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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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Ali Zaki
 
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Quote Ali Zaki Replybullet Posted: 08 June 2005 at 7:00am

Salam ala kum,

From my research, one of the main (and possibly THE main) reason for dis-unity in the Muslim Umma is a misunderstanding of the meaning of Wilayat after the death of the prophet.

If one reflects on the history of the Muslims, one will surely be amazed at the unity of the Muslims, while under the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad (a.s.). In contrast to this, we see that after the dealth of the prophet the "troubles" began. Some of the prominent companions supported Imam Ali (a.s.), and others supported Abu Bakr as the rightful successor to the Holy Prophet.

One of the reason for this schism was a misunderstanding (among the general Muslim population) of the meaning and dimensions of Wilayat. SIDE NOTE- I find this somewhat surprising, given that the well -established practice of previous prophets of nominating a successor (or Waly, who was sometimes a prophet and sometimes not).

I would like to include some excerpts from the book, " Master and Mastership" from the respected scholar (and Shaheed) Ayatullah Murtada Mutahhari to illustrate this further.

The entire book can be read here: http://al-islam.org/mastership/

" The Holy Qur'an has talked much of Wala, Muwalat and Tawalla (friendship and cooperation). This Celestial Book has discussed a number of questions under these headings. A thorough study of the Holy Qur'an indicates that from the Islamic point of view there are two kinds of Wala; negative and positive i.e. on the one hand the Muslims have been asked not to accept one kind of Wala and to refrain from it, and on the other hand they have been asked to observe another kind of Wala. The positive Wala enjoined by Islam has two forms; general and special. Again the special form of Wala is further subdivided into several categories; Wala of Love, Wala of Imamate, Wala of Leadership and Wala of Control...."

"The believers, men and women are the Waly (guide) of each other; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. They keep up prayers and pay zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger". (al-Tauba,9:71)

The Muslims are closely linked together and as such they support one another. They are interested in one another's fate, in reality in their own fate, for they, all together form one compact unit. That is why they exhort one another to do the good and abstain from doing the evil. ..."

The affection toward the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet's progeny) is the special form of the positive Wala...

"Say: I ask you no reward for my preaching save love and affection toward my progeny". (al-Shura;42 23).

"Your Waly can be only Allah, His Messenger and those who believe and establish prayers, and pay zakat while they kneel down in prayer". (al-Ma'idah, 5:55); 

was revealed in respect of Imam Ali. Tabari, in his ''Exegesis'' [2] of the Holy Qur'an quotes a number of reports in this connection. Zamakhshari, who is one of the most eminent Sunni scholars, is definite when he says: "This verse was revealed in respect of Ali ibn Abi Talib. Though it refers to a single person, plural form has been used with the intention of exhorting the Muslims to follow the good example set by him, and to emphasize that even prayers may be delayed for doing good to the poor and the needy". ..[3]

This kind of Wala when used with reference to an Imam means religious authority and the right of leadership, and when used with reference to the Muslims means the acknowledgement of this right.

[2] Tafsir al-Tabari Vol. 6, pp. 288289.

[3] Al-Kashshaf Vol.1 p.505 printed in Egypt in 1373 A.D.

Salam,

"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)
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Ali Zaki
 
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Quote Ali Zaki Replybullet Posted: 08 June 2005 at 8:09am

Salam ala kum,

I have thought a little more about delights question" If an Imam can guide without being in power,like the 12th Imam,why do shia fight for the right of succession of Ali?" and I think I may understand it.

The Prophet (a.s.) and his purified projeny, or, the Ahly al'Bayt (a.s. to them all) are a the hujjat (proof (of Allah's authority over his creation)) and the Imam whether or not their authority is recognized. In fact, those who sincerly wish to lead the Muslim Umma in an upright manner will have no choice but to refer to them for leadership and guidance (as Abu Bakr and Omar both discovered). In fact, even corrupt Caliph's, such as Haroon Rashid turned to the Imam (of Ahl' Al-Bayt) for guidance and recognized their rightful position (although they were not given their rights, and their guidance was often not followed). Despite this, the Imams did and still do guide anyone who wishes to seek their guidance, and they are the source for those who want to understand Quran, Fiqh, Usool, Hadith, Namaz, etc.

In conclusion, The Imam is not in need of our alligience. If we fail to obey the Prophet (a.s.) in regards to his Alhly Al'Bayt, then we are the losers (i.e., we will become misguided). If we obey the Ahly 'Al Bayt, then they do not gain anything (as it is well-known that they were not concerned with worldly titles, wealth or power), it is only we that gain by being a unified and effective Umma united under the banner of Rasool Allah (a.s.) with Imam Ali (a.s.) as the standard bearer.

Salam

"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)
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