Glimpses at the Imamate and Khilafate in Islam
By: Dr. Ahmad Al-Hashimi
Chairman: Ihsan Muslim Heritage Society
138 Yorkland Street, Unit 173
Richmond Hill, Ontario L4S 1J1
Any honest Muslim researcher has no doubt about the truthfulness of the Imamate of Imam Hasan, his father before him, and his brother Hussain and the nine Imams from the latter’s loin. Both the Quran and the Sunnah have provided ample evidence, describing these true leaders – whom Allah appointed for the Muslims. Recently, Dr. Zabeth published a well-researched article on the appointment of Imam Ali as a successor to the Prophet on that eventful day in the midst of the hot desert of Arabia, in the year 10 A.H. I am expanding the subject-matter beyond Al-Ghadeer, just to examine to what extend the Muslims adhered to the pertinent revelations of the book of Allah. At the outset, it should be absolutely clear that people’s opinion have had no role in selecting an Imam after the last Prophet the same way it had had no role in selecting any of the thousands of the prophets. It is ironic to state that the “Selective, i.e. Allah’s appointments” approach of governance finds more support from the Quran for its legitimacy than the “Elective, i.e. people’s choice” approach.
The “Consultation” proposed by the Quran was not a form of governance. It was merely a directive to the Prophet to encourage Muslims to get involved in running their own affairs. A leader, immaterial of the form of government, cannot do everything by himself. Delegation of some authorities and encouraging the participation of others help raising their sense of participation, provide a training ground for new administrators, and prevent from the emergence of dictatorship. Not limited to Bush’s rigging his Year 2000 election, it has always been the case when special interest groups collude to seize the power in any human society, the “Election” (or nowadays called Democratic) approach miserably fail the test of history. The principal purpose of this research paper is to take glimpses at the Imamte versus Khilafate in Islam. This could be a humble contribution to help the new Muslims better understand the history of Islam without getting drown in the high tides of sectarianism fomented recently by the Bush’s administration – in its a fruitless attempt to dominate the heart of the Muslim world through its illegal occupation of Iraq.
As the Glorious Quran states people continue to argue about the authenticity of any choice, even if he was truly guided and appointed by Allah. For instance, some contemporaries of Muhammad disputed why the Quran was not revealed to one of the two “great” men of Mecca and At-Taef. The Almighty puts an end to such feeble arguments by this refute: “are these (argumentative) people dispense Allah’s mercy on others.” In a word, the Prophethood or Imamate is a kind of mercy from the Lord to mankind. He is the One Who places it wherever He sees fit. All Muslims profess that Allah sent Muhammad is a mercy to the worlds. Unfortunately, the majority fail to understand the unique status of the Imams both before and after the short 23-yr mission of the Prophet of Islam. For the space limitation, I will not touch upon the time frame before Prophet Muhammad.
I only refer the reader to thoroughly examine the status of Imamate attained by prophet Ibrahim some 4000 years ago (i.e., during a pre-historic era, about which a researcher even lacks the “Sohof,” or the scrolls of that prophet). The Quran briefly states: Allah endowed that status to him after several tests. When Ibrahim wished to keep the Immate in his progeny, Allah put a clear limitation “The wrongdoers will not obtain My covenant.” From this limitation the infallibility of the Imams become a clear criterion in any selection. So, the Merciful Lord only appoints the just ones, who are infallible, to lead the people.
Imamte is a natural extension of the seal of Prophethood:
The Quran paved the way for smooth transfer of authority after the demise of the holy Prophet to his appointed Vicegerent – Imam Ali (A.S.). A religion with no form of governance is not a complete one. The verse of completing the religion and perfecting Allah’s bounties speaks to this matter. This particular verse was revealed right after the Prophet performed the Farewell Pilgrim in a location between Makkah and Madinah the historians call Juhfah. The land was low. During the winter it is filled with water in the form of a pond (thus the Arabic word Al-Ghadeer). The Prophet was passing through it during the Summer, when it was dry. It had a few dessert trees that provided little shade to protect the accompanying 100,000+ pilgrims from a scorching Sun.
