The Status of the 12 Imams
What is the status of the 12 Imams of the Shia?
The first 11 Imams were pious individuals who were a part of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah; they had nothing to do with the Shia. None of them claimed Imamah as the Shia claim, because this would be accusing them of being Dajjals, and they were innocent of that. This is similar to the case of Prophet Jesus (may Allah be pleased with him), who was a Muslim and not a Christian. The Christians, by their beliefs, have accused Prophet Jesus of being one of the Tawagheet, and yet we know that Prophet Jesus was innocent of that. In the same manner that Prophet Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, similarly did the 11 Imams never claim for themselves Imamah (i.e. divine appointment). The Muslims have a greater right to Prophet Jesus than do the Christians, and so too do the Sunnis have a greater right to the 11 Imams than do the Shia.
We ask Allah to send His Blessings down upon each and every one of the 11 Imams, starting from Ali ibn Abi Talib all the way to Hasan al-Askari, may Allah be well-pleased with them! They were not only the pious descendants of Ahlel Bayt, but they were also from amongst the best of people.
As for the 12th Imam, he did not exist, because Hasan al-Askari (may Allah be well-pleased with him) did not have a son.
Shaykh Gibril Haddad was asked about the status of the Imams of the Shia, to which he replied:
I heard Dr. Nur al-Din `Itr in class say: “Each one of them was a pious, upright Muslim from the noble Prophetic Tree and many of them were also among the foremost people of knowledge in their time.”
Team Ahlel Bayt asked the following question to Shaykh Maqbool Ahmad al-Makki, a graduate of Umm al-Qurra: “What is the status of the 11 Imams?” To which the Shaykh replied:
“There is no doubt that they were righteous and they were amongst the pious spiritual leaders of the Muslims. They had nothing to do with the Shia.”
Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com