Talk:The Twelve Imams

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Featured list The Twelve Imams is a featured list, which means it has been identified as one of the best lists produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured list on May 12, 2014.
April 15, 2008 Featured list candidate Promoted

not Saudi Arabia[edit]

I have replaced "Saudi Arabia" with "AlHigaz"since, on a factual level, for a long time after the lives of the subjects Saudi Arabia hasn't existed. This should be the case in similar contexts. --A. Gharbeia (talk) 18:09, 20 July 2009 (UTC)


The images on this page keep being removed. Is there a reason why there should be pictures on this page, if it causes repeated editing to remove them? They are modern depictions and so cannot be referenced or sourced. Also the numerals are being removed. I need this number system to be able to place the 12 Imans in sequence, and I cannot understand why they are being removed. --Alchemist Jack (talk) 10:36, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

They are being removed because, like you said yourself, "they are modern depictions and so cannot be referenced or sourced". When they are not real pictures in the first place, why do you even want to upload them. What's the point? Why can't there just be a list with no pics? This is an authentic encyclopedia, not a child's book that needs a pic on each page. (talk) 10:42, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

The issue is not confined to this one article and has wider implications, so discussion needs to be at a correspondingly wider level, not just a local talk page. Esowteric+Talk 10:59, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

There's a bit of discussion in this talk page's archives. Also see (by way of example or comparison) the templates at the top of Talk:Depictions of Muhammad. Esowteric+Talk 11:11, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Also check out google searches to see how hot this topic has been: I randomly picked wikipededia depictions of islamic figures. In view of this, there must surely be substantial discussion or voting on this issue somewhere in Wikipedia. Esowteric+Talk 11:23, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
This all might need further discussion elsewhere, but I cannot see how having these pictures inproves this article. As far as I can see they are just guys with beards. I could draw a picture of a guy with a beard upload it call it Ali ibn Husayn and it would be as accurate as these pictures. Having the pictures does mean that this page is regularly edited by people offended, who remove the pictures, then I or someone else re-instates them for the whole cycle to begin again. I could understand keeping them if they were accurate or in some way importatnt to understanding the subject, but they are not. --Alchemist Jack (talk) 12:19, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's true enough. Esowteric+Talk 12:21, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
If they are important could we not just create a subpage that contains them (edit: apparently not) or something..? I don't know enough about it to say.--Alchemist Jack (talk) 12:29, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
This is a featured list. Perhaps the matter should be referred to the person/s who were credited with it gaining FL status or to the reviewer who awarded that status? They may want a say in the matter. See FLC. Enzuru was the main editor for FLC; Sa.vakilian was the reviewer. Esowteric+Talk 12:36, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Have left a talk page message for Enzuru. Esowteric+Talk 12:50, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Have left a talk page message for Sa.vakilian.--Alchemist Jack (talk) 13:04, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
These pictures are actually common portrayals of the Twelve Imams in Bektashi and Alevi culture, confined mainly in Albania and Turkey. To be clearer though, the person who first uploaded them online ran a website (perhaps officially) for the Bektashi Sufi Order, and told me he originally found the pictures in Turkey. Depictions in the Arab and Persian world tend to differ, but they certainly do exist. I do think the portrayals do add something to the article (the perception of Alevi in the very least) however it should be noted what they are precisely perhaps in order not to confuse them as common representations of the Twelve Imams among the larger amount of Arab and Persian adherents of Shi'a Islam. --Afghana [talk] 09:49, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Maybe they should be captioned as "common portrayals from Bektashi and Alevi culture" or "Modern portrayals from Bektashi and Alevi culture" --Alchemist Jack (talk) 16:39, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


