The brother asked you in Question No.3100 about the Ismaili Sect.
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:
The brother asked you in Question No.3100 about the Ismaili Sect. You only gave him a partial answer. One of their basic beliefs is that our sixth Imam, Imam Jafar Sadiq(A.S.), had a son named Ismail. Ismail, however, passed away during the lifetime of Imam Sadiq(A.S.). Ismail was Imam Sadiq`s(A.S.) eldest son. Since, until now, for the first six Imams of us Shias, Imam Ali(A.S.), Imam Hassan(A.S.), Imam Hussain(A.S.), Imam Zainul-Abideen(A.S.), Imam Muhammad Baqir(A.S.) and Imam Jafar Sadiq(A.S.), the Imam who was to be the next Imam was the current Imam`s eldest son (with the exception of Imam Hussain(A.S.)).
For example, Imam Hassan(A.S.) was Imam Ali`s(A.S.) eldest son. Imam Zainul-Abideen(A.S.) was Imam Hussain`s(A.S.) eldest son. Same case with Imam Baqir(A.S.) and Imam Sadiq(A.S.). However, Imam Moosa Kazim(A.S.) (the seventh Imam) was not Imam Sadiq`s(A.S.) eldest son.
The Ismailis, however, say that Ismail was the seventh Imam, since, like the first six, the eldest son has to be the next Imam.
For us Shias, we do not believe that, since during his lifetime, like every other Imam before and after him, Imam Sadiq(A.S.), has repeatedly said that Imam Moosa Kazim(A.S.) will be Imam after him.
Also, just like Prophethood, Imamat is a station given by Allah (SWT), to people He chooses, whether they are the only son of an Imam, the eldest son, or the youngest. It is upto Allah (SWT)to choose, and not for man to choose.
Finally, it is only logical that a person can be the Imam after the current Imam if he lives longer and past the lifetime of the current Imam. If he passes away during the lifetime of the current Imam, how can he be the next Imam?
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Shia sunni sect imam lineage
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your Statement: Also, just like Prophethood, Imamat is a station given by Allah (SWT), to people He chooses, whether they are the only son of an Imam, the eldest son, or the youngest. It is upto Allah (SWT)to choose, and not for man to choose.
Dear and beloved brother in Islam, know and believe with total and absolute conviction that it is only and only the appointed Prophets and Messengers of Allah who have the right to come to mankind and declare that they are the chosen and appointed Prophets of Allah Subhanah!
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 179:
179 Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which ye are now until He separates what is evil from what is good. Nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. But He chooses of his Messengers (for the purpose) whom He pleases. So believe in Allah and His (appointed) Messengers: and if ye believe and do right ye have a reward without measure.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 75:
75 Allah chooses Messengers from angels and from men: for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things).
Dear and beloved brother in Islam, no imam, no dai, no aalim, no peer, no faqeer, no king, no leader, no scholar, no jurist, no judge, no oneabsolutely no one other than the chosen and appointed Prophets and Messengers of Allah have a right or authority to come to mankind and declare that they have been appointed to their office or rank by Allah Subhanah! If any person, other than a chosen and appointed Prophet of Allah, comes to mankind and himself declares that he has been chosen and appointed as the leader or king or imam or to any office by Allah Subhanah, beloved brother know with absolute and total conviction that the person has made the claim without right or authority from Allah Subhanah, and he is no more than a manifest and confirmed liar!
It is the chosen Prophets of Allah who alone reserve the right and authority from their Lord to come to mankind and declare that they have been appointed to their noble office of Prophethood by the Lord Most High; every other rank and title of imam, or king, or scholar, or leader is either chosen by the person himself, or he is appointed to that office by human beings!
At the death of the Last and Final Messenger of Allah (saws), the believers themselves chose a Khalifah of the Messenger of Allah (saws) or the Ameer-ul-Mumineen amongst them; not even one of the Rightly Guided Khalifahs, not even Hadrat Ali (r.a.) ever claimed that they had been appointed to that rank of Ameer-ul-Mumineen or Khalifah by Allah Subhanah!!!
