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Imamah (Shia doctrine)

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Imamah (Shia doctrine)

Imamah of Islamic
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdī -
محمد بن الحسن المهدي for Twelvers

Aṭ-Ṭayyib Abī'l-Qāṣim - الطيب أبو القاس for Ṭāyyibī-Mustā‘lī Ismāʿīlī Muslims
The living Imām for Nizārī Ismā'īlī Muslims
Imāms continuing by the President of Yemen for Zaidis with no divine attributes
First monarch Abu Bakr
Formation June 17, 656

Imamah (Arabic: إمامة‎) is the Shia Islam doctrine (belief) of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shia believe that the Imams are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muhammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority (Ismah) as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of Muhammad.[1] These Imams have the role of providing commentary and interpretation of the Quran[2] as well as guidance to their tariqa followers as is the case of the living Imams of the Nizari Ismaili tariqah.

According to Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, the Imam is a means through which humans receive divine grace, because "He brings men closer to obedience (of Allah) and keeps them away from disobedience." As fulfilling the human being is his wish, it is logical that God appoint Imam to subject man to his wishes. So his existence and his deeds display two forms of grace of God toward man.[3]


  • Etymology 1
  • Introduction 2
  • Sects 3
    • Twelver View 3.1
      • Why Only (specific) Members of Muhammad's Family 3.1.1
    • The period of occultation 3.2
    • Ismaili view 3.3
      • The Ismā'īlī ʿAqīdah 3.3.1
    • Zaidi view 3.4
  • Imams 4
    • Twelver Imams 4.1
  • List of The Twelve Imams 5
    • Ismaili Imams 5.1
    • Zaidi Imams 5.2
  • Sunni view on shia imāmate 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes 8
  • footnotes 9
  • Bibliography 10
    • Further reading 10.1
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The word "Imām" denotes a person who stands or walks "in front". For Sunni Islam, the word is commonly used to mean a person who leads the course of prayer in the mosque. It also means the head of a madhhab ("school of thought"). However, from the Shia point of view this is merely the basic understanding of the word in the Arabic language and, for its proper religious usage, the word "Imam" is applicable only to those members of the house of Muhammad designated as infallible by the preceding Imam.


The Shia further believe only these A'immah have the right to be Caliphs, meaning that all other caliphs, whether elected by consensus (Ijma) or not, are usurpers of the Caliphate.

All Muslims believe that Muhammad had said: "To whomsoever I am Mawla, Ali is his Mawla." This hadith has been narrated in different ways by many different sources in no less than 45 hadith books of both Sunni and Shia collections. This hadith has also been narrated by the collector of hadiths, al-Tirmidhi, 3713; as well as Ibn Maajah, 121; etc. The major point of conflict between the Sunni and the Shia is in the interpretation of the word 'Mawla'. For the Shia the word means 'Lord and Master' and has the same elevated significance as when the term had been used to address Muhammad himself during his lifetime. Thus, when Muhammad actually (by speech) and physically (by way of having his closest companions including Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman [the three future Caliphs who had preceded Ali as Caliph] publicly accept Ali as their Lord and Master by taking Ali's hand in both of theirs as token of their allegiance to Ali) transferred this title and manner of addressing Ali as the Mawla for all Muslims at Ghadiri Khum Oasis just a few months before his death, the people that came to look upon Ali as Muhammad's immediate successor even before Muhamamd's death came to be known as the Shia. However, for the Sunnis the word simply means the 'beloved' or the 'revered' and has no other significance at all.


Within Shia Islam (Shiism), the various sects came into being because they differed over their Imams' successions, just as the Shia - Sunni separation within Islam itself had come into being from the dispute that had arisen over the succession to Muhammad. Each succession dispute brought forth a different tariqah (literal meaning 'path'; extended meaning 'sect') within Shia Islam. Each Shia tariqah followed its own particular Imam's dynasty, thus resulting in different numbers of Imams for each particular Shia tariqah. When the dynastic line of the separating successor Imam ended with no heir to succeed him, then either he (the last Imam) or his unborn successor was believed to have gone into concealment, that is, The Occultation.

