Chapter Fourteen: Conclusion
Through this comprehensive article, we have sought to demonstrate to our readers that the Shi’a are not some deranged cult that have made up the concept of guidance through the influence of Jews, magian or soothsayers. Divine guidance is a correct concept that has started from the time of the creation of Adam (as) and continues today. Ultimately the issue is who you deem to be the correct leaders of the religion, and hence we shall seek to consclude with the Qur’an and Hadith:
“On the Day when all people will be summoned with their Imam [Surah Isra vese 71].
“Whoever dies without recognising the Imam of his time dies the death of Jahilyya (ignorance)”
Mansab Imamate, page 108 by Shah Ismaeel Shaheed
Thus Imamate influences the state in which you die in this world, and will determine who you are raised with in the next one. Now the question that our readrs should ask themselves is ‘which foundation of Imamate is the right one? Divinely appointed Imamate or man appointed Imamate?’
Whenever anyone build a house the most important aspect of it, is its foundation, since if the foundation is weak the house will fall down, no matter how much other support you put up. In the West it is common practice for potential house buyers to conduct a surveyor’s report of an identified property, prior to agreeing to purchase the property. The surveyor’s report is an assessment of the property based on its condition, to see if there are any probles that could cause problems for new owners. If the surveyors report identified any fault with the foundation of the property nobody would then continue with the intended purchase because to do so would be a waste of time, effort and money. If people would not invest in a property with a faulty foundation, on account of it affecting one’s quality of life why would you invest in a doctrine that will determine the state in which you die in this world and your quality of life in the next one? Allow us to illustrate this point with an example:
“I am unwell and have been told that if I do not have surgery I will die. I go to meet the consultant who will be operating on me. Now would you place your faith in a consultant who tells you that he will be looking to others for help should he make any mistakes? Will you have conviction in a consultant who simply says that he won’t use any learned techniques to conduct the operation his medical textbooks will suffice as a guide? Or a Dr who at the first sign of complications flees leaving your body open on the operating table, only to return three days later? We are sure that no rational person would agree to be operated by such a person. If you refuse to place your life in to the hands of a ‘unreliable Dr’ why are you willing to place your next eternal life in to the hands of a unreliable Imam?
Alhamdolillah the Shi’a foundation of Imamate is a firm, since Rasulullah (s) appointed Imam ‘Ali (as) to succeed in accordance with the will of Allah, and this point can be evidenced from the 25th Hadith recorded from various Sunni sources by Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri al-Hanafi in the Ghadir Declaration:
“It is narrated by ‘Ammar bin Yasir (r) that the Messenger of Allah (s) said: whoso believed me and endorsed me, I shall pass on to him the legacy of ‘Ali’s spiritual leadership. Anyone who regarded him as his guardian, he regarded me as his guardian, and anyone who regarded me as his guardian, he regarded Allah as his Guardian, and anyone who loved him (‘Ali), he loved me and one who loved me loved Allah, and one who bore malice towards him (‘Ali) bore malice towards me and one who bore malice towards me bore malice towards Allah.”
Haythami has related this tradition from Tabarani in Majma-uz-Zawaid (9:108, 109) and has called its narrators credible (thiqah); and Hindi copied it in Kanz-ul-‘ummal (11:611 # 32958).
Ibn ‘Asakir narrated it in Tarikh Dimashq al-kabir (45:181, 182).
After Imam ‘Ali (as) the door of Imamate was transferred through twelve divinely appointed Imams.
The Sunni foundation for Imamate is based on the manner in which Abu Bakr came to power, a manner that his chief supporter Umar said candidly later on:
‘One should not deceive oneself by saying that the Pledge of allegiance given to ‘Abu Bakr was given suddenly and it was successful. No doubt, it was like that, but Allah saved (the people) from its evil’
Sahih al Bukhari, Arabic-English Volume 8 hadith number 817, page 540
When the Sunni foundation of Imamate is one that Umar termed as evil what faith can we have with it? Whilst all manner of plaster may have been put up to cover up this foundation through what the Sunni Ulema now refer to as Ijmaa, the difficulty with this concept is linked to a foundation that is based on man deciding who guides the Ummah. With this shaky foundation in place, Sunni Islam then hired builders to construct the house and present it to the outside world as the perfect building, free from all manner of defect.
