The vicegerency of Imam Ali

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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #1289 by Mohammad
For the sake of forwarding our Da’wah, I believe that the arguments we have against twelvers reach an extent of reason and logic to the point that one would reject them by virtue of baseless emotion.

Therefore, what remains is the larger Da’wah that we will seek to forward Insha’Allah to the larger Muslim sphere and it is the vicegerency of Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, Imam Hussein, and after that I believe the general designation found in Hadith Thaqalayn and 35:32 would essentially be taken as a given.

The fundamental contentions that I have seen posed are as follows:

(a) - Imam Ali did not explicitly make it clear he was chosen by Allah

(b) - Imam Ali did not designate Imam Hassan after him

(c) - The historical figure of Imam Ali does not seem to point to the theological picture painted in his regard, especially his participation in the Shuraa.

Seeing what Imam Mansurbillah (Abdullah bin Hamza) has to say was indeed beneficial, but he seems to point towards 5:55 as being قطعي الدلالة whereas there is lots of ambiguity professed by the Sunnis in its regard.

When looking at things through a historical lens there is difficulty finding this theological narrative.

The main reasons are because Imam Ali does not explicitly say I am the designated vicegerent of Allah, and when he does quote Ghadeer, he says it in terms of him reminding others his closeness to the Prophet and the فضل that he has. It is by virtue of this ambiguity in the historical sense that some are unable to make the jump towards the zaydi creed.

I was wondering if you can recommend to me any book(s) from the pure progeny that address this matter historically in terms of Imam Ali maintaining his successorship by going along the lines of saying “I am the vicegerent of Allah” or “I was designated by the Prophet”.

If there is no such unequivocal statement by Imam Ali, is there an explanation as to why that is. Because their response is, if this is a matter of declaring guardianship by Allah it should constantly be emphasized.

I have looked into Al-Tabari, and when he doesn’t agree to following the Sunnah of Al-Sheikhayn they argue that it doesn’t mean he is stating he is the rightful vicegerent of Allah, rather it means he عليه السلام does not holistically agree with their methodology.
Last edit: 9 months 3 weeks ago by Mohammad.

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9 months 3 weeks ago #1290 by Imam Rassi Society
Thank you for your questions! If you don't mind, I will try to respond to your points briefly. As for demonstrating the guardianship of Imam Ali (as) to those called 'Sunnis', I would say that logic backed by text is the best way since the Sunni methodology is not entirely textually dependent.

This is because the typical Sunni response to contrary textual proofs is denial, demotion and distortion. First, they deny the existence of such reports in their corpus. Then, once you demonstrate that the reports do indeed exist in their books, they demote or weaken the authenticity of the report. Then, after you show them that their scholars have authenticated the report, they say that the import of the narration was distorted or misinterpreted. So even if you present them with textual evidence of the points you mentioned, they would resort to either one or all of the typical 'Sunni' responses. So for example, once you demonstrate from their sources that Imam Ali (as) made it clear that he was chosen, you will be accused of distorting the meaning of his statement.

With all due respect to your question, one thing you have to understand is that Sunni school itself is fundamentally based on defending the actions of the Companions at all costs. This means that if it takes denial, demotion and distortion to do so, they will most certainly do it. We have too many examples from history to demonstrate this!

I find that open-minded and sincere Sunnis respond best when you present the issue to them logically and then support it with textual evidence, as opposed to just presenting them with a barrage of ahadith and narrations. This is the methodology of Imam ar-Rassi (as). For example, in texts such as his Tathbit al-Imaama and Imama Man Taqadam ala Ali, the imam first presents the logical necessity and obligation of the imamate. It is not until the end of the treatises that he presents the textual basis. Once the logical necessity is established, one is forced to acknowledge that the text must explicitly support such necessity. Therefore, any textual evidence that explicitly supports the postulate is preferred over implicit or nonexistent textual support.

So whether there are narrations in which Imam Ali (as) explicitly stated it or appointed Imam al-Hasan (as) after him is really immaterial because necessity mandates that if the imamate is a religious obligation, it must be declared openly and unambiguously. Otherwise, a religious obligation would be subject to obscurity and ambiguity and thus impossible to carry out. Consequently, we shouldn't judge the guardianship of Ali (as) by the presence or absence of explicit declaration; rather, the existence of explicit declaration should be judged by the religious obligation of such. I hope that you understand the point that I'm making.

And Allah knows best!

IRS

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8 months 4 weeks ago - 8 months 4 weeks ago #1296 by Ali Bin Hussain
Could you please summarise the logical argument put forth.
Last edit: 8 months 4 weeks ago by Ali Bin Hussain.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #1297 by Imam Rassi Society
Thank you for your question! The basic gist of the imam’s logical argument is that since human beings were created with the desire to feed and breed, there must be a code of law designed for them to follow. Otherwise, the weak will be overcome by the strong to obtain food and sex. Women would be violated, food would be unlawfully usurped and society would crumble as a result. It thereby follows that there be a system of laws that govern how human beings fulfil these desires.

Not only should there be a system of laws, but there must also be a lawgiver who delivers and exemplifies these laws and a teacher who teaches and carries out these laws. The lawgiver must be blameless; otherwise, he can easily be dismissed. The teacher must excel in knowledge and wisdom in order to properly instruct the masses; otherwise, they would have an excuse to not follow the teacher.

Since anyone can claim to be these lawgivers in order to gain power and/or obfuscate its intended aim, there must be a clear distinction to differentiate the rightful claimants from the false ones. Inimitable miracles are the means by which they are distinguished. Both roles of lawgiver and teacher can be fulfilled by the Prophets and Messengers; however, because of the cessation and completion of laws, the teacher must be made known to the community. Otherwise, anyone could claim to be a teacher and thereafter invalidate the laws and remove them from their intent. The lawgiver makes the teacher known through explicit designation and/or a series of unique characteristics. This teacher must be the most-knowledgeable, bravest, wisest, most scrupulous and noblest of the community; if not, one could question the knowledge/wisdom of the lawgiver who designated him since there was one who excelled over his designation. Of course, the role of this teacher goes to the imam who is obligatory to obey.

The imam (as) also refines the argument by quoting verses from the Qur’an to justify his argument. However, this is the basic idea of his treatise, Tathbit al-Imaama.

And Allah knows best!

IRS

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