Debunking Doubts 5: Do Our Scholars Reject Imamah?

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa aali Muhammad, wa ajjil farajahum wa la'n ada'ahum.

So in order to demonstrate that these are nothing but charlatans and imposters, and so that believers aren't confused by their deception, I'll try to address a few points specific to the discussion of the Hadith 'Man mata la yarifu Imam az-zamanihi, matan mitatan jahiliyyah'. Then I'll provide broader metrics on how to spot imposters like these in the future. I'll summarise his points and my counter arguments.

So first off, he claimed shamelessly and unabashedly that there is no verifiable hadith that states 'Man mata la yarifu Imam az-zamanih'. In other words, he insisted, might I remind him that there is no authentic chain and Shi'ah literature for this Hadith? Number two, he then mentioned Sahl ibn Ziad as someone who was known to be a liar and exaggerator and as a narrator of this hadith. Right. In other words, he used Sahl ibn Ziad as proof that the report cannot be authentic because he is part of the chain of transmission for this hadith.

Number three. He tried to present the Ahl ul-Bayt as some kind of, you know, a group of good people who know a thing or two about the Qur'an and Sunnah, but nothing more, which is really what his crusade is all about, undermining and belittling the Ahl ul-Bayt and attacking their position in our faith.

So, I then responded by demonstrating, number one, the hadith is narrated in multiple sources and attributed to several Imams. One of the sources that narrates this hadith is Kamaal ud-Deen by Sheikh as-Sadooq, which news flash is also known as Ikmaal ud-Deen wa Itmam un-Nia'ma. And it's known by that name by several key bibliographers, including Abu Zurgha at-Taharani as well as al-Hurr al-Amali and his Amal Al-Aamil. Allama Majlisi also refers to the book by Sheikh as-Sadooq as Ikmaal ud-Deen across most of the Bihaar ul-Anwar. But you wouldn't know that now, would you? Not with your Ph.D. in Arabic grammar from an Indian university run by the Bohras.

Number two, my point in mentioning the two initial hadiths wasn't to discuss theirs isnaad but the range of sources and the multiplicity of narrators. There were just two samples from dozens of hadiths on the subject. Al-Kafi, for example, has two chapters, one of which is entitled 'Baabun fi mandana Allaha azza wa jal bi ghairi imamin min Allahi jalla jalaluhu'. The chapter on those who take imams that have not been appointed by God. In other words, those who follow false imams. And this chapter includes five ahadith which basically say the same thing. They convey the gist of the hadith 'man matala yarifu Imam az-zamanih'.

In the second chapter is called 'Baabu Mam mata wa laysa lahu imamun min aimmat al-huda'. The chapter on those who die without following an imam from the imams of guidance, meaning an imam that's not been appointed by God. This chapter includes four ahadith, one of which is narrated by Ibn Abi Yafoor' that he was a companion that he cites. He uses this individual to further his agenda, but we'll get to that later on InshaAllah, maybe in the next in the next session. So this chapter includes four ahadith in the Blessed Book of al-Kafi with chains of transmission that are strong and authentic, which once again say the same thing.

But the way he presents his case, if you listen to him, you'd be like, oh wow, this hadith is, you know, is only found in Sunni sources. And it must have been the case that the Shi'ah simply borrowed it from Sunnis when in fact, we now know this is a blatant lie.

Number three, I then got to the crux of the discussion where I debunked his claim, his main claim about the verifiability and authenticity of the Hadith. So what I did was I provided one such hadith from Al-Kafi and presented the Isnaad. And I went through the individuals that have narrated the hadith, people named in the chain of transmission. And it was indisputable even you had to backtrack and admit that I demonstrated that when you say there is no authentic chain, you're either a liar or an illiterate. But most probably in your case, you're both.

I mean, we have you on video saying that you've never actually had any formal Islamic studies. By your own admission, you're an illiterate in this topic. Watching YouTube videos and I've said this before, doesn't turn you into a scholar, just as nobody has ever become a physician or a doctor by browsing through Instagram posts. Honestly, save yourself further embarrassment.

