Talk:Imamate (Twelver doctrine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Islam / Muslim scholars / Shi'a Islam (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Islam, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Islam-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the Muslim scholars task force.
This article is supported by the Shi'a Islam task force (marked as Top-importance).


Shi'a Imam is basicly the same topic, any reason for not merging? --Striver 03:31, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I say delete and redirect immediately. This is very redundant and POV. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 17:11, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Merge. Zaidi 10:03, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

This entire entry is problematic because someone has put the wrong word in Arabic! Please, it's a'imah, not imamah. The concept in English is "imamate."


Rename Imamah into Imamah (Shi'a twelver Islam) so it corresponds to Imamah (Shi'a Ismaili doctrine), then rename Shi'a Imam into Imamah (Shi'a Islam), change the redirect that Imamah is by then into a redirect to Imamah (disambig):

--Striver 19:30, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

No comments? --Striver 02:09, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Then ill go ahead. --Striver 11:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Twelver sources about the Imamah[edit]

Here is some twelver sources about the Imamah. I dont know how to fit them in into the article, so i will post them here and hope that somebody will make them fit in.

  • Rejection of Imamah is kufr, just as rejection of Nubuwwah (prophethood) is kufr (1)
  • Imamah is a universal grace (lutf ‘amm) while Nubuwwah (prophethood) is a special grace (lutf khass), because it is possible that a specific period in time can be void of a living Nabi, while the same is not true for the Imam. To reject the universal grace is worse than to reject the special grace (2)
  • Imamah is a divine station, just like Nubuwwah. Just as Allah chooses whomsoever He wants to for Nubuwwah and Risalah ... similarly, for Imamah too, He selects whomsoever He wishes. (3)
  • The Imams possess more knowledge than the Prophets (4)
  • The Imams know about the past, the present and the future (5)
  • The Imams know when they will die, and they die only by their choice (6)

    • 1) Stated by: Abu Ja‘far at-Tusi, called Shaykh at-Ta’ifah (died 460AH)in Talkhis ash-Shafi vol. 4 p. 131 (Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Qum, 3rd ed. 1394)
    • 2) Stated by: Ibn Mutahhar al-Hilli (died 726AH) in al-Alfayn p. 3 (al-Maktabah al-Haydariyyah, Najaf, 3rd ed. 1388)
    • 3) Stated by: Allamah Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita in Asl ash-shia wa-Usuluha p. 58 (Mu’ssasat al-A‘lami, Beirut)
    • 4) Stated by: ‘Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi in Bihar al-Anwar vol. 26 pp. 194-200
    • 5) Muhammad Yaqoub Al-Kulayni in Usul Al-Kafi vol. 1:260
    • 6) Muhammad Yaqoub Al-Kulayni in Usul Al-Kafi vol. 1:258
can someone clarify these facts? It seems to me that the Shia Imamah doctrines regard that the Imams are more divine than prophet himself. Shouldn't the muslims regard the prophet especially the prophet Muhammad as the most divine people? Pejuang bahasa 17:43, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Arguments deleted[edit]

anon has tried to argue against the shia idea of Imamah in this article. In this article, we should focus on presenting and explaining the Shia doctrine of Imamah, not argue for it nor argue against it. Please refrain from doing this, this is not However, feel free to visit the mentioned site if you like to discuss the Shia doctrine of Imamah. Have a nice day. Hamid-Masri 11:12, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Rename Article[edit]

I prefer to have it as Imamate (Twelver Shi`i Doctrine). I once learned in school that every word in a title should be capitalized; Imamah (Shi'a twelver doctrine). M.K.Muhammadi (talk) 02:52, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

A New Sructure[edit]

