The Fourteen Infallibles

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Arabic calligraphy of Ali's name with names of 13 other infallibles embedded within.

The Fourteen Infallibles (Arabic: ٱلْمَعْصُومُون ٱلْأَرْبَعَة عَشَر‎, al-Maʿṣūmūn al-ʾArbaʿah ʿAšar; Persian: چهارده معصومین‎, Čahârdah Ma'sūmīn) in Twelver Shia Islam are the Islamic prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatima Zahra, and the Twelve Imams. All are considered to be infallible under the theological concept of Ismah.[1][2] Accordingly, they have the power to commit sin but by their nature are able to avoid doing so, which is regarded as a miraculous gift from God.[3] The Infallibles are believed to follow only God's desire in their actions because of their supreme righteousness, consciousness, and love for God.[4] They are also regarded as being immune to error in practical matters, in calling people to religion, and in the perception of divine knowledge.[5] Shias believe the Fourteen Infallibles are superior to the rest of creation and to the other major prophets.[6]

Family tree[edit]

Muhammad
(مُحَمَّد)
Fatimah
(فَاطِمَة)
Ali
(عَلِيّ)
Hasan
(ٱلْحَسَن)
Husayn
(ٱلْحُسَيْن)
Ali Zayn al-Abideen
(عَلِيّ زَيْن ٱلْعَابِدِين)
Muhammad al-Baqir
(مُحَمَّد ٱلْبَاقِر)
Ja'far al-Sadiq
(جَعْفَر ٱلصَّادِق)
Musa al-Kazim
(مُوسَىٰ ٱلْكَاظِم)
Ali al-Rida
(عَلِيّ ٱلرِّضَا)
Muhammad al-Jawad
(مُحَمَّد ٱلْجَوَّاد)
Ali al-Hadi
(عَلِيّ ٱلْهَادِي)
Hasan al-Askari
(ٱلْحَسَن ٱلْعَسْكَرِيّ)
Hujjat Allah al-Mahdi
(حُجَّة ٱللَّٰه ٱلْمَهْدِيّ)

List of the Infallibles[edit]

Calligraphic name depiction Name
Kunya
Title
Arabic
Date of birth and death Importance Cause and place of death
Place of burial[b]
تخطيط اسم محمد.png Muhammad ibn Abdullah
مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَبْد ٱللَّٰه صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ

Abu al-Qasim[7]
أَبُو ٱلْقَاسِم
  • Rasūl Allāh
    (رَسُول ٱللَّٰه)
    (Messenger of God)[7]
  • Khātam al-ʾAnbiyāʾ
    (خَاتَم ٱلْأَنْبِیَاء)
    (Seal of the Prophets)[8]
  • al-Muṣṭafā
    (ٱلْمُصْطَفَىٰ)
    (The Chosen)

Makkah, Hijaz[7]
Considered by Muslims to be the last prophet sent by God to mankind. According to Muslims, God revealed to him the Quran, which is God's word.[7] Fell ill and died in Madinah.[7]

Buried in Madinah, Hijaz.[7]

Fatimah Calligraphy.png Fatimah bint Muhammad
فَاطِمَة ٱبْنَت مُحَمَّد عَلَيْهَا ٱلسَّلَام
ʾUmm ʾAbīhā[11]
أُمّ أَبِیهَا
  • az-Zahrāʾ
    (ٱلزَّهْرَاء)
    (The Luminous)[12]
  • Sayyidah an-Nisāʾ
    (سَیِّدَة ٱلنِّسَاء)
    (The Chief of the Women)[13]
  • al-Batūl
    (ٱلْبَتُول)
    (The Chaste)[14]
  • aṭ-Ṭāhirah
    (ٱلطَّاهِرَة)
    (The Pure)[15]
  • aṣ-Ṣiddīqah
    (ٱلصِّدِّیقَة)
    (The Honest)[16]

Makkah, Hijaz[19]
Her father Muhammad called her "a part of me".[12] She is also regarded as "the mother of the Imams".[20][21] According to most Shias, Fatimah suffered a fatal injury while defending Ali against the first Sunni caliph.[22]

The exact location of her grave is unknown but is believed to be in Madinah.[13]