Anyway, moving on after that, having been cornered and exposed, he makes a feeble attempt at saving face and says, so what if the chain is sound and the hadith is authentic? We have lots of authentic ahadith that make no sense whatsoever. But that's not what you said in the original video now, is it? You can't flip flop and swing from one branch to another and claim to be, in your words, offering the latest and most cutting edge research. Your street-level fanboys may buy that, but not others, not scholars, not someone with a modicum of understanding in hadith sciences.

And this brings me to a fatal flaw in your entire methodology. You are both ignorant and inconsistent. You see, on the one hand, you use Rijaal to dismiss Hadith that don't fit into your anti-Shi'a worldview. On the other hand, you don't accept the Rijaali method when it proves you are wrong. Now, I'm sure that it would be a lot more convenient for you to just stick to one of those. But maybe this is a case of cognitive dissonance or just downright duplicity when it doesn't suit you and your lie is exposed. You say the context, the content of the hadith is problematic.

And by problematic, you mean it creates problems for your case. So you conveniently throw away the Hadith that doesn't serve your argument. You say, even if a hadith is authentic isnaad that's totally irrelevant because, quote, "we have countless khurafaat and lies and fabrications with authentic chains", end quotes. So, if that's the case, why waste your time on authentication if you're going to trash the hadith based on your inconsistent and sham metrics anyway? Although, as I said, that inconsistent approach does make sense because clearly, you know nothing about Rijaal and simply parrot fringe or obscure individuals that you call reformist scholars.

Honestly, you remind me of the idolaters who would demand a specific miracle from their prophet, then when the miracle is presented to them, they backtrack and tell him that he is a magician. You can't resort to isnaad only when it suits you and use selective citations from the most extreme fringe elements and even then lie or take things out of context, as I will demonstrate.

Now, if your claim about why, as you claimed, Shi'a scholars have not made belief in Imamah a part of the essential non-negotiable pillars of Islam, meaning among the daruriyat, again, this shows either your duplicity and or ignorance. You throw around some big names, perhaps to give your Zoom meeting participants a reason to cheer for you. But see, big names mean nothing. If no one, you're only using those names where it suits you and attacking those very same scholars when it doesn't.

Number two, you disingenuously use those quotes out of context or completely misrepresent what those scholars are trying to say. Again, that is expected from your ilk. But let me explain to your group of twenty six or so students, as you call them, why that is? Scholars who say Imamah is not part of daruriyat, of Deen explicitly say that is to afford the legal protections provided by Islam.

In other words, what's called 'Ma huqqinat bih id-dima' wa alayhi ijarati il-makanihu wa al-mawareef'. That has nothing to do with what God deems acceptable or as far as salvation is concerned. The bar for being labeled a Muslim is extremely low. Believe in God and the Prophet, and you're a Muslim. In other words, the Shahadatain, 'Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasul Allah' you become a Muslim, but that is most certainly not sufficient for entry into paradise.

In other words, there's a difference between a jurisprudential and legal position versus a theological position. The Qur'an itself stipulates in dozens of verses that prayer, fasting, Hajj, respecting one's parents, etc, etc, are all essential components for salvation. There are also countless sins that prevent salvation, even with belief in those non-negotiable tenets, like murder, for instance. So what constitutes faith in so far as the worldly affairs of the individual are concerned is one thing, and what God deems acceptable for salvation is entirely different.

What these scholars are saying is that a person who makes the declaration of faith is afforded certain rights, privileges and protections exclusive to Muslims. For example, you can marry them, you can eat their food that the food that they prepare, and so on and so forth. It doesn't mean their salvation is guaranteed. Anyone who has been to a madrasa knows this. So we're talking about two different things here and al-Islam and al-Imaan. Even the Qur'an listen to this verse.

Allah Subhana wa taala says,"Qalati l-arabo amanna, qul lam tu'mino wa lakin qulu aslamna wa lamma yadkhulu l- imaanu fi qulubikum' (49:14). The Bedouins say to the prophet that we are now believers. We have imaan in our hearts. God says to the Prophet, tell them, no, you don't have imaan, instead rather say that we are Muslims, we have Islam. Imaan is yet to enter your hearts. In other words, these are two very different things. Islam grants you legal protections, grants you certain rights and privileges. Right. So when the scholars say that you only need to believe in God and the Prophet and some have also added the afterlife, they're talking about the first category. They're not talking about what gives you what grants you salvation.

