Prophethood and Leadership from a Theological Perspective


The purpose for this paper is to introduce the reader with the Kalāmī or theological perspective of Shiism on the theory of prophethood and leadership. This work is not in any sense a comprehensive work, and should not been seen as such. The goal is to introduce the heart of the subject, and a summary of it. This paper is targeting does who want to go for the shortcut and know about the theological perspective of Islam about this issue, and those Muslims who may go in high school and want to skip the technical jargon. The style of the paper is based on questions, which gets direct answers. This style was chosen to make the reader more attentive during the reading and also to invoke interest.  

What’s the difference between a nabī / prophet and a rasūl / messenger?

Nabī – prophet: Does not have any sharī’a, divine rules and laws, but follows the sharī’a of other messengers and spreads it. According to narrations, Allāh has send 124 000 prophets all around the world, whereof some are mentioned in the Tawrā and the Injīl.

Rasūl – messenger: All of the messengers, every single one of them are also prophets, they have their own sharī’a and are obligated to spread the message. Thus the position and status of the messengers of Allāh are higher than the prophets, and 25 of them are mentioned in the Noble Qur’ān. All the prophets mentioned in the Noble Qur’ān are also messengers.

Ulūl ‘Azm – messengers with a Strong Will: These messengers have an even higher status then the rest of the messengers, because they are, what the Qur’ān calls “owners of a Strong Will”. What is meant with a “Strong Will” is that these messengers had all of the attributes written below, at the same time:

  • They came forth with a Holy Scripture or book.
  • Their invitation was a world-wide invitation, and not only for a specific tribe or nation.
  • They were owners of a sharī’a system of divine laws.

If you had one or two of these attributes, that wouldn’t be enough to be counted as a messenger with “Strong Will”. So who are these messengers? They are five: Nūḥ, Ibrāhīm, Mūsā, ‘Isā, Muḥammad (‘A). The messenger Dāwūd is not among them even though he had the psalms or the Zābūr. The reason is that he didn’t have the other attributes, like a sharī’a system.

We started from 124 000 prophets, whereof 25 of the greatest of them, who also were messengers, where mentioned in the Noble Qur’ān, and of those 25 only five of them where “owners of a Strong Will”.

Why do we need the prophets, what’s the necessity of prophethood?

  1. What is it that Allāh wants from us? And how do we know or reach to a conclusion on what Almighty Allāh wants? The answer is, that the prophets tell us what Allāh wants; they are our only communication with Allā We humans are in need of revelation and prophethood because we need that divine guidance, which we cannot reach by our own.
  2. Allāh wants to clarify its stand and grace towards us with the channel of prophethood so that we don’t have any excuse on Judgment Day.
  3. If we believe in Allāh as the All- Wise and All- Knowledgeable, so can we accept the fact that He knows what’s best for us.
  4. If the goal of the creation of humans is without a purpose or goal, then the necessity of the prophets vanishes and we can conclude that we do not need any prophets. But because we know that there is, and that there must be a goal with the creation of human beings, prophethood becomes necessary.
  5. Through our reason, senses, experience, history and conscious we can’t reach the ultimate answer with “what the purpose of life is.”[1]
  6. There are some golden questions which has always troubled the human being and can only be answered by the prophets:
  • The “truth” and “reality” about humans?
  • From where are we?
  • How were we created?
  • The purpose of life?
  • How should we act or be in this world?
  • To what and where are we going towards? What will be our end? What will happen after our death? What’s the final destination?

Why should Allāh send us prophets?

The Kalāmī perspective:

  1. The rule of luf, favour or grace- everything which takes us closer to Allāh and away from sin is called lu The Imamiya and Mu’tazila say that luf is obligatory upon Allāh, why? Because Allāh is Just. If Allah wouldn’t give this luf to us, He would be unjust and that would contradict His essence. To sum up:
  • Prophethood is part of Allāh’s luf, favour.
  • Favour is obligatory upon Allāh, otherwise He would be unjust.
  • Thus prophethood is obligatory upon Allā
  1. Shaykh Mufīd has the opinion that it is not luf but His generosity, karam, and mercy, rama, which obliges Allāh to send the prophets to us.

The philosophical perspective:

  1. This system or niām which is prevailing in the universe is the best system we have. If it was not so, then Allāh the All- Wise would not have created it.
  2. Everything which is “good” is created in this system of ours.
  3. Prophethood is “good”.
  4. Thus we can conclude that prophethood is a necessity.

What are the goals of the prophets?

  1. Teach us to worship, and how to worship and follow Allā
  2. Distance us from Ṭāghūt– everything ungodly.
  3. Establish justice on earth.
  4. To make logic and reason thrive, flourish.
  5. To help us purify our souls, Tazkīhatun Nafs, so that we can reach salvation.
  6. Help us to be the perfect role models, and to reach that perfection, that peak and summit of honorable human values.

What are the characteristics of the prophets and the Imams?

  1. Common grounds with human beings: They may have the same language, they may come from the same nation, and they eat and drink as people do. Why is it so? Why should they have the same human characteristics? The reason is so that people would be able to follow them in their sunna, tradition, and they would not despair to strive to be like them, which would happen if they were semi-gods or gods. Another aspect to it is so people wouldn’t commit ghulūw, exaggeration, about them and call them what other faiths and traditions have called their great men for, namely “gods”.
  2. Uncommon grounds:
  • They have been chosen by Allah.
  • They have received divine revelation.
  • They are sinless and immaculate.
  • They are the most perfect human beings in all fields of human life. And the highest peak of perfection is in knowledge and wisdom- why?
    1. Knowledge is power,
    2. To administer and manage the society,
    3. To have the right tafsīr, interpretation, of the Qur’ān,
    4. Finish off “dangerous” ideologies and discussions between the Muslims which could lead to disunity among them.
    5. So that the most knowledgeable of the people would be attracted to him and learn from him.
    6. So they could come forth with the strongest of arguments in all the different sciences and be unchallengeable in it, for always.
    7. So they could guide the society towards salvation and happiness.
    8. So no excuse would exist for the people NOT to follow them.
  • They are the most courageous and brave people on the face of the earth.
  • They are physically and mentally the strongest of all people.
  • They are the most beautiful of people, and free from any bodily handicap.
  • They have the highest eloquence in speech.
  • They have the highest moral traits.
  • They have ‘Ilm al Ladunni– divine knowledge from Allah, without the need of having any teachers or professors to teach them.
  • They have miracles.
  • They have hidden knowledge[2], which gets divided into two divisions:
    1. You have complete hidden knowledge.
    2. You have a certain degree of hidden knowledge.

