The entire edifice of the Ithna Ashari (Twelver) sect of Shi’ism rests on the idea of the Imamate; that the Imam is someone who is appointed by Allah, and after the Prophet ﷺ there are only 12 Imams who were divinely appointed to their respective positions. In other words, the Imam is like a Prophet in the sense that both are appointed by Allah Most High.
However, the greatest thorn in the necks of the Ithna Ashari is proving this belief of theirs, which happens to be one of their articles of faith, from the text of the Holy Qur’an. Obviously, such an important belief and concept cannot be absent from the Holy Qur’an if it is indeed true as they claim. Yet not only is this concept conspicuously absent from the Holy Qur’an, the reality is that the Holy Qur’an manifestly contradicts it:
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an Imam for the righteous.”
This Verse implicitly destroys the entire ediface of Twelver Shi’ism. If an Imam is an office to which a person can only be divinely appointed, and furthermore, as per the Twelver claim, the office of Imamate was terminated in the “absent” twelfth Imam, then how is it possible that an ordinary Believer supplicate to Allah to make him personally an Imam for the righteous? For example, it is blasphemy for an ordinary person to supplicate to Allah to make him a Prophet since Prophets are divinely appointed by Allah and the institution of Prophethood has terminated in the person of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
This blessed Verse of the Holy Qur’an has trapped the Shi’a and they have no way of escape except to shamelessly distort it. Otherwise it is plain to see for all that this Verse absolutely demolishes the Twelver concept of Imamate. Hence, according to the Shi’ite scholar Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi (d.919 CE), there is an alternative recitation of this Verse in order for it to fit into the Shi’ite narrative:
قرئت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام: وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا [الفرقان: 74] فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: لقد سألوا الله عظيما أن يجعلهم للمتقين إماما. فقيل له: يا ابن رسول الله كيف نزلت؟ فقال: إنما نزلت: (الذين يقولون ربنا هب لنا من أزواجنا وذرياتنا قرة أعين واجعل لنا من المتقين إماما)
The Verse “And those who say our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an Imam for the righteous” (25:74) was read in the presence of Abi Abdillah (A.S), so he said: “They have asked Allah for something great that He makes them an Imam for the righteous.” So it was said to him: “O son of Allah’s Messenger, how was it revealed?” So he said: “Verily it was revealed: Those who say, our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make for us from the righteous an Imam”
Reference: Tafsir al-Qummi; v.2, p.117
Look how shamelessly the Shi’ites attribute this open distortion of the Holy Qur’an to Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (R.A). They have altered the Words of Allah “make us an Imam for the righteous” to “make for us from the righteous an Imam”!
This is nothing short of Tahreef (distortion) of the Holy Qur’an which is undisputedly Kufr.
But the question remains; how do the Twelver Shi’a answer the implication of this Verse (25:74) and still cling to their repudiated concept of a divinely appointed Imamate?