According to Shia, the Imam is present to guide the believers out of Lutf (divine bounty and grace). If he takes him away then it means Allah has not bestowed upon us his grace making him an unjust god according to Shia.
The Shia claim that humans need infallible guides at all times to ensure that the guidance we received is free from error. This must be so because it is against Lutf (divine grace) of Allah if He leaves human beings without error-free (so-called infallible) Imams (guides).
And yet a significant majority of the time (since 260 AH or 1,178 years out of 1,438 years or more than 80% of the Islamic history), there is no infallible imam to guide mankind. Only fallible scholars (predominantly so-called Ayatollahs from Iran who strangely can’t even master basic Tajwid that every Sunni kid in Afghanistan and Pakistan masters).
The mujaddid of Shi‘ism in the eighth century after the Hijrah, Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli (died 726AH) expresses similar sentiments in the following terms:
‘Imamah is a universal grace (lutf ‘amm) while Nubuwwah is a special grace (lutf khass), because it is possible that a specific period in time can be void of a living Nabi, while the same is not true for the Imam. To reject the universal grace is worse than to reject the special grace.’ [al Alfayn pg.3, al Maktaba al Haydariyyah, Najaf, 3rd ed. 1388]
They have inherited these ideas from the so-called rationalists, the Mu’tazilah heretics. We, therefore, find that after the influence of the Mu’tazili thought on the Shia dogma the understanding of infallibility became tainted with some of its ideas, like that of divine Lutf (divine grace) and free human will. This is clearly discernible from the definition which al Mufid (d. 413 A.H.) gives of infallibility; he says:
بأنها لطف يفعله الله –تعالي- بالمكلف بحيث يمنع منه وقوع المعصية، و ترك الطاعة مع قدرته عليها
‘Infallibility is the Lutf (grace) of Allah with which He favours His responsible slave. He by way of it protects him from falling into disobedience and from abandoning good when having the capacity to do it.’ [Al Mufid: al Nukat al I’tiqadiyyah p. 33-34; Tashih al I’tiqad p. 106; al Jilani: Tawfiq al Tatbiq p. 16.]
The genius Abul-‘Abbas ibn Taymiyyah perfectly elaborats on the Mu’tazili-Rafidi dilemma of Lutf and Imamah in his magnum opus, Minhaj al-Sunnah al-Nabawiyyah (download here>>>):
‘Those Shia Imamiyyah [Rafida] learned from the Mu’tazilah that enablement, empowerment, establishment, and divine grace (Lutf) are compulsory upon Allah, so that the person who is obligated to observe religious precepts will be closer to guidance and farthest away from evil and corruption and that he shall be enabled on the situations. Thus, they said: “Surely leadership (Imamah) is obligatory and to them, it is a greater obligation than Prophethood –because it is divine grace in discharging responsibilities and commandments of Allah.’ They further stated: “We certainly knew by custom, tradition, and passage of time, that any group that has a leader, who is awe-inspiring (venerated), obeyed, have power and authority and is outstretched; are closer to goodness and the farthest away from evil and if they do not have a leader turmoil and confusion will occur between them; they will be the farthest away from goodness and closer to evil and corruption. This condition is felt and realised by the verdict of intellect.”
They further maintained that: “If this divine grace (Lutf) in discharging responsibilities and commandments of Allah; then it must be compulsory.” Thereafter they mentioned his (the leaders) characteristics among which are infallibility etc.
Some of the Shia Imamiyyah asked themselves a question saying: “If you say that a leader is divine grace (Lutf) and he is absent (hidden) from you, where is the attained divine grace (Lutf) although he is absent? And his divine grace cannot be attained while he is absent (hidden) and at the same time discharging the commandment of Allah is obligatory; this entailed that a leader being a divine grace in religion is false and hence believing in the leadership of an infallible is false?”
They answered the question saying: “We maintain that divine grace from the leader is obtained while he is hidden (absent), in the same manner, that it is obtained while he is physically present. Therefore, it is those who do not believe in his leadership who are denied his divine grace. In like manner, the divine grace of knowledge of Allah will not be known by the one who does not know Allah the most High, but it is obtained by those who believe in him.” They said: “This answer has expunged the questions and therefore, it is obligatory to believe in the leadership of the infallible.”
