Saturday, 4 August 2018

Doctrine of Imamate Refuted in Nahj ul Balagha

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والصلاة والسلام على اشرف الابياء والمرسلين

نبينا محمد المصطفى وعلى آله واهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين المظلومين

والعاقبة للمتقين

The religion of the Ithna Ashari (Twelver) sect of Shi’a is based on five principles, one of which is the Imamate. According to this principle, the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was succeeded in the leadership of this Umma by twelve divinely-appointed Imams, each Imam being ma’sum (infallible), and in fact superior to all of the Prophets of God with the exception of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam). The Imamiyya Shi’a necessarily reject the idea that the Prophet’s successor and the leader of the Muslims is to be elected through shura (consultation) among the people. Consequently, they reject the khilafa of the Prophet’s first three immediate successors, namely, sayyidina Abi Bakr, Umar, and Uthman (radi Allahu anhum), considering each of them to have been usurpers of the right of sayyidina Ali (karam Allahu wajhahu) to lead the community. Now this claim of the Imamiyya Shi’a that the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) designated sayyidina Ali (karam Allahu wajhahu) to succeed him after his death has been debunked here time and again. For this entry, I wish to refute the false principle of the Imamiyya Shi’a from one of their own classical texts, Nahj ul-Balagha. This is a collection of Amir ul-Mu’minin Ali b. Abi Talib’s (radi Allahu anhu) letters and sermons, at least according to the Twelver Shi’a, and is hence held in very high esteem and considered quite authoritative for them. In one of his letters addressed to Mu’awiya b. Abi Sufyan, sayyidina Amir ul-Mu’minin (radi Allahu anhu) writes:

إِنَّهُ بَايَعَنِي الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ بَايَعُوا أَبَا بَكْرٍ وَ عُمَرَ وَ عُثْمَانَ عَلَى مَا بَايَعُوهُمْ عَلَيْهِ فَلَمْ يَكُنْ لِلشَّاهِدِ أَنْ يَخْتَارَ وَ لَا لِلْغَائِبِ أَنْ يَرُدَّ وَ إِنَّمَا الشُّورَى لِلْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَ الْأَنْصَارِفَإِنِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى رَجُلٍ وَ سَمَّوْهُ إِمَاماً كَانَ ذَلِكَ لِلَّهِ رِضًا فَإِنْ خَرَجَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِمْ خَارِجٌ بِطَعْنٍ أَوْ بِدْعَةٍ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى مَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُ فَإِنْ أَبَى قَاتَلُوهُ عَلَى اتِّبَاعِهِ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ وَلَّاهُ اللَّهُ مَا تَوَلَّى وَ لَعَمْرِي يَامُعَاوِيَةُ لَئِنْ نَظَرْتَ بِعَقْلِكَ دُونَ هَوَاكَ لَتَجِدَنِّي أَبْرَأَ النَّاسِ مِنْ دَمِ عُثْمَانَ وَ لَتَعْلَمَنَّ أَنِّي كُنْتُ فِي عُزْلَةٍ عَنْهُ إِلَّا أَنْ تَتَجَنَّى فَتَجَنَّ مَا بَدَا لَكَ وَ السَّلَامُ
“Verily, those who took the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman have sworn allegiance to me. Now those who were present at the election have no right to go back against their oaths of allegiance and those who were not present on the occasion have no right to oppose me. And so far as Shura was concerned it was supposed to be limited to Muhajirs and Ansars and it was also supposed that whomsoever they selected, became Imam as per approval and pleasure of Allah. If somebody goes against such decision, then he should be persuaded to adopt the course followed by others, and if he refuses to fall in line with others, then war is the only course left open to be adopted against him and as he has refused to follow the course followed by the Muslims, Allah will let him wander in the wilderness of his ignorance and schism. O Mu'awiya! I am sure that if you give up self-aggrandizement and self-interest, if you forsake the idea of being alive only to personal profits and pleasures, if you cease to be actuated solely by selfishness and if you ponder over the incident leading to the murder of Uthman, you will realize that I cannot at all be held responsible for the affair and I am the least concerned with the episode. But it is a different thing that you create all these false rumours and carry on this heinous propaganda to gain your ulterior motives. Well you may do whatever you like. Peace!” (Nahj ul-Balagha p.491):


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