The Fourteen Infallibles

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See also: Twelve Imams and Ismah

The Fourteen Infallibles (Arabic: معصومونMa‘sūmūn) in Twelver Shia Islam are Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam; his daughter Fatima Zahra; and the Twelve Imams, all of whom are considered to be infallible.[1][2] This means that although they have the power to commit sin, they are immune from sin by their nature, which is regarded as a miraculous gift from God.[3][4] Because of their supreme level of righteousness, consciousness and love for God, the Infallibles seek to follow only God's desires in their actions.[5] They are also immune from error, in practical matters, in calling people to religion, and in the perception of divine knowledge.[6] Shias believe that the Fourteen Infallibles are superior to the rest of creation, even the other major Prophets.[7]

Family tree[edit]

‘Alī Zaynul ‘Ābidīn
Muhammad al-Bāqir
Ja‘far as-Sādiq
Mūsā al-Kādhim
‘Alī ar-Ridhā
Muhammad al-Jawad
‘Alī al-Hadi
Hasan al-‘Askarī
Muhammad al-Mahdī

List of the Infallibles[edit]

No. Modern (calligraphic) depiction Name
Date of birth and death
Importance Cause and place of death
Place of burial[d]
1 تخطيط إسم محمد.png Muhammad ibn Abdullah[e][8]

Abu al-Qasim[f][8]

Rasul Allah[8][g]

Khatam al-Anbia[h][9]


Mecca, Saudi Arabia[8]
God revealed the Quran to him. The Quran is considered by Muslims as God's word and the greatest miracle.[8] Fell ill and died in Medina, Saudi Arabia.[8]

Buried in Medina.[8]

2 Fatimah Calligraphy.png Fatimah[13]

Umm Abiha[j][14]

Sayyidatu n-Nisā'il-‘alamīn[k][15]






Mecca, Saudi Arabia[21][22]
The Prophet called her "a part of me". She is also the mother of the Twelve Imams.[26] According to most Shias, she suffered a fatal injury while defending Ali against the first Sunni caliph.[27]

The exact location of her grave is unknown.[28]

3 Alī.png Ali ibn Abu Talib[q][26]

Abu al-Hasan[r][29]

Amir al-Mu'minin[s][30]

Birinci Ali[31]

Mecca, Saudi Arabia[30]
The first Shia Imam[26][33][34] and the rightful Successor of Muhammad[35] for all Shia; for Sunnis, he is the fourth successor to Muhammad.[26] He holds an important position in almost all Sufi orders: these orders trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[30] Assassinated in Kufa, Iraq, by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite, who slashed his head with a poisoned sword while he was praying.[30][32]
Buried in Najaf, Iraq.[26]
4 Hassan ibn Ali.jpg Hasan ibn Ali[t][26]

Abu Muhammad[u][29]


İkinci Ali[31]

Medina,Saudi Arabia[37]
He was the eldest surviving grandson of Muhammad through his daughter, Fatimah az-Zahra. Hasan succeeded his father as the caliph in Kufa, but after a seven-month reign, he relinquished control of Iraq following a peace treaty with Muawiya I.[37] Poisoned fatally by his wife in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the order of Caliph Muawiya, according to Twelver Shia belief.[39]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.[26][37]
5 Hhussain ibn ali.jpg Husayn ibn Ali[w][26]

Abu Abdillah[x][40]

Sayyid ash-Shuhada[y][41]

Üçüncü Ali[31]

Medina, Saudi Arabia[44]
He was a grandson of Muhammad and brother of Hasan ibn Ali. Husayn rejected the legitimacy of Caliph Yazid I. As a result, he and his family were ultimately killed in the tragic Battle of Karbala by Yazid's forces.[26] Ever since the tragedy, the commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali's martyrdom has been at the core of Shia rituals and identity.[44] Killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala.[44]
Buried at the Imam Husayn Shrine, Karbala, Iraq.[26][42][44]
6 Imam sajjad.jpg Ali ibn Husayn[z][45]