How can we recognize the prophets?

  1. Research, with reason, about the message which the messenger has brought.
  2. Research about their attributes. Do they have the above-mentioned attributes or not?
  3. Have other prophets mentioned the new prophet from before?
  4. The people surrounding him, his friends, companions and allies, what kind of people are they? Do they belong to the poor, destitute and oppressed or do they belong to the rich, upper class, aristocrats and dictators, or are the prophet’s companions mixed from all the social classes?
  5. His enemies, what kind of people are they, what interest and profits do they have in mind?
  6. From what kind of a family or tribe is he from? What is the reputation of his family and tribe among the people?
  7. How does he treat his enemies- with compassion and mercy or with cruelty, or maybe with both mercy and firmness, depending on the situation and etc.?
  8. How does he treat his friends- with love or cruelty?
  9. Does he himself follow the rules that he came with, from Allāh? Does he himself follow the same rules that he introduced to the people, or maybe he follows it with an even higher passion than the others?
  10. Does he long for material wealth? Is he indulged in material wealth?
  11. Does he have impeccable moral traits?
  12. What miracles does he have? For example, has he done a certain action or deed, or perhaps he has an outstanding book, which awe strikes everyone in his nation?
  13. Does his personality change when he reached power from years of weakness and oppression? Do you see any changes in his personality now when he is in power and in charge of all affairs?
  14. Does his personality change after a loss or a victory?

To whom can Allāh’s revelation reach?

  1. To everything within the universe,
  2. To the prophets,
  3. To outstanding persons of mankind, like the awliyā/ saints or mystics, the mother of Mūsā (‘A)[3], Al Ḥawāriyūn,[4] the disciples of ‘Īsā (‘A) and the twelve Imams.

What is revelation?

Allāh’s way to give His message to the human beings directly or indirectly, via intercession or without.

How does Allāh give His revelation?

  1. Directly, (not by an inner voice but an external material voice) which is the highest form of revelation.[5]
  2. Indirectly:
  • Through the angel Jibrīl, like the prophet Muḥammad (Ṣ).
  • Behind a veil, like the burning bush of Mūsā (‘A).
  • Through a true dream, like Ibrāhīms (‘A) dream.
  • Through an inner voice from Allāh to the spirit of the Prophets or saints.

What do we mean when we say that the prophets are infallible?

  1. They are sinless in thought and action from birth to death. How? They are free from three attributes, which if you just had a little bit of either one of them, the door to a small micro percentage of the slightest oppression could have occurred:
  • Ignorance: They have the highest of knowledge’s.
  • Dependency: They only depend on Allāh, their Lord.
  • Oppression: They are cleansed from all the negative attributes a human being can possess, like “wants and greed”. Thus no need to oppress anyone even if it may be a small ant.
  1. They can do mistakes or faults, like mentioned in the Qur’ā But those faults would not be considered faults if it was done by other ordinary people, but because of the high level of prophethood, something much higher is expected from them. Thus even those small deeds are considered “faults”.
  2. The difference between a sin and a fault or mistake is the knowledge about that particular thought or action. If the prophet knew that such an act is a bad and evil act and still does it, then that would be considered a sin.
  3. There are different levels of ‘isma, sinless-ness, among the prophets, Imams and outstanding mystics.
  4. According to some of the scholars, to be sinless does not necessarily mean that they know everything hidden, and that they are the best in all the different sciences and activities of life. What they are best in, and that’s their main purpose in this world, is in the field of moral traits, religion, theology, philosophy, psychology and the rest of human sciences which can lead you and the society towards salvation.

Why is it important for the prophets to be infallible?

  1. They would not have reached prophethood if they did sins and Allāh would not have chosen them if they did sins. Why? Because the prophets need to give the message of Allāh in the most perfect way and fashion, that would not be possible if they sinned, both in the eyes of Allāh and in the eyes of the people.
  2. If obeying the prophets and the Imams is a must, then that would require and make it necessary for them to be immaculate. They would have to stand above all humans in moral traits, judgments, courage and wisdom.
  3. They are role models for all humans. We look upon them and try to imitate them. How can I follow one who makes sins?! There would not be any complete trust to the prophets.
  4. They receive the sharī’a and the books, if they make sins, there would not be any guarantee that they would not mislead the people and corrupt the books.
  5. The Imams are the preservers of sharī’a, thus it obligates them to be immaculate in thought and action.

 What is Rūḥ al Qudus?

  1. The arch angel Jibrīl,
  2. The greatest angel (malakul a’am),
  3. Unmistakable knowledge.[6]

What is a miracle?

A transcendental action or an action beyond the natural rules (Khāriq al ‘Ᾱda) which does not break the rules of nature, but what it does is, that it speeds (enormously) the rules of nature and physics up. The characteristics or attributes of a miracle is that:

  • It happened in a specific time when no one could do it.
  • It can be explained scientifically now or later on in the future.
  • The rules of nature were applied or proceeded much faster by Allāh through the prophets. For example something which could take months, years, centuries, took a couple of seconds. Some of the miracles which were impossible back then may be possible today.
  • The miracle could be an action which would not be everlasting: it’s a one-time event which was seen by the people of that time and place only.
  • Or it could be a book which would be everlasting for all coming generations.
  • Or it could be the transformation of an ignorant society with terrible value systems, into a new system with loftier human values.

Whats so special with the Noble Qur’ān?

  1. It does not contain any contradictions. Bear in mind that the revelation took 23 years to be complete with all the ups and downs in the prophet’s life.
  2. It’s an Arabic masterpiece. At the time of ignorance, people gathered the seven best poetries and wrote them with gold water and stuck them to the wall of Ka’ba. At the advent of the Qur’ān, they took the poetries down from the wall, because of the much higher level of eloquence that the verses of the Qur’ān had.
  3. It contains scientific statements in the verses, which were impossible to know for 1400 years ago in a Bedouin, tribe society, in a small village in the middle of a vast desert without any drop of civilisation.
  4. It is the Mother of all Arabic literature.
  5. It contains news about events in the future:
  • The promised Roman victory against the Persians (chapter Rūm).
  • The promised Muslim victory in Badr (al Qamar 44-45, Anfāl 7).
  • The promised gift of Kawthar.
  • That Abu Lahab and his wife will die in kufr, disbelief.
  • Hidden or unseen news that would inform the prophet about different circumstances, like the things Hafsa said to ‘Ᾱisha (chapter Azāb), or the dangerous situation on the prophet’s life, by a Jewish tribe, which was avoided thanks to this unseen news.
  • “The Great Victory” which was proclaimed by the Qur’ān after the treaty of Hudaybiya, which in its appearance was a great defeat for the Muslim cause, but which the prophet showed its fruits after a couple of years.
  1. It is and has been unchallenged ever since it came into being. The Qur’ān has challenged mankind to come forth or to produce it’s like, with first of all saying a book, and afterwards limit it to a chapter, and after that to a couple of verses like it. After 1400 years we can note that no one has been able to do that.

