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Shia says
Once a person told me that Abu Bakr is more knowledgeable than Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Na’oozo Billah)! I asked him how come?! He said because Abu Bakr understood that he should assign a person as his successor to keep the system and community working in order. As it is well-known Abu Bakr assigned Umar as his successor. But the Prophet failed to realize this important task that the Islamic community needs a qualified leader after him, or perhaps it was not important for the prophet that who is going to take over the power after him! When I heard that, I started asking the following question from myself: Is it possible that the Prophet of Islam who has tried hard to implement Islam, and tolerated a lot of problems, disasters, and paid big price to establish Islam in Arabian peninsula, leaves people without assigning any person to keep this religion alive after him?! The religion that is to be the last religion of God for this world; the religion that was supposed to be for every nation all over the world both inwardly and outwardly (political authority). What happened that we Muslims are in this miserable situation in the world for centuries? What happened that the chain of successors/rulers (Ulul-Amr) has reached to people like King Fahd, King Husain, Saddam Husain, Husni Mubarak, …? Something is terribly wrong!

Yes, The problem is leadership and Guardianship. Was this problem not so important for prophet or he didn’t take it serious? Of course, he did take it serious and he must have assigned a chain of successors (Caliphs) who where the most qualified as the head of Islamic state and as the guardian of Shari’ah (divine law).

Another question that came out to my mind was that: Are Allah and His prophet more qualified to assign the Caliphs, or people? Is Islam on the basis of democracy (government of people over people) or on the basis of theocracy (Kingdom of Allah over the earth)? The history of Islam testifies that the government after the death of prophet was neither democratic nor theocratic. Just a few people gathered in “Saqifah bani Saaedah” and assigned Abu Bakr as Caliph while Imam Ali was busy of the burial of the holy prophet in Medina.

Is it our choice as to whom should be a Prophet or it is Allah’s choice?

Can we select Prophet by Shura? The same goes for assigning the successor of Prophet, for Allah knows best who is the most qualified for this position. It seems very strange that a deputy of a chief is assigned by any person other than him. Deputy of God (or prophet) is only assigned by God (or prophet), and it is not people’s business! There are many examples in Quran where Allah states that He is the one who assigns a successor on the earth. Allah, Exalted He is, states in Quran:

“O’ David, we assigned you as Caliph (successor) on the earth …” (Quran 38:26)

He also states: “… We have assigned you (Abraham) as Imam (leader) for people …”
(Quran 2:124)

As we see, Caliph/Imam for the mankind is assigned by Allah. See also 2:30
(about Adam).

Due to the fact that we get too many emails and we have limited time, we usually do not respond to such emails. However, a dear Sunni friend requested that this email be replied to and so we decided to deal with it. Let us proceed line by line, Insha-Allah.

Shia says
Once a person told me that Abu Bakr is more knowledgeable than Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Na’oozo Billah)!

A manifest lie. No Sunni in his right mind would ever say something like that. This is a lie propagated by yourself.

While there have been Shia sects that have claimed that Ali ibn Abi Talib was superior to the Prophet, we find no such Sunni group which has ever claimed that Abu Bakr was superior to the Prophet. This idea of raising people to a level equal to and above the Prophets is a distinct quality of the Shia!

Shia says
I asked him how come?!

Is this all part of your imaginary conversation you had with yourself?

Shia says
He said because Abu Bakr understood that he should assign a person as his successor to keep the system and community working in order. As it is well-known Abu Bakr assigned Umar as his successor. But the Prophet failed to realize this important task that the Islamic community needs a qualified leader after him, or perhaps it was not important for the prophet that who is going to
take over the power after him!

First off, it is incorrect to claim that the Prophet did not appoint a successor. Rather, the truth is that the Prophet did not directly appoint a successor but instead he chose to do so indirectly and implicitly, and he did this by nominating Abu Bakr as the Imam of the prayers, which was the Hujjah that the Sahabah used to nominate Abu Bakr as the Caliph.

