Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims
Will Muslims of other schools of thought, such as the Sunni and Sufi brothers, be able to go to heaven or will they be punished for not believing in the Shia Imams?
Allah says in the Qur'an that the only thing that will not be forgiven is that partners be associated with Allah, and that Allah forgives whatever else Allah wills.
Allah also says in the Qur'an that whoever believes and works righteous deeds, including Jews, Christians, and Sabeans, will have a good afterlife.
With that in mind, how can someone exclude some people from heaven just because they are not Shi'i (or Shi'i Ithna Ashari)?
Only Allah has the authority and power to send people to heaven or hell.
Nowadays, also, people often follow religions or sects due to inherited understandings and doctrines. A Sunni who loves certain individuals (who do not have the same status among Shi'is) does so because they have heard very good things about them, or because they believe the Prophet (S) loves them, not because they are trying to fight against the Imams or support wrong.
It is a different situation for someone who actually was alive during the time of Imam 'Ali (A) and saw him and rejected him or physically fought against him. Anyway most Sunnis, and most or all Sufis, respect Imam 'Ali and other Imams, they just have a different understanding of their role.
However, following the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt (A) through the Imams can help develop one's ethics, actions, and spirituality in such a way that can, insha'allah, help with going to heaven. Also one can hope for the intercession of the Imams (A) if one has a close relationship to them and is dedicated to them, and this is also an invaluable gift.
Is the tafsir ascribed to Imam al-Sadiq (as) - often used by some Sufis - considered reliable by us?
Our scholars study the chain of narrators and the text of every narration to assess the authenticity of it. We do not say that all narrations claimed to be from Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (AS) are authentic.
Our divine leaders are the Prophets and the Infallible Imams and their sincere followers.
We believe that our absolute obedience must be to Allah, the Prophet (SAWA) and the Infallible Ahlul Bayt (AS). Beside them, No saint or scholar etc has the status of absolute obedience on us.
If fact, there is no need at all for saints in Shia Islam as the divine leadership of Ahlul Bayt (AS) is the real leadership for us.
It is said that many Sufi orders trace their lineages to Imam Ali (AS). If this is the case, why do we rarely find any meditation or breathing techniques in Shia traditions similar to what we find with the followers of Sufism?
It is unlikely that Sufi orders took these practices directly from Imam Ali (A) although they may sometimes ascribe them to Imam Ali (A) as a form of piety. However, it's not unheard of for these things to be done among Shi'i mystics, and in general these practices are found in the mystical traditions in many regions. Maybe they can be viewed more like exercise similar to how if one wishes to strengthen one's muscles, one can lift weights, regardless of one's religious affiliation(s).