Questions on Imamah and 12 Imams by a former Shia – part 1

Posted by 13S2010

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

We have already published an article of this brother here where he mentions the reason he embraced correct Islam and rejected the sect of Shiism. In this article we will post some of the Questions that he asked the Shia. These eye-opening questions are for the open minded Shias.

[Start of QUOTE]

سم الله الرحمن الرحیم

اسلام علیکم

I will start off by stating that I am not starting this topic with the intent to get the shias here angry, rather I want to hear their honest opinion and would like to see it backed with proof. And of course, I hope to gain more knowledge in the process.

In case you didn’t quite understand what’s up with the name of this thread, I named three (amongst numerous others) of the descendants of Ali who claimed to be imams other than the ones accepted by the ithna asharis. The reason for this thread is to discuss the manner in which the imamat was passed down from imam to imam, and the proofs of this inheritance, as per the testimony of authentic historical documentation.

I shall make this post comprise mostly of questions, and hope that most (if not all) will get answered with satisfactory replies. So here goes:

1) What do ithna asharis have to say about Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah (the step-brother of Hassan/Hussein)?

Is he regarded as a pious person? Why is it that the majority of shias, after the death of Imam Hussein, regarded Ibn Hanafiyyah as the next imam? Didn’t Hussein tell the shias explicitly who the next imam will be? If so, then why were the shias so confused for the longest time about who to follow, and started following different people from the descendants of Ali(علیهم السلام), until (after quite a long time) it was decided that Ali bin Hussein was the imam?

2) What do ithna asharis say about Zaid bin Ali bin Hussein, Imam Baqir’s uncle?

What do they say about his claims to imamat? Did Ali bin Hussein not tell his *own* children who the next imam was, leaving it up to the shia community to decide? Why is it that Zayd did not have anything against Abu Bakr, Umer and Uthman? Is it possible that Ali, Hassan, Hussein and Ali bin Hussein DIDN’T actually have any feelings of animosity towards the aforementioned people? Could it be that this animosity was created later on and attributed to the ithna ashri imams?

3) What do ithna asharis think of Muhammad (an-Nafs az-Zakiya) b. Abd Allah b. al-Hasan al-Muthanna b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib?

History shows that he was the biggest rival of Jafar as-Sadiq (just like Ibn Hanafiyyah was Imam Ali Sajjad’s, and Zayd was Baqir’s). Again, I raise the question: how could this man claim to be the imam, and a large portion of the shias were adherants of this man? Didn’t al-Hassan bin Ali (علیهم السلام) tell his *own* children who the imams after him would be? Why the mass confusion amongst the shi’i masses? He was known to be quite convinced of his role as the imam of the Muslim ummah, and had debates with the caliph al-Mansur as well. Is it possible that the shias of that time believed that any pious person from the Progeny of Ali was a likely ‘candidate’ for an imam? By seeing the numerous cases of Aliids rising up, claiming to be imams, it seems like that is the case.

What I understand from all this is that shiism was in a very turbulent situation, and the majority of the shia masses did not know who the imam of the time was. There were numerous ‘fake’ imams and they were contemporaries of the ithna ashari imams, and some times their followers exceeded the followers of the ithna ashari imams. So if a Muslim (who believed in the wilayah of the “Ahlul-Bayt”) was present there, WHO would he follow?

I can only conclude from all the historical documentation that the Prophet did *NOT* explicitly name the 12 imams, because if He (صلی الله علیه و اله) HAD done so, there wouldn’t be SO much confusion.

I am willing to hear the replies of shias here, and although I don’t intend for sunnis to post here, it IS (sadly ) an open forum.
It is my request to sunnis to please keep their posts relevant and to the point. That is my plea to shias as well. I would also like to request the shias to be open-minded, honest, and to back their claims with proof.


(PS: These historical facts can be found in many history books, and are aknowledged by shia scholars like Tabatabai and Syed Hussein Jafri. Please refer to “Shi’a” by Tabatabai, and The Origins and Early Developments of Shia Islam)
(PPS: Its interesting to note that the followers of some other ‘fake’ imams also held those imams to be infallible. hmmm….. I find that very interesting)


1 Comment

Filed under Articles, Question bank for shiite's, Revealing Shia sect

One response to “Questions on Imamah and 12 Imams by a former Shia – part 1

  1. zillay shah

    Asalam alikum valid points raised, may i suggest first make a correction imam zayd ibn Ali is not the uncle of imam baqir but is his brother both are sons of imam Ali ibn hussain, he is the uncle of imam e sadiq. Although i adress these great personalities from the holy house as Imams i stress i am from ahlus sunnah, and i see them as imam’s of guidence free from the falsehood attributed to them.

    I strongly feel and history shows shia thought has gone through much evoloution in thought the shias of the past era differed much then the later generation years and the process continued. When we read of great individuals from ahlul bayt supposedly claiming imamah I dont feel it was in the religious sense but a political alternative to the tyrants of the time through just leadership of noble linage from a noble pious family. Whatever angle looked at it infact is against shia ideology of imama propagated today. ( i am also ex shia)

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