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Additional Proofs For The Infallibility Of the Ahl al-Bayt

Additional Proofs For The Infallibility Of the Ahl al-Bayt
1. Hadith al-Thagalain : Text of the tradition of the two weighty things: "0 people! I am leaving among you two things which, so long as you uphold to them [both simultaneously], you shall never stray: the Book of Allah and my 'itrah, my Ahl al-Bayt," where there is a directive from the Prophet (a.s) that the condition for not straying is upholding the Book of Allah (a.s) and his 'itrah,

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Progeny. It is not rational for anyone who believes there is a possibility that there is something wrong, or any crookedness, in it can expect it to be a safe haven against straying. This proves the Infallibility of both weighty things: the Book of Allah, i.e. the greater weight which no falsehood can approach from front or back, and the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s), the great weight.

2. This Qur'anic Verse : "And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands which he fulfilled. He said, 'I will make you an Imam (guide) to the nations.' He pleaded: 'What about my offspring?!' He answered, 'My promise is not within the reach of evil-doers'" (Qur'an, 2:124). Besides pointing out to the lofty status of Imamate, this verse also indicates that the "promise" of Allah, that is, Imamate, cannot be the lot of an oppressor. A sin, minor or major, renders one who commits it an oppressor. Hence, an Imam has to be divinely protected from committing any sin or wrongdoing.

3. Evidence in Mustadrak al-Sahihain : Relying on the isnad of Hanash al-Kinani, al-Hakim cites the man saying that he heard Abu Tharr saying the following as he was holding to the door of he Ka' bah:

"0 people! Whoever knows me, I am who I am, and whoever does not, I am Abu Tharr. I heard the Messenger of Allah (a.s) saying, 'The similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) among you is like the ark of Noah: whoever boards it is safe [from drowning], and who ever lags behind it is drowned."1

Al-Hakim adds saying that the isnad of this tradition is authentic.

4. Also in Mustadrak al-Sahihain : Through the isnad traced to Ibn 'Abbas, the same reference cites Ibn 'Abbas quoting the Messenger of Allah (a.s) saying,"The stars offer security for the people of the earth against
1 Al-Hakim, Mustadrak al-Sahihain, Vol. 2, p. 343.


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drowning, while my Ahl al-Bayt are the security of my nation against dissension. If a tribe from among the Arabs opposes them, it will become the party of Iblis."1

5. In al-Bukhairi's Sahih : In order to further clarify the lofty status with which the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) were blessed, we would like to quote some traditions narrated in al-Bukhari's Sahih and which address the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) with "'alaihimus-salam (peace be upon them). They, rather than anyone else from among all the sahabah or the wives of the Prophet (a.s), were thus addressed. Following are examples narrated by al-Bukhari in his Sahih:

Ali (a.s) has said, "I used to have an established portion of the war booties, and the Prophet (a.s) gave me an established portion of the khums. When I was going to have a daughter by Fatima (a.s), peace be upon her, daughter of the Messenger of Allah (a.s)..., etc."2

Al-Bukhari also wrote saying,

"... and the Prophet (a.s) knocked at the door of Fatima (a.s) and 'Ali (a.s), peace be upon both of them, on a night for the prayers ..., etc."3

In another narration, the following is stated:

"... He said, 'I saw the Prophet (a.s), and al-Hasan (a.s) son of 'Ali (a.s), peace be upon both of them, looked like him ..., etc.'"4

Also, the following is stated in the same reference:

"... from 'Ali (a.s) son of al-Husain (a.s), peace be upon both of them, he told him..., etc."5
1 Mustadrak al-,Sahihain, Vol. 3, p. 149.
2 Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Vol. 3, p. 171, in the Book of Sales, in a chapter dealing with handicrafts (published by the modern Riyadh library).
3 Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 126, in the Book of Tahajjud.
4 Ibid. , Vol. 4, p. 486, in the Book of Merits, in a chapter about how the Prophet (a.s) looked like.
5 Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 418, in the Book of Tawhid, in a chapter dealing with the will and the power of determination.


