Questions on Imamah and 12 Imams by a former Shia – part 2

Posted by 13S2010

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

This is part 2.

[Start of Quote]

1) What is the rational justification of the imams practicing taqiyyah? 

The rational argumentation presented by the imamiyyah FOR imamate is that they are guides for the ummah, and Allah out of his eternal justice HAS to appoint imams for the ummah, or the ummah cannot be held responsible for being misguided (Al-Kafi). But if the guides practised taqiyyah in their teachings, then can the deceived sunni masses really be called ‘misguided’? We have many short-chained narrations in sunni books in which the imams deny being divinely-appointed imams, denying al-raj’a, and professing love for the first 3 caliphs. So can we really blame the innocent sunnis who sincerely thought that the imams were being serious when they said that?

2) Did the imams openly declare themselves to be the 12 khalifas of the Prophet? 

If not, can we really blame the sunnis, zaydis and other muslims for going astray? Surely, it would be the duty of an imam to declare his imamate to the ummah, and not a small circle of followers. They were, after all, imams for the entire ummah right? We see that many shias went ‘astray’ because of the quiescent attitude of imams Sajjad and Ridha. How, then, can we blame those who did not follow those imams?

3) The list of the members of Ahlul-Bayt naturally differs for the different shia sects. Each believes they are right. Some had the following of some prominent shia scholars of the time. Which one is right?

Abil-Jarud (Ziyad bin Mundhir) was a companion of Imam Sajjad, but he became a Zaydi. Ibrahim Bin Salih Al-Kufi was a companion of Imam Baqir, and stopped at him. Also, Ali bin Al-Hasan and Muhammad bin Suma’a are other examples that come to mind. My point: different scholars/companions of the imams differed after the death of an imam. Who should the laity follow? The fomation of the kaysaniyyah and the numerous other shia sects was the direct result of this confusion. Each sect had the backing of scholars and companions of the imams, and they all thought they were right. Who, then, is right?

4) Did the imams and very very close companions only know who the 12 imams would be? 

This seems to be the argument of some 12ers. But this seems to go against many ahadith in which insignificant lay-people narrate ahadith about the Prophet naming the 12 explicitly. How then, did the laity know about them, and the close companions of the imams didn’t? We see them in many narrations coming to the imams and begging them to tell them who the next imam would be (which the imam would and the companion would ecstatically kiss the head, hands and feet of the imam). What was the need for this, if the Prophet had indeed named all twelve?

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

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