The revelation which followed the Prophet’s vision – when he saw monkeys jumping up and down of his pulpit – was very telling. The pertinent verse symbolically talks about the cursed tree, inferring to decadent progenies (otherwise there is no wisdom in cursing a soulless tree). Giving directives, the Prophet ordered the Muslims to kill Mu’aawiyah bin Abi Sofyan – one of the Meccan leaders who remained an arch enemy of the Prophet till the conquest of Mecca – if ever they see him on his pulpit. But it was the will of the second caliph – who was “appointed” by the first caliph after the two usurped the leadership in the Saqefa of Bani Sa’aedah – to appoint Mu’aawiyah as his governor over Syria. Years of governance in that province emboldened his position and set him as a political foe to Imam Ali – who was unanimously elected by the Muslim masses after caliph Othman’s tragic death.
Interestingly, the title of Imam was given to no other person but Ali bin Abi Talib (A.S.), as the majority of the Prophet’s companions testify. Although Ibn Abbas (Hibr Al-Ummah, i.e. the very learned of the Ummah) narrates that there is no verse in the Quran with the address: “O’ Yee who believe,” in which Ali is not being intended. Nonetheless, the title Commander of Believers, i.e. “Ameer Al-Mo’mineen,” is being liberally used by Imam Ali’s predecessors. It was Real Politics. Right after Imam Ali, the use of this title has unfortunately become so liberal that it was even given to such a decadent person as Yazid. His father Mu’aawiyah carried it too, after some Hadiths being forged in his favour that he was the writer of the Quran’s revealed verses as they were gradually revealed to the Prophet. A title of the Prophet’s barber was also given to him! The fact of the matter, as alluded earlier, he was the son of the freed, ibn Al-Tulaqaa, after the Prophet’s conquest of Mecca. Such misuse of religious titles and forged Hadiths are indeed great sources of confusion for many Muslims then, now, and in the future. But, the political motivations behind them are absolutely clear for any impartial researcher.
War Mongering against Imam Ali (A.S.)
Combined with the incitement of the Prophet’s wife – whom he ordered to sit in her house – in the battle of Camel (near Basra), Talhah and Zubair abrogated their allegiance to Imam Ali. Later in Siffeen battle, Mu’aawiyah army’s commander-in-chief tricked some of Imam Ali’s commanders into accepting a truce. These same commanders forced the Imam to accept the “peace” offer, despite the fact that he was in a militarily advantageous position. They later rebelled against him. The above three groups who either harboured animosity to Imam Ali or later became his political foes are known: An-Nakitheen; Al-Qasiteen; and Al-Mariqeen. The latter group is also known as the Kharijites (Rebellious). Mu’aawiyah colluded with a Kharijite – Abdul-r-Rahman bin Muljam – who assassinated Imam Ali in the year 41 A.H. With the martyrdom of Imam Ali, who was unarguably the most learned after the Prophet, gone the Talking Quran. But, Allah is so Merciful. In the Quran, He promised to be the protector of His Book from any alteration.
One can deduct that He must have protected the rightful Imams just to transmit the genuine knowledge about the Quran from one heart to the other. Otherwise, a silent book can not defend itself against misinterpretation, misquotation, or misuse/misapplication. As we speak, there must be one throbbing heart that fully comprehends the inner meanings of the Quran, as intended by the Author – the Almighty Allah. The importance of the existence of such an Imam can be recognized in the light of one crucial question: who is the ultimate authority for the Muslims when they differ in their understanding/interpreting the Quran?! Highlighting this unity of purpose, the Prophet quoted Allah that the two weighty things he has left behind are inseparable: (1) The Book of Allah; and, (2) His Itrah, i.e. the appointed Imams from his loin.
Additionally, the three consecutive wars that Imam Ali conducted against the said groups have resulted in the killing of many of those who had memorized the Quran.