We said to them: If divine grace can be obtained while the leader is hidden, in the same manner, that it is obtained while he is physically present, it is compulsory upon them to dispense with his physical appearance and follow him until they die and this has contradicted their beliefs. They replied saying: “The divine grace while the leader is hidden to those who believe in him is a form of avoidance, shunning and eschewing evil deeds, just like in the condition of his physical appearance. We only obligated his appearance in other matters such as aiding believers against those who oppress them, taking money from the hands of oppressors and placing it in its right place, removing injustice that cannot be removed through him, and fighting the unbelievers for that cannot be performed except with his appearance.” We say to them:
Firstly: Those statements are clearly false; this is because the leader (Imam) that you have as divine grace is the one that has been realised by the verdict of intellect and custom.
This is what you have stated: “Surely any group that has a leader who is awe-inspiring (venerated), obeyed, have power and authority and is outstretched; they are closer to goodness and the farther away from evil.”
Thereafter you made it conditional upon infallibility, saying that: “The desired restrain cannot occur except with it.”
Now, it is well known that those who have existed before the awaited hidden Imam have never possessed any of those characteristics and none of them has ever been either outstretched or possessor of authority and power. Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) becomes the Caliph, but his authority and power and outstretched have not been like that of those who passed before him. The rest of them (Shia Imams) have never had outstretched hands and neither power and authority.
Nay whatever happens to them has also occurred to those similar to them among the scholars. With regard to the hidden awaited leader; nothing has been benefitted from him. Therefore, the one who believes in his existence; if he understood that he is hidden for more than one Thousand One Hundred Years and that he fears for his life and therefore, it is not possible for him to physically appear; let alone to execute the laws of Allah! He cannot be able to command anybody to do anything or to forbid him from doing anything and thus, by this turmoil, confusion and evil will persist -in accordance with Shia beliefs.
This is why the sects of Shia Rafidah are the greatest groups with turmoil, confusion, dissension, evil and disagreement with the tongue and conflict with handsand there exist between them fighting with each other, disagreements and conflicts with each other and committing injustice to each other to an extent and degree that cannot be found among those who are being ruled by an unbeliever let alone those who are being ruled by a Muslim?
With regard to their words: “Divine Grace from the leader is obtained while he is hidden (absent), in the same manner, that it is obtained while he is physically present.”
We say: This is nothing but clear arrogance, for if he is physically present he will be beneficial in executing Islamic laws, commanding the doing of good and forbidding the doing of evil, etc., which will necessitate the divine grace, which will not be obtained without his physical presence.
There making a similitude of their hidden leader with the knowledge of Allah in the area of divine grace and stating that: “His divine grace will only reach those who believe in him,” is a false analogy; for surely, belief in the existence of Allah, that He is the Ever-Living and that He can be able to do all things, He commands obedience and He recompenses those who are obedient to Him, He forbids disobedience to Him and He punishes whoever disobeys Him; are of the greatest means of coveting and hoping for His mercy and fearing His punishment.
Therefore, this knowledge makes man hope and covet for His recompense, by doing what he is commanded to do and abandoning what he is forbidden to do and it will make him fear his punishment if he disobeys Him because the man knew that He is All-Knowing and Able to do all things and that it is His Sunnah (custom or way of doing things) to recompense those who are obedient and punish those who disobeyed. With regard to a person who the people knew he is missing for more than one thousand and one hundred years and that he has no power to punish anybody, nor can he able to recompense anyone.
Nay, he is in perpetual fear for himself(for his life) if he appears; then what more of commanding people to do good acts and forbidding people to shun evil acts and how can knowing (believing) in him lead to doing what he has commanded and abandoning what he has forbidden?
Nay, the knowledge that he is weak and fearful will necessitate people to commit evil especially due to the long period and passage of time; period after period and he never punishes anybody, nor recompense anyone. If it happens that he used to appear after every one hundred years and apply some punishments, benefits, and divine grace will not be obtained from him as it is obtained from individual leaders (who are living among their subjects).
Nay, even if it said that he appears after every ten years, nay even if he appears every year once, his benefit will still not reach the benefits that are obtained from leaders who are physically present at all times. Nay, those leaders, -with all their sins and injustice in some issues –Allah has decreed with them what they execute of punishments and the efforts that they make in urging people to obedience are many times better than that of the one who appears after every period. Then what about the missing leader; concerning who it is certain to all men of intellect that he does not exist and those who believe in him knew that he is weak, full of fear and never do what is being done by individual men, not to speak of(what) their leaders (have done)! What awe-inspiring qualities does this leader possess? What obedience? What power and authority? What outstretched hands does he possess? (You Shia stated): “If people have a leader who is awe-inspiring, obeyed, has power and authority and is outstretched; they will be closer to goodness and farthest away from evil!”
