered with rough-scraped skins. They dress themselves in silken and woollen clothes and hold dear excellent horses.  Their killing and bloodshed shall take place freely til the wounded shall walk over the dead and the number of runners-away shall be less than those taken prisoner.’ One of his companions said to him, ‘O Amir al-Mu’minīn, you have been given knowledge of hidden things.’  Whereupon Amir al-Mu’minīn laughed and said to the man who belonged to the tribe of Bani Kalb: ‘O brother of Kalb!  This is not knowledge of hidden things (‘ilm al-ghayb).  These matters have been acquired from him (namely the Prophet) who knew them.  As regards knowledge of hidden things, that means knowledge of the Day of Judgment, and matters touched upon by Allah in the verse, ‘Verily, Allah is He with Whom is knowledge of the Hour’ (31:34).  Therefore, Allah alone knows what is there in the wombs, whether male or female, ugly or handsome, generous or miserly, mischievous or pious, and who will be fuel for Hell and who will be in the company of the Prophets in Paradise. This is the knowledge of hidden things, which is not known by anybody except Allah.  All else is that whose knowledge Allah passed on to his Prophet and he passed it on to me, and prayed for me that my chest may retain it and my ribs may hold it.’ (Sermon 127, p. 304). 

This is confirmed by the verse in the Qur’an: ‘(He alone is) the Knower of the Unseen, neither does he reveal His secrets unto any (one else) save unto one of the Messengers that He chooses.’ (72:26-27)

Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 months ago

There are three types of knowledge:

* The genuine unseen. This is what Allah knows only.
* Knowledge that is restricted but not completely unknown. For instance, when the Prophet (S) went on the mi'raj, he saw things that are generally inaccessible to living human beings. Most human beings also do not directly see or hear the angel Jibra'il. Etc. 
* Knowledge that is conventionally accessible. For instance, a book in a library - it can be read by anyone who can read the language and access the book.

This question seems to hinge on the second and third types of knowledge.

Shi'is have held a range of views regarding the knowledge possessed by the prophets and Imams. It is not necessary to adhere to a specific view on this in order to be a Shi'i, although a general bare minimum view for the Ithna Ashari tradition is that the prophets and Imams do not make mistakes and always offer correct guidance, especially although not only on religious matters. 

However, my understanding of Ithna Ashari Shi'i texts is that the Prophet Muhammad (S), the twelve Imams (A), and Fatima al-Zahra (A) possessed or had the ability to access all the knowledge possessed by the previous prophets, and also had a comprehensive knowledge of the world and worldly matters, religious law, the true meanings of the Qur'an, metaphysical matters (as much as is possible), and knowledge of the past and future. Therefore, they would not make mistakes or misguide people or lose people's confidence by saying something wrong. This persists in their otherworldly condition, although perhaps, since Allah is infinite, their knowledge of metaphysical realities can continue to expand.

This view is based on narrations in books such as al-Kafi with respect to the discussions of their knowledge in this life as well as things such as the world of pre-creation. Of course, in the afterlife, all of our knowledge will expand because we will see new realities and will become aware of the truth of some things that were hidden from us or which we were confused about in this world. 

Here is a short treatment of the subject with some narrations: https://www.al-islam.org/imamate-and-leadership-sayyid-mujtaba-musavi-lari/lesson-21-sources-imams-knowledge

However, if someone is genuinely committed to following the Imams, I think it is good for them to think this over personally rather than to just to take someone's word for it; it is good to spend time reading and pondering over what is narrated, asking Allah for guidance, and coming to their own understanding. We live in an age where these materials are readily available to us. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 3 months ago

Bismillah

By testifying that there is no God but Allah and the Muhammad (saw) is the messenger of Allah a person enters the fold of Islam and cannot be classified as a Kafir, even if they do not agree with the issue of Imamah despite clear proofs and evidence.

May you always be successful

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 3 months ago

Bukhari has narrated in his book known as Saheeh al-Bukhari, Hadeeth number 6682, from Jaabir Ibn Samurah: I heard the Prophet (S) saying: There will be twelve leaders, all of them from Quraysh.