The second Imam resumes responsibilities at a very tortuous time
When the Imamte reached the second Imam, he invoked the Quran to speak on his behalf. In a letter to Mu’aawiyah, Imam Hasan reminded him to be pious. He quoted a verse from a short chapter of the Quran – The Determination:
“Night of the Power is better than one thousand months.”
Intoxicated by power, Mu’aawiyah did not pay any heed to the Imam of his time. He not only continued in his repressive rule and intrigued for assassinating the second Imam in year 50 A.H., but also imposed his pampered and drunkard son Yazid to be his successor. More than a century later, Imam Hasan’s truthfulness became manifest when Abi Al-Abbas Al-Saffah toppled the last ruler of the Omayyah Dynasty in the year 132 A.H. Time duration Mu’aawiyah and his progeny spent at the helm of political power after Imam Hasan (A.S.) was 132 – 50, i.e. 83 years or 1000 months precisely. Historians reported the precision of this prophecy in months.
Heralding the Imamate throughout the Prophet’s tradition
Many authentic Hadiths state that the Imams after the Prophet are twelve – all of them are from Quraish. One Hadith is even more explicit by saying: “Whoever dies without recognizing the Imam of his time, he dies a Jahili (i.e. in state of being non-Muslim) death.” This not only highlights the status of an existing rightful Imam, but also establishes a strong bond between the Muslims and the Imam of their time immaterial of the time frame and/or the political circumstances. The Almighty Allah is not bound by the time; and, as the Quran declares some of His affairs which may take ages in human time scale, relatively they look like a blink of the eye. And, so will be the surprising arrival of the Hour – the END of the time, or the Day of Reckoning. [Baghtah: Sudden].
Seemingly, Allah, the Omnipresent, has predetermined in His master blueprint meticulous accounts of everything, including the reign of the illegitimate rulers (who will be consecutively coming till the end of the time). He informed His prophet about them – by first showing him in a vision monkeys that were jumping up and down of his pulpit. Transmitting his spiritual experiences to his heirs, the Prophet shared the inner meaning of the revelation he received indirectly from Allah (via the arch angel Gabriel) with his daughter Fatimah and his vicegerents Imam Ali (A.S.).
The mother of the Imams and her exalted status
The Prophet left no proper opportunity in his 23 years as a messenger without utilizing it to introduce his rightful heirs. Fatimah was his only direct progeny who only lived six months after him. Her short life remains a mystery very similar to her unknown tomb. Hopefully, this will encourage a few Muslim intellectuals to thoroughly study her immaculate personality. After all, she represents the meeting point between the Prophethood and the Imamate. Immaterial what was the nature of her personal relation with the Prophet’s youngest wife – Ayesha, Fatimah deserves more attention because the Quran dictates so. Through Fatimah, Allah gave His Prophet: “abundance,” a reference to his multiplying loins. Linking Allah’s pleasure with Fatimah’s, the Prophet stressed the exceptional and exemplary status of Fatimah. He also declared the Imamate of the Hasanain in his own life, while Hasan and Hussain were still young boys. He stated: “these two sons of mine are Imams immaterial if they sit (referring to making peace) or stand up (referring to making war).
One day, Abu Bakr saw the Hasanain on the shoulders of their grandfather. He jokily stated to them: “Your camel is the best camel.” The Prophet promptly said to him: “They are the best riders; and, their father is (even) better than them.” So Abu Bakr’s denial of Fatimah’s inheritance in Fadak is one of the darkest points in Islam’s history. In her attempt to get back her inheritance, she quoted the Quranic verse “Solomon inherited David,” and brought Um Ayman in addition to her husband and her two sons to the first Caliph court only to hear from him that he had heard her father saying: “We the folk of the prophets do not inherit; surely whatever we leave behind goes for charity.” No other Prophet companion have ever heard him saying so; only, Omar – who became a caliph after Abu Bakr agreed with such a counter argument the first Caliph used to deny the daughter of the Prophet of her rightful inheritance. There are much more details outlined in the book: Fadak in History, by Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr.
