I would like to know what truth is there in the Imam-e-zaman
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I would like to know what truth is there in the Imam-e-zaman. Is there any mention of it in the Holy Quran. The Aga Khan is considered the 49th Imam by the Ismailis and they say he is the Mazhar of Allah. The Shia`s claim that Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.s.) declared in his last speach that Ali (r.a.) is his successor. How far is it true as I really want to know what is Imamat and what does a muslim follow the Suni way of ibadat or the shia way of ibadat, as I`m aware that the Shia`s pray a bit differently and their Shahadat is also different. I have been to the Ithnashri masjid, I`m trying to learn about the Bohras and was born in an Ismaili family and am now practising the Suni form of ibadat as I find it to be most simple and practical and a lot of my brothers and sisters who were previously ismaili (like Akbar Mehrally) have all turned the the sunni form of ibadat; please feel free to correct me if I`m wrong;. Can you please enlighten me.
Jazak Allah Khair
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Your Question: I would like to know what truth is there in the Imam-e-zaman. Is there any mention of it in the Holy Quran.
There is absolutely no mention of the term Imam-e-Zaman in the Glorious Quran or in the authentic and established Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws).
The only people who have a right and the authority from Allah to come to mankind and declare that they are the appointed Imams or Leaders by Allah Subhanah are the Noble Prophets of Allah Subhanah.
If any other than the Noble Prophets of Allah claim to be Divinely appointed as Imams by Allah Subhanah, then know with conviction that they are nothing but manifest liars!
It is absolutely encouraged in Islam that the believers choose or appoint one amongst them as their Imam or Leader; but for any chosen Imam or Leader, except for the appointed Prophets of Allah Subhanah, to claim that he has been Divinely appointed is absolutely against the guidance of Islam.
Your Statement: The Aga Khan is considered the 49th Imam by the Ismailis and they say he is the Mazhar of Allah.
The titles of Imam or Mazhar upon the Aga Khan or anyone else are self-proclaimed or at best man-made; there is absolutely no authority in the Quran or the Sunnah for one to be an Ismaili, leave alone claim to be Divinely appointed as the Aga Khan or the Mazhar of Allah Subhanah!
Allah is our witness, these are no more than self-proclaimed and self-made titles which men have bestowed upon men!
Your Statement: The Shia`s claim that Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w.s.) declared in his last speach that Ali (r.a.) is his successor.
Neither did the Noble Prophet Mohamed (saws) ever declare Hadrat Ali (r.a.) nor any one else as his successor; nor did Hadrat Ali (r.a.) or anyone else amongst the Prophets noble companions ever even claim that they had been appointed as the successors of the Prophet (saws)!
After the death of the Noble Prophet (saws), Hadrat Ali (r.a.) accepted the leadership of the Noble Khalifahs chosen by the believers and he himself was amongst their closest advisors in the running of the vast Islamic Empire.
Almost a hundred years after the death of Hadrat Ali (r.a.) some people who had political aspirations backtracked and started claiming that Hadrat Ali (r.a.) was the actual appointed successor of the Noble Prophet (saws), and thus it was his descendants who rightfully deserved the leadership of the believing Ummah.
Your Question: what does a muslim follow the Suni way of ibadat or the shia way of ibadat
No human who ever walked on this planet earth worshipped Allah Subhanah more perfectly or better than the Last and Final Messenger of Allah, Mohamed ar-Rasool Allah (saws); thus if one truly wants to emulate someone in the worship of Allah, then it is absolutely imperative that he/she follow the example of none other than the Messenger of Allah (saws). Such was the perfection of the worship of the Messenger of Allah (saws), that Allah Subhanah Himself Commanded the believers to follow his (saws) example, if indeed they truly believed in Allah and the Last Day.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:
There is indeed the best example for you to follow in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
The Prophet (saws) said, "Pray as you have seen me pray."
Related by al-Bukhari.
Thus it is absolutely obligatory for a believer to study the mode and method of worship of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and make him and him alone the example or role model in the worship of their Lord Most High.
Your Question: I`m aware that the Shia`s pray a bit differently and their Shahadat is also different.
If the prayer or the Shahaadah of our Shia brethren is different from what has been taught by the Messenger of Allah (saws), then indeed it would only be piety and righteousness to follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (saws) and leave every other method or way alone.
If one trusts, obeys, and follows the guidance and commands of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of never ever being misled; but if one believes, obeys and follows any other guidance, other than that of Allah and His Messenger (saws), one can be assured of being led astray.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,