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Here I would like to address some questions we need to answer to arrive at a cle ar and undisputable conclusion on the issue

of Imamate in the Quran: * What is meant by khilafah in the Quran? What are its conditions and limitations? What are the responsibilities of the khalifah? * Is Imamate continuous or broken (interrupted)? * If we prove that it is continuous, is it limited to a certain number of individu als or not? * If we prove that it is limited, how many Imams are there, and who are they? Have they been pointed out by the Holy Prophet (saawa)? * If the last of the Imams has been identified, is he alive or will be born at som e point in the future? If one studies the history of the prophets of God, he will find that they were f rom the same family. Allah, to whom belongs Might and Majesty, said:

And when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain commands and he fulfilled th em. Then He said: Lo! I appoint you (Abraham) an Imam for mankind. (Abraham) sai d: And of my offspring (will there be Imam)? He said: My Covenant does not reach the wrong-doers (among them). (Quran 2:124) Firstly, we learn from this verse that the Imamate is a matter that should decid ed by God Almighty, because in the verse of khilafah,

And when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am about to place a viceroy in the earth (Quran 2:30) This verse shows that grammatically the khliafah is present at all times, since the verb jail (I am placing) is in present tense and indicates continuity, and th is is confirmed by big scholars of tafsir Al Razi and Al Alousi. And when this v erb is compared to other instances in the Quran, we find that it relates to Allahs sunnah (swt), or divine decree, which means it is an existential act of God and cannot be changed or modified. Allah (swt) says I am about to place a viceroy.. a nd in the verse of Ibrahim above (2:124), He also says (I appoint you Imam ), the refore the Abrahamic Imamate is a divine decree and Allahs decision, just as Prop hethood is chosen by God Almighty, as in the verse:

Allah knoweth best with whom to place His message. (Quran 6:124) Therefore, there is no room in this Abrahamic Imamate for consultation or electi on or the phrase extend your hand so that I can pledge allegiance. In another verse we find that the khilafah according to the Quran is not meant t o be given to any individual in the general population, but is meant for a selec

t few who have been given special divine knowledge (see also Quran 7:35):

He it is Who hath made you regents in the earth. (Quran 35:39) Imamate given to Ibrahim after Prophethood Some scholars have tried to suggest that this status given to Ibrahim is not Im amate but something else. What it is not, is Prophethood, since he was already g iven prophethood and Allah (swt) was already communicating with him. Also, in Qu ran 2:124, the verse shows that Ibrahim has requested the Imamate for his proge ny, which Allah (swt) didnt grant him (the progeny) until a later stage in his li fe when he became an old man (see also Ibrahim:39, Hud:72 and Hijr:54). If this divine order of Imamate that was given to Ibrahim was at the beginning of his li fe before having been blessed with a progeny, he should have said and of my proge ny, if you bless me with a progeny?, and he would be asking Allah (swt) for somet hing he had no knowledge of. This verse also indicates that this new status of Imamate was granted to Prophet Ibrahim after the most severe and difficult test of sacrificing his son Ismail (Quran 37:102-111). Therefore, it would not make sense for Prophet Ibrahim to g o through the most difficult tests and say this is to grant him Prophethood. Thi s is confirmed by several famous and authentic tafsir and narrations, like Tafse er Al Kabir of Al Razi, Vol.4, pg42: On the words in the aya and of my progeny.., he (Ibrahim) requested Imamate for his progeny mentioned by Allah (swt), so the verse would mean Imamate would not reac h the wrong-doers.., and that on the surface the aya proves that this Imamate nee ds to be infallible overtly and covertly. We say: the Shia use this aya as proof for the infallibility of their Imams overtly and covertly. And we say: This is w hat the aya indicates, yet we do not take the covert infallibility into consider ation, and the overt justice remains intact. Now, the last sentence is very strange, considering he agrees that the aya indic ates the overt and covert characteristic of infallibility of the Imamate, yet he does not give a reason why he left out the covert aspect of it and settled with the overt justice! (Their testimony will be recorded and they will be questione d 43:19) And in Tafsir of Al Tabari, Jami Al Bayan, Vol.2, pg 511, the scholar interprets the Imamate to be a role model: And the scholars of interpretation differed and others said the meaning of the Co venant is the covenant of Imamate, so the interpretation of the verse would be I do not make of your children an unjust Imam to be a role model for my slaves , be cause it interpreted the ruler of emulation has been said here this Abtalna this possibility, this is the second resource. This interpretation of the verse is not in line with the actual events and situa tion, due to the obvious fact that the father of Monotheism and Sheikh of the Pr ophets was already a prophet to his people, and someone of his stature to reques t the status of role model after being tested with such calamities is inconceiva ble and illogical. The third reference is to be found in the tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Vol.1, commentin g on the same verse he says: The narration from Mujahid: who said, (on the verse) My Covenant does not reach th e wrong-doers (among them) means there cannot be an unjust Imam.