The Abbasids misused their relation to the Prophet and usurped leadership from the rightful Imams
As-Sadiqayn, the fifth and the sixth Imams, used to tell their disciples to refute the (feeble) argument of those who denied their Imamate by reciting the particular chapter of the Determination, or Surat Al-Qadr.
Besides being the average (pre-determined) life span of man in this fleeting life, the 1000-month period is a fulfilled prophecy on the tongue of the rightful Imam Hasan Al-Mujtaba.
There is another secret though in this short Quranic chapter. Very similar to the inference to Fatimah in the shortest chapter in the Quran, i.e., Al-Kawthar, this secret is related to the continuation of the Imamate after the Hasanain through the purified progeny of Imam Hussain (A.S.).
Imam As-Sadiq said whoever recognizes the status of Fatimah, he has attained the in-depth meaning of Surat Al-Qadr.
Put in the simplest form, the (yearly) descending or coming down of Ar-Rooh and the Angels, on the night of power, must be to a rightful Imam who lives on this Earth.
According to very many prophetic traditions, which are narrated by both parties, this rightful 12th Imam is Muhammad bin Al-Hasan Al-Askari, commonly known as Imam Mahdi. He is the ninth Imam from the loin of Al-Hussain bin Ali bin Abi Talib – the uprising Ninth, as he was prophesized.
The author of Imam Hasan’s Treaty with Mu’aawiyah (a paper published in www.imamreza.net) did a thorough research in the Islamic literature. His work is commendable for giving a precise historic record for the rule of the Abbasids – which started after the downfall of the Omayyah dynasty in the year 132 A.H., as sated above. Like Yazid, Al-Saffah (a title derived from “yasfahh,” which means to spill a fluid, e.g. blood …
inferring to his brutality) ruled only for three years. His successor, Al-Mansour assumed power in 136 A.H. – and chose Baghdad (at that time known Az-Zawraa) as his capital.
Bloody history of Baghdad: Then and Now
The Imams from the progeny of Al-Hussian have instructed their followers how to conduct themselves at the times of political repression. Al-Mansour’s intimidation of the sixth Imam is recorded in history. Before that era, Imam As-Sadiq’s advice for his uncle Zaid bin Ali is also documented. When Zaid was martyred, Imam As-Sadiq only said: “May Allah have mercy on my uncle Zaid,” He simply applied a tactic not to be confrontational with the ruling tyrants while knowing their ultimate destinies.
The same low-profile, non-violent posture was taken by Imam Musa bin Jaffar (A.S.). He was a very patient person, known for suppressing his anger. Thus, he carried the fame name Al-Kadhim, from yakdhim which means to control the anger. Yet the caliph Haroon Ar-Rasheed summoned him from Al-Madinah and put him in notorious dungeons in Basra and Baghdad for many years. In the end, he poisoned him and asked four prison employees to put his corpse near a bridge on the suburbs of Baghdad. He was buried there in a city that carries his fame name: Khadhimayn (i.e., the two Khadhims, referring to him and his grandson ibn Ar-Redha, i.e. Imam Al-Jawad who was later buried besides him).
The same locality has recently witnessed a tragic stampede that took the lives of 1200+ of his followers while commemorating his martyrdom. I leave this matter for other researchers to write about. The only comments I register here are: first, the number of martyrs may have marked the anniversary of Imam’s martyrdom. Secondly, this tragic incident coincided with Katrina flood in southern United States. Some nomad Arabs who are presently ruling just south of Iraq opened their purses and donated millions of Petrodollars for the victims of Katrina. While they showed no sympathy whatsoever to the thousands of Iraqi families who have lost their loved ones in the tragic Khadhimayn stampede, they recently opened their purses to support the perpetrators of this heinous crime in Iraq’s recent history – probably, on the advice of Dick Cheney who visited Abdullah.
Back to the history, feeling the betrayal of the Abbasids, the Hasani Hashimites continued the struggle against the new tyranny of their day.
It was in the early Abbasid era when two sons of Abdullah Mahadh – Muhammad Thi An-Nafs Az-Zakiyah and his brother Ibrahim were killed in armed struggle in 762 (146 A.H.).