I am upholding the previous edit where someone removed the pictures. They are not real pictures of the Imams. This website is for REAL information, not fantasies.--Ya Rasulullah Madad (talk) 22:57, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes I agree, I have edited out the pictures aswell brother. I will add this page to my watchlist also, to make sure no-one reuploads them here.--عيسى (talk) 23:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks brother =) You did a good job. Keeping pictures of the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) is totally wrong also. We should leave that to the Tassawuf.--Ya Rasulullah Madad (talk) 23:42, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Forming a bloc to repeatedly maintain edits that are against Wikipedia policy is just going to get you steamroller'd by a sysop. Unless you are promoting consensus on pages regarding Wikipedia's image policy so that paintings and depictions do not qualify for inclusion in articles (which currently they do on most articles regarding persons from before the time of photographs) until then, these images are acceptable inclusion and I'm re-adding them. I'm not fond of it either, but that's policy. Peter Deer (talk) 18:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The historical evidence shows that the Imams look nothing like that. They had long beards and short mustaches. For example, if i added a picture of a black Jesus on that page. It would be removed because historical evidence shows he wasn't an african. Same here. Do your research before editing again.--عيسى (talk) 19:25, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
First and foremost, [is a picture of black Jesus on that page] (you seriously didn't even look before using that example?) Secondly, your logic has nothing to do with Wikipedia policy. You're forming a bloc and edit-warring, stop this nonsense right now. If you want to develop a consensus on it that's a different manner but you do not just get to disrupt the article in order to assert your personal opinion on the matter. If you revert it again you will be in violation of WP:3RR, so I suggest you consider this reasonably. Peter Deer (talk) 19:51, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Lol, yeah that was a bad example I guess. But I think you get my point. If there is absolutely NO historical evidence to support the depiction. Then it cannot stand, because it gives a false impression of the Imam's appearance to people. Consensus? Well it is currently 2 to 1, so please stop acting like your opinion is somehow superior to 2 other opinions. And please don't threaten me. I will always create another account if i am barred with this one.--عيسى (talk) 20:03, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Do not worry brother. My account is less valuable then yours. I only made it a few days ago. Just tell me when the pictures are uploaded and I will remove them Insha'Allah. Exactly, he thinks his opinion about a matter he doesn't understand is worth more then ours combined. I will get the information about the features of the Imams (a.s.) and post it here to prove the depictions are nothing like the Imams (a.s.).--Ya Rasulullah Madad (talk) 20:34, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Two people saying "we're going to continuously revert everyone else's edits" is not consensus for changing image policy. As for personal attacks regarding my motives and opinion, as I have already stated I agree with your opinion, however your edits are in violation of policy. Peter Deer (talk) 22:11, 19 November 2009 (UTC)


If people are so desperate for pictures. We can add pictures of their shrines. That way, these are factual pictures, and everyone is happy!--عيسى (talk) 23:45, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

I think we can get pictures of a kind of caligraphy for each one. I think I have seen them somewhere. I will ipload them when I find them. That way, everyone is happy as you say ;-)--Ya Rasulullah Madad (talk) 15:18, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Merging tag removed[edit]

Imamah (Shi'a doctrine) is an article and this is a list. We can use a summary of this list in that article, but it's not good suggestion to merge them.--Seyyed(t-c) 02:23, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Why were they killed?[edit]

It would help the reader if the article would explain why eleven of the twelve Imams were killed. Viriditas (talk) 09:16, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Something is wrong with the table[edit]

Some cells are missing in the middle Imams. Can someone check this please? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 06 April 2014[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved Armbrust The Homunculus 00:47, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