صحيح البخاري - الأحكام - الإستخلاف - رقم الحديث : ( 6682 )

‏- حدثني : ‏ ‏محمد بن المثنى ‏ ، حدثنا : ‏ ‏غندر ‏ ، حدثنا : ‏ ‏شعبة ‏ ‏، عن ‏ ‏عبد الملك ‏ ‏سمعت ‏ ‏جابر بن سمرة ‏ ‏قال : ‏سمعت النبي ‏ (ص) ‏ ‏يقول ‏ ‏: يكون إثنا عشر أميراً ‏، فقال : كلمة لم أسمعها ‏، ‏فقال أبي ‏: ‏إنه قال : ‏‏ كلهم من ‏قريش. ‏

Bukhari has also narrated similar Hadeeth is his other. Book known as al-Taareekh al-Kabeer.

The Hadeeth of 12 Imams after the Prophet (S) has been narrated in main Sunni  books of Hadeeth e.g. Saheeh Muslim (6 Hadeeths), Musnad Ibn Hanbal (26 Hadeths), Al-Tirmithi (One Hadeeth), Musnad Abi Dawood (2 Hadeeths), Al-Haakim AlNisaboori (3 Hadeethes), Al-Albani (4 Hadeethes), Al-Bayhaqi (5 Hadeethes), Al-Tabaraani (41 Hadeethes, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalaani (3Hadeethes, Al-Dhahabi (2 Hadeethes) and many others.

About Imam al-Mahdi (A) Bukhari's has narrated in Hadeeth number 3193 stating  that the Prophet Easa will come down from the sky and your Imam is from you  

صحيح البخاري - نزول عيسى إبن مريم (ع) - أحاديث الأنبياء - رقم الحديث : ( 3193 )

‏- حدثنا : ‏ ‏إبن بكير ‏ ، حدثنا : ‏ ‏الليث ‏ ‏، عن ‏ ‏يونس ‏ ‏، عن ‏ ‏إبن شهاب ‏ ‏، عن ‏ ‏نافع ‏ ‏مولى ‏ ‏أبي قتادة الأنصاري ‏ ‏أن ‏ ‏أبا هريرة ‏ ‏قال : ‏قال رسول الله ‏‏(ص) ‏: ‏كيف أنتم إذا نزل ‏ ‏إبن مريم ‏ ‏فيكم وإمامكم منكم

. Thousands of Hadeeths on this subject of Imam Al-Mahdi are narrated in different Sunni books of Hadeeth. Many Sunni scholars have compiled books on this subject e.g. Al-Soyooti Jalaluddin (Al-Orf Al-Wardi Fi Akhbar Al-Mahdi)

Ibn Hajar AlMakki (Al-Mokhtasar Fi A'alamaat  Al-Mahdi Al-Muntadhar , Al-Muttaqi Al-Hindi, Al-Shawkaani, and many others.

Wassalam.

.

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Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answer updated 3 months ago

as salam alaikum

there are many contradictory reports attributed to the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them. Some, but not all, reasons for that are:

1) Some of the reports are weak while others are authentic.

2) Some Imams may have said or given a particular rules for a specific reason or in a particular context while other Imams may have said or given a different ruling due to some circumstantial changes in the situation they were in. 

One of the tasks of the Alim or the Mujtahid is to distinguish between true and false reports or valid and invalid knowledge. 

Differences of opinion in the details of jurisprudence are natural and each one of us is called to do his best to reach valid conclusive statements. As a matter of precaution the layman is called to follow the most learned of the scholars. Some jurists have disagreed regarding the necessity of the A'lamiyyah and regard ijtihad and full competence (with all its related conditions) as sufficient criterion to be followed.

There is no blame on anyone if two people follow two different qualified Mujtahids with different rulings as each one of them exerted outmost effort to deduce the details of the practical law. This is part of Allah's plan and He doesn't act out of wisdom.