The Shia tariqah with a majority of adherents are the Twelvers who are commonly known as the "Shia". After that come the Nizari Ismailis commonly known as the Ismailis; and then come the Mustalian Ismailis commonly known as the "Bohras" with further schisms within their Bohri tariqah. The Druze tariqah (very small in number today) initially were of the Fatimid Ismailis and separated from them (the Fatimid Ismailis) after the death of the Fatimid Imam and Caliph Hakim Bi Amrillah. The Shia Sevener tariqah no longer exists. Another small tariqah is the Zaidi Shias, also known as the Fivers and who do not believe in The Occultation of their last Imam.

Although all these different Shia tariqahs belong to the Shia group (as opposed to the Sunni group) in Islam, there are major doctrinal differences between the main Shia tariqahs. After that there is the complete doctrinal break between all the different Shia tariqahs whose last Imams have gone into Occultation and the Shia Nizari Ismailis who deny the very concept of Occultation. The Shia Nizari Ismailis by definition have to have a present and living Imam until the end of time. Thus if any living Nizari Ismaili Imam fails to leave behind a successor after him then the Nizari Ismailism’s cardinal principle would be broken and it’s very raison d'être would come to an end.

Twelver View

Shias believe that Imamah is of the Principles of Faith (Usul al-Din).As the verse 4:165 of quran expresses the necessity to the appointment of the prophets; so after the demise of the prophet who will play the role of the prophet; till the people have not any plea against Allah.So the same logic that necessitated the assignment of prophets also is applied for Imamah.That is Allah Must assign someone similar to prophet in his attributes and Ismah as his successor to guide the people without any deviation in religion.[4] They refer to the verse (...This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion...) 5:3 of Quran which was revealed to the prophet when he appointed Ali as his successor at the day of Ghadir Khumm.[5]

By the verse Quran, 2:124, Shias believe that Imamah is a divine position always Imamah is accompanied by the word guidance, of course a guidance by God's Command.A kind of guidance which brings humanity to the goal. Regarding 17:71, no age can be without an Imam. So, according to the upper verse 1.Imamah is a position which is appointed by God and must be specified by Him 2.Imam is protected by a divine protection and no one exceles him in nobility 3. No age can be without an Imam and finally Imam knows everything which is needed for human being to get to the truth and goal.[6]

Why Only (specific) Members of Muhammad's Family

It is forbidden for the Divine Leader not to be from the family of the Messenger of Allah. According to Ali al-Ridha, since it is obligatory to obey him, there should be a sign to clearly indicate the Divine Leader. That sign is his well-known ties of kinship with Muhammad and his clear appointment so that the people could distinguish him from others, and be clearly guided toward him.[7][8] Otherwise others are nobler than Muhammad's offspring and they are to be followed and obeyed; and the offspring of Muhammad are obedient and subject to the offspring of Muhammad’s enemies such as Abi Jahl or Ibn Abi Ma’eet. However, the Messenger is much nobler than others to be in charge and to be obeyed.[7][8] Moreover, once the prophethood of His Messenger is testified they would obey him, no one would hesitate to follow his offspring and this would not be hard for anyone.[7][8] While to follow the offspring of the corrupted families is difficult. And that is maybe why the basic characteristic of Muhammad and other prophets was their nobility. For none of them, it is said, were originated from a disgraced family. It is believed that all Muhammad's ancestors up to Adam were true Muslims. [1] Jesus was also from a pious family, as it is mentioned in Quran that after his birth, people said to Mary: O sister of Aaron, your father was not a man of evil, nor was your mother unchaste."[2]

The period of occultation

The period of occultation (ghaybat) is divided into two parts:

  • Ghaybat al-Sughra or Minor Occultation (874–941), consists of the first few decades after the Imam's disappearance when communication with him was maintained through deputies of the Imam.
  • Ghaybat al-Kubra or Major Occultation began 941 and is believed to continue until a time decided by God, when the Mahdi will reappear to bring absolute justice to the world.

