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Concept of Imamat (IMAM) (english article)

Leadership or Imaamat is of two types. ‘Sughra‘ and ‘Kubra

Imaamat‑e‑Sughra refers to the Imaamat in Namaaz. Imaamat‑e‑Kubra refers to leading the Muslims in religious and worldly issues as the representative of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The authority that has been bestowed to the Imams is very powerful. The people do not even have the right to disobey their commands. Every Muslim is obligated to follow them and adhere to their commands. There are however certain preconditions for a person to be appointed as the leader. The Imam must be a free person (not a slave). He must be a very capable and brave personality. The Rafzis (shias) do not agree with these conditions. They insist on one other condition which they feel is the most relevant. They claim that that the Imam must be of Hashmi and Alawi origin. Their aim for making this condition is to try and nullify the positions of the other three khulafa, because these Khulafa were not from the families and lineage mentioned above. It must be noted their Khilafat has been unanimously accepted by all the Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). Hazrat Moula Ali and Imam Hussain (radi Allahu anhu) also accepted the Khilafat of the other three Khulafa. As for the condition of being from the lineage of Hazrat Ali (Alawi), This, will also make Hazrat Ali’s Khilafat invalid according to them, since how is possible for Hazrat Ali to be Alawi, when it refers to those after him. They Raafdhis also say that the Imam must be maasoom. This too is unacceptable just as we have already explained that only the Ambia and Angels are Maasoom.

Mas’ala (Rule): By one being worthy of appointment as an Imam is not sufficient. It is necessary that he must be appointed by the preceding Imam or those Muslims that are appointed to handle the religious affairs of the people.

Mas’ala (Rule): To follow the Imam (Khalifa) is totally fard upon all Muslims, for as long as his commands are in accordance with the Shariah. We are not allowed to follow anyone who acts contrary to the Shariah.

Mas’ala (Rule): The Imam should be a person who is an Aalim and a courageous person, or one who is assisted by the Ulama.

Mas’ala (Rule): The leadership (Imaamat) of a woman or a na baaligh (one who has not reached puberty) is disallowed. If the preceding Imam had appointed a Na baaligh’ as the Imam, then the people should appoint a guardian to carry out the duties until he reaches puberty. The na baaligh will only be a honorary Imam. The actual Imam during for this duration will be the Guardian.

Belief: After the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) the True first Khalifa is Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique, followed by Hazrat Umar‑e‑Farouk, then Hazrat Uthman‑e‑Ghani, the Hazrat Ali‑e‑Murtuda and finally Hazrat Imam Hassan who ruled for six months (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). These personalities are known as the Khulafa‑e‑Raashideen and their Khilafat is known as the Khilaafat‑e‑Raashida, for they have truly fulfilled their duties as the representatives of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

Belief: After the Nabis and the Rasools, the greatest personalities in the creation of Allah are Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Uthman and Hazrat Ali (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). Anyone who says Hazrat Ali to be more superior to the other three khulafa is a mislead person.

Belief: Superior in the above mentioned Belief means that they have greater status in the Court of Allah. It also means that their virtuous deeds and rewards are abundant. It is in the Hadith Shareef, that the companions of Hazrat Imam Mahdi that there is the reward of fifty for every one deed. The companions asked the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) if it was equal to fifty of their deeds or fifty of the deeds of the sahaba of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and he said that it was equal to fifty of the deeds of the sahaba‑e‑kiraam (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). Even their rewards are many, but they can not even come close in excellence, to the Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). How can the closeness of Hazrat Imam Mahdi’s companions’ to him be compared to the excellence and the companionship of the companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). An example without comparison is this; A king sends his Minister and a few officers to sort out a situation. When they achieved victory, he gave each officer a purse of one hundred thousand each and he gave the Minister his special closeness and a greater position. In this scenario, the officers received more in wealth, but the Minister received even more, for he was given greater respect.

