Chapter Eight: The doctrine of Imamate from a Shi’a perspective (Part IV)


In this chapter we will discuss the following topics raised by Nawasib in their respective booklets:

[1]: Prophetic allegiance to the Imams
[2]: Wasilah of the Imams
[3]: The wilayah in previous divine books
[4]: The equal rank of the Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (as)
[5]: The superiority of the Imams over previous Prophets
[6]: Superiority of the Imams over the Angels
[7]: The Imams meeting with angels

[1]: Prophetic allegiance to the Imams

Afriqi states

The Covenant of the Imams was taken from them (the Ambiya’), the Mala’ikah and the entire creation.

Numani also cites a similar tradition

Numani states:

It is narrated in Usul-e-Kafi that Imam Jafar Sadiq said: “Our Wilayah (authority on men and other creatures) is just like the Wilayah and authority of God. Every Prophet sent by God was sent with this commandment and the command to proclaim it”.

Reply – The earlier Prophets were granted Prophethood after the acceptance of Wilayah of Ali (as)

Nasibis without knowing that this reality is quoted in their own books start to accuse Shias of degrading the Prophets (as), but no just person should be having any problems with regard to this belief, because then how would the promise of a Just Islamic Government of Allah (swt) would be fulfilled? The promise that he had made to the Prophets (as) and had taken oath that they would bear all the persecutions and hardships in this world with determination and courage for the fulfilment of that promise, which will Inshallah be fulfilled through Imam Mahdi (as).

If the Nasibis are still not satisfied then we present this tradition from sources of their own sect. Under the commentary of verse 55 of Surah Zukhraf scholars of Ahl’ul Sunnah records:

عبد الله بن مسعود قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أتاني ملك فقال يامحمد واسأل من أرسلنا من قبلك من رسلنا على ما بعثوا قال قلت على ما بعثوا قال على ولايتك وولاية علي بن أبي طالب

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud narrated that Holy Prophet (s) said: “An angel came to me and said: “O Muhammad! Ask the messengers sent before you that how were they designated as messengers.” I inquired that how were they designated? The angel replied “They were designated on the affirmation of your and Ali Ibn Abi Talib’s Wilayah”

  1. Al-kashaf wal Bayan fi Tafsir al Quran by Abu Ishaq Thalabi. This tafsir can be downloaded from the following Salafi link
  2. Tafseer Gharaib al Qur’an, part 25, Surah al-Zukhraf, page 67.
  3. Shawahid al-Tanzeel, Volume 2, page 224
  4. Tareekh Damishq, Volume 42 page 241
  5. Marifat al-Uloom al-Hadith by Imam Hakim, Volume 1 page 153
  6. Al-Manaqeb by al-Khawarezmi, page 312

After citing this tradition, Mullah Nazimuddin and Imam Thalabi have not tried to prove it weak or unauthentic in any way, which means that this Hadith is authentic and on the same lines Imam Hakim stated:

“The hadith is sole narration by Ali bin Jabir from Muhammad bin Khaled from Muhammad bin Fudhail, we didn’t write it except from (the narration of) Ibn al-Mudhafar and to us he is considered Hafiz, Thiqah and secure”

So when the Prophethood of past Prophets was dependent on their affirming the Wilayah of Maula Ali (as), then this in itself denotes the superior rank of the Wilayah of Ali over past Prophets.


[2]: Wasilah of the Imams

Afriqi states:

3. The du‘as of the Ambiya’ were answered because they invoked the wasilah of the Imams. (16 narrations)

Reply One - Adam (as) made tawassal through the Ahl’ul bayt (as)

We would urge Afriqi to conduct some research into his own sources before attacking the Shi’a on this point, for the texts of Ahl’ul Sunnah also confirm that Prophets made tawassal by calling upon the Ahl’ul bayt (as). They confirmed this in their commentaries of this verse:

“Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration and his Lord turned toward him; for He is Oft-Returning Most Merciful (Surah Baqarah verse 37)”

In this regard we shall cite two narrations from Tafseer Durre Manthur, by Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah al Hafidh Jaladeen Suyuti:

“Hadhrat ‘Ali narrates that he asked Rasulullah ‘Which words did Allah (swt) teach Adam. He (swt) replied ‘O Allah I seek repentance through Muhammad and his family”.

“Ibn al Najjar narrates that Ibn Abbas asked Rasulullah (s) in connection with the above matter, and Rasul (s) stated, Adam said “Through Muhammad, ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Hussain, please accept my repentance. Allah (swt) then accepted his repentance”.

  1. Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 1 pages 60-61 by Imam al-Hafidh Suyuti
  2. Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Mahammad Abdul Rauf al-Munawi also recorded this on the authority of Ibn Abbas in his book
    Itihaf Sa’il bima Le Fatima Min al-Manaqib, page 76
  3. and so did Ibn Maghazli in:
    Manaqib Ameer’ul Momineen page 59
  4. Yanabi al-Muwwadah, Volume 1 page 288
  5. Syedat al-Nisa Ahlul Janah by Abdulaziz al-Shanawey, page 159
  6. Shawahed al-Tanzeel by Haskani, Volume 1, page 101

Modern day Hanafi scholar Allamah Saaim Chisti in his excellent biography of Imam ‘Ali (as) called Mushkil Kushah – Volume 2 pages 310-317 also affirmed that Prophet Adam (as) sought salvation through these personalities and as proof he cited several Sunni sources such as Tafseer Durre Manthur, Manaqib by Ibn Maghazli, Jazhb al Kulub page 338 by the renowned Indian Hadith scholar Shah Abdul Haqq Dehlavi, Yanabi al mawaddah Volume 1 page 97, and Nazathul Majalis, Volume 2 page 228 by Abdul Rahman Safori.

Moreover we read:

“It is narrated by Abu Huraira that Rasul (saww) said, when Allah (swt) created Adam (as), and when the soul entered his body, Adam (as) looked towards the garden of heaven and saw 5 bright faces. Adam (as) was amazed that they were prostrating towards Allah (swt). Adam (as) asked Allah (swt), that who are these five faces who are like me? Allah (swt) said, that all of these five will be from your progeny, but as you are made from clay, they are created from my Divine Nur. And I have created the entire creation for them only and their names are from My Names. That is I am Mahmood and he is Mohammad, I am Alaa and he is Ali, I am Fatir and she is Fatima, I am Ahsaan and he is Hassan and I am Mohsin and he is Hussain. I swear by my Divine majesty, that if anybody does not respects them or even that does not believe in any one of them, then I will throw them in eternal punishment. So, O’ Adam, understand well that all these five are my chosen ones, and for them I will forgive people and shower my compassion. And if you (Adam) or anyone from your progeny befalls any hardship, then ask me with the intercession of these five for help, verily you will find me most beneficient. Rasul (saww) also said, that whoever wants happiness and peace in their life, then they should believe in all five of us as one, and love us and pray to Allah (swt) with intercession of our Names in their prayers.”
Musharaful Mahbubeen Page 411 & 412 (published in Calcutta)

There is a very similarly worded narration to this on the authority of Abu Hurraira in Faraid al Simthayn Volume 1 page 36 [Beirut] and Arjahu al Muttalib page 575 by Abdullah Amritsari citing Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani with a chain upto Abu Hurraira.

The tradition here tells us that Adam (as) was taught by his Creator (swt) to supplicate by taking these names as a wasila, and then Allah (swt) provides guidance to Adam (as) that anyone experiencing hardship should take their holy names as a means of approach. This guidance applies to all people, whether they are ordinary people, saints or Prophets. Accordingly, if there are Shi’a traditions wherein past Prophets (s) supplicated by taking the names of our Imams then they were merely implementing the teachings that Allah (swt) had bestowed on Adam (as).

Reply Two- A Deobandi’s claim that Nuh (as) made supplication through the ‘rightly guided khalifas’

Since the 1980′s in Pakistan, the Hanafi Deobandi Group “Sipah-e-Sahaba” infected by Wahabi virus has initiated a baseless takfeer campaign against the Shi’a. This has included whipping up hatred in rallies, writing books, and adhering to the Sunnah of Mu’awiyah by killing thousands of Shi’a academics, professionals, poets and religious scholars. Their late leader Zia-ur-Rehman Faruqi as part of his efforts produced a book “Gustakh e Sahaba ki Shar’yee Saza” (The Shariyee punishment for those that disrespect the Sahaba). Whilst this Nasibi simply rants off the fatwas of his Nasibi Imams, he also takes the opportunity to set out the virtues of the Sahaba including this wonderful reference:

“When Hadhrat Nuh would construct some parts of the Ark, at night the earth creatures would eat away at it. Hadhrat Nuh (as) complained before Allah (swt). Allah (swt) told him to “recite the names of my great creations”. Nuh (as) asked “Who are they?”. Allah (swt) said “My Prophet Muhammad and his companions Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and ‘Ali”.
Gustakh e Sahaba ki Shar’yee Saza, page 11, Publishers Dar ul Ishat al Ma’arif Faislabad

We read in Surah as Saffat verse 83:

“Verily Ibraheem was a Shi’a of Nuh”.

The rank of Nuh (as) was greater than that of Prophet Ibraheem (as). Consider this Hadith, an Ul’il Uzm Prophet turn to Allah (swt) for assistance to escape from his dilemma, Allah (swt) advises him to take the names of Hadhrat Muhammad (s) Abu, Umar, Uthman and ‘Ali. We might have deemed this narration acceptable had Muh (as) been told to take the name of Rasulullah (s), after all he was the greatest of Prophets, yet to believe that an Ul’il Uzm Prophet takes the names of three fallible Khalifas, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman both disrespects the station of Prophethood and clearly depicts these three Sahaba as greater that Prophet Nuh (as). This narration shows that in the eyes of these Nasibis the station of being a Sahaba is greater than Prophethood.


[3]: The wilayah in previous divine books

Numani states:

…it is stated that the seventh Imam, Abul Hasan Musa Kazim, son of Imam Jafar Sadiq, (once) said:-”The Imamate of Ali is recorded in all the Books of God brought by the various Prophets and God sent no Messenger who did not bring the command of God to believe in the Apostleship of Mohammad (peace be upon him) and succession to it of Hazrat Ali and to proclaim it”. (p. 276)

Reply One: Sunni source about the Wilayah of Ali bin Abi Talib (as) in previous divine books

Allamah Nooruddin Abdur Rahman Jaami records this event in his famed work Shawahid un Nubuwat:

“During the Battle of Sifeen, the army under the command of Ali were unable to find any water. There was a church nearby and Ali went there to ask the people inside where water could be obtained from. They replied that water could only be found several miles away. The army then asked Ali if they could go and drink from it, Ali told them not to worry. The army began to travel west, all of a sudden he stopped and pointed to the ground and told the army to start digging there. They began to dig, and they found a big stone, Ali (as) told them to lift the stone, but they were unable to do so. Ali, then pulled the stone out with his hand, and fresh water began to spurt out of the ground. A Christian priest had been watching the episode, he went up to Ali and asked: ‘Are you a Prophet?’ to which Ali replied ‘No’, the priest then asked ‘Are you an Angel?’, Ali replied ‘No’. The Priest then said ‘You are not a Prophet or Angel, so what are you?’ Ali replied ‘I am a wasi of the Seal of all Prophet’s, Muhummud al Mustapha’. The Priest then said ‘Take out your hand so that I can embrace Islam’. Ali told him what to say (i.e. the Shahada) and the Priest then said the following ‘I testify there is no God but Allah. I testify that Muhummud is the Prophet of Allah, and I testify that Ali is the wasi of the Prophet Muhummud’
‘Ali then asked ‘Why did you change your religion so quickly?’ He replied ‘This stone was here. The former priest lived here, as we had read in our books, and heard from ours scholars that water flows from here, from a special rock that can only be located by a Prophet or his Wasi. When I witnessed you remove the rock my waiting was complete, I had found that which I was searching for’. Upon hearing this ‘Ali replied ‘All praise be to Allah (swt) who has mentioned me in this book’.

Shawahid un Nubuwat, by Abdul Rahman Jami, (Urdu edition printers Maktaba Nabavi, Gunjbaksh Rd, Lahore), p 287

This reference serves as clear evidence that indications about the Wasi of Muhammad (s) Maula Ali (as) was in the divine scriptures, if later corrupt editions have expunged such references then questions should be asked of the Christian hierarchy not the Shi’a.

Reply Two: According to the Sunni Ulema, Rasulullah’s prophecy of twelve khalifas was mentioned in the Torah

Allamah Shabeer Ahmad Uthmani (d. 1949) in his Tafseer of Surah Maida dealing with the 12 Isralite Chieftans refers to the 12 Khalifas as follows:

“In a Hadith on the authority Jabir bin Sumra we are told that Prophet foretold of this Ummah having 12 Khalifas, there number is the same as the Banu Isralite Chieftans and Qur’an scholars have cited that the Torah says that God told Ismaeel that 12 Chieftains would come from his lineage, the twelve are those being referred to in the Hadith from Jabir”
Tafseer Uthmani page 144

If the Sunni scholars of Tafsir have commented that Rasulullah’s prophecy of twelve khalifas had already been predicted in the Torah, then why the objection if we believe that this refers to our 12 Imams? Think about this logically, would Allah (swt) in his divinely revealed book referred to the coming of twelve khalifas from the lineage of Ismail, 12 khalifas that according to Sunni books of aqaid included filthy Yazid, Muawiya and Walid? Why would God reveal the blessed coming of such individuals? Would the Shi’a position not be better, namely that the Torah predicted the coming of 12 khalifas from the Ahl’ul bayt (as) of Rasulullah (s), perfect guides who through their inheritance of the knowledge of the Prophet (s) were designated by Allah (swt) to guide the Muslim Ummah?

