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Imamiyah (Shiite): An Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudential Sects

Twelver Shi’as (Imamiyah)

 

1- Authentication (tawthīque) of Shi’ism

Shi’ite jurisprudential sects follow the ideas of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.). Twelvers is the main sect of them, which follows its famous twelve Imams’ ideas, especially, the sixth Imam, Abū  Abdu Allah Ja‘far b. Muhammad al-Ṣādiq, and because of that they are known as Ja’fari, too.

Proving the interfaith legitimacy is what, meant by authentication. Authenticating the Twelvers needs discussing about two parts:

1-    Who are Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)?

2-    Legitimacy of following Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.).

Who are Ahl al-Bayt?

The main reason regarding this point is verse of Taṭhīr, and the traditions that, while interpreting it, mention Ahl al-Bayt’s names.

Legitimacy of Following Ahl al-Bayt.

There are many traditions that support this issue, like Thaqalayn, Safīnah, eṭṭah, A’emmeh Ithnā‘shar, Amān.

As an example, Thaqalayn is a well-known Ḥadīth, accepted by both Sunnis and Shi’as, and cited in many of their authentic books. The Prophet (S.A.w)says: “I am leaving behind me two weighty (very worthy and important) things among you: The book of Allah, and my progeny, my Ahl al-Bayt. Never these two get separated from each other until the Day of Resurrection, and once you take recourse to these two, you will never get astray.” This tradition includes the important points regarding the issue, that some of them are mentioned bellow:

·        Saying that: “The Qur‘an and Ahl al-Bayt never be separated from each other” shows the perfect knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) about The Qur‘an.

·        Resorting to one of them is not useful. So, people must cleave to both: The Qur‘an, and Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.).

·        Superiority of Ahl al-Bayt in knowledge. Because, people are ordered for refer to them.

·        Staying aloof from Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) as well as getting behind or ahead of them is not acceptable. So, the religious authority is confined to Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.).

·        That, these two never be separated from each other until the Day of Resurrection, indicates that Ahl al-Bayt’s authority, as same as The Qur‘an, is permanent.

In addition, the personalities of A’immah, their ideology, practical and religious behavior, and, also, the thoughts presented by them; show the authentication of Shi’ite jurisprudence and Ahl al-Bayt’s way.

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