Scholars of Ahlul Sunnat, according to Allamah Damiri, do not separate Caliphate from Imamate and it is a fact that Caliphate cannot be divorced from Imamate. It is meaningless to think that Caliphs may be different from Imams. It is necessary that whoever is the Caliph must also be the Imam. Abdul Qadir Jilani also in his book Ghaniyatu Talibeen, on page 196, mentions the Caliphs with the title of ‘Imams’. Which clearly proves that apart from being Caliphs, these people also held the position of Imams. Thus, when Ahlul Sunnat do not consider the Imams of the family of the Prophet from Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as the Caliphs of the Messenger of Allah (S), then they cannot even consider them as Imams whose obedience is compulsory.
The truth is that Ahlul Sunnat have no religious connection with the Imams from Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). Whatever religious relationship Ahlul Sunnat have, it is with Abu Hanifah, Shafei, Malik and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. That is why from among Ahlul Sunnat, except for some Sufi people, there would be hardly one or two people from ten thousand who can recite the names of the 12 Imams of Ahlul Bayt in a serial order.
It is clear that when these Imams have no connection with religion what is the use of remembering their names? When they have no religious standing in the view of non-Imamiyah people it is but natural that the non-Imamiyah people have nothing to do with them. On the other hand is the matter of the Imamiyah sect. Here, even the young children know by heart the names of the twelve Imams (a.s.).
Doubtlessly, it is the need of religion that the names of the Imams are so faithfully recited by the Imamites. If Ahlul Sunnat had a religious connection with the Imams of the family of the Prophet they would have remembered their names in proper order, like the Imamites. Now, before the writer invites the attention of the readers to the tragedy of Karbala’ it seems appropriate to explain the conditions of Amirul Mo-mineen Ali (a.s.).