The Prophet nominated Abu Bakr as his successor as Imam of the prayers. This was the Prophet’s indirect way of casting his “vote” for Abu Bakr without forcing it down people’s throats. Had the Prophet directly nominated Abu Bakr, the people would have construed this as a divine command and then felt that a leader was to be forcibly imposed upon them instead of chosen by their own free will. Therefore, in the egalitarian spirit of Islam, the Prophet allowed the Muslims to choose their own leader. But he definitely showed where his preference was.

There is a difference between the Prophet appointing a leader, and Abu Bakr appointing a leader. The difference is that if the Prophet had done so, then the Awwam (masses) would have interpreted this as a religious decree, and they would have felt that the successor after the Prophet was divinely appointed. And yet, we know that the Prophet was the last of the divinely appointed leaders. After him, there were only temporal leaders, Abu Bakr being the first.

If the Prophet had nominated Abu Bakr outright as the Caliph, then the people would feel that they had no right or say in the matter…and then there would be sentiments of outrage about this, since it would conflict with the “democratic” spirit of the pre-Islamic Arabs.

The Shia oftentimes claim that we Sunnis accuse the Prophet of leaving no mechanism behind that tells us how to nominate our leaders. And then the Shia ask us: “how is it possible that the Prophet would not leave behind a system to nominate his own successor, something so crucial?”

To this, we answer that the Prophet had no need to create such a mechanism because such a mechanism already existed far before Islam came to Arabia. The Arabs of that time already had the system of Shurah and Ijma, whereby the village elders and influentials would meet and nominate a leader from amongst themselves. This system had been working in Arabia for hundreds of years…and it was the same system which was used after the Prophet’s death to nominate Abu Bakr as Caliph.

This system used by the Arabs respected popular sovereignty, consent of the governed, and self-determination. If the Prophet had circumvented that system and instead declared a successor, then this would be dictatorial and it would have gone against the more liberal and just system used by the Arabs of that time. The Arabs would have become discontent with such an imposition and the Caliph would be seen as a tyrant and dictator in the eyes of the people.

So this is why the Prophet did not appoint Abu Bakr, because this would be tyranny and imposition on the people. Indeed, the people would see the Prophet’s nomination as a religious decree and any who went against it would be in violation of Islam and be declared apostate. So it did not befit the Prophet to impose his will on the people.

To this, the Shia argue: but then what about Abu Bakr? Did he not impose his will on the people by nominating Umar without doing Shurah and Ijma? However, this is based on ignorance. In fact, Abu Bakr did use Shurah and Ijma. Please refer to our article on Saqifah:

AhlelBayt.com says
The Nomination of Umar ibn al-Khattab (رضّى الله عنه)

Answering-Ansar says: “Hadhrath Umar was not voted by the Muslim Ummah; Hadhrath Abu Bakr nominated him. ”

Response:

It is incorrect to state that Shura (mutual consultation) was not done in the nomination of Umar (رضّى الله عنه) . Before Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) finalized his decision to appoint Umar (رضّى الله عنه) , he in fact mutually consulted the prominent Muslims, including Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (رضّى الله عنه) , Uthman bin Affan (رضّى الله عنه) , Ali ibn Abi Talib (رضّى الله عنه) , and Talhah ibn Ubayd-Allah (رضّى الله عنه) . During the nomination of Uthman bin Affan (رضّى الله عنه) , the Shura council consisted of six representatives; the same is the case with the nomination of Umar (رضّى الله عنه) , in which at least this many prominent figures mutually consulted each other. The only difference here was that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) met the prominent figures seperately, as opposed to conjoining them in one room at the same time, as Umar (رضّى الله عنه) would do in the nomination of Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) . Based on this fact, it would be a lie to say that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) did not use Shura. We read:

At the beginning of Jumada al-Ukhra (13 AH), Abu Bakr caught a fever and its intensity continued unabated for a fortnight. When he grew sure of his last hours drawing near, he sent for Abdur Rahman bin Awf and held consultation (Shura) with him regarding the Caliphate…following this, he called Uthman bin Affan and put the same question to him. He (Uthman) said in reply: “Umar’s internal self is better than his external one; he is superior to us all.” When Ali was consulted, he made almost the same answer. Then came Talhah…