So all of the scholars interpreted the Covenant as an Imamate. Therefore, if the Imamate is a covenant between the Imam and God, could it be reached by election and the Shura Council? Abrahamic Imamate is Infallible Most scholars agree that this Imamate in the Quran has to be infallible. The fir st reference to this can be found in Fakhr Al Razis Tafsir Al Kabir, Vol.4, pg 39 , he says: The aya indicates the infallibilityof prophets.. , therefore irrespecti ve of whether he interprets the covenant to mean Imamate or Prophethood, he confir ms that the aya indicates the infallibility of it. In the same tafsir of Al Razi , Vol.3, pg 10, where he is commenting on the verse 35 of Al Baqarah: It is incum bent on the people to follow the Imam (in all aspects of religion and politics), and if he committed a mistake (or sin), they would need to follow him regardles s, and that would be contradicting. Al Razi is saying that Allah (swt) ordered people to follow Ibrahim , and if he committed a sin, regardless how small, should they follow him or not? They canno t! Therefore, how can Allah (swt) order them to follow someone and forbid them a t the same time? Then we have to conclude that this Imamate has to be infallible to avoid any contradiction in the aya. Among those who also stated the infallibility, is Al Baydhawi in his tafsir Anwar Al Tanzil wa Asrar Al Taweel, known as Tafsir of Baydhawi, on the page referring to verse 124 of Al Baqarah, he says: And this is proof of the infallibility of th e great Prophets... And also Al Alousi in his Rouh Al Maani has indicated the same m eaning. Continuity of the Abarahamic Imamate As shown above in verses 30 and 124 of Al Baqarah, that Ibrahim requested the I mamate to continue through his progeny, which Allah (swt) agreed to on the condi tion that the unjust have no part in it, just as it is clearly stated in these v erses:

And We left for him among the later folk (the salutation): (108) Peace be unto Ab raham! (109) Thus do We reward the good. (110) Lo! he is one of Our believing sl aves. (111) And we gave him tidings of the birth of Isaac, a prophet of the righ teous. (112) And We blessed him and Isaac. And of their seed are some who do goo d, and some who plainly wrong themselves. (Quran 37:108-113) Therefore, in Ibrahims progeny there exist the righteous and the those who plainl y wrong themselves, and the above aya in Al Baqarah states that only the righteo us can inherit the Imamate, so the Imamate has continued through the righteous p rogeny oh Ibrahim . The question arises then: has the progeny of Ibrahim been discontinued? No, it continued to our Holy Prophet Muhammad (sawaa). And did the Holy Prophet have a progeny of his own? Yes, he most certainly did, and it is continuous until the l ast day. So the Abrahamic Imamate has continued through the righteous and infall ible progeny of Muhammad (sawaa), who are chosen by Allah (swt) directly. Imamate in the School of Ahlul Bayt So from the above we see that even the Holy Quran contains a detailed view of Im amate, a view that is accurate and detailed, including the conditions stipulated by said

