Section Six

وَلَعَنَ اللّهُ أُمَّةً دَفَعَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَقامِكُمْ وَأَزالَتْكُمْ عَنْ مَراتِبِكُمُ الَّتِي رَتَّبَكُمُ اللّهُ فِيها

“May Allah curse those people who denied you your position (O’ Ahlul Bayt) and removed you from your rank which Allah himself had granted you.”

The Shi’a have a firm belief in the Imamate of the chosen members of the family of the Prophet as they form the completion of the faith of Islam and ‘perfect’ the message of the Prophet by protecting it until the end of time. In the opinion of the Shi’a, the role of the Imam is two:

1. Islamic Religious Leadership

All Muslims agree that in the 23 year span of the Prophet of Islam, even though the entire Qur’an was revealed, however not all of the Islamic laws were implemented and explained to the community in detail. It is for this reason that some Muslims believe that if there is no ruling in the Qur’an or Sunnah that they can apply Qiyas (analogy) to the laws – in essence, making up their own rulings. However the Shi’a believe that since there are 12 Imams after the Prophet, that they had the responsibility to explain and elucidate upon the rulings of the Prophet and to further develop these – based on their infallibility and Divinely granted knowledge. Thus, there is no room in the Shi’a teachings for making up rulings based on one’s own ‘opinion’.

2. Political Leadership of the Ummah

The majority of Muslims believe that after the Prophet, we are free to choose our own political leadership and even if an unjust and tyrannical ruler is placed as the head by the “majority”, then he must be followed without question! However, the Shi’a believe that Allah would never leave the community without a political leader and thus, the Prophet definitely appointed and made known his successors. In our present day and age, it is interesting that when Yasir Arafat was on his death bed, his followers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were talking about his successor to carry the cause of the Palestinians forward!

Just imagine, these people have the foresight to ensure a successor is groomed and appointed for the role of guiding a few million people from Palestine, however our Prophet would leave this world without doing the same for the entire Muslim nation of close to 2,000,000,000,000 people!

The ‘curse’ in this section of the Ziyarat is directed towards those people who denied a group of people their God given right to rule and lead and who ultimately ended up denying the words of Allah and the Prophet by electing their own leaders! From this line we also understand that Islam is not only “prayers and fasting” – rather, it is a complete system which includes the Religious leadership of the community and all of its aspects: social, political, economic, artistic and all other dimensions.

Thus, we reject any form of “Islam” if it does not conform to the Islam of Rasulullah, ‘Ali, Hasan and Husayn and the rest of the infallibles (peace be upon all of them).