The Twelve ImamsList of Twelver imams – Like List of Ismaili imams, this is actually a list so calling it a list will make things clearer to the reader. The title "Twelve Imams" might be unclear to noobs who don't realize that not all Shi'a Muslims believe the same exact thing about the preferred line of religious leadership. --Relisted. EdJohnston (talk) 16:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC) --Relisted. Armbrust The Homunculus 08:01, 13 April 2014 (UTC) MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:08, 6 April 2014 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Oppose, with the admission that I'm not too knowledgeable about the subject. The proposed title makes it sound like the imams themselves are Twelvers; I'd expect a List of Twelver imams to be a list of imams of this branch, something akin to List of Methodist theologians. Assuming these were historical leaders later venerated by a religious branch, the current title seems more accurate. Or have I misread the situation? --BDD (talk) 23:22, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. All of the discussion so far has been rather off point. The issue as far as the RM goes is: How is this group of people usually referred by modern English-language writers? If you compare here and here, the answer is clearly "the twelve imams." The Fivers and Seveners don't recognize twelve imams, so if you use the expression "twelve imams" you can only be referring to the Twelver sect. Two from one (talk) 00:01, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is not a list of imams who subscribe to Twelver traditions. -- (talk) 06:24, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, but... I agree there's an WP:NPOV problem with the current name; it implies "there are 12 Imams as a matter of fact", when that's actually a point of sectarian faith. The "sounds like the Imams are Twelvers" argument against this particular rename idea, however, is compelling.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:00, 25 April 2014 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • Unless I am missing something since this is a redlink anyone can move this article there. It also does not appear to be controversial.-- (talk) 18:39, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Responding to User:BDD, first of all thanks for replying - I was worried nobody would take interest! Anyway, about the topic. The Imams aren't exactly like theologians as a theologian is a fallible man who studies whereas the Imams, for Twelver Shia, were divinely inspired and thus infallible on religious topics. I think your comment was more geared toward whether these Imams themselves were Twelvers. Well, let's look at List of Ismaili imams. The early Imams listed there are the ones accepted by all three main branches of the Shia - Twelver, Zaidi and Ismaili. So they're sort of sectioned off, whereas the list below that, starting at #6, includes those specific to Ismailis. So both agree on the first six, whereas the rest of this list - for the Twelvers - is specific to them. A possible solution in order to make clear that the first six didn't positively attribute themselves to either could be to section them off here as they are on the other list. My main point is just that this is a list and the name should reflect it, hence my discussion at Talk:Imams of Yemen as well. I hope my comments provide clarity rather than confusing the issue. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:06, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, let me put it this way. Suppose these twelve men came back to life today and I asked them, in the proper form of Arabic, if they considered themselves twelvers. My guess is that they would not, correct? (They might not necessarily say no—they would probably be confused.) I think calling the imams themselves twelvers would be akin to calling Jesus a Christian. It's not completely absurd, but it's not accurate either. Let me ask this as well. Is there disagreement on which imams constitute the twelve? There's clearly disagreement about their theological significance, but if I polled a group of well-learned Muslims of various sects, would they all produce this same list? If so, I think "The Twelve Imams" is sufficiently unambiguous to stand as the title. --BDD (talk) 05:05, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
User:BDD, you stick to your principles, I have to commend you on that. Your guess is correct. Regarding your questions, then a poll among all the sects would be difficult - keep in mind animosity is much higher than among Christian or Buddhist sects. If we ask the Twelvers themselves, who are the Twelve Imams, then they/their theologians would agree internally; the Zaidis are Fivers because they have five imams, the Ismailis are Seveners because they only have seven, and so forth. However, I do get what you're saying.
Let me make one last-ditch effort, and no hard feelings if you still disagree. How about a "list of" title which avoids ascribing anyone to a sect? Your analogy makes sense, but couldn't we also say, then, that calling these Twelve guys the Twelve imams would be promoting a POV contrary to people who don't recognize that number of imams? Like, can we call this "List of imams in Twelver Shi'ism," the List of Ismaili imams article "List of imams in Ismaili Shi'ism" and so forth? That's my last suggestion. After this, I got nothing. MezzoMezzo (talk) 09:56, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, yes, that would be fine. And perhaps we should notify WikiProject Islam. If more editors from there like the proposed title, I'll defer to their judgment. --BDD (talk) 15:18, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Alright man, notifications have been placed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Islam/Muslim history task force, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Islam/Shi'a Islam task force and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Islam. Hopefully more people will chime in and we can get some brainstorming done. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
  • User:Two from one, thanks for that mega buster of a comment. Now per the discussion we do agree that the individuals are called Twelve Imams; the main suggestion from my end is that the title should include "List of (something)." Putting the issue of how we refer to the individuals, would you at least agree that this article can be referred to as a list in the title? MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:20, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I think the discussion ought to be closed now, as it is clear that wide community consensus does not support the name change. I still support it 100%, but I also recognize and respect the community's decision. It's already been relisted twice and every vote was in opposition. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:05, 27 April 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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