Abu Muhammad[aa][40][46]

Zayn al-'Abidin[ac][45][47]

Dördüncü Ali[31]

Medina, Saudi Arabia[47]
Author of prayers in Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya,[45] which is known as "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet. "[48] According to most Shia scholars, he was fatally poisoned on the order of Caliph al-Walid I in Medina, Saudi Arabia.[48]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia[45]
7 Baqir ibn sajjad.jpg Muhammad ibn Ali[ad][45]

Abu Ja'far[ae][40][49]
Baqir al-Ulum[af][50]

Beşinci Ali[31]

Medina, Saudi Arabia[50]
Sunni and Shia sources consider him as an early and pre-eminent legal scholars, revered for having educated many students.[45][50][51] According to some Shia scholars, he was fatally poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn 'Abdallah in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on the order of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik. Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.[45]
8 Jaffer-e-Sadiq.jpg Ja'far ibn Muhammad[ag][45]

Abu Abdillah[ah][40][45]

Altıncı Ali[31]

Medina, Saudi Arabia[54]
Established the Ja'fari school of jurisprudence and developed the theology of the Twelvers.[45] He taught many scholars in different fields, including Abu Hanifah[45] and Malik ibn Anas in fiqh, Wasil ibn Ata and Hisham ibn Hakam in Islamic theology, and Geber in science and alchemy.[54] According to Shia sources, he was fatally poisoned in Medina, Saudi Arabia, on the order of Caliph Al-Mansur.[54]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Medina, Saudi Arabia.[45]
9 Al-Kazim.jpg Musa ibn Ja'far[aj][45]

Abu al-Hasan I[ak][40][55]


Yedinci Ali[31]

Medina, Saudi Arabia[56]
Leader of the Shia community during the schism of the Ismaili and other branches after the death of the previous Imam, Jafar al-Sadiq.[57] He established the network of agents who collected the khums in the Shia community of the Middle East and the Greater Khorasan. He holds a high position in the Mahdavia, the members of which trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[58] Imprisoned and fatally poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq, on the order of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, according to Shia belief.[59]
Buried in the Kazimayn shrine, Baghdad, Iraq.[45][56]
10 Al redah.jpg Ali ibn Musa[am][45]

Abu al-Hasan II[an][40][55]

Sekizinci Ali[31]

Saudi Arabia[60]
Made crown-prince by Caliph Al-Ma'mun; famous for his discussions and debates with both Muslim and non-Muslim religious scholars.[60][61] According to Shia sources, he was fatally poisoned in Mashad, Iran, on the order of Caliph Al-Ma'mun.[61]
Buried in the Imam Reza shrine, Mashad, Iran.[61][62]
11 Imam Taqi.jpg Muhammad ibn Ali[ap][61]

Abu Ja'far[aq][40]



Dokuzuncu Ali[31]

Saudi Arabia[63]
Famous for his generosity and piety in the face of persecution by the Abbasid caliphate.[64] Poisoned fatally by his wife, caliph Al-Ma'mun's daughter, in Baghdad, Iraq, on the order of caliph Al-Mu'tasim, according to Shia sources.[63]
Buried in the Kazmain shrine, Baghdad, Iraq.[61][63]
12 Imam naqi.jpg Ali ibn Muhammad[at][61]

Abu al-Hasan III[au][40]


Onuncu Ali[31]

Surayya, a village near Medina, Saudi Arabia[65]
He taught religious sciences until 243/857.[61] He 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.[65] According to Shia sources, he was fatally poisoned in Samarra, Iraq, on the order of caliph Al-Mu'tazz.[63]
Buried in the Al Askari Mosque, Samarra, Iraq.[61]
13 Alaskeri.jpg Hasan ibn Ali[ax][61]

Abu Muhammad[ay] [67][68]

Onbirinci Ali[31]

