Hadith of the Twelve Successors

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The hadith of the twelve successors, or twelve caliphs (Arabic: حديث الاثني عشر خليفة‎, translit. ḥadīth al-ithnā ‘ashar khalīfah‎) is an Islamic prophecy, attributed to Muhammad. It is perhaps most popular among Twelver Shiites, as they affirm the prophecy was fulfilled by the Twelve Imams. The hadith (classified as Sahih) is widely accepted by all muslim groups (religious).

Sunni view[edit]

According to the prophecy there will reign twelve caliphs—presumably the first being crowned upon the Prophet's death—and after which the Caliphate would cease to exist and mark the beginning of the judgement day or armagedon. It is stated that all twelve caliphs will be from the tribe of Quraysh.

Another interpretation is that the prophecy was fulfilled by the Rashidun Caliphs.[1] Some commentators, such as Ibn Kathir and Ibn Taymiyya, link this hadith with the biblical account of Moses and his twelve deputies.[2][3][4][5]

Imam Muslim on Sahih Muslim wrote: Rasulullah s.a.w said: "This religion (Islam) will remain standing until twelve caliph, which all of them is from Quraysh, rule over you." (Sahih Muslim)

Imam Abu Dawud on Shahih Abi Dawud wrote: Masyruq said: We sits with Abdullah bin Mas'ud, learn Al-Qur'an from him. Someone asks to him: Do you asks to Rasulullah s.a.w about how many caliph that will rule this umat? Ibnu Mas'ud answers: Of course we asks this thing to Rasulullah s.a.w and he answers: "Twelve, like the amount of the leaders of Banu Israel." (Shahih Al-Bukhari)

Shia view[edit]

Shia Muslims believe in the concept of Imamah, while rejecting the Sunni view of Caliphate. According to Shias, the twelve sucessors from the hadith are already known as The Twelve Imams.

Biblical Prophecy[edit]

"And for Ishmael, I heard his prayer; Behold, I will bless him and make him father of twelve descendants, twelfth King will be born and I will be born and I will make him a great nation." Genesis 17:20

The above mentioned prophecy is taken from translated versions of the bible which may not exactly represent the actual words of Eisa (Jesus).

Fihr, which is the founder of Quraish tribe, is a descendant of Prophert Ishmael.

Fihr (Quraish) bin Malik bin Nadhr bin Kinanah bin Khuzayma bin Mudrikah bin Ilyas bin Mudhar bin Nizar bin Ma'ad bin Adnan bin Udad bin al-Muqawwam bin Nahur bin Tayrah bin Ya'rub bin Yasyjub bin Nabit bin Ishmael bin Abraham.

See also[edit]

References[edit]