Belief: The khilafat of all four khulafa was in accordance with their excellence. Excellence does not refer to their ability to manage the affairs of the state or the people, but it refers to the excellence bestowed upon them in the court of Allah. The Tafzeelia (a corrupt sect) who claim to be Sunnis say that excellence refers to the ability to manage the affairs of the state and the people. This is totally wrong. If this was correct then Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) should have been the first Khalifa (which is not so): “I have never seen anyone more strong, thorough and hardworking than he. He provided so much of water that not only did the people quench their thirst with it, but they also used it when they prepared paving for areas where they camels sat.”

The Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) is however described in the following words, “He was not able to draw water from the well. May Allah have Mercy on him.”

Belief: After the Khulafa‑e‑Raashideen, the greatest status is given to the Ashara Mubasharah (the ten persons to whom the Prophet sallal laahu alaihi wasallam gave Jannat whilst they were still in this world), then to Hazrat Imam Hassan and Hussain, Then the Ashaab‑e‑Badr (those companions who were in battle of badr), then the Ashaab Baitur Ridwaan (those who took the oath of allegiance at the hands of the Prophet under the tree) and all of them are Jannati without a doubt.

Belief: All the companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) are good and just people. Whenever we address them, it should be done with utmost respect as this is fard.

Belief: To have ill feeling about any Sahabi is a sign of being a bud mazhab and a mislead person. Such a person is worthy of the fire of hell. To have ill feelings concerning the Sahabi is to harbor ill feelings against the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Such people who do this are Raafdhis, even if he accepts the Khulafa‑e‑Raashideen and claims to be a Sunni. To insult Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah, his father Hazrat Abu Sufyaan, His mother Hazrat Hind is not acceptable. In the same way, to speak against Sayyidina Amr ibn Aa’s, Hazrat Mughira, Hazrat Abu Moosa Ash’ari, or even Hazrat Wahshi (who martyred Hazrat Ameer‑e‑Hamza before he [Hazrat Wahshi] was a Muslim. It must be noted that after accepting Islam, he killed Mussailma Kazzab who was a false prophet. He used to say that he had martyred one of the best amongst the people (this he would say with sadness) and he had killed the worst amongst people (he would say this with happiness). To disrespect anyone of these companions is a sinful act and worthy of punishment. It is however not like disrespecting Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen). Any one who disrespects them, is a kaafir according to the Fuqaha (Jurists).

Belief: No matter how exalted a Wali(saint) may be, he can never be equal to a Sahabi.

Mas’ala (Rule): To discuss the issues or disagreements that took place between the Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam is totally haraam, haraam,haraam. All Muslims need to do, is to accept that they are all the companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and his true followers who were always prepared to even sacrifice their lives in his love.

Belief: ‘All the companions of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) are Jannatis. They will not even come close to feeling the heat of jahanum. They will always live in happiness and comfort. The fearful situation on the day of reckoning will not cause them any sadness. The Angels will welcome them giving them glad tidings. All this has been explained in the Holy Quran in detail.

Belief: The Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam are neither Ambia nor Angels and are thus not Maasoom. Some of them had certain mishaps (lagzish), but to hold them in contempt because of this is against the command of Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). When addressing the companions in the Holy Quran Allah azzawajal addressed them as those who before the Great Victory of Makkah and those after the Great Victory of Makkah (Fateh Makkah). Allah azzawajal says, ‘Allah promised goodness to all of them.’ And Allah azzawajal says, ‘Allah Knows well that which you are to do.’ When Allah is aware of all there actions and H has promised Jannat to them without any reckoning, what right does any one have to say anything against the Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam? Do those who speak against the companions want to establish a manner different from that which Allah has commanded?

Belief: Hazrat Ameer Muwaiya (radi Allahu anhu) was a Mujtahid (A Mujtqahid is one who is an authority on religious affairs). There is a narration of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas (radi Allahu anhu) which says, ‘A Mujtahid does virtuous deeds and can also make an error.’

These errors are of two types:

Inaadi (with ill intent): These are errors which pre‑meditated and are with ill intent. Errors of this type are not possible for a Mujtahid.

Khata‑e‑Ijtihaadi (without motive in managing affairs): These are not pre‑meditated. If Mujtahids make such errors, then they are not held accountable in the Court of Allah.