In fact, we have other ahadith that explain further that those who reject Imamah like you, 'La yaslamoon', meaning they will not be granted salvation while they are considered Muslims in this world and are treated as such. That's insufficient in the afterlife. Illa ayy yakunu mustab'ahfeen'. Unless they are inherently deficient, they're unable to access the truth. They're unable to find out what the truth is. They are categorized as Mustab'ahf, in which case Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala treats them with clemency and mercy and puts them in a whole different category. But if you know the truth, and you are not a mustabahf , and you reject Imamah, there is no salvation according to this huge number of ahadith.

So it's not that these scholars have dismissed the hadith of ' Man mata la yarif Imam az-zamanihi 'they acknowledge the hadith, they accept the Hadith, and they apply the Hadith in their own Ahkaam. In fact, Sayyed al-Khoei, Rahmatullah Allah, whom you cite only when it's convenient, says in his Mu'jam Rijal al-Hadith, when discussing one of the companions of Imam as-Sadiq, alayhi assalam. He says 'Al wajibu alaa kulli mukallafin ayyarafa Imam az-amanih', every mukallaf every able minded person who must apply the laws and rules and regulations of Islam must also recognize the Imam of his or her time.

As-Sayyid as-Sistani is another scholar that, once again you cite disingenuously and deceptively, but this is what his actual opinion is. He was asked the question in an istiftah. The question was about false claimants of Imamah. People who claim to be imams and obviously they are impostors and liars. How do we deal with them? The Sayed gave, I think the istiftah itself is about a page long. There's one portion in it which I'd like to draw your attention to and istiftah that is available on his official website, he says, 'Rubbamma studrij lil imaan' He says one of the dangers of people following these impostors is that they might eventually be led into believing 'the Imamat al ghairihi man adaya', in believing in imposters instead of the Imam of their time.

'Fa andaraja fil hadeeth shareef'. And in doing so, this hadith applies to them. What hadith 'Man mata wa lam yarif imamahu mata mitatan jahiliyya', he says so they definitely acknowledge this hadith. Why do you have to lie about this? Why do you have to act in a duplicitous manner, in a deceptive manner to your dozen or so audience members?

So these scholars most certainly recognize the authenticity of this hadith. And the problem isn't authenticity, but your blatant duplicity. In fact, I honestly cannot fathom your arrogance and hubris. Why do you insist on rejecting this Hadith? Kamaal, the guy that you idolize admits this Hadith is indisputably authentic and even delivered an entire series on TV a few years ago about this Hadith and its authenticity. Unless I don't know, honestly, unless you think that even he's a deviant. In which case the famous Arabic proverb applies 'Waylul li man kaffarahu, Namrod'.

As for the Hadith that you cite as khurafat, again, I did say in the previous video that I don't want to waste my breath and my time with liars and deceivers and imposters, but once again, my aim is to show that these individuals are lying, that they're not being honest with their audiences. So he cites a hadith, and he says this is a clear example of khuraafa, right. The one about the planet and what not. And see, that's the problem with someone who has Jahl murakkab. In other words, he knows absolutely nothing, but thinks that he knows everything. When a Hadith is Sahih, as you confess yourself, however, appears problematic or difficult to swallow, for whatever reason, there is an entire science that scholars have developed in how to deal with such ahadith.

If the Hadith is in blatant contradiction with the Qur'an, well, that's a different scenario. If that is the case, then you reject the Hadith. If not, if the isnad of the Hadith is strong, what you do then is that you try and reconcile the Hadith with your other established verses or other ahadith, right. For example, you either leave it aside 'wa ufi sumbulihi', as the imams have told us, and just say that I don't know what it means. I don't know what the Imam is going for. I don't know what this infallible individual is trying to tell us. I don't understand it. So I won't apply this Hadith, and I will leave it aside, put it on a shelf and wait for the either my knowledge to be completed or wait for the Imam to appear, so that I could ask him in person. That's one solution.

The other solution is you practice ta'wil, meaning you try and find an esoteric or alternative meaning for the Hadith. So it doesn't mean what you think it does. It's got a different meaning instead of doing what you do, which is to mock and ridicule that which you don't understand. If you are going to use your logic as a litmus test for the truth, then you're going to have to throw away half the Qur'an, my friend. How does your sacred Ph.D. accept an ant that speaks or a prophet that flies around on a magic carpet or a staff that turns into a dragon or a thousand other seemingly illogical stories, encounters and miracles that have been mentioned in the Qur'an? Right?