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One may argue saying that this does not prove their distinction, but

the question will then be, "Why then were they, rather than anyone else, thus greeted?"

6. Evidence From hadith : The Messenger of Allah (a.s) has ordered anyone who blesses him to also bless his Progeny concurrently. In a tradition recorded by al-Bukhari in his ..Sahih, relying on the isnad of 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla, it is recorded,

"... He said, 'Ka 'b ibn 'Ajrah met me and said, 'Grant me a gift!' The Prophet (a.s) came out to see us, so we said to him, '0 Messenger of Allah! We have already come to know how to greet you, but how should we bless you?' He (a.s) said, 'You should say: 0 Allah! Bless Muhammed (a.s) and the Progeny of Muhammed (a.s) as You blessed Ibrahim and the progeny of Ibrahim,. surely You are the oft-Praised, the oft-Glorified'."1

The point of connection in this tradition between our master Ibrahim, peace be upon him and upon his progeny, on one hand, and our master Muhammed (a.s) and his Progeny on the other is that Ibrahim (a.s) was also a prophet, and his offspring were prophets to whom people referred after his demise. Likewise, the offspring of Muhammed (a.s) were the custodians of the Message brought by Muhammed (a.s). The Muslims were ordered to refer to them after the demise of the Chosen One (a.s) except they were Imams (a.s), not prophets, as was the case with the progeny of Ibrahim. In a dialogue between the Prophet (a.s) and 'Ali (a.s), the Prophet (a.s) said,

"Are you not pleased that your status with me is like that of Aaron to Moses except there is no prophet after me?" 2

We will later discuss this tradition.

It is concluded from all the above that Allah, the most Sublime and
1 Al-Bukhäri, Vol. 8, p. 245, in the Book of Supplications, in a chapter dealing with saluting the Prophet (a.s).
2 Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 492, in the Book of Military Campaigns, in a chapter dealing with the Tabuk Campaign.


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the most Great, specifically granted purification and Infallibility to the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) in their capacity as the ones to fill the vacuum left by the Messenger of Allah (a.s) with regard to transmitting the Message to future generations, to safeguard it from those who distort or cast doubt about it. What is the benefit of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) conveying the Divine Shari'ah if it is not safeguarded after his death by trustworthy persons? What happened to past creeds suffices to answer this question. The followers of the latter creeds used to derive their legislation from any source after the departure from this world of those who conveyed such creeds to them. This is why distortion afflicted them as the most Great and the most Exalted One has said:

"Can you (0 men of faith!) entertain the hope that they will believe in you, seeing that a party of them heard the word of Allah, and distorted it knowingly after having understood it?" (Qur'an, 2:75).

It needs not mentioned that safeguarding the texts of the Qur'an against any addition or deletion is not by itself sufficient at any rate to safeguard the Divine Shari'ah from being distorted. Imamate, thus, is considered as an extension of prophethood with regard to its general functions except what is relevant to the wahy (Divine Revelation), which is one of the particularities of prophethood. What is meant by the Imamate being the extension of prophethood is the safeguarding of the Shari'ah with knowledge and application. Hence, the Infallibility of the Imams (a.s) is a must for transmitting the divine legislation to posterity via pure and genuine venues represented by the Twelve Imams (a.s) who all belong to the Household of the Prophet (a.s).

2) Proofs Confirming the Number of Imams from among the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s)

The Chosen One (a.s) has stated that the Imams, or caliphs, after him were from the tribe of Quraish—to which the Prophet (a.s) belongs, and that their number is twelve. Relying on the authority of Jabir ibn Samrah, al-Bukhari quotes Jabir saying that he heard


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the Prophet (a.s) saying,

"There shall be twelve amirs ..."

