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Do shias really follow infallible imams!!

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1 Do shias really follow infallible imams!! on Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:59 pm


Well this question was lately raised on and shias found it safe to ignore it as they didn't have the answer.

I want to save time and so I'm pasting important parts of it.

Do Shias follow infallible Imams like Ali? I doubt it. Shias depend on hadiths that were transmitted by mere people who were not from Ahl-al-Bayt or the group of Ma'soomeen. And since shias and sunnis both rely on such transmitters of hadith who were not ma'soomeen, the purpose of appointing infallible imams dies itself. If you really have a single infallible imam then why depending on second hand knowledge? Where is the first hand knowledge transmitted by the Imam himself? Where is the Imam of time?

Awakened, on 29 December 2009 - 04:38 PM, said:

Nation was suppose follow 12 Successors, and then stick to Awliya with the last one dissappearing just as Bani-Israel was suppose to follow 12 successrors of Musa and then hold on to the Awliya when the last one dissappears....

I think it's pretty much on topic and us not following all true teachings will not negated the need of appointing twelve in the first place.
And that makes you followers of Awliya and not Aimmah Ma'soomeen.

Awakened, on 29 December 2009 - 08:57 PM, said:

If we did follow Awliya whom inherited the teachings, we would be following Aimma ma'asoom (as)and that would be following Nabi (S.A.W) and that would be following Allah (swt) and Allah (swt) says "follow what has been brought down from your lord and do not follow Awliya other then Him"...
When you're contented that you're following Awliya but indirectly you're following Imams and Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, ultimately following Allah, then Imams become useless, you should take imams out of this 'chain' and follow the Awliya who inherited the teachings from Prophet Muhammad pbuh. This makes infallible imams totally irrelevant.

Qa, on 29 December 2009 - 10:22 PM, said:

Yes, we follow fallible leaders during the ghayba.
Only this much information from you is sufficient to strengthen my argument and that is 'Shias do not need any aimmah ma'soomeen, they can do with fallible leaders like wilayat-al-faqih who could get guidance from Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, generation after generation. And so the so called 12 Imams don't have to be 'infallible', they maybe awliya or wilayat-al-faqih to serve the purpose.
And thank you very much for pointing out faults with sunni leadership issue. I might think to embrace shia faith if you have disbelieved in the consenpt of infallible imams considering them awliya or wilayat-al-faqih as your system of leadership is better than sunnis?

Qiam said:

I guess none of this really matters to you?:

You ask what is the point of the Imamah if we still have to judge the authenticity of their sayings based on their narrators - you don't think an extra couple centuries of narrating, clarification of matters, straight answers on fiqh, the proper view on certain bid'ahs, etc. is useful at all? The companions were just coming out of jahiliyya, some of your major "sahih" narrators had known the Prophet for a short period of time, do you expect them to fully understand and iterate that message infallibly? The Imams existed at a time of great confusion - Ali lived at a time of great political strife and confusion, Muhammed al-Baqir and Ja'far as-Sadiq existed at times of great confusion with regards to fiqh, etc. to prevent such confusion is integral to the protection of this deen.
A very simple matter you do not understand is that I may learn about your imams through those shias (scholars, narrators etc) who believe in a controversial faith and stick to a particular sect, who are not infallible. This is where shia faith strikes the contradiction. They fail to show any infallible imams to humanity that are direct guidance to the right path. All they have is a group of shias who 'claim they saw and heard infallible imams do and say that'.

inshaAllah, on 01 January 2010 - 09:13 AM, said:

hehe this argument is going to hurt you more than shias. In the history of sunni school of thought, Quran was compiled by fallible companions of the Prophets. So I can claim that you are not precisely following Allah and His Prophet; the Quran that you have is a second hand knowledge transmitted by companions. Furthermore, the ahadiths that you have are second hand knowledge as well. So where is the first hand knowledge transmitted by the Prophet himself ? Where is the Prophet of Islam and His divine revelations ? Do sunni Muslims really follow the Divine Authority of God, the Prophet P.b.u.H ?

Quran has no match with aimmah ma'soomeen or hadith. Quran is unchallengable. The way Quran is passed down generation after generation is amazing. Thousands of people have always memorized Quran in all ages. It's not an innovation. If people are huffaz of Quran today, they were huffaz at the time of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and in the age of Sahaba as well. But hadiths whether they are of sunnis or shias are not memmorized as Quran. Then hadith huffaz are not ordinary people as Quran huffaz. The way shia hadiths are subjected to criticism, sunnis hadiths are also subjected to that.
Quran is no doubt the first hand knowledge passed down to us generation to generation.