Tabatabaei Sayyids can be traced to Hasan Al-Muthanna, the son of Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib. Historically, the Hussaini Sayyids have been more prone to armed confrontation against the tyrannies of their time. But all Hashimites were burnt by the fire of rage from the despots. Some migration Westward, reaching to as far as Morocco, has been a compelling testimony of a bitter and repressive reality. Others migrated Eastward to reach the Indian subcontinent passing through Persia.
Recently, I met the Tunisian Muslim scholar and author Dr. At-Teejani As-Simawi (in reference to the city of Simawah south of Baghdad) in a conference. He approved that his ancestors fled the persecution of that ear and headed to North Africa. This Muslim scholar had another telling story about how he (re)discovered his path to Imamate through formidable hurdles placed by history, culture, and political prejudices. In brief, several decades ago on a trip to perform his pilgrimage to Makkah, he met a few of the disciples of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr. For being impressed with As-Sadr’s writings, he later made a trip to Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf to meet him. Then I was guided is the title of an earliest book Dr. At-Teejani As-Simawi has published. His publications now exceeded a dozen. He turned to a celebrity rather a magnet that attracts thousands if not millions to Ahlul Bayt school of thought. Because his second language is French, I had the privilege to translate for him in several occasions, including a recent fundraiser held by Bani Hashim Society in Toronto that attracted 600+.
It is amazing how “history repeats itself.” This adage is a human phrase to express the comparative historic realities. Once again, the Quran is not silent on this matter. The Book of Allah encourages mankind to travel in land and examine the signs of Allah’s existence and the manifestation of His Power. Powerful tyrants may temporarily deny the existence of Allah, as the Pharaoh did until he got drowned in the Red Sea. That was his personal relation to the Creator. But, when we study his story in the Quran, we see that Allah condemns him from a more important reason: rejecting the Imam of his time, i.e. Prophet Moses (A.S.). As a result, the Merciful (but Just) Allah rejected his testimony at the brink of his death. Even the repentance of ordinary sinners is rejected at the death time, leave alone the repentance of the tyrants of history. Unfortunately, scholars (who are similar to Bal’am bin Baoora) do not take heed from all these examples in the Quran. By siding with the Pharaoh (and his likes), they prove that they are like donkeys which carry voluminous books, as the Quran puts it in the chapter of Al-Jumah which they repeatedly articulate on a weekly basis.
For the history I record here that the hanging of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad on the day of Arafah in the Year 1427 A.H. (December 30, 2006 @ 6:10 am) was very similar to the Pharaoh’s drowning. The Arab’s have a saying which goes that the little patience of Allah is 40 years. Despite that in recent history, it was a 40-yr respite Allah gave to the Shah of Iran – Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, his neighbour Saddam Hussein took no heed whatsoever. Right after the downfall of the reign of the former, the latter committed a heinous crime by personally executing the fore-mentioned Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr (and his sister Aminah bint Ismael As-Sadr, commonly known as Bin Al-Huda, i.e. the daughter of guidance).
Their execution took place on April the 9th, 1980, after nine months (remember the time a human being spends in his mother’s womb) of house arrest and interrogation. The 9th of April, the Iraqi people will witness, marked a day of festivities: The Anniversary for the formation of the Arab Ba’ath Socialist party by Michel Aflaq (a Syrian Christian from a Jewish mother) in 1947. Again, further details can be obtained by an elaborative book on this period by Al-Noamani (in Arabic). Before his execution, the martyr As-Sadr has warned (and prophesied) if Saddam kills him, his blood will end Saddam’s reign of tyranny. So, it happened!
It was exactly on April the 9th 23 years later, in the year 2003, when the entire world have witnessed the dawn fall of Saddam’s statue in one of Baghdad’s squares. This was a true prophecy filled. How disgraceful was Saddam’s entire life. In addition to the above heinous crime, he committed another unforgivable sin: disserting the battle field while the enemies were marching towards Baghdad. His flee from the war theatre was not a tactical move, as an Egyptian writer recently contended. Pulled from a hiding grave-like place at the feet of an American soldier is another destined shame which other writers record when they compare his “capture,” with the last moments of his resisting sons: Udday and Qosay a few months earlier. All bloodthirsty despots must take a note from the end of Saddam’s dynasty and think about their anticipated miserable fate. They must amend and return in genuine repentance to their Creator before it is too late.