Saudi Arabia[69]
Following the death of al-Askari's father, the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu'tamid placed restrictions on him which would last for most of his life.[70] Repression of the Shia communities was particularly high at the time due to their large size and growing power.[71] According to Shia belief, he was fatally poisoned on the order of caliph Al-Mu'tamid in Samarra, Iraq.[70]
Buried in the Al Askari Mosque, Samarra, Iraq.[61][70][71]
14 Al mehdi.jpg Muhammad ibn al-Hasan[ba][61]

Abu al-Qasim[bb][41]

Hidden Imam[be][73]


Sahib al-Zaman[bg][67]



Baqiyyat Allah[bj][41]

Onikinci Ali[31]

Samarra, Iraq[76]
According to Twelver Shia doctrine, he is an actual historical personality and is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with Jesus Christ. He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam, filling the earth with justice and peace.[77] According to Shia doctrine, he has been living in the Occultation since 872 AH and will continue as long as God wills.[75]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ A kunya (Arabic: كنية‎, kunyah) is a teknonym in Arabic names, the name of an adult derived from his or her eldest child.
  2. ^ The Imams' Arabic titles are used by the majority of Twelver Shia who use Arabic as a liturgical language, including the Usooli, Akhbari, Shaykhi and, to a lesser extent, the Alawi. Turkish titles are generally used by the Alevi. The Turkish titles for each Imam literally translate as "First Ali", "Second Ali", and so forth.Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Gale Group. 2004. ISBN 978-0-02-865769-1. 
  3. ^ The abbreviation CE refers to the Common Era solar calendar, while AH refers to the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar
  4. ^ Except the Twelfth Imam
  5. ^ محمد بن عبدالله
  6. ^ أبو القاسم
  7. ^ the Messenger of God (Persian: رسول الله‎)
  8. ^ The Seal of the Prophets (Persian: خاتم الانبیاء‎)
  9. ^ The Beloved (Persian: حبیب‎)
  10. ^ The Mother for Her Father (Persian: ام ابیها‎)
  11. ^ The master of all women in this world and in Paradise (Persian: سیدة نساء العالمين‎)
  12. ^ The Shining (Persian: زهرا‎)
  13. ^ The Honest Lady (Persian: صدّیقة‎)
  14. ^ The Blessed Lady (Persian: مبارکة‎)
  15. ^ Taherah (Persian: طاهرة‎)
  16. ^ The Virgin,The Pure (Persian: بتول‎)
  17. ^ علي بن أبي طالب
  18. ^ أبو الحسن
  19. ^ The Commander of the Faithful (Persian: امیرالمؤمنین‎)
  20. ^ حسن بن علي
  21. ^ أبو محمد
  22. ^ The Chosen (Persian: مجتبی‎)
  23. ^ حسین بن علي
  24. ^ أبو عبدالله
  25. ^ Master of the Martyrs (Persian: سیّد الشهداء‎)
  26. ^ علي بن الحسین
  27. ^ أبو محمد
  28. ^ السجّاد
  29. ^ the Ornament of the Worshipers (Persian: زین العابدین‎)
  30. ^ محمد بن علي
  31. ^ أبو جعفر
  32. ^ The Revealer of Knowledge (Persian: باقرالعلوم‎)
  33. ^ جعفر بن محمد
  34. ^ أبو عبدالله
  35. ^ The Honest (Persian: صادق‎)
  36. ^ موسی بن جعفر
  37. ^ أبو الحسن الاول
  38. ^ The Calm One (Persian: کاظم‎)
  39. ^ علي بن موسی
  40. ^ أبو الحسن الثانی
  41. ^ The Pleasing One (Persian: رضا‎)
  42. ^ محمد بن علي
  43. ^ أبو جعفر
  44. ^ The God-Fearing (Persian: تقی‎)
  45. ^ الجواد
  46. ^ علي بن محمد
  47. ^ أبو الحسن الثالث
  48. ^ هادی
  49. ^ The Pure (Persian: نقی‎)
  50. ^ الحسن بن علي
  51. ^ أبو محمد
  52. ^ The Citizen of a Garrison Town (Persian: عسگری‎)
  53. ^ محمد بن الحسن
  54. ^ أبو القاسم
  55. ^ المهدی
  56. ^ The Guided One or The Guide (Persian: مهدی‎)
  57. ^ (Persian: امام غائب‎)
  58. ^ The Proof (Persian: حجت‎)
  59. ^ The Lord of Our Times (Persian: صاحب الزمان‎)
  60. ^ The one vested with Divine authority (Persian: صاحب الامر‎)
  61. ^ The Resurrector (Persian: قائم‎)
  62. ^ God's Remainder (Persian: بقیةالله‎)