It is precisely because man chose his leaders and imams that there arose such a dispute in leadership in the history of the muslims after the death of the Messenger of Allah (saws)! But to say or assume or believe that the imaams or any other rank or office of a person, other than the noble office of Prophethood, is authorized and appointed by Allah Subhanah is inaccurate, to say the least!
Amongst our Shia brethren, some chose to believe in five imaams, some in seven, some in eleven, some in twelve, some in twenty-one, and some like the sect of the Aga Khanis believe that their current leader the Aga Khan is a continuation of their lineage of divinely appointed imaams! Each of the groups who believe in their chosen number of imams deny and challenge the appointment of the other imams, formed their own sects and creeds and laws, and called the others who did not believe in their appointed number of imams misguided, if not outright disbelievers!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 30 Surah Rum verses 31-32:
This (Islam) is the right and true faith, but most people do not know. (Be steadfast on this) turning wholly and sincerely towards Allah Alone, and fear Him, and establish the Salat, and do not be like the mushriks, who have set up their separate creeds and divided themselves into sects, each sect rejoicing in what it has.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 45 Surah Al-Jathiyah verse 17:
Then they differed amongst themselves after the knowledge (of Islam) had come to them, only because they wanted to wrong one another. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning the matters in which they have been differing.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 23 Surah Muminoon verse 52-55:
And you all belong to one and the same Ummah, and I(Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time. What? Do they think that, by continuing to provide them with wealth and children, We are solicitous for their welfare? Nay, they do not understand the reality of the matter!
Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 171 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Amr
That Allah's Messenger (saws) said: There will befall my Ummah exactly all those evils which befell the people of Israel (Jews and Christians), so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother, there will be amongst my Ummah one, who will do the same. And if the people of Israel were fragmented into seventy-two sects, my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. The noble Companions asked: O Allah's Messenger (saws), which one is that? Whereupon he (saws) said: It is one to which I and my companions belong.
Can any of the many sects unfortunately prevalent in Islam today lay claim that the Prophet and his noble companions were Shias, or Sunnis, or Shafeis, or Hanafis, or Hanbalis, or Malikis, or Itna-Asharis, or Ismailis, or Bohras???
Allah is our witness brother, the Prophet (saws) himself, and his noble companions and family who followed his way never claimed to belong to any self-invented and man-made sectbut they were proud and honored to be recognized by the name which none other than their Lord Most High has Himself chosen for them: ie. muslims!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78:
O you who have believed, do rukooh (bow down) and do sajdah (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you muslims before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.
The decision is entirely upto you brother: choose to call or recognize and associate yourself and follow the innovated ways of one of the many sects that have unfortunately erupted in the Ummah.or choose to call, recognize, and associate yourself with those brothers and sisters in faith who are honored to call themselves by absolutely no other name, other then the name chosen for them by their Lord Creator (ie. muslims)!
One can sit and argue until the end of time who was appointed or chosen amongst the believers as the leader or imam or khalifah or Ameer-ul-Mumineen after the death of the Last Messenger of Allah (saws).and that would be no more than a futile and never-ending argument regarding the history of the muslims that transpired after the death of the Noble Prophet Mohamed (saws).
Or alternatively, one can leave the arguments of the ignorant and divided sects aside, and make a solemn intention to strive to follow the only two sources of Divine Guidance: The Glorious Quran and the established and authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saws), which alone are the criteria for salvation in the Hereafter.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 79-80:
We have sent you (O Mohamed) as a Messenger to mankind, and Allahs witness suffices for this. Whoever obeys the Messenger, in fact obeys Allah, and whoever turns away from him, he will be accountable for his deeds. Anyhow, we have not sent you (O Mohamed) to be a guardian over them.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 31-32:
O Prophet, tell the people, If you sincerely love Allah, follow me. Then Allah will love you and forgive you your sins, for He is All Forgiving, All Merciful. Also say to them, Obey Allah and His Messenger. And if, in spite of this, they do not accept your invitation, warn them that Allah does not love those, who refuse to obey Him and His Messenger.
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,