During the Minor Occultation (Ghaybat al-Sughrá), it is believed that al-Mahdi maintained contact with his followers via deputies (Arab. an-nuwāb al-arbaʻa or "the Four Leaders"). They represented him and acted as agents between him and his followers. Whenever the believers faced a problem, they would write their concerns and send them to his deputy. The deputy would ascertain his verdict, endorse it with his seal and signature and return it to the relevant parties. The deputies also collected zakat and khums on his behalf.

For the Shia, the idea of consulting a hidden Imam was not something new because the two prior Twelver Imams had, on occasion, met with their followers from behind a curtain. Also, during the oppressive rule of the later Abbasid caliphs, the Shia Imams were heavily persecuted and held prisoners, thus their followers were forced to consult their Imams via messengers or secretly.

Shia Tradition hold that four deputies acted in succession to one another:

  1. Uthman ibn Sa’id al-Asadi
  2. Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman
  3. Abul Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh al-Nawbakhti
  4. Abul Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad al-Samarri

In 941 (329 AH), the fourth deputy announced an order by al-Mahdi, that the deputy would soon die and that the deputyship would end and the period of the Major Occultation would begin.

The fourth deputy died six days later and the Shia Muslims continue to await the reappearance of the Mahdi. In the same year, many notable Shia scholars such as Ali ibn Babawayh Qummi and Muhammad ibn Ya'qub Kulayni, the learned compiler of Kitab al-Kafi, also died.

One view is that the Hidden Imam is on earth "among the body of the Shia" but "incognito." "Numerous stories" exist of the Hidden Imam "manifesting himself to prominent members of the ulama."[10]

Ismaili view

The Ismailis differ from Twelvers because they had living imams for centuries after the last Twelver Imam went into concealment. They followed Isma'il ibn Jafar, elder brother of Musa al-Kadhim, as the rightful Imam[11] after his father Ja'far al-Sadiq. The Ismailis believe that whether Imam Ismail did or did not die before Imam Ja'far, he had passed on the mantle of the imamate to his son Muḥammad ibn Ismail as the next imam.[12] Thus, their line of imams is as follows (the years of their individual imamats during the Common Era are given in brackets):

Nizārī Imām Mustā‘lī Imām Ismā'īlī Imām Period
1 Asās/Wāsīh Ali - Mustaali "Foundation" and first Nizārī Imām (632–661)
Pir 1 Hasan ibn Ali : First Mustaali Imām ; Nizārīs consider him a pir, not an Imām (661–669) Mustā‘lī
2 2 Husayn ibn Ali : Second Ismā'īlī Imām (669–680) Mustā‘lī
(661 - 680) Nizārī
3 3 Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin : Third Ismā'īlī Imām (680–713)
4 4 Muhammad al-Baqir : Fourth Ismā'īlī Imām (713–733)
5 5 Ja'far al-Sadiq : Fifth Ismā'īlī Imām (733–765)
6 6 Isma'il ibn Jafar : Sixth Ismā'īlī Imām (765 - 775)
7 7 Muhammad ibn Ismail : Seventh Ismā'īlī Imām and first distinctly Ismā'īlī (non-Twelver) Imām (775-813)

The Ismā'īlī ʿAqīdah

According to Ismā‘īlīsm, Allah has sent "seven" great prophets known as “Nātıq” (Spoken) in order to disseminate and improve his Dīn of Islam. All of these great prophets has also one assistant known as “Sāmad (Silent) Imām”. At the end of each seven “Sāmad” silsila, one great “Nātıq” (Spoken) has ben sent in order to reimprove the Dīn of Islam. After Adam and his son Seth, and after six “Nātıq” (Spoken) – “Sāmad” (Silent) silsila[13] (NoahShem), (AbrahamIshmael), (MosesAaron), (JesusSimeon), (Muhammad bin ʿAbd AllāhAli ibn Abu Tālib); the silsila of “Nātıqs and Sāmads have been completed with (Muhammad bin Ismā‘īl as-ṣaghīr (Maymûn’ûl-Qaddāh[14])–ʿAbd Allāh Ibn-i Maymûn[15] and his sons).