  1. ^ Dabashi 2006, p. 463
  2. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 48
  3. ^ Nasr, Dabashi & Nasr 1989, p. 98
  4. ^ Rizvi 2001, p. 14
  5. ^ Donaldson 1933, p. 326
  6. ^ Ansariyan 2007, p. 89
  7. ^ Algar 1990
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Nasr 2006
  9. ^ Ibn al-ʻArabī 1980, p. 38
  10. ^ Nasr 2013, p. 61
  11. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 131
  12. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 134
  13. ^ a b c Chittick 1980, p. 136
  14. ^ Walbridge 2001, p. 103
  15. ^ Ordoni & Qazwini 1992, p. 117
  16. ^ Calmard 1999
  17. ^ Ordoni 2013, p. 56
  18. ^ Ordoni 2013, p. 59
  19. ^ Ordoni 2013, p. 70
  20. ^ Ordoni 2013, p. 94
  21. ^ a b Dungersi 1994, p. 4
  22. ^ a b Qurashī 2006, pp. 37–41
  23. ^ Ordoni & Qazwini 1992, pp. 42–45
  24. ^ Amin 1968–73, p. 103
  25. ^ Qurashi 2006, p. 38
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Chittick 1980, p. 137
  27. ^ Lammens 2012
  28. ^ Qurashī 2006, p. 248
  29. ^ a b Rizvi 1988, p. 48
  30. ^ a b c d e Nasr 2007
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mattar 2004
  32. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, p. 171
  33. ^ Poonawala 1985
  34. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2005
  35. ^ Mashita 2002, p. 69
  36. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 50
  37. ^ a b c d Madelung 2003
  38. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 172–173
  39. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 173
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h Rizvi 1988, p. 49
  41. ^ a b c d e Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 174
  42. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 198–199
  43. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 173–174
  44. ^ a b c d Madelung 2004
  45. ^ 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
  46. ^ Qurashi 2007, p. 17
  47. ^ a b c d Madelung 1985
  48. ^ a b c d Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 178–179
  49. ^ Qurashi 1999
  50. ^ a b c d e Madelung 1988
  51. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 179
  52. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 15
  53. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, p. 179
  54. ^ a b c Tabatabaei 1975, p. 180
  55. ^ a b Madelung 1985c
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h Tabatabaei 1975, p. 181
  57. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 68
  58. ^ Sachedina 1988, pp. 53–54
  59. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2011, p. 207
  60. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 182–183
  61. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Chittick 1980, p. 139
  62. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 182
  63. ^ a b c d e f g Tabatabaei 1975, p. 183
  64. ^ Qurashi 2005
  65. ^ a b c d e Madelung 1985a
  66. ^ Dungersi 2012, p. 2
  67. ^ a b c Rizvi 1988, p. 50
  68. ^ Qurashi 2005, p. 18
  69. ^ a b c d Halm 1987
  70. ^ a b c Dungersi 2012, p. 28
  71. ^ a b Tabatabaei 1975, p. 184
  72. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2007
  73. ^ Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 115
  74. ^ Nasr 2013, p. 161
  75. ^ a b c Tabatabaei 1975, p. 186
  76. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 185
  77. ^ Tabatabaei 1979, pp. 211–214



External links[edit]