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  • 9/6/2012

Imam Sadiq (A.S) and the Four Religious Sects

imam sadiq (a.s)

Abu Hanifa used Imam Ali’s knowledge. Abu Hanifa was proud of using scientific competence of Imam Sadiq (A.S). He said: “Malik ibn Anas was a student of Imam Sadiq. Shafi’i learned from him and Ahmad Benhanbal learned from Shafi’i. Shafi’i never narrated anything except from Ali thus he was accused of being a Shia. He took pride in being Shia and said: “I am a Shia and it is an honor for me. I was born in Mecca and my religion is the best. Shafi’i showed affection for Imam Ali (A.S) even in his poetry.  [Ahsan at-Taqasim]

Ahmad ibn Hanbal, too, had great affection for the Imam Ali (A.S). Once he was asked: “Who is the best companion of the Prophet (PBUH)”‌? He replied: “Abu Bakir, Umar and Othman.”‌ What about Ali? He replied: “You asked about the best companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Ali is Muhammad himself.”‌

The Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei in his book, “The Righteous Imam”‌ explains the Shia approach to Islamic precepts: “Since old times, Islamic jurisprudence, tradition and interpretation fell into two general approaches. One approach was practiced by the oppressive rulers who sacrificed truth for their expediency and material benefits and misinterpreted the commandment of Allah for little gains. Another approach was practiced by the true followers of the Prophet and the Infallible Imams who never changed correct implementation of the Divine rule with anything. They always stood against the corrupt governments…”‌

Therefore, it is clear that Jafari jurisprudence was not a simple religious dispute with the official schools of jurisprudence in the time of Imam Sadiq (A.S). This school of thought carried with itself the two themes of objection. The first and most important achievement of Jafari Shiism was proving lack of religious awareness of some of the ruling governments, its inability to manage the intellectual affairs of the society, and its ineligibility to assume the power. It also highlighted instances of deviation by some of the official religious jurisprudences created at the emphasis of the rulers. Imam Sadiq (A.S) opened up scientific circles for true clarification of Islamic jurisprudence, Islamic sciences, theology and interpretation of the Holy Qur’an at manners totally different from what had been prescribed by some of the unjust rulers of the time. The rulers were quite familiar with the influence of this indirect fight against deviation and hypocrisy. Mansour of Abbasid dynasty was an intelligent person because he had spent all his lifetime in anti-Umayyad struggle and knew all about Alavi combatants. His pressures against the educational and religious activities of Imam Sadiq (A.S) stemmed from his previous knowledge of Imam’s influence. He gathered together jurists and religious scientists from Hejaz and Iraq to direct an ideological fight against Imam Sadiq’s school of thought.

Imam Sadiq (A.S) in his negotiations and training used to say that the caliphs of his time were incapable of governing people because they lacked the required knowledge. This means that the Imam openly expressed his objections to the system of government. In a tradition attributed to him, we read: “We are the people whose obedience has been ordained by God. While you obey ignorant leaders and because of them you beseech God to forgive you.”‌

This means that people lose the right path because of following the ignorant rulers and leaders and then beseech God to forgive them. “We have not gone astray. Our leaders and rulers have led us to this wrong path out of their ignorance.”‌ Obeying such leaders and rulers is a wrongdoing that cannot justify the succeeding faults.

According to Imam Sadiq (A.S) leadership of a revolutionary Muslim nation should be at the disposal of a leader equipped with arms and knowledge. Therefore, the precondition for leadership is knowledge, i.e. correct understanding of the Holy Qur’an. To promote the Qur’anic knowledge of the people, Imam Sadiq (A.S) gathered a large number of enthusiasts in his theological school and began teaching Qur’anic sciences, theology and Islamic wisdom to them. His methodology was quite different from what used to be practiced by other jurisprudents.

The first rulers of Bani Abbas (Abbasids) understood the danger of Imam Sadiq’s lessons. This is why Mansour of Abbasid Dynasty had banned Imam Sadiq (A.S) classes, sessions with the people, and his public visits.

Imam Sadiq (A.S) did his best throughout his life to promote the status of genuine Islamic thought and fought against deviation and hypocrisy.

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:

Imam Sadiq (A.S), Malik ibn Anas and Abu Hanifa

Imam Sadiq (A.S) and Sofyan Thowri

Imam Sadiq (A.S) and the Death of His Son

Political and Social Conduct of Imam Sadiq (A.S)

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