Reply Three – The Chief Christian Priest of Najran identified recognised the Ahl’ul bayt (as) from Divine Scriptures

We read the following commentary in relation to the event of Mubahila when Rasulullah (s) debated with the Christians of Najran:

“Rasulullah departed from his home in a manner wherein Hadhrat Husayn (r) was in his arms, he (s) was holding Hadhrat Hussain (r), Fatima (r) was behind him and Hadhrat ‘Ali [k] was behind her, and he said ‘When I supplicate you say Ameen’
Upon seeing this the Chief Priest of the Christians said ‘I can see those faces that if they supplicate before God, they will be capable of moving mountains, hence do not enter into this Mubahila, otherwise al will perish and no Christians shall remain upon the earth”

1. Tafseer Kashaf, Volume 1 page 434
2. Tafseer Mazhari, Volume 2 page 173

The words of the Christian Priest ‘I can see those faces…’ clearly points to the fact that he recognised something about these individuals, which indicates that this recognition was based on their descriptions in divine scriptures. The Priest upon seeing these holy personalities recollected some indications of them, which is why he made it clear that he recognised their esteemed position before Allah (swt) and warned the Christians to withdraw from the mubahila. It is indeed unfortunate that a Christian Priest was able to the immense rank of these individuals, but so called Muslims of today refuse to recognise their esteemed rank.

Reply Four: According to Ahl’ul Sunnah the Torah contained a complete description of their 2nd caliph Umar bin Khattab

If still Nawasib have any objection over the Shia traditions showing that the Wilayah of our first Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as) was present in previous books then they should also reply as to why do they believe that there was a complete description of their second Caliph Umar bin Khatab in previous divine books? In History of al-Tabari (English version) by Imam Ibn Jarir Tabari we read this advice of Ka’b al-Ahbar to Umar:

“Appoint your Successor, Commander of the Faithful, for you are going to die in three days”. Umar asked how he knew this. He replied, “I find it in God’s Book, the Torah”. Umar said, “Can you actually find Umar bin al Khattab in the Torah?” Ka’b replied “Indeed no, but I do find a complete description of you and also that your allotted life span has come to an end”.
History of al Tabari (English edition), Volume 14 page 90


[4]: The equal rank of the Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (as)

Numani states:

The Imams are equal in rank to the Last Prophet, but superior and higher to all other Prophets and creatures of God:In section Al-Hujjah of Usul-e-Kafi, there is a long discourse by Imam Jafar Sadiq on the superior rank and position of Hazrat Ali and other Imams. Imam Jafar Sadiq says:”I act on the commands brought by Ali and refrain from what he forbade. His superiority is like that of Mohammad, and Mohammad was superior to all the creatures of the Lord. Anyone objecting to an order of Ali is like him who objects to an order of God and the Prophet and anyone denying or repudiating him in a big or small matter is like him who attributes partners to Allah. Ali was the Gate of God and except through him, no one could reach God by any other gate and he was the Path of God and whoever took to any other path was destined to be ruined. The superiority and excellence endures, similarly, for all the other Imams, one after the other”.

Reply one

First of all, we would like to point out that while quoting this tradition from al-Kafi, the Nasibi author has committed dishonesty in the translation of first sentence which we have underlined. The actual sentence is:

“What is said by Ameer al-Mo’imeen (as) should be taken and what is forbidden by him should be refrained from…”
Usool al-Kafi, volume 2, page 57 (Arabic-Urdu), Kitab al-Hujjah, chapter 14, Published in Karachi.

Reply Two

Here we would like to point out that according to Allamah Shibli Naumani:

“The rank of Imamat is actually a reflection of Prophethood”
Al-Faruq, page 325 (Published by Maktaba Madina, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore)

Shah Ismaeel Shaheed also stated:

“The Imam is the representative of the Prophet, and is the shadow (zill) of Prophethood…”
Mansab-e-Imamate, page 105

Imam Rabbani sheds light on ‘Zill’ in the following manner:

“The zill has no built-in value of its own, but the built-in value of the original which has manifested itself in the zill, therefore the original is closer to the zill than the zill’s own self because the zill is the reflection of the original, not of its own self.”
Maktubaat, Volume 3 page 339 letter No. 1 (Idarah Islamiyah. Lahore)

So obviously, the reflection or shadow (Zill) of a certain object is just like that object, its not like that the shadow/reflection of a pencil will look like a shadow of a book and vice versa rather putting a glance at the shadow of a pen, one could easily understand the main object whose reflection is this i.e the reflection of a pen will be showing certain characteristics of pen enabling one to understand. Similarly, the Imamate and Prophethood [Imam and Prophet] (to a certain extent) are also alike as propagated by Shibli Naumani and Shah Ismail Shaheed.

Reply Three

When Maula Ali (as) himself refers to himself as a servant from the servants of the Prophet (s) how can Nasibi such as this present such traditions to falsely portray Maula Ali as equal to the Prophet in all respects? Other than the station of Prophethood (s), his station of knowledge, obedience, purity was on par with the Prophet (s) to some extent and that too according to the statements of Holy Prophet (s) himself.

During the event of Mubahila Allah (swt) deemed Maula Ali (as) to be the nafs (self) of the Prophet (s). Whilst logically its hard to accept that two physical bodies are one we have to accept that souls refers to the characteristics that were shared with Prophethood save that of being a Prophet.

We shall now present those traditions wherein the Prophet (s) and ‘Ali (as) were on equal station.

First equal rank – In creation

Allamah Mohibudeen Tabari in Riyadh al Nadira, in Volume 3 page 108, narrates this tradition on the authority of Salman al Farsi:

“The Prophet (s) said ‘Me and ‘Ali were created from one Nur, fourteen thousand years before the creation of Adam. When Adam was created our Nur was split in to two, one part went in me, the other part went in ‘Ali”
Riyadh al Nadira, in Volume 3 page 108

Second equal rank – In purity

Renowned Sunni scholar known for harboring anti-Shia sentiments Shaikh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri in his book ‘Maraja al-Bahrayn fi Manaqib al-Hasnayn’ page 48, records this tradition:

“Umme Salma (ra) narrates that she heard the Prophet (s) say ‘It is never halaal for a person in a state of Janaba or menstruation to enter this Mosque, apart from the Prophet of Allah (swt), ‘Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain. With the exception of them no one else is permitted to enter the Mosque of the Prophet (s). Go forth! I have told you the names to ensure that you are not lead astray”.

[Sunan Bayhaqi Volume 7 page 65 Hadith number 13178-13179, Kanz al Ummal Volume 14 page 101 Hadith number 34183, Tareekh Ibn Asakir Volume 14 page 166, Fadail min al Seerah Volume 1 page 283 [by Ibn Katheer], Khasais al Kubra Volume 2 page 424]
Maraja Al-Bahrayn fi Manaqib al-Hasnayn, Page 48

Third equal rank – In lineage

Dr Tahir ul Qadri al Hanafi in Kanzul Muttalib fee manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib page 158 records this narration:

“Hadhrat Jabir bin Abdullah narrates that he heard the Prophet (s) say ‘Listen people have different roots, whilst be and ‘Ali are from the same root”
[1] Muajim al Awsat Vol 3 page 263 Hadith 1601 [2] Majmal Zawaid, Vol 9 page 1000 [3] Al-Firdos by Dailami, Vol 4 page 303 Hadith 6888.

Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib Ali ibn Abi Talib, page 158

Fourth equal rank – In discharging obligations

Dr Tahir ul Qadri al-Hanafi in Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib page 73 records this narration:

‘Ali is from me and I am from him and no one can discharge my duties save him’

[Sunan Tirmidhi Volume 5 page 636, Sunan Ibn Majah Volume 1 page 33]
Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib page 73

You will also be able to locate this tradition in the following esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal Volume 3 page 483
  2. Kanz al Ummal Volume 6 page 153
  3. Sawaiqh al Muhriqa Chapter 9, part 2 page 73
  4. Mustadrak al Hakim Volume 3 page 120

Fifth equal rank – In love and hatred

We read in al Mustadrak al Hakim Volume 3 page 130:

Whoever loves ‘Ali, love me, Whoever hates ‘Ali, hates me.

Imam Hakim said:

“This hadith is Sahih according to the conditions of two sheikhs”

  1. Mustadrak al Hakim, Vol 3 Kitab Ma`arfat alSahabah, No. 4623
  2. Kanz ul Ummal, Volume 10 Hadith. 32902
  3. Al-Jama’a Al-Saghir by Al-Syuti, Volume 6 No. 8319

Whoever loves ‘Ali, love me and whoever loves me, loves Allah (swt). Whoever hates ‘Ali, hates me and whoever hates me, hates Allah (swt).

  1. M`uajam al Kabir al Tabarani, Baab Ba`a, No. 18534
  2. Muajam al Awsat al Tabarani, Baab al-Aein, No. 4907
  3. Al-Iste’ab fi Tameiz Al-Asahab, Baab Ali
  4. Musnad al Bazar, No. 3296
  5. Musnad Ahmed bin Hanbal,Fadail Ali bin Abi Talib No. 1057

Ibn Kathir recorded:

“You are master in this world and hereafter, Whoever loves you (Ali), love me and my lover is Allah’s (swt) lover, your enemy is my enemy and my enemy is Allah’s enemy, woe to who will hate you after I pass away”
Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah, Volume 7 page 392

Sixth equal rank – In obedience

“Whoever obeys ‘Ali, obeys me, whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, whoever disobeys ‘Ali disobeys me, whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah”
[Kanz ul Ummal, Hadith numbers 32973]

  1. Kanz ul Ummal, Page 614, Hadith numbers 32974 & 32977
  2. Mustadrak al Hakim, Vol. 3, Page 128
  3. Riyadh ul Nadira, Vol. 3, Page 110

Seventh equal rank- In authority

Dr Tahir ul Qadri in the Ghadir Declaration wherein he recorded 51 Hadith in relation to the event of Ghadir, records this as the fifth narration:

“It is narrated by BarA’ bin ‘Azib (r): We were on a journey with AllAh’s Messenger (s). (On the way) we stayed at Ghadir Khum. There it was announced that the prayer was about to be offered. The space under two trees was cleaned for AllAh’s Messenger (s). Then he offered the zuhr (noon) prayer, and, holding ‘Ali’s hand, he said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the lives of the believers? They said: Why not! He said: Don’t you know that I am even nearer than the life of every believer? They said: Why not! The narrator says that he said while holding ‘Ali’s hand: One who has me as his master has ‘Ali as his master. O AllAh! Befriend the one who befriends him (‘Ali) and be the enemy of one who is his enemy. The narrator says that after this ‘Umar (bin al-KhattAb (r)) met ‘Ali (r) and said to him: O Ibn Abi TAlib! Congratulations, you have become the master of every male and female believer, morning and evening (for ever).”

[Ahmad bin Hambal related it from BarA’ bin ‘Azib through two different chains of transmission in al-Musnad (4:281); Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Musannaf (12:78 # 12167); Muhib Tabari, DhakhA’ir-ul-‘uqbA fi manAqib dhawi al-qurbA (p.125), ar-RiyAd-un-nadrah fi manAqib-il-‘ashrah (3:126, 127); Hindi, Kanz-ul-‘ummAl (13:133, 134 # 36420); Ibn ‘AsAkir, TArikh Dimashq al-kabir (5:167, 168); Ibn Athir, Asad-ul-ghAbah (4:103); and Ibn Kathir in al-BidAyah wan-nihAyah (4:169; 5:464)].
The Ghadir Declaration, page 25

This Hadith proves that Rasulullah (s) and Maula Ali (as) are equal in relation to authority.

Eighth equal rank – In abandonment

“Whoever leaves Ali, leaves me, whoever leaves me, leaves Allah” [Kanz ul Ummal, hadith numbers 32974 - 32976, narrated by Abdullah ibne`Umar {through two chains} and Abu Dharr Ghaffari (ra).
al Mustadrak al Hakim, Vol. 3, Page 146

Ninth equal rank – In causing pain

Dr Tahir ul Qadri al Hanafi in Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib page 102-103 records a lengthy narration, that includes these words of the Prophet (s):

“…Whoever causes pain to ‘Ali, causes pain to me”

[1] Musnad Ibn Hanbal, Volume page 383, [2] Mustadrak al Hakim, Volume 3 page 131 [3] Majmal Zawaid, Vol 9 page 129 [4] Fadail Sahabah by Ahmed bin Habal, Vol 2 page 579 No. 981 [5] Tarikh al Kabeer by Bukhari, page vol 6
Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib page 102-103

Tenth equal rank – In being abused

Then Dr. Tahir ul Qadri al Hanafi in Kanz’ul Muttalib fee manaqib Ali ibn Abi Talib page 103 records a narration from Umme Salmah that includes these words of the Prophet (s):

“Whoever curses Ali, curses me”

[1] Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal Volume 6 page 323, [2] al Mustadrak al Hakim Volume 3 page 130, [3] Sunan Nasai Volume 5 page 133, [4] Majma al Zawaid Volume 9 page 130

Eleventh Equal rank – Jealousy of them

“Whoever is jealous of ‘Ali, is jealous of me, whoever is jealous of me is a Kaafir”
Kanz al Ummal Volume 11, page 626

Twelfth equal rank – Aggression against them

“Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said regarding ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Hussain (Allah be pleased with them all): I am at peace with those with whom you make peace and I am at war with those with whom you make war”

  1. Sunan Ibn Majah, English translation by Muhammad Tufail Ansari, Volume 1 page 81
  2. Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p767, Tradition #1350
  3. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, Vol.3, P149

Thirteenth qual rank – In dispensing justice

We will evidence this from the following Sunni books:

  1. Tareekh Baghdadi Volume 5 page 37 Dhikr Ahmad ibn Ahmad bin Abu Bakr al Tamadh
  2. Manaqib by Ibne Maghazli al Shaafi page 98,
  3. Kanz al Ummal Volume 11 page 604
  4. Riyadh al Nadira Volume page 154

All four books then have the testimony of Abu Bakr:

“Verily Allah (swt) and his Prophet (s) spoke the truth, I heard Rasulullah (s) say on the night of Hijrah as we left Makka ‘My hand and Ali’s hand are EQUAL in dispensing justice’.”

Reply Four: Hadith Manzilah proves the equal rank of Prophet (s) and Maula Ali (as)

We read in Holy Quran:

“Musa said: O Allah! Assign me a Vizier from my family, (that is) my brother Haroon. Add to my strength through him, and make him share my task: that we may celebrate thy praise without stint… (Allah) said: “We granted your requests, O Musa”. (20:29-36).

