What is Shia Page 2
Majalis 2003
Islamic Calendar
The Qur'an and its Translators
What is SHIA ?


(4)So according to the Shia's Ali Ibn Abi Talib is the first and the natural successor to the Holy Prophet?

Correct! We accept Imam Ali to be the first Imam/successor/caliph to the Holy Prophet, in accordance to the speech given at Ghadeer Khum, in front of 120,000 Hajjies,(Pilgrims) by the Prophet, to acknowledge him as the guide in place of the Holy Prophet s.a.w.

The Holy Prophet, as instructed by Allah s.w.t, gave a speech declaring Imam Ali to be the natural successor after him:

On the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, after completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Widaa), Prophet was leaving Mecca toward Medina, where he and the crowd of people reached to a place called Ghadir Khum (which is close to today's Juhfah). It was a place where people from different provinces should say Good bye to each other and take different routes for their home. In this place, the following verse was revealed:

"O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don't do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people ..." (Quran 5:67).

According to the verse above, it is indicated that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) is being asked to convey such a special message, that if he does not do so, the Deen will not be completed. So what is this special Message?

Some of Sunni references confirming that the revelation of the above verse of Quran was right before the speech of Prophet in Ghadir Khum:

(1) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, under commentary of verse 5:67, v12, pp 49-50, narrated on the authorities of Ibn Abbas, al-Bara Ibn Azib, and Muhammad Ibn Ali.
(2) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi, p50, narrated on the authorities of Atiyyah and Abu Sa'id al Khudri.
(3) Nuzul al-Quran, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym narrated on the authorities Abu Sa'id Khudri and Abu Rafi.
(4) al-Fusool al Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p24
(5) Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz al-Suyuti, under commentary of verse 5:67
(6) Fathul Qadir, by al-Shawkani, under commentary of verse 5:67
(7) Fathul Bayan, by Hasan Khan, under commentary of verse 5:67
(8) Shaykh Muhi al-Din al-Nawawi, under commentary of verse 5:67
(9) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p301
(10) Umdatul Qari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, by al-Ayni
(11) Tafsir al-Nisaboori, v6, p194
(12) and many more such as Ibn Mardawayh, etc...

The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from people.

[The Speech]

Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stopped on that place (the pond of Khum) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell behind, arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman (RA) to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat in that valley, people were wrapping their robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.

On this day the Messenger of Allah spent approximately five ours in this place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy three times reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them a long speech. The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated by the Sunni traditionists:

The Messenger of Allah declared: "It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere both of them, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."

Then the Messenger of Allah continued: "Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?" People cried and answered: "Yes, O' Messenger of God." Then Prophet (PBUH) held up the hand of Ali and said: "Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his leader (Mawla). O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him."

Some of the Sunni references:

(1) Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63

(2) Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43

(3) Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 4,21

(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p129, v3, pp 109-110,116,371

(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,118,119,152,330, v4, pp 281,368,370,

372,378, v5, pp 35,347,358,361,366,419 (from 40 chains of narrators)
(5)Does'nt the word (Moula) have other meanings to the one given by the Shia's?

It certainly does, but no- matter what other meaning u would imply to the word Moula, it would make no sense under the context of the whole tradition, other than the meaning Leader/Master. i.e. the word Moula also means a friend but if you look at it with the context, you would get the image that the Holy Prophet is trying to say "Of whomsoever Iam the friend Ali is his friend"
So this would mean, that Ali had envious relationship with the people and now they would have to accept him as a friend or friendship was considered better than brotherhood by the Messebger of Allah.

The Holy Prophet himself explains the meaning to the word (Moula) by expressing: "Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?" When the audience declared you do, then the Holy Prophet said: "Of whomsoever I am the Moula Ali is his Moula"

Secondly to support our meaning of the word, following is an example where the second Caliph Hasrat Omar Ibn Khattab congratulates Imam Ali, hence one may ask: "why the congratulations for?"

"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the leader (Mawla) of all believing men and women."

Sunni references:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p281
(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50
(2) Mishkat al-Masabih, by al-Khatib al-Tabrizi, p557
(5) al-Musnad, by Abu Ya'ala
(3) Kitabul Wilayah, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari

If Moula means a friend in the context to the Hadith of Ghadeer, then the congatulations of Hasrat Omar sound absurd because faithful women are not allowed to have men as friends in Islam, Muslims don't have a western concept.

(6)Why do Shia's just believe in 12 imams and not less or more?