(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, pp.312-313)

In another narration, we read:

When ill-health overtook Abu Bakr and the time of his death approached, he summoned Abdur Rahman bin Awf and said: “Tell me about Umar ibn Khattab.” Abdur Rahman replied: “You are asking me about something of which you know better…By Allah, he is even better than the opinion you hold about him.” Then he (Abu Bakr) called Uthman bin Affan and asked him: “Tell me about Umar ibn Khattab.” Uthman replied: “You know him better than us.” Abu Bakr said: “Still, O Abu Abdullah!” Uthman answered: “Indeed, in my opinion, his inner self is better than his outer self and no one among us can parallel him.”

(Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.199)

Ibn Saad mentions that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) then consulted all the prominent leaders of the Ansars and Muhajirs. We read:

And he (Abu Bakr), besides these two, consulted Abu al-Awar (Saeed ibn Zayd) and Usayd ibn Al-Hudayr–as well as other big leaders of the Ansars and the Muhajirs–so Usayd said: “Indeed, after you O Abu Bakr, I consider him (Umar) the best. He is happy on happy occasions and sad on sad occasions. His inside is better than his outside. No one is more suited to bear the burden of this Caliphate.”

(Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.199)

During the process of Shura, it was only Abdur Rahman bin Awf (رضّى الله عنه) and Talhah (رضّى الله عنه) who raised any objections to Umar (رضّى الله عنه) , but then Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) countered these points of contention, and then Abdur Rahman (رضّى الله عنه) and Talhah (رضّى الله عنه) both agreed with Abu Bakr’s rebuttal, so the matter was settled. As for Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) and Ali (رضّى الله عنه) , they both favored Umar (رضّى الله عنه) .

Therefore, we have established that the principle of Shura was very much involved in the nomination of Umar (رضّى الله عنه) ; the prominent representatives–including all the major figures of the Ansars and Muhajirs–selected Umar (رضّى الله عنه) after mutual consultation. Furthermore, Umar (رضّى الله عنه) secured the “consent of the governed”. We read:

…[Abu Bakr] said addressing this audience:

“I have not appointed any relative of mine as Caliph, and I have not installed Umar as Caliph on my own. I have rather done it only after holding consultations with men of sound judgment. Are you then agreed to his being your Caliph?”

Hearing this, they (the masses) said: “We all agree with your choice and opinion.”

Following this, he (Abu Bakr) said: “You should then carry out Umar’s orders and obey him.”

(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, pp.313-314)

We read:

Abu Bakr looked out over the people from his enclosure…He said (to the people): “Will you be satisfied with him whom I have left as (my) successor over you…?” They responded: “We hear and obey.”

(The History of al-Tabari, Vol.11, pp.146-147)

Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) would even ask the people’s permission before finalizing his will. After writing in his will that Umar (رضّى الله عنه) was to be the Caliph, he asked Uthman (رضّى الله عنه) to read the will outloud to the people (i.e. the masses) and ask if they approved of it. We read:

(Uthman said): “Will you (all) pledge allegiance to the person in whose favor a will has been made in this letter?

The people said: “Yes.” …All accepted and agreed to pledge allegiance to Umar. Then Abu Bakr called Umar in solitude and gave him whatever advice he wanted to.

(Ibn Saad; Al-Tabaqat Al-Kubra, Vol.3, p.200)

Similarly, we read:

Then the Caliph (Abu Bakr) summoned all the people of Medinah to assemble in the court of the Mosque. He addressed them from the window of his house which opened into the court. (Abu Bakr said): “O people! I have appointed Umar ibn al-Khattab as my successor. He is not my relative, but he is the best among you. Are you satisfied with him? Will you obey him?” The people answered with one accord, “yes, we will obey him.” The Caliph was pleased and prayed for God’s favour on Umar and the Muslims.