Commenting on this verse al Mawardi writes:

“Musa does not restrict himself to speaking of wazirate alone rather refers also to a consolidation of his strength and an association with him in his affair”
al Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, by Abu’l Hasan al Mawardi, English translation by Dr Asadullah Yate, p 40

The Salafi group Al Quran Society, in their commentary of the above verse write:

“Musa realised the great responsibility entrusted to him. He prayed first for his self fortification and then he asked for the hand of his brother Harun to help fulfill this mission in an amicable way. Musa, among the Prophets of Allah, is unique in that, as a Prophet, he is assisted by his brother”.
The Study of Al Qur’an, Correspondance Course Lesson 9, by Al Quran Society “Musa and Harun” page 6

Whilst we agree with their comment that Musa (as) asked Allah to provide his brother Harun (as) as his helper, we would ask why they have formulated amnesia at the fact that Rasulullah (s) referred to Imam Ali (as) as his brother! Musa (as) and Harun (as) were both given equal task of propagating the Deen of Allah (swt), they were EQUAL in this respects and Rasulullah (s)’s said ‘Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa’. Other than Nubuwwah all other stations were the same. If there is any doubt regarding this then allow us to recite the supplication of Rasulullah (s) that matches this one, as is recorded in Riyadh al Nadira Volume 3 page 151:

“Asma narrates that the Prophet (s) said “Listen I supplicated before Allah in the same manner, that my brother Musa had done. ‘O Allah make my brother ‘Ali my Vizier, and strengthen my back through him. Make my brother ‘Ali a partner in this task, so that we can praise You together”.

Clearly a key aspect of being made a partner in a task is to have access to the tools to deliver that role, namely to have the knowledge to implement this task, in this regard Sunni scholar Ghazzali made a very important comment:

“One tradition has it that the Messenger of God (God bless him and give him peace took Ali as his brother, making him his partner in knowledge…”
Al Ghazzali, on the duties of brotherhood page 85, a part translation of Ihya Ulum id Din, rendered into English by Mutar Holland



[5]: The superiority of the Imams over previous Prophets

Afriqi states:

It would be impossible to document here all the narrations that deal with the status of the Imams, but it might be just as informative to quote the chapters under which they have been documented in a source that is described as a “veritable encyclopaedia of the knowledge of the Imams”: Bihar al-Anwar of ‘Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi (died 1111AH), widely reputed to be the greatest and most influential Shi‘i scholar of the Safawid era. During his lifetime he occupied the office of Shaykh al-Islam in Isfahan, capital of the Safawids, and even to this day his works are indispensable to the Shi‘i clergy as well as their lay public. We quote here the name of the chapter, as well as the number of narrations he documents in each chapter:
1.The Imams possess more knowledge than the Ambiya’ (13 narrations)11
2.The Imams are superior to the Ambiya’ and the entire creation.

These two quotes need to be looked at together. We believe that the Imams are superior to the Prophets on account of two factors:

  • Their religious duty
  • Their Knowledge

Reply One – The Qur’an confirms that the divine rank of Imamate is superior to the divine rank of Prophethood

Hadhrat Ibraheem (as) was initially given the designation of Prophet of Allah (swt) and whilst in this position was tried by Allah (swt) with certain commands, leading to Allah (swt) stating:

[YUSUFALI 2:124] And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make thee an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.”

This divine verse tells us that the rank of Imamate is superior to that of Prophethood, because Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) was a Prophet (s) but was further tested by Allah during his prophethood, and when he successfully passed the tests (which were the test on his life, leaving his wife, sacrificing his son), he was granted the position of Imamat. The Imamate of Ibrahim (as) was connected directly to the manner in which he had confronted the tests and trials of prophethood. After he had displayed his strength by passing through all those stages, God revealed to him that he was to be further honored with the lofty office of Imamate, with responsibility for the inner guidance of mankind, the refinement of their souls, the maturing of their spiritual capacities, and, in general, the preservation of the truth.

We should point out that Ibrahim (as) was addressed by Allah (swt) in this manner when he was approaching the final part of his life and at a time when he was fully established in the rank of prophet and already had responsibility for the guidance of his ummah in matters of belief and conduct. God nonetheless promised him an additional station, which proves that the office of Imamate, with the ability to exercise inner influence on the ummah in order to advance on the inner path, was a higher and more exalted office than his prophethood because Ibrahim was first tested and then after passing the test was given Imamate. This demonstrates that the position of Imamat is higher in degree than prophethood which he (as) attained after acquiring more qualifications. Degrees are always granted in ascending order. We have not seen any person who got his Ph.D. degree first, and then gets his highschool diploma. Exams go through stages, each level is more difficult but the educational qualification is higher, let us provide an example:

Under the English Curriculum stages of attainment are GCSE’s, A levels, Degree, Masters, PhD. Each qualification obtained is higher than the other. It is common sense that you don’t obtain a PhD and then seek to pass GCSE’s that would be a clear backward step! The PhD is a rank via which one excels above others, and that is the peak of educational excellence.

Taking this example on board, when Allah (swt) examines Nabi Ibraheem (as) and then designates him an Imam, it is logical that the station of Imamate is superior to Prophethood. Also worthy of note is the fact that the above verse of Quran (2:124) proves that Imamate is a divine covenant, Allah assigns the Imamate to those that are just, it is not a station which is at the disposal of men who can grant it to whomever they see fit.

Below is the Sunni commentary of Yusuf Ali on the above verse (2:124):

Kalimat, literally “words”, here used in the mystic sense of God’s Will or Decree or Purpose. This verse may be taken to be the sum of the verses following. In everything Abraham fulfilled God’s wish: he purified God’s house; he built the sacred refuge of the Kaba; he submitted his will to God’s (referring to sacrifice of his son)
He was promised the leadership of the world; he pleaded for his progeny, and his prayer was granted, with the limitation that if his progeny was false to God, God’s promise did not reach the people who proved themselves false.

As we see, the Qur’an clearly justifies the Shi’a point of view in this matter. But again, since Prophet Abraham, Prophet Muhammad, and few others were also Imams, such belief (i.e., Imamat higher than prophethood) does not undermine their position. Muhammad (s) was a Prophet, a Messenger, and an Imam. With his death, the door of prophethood and messengership was closed for ever. But the door of Imamat (leadership) remained open because he had successors (Caliphs; deputies). Successor means a person who succeeds the position of the previous one. It is the obvious that successors of Prophet Muhammad did not share anything about his position of prophethood and messengership. What remained for them was Imamat (leadership). And the number of these Imams is twelve as the Prophet himself testified. We ask our critics, when our Imams were from the lineage of Ibraheem (as), do you have any objection to believing that they fell within the du’a of Ibraheem (as)? If you have no objection then why do you oppose these Imams so much?

Unfortunately, the Sunni Ulema due to their lack of comprehension of the rank of Imamate, started to use this term for Kings also, when they attack the Shi’a position on Imamate it is because the are using their definition of man appointed Imamate that incorporates all that lead whether they be tyrannical despots, drunkards, irreligious or homosexual. When Nasibis such as Afriqi are citing the fact that the Shi’a deem Imamate superior to Prophethood, but applying the Sunni definition of Imamate that incorporates fine upstanding individuals such as Yazeed, then it is natural that an ignorant public will be outraged at such a position. Allama Shaukani in his explanation of this verse said:

“We know that numerous tyrants (evil-doers) have also been designated on the status of Imamate and the likes.”

In clear contradiction to this viewpoint, Allah (swt) has categorically declared that evil-doers will not be granted the status of Imamate, which further strengthens our position that it is a status which can only be granted by Allah (swt). This is a rank that cannot be earned through human achievement, attained through one’s profession or skills, if we disagree then we will have to accept those transgressors as Imams, including those that seized power through oppression.

Famous Hanafi Mufassir of Quran, Imam Abu-Bakr Jassas Radhi in his commentary of the Quran, Ahkam al-Quran, volume 1, page 69, published in Beirut, in the commentary of the same verse says:

“This fact is above all suspicions and doubts that a tyrant (evil-doer) cannot be an Imam….thus this is not legal that a Prophet, Prophet’s successor or a judge be an evil-doer.”

Hence we reach a conclusion that Imamate is a designation that can only be assigned by Allah (swt), and it is a sacred promise of Allah (swt), which cannot be granted to evil-doers.

It is not mentioned anywhere that a Prophet would always be the Imam, as it is evident that some Prophets were not Imams, as we clarified in the case Hadhrat Musa(as) and Hadhrat Harun(as). Likewise it is also not necessary for an Imam to carry the designation of Prophethood as well, this is particularly the case now, when Prophethood is sealed by Prophet Muhammad(s). Imamate remains the only method of divine guidance; this series of Imamate and succession existed in previous Ummahs, as we cited that Harun (as) was the Imam and Successor of Hadhrat Musa (as) in his Ummah. Hadith-e-Manzilat testifies the same fact as

‘Ali: Aren’t you satisfied with being unto me what Aaron was unto Moses?
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5916

If the Shi’a have declared the rank of Imamate to be higher than that of the Prophethood, they have a strong evidence for it from the divine laws of Quran. In this regard the Nasibis even misquote Allama Baqir Majlisi’s statement from Hayaat-ul-Quloob, volume 3, page 10, that he has declared the A’ima superior than Anbiya, whereas the real statement from Hayaat-ul-Quloob is:

“Sometimes the application of Imam is bestowed on the Prophets, and information from reliable sources demostrates that the rank of Imamate is superior to the rank of Prophethood, which is why Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers”.”.

In this statement Allama Majlisi has proven the rank of Imamate, to be superior to the rank of Prophethood via Qur’anic evidence, he has not referred to Imamate in the sense of succession, even if he had, there is no restriction in raising its status.

Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Qashani while writing the commentary of his teacher Shaykh Akbar Mohi-u-din al-‘Arabi’s book “Fasoos-al-Hukm”, stated:

“Wilayah is never disconnected, therefore as compared to his Prophethood, Holy Prophet(s) is superior in his Wilayah. In fact, the seal of Prophethood is also the seal of Wilayah. Thus being the seal of Wilayah, Prophet Muhammad (s) is the quarry of this knowledge, as well as the knowledge of all the Awliya and Anbiya.”
Sharah al-Qashani ala Fasoos al-Hukm, page 42, published in Egypt

The same Wilayah that has been declared superior to Prophethood by the above mentioned Sunni Scholar can also be referred to as Imamate. As the Sunni researchers and the saints recognized this fact following lengthy research and contemplation, this truth remained limited to them alone, and the ordinary narrow-minded Mullahs have failed to grasp this reality. Usool-e-Kafii refers to the Imams with the terms “Wali Amr”, “Wali”, or “Possessors of Wilayah and Imamate” – Wilayah has been declared as identical to Imamate, and it is the acceptance of their Wilayah / Imamate that is considered as one of the requirements of faith. Alhamdolillah the twelver Shi’a have never been dependant on the research of any saint or scholar to determine the importance and truth of Imamate, alhadolillah our 12 Imams without forcing the people into the complexities and confusions of mystic terminologies explained the ranks of Wilayah and Imamate in an easy and comprehensive manner. When the Ahl’ul Sunnah started to gradually understand its meanings, they also started to accept that: “Imam in the sense of Wali”, meaning that Imamate and Wilayah are identical.

We have previously cited the comments of Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi who said:

“….and we all Ahl-e-Sunnah consider the twelve Ai’ma being Imams and we believe in them being the ones to be followed, and the Qutb-e-Irshad.”
Hidayat-al-Shi’a, page 35, old edition, published in Delhi.

In this regard Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlavi also says:

“The era of Hadhrat Ameer (Ali) was the time of the beginning of the stream of Wilayah, that is why the Saints and Scholarly people have stated Hadhrat Ali the victor (person opening the door) of Wilayah of Prophet Mohammad(as) and the seal of Wilayah of the Prophet’s.”
Tauhfa Athna Ashari, pages 337-338 Published in Karachi

The Wilayah of Prophet Muhammad(s) was superior to the Wilayah and Prophethood of all other Prophet’s, and it was Hadhrat Ali (as) who cascaded the Wilayah of Prophet Muhammad(s). Since the Wilayah of other Prophets was superior to their Prophethood and Hadhrat Ali (as) is the seal of their Wilayah, we can safely conclude that the Seal of Wilayah is superior to the Prophets in their respective Wilayahs, just as the Seal of Prophethood is superior to all the Prophets in Prophethood.

As proven earlier that the status of Wilayah is superior to that of Prophethood, if we therefore deem Hadhrat ‘Ali (as) and the other Holy Imams to be superior to all the previous Prophets, except Prophet Mohammad (s), there shouldn’t be any logical or religious hurdle in doing so.

Prophet Muhammad (s) was an Imam as well as a Prophet, but the declaration of the Imamate and Wilayah was done through Imam Ali (as), and that is why the Holy Prophet (s) had said:

“I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.”
Sahih al Tirmidi, Volume 13 page 141

Is Prophet’s Wilayah higher in status or his Prophethood?

Since the Prophets (as) at times are granted the status of Wilayah before the declaration of Prophethood, therefore some research and debate oriented Sunni Scholars investigated whether a Prophet’s Wilayah is superior or his Prophethood. Some differences and conflicts are also quoted in this regard, like Molana Abdul-Aziz Parharwi who said:

“Here this wavering does rise that whether a Prophet’s Wilayah is superior or his Prophethood, whereas this fact is accepted that a Prophet is designated on both the ranks.”
Al-Nabraas, Sharah-e-Sharah-e-Aqaid, page 561, published in Meeruth.

Some researching scholars have accepted the reality that a Prophet’s Wilayah is superior to his Prophethood, and therefore it is said:

“Wilayah is superior due to several evidences.”

The annotator of Sharah Nabraas, Mullah Mohammad Barkhurdar Multani writes:

One of those who accept it, is Mohi-ud-din al-‘Arabi, he has put forth several arguments in its defence in “Fatoohat-e-Makkah” and Allamah She’rani in his book “Al-yawaqit wal-jawahir” has quoted this discussion from Fatoohat.”