And We made them chiefs who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doi ng of good deeds and the right establishment of worship and the giving of alms, and they were worshippers of Us (alone). (Quran 21:73) Some might argue that this verse is related to the Bani Israil. Yes it, this is t he Abrahamic Imamate, where the conditions are continuing. These are the conditi ons and constraints. The Quran has given a complete system on the Imamate. There fore, we as the followers of the Ahlul Bayt of Muhammad (sawaa), referred back t o the Quran and investigated and contemplated on its verses. We then put these v erses against the correct actions and narrations of our Prophet Muhammad (sawaa) (Nor doth he speak of (his own) desire. It is naught save an inspiration that i s inspired, Quran 53:3-4) and (nd whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it), Quran 59:7), and asked: Oh Prophet of Allah (swt), we read in the Holy Quran that the Imamate exists and that it is infallible and continuous, and when you are present you are the Imam and Imam of all Imams, then who are the Imams after you? He responds with the fam ous hadith: The Imams after me are 12. So they are limited to a certain group, a g roup that succeeds the Holy Prophet (sawaa), not just any person or leader that comes along, the likes of Muawiyah and Yazid and Adbulmalik ibn Marwan. Is it log ical that these kind of people succeed in the footsteps of the Prophet of Allah (sawaa)?? The narrations where the Holy Prophet indicated that his successors would be twe lve, exceed 270 narrations from both schools of thought, or even more. Here are some examples: In Sahih al-Bukhari (Arabic-English version), the tradition is as follows: Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 9.329 Narrated Jabir Ibn Samura: I heard the Prophet saying, "There will be twelve com manders (Amir)." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, t he Prophet added, "All of them will be from Quraish." In Musnad Ahmad, the tradition is as follows: The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "There shall be twelve Caliphs for this community, a ll of them from Quraish." Reference: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v5, p106 In Sahih Muslim, the traditions are as follows: Narrated Jabir Ibn Samura: The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The matter (life) will n ot end, until it is passed by twelve Caliphs." He then whispered a sentence. I a sked my father what the Prophet said. He said, the Prophet added: "All of them w ill be from Quraish." Sunni references: Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia , v3, p1452, Tradition #5 Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservien t to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1009, Trad ition #4477

Again from Sahih Muslim: The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The affairs of people will continue to be conducted (well) as long as they are governed by the twelve men." Sunni references: Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia , v3, p1453, Tradition #6 Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservien t to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Trad ition #4478 Also: The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "Islam will continue to be triumphant until th ere have been twelve Caliphs." Sunni references: Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia , v3, p1453, Tradition #7 Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservien t to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Trad ition #4480 Again: The Prophet (PBUH&HF) said: "The Islamic religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraish." Sunni references: Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Imaara, 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia , v3, p1453, Tradition #10 Sahih Muslim, English version, Chapter DCCLIV (titled: The People are subservien t to the Quraish and the Caliphate is the Right of the Quraish), v3, p1010, Trad ition #4483 More Sunni references of similar traditions: Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v4, p501 Sunan Abu Dawud, v2, p421 (three traditions). Others such as al-Tiyalasi, Ibn al -Athir, etc. And many more. Bear in mind that the writers and collectors of hadith like Bukha ri were contemporaries of some of the Imams , and therefore we cannot be accused of placing these hadiths ourselves after the prophetic traditions became an act ual fact. So then we asked him, O Messenger of Allah, what is their number, said: Twelve. We asked, O Messenger of God, what is their parentage? He said: They are of my offspr ing and progeny, because the Imamate only exists in the descendants of Ibrahim , it is impossible to be outside of his progeny, just as the Quran stated. Then we asked the Messenger of Allah: O Messenger of Allah your progeny are plent y, are all of them included? He said: No, the progeny of my household, But O Messen ger of God we may on who it is, can you make it clearer for us? He then put a man

tle on them, as it is in Sahih Muslim, and said: By Allah, those are of my family (ahlul bayt). And further more he made them the equal of the Quran, "(Verily, I leave behind tw o precious things amongst you: the Book of Allah and my ahl albayt. Verily, the t wo will never separate until they come back to me by the side of the Pond. , whi ch further proves their infallibility. [2] [1] See Shiite Encyclopedia at al-islam.org [2] See http://www.al-islam....nontl/index.HTM for a detailed study of this hadi th