@Sa.vakilian and Mhhossein: I suggest a new structure for the article.
  1. The Concept of Imamah
  2. The Necessity of Imamah
    1. Theological Aspect
      1. The Station of Imams
      2. Imam as Mediator
      3. Imam as Wali
      4. Imam as Hujjah
    2. Political Aspect
  3. Necessary Attributes of Imams
    1. Appointment by Allah (Nass)
    2. Ismah
    3. Hikmah (widom)
    4. Superiority (Afdaliyyah)
  4. The necessity of Recognizing Imams
  5. The necessity of obeying Imams
    1. Guidance is only Through Imams
  6. Argument by Quran
  7. Argument by Hadith
  8. Argument by Reason
  9. History of the Concept of Imamah

Salman mahdi (talk) 12:40, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. Good idea. Ideology has negative connotation. Instead, we can say "Theological aspect" and "Political aspect". We should add "Imam as Hujjat" under Theological aspect. Let's ask @User:Kazemita1 to join us.--Seyyed(t-c) 07:56, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Seyed's suggestion that "theological aspect" is probably a better choice.--Kazemita1 (talk) 00:05, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

@Sa.vakilian, Mhhossein, and Kazemita1: I suggest

  1. Two sections of The Knowledge of Imam and Hikmah to be merged.
  2. How much detailed be "The Knowledge of Imam"?
  3. To pay attention to the ancestors of Imams, as it is noted in Shia theology.Salman mahdi (talk) 16:05, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the first. The second question needs separate discussion. It is difficult to answer. The third one can be covered in Infallibility (Ismah). --Seyyed(t-c) 16:09, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Same with me.--Kazemita1 (talk) 23:49, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
@Sa.vakilian, Salman mahdi, and Kazemita1: Salaam alaykom. I think some of the titles should change. I can't understand how we can have titles such as 'Necessity of Imamah' when we're writing for an encyclopedia! Mhhossein (talk) 17:09, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
Wa Alaykum Assalaam. Even when writing for a secular encyclopedia, there is benefit in describing inner religious beliefs and traits. For example, a secular reader might want to know why in the first place Shia's think Imamate is necessary. Hope that helps.--Kazemita1 (talk) 23:49, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
@Mhhossein: "The Necessity of Imamah" relates to the theological belief that there should be always an alive Imam on the earth. I think it is too important in Shia theology that deserves a separate section. However the title may not be clear enough and make misunderstanding.--Seyyed(t-c) 18:57, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Kazemita1,@Sa.vakilian and Mhhossein: A Hadith from Imam Baqir narrates the necessary attributes of Imamah as: Nass, Ismah, Hikmah, Nur. I think it's better we change the structure according to Ma'sum.Salman mahdi (talk) 10:52, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes and No, I think we can gather all of them in one section as the "characteristics of Imam" with four subsection.--Seyyed(t-c) 10:10, 17 November 2014 (UTC)


@Sa.vakilian, Mhhossein, and Kazemita1: How much do we pay attention to Walayah?Salman mahdi (talk) 16:49, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

@Salman mahdi: As I proposed before, we'd better have a separate article for Walayah! meanwhile, we should mention this topic briefly here. Mhhossein (talk) 17:20, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Esoteric and exoteric interpretation of Imamat Doctrine among Shias[edit]

user:Kazemita1,user:Mhhossein,user:Salman mahdi,user:Faizhaider; As you may know there are a range of interpretation of Imamate Doctrine from Zahir to Batin. In one side, some scholars emphasize on sociopolitical guardianship (Wilayah) as well as instructing and promoting Fiqh by the Imams. On the other hand, some scholars focus on spiritual role and esoteric guidance as well as existential guardianship (Wilayah) of Imams. The later one can be found in Henry Corbin's History of Islamic philosophy which follows Sayyid Haydar Amuli and while the former one is available in Musa Sadr's criticism on the Arabic translation of that book. There is also an interpretation which tries to gather both of them like Ruhollah Khomeini's ideas. Due to NPOV policy of wikipedia, we should cover all of these ideas, while this article as well as Twelve Imams tend to the esoteric interpretation. I'd like to know your ideas.--Seyyed(t-c) 08:20, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

