Advanced search
Visit
11392
Last Updated: 2010/01/19
Summary of question
Please mention verses from Quran which prove the Imamate of Imam Ali (as).
question
Is it possible to prove the Imamate of Imam Ali (as) from verses of Quran? Please mention the method of proof so I may convey this to my brothers in faith who are followers of the Sunni school of thought.
Concise answer

The best approach in proving the Imamate of Imam Ali (as) for followers of the Sunni school of thought is through means of what has been mentioned in the Quran and narrations which have been mentioned in their own sources. Obviously, this can only be accomplished when an individual is willing and eager to seek the truth. Meaning, one engaged in such a quest should be prepared to turn away from that which is false or irrational.

The Imamate of Imam Ali (as) can be proven through means of many verses found within Holy Quran and narrations from the Prophet (pbuh) surrounding their revelation.

Consider the following verses:

1. The Verse of Tabligh (propagation): “O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot.”[i] According to authentic Sunni narrations, this verse was revealed on the day of Ghadir Khum. In this historical day, the Prophet announced the wWilayah of Imam Ali (as), thus completing his prophet-hood and making the Imam his successor.

2. The Verse Wilayah: “Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.”[ii] This verse places the Wilayah of Imam Ali (as)[iii] alongside that of Allah and the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

3. The Verse of Ulil-amr: “O you who have faith! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority among you. And if you dispute concerning anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more favorable in outcome.”[iv]

This verse states that following the leadership of the Ulil-amr is obligatory. From this we can also deduce that such leadership requires the Imam to be infallible, a quality possessed by none other than Ali (as). In reference to this verse, there are numerous narrations in Sunni sources which introduce Imam Ali (as) as the successor of the Prophet (as) and Imam of the believers.

4. The Verse of Sadiqin: “O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and be with the Truthful.”[v] It has been mentioned in narrations that the word “Truthful” mentioned in this verse is in reference to Imam Ali (as) and Prophet’s household.



[i]Maedeh 67

[ii]Maedeh 55

[iii]According to reliable hadiths the one who gave his ring to the inquirer was Ali (AS).

[iv]Nesa 59

[v]Tobeh 119

Detailed Answer

The best approach in proving the Imamate of Imam Ali (as) for followers of the Sunni school of thought is through means of what has been mentioned in the Quran and narrations which have been mentioned in their own sources. In order to do this, one should thoroughly understand that which is presented in verses of the Quran. Meaning, the content of the verse, the context in which it is introduced, instances it refers to, etc. should all be considered in detail.

In the Holy Quran there are many verses which make reference to and establish the Imamate of Ali (as) and the other Imams. Concerning what has been mentioned in these verses,[1] there are innumerable narrations from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) which expand further on the circumstances surrounding the revelation of these verses and their details. These narrations are considered authentic by both the Shia and Sunni schools of thought.

The follow are a few of those verses and the appropriate narrations concerning them:[2]

1. The Verse of Tabligh (propagation): “O Apostle! Communicate that which has been sent to you from your Lord, and if you do not, you will not have communicated His message, and Allah shall protect you from the people. Indeed Allah does not guide the faithless lot.”[3]

In this verse, God ordered the Prophet (pbuh) to communicate his message to the people with heavy emphasis. According to narrations, this verse was revealed in a place by the name of “Ghadir Khum”. In this place, the Prophet (pbuh) publically announced Ali (as) as his successor and the first Imam.[4] The event of Ghadir took place in the last year of the Holy Prophet’s life during the time of Hajjatul Vida (the Prophet’s final Hajj) where he stated: “من کنت مولاه فهذا علی مولاه...”, meaning, “For whomever I am his master, Ali is master…”.

This event has been narrated by 110 companions of the Prophet (pbuh),[5] 84 tabiyin (those who have been informed through intermediaries), and 36 scholars and writers. Allameh Amini, in his book Sharife al-Ghadir, has mentioned all of these narrations with cogent evidence from Islamic sources (authenticated by both the Shia and Sunni schools of thought).

2. The Verse Wilayah: “Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.”[6]

Many interpreters and narrators maintain that this verse was revealed in regards to the elevated status of Imam Ali (as)

Suiti (a Sunni scholar), narrates from the book Dar al-Mansour (a book containing commentary of the Quran), quoting Ibn Abbas who narrates: “Ali (as) was in the ruku of his prayer when a beggar came along asking for help. Ali (as) then proceeded (as) to give the ring on his hand to the beggar as charity. The Prophet (pbuh) asked the beggar, “Who gave you this ring as charity?” He pointed towards Ali (as) and said, “That man who is in ruku did.” At that moment, the verse mentioned above was revealed.[7]

This narration has also been authenticated by the Sunni scholars Wahedi[8] and Zamkhashari,[9] maintaining that the mentioned verse was revealed in regards to Ali (as).