While clarifying the view of Sunni Scholars, Mullah Barkhurdar Multani writes:

This fact is understood and accepted amongst the leading Sunni Scholars that every Wali achieves the status of Wilayah via the Ai’ma-e-Ahl-e-Bayt and in particular through the holy spirit of Imam Ali (as). No Wali is above this criteria and law, whether the person remained on the status or was appointed a Prophet at a later date. The fact stands that Hadhrat ‘Ali (as) is certainly superior to those who achieve the status of Wilayah through his means, and if we Shias declare Imamate and Wilayah of Hadhrat Ali (as) and the other Ai’ma-e-Ahl-e-Bayt (as) superior to that of the Prophets (as) , then this belief is not without any argument or evidence, even the Sunni scholars support them in further strengthening this belief, this is no surprise when the Sunni Saints believe that the Wilayah of Prophet Muhammad (s) is superior to his Prophethood.

In this connection, a famous Sunni commentator, Qadhi Thanaullah Uthmani Mujadaddi Panipatti, in the commentary of the verse 110 of Surah-Aal-e-Imran says:

“Hadhrat Ali was Qutb-ul-Irshad and the Lord of Wilayah, never did anyone even from the previous Ummah’s achieve the status of Wilayah without the means of Hadhrat Ali’s spirit, and then his progeny remained designated on this post till Imam Hasan Askari..”
Tafseer Mazhari, volume 2, page 226, published by Dar-ul-Isha’at, Karachi.

Imam Rabbani; Shaykh Ahmed sirhandi also stated:

“I believe that Ali enjoyed this position even before his physical birth, as he did after it, and whosoever has received the divine blessing and guidance, has received it through him, because he is closest to the last point on this way and the centre of this spot belongs to him. And when his period ended, the grand office passed on to Hasan and Hussain (ra) and then on to each one of the twelve Imams, individually and elaborately. And whosoever received guidance in their life and after their death, received it through these saints”
Maktubaat, 9:17 # 123

Had the Wilayah of the Prophets (as) not existed, their Prophethood wouldn’t have existed either, and the same status of Wilayah has been declared superior to (normal) Prophethood by the research oriented Sunni scholars and Saints. The same Wilayah has been granted to the Prophets (as) through the means of Imam Ali (as) and the Imams of Ahl-e-Bayt (as). Now those who intend to pass edicts of kufr on Shias due to having this belief, should initially consider that many Sunni scholars and Sufi Saints would fall under such a fatwa, rather than Shias who always remain immune from such baseless edicts.

Reply Two

Shah Ismaeel Shaheed in Munsub-e-Imamate page 83 records the Hadith on the cover ‘The Ulema of my Ummah are like the Israelite Prophets”. So does Shaykh Ahmad Sarhandi in
Maktubaat Imam Rabbani, Volume 2 page 61 Letter No. 13

The Sunni Ulema may seek solace in this Hadith but the knowledge that they inherited was only partial in nature it was not complete. The Ulema depend on others for guidance and had they been the true inheritors of all aspects of Prophetic knowledge their viewpoints would have been one and the same, yet their differences are evidenced by the existence of different Sects, different Madhabs within Sects, different ruling and Tafseers. Compare this confusion to the clarity that the Prophet (s) gave about the Imams from the Ahl’ul bayt (as):

Narrated by Ali (as): Prophet has said “whoever wants to board the boat of salvation, and grasps the firm handle and the firm rope of Allah (swt), then he must love Ali and hate his (Ali’s) enemies, and his (Ali’s) lineage follow the Imams of guidance, verily they (lineage of Ali) are my Khalifa and Wasi, and after me they are the Proofs of Allah, and they are the chiefs of my Ummah, and are the chiefs and guides leading the pious to Paradise, their party is my party, and My (Prophet’s) party is Allah’s party. And the group belonging to the enemies is the party of Satan.”
Yanabi al-Mawadah, Vol 1 page 504

When the Ulema are on par in rank with the Israeli Prophets then The Khalifa and inheritor of the Seal of all Prophets will be the most superior in the Ummah (and hence the Banu Israeel Prophets).

Reply Three – The Imams are superior from the perspective of knowledge

We read in Surah al Kahf, how Khider (as) was superior in knowledge to Nabi Musa (as) and Ul’il Uzm Prophet (s), evidenced from the fact that he was unable to rationalise why he damaged a boat, killed a boy and destroyed a wall. He responds saying:

“As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man).

“So we desired that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity (of conduct) and closer in affection.

“As for the wall, it belonged to two youths, orphans, in the Town; there was, beneath it, a buried treasure, to which they were entitled: their father had been a righteous man: So thy Lord desired that they should attain their age of full strength and get out their treasure – a mercy (and favour) from thy Lord. I did it not of my own accord. Such is the interpretation of (those things) over which thou wast unable to hold patience.”

Here we see that Khider (as) had been endowed with hidden knowledge, for he knew:

  • The boy would become a kaafir
  • The two youths were orphans
  • The boys father had hidden treasure under the wall

The actions of Khider (as) were in response to the hidden knowledge that he had, knowledge that was greater than Musa (as) who did not have it and hence could not understand why Khider (as) had acted in a manner that he did. It is clear from this Qur’anic verse that Prophet Khider (as) was superior in knowledge to Musa (as), despite his being an Ul’il Uzm Prophet. Allah (swt) equips his Servants with different levels of knowledge, hence their differing ranks in knowledge He (swt) says in his Glorious Books, Surah al Baqarah verse 253:

“Of those messengers we have exalted some above others”

In this regards we have already cited in an earlier discussion the example of Talut a non Prophet (swt) chosen by Allah (swt) on account of his superiority in knowledge and physical strength.

The example of Prophetic knowledge can be compared to the levels of teaching through different classes at school. The course that is given to a student in year two is not the same as that given to those in year one. This is because students in year one have not attained the level of knowledge to undertake the year two course. The knowledge provided to students through teaching methods, curriculum and books, differs amongst classes. Knowledge increases with each class. A child in year one will not have the level of knowledge required to sit 16+ examinations, whilst those in a higher class have no problem in digesting the knowledge of lower classes. When one attains the final stage of education then the knowledge that he commands, encompasses all the teachings that he acquired in previous classes. We are now in a much better position to explain the knowledge that was taught to Prophet Adam (as), who was taught by Allah (swt) some names, if we compare this to modern times then it is like the style of teaching at infants school level, when children are taught the names of items, such as colours, and letters of the Alphabet. Whilst Adam (as) was taught directly by the Creator (swt), it was not knowledge in all principles since he (as) had only been endowed with the first level of knowledge, conveying more complex knowledge would have been futile, the people of the time would have been incapable of understanding the complexities of religious principles. Prophet Nuh (as) appeared at a time when knowledge had increased and as such the knowledge that he conveyed was in relation the specific aspects of the Shari’ah. Prophet Ibraheem (as) and was equipped with a greater level of knowledge, after being given Prophethood, the passing of tough tests lead to him being rewarded the rank of Imamate, and he was honoured with the fact that this Imamate would remain with his descendants who did not perpetuate injustice (such as sins, shirk etc, hypocrisy).

What we recognise is that the knowledge that Allah (swt) transmitted to his Prophets was of varying degrees. Each Prophet faced a different set of circumstances, cultures and problems which is why the divine knowledge that they were vested with to take on these challenges was also of different levels / varying degrees. The knowledge via which Adam (as) was tested was of a very low level. Nabi Isa (as) was given powers to raise the dead, cure the sick at a time when the work of physicians was common place. Prophet Musa (s) was given powers to counter the common day influence of sorcerers. Today, we are living in a post modern era of advanced technology where superpowers have expanded their control by utilising knowledge. The Ummah is faced with anti Islamic elements from all ends and yet there is still a duty to implement Surah Tauba (whereby Islam is the ruling religion) and ensure that Islam overrides all other religions, so one can only imagine the qualifications required of one who works towards this implementation process. All form of knowledge is contained in the Qur’an, that is no one can confidently say that the Tafseer by ‘x’ should be seen as the Tafseer that incorporates all knowledge. As science develops we can see that man has discovered something that was written in the Glorious Book of Allah (swt) century’s earlier, take the example of the development of the foetus in the womb. Ilm is attained by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the teachings of Allah (swt) encompassed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Muhammad (s). Knowledge is source via which an individual can attain a true recognition of Allah (swt) and his Messenger (s). The Book of Allah (swt) is a shining beacon of guidance that incorporates all principles; those that possess knowledge of the Book are most superior. The Qur’an is the formal book of guidance and it makes all previous divine books redundant. It is more comprehensive than the previous divine books, whereas these were sent to a people; the Qur’an is a Universal Book of Guidance for all mankind. The individual that has a full command of this Book and accordingly acts on these teachings is the most superior in the Ummah. Whilst guidance comes via the Book of Allah it is not a speaking document, that any individual can read, understand and correctly interpret. The Book of Allah (swt) was accompanied by the speaking Qur’an Hadhrat Muhammad al Mustafa (s) who had a complete knowledge of the Book. The Holy Prophet (s) came as a Hadi and his knowledge was the most superior in the Ummah. There is no doubt the knowledge of Hadhrat Muhammad (s) is the greatest in the Ummah, all miracles, merits and attributes are within him.

We need to ask ourselves ‘What capabilities should be possessed by those that will implement the Deen’ It will be dependant on those that excel in knowledge since ‘knowledge is power’ and those that possess a complete command of the knowledge of the Prophet (s) are the most powerful. The Imams have been divinely appointed by Allah (swt) and as the Waris the Knowledge of the Prophet (s) their role was to fulfil the mission of the Prophet (s).

In this connection Numani the Nasibi had sought to create a massive hue and cry over this reference:

Numani states:

A Chapter in Usul-e-Kafi is entitled, “Imams have all the knowledge of the Past and the Future and nothing is hidden from their eyes”.The first narration, in it, is concerning Imam Jafar Sadiq who is reported to have said in an assembly of his close confidants that: “Had I been between Moses and Khizr. I would have told them that I possessed greater knowledge than bot of them and would have revealed to them what they knew not for both Moses and Khizr knew only about the past. They were not endowed with knowledge of the future and all that is going to take place till Doomsday. We have gained that knowledge as an inheritance from the Prophet (peace be upon him).” (p. 160).

Interestingly according to Numani’s own school his Imam Abu Hanifa was more knowledgeable than Khizr and Musa. We will cite the reference later on (see Reply 9), but coming back to the text Numani has quoted, what is the issue here? No Prophet (s) possessed greater knowledge than Rasulullah (s). Knowledge increased with the coming of each Prophet (s) until it reached the final stage of the perfection of knowledge, that attained by the Seal of all Prophets Muhammad al Mustafa (s). Rasulullah (s) was the final Prophet (s) and the Chief of all Prophets, the Shari’ah he brought was superior to those brought be previous Prophets, this Shari’ah encompassed everything, applicable till the Day of Judgment it made all previous Shari’ahs redundant. There was no requirement for Prophets after Muhammad since the Deen had been completed. Solutions to all mankind’s problems were contained in the Shari’ah brought by Muhammad (s), it contained all the treasures of knowledge. These treasures were contained in two sources the Qur’an at a theoretical level and the Ahl’ul bayt (as) of Muhammad (s) at a practical level, which why Rasulullah (s) deemed both to be the two weighty things that the Ummah had to follow after him (s).

We are now in a much better position to understand the comments of Imam Sadiq (as) that the Nasibis have raised objection to:

Madrassa Inaamiyah states:

In Volume1 of Al-Kaafi, the work of the Shi’i authority, al-Kulaini, the following appears on page 223:“A man said to him (Abu Ja’far): ‘O son of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)! Has Ameerul Mu’mineen (Hadhrat Ali) greater knowledge or some of the Ambiyaa?’ Abu Ja’far said: ‘Listen to what he says! Verily, I have explained to him that Allah has bestowed to Muhammad the knowledge of all the Ambiyaa and most assuredly He has bestowed all of it to Ameerul Mu’mineen. And he (the questioner) asks me if he (Hadhrat Ali) has greater knowledge or some of the Ambiyaa.

If Imam Ali (as) inherited this as the Gate of the Prophet’s knowledge then it is logical that his knowledge (due to his command of the Qur’an and Sunnah) would be far greater than that possessed by Musa (as) and Khider (as). As the inheritors of complete knowledge of the Prophet (s), their role was to provide a correct interpretation of the Deen for the Ummah, and to convey the correct Islam by presenting the true teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah of Muhammad (s) via the distribution of knowledge.

This designation had been made clear by the Prophet (s) when he made his first and Last Hajj. At Mount Arafat he said “I am leaving amongst you two things…’ Imam Ali (as) as the head of the Imams of Ahl’ul bayt was showered with these specific designations and merits:

  1. “Ali is from me and I am from him’
    Tareekh ul Khulafa by Suyuti, page 177
  2. “Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali”
    Tareekh ul Khulafa by Suyuti, page 180
  3. “Ali is the Gate of Knowledge, and the Mobeen (one that will openly speak) to the Ummah those things that I brought as a Prophet
    Kanz’ul Iman Volume 11 page 614
  4. “Of whomsoever I am Master (Maula), ‘Ali is his Master”
    Tareekh ul Khulafa by Suyuti, page 177

In the modern business world the knowledge of a manager is expected to be of a much higher level than his staff. As managerial responsibilities increase, the level of knowledge held by a manager likewise increases. The knowledge of a line manager will not be greater than a team leader, whose knowledge will not be greater than a Head of Section, whose knowledge will be less than a Director. The more senior one’s position of responsibility the greater his knowledge on his area of responsibility. The leadership of previous Prophet’s was very much restricted to a place, locality, tribe or time. The knowledge that these Prophets were given was for that specific audience. The Imams of Ahl’ul bayt (as) are not the Imams of a place, locality, tribe or time, their Imamate shall guide mankind until the end of the world, which is why they were given knowledge to meet the needs of all mankind. Their Imamate is superior to that of Ibraheem because in the Qur’an, Allah (swt) deems Ibraheem the Imam of Mankind, whist the Imams of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) are not just the Imams of mankind but are Imams of all that Allah (swt) created. The Imamate of Maula Ali (as) and the other Imams is greater than that of Ibraheem (as) because since they inherited all of the knowledge of the Prophet (s), and were purified of all manner of impurity. That is why Rasulullah (s) made this declaration not just to mankind but to all of Creation – ‘Of whomsoever I am Maula (whether he be a man, Djinn, King, Prophet or Imam like Ibraheem) ‘Ali is his Maula’. In the same way that Wilayah of Maula Ali (as) is not just restricted to the Imamate of mankind (that belonged to Ibraheem (as)), the final Imam from the Ahl’ul bayt (as)’s act of leading the prayer in front of Nabi Isa proves that the Imamate of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) is superior to the Prophethood of all past Prophets (except Muhammad (s)).