Let us see al Mawardi’s commentary of the development of this house, in his classic Sunni work al Ahkam al Sultaniyya, page 5, English translation by Professor Wafaa H. Wahba:
“Supreme leadership is established in two ways: selection by the electors, or appointment by a predecessor. There is considerable disagreement among scholars on the number of electors necessary for the valid investment of the sovereign. Some say that he would be investyed by no fewer than the “generality” of the electors throughout the land in order for his election to be unanimously approved and his authority universally accepted. This view is refuted by the vote of allegiance to Abu Bakr, may God frant him favour, given by those who were present, withouit awaiting for for the arrival of those who were absent. Another group has maintained that the minimum number of electors for a binding election is five, who may unanimously agree on a candidateor concur in a choice made by one of them. They predicate their argument on two things. One is that the investment of Abu Bakr, may God approve of him, was sealed by the consensus of five men whose lead was followed by the rest of the population. The second is that’Umar, may God grant him favour, set the number necessary for consultation at six one of whom may be invested by agreement of the remaining five. This is the view upheld by most jurists and theologians of Basra. Scholars from Kufah have argued, on the other hand, that only three opersons are needed, one of them taking office with the agreement of the other two, thus constitutibng one ruler and two witnesses, as is the case a marriage contract, which is validated by one guardian and two witnesses. Still others have asserted that the election of the sovereign would be binding if undertalen by a single person, for Al-Abbas has said to ‘Ali, may God approve of him ‘Gove me your hand so that I may pay you my allegiance…”
Ahkam al Sultaniyah, page 5
Mawardi writes further on:
“Investment by the nomination of a predecessor is permissible and correct by general consensus on the basis of two precedents adopted by Muslims and never put in dispute. The first is the appointment of Abu Bakr of ‘Umar, may Gof grant them his favour, which was accepted by Muslims as sufficient to establish for leadership. The second is that ‘Umar, may God approve of him, nominated for sucession the counsellors, being the select few, whose candidacy was accepted by the Community in the conviction that that the nomination was valid, so that the rest of the Prophet’s Comanions were not included in the list”.
Ahkam al Sultaniyah, page 9
Deen is a way of life and the Shariah is that code of conduct via which our life choices / decisions should be based. As Muslims key decisions / life development should be influenced by what the Shari’ah tells us. Our lives should be shaped by the dictates of the Deen, so much so that when we sit back and assess our achievements we can do so in the comfort that all we did was in accordance with what Allah (swt) and his Rasul (s) had prescribed for us. Unfortunately, when we look at the Sunni concept of Imamate, rather than have a matter shaped by Deen, we see that the Deen is developed following the decisions of the Salaf! It is almost like some laboratory experiment whatever was done by the Sahaba, has been accepted as Deen. This in effect turns the whole concept of Deen on its head. Rather than allow the Deen to determine’s the Sahaba’s stance on Imamate we see that their decision making is giving preference over Deen, rather the Sahaba’s experimental methodology, without any validity in the Qur’an and Sunnah is accepted as Deen. From these positions of the Sunni Ulema on Imamate, it is clear that whatever happened historically is called Deen, the only difference is over the methodology of appointment. This is a completely incorrect approach, surely the Deen should be in place first and actions / decisions should be shaped by these rules / regulations. Sadly, the Sunni position on Imamate has allowed history to shape it, approaches that have then been accommodated as Deen! Once this approach have been accepted as Deen, the Ahl’ul Sunnah School have then turned to the sources of the Shari’ah and reinterpreted clear texts to protect the decision making of their ancestors. The result is the verse ‘so when you finish Funsub and return to your Lord” (The Qur’an 94:7-8) Funsub a clear and logical term particularly from the context of the verse to mean appoint has been given a completely different alternative meaning to maintain the position that Rasulullah (s) left no successor. The Ghadhir declaration, wherein Rasulullah (s) concluded his first and final Hajj by holding back over 120,000 companions, the vast bulk of his followers, in sweltering heat to give a 5-hour sermon 3 months before his death after announcing that he would not be in this world much longer, placed a black turban on Ali (as)’s head and said, ‘Of whomsoever I am Maula ‘Ali is his Maula’ immediately followed by Umar formally conveying his congratulations – the coronation, timing and audience leaving us with no doubt that Maula meant Master has intentionally been reinterpreted to prop up the shaky base of Sunni Imamate, hence the defining of Maula as friend, in other words all that Rasulullah (s) did was tell his Sahaba was ‘Listen up lads. Ali’s my mate.’
The Sunni foundation on Imamate is that the appointment of an Imam is crucial, the public must select him, his credentials are irrelevant, a view epitomised the Shaykh of the Wahabi sect Ibn Taymiyyah who said:
“sixty years of rule under a tyrant imam are better than a night without an imam”.
Al Siyasah, by Ibn Taymiyya, page 173, taken from ‘The political thought of Ibn Taymiyah’, by Professor Qamarudeen Qazi page 32
Commenting on this saying Professor Khan writes on the same pages 31-32:
“Like the earlier Muslim jurists and theologians Ibn Taymiyyah, too, is haunted by the fear of anarchy and disintegration of the Muslim community, and, therefore, recommends that even the worst form of tyranny may be preferred to disorder and chaos”.