Imamah – Leadership

What are the attributes?

They have the same attributes as the prophets.

What is the definition of an Imam?

An Imam is the worldly and spiritual leader after the prophet and chosen, not by the prophet, but by Allāh.

How does the Imam become the Imam?

According to the Sunni denominations we have three ways:

  1. Chosen by the people through a committee, shurā, or through consensus, ijmā.
  2. Chosen by the khalīfa,[7] before him.
  3. Force: He comes to power through the sword or through might (taghlīb).

The shi’a do not believe in any of these three ways.[8] They say that there is but one single way, and that is only through Allāh Almighty. Allāh has to choose the Imam, as He chose the prophets before them, and they go even further than that and say that, even the prophet himself has no right to interfere in this issue and choose someone.[9] Allāh introduces His will through the prophet and tells him to introduce the khalīfa or Imam for the people.

What proof do you have that the prophet chose his successor, khalīfa, and that it wasn’t the Muslim community who chose the successor? 11 reasons:

 Logical, ‘Aqlī, perspective:

  1. After 23 years of blood and sweat, sorrow and pain, to establish an Islamic government and guide the people to salvation and change the value system, it would be very illogical of the prophet not to choose a successor for the future destiny of the government of Allāh on earth. It’s like throwing your child, which you nurtured for so many years and endured pain for, to the deep dark ocean and tell him to rescue himself!
  2. There were different threats towards the newly established government and revolution, like the threat of:
  • Hostile polytheistic, Mushrik, tribes,
  • Quraysh,
  • The hypocrites, al Munāfiqūn, (they were the biggest danger for the Muslim cause, see chapter Munafiqin). The mosque of Ḍarār which belonged to the hypocrites was demolished at the end of the life of the prophet and etc.
  • The two great empires (the Romans and the Persians) surrounding the Arabian Peninsula, Hijaz, who wanted to demolish the new Muslim state.
  • The “false prophets” in the Arabian Peninsula.
  1. The goals of the prophet and Islam have not yet been established. The prophet came with major cultural, political, economical, jurisdictional and social changes that yet had not been established firmly in the society. Someone with strong and sharp-minded character was needed.
  2. The people have not yet reached maturity. Spots of ignorance are still left in society. The majority of the Muslims have converted to Islam after the 7th year of Hijra and thus do not know Islam very well.
  3. The khulafā[10] new how important it was to choose a khalifa, but the Prophet didn’t?!
  • Wasn’t the issue of khilafā, successorship, so important (Sunni argumentation) that the body of the prophet laid unburied for three days, and some of the companions were busy fighting over the successorship?
  • Abu Bakr the first successor chose ‘Umar.
  • In the last days of ‘Umar’s life (he hadn’t appointed someone as successor yet) ‘Ᾱisha told Abdullah ibn ‘Umar to persuade his father to choose someone as a successor and not let this important matter go out of hand. Did they have higher intelligence than the prophet? All the khulafā, worldly Muslim leaders, from Banī Umayya too Banī ‘Abbās chose their successor, so how can it possibly be that the Prophet didn’t?!

According to the sunna of the prophet:

  1. The sunna of the prophet was to always appoint a successor or leader, amīr, when he left Madīna or territory under Muslim rule.
  2. The prophets every action was with outmost perfection, even the laying of bricks of a wall (when he knew that it would break a couple of days afterwards), always putting his clothes and turban on a specific spot at home, or when drinking something (drinking with three intervals), or when entering the toilet with the left foot, entering the mosque with his right foot, naming his mules, horses and camels, bringing with him the exact same hygienic articles to all his expeditions and so on and so forth.
  3. According to the Qur’ān:
  • Tahīr: “Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.” 33:33
  • Wilāya: “Only Allah is your Walī and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor rate and they bow [in worship].” 5:55

Imam Ali gave someone his ring in alms while he was in the state of rukū’ in prayer. The prophet (Ṣ) asked the beggar, “Who gave you this ring?” He replied, “That man during rukū’.” Then Allāh sent down the verse, “Your master and guardian is only Allāh, His Messenger, and those who believe, those who establish ṣalā and pay zakā while they are bowing in rukū’.” After that it was engraved on his ring that all power and authority belong to Allāh.

  • Ulūl Amri min kum: O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you.” (4:59)

It is narrated from Jābir Ibn ‘Abdullāh Ansārī that he said:

When the Almighty Allāh revealed the following verse on His prophet:

“O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the messenger and those possessing authority among you.”

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh! We know Allāh and His Messenger. But who are the possessors of authority whose obedience Allāh has accompanied with your obedience?’ He (Ṣ) explained, “They are my khulāfā, successors, O Jābir, and the Imams of the Muslims after me. The first of them is Ali Ibn Abī Ṭalib, then Ḥasan and Ḥusayn, then Ali Ibn Ḥusayn, then Muḥammad Ibn Ali the one who is famous as al-Bāqir in the Old Testament. Soon, you will meet him, O Jābir, so when you face him, convey my salutation to him.

He will be followed by Ṣādiq, Ja’far Ibn Muḥammad, then Mūsā Ibn Ja’far, then Ali Ibn Mūsā, then Muḥammad Ibn Ali, then Ali Ibn Muḥammad, then Ḥasan Ibn Ali, then the one who will be my namesake and bear my patronymic, the proof of Allāh in His earth and His remainder among His servants, the son of Ḥasan Ibn Ali. He (‘aj) is the one at whose hands Allāh, High be His remembrance, will open the east of the earth and its west.[11] 

  • Qurbā: That is (the Bounty) whereof Allah gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.” 42:23

Al-Qurbā is referred to Ahl al-Bayt (Ali and his family).[12]

  • Bilāgh wa akmal:O Messenger! Proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith” 5:67

According to the verse, Muhammad was obliged to proclaim an important message. The verse clearly denotes the importance of the message, by saying that if he does not announce it, then he has not performed his mission. After revelation of the verse, Muhammad ordered the caravan to stop, and ordered those who had passed Ghadīr Khum to return, and for them to wait there until the arrival of those who were still on their way.[13][14] 