Nasibis such as the cronies of Ansar.Org naturally deny the event of Ghadir Khumm and its significance, but we deem it to be the defining event wherein the chain of (Wilayah) transferred from Prophethood to that of Imamate, a fact attested by Sunni scholar Shaykh ul Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri in the preface of his book ‘The Ghadir Declaration’:

“The gist of the discussion is that the Prophet’s declaration at Ghadir Khum proved forever that ‘Ali’s spiritual sovereignty is in fact the Prophet Muhammad’s spiritual sovereignty. Though the door of prophethood was closed after the Holy Prophet (S), AllAh opened new avenues for the continuation of the Prophet’s blessings till the Day of Judgement. Some of these avenues were manifest, while others hidden. The hidden avenue led to spiritual sovereignty and ‘Ali al-Murtada (as) was the first person to hold this office. Then this chain of sovereignty passed down to his progeny and finally to the twelve ImAms.”
The Ghadir Declaration, 15-16

The knowledge and wisdom of the Prophet (s) was distributed by Maula Ali (as) and transferred through the remaining eleven Imams. To support our stance we will advance the comments of Mufti Ghulam Rasool from his biography of Imam Sadiq (as), ‘Subeh Sadiq’ pages 164-165:

“Imam Hakim in al Mustadrak and Ibn Hajr al Makki also narrates this Hadith in Sawaiqh al Muhriqa ‘Ali is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with ‘Ali, the two will not separate from one another until they meet me at the Fountain of Kauthar’ (al Mustadrak Volume 3 page 24, Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 124), from which it is clear that all sciences are contained in the Qur’an, and the Qur’an will remain with Hadhrat ‘Ali until the Day of Judgement, and ‘Ali lion of Allah possesses a greater knowledge of the Qur’an than anyone else, and this knowledge and recognition was possessed by his descendants, the knowledge of the Prophet (s) was with ‘Ali lion of Allah, and his family possessed this knowledge , which is why the purified Imams from the Ahl’ul bayt possessed greater knowledge than anyone else, in the same way that no one on par with the knowledge and spirituality of Imam Baqir, the fountain and candle of the family of the Prophet, Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) also possessed knowledge and spirituality that no else possessed”.
‘Subeh Sadiq’ by Mufti Ghulam Rasool, pages 164-165 (published in London)

Along similar lines, Mufti Ghulam Rasool said as follows in the same book, on page 147:

“Imam Jafar Sadiq (as) is the son of the Prophet, his being from the family of the Prophet (s) is a major virtue, he attained knowledge as inheritance, and its proven from texts that Maula Ali Lion of Allah (swt) possessed the knowledge of the Prophet, hence there is Hadith in Tirmidhi ‘I am the City of Knowledge and ‘Ali is its Gate, whoever wishes, whoever wishes to acquire knowledge must come to this Gate”.
‘Subeh Sadiq’ by Mufti Ghulam Rasool page 147

It needs to be recognised that the previous Prophets were not inheritors of the knowledge of Muhammad (s). This fact was made clear by Rasulullah in a Hadith recorded by Allamah Suyuti in Jama’ul Jawameh Volume 7 page 174:

“Whoever wishes to live and die like me, and reside in the eternal Garden that my Creator has cultivated must love ‘Ali after me and love his friends, and must follow the Ahl’ul bayt after me, they have been created from the same clay as me, and they have been showered with my wisdom and knowledge, verily anyone that denies their virtues shall go to Hell, one that mocks them shall go to Hell, I shall not intercede for anyone that separates my descendants from me”.
Jama’ul Jawameh, Volume 7 page 174

The greatest merit that man possesses is that of knowledge. Knowledge was the tool used by Adam (as) to prove his superiority over the Angels. Knowledge increases over time. Hadhrat Adam (as) had knowledge that exceeded that of angels but it was not greater than the knowledge of Nuh (as) who sowed the seeds of Shar’iah. The knowledge of Nuh (as) is not greater than Musa (as) who brought a Heavenly book. Knowledge increased over time, and each Prophet (s) was provided with an enhanced level of knowledge from the Creator to counter the knowledge of the Ummah that was likewise far greater than the knowledge of past nations. Knowledge is incorporated within Heavenly Books, but the knowledge in past books is not greater than the knowledge set out in the Qur’an. Accordingly, the knowledge possessed by Prophets Musa (as) and Isa (as) was less than that possessed by Prophet Muhammad (s), since they were Masters of the Torah and Gospels, respectively – neither had a command over the Qur’’an or the teachings of Muhammad (s). Maula Ali (as) inherited the knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah and hence from the perspective of knowledge he is superior to the previous Prophets. Rasulaullah (s) exclusively referred to ‘Ali (as) as the inheritor of his knowledge we read in Riyah al Nadira:

The Prophet (s) who said to Ali (as) in the presence of the Sahaba:

“You are my brother and inheritor”, when the Companions asked what previous Prophets had left as inheritance, he replied “The Book of God and his Sunnah the teachings of that Prophet”.
Riyad al-Nadira, by Muhibbuddin al Tabari, Vol 3 p 123

This conversation between Holy Prophet and Sahabah took place in the context of the successors of Prophets. As the inheritor of the Qur’an and Sunnah, Imam Ali (as) possesses knowledge that no previous Prophet possessed, and it from the perspective of knowledge that he is most superior. Rasulullah (s) inherited the knowledge of the previous Prophets, and Imam Ali (as) inherited the knowledge of Rasulullah (s) and all previous Prophets. Imam Ali (as) attained that knowledge possessed by Hadhrat Khider (as) that confused Nabi Musa (as). The previous Prophets did not possess knowledge of the Qur’an whereas Maula Ali (as) has completed command and knowledge of Allah (swt)’s final book, his knowledge is therefore greater than these Prophets. Knowledge of the Qur’an is not just becoming a Hafidh, rather it involves a comprehension of every Qur’anic verse. Amongst the companions no one possessed such a command than the inheritor of the knowledge of Rasulullah (s), Imam Ali (as), and what better evidence can there be than his own claim:

“Abu Tufayl said: ‘Ali said ‘Ask me about the Book of Allah because there is no Ayah, but, that I know where it was revealed, at night or in day time, on the plain or in the mountain’
Tareekh ul-Khulafa, Page 194

Also on the same page of Tareekh ul Khulafa, we read:

“…’Ali said, By Allah, an ayah has not been revealed without me knowing about what it was revealed, when it was revealed, and about whom it was revealed. My Lord has given me a very intelligent heart and a true and articulate tongue”.
Tareekh ul Khulafa, page 194

These words of Imam ‘Ali (as) also appear in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d Volume 2 page 238, Chapter 8 and Sawaiqh al Muhriqa page 13.

Since previous Prophets were not equipped with a knowledge of the Qur’an they would never be in a position to state ‘Ask me’ about its contents, that honour fell on Imam Ali (as), his comprehensive knowledge of the Qur’an makes him (from the perspective of knowledge) to be superior.

As inheritor of Prophetic knowledge, Imam Ali possessed the virtues of previous Prophets. In this regards we see the following Hadith in esteemed Sunni works:

  1. Riyadh al Nadira Volume 2 page 239, Dhikr Ali ibn Abi Talib
  2. Tafseer al-Kabeer, by Fakhrudeen al-Razi, under the commentary of the Verse of Imprecation (Mubahila), v2 p288.
  3. Manaqib Ammer’ul Momineen by Ibn Maghazzali page 147
  4. Fada’el Al-Khulafa Al-Rashedin by Abi Naeem Al-Asbahani, No. 42
  5. Sharh Madahib Ahlul Sunnah by Ibn Shaheen, Fadail Ali bin Abi Talib, page 104 No. 107
  6. Mu’jam al-Adbaa, by Yaqut al-Hamawi, Volume 2 page 321
  7. Sharh Nahju’l-Balagha, by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid Mu’tazali, Volume XI, page 449
  8. Matalibu’s-Su’ul, by Muhammad bin Talha Shafiyee, page 22
  9. Fusuli’l-Muhimma by Nuru’d-Din Maliki in, page 120
  10. Yanabi al Mawaddath page 144 by Shiekh Suleman Qanduzi

We read this Hadith in Riyadh al Nadhira and Tafseer Kabeer:

“He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge, Noah (as) in his determination, in his clemency, Moses (as) in his intelligence and Jesus (as) in his religious devotion should look at Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as)”

We read in Manaqib:

Anas bin Malik narrates that the Prophet (s) said: “He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge, Noah (as) in his Fiqh should look at Ali”

We read in Yanabi al Mawaddah:

“Ibn Hanbal in Musnad and Baihaqi in Sahih, record that Abi Hamra narrated that he heard the Prophet (s) say “He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge, Noah (as) in his determination, Ibraheem in his patience, Musa in his courage and Isa in his piety should look at Ali Ibn Abi Talib”

We took this narration from page 144 of Qundozi’s text, he has also narrated it on the authority of Ibn Abbas on page 255 of the same book.

We read in Fada’el Al-Khulafa Al-Rashedin by Abi Naeem Al-Asbahani:

“He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge, Noah (as) in his comprehension, Abraham (as) in his morals should look at Ali Ibn Abi Talib”

We read in ‘Sharh Madahib Ahlul Sunnah’ by Ibn Shaheen:

Prophet said: “He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge, Noah (as) in his wisdom, Abraham (as) in his determination should look at him (Ali Ibn Abi Talib).”

Ibn Shaheen writes about this tradition:

تفرد علي بهذه الفضيلة ، لم يشركه فيها أحد

“This merit is only for Ali and no one else shares him in it.”

Allamah Yaqut al-Hamawi records:

رواه عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الزهري عن سعيد بن المسيب عن أبي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو في محفل من أصحابه: (إن تنظروا إلى آدم في علمه، ونوح في همه، وإبراهيم في خلقه، وموسى في مناجاته، وعيسى في سنه، ومحمد في هديه وحلمه، فانظر إلى هذا المقبل). فتطاول الناس فإذا هو علي بن أبي طالب

Abdurazzaq – Mu’amar – Zuhri – Sa’eed ibn Musayib – Abu Hurayrah from Holy Prophet (pbuh): ‘Whoever wishes to see Adam in his knowledge, Nuh in his determination, Ibrahim in his morals , Musa in his sublimity , Isa in his devoition and Muhammed in his patience and guidance, then he should look at Ali bin Abi Talib’.
Mu’jam al-Adbaa, by Yaqut al-Hamawi, Volume 2 page 321

Imam Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Taqreeb al-Tahdeeb has declared Abdurazzq al-Sanani as ‘Thiqa Hafiz’, Mu’amar as ‘Thiqa Thabt’ while about Zuhri he wrote: ‘He was a Faqih and Hafiz and there is an agreement on his great status, exellence and his firmness’. About Sa’eed ibn Musayib he wrote: ‘He was among the great, firm fuqahaa Ulamaa. There is an agreement that his mursal narrations are the most authentic of all’. Al-Madini said: ‘I do not know a Tabayee more compassed with knowledge than him’.

Reply Four – The Imams are superior from the perspective of religious rank / duties

Allah (swt) says in his glorious book:

Surah Tauba verse33 [YUSUFALI]:
It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).

When the Prophet (s) died, the Deen of Allah (swt) had not been proclaimed over the other religions so how will this verse be implemented? Did the Prophet fail in this aspect of his mission (naudobillah)? This cannot be the case, clearly if this verse is to be fulfilled it can only be done so by an Imam whose implementation duty is on par with that of the Holy Prophet (s) and it can only go to that individual that had a complete command over the Qur’an and Sunnah, one that has inherited his Ilm (Knowledge). We accordingly believe that this religious duty fell upon the true inheritors of the knowledge of the Prophet (s) starting with Imam Ali and ending with Imam Mahdi (as). It is the twelve Imams who on account their role inherited the duties of Prophethood that are set out in Surah Tauba. That is why they have a special status, one that no previous Prophet attained which is why Ayatollah Khomeini rightly stated:

Afriqi states:

It is of the undeniable tenets of our faith that our Imams possess a status with Allah that neither Angel nor Messenger can aspire to

It is from the perspective of role that we believe that the status of the twelve Imams is superior to the previous Prophets. Not all of the past Prophets introduced a shariah and a book, the majority of them came to confirm existing scriptures. Whilst these Prophets acquired awareness, education and knowledge from Allah through the channel of revelation, their teachings only covered the ideological aspects of guidance and had very little to do with jurisprudential affairs of guidance.

Compare this to the duty that has fallen upon the true inheritors of the Prophet (s), these Imams were involved in both aspects of guidance at both an ideological and operational level. They were also entrusted with preserving the shariah law from any distortion or change, along with implementing the shariah law in their own contemporary circumstances, circumstances that may have changed since the time of Prophet. As inheritors of the mission of the Prophet tasked with fulfilling the duties of Surah Tauba they have the ability to provide clear answers to new issues facing the Ummah.