Alī.png Ali ibn Abi Talib
عَلِيّ ٱبْن أَبِي طَالِب عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Hasan[23]
أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن
  • ʾAmīr al-Muʾminīn
    (أَمِير ٱلْمُؤْمِنِين)
    (Commander of the Faithful)[24]
  • al-Murtaḍā
    (ٱلْمُرْتَضَىٰ)
    (The Beloved)
  • al-Waṣīy
    (ٱلْوَصِيّ)
    (The Successor)
  • al-Walīy
    (ٱلْوَلِيّ)
    (The Wali)
  • 600 – 661[24]
  • 22 or 16 BH – 40 AH [25]

Makkah, Hijaz[24]
For all Shia, the son-in-law of Muhammad is the first Shia Imam[26] and the rightful successor to Muhammad.[27] For Sunnis, he is the fourth successor.[18] He holds an important position in almost all Sufi orders, which trace their lineage to Muhammad through him.[24] Assassinated in Kufa, Iraq, by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam, a Kharijite who slashed his head with a poisoned sword while he was praying.[24]
Buried in Najaf, Iraq.[18]
Hassan ibn Ali.jpg Hasan ibn Ali
ٱلْحَسَن ٱبْن عَلِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Muhammad[23]
أَبُو مُحَمَّد
  • al-Mujtabā
    (ٱلْمُجْتَبَىٰ)
    (The Chosen)[28]
  • Sibṭ an-Nabīy
    (سِبْط ٱلنَّبِيّ)
    (Tribe of the Prophet)

Madinah, Hijaz[29]
The eldest surviving grandson of Muhammad, through his mother, Fatimah, Hasan succeeded his father Ali as the caliph in Kufa; but after a seven-month reign he relinquished control of Iraq following a peace treaty with Muawiya I.[29] He was poisoned fatally by his wife in Madinah by order of Caliph Muawiya.[30]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Madinah.[29]
Hhussain ibn ali.jpg Husayn ibn Ali
ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Abdillah[31]
أَبُو عَبْد ٱللَّٰه
  • Sayyid ash-Shuhadāʾ
    (سَيِّد ٱلشُّهَدَاء)
    (Master of the Martyrs)[32]
  • al-Maẓlūm
    (ٱلْمَظْلُوم)
    (The Tyrannized)
  • Sibṭ an-Nabīy
    (سِبْط ٱلنَّبِيّ)
    (Tribe of the Prophet)

Madinah, Hijaz[34]
Grandson of Muhammad and younger brother of Hasan, Husayn rejected the legitimacy of Caliph Yazid I, the son of Muawiyah. As a result, he and his family were killed in the Battle of Karbala by Yazid's forces.[18] Ever since the battle, the commemoration of Husayn ibn Ali's martyrdom has been at the core of Shia rituals and identity.[34] Killed and beheaded at the Battle of Karbala.[34]
Buried at the Imam Husayn Shrine, Karbala, Iraq.[34]
Imam sajjad.jpg Ali ibn Husayn
عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱلسَّجَّاد عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Muhammad[35]
أَبُو مُحَمَّد
  • as-Sajjād
    (ٱلسَّجَّاد)
    (The Consistently Prostrating)[36]
  • Zayn al-ʿĀbidīn
    (زَيْن ٱلْعَابِدِين)
    (Ornament of the Worshippers)[37][38]

Madinah, Hijaz[38]
The author of the prayers in Al-Sahifa al-Sajjadiyya,[36] ("The Scripture of Al-Sajjad", "The Psalm of the Household of the Prophet").[39] He was fatally poisoned by order of Caliph al-Walid I in Madinah.[39]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Madinah.[36]
Baqir ibn sajjad.jpg Muhammad ibn Ali
مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْبَاقِر عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Ja'far[31][40]
أَبُو جَعْفَر
  • Bāqir al-ʿUlūm
    (بَاقِر ٱلْعُلُوم)
    (The Opener of Knowledge)[41][40]

Madinah, Hijaz[40]
Sunni and Shia sources consider Al-Baqir an early and pre-eminent legal scholar who was revered for having educated many students.[36][40] He was fatally poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn 'Abdallah in Madinah by order of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Madinah[36]
Jaffer-e-Sadiq.jpg Ja'far ibn Muhammad
جَعْفَر ٱبْن مُحَمَّد ٱلصَّادِق عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Abdillah[42][36]
أَبُو عَبْد ٱللَّٰه
  • aṣ-Ṣādiq
    (ٱلصَّادِق)
    (The Honest)[43][44]