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” 5:3

This verse was revealed at the pond of Khum after the designation of Imam Ali as the successor of the prophet.[15]

  • Mubāhila:Surely the case of Jesus is like the case of Adam. He created him out of dust, then he said to him, “Be’, and he was. This is the truth from thy Lord, so be thou not of those who doubt. Now whoso disputes with thee concerning him, after what has come to thee of Knowledge, say to him “Come let us call abnā’anā (Arabicأَبـنـاءنـا, our sons) and abnā’akum (Arabicأَبـنـاءكـم, your sons) and nisā’anā (Arabicنِـسـاءنـا, our women) and nisā’kum (Arabicنِـسـاءكـم, your women) and anfusanā (Arabicأَنـفـسـنـا, ourselves) and anfusakum (Arabicأَنـفـسـكـم, yourselves), then let us pray fervently and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie.” 3:59-61

The event of Mubāhila was a meeting between prophet Muḥammad and a Christian delegation from Najran (present-day Yemen), in the month of Dhu’l-Hijja, 10 AH (October 631.

According to the narrations, aḥādῑth:

The weight of this section is outside our scope and we need a separate paper to write about this part. Therefore, we will be forced to restrict ourselves and mention, very briefly, only 27 of the most famous and strongest narrations here.

  1. 27 ahādīth will be mentioned here:
  • Al Amru ilāllāh yaḍa’uhu ḥaythu yashā”. The authority of this matter is with Allā He will put it wherever He sees it fit.

This statement is taken from a strong narration which both the sunni and shi’a schools confirm, were the prophet himself at his weakest political condition in Makka answers a powerful tribe leader (Buḥayra ibn Firās from the Banī ‘Āmir tribe) which wanted to give his allegiance and full support, but with one condition only, and that condition was to be chosen as the successor of the prophet after his demise. The prophet answered him by saying: “Al Amru ilāllāh yaḍa’uhu ḥaythu yashā”. The authority of this matter is with Allāh. He will put it wherever He sees it fit.[16]This shows that the prophet at his weakest political condition was not willing to compromise a matter which did not belong to his domain. This historical incident is a strong evidence that the matter of leadership goes back to Allāh.

  • Ghadīr– 18 reasons:
  1. The prophet receives one revelation before the event of Ghadīr[17] and one after the event of Ghadīr.[18]
  2. The prophet was reluctant and worried about the speech which was in favour of Ali because of the hypocrites, munāfiqūn, whom were present among the crowd and also because of the envy and tribal ignorance, jāhilīya, feelings among the companions. This shows that there was more on the stake than just proclaiming Ali as a “friend” and someone who should be “loved” as the sunni denominations state.
  3. At the Ghadīr Khum spot where the proclamation was going to happen the prophet tells everyone to gather, and to those who have gone to return, and to those who are there to wait for those who are coming before the speech.
  4. According to the strongest and most reliable sources, between five to six thousand people participated and listened to the prophet’s speech at Ghadīr.[19]
  5. The speech took around one hour to finish.
  6. The speech was during a very intense heat at noon.
  7. The event of Ghadīr took three days, were everyone paid their allegiance during those days.
  8. The prophet talks about his death and that he will leave the community, umma, very soon. So the nature of the speech has to do with successor- ship.
  9. ‘Umar, which was one of the first to pay allegiance, congratulates Imam Ali by saying “Bravo, bravo o son of Abū Ṭālib! Today you have become the leader (Mawlā) of every believing man and women.” The title of “Amiῑr al Mu’minῑn” is for the first time used in this historical event upon Imam Ali.
  10. ‘Allāma Amīnī counts 110 sahaba[20] who reported this narration. It is considered as the strongest mutawātir[21] narration which we have among all narrations.
  11. Among the great sunni scholars who count this narration as mutawātir, we have all in all 26 great scholars, those are: Ibn Kathīr,[22] Suyūti,[23] Albāni,[24] Ḥākim Nayshābūri,[25] Tirmidhi,[26] Ibn Ḥabbān,[27] Dhahabi,[28] Ibn Jarīr Ṭabari,[29] Ibn Ḥajar al ’Asqalāni,[30] Abū Ja’far Ṭaḥāwi,[31] Ibn Māja,[32] Nasā’i,[33] Ibn Ḥambal,[34] Ṭabarāni,[35] Ibn ‘Asākir[36] and Ibn ‘Abdul Bir[37] and many many more.
  12. Man kuntu Mawlāhu fa ’Alīyun Mawlāhu. Allāhumma wāli man wālāhu, wa ‘ādi man ‘ādāhu, wanṣur man naṣarahu, wakh dhul man khadhala hu.” The word mawlā has 70 meanings. ‘Allāma Amīnī counted 27 meanings for the word mawlā. The meanings which are relevant in this context are: loved- muḥib, victorious- nāṣir, lord- sayyid, master or leader- qā’id, more fitting to interfere (in leadership) awlā bil Amr.
  13. The shi’a view in this matter is that the right meaning for this word mawlā is awlā bil Amr- more fitting to interfere (in leadership).
  14. The prophet told his companions to call Imam Ali by the title of Amῑr al Mu’minῑn.[38]
  15. The poem from Ḥassān bin Thābit is an indication that the prophet officially proclaimed Imam Ali as his successor:

Fa Qāla lahu, qum, ya ’Alīyun fa innanī,

raḍῑtuka min ba’dῑ imāman wa hādiyan.”

Stand up O Ali, for I am pleased to announce you Imam and guide after me.

The whole poem in English:

Their prophet was inviting them on the Day of Ghadir,

And a messenger whispered into the messenger’s ear.

‘Who is your master and prophet?’ He asked.

They replied, and no ignorance they pretended:

‘Your God is our master, and you are our prophet forever.

And no one among us will you find opposed to the mastery, ever.’

Then he called: ‘Rise, O Ali.’

‘The leader and Imam after me I agree you to be.

So, Ali is the master of those whose master I’ve been.

And I want you truthful followers of his to be after.

O Allah! Be Thou his friends Friend.