In his commentary, Fakhr Radhi narrates from Abdullah bin Salaam that: “When this verse was revealed, I said to the Prophet of God (pbuh) that I saw with my own eyes that Ali (as), while in ruku, gave his ring as charity to a needy person. For this reason we accept his wilayah!” In another narration, he also quotes Abuzar who narrates the same occurrences surrounding the revelation of this verse.”[10]

In his tafsir, Tabari cites many narrations associated with this verse and the circumstances surrounding its revelation. A majority of those narrations affirm that the verse was revealed in regards to Imam Ali (as).[11]

In his book al-Ghadir, the late Allamah Amini has quoted this verse and its association with Imam Ali (as), citing narrations found in approximately twenty Sunni books of narrations (along with their specific chains of narration and sources).[12]

It is in this verse that the wilayah of Imam Ali (as) is mentioned alongside that of Allah and the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

3. The Verse of Ulil-amr: “O you who have faith! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority among you. And if you dispute concerning anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you have faith in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more favorable in outcome.”[13]

Scholars[14] have stated that this verse has been revealed in reference to Imam Ali (as).

For example Hakem Haskani Hanafi Neishabouri (a renowned Sunni interpreter of the Quran) has quoted five narrations for this verse, and of which associate the title of “Ulil-amr” with Imam Ali (as). [15]

The commentary of al-Bahr al-Muhit, written by Abuhayan Andulusi Maghribi, quotes Muqatil, Meimoun, and Kalbi (all interpreters of the Quran) who agree that this verse is in reference to the Imams (as) from the household and lineage of the Prophet (pbuh).[16]

In his book Eteghad, Abu Bakr bin Mumin Shirazi (a Sunni scholar), quotes Ibn Abbas who affirms that the above verse was revealed in regards to Imam Ali (as).[17]

In brief, this verse informs mankind of its obligation in obeying God, the Prophet (pbuh), and the Ulil-amr. Since this order has been made wajib (obligatory) to the highest degree, it can be inferred that the Ulil-amr, like God and his Prophet (pbuh), should also possess infallibility. Considering what has been mentioned in narrations, this could only be in reference to the infallible twelver Shia Imams (as).

What has been mentioned here, are only a few of the authentic narrations found in Sunni books and three verses found in Shia books regarding the Wilayah and Imamate of Ali (as). There is an abundance of other topics and points to be discovered in many Shia and Sunni books alike. For further information, one should refer to these reliable sources.

In addition to the three verses which have been mentioned, there are others which directly establish the Wilayah and Imamate of Ali (as) and the other Imams (as). The following are a couple of those verses: The verse of Sadiqin which reads “O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah and be with the Truthful.”[18] and the verse of Gurba which reads “That is of which Allah gives the good news to His servants, (to) those who believe and do good deeds. Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful.”[19] These verses, in addition to narrations from the Holy Prophet (pbuh), can be found in both Shia and Sunni sources.

Besides the mentioned verses, there are others which highlight the virtues and qualities of Imam Ali (as) and depict his superiority in comparison to the other companions and supporters of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Logically speaking, it is absurd to select that which is inferior as opposed to that which is superior. Therefore, it is only was rational for Ali (as) to succeed the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and take his rightful role as Imam. For further information on this matter, you may refer to volume nine (Imamate and Leadership in the Holy Quran, page 177 and on) of Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s commentary of the Holy Quran.



[1]To see why the name of Imams are not mentioned explicitly in Quran please refer to the subject: The name of Imams (AS) in Quran

[2]For more information please refer to the subject: The reasons to believe Imamate and Imams

[3]Maedeh 67 for more information refer to the subject: Sunnis and the verse "Tabligh"

[4]Makarem Shirazi, the message of Quran, vol. 9, Imamate in Quran, from page 182 on.

[5]Abu saeed Khadri, Zein Al din Argham, Jaber bin Abdullah Ansari, Ibn Abbas, Bara bin Aazeb, Hazifeh, Abu harireh, Ibn Masoud and Amer bin Laili.

