Even Ali’s official letters reject the Shia Imamah


Imami Shia claim `Ali had a distinct rank and position that no one else held, but did he clarify this in his official letters?

We find in Nahjul-Balagha, under the section on `Ali’s letters, on page 582 in a letter he sent to the Koufans as he left for Basarah:

مِنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ عَلِيّ أَمِيرِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ إلَى أَهْلِ الْكُوفَةِ، جَبْهَةِ الاَْنْصَارِ وَسَنَامِ الْعَرَبِ أَمَّا بَعْدُ

“From the slave of Allah `Ali, commander of the faithful, to the people of Kufah who are foremost among the supporters and chiefs of the Arabs.”

And in another letter he wrote regarding his Will:

هذَا مَا أَمَرَ بِهِ عَبْدُ اللهِ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِب أمِيرُالْمُؤْمِنِينَ فِي مَالِهِ، ابْتِغَاءَ وَجْهِ اللهِ، لِيُولِجَني بِهِ الْجَنَّةَ، وَيُعْطِيَني الاَْمَنَةَ

“This is what was ordered by the slave of Allah `Ali ibn abi Talib, commander of the faithful, regarding his property, seeking Allah’s face.”

On the other hand we see the leaders before him, such as `Umar ibn al-Khattab write their letters identically, like in al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, the first volume, on page 122:

من عبدالله عمر بن الخطاب أمير المؤمنين إلى عبد الله بن قيس، سلام عليك، أما بعد

“From the slave of Allah `Umar ibn al-Khattab, commander of the faithful, to `Abdullah ibn Qays, peace be upon you.”

And the leader after him, also all of them wrote the exact same words, such as abu Ja`far al-Mansour, in al-Kamil-fil-Lughah, third volume 1490-1491:

من عبد الله عبد الله أمير المؤمنين، إلى محمد بن عبد الله، أما بعد

“From the slave of Allah `Abdullah, commander of the faithful, to Muhammad bin `Abdullah.”

In other words all of them except Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq wrote the exact same expressions, this is because Abu Bakr had a distinct station of being the actual successor, so he would write “Khalifatu Rasul-Allah” and the title of “Commander of the faithful” was not used in his time.

If `Ali had a distinct position and elevated status, why didn’t he use it to identify himself? For instance Shia claim he’s “The infallible leader” or they say “Wasi Rasul-Allah”, why did he not use these titles to show his special position?

So ponder.

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Filed under Articles, History, Infallibility issues with shia imams, Question bank for shiite's

7 responses to “Even Ali’s official letters reject the Shia Imamah

  1. MaaShaaAllah! JazakumulLah bi khayr. May Allah Azza wa Jall continue to give strength and wisdom for this great task. And reward you immensely. Amiin!

  2. Azeem

    Why did Syedna Ali never addressed himself as “the Infalliable leader?” Because he was not some spoilt brat who walked around with a sense of self-entitlement like other rulers used to. The true mark of a leader is humility and sobriety even if millions follow him and he thinks nobody can stand his way!
    We claim he was “Infallible” and Wasi-Rasool-ullah because its our way of honoring and praising him.

    Like Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the founder of Pakistan is known as “Quaid-e-Azam” or “Great Leader”. If Pakistanis think he’s a great leader why did Mr. Jinnah never identified himself as “I am Quaid-e-Azam!” to show his special status and position!

    And by the way, the title of the post says: Even Ali’s official “letters” reject the Shia Imamah

    The second paragraph of the post reads: … in a “letter” he sent to the Koufans as he left for Basarah. Why is letter in plural when you were posting only one
    Nice try trying to misguide people simply by blowing a tiny, unimportant “letter” out of proportion!

    • By your logic The Prophet (saw) shouldn’t have called himself “Rasoulallah” in his letters. The evidence is against you – Ali never claimed infallibility nor claimed to be divinely appointed Imam.

      P.S. As for why “letterS” is used in the title of this post – it is because throughout Nahjul-Balagha it has been the case – No mention of Imamah or infallibility in the book at all.

      • Manzoor Hussain Mir

        if u have read the Holy Nahj ul Balagha , Amir ul Momineen has clearly described his status in his Holy Sermons that “there was no doubt about my status in the life of the Holy Prophet , No one was equal (not far near ) to him. but after the Departure of the Holy Prophet pbuh , the people turned to the ignorant period n selected a person who was not fit, not able and has no Right for that post n were well aware of that fact that They have no Right for that post. If you have not 3ead the whole Book then read only the 3rd Sermon ( ShiqShiqia) you will understand

      • Which sermon did you quote? Anyways, it still doesn’t prove the Shia claim of Imamah. Ali never claimed to be divinely appointed infallible Imam even throughout Nahjul-Balagha.

  3. Manzoor Hussain Mir

    The Title of the Amir ul Momineen is specified to ALI a.s by the Holy Prophet . no any other has right to adopt this title

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