Well, it is compulsory to follow the commands of Allah and his Messenger Muhammad (s.a.w) and it was Allah's Messenger who said:

"There will be twelve commanders (Amir)." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, the Prophet added, "All of them will be from Quraish." - Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.329

In Sahih Muslim, the traditions are as follows:
Narrated Jabir Ibn Samura:

"The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The matter (life) will not end, until it is passed by twelve Caliphs." He then whispered a sentence. I asked my father what the Prophet said. He said, the Prophet added: "All of them will be from Quraish."

Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, v3, p1452,Tradition #5

Did we choose to have 12 Imams or the messenger of Allah?

(7)Did the Holy Prophet mention their names?

In fact he did, he did not leave his ummah in bewilderness.
Shi`as have confined their loyalty to the twelve Imams from Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, the first of whom is Ali ibn Abu Talib followed by his son al-Hasan then his son al-Husayn then the nine infallible ones among al-Husayn's offspring, peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them.

The Messenger of Allah had named all these Imams in many of his statements either explicitly or implicitly, and he had mentioned them by name according to some traditions transmitted by the Shi`as and others transmitted by "Sunni" scholars. No researcher who has studied the biography of the Prophet, and who become familiar with the Islamic history, doubts the fact that the Prophet was the one who appointed the Twelve Imams, clearly stating so in order that they might succeed him and take charge of his nation.

Their number is mentioned in the Sahih books of "Ahl al-Sunnah" together with the fact that they were twelve in number, and that all of them descended from Quraysh; Some Sunni references indicate that the Prophet named all of them, saying that the first of them was Ali ibn Abu Talib, followed by his son al-Hasan then al-Hasan's brother al-Husayn, followed by nine from the offspring of al-Husayn the last of whom is al-Mahdi.

The [Sunni] author of Yanabee` al-Mawaddah[65] narrates the following incident in his book:

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A Jew named al-A`tal came to the Prophet and said, "Muhammad! I wish to ask you about certain things which I have been keeping to myself; so, if you answer them, I shall declare my acceptance of Islam before you." The Prophet said, "Ask me, O father of Imarah!" So he asked him about many things till he was satisfied and admitted that the Prophet was right. Then he said, "Tell me about your wasi (successor): who is he? No prophet can ever be without a wasi; our prophet Moses had appointed Yusha` [Joshua] son of Noon as his successor." He said, "My wasi is Ali ibn Abu Talib followed by my grandsons al-Hasan and al-Husayn followed by nine men from the loins of al-Husayn." He said, "Then name them for me, O Muhammad!" The Prophet said, "Once al-Husayn departs, he will be succeeded by his son Ali; when Ali departs, his son Muhammad will succeed him. When Muhammad departs, his son Ja`far will succeed him. When Ja`far departs, he will be succeeded by his son Musa. When Musa departs, his son Ali will succeed him. When Ali departs, his son Muhammad will succeed him. When Muhammad departs, his son Ali will succeed him. When Ali departs, his son al-Hasan will succeed him, and when al-Hasan departs, al-Hujjah Muhammad al-Mahdi will succeed him. These are the twelve ones."
That Jew, therefore, embraced Islam and praised Allah for having guided him.

This is recorded on p. 440 of Yanabee` al-Mawaddah by the Hanafi author al-Qandoozi. It is also recorded by al-Juwayni [another Sunni scholar] who quotes Mujahid quoting Ibn Abbas.
Al-Juwayni, Fara'id al-Simtayn, pg 160.

Al-Dhahabi says in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz, vol. 4, p. 298, that Sadruddin Ibrahim binMuhammad bin al-Hamawayh al-Juwayni al-Shafi'i was a great scholar of Hadith. Also see his biographical note in Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, al-Durar al-kaminah, vol. 1,p. 67.

(8)So Imam Mahdi, is the last of 12 Imams and one of the Members of Ahl Al Bayt?

There are many traditions which clearly say so, after all why would we included someone who the Holy Prophet has'nt included?

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "Even if the entire duration of the world's existence has already been exhausted and only one day is left (before the day of judgment), Allah will expand that day to such a length of time, as to accommodate the kingdom of a person from my AHL AL BAYT who will be called by my name. He will fill out the earth with peace and justiceas it will have been full of injustice and tyranny (by then)."

Sunni References:

Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v2, p86, v9, pp 74-75
Sunan Abu Dawud, v2, p7
Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,376; V3, p63
al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihayn, by al-Hakim, v4, p557

(9)Are the wives of the Holy Prophet amongst the Ahl Al Bayt?