If they do not believe in the Creator and His Day of Judgement, they should at least be free in this world (from their masters in Tel Aviv and Washington), as Imam Hussain advised. It is indeed disheartening to see the enemies of Islam hovering with their jet fighters on the sky of Karbala, and send their tanks to shed more Muslim blood on the same soil once socked by the blood of Al-Hussain bin Ali (A.S.). The Iraqi people must unite against a common enemy. They must denounce Saddam as being Pharaoh-like. Sectarianism is always a natural outcome of the Pharaoh’s rule, the Quran dictates.
Allah said to the Pharaoh that He will rescue his “drowned” body so that he will remain as a sign for the coming generations. So, there is a double sign in the pertinent verse of the Quran. How heedless the so-called Muslim scholars could be to be so blind not to see all these signs of Allah’s existence unfolding before their naked eyes. The late (and incidentally blind) scholar of Hijaz (named bin Bazz) issued a fatwa which made Saddam a disbeliever even if he professes the two kalimahs. That “fatwa” came late in 1991, when Saddam’s army was trapped in Kuwait. The likes of Bal’am bin Baoora kept silent when the U.S. incited Saddam to occupy the oil-rich areas south of Iran, right after the Shah’s downfall, to cause the bloody 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war which perished the lives of more than one million. Months before the start of that war, the martyrdom of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr had drawn no sympathy from any of these rock-hearted scholars.
Thousands of the disciples of the martyr gave their life on the altar of freedom to regain the liberty and dignity of all Iraqis – immaterial of their race, religion, or sectarian denomination. All these efforts were to end Saddam’s reign of tyranny. These went unnoticed by many so-called Muslim scholars. It is true that the nature of the dessert often make the hearts rocky. But, the Quran describes these people as the ones on whose hearts Allah has placed His seal. Their spiritual ailment is incurable. In a word, He has turned the eyes of their hearts blind. So, there are not rock-hearted. They are actually blind-hearted, for not realizing any spiritual sign in existence.
It is very agonizing to see the Petrodollars come again at the service of such people. As we speak, the U.S. is fomenting a sectarian war in the Muslim world. The flares of this war already began in Iraq by the bombing of Imam Ali Al-Hadi and Imam Hasan Al-Askari golden tomb in Samarra, on February 22, 2006. The latter Imam was the father of Imam Mahdi, about whom the Prophet of Islam said: “if only one day from the life of this world remains, Allah will stretch that day long enough so that an Imam from my loin will come in order to fill the Earth with fairness and justice after being filled with tyranny and injustice.” The (re)appearance of Imam Mahdi, Jesus’ support for him, the Dajjal and the signs of the end of the time about which any researcher can find plenty of materials in the Islamic literature. What is important for the Muslims at this critical stage of their life is not to confuse Jesus (and his true followers) with the Dajjal, or the anti-Christ in the Christian literature. No need to shed one more drop of blood under the leadership of crook leaders, who are replicates to the Pharaoh and those who illegitimately seized power throughout Islamic history.
With that said, the days of the oppressed to whom Allah has promised the inheritance of the entire Earth in the Psalms of David are coming near. The new leaders must shun any injustice and arrogance. Their message is universal under a rightful Imam. It is not bound
by any sectarian boarders those who carry the Star of David and the Cross are jointly trying to draw in what they call a new map for the Middle East. The peoples of the world in general and the Americans in particular can do a great service by ridding themselves from the yokes of the enemies of Allah and humanity. In the end, the oppressed should rejoice when they see their dreams fulfilled by the arrival of their Saviour.