Madinah, Hijaz[45]
As-Sadiq established the Ja'fari school of jurisprudence and developed the theology of the Twelvers.[36] He taught many scholars in different fields, including Abu Hanifah[36] and Malik ibn Anas in fiqh, Wasil ibn Ata and Hisham ibn Hakam in Islamic theology, and Geber in science and alchemy.[45] He was fatally poisoned in Madinah by order of Caliph Al-Mansur.[45]
Buried in Jannat al-Baqi, Madinah[36]
Al-Kazim.jpg Musa ibn Ja'far
مُوسَىٰ ٱبْن جَعْفَر ٱلْكَاظِم عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Hasan I[46][47]
أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلْأَوَّل
  • al-Kāẓim
    (ٱلْكَاظِم)
    (The Confined)[48]

Madinah, Hijaz[48]
Al-Kazim was leader of the Shia community during the schism between the Ismaili and other branches of Islam after the death of the previous Imam Jafar al-Sadiq.[49] He established a 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.[50] He was imprisoned and fatally poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq, by order of Caliph Harun al-Rashid.[51]
Buried in the Kazimayn shrine, Baghdad, Iraq[36][48]
Al redah.jpg Ali ibn Musa
عَلِيّ ٱبْن مُوسَىٰ ٱلرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Hasan II[47]
أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلثَّانِي
  • ar-Riḍā
    (ٱلرِّضَا)
    (The Pleasing)[48][52]

Madinah,
Hijaz[53]
Made crown prince by Caliph Al-Ma'mun, Ar-Rida was known for his discussions and debates with both Muslim and non-Muslim religious scholars.[54] He was fatally poisoned in Mashad, Iran, by order of Caliph Al-Ma'mun.[54]
Buried in the Imam Reza shrine, Mashad, Iran[54]
Imam Taqi.jpg Muhammad ibn Ali
مُحَمَّد ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْجَوَّاد عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu Ja'far[31]
أَبُو جَعْفَر
  • al-Jawwād
    (ٱلْجَوَّاد)
    (The Generous)[55][56]
  • at-Taqīy
    (ٱلتَّقِيّ)
    (The God-Fearing)[54][56]

Madinah,
Hijaz[56]
Al-Jawad was known for his generosity and piety in the face of persecution by the Abbasid caliphate.[57] He was fatally poisoned by his wife, the daughter of Caliph Al-Ma'mun, in Baghdad, Iraq, by order of Caliph Al-Mu'tasim.[56]
Buried in the Kazmain shrine, Baghdad, Iraq.[54]
Imam naqi.jpg Ali ibn Muhammad
عَلِيّ ٱبْن مُحَمَّد ٱلْهَادِي عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Hasan III[58]
أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن ٱلثَّالِث
  • al-Hādī
    (ٱلْهَادِي)
    (The Guide)[59][60]
  • an-Naqīy
    (ٱلنَّقِيّ)
    (The Pure)[54][60]

Surayya, a village near Madinah, Hijaz[60]
Al-Naqi taught religious sciences until 243/857.[54] He strengthened the network of deputies in the Shia community. He sent them instructions and in turn received financial contributions from the faithful, from the khums and religious vows.[60] He was fatally poisoned in Samarra, Iraq, by order of caliph Al-Mu'tazz.[56]
Buried in the Al Askari Mosque, Samarra, Iraq.[54]
Al-askari.svg Hasan ibn Ali
ٱلْحَسَن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْعَسْكَرِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Mahdi[61]
أَبُو ٱلْمَهْدِيّ
  • al-ʿAskarīy
    (ٱلْعَسْكَرِيّ)
    (The Garrison Town One)[62][63]

Madinah,
Hijaz[63]
Like his father, Al-Askari was placed under house arrest, which would last most of his life, by the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu'tamid, .[64] During this time, repression of the Shia communities was great because of their growing size and power.[65] He was fatally poisoned by order of Caliph Al-Mu'tamid in Samarra, Iraq.[66]
Buried in the Al Askari Mosque, Samarra, Iraq.[54]
Al mehdi.jpg Hujjat Allah ibn al-Hasan
حُجَّة ٱللَّٰه ٱبْن ٱلْحَسَن ٱلْمَهْدِيّ عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَام
Abu al-Qasim[32]
أَبُو ٱلْقَاسِم