And be Thou his enemies Enemy.’ ”[39]

  1. Imam Ali would later on mention this event in the mosque of Kūfa, were he asked those who witnessed the occasion to stand up, as mentioned in Nahjul Balāgha. This shows that Ali therefore strongly believed that the community as a whole had turned away from him.
  2. The concept of Wilāya and Imāma was prescribed as one of the “four” Roots of the Religion[40] on the day of Ghadīr by Allā
  3. The 12 Imams are mentioned in some narrations.
  • adīth al Kisā– the prophet sleeps under a cloak with Ali, Fātīma, Ḥasan and Ḥusayn, without letting anyone else to enter the cloak with them.
  • The hadith of “ink and paper” or the “Black Thursday”.[41]
  • The last will of the prophet.[42]
  • Laylatul Mabīt– the night where Imam Ali slept in the bed of the prophet and risked his own life for him. This was the night were the tribe leaders had decided to send a group of men to assassinate the prophet in his house.
  • Da’watul ‘Ashῑra– “’Alīyun akhī wa waṣῑyῑ wa khalīfatiī ba’dī.” Ali is my brother, legatee, and successor.
  • Hadith al Manzila– where the prophet said: “You are for me what Hārūn was for Mūsā, except that there will be no more prophet after me.”
  • Yawmul Ikhwa– the prophet made a brotherhood pact between the Immigrants and the Helpers, but chose to take Ali as his brother.
  • Yawmul Khaybar– on the third day of battle which was a very crucial day in the Battle of Khaybar, the prophet proclaimed that he would give the flag to someone who Allāh and his messenger loves, and he gave the ‘alam, the flag, to Ali.
  • Yawmul Khandaq– “Ḍarbatun ‘Alī yawmul Khandaq afḍal min ‘ibādī yal Jinni wal Ins.” The blow of Ali on the Day of Khandaq is better than the worship of the Jinn and human kind.
  • Madinatul ‘Ilm– Ali is the Gate of Knowledge.
  • Safῑnatun Nijāt– my Ahlul Bayt is the Ship of Rescue.
  • Saddul abwāb– the prophet closed all the sub- entrances (doors) of all companions to the mosque except the door of Ali’s house.
  • Thaqalayn– the famous narration of the “two weighty things”.
  • The narration of “Your successor will be the one who is mending/ stitching his shoes.”
  • Khālid ibn al Walīd sends Burīda to the prophet to complain about Imam Ali, after the campaign in Yemen. The Prophet tells Burīda not to complain about Ali because “he is from me and I am from him, and he will be your leader after me (walῑyu kum ba’dī).[43]
  • ‘Alīyun ma’al Haqq– the narration of- Ali is with the Truth.
  • ‘Alīyun ma’al Qur’ān– the narration of- Ali is with Qur’ā
  • Ḥubbu ‘AlīImān, bughḍu ‘Alī Nifāq– Loving Ali is sheer faith and hating him is sheer hypocrisy.
  • The expedition to Mūta under Usāma’s leadership at the last days of the prophet’s life:
  1. The prophet gave order that all the grand companions should leave except Imam Ali. Why? Because with the grand and influential companions out of the way, no one would go against the leadership of Imam Ali in Madina.
  2. The prophet was insisting that those companions should go with the expedition, because some of the companions were resisting the order of the prophet and were camping outside Madina.
  3. The age of Usāma ibn Zayd (17-18 years old) was used as an attack against his leadership skills. The prophet addressed this matter with a high fever and while being very ill on the pulpit. He said that Usama with his young age had the skills to lead this campaign. This was a very skillful strategy by the prophet, to show and shut down those who later on would complain and use the young age of Ali[44] as an argument against choosing him as a leader. This move by the prophet showed that most surely is a young person capable to rule over the Muslim community.
  • Khulafa ba’dī ithnā ’ashar, kulluhum minal Quraysh.”[45] The narration of “The successors after me are twelve, all of them from Quraysh.
  • Sa’d bin Abi Waqqās mentions three golden attributes of Imam Ali which would be enough to prove that the Imam was the greatest among the companions:
  1. Love towards Ali is faith and hatred towards him is hypocrisy.
  2. Hadith al Manzila
  3. Yawmul Khaybar and the ‘alam– flag.
  • The arguments put forth by Abū Bakr for the successorship at the Day of Saqī He said that the successor should be:
  1. Among the muhājirūn, the Immigrants,
  2. He should be from one of the clans of Quraysh,
  3. He should be among the first Muslims.
  4. He should have relative ties with the prophet.

According to these arguments, Imam Ali would be the closest to those criteria put forth by Abū Bakr.

  • The Arabs would not accept anyone as their leader if that person didn’t have relative ties with the prophet. That was the mentality back then which both Abū Bakr and ‘Umar referred to.[46]
  • The narration which has been narrated by Abū Ḥamza Thumālī from Imam Muḥammad al Bāqir:

When the prophet was done with his mission of prophethood and he reached the last days of his life, Allāh revealed to him that: O Muammad you have reached the last days of your life. Give the knowledge, the faith, the Great Name (Ism al Akbar) and the heritage of the knowledge of the previous prophets to Ali ibn Abī Ṭālib. Because I will never cut the knowledge, the faith, the Great Name (Ism al Akbar) and the heritage of the knowledge of the previous prophets with your kin and descendants.”[47]

  • The narration of “The Golden Chain”: This narration is called adīth al Qudsī”, which means that its source is from Allāh, and its chain of transmitters is called “Silsila -tudh- Dhahabīya”, The Golden Chain, and it is from the eight’s Imam Ali ar Riḍā:

When Imam Riḍā entered the city of Neyshābūr and was passing through the avenues in Neyshabur, throngs of people, tens of thousands, gathered around him. And thousands of distinguished scholars and narrators present among the crowd requested the Imam to narrate a narration. According to historical sources, there were ten thousand scholars with pens in their hands, ready to write down the narration.

Accepting their request Imam Ali ar Riḍā mounted a pulpit.

When beholding the holy visage of Imam Riḍā, the witnessing people present there, suddenly burst into tears of joy and happily cried out, after all this was the great great daughter son of the prophet.

Then Imam Ali ar Riḍā looked at that great congregation and said: Mūsā ibn Ja’far, my dignified father once quoted the words of his father Ja’far ibn Muḥammad as Ṣādiq, who in his turn related the words of his father Muḥammad ibn Ali, who narrated the words of his father Ali ibn Ḥusayn, who likewise quoted Ḥusayn, the master of the youth in paradise, who quoted from his father Ali ibn Abī Ṭālib, who directly quoted the Messenger of Allah, who narrated the words of Jibrīl, who quoted the divine words of the Exalted Lord as follows:

“The Word- There is no god except Allāh- is My stronghold, and the one whoever enters My stronghold will not suffer My wrath.”

The Imam then sat down. The people who had assembled round the Imam’s pulpit thought that his talk was over, but to their amazement the Imam stood up again and added the following words to what he had previously stated:

“(But to be able to enter Allāh’s stronghold) depends on some conditions, and I am one of its conditions.”