What has been established by the Qur'an and the Sunnah Mutawatirah should not be differed upon. As far as the details, the servant should always look for truth but also be humble enough to admit that "Allah and His Prophet know best" and perhaps to understand that such humility is more important to Allah than a variation in legal opinions.

With prayers for your success.

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as salam alaikum

the Qur'an says: "Seek your sustenance from Allah and serve Him" (29:17).

It also says: "He (Allah) does not command you to take the angels and prophets as your Lords ("Arbab", plural of "Rabb"). Would He command you disbelief after you have submitted yourselves (to Allah)?".

It follows that an Imam also is not a Rabb and that only Allah is the Cherisher and Sustainer of the whole creation.

With prayers for your success.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 6 months ago

Allah knows the wisdom behind every thing He ordained. We believe in the Absolute Wisdom of Allah and do not go in to details which is out of our reach of thinking. Our Faith in the Absolute Wisdom of Allah (SWT) is enough for us and it is the real and proper way when we deal with decisions of Allah ( SWT).

We and all the scholars might thing about some reasons like the reward of the sacrifice in Karbala, but that can never be the full reason.We always say: Allah and His messenger know more. الله ورسوله أعلم 

The question Why when it comes on any rule from Allah can mislead people who do not have enough submission to the will and wisdom of Allah (SWT).

In the life of all the prophets and infallible Imams, similar question about reasons of succession can mislead weak hearted persons who don’t have real faith in the absolute Wisdom of Allah (SWT).

Wassalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 6 months ago

1. We and all our Muslim brothers and sisters , believe that the best human being and best of all the creatures of Allah is the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him and His Progeny). Allah he Glorious told the Prophet in Quran (We did not send you but as a Mercy for All the worlds) Sura 21, Verse 107. The status of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) is the Highest among all the prophets and great angles. This fact is mentioned in Hadeeths in Sunni and Shia books like Saheeh Muslim, number 4223, Al-Mussannaf by Abdul Razzaq 2/419,and other books.

2. Allah The Glorious mentioned in Quran about the Progeny of the Prophet (Offspring (of the Prophet), one from the other) (Aal Imran, 34). Which means that the Progeny of the Prophet is from him and he is from them.

3. This fact has been mentioned in many authentic Hadeeths from the Prophet (SAWA) stating that ( Ali is from me and I am from him)

- (Al-Bukhari, 2699),

- (Musnad Ahmad Bin Manbal 33/154),

- Al-Tirmithi, 3712

- Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan 15/374,

- Al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheeha 2223.

4. The Prophetic Hadeeth states : Husain is from me and I am from him, may Allah like any one who likes Husain.

- Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mofrad, 364.

- Al-Tirmithi, Number 2775.

- Ibn Maajah 144.

-Al-Haakin in Al-Mustadrak 3/194

- Al-Tabaraani in Almajma' al-Kabeer, number 2486

- Al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami' , number 3146

5. Reading and understanding the Quran and authentic prophetic statements guide us to the fact that the status of the Infallible  Ahlul Bayt AS) is from the status of the Prophet (SAWA) himself. When the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) is the highest above all the prophets, his Infallible Ahlul Bayt AS) who are from him according to him, are next to him and higher than all others but him.

Wassalam.

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Rebecca Masterton, Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been... Answer updated 7 months ago

2:124 ‘And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His)
commands/words, and he fulfilled them. He said: Indeed, I have appointed you a leader (imām) for mankind. (Abraham) said: And my progeny? He said: My
covenant (ahd) does not include the wrongdoers/oppressors.’

21:72-73 ‘And We bestowed upon him (Abraham) Isaac, and Jacob as a
grandson. Each of them We made righteous./ And We made them imāms by Our command and We inspired them the doing of good deeds and the establishment of salah and the payment of zakah, and they were worshippers of Us alone.’

32:24 ‘And when they became steadfast (sabarū) and attained certainty (yaqīn) of Our revelations, We appointed from among them imāms who guide by Our command.’