Samarra, Iraq[73]
According to Twelver Shia doctrine, he is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with the prophet Isa (Jesus). He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam and establish justice and peace in the earth.[74] According to Twelver Shia doctrine, he has been living in the Occultation since 872, and will continue as long as God wills.[72]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The abbreviation CE refers to the Common Era solar calendar, while AH refers to the Islamic Hijri lunar calendar
  2. ^ Except the Twelfth Imam

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dabashi 2006, p. 463
  2. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 48
  3. ^ Nasr, Dabashi & Nasr 1989, p. 98
  4. ^ Donaldson 1933, p. 326
  5. ^ Ansariyan 2007, p. 89
  6. ^ Algar 1990
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Nasr 2006
  8. ^ Mir 1987, p. 171
  9. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 131
  10. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 134
  11. ^ Walbridge 2001, p. 103
  12. ^ a b c Chittick 1980, p. 136
  13. ^ a b Klemm 2014
  14. ^ Ordoni 2009, p. 94
  15. ^ Ordoni 2009, p. 70
  16. ^ Ordoni 2009, p. 56
  17. ^ Qurashī 2007, p. 38
  18. ^ a b c d e f Chittick 1980, p. 137
  19. ^ Dungersi 1994, p. 4
  20. ^ Hughes 2013, p. 258
  21. ^ Rayshahri 2008, p. 68
  22. ^ Lammens 2012
  23. ^ a b Rizvi 1988, p. 48
  24. ^ a b c d e Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. "Ali". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  25. ^ Ahmed 2005, p. 234
  26. ^ Poonawala 1985
  27. ^ Mashita 2002, p. 69
  28. ^ Corbin 1993, p. 50
  29. ^ a b c d Madelung 2003
  30. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 173
  31. ^ a b c Rizvi 1988, p. 49
  32. ^ a b c Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 174
  33. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 198–199
  34. ^ a b c d Madelung 2004
  35. ^ Qurashī 2007, p. 17
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Chittick 1980, p. 138
  37. ^ Madelung 1985
  38. ^ a b c d Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ B. ḤOSAYN B. ʿALĪ B. ABĪ ṬĀLEB, ZAYN-AL-ʿĀBEDĪN". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2017-08-05. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  39. ^ a b c d Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 178–179
  40. ^ a b c d e f Madelung, Wilferd. "BĀQER, ABŪ JAʿFAR MOḤAMMAD". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  41. ^ Madelung 1988
  42. ^ "JAʿFAR AL-ṢĀDEQ, ABU ʿABD-ALLĀH". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2018-10-20. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  43. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 15
  44. ^ Tabatabae (1979), p.203–204
  45. ^ a b c Tabatabaei 1975, p. 180
  46. ^ Madelung 1985b
  47. ^ a b Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ AL-REŻĀ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2012-09-21. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  48. ^ a b c d Tabatabaei 1975, p. 181
  49. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 68
  50. ^ Sachedina 1988, pp. 53–54
  51. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2011, p. 207
  52. ^ Tabatabae (1979), pp.205–207
  53. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, pp. 182–183
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chittick 1980, p. 139
  55. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 183
  56. ^ a b c d e f Tabatabae (1979), p. 207
  57. ^ Qurashī 2005
  58. ^ Madelung 1985a
  59. ^ Dungersi 2005, p. 16
  60. ^ a b c d e f Madelung, Wilferd. "ʿALĪ AL-HĀDĪ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  61. ^ a b Rizvi 1988, p. 50
  62. ^ Halm 1987
  63. ^ a b c d Halm, H. "ʿASKARĪ". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  64. ^ Dungersi 2005, p. 188
  65. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 184
  66. ^ Dungersi 2005, p. 196
  67. ^ Amir-Moezzi 2007
  68. ^ "THE CONCEPT OF MAHDI IN TWELVER SHIʿISM". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  69. ^ Amir-Moezzi 1994, p. 115
  70. ^ "ḠAYBA". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Archived from the original on 2014-08-09. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  71. ^ "Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Hujjah". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  72. ^ a b c Tabatabaei 1975, p. 186
  73. ^ Tabatabaei 1975, p. 185
  74. ^ Tabatabaei 1979, pp. 211–214

Sources[edit]

Encyclopedias
Books

External links[edit]