52. ‘Ismat (infallibility) of 12th Imam
The writer has claimed that due to his research, he has come to the following conclusions; that the theory of “‘Ismat” or immunity from sin has come about and even grown deeper as time has passed, because of the distance between the people and the Imams. He uses Ibn Babway and Mufeed as his witnesses.
A belief remains stable throughout the passage of time. Everything else along with time diminishes, changes and even vanishes. A true religion does not undergo this element. A true religion remains original. The present day belief of the Shia is consistent with the past. The flow of ages has not decreased nor increased it. That the Shia in the earlier ages did not believe in the ‘‘Ismat’; is a statement groundless and unfounded. As they grew distant from the Imams they believed in their ‘‘Ismat’. In the words, the factor of this belief is the distance. This way of thinking is utterly ignorant.
The Shias have always held the same belief. He has preserved what the school of Imamate or in particular, the school of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) has given to him. His belongings are of a known origin and of a trustworthy brand. Likewise the belief of Shaikh Mufeed was not a new one. The narration, traditions, and interpretations of the Quranic verses have been used as his base. What Sadooq says in ‘Ayun’, is not of his invention.
We do not see a thing of non-existence changing its guise to something of existence. What Shi’ism has said is only the echo of what the Prophet (S) had uttered or the Imams had told. The issue of ‘Ismat, the immunity from sin, is no exception to this rule. Sadooq has repudiated the idea. The Prophet’s sayings of Thaqalain (two heavy things), and his words “Ali is with truth and truth is with Ali”, “Ali is with the Quran and Quran is with Ali” all these and several other ones have elucidly expound and enlarged the comprehension and the very gist of ‘Ismat.
The writer asks as to why the Shia paid or pay heed to these words of the Prophet (S). Or why they draw a meaning out of the sayings of the prophet or recite the Quran and try to understand it? Why isn’t the writer prepared to conceive that without ‘Ismat, there can be no Imam or prophet? ‘Ismat is fundamental and it is the condition that qualities the imam for Imam-hood. No one has this except those chosen ones. Then, no one is a prophet or Imam except the chosen ones.