Whoever ponders over this will realize that those people are extreme in ignorance, arrogance, and sophism [Sophism is a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone or any false argument or fallacy oran argument apparently correct in form but actually invalid; especially : such an argument used to deceive], for they make the benefits and divine grace that are obtained from the weak, hidden, and absent leader, the same as the benefits and divine grace that are obtained from him if he physically exists. And that people shall believe in him although he is weak and fearful and no benefits are obtained from him as if he exists, able to act and live in peace! And that the mere belief in him is divine grace and benefit in like manner that belief in Allah is divine grace and benefit.
Secondly: We say: With regard to your statement: “It is imperative to appoint an infallible leader who will do those things!” Do you mean that it is compulsory upon Allah to create someone who possesses those qualities? Or is it compulsory for people to give a vow of allegiance (elect) to someone who possesses those characteristics? If you mean the first option: Then surely, Allah has not created anybody with such qualities. The utmost what you can say is that: Surely Ali is infallible, but Allah did not give him power and authority and He did not establish him and He did not aid him, neither by Himself nor with an army He created for him so that he can be able to do what you have mentioned.
Nay, you people are saying: He was weak, defeated, oppressed, and suppressed during the Caliphate of the three caliphs and when he possesses authority some army stood in his face and fought him, to the extent that he was not able to do what those who passed before him have done and who are unjust oppressors according to your beliefs. This entailed that Allah has aided those who have been before him until they are established and did what they have done of benefits, goodness, and divine grace and he is not aided do similar thing as they have done.
If you say: It is obligatoryupon people to give him vow of allegiance and aid him! We reply that: People didnot do that whether they have been obedient or disobedient. Upon all considerations, none of those you considered as infallible get any support neither from Allah nor from men. And those benefits you have mentioned cannot occur except with aid and support; if that didnot happen,that which through it benefits are attained is not achieved.Nay,it is only the means that exist and that didnot bring about what is desired.
Thirdly: If the whole things by which those claims can be attained didnot occur, nay most of its preconditions have failed, then, why shall it not be that infallibility as a precondition has failed? If what is aimed at has failed: Either due to lack of infallibility or because the infallible is weak; then there is no difference between the lack of this or that. Therefore,how do we arrive at the theorythat it is it is incumbent upon Allah to appoint an infallible Imam through intellectual process? (Shia Rafidah claimed that) Allah created him (infallible leader) and appointed him so that human beings can attain divine grace and benefits through him. Now, He has created him weak to the extent that he cannot be able to provide those benefits. Nay, a lot of evil and corruption has occurred, which will not take place except with his existence, and that will be explained by:
Fourthly: If this infallible has not been created(in Shia imagination) a lot of evil and corruption that is going on in the world will not have occurred for his existence has not prevented the occurrence of evil, so that it can be said: His existence has prevented this or that. Nay, his 374existence has caused the generality of the people to disbelieve in him, becomeenemies to his aids and party, commit injustice against him and his companions and a lot of evil has occurred –this, assuming that he is infallible.If we assess that Ali is not infallible and neither the rest of the twelve Imams and others who are similar to them; then taking over authority by the three Caliphs, Bani Umayyah and Bani Abbas will not be considered as injustice and evil (by Shia Rafidah). If we assume that they are infallible leaders, by our assumption that they are infallible leaders; thenpeople continued to be in evil and corruption with the exceptions of the corruptions and evils that has beenremoved by those who are fallible and therefore,their being infallible only caused corruption and not goodness. Thus, how can it be conceivable for the All-Wise to create something in order that benefits, goodness,and divine grace shall be attained through him, but nothing is attained from him except absolute evil, devoid of all goodness?
If they say: This evil has occurred because people have committedinjustice against him! It will be replied to them that: The All-Wise that created him in order to prevent their injustice and He knew that if He created him injustice will increase; thus there is no wisdom in creating him but rather irrationality. This issimilar to someone who handed over his son to a person asking him to guide him and teach himand he knew that person will not obey him; nay he will only corrupt his son. Can a wise man do that?
