“Milel Wa Nahal” of Shahristani “Al-Fasal” of Ibn Hagam; these books speak of divisions and describe the sects or groups with full mistakes and deliberate errors. To rely on them is irresponsible because they have been written without study. Every prejudice is gratified in it and malice has taken a breath of relief as it speaks about Shia without knowledge.
No information, no knowledge seems to have been necessary to write this book. Another book “Al- Farakh Bain Al-Firaq” and another book “Al-Taiseer” carries a theme which only ignorant could be proud of. Where there is no literacy, there is fancy; where there is no information, there is imagination; and the books are written. These books are deal, thus should they be left.
In our article “Jila Al Basar Le man Yatawalla Al Aiyemme Al Isna Ashar” (glisten of sight to one who yields to the twelve Imams) we have dealt over this subject. The traditions that indicate that there are thirteen Imams are not authentic ones. The narration should be constant, that is, heard by many; hence, told by many or circulated mouth by mouth. Such narration of any tradition is gestate with credible. If it is told by one person it does not stand credible.
When the Prophet (S) spoke, he spoke among his associates or in a gathering or amidst a few people. So, his conversation was heard by more than one man; and accordingly narrated by more than one. If a tradition is narrated by only one source and there is no second to it; it is void of any authenticity. This is a standard or a law for gaining certainty about the issue pertaining to belief and other religious matters. On the other hand, the traditions that indicate the number of Imams as twelve are many and related by several and told by various sources.
In the book Masnad of Ahmad Al-Hanbali there are above thirty sources mentioned having had heard from the Prophet (S) the number of Imams to be twelve. Muslim in his “Saheer” quotes eight sources who have related the traditions indicating the number twelve. In the Shia books there are hundreds of sources who have mentioned the Prophet’s sayings the traditions that fix the number of twelve. Besides, the sources from the man of good reputation.
There remains no doubt in the authenticity of the very subject. However the traditions or tradition quoting the number of Imams to be thirteen has been invented. Since it is a lie it is dismissed.