This is such a big responsibility since Islam is the religion forever. None of the Prophets ever bore such responsibility. Afriqi might object to the above comment, but the fact is they have tasked with fulfilling the outstanding aspects of the Prophetic mission. It is for this reason that we believe that our Imams are superior to the previous Prophets, and this fact is attested by the following key act of Hadhrat Isa (as), recorded by Dr Tahir ul Qadri al Hanafi’s book the’ ‘Awaited Imam’ pages 46-47:

“Abu Hurrayra has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (swt) said: what will be the state (of your joy) at the time when Isa ibn Maryam will descend (from the heavens) and your Imam will be from among you.
[Bukhari related in al Sahih, b al anbiya (prophets) Hadith number1272 (number32625); Muslim, as Sahih b. of Iman (faith) 1:136 (number155), Ibn Hibban, as Sahih (15:213 Hadith number6802)

Explanation: It means that Isa at the time of descent, will offer his prayers in congregation but he himself will not be the Imam but a member of the Ummah, that is, caliph Mahd. Accordingly, Ibn Hajr ‘Asqalani with reference to Abu al Hassan Aburri’s Manaqib ash Shafi writes: there are continous traditions in its support and Isa will offer prayer behind Caliph Mahdi [Asqalani, Fathul Bari (6:491, 494]

“Narrated by Ibn Jurayh: Abu Zubayr reported to me: He heard Jabir ibn Abdullah (ra) saying: I heard the Messenger of Allah (swt) saying: A section of my Ummah will not cease fighting for the truth successfully till the Day of Resurrection. He said Isa ibn Maryam would then descend and the leader of the Muslims will say: come and lead us in prayer, but he will sat ‘No some amongst you are the Leaders over others. This is the honour from Allah (swt) for this nation (i.e. prophet Isa (as) will decline the offer of leading the prayer due to the high status given by Allah (swt) to this Ummah”
[Muslim narrated it in al Sahih b. of Iman (faith) 1:37 (number 156); Ahmad ibn Hambal, al Musnad (3:345,384); Ibn Hibban, as Sahih (15:231, 232 number 6819)…

The Awaited Imam, pages 46-47(Minhajj al Quran publications, Model town, Lahore)

On pages 49-50 Qadri records this narration:

“Uthman ibn Abi al As (ra) directly narrates that the Messenger of Allah (swt) said: prophet Isa ibn Maryam will descend (from the heaven) at the time of Dawn prayer (fajr) and the leader of the people will request him: O Allah’s spirit! (come forward and) lead us in prayer: Isa will say: ‘You are the people of Muhammad’s Ummah. Some amongst are leaders over others’. So move forward and lead us in prayer”. The leader of the Muslims will come forward and lead the prayer”.

[Hakim narrated in al Mustadrak (4:478 Hadith number 8473); Ahmad ibn Hambal, al Musnad (4:217) and Tabrani in al Mu’jam ul kabir (9:60 number 8392)]
 The Awaited Imam, pages 49-50 by Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri (Minhajj al Quran publications, Model town, Lahore)

In this tradition we have the clear testimony of Nabi Isa that the leaders of the Ummah of Muhammad (s) are superior to previous Ummah’s hence why Imam Mahdi (as) will lead the prayer. This confirms our position that the station of Imamate from the angle of religious leadership is superior to Prophethood.

Along the same line Dr. Tahir ul Qadri in the preface of “The Ghadir Declaration” states:

During this period, many leaders appeared on the spiritual horizon but they all, directly or indirectly, expressed their allegiance to ‘Ali al-MurtadA (as). This will be the climax of the Prophet Muhammad’s manifestation. Therefore, he will be named Muhammad and he will also resemble the Holy Prophet (s) in moral excellence, so that the world should know that he is the trustee of the manifest and hidden legacies of Muhammad’s blessings. That is why the Prophet (s) said, “Anyone who denies Mahdi will be a disbeliever.”
At that time, he will be the focus of all saints on earth, and, being the leader of Prophet Muhammad’s Ummah, Isa (as) will offer his prayer behind him and proclaim his leadership to the whole world

The Ghadir Declaration, page 16

Reply Five- Those that Allah (swt) deemed ‘Aleen’ are superior to Prophet Adam (as)

We read in Surah Sad verses 072 – 73 [YUSUFALI]:

“When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”
So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together:
Not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith.

The entire objective behind Allah (swt) giving an order for the inhabitants of Paradise to prostrate before Adam (as) was that such an action evidenced their recognition of his superiority over them, a fact that Iblis recognized and objected to. Our question is ‘was this edict to recognise the superiority of Adam (as) applicable to all the inhabitants of Paradise? The answer is no, as is proven by the response of Allah (swt) to the disobedience of Iblis in Surah Sad verse 75 [YUSUFALI]:

(Allah) said: “O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?”

When we know that the order to prostrate before Adam (as) did not apply to the ‘Aaleen i.e. high (and mighty) ones, then it is clear that these high and mighty ones were superior to Adam, and that they existed before him (as). We can identify two of these high and mighty ones from a Hadeeth that we have cited previously:

“The Prophet (s) said ‘Me and ‘Ali were created from one Nur, fourteen thousand years before the creation of Adam. When Adam was created our Nur was split in to two, one part went in me, the other part went in ‘Ali”
Riyadh al Nadira, in Volume 3 page 108

When we know that only the Angels and Iblis were ordered to bow before Adam (as) then Muhammad (s) and Ali (as) being exempted was on account of them being from the high and mighty ones, but Allah (swt) uses the term Aleen which in Arabic grammar refers to three or more persons. So who were these three or person, that Allah (swt) calls Aleen? Alhamdolillah the answer can be shown from Sunni traditions. Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Juwayni records in Faraid al Simtayn Volume 1 page 36 [Beirut edition]

“It is narrated by Abu Huraira that Rasul (saww) said, when Allah (swt) created the father of man Adam (as), and breathed His (swt) spirit into him, Adam (as) looked towards the skies and saw 5 bright lights were prostrating towards Allah (swt). Adam (as) asked Allah (swt), ‘O my Lord did you create someone from mud before me?’ He said ‘No’ Adam (as) the asked ‘Who are these five personalities, who look like me in creation ? Allah (swt) said, that all of these five are from your progeny, if it were not for these five personalities I would not have created you. I have bestowed on the names from my names. Had it not been for them I would have not create Heaven, Arsh, Chair, man or Djinn

I am Mahmood and he is Mohammad, I am Alaa and he is Ali, I am Fatir and she is Fatima, I am Ahsaan and he is Hassan and I am Mohsin and he is Hussain. I swear by my Divine majesty, that if anybody does not respects them or even that does not believe in any one of them, then I will throw them in eternal punishment. So, O’ Adam, understand well that all these five are my chosen ones, and for them I will forgive people and shower my compassion. And if you (Adam) or anyone from your progeny befalls any hardship, they should supplicate to Me via the wasila of the Ahl’ul bayt.

The existence of these personalities before the birth of Adam (as) in Paradise and their exemption from prostrating before Adam (as) proves that they were superior to Prophet Adam (as) and the Angels due to their status of Aleen. The fact that these personalities were Aleen is also proven by the tradition in Tafseer Durre Manthur that we cited earlier wherein Allah (swt) ordered Adam to recite their holy names as a means of seeking forgiveness for his errors.

Also note how Allah (swt) in the tradition above states that the physical composition of Aleen was not Mud like Adam (as). The reference in itself adequately refutes the objection of these Nasibis:

Madrassa Inaamiyah states:

Khomeini states:
“In fact, according to tradition that have been handed down to us, the Most Noble Messenger and the Imaams existed before the creation of the world in the form of lights situated beneath the divine throne: They were superior to other men even in the sperm from which they grew and in their physical composition.”“The Prophet himself said: We have states with God that are beyond the reach of the cherubim and the prophets.”“It is part of our belief that the Imaams too enjoy similar states …”

The Juwayni reference supports our position. The state / forms of the three of the Imams in this Sunni narration was that of Nur, a state superior to all others that existed before the creation of all else.

Let us also contemplate the words of Allah (swt) if it were not for these five personalities I would not have created you. These words prove that had it not been for the light of these personalities Allah (swt) would not have created Adam, that would have in turn meant the non creation the family of Adam (as).This in effect means that all of mankind was dependent upon the Nur of these five personalities, which means that their physical composition was superior to he Father of Man Adam (as) and hence ALL men (Prophets and non Prophets).

Reply Six – Maula Ali (as) is superior to previous Prophets in respect to the performance of deeds

When it comes to deeds then no one can surpass Maula Ali (as). The service of Maula Ali (as) as the Nusrat (supporter) of Rasulullah that stood with him through thick and thin is evidenced in history. In Khunduq, despite the presence of brave lions such Umar, only Maula Ali rose to the duel with Abdul Wudd, This was a critical time, the Kuffar had sought to inflict a resounding defeat for the Muslims at Khunduq and brought their bravest warrior as a show of force. When Maula Ali (as) accepted the duel and cut him down, these words were uttered from the blessed mouth of Rasulullah (s):

“The duel of ‘Ali at Khunduq is superior to the deeds of my Ummah until the day of Judgement”
Madarij un Nubuwwat, Volume 2 page 297

Mufti Ghulam Rasool recorded this Hadith in ‘Hasab aur Nasab’ Volume 3 page 71, directly from Mustadrak al Hakim Volume 3 page 32.
Hasab aur Nasab, Volume 3 page 71

The significance of this fact lies in the guarantee of Rasulullah (s) that no one will surpass ‘Ali in deeds until the Day of Judgement. One also needs to recognise that Rasulullah (s) referred to my Ummah, the significance of this lies in the fact that previous Prophets were themselves counted as the Ummah of Muhammad. If Nawasib try and deny this, then we shall point out that Saim Chisthi al Hanafi in Muskil ka Shah Volume 1 page 96 records this narration from Suyuti:

“Like other Prophets Musa (as) supplicated before Allah (swt) ‘O Allah, make me from the Ummah of Muhuammad al Mustafa (s)”
Tafseer Durre Manthur Volume 3 page 136 published in Tehran

Moreover we read in the English translation of Mishkat al-Masabih, Book I, ch. VI, p. 49:

Jabir told how ‘Umar b. al-Khattab brought God’s messenger a copy of the torah saying, “Messenger of God, this is a copy of the torah.” When he received no reply he began to read to the obvious displeasure of God’s messenger, so Abu Bakr said, “Confound you, do you not see how God’s messenger is looking?” So ‘Umar looked at God’s messenger’s face and said, “I seek refuge in God from the anger of God and His messenger. We are satisfied with God as Lord, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad as Prophet.” Then God’s messenger said, “By Him in whose hand Muhammad’s soul is, were Moses to appear to you and you were to follow him and abandon me, you would err from the right way. Were he alive and came in touch with my prophetic mission he would follow me.” Darimi transmitted it.

Mufti Ghulam Rasool in ‘Subeh Sadiq’ page 45 strengthens the matter further:

“It is clear from the Hadith “I was prophet when Adam was between soul and body’ that Prophet Muhammad (s) was not just a Prophet in the knowledge of Allah (swt), rather the hadith informs us that he was already on the station of Prophethood and was in reality a Prophet, and he was the Prophet of his Ummah and the of previous Prophetic Ummah’s. That is why Allamah Yusuf Nubahani (d.1350 Hijri) wrote that the prophets and their Ummah’s and amongst the Ummah of the Prophet (s), he is the Prophet of all prophets he will appear at then end when all the Prophets will be beneath his Loh-Hamd [Anwaar Muhammadiya page 11]”
Subeh Sadiq, page 45 (published in London)

When Musa (as) and all other Prophets are from amongst the Ummah of Muhammad, and the duel of Maula Ali (as) is superior to the entire Ummah of Muhammad (s) then this automatically makes Maula Ali (as) superior to Prophet Musa (as) and other Prophets from the perspective of deeds.

Reply Seven– The nafs of Maula Ali (as) is greater than all previous Prophets

The most important part of any individual is the nafs (soul) of a human being. Life is dependent upon one’s nafs (soul) which is why at Ghadhir Khum, Rasulullah (s) prior to declaring the authority of ‘Ali (as) over the Muslims, asked them the rhetorical question, as to whether he had authority over their nafs. This can be evidence by the 4th Hadith cited by Tahir ul Qadri in the Ghadir Declaration:

“BarA’ bin ‘Azib (ra) narrates: We performed hajj with AllAh’s Messenger (s). On the way he stayed at a place and commanded us (to establish) the prayer in congregation. After this, he held ‘Ali’s hand, and said: Am I not nearer than the lives of the believers? They replied: Why not! He said: Am I not nearer than the life [nafs] of every believer? They replied: Why not! He said: One who has me as his master has this (‘Ali) as his guardian. O AllAh! Befriend the one who befriends him and be the enemy of one who is his enemy.”

[Ibn MAjah narrated this sound hadith (tradition) in preface (al-muqaddimah) to his Sunan (1:88 # 116); Ibn Kathir, al-BidAyah wan-nihAyah (4:168); Hindi, Kanz-ul-‘ummAl (11:602 # 32904); Ibn ‘AsAkir, TArikh Dimashq al-kabir (45:167, 168); and Ibn ‘Abi ‘Asim briefly mentioned in as-Sunnah (p.603 # 1362)]

The greatest nafs amongst all beings is that of the Prophet (s). No one can supersede him, yet we know that Allah (swt) declares his nafs to be shared by another individual.

003.061 [YUSUFALI]:
]: If any one disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge Hath come to thee, say: “Come! let us gather together,- our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the curse of Allah on those who lie!”

Allamah Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri also comments on the verse as follows in Zibhe-e-Azeem page 70:

In Sahih Muslim Hadhrat Sad ibn Abi Waqqas narrates:
“when the (following) verse was revealed:” Let us summon our children and your children.” Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) called ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain and said: O Allah, they are my family.

When the verse of Mubahila descended and the Prophet (s) challenged the Christians we will summon our sons and you bring your sons, we will bring our daughters you bring yours, we will bring our wives, you bring your women. When the time came to bring out sons, the Prophet (s) brought out Hasan (ra) and Hussain (ra), on women he brought Fatima (ra), for his own selves he had ‘Ali accompanying him, he placed ‘Ali on the station of his life.
 Zibeh Azeem, page 70 by Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri (Minhajj al Quran publications, Model town, Lahore)

In the above verse (3:61), according to what Jabir Ibn Abdillah al-Ansari said, the word “sons” refers to al-Hasan and al-Husain, the word “women” refers to Fatimah, and the word “our selves” refer to the Prophet and Ali. Thus Ali is referred as “the self” of the Prophet (Nafs of the Prophet).
Tafseer Dur al Manthur, Volume 2 pages 68-69

When Maula Ali (as) is the nafs of the Prophet then this makes his nafs to be greater than that of all others that includes all past Prophets.