The belief of Shia Rafida is similar to the beliefs of the Christians who said that Allah became incarnated (in Jesus) and come down or he sent down His son; so that he will be crucified in order to atone Adam for the sin he has committed and so that Satan will be spited and driven away. It is said to them: If killing him, and crucifying him are greater evil and misguidance, it entailed that Allah want to remove a small sin with greater sins and even then, instead of removing evil He increased it. How can Allah do a thing for a purpose and the opposite of it willoccur? [Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaj al-Sunnah]
So based on these contradicting concepts and foundations, the Rafidah have pronounced mass-takfir against the Ummah (they just differ on the severity of Kufr of Sunnis, some believe Sunnis/ALL non-Twelvers are disbelievers in this world and the next, others believe Sunnis/ALL non-Twelvers – except few – will certainly enter Hellfire for their rejection of Imamah):
Mufid (died 413AH) writes:
‘There is consensus amongst the Imamiyyah (the Ithna ‘Ashari (Twelvers)or Jafari Shia) that whoever denies the Imamah of anyone of the Imams, and denies the duty of obedience to them that Allah has decreed, that such a person is a kafir, misguided, and that he deserves everlasting torment in Hell.’ [al Masa’il, quoted in Bihar al Anwar vol. 8 p. 366]
Abu Jafar Tusi, (died 460 AH), also referred to by the Shia as “Sheikh of the Sect (Shaikh al-Ta’ifah),” is the author of two of the four main Shi’i books of hadith, Tahdhib al-Ahkam and al-Istibsar, and is believed to have founded the Najaf Hawza. He has the following to say:
‘Rejection of Imamah is kufr, just as rejection of Nubuwwah is kufr.’ [Talkhis ash-Shafi vol. 4 p. 131 (Dar al Kutub al Islamiyyah, Qum, 3rd ed. 1394)]
Ahlus-Sunnah rightly refuse and refute the man-made Imamite ‘condition’ that Allah must show Lutf (divine grave) to the creation, thus obligating the existence of the Infallible Imam at any cost. We could say this is “possible” at an ‘Aqli level, but then again the evidence of the Quran and mass-transmitted human history does not favor the Twelver view.
- The concept of ‘only infallible Imam can guide us to the truth’ is proven false as the Shia (just like Sunnis) are lead by fallibles, this bitter reality lead even to the concoction of Wilayatul-Faqih in Iran (where the Faqih, a fallible ‘Ayatollah’, is literally referred to as an Imam, of course, he’s just the deputy/representative of the 12th Imam…)
- The concept of “only infallible Imam can guide us to the truth” is proven false as many times imam actually guide them to falsehood (due to taqiya)
This is also why it is extremely difficult to have a ‘debate’ with Twelvers: We radically disagree on how reality is constituted and what is the basis of God-human relationships and how evidence is to be treated in this regard, since in their view the ‘Imamah’ doctrine has to be maintained at all costs, even if the Rasm and the Ma’na of otherwise agreed-upon texts have to be modified, rejected, rehabilitated, etc.
The Twelver Imamite Shia belief that whether an Imam/Khalifah appointed by Allah and His Prophet was recognized or not, whether accepted or not, it is a conditional and necessary condition for the existence t exist as it brings Lutf (divine grace) and subsequently means for the preservation and domination of Islam till Qiyamat is flawed and far from reality.
Allah has promised Islam to prevail and dominate over ALL religions in different places of the Quran. This ability of it to stand till Qiyamat is its Izza’. According to Rafidism Islam was corrupted from the moment the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) left this world and the caliphs were nothing but usurping infidels who spread anything but Islam.
According to Shia narrations and the statements of the top authorities of Imamism, their mythical 12th ‘Imam’ (non-guiding guide) is hiding (and abandoned his responsibilities) for over millennia because he is afraid of getting killed by his mortal enemies and oppressors from who he is supposed to save the people. This fake Mahdi of theirs is whom they call upon, pray to and ask their needs from, a non-guiding guide who needs to save his own life.
If their saviour has run away out of fear, who will be saved among them?
Their hadith states:
‘The person who will rise to divine power on earth will disappear from the public sight before he will do so.’ I then asked, ‘Why will this happen so?’ He said, ‘He will be afraid.’ He then pointed to his midsection meaning he (Mahdi) might be murdered.”
Shia shaikh and known writer, Baqir Sharif Qurashi in his book “Life of Imam al-Mahdi”, (Publisher: Ansariyan Publications –Qum First Edition 1427 -2006 –1385) at the page 241-242 wrote:
‘In the tradition of Zurarah this same cause is mentioned by the Imam that: ‘For the Qaim (Mahdi), there is an occultation before his reappearance.’ Zurarah immediately asked, ‘What for?’ Imam replied, ‘For fear of being murdered.’ Tusi says: “The cause of the obstacle in the reappearance of Imam Mahdi is nothing but the fear of being killed. This is because if there had been any other reason, his remaining in occultation would not have been justified.” [Ghaibah, Shaikh Tusi pg. 199]
The Shia concept of divine Lutf (grace) is an utter failure in practice. Their so-called 12th ‘Imam’ is incapable of handling any of the tasks that an Imam is supposed to do. This is due to the fact that God never granted him the means to succeed in his mission like He previously granted Muhammad (ﷺ) the means of success.
Shia Imamah is a sad lonely concept and the people who believe in it after thoroughly thinking about it are not intelligent.