Zaidi view

Zaidiyyah or Zaidi is a Shia madhhab (sect, school) named after the imam Zayd ibn Ali. Followers of the Zaidi fiqh are called Zaidis (or are occasionally called Fivers in the West). However, there is also a group called the Zaidi Wasītīs who are Twelvers.


The name of Imam as it appears in Masjid Nabawi.

Twelver Imams

According to the majority of Shī'a, namely the Twelvers (Ithnā'ashariyya), the following is a listing of the rightful successors to Muḥammad. Each Imam was the son of the previous Imam except for Hussayn ibn 'Alī, who was the brother of Hassan ibn 'Alī.The belief in this succession to Muḥammad stems from various Quranic ayaths which include: 75:36, 13:7, 35:24, 2:30, 2:124, 36:26, 7:142, 42:23. They support their discussion by putting facts from Genesis 17:19–20 and sunni hadeeth:Sahih Muslim, Hadith number 4478, English translation by Abdul Hamid Siddiqui.[16]

List of The Twelve Imams

No. Modern (Calligraphic) Depiction Name
Turkish[3] !! Date of
Birth - Death
Place of birth !! Importance !! Reason & place of death
and place of burial [5]
1 Ali ibn Abu Talib [6][17]

Abu al-Hasan [7][18]

Amir al-Mu'minin[8][19]
(The Commander of the Faithful)

Birinci Ali[20]
600–661[19] / 23(before Hijra)–40[21]
Saudi Arabia[19]
The First[22] Imam[17][23] and the rightful Successor of Muhammad[24] of all Shia however, the Sunnis acknowledge him as the fourth Caliph as well.[17] He holds a high position in almost all Sufi Muslim orders (Turuq); the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[19] Assassinated by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite in Kufa, who slashed him with a poisoned sword while he was praying.[19][25]
Buried in Najaf,[17] Iraq.
2 Hasan ibn Ali [9][17]

Abu Muhammad [10][18]

al-Mūjtabā [11][26]
(The Chosen)

İkinci Ali[20]

/ 3–50[17][28]

Saudi Arabia[27]
He was the eldest surviving grandson of Muhammad through Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah az-Zahra. Hasan succeeded his father as the caliph in Kufa, and on the basis of peace treaty with Muawiya I, he relinquished control of Iraq following a reign of seven months.[27] Poisoned by his wife in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the orders of the Caliph Muawiya, according to Twelver Shiite belief.[29]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina,[17] Saudi Arabia.[27]
3 Husayn ibn Ali [12][17]

Abu Abdillah [13][30]

Sayyid ash-Shuhada [14][31]
(Master of the Martyrs)

Üçüncü Ali[20]

/ 4–61[17][33]

Saudi Arabia[34]
He was a grandson of Muhammad and brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn opposed the validity of Caliph Yazid I. As a result, he and his family were later killed in the Battle of Karbala by Yazid's forces.[17] After this incident, the commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali has become a central ritual in Shia identity.[34] Killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala.[34]
Buried at the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala,[17][32] Iraq.[34]
4 Ali ibn Husayn [15][35]

Abu Muhammad [16][30][36]

al-Sajjad [17][35]

Zayn al-'Abidin [18][35][37]
(One who constantly Prostrates the Ornament of the Worshippers)

Dördüncü Ali[20]
658/9[37] – 712[38]

/ 38[35][37]–95[35][38]

Saudi Arabia[37]
Author of prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya,[35] which is known as "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet."[38] According to most Shia scholars, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph al-Walid I in Medina, Saudi Arabia.[38]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia[35]
5 Muhammad ibn Ali [19][35]