Imam Ali ar Riḍā confirms that worshipping Allāh will be counted as a perfect procedure when it is based on the obedience of the infallible Imams. This historical statement of Imam Ali ar Riḍa implied the presentation and the importance of the Imamate or Leadership within Islam.

One of the most in-depth teachings of this great Imam is actually a response of those who try to ask “What is ‘Irfān”? In other words, what is “Divine Mysticism”? The insightful scholars respond to this query with two important matters: (a) knowledge of Allāh and (b) knowledge of the perfect human being. In this well-known narration of Imam ar-Riḍā which was documented by near thousands of narrators of adīth, the Imam informs the people that the statement “other than Allāh there is no deity” is a fortress of Allāh in which if one enters one would be safe from Divine punishment. Thereafter Imam tells them that this has an important condition and “I am one if its conditions”. The insightful interpreters of adīth inform us that what the Imam means here is that expressing and believing in the above statement will save them from Divine Punishment with the condition that they follow the teachings of the ‘Perfect Human Being’ of the time. And belief of the above statement and obedience to the perfect human being of the time requires recognition and knowledge. The Imam in reality therefore hinted to mankind that in order to attain emancipation from Divine punishment we must know Allāh and the ‘Perfect Human Being’. And the discipline of ‘Irfān actually discusses these two vital universes of information.

If one, therefore, occupies himself throughout his lifetime in attaining Divine Knowledge and knowledge of the Perfect Human Being he would have spent his lifetime in the best occupation.

Mentioning the negative aspects of “others”:

  1. One of the ways to prove that the prophet chose his successor is to prove the negative aspects or negative characteristic attributes of others and comparing them with the Imams. You mention the sins and oppressions, ulm, some companions committed. By using this method you show that the moral position and the Imams management of the affair of the Muslims was on a much higher station.

Positive aspects and the virtues of the Imam:

  1. We prove that the Imams are “higher” in all levels of human life than the rest of the people at their time, by mentioning their virtues and positive attributes. The reason to do that is to prove that the Imams were the rightful owners of the successor-ship:[48]
  • The virtue of knowledge and wisdom- why is that important?
  1. The Imam needs because knowledge is power.
  2. The Imam needs knowledge because that is required to administer the society and the affairs of the Muslim state.
  3. The Imam needs knowledge to get the right interpretation of the Qur’ān
  4. The Imam needs knowledge to demolish “dangerous” ideologies and discussions, which can lead to disunity among the Muslims.
  5. The Imam needs knowledge so that the most knowledgeable of the people would be attracted to him and learn from him.
  6. The Imam needs knowledge to be able to come forth with the strongest arguments in all the different sciences and be unchallengeable.
  7. The Imam needs knowledge to be able to guide the society towards salvation and happiness.
  8. The Imam needs knowledge so no excuse would exist for the people NOT to follow him.
  • Courage and Bravery
  • Strength
  • Beauty and free from any bodily handicap
  • Eloquence
  • Moral traits
  • They have to have ‘Ilm al Ladunni– knowledge from Allāh, and knowledge from their forefathers, without anyone being able to claim to have been their teachers or professors.
  • Miracles
  • Hidden knowledge, which gets divided into two divisions:
  1. You have a complete hidden knowledge.
  2. You have a certain degree of hidden knowledge.

With these 11 strong reasons, the Right Path, about the concept of Imāma has now been proven to you.

What proof do you have that the Imams are immaculate?

  1. The Tahīr verse
  2. The Mubāhila verse
  3. adīth of Thaqalayn
  4. adīth of Safīna
  5. adīth of ‘Alīyun ma’al Qur’ān wa ‘Alīyun ma’al Ḥaqq
  6. adīth of al Manzila

All of these narrations have been mentioned and explained. 

“The prophet wanted the community, umma, to choose the successor after him by shurā, committee.”

Eight criticism to this statement:

  1. The majority of the companions were not in a position or level to fully comprehend Islam, because the majority were newcomers to the religion. And thus they were not a nation who could know the best and good for the community.
  2. What were the criteria’s of the companions when they wanted to elect a leader? Abu Bakr said that the Khalifa should be among the Muhajirūn, from one of the clans of Quraysh, he should be among the first Muslims, and he should have relative ties with the Prophet. Imam Ali was the perfect example and the closest to those criteria’s.
  3. The Prophet did not prescribe the committee, shurā.
  4. The majority of the Muslims were not present at Saqῑfa.
  5. The committee was something completely new for the Arabs, they did not have any experience? They used to elect the “natural” leader of their tribe by paying their allegiance.
  6. ‘Umar later on said that “we made a mistake at Saqῑfa” and that “anyone who attempts to do such a thing again should be killed.
  7. Allegiance with force or pressure is not allowed, but we see that it occurred.
  8. If the committee was the right way of electing a leader, then why did not Abu Bakr do the same thing when he single handily elected ‘Umar?!

Do the twelve Imams and Fāṭima -tuz- Zahrā have a higher position than all the prophets (except prophet Muammad) according to the shi’ats?

 Shaykh Mufīd in his Awā’il al Muqalāt fil madhāhib wal mukhtārāt introduces four views of the shi’ats towards this issue:[49]

  • Those shi’ats who believe that the Imams have a higher position then all the messengers except prophet Muhammad (S).
  • Those shi’ats who believe that the Imams have a higher position then all the messengers except Ulūl ‘Azm– the Owners of a Strong Will, which are, Nūḥ, Ibrāhīm, Mūsā, ‘Isā, Muḥammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all.
  • Those shi’ats who believe that the Imams do not have a higher position than any of the messengers. But have a higher position than the prophets.
  • Those shi’ats who believe that the Imams do not have a higher position than any messenger or prophet of Allā
  • The common belief among the shi’a scholars today is the first view, that the Imams have indeed a higher spiritual position then the rest of the messengers, except Muḥammad (Ṣ).
  1. Shaykh Mufīd later on wrote another book were he states his belief. In the book of Mawsū’atu ash Shaykh Mufd, 7 by the name of At Tafḍῑl, he introduces the four different views once again[50] and says, that Imam Ali is indeed greater in status then all of the messengers of Allāh. And he brings forth narrations from the ḥadīth collections of the sunnis, where there is mentioned that Imam Ali is;
  • Anā Sayyidul Bashar.[51] I am the lord of all humankind.
  • Anā Sayyidu wuldi dam wa lā” I am the lord of the children of Ādam (‘A).[52]
  • arbuka arbi wa silmuka silmi.[53]
  • The famous narration from the prophet that if Ali did not exist there would not exist any Kuff – pair/ soul mate for Fāṭīma, among all the children of Ādam (‘A).
  • Anā sayyidul Bashar wa ‘Alīyun sayyidul ‘arab”. I am the lord of human kind and Ali is the lord of the Arabs.[54]
  1. Shaykh Mufīd mentions the status of Imam Ali in the Hereafter according to shi’a ḥadīth collections;
  • He will be the cupbearer of kawthar.
  • He will have the status of intercession
  • The flag bearer of the prophet on Judgement Day.
  • The Imam will be the divider the people of Paradise and the people of Hell.
  • He will be the first person entering Paradise (after the prophet).
  1. The reasons put forth by those who say; ”Yes, the Imams have a higher position then the prophets,” (except the narrations mentioned earlier), are:
  • We have consensus among shi’ats and sunnis that prophet Muḥammad is the greatest of all the prophets.
  • Knowledge of all the prophets was gathered in the person of Muḥammad and from him to Imam Ali and the rest of the Imams.
  • Prophet Muḥammad says through a mutawātir– strong narration, that:

Anā madna -tul- ‘ilm wa ‘Alīyun bābuhā.” I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate.

  • From this narration we can conclude that the Imam received all the knowledge from the previous messengers including prophet Muḥ
  • The Prophet said: “asan and usayn are the leaders of the youth in Paradise.” From that we can understand that it includes all the messengers also, except prophet Muḥ
  • We have consensus among both the shi’ats and the sunnis that our dear prophet ‘Isā Masīḥ will pray behind Imam Mahdi. That shows the higher position of the Imam. In this narration which also exists in aḥīḥ Bukhari, Imam Mahdi is offering his position as the leader of the congregational prayer to ‘Isā (‘A). But prophet ‘Isā (‘A) declines the offer on the excuse of Imam Mahdi being higher than him in status, spiritual wise and knowledge wise.
  • A strong narration from Imam Muḥammad al Bāqir says:

We got all our knowledge from Ali and he got all his knowledge from the prophet and the prophet got all his knowledge from all the previous prophets combined.

Conclusion: the Imams have a higher knowledge than all the messengers except prophet Muḥammad.

  • So if we can prove that the first Imam (Ali) and the last Imam (Mahdi) have a higher position then the messengers, we can conclude that the Imams between those two also have a higher position then the messengers.
  • According to shi’a thought the fourteen infallibles[55] were “created” or “issued” in the Realm of the Divine, before the whole creation of not only our universe, but the other realms also, and that is another reason for their higher status.
  • The Mubāhila verse,[56] where Ali is seen as anfusanā Allāh elevates and raises him to the status of the prophet himself.

Do all the fourteen infallibles have the same status or do they have different ranks between them too?

According to shi’a narrations:

  1. Prophet Muḥammad has the highest position,
  2. After him comes Imam Ali,
  3. and after him, his wife Fāṭima,
  4. and after her, Ḥasan and Ḥusayn,
  5. And after them, Imam Mahdi.
  6. The rest of the eight Imams have the same position.

Do we have consensus about the level of the Imams knowledge? Do they know all the different sciences and languages, skills and games?

We do not have consensus in this matter. There are two major views in this regard:

  1. Those who say that; yes the Imam must have a higher knowledge than the rest of the people, and know all the languages and skills in any given time or. If they didn’t know then what would be the difference between the imams and other people. Anything that can have the slightest chance of lowering the status of the Imam or the messengers in the eyes of the people must be prevented. They also say that, the Imam does not “need” to show or use that skill, but if necessary, he will. All kinds of people, from the different walks of life should be able to come to the Imam for their questions. From a philosopher, mathematician, doctor to an architect or a shoe tailor, all of them should be able to come and receive their answers from their Imam.
  2. The second group says that their knowledge is limited and they too need professionals in different fields. They do not need their infallibility when they are making a well or building a house and so forth.


This paper as previously said was intended to be short as much as possible and give the answer in a very precise and direct manner for a younger audience and for those who were interested to know Islam’s view on this subject. The goal was to introduce the heart of the subject to the readers.

Wa Tawfīq Minallāhi-  And All-Success is from Allāh


[1] This view that we cannot reach to an answer with pure reason or with spiritual vision, shuhūd, is purely a kalāmī perspective and not the view of the Muslim philosophers and mystics.

[2] The things included in ”hidden knowledge” are:

  1. Knowledge about the future.
  2. Knowledge about the past.
  3. See things which are beyond your senses, like jinn, angels, spirits.
  4. See the hidden worlds or realms, like Barzakh, Paradise, Hellfire. Ḥāritha ibn Yamāna is a very good example in this aspect. He was one of the companions of the prophet Muḥammad, and he had reached this lofty spiritual station.
  5. See the secrets of human beings.
  6. Know the secrets of the verses of the Qur’ān.
  7. Know the secrets of the aḥkām.
  8. Know the secrets of the creation.
  9. Know the date of his or others death.
  10. Be able to do interpretations of dreams.
  11. Understand the language of other nations.
  12. Understand the language of animals.

[3] Qiṣāṣ 7.

[4] Mā’ida 111.

[5] This view of an external material voice, which means that if other people were surrounding the prophet could also hear, is purely a kalāmī perspective and not the view of the Muslim philosophers and mystics. The philosophers and the mystics believe that it is an inner spiritual voice, which no one except the prophet can hear at the time of the revelation.

[6] Or what the mystics call the “illuminated reason or intelligence”.

[7] Khalīfa here means the Muslim worldly leader.

[8] These three ways contradict the narrations of the prophet and his sunna.

[9] This statement is taken from a strong narration which both the sunni and shi’a schools confirm, were the prophet himself at his weakest political condition in Makka answers a powerful tribe leader (Buḥayra ibn Firās from the Banī ‘Āmir tribe) which wanted to give his allegiance and full support, but with one condition only, and that condition was to be chosen as the successor of the prophet after his demise. The prophet answered him by saying that this is a matter which is not in his hands, and that this is a divine matter. In other words it is in the hands of Allāh to choose the successor.

[10] Referring to the three first successors of the prophet and the Banī Umayya and Banī ‘Abbās dynasties.

[11]  Tafsīr Burhān; Vol. 1, P. 381

[12]  Tafsīr al-Mīzān. 18. p. 64.