You have my blessing. Go ahead and add the content.--Kazemita1 (talk) 07:42, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • user:Kazemita1,user:Mhhossein,Seyyed,user:Faizhaider, First of all u may make clear your use of the Words Wilayah & Walayah, as their meaning in Arabic differs and in Eng the article of Wilayah is not related to our discussion. Concerning my little information, I had in mind that Walayah always relates to the spiritual and esoterical aspect of religion.But may I ask u in which books we can study the ideas of Khomeini?Salman mahdi (talk) 10:12, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Ideas of Ayatollah Khomeini to best of my knowledge are largely revolving around Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists which are not related to this article as far as I know. But since you asked they can be found here.--Kazemita1 (talk) 15:51, 16 November 2014 (UTC)


The names of the Imams is repeated two times. One of them must be deleted, which one?Salman mahdi (talk) 18:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

 DoneSeyyed(t-c) 03:44, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

  • The repetitions and sourceless material are going to be deleted.Salman mahdi (talk) 12:35, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

The Table of Imams[edit]

@Sa.vakilian, Mhhossein, and Kazemita1: I think that this table is related to Twelve Imams ( we can give the link) and we can bring the name of Imams according to, for example, hadith of Lawh.Hum?--Salman mahdi (talk) 13:20, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

@Salman mahdi: Do you mean to replace the table with a less space consuming stuff? Mhhossein (talk) 17:31, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
@Mhhossein: I mean to delete the table and to replace a hadith.--Salman mahdi (talk) 13:23, 30 November 2014 (UTC)


@Salman mahdi: I have some queries on the first part of the article, which I hope you can answer so that I can copy-edit::

  1. I thought Muhammad was the First Prophet, not the Final Prophet as the Lead says. I suspect "Final" is used there to mean "ultimate".
  2. What does "their sufferings were a means of divine grace to their devotees" mean?
  3. The word nass in the Lead is described as "divine decree", but in the wikilnked article it is described as "legal injunction".
  4. The meanings given for the words hikmah and 'Aql in the Lead are different from the meanings given in the wikilinked articles for those words. Readers will be puzzled by the differences.
  5. The Lead says, "The Imamat, or belief in the divine guide ...", but the wiki article on Imamate says Imamate is a doctrine, not a "belief" in the sense the word "belief" seems to be used there. Could you clarify, please?
  6. It says, "The Shia believe that divine wisdom ... is the source of the souls of the Prophets and Imams". I think "Prophets" will need explanation or a wikilink for the reader.
  7. Exactly what "Imamate" means is very unclear from the Lead and section 1. It is described as a belief , then a universal authority, and then it says, "it means the legitimate successor to the Islamic community who are just the family of the prophet". Can you clarify, please?
  8. What does "it means the legitimate successor to the Islamic community who are just the family of the prophet'" mean exactly?
  9. What does "Imamate is under investigation from three perpectives" mean?
  10. What does "the term Imamate reflects the spiritual and socio-political leadership" mean?
  11. In section 1 and its heading, the terms "Imamah" and "Imamate" seem to be used interchangeably. This will puzzle the reader (it did me). Are they different or the same? The text needs to clarify the difference for the reader. ~ P-123 (talk) 18:27, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Note for editors: I was asked by Salman madhi for some help with copy-editing this article. ~ P-123 (talk) 20:01, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


  • With my great thanks for ur copy-editing
  1. It was wrong
  2. It is a belief of Shia like "the crucifixion of Christ as a sacrifice to achieve atonement".
  3. Nass means a divine appointment or designatin.
  4. If u take care of adjectives before the words, perhaps the links could help u. divine wisdom and esoteric knowledge.
  5. Imam is a person that shia has 12 Imams but Imamate is the name of his office and the belief to the Imams is said "Imamate" and also in shia theology, it is named a doctrine.
  6. We can link it to the prophets of Islam.
  7. Imamate as I described is a belief that just the descendants of the prophet can inherit the right to lead the community.
  8. Shia believe that just the descendants of the prophet have the right to govern over society.
  9. we can study on Imamate from three points of view.
  10. Imam has the right to lead the community socially, politically and spiritually.
  11. I should consider.Salman mahdi (talk) 14:30, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