My argument is very strong because the Quran sunnis have is the same shias show to us, but this is not the case with infallible imams and hadiths.

inshaAllah, on 01 January 2010 - 10:00 AM, said:

The people who memorised Quran were still fallible companions (as per history of sunni school of thought). They were the same companions who also memorised ahadith of the Prophet. So logically speaking, if they can make errors in reporting the ahadith, they can also make errors in compiling the Quran. We already know that there were several manuscripts of Quran available after the demise of the Prophet P.b.u.H which confirms that Quran (as a standard book) was not compiled/published by the Prophet himself (as per sunni history). So any person can use your argument against you. Your initial challenge to shias was that the knowledge of infallible Imams is coming from their fallible companions so it is not trustworthy. Likewise, I can claim that the Quran is not coming directly from the Prophet (according to your own history). It is coming from the fallible companions who memorised Quran. So I don't see how you can use this argument against shias.

The people who memorise(d) Quran are fallible but their chain of transmission is numerous and continuous (muta-watir), unbroken. Such kind of continuity is unique and is there with Quran only.

You cannot compare the continuity of transmission of Quran with that of hadiths about shia imams. As hadiths about shia imams came into existence (in writing) after 200 years of Islam. Besides those who might have memorized such hadiths are/were not numerous and so there's no such continuation (tawatur) as in Quran.

Sunni or shia hadiths that claim Quran was not written and compiled by the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him but by the companions after his death cannot change the status of Quran because they don't provide with equally sound chains of transmission of such hadiths as Quran gives for its own transmission. A weaker transmission (of such hadiths) cannot challenge a stronger transmission as of Quran.

One sahabi may make errors in transmitting Quran, not all, this is the reason why even shias show the same Quran sunnis have. Hadiths that prove infallible imams are sectarian, limited to just one sect, therefore they have more chance of corruption than even those hadiths which shias and sunnis agree to believe in text and in meaning both.

As for fallibility, after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, everything should be fallible except Quran because Quran is the word of Allah and the achievement of Muhammad peace be upon him. If Quran is corrupted, it means Muhammad was not infallible in delivering the message of Allah, or Allah is not infallible as He sent a fallible messenger.

If Allah sent infallible imams (aimmah ma'soomeen), such infallible imams should either be living today or if they are dead or in occultation, they should have some traces behind them, infallible signs such as Quran that is traced back to Muhammad peace be upon him.

Knowledge of infallible imams is coming from fallible companions who are NOT trustworthy, NOT accepted by all Muslims in the world. Though knowlege of infallible Quran is coming from those fallible people who do not differ from each other in any part of the world, in any period of Islamic history, in all sects and schools of thoughts of Muslims.

inshaAllah, on 01 January 2010 - 11:47 AM, said:

I think this is where you are mistaken. Muslims did differ in regards to Qirat and tafseer of Quran which is why there were several manuscripts available after the demise of the Prophet and companions of the Prophet were investigated and beaten by the authorities of the time.

I think what you are trying to stress is that the fallible companions of the Infallible Imams of shias were not sunnis and their reports are not available in sunni books so they are not reliable.

Tafsir of Quran is NOT 'Quran'. Quran is the word of Allah that is intact over 1400 years till today because of unbroken tawatur (continuation). Differences in Qirat and manuscripts of Quran are found in hadiths and as I said a weaker source (hadith) cannot weaken a stronger source (Quran), so in this case you cannot use differences of Qirat and manuscripts of Quran.

So called companions of aimmah ma'soomeen are not trustworthy for the following reasons:

1. They represent a religious sect.

2. They are not numerous as Quran transmitters.

3. Their transmission is broken.

4. They are fallibles.

5. They are dead.

While transmitters of Quran have always been alive in their mega chain.

inshaAllah, on 01 January 2010 - 12:05 PM, said:

Vista is not challenging the infallibility of Imams (belief of shia Muslims). He is saying that most of the sayings of Imams are reported by fallible companions of Imams. So how do we know that the reports are actually coming from Infallible Imams ? Just like you said, we can tell the authenticity of reports when they are mutawatir; infact we (shias) have a more strict criteria of authenticating sayings of our Imams as well as our Prophet P.b.u.H. But rather than explaining our point of view, I actually decided to challenge vista with his own argument. Just so that he can understand the flaw in his own argument.

Actually I'm challenging the existence of infallible imams, as you may check from my previous posts in this thread. And I have given reasons why shia hadiths about infallible imams cannot be considered as muta-watir.

inshaAllah, on 01 January 2010 - 12:33 PM, said:

lol I am trying to tell you that companions of the Prophet had different sets of "The Book". And you are saying that I cannot use this argument ?
Yes, you cannot use this argument because you can't show me 'those different sets of the Book', can you? Such are mere reports, weaker transmissions than the Holy Book we have with us.

You are forgetting the very basis of your argument. The transmitters of Quran are fallibles. innit ?

The transmitters of Quran are fallibles that never differed in the transmission of Quran, so shias, sunnis, ismai'lis, bohras, 'alawis, qadyanis etc all have the same Quran. But the hadiths about infallible imams are limited to just one sect and their transmitters are only few with most chance of corruption. Transmission of Quran has the least chance of corruption to the extent of impossibe.

One more argument of mine that you are missing is practically you're not following an infallible imam for centuries but following the fallibles like Khamnei with more chance of corruption.

And that's the end of shia defence to their Infallible Imamat.

contributed by 3Abdullah

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