He goes on to say that the Prophet (a.s) said something which he (Jabir) did not hear, adding,

"My father said to me [that what I did not hear was:] 'All of them are from Quraish."1

In Muslim's Sahih, one hadith reads:

"The faith shall remain standing until the time of the Hour, or you will be ruled by twelve caliphs, all from Quraish."2

In the same reference, the following text exists:

"People's affairs will be in effect so long as they are ruled by twelve men."3

In Ahmed's Musnad, where the compiler relies on the isnad of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, the latter says that he once asked the Messenger of Allah (a.s) about those "caliphs." The Prophet (a.s) said to him,

"They are twelve in number, as many as the tribes of the Children of Israel."4

A text in the Torah of the People of the Book (ahl al-Kitab) carries this meaning:

"Allah Almighty conveyed the glad tiding of [the birth of] Ishmael to Abraham and that He would multiply his progeny exceedingly and bring about from among his offspring twelve princes and a great nation."'5
1 Al-Bukhäri, Sahih, Vol. 9, p. 250, in the Book of Ahkam, in a chapter titled "There will be twelve princes."
2 Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 4, p. 482, in the Book of Imarah, in a chapter about "People to follow Quraish" (Dar al-Sha'b), mentioned in al-Nawawi's Shark
3 Ibid.
4 Ahmed, Musnad, Vol.1, p. 389.
5 This is an indication to Genesis, 17:20: "And for Ishmael I have heard thee: behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will very greatly multiply him; twelve princes will he beget, and I will make him a great nation." Derby's Version of the Bible.


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The "great nation" referred to here is the nation of our master Muhammed (a.s) whose lineage descended from Ishmael, peace be upon him. As for the twelve princes, they are the Imams (a.s), or the caliphs, who succeeded the Messenger of Allah (a.s) and who also descended from him. They are the ones referred to in the authentic traditions cited above.

This issue may be regarded as the most perplexing to the Sunni scholars who could not provide one single explanation, or any convincing argument, identifying these twelve caliphs referred to by many authentic traditions recorded in their own Sahih books, so much so that this issue has become a puzzling riddle to them. Their interpretations of it are shaky, often reaching a dead end because of the inapplicability of the number "twelve" to any group of caliphs starting from the first four and passing by the Umayyahs, the 'Abbäsids and the Ottomans, or are they to be selected from all of these?!

We would like to bring about an example portraying the extent of their confusion while interpreting this tradition: Al-Sayyuti has said,

"From among the twelve [caliphs] are: the [first] four caliphs, al-Hasan (a.s), Mu'awiyah, ['Abdullah] ibn al-Zubayr, 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz. These are eight, and it is possible that alMahdi, the 'Abbasid [caliph] may be added to them since he is to the 'Abbasids what 'Umar ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz is to the Umayyahs. And al-tAhlr, the 'Abbasid [caliph], too, [is among them] on account of his equity. Two remain; these are the awaited ones; one of them is Al-Mahdi because he belongs to the Ahl al-Bayt."1

When we talk about their puzzlement in solving the "riddle" of the twelve caliphs, we mean their scholars are the ones who are puzzled. As for their commoners, they most often never heard such traditions which fix the number of the successors of the Messenger
1 Al-Sayyüti, p. 12.


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of Allah (a.s) or the hadith which enjoins upholding the two weighty things and many others which all point out to the merits of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) despite such occurrence in their Sahih books. I was quite astonished when Dr. Ahmed Nawfal, a professor at the College of Shari'ah, University of Jordan, as I debated with him, said that the tradition of the twelve caliphs is of my own invention, and that it does not exist in the Sunni books of hadith. Having said so, he immediately left, refusing to continue the debate. This took place after he had delivered a lecture in Manila, answering questions raised by some attendants about the origin of Shi'ahs and Shi'ism. His answers were contrary to the truth, thus prompting me to oppose his falsification. I provided some traditions which prove that Shi'ahs follow Muhammed (a.s), not Ibn Saba', as he claimed. We do not, by mentioning this incident, mean to scandalize this virtuous professor, may Allah forgive him. We simply like to point out to the truth which has to be made clear, that is, fanaticism prompts some people to do more than that. This is really strange. How can one have the courage to answer questions about a subject while he is ignorant of the basic facts relevant to it? What if the issue deals with religious affairs? What is the judgment against one who issues verdicts without knowledge? Surely there is no power nor might except in Allah.
So, while we see the Sunnis puzzled by the "riddle" of the twelve caliphs, while many of them are ignorant of the glittering authentic traditions leading to it, Imamite Shi'ahs, followers of the Household of the family of the Prophet (a.s), have already clarified the matter in this regard, explaining that those implied in the traditions cited above are the Twelve Imams (a.s) from among the family of the Prophet (a.s). Moreover, they derived proofs from traditions narrated through the venue of the Purified 'itrah and which exist in their books of hadith clearly stating their names in a way which leaves no room for doubt. They are:

1. 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s), Amirul-Mu 'minin (the Commander of the Faithful)


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2. Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali (a.s), al-Sibt (the oldest grandson of the Prophet [a.s])

3. Al-Husain (a.s) ibn 'Ali (a.s), Sayyidul-Shuhada' (the master of martyrs)

4. 'Ali ibn al-Husain (a.s), Zainul-'Abidin (the best of worshipers)

5. Muhammed ibn 'Ali (a.s), al-Baqir (the one who pierces through knowledge)

6. Ja'far ibn Muhammed (a.s), al-Sadiq (the truthful)

7. Musa ibn Ja'far (a.s), al-Kazim (the one who suppresses his anger)

8. 'Ali ibn Musa (a.s), al-Rida (the one who accepts destiny)

9. Muhammed ibn 'Ali (a.s), al-Jawad (the generous one)

10. 'Ali ibn Muhammed (a), al-Hadi (the guide)

11. Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali (a.s), al-'Askari (belonging to the town of A skar)

12. Muhammed ibn al-Hasan (a.s), Al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (the awaited savior, the divinely-guided one, may Allah hasten his holy reappearance).

3) Proofs Regarding the Appointment by the Prophet (a.s) of 'All ibn Abi Talib (a.s)

We have already explained the proofs testifying to the Imamate of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and the number of caliphs from among them as stated by the Prophet (a.s) who indicated that they should be his successors in his nation. Following are proofs regarding the appointment by the Prophet (a.s) of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s). In addition to the above, there are unequivocal proofs testifying to the same, especially to the hadith of the two weighty things.

Among the most famous narratives regarding the caliphate of 'All (a.s) is the one known as the sermon of al-Ghadir after the conclusion of the Farewell Pilgrimage (1-jijjatul-Wada') in 11 A.H.


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(632 A.D.) It was there and then that the Prophet (a.s) declared to the people stating, at its conclusion, as narrated by al-Tirmidhi who relies on the isnad traced to Zaid ibn Arqam, the following:
"To whosoever I have been the master, 'Ali henceforth is his master ... etc."1

Ibn Majah has included in his Sahih a portion of this detailed sermon through isnad traced to al-Bara' ibn 'Azib who said, "We accompanied the Messenger of Allah (a.s) during his pilgrimage. He alighted at a distance of the road and ordered congregational prayers to be held. Then he took the hand of 'Ali (a.s) and said, 'Do not I have more rights on the Muslims than the Muslims themselves have?' They answered in the affirmative. Then he said, 'Do not I have right over every believer more than he himself has?' They answered in the affirmative. He then said,

"This ['All] is the master of whoever accepted me as his master. Lord! Be the friend of anyone who befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him.'"2

It exists in the Musnad of Ahmed ibn Hanbal who relies on the isnad of also al-Bara' ibn 'Azib. The latter says, "We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (a.s) on a trip. We stayed at Ghadir Khumm. We were called upon to perform congregational prayers. A couple of trees were swept under for the Messenger of Allah (a.s) who performed the noon prayers then took the hand of 'Ali (a.s) and said, 'Do not you know that I have more rights on the believers than the believers themselves have?' They answered in the affirmative. He (a.s) asked them, 'Do not you know that I have more rights on every believer than the believer himself has?' They answered in the affirmative. He then took 'Ali (a.s) by the hand and said,

"To whomsoever I have been the master, 'Ali [henceforth] is his master. 0 Lord! Befriend whoever befriends him and
1 Al-Tirmidhi, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 298.
2 Ibn Majah, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 43, in a chapter about the distinction of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib (a.s) (published by Dar Ihyä' al-Turath al-'Arabi).