No! Zaid bin Aqraam was also asked the same question, and he replied :" No the Ahl Al Bayt are those to whom Sadaqa is forbidden"(Sahih Muslim,)

Secondly when the verse of PURITY (33:33) Hasrat Umm Salmaa, asked the Messenger of Allah, if she was also amongst the Ahl Al Bayt, and the reply to her question was: " You remain in your position and you are towards a good ending"

Hasrat Umm Salmaa, (RA) narrates:

The verse "Verily Allah intends to ... (33:33)" was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in the house of Umm Salama. Upon that, the Prophet gathered Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain, and covered them with a cloak, and he also covered Ali who was behind him. Then the Prophet said: "O' Allah! These are the Members of my House (Ahlul-Bayt). Keep them away from every impurity and purify them with a perfect purification." Umm Salama (the wife of Prophet) asked:"Am I also included among them O Apostle of Allah?" the Prophet replied: "You remain in your position and you are toward a good ending."

Sunni reference: Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 351,663

As we see, al-Tirmidhi also confirms that Imam Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain are the Ahlul-Bayt, and the purification sentence in Quran (the last sentence of Verse 33:33) was revealed for the virtue of the above-mentioned individuals, and NOT for the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Also it is apparent from above authentic tradition that the Prophet himself excluded his wives from Ahlul-Bayt. If Umm Salama (RA) was among Ahlul-Bayt, why didn't the Prophet answer her positively? Why didn't he enter her into the cloak? Why did the Prophet tell her that she remains in her own position? If the Prophet (PBUH&HF) would consider Umm Salama among Ahlul-Bayt, he would surely have entered her to the cloak and would have prayed for her perfect purity as well.

In the tradition of al-Hakim the wording the last question and answer is as follows:

Umm Salama said: "O Prophet of Allah! Am I not one of the members of your family?" The Holy Prophet replied: "You have a good future but only these are the members of my family. O Lord! The members of my family are more deserving."

Sunni reference: al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p416

(10)Do the Shia's hold the Ahl Al Bayt as infallible?

True! The Holy Members of Ahl Al Bayt are considered Infallible by the Imamiyah Shia's, and our belief agrees with the Holy Quran and logic.

The Holy Book of Allah mentions Ahlul-Bayt and their exceptional virtue in the following verse which is known as "Purification Verse" (Ayah al-Tat'hir):

"Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification". (Quran, the last sentence of Verse 33:33)
Note that the word "Rijs" in the above verse has got the article "al-" at its beginning which makes the word universal. Thus "al-Rijs" means "EVERY KIND of impurity". Also at the end of the verse, Allah states "and purify you a PERFECT purification." The word "perfect" comes from the emphasis of "Tat'hiran". This is the only place in Quran that Allah uses the emphasis of "PERFECT purification".
According to the above verse, Allah expresses his intention to keep Ahlul-Bayt pure and flawless/sinless, and what Allah intends it will certainly take place as Quran itself testifies (see 16:40). Indeed, a human can be sinless because he is not forced to commit sin. It is the human's choice to accept the instructions of Allah and get His help to avoid sin, or to neglect Allah's commandments and commit the sin. Allah is advisor, and encourager, and warner. A sinless human is still a human; no doubt about it. Some people assert that in order to be human, one SHOULD have some mistakes. Such claim is unsupported. The truth is that Human CAN make mistakes but he does not have to.
It is the Grace of Allah that attracts His servants towards Him, WITHOUT compelling them any way. This is our choice to pursue this attraction and refrain from doing mistakes, or to turn away and commit the mistakes. However, Allah has GUARANTEED to show the Right Path and to provide a pure life for those who seek it:
Whoever works righteousness man or woman and is faithful, We shall revive a PURE life for him. (Quran 16:97)
And whosoever keeps his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him. (Quran 65:2)
In fact, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) himself testified that he and his Ahlul-Bayt are sinless. Interesting to see that Messenger of Allah used the purification verse of Quran to prove his point. Ibn Abbas Narrated that:
"The Messenger of Allah recited "Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you a perfect purification". (Quran, the last sentence of Verse 33:33) and then the Messenger of Allah said: "THUS ME AND MY AHL AL BAYT ARE CLEAR FROM SINS."
Sunni reference:
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, as quoted in:
al-Durr al-Manthoor, by Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v5, pp 605-606,198 under the commentary of Verse 33:33 of Quran Dala'il al-Nabawiyyah, by al-Bayhaqi
Others such as al-Tabarani, Ibn Mardawayh, Abu Nu'aym, etc.

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