(A Short History of Islam, by Mazhar ul-Haq, p.223)

So we can see that the matter is not at all as our Shia brothers portray. Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) did not at all install Umar (رضّى الله عنه) as a tyrant over the people. Rather, Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) gave his suggestion as Umar (رضّى الله عنه) , and he first passed it through the people, asking them if they accepted him as their Caliph. From this behavior, we can clearly see how truly important it is for the Ahlus Sunnah that the “consent of the governed” is attained; even the most powerful man from amongst the Muslims had to obtain the permission of the masses in order to appoint his successor. Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) –the Caliph of an emerging super-power–had the modesty and decency to have his own will “proof-read” by the people. The principles of popular sovereignity and self-determination were therefore upheld.

Furthermore, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari states:

According to the majority of scholars, the status of a heir to the throne (wali al-ahd) is only one of recommendation that requires approval from the nations prominent and influential figures after the demise of the Khalifa [i.e. consent of the governed]…the majority of the Umma’s scholars are of the view that if a Khalifah or ruler appoints his successor without the approval of those in power, then this is permissible, but it will only serve as an suggestion. After his demise, the nation’s influential and powerful people have a right to accept his leadership or reject it.

(Shaikh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari, www.sunnipath.com)

Qadhi Abu Ya’la al-Farra al-Hanbali states in his Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah (The Rules of Governance):

“It is permissible for a Caliph to appoint a successor without the approval of those in power…without the backing and presence of the prominent figures of the community. The logical reason behind this is that appointing someone a successor to the throne is not appointing his Caliph, or else, there will be two Caliphs; thus there is no need for the influential people to be present. Yes, after the demise of the Caliph, their presence and approval is necessary…Caliphate is not established merely with the appointment of the (previous) Caliph, rather (after his demise) it requires the approval of the Muslim Ummah.”

(al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah, p.9)

One other point worth mentioning here is the fact that Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) made it a point not to elect his own relative or son to the Caliphate. The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs disliked hereditary rule, as this is not the way of the Ahlus Sunnah; to create such a dynastic rule based on bloodline (on the Shia model) would be unjust and unethical. Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) said to the people:

“Nor have I appointed (as Caliph) a relative.”

(The History of al-Tabari, Vol.11, p.147)

In another account, he said:

“I have not appointed any relative of mine as Caliph.”

(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, p.314)

Abu Bakr (رضّى الله عنه) said on his deathbed:

“After holding consultations with the Muslims, I have selected the best among the Muslims to take care of them and look after their peace and welfare…(O Allah) make Umar a good Caliph…”

(Tareekh al-Islam, Vol.1, p.315)

Additionally, as we have discussed earlier, there is a difference when Abu Bakr nominates someone and when the Prophet does. When the Prophet does, then everyone thinks this is a religious command, a part of Islam, etc. Whereas when Abu Bakr nominates Umar, then this is based on his own self that he made this decision and the people are free to disagree with him on it. Is that not why Abu Bakr asked various Sahabah what they thought about his nomination of Umar and some of them disagreed? And then Abu Bakr asked the entire Ummah what they thought and the Awwam did not construe it as a religious decree but rather as Abu Bakr’s personal opinion, which they then agreed with.

Shia says
When I heard that, I started asking the following question from myself: Is it possible that the Prophet of Islam who has tried hard to implement Islam, and tolerated a lot of problems, disasters, and paid big price to establish Islam in Arabian peninsula, leaves people without assigning any person to keep this religion alive after him?!

Three points are of significance here:

Firstly, as we have discussed, Abu Bakr was implicitly nominated as successor. So the idea that the Prophet left the Ummah with no clue who to succeed him is just untrue. In fact, the Sahabah came to the swift conclusion based on the proofs left by the Prophet that the most fit was Abu Bakr…there was no period of unrest, turmoil, etc, that was caused due to the Prophet not nominating a successor. Initially there was some squabbling but it lasted less than a few days and the matter was quickly resolved. The election process of the Muslims was swifter in fact than the election process in America which takes months to resolve! So our question to the Shia is: what exactly is the issue?