[13] Ash-Shahrastānī (1984). Kitāb al–Milal wa an-Nihal. London: Kegan Paul. pp. 139–140. Tafsīr ibn Abi Hātim Vol. 4 Pg. 1172 Hadith no. 6609.

[14] Over 360 Sunni traditional scholars have mentioned the event of Ghadīr and its connection with the mentioned verse. The book Al Ghadir mentions all of these sources in detail. Al Ghadīr (Arabic: الغدير في الكتاب والسنة والأدب) (that is “The Ghadīr in the Book, the Sunna, and Literature”) is a 20-volume book written by the Great scholar ‘Abdul Ḥusayn Amīnī.

[15] Answering to religious questions, Nāsir Makārim Shīrāzī, Ja’far Subḥānī, publication: the school of al Imam Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib, p.187

[16] Sīreyeh Nabawī, Ibn Hishām, vol. 1, p. 426. Aṭ Ṭabaqātul Kubrā, Ibn Sa’d, vol. 1 p. 262. Tārīkh Aṭ Ṭabarī, Ṭabarī, vol. 2 p. 284.

[17] Mā’ida 67: “O Messenger, deliver [to the people] what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not do so, then you have not delivered His Message; and God will protect you from people,”

[18] Mā’ida 3.

[19] For the number of attendance in Ghadīr, and the latest research about the number of the crowd on the day of Ghadīr see,

[20] Al Ghadr, vol 1, p. 14- 61.

[21] A narration which has reached us from so many different sources, so much so, that its truth has made it without doubt.

[22] Al Bidāyatu wan Nihāya, vol. 5, p. 214.

[23] Al Azhār al Mutanāthira fil Akhbāril Mutawātira, p. 76.

[24] Silsila-tul- Aādth a Saah, vol. 4, p. 330- 344.

[25] Al Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 118, 144 and 613.

[26] As Sunan, vol. 5, p. 633.

[27] a Ibn abān, vol 3, p. 144 and vol 15, p. 375.

[28] Sayr/Siyar A’lām an Nabla, vol 5, p. 415. Tārkh al Islām, vol. 3, p. 629.

[29] Tadhkira- tul- uffā, vol. 2, p. 713.

[30] Fat al Bāri, vol. 7, p. 74.

[31] Mushkil al thār, vol. 2, p. 308.

[32] As Sunan, vol 1, p. 45.

[33] Khaā’i Amr al Mu’minn, p. 47 and 155.

[34] Al Musnad, vol. 1, p. 321 and vol. 9, p. 43. Faā’il a aāba, vol. 2, p. 593.

[35] Al Mu’jam a aghr vol. 1, p. 71. Al Mu’jam al Awsa vol. 1, p. 112 and vol. 8, p. 213. Al Mu’jam al Kabr, vol. 3, p. 179, vol. 5, p. 195 and vol. 19, p. 291.

[36] Tarkh ad Dimashq, vol. 42, p. 188.

[37] Al Ist’āb, vol 3, p. 203.

[38] Shaykh Mufīd, al Irshād vol. 1, p. 176.

[39] Khārazmi, al Manāqib, p. 80. In some copies p. 135. Sibt ibn al Jawzi, Tadhkira-tul- Khawāṣ, p. 20. Al Kanji, Kifāya-tuṭ- Ṭālib, p. 17. Another translation of the poem reads as follows:

“He calls them, (on) the day of Ghadīr, their prophet.

In Khumm so hear (and heed) the messenger’s call.

He said: “Who is your guide and leader? (mawlā kum wa walīyu kum).”

They said, and there was no apparent blindness (clearly):

“Your God, our guide, and you are our leader.

And you won’t find from among us, in this, any disobedient.”

He said to him: “Stand up O Ali, for I am pleased to announce you Imam and guide after me (min ba’di imāman wa hādiyan),

So whomever I was his leader (mawlā), then this is his leader (mawlā)

So be to him supporters in truth and followers.”

[40] Monotheism, prophethood, Judgement Day and leadership are the four roots of the religion of Islam. Some add Allāh’s Justice as a fifth root.

[41] aḥīḥ al Bukhāri, vol. 4, p. 1612. aḥīḥ al Muslim, vol. 3, p. 1259. Ibn Ḥambal, al Musnad vol. 1, p. 760.

[42] Some censorship among the great sunni scholars on this issue has happened for political purposes and fear, for example in al Jāmi’ aṣ aḥīḥ, vol. 2, p. 1111.

[43] Ibn Ḥambal, al Musnad, vol.  9, p. 23.

[44] Imam Ali was between 32- 34 years old at the demise of the prophet.

[45] a Muslim, vol. 3 p. 1453. a Bukhāri, vol. 6, p. 2640. Tirmidh, sunan vol. 4, p. 501. Abū Dawūd, Sunan, vol. 4, p. 106. Ibn Ḥambal, al Musnad vol. 7, p. 430.

[46] Tarkh a abari, vol. 3, p. 218. Ibn Athῑr, al Kāmil fit Tārkh, vol. 2, p. 12.

[47] Kitāb al Kāfῑ in chapter Uṣūl al Kāfῑ, vol. 2, page 54.

[48] Personal attributes are not mentioned here, like Imam Ali being born inside Ka’ba, being the first Muslim, praying for six years before anyone else even became a Muslim, marrying the only daughter of the prophet, being the victor and hero of the battles of Islam and etc.

[49] Awā’il al Muqalāt fil madhāhib wal mukhtārāt, p. 23. Published by Tehran and McGill University 1993.

[50] Mawsū’atu ash Shaykh Mufīd, vol. 7, chapter at Tafl, p. 19. Published by Al Hudā 1431- 2010. The original name of the book was called al Muannafāt.

[51] Ibid. P. 20. Shaykh Mufīd quotes from aḥīḥ Bukhāri, vol 6, p. 223. Al Mustadrak al Ḥākim vol. 4, p. 573

[52] Ibid. P. 20. He quotes from aḥīḥ Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1782 and 2278. Sunan at Tirmidhi, vol. 5, p. 587 and 3615. Musnad Aḥmad, vol. 1, p. 5, 295 and etc.

[53] Ibid. P. 24. He quotes from Sunan at Tirmidhi, vol. 5, p. 699 and 3870. Sunan ibn Māja,vol. 1, p. 52 and 145. Musnad Aḥmad, vol. 2, p. 442.

[54] Ibid. P. 34. He quotes from al Mustadrak al Ḥākim vol. 3, p. 124. Tārkh al Baghdād vol. 11, p. 89.

[55] The twelve Imams plus prophet Muḥammad and his daughter Fāṭima (‘A).

[56] Chapter 3:61