Reply Eight – Sunni traditions depict the Shaykhayn as superior to the Prophet (s)

What is incredible is the fact that those that attack the Shi’a concept of Imamate have traditions that extol Umar’s status in such a manner that he is presented as superior to the Prophet (s) and in infallible in all but name. We read in Sahih al Bukhari Volume 8 hadith 108:

Umar bin Al-Khattab asked permission of Allah’s Apostle to see him while some Quraishi women were sitting with him and they were asking him to give them more financial support while raising their voices over the voice of the Prophet. When ‘Umar asked permission to enter, all of them hurried to screen themselves. The Prophet admitted ‘Umar and he entered, while the Prophet was smiling. ‘Umar said, “May Allah always keep you smiling, O Allah’s Apostle! Let my father and mother be sacrificed for you!” The Prophet said, “I am astonished at these women who were with me. As soon as they heard your voice, they hastened to screen themselves.” ‘Umar said, “You have more right, that they should be afraid of you, O Allah’s Apostle!” And then he (‘Umar) turned towards them and said, “O enemies of your souls! You are afraid of me and not of Allah’s Apostle?” The women replied, “Yes, for you are sterner and harsher than Allah’s Apostle.” Allah’s Apostle said, “O Ibn Al-Khattab! By Him in Whose Hands my life is, whenever Satan sees you taking a way, he follows a way other than yours.

We read in Sahih Muslim Book 001, Number 0310:

It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: (the angels) came to me and took me to the Zamzam and my heart was opened and washed with the water of Zamzam and then I was left (at my place).

The next hadith (0311) depicts the greater involvement of satan:

Anas b. Malik reported that Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upo him) while he was playing with his playmates. He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said : That was the part of Satan in thee. And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to it place. The boys came running to his mother, i.e. his nurse, and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed toward him (and found him all right) His color was changed, Anas said. I myself saw the marks of needle on his breast.

As Muslims we believe that all children are incapable of committing any type of sinful actions, responsibility for act occurs when they are baligh (of mature age). But according to Ahl’ul Sunnah, Rasulullah (s) was so affected by Shaythan that Allah (swt) had to physically send Gibrael (as) to attend to Rasulullah (s) and perform ‘Satan removal surgery’ on him. Sunni traditions clearly do not suggest that the Umar suffered any such affliction, rather such was his perfection was that Satan was aloof from him; so there was never risk of Iblis hiding in his body, which meant there was no need for Allah (swt) to designate Gibrael (as) as a surgeon for ‘Umar. Does this not suggest ‘Umar as superior to Rasulullah (s)?

In Sahih al Bukhari Volume 4 hadith number 504:

“The Prophet offered a prayer, and (after finishing) he said, “Satan came in front of me trying persistently to divert my attention from the prayer, but Allah gave me the strength to over-power him.”

We would urge our Sunni brethren to consider these traditions. Umar is not only Ma’sum (untouched by Satan) but superior to Rasulullah (s) because Iblis does not even stop harassing Rasulullah (s) when he is offering Salat. Moreover in Jami al Tirmidhi Volume 2 page 756 under the Chapter dealing with the virtues of Umar Volume 4 hadith 14 we read:

“The Prophet returned from one of the Holy Wars. When he came back a black girl came and said ‘O Apostle of Allah! I have taken a vow that if Allah takes you back sound I shall beat this Daf in your presence with a song. The Apostle said “if you have taken a vow then beat, and if not, not”. Then she began to beat. Abu Bakr entered while she was beating, Thereafter Ali entered while she was beating. Usman entered while she was beating. Thereafter when Umar entered, she threw the Daf under her buttock and sat on it. The Apostle of Allah replied “O Umar the Devil certainly fears you. I was sitting and she was beating, then Ali entered and she was beating. Then Usman entered and she was beating. When you entered O Omar she threw down the Daf.”
Jam’e al Tirmidhi, Volume 2 page 756

Do our opponents actually believe this hadith that so belittles the rank of the Ma’sum Prophet (s)? First and foremost it is haraam for a man to listen to a woman singing. The hadith is therefore suggesting that the Prophet (saww) was indulging in a sin! Then it wants us to believe that Umar was the hero of the hour who brought this activity to an end. Umar saved the Prophet (saww) from the clutches of Shaythan – he had been taken in by the activity, as were Abu Bakr and Ali. There is no other interpretation possible the words of the Prophet “Shaythan is afraid of you only ” would prove that Umar’s rank is above that of the Prophet (s).

In relation to the superior rank of ‘Abu Bakr, Ibn Hajr records the following in Sawiqh al Muhriqa (Urdu translation page 121)

“Ibn Dhunjuya narrates: Gabriel went to Rasulullah (s) and told him that Allah (swt) had told him to seek the counsel of ‘Abu Bakr”.

In another tradition in the same book on page 251 we read this hadith:

“Allah does not like the fact that Abu Bakr can do any wrong”.

What position can we hold of a Sahaba whose rank according to these traditions is such that Allah (swt) cannot tolerate that he commit any wrongdoing, a man who Rasulullah is told to seek the counsel of. Again one who commits no wrong is infallible and Rasulullah’s seeking his advice clearly indicates his position to be superior to Rasulullah (s).

In addition to these traditions that we have cited we should also point out that their own Nasibi Deobandi Ulema have extolled the Sahaba’s virtues above those of Ulil Azm Prophets!

During first decade of 19th century a Sunni scholar namely Mirza Hairat Dehlawi emerged in Nasibi world with his book ‘Kitaab Shahaadat’ wherein he absolved Yazeed from the murder of Imam Husain (as). In the same book we read:

“Abu Bakr alone is a summary of all prophets and his superiority cannot be matched by Musa or Isa”
Kitaab Shahaadat by Mirza Hairat Dehalwi, page 14 (Karzan Publisher Dehli. 1913)

The Sunni scholar is confident enough to claim that Abu Bakr is superior to two Ul’il Uzm Prophets, including Musa (as) a confidence that (according to Sunni sources) Rasulullah (s) did not posses; rather he (s) refused to state that he was superior to Musa (as)! This is what we read in Sahih al Bukhari Volume 3, Book 41, Number 594:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Two persons, a Muslim and a Jew, quarrelled. The Muslim said, “By Him Who gave Muhammad superiority over all the people! The Jew said, “By Him Who gave Moses superiority over all the people!” At that the Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew on the face. The Jew went to the Prophet and informed him of what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet sent for the Muslim and asked him about it. The Muslim informed him of the event. The Prophet said, “Do not give me superiority over Moses, for on the Day of Resurrection all the people will fall unconscious and I will be one of them, but I will. be the first to gain consciousness, and will see Moses standing and holding the side of the Throne (of Allah). I will not know whether (Moses) has also fallen unconscious and got up before me, or Allah has exempted him from that stroke.”

Another Sunni scholar Allamah Sha’habudeen Qastalani claimed that Abu Bakr performed the ascension (miraaj) before the Prophet (s).

“The Prophet (s) stated when on the night of miraaj I arrived at the point ‘Kaba Kosayn’ I felt something I then heard the voice of Abu Bakr ‘Muhammad stand up your Creator is praying..”
Muwahib al Luduniya page 221, printed in Egypt.

‘Kaba Kosayn’ is that point where no Angel or previous Prophet had gone, yet Abu Bakr arrived there before the Prophet (s)!

Reply Nine – Sunnis believe that Imam Abu Hanifa is superior to Prophets

We are aware about the immense knowledge of Prophet Khidr (as) which even Prophet Musa (as) was unable to follow. Worthy to note is that fact that according to the belief of Ahl’ul Sunnah Prophet Khidr (as) learnt from Imam Abu Hanifa making him superior to not only Prophet Khidr (as) but Prophet Moses (as) as well. Not only this but according to Sunni belief Prophet Isa (as) on his appearance will have to follow and rule according to the teachings of Imam Abu Hafina which makes Abu Hanifa superior to Prophet Isa (as) as well. We read in one of the most esteemed Hanafi works:

“Hadhrat Khidr learnt the Ahkaam-e-Shariah from Abu Hanifa in 30 years and then taught Abul Qasim Qasheeri in three years who then wrote a thousand books of Hanafi Mazhab and kept them in a box and placed that in Jehjoon River, when Hazrat Essa comes near the Qayamah, he will take out those books and act according to them.”
Dur ul Mukhtar, Volume 1 page 34, Muqadimah (Fazail Imam e Aazam) published by M.H.Saeed Co. Karachi.

We also read:

“Hadhrat Isa will order as per the Mazhab of Imam [Abu Hanifa], it also prevailed in the Kingdoms of Rome and Transoxania till the days or Shariah holder, and even exists till now.”
Dur ul Mukhtar, Volume 1 page 33, Muqadimah (Fazail Imam e Aazam) published by M.H.Saeed Co. Karachi.

Having cited the Sunni belief about their Imam Abu Hanifa let us show Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehalwi distinguishes between the expertise of Imam Abu Hanifa (etc) and Imams of Ahl’ ul bayt (as).

“After Hadhrat Ameer [Ali] Hadhrat Imam Hasan (as) became the Imam, and after him the other Imams also had the right and merit to become Imams, but because people did not pay allegiance to some of them and some remained busy in the spiritual purification and preaching of religion and did not claim Imamate and therefore all of them did not become Imams.
This should be clear that Ahle Sunnah also consider the religious leaders as Imams. And as per this meaning Imam Aazam (Abu Hanifa) and Imam Shafe’i were Imams in Fiqh. Imam Ghazali and Imam Raazi were Imams in Aqaid (Beliefs) and Kalaam. And Nafe’ and Aasim were Imams in Qiraat. And Aima-e-Athaar (Pure Imams of Ahl’ul-Bayt) were Imams in all these fields. Especially in spiritual guidance and Irshaad-e-Tareeqat they had the excellence. Therefore in this regard Ahl’ul-Sunnah commonly consider them as Imams, not in the sense of Caliphs because in their perspective for Caliphate it is necessary to have authority over the land, right and merit to Imamate, command and the power to proclaim orders. That is why they have limited the Caliphate to five individuals only.”

Tauhfa Athna Ashariyah (Urdu), page 283, published Noor Muhammad KutbKhana, Karachi, Pakistan.

If Imam Abu Hanifa is more knowledgeable and superior to previous prophets and Imams of Ah’lul bayt (as) possess all the expertise which the aforesaid Imams (including Abu Hanifa) individually possessed in their respective fields then does this not that mean the Imams (as) are also superior to prophets?

Moreover if according to Sunni belief Imam Abu Hanifa was superior to prophets, held more knowledge than them and Prophet Isa (as) will also follow the madhab of Imam Abu Hanifa on His (as) reappearance than what do the Ahl’ul Sunah have to say about the superiority of those from whom Imam Abu Hanifa himself learnt? After all it’s a historical proof that their Imams i.e. Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik learned from Imam Baqar (as) and Imam Jaffar Sadiq (as).

“Imam Abu Hanifa stayed for a long time in the pure (city of) Madina and continuously attended the circles of Imam Baqir (r). In jurisprudence (fiqh) and traditions (Hadith) he learnt many things during his time with Imam Baqir (r) which he didn’t know before. Imam Baqir (r) passed away on 7 Dhu’l Hijja 114 AH.

After Imam Baqir’s death, Imam Abu Hanifa had the greatest respect for his son Imam Ja’far Sadiq (r). He would attend Imam Ja’far’s classes quite often to acquire knowledge. Imam Abu Hanifa used to hold the opinion about the Ahl al-Bayt that Hadith and fiqh, indeed all religious sciences, have surfaced from their Household”.
 Musnad Imam Azam (Urdu), page 23 by Imam Abu Hainfa translated by Maulana Asad Hassan

Mufti Ghulam Rasool in ‘Subeh Sadiq’ page 202 narrates that:

Abu Nu’aym Isfahani (d. 430 Hijri) wrote: “Imam Malik bin Anas was one of the students of Imam Ja’far (Hilayat al-Awliya Volume 3 page 199). Researcher Abu Zuhra writes that Imam Malik attained knowledge from him and attended his gatherings (Imam Jafar Sadiq, page 83)”.
Subeh Sadiq, page 202

If according to Muhadith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlawi, the Imams of Ahl’ ul bayt (as) possessed all expertise which his aforesaid Imams of Fiqha, Qiraat, Kalaam, Belief etc possessed seperately and since Imam Abu Hafina is superior to prophets then Nasibi should not have any objection if we believe that the our Imams, the successors of Holy Prophet (s) are superior to previous prophets.

Reply Ten – The Deobandi themselves believe that a mere follower can be equal or even superior to his prophet

It is indeed surprising that filthy Nawasib who happens to be an adherent of Deoband school has chosen to attack the Shia for their belief in the superiority of the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) over previous Prophets while their own texts have kept open the possibility for a mere follower of a Prophet (including our Holy Prophet (s)) let alone a divinely appointed Imam. One of the pioneer scholars of Deoband, Muhammad Qaasim Nanotovi states:

“If Prophets are distinguished from their followers then such distinction is confined only with regard to knowledge. But so far as deeds are concerned, most often their followers are equal to them, and some times even excel them”.
Tahzeer-un-Naas, Page 5 by Muhammad Qaasim Nanotovi

Does this not constitute blasphemy against Prophets and the knowledge that Allah (swt) bestowed on them, after all He (swt) sent them as the most perfect examples in all aspects of religion and life amongst their respective nations? Isnt keeping a belief that Allah (swt) may equalise or excel some of the mere followers of prophets in deeds a direct attack at the justice of Allah (swt), whereby a mere follower that excels in deeds to an extent that he can even leave a Prophet lagging behind him? May be this belief has been driven by our opponents from the various traditions came onto the pages of their Sahih books by the efforts of Bani Ummayah which tells us that Holy Prophet (s) was incapable of managing a woman shouting at him but Umar could (Sahih Bukhari v8 No.108), or where we learn that the Prophet (s) passed urine whilst standing (Bukhari v1 No. 226) but we do not find any such practice from other Sahabah etc.

It was not only Maulana Qaasim Nanotovi but one of his esteemed followers Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi fulfilled all the rights of being a devoted follower by adhering to same belief. He stated:

“In the art of politics, it is quite possible that a non-Prophet may excel a Prophet’s knowledge.”
Al-Ifanzaat-ul-Yaumiyah, by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, vol. 6 page 349

What is politics, some rocket science? Even if it was rocket science that would obviously not out of the knowledge of Allah (swt) who grants it to his chosen people (prophets) but politics is nothing but the ‘affairs of a state’ which all the prophets could do as they were among their people to proclaim the message of God related to all aspects of life which includes the way to govern the people. Do our opponents want to say that the principles which Prophet (s) adopted to keep the affairs of the state had some flawed and yet a someone among them was more adept at it?