Secondly, the Prophet did not wish to impose a leader on the people, as we have discussed.

Thirdly, you say: “keep the religion alive after him”…is that not what Abu Bakr did? Is that not what Umar did? Is that not what Uthman did? Not only did Islam “remain alive” but rather it flourished! Abu Bakr crushed apostasy in Arabia, Umar expanded the Islamic lands by engulfing the Persian and Byzantine Empires, and Uthman further consolidated Islam. The state of the Muslim Ummah after the first three Caliphates was in fact excellent, and the Ummah had been transformed into a regional super-power. So contrary to the picture you paint, Islam flourished! And so we say that the Prophet did an excellent job when he didn’t nominate a successor directly! Had the Ummah fallen apart after the Prophet’s death, then perhaps the Shia could have used this as some sort of proof, but we find that Islam flourished under Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman!

Shia says
What happened that we Muslims are in this miserable situation in the world for centuries? What happened that the chain of successors/rulers (Ulul-Amr) has reached to people like King Fahd, King Husain, Saddam Husain, Husni Mubarak, …? Something is terribly wrong!

Here the utter weakness in the Shia argument unfolds!

Yes, we Muslims have been in a miserable situation for centuries…but you forget that this a recent phenomenon. As we have discussed, Islam flourished for centuries after the Prophet’s death, and the Muslims became a regional super-power. The Islamic empires expanded far and wide, even threatening to engulf the heart of Europe. Yes, today we stand weak in comparison to the Christians, but there was a time not long ago when we Muslims vanquished the Crusaders (no thanks to the Shia traitors) and when we Muslims were at the seat of power in the world today. So no, something was not “terribly wrong”. The Prophet did an excellent job and we believe that his mission was successful! This is the difference between us Sunnis and you Shia. We Sunnis say that our Prophet was a success, whereas you Shia say that he was a failure! And you say that your Imam Mehdi will succeed where the Prophet failed! If the Prophet failed to impose a proper leadership, then why do you say that your Imam Mehdi will do better than the Prophet?

So we see that your argument falls flat on its face. Yes, the Muslims today are in a bad position, but this was not so after the Prophet died, nor was it true during the reign of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the first three of which you so desperately hate. In fact, the three you so hate created the Islamic Empire and gave Islam its glory.

Shia says
Yes, The problem is leadership and Guardianship. Was this problem not so important for prophet or he didn’t take it serious? Of course, he did take it serious and he must have assigned a chain of successors (Caliphs) who where the most qualified as the head of Islamic state and as the guardian of Shari’ah (divine law).

Another question that came out to my mind was that: Are Allah and His prophet more qualified to assign the Caliphs, or people? Is Islam on the basis of democracy (government of people over people) or on the basis of theocracy (Kingdom of Allah over the earth)?

Now then, let us move to the situation today. You say that look at the leadership in the Muslim world today, and you say that this is a proof that Allah would never leave us without a divine leader. Well then, where is your divinely appointed leader today? Oh wait, we see that your Iran is led by Ayatollah Khamenei and before him Ayatollah Khomeini! Would you like to forward a guess as to how they were elected? Uh oh (for you), looks like they were elected by Shurah and Ijma! So how is it that you are OK with your Wilayah al-Faqih to be nominated by Shurah and Ijma, but suddenly you have a problem with this when Abu Bakr is nominated in the same way!

Please read our earlier article on this matter:

AhlelBayt.com says

Let us assume for the time being that the Ahlus Sunnah accepted the fallacious assumption that we need an Infallible Imam to lead us, and that it would not be justice from God to leave us without divine leadership. If the Ahlus Sunnah accepts this, then would it not be fair to ask the next relevant question, which is: “Where is this divine leader now?” Where is the Infallible Imam today? To this, the Shia will respond: “Oh, he has been hidden for more than 1,000 years and will come out near the end of the world.” Nice!