Abu Ja'far [20][30][39]

Baqir al-Ulum [21][40]
(The Revealer of Knowledge)

Beşinci Ali[20]

/ 57–114[35][40]

Saudi Arabia[40]
Sunni and Shia sources both describe him as one of the early and most eminent legal scholars, teaching many students during his tenure.[35][40][41] According to some Shia scholars, he was poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn 'Abdallah in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the order of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.[38]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina,[35] Saudi Arabia.
6 Ja'far ibn Muhammad [22][35]

Abu Abdillah [23][30][35]

as-Sadiq [24][42]
(The Honest)

Altıncı Ali[20]

/ 83–148[35][42]

Saudi Arabia[42]
Established the Ja'fari jurisprudence and developed the theology of Twelvers.[35] He instructed many scholars in different fields, including Abu Hanifah[35] and Malik ibn Anas in fiqh, Wasil ibn Ata and Hisham ibn Hakam in Islamic theology, and Geber in science and alchemy.[42] According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the order of Caliph Al-Mansur.[42]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.[35]
7 Musa ibn Ja'far[25][35]

Abu al-Hasan I [26][30][43]

al-Kazim [27][44]

(The Calm One)

Yedinci Ali[20]

/ 128–183[35][44]

Saudi Arabia[44]
Leader of the Shia community during the schism of Ismaili and other branches after the death of the former Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq.[45] He established the network of agents who collected khums in the Shia community of the Middle East and the Greater Khorasan. He holds a high position in Mahdavia; the members of these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[46] Imprisoned and poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, according to Shiite belief.[47]
Buried in the Kazimayn shrine in Baghdad, Iraq.[35][44]
8 Ali ibn Musa[28][35]

Abu al-Hasan II [29][30]

ar-Rida [30][48]
(The Pleasing One)

Sekizinci Ali[20]

/ 148–203[35][48]

Saudi Arabia[48]
Made crown-prince by Caliph Al-Ma'mun,[49] and famous for his discussions with both Muslim and non-Muslim religious scholars.[48] According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Mashad, Iran on the order of Caliph Al-Ma'mun.[49]
Buried in the Imam Reza shrine in Mashad, Iran.[48][49]
9 Muhammad ibn Ali[31][49]

Abu Ja'far [32][30]

al-Taqi [33][49]

(The God-Fearing)

al-Jawad [34][50]
(The Generous)

Dokuzuncu Ali[20]
809[49] or 810 –835[49][50]

/ 195–220[50]

Saudi Arabia[50]
Famous for his generosity and piety in the face of persecution by the Abbasid caliphate.[51] Poisoned by his wife, Al-Ma'mun's daughter, in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tasim, according to Shiite sources.[52]
Buried in the Kazmain shrine in Baghdad, Iraq.[49][50]
10 Ali ibn Muhammad[35][49]

Abu al-Hasan III [36][30]

al-Hadi [37][54]

(The Guide)

al-Naqi [38][49]

(The Pure)

Onuncu Ali[20]

/ 212–254[53]

Surayya, a village near Medina,
Saudi Arabia[53]
He taught religious sciences until 243/857.[49] Strengthened the network of deputies in the Shia community. He sent them instructions, and received in turn financial contributions of the faithful from the khums and religious vows.[53] According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Samarra, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tazz.[55]
Buried in the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq.[49]
11 Hasan ibn Ali[39][49]

Abu Muhammad [40][56][57]

al-Askari [41][49][58]
(The Citizen of a Garrison Town)

Onbirinci Ali[20]

/ 232–260[49][58]

Saudi Arabia[58]
For most of his life, the Abbasid Caliph, Al-Mu'tamid, placed restrictions on him after the death of his father.[59] Repression of the Shiite population was particularly high at the time due to their large size and growing power.[60] According to Shia, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph Al-Mu'tamid in Samarra,[59] Iraq.
Buried in Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, Iraq.[49][59][60]
12 Muhammad ibn al-Hasan[42][49]