[6]Maedeh 55

[7]Aldorr Almanthour, vol. 2 page 293

[8]Asbab Al Nozool page 148

[9]Tafsir Keshaf vol. 1, page 649

[10]Tafsir of Fakhr Razi

[11]Tabari Tafsir, vol. 6, page 186

[12]Alghadir, vol. 2, page 52, 53

[13]Nesa 59

[14]There are tens of hadiths in sources of house hold of the prophet below this verse: The mentioned verse has been descended for Ali (AS) and other Imams even in some verses the names of twelve Imams have been mentioned one by one. Borhan Tafsir vol. 1, page 381 – 387.

[15]Shavahed al Tanzil vol. 1, page from 148 to 151.

[16]Bahr Al Mohit. Vol. 3, page 425

[17]Ihqaqul-Haqq, vol. 3, page 425

[18]Tobeh, 119, we have in hadiths that: what is meant by "true in words and deeds" are Ali (AS) and house hold of the prophets. (Yanabe al Mavadat page 115 and Shavahed al Tanzil vol. 1 page 626)

[19]Shora 33, for more information, refer to subject: The house hold of the prophet (PBUH) and the verse Mawaddah.

Question translations in other languages
Comments
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

  • How are prayers whose time has passed to be recited; with a loud or silent voice?
    2259 Laws and Jurisprudence 2009/07/19
    Prayers whose times have passed, making them qadha, must be recited the same way they would be recited if they were ada and prayed on time. For instance, if one misses the fajr (morning) prayer and wants to make it up later during the day, he has to ...
  • Why is the Quran divided into verses? Are there chapters of the Quran that have been revealed in whole and at one time to the Prophet (pbuh)?
    6787 Quranic Studies 2010/01/21
    The Quran has been revealed in two ways. The first was in the form of the revelation of entire chapters all at once (daf’i/دفعی), and the other was gradual revelations of verses. Several reasons have been mentioned for the gradual revelation of the Quran, of which ...
  • What is the best mustahabb act a Muslim can do?
    2882 Practical 2009/07/19
    Continue... ...
  • What is the scientific reasoning behind the splitting of the moon?
    5534 Exegesis 2009/06/22
    Considering the research and discoveries of space scientists, the answer to your question isn't very hard, because discoveries today tell us that not only isn't such a phenomenon possible, but it also actually has taken place various times regarding celestial bodies other than the moon.NASA has confirmed the ...
  • Why weren't the Holy Prophet's wives called Ummul Muslimeen instead of Ummul Momineen?
    6182 Exegesis 2011/02/08
    The title "Ummul Momineen" (Mother of the Believers) is derived from the sixth verse of Chapter al-Ahzab of the Quran. In view of the contexts surrounding the verse, it can be said that the word Momineen in the said verse refers to all Muslims; thus, Ummul ...
  • What are the reliable sources of religious thought in Islam?
    2791 Traditional 2006/07/15
    Needless to say religious thought, like other forms of thought, must have reliable sources from which the raw material of its thought originates and upon which it depends. Similarly, the process of reasoning necessary for the solution of mathematical problems must have a series of established mathematical facts and principles.
  • What are the features and privileges of Behar al-Anwar?
    2297 تألیفات شیعی 2015/05/03
    Behar al-Anwa being a huge hadith collection is the most important work by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi. It is a big encyclopedia of Shiite traditions encompassing all religious issues and themes including exegesis of the Quran, history, jurisprudence, theology etc. Some of the most important features of ...
  • Who was Hasan al-Muthanna? Was he present in the event of Karbala?
    4507 اهل بیت و یاران 2015/06/09
    Hasan bin Hasan was Imam Hasan Mujtaba's second son. His mother was Khawla who was the daughter of Manzur Fazariyah.[1] Hasan bin Hasan better known as Hasan al-Muthanna was a nobleman, a virtuous and God-fearing son of the second Imam (AS). He was in ...
  • I would like to know the methods of religious thought.
    5083 Traditional 2006/07/15
    There are three methods of religious thought in Islam. The Holy Quran in its teachings points to three paths for Muslims to follow in order to comprehend the purposes of religion and the Islamic sciences: (1) the path of the external and formal aspect of religion (the ...
  • What is Shirk?
    26020 Traditional 2007/01/21
    Literally, shirk means to allocate; technically, in Quranic terminology, shirk – in contrast to hanif – signifies the process of allocating someone/thing as the Almighty Allah’s partner or equal. Hanif means being inclined towards righteousness and moderation; hence, the term has been coined onto those who have disassociated themselves from ...

Popular

Links