This means that the theory of Justice of God in terms of guidance worked only for about three hundred years (before the occultation)! Indeed, if the Shia want to argue that there is no way that the Ummah could be left leaderless after the death of Prophet Muhammad, then why would Allah leave his Ummah leaderless after the death of the eleventh Imam and the sudden disappearance of the twelvth Imam?

Imam means “leader;” how can a person be led when the leader is not contactable and accessible? Nobody has had direct contact with the Imam Mahdi during his Greater Occcultation which has lasted over 1,000 years. So what is the point of all this debate?

The Shia believe in Imamah and accuse the Ahlus Sunnah of not having a leadership system; well, at the end of the day, we all ended up at the same point, didn’t we? The Shia had no leadership system up until the Iranian Revolution, and the Irani system of “Wilayat ul-Faqih” (the current leadership system in Iran) is nothing but a man-made system in certain scholars do Shurah (mutual consultation) in order to elect a leader for them. Well, this is exactly what happened at Saqifah when people elected Abu Bakr, so what is all the fuss about? If the Shia are willing to accept Ayatollah Khomeini as the leader of the Ummah, then why not Abu Bakr? Why do the Shia find it OK for Khomeini to be the elected representative of the Hidden Imam, but they do not find it OK for Abu Bakr to be the elected representative of the Prophet?

The main pillar of Shi’ism is that we need a divinely appointed Imam and the leadership of the Muslims is divinely appointed. Without this pillar and buttress, the entire faith of Shi’ism collapses on itself. We again ask the Shia why they can follow Khomeini but not Abu Bakr? The truth is that Ayatollah Khomeini was elected by man, and so dies the entire argument of the Shia regarding how it would not be justice for God to leave us without divine leadership. Khomeini is certainly not divinely appointed, and most Shia agree upon this. Some of the Muslims have elected Usamah Bin Laden to be their leader; does Khomeini (the leader of the Shia) have any divine advantages to Usamah?

The point is that if the Shia had a live Imam who was supposedly infallible and had access to extraordinary knowledge, then we did not need this dialogue. Instead of all these debates, we would have asked a Shia to take us to his Infallible Imam and there surely the Imam could prove us his right by his extraordinary knowledge, character, and attitude. This is not the case now. If someone becomes a Shia these days, nothing will be changed for him in terms of guidance. He will combine the prayers and attend ceremonies for Hussain and pay Khums to scholars…but nothing in terms of being directed by a divine Imam.

So what exactly is all the fuss about? The Shia says it is obligatory to know the Imam of one’s time, but from the so-called Imam of their time what do they know? Anything more than his name and the fact that he will not come out till near the end of the world? So is it all about knowing a name rather than actual guidance?

We are fighting over a non-issue: The Infallible Imam doesn’t even exist.

The occultation of the Imam is 100% in variance with the very basis of the reason the Shia claim we need an Imam. The Shia belief is in fact not self consistent.

On the one hand, the very reason we need an Imam is to lead, but now the Imam has been in occultation, so what benefit does the Imam give now?

The whole foundation of Shi’ism is that the Shia needed an Imam after the demise of the Prophet and that it did not make sense for Allah not to divinely appoint a successor to the Prophet. Then what about today? Why have the Shia been living without any Imam for over 1,000 years? Why has Allah left the Ummah without a divinely appointed leader for over a thousand years?

To respond to this question, the Shia will say that the Hidden Imam still guides them while he is in occultation, but our question is: if the Hidden Imam (Mahdi) can guide the Shia without being alive with them physically, why couldn’t our Prophet Muhammad guide us without being alive with us physically? Thus, the Shia simply prove by their Aqeedah that their Twelfth Imam is higher and more superior than our Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) in everything.

Moving on…

Shia says
The history of Islam testifies that the government after the death of prophet was neither democratic nor theocratic.

Wrong. Our history testifies that the election of Abu Bakr fulfilled the spirit of popular sovereignty, consent of the governed, and self-determination. Please read our Saqifah article for full details.