@Salman mahdi:

2. I understand that, but still don't understand what "their sufferings were a means of divine grace to their devotees" means.
3. But nass is wikilinked to an article which says it means "legal decree", there is no mention of "divine". That was my point.
4. The descriptions in the links do not match the way the words are used in the text. For example, hikmah is described in the link as "wisdom" and in the article it means "esoteric knowledge". 'Aql is described as "divine knowledge" in the text, and in the article as the "intellect".
5. So "Imamate" means the name of the office and is also the name of a doctrine? What does the belief to the Imams is said "Imamate" mean? ~ P-123 (talk) 15:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


2. It means by the sufferings that the Imams tolerate, their followers will get rid of sins by God; it is a metaphysical matter and a belief that is not in accordance with the material world as I said it is sth similar to the christian idea about the crucification of the Christ.
3. I can not talk about that wikilink, but according to Shia theology, it is a divine appointment or designatin.
4. Aql means divine wisdom and wisdom means esoteric knowledge.
5. When u believe to an idea, it is expressed by a word or a name, Imamte is the name of a belief that God has appointed some people as Imam for the people to follow them.
  • Is it clear? if any other thing please ask and thanks for ur copy editing.Salman mahdi (talk) 18:56, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

@Salman mahdi: I still think readers will be confused if they click on the links for nass, 'Aql and hikmah and see that the descriptions do not match what the article says these words mean. How can Imamate can mean a belief, where elsewhere it seems to mean the doctrine of "leadership"? I think perhaps you mean doctrine, not belief. I have copy-edited the sentence, but I think you will have to ask someone who is more familiar with the meaning of Imamate to check that it is accurate. ~ P-123 (talk) 08:53, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Questions on section 2, "The Necessity of Imamah"[edit]

@Salman mahdi:

  1. There is a quotation in the middle but it is unclear which parts are actual quotation and which are not.
  2. What does "The prophetic mission must be followed by a keeper of the Quran because it contains esoteric depth, superficial contradictions and hidden meaning" mean?
  3. It then says, "Divine knowledge is only attainable through divine revelation or inspiration", but the Lead says, "The Imam is not the recipient of a divine revelation ..." which looks contradictory. I think this needs clarifying for sake of the general reader.
  4. "Divine law" is wikilinked to Sharia, but is sharia really "divine" law, i.e. is "divine" really the right word there?
  5. What is "walayah" in the last line? ~ P-123 (talk) 19:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Dear @P-123:,

  • With my great thanks,
  1.  Done
  2. As the Quran has an esoteric depth, superficial contradictions and hidden meaning, after the prophet, there must be an especialist in this erea until the line of the prophecy to be continued who is called Imam that one of his roles is to express the hidden meaning of the Quran.
  3. Imam gets the divine knowledge but through inspiration not revelation.
  4. Corbin has used these two words as synonyms.Divine law = Sharia.
  5. I add a link that could be helpful.Salman mahdi (talk) 19:23, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


How is this edit an improvement on what it replaces? The grammar is bad and the meaning is unclear.

Under "Political aspect", it says, "Although Imam has a political role, but his Imamah does not depend on his getting this role.[47] the political According to the verse 5:55, because the absolute authority belongs to Allah, He can grant this authority to whomever He wishes as Guardians. Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr believes that the political and spiritual dimensions are inseparable." This does not make sense. ~ P-123 (talk) 17:19, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

With thanks,
  1. You can correct it.
  2. One of the roles of the imams is the political leadership of the community, but it is not the foundation of Imamah, that is if imam be not the leader, he be not imam; he can be imam and be not the leader of the society. As God is the creator of the world, He is the real Owner of the world, so the authority of the world belongs to Him and He can give this authority to whomever He desires; so He desires to choose the imams as His authorities over the community. Is it clear?--Salman mahdi (talk) 14:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC)


As the names of Imamah and Imamate are synonyms and these different names confuse the readers, the name of the article should be changed to Imamah.Salman mahdi (talk) 06:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)