'Qataiyu ad-dalala, qattaiyu as-sudoor', as you keep screaming, this is the Qur'an, what are you going to do with it? Anyone with the materialistic mindset like yours must grapple with these with these inconvenient questions by either rejecting all of them as I, as I predict you will do at some point in the future. You will get to the Qur'an. I've said this before, right. But for now, what do you do with these? Either you reject them, which I again, I don't think you will do just yet, or you'll try to find some esoteric interpretation or an alternative understanding of these verses, then reconciles them with your logic. In other words, you'd practice ta'weel.

Just as the Qur'an, listen to this carefully, just as the Qur'an has allegorical and decisive verses, the imams have told us there are allegorical and decisive hadiths as well. The Hadith is like the Qur'an in the sense that parts of it are clear and parts of it are obscure. Look at what the Qur'an says, 'Huwa alladhi anzala alayka al- kitab'(3:7), he is the one who brought down upon you the Book, 'minhu ayatun muhkamaat hunna umm ul-kitab' (3:7).

Part of this book is composed of decisive verses, they are the mothers of the book, 'wa ukhru mutashabihaat' and others are verses that are allegorical, they're unclear, 'fa amma alladhina fi qulubihim zayghun fa yattabi'una ma tashaabaha minhu abtighaa al-fitnati faabtighaa ta'weelah', as for those who have a disease in their heart, they will follow the allegorical portions of the book in seeking discord and fitnah, Allahu Akbar, how God has correctly diagnosed the problem with these individuals. 'Ibtighaa al-fitna', they're looking to cause mischief, to cause discord, to cause problems, to sow the seeds of doubt.

'Waibtighaa ta'weela', and so that they can interpret the Qur'an, interpret these verses in accordance with their own understanding, Allah subhana wa ta'ala then says, 'Wa ma ya'lamu ta'weelahu illa Allahu wa ar-rasikhuna fil ilm yaqaloona amanna bihi kullu min 'indi Rabbina wa ma yadhakkaru illa ulu al-baab' (3:7), and this is exactly what this person is doing. He takes a few hadiths that are allegorical or difficult to understand or try to find an issue here and there.

'Ibtighaa al-fitnati wa ibtighaa ta'weelah', and to present our entire hadith corpus as being completely corrupted. Because here's the thing. Once people are led to believe that our ahadith are tainted, that our scholars are corrupted and spoiled, then everything is fair game , and they can exploit what remains of the faith and our religion to their nefarious ends and objectives. Citing one hadith out of hundreds of thousands. To suggest that Biharu l-Anwaar, which is an encyclopaedia composed of hundred and ten volumes, that somehow this Hadith might support anthropomorphism. That's a cheap trick, my friend.

If that Hadith means what you think it does, then so does the verse in the Qur'an: 'Wa ja'a rabbuka wa al-malaku saffan saffa'(89:22) Your Lord came along with the Angels. How do you explain that? If God is not anthropomorphic, if God is not confined by time and space, if God is not a physical body that occupies physical space, then how does he come, 'Wa ja'a rabbuk'? Or how do you interpret the verse: 'Wujuhu yawma ihdin nadhirah ilaa rabbiha nadhirah' (22-23:75), how do you explain these verses? Unless you jump on the Wahhabi bandwagon, your own allies and follow their own interpretation of these verses, the only other option you have is that you practice ta'weel, you practice tafseer. You try to find an alternative meaning for these verses. There are linguistic tools like Majaaz, Istiarah, Kinaya and others that scholars apply on the Qur'an as well as Hadith.

And as I said, scholars have provided several ways, an entire science devoted to addressing these kinds of ahadith. But then again, the Qur'an did warn us, ' Fa amma alladhina fi qulubihim zayghun fayattabi'una ma tashaabaha minh ibtighaha al-fitnat, wa ibtighaha ta'weelah'(3:7), but for those in whose hearts there is perversity, they follow the part of it, which is allegorical, seeking to cause dissension, fitnah by trying to interpret these verses, meaning interpret it in accordance with their own understanding.