Abu al-Qasim [43][31]

Mahdi [44][49][61]

(The Guided One or The Guide),

Hidden Imam [45][62]

al-Hujjah [46][31][63]

(The Proof)

sahib al-Zaman [47][56] (The Lord of Our Times)

Sahibu'l-Amr [48][56]

(The one vested with Divine authority)

al-Qa'im [49][31]

(The one who will rise and fill the universe with the Justice)

Baqiyyat Allah [50][31]

(God's Remainder)

Onikinci Ali[20]

/ 255 or 256[49] –Now[64]

Samarra, Iraq
According to Twelver Shiite doctrine, he is an actual historical personality and is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with Christ. He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam and replete the earth with justice and peace.[65] According to Shia doctrine, he has been living in the Occultation since 872, and will continue as long as God wills it.[64]

Ismaili Imams

The Ismaili line of imams for both sects (the Nizari and the Mustali) continues undivided until Mustansir Billah (d. 1094). After his death the line of the imamat separates into the Nizari and Mustali dynasties.

The line of imams of the Mustali Ismaili Shia Muslims (also known as the Bohras/Dawoodi Bohra) continued up to Aamir ibn Mustali. After his death, they believe their 21st Imam Taiyab abi al-Qasim went into a Dawr-e-Satr (period of concealment) that continues to this day. In the absence of an imam they are led by a Dai-al-Mutlaq (absolute missionary) who manages the affairs of the Imam-in-Concealment until re-emergence of the Imam from concealment. Dawoodi Bohra's present 53rd Da'i al-Mutlaq is His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin (TUS) who succeeded his predessor the 52nd Da'i al-Mutlaq His Holiness Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA). Furthermore, there has been a split in the Dawoodi Bohra sect which has led to the formation of Qutbi Bohra sect which was formed and led by Khuzaima Qutbuddin.

The line of imams of the Nizari Ismaili Shia Muslims (also known as the Agha-khani Ismailis in South and Central Asia) continues to their present living 49th hereditary imam, Aga Khan IV (son of Prince Aly Khan). They are the only Shia Muslim community today led by a present and living (Hazir wa Mawjud) imam.[66]

Zaidi Imams

The Zaidi branch of Shi'ism established its own line of Imams starting in the year 897; the line continued without interruption until 1962 when the North Yemen Civil War brought the Imamate to an end and established a republic.

Sunni view on shia imāmate

The Twelver's imāmology is not shared by Sunnis. The Syrian mufti Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1328) composed a long refutation of it in his "Minhāj al-Sunnat al-Nabawiyya".[67]

See also


  1. ^ The Sufi spiritual leader Ibn Arabi said:A Muslim is a person who has dedicated his worship exclusively to God...Islam means making one's religion and faith God's alone.[9]
  2. ^ 19:28
  3. ^ The Imam's Arabic titles are used by the majority of Twelver Shia who use  .
  4. ^ The abbreviation CE refers to the Common Era solar calendar, while AH refers to the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar
  5. ^ Except Twelfth Imam
  6. ^ علي بن أبي طالب
  7. ^ أبو الحسن
  8. ^ امیرالمؤمنین
  9. ^ حسن بن علي
  10. ^ أبو محمد
  11. ^ المجتبی
  12. ^ حسین بن علي
  13. ^ أبو عبدالله
  14. ^ سیّد الشهداء
  15. ^ علي بن الحسین
  16. ^ أبو محمد
  17. ^ السجّاد
  18. ^ زین العابدین
  19. ^ محمد بن علي
  20. ^ أبو جعفر
  21. ^ باقرالعلوم
  22. ^ جعفر بن محمد
  23. ^ أبو عبدالله
  24. ^ الصادق
  25. ^ موسی بن جعفر
  26. ^ أبو الحسن الاول
  27. ^ الکاظم
  28. ^ علي بن موسی
  29. ^ أبو الحسن الثانی
  30. ^ الرضا
  31. ^ محمد بن علي
  32. ^ أبو جعفر
  33. ^ التقی
  34. ^ الجواد
  35. ^ علي بن محمد
  36. ^ أبو الحسن الثالث
  37. ^ الهادی
  38. ^ النقی
  39. ^ الحسن بن علي
  40. ^ أبو محمد
  41. ^ العسگری
  42. ^ محمد بن الحسن
  43. ^ أبو القاسم
  44. ^ المهدی
  45. ^ الامام الغائب
  46. ^ الحجة
  47. ^ صاحب الزمان
  48. ^ صاحب الامر
  49. ^ القائم
  50. ^ بقیةالله