‘The political thought of Ibn Taymiyah’, pages 31-32
The clear weakness of this position became to clear to all fifty years after the death of the Prophet (s) when the two positions on Imamate collided with one another, taking the shape of the divinely appointed Imam (Hussain (as)) opposing the people appointed Imam Yazeed. Whilst today’s Sunni rightly supports the position of Imam Hussain (as) they cannot escape the fact that despite Yazeed’s trasgressions he was deemed the sixth khalifa of the Porphet (s) as stated in Mullah Ali Qari’s book on Sunni aqaid, ‘Sharh Fiqh Akbar’. If today’s Nasibi support Yazeed, they are merely protecting the fondations of Sunni Imamate that was born at Saqifa, why else do we have Ansar.Org stating in their article on Mu’awiya ‘
Al-Hafedh Abdulghani Al-Maqdisay says: “His (Yazeed’s) caliphate is rightful, sixty of the companions of the prophet peace be upon him gave him the allegiance. Ibn`Umar was one of them.”
Qayd Al-Shareed min Akhbar Yazeed, by Ibn Khaldoun, p.70
Or the commentary of the 12 khalifa hadith provided by the modern day Hanafi scholar, Hakeem Mahmood Ahmad Zafar Sialkoti, on page 261 of his book (Urdu) “Sayyadina Mu’awiya (ra), Shakhsiat aur kirdaar” [Personality and Character of Sayyadina Mu'awiya (ra)]:
“These 12 khalifas are good natured, pious men and in their reigns Islam shall be protected and respectable, their reigns shall be in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah and in their reign the rule of justice shall be apparent. Mulla Ali Qari put forward these 12 as “Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Mu’awiya, Yazeed, Abdul Malik bin Marwan, Walid bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan, Sulayman bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan, Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Yazeed bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan, Hasham bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan – taken from Sharah Fiqh Akbar page 184; Fathul Bari Volume 3 page 182) According to Mulla Ali Qari’s above statements its quite evident that Mu’awiya is a Rightly Guided Khalifa”.
Sayyadina Mu’awiya (ra); Shakhsiat aur kirdaar, page 261
By the same token, Yazeed is also a rightly guided khalifa since he describes the twelve as rightly guided, ruling by the Qur’an and Sunnah. Our readers will need to decide which school of thought makes sense, that wherein Imam Husayn (as) the third divinely appointed Imam who stated:
God gave preference to Muhammad before all his creatures. He graced him with prophethood and chose him for His message. After He had warned his servants and warned them of what he had been sent with, God took him to Himself. We are his family those who possess his authority [awliya]; those who have been made his trustees [awsiya], and his inheritors, we are those who have more right to his position among the people than anyone else.
History of Tabari Volume 18 page 32
Compare this stance to that presented by Abdullah ibn Umar, one that sums up the Sunni concept of Imamate:
“I heard the Prophet saying, ‘A flag will be fixed for every betrayer on the Day of Resurrection,’ and we have given the oath of allegiance to this person (Yazeed) in accordance with the conditions enjoined by Allah and His Apostle
Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 88, Number 227
The caliphate of Yazeed and all the other despots that claimed to be the ‘Khalifas of the Prophet (s)’ was a direct result of adhering to a belief system wherein man appointed the Imam to lead them whereas the belief system where only Allah (swt) is deemed wise and capable enough of chosing a perfect guide for its people can never be found adhering to the people who were not even close to the Islamic principles, as Amir u’l-Mu’minin ‘Ali bin A Talib (as), said:
“The one who disobeys Allah is not to be obeyed; and verily obedience is of Allah and of His Apostle and those vested with authority. Verily, Allah ordered (the people) to obey the Apostle because he was sinless and clean (pure), who would not tell the people to disobey Allah; and verily He ordered (the people) to obey those vested with authority because they are sinless and clean (pure), and would not tell the people to disobey Allah”.
‘Ilalu ‘sh shara’i’ by Shaykh Saduq, Volume 1, page 123
- Defining the concept of Imamate
- The doctrine of Imamah from a Sunni perspective
- The Takwini and Tashri’i authorities of Prophets and Imams
- The doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part I)
- The doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part II)
- The Doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part III)
- The doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part IV)
- The Doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part V)
- The doctrine of Imamate from the Qur’an
- Obeying the Ul’il Amr
- Nasibi objection at the false claimants of Imamate
- The Nasibi methodology of producing the Abdullah Ibn Saba card to negate the doctrine of Imamate
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