Alhamdulilah Shia do not adhere to such beliefs and while keeping such belief our opponents like that of filthy Nawasib of Sipah-e-Sahabah and Madrasah In’aamiyyah have no right AT ALL to bark at Shias.

Reply Eleven – The Deobandi’s belief that some saints are superior to prophets

One of the prominent figures of Deoband school Allamah Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalvi mentions in Fazaail-e-Hajj:

Once one of the Abdaal met Hazrat Khidr A.S and inquired from him whether he had ever met anyone among the saints whom he considered higher in rank than himself. To this he replied, ‘Yes, I have. I was present once in the Masjid in Medina, where I saw Hazrat Shaikh Abdur Razzak Rah. dictating Hadeeth to his students. On one side was a young man sitting with his head bent on his knees. I went to him and addressed him thus, ‘do you not see the gathering listening to the words of Rasulullah Sal`am. Why do you not join them?’

Without lifting up his head or turning in my direction the youth answered: “Over there you see those who listen to the Hadeeth from the mouth of Abdur-Razzak (the slave of the sustainer), while over here you see him who listens to Hadeeth directly from Ar-Razzak (Allah).” Khidr said to him, “If what you say is true then you should be able to tell me who I am. Who am I?” He lifted up his head and said, ‘If my intuition does not fail me then you are Hazrat Khidr Rah.’ Hazrat Khidr said, “From that I realized that among the saints of Allah there are such who are so exalted in rank that I cannot recognize them.”
Fazaail-e-Aamaal, Virtues of Hajj, (English Translation), Chapter 9, Story no. 9, p.171, (New Edition 1982, Published by Dini Book Depot – Delhi).

When Deobandi school has kept opened the possibility of saints being superior to Nabi Khidr (as) then those anti Shia fanatics who happen to be Deobandis have no right whatsoever to yap at those Shias who believe that Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) are superior to previous Prophets while their own scholars have affirmed the rank of the Imams of Ahlulbayt (as) being superior of all Awliyah/Saints.

Reply Twelve – The Deobandi’s believe that their Ulema are superior to the Prophets

Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, whilst extolling the virtues of the Deoband Madrassa (The main school of learning in Nasibi ideology in the Indian subcontinent) writes the following:

“Once a great scholar saw the Prophet (saws) in a dream speaking Urdu, he asked him where he learnt to speak Urdu when he was an Arabic speaker, the Prophet (saws) replied I learnt Urdu following my contact with the Deoband Madrassa”.
Al Baraheen ul Qaati’a, by Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, page 26 (published in Kutubkhana Imdaadeyaa, Deoband, Uttar Pradesh)

The reason that one attends school is to acquire knowledge; the student takes lessons from the teacher who is superior on account of his knowledge. Rasulullah (s) was the master of the Shari’ah and yet according to this dream he attended the Deobandi madrassa. Why would Rasulullah (s) need to attend a madrassa when he has a complete command over the Shari’ah? The attendance of Rasulullah (s) at this madrassa must have been on account of his need to acquire further religious knowledge; with the added advantage that he also learnt Urdu in the process. Whilst this dream is a clear insult of our Prophet (s) we will cite it as evidence for Numani and Afriqi, to show how their arrogant Ulema deem their madrasas teachers to possess greater knowledge than the Prophet (s).


[6]: Superiority of the Imams over the Angels

Whilst we have successfully proven the superior rank of our Imams over Prophethood one issue remains outstanding from the comments of Ayatollah Khomeini, his viewpoint that man can be superior to Angels citing the reference again he had said:

Afriqi states:

It is of the undeniable tenets of our faith that our Imams possess a status with Allah that neither Angel nor Messenger can aspire to

Reply One – Believers are superior to angels

Sadly the author lacks knowledge of his own aqeedah is that man can have a rank superior to Angels. Suffice it to say that Rasulullah (s) had stated:

“In the eyes of Allah, the momin is superior to certain angels”.

In his explanation of this Hadith classical Hanafi scholar, Mullah ‘Ali Qari declares:

“Thayabi has commented that this Hadith means that ordinary people can be superior to ordinary Angels and superior people are superior to ordinary and superior angels in the same way that superior angels are superior to ordinary men”.
Mirqat Sharah Mishkat page 510 Hadith number 5

We are sure that not even these Nasibi authors would not openly deny that the Imams of the Ahl’ul bayt (as) are superior individuals. Hence in accordance with this Hadith their rank is superior to that of Angels. Moreover the proof of a normal sahabi being superior to angels can also be found in other Sunni sources. For example we read that Abu Huraira and Ibn Abbas both narrated:

The messenger of Allah preached and then ordered Bilal to call for prayer (adhan), then the people gathered, then the prophet stood on the pulpit and said: “Oh people, get closer and make space for those who are behind you”. He said that three times and the people came closer and looked behind but nobody was there, the messenger of Allah said: “Get closer and make space for those who are behind you”. He said that three times and the people came closer and looked behind but nobody was there, then the messenger of Allah repeated that for the third time and the people saw no one behind them, then a man stand up and asked: ‘Whom we shall make space for? the angels?”. The messenger of Allah said: “No, if they were among you, they would not be in front of you or behind you and would not be on the left side or the right side”. The man asked: “Why they can not be in front of us or behind us? Are they superior to us?”. “The messenger of Allah said: “No, you (people) are superior to the angels”. Then the man sat down.
1. Al-Matalib al-Aaliya by Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Baab al-Manaqib, No 4181
2. Musnad al-Harith by Al-Harith bin Abi Usama, Kitab al-Salat, No. 205

Do we need to comment any more?

Reply Two – Infallible people are superior to the chief angels

Let us cite an example,

A University Professor decides to test observance by rules and has three volunteers participating. Each participant is placed in a large house in an uninhabited, containing just one supermarket over a mile away. All three inhabitants must live in these properties for one year. They are permitted to have all freedoms / flexibilities, but upon entry they are told to strictly observe to three house rules:

  • Do not use the swimming pool
  • Do not drive the car in the garage
  • Do not read any of the books in the Library
  • Do not watch the television (each house has one television with a detached plug on top of it).

After a few months subject two gets bored, and decides to wire the plug and watch the television. He also starts making use of the swimming pool, and as the weather gets colder he starts using the car when visiting the shops. During the day he gets bored, and starts visiting the library to read the books. Gradually he has breached all of the rules.

Subject One observes all the rules throughout the year. He cant make use of the swimming pool, since he is unable to swim. Despite the cold weather he continues to walk to the shop to her his groceries because he cannot drive. He does not utilise the books in the library because he has had not formal education, and is illiterate. He does not wire the plug top watch the television as he is colour blind. His failing result in him observing all of the rules.

Subject Three can swim, drive, read, can wire the plug to watch TV, but observes the rules throughout the year.

Which of these three subjects was the most superior?

Subject One: Can’t be most superior, his resolve has not been tested. His lack of knowledge makes it physically incapable of breaching the regulations.

Subject Two: Clearly is not the most superior, he tried to observe the rules, boredom, he knew how to break the rules and broke them accordingly.

Subject Three: Has the capability / knowledge to break the rules but still observes all of the rules.

It is clear from this example that Subject three is the most superior, he controlled himself and did not break any of the rules that had been set.

It is from this perspective that we believe that our Imams are superior to angels. Angels have been programmed to behave in a certain way, they have not been provided with the free will or knowledge that could lead them in to deviation, error and misguidance. Allah (swt) has given them a role in life; they are incapable of acting inside it. The angels are created of light, created incapable of rebellion against God’s will, for their purpose is to carry it out. They have no lures / challenges that could lead them to faltering from the obedience of Allah (swt). Angels would fall under subject 2. Man on the other hand has no restriction, he as the free will to live his life as he chooses whether that be to obey Allah (swt) or disobey Him.

Man commonly falls into transgression and breaches the rules dictated for him by the Creator (swt). Fallible man would fall under the subject 2 category.

When despite this free will, and the attractions of sinful acts, man is able to stay aloof from the charms of a lawless people / a degenerate society then such a person is superior to angels since despite the option to sin has not done so. Based on our example this refers to subject three, such a person is superior to subject one (angels). This is why the perfect man is superior to the angels, for he may freely choose to serve God and to believe in His prophets, whereas the angels, who are at all times in the presence of God, cannot fail to obey Him and to sing His praises at all times.

To expand on this further, we shall cite the comments ascribed by the renowned Sunni Sufi scholar Ali bin Usman Al Jullabi Hujwiri in his famed book ‘Kashf al Mahjub’ the oldest Persian script on Sufism (translated by Prof Reynold Nicholson). He writes in the Chapter ‘Discourse on the Superiority of the Prophets and Saints to the Angels’ as follows:

“The whole community of orthodox Muslims and all the Sufi Shaykhs agree that the Prophets and such of the Saints are guarded from sin (mahfuz) and are superior to the angels”
Kashf al Mahjub, Page 239 (English version, published by Daarul Ishaat Karachi)

We further read:

“the angels are equal to the Prophets in knowledge but not in rank. The angels are without lust, covetousness and evil; their nature is devoid of hypocrisy and guile, and they are instinctively obedient to God; whereas lust is an impediment in human nature; and men have a propensity to commit sins and to be impressed by the vanities of this world; and Satan has so much power over their bodies that he circulates with blood in their veins; and closely attached to them is the lower soul (nafs) which incites them to all manner of wickedness. Therefore one whose nature has all these characteristics and in spite of the violence of his lust renounces this world, and though his heart is still tempted by the Devil, turns back from sin and averts his face from sensual depravity in order to occupy himself with devotion and persevere in piety and mortify his lower soul and contend against the Devil, such a one is in reality superior to the angel who is not on the battlefield of lust, and is naturally without the desire of food and pleasures and has no care for wife and child and kinfolk, and need not have recourse to means and instruments, and is not absorbed in corrupt ambitions”. (page 240)

“in short, the elect among the true believers are superior to the elect among the angels and the ordinary believers are superior to the ordinary angels. Accordingly those men who are preserved (ma’sum) and protected (mahfuz) from sin are more excellent than Gabriel and Michael, and those who are not thus preserved are better than the Recording Angels (hafaza) and the noble scribes (kiram-I-katibin)” (page 241)
Kashf al Mahjub, pages 240-241 (English version, published by Daarul Ishaat Karachi)

So Hujwiri is stating:

  1. There is an ijma amongst Ahl’ul Sunnah that Prophets and some Saints are superior to Angels
  2. The superiority is because, whilst Angels have no nafs and cannot sin, the individual who has control over his nafs and commits no sin has succeeded – fighting the shackles of worldly desires
  3. The Head of believers is superior to the Head of Angels
  4. The individual who is “ma’sum” and “mahfuz” ranks higher than Gabriel (as) and Mikhail (as).

According to Hujwiri one who controls Nafs is superior to Angels, this being the case what about that individual that has not just controlled, but SOLD his nafs for the pleasure of Allah (swt)?

“And among men there is who sells himself (soul) seeking the pleasure of God; and verily, God is affectionate unto His (faithful) servants” (2:207)”.

So who is this verse praising?

Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Abdul Hamid Ghazali writes the following in his most famous work ‘Ihya Ulum id din’ records that:

“The Quraish youths one day surrounded the house of the Prophet in order to kill him. Hadhrat Ali in order to save his life, thought his life insignificant and went to the bed of the Prophet. God then addressed Gabriel and Michael and said: ‘I have established brotherhood among you and gave you equal period of life. Who is there among you who can sacrifice his life for another?’ Both of them preferred to save his own life. God then said to them: ‘Why could you not show example like Ali? I have established brotherhood between him and Muhammad, and Ali is spending the night by lying upon the bed of Muhammad in order to save the life of the latter. Go to the earth and save him from his enemies. Gabriel began to protect him keeping near his head and Michael near his feet. Gabriel said to Ali ‘blessed you are, blessed you are. There is no comparison with you. God is taking boast of you before the angels. God then sent this revelation ‘There is a man among men who sacrifices his life in search for the pleasure of Allah’ -2:207″
Ihya Ulum id din, by Abdul Hamid Ghazali, Vol 3 p 237-238 – English translation by Maulana Fazal Karim

Other Sunni scholars have also recorded this event in exactly the same way:

  1. Tafseer al Kabeer, by Fakhr ad Din al Razi, v 2 p 189;
  2. Hakim al Mustadrak, v 3 p 4
  3. Ghayatul Maryam, p 344 — 345
  4. Tafseer e Qurtubi, v 3 p 347
  5. Asadul Ghaiba fe Marifatil As Sahaba, v 4 p 25
  6. Tafseer Nishapuri (Allamah Nishapuri ) , v 1 p 281
  7. Dhukhayr al Uqba, p 88

In this tradition both Gabriel (as) and Mikail (as) the highest ranking Angels are testifying to the superiority of Imam Ali (as) over them, so has the Shi’a aqeedah not been proven or are our opponents going to accuse these great Angels of committing kufr as well?

Reply Three – The Imams are also superior to the angels from the perspective of knowledge

We read in Surah Baqara verses 031-33

And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the names of these if ye are right.”
They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.”
He said: “O Adam! Tell them their names.” When he had told them, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?”

This verse demonstrates that Adam (as) was superior to angels on account of his knowledge, as proven from the test that Allah (swt) placed before them. When they very basic knowledge that Adam (as) had was superior to that of the angels then it is quite logical that the knowledge of our Imams as the inheritors of Prophetic knowledge would be superior. We have already stress that Maula Ali (as) was the Gate of the Knowledge of the Prophet (s) and we have already cited a lengthy tradition from Riyadh al Nadira Volume 2 page 239, Dhikr Ali ibn Abi Talib, that include these words of the Prophet (s) said:

“He who wants to see Adam (as) in his knowledge…should look at Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as)”

At minimum the Nawasib will have to accept that the knowledge of ‘Ali (as) was on par with Prophet Adam (as) that automatically means his knowledge was greater than that of angels.


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