  1. ^ Nasr 2006, p. 38
  2. ^ Sociology of religions: perspectives of Ali Shariati (2008) Mir Mohammed Ibrahim
  3. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein; Dabashi, Hamid; Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza (1988). Shi'ism: Doctrines, Thought, and Spirituality. SUNY Press.  
  4. ^ Tabataba'i 2008
  5. ^ al-Tijani al-Samawi, p. 79
  6. ^ Ayoub 1984, p. 157
  7. ^ a b c al-Shaykh al-Saduq 2006, p. 194
  8. ^ a b c Sharif al-Qarashi 2003
  9. ^ Razi 1900, p. 432
  10. ^ Momen, Moojan, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985, p.199
  11. ^ Rise of The Fatimids, by W. Ivanow. Page 81, 275
  13. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, DAWR (1)
  14. ^ Öz, Mustafa, Mezhepler Tarihi ve Terimleri Sözlüğü (The History of madh'habs and its terminology dictionary), Ensar Yayıncılık, İstanbul, 2011. (This is the name of the trainer of Muhammed bin Ismā‘īl ibn Jā’far. He had established the principles of the Batiniyya Madh'hab, later.)
  15. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica, "ʿABDALLĀH B. MAYMŪN AL-QADDĀḤ"
  16. ^  
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Chittick 1980, p. 137
  18. ^ a b Rizvi 1988, p. 48
  19. ^ a b c d e Nasr 2007
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004.  
  21. ^ Tabatabaea 1979, pp. 190–192
  22. ^ Poonawala 1985
  23. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2005
  24. ^ Mashita 2002, p. 69
  25. ^ Tabatabae 1979, p. 192
  26. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 50
  27. ^ a b c d Madelung 2003
  28. ^ Tabatabae 1979, pp. 194–195
  29. ^ Tabatabae 1979, p. 195
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h Rizvi 1988, p. 49
  31. ^ a b c d e Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 174
  32. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 198–199
  33. ^ Tabatabae 1979, pp. 196–199
  34. ^ a b c d Madelung 2004
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Chittick 1980, p. 138
  36. ^ Qurashi 2007, p. 17
  37. ^ a b c d Madelung 1985
  38. ^ a b c d e Tabatabae 1979, p. 202
  39. ^ Qurashi 1999
  40. ^ a b c d e Madelung 1988
  41. ^ Tabatabae 1979, p. 203
  42. ^ a b c d e f Tabatabae 1979, pp. 203–204
  43. ^ a b Madelung 1985c
  44. ^ a b c d e Tabatabae 1979, p. 205
  45. ^ Tabatabae 1979, p. 78
  46. ^ Sachedina 1988, pp. 53–54
  47. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2011, p. 207
  48. ^ a b c d e f Tabatabae 1979, pp. 205–207
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Chittick 1980, p. 139
  50. ^ a b c d e Tabatabae 1979, p. 207
  51. ^ Qurashi 2005
  52. ^ Al-Tabataba'i 1977, p. 207
  53. ^ a b c d e Madelung 1985a
  54. ^ Dungersi, p. 2
  55. ^ Tabatabae 1979, pp. 208–209
  56. ^ a b c Rizvi 1988, p. 50
  57. ^ Qurashi 2005, p. 18
  58. ^ a b c d Halm 1987
  59. ^ a b c Dungersi, p. 28
  60. ^ a b Tabatabae 1979, pp. 209–210
  61. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2007
  62. ^ Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 115
  63. ^ Nasr 2013, p. 161
  64. ^ a b c d Tabatabae 1979, pp. 210–211
  65. ^ Tabatabae 1979, pp. 211–214
  66. ^
  67. ^ See "Ibn Taymiyya’s Critique of Shī‘ī Imāmology. Translation of Three Sections of his "Minhāj al-Sunna", by Yahya Michot, The Muslim World, 104/1-2 (2014), pp. 109-149.