To conclude, the main purpose for the coming of all Allah’s prophets was to establish justice in man’s life, as the Quran stated in the chapter of iron (verse 25). The bloodshed about which the close angels of Allah knew, seemingly from generations preceded Adam, will continue till the end of the time. Even the two children of Adam differed. One killed the other. The differences in endeavours are very much natural in this fleeting life of man on this planet. Peoples of the world should not despise each other, because the Creator is One and in full control of their destinies through His designates. The only criterion for individual and collective preference is the piety. Neither wealth nor power brings any honour – which totally belongs to Allah, His messenger, and the true believers.
Human beings should never be judgemental, when they treat each other. The Almighty so willed that He deferred judging people till the day of reckoning, in the Hereafter, so long us the sinners return to Him in genuine repentance. He has set a clear deadline for accepting even the late comers, till the point of death. However, to make an example for others not to be arrogant, not to spread mischief in land, not to cause bloodshed, sometimes He humiliates the bodies that carried mischievous spirits, such as the Pharaoh’s, Saddam’s, … etc.
Allah has made the humans in nations and tribes in order to know each other and realize the fact that the most honourable amongst them are the ones who are the most God-fearing. The Almighty Creator is One; and, He sent one message (Al-Islam) for the guidance of the one human family. He is so patient with man’s wrongdoing that the majority of people turn either in despair or arrogant, depending whether they are subjects of Earthy “lords!” The latter group often deny Allah, persist in tyranny as long as they are in power, cause schisms amongst people and slaughter anyone who falls in the grips of their henchmen. In many cases throughout the history, old and contemporary, Allah has set examples for the disgraceful destiny of any ruler who has turned arrogant. He told an old prophet: arrogance is my garment ... He also said: the tyrant is my sword; I use him to punish the wrong doers and (then) I punish him!
To the first group, the Quran provides a great solace that Allah often catches the tyrants when they are at the helm of their power. Ordinary Muslims should constantly seek Allah’s forgiveness. It is important for them to be patient and always remain united. Caliphs, kings, presidents may come and go, constitutionally or otherwise. None represent what Allah intended for mankind, unless if they get nearer to Him by observing absolute fairness. But, Allah is the ultimate justice. He will hold accountable all those who deviate an inch from His path even in the process of coming to power. He did not leave the matter of selecting leaders open to the people. The attributes of a rightful Imam are clearly stated by the example of Imam Ali, who paid charity when he was praying.
He was the soul of the Prophet that never dies because it was perished for the sake of Allah. Fatimah’s critical stature in creation becomes evident when a Muslim only adheres to what the Quran advised Muslims to do: be kind to her and her progeny. If the first Caliph miserably failed to implement this Quranic advice, the Muslims should not miss recognizing what Allah described as abundance (Al-Kuwthar) in His revelation. She was the mother of the rightful Imams after the prophet. According to the Quran, these Imams are upright and closely adhere to the instructions of the Quran in their leadership. It does not matter if they are visible (i.e. in power) or invisible (waiting to take their role). The Quran and the Imams of the household are inseparable, until the day of Judgement – as the Prophet puts it. In a sense, the Imams are the talking Quran for inheriting the divine knowledge from their grandfather.
A legacy which Prophet Ibrahim had wished and Allah endowed to these particular individuals from his progeny after purifying them from any impurities. Historically, since the advent of the time, the Imams leadership has always been “lead by example.” They have never coerced any person to accept their authority. At some times, the entire society has turned against them. As in the case of Ibrahim himself, he stood as a nation for Allah. So did Imam Hussain on the plain of Karbala. Standing before the Caliph Yazid’s huge army, he ransomed the grand sacrifice which Ibrahim had envisioned in a dream. Evidence was submitted in this paper that the status of Imamate is above and beyond the Prophethood. As for the end of the time, the rightful Imam is from the loins of the Prophet (whom Allah appointed, and the Prophet foretold about him as being the 9th from the progeny of Imam Hussain, i.e. Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi). Not only the bible, but also the Psalms of David have mentioned about the Messiah, or the Saviour of mankind. He surly is the one who will implement the long-sought justice in man’s life. The Quran declares clearly: the oppressed shall triumph under his leadership in the end.