Shia says
Just a few people gathered in “Saqifah bani Saaedah” and assigned Abu Bakr as Caliph

Wrong again. First of all, representatives from the Ansars and the Muhajirs–the two major groups amongst the Muslims–were present at Saqifah. Secondly, over 33,000 Sahabah took the oath of allegiance at the hands of Abu Bakr. This is not “just a few people.”

Shia says
while Imam Ali was busy of the burial of the holy prophet Medina.

Yes, the Muhajirs did not disturb Ali by bringing him to Saqifah, and instead they allowed him to bury his cousin in peace. Please read our article on Saqifah for a full description of the event:

Saqifah: A Sunni Perspective

Shia says
Is it our choice as to whom should be a Prophet or it is Allah’s choice? Can we select Prophet by Shura? The same goes for assigning the successor of Prophet, for Allah knows best who is the most qualified for this position.

Of course it is not our choice as to who is to be our Prophet. But this mentality is another proof that the Shia are outside the folds of Islam because they find equivalence between the status of the divinely appointed Prophets and their (supposedly) divinely appointed Imams! We believe that the Shia claiming that their Imams are divinely appointed by Allah makes a mockery of the concept of the finality of Prophethood as mentioned in the Quran.

The Caliph is only a temporal leader, and he is not a divinely appointed figure. Any who claim that there is a divinely appointed figure after the Prophet Muhammad is a disbeliever and outside the folds of Islam.

Shia says
It seems very strange that a deputy of a chief is assigned by any person other than him.

Do you say it seems very strange then that the leader of your country, Ayatollah Khomeini, was assigned by the people as opposed to Allah?

If any president of a Muslim country today claimed that he was divinely appointed by Allah to lead the people, then would you not say that this is an act of Kufr? If General Pervez Musharaf of Pakistan claimed that Allah had directly appointed him as leader of the people, what would we Muslims think of him? Surely we would all say that he has committed a grievous blasphemy that puts him outside the folds of Islam! Why then, O Shia, do you accuse the Imams of Ahlel Bayt of doing such a thing?

Shia says
Deputy of God (or prophet) is only assigned by God (or prophet), and it is not people’s business!

And what about your Wilayah al-Faqih, the leader of Iran who claims to be the deputy of the Imam who is supposedly the deputy of the Prophet? If your deputy is appointed without divine ordinance, then why cannot our deputy be appointed by the people as well? How is it that you have no issue with Khomeini being elected by the people, but suddenly you have a problem with Abu Bakr? What happened to all the emphatic arguments about how it would not be proper for the people to choose their own leader and other such arguments that you had furthered earlier?

Shia says
There are many examples in Quran where Allah states that He is the one who assigns a successor on the earth.

Can you cite one Quranic verse in which Ali is assigned as the Caliph of the Muslims after the Prophet? And what of the other Imams of the Shia? How is it that the Quran mentions the Caliphate of Prophet Dawood but not the Caliphate of the one most relevant to the Muslims at the time, i.e. the successor of the Prophet?

Shia says
[random quotes from the Quran]

How come you cannot quote a single clear quote from the Quran which talks about how Allah has designated a successor to the Prophet? Is this information not important enough to mention? You Shia say that Imamah is one of the Usool-e-Deen, and yet we don’t find a single mention of who the designated Imam is in the Quran! Instead of providing clear verses, you are forced to cut and splice Quranic verses, assembling them again in a certain way as if the Quranic verses are lego blocks for you to play with.

You claim that we Sunnis accuse the Prophet of incompetence (we seek Allah’s refuge from that!) when we say that he didn’t directly appoint someone. Well, you accuse Allah–the Lord of the Worlds–of even greater incompetence when you say that He didn’t include one of the essentials of faith in His Holy Book which He Himself has said is complete and has everything in it. If you say that common sense dictates that the Prophet would nominate a successor, then we say that common sense dictates that Allah would mention something so dramatically important in the Quran, the book which was sent to guide us.

Article Written By: Ibn al-Hashimi, www.ahlelbayt.com

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