If one looks at this in a worldly perspective, then too there are two types:

Muqarar: These are errors which do not cause any dispute in Deen. Those who make such mistakes are pardoned. An example of this, is reading Surah Fateha in Namaaz whilst reading behind the Imam.”

Munkariyah: These are errors which could be the cause of disunity. The issue between Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah and Hazrat Ali (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen) was of this type. The decision of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was evident in this case and none was held in contempt.

Belief: There are those ignorant persons who say that when taking Hazrat Ali’s name with the name of Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen), we should not say (radi Allahu anhu). This is baseless. The Ulama have said that we should say (radi Allahu anhu) with all the names of the Sahaba‑e‑Kiraam.’

Belief: The Khilafat in accordance with the way of Nabuiwat remained for thirty years, up to the time of Hazrat Imam Hassan’s (radi Allahu anhu) khilafat for six months, Then, the Khilaafat of Hazrat Umar bin Abdul Aziz (radi Allahu anhu) was the next Khilaafat‑e‑Raashida and towards the end of the world, Hazrat Imam Mahdi will be on the position of Khilaafat‑e‑Raashida. The first Sultan (Muslim Emperor) in history was Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (radi Allahu anhu). It is in the Taurah:

“The Final Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) will be born in Makkah, he will migrate to Madinah and his kingdom will be in Syria.’

This shows that the Kingdom of Hazrat Muawiyah is actually the Kingdom of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). It has been narrated that once Hazrat Imam Hassan (radi Allahu anhu) was in a battle against Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) and he also a massive army and if he fought, he would have been victorious, but in spite of his strong position, he laid down his arms and announced his allegiance to Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (radi Allahu anhu). The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had already foretold this in his lifetime on earth. He said, “This son of mine is a Sayyid. I have fate that Allah azzawajal will bring two large warring groups of Islam together (in peace), through him (Imam Hassan).” Those who after all this, still belittle Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (radi Allahu anhu) are in actuality belittling Hazrat Imam Hassan (radi Allahu anhu) and they are not sincere in their dedication to Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).

Belief: There is no doubt that Sayyida Aisha Siddiqa (radi Allahu anha) is a Jannati and without doubt, she is the beloved of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in there hereafter as well. Whosoever hurts her feelings has hurt the Prophet’s (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) feelings.

Hazrat Zubair and Hazrat Abu Talha (ridwaanullahi ta aala alaihim ajmaeen) are from amongst the Ashara Mubashara. They too had certain Ijtihaadi situations with Hazrat Ameer Muawiyah (radi Allahu anhu), but they all finally retracted. To be a rebel means to openly go against the appointed Imam intentionally or not. These personalities cannot be called by such names as they had retracted their positions. To use the term ‘rebel’ for any of companions(sahaba‑e‑Kiraam) is prohibited.

Belief: Any person who accuses (Allah forbid) Sayyida Aisha Siddiqa (radi Allahu anhu) (due to the incident of Ifk) is definitely a Kaafir and Murtad. Any others who speak against her in any way are Raafdhis and Tabaraee and worthy of the fire of hell.

Here, the incident being explained is when Sayyida Aisha (radi Allahu anhu) lost her necklace whilst returning from a battle with the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). She went out to search for the necklace and by the time she returned the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and the army had left already. She thus decided to wait at a secure camp area. Sayyida Aisha thus covered herself with a Sheet and rested in the ground. Co‑incidentally at that time a companion of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) by the name of Hazrat Safwan (radi Allahu anhu)was asleep and also was left behind. When he awoke he was very displeased to see Sayyida Aisha (radi Allahu anha) sleeping on the floor. He requested her to sit on his camel and they joined the caravan of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Some hypocrites gave a false account of this incident and tried to defame Sayyida Aisha (radi Allahu anha). In brief, a verse of the Holy Quran was revealed against those who made such accusations and Sayyida Aisha chastity was announced in the Quran and those who said anything in this issue were punished. Thus, anyone who still gives a false interpretation of this incident and accuses Sayyida Aisha (radi Allahu anha) is a kaafir.