Further reading



  • Kohlberg, E.; Poonawala, I. K. (1985). "ʿALI B. ABI ṬĀLEB". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (2005). "SHIʿITE DOCTRINE". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (2007). "ISLAM IN IRAN vii. THE CONCEPT OF MAHDI IN TWELVER SHIʿISM". Encyclopædia Iranica. 
  • Halm, H (1987). "ʿASKARĪ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 
  • Tabataba'e, Muhammad Husayn (2008). Islamic Teachings in Brief. Qum: Ansariyan. 
  • Martin, Richard C. Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim world; vol.1. MacMillan.  
  • Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004.  
  • Nasr, Seyyed Vali Reza (2006). The Shia revival : how conflicts within Islam will shape the future (1st ed.). New York: Norton.  
  • Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve. Yale University Press.  
  • Ayoub, Mahmoud (1984). The Qur'an and Its Interpreters , Volume 1. SUNY Press.  
  • al-Tijani al-Samawi, Muhammad. To Be With The Truthful. 
  • Mashita (2002). Theology, ethics and metaphysics. Hiroyuki. London: RoutledgeCurzon.  
  • Chittick, William C. (1980). A Shi'ite Anthology. SUNY Press.  
  • Dungersi, Mohammed Raza. A Brief Biography of Imam Hasan bin Ali (a.s.): al-Askari. Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania. GGKEY:NT86H2HXN40. 
  • Al-Tabataba'i, Muhammad H. (1977). Shi'ite Islam. SUNY Press.  
  • Qurashi, Baqir Shareef (2005). The Life of Imam Muhammad Al-Jawad. Qom: Ansariyan Publications. 
  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (27 September 1994). The Divine Guide in Early Shi'ism: The Sources of Esotericism in Islam. SUNY Press.  
  • Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (15 February 2011). The Spirituality of Shi'i Islam: Belief and Practices. I.B.Tauris.  
  • Qurashi, Baqir Sharif (1999). The Life of Imam Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Baqir. Ansariyan Publications.  
  • Qurashi, Baqir Sharif (2007). The life of Imām Zayn al ‘Abidin (A.S.). Ansariyan Publications.  
  • Rizvi, Sayyid Saeed Akhtar (1988). Imamate: The vicegerency of the Holy Prophet. Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania.  

External links

  • Al-imamah (emamah) page
  • A brief introduction of Twelve Imams
  • Al-Muraja'at
  • A Brief History Of The Lives Of The Twelve Imams a chapter of Shi'ite Islam (book) by Allameh Tabatabaei
  • The Twelve Imams Taken From "A Shi'ite Anthology" By Allameh Tabatabaei
  • A Short History of the Lives of The Twelve Imams
  • Imamah in the Qur'an
  • Imam An article by Encyclopædia Britannica Online
  • Hojjat by Maria Dakake, an article of Encyclopædia Iranica
  • Shia Islam - Ask Imam
  • Shia Network Ahlulbayt Discussion Forums
  • Twelve Successors
  • Bay Area Shiite-Muslims Association (
  • Imamia Mission Bury
  • Graphical illustration of the Shia sects
  • The Shia Islamic Guide (
  • Imamah in Sunni Islam
  • Imamah according to Sunnis
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