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be the enemy of whoever antagonizes him.'

'Umar ibn al-Khattab met him thereafter and said to him, 'Congratulations to you, 0 son of Abu Talib! You have received the dawn and the sunset as the master of every believing man and woman.'"1

This hadith is famous as the "Ghadir hadith" on account of this incident taking place at an area known as "Ghadir Khumm" (Khumm swamp) which is located near Mecca. This is something the authenticity of which nobody can doubt especially since it has been narrated in many Sunni books of hadith, so much so that some scholars have stated as many as eighty venues for it only from the Sunnis.

It becomes clear from the previous traditions that the Messenger of Allah (a.s) extracted the Muslims' admission of his mastership over them when he asked them, "Do not you know that I have more rights on the believers than the believers themselves have? ... Do not you know that I have more rights on every believer than the believer himself has?" It is understood that anyone who enjoys the status of having more authority over the believers than the believers themselves have is the believers' leader as was, indeed, the Messenger of Allah (a.s) a leader. When he included 'Ali (a.s) besides himself in such a description by saying, "To whomsoever I have been the master, 'Ali [henceforth] is his master," he practically bestowed upon 'Ali (a.s) the leadership after his own demise.

Shi'ahs celebrate this occasion every year on the 18th of Dhul-Hijjah which they call "'Id al-Ghadir." As for the Sunnis, they interpret this hadith differently, claiming it does not refer to any caliphate. They interpret the word "mawla" [which exists in. the original Arabic text] as "loved one" or "friend," not "wali amr," person in charge. In their view, the meaning of this tradition is: "Anyone whose friend I am, this 'Ali is his friend, too"!!! The fact is that the word "mawla" has many meanings in Arabic. It is said that it has
1 Ahmed, Atusnad. Vol. 4, p. 281.


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seventeen meanings including "one who is emancipated" or "servant," etc. The word "maw/d" in this hadith is to be understood, besides what is stated above through many proofs, to connote leadership. Among such proofs are the following:

1. The verse saying, "0 Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and if you do not do it, then you will have not delivered His message (at all), and Allah will protect you from the (evil) people" (Qur'an, 5:67) which was revealed, as stated in many books of tafsir, shortly before the Ghadir sermon. It contains the sense that there is an order from Allah Almighty that has to be conveyed, and this order, as the wording of the verse suggests and from its very sharp tone, is of an extreme significance, point in the direction that what is meant is not mere friendship and support.

2. The verse saying "This Day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion" (Qur'an, 5:4) was revealed, according to many scholars of exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, after the Ghadir incident. It conveys the completion of conveying Muhammed's message, something which could not have been completed without the appointment of 'Ali (a.s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) in general as the masters. It is far-fetched to say that the conveying became complete when the Messenger of Allah (a.s) was told about his friendship with and love for Ali (a.s)!

3. The circumstances during which the Prophet (a.s) delivered the Ghadir sermon, in a burning desert, after having ordered the Muslims, who were said to have numbered more than ninety thousand, to assemble in order to extract from them an admission that Allah and His Messenger were their masters before ordering them to accept the mastership of 'Ali (a.s) proves that the matter was not relevant to merely loving and befriending 'Ali (a.s).

4. The previous ahadith (pl. of hadith), especially the one about the Two Weighty Things, in addition to the following ones, point as a whole to the caliphate of 'Ali (a.s) without permitting any room for doubt.


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